Top 20 Coffee Shops in Durban 2017

Unlike Cape Town, Durban may not have the wine – but they sure know how to do their coffee right. Recent years have seen royal roasters popping up faster than you can say ‘mocha’ and the sunny city is definitely fully equipped to supply you with that perfect brew.

Here’s a list of some of the top 20 coffee picks in (and around) Durban:

#1 Lineage Coffee SA

Photo credit: Lineage Coffee SA via Instagram

Established in 2012 by former SA Barista Champion, Craig Charity, and lying a little inland in Hillcrest, Lineage Coffee is hugely popular among locals.

With Craig overseeing operations, you know your java will be on another level. He has also partnered with Stretta Café so there’s good Italian cuisine to be had with your coffee.

Contact: (031)7658862   (Stretta Café), info@lineagecoffee.com
Website: http://www.lineagecoffee.com
Address: Shop 2, Builders Way Centre, 3&5 Builders Way Road, Hillcrest

#2 Colombo Coffee & Tea

Founded in 1923 by Norman Richardson, who was just seventeen at the time, Colombo Tea Agency started in the old basement of Barnes & McFie Arcade. Although much has changed since then, their commitment to producing the finest coffee (and tea) for your enjoyment, remains the same today as it was then.

Colombo source their coffee from the best producers in Africa, South and Central America and Indonesia.

Contact: (031) 205 3283

Website: http://www.colombo.co.za

Address: Shop 1, 59 Adelaide Tambo Drive, Durban North

#3 Iwantmycoffee

Opened in March 2013, by Just Jinjer singer Ard Matthews and partner, award-winning photographer and author, Deborah Good Umhlanga-based iwantmycoffee came to life after the couple experienced Espresso Lab at Cape Town’s famous Old Biscuit Mill, and it left a strong impression on them.

With hand-picked world class baristas and the world’s only naturally occurring de-caf coffee, the pair made iwantmycoffee into something lovely.

They’ve now passed the mantle onto Marliyn Garreau, who’s ensured the brand remains true, serving great coffees, freezos and light breakfasts and lunches.

Contact: (031) 566 5584
Website: http://www.iwantmycoffee.co.za
Address: Shop 001, Ground Floor, Mayfair on The Lake, Corner Park Lane and Park Drive, Umhlanga

#4 The Bean Green Coffee Company

Photo credit: Trevor van Zijl via Instagram

Owner Peter Winter began by importing beans and now, he has his own Durban roaster, which he runs with his daughter, Mel. Together with their small but great team, they bring you no-nonsense coffee… the good stuff, as one might say, like their famous Bluff Bru blend.

Contact: (031) 201 8122

Website: http://www.beangreen.co.za

Address: 147 Helen Joseph Road, Durban

#5 Republik Coffee

Opened in 2014, RepubliK proudly offers coffee, craft beer, breakfast and gourmet burgers… what more could you want? Well, how about sustainable, free range produce for the people? And they  also specialise in high quality and great tasting products!

Contact: (031) 573 1429
Website: http://republik.co.za
Address: Unit 8 Broadway, Durban North

#6 Jacksonville Coffee

Hidden away inside Prime Human Performance Institute and Hertex Fabrics (Florida Road, Durban), this could be Durban’s coffee secret and Moses Mabhida Stadium’s best treasure.

There’s also more on offer than just good coffee… try their light meals (sit down or to-go) to get the oomph you need to kick-start your day.

Contact: (031) 940 5556
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pg/JacksonvilleCoffee
Address: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Shop 2 & 3, 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Road, Durban

#7 The Coffee Tree Co.

With branches in Glenwood and Umhlali and owned by the efficient Judd Campbell and her great teams of staff, The Coffee Tree Co. has indeed made a name for themselves and aside from good coffee, they offer a fun, eat out experience complemented by tasty breakfasts, brunches or sandwiches.

Contact: (083) 794 5875 (Glenwood)
Website: http://thecoffeetree.co
Address: Corner Daventry Place & Cato Road, Durban

#8 Counter Culture Café

Open only a few months and already this café has already been making waves, having won the Café Society Award for best café on the whole North Coast after its first month of operation.

Located in Ballitoville, they offer specialty coffee, as well as a fresh, basic menu, artisanal alcohol, unique wines and a whole lot more.

Contact: (032) 586 0926
Website: http://counterculturesa.co.za
Address: 22 Sandra Road, Ballitoville, KZN

#9 Bellevue Café (Kloof)

 

Photo credit: Bellevue Café via Instagram

This artsy, comfy bistro and café, with chef-patron Chris Black and Guy Cluver at its helm, has got casual comfort and good service just right.

It’s a popular place in Kloof, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a long list of coffee variations to enjoy.

Contact: (031) 717 2780
Website: http://www.bellevuecafe.co.za
Address: 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof

#10 The Bike & Bean

Enjoy a seaside coffee and bike experience at this Durban café. Located on Country Club Beach, its views are to die for.

After you’ve enjoyed your cuppa of single African origin coffee and a tasty meal, rent a bike or body board for the beach.

Contact: 082 773 6870
Website: http://www.bikebeandurban.com
Address: 290 Snell Parade, Durban

#11 Savior Coffee Co.

 Savior Coffee Company are truly inspirational, as they endeavour to support local entrepreneurs. When they discovered that the Carlson family, also from Durban, were doing amazing work in Burundi and making sinfully good coffee, Long Miles Coffee, they brought some of that coffee to Savior for your enjoyment.

Contact:  (082) 447 9690
Website: http://www.saviorbrandco.co.za
Address: 51 Station Drive, Morningside, Durban

#12 Corner Café

This is an eco-friendly and relaxed café in Glendwood. It offers Mediterranean fare and lovely photo wall murals to keep your mind at ease. While you’re there, enjoy a good meal with your mocha.

