Story and Photos by Libor Pospisil.
Just one day left in the country – as usual. Going to the Kruger National Park, the ultimate place for a safari in South Africa, was out of the question given its remoteness. I feared I had to get ready for a small reserve, fenced like a zoo, if I wanted to see animals. Only after more research did I find the Pilanesberg National Park. This little brother to Kruger lies within a day-trip distance from Pretoria where I was staying. Unlike other small reserves, Pilanesberg is a vast natural park. One concerned remained: if Pilanesberg did not have the fame of Kruger, how many animals could I actually see?
You’ll find no better way to round out a trip to Cape Town than to ramble out to the Cape Winelands. Less than an hour’s drive away, the countryside offers a welcome counterpoint to Cape Town’s urban vibe. Three Cape Winelands villages- Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl–form the ideal triumvirate for exploration and tastings. Besides great weather and gorgeous mountains, there are spectacular examples of Cape Dutch architecture and fertile valleys ripe with scented orchards and vineyards. Each village is a world unto itself, offering a diverse network of well-marked, tree-lined wine trails. Most wine lovers know that cool weather combined with foggy conditions helps to cultivate enviable wines with character and fruitiness. South Africa’s Cape Winelands delivers this dynamic duo in spades thanks to maritime influences from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Story and Photos by Wanda Hennig
The Buddhist Retreat Center in rural South Africa has been ranked among the top ten on CNN’s “Best Meditation Retreats” list. To visit is to see why. For starters, the BRC has arguably the best vegetarian “table” in South Africa. Think of a lunch of dreamily light shepherd’s pie made with brown lentils, sweetly spiced caramelized baby onions, tenderly crisp roasted veggies and a sprout salad ablaze with orange nasturtiums, much of this picked, fresh, from a bountiful organic veggie garden and what’s not home-grown, brought in from farms in the area.
Story and Photos by Lee Daley
The popular Forbes.com website named Cape Town one of the world’s most beautiful cities, ranking it favorably with Paris, London, Venice and Sydney Host city to the upcoming 2010 World Cup Soccer Games, Cape Town’s welcome mat is out. According to one of the website’s judges, Raymond Levitt of Stanford University, “Renowned English sea navigator, Sir Francis Drake, once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the Kirtenbosch Botanical Gardens, while the top of Table Mountain offers a breathtaking view of the city from roughly 3,500 feet above sea level.”
Story by Lee Daley
The local elephants are so friendly at Zambia’s Mfuwe Lodge you may find one ambling through the front lobby on her way to a nearby grove of wild mango trees. A favorite of safari enthusiasts, Mfuwe owes its popularity to its magnificent location in South Luangwa National Park, a wildlife paradise. But its fame among many who visit comes from the informal visits of a local herd of elephants. It seems the mango grove has been a long-time favorite of the herd who see no reason to change their ways just because a lodge was built along their historical route. Camera snap. Jaws drop. Blessed by an elephant visitation, guests leave this first-class resort withan unforgettable memory. It should be added that elephants in the park are very used to human activity and this may contribute to their seemingly complete ease around guests.