Brazil celebrates its 191th anniversary of independence with aplomb

The 7th of September 2013 marks the 191th auspicious Independence Day of Brazil from Portugal in 1822. And in keeping in true Brazilian style of passion, partying and patriotic pleasure, this public holiday is the perfect excuse for flavourful parades, excitement and joy.

Patriotic party parades
While the main parade is held in the capital city of Brasilia in the presence of the President, the city of Rio de Janeiro hosts a military-civic parade too, down Presidente Vargas avenue where thousands upon thousands of proud Brazilians gather in true festival fun. Men, women and children join in the procession’s proceedings.

The blending of armed forces, police, fire fighters, military schools and academies, civilian schools, and civil organizations demonstrate Brazilian pride in style. As part of the procession’s events, political leaders make use of the occasion to deliver speeches in which Brazilians are reminded of their nation’s proud history and heritage and projected future.

Such is the carnival atmosphere in the country that even the pavement is a good enough place to celebrate the historic day with aplomb. Thousands of Brazilians of all ages have a good time on the roadside dancing, singing and waving banners, streamers, balloons and flags.

This festive national holiday is celebrated with much fanfare; families, friends and neighbours all come together in the spirit of togetherness. And what would a party be without food? In homage to their Independence Day, Brazilians partake of traditional food and drinks. Piña coladas, empanadas, hangar steak, fried plantains, and fried pork are enjoyed.

Devoted flag flying fun
Independence Day seems to be the perfect occasion to wear the colours of the Brazilian flag. The national flag is also highly visibly displayed on homes and buildings. Dignified flag hoisting ceremonies and patriotic songs are fervently sung by both the young and old.

Festival fireworks displays
If the Independence Day morning is marked by exciting parades held across the width and breadth of Brazil then fireworks in the evening sees the close of celebrations. Hordes of people gather together in city squares and parks to see the fantastic fusion displays of colourful lights streak and explode across the night sky.

A mar on the celebrations this year was the loudly voiced and public demonstrations of anti-government sentiment from Brazilians unhappy with corruption, as protests erupted on the streets of three cities. Teargas, stun guns and pepper spray were used to contain protesters from disrupting the Independence Day military processions and a celebratory sporting event. Brazil hosted an international football game against Australia in Brasilia. Organizers do admit to the numbers of parade attendees being affected by the thought of violence and heavy police presence.

Zulu reed dance

The Royal Reed Dance celebrates Zulu culture in Zululand

In celebration of Zulu culture, traditional reed dancing is all about teaching morals and good behaviour to young girls. The local tourism industry in Zululand reaps rewards as thousands of visitors flood to eNyokeni Palace in Nongoma to the witness the centuries old event that is held over several days.

Mkhosi woMhlanga, as named in Zulu, is the colourful reed dancing ceremony – an annual event held every year at the beginning of September. The celebrations include young girls collecting and presenting their king with cut reeds from the riverbed in honour to their Zulu traditions.
In recent years this symbolic event has also been a draw card for the local hospitality industry in the province. Nongoma sees a massive economic boost with visitors congregating to the area and accommodation is fully booked out, even in the surrounding areas of Ulundi and Vryheid. This year alone saw the reed dance festivities attract a staggering 100 000 visitors.

This colourful cultural festival is an important rite of passage for young Zulu girls, includes singing and dancing; and is used to introduce the girls to their rich culture steeped in tradition. The young girls, who have to be virgins in order to participate, are schooled by older Zulu woman in the art of womanhood and in respecting their bodies. Celibacy until marriage is greatly encouraged. The opportunity is also used to highlight serious social issues that affect young woman including teenage pregnancy and HIV.

The ceremony sees the mass gathering of young girls from all over Zululand and from as far as Swaziland and Botswana attend the festivities of the traditional royal reed dance. Anklets, bracelets and necklaces worn by the girls exquisitely showcase the traditional beadwork of the Zulu culture. The girls also wear sashes with an assortment of colours that denote whether the girl is engaged to be married.

Central to the event’s festivities is the reed-giving ceremony. Zulu princesses lead the colourful graceful procession of young girls dressed in intricately-beaded attire who present to the king the longest and strongest cut reeds. Laying the reeds at the king’s feet is a symbol of respect and honouring the Zulu culture. The ceremony has Zulu men participating too by singing and engaging in mock fighting.

