south africa 1: port elizabeth, victorian england in africa

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Yay! I’m travelling through South Africa, FINALLY.

For all those who work and live in the Southern African region, South Africa, or the Republic of South Africa (RSA) as it is officially called, is the inevitable pit stop for our international flights, our business partner for professional dealings, venue for our conferences and workshops, the end of the road for shopping, and the place we go to, to chill. But ask us if we have really travelled to it, and you’ll get a big blank “nope.” Which is an absolute pity. People come from far and wide to discover this beautiful country. Every year, I myself pack my bags and travel to some distant exotic locale thousands of miles away. And yet, right in front of my doorstep is a country so familiar, so beautiful, and one I know so little of.

These four weeks are about exploring my own home—of visiting South Africa’s myriad world-famous attractions, as well as its lesser known, off-the-beaten-paths. Sanibonani. 🙂 Continue reading

south africa 8: gauteng, johannesburg, place of gold

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Gauteng, place of gold
Four whole days in Gauteng! I’m a very happy woman. Yes, trust me, there is a lot to see and explore in this concrete jungle that is South Africa’s economic powerhouse. Gauteng actually means ‘place of gold’, a name that is evocative of its history and reason to be. The smallest yet wealthiest province in the country, covering a mere 1.4 percent of its total land area, Gauteng contributes 33.9 percent to South Africa’s GDP and 10 percent to the whole African continent’s GDP. In historical terms its name traces back to the discovery of gold in 1886 in Johannesburg.

I used to live here at one time and enjoyed it fully, that is apart from the traffic which is absolutely crazy! I know, everyone talks about the crime. I have, touchwood, never had a bad experience. And things are even better now with neighbourhood watches, plainclothes police, and security cameras. Here is my take on Gauteng, not as a resident, but as a traveller. 🙂 Continue reading

south africa 4: kaap staad, the most beautiful city in the world


Looking down from Signal Hill: The Green Point Stadium built for FIFA is on the right and on the horizon, towards the left, is Robben Island

Ask anyone who has been to Cape Town what they thought of the city and you will receive a smitten response. Even if it is your umpteenth visit, or third as in my case, its stunning scenic setting, glorious beaches and rich history does not fail to captivate and make one a bit more besotted. 🙂

The ‘to do’ list is simple and straightforward. The cable car ride up Table Mountain; an afternoon at Kirstenboch, the most beautiful botanical gardens in Africa; a ferry ride to Robben Island to see Nelson Mandela’s prison cell where he spent 18 of his 27 sentenced years; and dinner at the V&A Waterfront as dusk falls and the sky turns into a glorious Turner work of art. But there is more. So much more! Continue reading