Not so Hidden Gems of South Africa latest issue of AWAYN magazine


Brad White Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve Hike

Oribi Gorge is a canyon in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, just west of Port Shepstone, which itself is 120 km south of Durban. The river(s) carved a extremely scenic route and canyon through the landscape. There are several walking/hiking trails which can be chosen from, we took the hoepoe trail up to the water fall. The mentioned length and especially timing shall be taken with care, it took us 4 hours to complete, as we took photo breaks and pleasant looks.

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Activities: CampingCamping HikeHike
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Hotel Nearby Hotel Nearby Picnic Area Picnic Area Parking Parking RV Parking RV Parking


Lorraine Wu The Tugela Gorge hike

The Tugela Gorge hike is the best one-day hike in South Africa. A information with packed lunches provided via The Cavern allows you to make a full day of this trip. This stroll need to now not be ignored and is a should do in KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg and South Africa.

Sensible talking walks shoes are required for this walk and it can also be beneficial to take along a lighter pair of shoes/sandals to walk via the river to get to Gorge. In summer time make sure you take a costume for lovely swim in the rock pools. Drink plenty of liquids and take along a hat.

This stroll from Tugela vehicle park is a extremely good experienced of ‘climbing’ into the mountains. Although it may also seem a flat stroll do no longer let this distract you from the marvelous scenery. For the first km there is a very true direction and no one of a kind instructions are needed, the direction winds along, above and parallel to the Tugela river. Not long after crossing the intersecting circulate from Devil’s Hoek appear out for Policeman’s Helmet on the high floor to the proper overlooking Vermaan Valley.

The scenery is spectacular, and in spring and summer season the valley is a carpet of indigenous flora. The course meanders in and out of lush forests cascading down the hills into the river below. View web sites of the Amphitheatre wall get increasingly more mind- blowing as you strategy the Gorge – the wall rises over  1800m from the valley floor.

The last km thru Gorge entails three boulder crossings of the river – easy enough except in flood. Do no longer make the mistake of turning back at this point. With a little bit of effort the most picturesque surroundings in the park lies at the a long way give up alongside with a welcome cup of tea from The Cavern guide.

At this factor there are a number of matters to look for. The Devil’s Tooth, the tunnel ahead and the chain ladder. Pause for a swim in the crystal clear white sandstone rock pools before attempting the chain ladder.

Once at the Gorge, one encounters the Tunnel where the river flows thru an impassable rock formation. This can be bypassed with the aid of a scramble up a chain ladder to the right. Use the chain ladder to skirt the tunnel and get into the Amphitheatre and boulder hop up the Tugela for about alf a km, where for each step you are rewarded with a complete trade of scenery.

Remember to keep an eye out for thunderstorms which rapidly brew above the Amphitheatre wall, however all elssa take into account to revel in youself in this distinct place. The return down trip to the car park is faster than the uptrip so make positive that you revel in yourself and the scenery.


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Activities: BackpackBackpack HikeHike
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly

AWAYN Editorial

Durban: an unforgettable South African experience

Think of South Africa, and images of majestic savannas and roaming wildlife come to mind. A South African safari is an unforgettable experience, but no visit to the country is truly complete without a cultural immersion. The vibrant city of Durban combines the best of both worlds. Located along the Indian Ocean coast an hour from Johannesburg by air, Durban offers an eclectic array of activities where you can explore the city's significant role in world history, the rich heritage of its Zulu people, and innumerable natural wonders - from the beach to the bush.

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Experience authentic Zulu culture

Named for its dramatic surrounding landscape, the Valley of 1,000 Hills has been home to the Zulu people, South Africa's largest ethnic group, for centuries.


Visitors can take an organized tour deep into tribal lands to experience Zulu culture with its exuberant ceremonies, traditional music and dancing. You'll learn about Zulu beliefs and healing practices, break bread with local families and learn the hidden meanings behind their colorful beadwork. You can even arrange one-on-one sessions with the village healer or spend the night with a Zulu family in their home. 

Walk in Gandhi's and Mandela's footsteps

Not everyone is aware that Mahatma Gandhi's life work was inspired by his experiences in Durban. In 1893, he arrived as a young lawyer, and the discrimination he witnessed personally and against his fellow Indians drove him to start his worldwide movement of passive resistance fighting for the rights of the Indian population. At the Phoenix Settlement, you will see Gandhi's house and the printing press he used to publish his newspaper, The Indian Opinion. Many of the more than one million Indians living in the city make the pilgrimage to this historical site alongside visitors from around the world.


Five years after his death, Nelson Mandela remains South Africa's most revered public figure. 2018 marks a year-long celebration of his life and what would have been his 100th birthday on July 18. Honor his work when you're in Durban by visiting the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, at the exact spot where he began his "Long Walk to Freedom" after being arrested for anti-Apartheid activism in 1952. Visit the striking monument and educational exhibition walking you through Mandela's life and role in establishing a democratic South Africa.

