Beggars around the world

Beggars are an unfortunate reality of many third world countries, and some first-world countries too. They can be discreet, demanding, precise or persistent, depending on where in the world you are. There are those with disabilities, often purposely inflicted for the very purpose of begging, (cunning) little children with puppy dog eyes (and wily ways), …

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20 photos of Mpumalanga that will inspire you to visit this beautiful province

“Mpumalanga” meaning “the place where the sun rises” , is one of South Africa’s most beautiful provinces.  It is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty and abundant wildlife – which attracts tourists from around the world.  It is also home to South Africa’s largest game reserve, the Kruger National Park which covers almost two million hectares and …

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Luxury in Johannesburg: Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

If you ever doubted that Johannesburg was an urban forest, then you should look at it from the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff (aka The Westcliff). You will see a canopy of verdant treetops with sprinklings of purple jacaranda blossoms and the occasional red-tiled rooftop, stretching far into the horizons. The hotel overlooks the Johannesburg Zoo. Sometimes …

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Caution: This post contains a lot of Harry Potter jargon. Muggles (non-magical people) may not understand. If you are a muggle and have not read the books or watched the movies, read this version. When the Harry Potter books took the world by storm, I was one of the millions of fans eagerly awaiting the …

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Win a hot air balloon experience for two with Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris worth over R5000!

This competition is now closed. Click here for the winner announcement. There are few experiences more magical than floating in a hot air balloon over a scenic valley as the sun rises. As you drift lazily with the wind, enjoying the panoramic views, the early morning serenity and tranquility is punctuated only by the occasional …

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Experiencing the magic of Walt Disney World

“Here you leave today- and visit the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” – Walt Disney A visit to Walt Disney World is almost every child’s dream – and I must admit it was on my bucket list too – the part of me that wanted to feel like a carefree child again. Often incorrectly referred …

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2015 : A review of my blogging year

Thank you to all my loyal subscribers and followers for your support during 2015. As the year draws to a close, it is time to recap the events that filled it. 2015 was a busy year, even though we were limited to traveling during school holidays and weekends – for local getaways. This is a …

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How to apply for UK Visas

The US visas were relatively easy to obtain. Then it was time to apply for the UK visas for the whole family. The number of visa types available were reduced from 15 to 4 earlier this year. We qualified for the Standard Visitor Visa. I spent hours completing the most comprehensive online visa application forms …

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Best of the North-West – Insiders Guide

This article was first published in SAA’s in-flight magazine – Sawubona  (November 2015) This is the best of the North-West. From food and accommodation to entertainment and activities, it’s all covered. Do Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris There are few more magical experiences than a hot air balloon ride as the sun appears over the …

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The best city in the world?

Sub-title : Stepping back in time in Florence This post is long overdue which is a shame considering that Florence is often called the best city in the world. The city came out top of the list in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards for the second year in a row. I took some …

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Santorini and the Fira Factor

If you missed my article in the Sunday Times, here it is: I stood at the top of the cliff on the edge of the island and inhaled the salty air of the Aegean Sea. In front of me, the blackened volcano stood forebodingly in the midnight-blue waters of the caldera, daring anyone to assume …

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About the Bo-Kaap

Like the colorful houses that line its streets, the Bo-Kaap has a colourful history. Lying on the lower slopes of Signal Hill, in the shadow of Lion’s Head, this historic, multi-cultural suburb in Cape Town, is a sight for sore eyes. Brightly painted houses, characteristic of Dutch and British architecture, line narrow cobble-stoned streets.  Many …

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Top 10 things to do in Venice, Italy

Venice is a truly fascinating city. There is so much to do there that it is difficult to choose just 10 things to do. From my last whirlwind visit to Venice about 18 years ago, I just remember being serenaded with “Sole Mio” on a gondola ride through the canals and posing for old-fashioned non-digital photos …

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Review: Tau Game Lodge

A pair of crocodiles chased each other as a fish eagle looked on. Ducks quacked around the waterhole and a couple of herons stood haughtily amid them. A dazzle of zebras and a herd of wildebeest arrived to quench their thirst. A bit later, a parade of what seemed like over a hundred elephants came …

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20 Awesome Travel Hacks Everyone Should Know

As a frequent air traveler, I often get asked for travel tips and hacks. Here are some of my favourite ones that I’ve learnt over the years. Before travelling, scan all your important documents like passports, visas, drivers’ licences as well as air tickets and itineraries (if you do not already have electronic copies). Then …

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Review: Legend Golf and Safari Resort

Take a malaria-free Big Five game reserve in the Waterberg region, and add on a signature golf course where each hole is designed by a different world golf champion. Include luxury accommodation amidst the bushes and the wildlife. Then, accessorize it with a unique 19th hole and botanical gardens planted by Miss World contestants. What …

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Review: 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

The panoramic route to the hotel was just a prelude to the luxurious haven awaiting us. It was quite befitting, I mused, as we ascended Chapman’s Peak drive to the 12 Apostles Hotel. In one of the world’s most beautiful cities, on one of the world’s most spectacular routes, stands one of the world’s best …

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Review : Zebula Golf Estate and Spa

Having heard much in praise of Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, my curiosity had been piqued. How does one please a group of people with diverse interests at one destination? Amongst our family alone, we have a golfer, spa and wildlife enthusiasts.  When I finally got there and heard the exclamations of excitement emanating from …

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The magic of cruising

I stood on the top deck of my floating “hotel”, the Splendour of the Seas, and savoured the breath-taking views from my lofty vantage point as we sailed out of Venice’s Giudecca Canal. We passed pointed church steeples and ancient palaces, sidewalk restaurants and bridges traversing narrow canals. The little black and gold gondolas and …

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How to apply for a Schengen visa

I had been avoiding Europe for a while. But when Italy and a Mediterranean cruise beckoned, I couldn’t resist any longer. This, of course, meant that I had to apply for a Schengen visa. Not for the first time, I bemoaned the fact that I was a South African passport holder. It seemed that the …

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Rovos Rail – Pride of Africa

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson I sat at the window of my ultra-luxurious suite and watched Africa go by. As the landscape transformed from city stations to rivers and velds, the sky, tinged …

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Re-visiting the Johannesburg Zoo

I much prefer animals to be in their natural habitats than in enclosures. The joy of seeing animals roaming freely on safari far exceeds that of seeing them in captivity and of course the animals are usually much happier. However not everyone can go on safari as it can be quite expensive and far to …

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Tell me about your holidays – Samira

I created the “Tell me about your holidays” section earlier this year to give my readers and other travelers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Samira, a lifestyle blogger based in the United States. Visit her blog at www.themuslimahguide.com. Tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Samira, …

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