Holiday destinations for the winter

Holiday destinations for the winter

I don’t know about you but I am TIRED of this cold weather. I am not a winter person nor will I ever be, it is so fucking depressing and I am tired 24/7. As soon as I graduate from Uni I will be spending my winters in South Africa that is until my children are 4 (the age they start school) because why am I killing myself? I hate winter and at this point, I’m sure it hates me with the number of times that I’ve been ill since it began. I am literally shivering as I write this and I am in my house in LAYERS underneath a blanket!!!!!!

By now you all should know how much I love to travel and how much I wanna see the world so it’s only right that I give you the best holiday destinations for February;

Maldives

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Zanzibar

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Maui, Hawaii

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Cape Town, South Africa

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Cartagena, Colombia

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All about Africa; Franschhoek

All about Africa; Franschhoek

It’s been MONTHS since I last did an All About Africa post, lord have I missed this series. Franschhoek AKA the french corner of the Cape is a town located in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world – it is in South Africa’s Western Cape with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture. This is the home of amazing food and wine in South Africa – they don’t call Western Cape the Italy of Africa for nothing. At Franschhoek, you’ll experience the most splendid wines as you take in the breathtaking scenery, top chefs creating international world-class cuisine –  8 of the top 100 restaurants in the country are found in Franschhoek, there are over 28 restaurants to choose for your gastronomic experience! Last but not least you will create the most unforgettable memories here whether you’re by yourself or your loved ones!

Where to Stay

Why Travelling is Always a Good Idea!

Why Travelling is Always a Good Idea!

Travelling has been a passion of mine since I could remember, most three-year-olds would be afraid of getting on a plane but not me. My family constantly remind me of how excited I was to get on my first ever plane at the age of 3 and surprisingly 14 years later nothing has changed. I still love that feeling of getting on a plane and knowing that there’s a whole other world out there that’s just waiting for me to discover, a new culture for me to experience and new memories for me to create.

Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to travel to amazing places around the world such as Amsterdam, Spain, the south of France, Qatar and South Africa but there’s still so much that I have left to see and experience. In my opinion, travelling not only educates you as a human being but it also challenges you by teaching you new skills you never thought you could do and it helps you to get in touch with yourself, grow as a person and helps you to figure out what it is that you exactly want from life. It gives you a whole new perspective. But most importantly travelling makes history come alive. You get the chance to see and experience everything that you have ever read and heard about.

People always say that in life you only ever regret the things that you didn’t do and I completely agree with this, in my eyes, everything happens for a reason and our actions reflect how we felt at that moment in time, therefore, we can never regret the things we did, instead we should see them as life lessons. 10 years from now I don’t ever want to regret the decisions that I made. Sometimes I feel that as people we over think everything and although taking responsibility for our lives is important our happiness should come first, above everything and anything else, sometimes you just need to be spontaneous and do whatever it is to make sure that you’re living the best life possible. Men are so much better at putting themselves first than we are as women, this is something that we need to learn from them because life is meant to be a joyous thing.

As soon as I turn 18 I am grabbing my passport and I plan on going EVERYWHERE, however, I will not be backpacking, staying in hostels or hitting the interrail. As much as I want the full experience I am way too high maintenance for that – I have extremely high standards. If I’m travelling I plan on spending my time in the most luxurious hotels and resorts. I Can’t have it any other way, after all, I want to document it all for you guys!

I’d love to know your Top 10 places to visit in the comments! Mine are

  1. Cuba
  2. Bali
  3. Mauritius
  4. Senegal
  5. Italy
  6. Mozambique
  7. The Philippines
  8. Japan
  9. Dubai
  10. Saint Lucia
All about Africa; Bloemfontein

All about Africa; Bloemfontein

Also known as the city of roses, Bloemfontein is a must when you’re in the Free State, or on the road from Cape Town to Joburg. With great museums, amazing architecture and a city completely encircled by a nature reserve, it’s a fantastic South African city experience that you can’t miss out on. Although South Africa is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, It is often said that Gauteng is 5 years behind the world and that the Free State is 5 years behind Gauteng. So imagine travelling to a place that still lives in 2008, I don’t know about you but I miss the 2000s – the times before technology took over the world and before our entire lives revolved around social media. If you ask me  Bloemfontein sounds like the perfect place to go to excel and be in your own little world of relaxation and be in touch with nature, you have the freedom to enjoy quality life experiences, you don’t have to worry about anything but living in the moment and appreciating the people around you. There is little stress and less haste; the peaceful atmosphere, which is somehow almost tangible, can be felt in every street, on every pavement – all of which are noticeably clean and free of litter. Sounds perfect right?

