Things to tick off the bucket list when in South Africa
When it comes to lists such as this one, most people fail to understand that beyond the primary function of giving you something to enjoy while you’re away on holiday, there is a secondary function. That function is to paint a picture of the variety of activities on offer, the more varied the options, the higher the chances of enjoyment become if you try something and you don’t like it there’s always something to do. South Africa, like most destinations, has all the usual activities that you would expect when travelling in Africa, but what sets this country apart is not only the sheer number but uniqueness of the experience, from Safaris to snow. Yes, snow in sunny South Africa.
The continent of Africa is synonymous with wildlife, and South Africa is no exception. Not only does it have 20 National Parks including the world-renowned Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, but it is also home to a multitude of private wildlife reserves like Humala. These parks offer world-class safaris and a chance to view the Big 5 (Rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion). But what makes South Africa different from other nations is that it’s also home to the largest bird, mammal, reptile, fish and worm. Still, on the topic of record breakers, the fastest and tallest animals also call this place home.
If you take the time to stop and smell the roses, there is an entire kingdom at the tip of your nose available to dazzle you with an array of scents and colour. The Cape Floristic Region, for example, is famous for having an estimated 9500 number of different plant species, 70% of which grow nowhere else in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site isn’t a small area either, encompassing national parks, nature reserves, state forests and mountain catchment areas like the Table Mountain National Park, which is home to the country’s national flower, The King Protea.
The flight network published its annual ranking of the best beaches in the world and more importantly, the 50 best beaches in Africa in 2018. A panel of over 1200 Journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies with a speciality in the travel industry rated 3 of the country’s beaches as the best in the world in the City beaches category and 8, in the best beaches in Africa. Beating out every other nation which goes to show, when it comes to coastlines, South Africa is no slouch. From populated golden shores to untouched gems, South Africa has it all and a little bit of something for everyone.
The art of winemaking dates back to 1659 and since then, has made the production of wine in the republic the 9th largest wine producer in the world. Wine connoisseurs both local and international travel to the wine capital of South Africa, Stellenbosch, to enjoy its wine, with over 200 producers based in the area alone. This can be attributed to geology that lends itself for the production of both reds and whites. Franschhoek, located in the northeast of the Western Cape, is home to some of the best and unique gourmet dining experiences with the neighbouring towns of Paarl and Constantia are not far behind in terms of wine quality, production and taste.
South Africa is awash with activities to take part in that make for the best stories. From ostrich riding to bungee jumping, every facet of the country has something to do from the Big Hole in the west to Crocworld in the east. There are so many things to do; it surely is a place with everything even skiing, yes, skiing. One of, if not the smallest ski resorts in the world located within the Drakensberg Mountain ranges.
There’s more to this nation of friendly people than taking selfies with a giraffe. The sheer number of activities available to try make holidays not only more enjoyable but memorable as well.
FREE! That should have captured your attention and now that it has, grab a pen and paper to jot down a few places you can enjoy for free in the Mother City. Contrary to its high flying lavish lifestyle, it does cater to all those who don’t want to spend a single cent.
Let’s get the most obvious of places out of the way first. All of the coastlines that surround this flat mountain are free. Cold, but free. Due to their inherent beauty, being denied access to frolic in the water doesn’t mean, you can’t do anything along the Cape Peninsula as beautiful coastlines, that are relatively untouched make it possible to take the best photos for social media possible.
Not only is this the oldest working harbour and the most visited tourist destination in Africa. Filled with attractions that require no money at all, priceless views and most importantly, free tours and live music.
Not a literal head of a Lion because that would be cruel. However, if you ever find yourself in the area, you should consider paying it a visit. Regardless of your fitness level, a relaxed walk or intense hike can be enjoyed for views that are simply indescribable.
Not only does this give you a reason to be in the Western Cape this month of June. With all that money that’s been saved, use it to stay at Touch Down Group’s Inverness Apartments. An ideal location to explore all of the listed sites mentioned above.
June is a cold month in South Africa, as it should since it constitutes the beginning of winter. What you watch on TV may be filled with snow but for most people, this means staying indoors and leaving the house only when you have to, which shouldn’t be the case. South Africa is full of things to do, rain or shine because the fun isn’t scared of a little cold wind, from the coast to the other side of the mountain, the Mother City is the place to be in the month of June
Take a look at the following events to see what we mean.