Contact: (031) 201 0219
Website: none
Address: 197 Brand Road, Glenwood, Durban

#13 Jooma Coffee Café

 

Photo credit: Maritza van As via Instagram

Jooma Coffee in Kloof provides one with great coffee in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. With their speciality The Inner Sense Coffee, they will ensure your cup of coffee is everything it should be … and more.

Contact: (031) 764 5828
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Jooma-Coffee
Address: 2 Village Road, Kloof

#14 Lola’s Bistro

This coffee shop and bistro began as a lifelong dream between a father and his daughter. Inspired by their passion for great coffee and people, they wanted to build a growing food and coffee community in Durban.

Lola’s is more than just a coffee shop though, for it offers guests a full dining experience too.

Contact: (031) 828 7011
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pg/LolasBistroDbn
Address: 101 Florida Road, Quarters hotel, Durban

#15 Arts Café

Arts Café, formally KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts and now under Monique Kurvers’s management, is Glenwood’s favourite café courtyard.

They serve delicious food and of course, excellent coffee. Attached to the café is a gallery, which holds regular exhibitions.

Contact: (031) 277 1702
Website: http://www.kznsagallery.co.za
Address: 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban

#16 Parc Café

Parc desires to give Durban the best possible café experience, offering thoughtful, smart and affordable food in a homely atmosphere.

Nestled in the heart of Glenwood, their service is friendly and theirs is a social, yet relaxed Durban experience. The menu is seasonally focussed and they source the best ingredients possible. Oh, and they also do coffee pretty well too!

Contact: (031) 205 7285
Website: http://www.parc-cafe.co.za
Address: Shop 2A, Oslo Buildings, 394 Esther Road, Glenwood, Durban

#17 Old Town Italy

Photo credit: Old Town Italy via Instagram

Evoking a sense of history and more romantic values, which favour a slower, simpler and better quality of life, Old Town Italy does things as they should be done.

They have an extensive menu, and their coffee, the La Dolce Vita Caffe blend, is sourced from some of the best coffee producers globally before it’s sent to Noceto,  South Milan to a legendary roaster , with some 50 years’ experience, and then it’s brought back here for you to savour.

Contact: (031) 566 5008
Website: http://oldtown.co.za
Address: 39 Meridian Drive, Meridian Park, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban

#18 Antique Café, Churchill House

At Churchill House, hospitality and Bohemian vintage vibes meet, and at their in-house, Antique Café, the coffee is brewed to be most amazing.

While you’re there, browse through the stores, which include: Cadman & Bailey, Flower Power, Vintagequirkyness and Vintage & Collectibles.

Contact: (031) 303 5959

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Churchill-House

Address: 93 Churchill Road, Durban

#19 Fortunes Coffee Shop

Offering breakfast and coffee in Durban, Fortunes Coffee Shop, a café and bakery, is found in Morningside, Durban.

They serve egg breakfasts, sandwiches, croissants, pancakes, salads, burgers, coffee and even a dedicated kiddies menu.

Contact: (031) 312 0773

Website: none

Address: L22 Windermere Ctr, 163 Lilian Ngoyi Road, Morningside, Durban

#20 Salisbury Café

This tranquil café serves great coffee and select breakfasts, lunches, cakes and treats in the heart of Westville. They are also fully licenced so you can enjoy a drink too while you’re there, if you fancy to.

Contact: 031 267 2425

Website:  http://www.s-cafe.co.za

Address: 22 Salisbury Avenue, Westville, Durban

So sure, let’s concede that Cape Town may have the wine… but Durban sure does their coffee just fine, and there are some really top spots for you to enjoy the perfect flat white or dark espresso at.

Top 20 Coffee Shops in Cape Town 2017.

Cape Town is a city that in no way lacks good coffee shops, especially with new ones popping up all the time and stalwart favourites standing the test of time.

Here’s a list of the Top 20 coffee shops in Cape Town in 2017 to order your sit-down morning brew or a cuppa joe to-go from:

Photo credit: raahcozy

#1 Been There

A caring coffee shop, formed by Bean There Coffee Company, who source their coffee beans ethically, travel to farming communities to personally select their single origin beans and then roasting the beans on-site – something only a handful of SA coffee shops do.

Contact: (087) 943 2228. Website: www.beanthere.co.za

 Address: 58 Wale Street.

#2 Yours Truly

Photo credit: Simon Lorinser

This vibey Loop street café is well-known for its gourmet sandwiches, great homemade pizza, and lovely beverages in what is definitely one of Cape Town’s most buzzing and popular inner city haunts.

Contact: (081) 521 3348. Website: www.yourstrulycafe.co.za

Address: 63 Loop Street and others.

#3 Truth Coffee Roasting

Photo credit: Eduardo Bueno

Located in the pulsating CBD, this steampunk coffee shop offers speciality coffee like the ‘Resurrection Blend Flat White’, quirky décor and a mean coffee roasting machine to boot.

Truth has also previously been voted both The World’s Best and Coolest Coffee Shop.

Contact: (021) 200 0440. Website: www.truthcoffee.com

Address: 36 Buitenkant Street.

#4 Haas Coffee

Photo credit: The Truffle Co.

This coffee shop offers a blend of good coffee, antiques and great location in busy Buitenkant Street. Haas sources only the finest coffee blends, from places such as: Brazil and Indonesia.

They even stock the world’s priciest coffee: Kopi Luwak, which is made from beans previously eaten by Asian Palm Chivets – a small, forest-dwelling mammal – that result in milder, less bitter coffee.

