Category: South Africa

Hotel Review: Schoone Oort A Country House Hotel in Swellendam

Schoone Oordt is a charming country house hotel in Swellendam, a little town off the famous Garden Route in South Africa. The hotel is centrally located in the historic centre of Swellendam. The main hotel is a beautiful converted Dutch house dating from the 18th century – hence the country house hotel in Swellendam moniker.

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The Best Laid New Year’s Carnival Plans…

The first part of this post was written when we were South Africa and we were looking forward to the Ministrel Carnival the day after New Years Day.  The second part of this post requires an update because the Carnival did not go according to plan. Ministrel Carnival Have you heard of the Coon Carnival

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What My Kids Loved Most About South Africa

My children loved our trip to South Africa. Of course, the extra bit of summer sunshine and pool time in the middle of an English winter was a big hit. There are lots of places in the world you could get that though. What made it a cut above the rest of the winter sun

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Artisanal Beadwork from the Ndebele Tribe

I saw intricately beaded dolls in many of the arts & crafts stores in South Africa and found out that they were created by the Ndebele tribe.  The Ndebele, a small tribe in the Northeastern part of South Africa, are known for their distinctive beadwork and their colourful houses. Beadwork is used as decoration for

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Cape Flats Stories: A Bleak Past and an Uncertain Future

Cape Flats Stories is an exhibition currently on at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. Separated into 3 parts, it tells of the ongoing struggle of at-risk youth living in the townships of Cape Flats, one of the poorest areas of Cape Town. Cape Flats is an area on the outskirts of Cape

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The District 6 Museum, District 6 people were moved to townships like this
South Africa

Not Even The Pretense of Separate But Equal

You can’t visit South Africa without delving into its recent past. Well, I guess you could but that would be missing a fairly integral part of what makes the country what it is today. We had explained apartheid to our children but it didn’t really hit home until our guide from Green Apple Tours told us

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The Lowdown on Rhino Conservation Efforts

Rhino poaching is a serious conservation issue in Southern Africa because without government and public intervention the rhino may be extinct within 10 years. According to official statistics, three rhinos are killed in South Africa daily. Poachers come by helicopter at night, tranquillise the rhinos with dart guns and then cut off their horns to

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The Castle of Good Hope For the Lucky Few

You know I’m a sucker for English castles, Welsh castle ruins, French chateaux, Austrian forts and even American reconstructed castles, right?  It’s the history buff in me as well as the die hard romantic.  So when I heard there was a castle in Cape Town, we had to go visit. The Castle was built by the Dutch

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Zen and the Penguin

I was fascinated with this penguin at Boulders Beach in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa.  He stood there watching this boulder for the whole time we were at the beach. I kid you not. We made a game of trying to figure out what he was thinking.  Was he trying to will the boulder

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A Colourful Riot of Colour in Cape Town

The neighbourhood of Bo Kaap in Cape Town completely captivated me because it was just so unabashedly colourful.  Bo Kaap, also known as the Malay Quarter, is located on the slopes of Signal Hill on the way to the entrance to that iconic image of Cape Town, Table Mountain. The Malay quarter was where the

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mapquest driving directions