The Cape Town Coffee Festival
A cup of Joe, Java in the morning, mud or Go juice, regardless of what your caffeine fix is called, why not celebrate and honour the beverage that wakes you up in the morning without fail. Cape Town’s Coffee festival feature as much coffee as you can drink, interactive seminars, workshops and demonstrations from world-class baristas, street food and live music all squeezed into a span of two days. All of this can be enjoyed from a 10-minute drive from Touch Down’s very own luxury accommodation just 10 minutes from the festivities.
When: 1-2 June
Cost: R150 (online)
R180 at the door
R100 (0 -16)
R600 (Super VIP)
Location: Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
Wacky Wine Weekend
This event takes place annually at the Robertson’s Wine Valley and celebrates everything wine. From the grapes to the stomping, the cellar they’re kept in and above all things, the taste of the finished product. This family-friendly event offers food, tours of wine cellars, live music and child-friendly activities for the little ones to enjoy.
When: 1-4 June 2019
Location: Robertson Wine Valley
Contact: (+27) 23 626 3167
The Snoek en Patalfees festival
Back for yet another year to share food fish and the occasional doughnut. Like the 17 years before, the Snoek en Patalfees festival is fundraising aimed at strengthening and supporting various organisations and job creation projects to grow the economy. Enjoy more than food as local bands serenade you with music and fun activities for the kids to enjoy. Merrymaking begins at 9 am.
When: 29-30 June
Cost: R90 pp for Adults
R30pp for kids between 6 & 12
R130 for a weekend pass
(+27) 78 316 3988
Knysna Oyster Festival 2019
This popular festival is held annually in Knysna and offers plenty of experiences for connoisseurs of delicacy in the form of this very shellfish, as well as outdoor and foodie experiences for everybody else, lovers of oysters or otherwise. This fair has something for everybody in attendance.
When: 21-30 June
Cost: Varies per event
Contact: (+27)44 382 5510 firstname.lastname@example.org
National Arts Festival
Singing, dancing and every other art form in-between are celebrated at the Arts Festival. Every hall is alive with performers of every kind be it exhibitions, cultural showcases or one of a kind spectacles showcasing the very best of what the country has to offer in sheer raw talent. This year is no exception with the inclusion of the Standard Bank Jazz festival Line up on stage. Thes festival might not be in the province that Cape Town calls home, but its exclusion would simply be a criminal offence as the National Arts Festival celebrates the best within the borders of South Africa.
When: 27 June – 07 July
Cost: Event dependant
Location: Makhanda, Eastern Cape
Everyone gets bitten by the travel bug once in a while and develops a fever commonly known as “wanderlust”, fuelling that strong desire to travel can be a bit difficult because it usually means breaking the bank. However, the cure lies in having a good eye for affordable holiday destinations, which brings us to South Africa. A naturally diverse nation located at the southernmost tip of Africa that will exceed travel expectations and fit well within your budget.
South Africa has got a little bit of everything – gorging desserts, snow filled mountains, dense forests, fierce wildlife, vast wine regions, world-class beaches and so much more. You can see the Big 5 as you go on an exciting Safari game drive through their vast habitats and view them from up close. You can visit the Kruger National Park or for a more family-friendly experience, head to the Songimvelo Game Reserve which will also go easy on the wallet.
Discover what’s beneath our surfaces by diving in our rich coral reefs and swim amongst an abundance of colourful fish, turtles, and corals. If the season is right you can also snorkel with dolphins or spot the spectacular Humpback and Southern Right whales. Do you want a more adrenalin pumping experience? Go shark cage diving for an eye to eye encounter with one of nature’s most astonishing predators.
One of the most affordable activities to do on the coasts is exploring stunning beaches of Cape Town. The massive waves of the Atlantic Ocean make every surf lover’s dream come true. You can relax as the sun gives you a gorgeous tan or partake in beach volleyball at Clifton beach or simply go for a long walk along the less crowded and calm shores of the Myoli Beach in Sedgefield. For warmer waters head to Durban and swim away at the shores of the Indian ocean. If you are curious to see where the Atlantic and Indian ocean actually meet, drive to Cape Agulhas, also known as the southernmost edge of Africa.
