Hiking Up Table Mountain, Cape Town – the India Venster Route

Hiking up Table Mountain - the India Venster Route

I’m on a ledge 3 feet wide looking straight down over the edge of Table Mountain. I’ve just come up 10 feet from the last ledge, using metal rungs to pull myself up a sheer rock wall. I look up above and see another 15 feet or so of vertical rock, with a few more metal rungs and a chain at the top. I can feel my knees start to tremble and I know that if I wait too long to go up I might not be able to do it at all. What a shitty idea this was. [Read more…]

Photo Highlights of the Cape Peninsula

Photo Highlights of the Cape Peninsula

Our guide’s name was Steve Martin. “He better be damn funny” said Lissette. He wasn’t that funny actually but he was a great guide, filling us with history, trivia, and occasionally quizzing us to ensure that we hadn’t fallen asleep in the back seat.

Our tour consisted of the coastal attractions of the Cape Peninsula, the jut of land that sticks out into the two oceans that meet just south of Cape Town. It was a full day tour comprising of the sites highlighted in red on the map below. The sites in blue, which we visited on our own, should also be covered as part of a Cape Peninsula tour (which, if you start very early, can be done in a full day). [Read more…]

A Visit to Robben Island

a visit to Robben Island, Cape Town SA

“We have forgiven them for what happened. Do you think they have forgiven us? Look around you. It’s up to you to decide”. These were the words of our guide, an ex-political prisoner who spent 12 years in Robben Island alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe and Jacob Zuma (South Africa’s current president). There is still anger and bitterness. But more on that further below. [Read more…]

Safe and Sound – Paragliding over Cape Town


When we started travelling full time 16 months ago one of my goals was to do more things outside of my comfort zone. Paragliding was one of those things.

Cape Town is the perfect place for paragliding. I booked with these guys a couple of days in advance and waited. Lissette kept asking me “Are you nervous? You don’t look nervous. Why aren’t you nervous?” I can’t explain it but I didn’t feel at all nervous in the days leading up to the flight. [Read more…]

A Trip Up Table Mountain, Cape Town

A Trip Up Table Mountain, Cape Town

Table Mountain is one of Africa’s natural wonders and is the most visited attraction in Cape Town.

Most visitors making the trip up Table Mountain get up here with the Cable car, then wander around the top of the mountain for the views. There are much more adventurous ways to get up here and I’ll have a post on that in the next little while. If I live through it. But this time we decided to stick to the very safe, well-trodden paths around the top of the mountain. This post will show what you can expect and the fantastic views you’ll experience at the top. [Read more…]

The Incredible Colors of Bo Kaap, Cape Town

The Incredible Colors of Bo Kaap, Cape Town

Bo Kaap is where Cape Town’s Muslim community has traditionally resided.  Walk around and you’ll see mosques and friendly locals in Islamic attire. But the most arresting feature of the neighborhood are the incredible colors of the houses.

Lots of photos in this post.
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A visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

A visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is considered one of the top 5 Botanical Gardens in the world. But it’s not just about big trees and beautiful flowers. Kirstenbosch also has an incredible geographic location on the slopes of Table Mountain. Add to that an incredible variety of birdlife – you’ll see species of birds here that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

Lots of photos in this post. I also have a little history as well as tips on tours and events at Kirstenbosh. [Read more…]

From Fantastic to Not-so-Good: Experiences and Impressions over 10 days in Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Lissette said it a couple of times this week “We may like Africa, but Africa doesn’t seem to like us”. It’s been an interesting 10 days of spectacular highs, a few lows, a near disaster, and some frustrations and difficulties. [Read more…]

Highlights in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa

Highlights in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria, south africa

Above: Union buildings in Pretoria, spring time.

Ask most travellers and they’ll tell you that they’d rather avoid Johannesburg if at all possible. Gauteng Province, in which both Johannesburg and Pretoria are located, is the smallest but most urban and populous province in South Africa. It is also the province  that the average traveller will spent the least amount of time in. But ask anyone who’s actually been there and taken the time to explore  and they’ll tell  you that Joburg (which gets most of the bad rap) has some fascinating  cultural and historical highlights that are essential to understanding South Africa’s past and present. They’ll also tell you that they actually had a surprisingly good time visiting both Johannesburg and Pretoria!

This post covers ‘must see’ highlights around Gauteng Province. [Read more…]

Highlights of Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa

Highlights of Kwazulu-Natal Province, south africa

Above: Drakensberg Mountains

Coming north from the Eastern Cape Province (covered in the last post) brings you to Kwazulu-Natal Province (KZN). Most foreign visitors will be surprised to hear that this is the most visited province in the country [Read more…]