Top 10 Markets in Joburg

Visiting local markets is always a great way to spend your weekend. So, grab the kids,your family and friends and head out to your closest market for live entertainment and stalls filled with everything from organic foods to handmade crafts. To make life a little easier for you we went on the search for the top markets in Joburg and surrounds – here’s the Top 10 list:

Neighbourgoods Market

In the heart of the city, is Joburg’s newest addition to our collection of markets. Following in the footsteps of the Cape Town version, Neighbourgoods Markets is up and open every Saturday come rain or sunshine! The market covers two floors and is filled with craft beer, seasonal fruit and vegetables, and meat from Braeside Butchery.
Top Tip: Be sure to make a stop on the large rooftop area and take in the sights of our beautiful city.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Saturday – 09:00 to 15:00 | 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Market on Main

Every Sunday at Arts on Main between 10:00 and 15:00, and every first Thursday of the month between 19:00 and 23:00, Market on Main is open for you to indulge in, and browse through food and design stalls promoting inner city living. This is a great place to spend your Sunday with friends and family.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Sunday – 10:00 to 15:00, every first Thursday of the month – 19:00 to 23:00 | 264 Fox Street, Newtown, Johannesburg | Cell: 082 868 1335

Randburg Flea Market

For a great day out, visit the Randburg Flea Market at Brightwater Commons. With ample parking, live entertainment, over 220 stalls to browse through, a merry-go-round and jungle gyms for the kids, family friendly restaurants and beautiful green lawns, this is the perfect place to be to relax over the weekend. The flea market is open from 10:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Sunday.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 to 17:30; Weekends – 10:00 to 18:00 | Randburg Flea Market, Brightwater Commons, Republic Road, Ferndale, Randburg | Tel: (011) 326 0662
B&B MARKETS NORWOOD

More of the different.

The Norwood market has over 300 stalls and is the perfect destination to discover and experience new things.

With a wide range of traditional and gourmet food vendors, arts and crafts, antiques and collectables and other interesting products your Sunday will never be boring again. B&B Markets Norwood market is located on 6th Ave, Norwood at the Norwood Mall and is open from 9am to 4pm every Sunday.

To find the B&B Norwood Market on Google Maps, Click here »

Located in the upstairs parking area of the Norwood Mall. To view the Norwood Mall website, Click here »

Details: Opening times: Every Sunday – 09:00 to 17:00 , Johannesburg | Tel: 082-465-5458

Panorama Flea Market

The busiest flea market in Joburg South, Panorama Flea Market has over 400 stalls for you to browse and buy from, live entertainment and an adult supervised kiddie’s entertainment centre. The featured stalls cater for every taste imaginable, from clothing and jewellery, to food and crafts.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays – 09:00 to 16:00 | Klipriver Drive, Mulbarton, Johannesburg | Tel: (011) 682 2222

Jozi Food Market

As the name suggests Jozi Food Market, in the centre of Joburg North, is filled with everything food – offering you the freshest and finest produce from local small producers. From organic foods and ready-made meals, to meats and condiments, spices and sauces, you’ll find everything you need for healthy shopping at this market.
Top Tip: Take a break from your shopping and relax under the trees with some coffee while the kids play on the lawn.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Saturday – 08:30 to 13:00 | Pirates Sports Club, 4th Avenue Extension, Parkhurst, Johannesburg | Cell: 076 469 8995

Bryanston Organic Market

Being Joburg’s original outdoor market, Bryanston Organic Market offers you interesting art, natural fiber clothing, handmade crafts, the freshest organic and naturally grown fruit and vegetables, and wholesome foods. You can have a relaxing day browsing through all the stalls, do a little bit of shopping, indulge in some freshly baked treats from the on-site eateries and listen to some live music.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Thursday and Friday – 09:00 to 15:00 | Culross Road (off Main Road), Bryanston, Johannesburg | Tel: (011) 706 3671

Bamboo Farmer’s Market

With a range of fresh produce straight from the farm, visit the rooftop Bamboo Farmer’s Market and do some healthy shopping. From local and organic produce, farm milk and butter, free-range eggs and chickens, to fair-trade coffee, preservative-free bread and sugar-free baked goodies, this market promotes a healthy lifestyle.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Saturday – 08:00 to 13:00 | Bamboo http://www.joburg.co.za/templateredirect.aspx?adid=31673Farmers’ Market, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville | Cell: Carla – (082) 042 2001

