Presenting Augusta de Mist of Swellendam

Slow down between Cape Town and Knysna, drop down the rabbit hole and and stay in the Republic of Swellendam – it’s artistic, Afrikaans, anti-establishment, Calvinistic, creative, curious and wonderful. Continue reading

In search of Eden and Elephants

HIke 400km in 18 days over 5 mountain ranges, through forest, fynbos and desert, in search of an old elephant migration routes. Welcome to the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative trail from Knysna to Addo elephant park in South Africa. Continue reading

Churchhaven – Worshipping the West Coast

About an hour north of Cape Town, you’ll see a turn-off to the left into the West Coast National Park where a road will lead you to a hidden hamlet on the Langebaan Lagoon.  Chattering seabirds swoop over faded fishing … Continue reading

5 of the best markets in Cape Town

The slowfood movement and the revival of crafted goods has resulted in a plethora of markets in Cape Town. These are a couple of my favourites.

1. The Neighbourhood Goods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.  This award-winning market stands head and shoulders above the rest. It has over 100 specialty traders every Saturday, including local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers, butchers, artisan producers and designers. Wander through the old  warehouse and courtyard at the Old Biscuit Mill or chill on hay bales outside.

2. The Porters Market,  in Tokai. Probably my most visited market, because I love the MoerKoffie, the amazing bacon and egg rolls, and the Marimba’s. The market is the perfect place to stop off after a bike ride, or walk in Tokai forest. Look out for the handmade breadboards, Karoo lamb, chocolate brownies, raw honey and heritage seedlings.

3. The Slowmarket and Treasury Market, in Stellenbosch. If you’re willing to trek out to the Winelands, this market is worth the trip. Well organised and laid out around the Oaks and Cape Dutch buildings of Oude Libertas, the Slowmarket offers quality, gourmet treats, quirky crafts and some great finds. After quaffing champagne over breakfast, I came home laden with marinated olives, cheese, a Havanna hat, a real Indian embroidered throw, a bird brooch and the intention to return. The Treasury craft market, within the larger market, is only there on the first Saturday of the month.

4. The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. This market has grown into a sprawling mix of great food and crafts. Its popular – especially on the weekends when there’s live music –  so expect a busy, vibey atmosphere.

5. The Earthfair Market, in Tokai. This small market has some gems – curries, cheesecakes and fresh organic juices. Try By Nature for organic nuts and dried fruit, Constantia Cheesery for delicious cheeses without colourants additives or preservatives, and SaladLover for the best vegetarian, gourmet selection of salads you could wish for.

Waterfall Farm – paradise found in the Cederberg

  Road-tripping is hungry work, and after an early start of out Cape Town, northwards up the N7 to the Cederberg, we were ready to plunder roadside farmstalls. Citrusdal was our last stop before hitting the dirt roads. But, everyone … Continue reading

In Search of the Fish

800km from Cape Town there is a campsite with hot springs, wild horses, and a river running through it. There is also a canyon carving through arid rock, and that is what we went in search of.

The Fish River Canyon, Namibia, is over 300km long, but hikes are mostly done between the campsites Hobas and Ai-Ais for 70 – 95km, depending on how many shortcuts you take.

We climbed down stumbling shale and rock
We saw scorpion trails everywhere
We slept under a blanket of stars
We cooked on open fires made from gathered driftwood
We drank the river
We got cold in the predawn and dived deeper into our sleeping bags
We got powder soft sand in our shoes
We saw kudu
We heard kudu whistling and drinking water next to us at midnight
We saw a German grave and wild horses
We followed Ryan Sandes
We made friends
We were small and wrapped in the mountains
We held the world away
We dozed in the midday heat
We scalded and soothed our bodies in hot springwater bubbling into rock pools
We saw saturated blue sky and unflinching resilience in plants and animals
We loved the simple life
We finished.