Ishay Govender-Ypma, 8:09 am
We have parachuted out of planes, bungeed off bridges, and done tandem paraglides, but only one in the group has been in a hot air balloon. Compared to other adventure activities, hot air balloons may seem tame. For me, the idea of being in a basket rising uncontrollably into space is terrifying. There’s a powerful whoosh of flames. We feel the heat and reel back. Ropes are loosened, the basket wobbles and starts to lift 18 adults into the air. The Magaliesburg region is marketed as the Cradle of Mankind. Cameras click. The air is crisp and still.
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 7:00 am
People often drive past the town of Sedgefield, Africa’s first and only certified “slow town,” without stopping. They’re headed for other Garden Route destinations, like Knynsa. Sedgefield wants travelers to slow down and stop there, and it’s hoping to do that by marketing its slow town designation. To qualify as a slow town, Sedgfield must preserve traditional food, control growth, promote healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t hurt that the town is in an exquisite setting. “The people of Sedgefield wholeheartedly embrace the concept,” a tourism stakeholder said. “They love the values and live by them.”
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 7:17 am
The narrow cobbled streets are alive with the colors, smells, and essential rawness of market life. Vendors hawk breakfast breads, olives and live chickens. But we are late for our cooking class at Clock Café, and cannot linger. Donkeys and mules laden with pails of milk are led slowly through the streets. In the gentle lilt of Moroccan Arabic, the donkey minders shoo us out the way. Men and women in plain djebella are buying their breakfasts. It’s a rhythm of the everyday here in Fez. Food is bought fresh. The customers know the vendors by name.
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 6:00 am
Durban’s potential tends to bubble beneath the surface, not quite as bold and direct as Johannesburg or Cape Town. Durban is a laid-back city on many counts, and the art scene, which has been rumoured to be burgeoning for the last decade, simmers slowly. “Durban isn’t an easy city for creatives. But that isn’t to say the city isn’t home to some really staggering talent,” says Jonas Barausse of Street Scene tours. Unlike Cape Town and Johannesburg, there are fewer venues for the artists to display their works, and a smaller buying public to support them. Often, Durban’s artists spread their wings for the sake of opportunity and growth.
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 7:00 pm
Durban, the multi-cultural city of balmy breezes, spicy curries and blissful beaches, has been a popular tourist destination since the early days of the 20th century. But there’s more to it than fun times and fine food. Did you know that it’s got a rich historical legacy dating back hundreds of years? And that it’s a city of many firsts and superlatives? Read on to find out 10 things you probably didn’t know about Durban, South Africa.
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 9:30 am
AFKTravel recently launched a series called #InLoveWithAfrica. In this installment, Ishay Govender-Ypma tells how her hometown, Durban, shaped who she is. “For all its island-style humidity and drone-sized mosquitos, Durban is, for those of us who left our childhoods there, entwined with our sense of identity. Durban is the call to prayer at the neighbourhood mosque, the squawk of peacocks at the temple grounds. It is the ring of the ice cream vendor’s bicycle and your grandfather, tweed cap atop his head, buying you an Eskimo Pie.”
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 6:00 pm
Usually when you’re on safari, water-based viewing consists of a few hours at most, sandwiched between the usual game drives. I wanted more. The answer to my water safari dream came in the form of a floating hotel: a luxury houseboat called the Zambezi Queen, which cruises a section of the Chobe River between Botswana and Namibia.