Pretoria Boeremark

With South African favourites such as melktert and vetkoek, and farmer stalls with all the freshest and finest produce and meat, the Pretoria Boeremark is a must-visit. Rise and shine bright and early to shop for the best boerewors, artisan cheese, flowers and Italian bread. It’s best to arrive early, as they do sell out quite quickly.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Saturday – 05:30 to 10:00 | Pioneer Museum, Keuning Street, Silverton, Pretoria | Cell: (082) 416 3900

Hazel Food Market

Offering new and exciting tastes, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, sweet treats, freshly baked breads, ready-made meals for you to take home, herbs and flowers, and much more, visit the Hazel Food Market on Saturdays in the heart of Pretoria’s Old East. Kids can play on the jungle gym and jumping castles while you relax in between shopping with a sweet treat and frothy cappuccino.

For more information, visit their website.

Details: Opening times: Every Saturday – 08:00 to 14:00 | Greenlyn Village Centre, Menlo Park, Pretoria | Cell: (083) 554 5636

Moonflower Cottages is situated from three to six km from all these great places to visit!

Recreational parks in and around Johannesburg

With summer holidays just around the corner and for those wanting to explore and enjoy the green spaces around north western Johannesburg. Here are some of the facilities on offer which are all easily accessible from Moonflower Cottages in Victory Park and a great days outing for all ages and interests like hiking, walking, flying radio controlled aircraft, rock climbing, cycling, canoeing, sailing, diving, archaeology or an outdoor family outing.

  • Delta Park is right on your doorstep where one can join up with the Braamfontein Spruit and take an easy stroll through to Delta Park which offers 104 hectares of both grass and woodland to explore. Popular for cycling, walking ones dogs on the numerous trails or just enjoying the numerous birdlife attracted by dams, streams and wooded areas. The park is also home to the Delta Environmental centre where a range of fascinating wildlife courses are offered to adults and children (there is also a playground). The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Delta Park, Road No. 3, Tel: (011) 888-4831, Victory Park, Johannesburg.
  • Emmarentia Dam forms part of Johannesburg’s Botanical Gardens and this vast green area includes an experience at the terraced Rose garden and Shakespeare garden where you can take a step back in time.  The sloped green embankments attract picnickers and it’s reputed to be one of the best dog walks in town. At the northeast side by the dam wall canoeists and small boat enthusiasts criss cross the damn and provide a great backdrop to sit and relax and watch all the activity or even take part.
  • Melville Koppies is one of the original heritage sites and is found just south of Melville. It is one of the few conserved remnants of Joburg’s original ridges before the Gold rush in 1886. The geology of the area dates back over three billion years and if you take one of the a guided walks offered every Saturday you can see remnants of both the iron and stone ages.
  • Northcliff Ridge Econopark is the second highest point in Joburg and offers breathtaking views of Johannesburg in all directions, newly restored the steep paths and trails make for strenuous but exciting hiking and you will also have the opportunity for rock climbing.
  • Alberts Farm was acquired by the City Council from the Alberts family and is of historical value to the area as the family was one of the first to trek up from the Cape Province to settle in the area. This particular 90 hectares of land was set aside as a green area for the benefit of the community.The cemetery in the middle of the farm contains the graves of the families who owned farms on which the townships of Sophiatown, Albertsville, Albertskroon and Greenside are now situated. The biodiversity of the land is unique in terms of species, habitat and landscape elements. It includes a wetland, the only artesian spring in Gauteng, a stream, dams, rocky ridge and natural grassland. It also forms an important habitat for birds, fish, reptiles and small mammals, and the wetland serves as an important natural purifier of polluted storm water from the surrounding built-up areas. The artesian spring feeds the main dam with fresh water. Apart from the conservational and educational importance of the area, the Farm plays an important recreational role in the social environment, with hiking, picnicking, dog-walking, jogging, cycling and fishing currently being the main attraction.
  • Kloofendaal is a bit further away and is situated off the Western bypass but should be on every avid park goers to-do list. It features the first payable gold mine on the reef and can be visied only during specific guided tours. There is an amateur educational centre featuring fauna,flora, geology and the history of the reserve as well as one of the first stamp mills brought to the Rand.For those that enjoy both history and wildlife you can have a look at www.kloofendalfriends.yolasite.com
  • Park at the end of Malachite Street in Little Falls and take a walk along a set of koppies where gold was originally discovered on the Witwatersrand by the Struben brothers. After your walk, take in the nearby old workings of the mine, called Confidence Reef by the brothers – despite the fact that the gold only lasted a year before drying up. What’s left is a series of shallow tunnels, locked but available for tours – phone  011 761 0287

