Celebrate Travelstart’s Birthday with 12 Memorable Highlights

Celebrate Travelstart’s Birthday With Us

Hip Hip Hooray! Toot the horn. Bang the drum. It’s Travelstart’s 12th birthday, and we want YOU to come to celebrate with us as we take a walk down memory lane uncovering memorable highlights of the past 12 years as we enter a new chapter together.

It’s no secret that being 12 years old can be awkward and tough. At 12, you start to shed layers, test new roles and transform before your eyes as you tackle the timeless woes of the last year of childhood. Similarly, Travelstart has seen its fair share of challenges and victories worth celebrating and commemorating. You are cordially invited to journey with us as we bring you 12 milestones and highlights which has helped pave the way for many more years of making your travel dream become a reality.

1. Cheers to a Fearless Leader

Founded in Sweden in 1999, Travelstart is the brainchild of entrepreneur, former DJ and family man Stephan Ekbergh. In true start-up fashion, Sweden’s first online travel agency was initially run from an old coffee roastery in Malmö. Nearly two decades, plenty of learning, growth and one African immigration later, Stephan still heads up Travelstart from sunny South Africa.

Stephen set his sights on South Africa, seeing the need to fix travel in Africa which led to him moving in 2004 and starting up Travelstart’s operations in Cape Town in 2006. Now, Travelstart operates in 18 countries with offices in core markets, and our travel family is now comprising of over 400 staff from 38 nationalities, all passionate about making travel simple in Africa and the Middle East.

2. From Cape to Cairo


Following the success of the South African market, Travelstart set its sights on other countries in Africa and the Middle East. Travelstart spread the joy of travel with the launch of the Nigerian and Kenyan market in 2012, followed by Egypt and Dubai in the year 2013. With a focus on providing travellers with personalised assistance, Travelstart officially launched a fully localised and complete Arabic version of our website in 2014 for the Middle Eastern markets.

3. Let’s Get Physical

Every year, Travelstarters eagerly anticipate the Impi Challenge, where we band together to tackle sweat-inducing obstacles. Displacing undeniable patriotism and contagious optimism, you can hear the cheerful songs and chants of Travelstarters as they trudge through mud-cladded terrains, help each other across monkey bars and cheer on fellow colleagues conquering their fears. It’s the ultimate display of the warrior Travelstart spirit. Hear us roar.

4. Flapp It & Go

Close your eyes and make a wish. If you wished for a personalised travel agent in your pocket, then consider it granted. Flapp, Travelstart’s flight booking app was first launched in 2015 allowing travellers to book and pay for flights between which was then South Africa’s busiest route, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Like any proud parent at a party, Travelstart has watched Flapp grow by leaps and bounds and now not only do we provide flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town but also offer the customer to book and pay for domestic, regional and international flights. The flight booking app is the easiest way to compare flights on your favourite airlines or rental deals from the worlds leading car hire companies and offer exclusive app specific deal! What are you waiting for? Get the best party favour around by downloading Flapp on Andriod and iOS.

5. The People



Although being an online travel agency, the people of Travelstart are the heart of the company. Travelstart could not have brought you closer to your travel dreams if it weren’t for the tireless dedication and customer-centric focus of its staff. Travelstart is a melting pot of diverse people from various backgrounds and walks of life, bonding together over a mutual goal of romancing the customer and igniting the passion and joy of travel through providing personalised service with a touch of magic – you could say we are your travel fairy godparent.



6. Check-in

Travelstart is your one-stop travel shop for all your travel needs, providing flights, car hire and accommodation. To fast-track the growth of its accommodation offering, towards the end of 2017, Travelstart acquired a majority stake in Cape Town based SafariNow.com, South Africa’s largest accommodation website, to provide our customers with better choices.

7. All We Do is Win

To remain on top of the game, Travelstart won “Africa’s Leading Online Travel Agency” in the 23rd World Travel Awards, 2016 and has been nominated for the same award in the World Travel Awards 2018. Stay tuned to see if we snag the coveted title. The following year Travelstart walked away with the “E-Commerce Service of the Year” at the Price Check Tech and E-Commerce Awards Yet again, Travelstart shines brightly as we had been nominated for 4 categories for the prestigious gala event in 2018 and walked away with the “Best Mobile Shopping Experience”, “Best Travel Booking Service” awards.

8. STRIKE!

Travelstart aims to foster a long-lasting relationship with our suppliers, and we were invited to participate in the Turkish Airlines Bowling Tournament 2017 held on 26 April.



The night was filled with strikes, spares and laughter over gutter balls and in the end, one of our Travelstart team named “2 guys and an intern”, made up of Travelstarters from the Finance Team including our Chief Financial Officer, Handre Oosthuizen, came out victorious beating every team in South Africa. Our victors jetted off on an unforgettable adventure to compete in the finals in Turkey. Although unsuccessful at the finals, we salute our champions and celebrate our victories.

9. Location. Location. Location


Like any adolescents, it’s only natural to start exploring your image, finding ways to express yourself and experiment with different looks. Likewise, towards the end of 2017 Travelstart decided it was time to relocate its Cape Town headquarters to a swankier set of offices in Longkloof Studios, located just off the bustling hub of Kloof street. The edgier setting encourages growth, unbridled creativity and hard work.

10. Are You Ready to Party?

As you enter your teenage years, a lot of pressure is now put on hosting the swankiest parties that would perfectly set you up as one of the “Cool Kids”. Travelstart sure knows how to throw a party. To celebrate the success of the year, Travelstart throws highly anticipated year-end parties, where guests get to dress up according to a set theme, top performers are recognised and where Travelstarters get to let their hair down and enjoy good food and great company.


11. Time for a Face Lift

At age 12, you remember you were on the cusp of greatness as you transitioned into adulthood and found your identity. New opportunities are within your grasp, and it’s the best time to redefine yourself and steer your destiny. Likewise, on 12 March 2018, Travestart’s internal travel consultancy underwent a re-brand from Travel Bar to relaunch as Travelstart Live. With Travelstart Live, the company will focus on improving their expert “human” service and be better equipped to assist customers who book complex trips, multi-city and multi-passenger trips. For help with your travel booking from the best in the business, call Travelstart Live today on 021 0200559.

12. F • R • I • E • N • D • S

As you enter your teenage years, you often develop friendships with people that would last a lifetime. Travelstart is friends with some of the top airlines in the industry, like Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Flysafair, Mango and so much more, who have partnered with us to bring you air-mazing flight deals to awe-inspiring domestic, regional and international destinations.

Travelstart aims to rise above the rest to be the shining star in the industry, so it’s only fitting that we rub shoulders with the “Cool Kids”. We have fostered a relationship with Expresso Breakfast Show, where our very own travel experts appeared on the show to provide insightful travel tips and inspiration. KFM has always jumped on the bandwagon to help celebrate auspicious occasions, like our 2016 27 Suitcases Mandela Day Initiative as well bringing us champagne and cake and helped create a birthday vibe for our 12th birthday. There are more companies and brands which we have partnered with, and if we had to start mentioning them all, we would have an endless list of end credit. So from the bottom of our hearts, Thank you to everyone who made the 12 Years of Travelstart so amazing.

The last 12 years have been paved with victories and challenges which has helped Travelstart grow. Cheers to bringing you many more years of unforgettable travel memories. What has been your Travelstart highlight from the past 12 years? How has Travelstart helped make your travel dreams come true? Be sure to comment below and send us a special birthday message.

