31 March 2010

New meningitis vaccine available in Europe

According to the BBC a new vaccine against the four major strains of meningitis has been developed by pharma multi Novartis. Menveo, a conjugate vaccine which can bring about herd immunity, is currently only available in Europe. The vaccine is likely to be used as a travel vaccine to protect people from contracting meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa.
In sub-Saharan Africa, large epidemics of meningococcal meningitis occur in the dry season, leading to it being labeled the "meningitis belt". The belt stretches from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, has the highest rates of the diseases, but epidemics are occurring in countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa too.

30 March 2010

Kruger National Park Calendar - May

  • autumn
  • warm to hot days
  • warm to rather cold evenings
  • occasional rain only
  • between 13°C - 28°C (Fahrenheit: e.g. 28°C = [(28x9)]/5 + 32 = 82.4°F)
  • visit travelcomments.com/webcams_sa.htm and follow daily game drives via webcam to check the weather & how the landscape is changing during the year

  • the bush starts drying out
  • landscape changes from green to yellow, orange and brown
  • the waterholes in the mopaneveld are drying out first
  • the baobab trees are dropping their last pods
Animal Activity:
  • Elephants begin migration into northern Kruger
  • game seeking for warmer areas
  • impala rut continues
  • wild dog breeding season

Kruger National Park: Wilderness Trail special offers

South African National Parks (SANParks) is currently offering pretty good specials on three of the Wilderness Trails (Nyalaland, Bushman and Wolhuter) in the Kruger National Park (KNP). The discounts are only available for the three trails commencing between 01 Nov 2010 and 28 Feb 2011.
  • Single bookings for two or three guests on these trails within these dates are entitled to a 10% discount on the standard rates.
  • Single bookings for four or five guests on these trails within these dates are entitled to a 20% discount on the standard rates.
  • Single bookings for six or seven guests on these trails within these dates are entitled to a 30% discount on the standard rates.
  • Single bookings for eight guests on these trails within these dates are entitled to a 40% discount on the standard rates. 
Bushmans Trail is situated in the  south western corner of the park, Nyaland Trail between Punda Maria camp and Pafuri and Wolhuter Trail, the first of all Wilderness Trails in the park, is situated roughly between Berg-en-dal, Ship mountain and Afsaal picnic site.

Pls visit sanparks.com for more info about the special offer!

Tanzania: no electricity for at least four hours a day

The mainland of Tanzania is currently facing load shedding problems with the result that consumers in the country are now "off power" again for at least 4 hours each day. Reason for the power problem seems to be a lack of maintenance of the power producing machinery, which got broken in several plants at the same time, causing rationing of power for the entire country.
It is only a good couple of weeks ago that power was restored to Zanzibar after the island had been left in the dark for at least three months after an undersea cable broke.

British Airways strike: canceled South Africa flights between 30 March to 01 April 2010

British Airways has announced its flight schedule update for the period between 30 March to 01 April 2010. The arline is expecting the majority of flights to operate normally on March 31 and later.

The following flights have been cancelled:
  • 30 March 2010
    Johannesburg (JNB) > Heathrow (LHR): BA 0054
    LHR > JNB: BA 0034 
  • 31 March 2010
    JNB > LHR: BA 0056 
  • 01 April 2010
    JNB > LHR: BA 0056
    JNB > LHR: BA 0034 
Customers are advised to check ba.com on a regular basis to see if their flight is still operating before departing to the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should not travel to the airport, but contact British Airways or their travel agent. The British Airways call centre will be open for extended hours for customers wishing to change their bookings. 

29 March 2010

Get 10% discount on Moya Wa Tenga Transfers in & around Johannesburg, Kruger National Park

Moya Wa Tenga Transfers, a professional Meet & Greet service with door-to-door road transportation, is offering 10% discount on their vartoius transfer services if you quote "travelcomments.com" when requesting a quote.

Their rates include a meet and greet with name-board at the airport as well as refreshments en route. All transfers are done in an air-conditioned 2008 VW Kombi which seats a maximum of 7 passengers. Rates mentioned below are not valid for the World Cup period.

