As social-distancing becomes more important, more people seek out outdoor venues that are conducive to large-scale entertaining. We are lucky to live in a city that borders not one but five of the most prestigious viticultural regions. They are all located less than an hour away from the centre. There are hundreds of wineries nearby, offering the promise of great local cuisine, world-class wine, and wide-open spaces.
We looked for the best wine farms from Stellenbosch through Franschhoek up to Durbanville and Constantia. These venues offer many sensory pleasures beyond food and wine.
The Drakenstein Valley farm on 200 hectares located between Franschhoek & Paarl dates back almost to 1692. Karen Roos – a former magazine editor – owns the property. She has created an idyllic destination. While there are many sensory delights waiting, the ultimate luxury lies in its authenticity and integrity.
Food There are many choices: The casual Greenhouse restaurant, The Bakery for pizza evenings and the more elegant Babel.
Wine tasting In the middle of the vintage wine barrel is a cozy, yet modern tasting area where oenophiles may relax and enjoy a few glass(es) of Babylonstoren wine.
Children’s facilities This entire farm offers a sanctuary for children, including farm animals that can be viewed and fed, as well as endless gardens with water features and mazes where you can splash around. Also, there are ice-cream trucks, Porky Hefer nest chairs, and Porky’s Nest.
Shops at the Babylonstoren Farm Shop have freshly baked bread, a selection biltong, cheeses, and charcuterie. The Lekker Room, which is adjacent, has sweet treats and nuts. Also available is the Scented Room with beautifully packaged bath products and soaps.
Additional activities include The Garden Spa. The Spice Garden. The Healing Garden. Tea Ceremony.
Stay At Babylonstoren The hotel at Babylonstoren allows you to enjoy a sumptuous, but unpretentious, taste of farmlife overnight.
Boschendal is one such wine farm in the Western Cape that is more loved for its unspoiled beauty. This estate boasts old oaks, lush forest areas and stunning, untended gardens. The Manor House, which dates back to 1685 has a rich heritage that is easily visible in the numerous antiques and artifacts.
Food Visit The Wurf for a relaxed fine-dining farm dinner with spectacular views of the herb and vegetable gardens. The Deli has sandwiches and burgers as well as an option to book a picnic at the Rhone rose gardens.
Wine tasting. The Cellar Door, underneath the oats for wine tasting, is open weekends and public holidays. To accompany your wine, order a charcuterieboard. You could also pair choc-and–wine.
Tree House for Kids: Kids aged 5-14 will love it! It is a contained, enclosed playground with pump track. The Outdoor Experience programme is run by professional guides, offering a vast array of educational and entertainment activities for children.
Shops The newly renovated Farm Shop and Butchery offers freshly baked goods and delicious ready-made meals.
Things to do Outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy the five mountain-biking trails, farm walks or horse-riding adventures.
Stay There is a variety of luxury accommodation options available at Boschendal.
The most expensive part of most trips is airfare. Although transatlantic flights are now more affordable in recent years than they were in the past, they still can be a significant expense to any travel budget. Finding cheap flights is a key factor in your vacation, whether you are a solo traveler looking for a bargain or a family wanting to go abroad.
Don’t Believe the Myths
Finding a low-cost flight is not easy. There is no secret formula. There are many myths about finding cheap flights. You’ve likely come across many of these myths while searching for the best flight deals.
They all lie. They will lead your astray.
Many websites employ terrible reporters who reuse old myths and commonplaces. These are some of the most common myths that are not true.
You will not find a better deal if you buy your airfare on Tuesdays (or any other day).
It is not proven that incognito searching leads to lower prices.
You can book your flight at any time, but there is no exact date.
It is impossible to predict the prices of airline tickets. Websites that attempt to do so are making educated guesses, but probably incorrect.
Advanced computer and pricing algorithms were used by airlines to determine prices and make sales based on time of year, passenger demand and weather conditions. These so-called “tricks”, however, no longer work. The system is just too intelligent. Toss them away. Let them go.
Do not listen to anyone telling you otherwise. Anybody who tells you otherwise doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. These myths will lead you 100% wrong.