My Top 3 recommendation of things to do

Bagamoya Wildlife Estate – 

A unique experience that allows you to interact with large cats such as lions, tigers and so much more. This is the ultimate African experience! And not only does it offer this but there is also a restaurant within the grounds.

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Bloemfontein Boeremark

Held every Saturday from 06h00 to 14h00 and takes place at Bankovs Boulevard in Langenhoven Park. It has become the most renowned market in Bloemfontein and boasts loads of interesting stalls. Enjoy some traditional South African foods like kaiings, vetkoek, boerewors rolls and so much more!

Franklin Game Reserve

Established in 1930, this is one of the few city wildlife reserves in the world. Situated in the heart of Bloemfontein Franklin game reserve boasts an amazing array of wildlife including giraffes, blue wildebeests, zebras and a huge variety of bird species and lots more. Within the reserve you can take a relaxing day drive up to Naval Hill, to enjoy the wonderful views from this point. Picnics can also be enjoyed within the reserve.

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Where to stay

College Lodge

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Bloemfontein

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Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake

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All About Africa; Durban

All About Africa; Durban

Known as South Africas “friendliest cities” Durban has to be one of South Africa’s best kept secrets! It’s the middle man for Joburg and Cape town, a cool laid back, yet busy city, Durban combines an exciting mix of urban Afro-Indian culture and is slowly but surely becoming the place to be. Durban has been likened to the Mediterranean for its beach-bum vibe and relaxed atmosphere.

Why Visit Durban

  • The Weather – Of course just like every other South African city, Durban doesn’t experience cold winters like here in the UK. But whats different about durban is the fact that it is warmer than the rest of the Country and that no matter the season, the sun is always shining and in winter, the day temperature hardly ever falls below 18° C making it the ideal destination for any type of holiday.
  • The Golden Mile – Durban’s Golden Mile, a 3.7 mile stretch of sandy beach, invites surfers and swimmers to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Durban’s beachfront was completely redeveloped for the 2010 World Cup.
  • Art – Durban’s art museum was the first in the country to start collecting African art.
  • Everything you could ever wish for in one city – Durban has the sea, the valleys, and the mountains. Everyone knows about Durban’s amazing ocean but what people forget is that people can go a few kilometres inland and drive through the scenic midlands or even further into KwaZulu-Natal to see a number of game reserves.
  • Shopping – North of Durban, the Gateway Shopping Mall is one of the 50 largest malls in the world and claims to be the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere. With 18 movie theatres, over 400 stores, an arcade, a theme park, and a water park, the mall has food options and entertainment for everyone. Or if you want something more ‘African’ Durban has an amazing range of local designers.
  • Discover Zulu Culture – Take in a Zulu experience to learn more about the culture of South Africa’s largest ethnic group (some 10 million Zulus live here). At Shakaland and PheZulu Safari Park, both located in the magnificient Valley of a 1000 Hills, you can walk through beehive huts (replicas of Zulu homesteads), sip traditional beer, watch tribal dances and participate in traditional ceremonies. Journey about 40 miles west of Durban to see Isithumba Adventure Park, an authentic, rural Zulu village.

Where To stay

All About Africa; Pretoria

All About Africa; Pretoria

Can sometimes also be referred to  as “Jacaranda City” for its thousands of jacaranda trees, what most people don’t know about the city of Pretoria is that it is actually the capital of South Africa, not Johannesburg. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court and the largest city in the country which is why people often become confused.

Change is present as Pretoria gets rid of its past demons and begins to develop its own contemporary identity. The city’s name was approved to change to Tshwane in 2005, but with the matter still under review, the old seat of apartheid power is still known as Pretoria. South Africans are now living among a generation that is not afraid to express their ideas on freedom as well as discovering their identities through the country’s history.

