Route Planner South Africa: Pit-stops on the N2

Planning one last road trip before winter creeps in? Why not attempt the longest and most beautiful road trip South Africa has to offer? Stretching from Cape Town to Ermelo in Mpumalanga, the N2 paves the way to the best East Coast destinations. The road is long, and we know how important it is for you to stretch your legs, so we’ve picked a few of our favourite pit-stops so that you can give the Wimpy coffee a break.

Route Planner South AfricaPeregrine Farmstall

A short drive along from the hair-raising and breath-takingly beautiful Sir Lowry’s Pass, is the popular Peregrine Farmstall. Located in farm country, this essential pit-stop boasts heaps of local produce and unique homemade delicacies. With mouth-watering pastries and dried fruit and nuts on offer, it’s the ideal place to stock up on the car-trip snack stash. Start your trip up the coast with the tasty and affordable all-day breakfasts and coffees served at the on-site cafe. Sit on the deck under cooling misters and enjoy people-watching as travellers stop to stretch their legs.

Open Daily:
Winter – 07h30 to 18h00
Summer – 07h30 to 18h30

Route Planner South Africa

Nanaga Farmstall

Somewhere between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown you’ll find the Nanaga Farmstall– a welcome oasis after a long stretch of highway. Browse a wide variety of homemade jams, relishes and chutneys, or  take home some straight-out-of-the-oven breads, rusks and the perfect coffee-dipping biscuits. Nanaga is well-known for the flaky, golden deliciousness of their meaty pies and crispy roosterkoek, so make sure to try as many flavours as you can. The charming gift shop is filled with arts, crafts and interesting trinkets, for something to take home that won’t get devoured in the car.

Open Daily: 08h00 – 17h30

Route Planner South Africa

Ou Meul Bakkery, Riviersonderend

For years, roadtrippers have been in unspoken agreement. No South African road trip is complete without a stop at the Ou Meul Bakkery in Riviersonderend for a mouth-watering pie. With filling like chicken, bobotie, venison and steak, its flaky pastry is something you can really sink your teeth into. You can enjoy this buttery delight in the Ou Meul courtyard with a coffee, or you can take it to go. Make sure you check out the selection of sweet treats, and nibble on a milk tart or apple crumble, before you start back on the road.

Open Daily:
Weekdays: 06h00- 18h00
Saturday: 06h00- 15h00
Sunday: 07h00– 18h00

Route Planner South Africa

Blue Crane Farm Stall

Nestled in the rolling hills, 3km west of Heidelberg, you’ll find the bright blue roof of the Blue Crane Farm Stall. Specialising in fresh handmade goodies and farm bread still steaming from the oven, the Blue Crane is an N2 must. Feeling peckish? The restaurant uses only garden-fresh fruit and vegetable, and local ingredients so you can expect home-cooked meals dripping in farm-style charm. If you’re just stopping by, the bakery churns out fresh muffins and scones for a quick snack to tide you over till the next stop. The Blue Crane also boasts an aromatic Fragrance Boutique where you can buy scents imported from France; meaning you’ll leave The Blue Crane with not only a full belly and a backseat full of homemade pies, but you’ll smell amazing too.

Open Daily: 08h00- 17h00

Route Planner South Africa

If you’re going to be venturing out for the best East Coast road trip around, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got accommodation to match. Venues4Africa is the best route planner South Africa has on offer, so let us help you find the best spots to rest your head after a long day’s drive. Choose anything from comfortable Garden Route accommodation, to seaside getaways in Durban. Don’t let summer slip away, start planning now!

Image Credit:
peregrinefarmstall.co.za
bluecranefarmshop.co.za
Masroor Hamid
nanaga.co.za

The Best of Namibia Hiking Trails

There is no better way to experience the illustrious Namibian desert than to feel the sand shift beneath your feet. Whether you’re looking to climb into rocky canyons, or conquer sand dunes and horizon-touching plateaus, Namibia has a number of hiking trails that’ll take you directly into the heart of this epic country.

