Top places to eat in Zanzibar

A tropical paradise known for its azure blue ocean, adventure water activities and the superb mix of African and Indian cultures; there are multitudes of flavours, spice and fragrances to sample and enjoy in the food. It’s not called the spice island for nothing so come expecting dishes carefully prepared with a cacophony of spices. Here’s a few favourites you should try when visiting Stone Town…

#1 Lunch at Chumbe Island

Funded by their eco-tourism alone, by staying in their eco-lodge set with solar panels, compost toilets, using water regeneration; you will be supporting all of the conservation projects on the island. I’ve been to many islands, but here I felt like i had been deserted on an island in the middle of paradise ( with staff not far away). When visiting the island on a day trip lunch is an abundant affair of seafood, salads and rice/potato-based dishes. All fish are caught sustainably and are on the green seafood guide list Enjoy lunch after a snorkel and relax on a lounge beside the ocean after.  This place was pure bliss!

Website: Chumbe Island Coral Park

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#2 Dinner at Red Monkey Lodge

You can’t get any closer to the beach if you tried and with beautiful simple island accommodation right on a quiet beach in Jambiani, you can’t go wrong. With live music, the sensation of sand under your feet and the sunset smudges coloring the sky over the ocean, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better view in Zanzibar. The menu changes daily and will be written on the blackboard. I loved the spicy octopus and samosas. But to be honest- everything was a sumptuous affair.

Book your spot for dinner here: Red Monkey Lodge 

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#3 Breakfast at Protea Hotel- Mbweni Ruins

Perched beneath the palm trees and right on the Mbweni beach in the neighborhood adjacent to Stone Town, the Protea Hotel is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a buffet breakfast overlooking the ocean, mangroves and the beach. Linger a bit longer for lunch and cocktails beside the pool and find coolness in the shade of the trees.

For more info visit: Protea by Marriott

#4 The Taarab restaurant

Atop the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in the heart of Stone Town is a roof top restaurant overlooking  the old city and the ocean. These are one of the restaurants which really impart the romance of Zanzibar especially once sun sets and night falls. Enjoy scrumptious breakfasts in the morning, sundowners in the evening and warm dinners  at the a la carte restaurant outside on the terrace. The Chef is known for creating marvelous meals and the team are known for wonderful gestures of hospitality.

Website: Doubletree by Hilton

#5 Emerson Tea House Restaurant and Secret Garden

Get whisked away by the romance of Stone Town and book your seat at The Tea House at Emerson Hurumzi showcasing true Swahili style with lush Persian rugs, low tables and live traditional Taarab music. Known for serving up some of the best meals in Zanzibar, one cannot help but get swept away to another time and relax into Afro-Persian luxury.  The restaurant only seats 35 guests so reservations are essential for lunch and dinner.

While the rooftop dinner venue of the Emerson is only open for dinner, Downstairs the secret spice garden is open during the day. With shaded spots beneath the trees and umbrellas to enjoy lunch, this magical little garden provides a welcome reprieve from the heat and the food is pretty delicious! Definitely try to the coconut curry.

Website: Emerson on Hurumzi

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#6 Ma Shallah cafe

Started by local Yaseer, this buzzing restaurant is said have some of the best Indian meals in Zanzibar and this comes from Indian guests who tend to be very choosy about how their Indian meals are prepared. With well loved briyanis and butter chicken, fresh juice and fresh food, this is a stop you can’t miss on your culinary journey through the city. Watch how the naan is baked and sit outdoors watching the world go by.

 

Website: Ma Shallah Cafe

 

 

#7 Maru Maru

Another rooftop delight and one with a pool, Maru Maru is a welcome visit after a day of shopping in stone town. Enjoy views of the ocean and this dynamic little town from the top and take a dip in between drinks and lunch. On a hot day, the breeze up here is dreamy.

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Website: Maru Maru

Top Eco-Friendly Activities to do in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is one of Africa’s tropical paradises set with white sand beaches, snorkeling havens and azure blue ocean which happens to also be a welcoming temperature. Islands in particular have many risk factors when it comes to eco-friendly practices given their far flung locations and logistics of recyling, however Tanzania has banned plastic and Zanzibar is starting to introduce more and more eco-tourism offerings allowing visitors to keep their footprints light and really benefit the local communities. Here are a few projects and activities you can support when visiting Zanzibar…

  1. Seaweed Co, Paje

Aside from making delicious skincare products such as body oils, butters, scrubs and soaps using seaweed as one of the ingredients, the project’s backbone are the local ladies who now get a sustainable income from farming and harvesting the seaweed. Instead of the seaweed being farmed and just exported out of the country, The Seaweed Co provides jobs for the local ladies in Paje as well as a few male guides from surrounding areas and in turn educates them on the properties of seaweed as well as how to harvest it and use it along with essential oils, beeswax and spices to make skincare products. Go and visit their centre and shop in Paje.

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2. Do a Swahili Cooking Class at Red Monkey Lodge

You can’t get any closer to the beach if you tried and with beautiful simple island accommodation right on a quiet beach in Jambiani, you can’t go wrong. Red Monkey Lodge offers many activities to their guests, most of which benefit the local communities and one of these is a cooking class hosted by local Okala. Not only does Okala own his own restaurant and teach swahili cooking to tourists and chefs, he has also started a NGO as well as Marine cultures to educate locals on sponge farming and getting incomes in sustainable ways. Okala is someone you have to meet in Zanzibar.

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3. Do an Eco-Tour with Okala and visit Marine Cultures.

One of the projects started by Okala, is Marine Cultures which teaches locals how to farm sponges to sell to make money. His passion lies in marine conservation education for locals but also for visitors. He is currently putting eco-tours together to take visitors to lessor known places in Zanzibar.

