velvet | south africa

That feeling at the Old Biscuit Mill

That feeling when you step into a place and your senses are simply overwhelmed. Then you get accustomed to the cacophony of people and the sights start to blur but one thing lingers: the smell of food. A symphony of freshly-baked bread, smoked fish, grilled meats and fresh herbs and spices fills your nostrils, and […]

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Velvet moments: Bo Kaap in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of my favourite cities in the world – nothing new for those of you who’ve been following me for a while. 😉 With the intense blue of the Atlantic Ocean at its doorstep and the imposing Table Mountain as a backdrop, Cape Town is such an incredibly stunning city! One of […]

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The magic of Phinda

We’d just passed the main gates of the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve when we spotted something moving stealthily through the tall grasses. Someone in the van yelled “STOP” and the driver hit the brakes. We trained our eyes on the patches of tall grass that lined the road, alert for any movement. Several moments […]

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Spectacular Table Mountain views

Whether you arrive in Cape Town by air, rail, road or sea, it’s the first thing you’ll notice: Table Mountain. This flat-topped mountain, at 1,085 meters high, is Cape Town’s most iconic and photographed landmark… and rightly so. Its presence can be felt all around the city and it also influences the city’s weather! My […]

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A nation of big smiles

It’s a nation of big smiles. It’s one of many reasons why South Africa has a special place in my heart: the spectacular nature, melting pot of cultures, amazing food and wines, and yes, the big smiles! This video, produced by Caspar Diederik, shows us what it’s like to Meet South Africa, and experience its […]

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My 2014 canvas of travels :-)

2014: my year of travel

Gosh! Another year comes to a close and another begins! 2014 was a wonderful travel year for me. I chalked up tens of thousands of miles, visiting twelve countries on five continents. In my New Year’s post at the start of 2014, I wrote: I prefer to see each new year as a blank canvas, waiting […]

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Finding paradise in Grootbos

Grootbos is a private nature reserve near the southernmost tip of the African continent. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Grootbos is a two-hour drive southeast of Cape Town and a short 30-minute drive from Hermanus, the premier destination for land-based whale-watching in South Africa. Literally translated, Grootbos means ‘big forest’ in Afrikaans (or […]

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Plane views: Cape Town

When I published a post a while back on airports you must book a window seat for, I received various comments from readers saying that I should include Cape Town in that list. I’d flown to Cape Town quite a few times previously but I’d always arrive at night (direct flights from Amsterdam arrive in […]

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An awe-inspiring flight tour along the Western Cape

“I have a surprise for you”. We stood on a dirt road surrounded by mile upon mile of fynbos, a shrubby vegetation found in the Western Cape of South Africa. In the distance, I could see the Atlantic Ocean and its pounding surf. The air was heavy with a heady mix of salt and floral […]

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Six Stellenbosch wineries to visit

Stellenbosch (map) is a picturesque university town in the Cape Winelands, a 45-minute drive from Cape Town, filled with historic Cape Dutch buildings, ancient oak trees, art galleries and laid-back cafés. A short drive in any direction, along one of the many Stellenbosch Wine Routes, will take you through gorgeous vineyards and imposing mountains. Nestled […]

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