Di Brown

  • Learning To Surf In Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, One Of The World’s Top Surfing Destinations

    By Di Brown, 10:49 am

    My muscles strain, my legs quiver, and in spite of the cold I am sweating. With extra effort I stand up triumphantly. Finally, my wetsuit is on. I learned to surf at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. I have good balance and I love the ocean. How could I fail? The first wave tips me off the board. The second sends me flying. By the tenth wave I have progressed to the bent knee. After two hours, I stand up shakily for 10 seconds. Sand and waves are a natural exfoliator. It’s a better workout than the gym and you get an added bonus of a full body facial from nature. You also get to watch the serious surfers in JBay.

  • Where To Eat, Drink And Play In The Constantia Winelands

    constantia winelands By Di Brown, 10:15 am

    The Constantia Valley, which sprawls prettily up and down the slopes of Table Mountain, is the historical hub of the South African wine industry. And at just 18 km from the city centre it is the closest wine experience for visitors to Cape Town. For wine quaffers this area should be at the top of the list of places to go — but Constantia has a lot more than wine, so don’t discount it if you prefer beer, burgers and outdoor action. Constantia has plenty to offer with or without the wine, so eat, drink, stay and play in this friendly valley.

  • 10 Ways To Enjoy Knysna, Without Getting Lost In The Crowds

    By Di Brown, 3:13 pm

    If you’re in Knysna for the holidays and the vibe is starting to feel a little manic, the action somewhat frenzied, the crowds, the noise and the traffic overwhelming, it’s time for a change of pace. Here are 10 ways to enjoy Knysna that will not leave you stressed, frustrated, and yearning for peace and quiet.

  • Three Unlikely Ways To Enjoy The Central Drakensberg

    drakensberg road trip By Di Brown, 6:00 pm

    The Central Drakensberg follows a 200km stretch of highway N3 from Durban, followed by 60km on minor roads leading into some of the most impressive mountains in South Africa. Hikes, climbs and adventures are expected in an area like this, but the allure of this area is very diverse. Did you know that these roads will also lead you to the home of one of the top youth choirs in the world? Or that these peaks and valleys offer a safe haven for birds of prey to recover from injury? Or that you can step out of your hotel room and be walking on a path into forests of ferns, rivers, waterfalls and caves?

  • Going Slow On The Garden Route: Exploring Wilderness, Sedgefield And Nature’s Valley

    By Di Brown, 9:31 am

    The Garden Route is the name given to a stretch of coastline, mountains and forests that extends from Albertina to Storms River, in the Southern Cape region of Western Cape province in South Africa. Best known for the very popular towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, the whole area is ridiculously attractive and positively overflowing with golf courses, nature reserves, game and safari ranches, wildlife sanctuaries, water sports, hiking trails and scenic routes. I recently spent eight days in a few of the small villages in the area, where life is lived at a slower pace.

  • Randlords and Brickfields: Discovering Historical Johannesburg

    newtown By Di Brown, 9:00 pm

    If you thought that Joburg was all about business and had little in the way of history, think again. Here is just a tiny glimpse into a few of the incredible historical offerings in Johannesburg. It is a miracle of a city, especially considering it was founded in a frenzy of greed and oppression, a result of the madness that infects the minds of men obsessed with gold.

  • South Africa’s Elgin Valley, Where Adventure Awaits

    Cape Canopy Tour By Di Brown, 9:00 pm

    South Africa’s Elgin Valley is the perfect destination for a weekend away from Cape Town, but also for a day out, as it really is just on the other side of the mountain. The area is popular with adventurous, outdoorsy types, as it’s replete with natural areas where you can go ziplining, kloofing, cycling, horseback riding, and Segway-ing — or, if you’re into tamer adventures, wine-tasting and dining.

  • Matjiesfontein: A Little Piece Of Victorian England In The Karoo

    lord-milner-hotel By Di Brown, 8:00 pm

    Back in the day, Matjiesfontein was something of a hipster hangout. James Logan, who founded the town, was a working-class railway man from Scotland with a brilliant business brain, loads of ambition and very keen to be accepted by the upper classes. He imported much of the building materials, furniture and even the lamp posts from London and created a little piece of Victorian England in the middle of the Karoo.

  • Beyond Great Whites: Enjoying The Natural Wonder Of Gansbaai

    By Di Brown, 8:00 pm

    If you drive two hours south of Cape Town towards Cape Agulhas, you’ll end up in Gansbaai, a small fishing village known as the great white shark capital of the world. But don’t let this scare you off from the other offerings in the area, Gansbaai shouldn’t be just a one stop destination — it’s full of things to discover. Locals describe the vicinity as a “natural adventure destination,” and rightly so. A love and respect for the ocean, forests and fynbos is a defining characteristic of this community.