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Destinations Africa


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Guide to Destinations in Africa from TNT Magazine.Travel and Backpacking options brought to you by Travel Experts at TNT Magazine.

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Destinations Africa

  2. 2. 10% OFF Tours starting fromQuote TNT0112 £89.00 Come explore with us& get a discount per dayoff your tour PEOPLE PLACES ANIMALS ADVENTUREChoosing the right adventure company is just so With our unique tour linking system, almost anyimportant for the success of your visit to Africa. It combination of tours is possible. We have overcan be the difference between the trip of a lifetime 100 different route options available for you andor a complete nightmare. most tours are available in either the camping version (where you sleep in 2 man dome tents) orAdventure companies are not all the same. accommodated (you get to sleep in a bed). Single supplements are also available.African owned and operated, Nomad Tours, offersthe widest range of exciting and fun adventure Being African based you can be assured that youroverland tours throughout Southern and East money is going directly into the continent. AddedAfrica, covering 15 countries including South Africa, to this Nomad is a major contributor to the NomadLesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, African Trust, a non-profit charity organisation.Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, In addition, please consider buying a Green Seat,Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Madagascar. where you can offset the carbon cost of your trip. Nomad tours are perfect for free spirited people with a lust for adventure Nomad - Big Enough To Count on, Small Enough To Care! Tel: +27 21 8456310
  3. 3. DESTINATIONS AFRICA > CONTENTS 05 TOP 5 SAFARIS No trip to Africa is complete Welcome without a safari. Here’s the best places to do it and why Letter Welcome to TNT’s Destinations Africa supplement, in which we bring you the very best of what this mighty continent has to offer. From bungee jumping and skydiving in Cape Town, to spotting lion kills in Tanzania, we’ve got the lowdown on Africa’s biggest thrills for adventurous travellers. Fancy something a bit more relaxing? Then climb aboard a felucca with us as we slowly sail down the 08 MARRAKECH 10 RELAXING EGYPT 14 SHOESTRING Nile, or take to Lake MUST- DO’S Need some chill time after SAFARI What you can’t afford to the madness of Cairo? We How to bike, taxi and walk Malawi in a kayak and miss in Morocco’s capital go sailing down The Nile with the wildlife on a budget end your nights camping under the stars. But if there’s one thing you absolutely can’t miss in Africa, then it’s going on safari. And we’ve got loads of tips on how to make sure your safari is one to 18 BEST OF CAPE TOWN 24 ECO-MALAWI 29 GARDEN ROUTE remember; whether it’s Whether you’re a thrillseeker Limit your carbon footprint Cage dive with sharks, surf or a yellow-belly, you’ll be by kayaking and camping and slug port on SA’s choosing the right country, bowled over by Cape Town around a sub-Saharan Eden answer to Route 66 or having a DIY adventure on foot or even by taxi! Happy travelling! The Destinations teamPhotos: Getty, Thinkstock, TNT. Cover: Thinkstock Editor Carol Driver Acting Travel Editor Laura Chubb Contributing Writers Alasdair Morton, Tom Sturrock, Frankie Mullin, Rebecca Kent, Clare Vooght, Jahn Vannisselroy, Adam Edwards, Amy Adams, Jennifer Carr, Lucy Corne Head Of Design And Production Jon Cooke Graphic Design Manager Justine Mackay Acting Picture Researcher Ruth Board Head Of Digital Marketing & Development Syed Ahmad Social Media Coordinator Dan Thorne IT Manager Stephen Dann Commercial Director David Alstin Sales Managers Jaqui Ward, Matt Syder Sales Executives Tyler Harrison, Eddie Clinton, Donovan Smith, Michael Fair TNT Multimedia Ltd CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst Publisher TNT Multimedia Limited Distribution Emblem Direct Ltd Printed By Wyndeham Peterborough Limited News AAP SAPA NZPA Pictures Getty Images, TNT Images, Thinkstock TNT Magazine, 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB General Enquiries Phone 020 7960 6008 Fax 020 7960 6977 Email Sales Enquiries Phone 020 7989 0567 Email 3
  4. 4. Africa With Grace Create your own Adventure Safari OR Kenya Game nd ya a Zim WHAT AN AWESOME POWER PUNCHED ADRENALIN THOUGHT: Ken me Safaris bab a Ga Bundu bashing in Kruger or experiencing the breath taking sights that Rhi we Tan zani $2100US no Saf surround our little city on a jaunt with Crazy Dave. No Budget blues ris aris Safa $14 60U here! Our budget, deluxe & private safari options are incredible value 0US S for money. We offer a variety of choices for day and overnight tours! $290 ALL TOURS INCLUDE MEALS, ACCOMM, ENTRANCE FEES AND TRANSPORT DAY TOURS Kruger Park Day Tours from R1450pp Byde Canyon Day Trip from R1250pp Tours to Swaziland and Mozambique 2 days with 1 night Kruger Park Great Valu e 3 COUNTRIES / 8 DAYS Kruger,Mozambique and Swaziland Bush, Beach and 3 Countries are as follows: Visiting Kruger Park ,the famous beaches of Mozambique and kingdom of Swaziland in 8 days R10 900/12900 per person Budget /en-suite accommodation. Please e-mail us for itinery G reat Valu THREE DAYS KRUGER/BLYDE CANYON: e R4150pp sharing. Min two people. Comfortable budget accommodation. R4350pp sharing with en-suite. LUXURY TOURS 12 Impala Street, Nelspruit, South Africa AVAILABLE Tel: +27 13 7440993 | or +61 404 238 209 Get amongst it! With the African specialists Absolute Africa 30 years overlanding in Africa A whole range of trips incl. game drives in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti, gorilla trekking, guided game walks, rhino trekking, evening game drives and so much more. Phone: 0208 742 0226 Email: absaf@absoluteafrica.com4