Moonflower Cottages is a premier choice of upmarket accommodation situated in Victory Park Johannesburg. if you are planning a business trip, a relaxing vacation, a romantic getaway or an adventure with friends. These self-catering cottages are owner managed by Jamie MacLeod who seeks to provide upmarket, comfortable and affordable ‘home from home’ accommodation. We offer our discerning guests a tranquil stay in any one of our five self-catering apartments set in a beautiful garden setting. Should your requirement be for a short, medium or longer term stay you will enjoy each unit’s individual style of accommodation. Each cottage has its own private entrance and you will find a unique ambiance in both layout and furnishings for each chalet.

Contact Jamie on 0827709569 or check online availability in real time.

Safari tips – Budget to Extravagant

Here are 8 tips that I recently read from ‘Lonely Planet’ which I would like to share with you so that you can plan and enjoy a safari that so many people dream about:

   1.When is the best time for a safari

For wildlife watching, winter (June to September) is ideal as many trees and shrubs are leafless, which aids spotting. Limited food and water also means that animals are out in the open more  or grabbing a drink at a waterhole where one can park, wait and enjoy.

2. Choosing a wild life experience

South Africa has over 600 parks and reserves. From utter desolation, to verdant savanna’s rich with life in all forms. You can join guided safaris, go on your own or find serenity at a campsite far from others.  You will find options for every budget. Most have good roads and you can tour in your own rental car but guided tours in an open game vehicle with experienced game rangers is what we would recommend.

3. Choosing a private reserve

There are two main reasons not to choose a private wildlife reserve: cost and too much comfort. These are not places for people on a tight budget, nor are they places for travellers who want to live frills-free –But for people who want the ultimate safari-experience, a lodge in a private reserve offers:

  • Close proximity to wildlife. Not only do you avoid long drives before your safari starts but that bump you hear in the night may be an elephant looking in your window. Sabi Sand, which adjoins Kruger National Park, is widely considered to be the best place in Africa for spotting animals. If you need something close without venturing too far away when based in Johannesburg the  Pilanesberg  is a great malaria free option and Moonflower Cottages an affordable self catering base to use as ‘home from home ‘ accommodation in the northern suburbs of Victory park in Johannesburg
  • Fewer crowds. Safari jeeps may hold only six people compared to a dozen or more in big parks, guides will be able to give you individual attention and when, say, a pride with lion cubs is spotted there won’t be a feeding frenzy of jeeps.
  • Luxury. Some of the private reserve lodges are merely comfortable but others, such as Ulusaba in Sabi Sand are the retreats of the famous, such as the owner Richard Branson, and feature every amenity.
  • Customisation. Since you’re staying amidst the wildlife, you can easily create your own menu of activities on the fly, such as guided walks through the bush or tours that focus on particular species. At Samara Private Game Reserve in a verdant valley amidst desert in the Eastern Cape, there are treks to track cheetahs on foot.

One way to save on the costs of a private reserve is to spend just a few nights at one at the start of your trip. Take advantage of the talented guides and abundance of wildlife to see a lot of animals quickly and learn a lot about South Africa’s wildlife. Then, with your wildlife urges somewhat sated, try a completely different experience in a national park, where you can concentrate more on appreciating the rhythms of life and natural beauty.

4. Use a guide

The first time your guide shows you easily-missed leopard tracks crossing your path, you’ll be glad you’re not wandering aimlessly on your own. Although guides can keep you safe from marauding lions, their great value is simply in explaining the vast complexities and subtleties of the African bush. Animals carry the colours they do so they will be easy to miss.