 

 

The post Celebrate Travelstart’s Birthday with 12 Memorable Highlights appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Northern Lights cruising – all you need to know

Though scientists may dispassionately explain the Northern Lights as sun particles hitting the earth’s magnetic shields, those of us who’ve seen this ethereal natural phenomenon first-hand prefer romanticised Viking tales of Valkyrie warriors going to battle.

Either way, the magical blue and green lights that dance across the dark Arctic sky have seemed so out of reach for many, that they feature prominently on the bucket-lists of travellers the world over.

Northern lights 5

But no more. South Africans wanting a guaranteed sighting of the Northern Lights need to look no further than Hurtigruten, the global leaders in expedition travel, and available through Travelstart.

So confident is Hurtigruten that you will encounter the Northern Lights during one of their 12-day sailings along Norway’s northern coastline, they’ll throw in a six- to seven-night cruise free of charge if the lights fail to appear during peak Northern Lights season. That is their Northern Lights Promise.

All you need to do is zip up your backpack, lace up your hiking boots and choose your sailing date to embark on what has become ‘the world’s most beautiful voyage.

Northern lights 6

All you need to know about the Northern Lights

When to go, where to go, what to wear. These are probably all top-of-mind now that you’ve decided to satisfy your wanderlust.

While it may seem like you’re travelling to the ends of the earth, your 12-day Hurtigruten expedition actually starts in Bergen, only 14-15 hours’ flight away, via Amsterdam, Switzerland or Germany.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll need to know before you go:
• Best time to see Northern Lights
• Best location to see Northern Lights
• What to wear on your Northern Lights cruise
• Northern Lights excursions on land

Northern lights 2

 

Best time to see the Northern Lights

The best time to see the Northern Lights is in winter, which starts in October and ends in March. You’ll have more opportunities to see the Northern Lights between 21h00 and 01h00 when the Arctic sky is at its darkest.

Best location to see the Northern Lights

While the Northern Lights makes an appearance under the Auroral Oval, a 2,500km ring that sits above the magnetic North Pole, it is directly beneath it that the lights are at its brightest and best. Northern Scandinavia and, particularly the coasts of the Norwegian counties of Troms and Finnmark, are where its occurrence is greatest.

You won’t miss a sighting on Hurtigruten. The ship makes onboard announcements, and the aurora appears directly above the ship. The lights are also more vivid because there’s no ambient light at sea.

Northern lights 8

What to wear on your Northern Lights cruise

Layers, layers, layers. When visiting the Arctic you need to start with a wool layer, followed by another wool or fleece layer, then a thick woollen sweater, followed by a thermal jacket, which should be wind- and water-proof. Also, wear a warm hat and proper winter shoes.

That way, if you’re out on the deck in sub-zero temperatures, you’ll be warm, and when you venture back inside the ship, you can simply peel off the layers until you’re comfortable.

If you’re embarking on an excursion like snowmobiling or RIB boat safaris, you’ll likely be given a thermal suit to keep warm. Hurtigruten also has this sound advice for travellers heading to Arctic climes.

Northern lights 4

Northern Lights excursions on land

As the global leaders in exploration travel, Hurtigruten offers a diverse range of activities on land to suit every interest. From the more sedate traditional dinners with the descendants of Vikings and the Sámi people of the north to Midnight Concerts in the capital of the Arctic, King Crab fishing and RIB Safaris through fjords, you can be as adventurous or active as you wish.

Among our preferred excursions offered by Hurtigruten to see the Northern Lights are:
• A visit with the Sámi people near Tromsø, where you’ll learn the art of ice fishing.
• A visit to the Snowhotel in Kirkenes, on the Russian border, for shots of Rudolf’s Revenge at Norway’s largest ice bar.
• Race through the frozen Arctic landscape on a snowmobile safari, followed by some local reindeer biltong and a hot drink enjoyed in a traditional Sámi lavvo (tent).

Northern lights 3

Ready to head north? Check out our Hurtigurten package for more info.

All you need to do is pack your camera, your sense of adventure and a pair of really good thermal gloves. God reise!

Visited the Northern lights before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

The post Northern Lights cruising – all you need to know appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Where to Stay in Osaka: The Complete Guide

Blending cosmopolitan vibes with country charm, Osaka is known for its neon-lit city centre, fresh seafood markets and lively nightlife. Nicknamed the “Nation’s Kitchen”, Osaka also has a reputation as a food mecca, while its 16th-century castle is the city’s beautiful crown jewel.

The post Where to Stay in Osaka: The Complete Guide appeared first on HotelsCombined Blog.

25 Of The Best Holiday Resorts In South Africa To Stay This Summer

[Updated 30 August 2018]

In seeking out the best holiday resorts in South Africa, a common thread emerges. These destinations cater to the everyman … which means swimming pools, activities for the whole family, games rooms, playgrounds, and a restaurant or two on site are the universal features. They’re the kind of holiday resorts that give you that salty, sandy, suntan lotion scented feeling of being on leave.

Like a warm fuzziness, mixed with some nostalgia (some of these resorts have been around since before I was born!), these are the kind of places where the biggest decision of the day is whether to base yourself around the pool, in the dam or at the beach. They’re the kind of places where a fleeting holiday romance is as common as forming lifelong friendships; well-rounded holiday hubs where the focus is on family-friendly entertainment and quality time well-spent. After all… isn’t life better in flip flops?

Also read:

San Lameer, South Coast, KZN

san lameer

Whether it’s the championship golf course here, complete with zebra roaming the fairway fringes, the pristine lagoon stretching into the very heart of the resort, or expansive Blue Flag beaches, at San Lameer you’re guaranteed a prime holiday resort experience in one of South Africa’s most sought after sub-tropical settings. Holidaymakers at San Lameer can choose from villa rentals or hotel stays, and with CemAir flights to Margate, San Lameer is even more accessible no matter where you are in South Africa.

Website: San Lameer
Contact: San Lameer Villa Rentals (039 313 0450) / San Lameer Hotel (039 313 0111)
Location: View location

Zimbali, North Coast, KZN

Fairmont Zimbali Resort

You can’t get more exclusive, or beautiful than Zimbali, a magnificent estate on the northern KZN coastline that offers every type of luxury and facility. It ticks all the boxes – it’s close to King Shaka Airport (16km), the lively resort town of Ballito is 5 minutes away, and Durban is less than half an hour, meaning that every stunning KZN attraction is within reach. Aside from a superb stretch of private beach, Zimbali offers numerous facilities, including a renowned golf course, spa, health club and Kids Club. Of course, it’s a five-star hotel, so dining and accommodation is exceptional.

Website: Zimbali
Contact: 032 538 5000
Location: View location

Pumula Beach Hotel, South Coast, KZN

Pumula Beach Hotel

Set in idyllic, subtropical surroundings on the South Coast of Natal (100km from Durban), Pumula Beach Hotel is a favourite with couples and families and is also a popular wedding destination. Relaxing summer holidays don’t get much better than those at Pumula. Accommodation is varied, with a choice of spectacular sea or garden views, the food is superb, and kids are well-catered for, with their own dining room and a variety of fun events to keep them busy. The beach is safe for swimming, and there are myriad activities to choose from, from fishing to dolphin and whale watching, mini golf, outdoor table tennis and beach volleyball. For night-time fun, there’s a TV and games room, tavern and two ladies’ bars.

Website: Pumula Beach Hotel

Contact: 039 684 6717

Location: View location

Dolphin Holiday Resort, Ballito, KZN

Dolphin Holiday Resort

This fabulous family camping resort is located close to Ballito, just 50km from Durban. The setting is restful, in the midst of a sub-tropical forest next to a beach, where dolphin spotting from the shoreline is not uncommon. This family-run institution is relaxed and welcoming, offering a tranquil respite from Ballito in silly season. Dolphin Holiday Resort is close enough to enjoy the festivities when you’re up to it, and far enough to enable you to get away from it all. Meals are served at the Waterberry Coffee Shop, and there’s also a store and a tea garden. Guests enjoy a variety of activities in the games room, and there’s also a TV and outdoor activities.