Visitors are welcome to bear witness to the reed dance ceremony. Having a guide on hand to indicate the symbols of the rituals is useful and also helps the visitor understand cultural sensitivities.

While the reed dance ceremony showcases the rich deep heritage of the Zulu culture, it is not all the kingdom has to offer tourists. Zululand houses renowned national parks and nature reserves (private and state-controlled) and is celebrated for its majestic unspoilt beauty as well as historic, cultural and coastal attractions.

A mild subtropical climate welcomes the visitor all year round. Golf, fishing and game viewing are among the popular activities visitors enjoy. For bird lovers there is an incredible diversity of over 650 species of birds on the Zululand Birding Route to be viewed.

Take in the glory and the glamour of gorgeous George on the Garden Route

The gorgeous town of George is found in the centre of the Garden Route along the eastern coastline of South Africa. This charming landmark of abundant natural beauty comprising of fertile valleys, forests and rivers is exquisitely framed by the majestic Outeniqua Mountains and lay on the doorstep of the Indian Ocean is unfailing in its attractions to both local and foreign visitors.

A holidaymaker’s staple of sun, sea and sand is found in abundance in the coastal tourist paradise of George. The town’s humble origins, which began in 1811 as a settlement and labelled by the local inhabitants as the ‘land of milk and honey’, transformed itself into a present-day colossal tourist haven, housing not one, but two of the top ten golf courses in South Africa – Fancourt Golf Estate and the George Golf Course.

The temperate weather conditions enjoyed by the locals establish George as the perfect holiday spot for outdoor adventures to be had all year long. The many adventure activities hosted by this tourist hub in the Southern Cape Region holidaymaker’s paradise include: fishing, hang-gliding, diving, water skiing, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, climbing, sailing, windsurfing and surfing.

For the more laid back nature lovers, George provides excellent opportunities for bird and whale watching.

The town is within an easy 420 km from the city of Cape Town and just 320 km from Port Elizabeth. It has a few historic claims to fame too. George is the sixth oldest town in South Africa and named after the British monarch, King George the Third. This nature-rich hotspot is also regarded as the administrative capital city of the southern Cape region.

One of the highlights on a trip to George is a visit to The Outeniqua Transport Museum. Take a step back in time to the splendid steam age and appreciate the extensive cool collection of steam locomotives and carriages conserved in the museum. The Outeniqua Power Van, which comes in the form of a motorized trolley, conveys visitors from the museum to the Outeniqua Mountains where the most spectacular views of the Garden Route can be viewed, and back to the museum again.

A leisurely exploration of the Outeniqua Country Hop Route presents many country pleasures. Family friendly strawberry and herb farms provide plenty of fun; both children and adults can enjoy the wonders of cheese and candle making and there is horseback riding and mountain biking for the more adrenaline-driven adventurists. The Outeniqua Hop Route welcomes visitors with excellent accommodation facilities and restaurants.

The popular Victoria Bay, located about 9 km from George offer a superb surfing spot, especially during the months between June and August. Herold’s Bay is more celebrated for its opportunities of safe tidal pool swimming and fishing. The vast stretches of pretty pristine coastline along Wilderness with its lakes and estuaries favour the perfect place for bird watching.

Facilitated by its sophisticated infrastructure, it is easy to see why this coastal city is a notable stop on a tourist’s itinerary. Why not take in the glory and the glamour of gorgeous George on the Garden Route for your next holiday destination?

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Wale watching

Be enthralled by the whale-watching extravaganza along South Africa’s coastline

Whale-watching enthusiasts are in for a spectacular treat when choosing South Africa as their whale-watching destination for both land and sea based viewing. As many as 37 species of whales and dolphins can be clearly seen along South African waters.

South Africa can be regarded as the premier whale-watching destination in the world with plenty of opportunities to be enthralled by the elegant water acrobatics and mesmerising displays of raw power of the whales. The whale-watching route extends from Doringbaai, in the south of Cape Town right up to Durban on the east coast; presenting a staggering 1 200 miles of golden opportunities to see the magnificent mammals in action. This route incorporates the conservation areas of the Garden Route, Tsitsikamma National Park, and the Transkei.

Any high vantage point such as cliffs and the beaches in Cape Town presents excellent whale-watching opportunities. Many established licensed boat tour operators provide services to visitors wishing for that magical special close encounter. Boating expeditions can last up to three hours long and get to within the legal 300 metres (a permit is first required) of the whales. The southern right whale in particular display natural curiosity tendencies and are known to at times venture within close proximity to the boats.