One way transfers for up to 7 passengers from ORT International/JHB to:
One Way Domestic Transfers to Suburbs in and around Johannesburg
  • Alberton - R350.00
  • Bedfordview - R250.00
  • Bryanston - R400.00
  • Fourways - R400.00
  • Florida - R450.00
  • Hartebeespoort Dam - R850.00
  • Honeydew - R500.00
  • Lanseria  - R600.00
  • Midrand - R550.00
  • Pretoria - R750.00
  • Rosebank - R400.00
  • Sandton - R400.00
  • Sun City - R1650.00
  • Sunninghill - R400.00
Please visit their website http://www.roadtransfers.co.za for more information or contact them via email info@moyawatenga.co.za.

Kruger National Park to strictly enforce gate quotas during the Easter holidays

A high volume of visitors is expected to visit the Kruger National Park during the Easter Weekend which starts on the 01 April 2010 and lasts till the 05 April 2010. Therefore Kruger NP is announcing that gate quotas will strictly be enforced during this period.  
If the daily gate quotas, which vary between 350 and 750 people per gate (depending on the size & strategic importance of that gate; Paul Kruger = 750, Parfuri = 300), are reached, the gate is effectively closed and only those guests who hold bookings will be allowed in. Click here for more info!

Namibia to protect its entire coastline as a National Park

Namibia will soon become the first continental country to have its entire coastline protected. The protected area will stretch 1,570 km from the Kunene River in the North to the Orange River in the South. The National Park will tbe 8th largest protected area in the world, the 6th largest terrestrial protected area, and the largest park in Africa, covering an area of 107,540 km².

The Greater Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park will be formed out of
  • The National West Coast Recreation Area (between Sandwich Harbour and the Ugab River), which will soon be consilidated and proclaimed as one conservation area.
  • the Skeleton Coast Park
  • the Namib Naukluft Park
  • the Sperrgebiet National Park
  • the Namibian Islands Marine Protected Area 
Greater Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park is acutally only a provisional name.  An official name should be announced soon, after some more consultation and consideration.
Pls visit nacoma.org.na for more info!

BBC podcast African Perspective about Fela Kuti

African Perspective is a weekly documentary podcast by the BBC, which takes an in-depth look at life on the African continent. This week's edition (27 March 2010) is about one of Africa's most influential and controversial musicians, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the King of Afrobeat.

African Perspective >>
Sat, 27 Mar 10 | Duration: 27 mins
African music gurus Max Reinhardt and Rita Ray Travel to Lagos to get a sense of one of Africa's most influential and controversial musicians, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the King of Afrobeat.

get Fela Kuti's cds/dvds & more in the
TravelComments.com eShop >>

27 March 2010

Kumuka Travel Photography Competition 2010

Kumuka Worldwide, one of the leading tour companies, is running a great yearly Photography Competetion and is giving away amazing prices. The 2010 competition just got announced and started already. Check it out!

What is it all about:
Send in your favourite travel shots from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, The Middle East or the North America for your chance to have your images displayed on the Kumuka Worldwide Photo Gallery Wall and win one of three fantastic prizes.

The categories for entries into the Travel Photography Competition are as follows:
  1. Kumuka Travellers and Families
    Send us your best shots of you or your friends and family on tour. Whether it's bungy jumping at Vic Falls or trekking to Everest Base Camp, the more adventurous or crazy the better!
  2. Landscapes, Landmarks and Wildlife
    Kumuka's tours traverse some of the most stunning landscapes on earth. We are looking for that magical photo from the Amazon, The Serengeti, The Himalayas or any place where you have captured its unique beauty.
  3. People and Culture
    If you've captured friendly locals and their colourful festivals, fascinating rituals or just going about their day to day business.
The Prizes:
  1. Southern Star tour of Africa >
  2. Oases and Pharaohs tour of Egypt >
  3. Reef & Rainforest Tour of Central America >

How to Enter:
Entries can be submitted by email only and there is no limit to the number of entries.
Email entries should be a high resolution jpeg file and sent to: photocomp@kumuka.com
It would be useful if a passage of text accompanied each entry, describing the 'story' or circumstances behind the photo (50 words max).
The closing date for entries into the Travel Photo Competition will be 01 September 2010 and the prize draw will take place on 01 October 2010.