4. Day trip to Chumbe Island

Having just won an ITB award for Africa’s most sustainable project, Chumbe is a major success story in that it’s the first self-sustaining marine-protected island and its been running for 25 years.  A visit to the island will include a snorkeling trip in the pristine protected reef just off the island as well as a forest tour learning about the endangered species there. Turns out one day is not really enough to take it all so that leads me to the next one…

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5. Stay in Chumbe’s Eco-Lodge

Funded by their eco-tourism alone, by staying in their eco-lodge set with solar panels, compost toilets, using water regeneration; you will be supporting all of the conservation projects on the island. I’ve been to many islands, but here I felt like i had been deserted on an island in the middle of paradise ( with staff not far away). This was I was able to enjoy the true tranquility of this piece of ocean and reef they work so hard to protect as well as the wonderful education projects they hold so dear. To date they have educated 10 000 local students on marine conservation such as guarding the living coral, teaching fishermen the importance of not fishing in this area allowing fish to grow before they are fished and the small ways to make a difference in their own homes. This place was pure bliss!

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Best Things to Do in Kimberley

The Northern Cape’s capital city, Kimberley, is famous for its diamond mines and The Big Hole – but this city is about so much more than diamonds and mining.

It may be one of South Africa’s more historic cities but it’s still very much an interesting place to visit, with some great things to do indoors and out!

Here is a list of the best things to do in Kimberley:

#1 Explore The Big Hole

Over 150 years ago, the Big Hole was a flat-topped hill… until rumour spread of diamonds within and the Diamond Rush began. This sent thousands of prospectors descended upon Kimberley and resulted in the “largest hand-dug excavation in the world”.

The Kimberley diamond mind, which is 463 metres wide and 240 metres deep, was active from 1871 to 1914… Today though, it remains a local attraction and an important part of South African history.

The Big Hole is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kimberley and definitely makes for a unique family experience. It is honoured by the Kimberley Mine Museum, which flanks it.

Visitors can explore the visitors’ centre, experiencing a day in a miner’s life… Or head over to the Kimberley Mine Museum or Duggan-Cronin Bantu Gallery.

If you are really brave, you can even descend down into the big holes themselves!

Note: The Big Hole facilities are wheel-chair friendly and qualified first aid staff are found on-site throughout the day; pets and fire arms are not allowed on the premises.

For pricing and other details, please visit The Big Hole website.

Contact: +27 (053) 839 4600, info@thebighole.co.za

Website: thebighole.co.za

Address: The Big Hole, Tucker Street, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

The Big Hole via Facebook
The Big Hole via Facebook

#2 Visit Sol Plaatje House Museum and Library

The Sol Plaatje Museum honours the life of Sol Plaatje, a South African intellectual, journalist, writer, politician and a founding member of political party, the African National Congress (ANC).

In addition to being a founding member of the ANC, Sol Plaatje was also the party’s first secretary general, a top journalist and an accomplished author. He was also the first person to sing a recorded version of the national anthem, Nkosi Sikelele’ iAfrika.

This museum and library houses a number of books – largely African literature – as well as fascinating displays on Sol’s life… So it is worth a visit for an insight into South Africa’s past.

Contact: +27 (053) 833 2526

Website: www.kimberley.co.za

Address: Sol Plaatje House Museum, 32 Angel Street, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#3 See Kamfers Dam from Afar

Kamfers Dam, a privately owned dam outside Kimberley, is one of four breeding areas in Africa – and the only one in South Africa – of the graceful lesser flamingos.

The pretty, light pink birds are always a sight for sore eyes – and they can sometimes be seen in masses of up to 60, 000 birds at Kamfers Dam.

These beautiful birds are important to Kimberley and to its people for so many reasons… Sadly, the birds’ breeding site is under threat, so while you can see the dam from afar – it is also great to get involved in helping to preserve their habitat, through either Save the Flamingo or BirdLife South Africa.

Contact: info@savetheflamingo.co.za

Website: www.experiencenortherncape.com

Address: Kamfers Dam, Transvaal Road, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#4 Head to Mokala National Park

www.sanparks.org
www.sanparks.org

SANPark’s newest addition, Mokala National Park, is a place where endangered species roam. This park, situated some 70km outside Kimberley, lies nestled in the hills.

It offers a variety of koppies (hills) and vast open plains. At the park, visitors can enjoy flyfishing, self-catering accommodation, picnics, guided rock art drives and so much more.

If you are planning to stay a bit longer in Kimberley, then the magical Mokala National Park is the place to start…

Contact: +27 (053) 204 8000/(053) 204 8300, tess.white@sanparks.org

Website: www.sanparks.org/parks/mokala

Address: Mokala National Park, Modder Rivier, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#5 Visit Wildebeest Kuil Rock Centre

If you are looking for an interesting, outdoorsy heritage and cultural experience, then Wildebeest Kuil Rock Centre has to be the pick of the bunch.

This community-based public rock art project and rock engraving site is an important part of Kimberley’s local community and history. It is open seven days a week, offering a centre and site that is both informative and interesting.

There are a number of talks, displays and other activities to enjoy, with careful, well-versed guides on-site to add to your experience.

Note: Booking is advisable.

Contact: +27 (053) 833 7069

Website: www.wildebeestkuil.itgo.com

Address: Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#6 Head to Kimberley Mine Museum

Flanking the famous Big Hole, the Kimberley Mine Museum promises a fascinating, exciting overview of mining, colonisation and of course, Kimberley’s historic past.

Visitors can also go underground, see the memorabilia and even explore the Old Town, which gives a taste of life here during the 1800s.

Guides are friendly and well-informed, ensuring an interesting and educational experience from start to finish.

Contact: +27 (053) 839 4600

Website: www.thebighole.co.za

Address: Kimberly Mine Museum, Tucker Street, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#7 Take to the Greens at Kimberley Golf Course

kimberleygolfclub.co.za
kimberleygolfclub.co.za

If you fancy a bit of golf, look no further than the popular Kimberley Golf Course. Here, visitors and golfers can enjoy a Grimsdell-designed, par 72 course, which is well-tended and immaculately green – a lovely contrast to the surrounding terrain.