  5. 5. AFRICA > BEST SAFARIS Stare out lions in TanzaniaAfrica’s bestsafarisIf you’re desperate to see the Big Five and determined to spot all of the otherwonders of Africa’s animal kingdom, these are the best places to do itWORDS LAURA CHUBBG oing on safari is your essential African experience, and spotting the Big Five will be high on everytraveller’s agenda. A term coined by white hunters, it factors. However, there are some countries and parks that give you a better chance than most. Here’s our pick of the best places to go on safari in Africa.refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunton foot, and comprises the lion, African elephant, Cape 1 Kenyabuffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. And there’s all manner STAR ATTRACTION Wildebeestof other African animals that you’ll thrill to see up close: Africa’s most popular safari destination, Kenya might bezebra, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs ... the list goes on. having some PR problems right now, but nothing can take But safari is a gamble. The beasts you get to see will away from the might of its Masai Mara Reserve. Govary depending on the time of year and all sorts of other between July and October and bear witness to the >> 5
  6. 6. DESTINATIONS AFRICASA for cheetahsjaw-dropping migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra.Set in the Rift Valley with Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains runningalong the southern end, you are pretty much guaranteedto spy the Big Five.2 BotswanaSTAR ATTRACTION ElephantThe Chobe National Park is home to tens of thousands of The black rhinoelephants, so you’re unlikely to miss the big-eared fellowswhen you visit. In fact, you’re likely to see hundreds. Gobetween April and October – the cooler winter months– to see herds of zebra, buffalo, giraffe and wildebeest, too.Because the land dries up, the animals tend to congregateby the river banks, making them easier to spot.3 South AfricaSTAR ATTRACTION CheetahThe Kruger National Park is renowned for boasting the most A zebra herddiverse range of wildlife to see on safari, from lions, rhinoand leopards to hippos, crocs and cheetahs. There’s arange of accommodation, from self-catering bungalowsto luxury lodges, and you can even do a self-drive safari.4 TanzaniaSTAR ATTRACTION LionOffering what many call the ‘classic safari’ experience,Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park offers great grasslandsfor spotting lion kills (if that’s your bag). You can also geta more exclusive-feeling view of the wildebeest and zebramigration that makes its way through Kenya, as there arefewer tourists in Tanzania. Photos: South Africa Tourism, Getty, Thinkstock5 NamibiaSTAR ATTRACTION Black rhinocerosThe Etosha National Park in northern Namibia is home to theendangered black rhinoceros – declared extinct in westernAfrica last year. As well as spotting this increasingly rarebeast, you’ll likely see giraffes, elephants, lions and often Botswana is best for elephantseven cheetahs and leopards. n6
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  8. 8. DESTINATIONS AFRICAA snake charmer in Djemaa el-fnaXxxxxxxxxxxxx GETTING THERE Fly direct from London Gatwick to Marrakech with easyJet from £108 return. ( Trawl the city’s souks MARRAKECH MOROCCO8
  9. 9. Morocco > Marrakech Marvellous Marrakech Marrakech is full of colour and the potential for adventure. From losing yourself in its huge souk to unwinding in a hammam, here’s what you can’t afford to miss WORDS JAHN VANNISSELROY T reat yourself to a journey to Morocco this year. It’s only a short plane ride away, meaning a weekend break in Marrakech is perfectly within reach. water thrown over you, then you’ll be left to sweat it all out in the sauna. The experience is topped off with a soothing massage, so you leave feeling rejuvenated and super-clean. Why Marrakech? Little more than a three-hour flight from London, this Dinner time imperial Moroccan city is gloriously exotic. It’s known Tagine, both the name of the stew and the dish in which as ‘The Red City’ to the native Berber community, but it’s cooked, is a hearty blend of vegetables, fruit, nuts its atmosphere is hardly monochromatic. Marrakech is and meat slow-cooked over a bed of charcoal and home to bustling street markets, or souks, relaxing spas, devoured with a heap of warm bread. For lighter fare, or hammams, and cultural museums, while just a stone’s try vegetarian couscous, sweetly enriched with dates, throw from the majestic Atlas Mountains. almonds, raisins and cinnamon. For more adventurous foodies, there’s always monkey brains, a delicacy Don’t miss rumoured by the locals to cure impotence. You’ll be tempted to spend all your time at the Djemaa el-Fna or ‘main square’, the liveliest town centre in Africa. Money shot By day, acrobats, snake charmers, storytellers and belly The minaret of the famous Koutoubia Mosque stands at dancers entrance hordes of spectators, but come an underwhelming 77 metres, but towers above the rest of nightfall, the square transforms into an open-air dining the city thanks to a decree that states no building can rise room, as food carts selling succulent treats emerge from above it. The mosque is particularly stunning when bathed the plumes of smoke. Amid the mouth-watering mountains in the golden light of a sunset as the faithful are called to of nosh and zesty aromas that fill the air, sellers will vie for prayer. Get clicking. your attention, swearing that their wares are the best. Where to stay Best of the rest Riad Massine is an ancient riad completely restored to its Don’t expect an entirely soothing experience when visiting original Spanish-Berber style. It’s located in Bab Doukkala,Photos: Getty, Thinkstock a hammam, which can be found in luxury hotels and riads one of Marrakech’s oldest residential districts, and provides (a traditional Moroccan house or palace). You’ll be given accommodation for groups and single travellers. From a thorough scrubbing with black soap, which will wipe £6pppn. For bookings and other accomodation options away any trace of dirt or tan, before having a bucket of see or n 9
  10. 10. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Felucca: essentially a floating bed10
