Karen Elowitt

  • 10 Fabulous Vacation Villas In South Africa

    vacation villa By Karen Elowitt, 9:00 am

    Even if you can’t afford luxury living 365 days a year, consider this: at the current dollar-rand exchange rate, vacation homes in South Africa are much more affordable for the American traveler than vacation homes in many other places. They’re some of the most charming, dynamic properties on the continent, and they’re more fun than a hotel — especially for families or groups of friends.

  • How To Take A Minibus Taxi In South Africa

    Transport mobility - WhereIsMyTransport provides data on formal and informal transport. Photo: rnw.nl By Karen Elowitt, 8:00 pm

    Most tourists avoid minibus taxis when in South Africa, mainly because they are not as user-friendly as taxis or city buses, and have a reputation for being unsafe. But if you’re the intrepid type, it could be worth learning the ropes, especially if you like to get to know the locals, and want to save a LOT of money — shared taxis are dirt cheap compared to private taxis, especially when you are going long distances.

  • All Aboard! Journey To Magaliesburg On A Vintage Steam Train

    steam train to magaliesberg By Karen Elowitt, 10:00 am

    Train buffs looking for a fun day trip from Johannesburg should consider an excursion to Magaliesburg with Reefsteamers, which operates a vintage train to this lovely valley about 48 miles (77 km) from the CBD. Departing from Park station, the journey takes about five hours round trip, and includes a couple-hour stop for picnicking and shopping. AFKTravel’s editor recently went on this trip, and got both more — and less — than she was expecting. Click here to read her full account of this fun day trip.

  • A Photographic Tour of De Hoop Nature Reserve

    de hoop nature reserve By Karen Elowitt, 8:00 pm

    I recently got the chance to experience De Hoop Nature Reserve, a beautiful, remote 36,000-hectare World Heritage site located about three hours from Cape Town. Nature is the star attraction at De Hoop, which boasts 1500 plant species, 260 bird species, and 86 types of mammals. Here is a short photo tour of the reserve, encompassing both the natural bounty of De Hoop and photos of some of the accommodation options.

  • A Tour Of Imbizo Shisanyama, Johannesburg

    By Karen Elowitt, 10:00 pm

    In the Zulu language, “shisa nyama” means “burn meat,” but in South Africa it’s also a term used to describe an informal barbecue or “braai” where meat is grilled on an open flame. Many places take it a step further and have created full-fledged restaurants around the concept, such as Imbizo Shisanyama at Busy Corner in Tembiso township, just north of Johannesburg.

  • The Mother City’s ‘Secret Season’: Visiting Cape Town In Winter

    By Karen Elowitt, 9:49 am

    Called the “secret season,” winter is actually a great time to visit the Mother City: There are bargains at some top hotels, great whale watching, and wine country is at its greenest then. It doesn’t rain all the time; even during the wettest months of June and July, rain often comes at night, and days can be brisk but sunny. It won’t really feel that cold if you’re used to winter in, say, Chicago or New York.

  • 10 More Fantastic Vintage Photos Of Africa

    Zulu-woman-playing-piano By Karen Elowitt, 5:21 pm

    It’s time again to take a trip back to a different era, to see what Africa looked like before electricity, huge cities — or even travelers! These 10 fantastic vintage photos of Africa are from AFKTravel’s Throwback Thursday archives.

  • The Zambezi River, In 15 Spectacular Photos

    By Karen Elowitt, 5:00 am

    For centuries, the only people who got a glimpse of the mighty Zambezi river were locals and intrepid explorers. Fortunately now it’s easy for anyone to book a trip and see it for themselves. Here is a photo essay of the incredible sights you can expect to see along the Zambezi River.

  • Luxury Accommodation Options on the Zimbabwe Side of Victoria Falls

    By Karen Elowitt, 2:55 pm

    Zimbabwe is back on the tourist map these days – not that Victoria Falls ever completely fell off it – and hotels and restaurants on the Zim side of the “Smoke that Thunders” are seeing high occupancy rates again. And while there are hotel options for all budgets in this bustling and very safe* town, the luxury digs are the way to go.

  • Meet South Africa On These 15 Walking Tours (And One Running Tour)

    running in cape town By Karen Elowitt, 11:00 pm

    South Africa is best explored on foot, so pull on your most comfortable shoes and immerse yourself in the country’s streets and trails. In doing so you’ll learn a bit about the culture and history, and get the opportunity to shop or meet locals in a township. Here are 15 excellent walking tours in South Africa, from Cape Town to Durban, and beyond.