There are usually weekly golfing competitions, while social golf is welcome most other days.

The golf course is also wonderfully close to Sun Flamingo Casino, where you can head for a thrilling casino experience.

Contact: +27 (053) 841 0127, kgc@wol.co.za

Website: kimberleygolfclub.co.za

Address: Kimberly Golf Course, N12, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#8 Visit Magersfontein Battlefield Museum

Due to the riches within close proximity to it, Kimberley was once a setting for some fierce battles – one of which was the Magersfontein Battle, which took place in December 1899.

Today though, the 3.5km former battlefield has become a bustling town, despite being the site of the contentious battle between the Boers and the British.

Visitors can explore the battlefield and memorial site; take tours with experienced guides; watch a short film; or simply browse the museum.

Note: For hiking to the locations during hot weather, ensure you have ample water and protective sunscreen and gear, as temperatures can soar here.

Contact: +27 (053) 833 7115

Website: www.thesolomon.co.za

Address: Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#9 Visit the William Humphreys Art Gallery

www.whag.co.za/
www.whag.co.za

Situated in the Oppenheimer Gardens, the William Humphreys Art Gallery (or WHAG), is considered to be one of South Africa’s finest art galleries.

It is a tranquil, well-maintained gallery, home to everything from 17th century Dutch and Flemish Old Masters to European artworks and contemporary South African pieces too.

It also offers its own educational and culture centre, thus enriching the lives of locals and visitors in more ways than one.

The peaceful Palette tearoom and garden offers guests a lovely place to enjoy refreshments, the perfect way to cap off a visit to WHAG!

Contact: +27 (053) 831 1724/5, enquiries@whag.co.za

Website: www.whag.co.za/contact.htm

Address: William Humphreys Art Gallery, 1 Cullinan Crescent, Civic Centre, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

#10 Head to McGregor Museum

McGregor Museum is a unique multi-disciplinary museum, which offers plenty of rich history. It has also played a key role in the Northern Cape’s ecological and historical knowledge.

This beautiful, somewhat faded old building offers a true taste of olden-day Kimberley – and there are some great, well-preserved exhibits to enjoy viewing too. As the motto says: it is a way of honouring the past, while celebrating the future.

The museum is child-friendly (making it ideal for school trips), so it is a great way to bring the young and old up to speed on some of Kimberley’s rich past…

Contact: +27 (053) 839 2700

Website: www.museumsnc.co.za

Address: McGregor Museum, 5 Egerton Road, Belgravia, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

These are just some of the historical indoor and fun outdoor experiences you can enjoy in Kimberley… Which is top of your to-do list?

Four Fun Things to Do Near Phalaborwa

The small, mining town of Phalaborwa is famed for its proximity to the Kruger National Park – but there are a few other places, eateries and adventures to marvel at in this little town.

Situated in the very heart of Limpopo, the town makes for a fascinating place to visit. Not only for its climate, terrain and closeness to the Kruger – but also for the host of adventures you can enjoy in the area.

Let’s take a look at four fun things one can to do near Phalaborwa:

#1 Drive in the Kruger

It would be impossible to compile a list on Phalaborwa without including an adventure in the glorious, world-famous Kruger National Park.

So, while you are a stone’s throw away, make it your goal to take a guided game tour of the Kruger or embark on a self-drive safari experience.

You can enjoy seeing the wonders of the African bush… and if you’re blessed with good luck, you may also catch some great glimpses of some (if not all) of the Big Five!

Tip: If you wish to see a wider variety of game, head further in than the northern Kruger Park, where the Phalaborwa Gate is located.

But if you do head through the northern part of the Park, entering through Phalaborwa Gate, you can expect to see some interesting vegetation, including Mopane trees and acacia, and elephants (who especially love the Mopaneveld), giraffe, zebra, wild dogs and more.

Contact: +27 (013) 735 4000

Website: www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/

Address: Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa, Limpopo, South Africa.

www.sanparks.org
www.sanparks.org

#2 Visit the Foskor Mine Museum

In a region that is famous for mining, it is great fun to visit a museum dedicated to mining history, artefacts and memorabilia like the Foskor Mine Museum.

This museum is especially exciting for children and while it is small, it provides interesting insights into Phalaborwa’s mining history, Kimberley’s Big Hole and much more.

Contact: +27 (015) 789 2000/+27 11 347 0600

Website: www.foskor.co.za

Address: Foskor Mining Museum, Phalaborwa, Limpopo, South Africa.

#3 Explore Masorini Archaeological Site

While you are in Phalaborwa, try organise a tour of the Masorini Archaeological Site and museum.

This ancient Stone Age village was brought to life by early settlers who made a life smelting iron ore here…

The site takes visitors back in time, as one can see dome-shaped, clay furnaces, clay pipes and much more equipment from the olden days… It’s a fascinating place to wander about!

Nowadays, there is a small museum of sorts, renovated huts built here – and guests can even enjoy picnicking at the foot of Masorini Hill.

Contact: +27 (013) 735 4000

Website: www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/people/heritage/masorini.php

Address: Masorini, Kruger National Park, near Phalaborwa, Limpopo, South Africa.

#4 Tour the Qualito Craft Distillery

Qualito Craft Distillery via Instagram
Qualito Craft Distillery via Instagram

For those who prefer a more curated indoor experience, the Qualito Craft Distillery, established in 2005, is the ideal tasting (and shopping) experience.

At this excellent local distillery, you can enjoy tasting or buying quality non-alcoholic gin, craft gins, craft whisky and vodka infusions, as well as heading on a unique tasting tour.

The informative, fun tasting tour is an hour-long experience, which allows guests to sample 10 craft spirit tastings per person. And, because a maximum of ten people per tour is allowed, this is a nice one to enjoy with friends or family!

Note: Tours run from Monday – Saturday. For pricing and times, please see their website.