Thrilling activities and wildlife getaways aren’t the only reason to Visit SA. It also boasts a rich history that is inscribed in its various museums across the country, most of which can be explored for free or charge a very small fee. Diverse cultures and delicious street food are also something that takes up the top spots in every Tourist’ bucket list. Try out some of the mouth-watering dishes like the malva pudding, potjiekos, boerewors and biltong. Travel back to the prehistoric times by exploring renowned archaeological sites like the Sterkfontein caves and Maropeng located within the Gauteng province.
In the major cities of South Africa, apart from tall skyscrapers, historical museums, lush theatres and exclusive shopping malls, there are many other things that you can do that won’t cost you a cent like live music and performances at the V &A Waterfront in Cape Town. Here you can get anything from modest budget-friendly self-catering units to luxurious hotels and resorts. In Johannesburg, known as “The city of Gold” you can visit its various gardens like the Emmerentia Botanical Gardens or the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden or take a short hike up the Northcliff Tower for breath-taking views of the Johannesburg cityscape. Take a trip to the vibrant and historic township of Soweto to see the houses of international icons like Nelson Mandela.
South Africa is a destination that shines all year round but during December when it experiences its peak season, the streets get crowded and most accommodations are booked or priced really high. So be sure to visit the country during shoulder seasons like late January for the warmth or off-peak season during June to get great deals on travel and tours. If the luxurious lifestyle calls out to you, keep an eye on our website for monthly promotions or sign up for our newsletter to get gold for the price of silver.
South Africa, it’s hard to miss when it’s literally self-explanatory on a map. That being said, there are things that make this country unique beyond its languages and history pre and post 1994. To those individuals who have been fortunate to leave the borders of the country, hopefully in a legal way will know that not everything we come into contact with as citizens are universally available.
A perfect example of this is the humble braai. Every meat eating country most likely has one but were the only country to call it by its real name, a braai. Not a barbeque like the rest of the world because we all know that’s the name of a flavour of a spice or a sauce. What’s even worse is that this leisure activity’s partner is known as a sausage across the world and not as boerewors. Which is unfair because viennas are known as viennas if only they were available in the city of Vienna and bratwurst as bratwurst regardless of where you are in the world, and they’re from. We’re always told to support Proudly South African products, but we do that on a regular basis. We might not be Germany or Japan and purchase locally produced cars, but we do have rusks and Rooibos. Two proudly South African products that we enjoy with as much pride as our national rugby team giving Australia a hiding, but if it’s Australia then beating them in everything brings the country together and national joy.
As far as food is concerned, there are what we can call, for lack of a better term, the celebrity foods that everybody knows and associates with South Africa, in the same way, Nelson Mandela is. These include but not limited to Mrs Balls Chutney, Milk tart and most importantly Biltong and wine. But food is not the only thing we’re known for. Thanks to the 2010 World Cup we also introduced the Vuvuzela to the world, but a noise complaint was lodged, and it’s now banned in most places outside our northern borders. The shy Chappies wrapper has educated so many people that call this place home, but the facts stated on its underside have made us famous for other reasons, some of which we don’t appreciate and realise as native South Africans, such as having the world’s longest wine route. 850 km of fermented grape goodness from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, which is a route that should be taken if the N2 reminds you too much of your way to work. We are also home to the second highest waterfall in the world — Tugela Falls at 948 metres.
These are all things that make South Africa, South Africa and this is without mentioning the usual sales material of our country, the tourism and wildlife, Nobel peace prize winners, beaches and lure of natural resources.
There’s no one who doesn’t like holidays and the rare few that probably don’t can attribute their feelings towards an unpleasant experience or some kind of trauma. Unfortunately, this journal has no tip on how to counsel that just yet but it will help visitors both new and old in choosing the right kind of accommodation when it comes to travelling Mpumalanga, the North West or anywhere in South Africa really. And the best part of this is that all of the pearls of wisdom imparted here can be universally transferred.