The whale-watching industry is tightly regulated with only 16 permits been granted. This much needed precaution guarantees the least disturbance to the whales. Boat operators approach the whales in a quiet manner, with motors switched off and a ‘no wake speed’.

Between June and November is the optimal whale watching time in South Africa when the southern right whales are highly visible along the Cape south coast. Migrant humpback whales put in a brief appearance in May and June; and then again in November to January in the Plettenberg and Garden Route area. This area also attracts Bryde’s whales which can be seen all-year round.

During July and August is peak calving season when the whales are found in abundance, mating and rearing their calves. The southern right whale prefers the protected bays off the southern western coast as its breeding hub, spending up to five months of a year here engaging in courtship rituals as close to 50 metres from the shoreline.

Regarded as the whale-watching capital of the world, the town of Hermanus found on the Cape south coast, has the most opportune scenic land-based views for whale-watching. A leisurely cliff-top walk grants crystal clear sightings of the marine mammals. Southern right whales can appear as close to mere metres from the beach. The arrival of the whales in September is celebrated by the popular annual whale festival.

Clear and windless conditions promote the best whale spotting experiences. The whale’s blow is the first indication of its presence. Other typical whale behaviour is resting head down in the water with tails held out in the air, known as sailing or headstanding.
Pair of binoculars, a hat and adequate sunscreen is additional requirements for optimal land-based whale-watching expeditions.

Ratanga Junction

South Africa’s top five theme parks promises plenty of fun

Amusement or theme parks in South Africa go beyond offering just fantastical and frivolous fun; they incorporate educational and historical attractions to provide a more holistic experience the whole family can enjoy. South Africa’s top five theme parks can be found throughout the country and rank highly on the visitor’s list of must-dos.

Fun and learning go well together at South African styled theme parks. Carnival rides including looping rollercoaster rides, bumper cars and big wheels; exhilarating wildlife centred shows to historical attractions form the centrepiece around which these amusement parks revolve, catering for a wide variety of entertainment activities for all ages to enjoy.

1. Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City forms a comfortable combination of a multitude of exhilarating adrenaline-pumping gut-wrenching rides to a farmyard of animals, kiddie’s corner and an amphitheatre showcasing tribal dancing. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, this top rated theme park houses a museum offering a peak into 19th century life in Johannesburg that tells the golden tale of this metropolis’ beginnings, 30 thrilling adventure rides, underground tours of the still operational mine and gold-pouring demonstrations. Aptly named rides such as the Tower of Terror, the Anaconda, the Miner’s Revenge and the Golden Loop is just a sample of the breathtaking escapades available; although not for the faint-hearted.

2. Sun City theme park
This highly popular tourist attraction is situated in the North West province and is attached to the Sun City resort complex. The overwhelming number of family-oriented leisure and entertainment options is why this iconic theme park reserves its popular reputation with both local and foreign visitors. Entertainment options on offer are a variety of adventure sporting activities, safari tours, Valley of the Waves (a water park with a 6500m² wave pool, plunge pool) and Kamp Kwena (a children’s activity park with trampolines, mini-cars and adventure golf).

3. Ratanga Junction
Ratanga Junction is Cape Town’s offer to South Africa’s theme park contingent characterised by subtropical plants and winding waterways. Boasting over 30 attractions, 24 of which are scintillating heart stopping gravity-defying rides with names such as the Slingshot, The Cobra, The Diamond Devil Run, Congo Queen, Crocodile Gorge, Bushwhacker, and Monkey Falls; it comes as no surprise that this entertainment world ranks highly on the city’s list of tourist attractions. Shopping and leisure options presented by this theme park include snake and exotic bird exhibitions as well as live music shows.

4. uShaka Marine World
Located in the sun-kissed city of Durban is the world renowned uShaka Marine World. This visionary family-oriented entertainment complex is hard to beat for those wanting some fun in the sun. An underground aquarium, a water park complete with slides, splash and palm-lined swimming pools, recreation of a wreck of an old 1920 cargo ship, dolphin and seal stadium showcasing award-winning dolphin shows. For shopping enthusiasts there is Village Walk enclosed within the complex with over 11 250m2 of retail speciality stores, restaurants and other indigenous and tourist-focused goods and services.