Contact: (064) 522 7600, info@qualito.co.za

Website: qualito.co.za

Address: Qualito Craft Distillery, 36 Potgieter Street, Phalaborwa, Limpopo, South Africa.

Talk about a round-up of four fab experiences to enjoy in or near Phalaborwa! Which would you like to most try?

Top Places to Eat in Stone Town, Zanzibar

A tropical paradise known for its azure blue ocean, adventure water activities and the superb mix of African and Indian cultures… There are multitudes of flavours, spice and fragrances to sample and enjoy in the food.

It’s not called the spice island for nothing so come expecting dishes carefully prepared with a cacophony of spices.

Here’s a few favourites you should try when visiting Stone Town…

doubletree3.hilton.com
doubletree3.hilton.com 

1. Taarab Restaurant

Atop the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in the heart of Stone Town is a roof top restaurant overlooking  the old city and the ocean.

These are one of the restaurants which really impart the romance of Zanzibar especially once sun sets and night falls.

Enjoy scrumptious breakfasts in the morning, sundowners in the evening and warm dinners  at the a la carte restaurant outside on the terrace.

The Chef is known for creating marvelous meals and the team are known for wonderful gestures of hospitality.

90 / 90A Shanghani St | DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Zanzibar, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania

+255 24 223 4062

Website: doubletree3.hilton.com 

2. Tea House Restaurant

Get whisked away by the romance of Stone Town and book your seat at The Tea House at Emerson Hurumzi showcasing true Swahili style with lush Persian rugs, low tables and live traditional Taarab music.

Known for serving up some of the best meals in Zanzibar, one cannot help but get swept away to another time and relax into Afro-Persian luxury.  

The restaurant only seats 35 guests so reservations are essential for lunch and dinner.

236 Hurumzi Street | Emerson on Hurumzi, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania

+255 24 223 2784

Website: emersononhurumzi.com

emersononhurumzi.com/en/restaurant.html
emersononhurumzi.com/en/restaurant.htm 

3. Ma Shallah Cafe

Started by local Yaseer, this buzzing restaurant is said have some of the best Indian meals in Zanzibar and this comes from Indian guests who tend to be very choosy about how their Indian meals are prepared.

With well loved briyanis and butter chicken, fresh juice and fresh food, this is a stop you can’t miss on your culinary journey through the city.

Watch how the naan is baked and sit outdoors watching the world go by.

Mkunazini Street | Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 4151, Tanzania

+255 24 223 3444

https://www.facebook.com/MaShaaAllahCafe/

4. Lukmaan Restaurant

Keen to experience the authentic flavours of Zanzibar? Lukmaan Restaurant is place you can’t miss out on and opens from 7am to 9pm.

Without a menu, you just point and choose what tickles your fancy.  You’ll find delicious dishes like biryani, pilau rice, fried fish, a variety of pre-made curries, and a selection of deep fried snacks like samosas and mandazis.

Favorites include octopus curry, pilau rice and you can except to pay an average of 5,000 TZS ($2.92) per person

It’s located on New Mkunazini Road,  just a short distance from the Anglican Church and former slave market.

5. Passing Show Hotel

Another local goody is the Passing Show Hotel also serving famous Zanzibar dishes like goat and fish biryani, rice pilau, beans, stewed vegetables and a full assortment of deep fried snacks.

Add the delicious tamarind juice with a meal. Practically anything you eat here from curries to briyanis will bring delight to your mouth and mealtime.

6. Forodhani Gardens

Visit Forodhani Gardens every evening at 5pm where street food vendors unite to bring their dishes to passersby.

Choose between Zanzibar pizza-a roti filled with meat, veggies, an egg and cheese and then wrapped up and fried, a chicken shawarma stall, urojo- a Zanzibar snack soup mix (popular with locals), and fresh sugar cane juice or an assortment of seafood such as lobster, fish, shrimp and octopus are displayed on skewers, pre-cooked, and when you order it, they will be quickly heated over charcoal.

Unsplash
Unsplash 

7. Mzuri Sana

Looking for simple food made well, then Mzuri Sana is a small Chinese-owned restaurant that serves delicious Tanzanian and Zanzibari food.

It’s an informal restaurant where you select your meals and find a seat.

Find meals such as  eggplant, collard greens, fish tail soup, fried beef, chapatis, bread, mandazis, rice, cups of chai are a few of the dishes available.

 

Best Things to Do Near Pinetown

Pinetown, a lovely, small town outside Durban, is one of the most popular places to reside in KZN.

And no wonder… Not only does it offer a peaceful, slower pace than Durban, it also provides locals and visitors with plenty of options in terms of eateries and experiences.

With the latter in mind, here is a list of some of the best activities near pretty Pinetown:

#1 Explore Pinetown Museum

Pinetown Library is home to a fascinating, little museum, the Pinetown Museum. This museum showcases a wide range of topics and exhibits – everything from the history of Pinetown to Zulu culture, anthropology and even cultural diversity in this small town.

And, when you are done at the museum, why not take out some library books or catch up on some reading time?

Note: Admission is free and the museum is open every day, excepting Sundays and public holidays.

Contact: +27 (031) 311 6343, anthee.ramlucken@durban.gov.za

Website: durbanhistorymuseums.org.za/pinetown-museum/

Address: Pinetown Museum, Corner of Josiah Gumede and Crompton Street, Library & Museum Building, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

#2 Visit Mariannhill Monastery

Mariannhill Monastery via Facebook
Mariannhill Monastery via Facebook

When in Pinetown, this historic, beautiful place is a must-visit, if only to appreciate its stunning gardens and incredible architecture!

Founded by Trappist monks in 1882, the monastery – which lies on the outskirts of Pinetown – is a place of true beauty, in every way… Frescos, stained glasses, gorgeous garden spaces and sheltered outdoor corridors make this a unique and interesting place to visit.

