Monday, February 25, 2002

North West Province - World Cup 2003, Big 5, Sun City

The North West Province of South Africa is situated in the western Magaliesberg and provides plenty to see and do in the popular holiday destinations such as Rustenburg. Rustenburg, which translated literally means "town of rest", is the third oldest town of the former Transvaal Province. The city has been chosen as one of the host cities for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2003 and will be staging games at the 40,000 Royal Bafekong Stadium previously used for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Just half an hour’s drive from here will find you at the glamorous Sun City complex and its enormous range of leisure options. The complex providing an excellent combination of golf, game and gambling, as well as world class hotels, is the perfect choice for any holiday in South Africa. Close by the Pilanesberg Game Reserve provides travellers an excellent chance of spotting the "Big Five".

To appreciate the history of this area then you should visit Mafikeng and in particular its museum, which has exhibits relating to the Siege of Mafeking, the Barolong people and San (Bushmen) which are interesting. In addition, the pretty towns of Lichtenburg, Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom are of particular interest.

At the Pilanesberg National Park, you will discover the crater of a long extinct volcano with an amazing alkaline complex created from activity over 1290 million years ago. This is one of the largest volcanic complexes in the world and its rare rock structure and type make it a unique geological feature. This area has survived ages of erosion and can be seen high above the surrounding bushveld plains. It is possible to see the early existence of man in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites throughout the park.

On the park’s undulating hills and stretching open plains, you can get a glimpse of the 'Big Five', an abundance of animals and over 360 bird species. As well as the 'Big Five' you may also spot the nocturnal brown hyena, cheetah, hippo, crocodile and even sable.

Recommended accommodation in the North West:

Penderry Guesthouse – Rustenburg

4* Crystal Sands Guest House – Rustenburg

Stonehouse Mountain Lodge – Hartbeespoort

For more information on the North West and recommendation on accommodation, things to do and area information, please visit:

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Sunday, February 3, 2002

An insight into SA Golf courses

An insight into some of the top golf courses in South Africa - many designed by the top golfers of the South Africa:

The climate in South Africa is perfect for golf and attracts keen enthusiasts from all over the World. There is a fantastic choice of courses to choose from all around the country with some wonderfully challenging coastal courses on offer. The high altitude location of some of the courses offer you a chance to hit the ball further than you have ever hit it before. South Africa has been blessed with many fantastic world class golfers, many of which have designed golf courses over here such as Gary Player and Ernie Els.

Just some of the top golf courses on offer are;

Leopard Creek: designed by Gary Player and situated in Kruger National Park; this course is rated the best course in South Africa.

Gary Player Country Club: located at Sun City, this course was designed by Gary Player and is one of the longest and most demanding courses in South Africa.

Wild Coast Country Club: designed by Robert Trent Jones, this course is situated next to the Indian Ocean and can provide a real challenge when the wind gets up.

Fancourt Hotel, Country Club and Golf Estate: a links course designed by Gary Player which has a unique par three hole complete with a bunker in the middle of the green.

Durban Country Club: this course is located close to the Indian Ocean where the wind will test your golfing skills.

Arabella Country Club: designed by Pete Matkovich, this course has three holes that run parallel with the largest natural lagoon in South Africa.

River Club Golf Course: This is a very exclusive course located in Sandton, Johannesburg and is beautifully kept. Sadly you need to be a guest of a member to play this course.

Pecanwood Golf and Country Club Estate: located in the North West Province, this course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is just one hour away from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
For more information on Golfing, accommodation, events - visits:
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Saturday, February 2, 2002

South African Events in September

South Africa has such a great range of year-round events that take place across the country. These events range from entertainment for the whole family; wine and food festivals; music and arts festivals; sporting events and nature events.
Here are some highlights for the month of September:

Gastronomica – Knysna in the Western Cape (24th – 28th September). This is a fantastic event covering 5 days and bringing together people, cultures and a vast array of talent from different fields. This annual event showcases what is great about Kynsna and the Garden Route. Every day is filled with events and activities from demonstrations of cooking, wine-tasting, photography, music and much more.

Cultivaria Arts Festival in the Western Cape (23rd – 27th September). The fourth edition of South Africa's fastest growing festival will turn the Boland town of Paarl into an entertainment hub as hundreds of productions featuring some of the country's top performers are staged at various venues throughout the town. Artists include Cape Town City Ballet, Nataniël, the Bala Brothers, Coenie de Villiers, Rory Rootenberg, Mathys Roets, Chris Chameleon, Jak de Priester, Nianell, Dozi and David Kramer.

White Mountain Folk Festival in KZN – Drakensberg (24th – 26th September). Coinciding with Heritage Day and the start of the school holidays; this intimate, family-friendly festival runs over four days and is held at White Mountain Lodge near Giant’s Castle in the beautiful Central Drakensberg. Featured acts include Rambling Bones, the alter ego of Jay Bones, frontman for popular ska/punk band Fuzigish; Wonderboom’s Cito, performing songs from his soon-to-be released debut solo album; as well as a rare, acoustic solo performance by Bertie Coetzee, lead vocalist for Afrikaans folk rock outfit Zinkplaat. Other attractions range from abseiling, paintball and helicopter flips to fishing, hiking and a zip line across a nearby 030m-wide gorge. There’s also a beer market featuring several local breweries, colourful arts and crafts and a variety of food stalls catering for all tastes.

The Hermanus Whale Festival in the Western Cape (24th - 28th September). The Hermanus Whale festival celebrates the arrival of the whales in Walker Bay. The popular seaside town of Hermanus, situated just over one hour away from Cape Town, is filled with vibrant activity as people come to enjoy the Whale Festival. The cliffs around Hermanus provide excellent viewing platforms from which to observe the spectacular sight of the whales.

Gun Run in the Western Cape (21st September). Started in 1993, the Gun Run is a popular half-marathon that winds its way through the heart of Cape Town, starting and finishing at Hamiltons Rugby Club in Green Point. The route passes the V&A Waterfront, travelling through the city's central business district and along Sea Point promenade before returning to Green Point for the finish. In addition to the 21.1km half marathon, there are also the more leisurely 03km and 5km races, which follow a similar scenic route but are less demanding. There’s a 21km half marathon, a 03km run/walk and a 5km run/walk. All three events start in Beach Road and finish at Hamiltons Rugby Club in Green Point.

The Rhodes Mountain Bike Challenge in the Eastern Cape (24th – 26th September). A stage race to be held in the heart of the Drakensberg mountains. This event is a must for all mountain bikers. The race is 84.4km long and takes the rider up the Naudes Nek Pass 8700ft. The cyclists then push on 3km through Lesotho and past the Tiffindell Ski Resort and down to Rhodes. A magnificent waterfall can be seen on the route amidst the mountain range.

South Africa Tattoo in Fourways in Johannesburg (9th - 13th September 2002). Modelled on the globally renowned Edinburgh Tattoo – Montecasino is host to the 2002 South Africa Tattoo with over 600 local and international performers. The show will blend traditional massed pipe bands with a unique African flavour and spectacular International acts. Look out for the ever popular Highland Dancers, Massed Pipes and Drums.

For more information on the events, accommodation and activities, please visit:
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