5. Plett Puzzle Park
Fun-infused entertainment activities at the Plet Puzzle Park in Plettenberg Bay are a work out for both the mind and body. Attractions include the life-size 3D maze, the first of its kind in South Africa; a Rope Maze, jungle gym, coffee and gift shop. Navigate your way through the Forest Puzzle Walk with word, shape and general knowledge challenges.

Eco travel

Turn your holiday into a green eco friendly travel experience

Responsible travel is growing in momentum and the travel industry has sat up and taken notice. Continuous growing worldwide concern for our vulnerable planet has seen many tourists opting to go green and adopt eco friendly practices in order to help save our natural resources and optimise their travel experiences.

The International Ecotourism Society defined eco tourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.

In the drive towards conserving biological and cultural diversity, eco tourism and sustainable travel practices have become the critical factors to observing responsible travel behaviour. The history of eco tourism can be traced back to the late 1970s. Twenty years later and the phenomenon has become one of the fastest growing sectors of the global tourism industry.

The benefits of socially and environmentally sound travel principles have highlighted the importance of making green friendly choices in our daily living and incorporating such a lifestyle into the way we travel too. Going green is feel good and requires relatively very little additional effort.

Here are some ways in which you can turn your holiday into a green eco friendly travel experience:

1. Support local communities. By choosing to consume local produce as sourced from farmer’s markets, you get to savour authentic nutritious delicious food in addition to experiencing the culture.
2. When making air travel bookings, you would want to fly on the most fuel-efficient aircraft available. The Airbus 345 and Boeing 787 are good examples of eco friendly aircraft.
3. One of the easiest ways to incorporate environmentally friendly principles is to choose eco friendly activities whilst on holiday. Hiking, bicycling, kayaking, provide enormous opportunities for fun and unique perspectives on the landscapes.
4. You can begin planning your eco friendly holiday by researching a region for all it has to offer and appreciate its culture and nature’s treasures.
5. Reduce your carbon footprint on holiday by using eco friendly gadgets. Innovative technological developments have produced products such as solar-powered phones and rechargeable batteries.

Seeing that the tourism industry is very much consumer-driven, travellers can influence more ethical travel options being put into practice. Almost every industry is becoming environment conscious and the global travel industry is no exception. The green savvy traveller has plenty of options to making holidays eco friendly too. Green friendly hotels, lodges, tour operators, safari excursions, tourist activities and attractions all cater for the needs and concerns of the eco tourist.

Eco friendly accommodation should bear certification which assures you that the hotel observes energy and water conservation, contributes positively to the environment, holds a responsible position in the local community and has a waste reduction management plan in action.

Minimise your environmental footprint whilst on travel and enjoy the rhythms of the natural world through a green eco friendly travel itinerary.

Adventure travel

Accelerate your sense of excitement through adventure travel

How do you pursue adventure whilst travelling on holiday? Accelerate your sense of excitement through adventure travel. A definitive holiday experience can be had, creating unforgettable memories.

Revitalize and invigorate your next holiday by engaging in exciting activities available on location. Transform yourself and your holiday. Resist being a mere passive spectator sightseeing by welcoming a myriad of thrill inducing activities such as surfing, canoeing, hiking, white-water rafting, caving, water-skiing, diving, windsurfing, kayaking, paragliding, ballooning, rock climbing, micro lighting, mountain biking or archeological expeditions, all of which provide spectacular fun.

Be an active participant on your holiday as adventure travel invites you to see the world in a new light and you get to meet new people in exotic foreign locations. Apart from providing heaps of excitement, you are also challenged to leap out of your comfort zone and learn new skills.

The very nature of adventure travel makes it difficult to pin down a precise definition as adventure is a relative term. In a broad sense adventure tourism refers to any domestic or international trip that features a minimum of two characteristics: physical activity, engaging with nature or a cultural learning experience.

Holidaymakers with the penchant for travel often seek unique travel destinations offering activities and unique experiences that are mostly adrenaline driven. Adventure travel in the tourism industry is a popular trend and an important, growing tourism segment. Latest statistics put the global adventure market at $89 billion according to

Tourists seeking exciting escapades represent a significant, growing market. Adventure travel in the current tourism industry is said to be 50% of all reasons why travel is undertaken by 2050. Dr Philippe Durverger conducted research which revealed that adventure travel has a stunning growth rate of 17% in relation to mass travel that has a consistent growth rate of 4%.