Head to the tea garden for a light meal, shop at the monastery (known for producing some organic goodies, like cheese and milk) or simply pass some quiet, leisure time within its peaceful garden and walls.

Contact: +27 (031) 700 4288

Website: mariannhillmonastery.org.za

Address: Mariannhill Monastery, 1 Abbot Francis Road, Mariannhill, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

#3 Wander about New Germany Nature Reserve

This beautiful, protected space in New Germany, just outside of Pinetown, is the perfect place to visit for a day out in the fresh air.

The reserve includes a nature park (with its own, walk-through aviary and snake display), grasslands to explore on foot, picnic and braai areas and opportunities for natural bird-watching and wildlife viewing.

This is a great spot to take the whole family for a fun day together… So why not pack a picnic and some walking shoes and make a real adventure out of it?

Note: Entry to this reserve is free.

Contact: +27 (031) 262 8239

Website: www.durban.gov.za

Address: New Germany Nature Reserve, Mountain Ridge Road, Mountain Ridge, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

#4 Cycle at Giba Gorge MTB Park

Ranked among the 25 best bike rides in the world, Giba Gorge MTB Park is a wonderful place to go for some epic mountain biking, trail running, lovely horse riding, great parties and much more. And, thanks to Afro’s Chicken Shop, food is available too.

If you’re a keen cyclist, why not test your skills on the different tracks – BMX, super cross and more – or invest in a membership, allowing you to run or ride here for a full calendar year.

Overall, there is plenty to see, do and eat at this interesting park… But, whatever you choose to do here, one thing is sure: you’ll have great fun!

Contact: +27 (031) 769 1419, info@gibagorge.co.za

Website: www.gibagorge.co.za

Address: Giba Gorge MTB Park, 110 Stockville Road, Westmead, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

Giba Gorge MTB Park via Facebook
Giba Gorge MTB Park via Facebook

#5 Head to Bellevue Market

Although this charming artisan market may fall under Kloof in terms of location, it is still close enough to Pinetown to enjoy – and it’s certainly worth experiencing!

Bellevue Market focuses on local talent, uplifting the community and showcasing the vendor’s skills in a most wonderful way.

This popular market, which takes place four times annually, offers everything from food and wine to fashion, decor and craft beer!

It’s a fun and vibey market to browse and enjoy… and because it is well-loved by locals, you know it’s a true market gem!

Note: Entry is R20 for adults but free to those under 18. For market dates, please visit the Bellevue Market Facebook page.

Contact: sadaisybox@gmail.com

Website: www.facebook.com/pg/BellevueMarket

Address: Bellevue Market, 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof, KZN, South Africa.

Bellevue Market via Facebook
Bellevue Market via Facebook

#6 Climb at Southern Rock Climbing Centre

For those craving a little fun and excitement, Southern Rock Climbing Centre is the ideal spot.

This climbing centre is hailed by many as a wonderful place to climb. It is filled with some great bouldering walls and it has a cool atmosphere andsafe, secure environment to climb in – no matter your climbing level.

Climbers can rent out shoes, enjoy refreshments, try multiple routes and bouldering walls of varying difficulty levels and, if needed, even get free climbing/roping assistance.

This is arguably one of the most fun places to hang out at in Pinetown – and it sure beats going to your ordinary gym for a workout!

Note: For rates and other info, please see their website.

Contact: +27 (031) 7053842, info@srockgym.co.za

Website: srockgym.co.za

Address: Southern Rock Climbing Centre, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

#7 Picnic at Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

This expansive, altogether stunning nature reserve is one of the best outdoor experiences anywhere in Pinetown.

It has a calming atmosphere, lovely picnic and braai spots, self-guided walks – and best of all, the Umbilo river, which eventually leads to a most gorgeous waterfall… Really, this nature reserve is every nature lover’s dream location!

Take your friends and family and enjoy a fun day out in this beautiful, natural space.

Note: For rates and other information, please contact: (031) 702 3443.

Contact: +27 (031) 702 3443, sibusisomkhwanazi@durban.gov.za

Website: www.zulu.org.za/paradise-valley.co.za

Address: Paradise Valley Nature Reserve, 10 Oxford Road, Pinetown, KZN, South Africa.

These are just seven of the super experiences you can enjoy near Pinetown… Which is your favourite?

Best Places to Eat in Secunda

Secunda, a small town in the Mpumalanga Province, offers plenty of character and points of interest.

Not only is it blessed with many unique indoor and outdoor experiences and offerings but it also offers a handful of decent eateries too. (And not just your normal chain franchises, either.)

Here are some of the best places to eat in Secunda:

#1 Bosveld Lapa Restaurant

Bosveld Lapa Restaurant is one of Secunda’s most popular places to eat. Found on the banks of Lake Umuzi Waterfront, this restaurant provides guests with a relaxing and delicious food experience every time.

It’s well-situated in town and, aside from a warm, welcoming atmosphere, offers great food and equally good service. Bosveld Lapa Restaurant is definitely one you have to try when visiting this small town.

Contact: +27 (017) 631 4902, bosveldlapa@toi.co.za

Website: www.bosveldlapa.co.za

Address: Bosveld Lapa Restaurant, 1 Kiewiet Street, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Bosveld Lapa Restaurant via Facebook
Bosveld Lapa Restaurant via Facebook

#2 Symphony’s Cafe

If you are looking for a charming, home-away-from-home eatery in Secunda, Symphony’s Cafe is certainly the place to go. This cosy cafe is a family business – and everyone is made to feel like family here.

They are well-loved for their Sunday buffets, coffee and cakes and most of all, delightful atmosphere and friendly staff.

Service is good (just sometimes you have to wait a bit) and overall, the food and drinks here are excellent, ensuring an all-round awesome eat out experience for the whole family.