Flexibility is key when it comes to travel dates and times
Prices for airline tickets vary depending on when you book them, the day of week and the time of the year. August is a popular month to travel around Europe. Everyone wants to go somewhere warm during winter, or travel when the children are not in school.
Simply put, if everyone else is flying, your ticket will be more expensive.
Flexibility is key. If you’re determined to visit Paris, travel to Paris in spring or autumn when there are fewer tourists and the airfares are less expensive.
You can’t go to August middle. This is your last chance. Hawaii for Christmas? Good luck! The prices will rise to their highest point.
Flying off-season is the solution. You can find other dates to take advantage of the best days. You are less likely to find a deal if you have rigid plans.
It’s also almost always more affordable to fly on a weekday than on a weekend, as most people travel on weekends and airlines increase their prices. You will also find lower prices if you fly after major holidays. Late-night or early-morning flights are more popular because there are fewer people who want to travel that time (who wants to get up at 3 AM ). Fridays and Mondays are the most expensive days because business travelers tend to fly on those days.
Airlines aren’t dumb. Airlines know when there is a holiday, major sporting event, or school break coming up, and they adjust their prices accordingly.
The Eastern Cape game reserves offer one advantage over the other large game areas in South Africa: They are also free from malaria. Visitors to the region won’t need to take anti-malaria medication while on safari.
The Eastern Cape’s vegetation is diverse, which allows each game reserve to offer something unique. Five major biomes are found from the Indian Ocean to the mountainous interior. Some game reserves may contain as many as four biomes.
The big five, including rhino, elephant, lion and leopard, are found in most of the Eastern Cape Game Reserves. There are also a wide range of other animals to be found. It is very exciting to go on safari in the Eastern Cape.
Another advantage to game reserves in Eastern Cape is their proximity to Port Elizabeth and East London. These cities both have freeways, transport services, and airports.
The road network makes it easy to access the game reserves. You may have to travel on dirt roads for the last few hundred metres or kilometres. Enjoy your safari!
Shamwari Private Game Reserve
Shamwari Private Game Reserve’s motto is “Conserving an endangered way of living”. The world’s mammals are under attack. Around 90% of mammals on Earth are composed of humans, their pets, and their food. Only 10% of mammals live in the wild.
In 30 years, man and wild mammals shared Earth 50/50. Shamwari and other private game reserves are resisting this trend and protecting our heritage.
Shamwari was also one of the first Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves to make use of tourism to finance conservation. The region now boasts vast tracts of land offering a similar experience, thanks to the efforts of like-minded conservationists.
The Eastern Cape in South Africa is a stunning place with an amazing variety of fauna and flora. Shamwari lies at the heart of this Eden.
Shamwari, as you would expect, is home to the Big Five and many other popular species like Zebra, Giraffes, Hippo, Meercats, and Hippo. Shamwari is home to more bird species than any other place in Western Europe.
Kuzuko Private Game Reserve – Addo, Eastern Cape
The 5-Star Kuzuko Lodge is the perfect place for you to enjoy privacy, peace, quiet, fresh air and the absence of traffic or noise pollution.
Kuzuko is Xhosa for ‘Place of Glory’. Once you arrive at the restaurant deck, looking out over the endless expanse of Karoo bushveld and the endless sky, you will understand why.
Kuzuko Lodge, located in the Northern section, Greater Addo Elephant National Park is high on a hill overlooking large areas of the big five reserve. They can accommodate all ages of children and cater to their every need.
Mpongo Private Game Reserve – East London, Eastern Cape
The Premier Resort Mpongo Private Gaming Reserve is just 20 minutes from East London. It offers both local and international visitors a wonderful experience. It is a paradise for eco-tourists, with its lush surroundings and rolling hills.
The 3500 hectare Conservancy is a beautiful place that can accommodate all your needs.
Hlosi Game Lodge, Amakhala (Eastern Cape)
My stay at Hlosi Game Lodge began with my feet up and a drink in hand.
Hlosi Game Lodge is a 4-Star accommodation located in the malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve, Addo in Eastern Cape, about an hour drive from Port Elizabeth.
Hlosi offers four double suites, four luxurious tents, and two family tents. All are accessible by a wooden walkway located a short distance from Hlosi’s main lodge.
Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve East London, Eastern Cape
The Inkwenkwezi private game reserve is located on the wild stretch of coastline affectionately known as the Wild Coast. It offers guests an unforgettable experience of the unspoilt Eastern Cape.
This paradise is full of activities. Game drives are a great way to see the Big 5, elephant walks, quad biking, canoeing and bird-watching. Rural tours are also available. Inkwenkwezi visitors can’t leave the reserve without seeing their rare white pride of lions.
Lalibela Private Game Reserve – Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Lalibela Game Reserve, located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, is close to Port Elizabeth, Addo and Addo. It is malaria-free and covers 5 ecosystems which results in an amazing diversity of fauna and flora.
Lalibela, which is currently 10,500 hectares (approximately 26,000. acres), is a conservation project. It is home to the Big 5 (lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, leopard, and rhinos) as well other predators such as cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, and lynx.
Addo Elephant National Park – Addo, Eastern Cape
The Addo Elephant National Park, a wildlife conservation park located near Port Elizabeth in South Africa, is one of 19 national parks. It is currently ranked third in terms of size, after Kruger National Park or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Addo Elephant National Park may have all five of the big five. Addo Elephant National Park is open to both self-drive and guided safaris.
Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape is South Africa’s third-largest port. It boasts some of the best city beaches and is known as “PE” to the locals. Water sports are available here with more than 40 km of coastline surrounded by the beautiful waters of Algoa Bay. These include surfing, sailing and swimming as well as fishing. If you prefer to be dry, you can take a harbor cruise that offers the opportunity to spot whales like the humpbacks, Southern right and Bryde’s Whales depending on the season.
Port Elizabeth isn’t all about the ocean. The city’s historic heart, Route 67, an art and heritage trail that celebrates the rich and sometimes turbulent history this friendly colonial capital, is home to the Route 67 art and heritage trail. Private game reserves, as well as the Addo Elephant National Park, offer affordable guided and DIY safaris to wildlife enthusiasts. Check out our top tourist attractions in Port Elizabeth to discover more.
Port Elizabeth has some of the most safest and cleanest city beaches in South Africa. The coast of Algoa Bay is surrounded by more than 40 kms of sun-kissed sand. Wells Estate Beach has a swimming pool and water slides. Humewood Beach is well-shaded. Kings Beach has a kiosk, restaurants, and a skate park. These beaches have all been awarded the internationally coveted Blue Flag status for their exceptional water quality, safety and environmental management.
Hobie Beach is located near the Boardwalk entertainment complex and offers sheltered rock pools that are well-suited for windsurfing and swimming. Pollock Beach is the best spot for surfing. Unspoiled Sardinia Bay is ideal for snorkeling and diving. Fishing is prohibited. For avid anglers, you should visit the northern beaches like Bluewater Bay and New Brighton Beach.
2. The Boardwalk
The Boardwalk, located in Summerstrand, is a well-designed leisure resort on an artificial lake. It can be found just 12 minutes walk from the beach. Locals and tourists alike visit this place to shop at specialty shops and restaurants, eat at cafes and restaurants, and take in the entertainment venues. These include a 5-screen cinema, an amphitheater that hosts live shows, a bowling alley and an adventure golf course, as well as a amusement arcade and lane. Two pools are available at the fitness center, while those who want to relax can use the full-service spa.
The complex is lit up at night by a live musical fountain show. There are more than 100 jets that shoot water 60m into the air. The complex is illuminated with colorful lights and a screen showing multimedia water displays. There is something for everyone, including children and adults.
3. Route 67
The art and heritage trail Route 67 is located in the historical heart of the city. It features 67 artworks by Eastern Cape artists, one for each year Mandela devoted his life to public life. This trail traces the history of 1994 and weaves together British and African heritages.
Start at the Donkin Reserve near the lighthouse to follow the trail downhill. Visitors can take a stroll and admire the colorful mosaics, murals, statues, and engraved poetry from this point. There are many historical sites and art galleries along the route. The 67 steps that lead to Africa’s second largest flag are worth noticing. Look out for Nelson Mandela fist pumping as he leads the South African voter to the 1994 first democratic elections.