Website: Dolphin Holiday Resort

Contact: 032 946 2187

Location: View location

You Might Also Like:

Rocky Bay Resorts, South Coast, KZN

Rocky Bay Resorts

With stunning weather for most of the year and a spectacular setting close to the resort town of Scottburgh, this fabulous holiday resort and caravan park is the ideal base for your summer holidays. The area is renowned for its beautiful secluded gold sand beaches, and the surrounding sea and countryside offer a variety of exciting activities from snorkelling and deep-sea fishing to jet skiing, nature trails, mountain biking and golfing. Rocky Bay Resorts boasts lots to keep the kids happy, including freshwater swimming pools and jungle gyms. There is also a restaurant at the resort for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the rustic log cabins make a stay here a real adventure.

Website: Rocky Bay Resorts

Contact: 039 976 0336

Location: View location

Sani Pass Hotel, Drakensberg, KZN

Sani Pass Hotel

Memories are made of this. This popular hotel and leisure resort offers an unbeatable family getaway in the breathtaking Southern Drakensberg mountains. Situated six and a half hours from Johannesburg and two and a half hours drive from Durban, the location offers spectacular views and a treasure trove of delights, including a large outdoor swimming pool set in the lush gardens, a 9-hole golf course, spa, and a variety of nature trails on your doorstep. Accommodation is in rustic thatched cottages or comfy rooms with satellite TV. Of course, the food is hearty and delicious – get ready for candlelit dinners, scrumptious afternoon teas, and light lunches.

Website: Sani Pass Hotel

Contact: 033 702 1320 / 1 / 2

Location: View location

Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg, KZN

Cathedral Peak Hotel

One of the most spectacular parts of the Drakensberg, Cathedral Peak is a mind-bogglingly beautiful spire. Climbing the peak is a delight, and staying in the vicinity, sheer joy. The scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful, the surroundings picture-perfect, with streams, pools, waterfalls, and overgrown shrubbery creating a natural paradise. Hikers, nature lovers, rock climbers, and mountain bike enthusiasts love it here. There’s a variety of walking trails, making exploring pure bliss. The resort has a country club atmosphere, superb thatched accommodation, and so many facilities you’ll have to return if you want to try them all. Golf, game viewing, or just lazing around are just a few of them.

Website: Cathedral Peak Hotel

Contact: 036 488 1888

Location: View location

Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort, Southern Drakensberg, KZN

Drakensberg Gardens

Nature’s bounty awaits in this beautiful 860-hectare mountain setting that has been declared a World Heritage Site. Family fun in the great outdoors is what a holiday at this famous resort is all about, and the options are endless. There’s hiking, canoeing, trout fishing, horse riding, golf, swimming, mountain biking, a fully equipped gym, or you can be pampered at the spa. The setting is superb, and there’s a choice of rooms to suit every taste, from standard to superior and deluxe. Amenities are geared towards kids – there are also excellent babysitting facilities so that parents can enjoy time out in a choice of two onsite restaurants.

Website: Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort

Contact: 031 337 4222

Location: View location

Champagne Sports Resort, Central Drakensberg, KZN

Champagne Sports Resort

This mountain resort is so popular that many people have chosen to enjoy time-share facilities here in the lovely three-bedroom chalets. Recently refurbished, the resort now boasts a coffee shop, wellness centre, lounge, and extended dining area. Word has it that a stay here isn’t just a mountain resort holiday; it’s an experience. Game viewing, golf at the 18-hole championship golf course, bird watching, trout and bass fishing in five different dams, and a choice of excellent sports facilities ensure the resort lives up to its name and reputation. Its location is not only scenic; it’s also close enough to Johannesburg and Durban to make it easily accessible for quick weekend getaways.

Website: Champagne Sports Resort

Contact: 036 468 8000

Location: View location

Wild Coast Sun, Port Edward, Eastern Cape/KZN

Wild Coast Sun

One of Africa’s most magnificent, unspoiled coastlines, the Wild Coast offers an unrivalled holiday experience. And if you stay at the stunning Wild Coast Sun Resort and Casino, you’re sorted. Every type of entertainment is at your fingertips – from a casino to world-class golf, great restaurants, lively bars, and an exciting waterpark called Wild Waves to keep the kids amused, which is full of every type of tube, slide and water ride imaginable. Of course, the rooms here are superb, the views sublime – and then there’s the beach, the sea, and the scenery. Who could possibly want more? If you do win some money at the casino, there are some great shops where you can spend it!

Website: Wild Coast Sun

Contact: 039 305 9111

Location: View location

Umngazi River Bungalows, Port St. Johns, Wild Coast

Umngazi River Bungalows

One of the most spectacular regions in Southern Africa, the Wild Coast remains an untouched paradise to enjoy without the hordes. Umngazi River Bungalows is a family favourite because it offers the opportunity to get away from it all – a seaside holiday without the crowds and an opportunity to enjoy nature at its very best. But you still have every facility imaginable. Enjoy fine food at the restaurant, be pampered at the spa, relax in your thatched bungalow after a day full of activities, soak up the sun on secluded beaches, explore magnificent mangrove swamps, canoe along the river, go bird watching or fly-fishing, enjoy a sunset cruise … the possibilities are endless, the entire experience something sublime!

Website: Umngazi River Bungalows

Contact: 047 564 1115 / 6 / 8 / 9

Location: View location

Riverside Sun Resort, Gauteng

Riverside Sun Resort

Yes, you can enjoy water sports and fun in the sun close to Johannesburg! The Vaal River offers a variety of exciting water sports and entertainment for the whole family, and the Riverside Sun Resort, located just 40 minutes from the City of Gold, is the perfect destination to enjoy all that’s on offer. Whether you’re planning to spend a weekend away or much longer, this lovely holiday resort has it all – kid’s entertainment, great wining and dining options, a swimming pool, and numerous outdoor activities for young and old. Summers in Gauteng are notoriously glorious and the Riverside Sun ensures you make the most of the weather with its fabulous outdoor amenities.

Website: Riverside Sun Resort

Contact: 016 982 7300

Location: View location

Vaal River Country Lodge, Gauteng

Vaal River Country Lodge

What sets this Vaal River resort apart is its idyllic setting and superior service. It’s a country lodge and a riverside resort, so facilities include everything from water sports and fun to serious pampering and relaxation. The emphasis is on getting away from it all in the numerous lounges, dining areas, decks for reading and sunbathing, and stunning spa. Of course, entertainment options are many and there’s a big screen theatre as well as two pools, a private gym, tennis courts, and various water facilities. In true holiday resort style, you can enjoy full or half board, so that everything is taken care of, and all you have to do is relax and have fun.

Website: Vaal River Lodge

Contact: 011 943 2900 / 082 883 7505 / 082 855 1884

Location: View location

Cape St Francis Coastal Resort, St Francis, Eastern Cape

Cape St Francis Coastal Resort

St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape is a spectacular holiday location, with magnificent golden beaches, a lush unspoiled nature reserve, and a host of activities to enjoy in the Indian Ocean and the nearby Krom River. This superior resort offers a choice of accommodation from plush villas to affordable apartments and backpacker rooms, and the facilities on offer are just as varied. Whether you choose to enjoy every facility or self-cater, you’re guaranteed a peaceful holiday. There’s golfing, surfing, river cruises, hiking, exploring, whale watching, and dolphin watching. And that’s just a taste of what you’ll enjoy in this little slice of paradise.