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Hit the beach at Umhlanga Rocks

Umhlanga Rocks, Durban's laidback beach village, is on a picturesque stretch of the Indian Ocean. It beckons visitors with a scenic promenade passing by local landmarks including Umhlanga Lighthouse and Whale Bone Pier. A walkable downtown makes dining and nightlife easily accessible from the area's many boutique hotels and guesthouses, and opportunities to get on the water abound - from surfing to deep sea fishing, scuba diving, whale watching and kiteboarding.

Discover an underwater wonderland

Consistently rated one of the top warm water diving and snorkeling sites in the world, Aliwal Shoal is also the spot to get up close and personal with blacktip reef sharks. Those brave enough can swim or dive alongside these mysterious creatures in the open ocean, but viewing from inside a cage is always an option.


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Experience a Big Five safari

Back on land, the South African bush is less than four hours away by car. Private game reserves offer high-end safari lodge accommodations, minimal crowds and optimal chances for getting the perfect photos of the "Big Five" - elephants, rhinos, water buffalo, lions and leopards. In iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hippos, crocodiles, pelicans and flamingos roam Lake St. Lucia, while elephants, giraffes and leopards inhabit the adjacent grasslands.

Visit to learn more.


More ADVENTURES highlights


Charles Moore Rocky Bay Resorts Park Rynie South Africa

Durban has become the country's surf centre because of a high population density of surfers and a great year round climate. South swells wrap around the Bluff Peninsula, and focus on the long piers and groynes that punctuate the coastline. When the conditions are right, then powerful, hollow beachbreaks are the result. There are a few reefs to consider including the world class tubes of Cave Rock. Most Natal spots are best on low to mid tides with light offshore winds, which unfortunately, are rare. Many foreign surfers coming to South Africa have sharks at the top of their mind, however Durban has not had a single attack since shark nets were put in place in 1962.
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Activities: SurfingSurfing ChillingChilling
Amenities: Dog friendly Dog friendly Child Friendly Child Friendly


Juerg R. Eberhart Maletsunyane Falls

Maletsunyane Falls, one cataract on an Orange River tributary in Lesotho, 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Maseru. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the world with a drop of 192 meters and is important to Lesotho as a tourist attraction. The pony ride to and from the falls is spectacular, beautiful, traveling through beautiful fields and local villages. An experience from this world.


The falls are the most beautiful we've ever seen, better than Niagara Falls, better than Victoria Falls, perfect in a natural setting.


The abseiling was incredible. It's organized so well. Professionals are the men running it. It's all about safety, and it's 100% safe. You need no experience whatsoever. And it's just an incredible ride to the bottom alongside the 204 meter (670 feet) falls. Equally wonderful is the hike from the bottom of the falls. So is the drive from and to Maseru as well.

Go here if you're going to just one place in Africa. The horses ride. Do the robbery. Experience the lodge.March/April is the best time of the year - the mountains are green and there's lots of little waterfalls in the mountains. Hiked to Maletsunyane from Semonkong lodge (arriving at the same side as the waterfall), and also rode around (on motorbikes) to see it from the opposite side. Majestic from the opposite side ... but standing next to where it tumbles down gives a whole new perspective on how high it is. If you have time, do a pony trek to the falls ... and ask at the lodge for Elizabeth, the blanket-lady, to show you her collection of Basutho blankets.


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Activities: HikeHike TourismTourism
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly Picnic Area Picnic Area


Charles Moore KwaZulu-Natal coastlines

Broadly speaking, the KwaZulu-Natal coastline is divided into three zones: Durban, North Coast and South Coast. Durban, or Surf City, has The Golden Mile of perfect beaches tucked between a series of piers. These are all consistent beach breaks capable of holding sizeable winter swell and summer cyclone swell. The most popular of these are: Bay of Plenty; New Pier; North Beach; Wedge and Dairy. Further south towards the harbour, uShaka and Vetches only pick up when massive southerly winter swells wrap around the harbour and onto the reef. South of the harbour, bluff beaches meeting the oncoming swell provide solid surfing conditions at the likes of Ansteys, Cave Rock, Brighton and Garvies. Of these, Cave Rock offers the biggest, best waves, but, with a reef bottom, only experienced surfers should apply. The South Coast, with its many reef and beach breaks, holds the promise of perfect hollow waves, especially if you’re in the water early before the wind picks up in summer, or in winter when the swell is big and conditions generally glassy. The first South Coast beach, Amanzimtoti, is a 20 minute drive from Durban, followed by Warner Beach. Further south, Scottburgh’s consistent right point break means there’s always someone in the water, while Happy Wanderers’ right reef break is empty until conditions are perfect. An hour further south are a number of good reef-to-sand surf spots: Margate; Uvongo; St Michaels; Umzumbe and Lucien. North of Durban, surf spots worth a visit include Ballito, Umdloti, Westbrook, Umhlanga, Salt Rock, Sodwana Bay and Richards Bay. Of these, Ballito and Umhlanga have the best waves and enjoy a vibrant beach culture, with oodles of accommodation, while Westbrook features a long right when the swell is not too big.
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Activities: SurfingSurfing WindsurfingWindsurfing Kite SurfingKite Surfing
Amenities: Accepts Credit Cards Accepts Credit Cards Alcoholic Beverages Alcoholic Beverages Dog friendly Dog friendly Child Friendly Child Friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Hotel Nearby Hotel Nearby


Nicolas Bayne Cederberg Hike

The Cederberg wilderness Area lies some 200 km north of Cape Town. This tremendous region in the Cederberg vicinity stretches from the Middelberg Pass at Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam, encompassing some 710 ha of rugged, mountainous terrain.