Contact: (021) 461 1812 Website:  www.haascollective.com

Address: 19 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.

#5 Deluxe Coffee Works

Photo credit: christiendurand.squarespace.com

This trendy coffee shop serves Brazilian, Guatemalan and Ethiopian hand-picked coffees, which are blended and roasted on-site daily.

Stay and enjoy a delicious cup with them, or take a bag home to prepare your own.

Contact: (072) 569 9579. Website: www.deluxecoffeeworks.co.za

Address:  25 Church Street, CBD and 6 Roodehek Street, Gardens.

#6 Origin Coffee Roasting

Photo credit: Euvrard Loubser

These self-titled “artisan roasters of Africa” take great pride in their hands-on coffee-making methods. Origin offers a wide variety of beans (roasted and ground on-site) for customers to have in the coffee shop or as a bought, take-home bag. They also have wonderful tea selections.

Contact: (021) 421 1000. Website: www.originroasting.co.za

 Address: 28 Hudson Street, De Waterkant.

#7 Espresso Lab Microroasters

Photo credit: Espresso Lab Microroasters

Found in the popular Old Biscuit Mill, Espresso Lab lives up to its name, allowing customers a taste of fresh, new flavours and global coffee trends.

With their international coffee bean producers being equally widespread, they aspire after clean, complex and transparent coffee, which speaks for itself.

Contact: (021) 447 0845. Website: www.espressolabmicroroasters.co.za

Address: The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock.

#8 Tribe Coffee Roasting

Photo credit: Keenan Isaacs

Tribe Coffee Roasting endeavours to provide its customers with a coffee experience second to none. After an exceptional cup of coffee, guests are invited to take a tour through the roaster and/or search for the perfect coffee beans to take home.

Contact: (021) 448 3362. Website: www.tribecoffee.co.za

 Address: The Woodstock Foundry, 160 Albert Road, Woodstock.

#9 Shift Expresso

Photo credit: Nicole English

Relatively new to the Mother City’s coffee scene, the indie, hipster Shift offers speciality coffee inspired by global travels. Coffee is their primary focus, but they also offer an array of glorious treats, rumoured to include indulgent ingredients like: condensed milk, hazelnuts and Oreo biscuits.

There are also special charging points to ensure you can work (or play), as you savour your coffee.

Contact: (021) 433 2450. www.facebook.com/Shiftespresso 

Address: Cape Royal, 47 Main Road, Green Point.

#10 Jason Bakery

Photo credit: Adventures of A Squared

This highly popular Cape Town institution offers good coffee, delicious breads, pastries and more! Their coffee is organic, single-estate coffee imported from Nicaragua.

And, if this chances to strike your fancy, why not pair your coffee with their famous bacon croissant?

Contact: (021) 424 5644. Website: www.jasonbakery.com

Address: 185 Bree Street.

#11 House of Machines

Photo credit: The House of Machines

This local coffee shop serves a signature, killer bled known as the Evil Twin, a special, shade-grown Honduran Arabica.

Come night-time, the House of Machines transforms into a cocktail bar; it also doubles as a motorbike workshop and men’s clothing store, making for a very interesting coffee shop.

Contact: (021) 426 1400. Website: www.thehouseofmachines.com

Address: 84 Shortmarket Street.

#12 Molten Toffee

Photo credit: Niquita Bento

Coffee and close-knit community are equally important at Molten Toffee, a café that serves Deluxe Coffee Works brews.

They also offer yummy deli goods and crafted wares. Next door, you will find Unframed Ice-Cream, a new ice cream parlour, meaning there’s plenty to enjoy in this section of leafy Kloof Street.

Contact: (021) 422 2885. www.facebook.com/moltentoffee 

Address: 45B Aloof Street.

#13 Cafe Nood

Photo credit: Nicole Barth

This European-style café-and-gallery, based in Claremont, offers a wide selection of hot beverages, freshly squeezed Nood juices and lovely artwork too, all situated within a relaxed environment.

Contact: (021) 671 4475. Website: www.cafenood.co.za
Address: 3 Quadrant Square, Wilderness Road, Claremont.

#14 Bread,Milk & Honey

Photo credit: Carla Batt

This popular café – set a stone’s throw from the Company’s Gardens – offers delicious coffee, speciality teas, baked goodies and generous fare.

Their afternoon buffets are especially good, with options like beef stroganoff and chilli con carne.

Contact: (021) 461 8425. Website: www.breadmilkhoney.co.za

Address: 10 Spin Street, CBD.

#15 Tribakery Cavendish

Photo credit: Kim Janine Grosch

Lying in Claremont’s Cavendish Square, the stylish Tribakery is the honorary home of the Chocolate Cookie Latte. Aside from this, they serve excellent fare, indulgent drinks and cakes fit for a baker’s dreams.

Contact: (021) 671 6020. Website: www.tribakerygroup.com

Address: Shop F56, Cavendish Square, Claremont.

#16 Four & Twenty Cafe

Photo credit: Four & Twenty

Yet another European-inspired café, found in the quaint Chelsea Village, Four & Twenty is also a charming eatery, which serves up the freshest seasonal offerings.

Pair your coffee with a Vanilla Bean scone or try a Raspberry and Thyme cordial after your java fix.

Contact: (021) 762 0975. Website: www.fourandtwentycafe.co.za

Address: 23 Wolfe Street, Chelsea Village, Wynberg.

#17 Black Insomnia Coffee Company

Photo credit: InstaEats Cape Town

Officially rated the world’s strongest coffee, according to the Caffeine Informer – an international caffeine site – Black Insomnia is roasted locally by Gerald Charles, the world’s 6th best coffee roaster, and is made from a unique blend of Ugandan, Brazilian and Guatemalan beans.

