There's no greater joy than travelling and having a great time.
(In the same breath there's nothing worse than ending up at places that do NOT make one feel comfortable.)
t's our pleasure to show you what we've experienced to help you plan your next trip.
Heading some place specific and want to know if we've been there yet? Use the "Search this Blog" facility. Just type in the name of the town or facility you wish to find out about and if we've been there it'll be here.
If there's anything you'd like to know about the places that we highlight here, please fell free to leave a comment or contact us directly via
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I hope you'll find our reviews helpful, insightful and inspiring. Here's to seeing you on the road...

Thursday, 4 November 2010


On a recent excursion to rediscover the Quagga, my family and I had the opportunity to stay over in a West Coast holiday resort called Ganzekraal.
This was taken with my mobile and uploaded to Facebook.
It was really pleasant and we were fortunate to stay in a very nice cabin that afforded us an excellent view over the tumultuous sea just meters below us.

The setting sun created an excellent photo opportunity and so we went down to the beach. Kids played on the rocks, Amanda sat in the lapa overlooking the beach while I played photographer-photographer ;-)
On our way down to the beach

Kids on the rocks

The wooden cabins are self catering with a quaint little bathroom and our unit had two separate bedrooms with a central lounge/ dining area. All in all a very pleasant stay ;-)

For enquiries contact:
Tel: 022 492 2752/2265/2266
Fax: 022 492 2455

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Up up and away in my Beautiful Balloon

If EVER you have the opportunity then this is the family outing of a lifetime!

Situated in the heart of the Kalahari Dessert near the "place of great noise" tucked away at a quaint oasis, Augrabies backpacker's, is the launch pad of Kalahari Andrew's Hot Air Ballooning adventure.

Hot and High.

The slogan that makes you stop and think twice, encapsulates this experience nicely.
The noise from the jets as they filled the balloon with hot air added to the excitement while keeping us warm on a typically cold Kalahari winter morning. The sight of the huge balloon filling up and finally lifting up and wafting us away is nothing less than awe inspiring.

"I want one" I exclaimed to Amanda as our ground crew shrank to the size of ants below us.

Sunrise over an Orange River Tributary
Fitting snugly in our 5 man basket, drifting along the air currents one can only marvel at the new paradigm this perspective affords you.

Sailing over strikingly patterned vineyards, some in excess of 20 years old, and waving at the farmers below as they laboured on the future raisins and table grapes, created some friendly bantering.

Talitha's desire to pick a leaf from the tree tops as we skimmed over them was only frustrated by the fact that most were thorn trees.
See through shadow?

Flying above the Kalahari along a couple of the Orange River's tributaries, Captain Andrew flew his craft with great skill and expert precision setting us all at ease, especially Alythia who confessed to having a slight fear of heights which was quickly forgotten as we skirted the Augrabies National Park's borders and saw the mists of the falls bellowing out from the breathtaking eighteen kilometer gorge as water torrented over the fifty-six meter Augrabies waterfall.
Mists of the Mighty Augrabies Falls
18Km Augrabies Gorge
And as the saying goes, "What goes up, must come down", we too had to start looking for a place to touch terra-ferma once again. With his now clearly demonstrated skill and finesse Andrew plonked us down safely with all limbs in tact and a memory to write home about.

If you'd like to experience this amazing adventure...

You can contact Andrew via his Google profile: or Facebook him on
Tell him you heard about him here and who knows... maybe he'll throw in an extra beer ;-)

Shosholoza Meyl

Now here's a great getaway if you want to take the kids on a fantastic adventure!

The Shosholoza Meyl is an economy train trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg that recreates those feelings of romance and excitement that you imagined it would be like travelling the train as a kid.

So it was with great excitement that we walked onto the platform at Cape Town station and animatedly boarded the train in anticipation of our trans-African adventure.

Boarding the train.

The idea of a train trip is to kick back and relax and readjust your watch to original African time. Take a good book or a couple of family games like Uno, pictionary, cludo or scrabbble with you.
There's plenty of time for good family bonding and getting to know each other afresh.
Just Chillin. Note the Lock system. It's advisable to take a Leather-man or something so that when you leave the cabin you can lock and open it.

If you want to take your laptop with make sure you have a 2 prong adaptor as the shaver plugs in the cabin are 220V and fit a standard 2 prong. This way you can watch a movie together when your views fade or play some music in the background.

The tourist class Shosholoza Meyl train offer two person coupés and four person compartments with bunk beds. Amanda was pleasantly surprised at how neat and clean the train was and the space in the cabin allowed for a feeeling of space. (Even though the kids were literally "on top" of us)

During the day, sleeper compartments convert into suites with hot and cold water from a basin stowed underneath the fold-up table. Communal toilets and showers are available at the end of each coach.
Having a cabin near the shower was great. When the kids got a little antsy we told them to go and have a Looong shower.

