I went to Polokwane for a wedding, which was hosted at the Ranch Nature Conservancy resort.
Aside from the golf and relaxation, you can also go for a walk with lions!
You get to hold their tails and also amazingly not get eaten by them! Haha ;)
After doing the walk, I must say that the lions seem like big friendly dogs.
Bare in mind that these are lions are used to humans and guides and rangers supervise your walk at every step of the way. You SHOULD NOT attempt to do this on your own if you happen to visit one of Africa's many game parks.
South Africa Through My Eyes: A Local's Point of View
I hope more people get to see my beautiful country. It's filled with so many extraordinary sights, sounds and smells. Be sure to make a stop past at least once in your life! These are the sights my family, friends and I get to see & the experiences we get to share with the world... Hope you enjoy!
This statue of Apartheid fighters, Walter Sisulu and his wife Albertina by Marina Walsh, sits watch over their original offices in the background, where Walter was once an estate agent.
According to my guide, the statue was designed for people to sit in the laps of the depicted couple and to have photos taken. So if you ever happen upon the statue, be sure to sit on Walter or Albertina's lap and have a photo with them!
A few weekends ago I went on a guided inner city tour offered by Tour Operator, Past Experiences. My guide Jo, was very friendly and had loads of information to share about this specific area (Ferreirasdorp), including multi-cultural and historical significance.
This particular photo is of Chancellor House, the first Black law firm in South Africa, opened by Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.
The Green Sign in the top right hand corner actually shows their signage "Mandela and Tambo Attorneys"
The building was previously in a very bad state and has since been restored to it's former glory and now houses and museum like timeline of events in the lives of Mandela and Tambo during the Apartheid era.
If you're interested in more inner city walking tours, please follow the link to the Past Experiences website where you'll be able to see what's on offer.
If you ever find yourself in Ballito (Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa), make sure you stop in at The Waterberry Coffee Shoppe Restaurant for some AMAZING cuisine, and of course some divine, decadent dessert!
While I was there, I had the Orange Twist Cheescake with a Berry Blaze fruit smoothie/shake to accompany it. Oh so yummy!
Just make sure you limit the amount of sweet treats your kids have as I was on the verge of entering a sugar coma...
I'd definitely go there again without a second thought!
I recently went to Durban to attend a wedding. While I personally don't consider Durban at the top of list of places to go on holiday in SA, I will say that Durban is great for the sun and the surf.
In terms of tourist attractions, Ushaka Marine World is a great place to take the family. You can spend the day having fun at the water park, catch the dolphin show or get in some knowledge and check out the aquarium. The aquarium is themed to resemble a sunken ship with certain rooms even displaying some of the decor and furniture upside down!
Those who are brave enough can even venture into the shark tank where you'll be able to swim with some of the scary predators of the deep blue sea!
A last minute cancellation for a music video shoot had the director and me make our way for a quick bite to eat at a nearby mall.
A need for a power outlet so that we could carry on working landed us at Oyo Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.
A quick set of starters and a few drinks, helped our creative minds get to work.
Best of all the dishes in my opinion, was the Hong Kong Pears - Crisp mashed potato dumplings stuffed with a mixture of chicken, duck and prawns and presented in the shape of pears. Impressive on the eyes and the taste buds!
The restaurant's website states that “Oyo” is a Chinese expression meaning “whoa” which is precisely what many are sure to say when they first enter oyo."
Being Chinese, I can see what they're trying to say, although in my opinion it's more of an "Ahya!"
Regardless of the differences, I will say that the food was pretty good and that it should definitely be...
I travelled to the Nanhua Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit, expecting to take a tour around and see something different.
Peace, calm and serenity are some of the enlightened characteristics I experienced here.
Aside from the main temple, the surrounding carvings and stone work are a sight in themselves
After visiting the main temple, visitors are able to leave lanterns as offerings to the Buddha in exchange for granting you good luck and and prosperity
I recently went to Port Elizabeth and having been my first time I had no idea where to go. I was informed by one of the locals that I needed to head to a place called 'Cow's Corner, near Kragga Kamma Road.