  11. 11. EGYPT > THE NILESail your wayback to sanityYou can’t knock Cairo for sheer buzz, but after negotiating the mayhem for a fewdays, you’ll be ready for some chill time. We find sailing the Nile is the answerWORDS LUCY CORNEC airo is great for many things – exquisite FAST FACTS morning to do a little essential shopping for WHEN TO GO Spring and bakeries and superlative shopping; his passengers. His list is an unusual one autumn are the best times to visit.amazing architecture and welcoming The summer months are OK for featuring just two items – toilet paper andresidents – but relaxing it isn’t. The city is sun lovers if you stick to the coast, camel meat (the latter perhaps but interior towns such as Aswanrammed with crazy drivers and more necessitating an increased supply of the can get unbearably hot.haggling, honking and hawking than even IS IT SAFE? The Foreign and former ... ).the most seasoned traveller can bear. Commonwealth Office has said it As we take turns at the helm between is still safe to visit Egypt, in spite ofHowever, there is another side to Egypt naps and sips of Egyptian Stella beer, the violent protests in Cairo last year inand if you want to relax, a sailing trip does which several people were killed. river banks pass by, sometimes fringed withwonders for the blood pressure. However, tourists are warned to palm trees; other sections punctuated with stay away from demonstrations and The day after leaving Cairo, I find myself whitewashed houses or the occasional crowds. ( to the gentle splashing of the Nile SEE mosque. After lunch we anchor to awaitas I lie aboard a felucca. These flat sailing the return of Captain Hubbly Bubbly andboats are essentially giant floating beds, my eye catches the comical sight of twotheir decks almost entirely taken up by thin-yet-comfy teenage boys attempting to bathe a cow that is clearlymattresses. You can take a trip for a matter of hours or happier out of the water.days, depending on the level of stress to be alleviated. After a 15-minute struggle to lure the animal into the river For me, it only takes a few hours on a felucca to return they admit defeat, leave the cow to its own devices andmy tension to pre-Cairo levels. I ponder the day we’ve had go for a swim. They approach our boat and wave to us >>– a midday departure from the southern city of Aswan, anafternoon nap as the Nile gently carried us northward, a GETTING THEREsurprisingly delicious dinner on board and a couple of cold CAIRO British Airwaysbeers as the sun set over the river. We sleep anchored to ( offers Dahabthe river bank and awake to a typical breakfast of strong, return flights from London tosugary tea and hard-boiled eggs. Cairo for £273. Thomson River Nile (, Monarch Luxor With the gloriously laid-back pace of the trip set, we ( andthen settle in for a day of utter relaxation peppered with easyJet ( do EGYPTthe occasional brush with local culture. flights from London to Luxor Our skipper, who calls himself ‘Captain Hubbly Bubbly’, from £195.thanks to his love of the hookah pipe, abandons ship mid- 11
  12. 12. DESTINATIONS AFRICA DIVE INTO DAHAB If you’re still not chilled enough after your felucca trip, get yourself to the beach resort of Dahab. Open-air restaurants line the beachfront, where you can sip cocktails or lassis and munch on the free appetisers each establishment uses to attract diners. The Red Sea laps just metres away, its waters a magnet for divers and snorkelers to jump in. Eyeing the murky water and thinking of all those from around the world. travel ailments I foolishly read up on before leaving home, Dahab is Egypt’s laidback and beautiful I’m hesitant, but once my fellow passengers take the answer to Thailand’s Koh Samui. Oceanic plunge I don’t want to get left out. pursuits take centre stage in this largely budget Wading in fully clothed (a swimsuit seems wholly resort, but those who come to take their PADI inappropriate in rural Egypt) I’m shocked to find the Nile course or sample the world-class snorkeling action often end up staying longer than planned. There’s more to this resort perched on the Barbequed camel turns out to edge of the stark and striking Sinai region than diving and daiquiris, though. Day trips take in be not only bearable but tasty the swirling patterns and iconic rock formations of the Coloured Canyon, while overnight camel a pleasant place to swim. We float around until Hubbly treks stop off for a little nomadic culture in a Bubbly returns with an armful of loo roll and a bag Bedouin camp. And whether you’re religious or overflowing with utterly unappetising meat. not, taking the midnight hike to the biblical That evening, our second and last on board, we party mountain’s 2285m summit in time for a desert on the river bank. Barbequed camel turns out to be not sunrise will be a memorable experience. only bearable but actually tasty. To celebrate his culinary success, Captain Hubbly Bubbly breaks out his goblet drum. A fine evening caps off a wonderful day and we retreat to our floating mattress. The next morning as the felucca nears Kom Ombo, home to a stunning riverside temple and the place where we have to bid farewell to Hubbly and his boat, I feel ready for a bit of a haggle. In fact, after a few days on the Photos: Thinkstock, TNT felucca, I feel ready to tackle Cairo again. n » Check out for more on cruising down the Nile on a felucca12
  13. 13. Live Travel Seminars to 50% Jayson Norris & MelicTravel discounts of up ig Stage’ with Kathmandu of Travel’ On the Kathmandu ‘B+ Win ‘A Year’s Worth Saturday 3 March 2012 Earls Court Exhibition Centre Including RECRUITMENT FAIR CAREERS EDUCATION 2012 TRAINING Free to Pre-register at
  14. 14. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Xxxxxxxxxxxxx Cycle with zebra Get up close to nature Spot giraffes on a walk1 4
  15. 15. KENYA > SHOESTRING SAFARIKenya ona shoestringPlanning your own Kenyan safari can benefit your budget as well getting you evencloser to the Big Five. We show you how to bike, taxi and walk with the wildlifeWORDS AMY ADAMSI t really isn’t the best moment, just as we FAST FACTS Taxi WHEN TO GO January and drive up alongside three white rhino, to With blaring hip-hop and passengers February are the most populardiscover that my car window doesn’t wind months, due to the hot, dry hanging out the door, minibuses, knowndown. Sensing my frustration as I peer weather. You can go any time, as matatus, might not seem the sanest, but avoid the rainy seasonthrough the dusty glass, my taxi driver, most relaxed way to travel, but they (March to the end of May).Mwaka, suggests I open my door and get CURRENCY £1 = KES135 are cheap and cheerful, and aneven closer. The only thing between me (Kenyan shilling) undoubtedly novel experience. After IS IT SAFE? You’re advised toand the nearest of these huge rhinos is my taking one into Naivasha town and then steer clear of all areas near thedigital camera. Somali border. Travellers should further on to Nakuru, I disembark in a “That one’s getting angry now,” also be extra-vigilant in Nairobi, chaotic market place. as the capital is under a heightenedMwaka advises, prompting