Contact: +27 (079) 921 9597, symphonys@lantic.net

Website: www.symphonyscafe.co.za

Address: Symphony’s Cafe, Shop 18A UG, Secunda Mall, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Symphony's Cafe via Facebook
Symphony’s Cafe via Facebook

#3 Blue Bayou

If fine dining has your fancy, then Blue Bayou will not disappoint. Located within the Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club, this stylish, New Orleans-themed eatery offers a touch of old world sophistication and modern, engaging food.

Earlier in 2019, the restaurant launched a new and exciting a la carte menu, carefully served up by talented head chef, Johan van Zyl.

If you wish to dine in an opulent setting, where elegance and fine food are guaranteed, Blue Bayou is perfect for you.

Contact: +27 (017) 620 1060

Website: www.graceland.co.za

Address: Blue Bayou, Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club, Embalenhle Road, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

www.graceland.co.za
www.graceland.co.za

#4 Cappuccino’s Cafe and Pizzeria Secunda

Cappuccinos Cafe and Pizzeria is one of the more popular spots in Secunda. Whether you pop in for a catch-up meal with friends, a well-deserved treat after a long day’s shopping in the Secunda Mall – or simply for your favourite local dish, Cappuccinos won’t disappoint.

Food and service is consistently good here and the prices are affordable – an added bonus for sure!

Best of all, the menu is varied, offering something for everyone, thanks to the likes of pizza, pasta, seafood, meat, coffee, cakes and much, much more.

This eatery is also cosy and inviting… this definitely adds extra appeal among diners!

Contact: +27 (017) 634 4134, secunda@cappuccinos.co.za

Website: www.cappuccinos.co.za

Address: Cappuccino’s, Shop UG 33, Secunda Mall
Secunda, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Cappuccino's via Facebook
Cappuccino’s via Facebook

#5 Augusta Club Lounge

The charming Augusta Club Lounge is located at Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club. This tastefully decked out lounge is the ideal place to go relax after some good golf or even as part of a special outing.

Decorated with South African golf memorabilia, this classy lounge also offers a good selection of drinks and light meals and snacks, allowing you to nibble and sip while you enjoy its comforts.

Contact: +27 (017) 620 1065

Website: www.graceland.co.za

Address: Augusta Club Lounge, Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club, Embalenhle Road, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

www.graceland.co.za
www.graceland.co.za

Top Things to do in Zanzibar

#1 Create your own Cocktails and Join the Jam Sessions at Red Monkey Lodge

Between 5-8pm create your own cocktails from 30 fresh local ingredients and on Mondays between 9pm- 12:30am join the crazy monday jam sessions with live guests from Zanzibar and abroad, Jambiani

www.redmonkeylodge.com

#2 Do a Swahili Cooking Class

Join Chef Okala from Zanzibar Gourmet for a Swahili cooking class where you can try your hand at traditional techniques and locally sourced ingredients.

Passing down generations of cooking techniques learnt from his grandmother, Okala has much to teach about cuisine as well as marine conservation projects on the island.

At the end of the class, you will visit his local restaurant, said to be one of the best on the island to enjoy a meal.

Enquire at Red Monkey Lodge about this cooking class.and visit Zanzibar Gourmet for news on upcoming dining events.

www.facebook.com/zanzibargourmet/

#3 Stone Town Culinary Tour

www.colorsofzanzibar.com
www.colorsofzanzibar.com

Explore the culinary corners of Stone Town and discover where the best food is sold, how locals cook it and where the best spots are. Enjoy local delights and have lunch while learning about life in Zanzibar. Explore the market, taste fresh fruit and top it all off with coffee at Jaw’s corner.

Time for food! Ramadan has ended and the lunch places are buzzing again. Where is the food sold, how do the locals cook it, what are the best spots in Stone Town? Join us and find out.

www.colorsofzanzibar.com/cultural-tours/culinary-stone-town

#4 Chumbe Day Tour- Colors of Zanzibar

Visit the spectacular Chumbe Island Coral Park, a hub for sustainable tourism.Home to rare and endangered animals, Chumbe is an award-winning private nature reserve and one of very few pristine coral island around.

A visit to this island is an eco experience all by itself and houses a visitor and education center, nature trails, historical ruins, a full protected coral reef sanctuary and forest reserve where you can snorkel with a marine biologist in amazing reef home to over 400 species of fish and more than 200 species of coral, turtles, friendly sharks and more, learn about marine life with guides and relax in your private bungalow ( even as a day visitor).

Relax in the eco-bungalow for the rest of the day and shower before a delicious buffet is served.

Day trips to the island are dependent on availability at the eco-lodge. Bookings need to be made in advance especially overnight stays.

www.colorsofzanzibar.com

#5 Sundowner Dhow Trip

Drive to Michamvi and embark on a sailing trip aboard the Zanzibar dhow, Free spirit Michamvi, (also available for private charters and snorkeling trips) skirting the coastline of the island to the mangrove channels. Sip sundowners as the sun sinks into the horizon.

www.facebook.com/FreeSpiritSailingAdventures/

This excursion starts at the beach in front of the lodge. You will be introduced to the history and traditions of the village: you will see the real Zanzibari life.

After visiting fishermen, women groups, NGOs and a herbalist that will show you the tools of their trade, you will have a traditional Swahili lunch.

www.redmonkeylodge.com/

www.redmonkeylodge.com
www.redmonkeylodge.com

#7 Visit Prison Island

Visit the tortoise sanctuary, home to 150-year-old tortoises and snorkel around the coral that hugs the island.

The prison, originally built in 1893, housing violent prisoners and the sick, is now owned by a hotel.

www.viator.com/tours/Zanzibar-City/Zanzibar-Tours-to-Stone-Town-Tour-and-Prison-Island-Tours/

#8 Jozani Forest walking tour

Home to swamp forest, mangroves, 6 000 red colobus monkeys ( one in danger of extinction), sun antelopes, elephant shrews and bush pigs, the Jozani forest formed part of the Jozani Chwaka Bay conservation project to protect the last bit of indigenous ground-water forest once covering the island.