Did you know? The top notch Cederberg Mountains are only about 2.5 hours pressure north of Cape Town. Trails on the Cederberg Heritage Route, as there are a number, start from Clanwilliam. It is a challenging, beautiful terrain, most of its targeted Wilderness Area – read: wild, undisturbed, superbly preserved with instead bad roads and very limited in a single day accommodation.

The cederberg was once proclaimed a wilderness location in 1973, and as such enjoys the highest viable conservation status. The cederberg is renowned for its surprising landscapes and rock formations, as nicely as its namesake, the increasingly rare Clanwilliam ceder tree.

The Cederberg mountains are section of the Cape folded mountain sequence and consist basically of Table Mountain sandstone. Weathered sandstone formations, most particulary the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross, are standard of the Cederberg. The mountains fall inside the catchment area of the Cape fynbos region, and are managed as a source of water.

Winters in the Cederberg are bloodless and wet, while summers are heat and dry. The most rain falls between May and September, and it regularly snows in the greater parts. IN the winter, night temperatures drop sharply and heavy frost can also occur. IN summer time temperatures might also attain as high as 40°C. Lightning is the most frequent purpose of periodic veld fires. South-easterly winds predominate in the summer season and additionally contribute to the high veld furnace risk.

Vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos. The lower slopes help laurel protea, silky conebush, sand olive and yellow daisies, with wild olives and mountain maytenus on the rocky outcrops. Waboom veld also takes place at this lower altitude. The attractive purply-blue ridderspoor, as nicely as rooibos tea and buchu grow against the lower cliffs.

Higher up one finds fynbos restio veld, with purple disas in abundance along stream on the plateau. The Clanwilliam cedar grows in the so called cedar region against cliffs and overhangs at altitudes of greater than 10 m above sea level. In the wetter ravines red and white els, yellowwood, hard-pear and Cape beech occur, whilst wild olive, silky bark and spoonwood choose dryer kloofs. The endemic snow protea is perhaps the most appealing plant on the highest peaks. It is very scarce, and is solely located at a few sites in the wasteland area.

Baboons, dassies, gray rhebok, klipspringers, duiker and grysbok are pretty frequent here. Although porcupine, honey badger, Cape clawless otter and aardvark take place here, they are seldom seen. The leopard is the Cederberg’s biggest predator, and is fairly common even though very shy. Smaller predators encompass African wild cat, lynx, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and Cape fox. The small gray mongoose and striped polecat are frequently seen. Various fascinating rodents occur, together with spectacled dormouse.

More than one hundred bird species occur here, with black eagle, rock kestrel and jackal buzzard the most frequent raptors. The armadillo lizard is one of the endemic reptiles happening in the Cederberg. About 16 snakes species are observed here, the most frequent being berg adder, puff adder and black spitting cobra. The Clanwilliam yellow fish, Clanwilliam crimson fin minnow and fiery purple din minnow are however some of the threatened fish species endemic to the Olifants River, which may additionally be discovered in the large rivers and streams of the barren region area.

Conservation Programs

Cedar bushes are turning into scarcer despite the safety provided with the aid of the desert area. A cedar reserve of about 5250 ha was once created in 1987, in an attempt to forestall the extinction of these trees. Extremely warm fires which are disastours for person tree are limited, and as an alternative cooler more regular burning is practiced. Cedar bushes are additionally being cultivated and every 12 months about eight zero year old trees are planted in appropriate locations within the reserve.


The Cederberg wilderness Area offers unsurpassed opportunities for recreation. In the primitive wilderness, away from bustle, one finds house and peace. Activities which are well suited with the desert atmosphere, such as trekking and rock climbing are encouraged. Various hiking routes crisscross the desert region. These routes furnish get admission to the wilderness, and hikers may also explore the region at will. Rock mountaineering is popular and is authorized for the duration of the area, furnished that rock surfaces do now not end up damaged. The cliffs of the Krakadouw and Table mountain peaks are the most famous mountaineering sites.

These are thousands of rocky overhangs and caves with best examples of rock art. These paintings may also be anything from 300 to 600 years old, and very touchy to damage. They are an fundamental phase of the desert area’s fascination and site visitors find out them for themselves. Rock art is protected via the National Monuments Act, and candals who deface rock artwork face fines of up to R10 zero or two years imprisonment, or both.

Pets, including dogs, are not allowed. 

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Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Restrooms Restrooms