Adventure travelers are not defined by gender or age but by incorporating a superior interest in leading a stimulating life. A higher importance is placed on exploring new places, time spent in nature; meeting and engaging with local cultures and pushing through your physical limits.

Making the most out of your holiday requires much thought and proper planning. When trying to decide what would set your holiday apart from the ordinary, the following helpful points should be borne in mind:

• As most activities require some level of fitness, you should be realistic about which activities you would be comfortable to engage in.
• Allow some room for flexibility; put back–up plans in place should the weather not be conducive to outside activities.
• Choose reputable tour companies with experienced and trained staff.
• Make certain to protect yourself by reading all waivers carefully before signing.

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Mango airlines

Mango airline’s new ergonomically designed seats offer more passenger comfort

South African passengers choosing to fly with Mango airline on its domestic routes will be happy to hear about the new seat rollout plan. Mango airline’s new ergonomically designed seats offer more passenger comfort; and are environmentally friendly with saving about 820kg in aircraft weight, resulting in overall emission reductions of up to 1, 7 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

The airline’s seat replacement programme commences this August with two new generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft sporting the new seats. The new seats are ergonomically designed to offer increased legroom. Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of Mango Airlines, was proud to point out that, “The new seats will increase leg room by between 6 and 7.5 centimetres, depending on where you are seated, delivering one of the best seating configurations in domestic economy class”.

The new ergonomically designed seats feature the latest in aviation technology. The slimmer seats make more efficient use of available space and allow the airline to still maintain a 186 guest load capacity. The efficiency in space utilization does not affect the number of passengers allowed on board. The only difference the new seat replacement programme brings, says Mango, is the level of added comfort for passengers with the increase in legroom.

The airline believes that the latest developments in its seat replacement programme together with the on board Wi-Fi facility and its on-time performance record and distribution accessibility will grant it a competitive edge in the local airline industry.

“The seats are also more light weight, with a saving in excess of 1.7 million tonnes in carbon emissions annually due to less fuel burn once the programme is completed,” adds Bezuidenhout. “The savings in fuel allows Mango to lower its cost base even further, making it possible to contain fare affordability even more.”

The airline will see its local flight capacity increase by over 30 weekly flights thanks to the addition of the two new 737-800 airplanes. The increase in flight schedules will be on routes between Johannesburg and Durban, Durban and Cape Town; and between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
A Durban base for Mango is in the pipeline and set to be implemented later this year will house permanently stationed aircraft. According to the airline this will promote a more improved schedule to and from the city.

The increase in flight frequency on existing routes furthers the growth of the airline with new domestic and regional routes being planned for the future. “We have applied for a schedule operation to two east-African destinations and presently in the final planning stages for a seventh domestic port.” says Bezuidhout. At present Mango runs charter flights to Zanzibar for AfricaStay, a tour operator.

Hiking in Spain

Adventure activity holidays in Spain

Holiday travel has become much more than just exciting exotic locations and soaking up the local culture as holidaymakers demand much more out of their travel experiences. Adventure activity holidays are becoming increasingly popular with more and more requests being made for sightseeing tours coupled with adrenaline-driven activities such as horseback riding, safaris, white water rafting, hiking, rock climbing, camping and zip lining in the hope for the more definitive holiday experience.

Adventure activity holidays in Spain can provide ultimate thrilling experiences with the added magic of picturesque landscapes. If you thought that all Spain had to offer was bullfighting and Flamenco dancing, then be prepared to be wonderfully surprised. Exquisite mountain ranges, miles and miles of coastline, olive groves, rivers and caves all showcase the natural marvels of Spain and sets the scene for all sorts of action-packed adventures.

Hiking is a popular adventure activity that is suited to the whole family and reveals Spain’s history and natural beauty in all its glory. Soak up the essence of Spain on a hiking expedition. There are plenty of footpaths, country lanes and forest tracks to meander along. There are hiking tours that cater for all levels and pace. The Circular Route Togores in Catalunya, rich in history, is perfect for the moderate hiking enthusiast. Collserola National park is also known as the ‘green lung’ of Spain and has enough wooded hills to delight the adventure seeker.