me to hurriedly Following some fierce haggling, I find threat of terror attacks ( the door. Our vehicle might not boast SEE a taxi driver who is prepared to take meall the mod cons, but this kind of up-close- on a three-hour tour of Lake Nakuruand-personal experience is the pay-off for National Park for KES3500 (£25) plus theeschewing organised tours and doing it yourself. park fee of US$60 (£38). Admittedly, it’s not peanuts, but I had budgeted to pay far more.BikingHiring a bike at Elsa Gate for KES500 (£3.70) and paying Walkingthe park entrance fee of KES2100 (about £15) is a great If cycling past giraffes is a surreal experience, then >>way to begin an alternative safari, taking in Hell’s GateNational Park by Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley, an hour GETTING THEREfrom Nairobi. The sandy terrain doesn’t make for an easy Kenya Airways andride, but our efforts are rewarded when I round a corner British Airways offer directand see a waterhole thronging with zebras, their black flights to Nairobi from £400 KENYAand white stripes striking against the earthy backdrop. return. Indirect flights with Swiss Airways start at £360 In the other direction, a fellow cyclist spies a giraffe. return. (; NAIROBIAs we get nearer, we spot another, and another, until;a family of four becomes visible. Then they slope off into trees, their movements so jarringly unfamiliar that it’shard to believe they are actually real. 15
  16. 16. DESTINATIONS AFRICA BEST OF NAIROBI The city centre of Nairobi is worth a visit to experience the downtown buzz, grab a few souvenirs and have your pick of restaurants, but don’t leave without visiting Karen, a leafy suburb, south of Nairobi, which feels like it belongs to a different city. Face-to-face Among the colonial villas and tree-lined streets you’ll find unique attractions. In particular, check out the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, set up to look after orphaned black rhinos and elephants until they’re strong enough to go back into the wild and fend for themselves. You can visit this corner of the Nairobi National Park each day between 11am and noon to watch the Safari by taxi baby elephants being fed from giant bottles of milk. See: walking among them is yet another step into the Head to the Giraffe Centre, where endangered unexpected. At Crater Lake Game Sanctuary back near Rothschild giraffes are bred before being released Lake Naivasha, we pay an entrance fee of KES700 (£5) into the wild. The centre is on stilts, so you get and the park is ours to mingle between the giraffes, the rare chance to be at eye-level with these zebras, impalas and gazelles. I stand and watch in awe amazing creatures – grab a fistful of pellets and as a group of giraffes, initially keeping a wary eye on me hand-feed them. At the nearby Giraffe Manor they roam the gardens. You can stay for a hefty The only thing between me price or just have afternoon tea, but you’ll need to book ahead. See: and the nearest of the rhinos In Kibera, the city’s largest shanty town, a small is a digital camera bead factory and craft shop that is the Kazuri bead and pottery centre has been set up to as they snack on the trees, startled by the noise of a car, create jobs for residents. A member of staff will turn and gallop away in an awkward slow-motion lope give you a free tour around the factory, from the that causes the ground to shake. kilns to the intricate glazing and industrious Later, while making my way to the jade Crater Lake, I threading. The pretty necklaces and pots made come across the strangest bird I’ve ever seen – there he is, here are sent round the world, and you can find a Photos: Kenya Tourism, Tom Brakefield, Amy Adams, Getty, Thinkstock marching across the open grassland, his upper body like a selection of them in the shop. See: majestic eagle and lower half like a spindly stork, seeming to lunge with each step. According to my guidebook, it’s a secretary bird, known to walk up to 20km a day. Even compared to the angry rhino, the munching giraffes and the thronging, luminous flamingos, it’s an unexpected highlight, and something I probably wouldn’t have spotted from a flash 4WD. So if your jaw drops to the floor at the price of going on safari with an organised tour, then rest assured that you can always do it yourself. Just make sure the taxi door shuts properly. n16
  17. 17. Get amongst it! THE SMART CHOICE FORWith the African specialistsAbsolute Africa GORILLA ENCOUNTERS30 years overlanding in AfricaA whole range of trips incl. game drives in the Masai Mara Guaranteed spots on a gorilla trek and the Serengeti, gorilla trekking, guided game walks, rhino trekking, evening game drives and so much more. No waiting around thanks to secured permits A range of tours & itineraries from 8–79 English speaking local leadersPhone: 0208 742 0226 For more details or to book call 0844 7360 170 or visit www.geckosadventures.comEmail: ATOL 6076 DECIDED ON AFRICA? Overwhelmed by choice? Check out our TourSearch at We’ve done the legwork so you don’t need to, and put thousands of tours in one place. Enter the details of what you want, read what other TNT 100urs0s of to in one place TOURSEARCH readers have to say about it, then select your ideal tour! powered by Ë 17
  18. 18. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Addo Elephant National Park Skydive over Robben Island Table Mountain Xxxxxxxxxxxxx Surf at Kommetjie18
  19. 19. SOUTH AFRICA > CAPE TOWNCape FearThe Cape is perfect for both thrillseekers in search of an adrenaline-fuelled riot, andthe more timid who are looking to relax, unwind and take in the glorious sceneryWORDS ADAM EDWARDSF or a moment it looks a little like a FAST FACTS After that mammoth challenge, it’s WHEN TO GO Summertime certain Seventies blockbuster, as what time for a few well-deserved drinks. Long is November-March. Be awareseems to be a fin edges above the surface that prices can double during the Street in the heart of the city is chosen asof the sea between me and my friends as Christmas holidays. our destination. Bars and clubs overflow ACCOMMODATION A dormwe’re treading water offshore. My over- on to mezzanine verandas, as people bed at South Boutique Backpackersactive imagination, fuelled by Jaws, kicks ( costs £6pn, huddle around tables watching life passinto overdrive and my life flashes before while a dorm bed at The Backpack by in the street below. As I lean against & Africa Travel Centre costs £10pnmy eyes. But then I find myself screaming the wrought-iron balustrades, with live ( The Tulip Hotelthrough excitement rather than fear. & Conference Centre costs £28pn music and laughter ringing in my ears, it “Look!” I yell, as a tiny pup leaps out of for a double ( could be New Orleans’ French Quarter CURRENCY £1= ZAR12.61 (Souththe water. “A baby sea lion.” The bug- during Mardi Gras rather than Africa on African Rand)eyed scamp swims within a whisker’s SEE a week-night.length of us, lapping up the attention. I’m staying a short taxi-ride away in“Only in Cape Town,” I say afterwards. It’s a cheesy Observatory – a bohemian suburb packed with buzzingsentiment, but the so-called ‘LA of Africa’ more than lives hole-in-the-wall bars, shabby-chic cafes, and restaurantsup to its gushing reviews. where you can enjoy anything from a quiet coffee over a The Mediterranean climate, exhilarating mix of cultures, book to a sumptuous three-course meal for less than alaid-back pace, not to mention some of the best waves in tenner, or a seriously rowdy night dancing Coyote Ugly-the southern hemisphere, are just a snapshot of this city’s style on the bar. >>appeal. But for others, it’s the heart-pounding range ofhair-raising activities on offer that is the draw. GETTING THERE Sitting down for lunch at one of the smart bistros lining Fly direct from Londonthe historic V&A Waterfront, troupes of fire-breathers, to Cape Town with Southjugglers and traditional African dancers on the quayside African Airways (flysaa.offer ample entertainment as we plot our adventures. com) from £720 return. Fly SOUTH indirect with Etihad, via Abu AFRICA First up? Climbing Table Mountain, the soaring flat- Dhabi, from £595 return.topped beauty that looms over the city. The three-hour ( CAPEslog up this 3500ft (1000m) peak isn’t easy, but in the end TOWNmy aching legs pale in comparison to the amazing senseof achievement. 19
  20. 20. DESTINATIONS AFRICA View from Table Mountain Riding giants I manage to give this excursion a wide birth – I’ve seen The next morning, I wake up itching to hit the beach. From Spielberg’s blockbuster too many times to be dangled Observatory, it’s a 30-minute drive to the premier wind- over the side of a boat like giant bait. I value my limbs and kite-surfing hotspots at Muizenberg, where we pound intact, just the way they are, thank you very much. But the waves for a while. It’s then on to Kalk Bay, where we I wind up regretting my fear-dictated decision when my grab lunch at the Brass Bell – an open-sided restaurant- cum-bar offering some of the best and most reasonably priced grub in the city – as bikini-clad beauties and It could be New Orleans’ bronzed gods sit at rustic picnic tables. I ponder chilling out here for the rest of the day, but the promise of seeing French Quarter during Mardi Gras, the pint-sized Jackass penguins further down the coast at not Africa on a week-night Boulders Beach proves just too alluring. The waters in this part of the Cape, known as False Bay, may be home to animals you might more readily expect friends return, with a full complement of limbs, bragging: to be climbing the slopes of an Antarctic iceberg, but this “They just appear out of nowhere and start circling around stretch of coast is actually the warmest in Cape Town. Still, the boat, before swimming right up to the bars of the if you don’t mind your surf bracing, the Atlantic coast has cage for a closer look. great waves. In the summer (November-March), “It’s such a weird experience. There’s literally just a few Kommetjie’s Sunset Reef boasts some of the largest waves inches of metal separating you from all those teeth.” in the world which, on good days, can reach a giant 25ft (eight metres) in height. South African skyfall While the sight of the comical penguins waddling After facing death and sniggering in its face, my friends along the beach and swimming among the bathers has decide to raise the stakes and plan a skydive over the city me in hysterics, my pals are more concerned with setting (I again choose to opt out due to the aforementioned up a date with the cute penguins’ mortal enemies. The limb-fears). A private transfer zips them over to an airstrip waters off Cape Town are home to one of the world’s half an hour north of the city, and while I languish, a lonely largest populations of great white sharks and, unbeknown chicken-shit at the poolside, they’re climbing 9000ft above to me, cage-diving with these toothy predators is next on the peninsular, pointing out the landmarks beneath them. the to-do list. “It’s the most fantastic way to see the city,” my friend20
  21. 21. SOUTH AFRICA > CAPE TOWN DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Observatory Festival of Arts This bohemian neighbourhood is transformed into a giant festival ground during the weekend- long music, arts and film event. Observatory’s main streets are given over to live performances, gigs and market stalls. See: Cape Minstrels Carnival The mixed-race community – who form the racial majority in Cape Town – spend months rehearsing their dance steps and creating outlandish suits in preparation for a noisy Mardi Gras-style parade. See: says later. “We could see Robben Island and the The Cape Town Carnivalocean dotted with boats, and Table Mountain towering Bollywood dancers vie with Zulu “warriors” andover the city on the other side of the bay. man-made giraffes for the crowd’s attention. This “And the jump itself was unforgettable. After freefalling unusual festival is part Rio Carnival, part Lionfor 30 seconds, the instructor pulled the chute and we King: The Musical – with a dash of Oktoberfestslowly drifted back down to Earth. It was so quiet.” thrown in for good measure. See: capetowncarnival.comElastic fantasticFrom then on all sights are set on the world’s highestcommercial bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge – a gravitydefying 216m drop with only a chord of elastic to protectyou from a terminal ground-body interface. With this inmind, we hire a car and set out along the tourist-cloggedbut spectacular Garden Route, and it’s not long before Idiscover why South Africa’s answer to Route 66 is sopopular. The sheer number of sights and activities on offerastounds: there’s dune boarding at De Hoop, black-watertubing down Storms River; zip-wiring though the forestsof Tsitsikamma; and ostrich racing in Oudtshoorn. At long Cape Minstrels Carnivallast, I kiss a final goodbye to my fears and pluck up thecourage to go zip-wiring, and spend an unforgettableafternoon whizzing through the forest canopy like a crack- safari to witness Africa’s big game in their eerie nocturnalSAS soldier (or, at least, I like to think). world. Driving through the bush, the driver scans the darkness, wisely ignoring the incandescent eye-shine ofFinding the Big Five the antelope and kudu standing agape by the side of theMy trip along the coast takes me as far as Addo Elephant road. After a few twists and turns, and a pride of lions thatNational Park – home to the largest concentration of views us suspiciously, the driver slams on the brakeselephants on the planet – where I book a guided night- and cuts the engine. Out of the darkness >>