Good luck and happy snapping!

26 March 2010

Johannesburg day trip: Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi is a multicultural village set amongst the pristine bushveld and rocky hills less than an hour's drive north of Johannesburg. Live the experience of the vibrant and colorful traditions of the Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu peoples on a four hour afternoon tour.

See traditional Zulu, Ndebele, Sotho, Pedi and Xhosa villages. See the Lesedi tribal dancers and enjoy a pan African feast with delicacies from north, east and southern Africa.
Situated at Lesedi are five traditional homesteads: the Zulus with their fighting sticks and cozy beehive huts; the Xhosa with their perfectly thatched rondawels and distinctive white blankets; the rhythmic drums and whistles of the Pedi tribe; the conical straw hats and thick, colored blankets of the Basotho; and the colorful homes of the Ndebele.
Families live their traditional peaceful lives and inhabit each homestead at Lesedi. Lesedi is a Sotho word that means, "Light". It was made famous by the great leader and founder of the Southern Sotho Nation, Moshoeshoe. During the terrible Mfecane wars, refugees from many nations joined him and were saved by him.
Lesedi Cultural Village awaits those willing to participate in an adventure that reveals the mystical cultures and traditions of the people of Africa, steeped in tribal folklore and ancestral traditions. Their culture is the light of the South African nation: "Whoever walks here amongst our cultures at Lesedi can also see the light".

25 March 2010

British Airways: flight schedule during 2nd strike

British Airways has announced its schedule for the second cabin crew strike from 27-30 March 2010. According to the new flight schedule, all flights ex Cape Town will operate as normal, while some ex Johannesburg flights are getting canceled.

The following flights have been cancelled:
  • 27 March 2010
    Heathrow (LHR) > Johannesburg (JNB): BA0057
  • 28 March 2010
    LHR > JNB: BA0033
    LHR > JNB: BA0057
  • 29 March 2010
    LHR > JNB: BA0057
  • 30 March 2010
    JNB > LHR: BA0054
    LHR > JNB: BA0033
Customers are advised to check ba.com on a regular basis to see if their flight is still operating before departing to the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should not travel to the airport, but contact British Airways or their travel agent. The British Airways call centre will be open for extended hours for customers wishing to change their bookings.

The Dung Beetle is the World's strongest creature!

Dung Beetles are able to lift 1,141 times its own body weight, which is equivalent to to an average of a human pulling six full double-decker buses. According to scientists the staggering strength of the Dung Beetles is down to the bugs' sex habits.

Female dung beetles are digging tunnels during the mating season ay their eggs and mate. If a male entering a tunnel that is already occupied by a rival, they will fight with their horns, trying to pull one another out. Therefore
A team from the University of London tested dung beetle males' ability to overpower love rivals by mocking up fighting scenarios. They measured the force needed to drag male beetles from their holes and came to result that the beetles are able to lift 1,141 times its own body weight.

24 March 2010

Are elephants really right or left-tusked?

Yes, they are! Like humans who are typically right or left-handed, elephants are usually right or left-tusked. The dominant tusk is called the master tusk and is generally shorter and slightly more worn at the tip. The master tusk is the elephants main tool and used more often than the other one.

The tusks are used to dig for water and roots, to debark trees, to move trees and branches when clearing a path, as well as to mark trees to establish their territory and occasionally as a weapon.
The tusks of of both male and female elephants are acutally growing continously - up to 18cm per year. They can reach over 3m in length and weigh over 90kg. Males have usually larger tusks compared to the females who have small tusks, or no tusks at all.

23 March 2010

Hostelworld: new podcast "Port Elizabeth - Highlights of the Garden Route"

Hostelworld.com is currently releasing a series of rather short podcasts from and about South Africa. The first three ones were about Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands, Johannesburg as the gateway to Kruger National Park and Pretoria & the Union Buildings. The latest episode is about Port Elizabeth and the highlights of the Garden Route. In the podcast, Hostelworld.com’s Rebecca Keenan speaks with Aimee Bell of Baz Bus, the South Africa hop on - hop off backpacker bus, about Port Elizabeth’s top attractions, popular towns along the Garden Route, first-rate attractions such as bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge, and much more.