Traverse carefully designed horse trails on mild mannered horses on a number of horseback riding tours deep into beech forests, medieval fishing villages; circumvent extinct volcanoes or Spain’s charming coastline. Spain’s gorgeous geographic diversity from the towering Pyrenees in the north to the sun-kissed Mediterranean in southern Spain makes for riveting horseback riding adventures whilst exploring the deep cultural and historical roots of Spain.

A recent addition to the action-packed activities on offer on a visit to Spain is the growing popularity of zip lining adventures. The thrill unique to zip lining while whizzing through the air along the tree tops or inside canyons definitely contributes to the definitive holiday adventure. Zip lining circuits can be found at adventure parks too which provide rides that are family friendly as well as catering for the more intrepid adult adventurer.
A novel aerial adventure is gliding through the air 3 000 feet high on a hot air balloon ride. Admire panoramic views as only a hot air balloon ride can provide. Early morning rides make for the best experiences. Rides last anything from an hour to three hours long across diverse spectacular landscapes and unique points of interest.

Adrenaline addicted adventurers will be happy to note that white water rafting is growing in popularity in Spain. The surging Noguera Pallasera River provides 28 miles of foaming water on which to canoe, kayak or raft. An alternative aquatic activity is to ride the roaring river on a hydrospeed (a version of a boogie board for water). The best times to test your skills against the river would be in May or June with the swollen river fed by the snowmelt from the mountains.

No matter your choice of adventure activity, be it by air, water or on horseback, your holiday in Spain is sure to be unforgettable, packed with plenty of fun.

Picture credit: Stefano Buonamici

Little Karoo

Destination Little Karoo: a tourist’s introduction

At first glance the appearance of the arid, dry bleak landscape of the Little Karoo in the Western Cape is quickly dispelled by majestic mountains, crystal streams, mystical caves and a unique biome studded with aloe and miniature baobab trees characterised by their yellow peeling bark and red tubular flowers. A tourist’s introduction to the Little Karoo (Klein Karoo) is met with the warmth and honest hospitality of the locals coupled by distinctive, unrivalled landscape beauty.

The Little Karoo is comfortably placed between the magnificent Outeniqua, Langeberg and Swartberg Mountain Ranges. For both local and international tourists, the region’s magnetic pull are its desert landscapes and wide-open skies which promise unforgettable stunning sunsets.

The word ‘little’ included in the name of this picturesque area bears no significance to the number of attractions available for any visitor to the region. Quite the opposite in fact. Little Karoo welcomes all visitors with a wealth of natural and man-made attractions guaranteed to delight all of the senses.

In the spring time, the Little Karoo showcases its colourful tapestry of flower fusion to visitors who descend on the area from around the globe in droves to witness the magic of desert sand converted into a profusion of colourful splendour.

Among its many claims to fame, the Little Karoo boasts being home to possibly the world’s longest wine route and most diverse wine producing region in South Africa – Route 62. Thanks to its semi-arid climate and winter rainfall, the region’s winemakers are adequately equipped to producing an extensive range of good quality wines. This ability may be attributed to the vines grown in the fertile alluvial soil found along the river banks.

On the calendar of top attractions is one of the country’s favourite events – the Little Karoo Arts Festival. South Africa’s blend of talent, from artists to musicians to craftsmen, all come together to display and celebrate their spectacular God-given gifts. Hosted by the town of Oudtshoorn, the festival flaunts a fabulous array of music, fine art, poetry, drama and food that would satisfactorily satisfy any festival-going fan.

Another major inducement to including a visit to this incredibly fascinating area is the Cango Caves. Located about 30 km out of Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves houses some of the largest stalagmite formations to be found in the world. These spectacular limestone structures were set about many millions of years ago. Some names include: ‘the bridal couple’, ‘glass flower fantasy’, ‘weird cango candle’ and ‘the hanging shawl’.

The towns of Little Karoo mirror the history and unique culture of this expanse of South Africa. Oudtshoorn, the main town is regarded as the ostrich feather capital of the world owing to its ostrich rich farming industry.

Calitzdorp prides itself on housing four wine estates. The nearby Gamka Mountain Reserve is where the endangered Cape mountain zebra can be found.

It is not just scintillating scenery that captures the heart of the visitor to Little Karoo. The quaint Victorian village, De Rust, makes adventure activities available to tourists. These are in the form of hiking trails, horse rides and 4×4 drives.

The quiet rural atmosphere and breathtaking views of Little Karoo makes it a perfect place to be at one with the natural world and should be on every travel itinerary to South Africa.