Where to Stay - South Africa

By Susan Playdon

A visit to SAMREC – the marine bird rehabilitation and education centre situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, in Port Elizabeth.


The African Penguin is one of the smallest penguins in the world and sadly one of the most endangered.  We have visited them in their habitats at Betty’s Bay, Hermanus and at Boulders Beach, Simonstown, but this time we wanted to see for ourselves the wonderful work being carried out by the small team of volunteers at SAMREC in Port Elizabeth to try and protect the diminishing numbers of this delightful but quite feisty little creature!


By Susan Playdon

We decided to try the Franschoek Wine Tram which is a hop-on-hop-off tour through the picturesque vineyards of this area. They have a ticket office located in Bijoux Square, Main Road, Franschoek, close to the Tourist Office.

Here we were able to choose to go on either the Blue Line Tour or the Red Line Tour, each tour takes in seven Wine Estates. We chose the Blue Line and a departure time of 11am.  You have to be at the ticket office ready for departure fifteen minutes before departure.   The ticket office is in Bijoux Square in Franschhoek just around the corner from the Tourism Office. Tickets can also be ordered online from www.winetram.co.za Our tickets cost R170 per person.

Touring Franschhoek wine farms on a budget

Franschhoek Wine Tram


by Dalene Ingham-Brown

Whether you’re heading into South Africa, or out, being prepared for crossing South Africa’s border will make your journey a stress-free one. Here I’ve put together a few helpful essentials to eliminate any nasty surprises at the border.

Visas and passports

If you’re a South African citizen and you’re heading into Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana or Namibia, the good news is that you don’t need a visa to enter the country. The bad news? There is none! There is an exception to the rule though. If you’re travelling with a temporary passport, you’ll need to present a visa with it when crossing the border into Botswana.

Stay organised
Keep all important documents in a folder to prevent them from getting lost. Before approaching a border crossing, make sure you have all the documents you need ready for the border official. Make sure you have a few black pens kept with this document folder too – they always come in handy at the border.

Driver’s license
If you’re a South African and are planning to do the driving on your journey, you’ll be happy to hear that a South African driver’s license is valid in Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
International driver’s permit


By Lucy Corne

Sometimes beer gets a bad deal. It’s been long-overlooked in South Africa, considered a lesser alternative to a beverage that has dominated dining tables ever since Dutch settlers discovered vines would thrive on South African soil. But as microbreweries pop up across the country, beer is finally threatening to knock wine off its long-occupied pedestal – or at least to share some of the limelight with its grape-based cousin. And just as people are realising that beer can be appreciated in the same way wine can; that beers can be paired with fine food, people are also discovering that a brewery doesn’t have to be a factory-like enterprise found in an industrial area. Join us on a journey across the country to sniff and sip South Africa’s ever-expanding array of craft beers in ten spots that can rival any winery for sheer natural beauty.

Not only is South Africa the second largest exporter of fruit in the world but it is also the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts and boasts the longest wine route on the planet to date. Still, there is much more to South Africa than the goods that it produces and exports. With the largest economy in Africa, this is certainly a rich destination to visit. What is it that you are looking for, though? The reason for your visit will determine your destination, and therefore the airport that welcomes you to another world!


O. R. Tambo International

If you are heading to Johannesburg then this is surely the most obvious airport at which to land, as it is the largest one in the country with the most international flights. Standing in the Gauteng province the airport is just a stone’s throw from the largest populated city in the country. Johannesburg is definitely the destination for most business trips, particularly those who work in the gold or diamond industries, but it is also an excellent choice for tourists. READ MORE