Crossing the river at Kei Mouth
Leaving Port Elizabeth on the main N2 route it is not long till you arrive in Colchester where you can perhaps take a drive through Addo National Elephant Park. Addo is home to the Big 7 as part of the park is also a marine park, but the main park is home to the Big 5. It is self-drive but if you want to you can pick up a guide at the main camp. There are a number of lovely picnic spots dotted throughout the park where you can relax and stretch your legs. There are a number of large drinking holes where you can stop your car and watch the elephants.
Continue on along the N2 until you reach the R72 turn off. This route is the coastal road with a number of small seaside towns along the way. Perhaps spend a night in Port Alfred, which used to be a small coastal village but over the years has developed into quite a bustling town. Here you can enjoy a boat trip on the Kowie River or perhaps a pizza at Guido’s overlooking the East Beach and harbour entrance. Both East Beach and West Beach in Port Alfred are accessible with the main swimming beach at Kellys Blue Flag Beach. (more…)
Here is a list of the Blue Flag status beaches in South Africa. The Western Cape has by far the most with 22 beaches, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 8, the Eastern Cape has 4 and the Northern Cape 1.
South Africa joined the Blue Flag programme 12 years ago and works hard to not only maintain the number of beaches with Blue Flag awards but also to increase the number year on year.
For the first time this year Blue Flags were also awarded to 4 Marinas across South Africa including; Royal Afred Marina in Port Alfred, Yachport in Saldanha, False Bay Yacht Club in Cape Town and Granger Bay Water Club in Cape Town.
Blue Flag beaches are an important aspect in promoting international tourism and many municipalities employ teams of people on a daily basis to clean the beaches of any rubbish or debris. Of course with so much coastline surrounding South Africa there are many beautiful beaches which don’t make the list but are no less worthy of visiting. Chatting to locals and guest house owners when you are on holiday is a great way to discover some of the best beaches to visit.
South African’s enjoy a good braai and the Bathurst OxBraai has to be the event for any young South African especially those in the Eastern Cape. This annual event attracts thousands of young people for an all day celebration that goes on all night as well.
The OxBraai takes place at the Bathurst Showgrounds just outside the small village of Bathurst in the Eastern Cape. Entry to the event costs R100 per person and if you are bringing a car which many people do then there is an additional charge of R100 per car. In 2012 the vent takes place on the 28th December with the gates opening at 10h00.
This huge event which started in the early 1980’s now attracts over 10,000 people. This is a safe event to go to with police and paramedics on duty to ensure that no-one gets into too much trouble or harm and is well looked after if they do. Please remember do not bring any glass bottles to this event. (more…)
Beach holidays always remind me of my childhood filled with fun, laughter and general exhaustion at the end of the day. My hometown of Port Alfred lies on the coastline of the Eastern Cape in South Africa where the Kowie River enters the Indian Ocean. Either side of the entrance to the river mouth lie miles and miles of sandy beaches with huge sand dunes on the East side.
Most mornings start with taking our two dogs down to the beach for a long walk on the designated dog-friendly beach. The sight of both dogs stretching their legs and playing in the waves is a great way to start the day. During the school holidays the beach is usually busy with families playing in the sea or sliding on sand boards down the dunes. Outside of high season the beaches are quiet and at especially low tides a great place to explore the rock pools. (more…)
Planning your trip to South Africa normally requires careful organisation and sometimes leaves you short on time to achieve your entire holiday bucket list. South Africa is a large country and a holiday here will normally include an internal flight or two to get to see as much of the country as you can. Many business folk come for short visits and like to still fit in a trip to a game reserve which can present quite a challenge if you are based in one of the major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth or Durban. To assist you with planning we thought it would be helpful to list a few game reserves that are within an easy drive of these cities.
Situated in the malaria-free Western Cape of South Africa Cape Town may not seem like the best place for a game drive but in fact there are a few reserves offering Big 5 drives not far from the main N1 route. (more…)