When it comes to planning your holiday, knowing where to go is probably the first thing that’s decided. And where you’re going to stay the second, if not vice versa. To be honest, self-catering accommodation is best, yes we said it. That’s not to say anybody who can afford a hotel or luxurious Bn’B shouldn’t try one if the opportunity is there, but for most holiday goers, the holiday experience is a fickle thing. It has to be planned in advance in order to avoid the unruly price fluctuations that come with the ringing of the last school bell that begins the end of the school term for children. Or that one random public holiday most people in the country need but never end up using because they are catching up on work.
Self-catered accommodation has a few perks above room service if you know how to use them. Chief among them being the value for money you get. As a holiday goer on a budget or a person living up to the stingy personality trait people have given to them, there’s no better way to physically see the value of your money and where it goes because you know how much you’re paying and for what. Which means having too much fun means you only have yourself to blame, not that having fun is ever a bad thing. And if you are unfortunately labelled as stingy, what better way to prove those people who don’t understand frugality with money wrong.
Space. And lots of it. Unlike hotel rooms, which are self-explanatory in their dimensions, self-catering accommodation can range anywhere from an extremely large room to an entire house waiting for you and your guests to make it feel like a home. Which is a win for all the anti-social members of the family.
The prospect of having an unlimited selection of food to choose from seems enticing and you don’t have to be a foodie or have an unhealthy relationship with food to see it. BUT, and this is a big but as you can see, is that it doesn’t cater to any cravings. If it’s not on the menu then chances are you’re not going to have it, and if it is on the menu and you don’t want it, your meal will feel incomplete without it. Self-accommodation results in cooking whatever you feel like when you feel like it, adding to that homey feel and vibe that is often sought after by this type of accommodation option.
Not to toot our own horn but as Touchdown Group, we sort of know a thing or two about self-catering residences with a few of our own littered across the country. If you would like our opinion on which is the best? All of them. But if our backs were against the wall and we had to pick one we’d choose, find out in the link below
Now that we have that out the way, it’s important to realise that it’s not all good and that the bad exists in tandem with the good. The bad thing about going down this path of independence is that your desired holiday destination may not be prepared adequately for a fulfilling self-catering experience. Also, there’s a slight chance that it may be in the outskirts of where you’d ideally want it, making getting around expensive, which is a real concern if you’re holidaying in South Africa.
Even though you’re on holiday the one thing you pack with you and the reason that travel bag refuses to close all of a sudden is because you take the chores from home with you. It might be nice to have a change of scenery but the cleaning roster doesn’t change. No matter what you do, the dishes will still need cleaning.
But do not let dirty dishes deter you from enjoying a holiday because that’s what they’re there for. To be enjoyed with the people you love most.
When on holiday with family, your vacation needs to include activities that are exciting and pleasant for everyone and cater to all generations. Renowned for its Floristic region, majestic landmarks and world-class beaches, Cape town ticks all the boxes for an awesome family vacation. It includes an endless list of things to do from historical experiences to thrill-seeking adventures. Not only is there an enormous collection of interactive and fun things to do in the Cape, but the welcoming people, breath-taking landscapes and the ease of getting around will surely make Cape town your favourite family destination.
Fall in love with the black feet penguins on Boulders beach
The Boulders beach, situated between giant granite boulders is where the colony of cute and cuddly birds reside since 1982. It’s a popular tourist spot since the African penguins are only found along coastlines of Southern Africa. You can spend a total treat of a day amongst the African penguins and massive boulders that protect the waters from the wind, making it calm and perfect for children to swim in. The Beach doesn’t have an entrance fee and is really packed during the so be sure to arrive early and secure a perfect spot for parking.