Website: Cape St Francis Resort

Contact: 042 298 0054 / 042 298 0157

Location: View location

Beacon Island Resort, Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape

Beacon Island Resort

Image by Damien du Toit from Flickr.com

This is resort living at its best. Plettenberg Bay is one of the most popular and beautiful beach holiday resort towns in South Africa, and the hotel itself ensures that every member of the family has the time of their lives. Kids are well looked after with an innovative children’s’ programme that includes outings and beach fun and there’s babysitting so that parents can have their nights free to savour the nightlife and fabulous restaurants that Plett is so famous for. Beacon Island Resort has a unique setting in the sea with its own beach. Rooms are spacious and sea-facing, and there’s a great choice of restaurants.

Website: Beacon Island Resort

Contact: 044 533 1120

Location: View location

Diaz Strand Hotel & Resort, Mossel Bay, Western Cape

Diaz Strand Hotel

Mossel Bay is where famous Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz landed in the late 15th Century, and this excellent resort is named after him and styled as a reminder of his rich legacy. Imagine what Diaz first saw as you gaze out of your window in the morning, or relax on the balcony and watch the setting sun turn the sky pink. Mossel Bay has lots to offer visitors, and this resort pulls out all the stops to make sure you have the best experience. You’ll stay in plush accommodation, enjoy impeccable service, and have the opportunity to enjoy this charming seaside resort and all its entertainment facilities.

Website: Diaz Hotel & Resort

Contact: 044 692 8400

Location: View location

Berg River Resort, Paarl, Western Cape

Berg River Resort

Nestled in a tranquil valley near Paarl, you’re close enough to Cape Town to enjoy all that the Mother City has to offer, but you’re also in the midst of the spectacular Winelands, with postcard-perfect scenery and a choice of wine farms offering picnics and wine tastings, not to mention the stunning Cape Dutch-inspired towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek nearby. Get back to the basics of holiday fun at Berg River Resort with a choice of accommodation from self-catering chalets to caravan and camping sites. There are all sorts of fun activities from water sports to golf, and the resort makes the ideal base from which to explore the Cape in all its summer glory. The emphasis is on family fun, so kids are well looked after here.

Website: Berg River Resort

Contact: 021 007 1852 / 53

Location: View location

Montagu Springs, Montagu, Western Cape

Montagu Springs

Montagu is not only scenically spectacular, it’s also along the longest wine route in the Western Cape – Route 62! Sample some of the region’s best wines, including famous Muscadel in the Robertson and Breede River Valleys. It’s also the gateway to the rustic beauty of the Little Karoo, where a variety of exciting discoveries await. Montagu Springs itself is a tropical oasis with hot mineral springs, swimming pools, daily bird feeding excursions (the birdlife here is prolific), adventure sports, and mountain biking in the stunning surrounds. Guests stay in lovely country chalets and there’s a café for dining essentials.

Website: Montagu Springs

Contact: 023 614 1050

Location: View location

Calitzdorp Spa, Route 62, Western Cape

Calitzdorp Spa

No, it’s not just a spa. Calitzdorp Spa is a fun family resort in the spectacular Klein Karoo, halfway between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, and just 105km from George. This is nature at its most terrific – a popular getaway in the winter time with natural hot spring baths that lure visitors with their therapeutic benefits. Of course, the magnificent setting is also a reason people visit here year-round, and there’s lots to do as well. Test the 3km hiking trail, play tennis and splash in the pools; children can view a variety of wildlife, from birds to the resort’s tame peacock, springbok and mountain tortoises that roam free. This is the perfect family holiday setting.

Website: Calitzdorp Spa

Contact: 044 213 3371

Location: View location

Club Mykonos, Langebaan, Western Cape

Club Mykonos Langebaan

You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve escaped to a Greek island at Club Mykonos. In fact, your resort is situated in the pretty Langebaan Lagoon on the West Coast, a Mykonos-inspired paradise with a choice of luxury white-washed self-catering chalets and apartments, all offering kitchen facilities, satellite TV, a balcony, and enviable views. The resort offers a variety of exciting goings-on. Whether you’re embarking on a fishing trip, playing mini golf, lazing on the beach, getting fit at the gym, being pampered with a massage, or watching the kids ride Chester the Donkey, one thing is certain – this is paradise, just twice as nice.

Website: Club Mykonos

Contact: 022 707 7000

Location: View location

Sabi River Sun Resort, Mpumalanga

Sabi River Sun Resort

Going on safari is par for the course at the popular Sabi River Sun Resort near the Kruger National Park, which is renowned for its variety of wildlife, including the Big Five. Enjoy game viewing and experience some of the most extraordinary scenery in South Africa. Accommodation is in a choice of en suite rooms with all possible conveniences. When you’re not pursuing wildlife in the bush at Sabi River Sun, you can enjoy a variety of leisure features, including a choice of five swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, kids’ entertainment programme, a spa, mountain biking, and tennis. You can even see hippos up close in the resort itself, or go game viewing with experienced guides to enjoy a true safari experience.

Website: Sabi River Sun Resort

Contact: 013 737 4600

Location: View location

Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort, Hartbeespoort Dam, North West Province

Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort

Located within close proximity to Johannesburg, the dam resort town of Hartbeespoort offers nature and the great outdoors not too far from the city. Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort is the perfect location for a weekend away or longer stays. It’s not only a resort, it’s also a wildlife retreat where zebra and blesbok wander free. Plus, it’s close to all sorts of fascinating arts and crafts venues, restaurants, and game farms. The dam itself is incredible, so when you’re not game viewing, you can enjoy sailing, water skiing, canoeing, or fishing. There’s a choice between camping or self-catering chalets here, or why not visit for the day and enjoy a picnic?

Website: Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort

Contact: 012 941 9929 / 072 786 2976

Location: View location

Sun City, North West Province

Sun City Cascades Resort

An entertainment mecca in the middle of nowhere? You’d better believe it! Sun City is SA’s long-standing glamour destination, offering every facility you need for an action-packed holiday. Families love it here because there’s so much to do, including a waterpark, wave pool, beach, and more entertainment in one place than you could ever imagine. There are a number of hotels to choose from, catering for all budgets, numerous restaurants, great activities at night as well as during the day, from Vegas-style shows to safaris in the nearby Pilanesberg Nature Reserve. It’s a microcosm of the best that South Africa has to offer, so pack your bags and chase the sun at Sun City!

Website: Sun City Resort

Contact: 014 557 1000

Location: View location

Forever Resort, Gariep Dam, Free State

Forever Gariep Resort

If you’re driving to Cape Town from Johannesburg, or vice-versa, why not stop off halfway and enjoy time out at this superb family resort? Located just off the highway 200km from Bloemfontein, on the banks of the Gariep Dam, the largest dam in the country, Forever Resort borders the spectacular Gariep Dam Nature Reserve, which is home to various antelope species and the beautiful Cape Mountain Zebra. Go game viewing by boat to see animals in their natural habitat, or enjoy a choice of water sports, from jet skiing and canoeing to rowing, windsurfing, and sailing. Stay in the hotel or camp in the caravan park. The resort offers every facility and various activities to keep everyone busy day and night.

