Halfway through the year, Africa’s mostly dry winter months arrive along with safari season.
It’s no secret that Hermanus is home to what is arguably the world’s best land- and boat-based whale watching. Every year, thousands flock to this picturesque town lying on Walker Bay (about 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town) to be enthralled by the mating and calving antics of southern right whales as they arrive on their annual migration from the icy Southern Ocean to the balmy shores of South Africa's Garden Route.
Africa's undisputed gourmet capital, Cape Town rolls out a feast for every sense. We've gathered together our favourite favourites in this video, from the city's cafe culture of artisan coffee roasters to the inspired menu of a Cape Winelands treasure set in heavenly gardens, from the decadence of pure chocolate to a pedigreed high tea and, finally, a signature cocktail at our favourite spot to admire the setting sun.
You’ve seen the Big 5, been awestruck by the Great Migration and thrilled by Victoria Falls and the roaring Zambezi River, but you’re still crazy about Africa? It’s time to step it up and discover Africa’s secret adventures…
Pretty much all travel guides talk about seasonal attractions, but we’re safari experts so this booking advice is about what safaris to book during the months of May and June to ensure that you can have the best lodges, guides and locations on your vacation, whether you’re travelling now or the coming year.
A foot-long purple giraffe tongue is probably the most unlikely addition to a breakfast spread but if you're visiting Giraffe Manor, which is situated in a leafy neighbourhood of Nairobi, it's just as common as butter on your toast. A number of friendly and habituated Rothschild's giraffes regularly interact with guests during meal times by sticking their long necks through the windows hoping for a treat (or two).
There is no denying that Kenya has had more than its fair share of tragedy over the past few years. Ordinary Kenyans have suffered the Nairobi Mall attack, an accidental fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, bombings in the far north along the border with Somalia and, most recently, the attack on students at Garissa. Except for the fire, all the other incidents are connected to terrorism perpetuated by al-Shabaab, a militant group based in Somalia. Much like ordinary New Yorkers and Londoners who survived the attacks by al-Qaeda, Kenyans are determined not to let the terrorists get the upper hand or wear them down. But, unlike those in New York or London, they don’t seem to be getting any global support. In fact, countries who have also been victims of attacks are advising against travel to Kenya – rather than offering a hand in solidarity.The hard question is: for the average tourist who wants to experience the once-in-a-lifetime splendour of game viewing on the Masai Mara or the thrill of the wildebeest migration, is it safe to travel to Kenya?
I’ve travelled across most of Africa – from South Africa’s Cape Winelands to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, throughout Botswana and Zimbabwe, to the archipelagos off Mozambique, from sultry Lagos in Nigeria to East Africa’s triumphant trio: Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. I’ve spent two decades in a love affair with this continent, mostly as a solo traveller.
She pushes her huge tail down, ducks under the waves with tremendous forces and then, with colossal power, launches her huge body above the water, coming down with a fantastic splash. Everything is quiet except for the chorus of ‘Wows!’ from my fellow boat passengers. There’s a shared anticipation and keen excitement as we hope she’ll do it again… Our luck is in as she once again uses her tail fin to propel herself like an aquatic rocket above the ocean off Kleinbaai, a tiny hamlet on South Africa’s Whale Coast, less than an hour’s drive from Hermanus and regarded as the whale-watching capital of the world.
You follow a narrow hiking trail through the lushness of a tropical rainforest, wiping sweat from your eyes and feeling grateful for your gators. Suddenly, a tracker returns from scouting ahead and excitedly halts your group - it's time to drop your backpack and move forward slowly with nothing but your camera and the thrill of anticipation. Grinning, your guide turns and whispers the words you've been waiting to hear: ‘There they are.’