You can find it in several Cape Town outlets: Shift Espresso, Haas, Hard Pressed Café and Ginja Beanz.

Contact: (083) 665 8616. Website: www.blackinsomnia.coffee

Address: (office) Workshop 17, 17 Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront

#18 Folk Coffee Anthropology by Espresso Concepts

Photo credit: Change Coffee (www.changecoffee.org)

Open about a year now, Folk Coffee Anthropology offers something for everyone, whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or foodie. There is a small menu to accompany their coffee-inspired beverages, like coffee cocktails.

Folk Coffee Anthropology is also a retail store for Espresso Concepts, as well as for other coffee goods, like Spanish Iberital espresso machines.

Contact: (021) 276 1795. Website: www.folkcoffee.co.za

Address: Shop 4, Touchstone House, 7 Bree Street.

#19 mischu: The Coffee Showroom

Photo credit: Dineguy

Named after owner Mikhael Bou Rjiely (or Mischu, to close friends and family), this coffee shop, a Sea Point locals’ favourite, offers quality, espresso-based beverages at affordable prices.

In 2012, mischu won the Best Espresso and Best Cappuccino trophies at the Cape Town Barista Awards and Best Cappuccino in SA, and they even offer their own Coffee Academy, with java-related workshops and courses.

Contact: (072) 563 8090. Website: www.mischu.co.za

Address: 85A Regent Road, Sea Point.

#20 Bootlegger Coffee Company

Photo credit: Grant

Freshly roasted beans, imported from Guatemala and Costa Rica, combined with what they refer to as ‘honest food’ – that is, made from fresh local and free range produce – Bootleggers now have several outlets dotted around the city.

They also serve a special ‘Red-eye’ coffee (just R14) from 6.30-8.30am for early risers.

Contact: (021) 433 2599. Website: www.bootlegger.co.za

Address: 39 Regent Road, Sea Point and others.

So whether you’re in need of a caffeine fix, some good ol’ fashioned java or just a coffee break with a friend, the Mother City has your kind of coffee…

 

 

 

 

 

7 Best Camping Spots in South Africa

With its diverse landscapes, wherein rolling hills bleed into magnificent mountains and lush, green grass turns to fynbos-covered terrain, South Africa makes for wonderful, varied camping opportunities.

Better still, SA has great camping spots spread across its many provinces, so whether you wish to be tucked away in the mountains, sleeping next to the whoosh of the ocean or lighting a campfire alongside the river, here are some of the most well-known and/or not-to-be-missed camping spots to try:

1. Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Western Cape)

Found within arguably one of South Africa’s most beautiful and verdant regions, the Garden Route, Storms River Mouth Rest Camp – which spans some 5km towards the Tsitsikamma National Park’s eastern shore – allows guests access to 80km of undisturbed, rugged coastline, and comes with every necessary camping comfort.

Facilities include: a communal ablution block and kitchen, restaurant and store, as well as the added bonus of a Laundromat.

Experience rich birdlife in the forest and if you’re lucky, you might see otters and other native animals too, as you camp inside of the special Tsitsikamma National Park.

Tsitsikamma
Photo credit: YouTube

2. Cape Vidal (KZN)

Experience camping in the exceptionally lovely Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Cape Vidal is a small campsite with only eight sites. This pristine coastal campsite offers wonderful beaches, hikes, and it comes with ablution facilities and electricity plug points.

Outdoor activities to partake in include: snorkelling, fishing, swimming, bird watching, sunbathing, beach walks and even whale watching.

You may also catch sight of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, loggerhead and leatherback turtles, frolicking dolphins and perhaps even some whales too.

3. Gariep Dam (Orange River)

Gariep Dam Campsite, which lies midway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, can be found some 200km outside of Bloemfontein. Enjoy camping near South Africa’s largest dam, which fortuitously borders a vast nature reserve, with many roaming zebra and buck species, by the same name.

The campsite, which offers 122 sites in total, includes sixteen accompanying ablution blocks, as well as braai areas and an on-site restaurant. Outdoor activities to experience include: a host of watersports, fishing, and game watching and/or sunset cruises by boat.

stoney ridge
Photo credit: Izak van Niekerk

4. Stoney Ridge (KZN)

Located in the Natal Midlands, among some 6000 acres of natural beauty on a private game farm, you will find the Stoney Ridge Campsite. It lies near the Bloukrans River and, aside from the obvious bird and game watching one can enjoy, there are also great 4×4 trails to try too. The campsite offers ablution facilities, and there is a restaurant on the premises as well.

5. Mazhou Campsite (Limpopo)

Found within the Mapungubwe National Park – a World Heritage Site – this campsite is small and exclusive, offering just ten peaceful campsites for camping enjoyment. Head for a sunset/night drive or explore the park via a guided heritage walks, which will even take you to a graveyard up on the Mapungubwe Hill.

Campsite facilities include: ablutions, power points (at each of the ten sites) and a communal kitchen.

6. Sterland Caravan Park and Campsite (Northern Cape)

Found in the star gazing capital of South Africa (and indeed, possibly in the southern hemisphere in general…), Sutherland, this campsite really will allow you to camp under a sky full of stars, after a long evening around a roaring campfire. Located just out of town, the campsite has seven stands tucked into tidy, 2m Muisbos enclosures.

Facilities include an ablution block (with a washing area and warm showers), with electricity at each individual stand. Enjoy relaxing, braaing and watching the stars, and don’t forget to visit the SALT Observatory up on the hill during the day or perhaps even for some pre-arranged, nightly stargazing.