Sitting in the dinning cart watching the African landscape pass by sipping G&T's was relaxing and a great way to break from the cabin. 
Picture By Talitha Laubscher

Girls chilling in the dining cart. Practising their art.
The Bacon & Eggs breakfast was very nice and heading back to the cabin after dinner to find our beds turned for the night was a refreshing welcome at the end of the day. 
The trip there took 25hours and left us feeling very relaxed as we departed the Johannesburg station.
Heading into a tunnel... Kids (and Dad) loved this!

The price for such a trip is R520 per adult one way and children 0-9 travel for 50%. You must take cash with you as the meals are extra as is the bedding. 
Bedding can be purchased on board from the attendant at R40 p/person. *Bringing your own bedding is allowed.
Food and Snacks can be taken on board or purchased in the dining car and from the compartment trolley service.

Go here: to find out more.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Boulders Beach Lodge & Restaurant

Situated in that very special place where heaven meets earth, the Boulders Beach Beach Lodge and Restaurant is an experience no family should pass up if they have the opportunity.
The kids absolutely LOVED the penguins as they march right passed you without so much as a glance.
It's here that you realise that this is their territory and you are in no doubt the visitor.

Arriving at the Lodge we were warmly met by their very efficient and friendly staff.

Our accommodation was minimalistic yet very comfortable. The bed was so inviting, with the nice plush white linen, when you lie down for the night it invites you to pull the duvet close up under your chin and cuddle down into the pillows as the South Easter blows the cobwebs away from the city skyline.

The first thing we did was to go for a walk down on the beach where we came across a couple of baby penguins nestling with their VERY protective parents.

Oh... Did I mention? There's this sign there prohibiting anyone from shaking hands with the celebrities. ;-)

Boulders Beach Lodge works in collaboration with SANCOB and hold the annual penguin festival from the 1st to the 3rd of October with penguin releases and a whole lot more fun.
Last year our girls were involved in the release of several penguins after they'd been rehabilitated and still speak of it to this day. Apparently the little critter they were trying to release would have nothing to do with the great out doors. All he wanted to do was to jump back into his nice safe cosy box... The result was rather comical. We felt the same way about leaving Boulder's Beach Lodge.

Dinner at the restaurant, prepared by Executive Chef, Sean Kiely, would take another six blogs to describe in eloquent prose so I'm going to say two words... "Mouth Watering!!"
The entire restaurant is decorated with amazing artwork and adds a sense of under-the-sea surrealism.
I'm not fussy about a lot of things but the one thing I do insist on is meat done properly.
(When I order a rare fillet I don't want a medium rare fillet.)
It was suggested that I try the Grain mustard marinated Beef Fillet, with truffle mash, mushroom jus and red onion jam. Which the waiter complimented with a 2005 Beaumont Pinotage.
May I say that if you do enjoy your meat... then this is a dish you will enjoy. I, by pure accident, picked up my butter knife and started eating and only noticed that I was eating with it half way through the meal.

1) Salt and pepper Chilli Calamari with Asian salad and honey roasted parsnip crisps (this one got my juices flowing)
2) Live West Coast oysters, shucked to order -
                                           Natural, Nam Jim (Chilli and Coriander), Avocado lime and chilli, Zucchini Linguini - (I felt that the Zucchini was a bit overdone. The rest however were outstanding)

1) Linefish of the day (which happened to be Red Roman, poached in coconut broth with steamed Asian greens, jasmine rice and satay sauce... Amanda's words, "WOW!"
2) Chermoulla spiced ostrich fillet with fried red pepper polenta, red wine sauce and baba ghanoush. We suggest you take this one rare. Amanda ordered medium and it turned out a little "dry".
 3) Grain mustard marinated Beef Fillet, with truffle mash, mushroom jus and red onion jam. (I do understand what the fuss about truffles are... really I do ;-))

1) Chocolate and peanut spring roll with caramelized bananas and sweet vanilla cream.
2) Coconut deep-fried ice cream with umeshi coulis and poached strawberries.
3) Frangelico and cinnamon crème brulée with almond tuille
4) Rich cholcolate tart with vanilla cream. Did they mention it was RICH?
All in all a very pleasant family outing.
Being right there a short walk from the beach makes it extremely accessible while the family unit is within earshot of the restaurant allowing mom and dad to put the kids down and still be able to sit on the restaurant deck and have a little "together" time.

So what will an evening away like this cost?
In my opinion this evening was priceless. Our hostess Janine was very warm and comfortable to chat to and the staff were extremely competent.
The family Unit which sleeps 5 and is fitted for self catrering is R2390.00 per suite per night - Including breakfast.
Our dinner was an extra R610 for the four of us. If you don't have a Wild Card you'll have to pay to go to the reserves beach but there is a section where you can interact with the penguins without having to pay any additional fees.

For more info go to:
or call Janine on 021 786 1758

Where we've been