The Trail ends at Campanile, a tower of 52 meters high with 23 bells and a carillon. It was built in 1923 to honor the first settlers.
4. The Donkin Reserve
The Donkin Reserve, located in the historic heart of the city, is a small park that Sir Rufane Donkin established in 1820. It was named after Port Elizabeth’s founder. The park’s highlight is the striking pyramid-shaped monument to Sir Donkin’s wife Elizabeth. Inscribed with the words “To the Memory of one of the finest of human beings who gave her name to this town below,”
The tourism office is located at the nearby lighthouse, which dates back to 1861. Visitors can find a map of the five-kilometer-long Donkin Heritage Trail. It connects 47 historic sites, including City Hall and St. George’s Park. The Campanile was built in the memory of the settlers who arrived in 1820. It offers a spectacular view over the city.
The Campanile is the street that runs under the freeway, which leads to Market Square. This square is the historic heart of the city. Avoid valuables and make sure to check with locals before you start walking along the trail. Some areas are dangerous. Route 67 is the popular heritage and art trail in the city, starting at the Donkin Reserve.
5. Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds invites you to visit the Cape Recife Nature Reserve and see the rescued marine life. The center is devoted to marine birds, particularly African penguins, which are bred on St. Croix, the island that hosts the largest African penguin breeding colony in the world.
The staff at the bird hospital are often knowledgeable volunteers who share their enthusiasm for their work and give tours that educate about rehabilitation efforts and dangers to wild birds. The best time to visit the bird hospital is around 2:30pm when the birds are feeding. Visitors can take a seat at the coffee shop and watch them eat and play around the pool.
6. Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve
Van Stadens Nature Reserve, located 40 km west of Port Elizabeth is the ideal place to take a walk or have a picnic. These well-maintained paths can be followed easily and offer a variety of difficulty levels, including easy walks through old-growth native trees and more difficult hikes through dense forests and along rushing rivers. The Van Stadens bridge offers stunning views of the ravine, as well as great opportunities for photography.
A flower house, which displays many types of proteas, is located at reception. Pack a picnic and wear comfortable hiking shoes.
7. South End Museum
South End Museum is located on Port Elizabeth’s shorefront and traces the history behind the forced expulsion of former residents during apartheid. Photographs, newspaper clippings, as well as recreations of living spaces, bring to life the personal stories from the period. They not only focus on the tragedies but also the triumphs. The museum preserves an important part of the city’s past, despite its simplicity. Visitors are welcome to make a donation.
8. Storms River Bridge
Storms River Bridge (also known as Paul Sauer Bridge) is located at the eastern end the Garden Route. The area surrounding it is an eco-destination. It is known as a deck-arch bridge and was built in 1953. This suspension bridge, which was 36 meters high above Storms River was actually the highest concrete arch bridge in South Africa, until 1984, when it was replaced by Bloukrans River Bridge.
The bridge is accessible by foot and serves as an entrance to Tsitsikamma Park. Take a moment to admire the breathtaking views from the rocky canyon below. You can also bungee jump off the Bloukrans River Bridge (20 km to the west) along the N2 and take a canopy tour.
East London is the gateway to South Africa’s Wild Coast. It lies on the estuary for the Buffalo River, which flows into the Indian Ocean. It is South Africa’s most important river port and its economy is dominated by car manufacturing. The city’s top attraction is beaches, which are also found in Port Elizabeth. Because of the warm-water currents, it is more comfortable here to swim, surf, fish, and watch whales.
The small city center has a lot to offer in terms of culture. It includes a great natural history museum that is one of the top in the country, a historic house, and the magnificent Victorian-style City Hall. Visitors can enjoy a traditional African safari experience at one of the popular private game reserves in the area, just a short drive away. Check out our top East London tourist attractions to plan your trip.
East London’s greatest assets are its beaches. They are washed by the Indian Ocean currents and have a pleasant temperature. The city’s most popular strands are located between the Nahoon River to north and the mouth of Buffalo River to south. Orient Beach is the closest to the city’s center. It is a safe beach that is protected by the harbor breakwaters. The playground, paddling pool and water tube are a hit with children. There are also many shops and restaurants nearby.