Website: Forever Resorts

Contact: 051 754 0045

Location: View location

ATKV Klein-Kariba Holiday Resort, Bela Bela, Limpopo

ATKV Klein-Kariba Holiday Resort

You can’t visit South Africa without spending time in the bush, and one of the most beautiful areas to visit is the magnificent Waterberg region, an oasis just 90 minutes from Johannesburg outside beautiful Bela Bela. The resort offers wall-to-wall fun and activities, and game drives to explore the rich flora and fauna of the region. Whether you decide to fill your days with fun or rather get away from it all and relax, you can rest easy in the knowledge that either of these pursuits are available in abundance. No doubt you’ll be tempted to try out some of the activities, whether it’s playing a game of pool, cycling, fishing, hiking, or horse riding. Take advantage of what’s on offer in this paradise setting. You’ll have the time of your life.

Website: ATKV Klein-Kariba Holiday Resort

Contact: 014 736 9800

Location: View location


Where are you planning to vacation this summer? What do you think are the best holiday resorts in South Africa? Let us know in the comments below and remember to share your holiday pics on our Facebook page.

The post 25 Of The Best Holiday Resorts In South Africa To Stay This Summer appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Travelling to Nairobi – what to see, eat and where to get the best views

Travelling to Nairobi, you’ll discover a city alive with colour, eclectic art, friendly faces and delicious things to eat. Kenya’s capital is so much more than a stopover on the way to that European summer holiday you have planned. If you’re flying through Nairobi with Kenya Airways, it’s time to make it less of a thoroughfare and more of destination…

For years, European travellers on their way to fancy safaris and the chase of the great wildebeest migration in East Africa, have revelled in the delights of Nairobi. Recently too, South Africans are spending a little time in the city before moving on, and are getting rewarded for their efforts when they do.

Book Cheap Flights to Nairobi

What to see when travelling to Nairobi

The first thing a lot of travellers discover when researching Nairobi as travellers, is that there really is so much to do. A few attractions stick out above the rest though, including the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Giraffe Centre and the travelling Maasai Market.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a haven for orphaned elephants. Each morning, the baby ellies are brought in from foraging on the large property that the trust operates from for their morning bottles. As guests stand by, the herd run in playfully to frolic in the mud pools and slurp down two-litre bottles. Each ellie is introduced by name, and the reason of how they came to be in care at the trust is explained.

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

Baby elephants in Nairobi. Photo: Kate Els.

Nearby, the famous Giraffe Centre, which is located adjacent to the famous Giraffe Manor, travellers can get up close with the endangered Rothschild giraffe at this specialist conservation project. Discover more about the plight of this endangered giraffe species and how the centre is helping conserve these large, loping animals.

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

Feeding the giraffes. Photo: Kate Els.

Nairobi offers one of the most unique game parks in the world with Nairobi National Park. Sitting adjacent to the Nairobi business district, this park offers views over flat grassy savannahs coupled with the outline of the city’s skyline. Travellers love the chance to get a snapshot of the grazing zebras with the reflective glass of the city’s tallest buildings in the background!

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

The unique skyline opportunity in Nairobi. Photo: Kate Els.

Although it can be a little difficult to track down, the Maasai Market of Nairobi is another must if you’re in the city. The market changes its location daily, moving to different spots across the city. It’s one of the best places when travelling to Nairobi to get your hands on a few authentic local souvenirs including handwoven baskets, long, beaded necklaces and carved sculptures. What’s a trip without a memento after all?

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

Shopping at the market. Photo: Kate Els.

The Karen Blixen Museum is another highlight in Nairobi, particularly for history buffs. Here, you can learn all about the often romanticised life of the author who penned her biography under the title ‘Out of Africa’, which later became a movie released to much acclaim. While the house certainly belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya, it’s also worth a visit to Tamambo near the museum. This restaurant offers delicious meals in lush gardens, while local artists display exquisite paintings for sale.

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

Local art for sale in Nairobi. Photo: Kate Els.

What to eat in Nairobi

Trying to decide where to eat in Nairobi is pretty difficult. Not because there’s a lack of options, but rather because there are just so many! With its cosmopolitan population, the city is bursting with dining options that can cater to any palette. Because the city sprawls over a large area, and of course the clog of traffic a consideration, you might be limited to where you can get to, but here are our top suggestions on where to eat when travelling to Nairobi:

Brew Rooftop

This new-age urban eatery is Nairobi’s answer to a gastropub. Patrons can enjoy a number of craft brews coupled with some delicious fare and a dose of local culture. This is a great spot to stay out late, and even better when there’s a heated sports match on the go!

Asmara

Offering an Eritrean dining experience in the upmarket suburb of Westlands, Asmara is casual dining at its best. Opt for one of the traditional meat dishes such as Tsahli Tibsi, goat meat with peppers and chillies, served with traditional Injera, a sourdough flatbread that is eaten with your hands (perfect for mopping up all the leftover sauce on your plate)

Urban Eatery

If you can’t quite decide on one type of cuisines, then Urban Eatery is the ideal place to go. With four different kitchens, a frozen yoghurt counter and a vibey bar, patrons can choose from an all-day dining cafe, sushi and Asian-style noodles, Mexican fare or Indian dishes.

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

The grilled delights of Carnivore. Photo: Kate Els.

Carnivore

Although Carnivore is packed with tourists, it isn’t without reason. Other than the ‘all you can eat meat’ options, Carnivore offers up local dishes and drinks with a touch of theatre. And of course, where else are you going to get the chance to eat some bull’s balls?

Finally, the best view in Nairobi

We promised a view for when travelling to Nairobi and we’re going to deliver on it. Nairobi, of course, has a variety of vantage points spread across the city, but none so fine as the view from the helipad of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Kate Els Travelling to Nairobi

The view from the conference centre helipad. Photo: Kate Els.

This 360-degree view of the city is absolutely superb, and is even better at sunset if you can make it there for then. Open between 07h00 and 18h00 during the week, and between 08h00 and 17h00 on weekends, non-resident visitors pay Kes 500 (about R70) to travel to the top of the conference centre and enjoy the view.

We know Nairobi has a lot more to see, do and eat. Let us know your favourites when travelling to Nairobi in the comment section below!

The post Travelling to Nairobi – what to see, eat and where to get the best views appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Top 14 Hong Kong Hotels with the Best Views of Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong is a glittering metropolis of unbridled luxury, adventure, shopping and gourmet Eastern and international dining. However, one of the city’s most prominent features is the Victoria Harbour, which presents one of the most magnificent city skyline vistas in the world. But where exactly can you stay to soak up this cosmopolitan marvel?

The post Top 14 Hong Kong Hotels with the Best Views of Victoria Harbour appeared first on HotelsCombined Blog.

Where to Stay in Paris: Best Neighbourhoods for Sightseeing & Hotels

Paris has long been known for its fairy-tale magic. It’s those eternal Parisian moments, from strolling along the Seine after midnight to browsing antiques and pairing escargot with live accordion music that gives us everlasting holiday memories in Paris. However, these experiences are much easier to find if you know where to stay.

The post Where to Stay in Paris: Best Neighbourhoods for Sightseeing & Hotels appeared first on HotelsCombined Blog.

DIY free Stone Town walking tour

With streets too small and tightly packed for cars to cruise along, Stone Town is perfect for pedestrians. And getting lost.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town is Zanzibar’s biggest city and gets its name from the fact that many of the gorgeous 19th-century buildings are built from coral stone. It may look ramshackle at first but this intriguing town is a living time capsule.

Stone Town Dhow

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

Meander the labyrinths of this sensational destination  yup, a walk through the city will certainly activate all of the senses  watch dhows gliding lazily across the Indian Ocean horizon and browse Stone Town’s fantastical buildings.

Exploring Stone Town is like disappearing down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. You’ll get totally lost in the maze of alleys, find many wonderful wide smiles, chat with intriguing characters, get a little annoyed at others, drink tea and enjoy how it all just gets curiouser and curiouser.