Discover Table Mountain
Explore one of the 7 wonders of Nature with your entire family. All three generations will be left awestruck as the cable car takes you on a rotating ride at 10 MPs to a height that’s over a 1000 ft above sea level. The 5-minute elevation will leave you breathless as you take a 360 flight above the majestic slopes of the Table Mountain. Be sure to dress warmly because once you reach the top a breeze cold air will embrace you. Once you complete the fabulous tour around the ‘table’, you can step into the table mountain cafe that offers a splendid dining experience with a wide variety of hearty meals, snacks and drinks to indulge in. You can also sit inside their Wi-Fi lounge and sip on some very high tea before the ride back down.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is one of the city’s top tourist hotspots that offers everything from diverse dining places and world-class shopping experiences to live entertainment and boat tours around its busy harbour. It’s the perfect place for both adults and children. You can ride in the Hamley’s train with your children, play mini golf or go on the famous Cape wheel for 360 top views of the colourful and buzzing city. Watch silver and golden statues come to life when change is dropped into their box, Listen to vibrant Live music played on the streets or watch dancers perform for an audience in the middle of nowhere. There’s never a shortage of entertainment for the family at the waterfront. You can also feast on diverse and delicious cuisines from an endless number of restaurants and franchises in the waterfront, the children can also enjoy delicious ice-cream from renowned outlets on a hot day. They can also participate in other activities like seal spotting, giant outdoor chessboards and art jamming.
Glide across the coolest place In town
Skate on the Olympic-sized ice rink at The Grand West Casino complex. The Ice Station is a place for kids and adults to engage in a fun physical activity. If you are not a pro, there are ice marshals available on site to assist you or you can just skate around the edges by hold the railing until you get used the motion. All the pain and handwork will be worth it once you start gliding across the rink syncing with the rinks the thumping music. If you have younger kids, they can skate at the smaller arena for children positioned next to the main rink. You can bring your own skates or they can be hired at the station for a small fee. Remember to bring thick socks for the hired skates and extra warm clothing because it’s usually freezing in there.
Swim with your entire family along the sandy shores of the St James’ beach. Children of all ages can enjoy the warm man-made tidal pool that provides hours of fun for them and peace of mind for you as it is safe from the wind and waves. It’s the ultimate kid’s delight where they can scatter around with their toys or make sand castles. This beach makes a picture perfect holiday with its rich blue waters with colourful wooden beach huts lined along its shores. Another beach that will leave your kids in delight is Camps Bay due to its fine white sands, calm and wind free waters. The tidal pool is located at the south end of the beach, It has a natural rock pool where you can enjoy a calm swim and catch breath-taking views of lions head and the 12 apostles that serves as a backdrop of the beach. Behind the beach, you can enjoy a superior dining experience with its top-notch seafood restaurants and mellow cafes. You can head to the Promenade Mall and shop at boutiques or visit the theatre on the Bay where you can experience the drama, comedy and musicals. If you can go a little off the beaten track, another relaxed children’s beach is Miller’s point. There is an attractive tidal pool and it serves as the perfect place to have a beach picnic.
Climb aboard The Jolly Roger Pirate boat
Let your child experience a day as a sailor with the Jolly Roger pirate boat that leaves daily from the V&A Waterfront. A full-blown pirate ship experience with an impressive sound system, splendid lighting, onboard braai and everything to make it an authentic pirate party. Kids will have an exciting and interactive experience from the moment they hop onboard and will be speaking the language of the sea once they arrive ashore.
Explore the Ocean at the Two Oceans Aquarium
Have you ever wondered what a real-life shark looks like from up close? Well, now you can be eye to eye with them. Explore what the Atlantic and Indian oceans have hidden beneath their surfaces all at one place. Children can explore different species of colourful fish that can be as tiny as their little pinkie to as large as thrice their size as excitement runs throughout their veins. You can forget to breathe as you come face to face with humongous sharks as they swim towards and inches past you. The aquarium also offers various diving and feeding experiences and they also have penguins with whom you can capture warm memories.
The Holiday experience in cape town can be so versatile that you will never be at the risk of being bored. You can enjoy history, culture, beaches, mountains, shopping experiences, festivals and so much more, all with your kids, giving them a well-rounded and fulfilling vacation.
What most provinces have going for them is the ocean. Gauteng doesn’t have that in its corner but what it lacks in sea breeze it makes up for in picturesque views of escarpments and mountainsides found only in the most descriptive of novels.
The Rand Show
This particular show is the biggest consumer exhibition in South Africa the Rand Show returns to the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec during April 2019. With a legacy dating back over 123 years, the Rand Show remains South Africa’s largest, most iconic consumer event that has entertained multiple generations of South African families, revolving around families, their lifestyles, living spaces and taking them on a journey allowing for experience that caters to a range of individually themed expo’s.