Karoo
Photo credit: karoospace.co.za

7. Yellowwood Forest Campsite (Eastern Cape)

Found alongside the Inchara River’s banks, a mere 1km away from the beautiful Morgan Bay beach, this campsite is one for the bird lovers and nature fanatics out there. Enjoy relaxing near or swimming in the river, identifying birds, heading to the beach, relaxing in the tea garden, where children can experience the fun, on-site play area, or snack on light meals and wood-fired pizzas.

Facilities include: ablution blocks (with toilets, showers and hot running water), as well as campsite electricity points.

Each campsite offers a unique experience, be it relaxing alongside a river, pitching your tent within a national park and/or World Heritage Site or lying beneath the brightest stars visible in South Africa, so make sure you check these off your camping to-do list in the future.

Content Created by Speckled Egg Digital Team.

Top 4 reasons to visit South Africa during summer

South Africa, ever a tourist destination of note, provides one with a true African experience, with its melting pot of dynamic and diverse cultures and traditions to discover, uniquely individual cities and a landscape, wildlife and biosphere second to none.

And although it makes for pleasant and exciting travelling all year round, there’s no question that a South African summer is a glorious thing… Here are some of the top reasons this beautiful country during summertime:

1. Beach Beauties

beach
Photo credit: Campdell Colledge

South Africa has some of the best beaches in the world and although Cape Town and Durban in particular are famed for their beaches, the Eastern Cape and Garden Route regions have some glorious offerings too.

walking on beach
Photo credit: Dan Dedek

If you want to soak up the sun, try Durban’s South and North Beaches; Cape Town’s delightful Camps Bay, Clifton, Boulders and Llandudno beaches and Elandsbay in the West Coast; Port Elizabeth’s Hobie Beach; Jeffreys Bay’s Dolphin and Paradise Beaches; East London’s Gonubie Beach or the Garden Route’s Victoria Bay, Buffels Bay and Mossel Bay.

And of course, whether you find yourself encountering the Atlantic or Indian Ocean, sunny SA, with its oceans of contrast, is known for its surf and, although surfers brave the waters – even of the icy Atlantic, year-round – summer is the best time to catch a wave.

 

surfing
Photo credit: Emma Smith

Surf at Durban’s Dairy beach, New Pier or Cave Rock at the Bluff; Cape Town’s Muizenberg, Kommetjie (Long Beach or the Kom) or if you’re brave enough, the Dungeons of Hout Bay (these produce some of the biggest waves on the African coastline) – or perhaps Jeffreys Bay (or J-Bay, as it’s fondly called) for some super tubing.

2.Game on… in the South African bushveld

safari
Photo credit: Bhubesi

 

Like many African countries, South Africa offers some of the world’s best game watching, with its wealth of long-standing and wonderfully well-loved game reserves, national parks and protected areas, dedicated to wildlife conservation, protection and appreciation.

Of course, everyone will tell you to head to the Kruger National Park – but please don’t forget about some of SA’s other wonderful game reserves.

leo
Photo credit: Safwanah Guman

 

KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern and Western Capes also have several top game reserves and national parks to visit.

South African National Parks (or SanParks) especially offers a wonderful selection of protected, yet public natural spaces, containing a vast number of wild animals, birds and flora to both educate and enchant you, as you discover more about South Africa.

3. Food, glorious food (and wine)

Constantia Glen
Photo credit: Constantia Glen

 

If you are looking for a food experience of note, then South Africa is your place. With so many different cultures and heritage roots, this country is blessed with the best in terms of local cuisine.

Try Durban for its Indian curries and famous bunny chows; Cape Town for its plethora of restaurants and eateries, serving international and local cuisines alike and for its lovely Cape Malay cooking – and of course, wherever you are in SA, you must enjoy a braai (like a barbeque, only better) with locals or tuck into some juicy shisa nyama (meat freshly prepared on an open street fire, often in township areas).

Other local delicacies include boerewors, samosas, rotis, Smileys and Walkie Talkies… see which best tantalises your taste buds and sets your stomach rumbling.

Of course, a trip to South Africa would not be complete without a visit to the Cape Winelands.

Well-known for its fine wine and beautiful wine estates, the Cape is blessed with the best. Wine-producing regions near or in Cape Town famed for their wine estates include: the Constantia Wine Valley, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and even Somerset West.

Further abroad, some two to three hours from Cape Town, small towns, found along South Africa’s iconic Route 62, like Ashton and Robertson are well-known for their wine, while if you head to Montagu, you can enjoy some special Muscadel (or Muscat), which is a red and white grape variety and is usually consumed as a sweet dessert wine.

While you’re visiting these wonderful estates, why not buy some take-home wine, explore a manor house and simply spend a day soaking up the stunning surroundings?

4.Natural beauty like no other

South Africa is a country blessed with some wonderful natural beauty and amazing attractions.

In the Cape, make a point of visiting the famous Table Mountain (a ride up in the cable car is a must but you can also hike up!), Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves (a labyrinth of beautiful underground caves) and Cape Point, which is one of the most fiercely beautiful places you will encounter anywhere in the world.

SA Beauty
Photo credit: The Travel Manuel

 

In KZN, there’s no doubt that the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and the Midlands (reminiscent of England’s green countryside) are everyone’s top picks. But Oribi Gorge (a spectacular gorge home to more than 300 bird species and one of the world’s biggest bungee swings), Zululand and the Valley of a Thousand Hills are all worth exploring too.

Then, finally, Mpumalanga province is perhaps one of the most beautiful local regions, and is especially blessed with some awe-inspiring natural attractions.