Where to stay;

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Pretoria Menlyn

Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

What to do

  • Take Zulu Lessons
  • Attend the Vibey Market-at-the-Sheds
  • Visit the 1000 year old Wonderboom fig tree
  • Visit Alfie’s for the best Italian in the City
  • Picnic in front of the Union Buildings
  • Dinner with a view at The Blue Crane
  • Take a walk down the longest Urban Street in South Africa
  • Go mountain biking in Groenkloof Park
  • Go on a Game Drive at the Rietvlei Game Reserve
  • Visit the Voortrekker Monument

 

Visitors can use Pretoria as a staging post for trips out to the breathtaking wilderness of the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, or the pretty hills of Magaliesburg and Hartbeespoort to the west.

All About Africa; Port Elizabeth, South Africa

All About Africa; Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Where to stay;

The Boardwalk Hotel, Convention Centre & Spa

Radisson Blu 

 

What to do;

  • Donkin Heritage Trail – If you want to get to know Port Elizabeth on personal level, take on the five-kilometre trail that follows in the footsteps of the 1820 Settlers. It links no less than 47 national monuments and historical sites in central Port Elizabeth and is named after the acting governor of the Cape Colony at the time, Sir Rufane Donkin.
  • Addo Elephant park – Escape to the bush and spend hours scouring the pristine Eastern Cape landscape for wildlife at Addo Elephant Park, home to over 550 elephant. It is the third largest national park in South Africa.
  • The Valley Market – On the first Saturday of every month head to the Valley Market for spicy paella, gourmet boerie rolls, crisp pizza bases, freshly baked artisan bread and smoothies. The Valley Market is open from 8am to 2pm. Entrance is R10 per person, kids under 12 enter for free. All proceeds go back to the community.
  • Nelson Mandela Stadium – Watch the Kaizer Chiefs take on Ajax Cape Town this Saturday in this 46,000 seater, five-tier stadium.
  • Conquer the sand dunes – If you’re looking for a dash of adrenaline then try your hand (foot?) at sandboarding at Maitland Sand Dunes. The dunes are easily accessible and provide hours of fun.
  • Tour the Volkswagen Auto Pavilion – Car lovers will be in heaven on a pre-booked tour at the Volkswagen Factory in Uitenhage. You’ll encounter the oldest kombi in South Africa – Tours cost R10 per adults, R5 for children under 16, R5 for pensioners and include a free tour of the Autopavillion, which is the only automobile discovery centre on the continent and only the fifth worldwide.
All About Africa; Luxury Trains in Southern Africa

All About Africa; Luxury Trains in Southern Africa

In my honest opinion, I believe that life is all about experiences and experiencing as many things as we possibly can in the short amount of  time that we have, so why would you skip the opportunity to take a once in a life time trip on a luxury train across one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Trade two hours on a plane for beautiful scenery and amazing food. Rovos Rail offers the ultimate in luxury train trains in South Africa.

Rovos rail offers 7 journeys and 4 special packages all to amazing destinations! My favourite has to be Dar es Salaam. This is a 15-day train journey through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. This is truly an experience like no other! How many people can say that they have been on a luxury steam train across southern Africa? Not a lot. So if you have the money I say book it, this will not be like any other holiday I can promise you that. It’s an adventure and a chance for you to make new and lasting memories that you can one day share with your family. My love for Africa grows everyday and this will be a chance for you to experience it in all of it’s glory, go on a safari, see the mighty Zambezi and Victoria falls as well as visit a diamond mine! If you don’t wanna go then I will be more than happy for anyone to sponsor me on this magnificent journey.

General info – https://www.rovos.com/general-info

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All About Africa; Umhlanga, South Africa

All About Africa; Umhlanga, South Africa

Situated on the east coast of South Africa just north of the Port City of Durban Umhlanga is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It offers the best South African tour operators, a great choice of entertainment, restaurants and nature trails, all in one secure environment. What more could you want in a holiday?

Best Places to Stay

  • Pearl Paradise

  • The Oyster Box

  • aha Auberge Hollandaise Guest House

What to do

  • Dolphin viewing
  • River rafting
  • Scuba Diving
  • Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom
  • Gateway Theatre of Shopping
  • Umhlanga Lighthouse
  • Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail

Where to eat