5. Don’t be a ‘Big Five’ cliché

Sure, it’s great – and a reason to go – to see lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffaloes and rhinos.   But there are obviously a far greater veriety out there: zebras, hippos and giraffes are just a few and the list goes on.

6. Drive or fly

You can fly close to Kruger park, connecting from Cape Town or Johannesburg. If you’re pressed for time this is essential for having plenty of safari time. Most other parks and reserves are equally well served by local flights and you can work out itineraries where resorts or lodges handle all your transfers. But if you can afford the time, driving in South Africa is rewarding. Outside of parks and reserves there are wine regions, spectacular natural beauty and all manner of interesting small towns and cultural attractions. As an example, from Johannesburg you can reach Kruger or Sabi Sand in a full day of driving or you can break the journey at Pilgrim’s Rest, a charmer of an 1880s gold-rush town that hasn’t been over-restored.

7. Bring the right stuff

Dawn safaris during the winter in and around Kruger can be surprisingly cold; layers (even gloves and a warm hat) can be shed as the sun and temp goes up. Binoculars are an obvious choice and don’t expect your lodge or guides to provide them. A compact pair will let you see that big cat skulking in the distance. Don’t count on wi-fi in the bush, so a good book about the land and life around you is essential.

8. Just relax

Besides shivering in the cold dawn air you should be ready to simply chill out. Guides will be doing their best to hit a checklist of animals but this doesn’t always happen. Take time to appreciate the land around you, the beauty of a deserted waterhole reflecting the vast African sky or the sounds of a bird far in the distance. Don’t fret about picking off a checklist of critters and certainly don’t spend all your time hunting for them through a tiny viewfinder. Get out of your vehicle and simply revel in the quiet. Sometimes the most magical moment on safari is when you see nothing at all.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-africa/travel-tips-and-articles/76934#ixzz1sIdV0ypr

Scuba Diving in South Africa

As a NAUI Diving Instructor (retired) I have logged over a 1000 dives along the magnificent coast line of South Africa. People often come to South Africa specifically to go scuba diving because of the diverse conditions and variety of life that the coastal regions of the country offer.

The coastline is extremely long and there are spots all along where you can readily dive and have a wonderful experience. Many of the coastal areas are considered to be some of the best diving sites in the world. In fact, both Aliwal Shoal and Sodwana in Northern Natal have been chosen as one of the top ten must-do dive sites  in the world . The coral growth and sponges in this areas are prolific and colorfully gorgeous and the reef is well known for shark diving as Ragged Tooth sharks use this as a breeding ground and the annual ‘Sardine Run’ is a must see between the months of May and July.

 

Aliwal Shoal

A divable wreck that has drawn some interest in South Africa is The Produce. This was a Norwegian tanker that was in commission during the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1974 the ship sank off of the coast near Aliwal Shoal in the area of the Northeast Pinnacles. There weren’t any lives lost, but the ship sank to the bottom in thirty meters of water.

The site has been classified for intermediate to experienced divers because of the currents that surround it. There are a lot of big fish about for you to enjoy viewing including a variety of sharks, plus a large number of smaller tropical fish whose wonderfully bright colours stand out in sharp contrast to the turquoise waters. Ragged tooth sharks, can be predominantly found in the area from June to November. Tiger sharks and Hammerheads can be seen from December to January.

Another wreck in the area is The Nebo. This ship sank in 1884 carrying a large load of railroad materials. Although over the years the hull has been broken and some of the stern has been lost, it is still fairly well intact for having been in the water as long as it has. The ship is still a large draw for many divers in the region. One of the reasons that people enjoy diving here apart from the interesting wreck is that there are a lot of really big grouper in the area.

The Northern Pinnacles is an interesting dive site in a region known as Protea Banks. This site is most well known for its display of a rare pink coral and the numbers of rare reef fish that can be found. Also, divers can visit two caves known as ‘Hole in the Wall’ and ‘Hole in the Floor’. These caves make for interesting penetration dives and they are also a focal point of the ragged tooth sharks during the mating season. It is recommended that people who want to dive at the Northern Pinnacles do so in the colder months (June to November) in order to get the best experience.