Also read: Mauritius vs. Zanzibar: Which is better? 

How to see the best of Stone Town for free

1.  See the fish auction at Darajani Market

Stone Town Daranjani Market

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

Start your walk here in the morning because this market gets riper as the tropical heat smears its hand across the stalls. Here you’ll find food, spices, colour, cloth and baskets. The fruit and vegetable market is in a separate area to the more aromatic fish and meat market (this is not recommended for those with sensitive stomachs). The displays are vivid and it’s the perfect place for finding authentic spices, tasting the exotic rambutan and seeing how this island really operates.

Stone Town Fish Market

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

It’s also close to the Anglican Cathedral and ancient slave market, where you can see where the thousands of slaves were kept before being bought and sold. The East African Slave Trade Exhibit is also worth a look if you’re keen to see more history,  but both stops require an entrance fee.

Also read: 12 Tantalising things to try in Zanzibar

 

2. Hamamni Persian Baths

Hamnamni Baths

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

Ok, this one’s not free, but walking inside and up to the top of this ancient place is a wonderful way to gain some insight into the multi-layered and converging history of Stone Town. Built by a sultan, there is no longer water in the baths but it’s easy to imagine the mists swirling across the mosaics and the ingenious ancient water architecture is marvellous. Entry costs about R30 per person.

 

3. Sip tea or coffee at Jaws Corner

Stone Town Zanzibar Jaws Corner

Photo credit: @MelanieJanevz

Jaws Corner is a small square where many alleys meet. It’s also where people (mostly men) meet and drink strong Arabic coffee or small cups of sweet ginger tea. Or watch the latest match. Or buy tropical fruit from the many vendors. It’s a wonderful place to sit with those who live in Stone Town and watch the world go by.

Be sure to look closely at Zanzibar’s famous doors on your way down these winding alleys. For centuries Stone Town was the site of intense seaborne trading activity between Asia and Africa.  This is beautifully illustrated in the iconic doors that line these alleys.

Back in the 1980s, the Stone Town Heritage Society reported that there were around 800 doors, but these numbers have dwindled since demand for them as decor items grew. You can find three kinds of doors in Stone Town: Arab, Indian and Swahili-style doors.

Stone Town Doors

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

‘Arab doors’ are more richly decorated and often feature an inscription in Arabic. The older doors were all square at the top and the semi-circular frames were introduced later. The ‘Indian doors’, or Gujarati doors, have big brass knobs or studs that were originally used to deter elephants back in India, but here in Zanzibar, they communicated the wealth of those living behind them.

 

4. Marvel at the House of Wonders

House of Wonder Stone Town

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

This is a misnomer if I’ve ever heard one because the house was in a state of disrepair when I visited, but it does have an interesting story. Also called Beit-el-Ajaib, this was the first building to have electric lights and an electric lift on the island and it leads you to the beautiful seafront and harbour. There’s also the Old Fort nearby, the oldest structure in Stone Town.

 

5. Stay for dinner at Forodhani Gardens

Stone Town Jumping

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

End your walk here for sunset over the Indian Ocean and a delicious dinner from the evening seafront market. There’s an amazing energy out here. Watch the adventurous children throwing themselves off the harbour walls into the bright blue water and enjoy the setting sun.

This night market is a vibey streetfood spot famous for its Zanzibari pizza and other local delights, but be a little wary of the lusciously displayed seafood tables as the freshness can be dubious. If you try one thing, make it the highly recommended Urujo. A bowl of soupy goodness with a boiled egg to top it off. It’s best washed down with a cup of sugarcane juice freshly pressed using the big metal spinning wheels and won’t cost you a fortune.

Stone Town Night Market

Photo credit: @melaniejanevz

By the end of your walk, it’s easy to see why this place was crowned an important heritage site. For sure, ‘The Stone Town of Zanzibar is an outstanding material manifestation of cultural fusion and harmonization’.

 

What to pack when walking Stone Town

Stone Town Walking Tour Map

  • Women should cover their knees and shoulders as a sign of respect
  • A bottle of water
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Offline Google maps (you’re going to get lost – enjoy it! But use this for when you need to get back to the hotel)
  • Camera and a dry bag for the unexpected tropical storms
  • Some cash for street food and market buys
  • A sprinkling of patience. People will come up to you constantly and it can be a hassle.
  • Loads of gees. Enjoy it! And embrace the Swahili mantra, Hakuna matata.

Also read: Your guide to the best time to visit Zanzibar

Five key Swahili phrases to learn when visiting Stone Town

  •  ‘Jambo, habari?’ , which means ‘Hello, how are you?’
  • ‘Nzuri’, which means ‘Good’.
  •  ‘Beigani’, which means ‘How much?’
  • ‘Asante sana’, which means ‘Thank you very much’
  • ‘Hapana asante’, which means no thank you

Find cheap flights to Zanzibar

Have you walked Stone Town recently? Tell us some of your favourite spots in the comments section below!

*Disclaimer!

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.

The post DIY free Stone Town walking tour appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Best 16 Las Vegas Hotels for Kids

Las Vegas is all about the glitz and glamour, known for its luxury casinos and an endless array of entertainment. But there’s also fun to be had for everyone in the family in Las Vegas, even the kids.

The post Best 16 Las Vegas Hotels for Kids appeared first on HotelsCombined Blog.

50 Photos Of Cape Town That Will Make You Want To Live In The Mother City

Cape Town is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, with so many people around the globe captivated by all the spectacular gems it has to offer. To celebrate its beauty, we’ve rounded up 50 photos of Cape Town that best represent the pretty city’s people, scenes and landscapes. In no particular order, take a look at the breathtaking and exciting Mother City gems!

50. Truth Coffee

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @mariskaolwagen via Instagram

This “steampunk” coffee shop on Buitenkant Street was named the best coffee shop in the world by respected travel journalist Tom Midlane. Truth’s interior, designed by Heldane Martin, draws on the ‘steampunk aesthetic’ which translates into imagery of nineteenth-century heavy industry. Grab a flat white at this famous Cape Town coffee shop and take in the unique vibe.

49. The Big Issue

Travelstart Cape Town

Written by professional journalists and sold by willing unemployed and marginalised adults which helps them take responsibility for their own lives. The Big Issue is a social upliftment initiative operating on four continents. In Cape Town, The Big Issue is a welcomed feature in the city’s streets and friendly vendors can be found at intersections throughout the City Bowl. Big Issue vendors are independent salespeople.  The magazine costs R25 and R12.50 goes to the vendor. Find out more on The Big Issue’s Facebook page.

48. Noordhoek

Image courtesy of Dave Worswick via whereicall.blogspot.com

Situated at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, the Noordhoek valley is one of Cape Town’s most treasured coastal hideaways. It has a rural atmosphere and is famous for the beach, its vast wetlands, the vibey Red Herring and amiable village atmosphere.

47. Groot Constantia

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @grootconstantia via Instagram

The Winelands are synonymous with the Western Cape, so a trip to the coastal city demands a Winelands tour. As the oldest wine estate in South Africa, Groot Constantia is just one of the established estates that dot the fertile landscape of the Cape wine region. It can get very busy owing to its close proximity to the Cape Town city centre and it’s popular with large tour groups.

46. Cape Town Airport

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @kyle_oreilly13 via Instagram

As a major gateway to the Mother City, we could not leave out Cape Town International Airport. It’s the second-largest airport in South Africa and welcomes well over 1 million foreign visitors annually. Operationally, it has been the recipient of many accolades including being voted the best airport in Africa in 2018 by Skytrax.