These include: Blyde River Canyon (the world’s largest green canyon), the Lake District (a grouping of majestic lakes, home to some 20,000 flamingos) and last but not least there’s God’s Window, where one is afforded a truly amazing, panoramic view out across the Lowveld, nearby mountains, rivers and the area’s many waterfalls too.

These are just some of the worthy reasons to visit South Africa during summertime although the favourable exchange rate and glorious, hot weather are always major draw cards too. May your travels to South Africa be safe, wonderful and memorable!

Content Created by Speckled Egg Digital Team.

Check out the latest travel stats for 2016

We are proud to bring you The AccommoDirect Travel Stats 2016.

We analysed our travel bookings data over the last 12 months to bring you some interesting travel info and inspiration.

To find the most expensive and luxurious destinations, we took the price per listing per night of the top 20 most expensive listings in each area based on their advertised rates. The clear hot-spots are the Atlantic Seaboard in the Western Cape and luxury game reserves in Mpumalanga. No surprises here, the Camps Bay/Clifton beaches are South Africa’s answer to the French Riviera and our game parks are well-managed and well-stocked with a variety of game.

Next, we looked at the most economical area’s price per listing per night for the budget traveller by reviewing the 20 most affordable accommodation in each area. The spread is pretty even, showing there are great affordable options (mostly self-catering, campsites or backpacker) in most destinations across South Africa. What is most evident is that the list shows a mix of bookings in both big city suburbs and small towns in remote places.

We then reviewed the ratings from travellers by each area they stayed.  Constantia in the Western Cape was the clear winner of city and town suburbs, followed closely by St Lucia in KZN and Camps Bay at number 4, while Limpopo attained the top spot in the province ratings, beating out the Western Cape.

The Top 10 Regions list is somewhat of a surprise with the Kruger National Park coming in at number 10, normally in the top 3 and an indication that South Africa is regarded nowadays as far more than just a wildlife destination.

The high occupancy rate across all accommodation types has been attributed to the poor performance of the Rand over the last 2 years, strengthening other currencies and making South Africa an attractive and affordable destination. International visitors get good bang for their buck and enjoy unique experiences throughout every region in the country.

The stats show high approval ratings by travellers in all categories of accommodation and across all areas, and if the Rand continues to under-perform, the tourism industry can look forward to a bumper year ahead!

Travel StatsSA Travel Stats 2016

Note: We welcome sharing of the infographic, but we ask that you please include a citation reference to this blog post.

Family Favourite Easter Destinations!


The Easter Weekend is right around the corner, and if you’re like us, you’ve probably left your plans to the very last minute! So to help you get those getaway plans underway, we’ve put together a list of some of South Africa’s favorite family holiday destinations. We handpicked some of the most suitable places for Easter and an all round family trip. Expect beautiful small town settings to enchanting outdoor environments. South Africa caters to not only the bold and adventurous but those looking for something more inviting to the whole family. Remember you can find all your accommodation needs on AccommoDirect.com!

Clarens

Nicknamed the “Jewel of the Free State” you can find a mild climate and beautiful scenery all round. With a plethora of accommodation types to suit your family and activities, it’s hard NOT to pick Clarens as your Easter Weekend destination. You can go horse riding, white water rafting, hiking and more! There are even children’s themed guesthouses to enjoy. Clarens is a perfect choice for an all round relaxing Easter getaway. Known as an artists hotspot, you can also inspire creativity in your children as well as find your own inspiration.

Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay is a gorgeous area speckled with beach cliffs and stunning views. First thing that comes to mind is “The Hole in the Wall”, which is sure to get the kids imagination running wild along with the fable behind it. The village is charms with it’s lodges, bars and cafes. Apart from the activities such as horse riding, hiking trails and the Hluleka Nature Reserve the real star of the show is the kilometer long beach which is all safe to swim, being an ideal location for a family outing. Coffee Bay will make a relaxed Easter getaway.

Knysna

If you’re looking for somewhere that is rife with things to do, look no further than Knysna! Perfect for a family Easter getaway, it is abundant in family activities and sights to see. Known for it’s craft stores, flea markets and boutique stores – there is much to explore, not to mention the nature and surrounds such as the Tsitsikamma forest. You can find activities such as tree canopy tours, paragliding, golf, paddle-boats, put-put, elephant walks and more!

Ballito

It’s not uncommon to spot Bottlenose Dolphins swimming nearby the shoreline of the beaches in Ballito – just one of the spectacles to bear witness to in the coastal town. With multiple beaches to choose from, including Willard beach which has international blue flag status – there is no shortage of sunny fun here. Sporting the warm waters of the Indian ocean as well as a tidal pool, they are welcome additions to any family getaway.

 

Pilgrim’s Rest

Travel back in time and take the family to Pilgrim’s Rest! The feeling of wonderment is definitely not in short supply as you explore the many artifacts dotted around the small town. You are also practically a stones throw away from the famous God’s Window, which is a memory for your family to keep. With hiking trails, museums, restaurants and mountain biking trails – You are sure to be well occupied during your scenic stay in Pilgrim’s Rest.

Top Places To Visit In South Africa

Twelve Apostles

South Africa is an ecologically, cultural and historically rich, vibrant country that is filled with hundreds of amazing places to see and visit. We here at AccommoDirect know how difficult it can be to choose not just your next destination, but also the places to go and see while you’re on holiday, which is why we have put together 27 of our favourite South African places to visit on your next getaway! Comment below and tell us your favourite ‘must-see’ South African locations.

Western Cape

Table  Mountain
Table Mountain

 

Table Mountain
If you are visiting Cape Town, it’s hard not to miss the iconic mountain which in November 2011 was named one of the seven wonders of the world.