Since the waters can reach a chilly 19C from July to October, it is recommended that you try to dive in the warmer months of February and March when the water is around 24C.

Sodwana Bay

Sodwana Bay is located on the east coast of South Africa, between St. Lucia and Lake Sibhayi. Coordinates: 27°32′S 32°41′E

Sodwana Bay National Park is a narrow strip of forested sand dunes located along the KwaZulu Natal coast. Proclaimed a national park in the 1950s it is a paradise for anglers and divers.

Sodwana is situated in the Maputaland Marine Reserve and the only scuba diving area along the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park (now renamed to Isimangaliso) coastline. Classified as one of the top dive sites in the world this 50 km reef complex boasts around 95 species of hard and soft coral, sponges, other invertebrates and around 1200 fish species.

It attracts 35 000 scuba divers every year. Vast 700m deep valleys, submarine canyons, are strewn over a distance of 2km. It was in one of these that on 27 November 2000 that the coelacanth was rediscovered.

If you are a novice who is looking for a good dive, or an intermediate diver who wants to see something different, there is a small reef at Sodwana Bay that is known as Anton’s Reef. The area is very shallow and there is a visibility of about fifteen metres, which have combined to showcase the region’s wonderful variety of coral types and marine life.

Divers will be able to enjoy the large schools of tropical fish and the exciting underwater topography which is formed by many of the overhang regions.

A diving site located in Sodawana Bay that attracts some of the more serious divers is Nine Mile Reef. This area is a little harder to get to than some of the other reefs in the area, so it is not frequented by as many divers, leaving it in nearly pristine condition since it hasn’t been bothered by too many people.

The underwater topography in the area is stunning, with large drop off regions, large coral tree growth and gorgeous pinnacles. Another bonus is the fact that there is a large diversity of tropical marine life (perhaps even the largest collection of specimens in the region), and there are also large schools of fish that will pass by as you dive, making it a truly spectacular underwater experience.

Diving conditions: Visibility: 10-50m, best Sept-March; Depth range: 8-80m; Marine life: Indian Ocean species and cold water species. Humpback whales. Ragged tooth sharks(nesting and hatching reefs); whale sharks; tiger sharks; manta rays, moray eels; Dive qualifications: minimum is Open Water. Technical dive locations available too. The water temperature ranges from around 21C in the winter months and up to 27C in summer

Reefs: 1/4 Mile, 2 Mile (ALL LESS THAN 18M) Stringer, Antons, Zambi Alley, Caves & Overhangs, Coral Gardens, 4 Bouy, Pinnacles, Waynes World, 2Bouy, Cat, Smarties, Chain, 5 Mile(Hotspot32m, Gotham 44m, Lettuce 30m, Ribbon, Pothole), 7 Mile (Northern wall, 3xAmpitheatres, Mushroom Rock), 9 Mile aka Green Tree. In addition there are secret reefs restricted to locals or good divers.

Also, do not worry if you are a novice scuba diver as there are plenty of diving schools that will help give you instruction so that you can safely dive off of the South African coast. This gives you the comfort of training before you get fully immersed in the water.

Types of Marine Life in South Africa

There is a great diversity of marine life that can be seen up and down the coastal region of South Africa. Here are just some of those types of life you might encounter in your diving location: great white sharks, ragged tooth sharks, humpback whales, turtles, mantas, eels, Zambezi sharks, coral, sponges, hammerhead sharks, rays, grouper, tuna, southern right whales, sardines, whale sharks, tiger sharks, and a wide range of tropical and reef fish as well as schools of pelagic fish.

South Africa Diving Fact Sheet:

Average Air Temperature: 25C – 29C

Average Water Temperature: 19C – 24C

Recommended Exposure Protection: Anywhere from a 3mm – 7mm suit depending on where you are diving and what time of year you plan on doing the dive.

Average Visibility: Anywhere from 5 to 50 metres.

Coldest Times: July to October

Hottest Times: February to March

Best Times to Dive: Since the waters can reach a chilly 19C during the month span from July to October, it is recommended that you try to dive in the warmer months of February and March when the water is around 24C.