  22. 22. DESTINATIONS AFRICA World’s highest bungee BEST OF THE REST South African sights you can’t miss South Africa doesn’t begin and end with Cape Town, so venture further afield and discover all that this diverse, surprising and beguiling country has to offer. Kruger National Park, located in the north- east of the country and comprising more than 7000 square miles, is Africa’s oldest established wildlife park and is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the Big Five game animals (rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant). No venture to South Africa would be complete without a trip to a township. Soweto, on theappears a herd of more than 60 elephants marching trunk outskirts of Johannesburg and home to almostto tail. It is the perfect end to my jaunt up-country. a million people, is often referred to as the heart- beat of the nation.Cape wineBack in Cape Town, I spend my last few days flitting The Cape Winelands, to the east, are a must forbetween the hubbub of the bars and restaurants of Long anyone who fancies a drop of vino with theirStreet and the beach, before deciding that it’s only polite vacation, and has a wealth of special toursto drop by some vineyards – “when in Rome” – where I taking in a variety of vineyards, all set to amake a beeline for the Boschendal estate near the backdrop of stunning scenery.picturesque town of Franschhoek, and while away ablissful couple of hours sipping wine under the arms of an Hermanus, along the south-east coast, is aoak tree. My friends and I stock up on vino and head sumptuous coastal town famed for its whaleback into the city to watch the sunset from Lion’s Head, watching, whether this be from the land or fromthe sphinx-shaped hill that flanks Table Mountain. the crest and troughs of ocean waves. After an hour-or-so climb, we reach the top and crackopen a bottle to celebrate, toasting the magnificencebefore us, as the setting African sun dips ever-so-slowly Photos: South African Tourism, Skydive Cape Town, Adam Edwards, Getty, TNTinto the Atlantic. The others start reminiscing about their adrenaline-fuelled holiday, while I slip into my own little world andstart planning my next visit. I just hope next time I’ll havediscovered my inner daredevil. n See » A tandem skydive is £130 » Shark diving is £115 » Bungee jumping is £65 » An elephant-back safari is £85 Sweeping vineyards
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  24. 24. FHUWLILHV attractions - from KRWHOV DFWLYLWLHV to WRXULVP EXVLQHVVHV VXFK DV backpackers fiDQG DWWUDFWLRQV IURP EDFNSDFNHUV WR ILYHVWDU to ve-star lodges, township tours whale WRZQVKLS WRXUV WR ZKDOH ZDWFKLQJ FUXLVHV ORGJHV watching cruises, adrenaline- DGUHQDOLQHILOOHG DFWLYLWLHV WR ERWDQLFDO JDUGHQV filled activities to botanical gardens. 7KH FHUWLILFDWLRQ XVHV D VHW RI VWDQGDUGV OLQNHG WR The certification uses a set of standards JOREDO )DLU 7UDGH FULWHULD FRPELQHG ZLWK ORFDOO linked to global Fair Trade criteria, UHOHYDQW LVVXHV combined with locally relevant issues. $ IXOO OLVW RI )776$ FHUWLILHG EXVLQHVVHV LV DYDLODEOH A full list of FTTSA certified businesses DW IDLUWRXULVPVDRUJ]D DQG VRXWKDIULFDQHW is available at and 23
  25. 25. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Ogle a hippo or three in the Shire River Malawi’s Rift Valley is Mumbo Island startlingly bio-diverse24
  26. 26. Malawi Eco-SAFARIHow to eco-safari in MalawiShun petrol-powered boats and electricity-guzzling hotel blocks in favour of kayaks,camping and wildlife. Here’s how to unplug in a land-locked African paradiseWORDS JENNIFER CARRF lying 5000 miles to get to south-east FAST FACTS Conscientious camping WHEN TO GO The dry season is Africa might not be environmentally Two hours later we run aground on the the best for spotting game and lastsfriendly, but anyone eco-conscious from May to mid-November. sand that fringes Mumbo Island and sinkmaking the trip might sleep sounder to find ACCOMMODATION Malawi our toes into what’s best described as has a selection of green hotels inout how to do Malawi the green way. a sub-Saharan Eden. Shaded only by Lilongwe, and a good range ofNatural splendour isn’t in short supply in the eco-lodges, to provide sustainable ancient fig and baobab trees, MumboAfrican country, so you don’t have to go bases for exploring the country’s remains uninhabited except for a nature and wildlife.the gas-guzzling route to find it. community-run eco-camp of seven chic CURRENCY £1 = MWK250 (Malawian Kwacha) tents. Every aspect of the camp isFloat my boat SEE; sustainable – the main form of energy on;;I curl my limbs into a blisteringly hot kayak, the island is solar power, which runs our wilderness-safaris.combiceps ready to battle water on the mighty bucket showers. Torches are wind-up andLake Malawi. Kaye, the sinewy Malawian the loos are compost drop.who’s accompanying me across the lake, Each carefully made and set outhas his eyes locked on to one of the nine impossibly private tent area features a locally carved bed (forgetperfect islands that protrude from the most southerly lake pesky rocks sticking up under ground sheets), floor mats,in Africa’s Rift Valley. I forget myself in the midst of a reed-walled showers and hand-stitched hammocks, all ofmeditative, rhythmic paddle. Without warning, a whoosh which have been lovingly made with sustainable materialsof white plumage and two metres of startling wingspan by local hands. Even more charmingly, the tents are flanks our starboard and almost knocks the oar from myhands. The regal African fish eagle responsible clearly GETTING THEREmimicked the RAF’s execution of a perfect fly-by. Kenya Airways flies Our first motor-free silent slink affords the kind of close- daily from Londonups you’d never get from a boisterous boat ride. With Heathrow to Lilongwe viaeach dip of my paddle, a wall of shimmering vertical Nairobi from around £570 LILONGWE ( shift, disperse then rejoin; a mere fraction of the South African Airways alsolake’s 600 indigenous species that ensure this region is one flies daily from London MALAWIof the most bio-diverse on the planet. It’s like a Blu-Ray- Heathrow to Lilongwe viaenhanced David Attenborough documentary with me Johannesburg ( my kayak on centre stage. 25
