What does the other side of Cape Town have to offer?

Cape Town is probably one of the most traveled to destinations in Africa, it is rich in its diversity and has tons to offer its visitors yet the majority of the attractions are either in the CBD or the Southern Suburbs. I live in the Northern Suburbs and I love it. It’s gorgeous and offers tons of things to do away from the hustle of the CBD. So, apart from the amazing food, what other things are there to do on this side of the mountain?

Visit Franschhoek

Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape Winelands lies the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. This small town has so much to offer those who visit. It is home to some of the worlds best chefs and wineries. Franschhoek’s French heritage of more than 300 years is evident in the towns buildings, shops and culture. The picturesque valley is perfect for photography lovers and those looking to just escape for a while.

Root 44 Market

We’ve got our hippie markets too you know! You will not be disappointed with the Root 44 market in Stellenbosch. It is open every Saturday and Sunday, come rain or shine! This is not your average market with just traders and food stalls; it provides entertainment too. Keep an eye out to see what bands are playing as you might just have the luck of watching someone well known play.


Cool Runnings Toboggan Track

Cool-Runnings Toboggan Track is the first downhill toboggan run in Africa. This summer version of snow tobogganing delivers the ultimate in safe, thrilling speed, in a bobsled on wheels down a 1,25 km winding track. Speed is regulated by the rider and there is no need to walk up the hill for your next go because you get on the sled at the bottom and let the automatic pully take you all the way to the top. Its perfect for adults and kids!


Blue Rock Water Activities

Blue Rock is situated on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg Mountains, a stone’s throw away from Sir Lowry’s Pass. It is a cable water ski resort and restaurant where families come to wakeboard, picnic, play paintball, swim, fufi slide and more. It makes for an awesome day out for the entire family.


Giraffe House

I had so much fun visiting Giraffe House. This Wildlife Awareness centre provides easy access to some of Africa’s wonderful wildlife and bird species. Focusing on African wildlife, Giraffe House aims to provide a place for people to enjoy the outdoors, whilst experiencing and learning about animals and why they are special.


Vredenheim Wildlife & Winery

Vredenheim is approximately 320 years old and is one of the oldest wine estates in the Stellenbosch area of the Cape Winelands. It has so much to offer; your first stop should definitely be Barrique Restaurant and make sure you try their grape juice. After a relaxed lunch, head over to the Wild Cats Park where you can walk among some really fascinating white lions, tigers and other wild cats (they’re in their cages offcourse).


Paarl Rock

Paarl Rock is the bulbous granite outcrop that is part of the larger Paarl Mountain, standing out from miles away for its smooth, flawless appearance, from where it gets its name. If you’re keen for some adventure then rent out some climbing equipment and partake in some rock climbing. If you’re a scared cat like me then stick to the trails. Either way, you are promised some gorgeous views so ensure your phone is near by!


The Robberg Beach Lodge in Plettenberg Bay

Road tripping down the Garden Route is always so much fun. It really is one of the nicest places in South Africa and the accommodation and activities in these coastal towns are nothing short of amazing. Our last stop before heading back home to Cape Town was Plettenberg Bay. We decided to be spontaneous and only booked our accommodation whilst driving down the N2.

I use Booking.com for all my accommodation needs and searched for something in Plett; The Robberg Beach Lodge was the first option. I opened it, drooled over the pictures, read the reviews and immediately booked. This 5 star beach lodge is located alongside the beach and was honestly one of the nicest places I have ever stayed at in the Western Cape. It may have been in the middle of Winter but the weather was perfect and views crystal clear!

robberg beach lodge

From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we were treated like royals by Victor and the other staff. They were so accommodating, friendly and immediately made you feel like you were home. After a quick check in, we were escorted to our phenomenal Luxury SuiteOur suite offered fresh modern accommodation with a spacious sea facing room, large bathroom and private balcony. The next morning a superb breakfast awaited us and the choices were endless. The Robberg offers its guests a little piece of heaven that is not easy to forget.




Take a look at their specials and rates and make this your number one choice when visiting Plettenberg Bay; I definitely have! Follow them on social media for more information. (Pictures courtesy of The Robberg Beach Lodge)

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Bathurst – A 19th Century English Village in South Africa

Bathurst is located in the Eastern Cape and its chief claim to fame is that it was the early administrative centre established by the British Government for the 1820 British Settlers. The town is quaint and does not offer tons of attractions to its visitors but the little that it does offer is quirky and nothing short of charming. Many of the original settler houses and other buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle Inn, built in 1821, is at the heart of the village and is reputedly the oldest extant pub in the country.

We visited the iconic Bathurst Pineapple which is a 17 meter tall pineapple and home to the pineapple museum. It’s only a R10 admission fee and there’s tons of interesting facts to learn about pineapple farming. A must see, even if it’s just to snap a picture of the ginormous pineapple.

