While Cape Town and Johannesburg are the South African cities most well-known to international visitors, the sunshine-drenched port of Durban has become a popular attraction since being rediscovered by tourists during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Called eThekwini in local language Zulu, which simply means bay, the city of Durban’s rich history, beaches and her famous ‘Golden Mile’ are a subtropical delight on the Kwa-Zulu Natal province’s coastline. While local holiday-makers usually trek a little further to Umhlanga for their school breaks, the Durban metropolitan is being revitalised, with the new world-class King Shaka International Airport having recently opened to travellers, the breathtaking Moses Mabhida stadium with a capacity of 54,000 and the ever-popular uShaka Marine World, which is the fifth largest aquariums in the world and is home to Gambit, who is the world’s biggest bottlenose dolphin in an ocean aquarium.
The first time I experienced the magic of Matjiesfontein, I visited the town to do some writing, following in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling and Olive Schreiner before me, who had both hidden away in the small Karoo town to pen their masterpieces. I like to think they too favoured the stark lunar landscape of the surrounding Karoo, the cosy fireside of the Laird’s Arms and the tales of merry ghosts playing billiards, to rattle up the muses. That such a small town could hold such great wonder is part of its magic. Perhaps because it is arrested in time, frozen in the elegance of a bygone era that it can so easily transport one out of reality and into daydreams.
History plays a central role in Matjiesfontein. Founded in 1884 by James Douglas Logan, it was originally an insignificant railway halt in the depths of the Karoo. Entranced by the surrounding landscape, Logan created a village seemingly in the middle of nowhere which would make his fortune and become for many a tranquil retreat.
350km from Cape Town, on the Roggeveld plateau, one will find Sutherland, the principal astronomical centre of South Africa. SAAO (The South African Astronomical Observatry) is situated just outside the small Karoo town and is considered Sutherland’s main attraction. Home to SALT (Southern African Large Telescope), the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, Sutherland is an astronomer’s delight. Famously clear skies make for awe-inspiring stargazing. It’s no wonder this special little town is called the Gateway to the Universe.
Cape Route 62 is the scenic route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. It’s the meandering alternative to the snappy N2 coastal highway.
Winding through magnificent landscapes and historical towns, Route 62 leads you by the hand to explore in every sense the hidden gems that South Africa has to offer. Breathtaking mountain edifices, towering cliffs, and expansive horizons that will make your heart want to burst with love for this country...
Cape Route 62 offers an unforgettable adventure.
Perched on the southernmost tip of Africa and wedged between two majestic oceans, Cape Town is a city of breathtaking contrasts. As the oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town is the Grand Dame of history, architecture, art and culture, wine, eco-sensibility and conservation. It is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Famous for it’s scenic beauty, and presided over by Table Mountain, the Mother City offers visitors pristine beaches, outdoors adventure, the Big Five, whale watching, world-class shopping, diverse nightlife, excellent food and international award-winning wines…
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|Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant and say "Happy Birthday", and possibly have a present for me.
As it turned out, she barely said good morning, let alone, "Happy Birthday". I thought....well, that's marriage for you, but maybe the kids will remember. My kids came down for breakfast and didn't say a word.