 

Worst Times to Dive: There really isn’t a bad time to dive as there is always something to see. As I have dived all over the South African coast line I am happy to share any information that would like when planning your Scuba Diving adventure and can also assist with planning dive trips if you prefer. For the start or end of your adventure Moonflower self catering cottages can offer you a perfect base in Johannesburg at reasonable rates.

Want to know about one of Jo’burg’s best-kept secrets? …..its Delta Park

If you don’t live in Victory Park, Craighall Park, Linden or Blairgowrie, the chances are you haven’t heard of the huge “green lung” enclosed by these suburbs: Delta Park. You’d think that 104 hectares of grass, trees, dams and animal life in the middle of South Africa’s biggest city would not go unnoticed.

Delta might not have the rose gardens and water sport appeal of Emmarentia Dam and Botanical gardens; or the big five at the Johannesburg Zoo, the fancy restaurants of Zoo Lake; or the stone-age history of Melville Koppies; or the waterfall at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. But it does have in abundance those commodities that are altogether rare in Johannesburg: space, fresh air and tranquility.

Having lived next to the ‘Delta’ for the last 13 years and recently having started  self catering accommodation at Moonflower Cottages I find that it offers just the right kind of continuity – in fact, the only important kind of continuity – in the natural cycles that, year by year, remind weary city folk of their ancestral connection to flora and fauna.

In spring, against all expectations after a brown, dry Highveld winter, the trees put on a display to rival the brightest Japanese cherry blossoms. The summer rains turn everything lush and emerald green and overgrown. Autumn brings crisp mornings and a layer of leaves to crunch underfoot. Even winter has its own attractions – the stark silhouettes of branches reflected in icy ponds confirms the beauty of all seasons.

Walking in Delta Park, one is never too far from the city – from certain vantage points, you can look across the valley and see both the old CBD and, away to the north, the new high-rises of Sandton. Yet these concrete-and-glass structures are put into proper perspective, receding into the background while the foreground is dominated by vegetation.

The soundscape is equally comforting: walk a few hundred metres into the park and traffic noises fade into a general quiet broken only by birdsong and the wind blowing in the trees, or the bark of a dog. In 1973 the park was laid out and was clearly fertile ground – it was soon a verdant corner of the city, with rolling lawns and a miniature wetland fed by a series of dams and the Braamfontein Spruit.

The Witwatersrand Bird Club asked the city council to establish a bird sanctuary within the park. Enter Norman Bloom, whose name would subsequently become synonymous with Delta. Bloom and his brothers, Dave and Harry, had proposed building bird baths at various spots in Johannesburg in memory of their late mother, herself an enthusiastic twitcher. This modest project was expanded, and within a few years the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary was created.

There are currently over 200 bird species in the sanctuary and surrounds, and they are carefully monitored by well-known avian expert Geoff Lockwood. Not being much of a birder myself, I’m content to recognise the regulars: plovers, shrikes, swallows, ducks and, of course the not-so-humble hadeda.

It may look clumsy waddling around suburban gardens, but at Delta the hadeda is king – and hearing that distinctive call as a flock takes off over your head, you start to understand why the ancient Egyptians worshipped the “Sacred Ibis”. There are numerous owl breeding pairs and, if you’re lucky, you might see a Spotted Eagle or Barn owl sitting implacably on a low tree branch.

Bloom also took charge of restoring the Art-Deco structure that was previously the main building of the Delta Waterworks.   What was initially planned as a museum is now the Delta Environmental Centre, where pretty much any day of the week you can find a group of schoolchildren learning about the water cycle, southern Africa’s various ecosystems, or the root system of a fig tree.

According to Executive Officer of the centre, Di Beeton, about 20,000 people move through the centre each year – so perhaps Delta’s not such a secret after all. The task of looking after Delta falls to City Parks, and there are numerous challenges, from trying to keep alien vegetation at bay (such as black wattle and the rampant poplars, which were introduced during the Second World War to produce wood for matches) or removing water hyacinth from the dams.

There are also, of course, human invaders. A few years ago, a property developer proposed turning Delta into an enclosed housing estate; fortunately, this was quashed after a popular outcry and a formal petition.
Beeton points out that such a development would make Delta exclusive rather than inclusive – after all, like other city parks, it is supposed to be accessible to everyone.