A busy day had me and my friend making a mad dash to go get some shots while there was still light. When we found Cow's Corner it was already getting dark, and the view wasn't fantastic, so I kept driving, and by this stage we were now heading away from the sunset.
Fortunately I happened to look into my rear view mirror as we went through a small cluster of trees and saw the amazing pastel shades of pinks, oranges, and purples forming behind me.
A quick skid to a stop on the side of the road, had us out in the middle of the road getting some amazing shots of the beautiful landscape and colours
On a weekend stay at a luxurious 5 star game lodge, the group headed out to the bird hide at Mankwe Dam. This dam is an artificial dam/lake and is the largest reservoir in the the Pilaneberg National Park. It is home to a large variety of wildlife including crocodiles, terapins and many bird species.
In the image you can see an old dead tree in the water which now acts as a favourite perch for Cormorant
After a long day of filming and shooting, I rushed off to meet a friend and fellow photographer to try and snap a shot of the sunset over the CBD.
This day had turned out to be particularly nice as for the past few days it'd had been really overcast and hazy due to rain. So with the rain gone, the air was clear and we were lucky to see some amazing colours over the city skyline!
I'm very fortunate to have friends who take me with to luxury bush lodges for a weekend break, away from the city.
Because my friend knows one of the rangers there we had our own game van and even managed to go to limited access areas of the park. Aside from all the amazing wildlife we came across, we were very lucky to get some shots of this juvenile Jackal Buzzard.
This wind farm is found just outside of a little town in the Western Cape called Darling.
The windmills lined up the way they are, remind me of airplanes queued up on a runway waiting to take-off.
A little closer to the main part of town, you're likely to stumble upon the home of Evita Bezuidenhout. A character created and portrayed (in drag) by political satirist, Pieter Dirk Uys.
If you're lucky enough to pass through at the right time of year (August to September) you're likely to experience one of the most beautiful and spectacular sights nature has to offer: The blooming of the South African Wildflowers!
I'd gone up Table Mountain only to get completely engulfed by the cloud coming in over the top. This cloud cover is also known as the Table Cloth.
With the view ruined, I was forced to make my way down and was presented with a lovely view of Signal Hill and Lion's Head. In this photo Lion's head is the big peak on the left and Signal Hill is on the right
On a random drive out with my cousin one weekend, we decided to venture out to some wine estates in the Stellenbosch area.
We happened to stumble upon this gem called the Hidden Valley Wine Estate.
Stunning views all around, provided us with an amazing drive right up to the door of the on site restaurant which happens to be the award winning, Overture Restaurant.
A little further up the mountain, and you're privvy to a view stretching right out to the ocean!
I took a stroll down to the beach in Seapoint, Cape Town and although it was windy, it was definitely worth the trip, as I got to snap this magnificent sunset by the sea.
Trips to Cape Town find me returning to a quaint little Mexican bistro called El Burro.
Fantastic food at perfect prices with superior service have me and my guests always itching for more. Pictured above is a speciality, Prawn and Mango Tacos. My only qualm with this dish is that it's not part of the standard menu offering!
A great dining experience can be found at the foot of the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto in the form of Chaf-Pozi.
Chaf-Pozi, is a traditional Shisa nyama. Shisa nyama is a Zulu phrase literally meaning "hot meat". It is a term used to describe an informal barbecue or braai near a butchery to grill meat in an open fire. The site is usually provided by the butcher owner and only people who buy meat from the butcher are allowed to use the facility.
In the photo, a group of friends who were out for a good time are enjoying their freshly picked and prepared meal together,
The dining spot is perfectly situated being close to both the FNB and Orlando Stadiums, offering pre and post show meals and entertainment. The services of local taxis are also on offer. This allows guests to be transferred from other major centres to Chaf-Pozi to enjoy a stunning meal, followed by a sporting event or...
I got a sneek preview today of the new facility for WAM (the art museum of the University of the Witwatersrand). The opening gala is this Wednesday. A great space with the best collection of African art. they have over 10,000 pieces, about 300 of which will be on display. This image is of a portion of Jackson Hlungwane’s Women’s Altar to God.