BazBus Ticket options:

some good reasons for reusable water bottles

This great animated short film was published on the 22 March 2010, the UN World Water Day. It gives you loads of reasons not to buy bottled water all the time, but to drink tap water instead. And for all the travellers out there - reusable water bottles (Nalgene, Zigg, you name it) are actually not that expensive and mostly quite easy to attach to your backpack...

btw - the tap water in the 2010 World Cup host cities in South Africa is safe to drink. No worries about that.

UPDATE (20 Oct 2010): Pls also watch Dianna Cohen: Tough truths about plastic pollution on www.ted.com!

BBC podcast: "Road to Rwanda"

For those who like listening to podcasts - the BBC has just published a new documentaries podcast about Rwandan refugees returning home after the genocide.

Road to Rwanda >>
Duration: 24 mins
"I don't know anything about the genocide. I didn't kill anyone or steal from anyone. I just want to get back to my home, to my family property with my children," Sorious Samura follows Vestine, a Hutu refugee as she returns home to Rwanda after the genocide.

Zimbabwe: Fly Kumba finally starts operating on Johannesburg <> Bulawayo route

Zimbabwe's first low-cost carrier Fly Kumba made its maiden flight from Johannesburg to Bulawayo on 18 March 2010. The airline will operate on the Bulawayo <> Johannesburg route with three return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
According to Zimbabwean news resports the tickets are rethe cheapest on the market for flights between Joburg and Bulawayo - R800 per oneway flight.
Fly Kumba is operating a Boeing 737-500 leased from Air Namibia (Capacity 108 passengers)

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Johannesburg 11:00hrs > Bulawayo 12:00hrs
Bulawayo 15:00hrs > Johannesburg 16:00hrs

22 March 2010

TEDtalks - Hans Rosling debunking myths about the so-called "developing world".

Hans Rosling is a Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He is known to be a "statistic guru" and also got described as presenting his data with the "drama and urgency of a sportscaster". Rosling is the co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, which is aimed to promote a fact-based world view through increased use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. A good example for his work and appearance is the following video which shows Rosling at a TED conference in 2006.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED). See their website for more info.

recipes from Southern Africa: Buttermilk Rusks

  • 375g butter
  • 500g sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1,5kg self-raising flour
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) baking powder
  • 500ml (2 cups) buttermilk or plain drinking yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together very well
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder together, and add this to the creamed mixture, using a fork to mix
  5. Add the buttermilk or yogurt, using a little milk to rinse out the carton
  6. Mix well with a fork and then knead lightly
  7. Pack lightly rolled, golf ball sized buns of the dough into the greased bread pans close together, and bake for 45-55 minutes. Place the pans in the middle of the oven, with a sheet of brown paper on the top shelf to protect the buns from becoming browned too quickly
  8. Remove the paper after the buns are well risen and cooked through, to brown the tops. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting
  9. Turn out the buns on to cake racks, cool them and separate them, using 2 forks. Pack them on wire racks or on cooled oven racks – air must circulate. Place them in the cool oven, leaving the door ajar, for 4-5 hours, or overnight, to dry out
If no buttermilk or yogurt is available, use fresh milk curdled with lemon juice or white vinegar.

19 March 2010

GAP Adventures: April & May Last Minute Specials in Eastern & Southern Africa

Are you travelling in the next 2 months and haven't yet booked? Great news - GAP Adventures have a selection of trips currently offered at up to 25%. Please note these trips can change day to day without notice, so don't delay!