  27. 27. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Kayak to Mumbo built into a second, smaller bouldered outcrop that’s Going green joined to the main island via a twinkling walkway of solar- Malawi’s eco merits don’t end on Mumbo. After powered fairy lights. (begrudgingly) bidding adieu to my million-star hammock, I kayak back to Cape Maclear and pick the brains of Chill-out time a local tour guide and founder of Malawian Style, Mike The key to Mumbo, I quickly discover, is to unplug yourself Varndell, on other guilt-free delights to be enjoyed in from the everyday. I spend the first morning chasing Malawi. A specialist in small, sustainable experiences for iridescent blue crabs and fuchsia-coloured cichlid fish grown-up backpackers, Varndell suggests Mt Mulanje – around the rocky shallows of Mumbo’s main beach. “an undiscovered natural wonder that offers tiered rock My submerged squeals are lost on the other guests, all pools, challenging hiking and rock climbing through one thankfully too preoccupied in their own gleeful aquatic of the highest isolated granite inselbergs on the planet”. discoveries. It’s not just fish that vie for your attention The 900m hike can be completed in two days, with an either; dainty pied kingfisher perch on low-hanging overnight stop in a scenic mountain chalet. branches, which are accessorised by acid-green vine snakes. Meanwhile, Cape Claw otters flop in and out of Animal magic the heat while giant, 1.2m-long monitor lizards shuffle To see some impressive wildlife, opt for pedals on the high surreptitiously into the camp’s chill-out lounge. elevation grasslands that comprise the famed Nyika Plateau. With parts of the park crossing into northern Forest fun Zambia, the plateau forms part of Malawi’s oldest national One afternoon we take a forest walk up to a famed park and plays host to the largest concentration of sunset lookout and breathe in the fragrance of fig trees, leopards in central Africa. The region makes for a rewarding thickening the air with top notes of fructose. As dusk thigh-burn some 2000 metres above sea level on possibly the beckons I speed back for freezing local beer from the smoothest trails in Malawi. Besides breathtaking views of camp’s stripped-back bar. Swigging the brew from the the thickly forested valley below, Nyika’s less-frequented soporific comfort of my hammock, I gaze upon the lower region offers an additional reward: antelope, hundreds of lantern-lit fishermen’s boats that wink at me elephant, rhino and plentiful zebra are all regularly through night’s blanket. I understand all too well why spotted grazing on the expansive grasslands. David Livingstone christened this place the Lake Of Stars Another spot Vandell cites as essential is Liwonde when he first visited in the 1800s. National Park, where Mvuu Lodge, a sustainable nature26
  28. 28. Malawi Eco-SAFARI LAKE OF STARS FESTIVAL Lake Of Stars has a hell of a reputation to live up to. Dubbed by Q Magazine as the “best festival in the world”, the four-day international festival of the arts has hosted acts including The Noisettes, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Beverley Knight, MistaJam, Goldierocks, Foals and Baio from the mighty Vampire Weekend. Alongside the big acts, revellers are treated to sets from local performers and DJs. The event attracts people from all around the world who are keen to party with the locals, all to a soundtrack of Malawian dub, reggae, ska, hip hop, funk and soul. The festival, which was inspired by Live Aid, WOMAD and Glastonbury, aims to use the arts to boost Malawi’s economy and get exposure for the country as a tourist destination. And over the camp, teeters on a bend of the crocodile-infested Shire eight years since its inception, more and more River in the Rift Valley. The camp successfully bridges the music lovers have come to join the party (last divide between Malawian communities and existing year there were 3800 attendees) at the Sunbird wildlife. Hundreds of locals benefit from employment at Nkopola Lodge on the palm-fringed shores of the camp and there are obvious signs of reforestation as Mangochi, at the southern tip of Lake Malawi. we approach the main heart of the lodge. After a quick The festival, which is run almost entirely by run-through on camp protocol – “the bongo in your room volunteers, generated more than £620,000 for is to bang if you need escorting through the camp after Malawi’s economy in 2010. But as well as helping existing companies, £1 from every ticket Low-hanging branches are goes to the MicroLoan Foundation, which helps people set up small, self-sustainable businesses. accessorised by acid-green There’s also a Lake of Stars outreach programme which puts on a series of musical, vine snakes educational and sporting events for the local community. dark” – we set off on a sunset cruise in one of the camp’s Tickets cost £85 and the festival takes place eco-friendly four-stroke engine boats to explore the river. every October. We encounter umpteen hippo, waterbuck, birdlife, See: elephants and river crocodiles during the two-hour cruise. It’s hard to be anything but awed. As my eyes adjust toPhotos: Malawi Tourism, Ian Cummings, Getty, Thinkstock the growing twilight, the sun’s alchemy flecking the river with a burnt, blushing rose gold, I’m reminded yet again that some of the best experiences in travel need no human intervention. n » Jennifer Carr travelled with Malawian Style and Mvuu Camp. Malawian Style offers a range of safaris, from kayaking and sailing to hiking and biking. See the for prices 27
