Tour Stop

Phola Hier, sithandwa sam’ – A walking tour through Sopiatown

Jazz, kwela, fashion and culture, all encompass the colourful character of old Sophiatown. Located to the west of Johannesburg, this freehold township of homes owned by blacks, coloureds, Indian and white people was a unique occurrence in a time when the separation of races was enforced by law. Although heavily populated and poor, the circumstances created an integrated, vibrant community.

In February 1955, this jazzy spirit was shattered when two thousand armed policeman bulldozed the suburb and forcefully removed its inhabitants to Meadowlands. Years later, with song, storytelling and entertainment Mbali Zwane transports us back in time on her walking tour through Sopiatown.

Church View

The view of the surrounding areas from the church.

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Geckoing

Chasing Waterfalls in Mpumalanga

A couple of years ago, while paging through a travel magazine I came across a stunning picture of the Lisbon Falls in Mpumalanga and became obsessed with taking a trip up there to see for myself. Each time we’d start planning a trip I’d throw Lisbon Falls in the mix but it never seemed to pan out…until late last year when the coin toss was finally in my favour. I was beyond excited.

The drive to Mpumalanga has a mystical feeling to it and I love driving through there. The roads hug the rolling forest hills, meticulously lined with pine and eucalyptus trees. Each curve on the road reveals another angle of amazing views as you make your way up and down the winding valleys.

Valley View.JPG

The view outside our backpackers

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Wild Dog

Tracking Wild Dogs in Zululand

It’s 4 am on a cold morning and I’m on an early morning game drive (I seem to be making a habit of these cold morning rides). I made sure that I was dressed warmly and have tightly wrapped the blanket, provided by our friendly Rhino River Lodge ranger, around me but the cold still seeps through. So, I sit extremely still and try meditate for the duration of the 50 minute drive to the northern part of the reserve where we will be tracking wild dogs with Wildlife ACT.

As cold as I am, I’m also very excited because we are camping, hiking or just driving in a reserve that is said to have wild dogs, we always joke about this being the time we see them. We joke because we know how extremely lucky we would have to be to spot one. The African wild dog is the second most endangered wild dog and there are less than 550 left in South Africa. This time the odds are largely in my favour, leaving my friends green with envy.

Rhino River - Water Hole

A view of a watering hole while on a game drive Rhino River Lodge in Zululand.

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Impulse by the Sea - Curry Spread

Exploring the Spicy Side of Life around Durban

Durban, the warmest place, is always a big hit on the road. The weather is good, the beach is warm and of course, the food is delicious. If you are in town, then you can’t leave without getting some good spices in your belly.

While in Durban over the Tourism Indaba, our Travel Massive team indulged in three categories of spiciness. Great vegetarian, Indian street food at the Spice Emporium, hot and spicy Mexican at Four15 and a plethora of meat curries at Impulse by the Sea.

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Kaaapsche Hook Cow

Road Tripping with Travel Massive!

Last month, I was out on the road exploring more of South Africa. This time on the Travel Massive Road Trip powered by Ford South Africa with 9 influencers who also love travel in South Africa as much as I do. It was actually a bit daunting for me because as some of you know, I’m not generally listed under the “people person” category but this year I promised myself I would step outside myself more and so, I just jumped into the fire.

Road trips are always loads of fun and (s it turns out) even better when you don’t need to justify random stops, explorations for interesting sights or bush pee breaks. Our route took us from Constitutional Hill to Durban up the KZN Northern Coast, through Mpumalanga and back to Jozi.

Ford Con Hill

Packing our gear on a very early morning at Constitutional Hill. Photo by fellow traveler Chantelle – Kzara Visual Concepts

 

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The half way mark

The time I went Kloofing for the first time…by MISTAKE

On a recent weekend getaway, we headed to Mountain Sanctuary, a small nature reserve in the Magaliesberg with stunning crystal clear rock pools. It’s a great place for camping, swimming, and family fun. I know this because while sitting quietly at one of the pools a whole troop of families, with I don’t know how many littlw kids, descended on the pools. I heard them before I even saw a single person.

Mountain Sanctuary

Mountain Sanctuary

After chatting to the park guide we opted to buy a mountain pass for the nearby Tonquani and Cedarberg Kloofs and go for what was described as a “short hike with a few wet patches.” However, it ended up being closer to ‘kloofing,’ was definitely nowhere near short and wading hip deep in freezing water is a little more than a wet patch! Still, we live and learn. Here are some of those lessons for next time (or not, who knows).

 

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