Kenya Wildlife Adventure
9 days | Countries Visited: Kenya
start/end: Nairobi
date: 23 May 2010 - Save 20%

Tanzania Encompassed
17 days | Countries Visited: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
start: Moshi end: Zanzibar
date: 06 April 2010 - Save 25%

Cape and Dunes Discoverer
13 days | Countries Visited: Namibia, South Africa
start: Cape Town end: Windhoek
date: 07 April 2010 - Save 20%

Tanzania Wildlife Experience
7 days | Countries Visited: Tanzania
start/end: Arusha
date: 12 April 2010 - Save 25%

download a free track from "Die Antwoord"

Never heard of "Die Antwoord"? Well, the three of them are are from Cape Town, their names are Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek, their music is called "Zef" and they are currently taking the net by storm. The dudes at pitchfork.com recently wrote kinda good article named "Who the Hell Are Die Antwoord?" about them - have a read to get to know the crew... or simply watch the video below.

Anyway, "Die Antwoord" are giving away a free track on their website called "Fish Paste". Just in case you were wondering, “Jou Ma se Poes in 'n Fishpaste Jar” apparently means “Your Mother's C*** in a Fishpaste Jar"... well, Zef Style...

btw - I couldn't find the track on their website, but found it in nme.com's mp3 of the day section.

Mango to operate flights between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein

South Africa's low cost airline, Mango, will launch flights between Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport and Bloemfontein Airport in Bloemfontein from 12 April 2010.
The carrier will operate flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at following times:
  • Johannesburg 05:55am > Bloemfontein 07:05am
  • Bloemfontein 18:55pm > Johannesburg 20:05pm

18 March 2010

British Airways: Stricter hand luggage restrictions

As of 15 March 2010 British Airways introduced clearer hand baggage guidelines to ensure that customers choosing to take two items of baggage onboard can do so comfortably and safely.
The dimensions for the second piece of baggage must not exceed 45cm x 36cm x 20cm. This will ensure that the bag, which should be a laptop carry case, briefcase or personal handbag, can be accommodated under the seat in front.
If the second piece of hand baggage exceeds these dimensions, the customer will be asked to check one of their items of hand baggage into the aircraft hold and they may be subject to an excess baggage fee.
The dimensions of the first piece of hand baggage are not affected by this new guideline, and remain at a maximum of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including the handle, pockets and wheels.
Due to current restrictions, customers can only take one piece of hand baggage onboard flights to the United States when travelling in World Traveller or World Traveller Plus.
Customers travelling in First and Club World are permitted two pieces of hand baggage as standard. If the customer is an Executive Club Gold or Silver member travelling in any cabin, they are now permitted two pieces of hand baggage. More about the hand baggage allowances on BA.com.

17 March 2010

Garden Route: Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tour

A fantastically unique wilderness adventure. Enjoy the enchanting beauty of the magnificent Tsitsikamma Rain Forest canopy as you glide along steel zip cables thirty metres above the forest floor!

On arrival at Tsitsikamma forest, meet your guide for a detailed safety briefing and then head into the forest for your canopy adventure. The first of its kind in Africa, the tour consists of eight platforms located high in the treetops and nine slides, the longest of which stretches for 80 metres! Enjoy the adrenalin trill of gliding from platform to platform high above the forest floor and marvel at the fantastic scenery afforded by your elevated position including views of giant ferns way below. Throughout the tour, you guides will enthusiastically talk about the ecology of the forest - pointing out different trees and wildlife including birds such as Knysna Loeries, the elusive Narina Trogon and if you are lucky the Samago monkey.

FIFA confirms line-up for 2010 World Cup "Kick-Off Celebration Concert"

The Kick-Off Celebration Concert will be staged at Soweto's Orlando Stadium the night before the 2010 World Cup begins at the 11 June 2010. According to FIFA the concert will be the greatest entertainment event to date in Africa with musical performances by international superstars in collaboration with major African artists, as well as football legends from the past and the present, as well as celebrities from other fields.

new on the line-up list (04 May 2010):
Hugh Masekela | Mzansi Youth Choir | Soweto Gospel Choir | K’NAAN | Freshlyground

new on the list (25 May 2010):
Lira | Loyiso Bala | Tumi Molekane | the Kwani Experience | Steadyrock | Goldfish