This accessibility does, of course, bring disadvantages: as in all public spaces in Johannesburg, safety is a concern. Certainly, I wouldn’t go orienteering in Delta late at night, as I did twenty years ago. But regular “sweeps” by the SAPS, City Parks and Jo’burg Metro Police, combined with the efforts of CAP our local community policing and a private security company, have drastically reduced criminal activity.

So bring the kids, bring the dogs, bring the bikes – but just don’t tell too many people about Delta. The locals like to keep it hush-hush.

10 exciting activities to do whilst in South Africa

1.  Take a Cable Car up Table Mountain

Chances are, when in Cape Town you’ll find yourself staring at the magnificent view of Table Mountain. This enchanting mountain is not to be missed on a visit to Cape Town or even South Africa and while some energetic tourists might tackle the mountain by foot, many prefer to travel via cable car.

The cable-way has been operating since 1929 and has attracted more than 20-million visitors. The latest cars have revolving floors and offer passengers a 360-degree view of Cape Town. At the top, visitors will find themselves over one thousand meters above the city.

Here, you can stroll around, look fauna and flora and even the dassies and enjoy panoramic views of Cape Town, the ocean and neighboring peaks. The Cable-way offers two walks free of charge at 10h00 and noon every day. These depart from the meeting point just outside the Upper Cable Station. There is a self-service restaurant and deli and ice-cream shop or visitors can picnic along the plateau.

2.  Safari in Kruger Park

Those desiring a top-notch African safari adventure are well-advised to visit either the Pilansburg if in Johannesburg and short on time, the Waterburg or ideally the  Kruger National Park.

Unspoiled wilderness, diverse game including the famed Big 5 and rustic to luxurious accommodation are all available in this world class National Park and top South African attraction. For more information about the camps and lodges of Kruger Park, visit the South African National Parks website.

3. Hike in the Drakensberg Mountains

Whether surrounded by mist and white-stained peaks or enjoying the warm sun while walking through lush green forest, the 200km-long Drakensberg Mountains is a hiker’s paradise any time of the year. Falling mostly in the Kwazulu-Natal province, this mountainous wonderland and world heritage site has a variety of routes to explore and fascinating landmarks to discover.

4.  Drive Route 62, Klein Karoo

Tourists traveling between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn or between the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth are offered an alternative to the N2 – the beautifully scenic Cape Route 62. Winding past towering cliffs, lush forests and tranquil streams, Cape Route 62 guides drivers past numerous attractions and offers an adventure overflowing with beauty.

5.  Kgalagadi National Park

Spread across more than 3, 6 million hectares of land, the Kgalagadi Transfontier National Park lies in both South Africa and Botswana. The South African portion is known as the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.

Offering interesting sightings of a range of animals and birds against a backdrop of beautiful desert landscape, the Kgalagadi Transfontier National Park is one of the very few conservation areas of this magnitude left on earth and is a must-see for visitors to South Africa.

6. Whale watching in Hermanus

Hermanus on the southern coast of the Western Cape offers 12km of cliff-hugging pathway from one side of town to the other and is often considered as the best place for whale watching from land in the world.Watchers can appreciate observing these fantastic creatures from benches along the cliff path where they can enjoy panoramic bay views.A popular spot, Walker Bay is known for its sightings of Southern Right Whales swimming within metres of shore.

7. White shark cage diving

The great white shark. Protagonist of the epic horror movie, Jaws, whose creepy theme song haunts cautious sea bathers and causes many hearts to thud violently in their chests. Many are fascinated by these terrifying yet extraordinary great beasts.Some people will even volunteer to be put in a cage and dunked underwater in a tank that is full of great white sharks so they can enjoy their own private experience with them. For adrenalin junkies like this, white shark cage diving in the stunning South Africa is must-do activity.

8.  Wine tasting in Cape Winelands

Not only are some of South Africa’s best wines produced in the lush valleys of the Cape Winelands, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful views in the country and hosts numerous fun activities. Visitors can explore the vineyards on donkey and horse carriages, nibble on picnicked snacks while watching graceful swans float along still dams, enjoy a round of golf on world-class golf courses, cycle or hike through imposing mountains, enjoy aerial views in a hot air balloon or helicopter and of course, sip on fantastic wines.