Your entrance contributes partly to development projects as well as compensating farmers whose crops are damaged by the endemic monkeys.

www.tourzanzibar.info/activities/jozani_forest.html

#9 Specialty Coffee Workshop at Jambiani Social Club

Jambiani Social Club is an open living room for all creative people with a collaborative approach.

It is a meeting point, co-working space, cultural space and open container for cultural and environmental projects and the Brazilian baristas from Puzzle Coffee Shop in Stone Town will be hosting a speciality coffee workshop on coffees from Mbeya and Moshi regions

www.facebook.com/events

#10 Full Day Boat Cruise

www.colorsofzanzibar.com
www.colorsofzanzibar.com

Our favorite of all excursions: An entire day out spent dolphin watching, dhow sailing, snorkeling and tasting the best Zanzibar’s fruits and seafood.

This excursion includes snacks and drinks at a sandbank and a sumptuous seafood lunch with rock lobster and unlimited drinks on a desert island.

www.colorsofzanzibar.com

*Are you travelling to Zanzibar? Please note that plastic bags are banned now in the whole of Tanzania – even the ones you might bring in your luggage… So be mindful when packing!

Where to eat in Livingstone, Zambia

A few places to find good food, lovely drinks and to meet locals and tourists alike. Some of these even include great views…

Cafe Zambezi

A laid-back bar and restaurant offering a relaxed meeting space and local food with a western twist. Locals and tourist alike seem to love this spot and come in search of their hearty wood-fired pizzas, spicy barbecues (braais), and other African and Caribbean dishes.

Here you won’t go hungry as portion sizes are quite considerable.

Address: Shop 214 of 217 Area off Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CafeZambezi/

Cafe Zambezi via Facebook
Cafe Zambezi via Facebook

Da Canton Restaurant

Gelato in Zambia? Yes, it’s true! Da Canton not only offer authentic Italian cuisine but over 18 flavors of delicious gelato.

Lovers of Italian cuisine can rejoice in the homemade pasta,  mozzarella and tomato sauce and of course scrumptious pizza.

Book a table on a Saturday night for a cultural performance.

Da Canton Restaurant Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia

Golden Leaf Restaurant

Great Indian cuisine and a relaxed dining atmosphere is what you can expect at the Golden Leaf restaurant.

Linked to Ngolide lodge across the road, this restaurant can up the spice level according to your tastebuds.

Snack-style dishes as well as vegetarian and succulent meat options are available for lunch and dinner meals.

Golden Leaf Indian Restaurant Address: 1174 Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zam

Zam Mex Restaurant

All proceeds from this restaurant go towards community projects, so come eat, grab a drink and support this restaurant set up by a Spanish NGO.

Perfectly suited to backpackers on a shoestring budget, this is a no frills spot serving up local specialities along with a few Mexican dishes.  It’s another great place to meet locals and foreigners alike.

Zam Mex Restaurant Address: Kunawa Road | Plot No. Liv/4557 Flat 03, Livingstone 20100, Zambia

Clock Bar & Restaurant

This is the place to party in Livingstone as their Friday and Saturday parties are known as a great place to mingle. Also known as FezBar, they also serve up some decent meals such as steak, pizza, burgers and more.

The Clock Bar & Restaurant – FezBar Address: 123 Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 10101, Zambia

The Clock Bar & Restaurant via Facebook
The Clock Bar & Restaurant via Facebook

The Elephant Cafe

A unique award-winning restaurant offering gourmet meals and the chance to meet rescued elephants who call the sanctuary home.

Hear the stories of their lives and how some of the older elephants were rescued from regions of severe drought and culling exercises.  

First enjoy a Zambezi cruise before sitting on the wooden deck overlooking the Zambezi river with a champagne cocktail before enjoying fine dining at its best.

The Elephant Cafe Address: Nakatindi Road | Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, Livingstone 20100, Zambia

The Three Monkeys

Another lunchtime hub which has cemented itself as the one of the town’s most popular spots for food and drinks for locals and tourists alike.

The Three Monkeys opened in late 2016, by Chef & General Manager Greg Paymans with the intention of serving good, honest food at great prices.

Their sister takeaway is also situated at the heart of Victoria falls town and offers Fresh, flavourful and healthy food at affordable prices including delicious sushi, health juices and classic wraps and burgers.

Perfect for the health-conscious crowd on the go looking for good clean eating and takeaways.

Address: Corner Adam Stander & Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Hours: 7 days a week from 12 pm until late

Phone: +263 83 2847326

The Victoria Falls Hotel via Facebook
The Victoria Falls Hotel via Facebook

The Livingstone Room, Victoria Falls hotel

Voted the seventh finest Restaurant in the World by The Daily Meal in 2013, the classically-elegant Edwardian-style Livingstone Room seats 120 and opens only for dinner, featuring a la carte and table d’hôte menus.

Savour fine dining at is best with a seven-course degustation menu. Thereafter dance the night away to a live band.

The Livingstone Room reflects the century-old hotel’s style of opulence, the dress code which was previously tie and jacket has been relaxed to smart casual, sleeved collared shirt and closed shoes for men for the convenience of guests in this more relaxed modern era. (Strictly no safari wear, shorts, sandals or sneakers.)

Dinner: 19h00 – 21h30 – Monday  to Saturday

Closed on Sundays

The Victoria Falls Hotel

1, Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls

PO Box 10, Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe

Tel:+263 83 284 4751 / 9

MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant

victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com
victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com

Fancy starting your day at an award-winning restaurant positioned at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge overlooking a busy waterhole.

Watch the elephants go by through the three sides of the restaurant which are open.

Breakfast consists of an extensive continental buffet and an a la carte selection of cooked dishes, such as the ‘Livukile’ breakfast of soft poached eggs on toasted brown bread, with honey glazed ham and grilled tomato topped with hollandaise sauce.

MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant is open for breakfast from 6.30am to 10am, lunch from 12.30pm to 2pm and dinner from 7pm to 10pm.