The popular Eastern Beach is located adjacent. The small East London Aquarium can be reached within a few minutes. You can surf here depending on the conditions. Nahoon Beach is a large lagoon located eight kilometers north-east of the city centre. An offshore reef provides perfect conditions for experienced surfers. The Nahoon River Mouth offers great opportunities for fishing.
Gonubie Beach is located about a half hour northeast of the city. It has the Blue Flag status. This award recognizes beaches that have excellent water quality, safety and environmental management. This beach is great for getting away from the crowds. You can also relax with a picnic or tinker at the tide pools.
2. East London Museum
The East London Museum is located at the north end Oxford Street. It was established in 1921 and is one of the best natural history museums in the United States. The coelacanth is the star attraction. This fish, with its limb-like fins, was thought to have disappeared more than 80 millions years ago. It was captured in the Chalumna River near East London in 1938.
You will also find many specimens of reptiles and mammals as well as an exhibit on maritime history and even a dodo’s egg. The anthropological section displays the exquisite beadwork of the Xhosa-speaking locals.
3. City Hall
City Hall, located between Oxford Street and Argyle Street is one of London’s few remaining colonial buildings. The grand Victorian-style building is a landmark that was built in 1899. It has a red exterior and a stark white trim. The Victoria Tower is the clock tower that was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, which marks 60 years of her rule.
The building is surrounded by an equestrian monument that commemorates those who died in the Boer War. In the vestibule, there are marble tablets listing the names of white men who died in frontier wars. The famous activist Steve Biko is also located on the grounds. The caretaker should be contacted to allow visitors to visit the building as it is still being used regularly.
4. Ann Bryant Art Gallery
The Ann Bryant Art Gallery is located on the north side Oxford Street. It is housed in an Edwardian mansion surrounded by tranquil gardens. The gallery features South African art, particularly those from the 1960s. It also includes artists from the Eastern Cape, including contemporary artists as well as artists such Tinus de Jongh (a popular South African painter best known for his Cape landscapes). Many local art enthusiasts are attracted to temporary exhibitions. Visitors can enjoy a light snack at the nearby cafe after browsing the gallery.
5. Hemingways Mall
Hemingway’s Mall is a great alternative to the beach on a rainy day. There are more than 200 shops in the complex, plus a custom-built amphitheater that can be used for music and fashion shows. Six cinemas, a 4D simulator and arcade games complete the list of rainy-day activities. A bowling alley and bumper cars are also available. Speed freaks will find a place to let off steam at the Go-Kart track, which offers 10 laps full of adrenaline-infused thrills.
6. Gately House
One-story, colonial-style house on the east bank is the oldest building along the Buffalo River. It was built for John Gately (an Irishman who was one the first mayors of the city). The family lived there until 1966, when Gately’s oldest child died. In an effort to preserve the house’s history, Gately donated its contents. It is now a museum with the majority of its original contents.
Antique furniture is made mostly from mahogany, walnut and rosewood and displays Victorian, Georgian and Art Nouveau styles. The collection also includes decorative Japanese pieces. The tour includes the parlor, bedrooms and living rooms as well as the veranda.
7. Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village
The Khaya La Bantu Culture Village is located about 30 km from the city’s center. It is situated on a working cattle ranch and offers fascinating insights into the daily lives of the local Xhosa. Visitors are welcomed by a lively song and dance performance, accompanied by rhythmic drumming from the Xhosa residents who wear traditional beaded costumes.
The traditional village is open to guests. It includes the kraal where important meetings are held; ritual huts; traditional healer; as well as the communal kitchen, where local foods are prepared. The meal is followed by more song and dance. Afterwards, visitors can explore the craft center. For those who want to stay over, a small lodge is available.
8. East London Aquarium
After a brief hiatus, East London Aquarium was reopened recently. It is the oldest open-air aquarium in Southern Africa. It opened its doors in 1931. Although it is small, the East London Aquarium doesn’t have a lot of fish. However, there are new tanks that contain most of the local species.
A viewing platform measuring 30 feet is available at the aquarium. This platform allows you to spot the southern right whales, which migrate along the coast to the arctic. It is also used to watch the majestic humpback whales passing through in November.