  29. 29. 10% Discount if you mention this advert! uger, Cape Town, Ktre Garden Rou lists Safari Specia Cape Town, Kruger Garden Route packages Scheduled daily departures Customised private itineraries and tours Sightseeing, cultural, adventure BIG 5 Starting from £50 Contact us now T: +27 (0) 21 422 4274 C: +27 (0) 83 316 0944 Travel discounts of up to 50% Travel Seminars Jayson Norris Melic Live + Win ‘A Year’s Worth of Travel’ with Kathmandu On the Kathmandu ‘Big Stage’ Saturday 3 March 2012 Earls Court Exhibition Centre Free to Pre-register at tnttravelshow.com28 28
  30. 30. GARDEN ROUTE TOP 5Get face-to-face with JawsBest of theGarden RouteCage dive with sharks, slug the country’s best port and explore underground, all inone whirlwind trip. There’s a reason South Africa’s Route 66 is so popular ...WORDS ALASDAIR MORTONT he Garden Route is an impossibly scenic and inspirational stretch of south-east Cape coastline– 200km in length and bordered on one side by the their mortality in the most adrenaline-charged of manners, the Garden Route offers many unique ways in which to counterbalance the tranquillity of the natural environmentTsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountains, and the Indian with some adventurous activities.Ocean on the other. It’s so named because its vegetatedstate (think colour-drenched flora and fauna and lush 1 Jumping into oblivionlagoons and lakes) contrasts so dramatically with the For anyone with nerves of steel, the world’s highest, biggest,country’s arid interior. most badass bungee jump awaits – 216m off the Bloukrantz But this is just part of the area’s appeal. For those with Bridge near Plettenberg Bay. If that’s not enough, thensomething of the daredevil about them, who enjoy facing there is an alternative option – jumping out of one of 29
  31. 31. DESTINATIONS AFRICA Visit the port capital Cape Town’s cable cars high above Table Mountain. But the ultimate way to see the sights is to skydive. From the vantage point of 10,000 feet above, experience a 30-second freefall followed by a five-minute glide to the ground. The scenic Route coast to the south of Port Elizabeth is the perfect backdrop over which to take the plunge. See: 2 Calitzdorp A small town located in the heart of the Klein Karoo region, Calitzdorp is a quaint place to visit. Apart from its quirksome charm, it also has something more tangible going for it – it’s the port capital of the country. Known as such because of the quality of the port made in this region, it is a must-visit for anyone looking to sample the local fortified produce. See: Go underground 3 Shark diving Coming face-to-face with the rows and rows of cerrated GETTING THERE teeth that belong to one of this planet’s deadliest Flights from London SOUTH AFRICA predators is what the shark diving experience is all about. Gatwick to Cape Town, via The waters off the Route are home to one of the largest Istanbul, start around £505 populations of great whites anywhere, making it the return with Turkish Airlines. CAPE Oudrtshoorn perfect place to get up close and personal with this ( TOWN fearsome creature. Port Elizabeth See: INDIAN OCEAN 4 Oudtshoorn The Garden Route has scenery to die for, but the town of Oudtshoorn is known for a particular kind of ‘underground’ appeal. The subterranean limestone caverns of the Cango Caves offer a glimpse of a bewitching below-surface world, where time and water have eroded the rock into truly fantastic forms. The region is also home to no fewer than 400 ostrich farms. Equally impressive – but in a very different way. See: Photos: White Shark Diving Company, South Africa Tourism, Thinkstock 5 Surfing With some of the world’s most exquisite beaches and waves, surfing – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a wobbly kneed newcomer – is a pursuit this part of the country is particularly well suited for. The waters of the Indian Ocean boast the perfect conditions to paddle out into, so wetsuit up and grab a board (and if you’re a newcomer, an instructor too). Sea kayaking’s an alternative for the balance-challenged. See: n Surf in the Indian Ocean30
  32. 32. TeCombineEnglish ach travel work • Introductory Tandem Skydive • Accelerated Freefall Training • Static Line Training • All discipline Sports Skydiving • Freefall and Parachute Coaching • Aerial Photography • Bespoke Merchandise • Corporate Team Building Events • Personalised Engagement / Birthday T +27 73 267 2119 Bucket List Packages Language School seWeekend Intensive TEFL Cour TANDEM SKYDIVE MEDIA PACKAGE Join us for an exhilarating 20 minute plane ride to 10,500ft where youPerfect for readers looking to: DATE 11-12 Feb, 2012 will exit the plane and experience 35 seconds of freefall. Your tandem‹ Combine travel and work ‹ Teach during their gap year TIME 9am - 6pm instructor will then open the parachute and together you will float gently‹ Have a career change ‹ Work part-time with flexible hours VENUE back down to terra firma. We will capture every moment on digital video Holland Park YHA} There are many job opportunities worldwide to teach Holland House, Holland and edit your production with funky soundtracks. We will also take 100 +English to children, teenagers or adults. Walk Kensington W8 7QU wide angle stills and add that to your cart. Remember to smile and wave…} You could be in Eastern Europe, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica High St Kensingtonor Japan teaching English in a classroom,privately one-to-one, or even online. or Holland Park EXTREME SKYDIVE PACKAGE* Teaching English as a Foreign Language Not for the faint at heart. This is adventure stunt production – take 1!! ONLY You are trained to do a roll exit forwards or backwards at high velocityFor further info or to book your place see: £150 Courses conducted by International TEFL Training and then pull off some high G turns before opening your parachute. ( £200) Under canopy your instructor will then let you take the reins and your rollercoaster ride begins.WELCOME TO CAPE TOWNBOOST YOUR GREEN KARMA AT GREEN ELEPHANT BACKPACKERS Camping, dorm, private and en-suite accommodation. 57 Milton Road, Observatory +27-21-4486359 31
  33. 33. Brand Topdeck’s N EW Africa Itineraries for 2012/13! 1 20 amazing itineraries ranging from Big Five 3 4 5 7 to 58 days 2 Wake up Comfy camping Small group amongst the Overland travel in spacious sizes and wildlife with by fully equipped 2-person dome EVERYONE is National Park safari trucks tents including aged 18 to 39 stays across including lockers, thick foam Africa mattresses power points and on-board freezer AFRICA 2012/13 BROCHURE trips for 18 to 30 somethings OUT NOW! NEW! CALL US 0845 257 5211 brochure-request