When: 19-29 April
10h00 – 19h00
Cost: R150 Adult
R80 under 17
Free Child under 1m in height
Location: Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg
Contact: 011 494 1920/ email@example.com
Hot air ballooning in the Magaliesberg
Few feelings come close than that of experiencing a South African sunrise first hand, skim through the treetops and enjoy a peaceful drift across the African skies. Hot air ballooning is a must for everyone, from the daring adventurer through to the romantic connoisseur. Take a chance on an experience enjoyed by enthusiasts across the world and what’s known to be the purest and safest form of flight.
When: By Arrangement
Cost: Available on request
Location: 53 second avenue, Fontainebleau, Randburg
Contact: 011 793 5782
Gold Reef City
From traditional mine dancing to knowing how Johannesburg became the city of gold. This Theme Park has it all from choreographed bird shows to street entertainers, adrenaline-pumping rides to Africa’s only 4D theatre. On offer is a variety of attractions that no other venue in Africa can match.
When: Closed on Mon/Tue except Gauteng Public School Holidays
09h30 – 17h00
Cost: R125 pp
Location: Northen Parkway & Data Cresent, Johannesburg
Point Blank Paintball
Come join us at Point Blank Paintball, situated at the Valverde Country Hotel in Muldersdrift, easily accessible from Krugersdorp, Pretoria and Northern Johannesburg, for an extreme sports experience of a lifetime! Adrenalin pumping, heart-stopping, action-packed experience with your friends, work colleagues or just the family. You’ll learn to hone your skills as a team player, dodge paintballs, hide in the smallest places, run like the wind, scramble and fall, splat your opponents, get splattered and build up your courage for the next round. Paintball is a fast paced action packed game that takes skill and courage combined with strategy, power and precision, it also gets a few laughs as well. Come get addicted with Point Blank Paintball!
Where: Valverde country hotel, Magaliesberg
Location: Plot 5 Lammermoo, Beyers Naude Extention, 6km after the Krugersdorp-Pretoria Highway, Lanseria
Contact: 082 330 9070
Irene Dairy Farm
Irene Dairy Farm offers a little something for everyone; there is the Dairy Shop that sells a decadent, rich, calorie-laden thick cream (perfect for afternoon scones) and the rather unique concept of five-litre buckets of fresh, raw farm milk. The estate boasts two restaurants, the Deck or Barn and both serve a range of freshly made breakfast and lunch dishes. Housed a barn (and one of the original barns at that) directly across the farmyard from the shop.
Where: Nellmapius Road,
8h00 – 18h00
Location: Nellmapius Road, Irene
Contact: 012 667 2326/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishing Resorts in South Africa
South Africa has a little bit of everything for everyone and one of the best ways to showcase this is through the abundance of activities and accommodation of fishing enthusiasts. It’s not easy finding a place well stocked in fish and allows you to enjoy nature uninhibited in any way. The great thing about this industry besides its growth is that as far as accommodation goes, it ranges from comfortable to luxurious and varies from one end of the catering spectrum to the other.
As far as fishing goes, Dullstroom in Mpumalanga can be considered the best. Quite an ambiguous statement when you consider the fact that fish can be found in oceans on either side of the country, mountain streams and rivers. In terms of fly fishing for trout, no other place comes close. Still, water dams chock full of rainbow, and brown trout are the order of the day, complemented with luxurious self-catering facilities in the surrounding equestrian estate.
The Western Cape is littered with accommodation tucked in the most ideal nooks and crannies for the quintessential fishing experience. A perfect example can be found within the Robertson Wine Valley, renowned for its idealised beauty. The Bonnievale River Lodge is a self-catered experience that offers guests a chance to reside along the river edge, and rural experience away from the creature comforts provided by the city.
At the tip of the Drakensberg Mountain range and south of the border with the neighbouring country of Lesotho and on the other side of the winding gravel road from Barkley East. A little gem that might as well be classified as a relic lost in time resides in the form of the Walkerbouts Inn. This particular guesthouse is best suited for the needs of 16 individuals and provides authentic outdoor experiences such as but not limited to mountain bike trails, birding and fly fishing.