Bathurst Pinapple

I am always surprised by the amazing shops hidden away in towns like these. Bathurst has so many wonderful little shops with interesting things for sale. My favourite is Tales Of Antiquity. It is hard to describe but if you can picture a secondhand vintage shop with a mixture of antiques, clothing and bric à brac then you can imagine that Tales Of Antiquity has a lot to offer. I was thrilled to find so many gems including vintage dessert bowls; R110 for 6 and fine bone China tea cups for R35. If you’re looking to host the ultimate vintage tea party then this shop should definitely be on your list of things to see in Bathurst.


CNN rated Bathurst South Africa’s most eccentric town and now I definitely know why. Make sure you have an entire day to spend here and preferably on a Sunday when the Farmers Market is on. Don’t worry, all the shops are open till late on Sunday too!

Let the Garden Route adventure begin

It’s been a few months since I have embarked on a road trip and this could not have come at a better suited time. More than ever do both my husband and myself need to escape for a few days and what better place to disappear too than Port Alfred. Port Alfred is located in the Eastern Cape and is the heart of the Sunshine Coast. It is a small town with not much to see in the town itself but its peaceful and serene… exactly what the doctor ordered.

Hard to believe but we both have quite a few close family members who live here and are loving it. So, we plan on spending enough time with family as well. We start our road trip early Friday morning and plan to explore everything alongside the Garden Route. There are amazing attractions close to Port Alfred including the unique town of Bathurst, Grahamstown and Kenton on Sea. Bathurst is heart of settler country and home to South Africa’s oldest inn. Wow!

Do you have any suggestion of places to visit and things to do? Let me know!

People Who Spend Money On Experiences Instead Of Things Are Much Happier


When it’s payday and that direct deposit hits your account, you tend to swipe your card more in a day than your thumb swipes through Facebook, Instagram and Tinder combined. The instant gratification that comes along with the hefty price tags on new clothes, trendy sneakers and expensive jewelry is satisfying enough to be considered an actual addiction. But it’s crucial for us to remember the importance of investing in our life experiences even more so than splurging on the next big thing from our favorite designer; it’s true that money can’t buy you happiness.

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Written by Chris Riotta, Editor Elite Daily

Highlights of my adventure in Kenya

Visiting Kenya was solely for the purpose of business but I was lucky enough to spend one day as a tourist and that was all it took for me to fall in love with this beautiful country. Flying to Kenya from South Africa is relatively short and comfortable. Flights were booked via Sure Travel on South African Airways and was one of the quickest routes we could have opted for.

During my short time in Kenya, I only visited Nairobi and stayed at Hotel Emerald which was conveniently located in the heart of Westlands. The best thing about the hotel was definitely the widely recognized Vista restaurant which specialised in Indian Cuisine.  I shared this journey with my good friend Linda Jooste, who enjoyed Nairobi just as much as I did.


One day in Nairobi. What can you do?


Kenya is a large city with attractions spread out in multiple directions. Using public transport is not an ideal option for a first time visitor, using private cars however is safe and convenient. I booked a daily service with Karanja Cabs; his rate was well priced and he only has a fleet of semi luxury vehicles, which makes travelling such a pleasure.


Giraffe Centre

This sanctuary was established in order to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The Giraffe Centre was started by Jock Leslie-Melville, the Kenyan grandson of a Scottish Earl, when he and his wife Betty captured a baby giraffe to start a programme of breeding giraffe in captivity at their home. The main attraction for visitors is feeding giraffes from a raised observation platform. The centre is also home to several warthogs and elephants which freely roam the area along with the giraffes.


Elephant Orphanage

The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness particularly endangered species. It is estimated that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory, a lack of action could see the loss of wild elephants in Africa by 2025. The main attraction at the orphanage is the show put on by the baby elephants. They start by stomping around, playing in the mud and drinking milk from huge baby bottles. It’s extremely playful and fun to watch but heartwarming at the same time.

Tip: Get there early to secure your seat in the front of the line



Maasai Market

If culture is what you are after and a little bit of shopping too, then don’t make the mistake of not visiting the Maasai Market. It’s a great experience for all travelers. This open-air market is located at different venues during the week, so make sure you check your timetable before planning a visit. The market owners enjoy a good bargain, so chances of getting what you wanted for 50% less than the asking price is very promising. You can find dozens of unique curios, beads, hand crafted furniture and oil paintings at the Maasai Market so ensure you carry enough cash! I have a particular weakness for cultural artifacts so this was my all time favorite thing to do.


Why are some people born to travel?

There are some people who never feel the urge to leave the house. They’re content to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on, and the 360 degrees that immediately surround them.