Cango Caves
Taking a trip to the Oudtshoorn or the Swartberg region? Then the Cango Caves are not to be missed! The caves are a geological wonder and the extensive tour offered is designed to show it off at all it’s best angles!

The Big Tree at Tsitsikamma forest
The tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old. The tours and walks offer an enchanting and relaxing trip to remember.

Eastern Cape

The Iconic Hole in the Wall
The Iconic Hole in the Wall

 

Addo Elephant National Park
Founded in 1931, the Addo Elephant National Park houses more than 600 elephants as well as other wildlife. Being the third largest park in our country, it would be hard not to give it a miss!

Hole in the Wall
Another great natural occurrence, a pilgrimage to this fantastic site is often on to scratch off a nature lovers bucket list. With a fantastic beach to soak in the sun and get wet!

Baviaans Kloof
As of 2004 it was declared a World Heritage site, it’s no wonder due to the vast areas unspoiled by man sporting marvelous land forms, a diverse array of plants and many kinds of wildlife.

Northern Cape

The Big Hole Kimberley
The Big Hole Kimberley


The Big Hole
Between 1871 and 1914, up to 50 000 miners dug up the hole in a rush for diamonds. Today it is a geological marvel and a great tourist site in Kimberley. There’s more than just history to enjoy here!

Augrabies Falls
Derived from the Khoi word “Aukoerebis” which means “great noise”, the sheer size, volume and sound experienced by the falls is a marvel in it’s own.

Namaqualand Flower Route
With almost 4000 different species of plants, every year offers a different configuration in flowers along the route. Come between August and September to witness this bombardment of color and spectacle for yourself!

Gauteng

Cradle of Human Kind
Cradle of Human Kind

 

Lion Park
First opened in 1966 it has since expanded from being a lions-only attraction. Being able to come into contact with the king of the jungle himself and his cubs, there are great memories to take home here!

Gold Reef City
If you are going to Jozi, one thing you can’t miss is this supreme amusement park. Themed around the gold rush that started in the 1880’s, it offers atmosphere amongst fun and relaxation.

Cradle of Humankind
Housing one of the largest collections of human fossils dating as far back as 3.5million years ago, you will be nothing short of fascinated by our existence on this planet and how far we’ve come.

North West Province

Sun City
Sun City

 

The Lesedi Cultural Village
For a spectacle of traditional African culture, you can visit the Lesedi Cultural Village over night with one of the traditional families that reside there. Giving you a great window into the lives of others.

Sun City
Sun City has won many awards and houses incredible accommodation as well as a plethora of activities to choose from. You can escape ordinary life and feel like you’re living in your own lost city!

Hartbeespoort Damn Snake & Animal Park
For a relaxed day amongst beautiful surroundings, you can also see some of South Africa’s greatest snakes as well as animal handling in action. A must visit for someone going to the North West.

Mpumalanga

Gods Window
God's Window

 

God’s Window
Definitely one of the most incredible views in the whole of South Africa, the name is very fitting. On a clear day you can even see as far to the Lebombo mountains on the border of Mozambique.

Kruger National Park
Probably the most popular game reserve in South Africa. You can be sure to witness the big five here as well as South Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. You can’t say you’ve seen Africa’s real side once you’ve come here!

Lowveld National Botanical Garden
Remaining green through out the year due to heavy rainfall, you are sure to witness lush plants and over 2000 different species of flora. This is one sure way to reconnect with nature!

Kwazulu Natal

Howick Falls
Howick Falls

 

Drakensberg
It only makes sense to visit the tallest mountain in South Africa while you’re in Kwazulu-Natal. With a plethora of activities to choose from, your visit will be anything but dull.

KZN Battlefields
Don’t be fooled by the picturesque landscape as the history involves the bitter conflict between Britain and South Africa. You can dive back into our past and enjoy some of the history that has built our country today.

Howick Falls
A principal tourist attraction of Kwazulu-Natal, it is a must see, not only for the luscious scenery and majestic waterfall, but the history that surrounds.

Limpopo

Sunland Baobab
Sunland Baobab

 

Warm Baths Bela Bela
Bela Bela was built around the natural hot springs in the area, giving rise to the resorts and natural baths you can enjoy.

Alpha Omega Cave
What makes this cave different, is that it’s man made and basically an entire art piece. Inspired by the holy spirit there is much to enjoy and be observed by the tours that run here.

Sunland Baobab
This popular tourist attraction is well deserved as a unique and magnificent artifact of nature. Due to hollowing in the tree dating as far back as 1650AD, there has been a pub and wine cellar established in the tree for your enjoyment.

Free State

Tiger Canyons
Tiger Canyons

 

Oliewenhuis Art Museum
With a large array of historical and contemporary art pieces, you can enjoy a casual visit to soak in the artworks and relax. A must visit for those in the Free State!

Tiger Canyons
As an attempt to introduce a self sustaining tiger population out of Asia. This offers a unique outlook on nature outside our beautiful country, as well as personal walks with the Tigers which is sure to be something magical!

Anglo Boer War Museums
Believed to be the only one of it’s kind, it offers a peek into a unique part of South Africa’s history with very knowledgeable staff who are sure to tell you all you want to know about the Angle Boer War as well as where to find the battlefields.

5 Most Romantic Places In South Africa

With Valentine’s Day practically upon us, we couldn’t help but think of the most romantic destinations in our gorgeous country. We came up with 5 places that are not only offer gorgeous scenery and views, but are also best enjoyed when you’re with someone special!

                                                Kruger National Park

Get away from the Hollywood cliches for one of the most authentic African experiences. At Kruger National Park you and your partner could find a myriad of activities from safari drives, to elephant riding, helicopter flights and simple walking trails. Apart from witnessing the legendary beasts our country has to offer, there is literally nothing stopping you from keeping the love wild!

