Kirstenbosch Garden, an Oasis in Cape Town

Nestled against the side of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a tranquil green oasis in Cape Town.  In a city that can feel in your face at times, Kirstenbosch Garden in Cape Town is a welcome respite that feels like a world in itself. What To...

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Twelve Things That Surprised Me About South Africa

Whenever you travel you always find things different from what you expected, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. For better or for worse, our expectations of what to expect when we travel is formed by what we read and hear in books, media and word of mouth. As...

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10 Surprising Facts About Lions We Learned on Safari

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. I hate to ruin your 60's song nostalgia but, actually, that song is wrong for two reasons. 1. A lion isn't the king of the jungle because they don't live in jungles. No one is sure why jungles came to be...

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Hideaway Among The Trees At Tsala Treetop Lodge

I was really looking forward to staying at Tsala Treetop Lodge on the Garden Route during our South African trip. The description seemed heavenly and a private little family treehouse seemed like such good fun. It would be the opposite of the rambling country...

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Fine Dining Where Two Oceans Meet

It's not often that you find a gorgeous view and great food in a restaurant at a tourist destination.  We accidentally stumbled onto the gem of a restaurant that is the Two Oceans Restaurant because our fabulous tour guide made us a reservation.  Needless to say we...

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5 Things to Do With Kids in Cape Town

Cape Town is a fabulous city to visit with children. It has got great weather, cheap and easy transportation and lots of good dining options. Here are my suggestions for 5 things to do in Cape Town that both children and their parents will enjoy.  These ideas are in...

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It’s Very Easy to Love The Big Easy

One of the best dinners we had in South Africa was at The Big Easy in the charming town of Stellenbosch.  Stellenbosch is located near Cape Town and is a famous wine-growing region. The Restaurant The restaurant is located in a gorgeous 210 year old Dutch-era house...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Iggy, the Teen Giraffe with Attitude

The one thing we discovered on our South Africa trip is that animals really do have lots of personality. Before I had kids I thought children were little blank slates and their personalities developed later. Similarly I hadn't given much thought to the personalities...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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