Chancellor House, where Mandela and Tambo officed in the 50's is being restored. They were the first blacks to have their own law firm. It hasn't opened yet as of May 2012 but is very close. They already have a lot of great pictures and historical narratives in the windows.
Cape Town has a lot to offer from penguins, wine and immaculate views to and from Table Mountain, but our most amazing and rewarding time was spent at the Cheetah Outreach in Paardevlei. We were able to handle and play with young cheetahs and watch feeding time for the adults. Cheetahs are endangered so the chance to see these incredible creatures is something to be admired by anyone interested in wildlife.
The gates open and the hillside quickly transforms into a buzzing sea of people as I tip-toe around their picnic blankets. A prelude of cork popping lets me know the fun is about to begin at one of my favorite summertime activities: the open air concerts at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The world-famous botanical garden is a stunning venue, as the sun begins to set over the backside of Table Mountain and the bandshell lights twinkle. Local acts such as FreshlyGround, Johnny Clegg, Goldfish, and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra regularly sell out, so it's wise to pre-purchase tickets. It's a great event to pack a picnic, bring the whole family, and mingle with local Capetonians. I can't think of a better way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon in Cape Town.
Kruger National Park, in the northwest corner of South Africa, spans over 19,000 square kilometers and boasts hundreds of animal and bird species including the "Big Five" -lions, rhinos, buffalo (seen here), leopards, and elephants.
Located across from Sakhumzi Restaurant and adjacent to Thali's Snack Bar I encountered wall art that captures the spirit of the people of Soweto and all of the once segregated townships. Walk up the street and you'll encounter vendors, dancers and all of the other things that cater to tourists. Soweto is a bit touristy but definitely worth a visit. I'd go in the morning or evening when the buses clear out. That's also when you can hang with the locals and get away from the Lonely Planet guides.
Origin roasts and serves, arguably, the best coffee in Cape Town. They're known for their quality and provide beans to around 80 city-wide establishments. I frequent their headquarters and cafe on Hudson Street whenever I'm in Cape Town for my caffeine fix. It's a trendy venue, tucked away in a small neighborhood where the Waterfront district meets the slopes of Signal Hill, making it a great place to people watch. Origin makes what they call "Montreal-style" bagels, which are a bit thin but still satisfy my cravings. For R30 their mini-breakfast includes a scrambled egg, tomatos, bacon (or mushrooms), and a bagel, and this is one of the best breakfast deals in town. If you're a caffeine addict like me, you'll want to ask for the loyalty card which will earn you a free drink every 10 stamps/beverages purchased.
In a city with no shortage of great lodgings, Cape Town’s Grand Daddy Hotel offers guests something a little different: a night’s sleep in a vintage Airstream trailer parked on the roof of the hotel. The top-floor trailer park—which includes seven units, all with views of Table Mountain—was conceived by owner Jody Aufrichtig and local design studio Whatiftheworld. A different South African artist imagined the look of each trailer, and themes include the pink-hued “Love of Lace,” by Tracy Lynch, and Mark and Joe Stead’s “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” featuring a human-size bear suit in the closet. During your stay, take advantage of the adjacent rooftop bar and picnic seating, a more sociable option than trailer-side room service. —Diane Vadino
Grand Daddy Hotel, 27/(0) 21-424-7247, from $90. Photo courtesy of Grand Daddy Hotel. This appeared in the March/April 2010 issue.
The Victoria and ALFRED waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa has seen virtually every tourist who sets foot in Cape Town. It is a hub of dining and shopping venues on the waterfront of the most beautiful city in the world. A fabulous view of Table Mountain can be had on the boat over to Robben Island which leaves from the area. The Cape Grace Hotel is located right there but for a more boutique choice try the Cape Heritage Hotel. And don't miss - seriously don't miss- the Savoy Cabbage Restaurant. Two incredible dinners there in the month we were in South Africa. We also had a wonderful meal at Caveau adjacent to the hotel.