Namibia Desert

Naukluft Hiking Trail
This circular route takes you trekking through the rolling dunes, and dramatic desert expanse of the Namib Naukluft National Park. Witness the magic of one of the oldest deserts in the world first hand, with this treacherous and rewarding hiking trail. The full route takes a total of eight days, though there is an option to tackle just the first four, which are known to be the easier portion. So don’t fret if you’re pressed for time, or worried about fitness.

Open: 1st March to 31st October due to extremely high summer temperatures
Distance: 120km
Duration: 4 day or 8 days

Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon Hike
The largest canyon in Africa, the Fish River Canyon is a hiker’s mecca. The pinnacle of Namibia hiking trails, this 85km trail starts from the main Canyon view point near Hobas, and ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa. Trek for five days through sand and stone, alongside the intermittent river, with the Namibian sun on your back. Ease into the rhythm of the elements, as you rise with the sun and rest with the starry night sky above you. The startling beauty of the Canyon is something you won’t easily forget.

Open: 1 May – 15 September
Distance: 85km
Duration: 5 days

Namibia Hiking

Sweet Thorn Trail
You’ll find the Daan Viljoen Game Park near Windhoek, and when you do you’re in for a treat. Traverse the beautiful Khomas Hochland mountains and spend a cozy night in the halfway point hut. With commanding views and captivating wildlife, the Sweet Thorn trail is the perfect pause after a busy week in the bustle city of Windhoek.

Open: All year round
Distance: 32kms
Duration: 2 days

Namibia Wildlife

Waterberg Hike
Mountainous and lush with vegetation, the Waterberg Plateau Park is teeming with all kinds of exciting fauna and flora. With distinctive red-stone cliffs and over 200 species of bird, you’ll have trouble watching where you’re walking. Basic shelter is provided so, unlike the other hikes in the area, you won’t need to carry a tent. Some of the Namibia wildlife heavy-weights to keep an eye out for are rhino and shy mountain leopard.

Open: April – November
Distance: 42km
Duration: 4 Days

Namibia Hiking

Olive Trail
A beautiful, shorter hike in the Naukluft Mountains, the Olive Trail gets its name from the Wild Olive trees along the route. Descend a spectacular gorge and follow an easy walk along the dry river bed. The highlight, and arguably trickiest section of the trail, involves a chain bridge and a rocky ledge. Keep an eye out for kudus and baboons along the way!

Open: All year round
Distance: 10km
Duration: 1 day

Namibia Hiking

After exploring the vast number of Namibia hiking trails, you’ll need a peaceful place to rest your head. Visit Venues4Africa to find diverse and comfortable Namibia accommodation so you can start planning your desert adventure today.

Image Credits: jbdodane, Bobulix, tomorrowmayrain.wordpress, thefoxtakespictures.wordpress.com, Joachim Huber, Massmo Relsig

The Heavy Weights of Mozambique Marine Life

What better way to spend your time than with the sun on your back, surrounded by weird and wonderful Mozambican marine life? With crystal clear waters filled with over 6000 species of fish, the sugar-white sand beaches of Mozambique are considered some of the finest diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. Read on to learn a little bit more about the protected mega-fauna you should be on the lookout for on your next trip to Mozambique.

Mozambique Marine Life

Whale Shark
This magnificent sea creature is the largest living fish in the worlds, spanning an impressive 14 meters in length. These endangered beauties have characteristic wide, flat heads and have a peaceful nature; eating only small schooling fish, plants and algae. You can tell these gentle giants apart by their thin vertical stripes, columns of white spots, and extremely large, horizontal mouths.

Mozambique Marine Life

Manta Ray
Another deep sea heavy weight with a soft heart, the mysterious Manta Ray is not far behind the Whale Shark in size- reaching more than 7.6 meters in width, and weighing about 2300 kg. Directly related to the Sting Ray, they have an intimidating presence but don’t panic- Manta Rays don’t have a stinging barb like their fiercer cousins. The anatomy of this exquisite specimen make them fast and naturally acrobatic- keep an eye out to see them launch right out of the water.

Mozambique Marine Life

Turtles
Mozambique beaches are largely unspoiled and unexplored, which makes them an ideal environment for nesting turtles. These docile creatures lay their eggs in the soft sand, and the hatching babies are a rare and moving sight. There are five species of threatened marine turtles that nest along the Mozambican coast, and protection efforts have been in place for over 40 years to preserve these docile creatures.