45. Llandudno

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @christophe.sigon via Instagram

Set at the foot of one of Cape Town’s most alluring and exclusive suburbs, Llandudno’s beach is in the same league as Clifton and Camps Bay when it comes to popularity, only it has a lot less parking space available. Get there early to reap the rewards of this Blue Flag beach where surfers, lifesavers and sunbathers romp side by side in one of the Southern Hemisphere’s best seaside settings.

44. Greenmarket Square

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of fabulous fabs via Flickr

Merchants from all over Africa converge on Greenmarket Square to sell a wide variety of goods. It’s not so much a local hangout as it is a hotspot for tourists with a severe souvenir obsession, but even residents can’t deny that the vibe here in the centre of Cape Town is something special. You can catch buskers and jazz concerts in the square throughout the year.

43. Festivals

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @rockingthedaisies via Instagram

Festivals and trance parties are part and parcel of living in the Mother City and you can be sure there’s at least one happening somewhere every other weekend. From Rocking the Daisies and Up the Creek to Earthdance, Vortex and many others in between, this is your signal to round up your mates, grab your tent and drive into the abyss of mystical visuals, amazing energy and endless dancing.

42. Oudekraal

Oudekraal beach on the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town, South Africa.

Image courtesy of Damien du Toit via Flickr

Oudekraal is just one of many hidden nooks on the Atlantic Seaboard. The beach at Oudekraal forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.  SANParks asks an R41 per adult and R26 per child entrance fee. It’s a popular dive site and swimming spot, and there are public braai spots available.

41. Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Craig Strachan

This should be your first port of call on a trip to the Mother City. The cableway whizzes to the top of Table Mountain at 10 metres per second, all the while providing an easy path to the best views of the Mother City and her surrounds.

40. Adderley Street Flower Market

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @chimichanda_ciee_team3 via Instagram

The flower sellers that occupy the arcade off Adderley Street in the CBD have been there for more than 100 years and always deliver a range of freshly cut flowers at reasonable prices.

39. Paragliding

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @ctparaglide via Instagram

“Why fly? For once you have tested flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you long to return.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

These words couldn’t be truer when it comes to paragliding in the Cape. Silently gliding over the sea and mountain with just the flapping of your wing occasionally breaking the silence, a Cape Town paragliding adventure might be just what you need if it’s solitude with a view you’re after.

38. Company’s Garden

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @ngliversage via Instagram

This inner-city greenbelt is shrouded in Cape history, having been established in 1652 by Dutch settlers. Today it’s a favourite lunchtime escape for weary office workers who come to relax in the garden’s manicured surroundings. There are also a number of museums in the vicinity, including the Iziko Museum’s South African Museum, the South African Jewish Museum, the District Six Museum, as well as the South African National Gallery.

37. Mzoli’s

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @nadahm3 via Instagram

Since Mzoli’s opened in early 2003, the restaurant has become a popular gathering spot amongst local’s and international visitors alike. People from all walks of life come to Mzoli’s Place in the heart of Gugulethu to shake off all inhibitions and celebrate the Kasi way of life in the most welcoming atmosphere imaginable, not to mention, indulging in the ultimate, authentic ‘Shisa Nyama’ experience.

36. Silvermine

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @morlo91 via Instagram

Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, Silvermine Nature Reserve is where local residents go to picnic, hike and mountain bike amongst indigenous fynbos vegetation. It’s popular because it’s easily accessible from the city and its suburbs, and the hikes are decidedly gentler than the more demanding scrambles up and down Table Mountain National Park.

35. UCT

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Richard Whittemore

Located in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, the University of Cape Town is one of the top education institutions on the African continent. But its accolades are only a small part of a long and proud history that includes being South Africa’s oldest university. Today the campus is one of the most diverse campuses in South Africa, with staff and students hailing from more than 100 countries in Africa and the rest of the world.

34. Kaapse Klopse Carnival

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @rob_scott via Instagram

Every year in January the streets of Cape Town come alive with colour and the sound of trumpets as the Cape Minstrels take to the streets in inimitable style. Tweede Nuwe jaar is an age-old Cape tradition that was originally introduced by the Muslim slaves who celebrated their only day off work in the whole year. Nowadays men, women and children march from the Grand Parade, through the CBD streets and Bo-Kaap, singing and dancing. They are clad in colourful, shiny suits, white hats and carry a sun umbrella.

33. Small Wave Grovelling at Muizenberg

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @afonsuoco via Instagram

The self-proclaimed home of South African surfing, Muizenberg is where you’ll find the oldest surf shop in the country, Gary’s Surf School, and a world record for the most surfers to ride a single wave at the same time.

32. Shark Spotters

Travelstart Cape Town

Perched on strategic viewpoints above the surf, full-time shark spotters operate at Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, St James and Noordhoek all year round. The Shark Spotting programme is a registered NPO managed by Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group. These spots offer epic views and photo opportunities.

31. Market on the Wharf

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @lkg_1 via Instagram

It’s no secret that Capetonians love all things relating to good food, good vibes and good times and Market on the Wharf at the V&A Waterfront provides a suitable platform for all that goodness to merge. The result – a vibrant meeting place for local merchants, suppliers and visitors where discussion and trade are focused on, offering everything from organic food to sweet treats, oysters, cheese, craft beer and even home ware products and clothing.

30. Long Street by day

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @tomfrankatkins via Instagram

During daylight hours Long Street is a bustling inner-city arena full of lunch options, fashion boutiques and antique shops all characterised by Victorian architecture you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in South Africa.

29. Long Street by night

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Warrenski via Flickr

At night, Cape Town’s iconic street spawns a party scene that’s not for the faint-hearted. For those seeking a night out in town, clubs and bars line each side of the street and tourists and locals rush to and fro’ dodging flashing blue lights and hooting taxis.

28. Signal Hill

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Kristina from Le fabeux destin

This is where the city comes for sundowners. Signal Hill is a little more accessible than Table Mountain and Lion’s Head but it still offers truly astounding views. Bring your partner here for a romantic glass of wine before the sun sets, or bring the family for a picnic and an ice cream. It’s also a great spot to get up close and personal with launching and landing paragliders.

27. Atlantic Kelp Forests

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @albertsnyman via Instagram

While they might seem like a creepy, slimy drawback to your icy Atlantic swim; the kelp beds, found close to the shore off beaches around Cape Town, are in fact recognised as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth.

26. Up Cycle around the Mother City

Travelstart Cape Town

Get the best views on a bike with Up Cycles. The bike rental service allows locals and tourists the chance to venture around the Atlantic coastline, including Camps Bay and Sea Point as well as riding through Green Point Park and the CBD. Simply arrive at an Up Cycles station (Sea Point Pavilion, V&A Waterfront Silo 5, Camps Bay Strip or Breakaway Café), choose and pay for the duration of the ride you’d like to do, go riding and snap cool photos. When you’ve completed your bike ride you can return the bike to any of the Up Cycles stations. Pricing starts at R70 for one hour.

25. Big Wave Surfing at Dungeons

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @mikewrankmore via Instagram

Putting South Africa on the big wave surfing map, Dungeons in Hout Bay is a right-hand break known for its power and ability to scare visitors away. Getting to the break is not an easy task, seeing as there is a mountain you have to traverse in order to get there. The best way is to grab a boat out of the bay for a direct ride to the break.

24. Kloof Street

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Gary Bembridge via Flickr

Durban has Florida Road, Johannesburg has 4th Avenue, and completing the trifecta of popular streets in each of South Africa’s 3 major cities is Kloof Street – the boutique shopping, bar hopping, bistro obliterating, tequila tanking, student swarming delight of Cape Town’s in-crowd.