Address: 471d Squire Cummings Rd, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Website: https://www.africaalbidatourism.com/things-to-do/bar-dining/makuwa-kuwa-restaurant/

Phone: +263 213 284 3201

Shearwater Cafe

Book your lunch spot at the Shearwater Cafe where cool, chic meets wholesome homemade food and exceptional Zimbabwean hospitality.

Come expecting international flavors with a local twist such as Fresh Zambezi Bream, Zimbabwean aged Fillet Steak, Crocodile Wasabi Wrap as well as the prime location in Victoria Falls.  

The atmosphere is vibrant as travellers converge to plan their adventure activities or return from them. Savour light bites or freshly made pizza while watching elephants hang around the waterholes.

Address: Shop 1 Centre, corner of Livingstone Way and Parkway Drive, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Hours:  Closes 10PM

Phone: +263 13 46789

 

 

Best Places to Eat in Victoria Falls, Zambia

While you will definitely be feasting on the views of the mighty Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river, you will need to eat at some point too. Here’s a few top places to eat while visiting the Victoria Falls region.

Breakfast

MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant

Fancy starting your day at an award-winning restaurant positioned at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, overlooking a busy waterhole. Watch the elephants go by through the three sides of the restaurant which are open.

Breakfast consists of an extensive continental buffet and an a la carte selection of cooked dishes, such as the ‘Livukile’ breakfast of soft poached eggs on toasted brown bread, with honey glazed ham and grilled tomato topped with hollandaise sauce.

MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant is open for breakfast from 6.30am to 10am, lunch from 12.30pm to 2pm and dinner from 7pm to 10pm.

Address: 471d Squire Cummings Rd, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Website: https://www.africaalbidatourism.com/things-to-do/bar-dining/makuwa-kuwa-restaurant/

Phone: +263 213 284 3201

victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com
victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com

Lunch

Shearwater Cafe

Book your lunch spot at the Shearwater Cafe where cool, chic meets wholesome homemade food and exceptional Zimbabwean hospitality.

Come expecting international flavors with a local twist such as Fresh Zambezi Bream, Zimbabwean aged Fillet Steak, Crocodile Wasabi Wrap as well as the prime location in Victoria Falls.  

The atmosphere is vibrant as travellers converge to plan their adventure activities or return from them. Savour light bites or freshly made pizza while watching elephants hang around the waterholes.

Address: Shop 1 Centre, corner of Livingstone Way and Parkway Drive, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Hours:  Closes 10PM

Phone: +263 13 46789

The Three Monkeys

Another lunchtime hub which has cemented itself as the one of the town’s most popular spots for food and drinks for locals and tourists alike.

The Three Monkeys opened in late 2016, by Chef and General Manager, Greg Paymans with the intention of serving good, honest food at great prices.

Their sister takeaway is also situated at the heart of Victoria falls town and offers Fresh, flavourful and healthy food at affordable prices including delicious sushi, health juices and classic wraps and burgers.

Perfect for the health-conscious crowd on the go looking for good clean eating and takeaways.

Address: Corner Adam Stander & Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Hours: 7 days a week from 12 pm until late

Phone: +263 83 2847326

High Tea

Stanley’s Terrace

The Victoria Falls Hotel via Facebook
The Victoria Falls Hotel via Facebook

High Tea at Stanley’s Terrace, Victoria Falls Hotel is renowned experience offering a classic high tea coupled with views of the Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray from the falls right below.

High Tea and light meals are served daily.

Address: The Victoria Falls Hotel, 1 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls, PO Box 10, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Tel:+263 83 284 4751 / 9

Dinner

Lookout Cafe

Aside from regular dinners, the Lookout Cafe offers a unique Full Moon Dinner experience.

On the night of each full moon, you can enjoy magnificent meals along with wine and full moon.

Perched on the edge of a steep gorge, with breathtaking views, this is a dinner reservation you want to make especially if traveling with your loved one.

Find a fresh, vibrant menu with new flavors such as local game meats and crocodile as well as a superb location (especially for activities such as the gorge swing).

Dinner: 18h30 – 22h00 (last food orders at 21h00)

Phone: +263 78 274 5112

Transfers: Free Shuttle transfers, please call +263 283 2842013 to arrange

The Lookout Cafe
The Lookout Cafe

Fine-Dining

The Livingstone Room, Victoria Falls hotel

Voted the seventh finest Restaurant in the World by The Daily Meal in 2013, the classically-elegant Edwardian-style Livingstone Room seats 120 and opens only for dinner, featuring a la carte and table d’hôte menus.

Savour fine dining at is best with a seven-course degustation menu. Thereafter dance the night away to a live band.

The Livingstone Room reflects the century-old hotel’s style of opulence, the dress code which was previously tie and jacket has been relaxed to smart casual, sleeved collared shirt and closed shoes for men for the convenience of guests in this more relaxed modern era. (Strictly no safari wear, shorts, sandals or sneakers.)

Dinner: 19h00 – 21h30 – Monday  to Saturday

Closed on Sundays

The Victoria Falls Hotel, 1 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls, PO Box 10, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Tel:+263 83 284 4751 / 9

Sunset and Dinner Cruise

Step aboard the Zambezi Reflections and Ma Robert vessels at 5pm and begin the evening with sundowners and snacks on deck.

Next comes a gourmet Mediterranean style four-course dinner.

The Ma Robert has a lower and upper deck with a maximum capacity of 50 guests, while the Zambezi Reflections is a single deck pontoon with a maximum occupancy of 34 people and is known as the floating restaurant.

A great mix of sundowners, magical sunset floating on the Zambezi and dinner, the sunset and dinner trip is the best combination of both a Sunset cruise and a Dinner cruise.

The main course includes seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes with a selection of the following: Fillet of beef with red wine jus; Bream fillet with lemon butter sauce; or Stuffed chicken breast.