Mozambique Marine Life

Dugong
A sighting of this strange and elusive mermaid-like sea creature is rare. This is partly due to the fact that the dugong is characteristically shy, but also because they are endangered. When spotted, they are seldom seen travelling alone, preferring to move in pairs or in large groups. The dugong is one of two marine animals that are known to be vegetarian, and they can be found munching on sea-grass. They can hold their breath for more than 5 minutes and stay safe from predators by keeping to shallower waters.

Mozambique Marine Life

Southern Right and Humpback Whales
While exploring the spectacular coral reefs, look out for the Southern Right and Humpback whales. Between June and December, these giants of the deep and their calves can be spotted from the shores, while diving and boating in the waters of Mozambique. Despite their size, Humpback Whales are especially acrobatic, often seen leaping high out of the water, breaching the surface, tail slapping and spy hopping. A chance to see these majestic creatures up close is definitely something for your bucket-list, and definitely Mozambique marine life at its best.

Mozambique Marine Life

Start planning your beach side getaway now so you can experience these gentle giants first hand, and since finding accommodation in Mozambique is a breeze with Venues4Africa, you’ve got no excuse.

Top 10 Reasons to visit the Kruger National Park

If anything is on your bucket list, it should be a trip to the Kruger National Park. Just in case you’re unsure of what the fuss is about, we’ve rounded up ten reasons why it’ll be the best decision you make this year.

Image Credit - Wild in Africa.1. The Climate

You can visit the park all year round, and each season brings its own special perks. With its subtropical climate, you can enjoy sunshine for most of the year. As far as wildlife is concerned, the dry winter months are known to be the best time for game viewing, but at the same time, the wet summer months have new-borns, full waterholes and migrant birds to offer.

2. The Size

The sheer size of it is enough to blow your mind. With almost two million hectares of unspoiled African bushveld, and a multitude of safari camps, guest lodges and resorts scattering the area, you won’t be left wanting.

Image Credit - Wild in Africa.

3. The Bird Watching

With a list of over 500 species of bird, some of which are not found anywhere else in South Africa, and hideaways in the most remote places – the Kruger National Park is the birding fanatic’s dream. Look out for the Big 6 of the bird world: the Saddle-billed Stork, Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pel’s Fishing-Owl and Ground Hornbill.

4. The Wildlife

A bucket-list essential is the safari search for the legendary Big Five and the phenomenal creatures that you’ll spy in the process. There are over 145 species of mammals found in the park, so make sure to download a checklist here so you can keep track of your findings.

Image credit- Dren Pozhegu

5. The Walking Safaris

Ever crossed paths with a dung beetle rolling its treasures home? Didn’t think so. With the incredible array of guided walking safaris you can experience nature in real time. Come face to face with the African bushveld and witness the minute details that make the experience all the more magical.

6. The Biodiversity

The Kruger National Park is home to five vegetation zones, each with their own special flair and diverse range of species. From arid semi-desert to thickly wooded areas with flowering trees, it’s a mixed bag of remarkable nature at its best. Be on the lookout for the iconic Baobab trees that pepper the region, and the interesting creatures that make them their home.

7. The Sunsets

Image Credit:  kruger-2-kalahari.comEnough said.

8. The Conservation Efforts

Dedicated to ensuring the extraordinary biodiversity of the park remains untouched, the Kruger National Park is world-renowned for its conversation efforts. Experienced guides and rangers make sure that the beauty of the African bushveld is preserved for many generations to come.

9. The Sense of Adventure

There’s nothing like anticipating the scene of a lion kill around the next bend, or watching the animals flock to a watering hole at sunrise. Add some spice into your daily life with an African safari adventure.

Image Credit - Wild in Africa

10. The Status

Over 1.4 million visitors a year consider Kruger to be the best National Park in Africa, and arguably the world, and it’s no secret why it’s so popular. But don’t take our word for it, book one of the many fantastic Kruger National Park accommodation options on Venues4Africa and see for yourself.

Image Credit - Wild in Africa.

Image Credits: Wild in Africa, Dren Pozhegu, kruger-2-kalahari.com