23. Sea Point Promenade

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @zoe.groenewald via Instagram

The promenade is much-loved for the walking,  jogging and meandering opportunity it offers to anyone who’s looking for a little fresh air and some beautiful views. Busy no matter the time of day, it’s a rare treat to be able to enjoy such untamed beauty while walking on a flat, comfortable path. The promenade also features a free outdoor adult jungle gym.

22. Old Biscuit Mill

Image courtesy of Themba Mngomezulu

Every Saturday morning, small farmers, beer crafters, designers, artisan chocolate makers, bakers, and vintage collectors and lovers meet at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock to sell, buy, and share ideas. It opens at 09:00  and closes at 14:00.  The building was previously a biscuit mill, and that’s where the name comes from. Come and explore the Mill and meet some of South Africa’s most talented designers, artists, photographers, and connoisseurs of fine taste and décor.

21. Camps Bay Strip

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Nox Rentals

This is where Cape Town’s idle rich comes to party, soak up the sun cocktail in hand; the ‘strip’ is where lively bars spill on to the pavement and celebrities make merry next to mere mortals. The Camps Bay Strip is a great summer hangout spot!

20. Cape Point

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @albe.bett via Instagram

You can only imagine how the Portuguese sailor, Bartolomeu Dias, must’ve felt on rounding Cape Point – the headland at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. It’s a wild stretch and a navigator’s nightmare, but you’ll never have to worry about that as you can drive right up to the point and take the stairs or the funicular to the viewpoint.

19. Kirstenbosch Gardens

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Michael Morris via Trekking Tripod

 

Nestled on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden boasts over 22,000 indigenous plant species and was the first botanical garden to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The open-air concerts that are held every Sunday from November to April have come to represent a fitting end to the weekend, attracting the best in local musical talent.

18. Robben Island

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @kris.willis8 via Instagram

Mandela’s cell on Robben Island is a stark reminder of the adversity that once plagued South Africa. Everyone should visit Robben Island, if not to be humbled, then to be inspired by the island’s history and the stories of the men who rose from obscurity to build a free and fair South Africa.

17. Spring Flowers on the West Coast

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @murray_gorman via Instagram

Admittedly this attraction is seasonal but when August does eventually arrive the beautiful display of flowers that comes with it is a must-see natural masterpiece. A drive up the West Coast is a must as it affords the exciting opportunity to, discover epic West Coast gems like beaches, nature reserves, art galleries, and loads of quirky farmstalls.

16. Hout Bay

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @vramsurup via Instagram

The ‘Republic of Hout Bay’ represents a favourite weekend jaunt for Capetonians. Home to the Bay Harbour Market, Dungeons – Africa’s big wave surf spot- and a lively harbour, it’s no wonder this seaside enclave south of Cape Town has such a popular following. Hout Bay has so many attractions to enjoy, be sure to take your camera along and capture some beautiful photos of the unique suburb.

15. Clifton Beach in the height of summer

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @streetlifecpt via Instagram

Clifton Beach crowns the Cape Town summer hotlist. Thirty plus degrees on the sand and ten degrees or less in the surf – are you brave enough to tempt the cold Atlantic?

14. Fog rolls in over Cape Town City Bowl

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Mike Hutchings

Fog creeps in over the Cape Town City Bowl at night. It’s a surreal scene from Signal Hill as imagery of Gotham City springs to mind. If you find yourself above the city as the fog creeps in, don’t forget to capture it!

13. Cape Town Stadium Capacity Crowd

Traelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @based_in_cape via Instagram

Built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Cape Town Stadium continues to play host to football matches and concerts. Located in Green Point, a visit to Cape Town Stadium should be on your Cape Town itinerary. Catch a PSL game and capture the city’s energy with the locals in attendance.

12. Fish ‘n Chips at Kalky’s

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @marclphotography via Instagram

Kalky’s is a favourite amongst locals and tourists. Grab a delicious box of fish ‘n chips to complete your fun day of exploring the quirky and laidback suburb of Kalk Bay. Kalky’s has a charming atmosphere that gives tourists the best experience of the town’s informal fishing industry.

11. Chapman’s Peak Drive

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @shahid.hawlader via Instagram

It’s arguably one of the most scenic drives in South Africa, if not the world. Chapman’s Peak hugs the coast on a cliff between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Affectionately known as “Chappies”, this 9 km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman’s Peak (593 metres), which is the southerly extension of Constantiaberg.

10. Great White Shark breach in False Bay

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Chris Fallows

Take a look at this epic photo of a   great white shark breaching  in False Bay (notice prey in its jaws). False Bay is one of the very few places where you are able to see a great white shark breaching. To increase your chances of seeing this magnificent creature, visit Seal Island (Hout Bay) from June to October.

9. Lion’s Head Full Moon Hike

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Lee Casalena

On windless nights, when the moon is full, hundreds of Capetonians leave work and take the hour-long trek to the summit of Lion’s Head. With the sun setting to the west and the moon rising in the east, the Lion’s Head full moon hike is an experience like no other and it won’t cost you a cent.

8. Colourful Huts at Muizenberg

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Susan Cook

These huts at Muizenberg on the False Bay side are another symbol of the Mother City and her colourful vibrant nature.

7. Lightning Strikes Table Bay

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Warren Tyrer via Flickr

An artful photographer’s touch and mother nature come together in a precise moment as lightning lights up the night sky over Table Bay in Cape Town.

6. Bo Kaap

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Rama Arya

Cape Town’s colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood is a visual masterpiece with cobblestoned streets brimming with history. The delicious smell of Cape Malay fare hangs heavy in the air, intercepted every so often by the call to prayer.

5. Kalk Bay Harbour

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @ekklesia11 via Instagram

One of the most charming little harbours imaginable this side of the Cape Peninusla, Kalk Bay Harbour is a quaint neighbourhood dotted with lively restaurants, great ocean-facing pubs and a gazillion stores to explore.

4. Winelands

Travelstart Cape Town

South Africa’s world-famous wines are produced mostly in the Cape Winelands – a region of great beauty, fertile soil and historic towns surrounded by impressive mountains. One of South Africa’s most visited destinations; the towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl are less than 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, while Franschhoek is a little further afield.

You might like: 6 Undiscovered Wine Farms Around Cape Town

3. Boulders Beach

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Graeme Myburgh

While Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town is beautiful, probably its biggest charm is the colony of African Penguins that reside here. Capture these charismatic penguins in their habitat and remember to respect their surroundings at all times. During summer, you can swim with the penguins and soak up the beautiful beach.

2. V&A Waterfront

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of @plisset.m via Instagram

Incorporating an up-scale shopping complex, a world of restaurants, markets, an amphitheatre for outdoor events surrounded by numerous 5-star hotels, the V&A Waterfront is a Cape Town favourite.

1. Cape Town Aerial Photo

Travelstart Cape Town

Image courtesy of Greg Lumley

An aerial shot of modern Cape Town with Green Point Stadium in the foreground. It doesn’t get any better than this. One look at this aerial shot of Cape Town and you’ll see why the city is a tourism magnet!

If these photos have made you want to pack up and get a move on to Cape Town then our work here is done. The pictures showcased above are the day-to-day scenes that make the Cape a feature on every nomads bucketlist.

Have you had the opportunity of visiting Cape Town? Let us know what attractions you enjoyed capturing in the comments below.

Also read:

20 Spots Where You Can Experience Cape Town Like a Local
42 Things To Do In Cape Town Under R200

The post 50 Photos Of Cape Town That Will Make You Want To Live In The Mother City appeared first on Travelstart Blog.