Julia Austin

  • 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In South Africa

    things you didn't know you could do in South Africa By Julia Austin, 2:00 pm

    If you learned everything you know about South Africa in a guidebook, broaden your horizons with this list of 15 amazing — and slightly crazy– things you never knew you could do. Like spend half a day hanging out with meerkats. Meerkats are immune to certain venom including the Kalahari Desert scorpion. They forage in a group with one sentry on guard watching for predators. Sentry duty is usually an hour long. Meerkat young learn by mimicking adults who teach their pups tricks like how to eat a venomous scorpion. A meerkat can dig through sand equal to its own weight in seconds.

  • 15 South African Festivals: Some Of Them Rival Burning Man

    15 South African festivals By Julia Austin, 7:10 am

    An official Burning Man regional event, the huge Afrika Burn happens in the Karoo. It’s all about radical self expression. You’ll see outlandish costumes, massive man-made monuments, artwork, body paint and mutant vehicles, some of which are burned at the end of the festival. The festival grounds look like a psychedelic fantasyland. The event is held on a farm called Stonehenge adjacent to the Tankwa Karoo National Park. In 2016, 11,600 people attended.

  • 15 Top South African Luxury Spa Resorts: Many Draw On Local Healing Tradition

    South African luxury spa resorts By Julia Austin, 7:41 am

    Thanda means “love” in isiZulu, and the bedrock of the luxurious Thanda Private Game Reserve is Zulu culture and passionate conservation of the environment. The hotel has spa treatments that combine Western techniques and ancient traditional holistic Zulu practices. Treatments include the use of marula, African potato and other local fare for a thorough pampering while you’re in the South African bush.

  • 15 African Hotels And Lodges Where You Can Sleep In Huts

    By Julia Austin, 1:22 pm AFKI Original

    A byword for luxury, the Serena brand offers an opulent experience at the Serengeti safari lodge inside the national park. Based on traditional tribal design, the huts melt into the landscape. Once you’ve had your fill of safaris and fossils at the nearby Ol Duvai archaeological site, you can relax at the vanishing pool and gaze out on the endless Serengeti plains.

  • 8 Facts About Algeria’s Sugar Refinery King, Issad Rebrab

    By Julia Austin, 1:08 pm AFKI Original

    He was the country’s first billionaire and he got there through one of the most beloved and craved substances in the world — sugar. Rebrab, 72, says his success is abnormal and not entirely welcome in Algeria—a country with deep socialist tendencies for whom independence is relatively new. “Entrepreneurs are accepted, but not encouraged,” Rebrab said. He wants the government to encourage the private sector so it will invest in large projects and create jobs.

  • 8 Things You Should Know About Refugee-Turned-Billionaire Ashish Thakkar

    By Julia Austin, 4:05 pm AFKI Original

    Thakkar credits his success to being a refugee. He wants to get into farming and plans to invest in large-scale maize farming—something he says is a “no-brainer.” He also believes that for startups to succeed they must empower the country in which they are investing. Looking locally for everything from labor to investors rather than off-shoring is important to him. “Claiming that there is a skills deficit is nothing more than an excuse,” he said.

  • How Top African Airlines Stack Up Against Each Other

    By Julia Austin, 2:20 am

    If you’re flying to Africa from another continent, you can probably find an airline you’re familiar with. However, once there, if you want to fly to different countries on the continent, you may see names you’re not familiar with. After looking over hundreds of reviews from frequent flyers, here is what frequent flyers have to say about the 10 top African airlines

  • 12 Of The Best African Airports To Have A Layover In

    By Julia Austin, 4:05 am

    Flights with layovers are often cheaper than direct flights, but sitting around in an airport for eight hours while you wait for a connection can be dreadful. However, many African airports have hidden attractions inside or nearby that passengers don’t know about, which can turn an agonizing layover into a memorable part of your trip. Here are 12 African airports that make layovers (almost) fun.

  • What It Costs To Buy A Wine Estate In The Western Cape

    wine estate in the Western Cape By Julia Austin, 6:06 pm AFKI Original

    A quick look at one of the Realtor sites specializing in wine farms will show you that the lowest price for a Stellenbosch wine farm is around $1.6 million. Some properties have stuck to the old Cape Dutch style architecture of centuries ago. Others combine modern, state-of-the-art architecture with breathtaking natural landscapes. One such property is a mixed-use farm with an all-glass front overlooking Gordon’s Bay.

  • 8 Famous South Africans Who Are School Or University Dropouts

    By Julia Austin, 12:15 pm

    High-profile celebrities who drop out of school or university often have stories of being discovered at a young age, making a college education unnecessary. TV presenter Minni Dlamini was studying at the University of Cape Town when she decided to try her luck in SABC’s search for the next “Live” presenter. Dlamini landed the role and quit school when she moved to Johannesburg to pursue her TV work.