9.  Boat trip to Robben Island

Various historical sites can be found in the Mother City. Robben Island is one of its most famous. After a thirty-minute ferry ride which offers a view of Cape Town in all its glory, visitors will arrive at this famous little island which once imprisoned courageous anti-apartheid leaders, including Nelson Mandela. Now, Robben Island is a UN World Heritage Site and one of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions.

10.  Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

To learn more about the political unrest that was the source of much tragedy in South Africa, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, the first Apartheid Museum in South Africa, is the place to go. The museum sends visitors a powerful message through the use of blown-up photographs, artifacts, newspaper clippings and moving film footage which help to narrate the story.

The Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is undoubtedly the highlight of Botswana for the majority of tourists visiting the country. This unspoilt natural water system provides a channel on which tourists can enjoy a unique mode of transport. Gently rocking along in a dug-out canoe known as a mokoro is a fantastic way to explore this beautiful oasis and the palm tree islands and game-filled land which surrounds it.

1.   Moremi Game Reserve

One of these game-filled areas in the Okavango Delta is the popular Moremi Game Reserve, where a great diversity of plant and animal life exist in an area combining dry land and permanent wate

2.   Chobe River

Stretching along the northern border of the popular Chobe National Park is the winding Chobe River. Decorated by water lilies, the River sustains the thirsty animals in the surrounding land. Cruising along the river on a boat is a fun way to explore the Chobe River and enjoy up-close views of the game attracted by it.

3.  The Kalahari Desert

One if its corners touch the Orange River in South Africa. It spreads upwards through Angola and Zambia, stretches to the west across Namibia, to the east across Zimbabwe and covers the entire western and central regions of Botswana. This enormous sand basin is the great Kalahari Desert and it is held close to the hearts of the people of Botswana.

4.   Tuli Block

The Tuli Block, located in the eastern corner of Botswana, is the meeting point of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. Ancient Baobab trees form part of the diverse wilderness in the area. Winter or summer, the Tuli Block provides exciting game-viewing opportunities.

Visit the Cradle of Humankind a stones throw from Gauteng for a lesson in Evolution

Not far from the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg lies the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng’s own World Heritage Site. The natural area of the beauty is what draws thousands of visitor’s wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg for the day or longer and it’s situated not 40 min away from Moonflower Cottages.

Maropeng

Maropeng, meaning ‘returning to the place of our origins’, is the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Take the journey of discovery to understand the evolution of life and the origins of humankind.

The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area’s exceptional contribution to our understanding of humankind’s history and development, over more than 3-million years. All together, there are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, of which the Sterkfontein Caves is the most famous.

The fossils “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot” were both discovered here, as well as thousands more fossils of hominids, which are human ancestors, as well those of plants and animals.

A team led by Professor Lee Berger, a renowned palaeoanthropologist from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (aka Wits University) have made a ground breaking discovery and have  described and named a new species of hominid, Australopithecus sediba, wich is dated at almost two million years old and which was discovered recently in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, 40 kilometres out of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Located, on 100 hectares, and within easy reach of Johannesburg, Maropeng overlooks the magnificent Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg mountain ranges and is en route to the popular resort of Sun City.

Sterkfontein Caves

An hour’s drive from Johannesburg are the Sterkfontein Caves, world famous for their fossil finds and a well-known visitor destination. After an extensive face-lift in 2005, the Sterkfontein Caves is now home to a top restaurant, conferencing facilities, improved access into the caves, new walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site where world-acclaimed fossils have been discovered. The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves, run every half hour, seven days a week.

Brookewood Trout Farm

Brookwood Estate Trout Farm is situated in the natural beauty of Kromdraai, near Muldersdrift in the Heart of the Cradle of humankind world heritage site. This beautiful Estate and its warm hospitality is the ideal venue for family outings, camping and corporate team building activities.

 

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve is a privately owned, non-subsidised game reserve, covering approximately 1 600 ha on the typical Highveld of Gauteng. Situated in the Cradle of Humankind, it is about 40 km north-west of Johannesburg.