                                     Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

For those admirers of the sheer beauty and looking for incredible scenery, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the place to be. By making it the setting of your romantic adventure, whatever it is you choose to do will be accompanied by the magic of nature. Apart from the various activities like hiking trails and helicopter flights you could visit the renowned God’s Window for the most sought after views in South Africa. By all means the perfect time to snap that photo or sneak that kiss!

                                                     Hartbeespoort Dam

Get closer to water for a more relaxed and quiet getaway with your partner. Sit back and bask in the moment with a relaxed boat ride, or surrender to beautiful views in the cable car. With a large variety of options from guest houses, hotels and spas – You can find exactly what you looking for. With a little something for everyone, it’s no wonder Hartbeespoort Dam is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa!

Paternoster

What could be more romantic than an old fishing village on the West Coast? Take an atmospheric trip to Paternoster with that someone special and make the most of the coastal surrounds and activities. Apart from it’s obvious charm, it is also known for it’s warm locals who will make sure the vibe on your trip is never spoiled. Take a walk on the beach and enjoy a sunset together or go kayaking, there’s even a Nature Reserve close by if you seeking a stroll through nature. Paternoster is surely something not to miss!

 

                                                               Cape Town

How could we not include Cape Town on our list? With a plethora of variety in anything you can imagine, the Mother City has it all. From stunning beaches to the iconic mountains and buzzing city life, you won’t be disappointed. Have a picnic in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, then perhaps a drink or two on Rohdes Memorial as you watch the moon come up and top it off with a romantic dinner in the city. Cape Town is ready for you to explore!

Top 5 South African Travel Tips


The first month of 2015 has nearly come and gone, and we have decided it is about time we shared our top 5 travel tips for travelling around South Africa in 2015! So here’s our list, tailored to our beautiful country, to make your getaway a smooth and enjoyable one!

1. Vehicle Safety

Crime can happen to anyone, and when you’re on holiday it’s the one thing you don’t want happening to you, especially if you’re unprepared. If you’re travelling by car, any items you decide to leave inside should be stashed away to avoid smash and grabs. Never leave any important items such as your ID or passport in the car as it’s the one thing you don’t want to lose on your special trip!

2. Tight on Budget? Get out to Nature!

If you’re saving for that new car or piece of furniture you’ve always wanted, yet you still want to spoil yourself to a well deserved holiday? You live in South Africa! There are plenty of affordable lodges, guest houses, B&Bs,  and camping sites to choose from. It’s affordable and probably the best way to experience the beautiful country you live in!

3. Respect and attitude

South Africa comes with many different languages, cultures and religions. Whether it’s a guide, the hotel concierge, or simply someone you meet at a bar; it always pays to be mindful. You don’t want your holiday turning sour because of simple sensitivity and respect to others. Besides you never know what gem’s your taxi driver would want to show their new friend!

 

5. Plan and Enquire

It always pays to be prepared and to do your homework! That’s why you’re here reading this right? Always do some research on the area you’re visiting and the best possible spots to plan your trip around. Double checking accommodation by phoning and making sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your holiday.

 

5. Enjoy and relax!

Probably the most important thing to know for your trip. Relax, breathe and enjoy your adventure! Whether you’re on your own, with that special someone or family, this is what life is about. Be in the moment, be present and enjoy it! This life is yours and own it, leave work and your troubles behind. It will all be there as you left it when you get back, so no need wasting precious time enjoying life over it.

Top 5 NYE Parties Around South Africa

With this year coming to a close, a lot of us are still scrambling to make plans on what to do this New Years. With so many options and beautiful locations to choose from, we cut through the noise to find you the best places to smash into 2015 from all over South Africa…and they won’t disappoint!

Cape Town

If you’re spending your holiday in Cape Town this festive season, and looking for something slightly closer to nature (and not so littered with people), we suggest the New Years Eve Concert at Kirstenbosch. Picnic under the stars while famed SA artists Arno Carstens and Mango Groove are playing you into the New Year.

 

If you’re looking for more of a grand urban party, Nu World Eve: Time Travellers’ ball is for you! Hosted by Vaudeville Cape Town, it offers an atmospheric Bohemian feeling as well as various artists and DJ’s to keep your feet stomping well into the night.

 

St Francis Bay

If you find yourself in St Francis Bay on New Years, you have to check out The Ruins 5fm New Years Eve Concert. Now in it’s 13th year, and with some of our great current local acts such as Zebra & Giraffe, Niskerone, Haezer and The Kiffness playing, it’s set to be an awesome party.

 

Karoo

Experience the Karoo in a little town called Nieu Bethesda and find yourself at the New Years Festival of Lights. Hosted at the Bethesda Art Center, you’ll be able to craft your own lanterns and parade around with other locals and visitors for a truly atmospheric and special intimate New Years.

 

Johannesburg

If you decide to spend your New Years in Joburg, be sure to check out the New Years Eve masked ball happening at Cantare in Montecasino. You will be treated to a vintage cabaret show and fine dining with competitions running through out the night. Ypi’ll also be able to stroll through the rest of the Montecasino and partake in the other glorious New Years Festivities taking place throughout the night.

 

Drakensberg Mountains

Want to go somewhere a little different this New Years? How about surrounding yourself with the majestic beauty of the Drakensberg mountains? If that’s where you heading, be sure to check out the Smoking Dragon New Years Festival! With a wide host of great artists performing over 3 days, a market and other festivities and the backdrop of one of South Africa’s most incredible views, what more could you want? Oh and did we mention kids under 12 get in free…

 

As always you can find the perfect accommodation for these above places HERE!