Then there’s the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still, perhaps meditate to Anthony Bourdain, and always keep their passports on them – just in case.  Whether you call it wanderlust, a love of travel or regular old curiosity – the fact remains the same: Your hunger to explore simply cannot be quenched, no matter how many vacations or journeys you take.

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Dan Scotti, Editor of Elite Daily explain the scientific explanation.

Visiting Los Angeles

The next stop after our stay in Las Vegas was California. We stopped in Los Angeles for 4 nights.
Our accommodation was sponsored by the amazing Sirtaj Hotel which is located in the heart of Beverly Hills and just off Rhodeo Drive. This hotel could not have been more perfectly located. Immediately after arriving in LA, we had already begun feeling like celebrities and knew that the lifestyle of the rich and famous was what we were meant for….just kidding! We certainly did not fit in with our Prius amongst Cadillac’s and Maserati’s which were all over. The decor at the hotel was amazing! It was a fusion between Indian and modern. The food was exceptionally good and I ate their Chicken Tikka almost every day.

So, what did we do in LA?

On our first day, we went on the Celebrities Hollywood Homes tour with Jeff from Star Track ToursIt was so exciting to get a feel for where the celebs sleep, play and eat. We went to the famous Runyon Canyon Park, where celebs are always spotted walking their dogs or going for a run. We drove by tons of celeb homes including The Kardashians…my all time favs. Even though they all live in gated communities, we got to see where Kimye lives as well as Khloe Kardashian. It was a great and informative tour through a stunning and very pricey area.

The next day was spent at the incredible Universal Studios. Although it isn’t as large as the one in Florida, it was still a phenomenal experience. From meeting dozens of characters to thrill seeking rides, it really was a special place. Jacques obviously went on every single ride…twice! Me on the other hand…I tried my luck with just two.


It was great taking a Studio Tour through the film sets at Universal and being a part of some of our favourite TV shows. We visited the incredible Wisteria Lane where Desperate Housewives was filmed, met some of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and even encountered the eerie plane crash from War of the Worlds. I’m a huge fan of Bates Motel, so it was so cool to come face-to-face with Norman Bates at the legendary Bates Motel set. The highlight, however, was the King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson – The world’s largest 3-D experience, only on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. Two curved screens, each measuring a massive 187 feet wide by 40 feet high — the equivalent of 16 movie theatre screens — surround the Studio Tour tram. It blew our minds!

The next day was spent visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame which was such an entertaining experience. This LA strip is filled with tourists, entertainers and just amazing sights and sounds. If you really want to feel the Hollywood vibe in LA, then this is the place you need to be at.

We visited the iconic Santa Monica Pier where we ate Churros, walked on the beach and watched the sunset. Although it signified the end of Route 66, our journey was not over yet.

Screenshot 2015-02-05 15.31.36

The last we thing did in LA before leaving was visiting the Dash store. Although it was Christmas Day and it was closed, it was still pretty awesome to have seen the store. I’m a huge Kardahsian fan so being here after following the Dash journey was incredible.

Next Stop….San Francisco

Meeting Penn and Teller…no it’s not Bullshit!

During our stay in Las Vegas we went to the Penn and Teller show. If you love “magic” and illusion then these guys are definitely no strangers. I love watching illusionists but love knowing even more how stuff is done.  Their showtime network television show Bullshit! takes a skeptical look at psychics, religion, the pseudoscientific, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

They are iconic entertainers who have been performing since the 70’s. Their show was amazing but definitely not as amazing as meeting them at the end. As soon as the show was over we quickly followed Teller who took a selfie of us with my phone….yes he grabbed my phone and quickly took a picture of us before letting us take a picture with Penn. Teller also spoke to us which was great as he is not known for speaking during his shows. It was the best moments of the trip….and we’re best buds with them now…okay, maybe not!



Welcome to Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas was an awesome place to visit. We decided to stay outside of The Strip at the very luxurious Westin Lake Resort and Spa. They sponsored our entire stay in Vegas. The resort was a dose of heaven. The entire hotel is Eastern themed with a Moroccan influence. We were given the Suite on the top floor of the hotel. Our room was amazing with spectacular views of the lake. It featured a huge bedroom as well as a private lounge and balcony.

The resort itself was breathtaking. I would love to come back during the summer. There were multiple pools to choose from, a hot tub and private cabanas with beds and TV’s. It’s the ultimate destination for anyone visiting Vegas. The Westin offers a free shuttle to The Strip which was so convenient for us.


Las Vegas is great, maybe a little underwhelming if you are not a gambler but nevertheless an experience! We did so much in Vegas which included The High Roller, visiting the “Eiffel Tower”, watching the famous Bellagio Fountains and seeing the Penn and Teller show at the Rio. Jacques also enjoyed the thrilling rides on top of the Stratosphere. I just watched from the sidelines…!