Further south in the Natal Midlands, fans of fishing both recreationally and for sport can relish in the art of catching bass. The Albert Falls Dam is the country’s highest-ranking bass fishing destination and one of the best in the world. Just a 30-minute drive from the neighbouring city of Pietermaritzburg. This particular venue is excellent for a day out with the family to enjoy water sports, bird watching and most importantly, fishing. Take part in the Albert Falls Classic fishing tournament held annually since 2017. Although in its infancy, the competition doesn’t fail to amaze and provide an extravaganza for both spectators and contestants alike.
As far as fishing goes, what’s fishing in South Africa without mention of the Sardine Run. Between May and July, millions upon millions of fish move up along the east coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal and with them, predators that one would not normally see. From Great White Sharks, Common Dolphins that follow them from start to finish and Whales, Moray Eels and Ragged Tooth Sharks in select areas waiting to enjoy in the festivities. The sheer number of fish means even the most inexperienced fisherman can land a catch to their name as fish usually move in shoals 30km long and 3km wide.
Mpumalanga, land of the rising sun, home to the lower part of South Africa’s largest National Park and a University. It does not seem like much but before 2014, the second smallest province in terms of land mass did not have an institution of higher learning, meaning all bachelor degrees and its peers had to be sourced elsewhere. But there is more to do in the mountainous terrain of Mpumalanga littered with forests than trying to find five of the most famous animals.
Mpumalanga Wine Show
Fermented grapes and their intoxicating taste aren’t something exclusively reserved for the Western Cape. The Mpumalanga Wine Show not only brings a change of venue to the typical vista of grapes in the background but makes wine much more accessible for people who find journeying down south just a little too far. With more than 250 types of wine to taste and talk to producers of wine directly.
Please note: No under 18s, Babies or Prams allowed.
When: 5 & 6 April 2019
Cost: R200 at the Door
Address: Emnotweni Arena, Riverside Park Ext 1. Nelspruit
Contact: 011 482 5936
Craft Beer and Gin Festival
Brand South Africa is all about celebrating all that is local and lekker, and this particular festival does just that. Enjoy the goodness that comes from barley, hops, rye and wheat. Then after a day filled with responsible drinking, find a place to lay low and prepare for the next day.
When: 13 April 2019
Address: Eish Secunda, Kiewit St, Lake Umuzi Waterfront, Secunda
Contact: 017 634 5980
Forever Loskop Marathon
Mpumalanga has something for everyone, even those of us who have no interest in alcoholic beverages. The Forever Loskop Marathon hosted in Middleburg is a 50km marathon that meanders through suburbs, Highfield terrain that provides a satisfying crunch underfoot and challenges like no other in the form of the Kranspoort Pass 38km in, where it separates the joggers from the runners.
When: 13 April 2019 (6:00AM)
Address: Loskop Nature Reserve, Damwal Complex, Loskop
Humala River Lodge
Kruger National Park feeling a little to mainstream for you, but still in the mood to see wild animals do their thing? Well then, the Songimvelo Game Reserve is the place to be. Not only does it have countless of amazing animals that are overlooked because of five particular animals but it also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world’s oldest rock art. All of this and more can be enjoyed when you book a stay at Humala River Lodge located within the game reserve.
Cost: Dependant on package
Address: Songimvelo Game Reserve
Contact: 010 007 3620
The Thirsty Bartender
Sometimes it’s not about events or festivals or even the wildlife, and more about finding a new place to explore with your friends and party up a storm. As far as nightlife goes, Nelspruit/Mbombela is the place to be. This is it a bias, but a quick google search will bring up all the places to dance up a sweat and chances are, a majority of them are based in the land of the man-made rainforest. Such as the Thirsty bartender.
Cost: Dependant on the event
Address: Chief Mgiyeni Khumalo Drive 11
Contact: 076 674 5536
Demacon MTB Series
The Demacon tours Mpumalanga over February and May, providing a thrilling race each month that builds upon the action of the previous one. Allowing riders and spectators alike to witness the best skill when they face off against the elements. Catch the 3rd leg of the Demacon MTB series in Dullstroom, with luxurious accommodation venues and plenty of things to do in Dullstroom. Proving that there’s more to this town than fish.
When: 27 April 2019
Cost: R60-R250 depending on race