Monday, March 28, 2011

Prawn and Chicken wok

Brad joins us for a wok braai at The Terrace. yummy

Dave clears the family grave

Dave and Hein's sister Shirley took time to travel to East London to fix her brother Hein's grave at the West Bank Cemetary there. Hein's memorial plaque is fixed to his brother's grave which is alongside that of her mother Josephine. Buks was killed in a car accident in which she (at 18 months old) her brother Hein and two sisters were travelling on the way back from her own mother's funeral that day.

South Africa tourism tips

Durban beachfront on the warm east coast of South Africa

The big 5 animals of South Africa

Table Mountain Cape Town

I was asked some advice for a tourist to South Africa, so I thought I would write a blog post and extend it to a wider audience.

Most tourists imagine that they can drive around the country in 2-3 weeks and see it all. This would not be adviseable as South Africa is a big country. If you did want to see parts to the north, south, east and west, you would need to fly to some and drive between other parts as I will recommend. An itinerary also depends on how much time you have and your budget.


April is the best time of year to visit South Africa. This is because the weather is generally the best... the heat of summer is over and winter is not yet upon us. Peak season would be summer when the schools are on holiday, but I personally prefer it off-peak when the crowds have thinned out and it is not so hot. Durban is best all year as our winters are never less than 15c and no rain. Cape Town is worst in winter as it is cold, windy and rainy.. best for Cape Town would be October/November and March/April. Cape Town is on the Atlantic Ocean so swimming is generally out, whereas Durban is on the warm east coast so August to end of April is good with best swimming/beaches December to March.


Emirates fly to Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg via Dubai, so best would be to fly in to one city and fly back out of another city, travelling between cities by car, train or bus. Most of the other airlines fly in to either Johannesburg or Cape Town, which means a stop in Durban and the east coast means additional flights or travel. I would even avoid Johannesburg completely and fly into Durban and then out of Cape Town home. My favourite Airline to Africa is SAA of course, but their routes are not the best and sometimes the prices are over the top. Check them out and compare.


Your routing may depend on what you want to see. The Kruger National Park a few hours drive from Johannesburg is probably the best but requires getting to Johannesburg and a few hours drive each way. I personally would avoid that as there are many excellent game parks around South Africa. If you have loads of time you could include the Kruger Park.

So suggestions could be... fly to Johannesburg, hire a car and drive to the Kruger Park. Stay 3 - 4 nights and drive back to Johannesburg to return the car. Fly to Durban and stay for 3 - 5 nights. Fly to Port Elizabeth (2/3rds of the way to Cape Town), hire a car and drive along the coastal Garden route to Cape Town stopping off en-route for 2- 3 nights. Spend 5 nights in Cape Town and fly home direct.

The Drakensberg Amphitheatre

Beach sculptures in Durban

Alternatively fly direct to Durban and stay 3- 4 nights. Drive up to the Hluhluwe Game reserve and stay 3 nights. Drive back to Durban and fly to Port Elizabeth following the same suggestion above ie cut out Jhb and the Kruger park.

As an extension to either route, you could drive to the Amphitheatre in the Drakensburg Mountains which are half-way between Durban and Johannesburg (2 1/2 hours drive), or you could drive from Jhb to Durban intead of flying. Another option is the train from Johannesburg to Durban which I believe is good.

Wine lovers would love Cape Town as the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franshoek wine routes are within 40 mins drive of the city. I personally love Stellenbosch where my son goes to University at the moment, so I can visit him and drink loads of wine. There must be at least 200 wine farms in a few kilometres radius.

If you have a shorter or longer visit planned and want to come at an odd time of year or have any other queries, feel free to email me at and I will try and help out with my recommendations. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

PE and EL

We spent a few days in Port Elizabeth while Llewellyn  was attending an Opthalmology and SpecSavers conference and on Saturday I drove down to East London, stopping in Grahamstown to fetch Hein's sister Shirley. I hired a weedeater and some tools and we spent the afternoon at the West Bank Cemetary fixing up Hein's and her mother's grave.

The rest of the time in PE was spent acquainting myself with the little city - very neat, tidy and litter free and on the Friday we enjoyed a superb beach party under the freeway bridge with an Arabian theme. Good trip!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hong Kong 7s

We shared our Hong Kong experiences with Jaco who jets off there this weekend to take part in the Hong Kong 10s rugby tournament which takes place in conjunction with the Hong Kong 7s. Jaco was talent-scouted to join an International Invitation team for the 10-a-side tournament which runs alongside the famous 7s tournament. Players of the likes of Jonah Lomu will be playing in the 10s.

Good luck Jaco.. it's going to be an awesome trip and we hope you get some good international exposure and possibly a new contract for 2012.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dave presents Seminars

It's been a tough few weeks presenting Seminars on the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act on the 1st April 2011. The Act requires contracts and documentation of suppliers of goods and services in South Africa to be compliant with the Act and I have been helping Agents in the property industry prepare for the imminent commencement of the Act.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Durban to Lebanon and Damascus

Co-incidentally the day after booking our tickets to Beirut and Damascus on direct Emirates flights from Durban -- woo hoo!!! no Johannesburg stop-over and wait-- this story appeared of a guy who hitch-hiked from Durban to Damascus. Our trip won't be so hectic, but am looking forward to see the world's oldest city - and ancient Mesopotamia with the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of Babylon I learned about in history so many years ago.

Read more about Damascus here.

Dave's First Notarial Deed

Dave puts the seal on the first Notarial Deed he has executed as a Notary Public. It was a Notarial Deed of Encroachment - some buildings on one property encroached slightly into another and the Deed established a new title deed condition on both adjacent properties authorising the encroachment. This was a pre-requisite to regularise the buildings and obtain plans approval.

Once executed, Dave sends the Deed with the title deeds of the properties to the Deeds Office in Pietermaritzburg and the Notarial Deed gets registered and the new condition is endorsed on the properties' title deeds.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New house for Shawn

It's  great to see my friends moving to the next level. Congratulations to Shawn and Michael on the purchase of their first home in Westville. Large split-level house with loads of storage space to enable Shawn to operate his business from home. The house has a lovely outlook over the Paradise Valley hills.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Favourite monument in Rome

This is my favourite monument in Rome where Kate-Lynn has been for the last week. I think I liked it particularly as we had been at the incredible Colosseum and then after walking through the Roman ruins en route to the Vatican, we turned a conrner and this giant building suddenly came into view and was so impressive.