FIFA Kick-Off Celebration Concert
10. June 2010 | 8.00pm local time (GMT+2)
Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, Soweto
capacity: 30,000
Tickets - www.computicket.com or by telephone on (27) 083 915 8000
Tickets are priced at ZAR 450 (Outer Circle standing), ZAR 650 (Inner Circle standing), ZAR 850 and 950 (Upper Level seated), and ZAR 1,150 (Lower Level seated).
Park and Ride - All those attending will be able to make use of the comprehensive Park and Ride facilities. Concertgoers will then use the free bus shuttle service to & from Orlando Stadium, as no parking will be permitted on or nearby the stadium itself

16 March 2010

From May 2010: More flights from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park

From 04 May 2010 British Airways (via Southern African franchise partner Comair) will commence six flights per week on the OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) - Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (Nelspruit) route.
The flight in a Boeing 737-300 will only take 40min and will depart Johannesburg at 10.40am. The return flight from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport will depart at 12pm. British Airways and SA Airlink are the only carriers servicing the airport.

Strike cancels 3 out of 4 daily BA flights to South Africa

Flight cancelations due to the British Airways cabin crew strike (strike period between 20 - 22 March 2010):
  • Heathrow-Johannesburg BA 0055 departing at 17:50
  • Heathrow-Johannesburg BA 0057 departing at 20:50
  • Heathrow-Cape Town BA 0059 departing at 19:20
The airline will continue to operate one daily flight to Cape Town (BA0043), but the flight will operate with a slightly different level of onboard service during the strike. Pls visit BA.com for more info or contact the call centre!

UPDATE from 18 March 2010:
  • 20 March 2010
    Johannesburg (JNB) > London Heathrow (LHR) BA056 and BA054
    Cape Town (CPT) > LHR BA058 and BA042
    LHR > CPT BA043
  • 21 March 2010
    JNB > LHR BA056 and BA054
    CPT > LHR BA058 and BA042
    LHR > CPT BA043
  • 22 March 2010
    JNB > LHR BA056 and BA054
    CPT > LON BA058 and BA042
    LHR > CPT BA043
  • 23 March 2010
    CPT > LHR BA042
    LHR > JNB BA055 and BA057
    LHR > CPT BA059
  • 24 March 2010
    no flights from SA to London
    LHR > JNB BA055 and BA057
    LHR > CPT BA059 and BA043
Customers are advised to check ba.com on a regular basis to see if their flight is still operating before departing to the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should not travel to the airport, but contact British Airways or their travel agent. The British Airways call centre will be open for extended hours for customers wishing to change their bookings.

Hostelworld: new podcast "Pretoria - At the Union Buildings"

Hostelworld.com is currently releasing a series of rather short podcasts from and about South Africa. The first two ones were about Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands and Johannesburg as the gateway to Kruger National Park. The latest episode is about Pretoria and the Union Buildings in particular. In the podcast, Hostelworld.com’s Rebecca Keenan speaks with Kassiani Lythrangomitis, website manager at the South African Presidency, about the Union Buildings and about some of the major events that have taken place here, including the 1994 inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela, and plenty more.

15 March 2010

The Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

The Bo-Kaap reflects the diversity of people of Cape Town, the first European-influenced settlement in today's South Africa. It perfectly shows the influences of the East and the West at the Cape of the Good Hope - many residents of the area are descendents of convicts, slaves and political exiles from South East Asia and Indonesia who came here in the early days of the Mother City. In its early days the Bo-Kaap was home to people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds, but today the area is reffered to be the home of the Muslim population of Cape Town.

The Bo-Kaap is situated above the Central Business District of Cape Town (maybe a 2min walk away from Longstreet). It is also known as the Malay Quarter, Signal Hill, Schotsche Kloof or Slaamse Burt (Slams goes back to the word Islam - Muslim people regard it as an insult of their faith).
The Bo-Kaap is a very small residential area. It is less than 2km in extent and maybe half a kilometre at its widest point.

The Cape Cuisine - a very Cape Townian experience
A multi-ethnic cuisine emerged, and one can only imagine the aromas emanating from kitchens producing highly spiced dishes from Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and especially oriental recipes handed down for generations. The Malay influence comes through in the curries, chilies and extensive use of spices such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. More Malay magic comes through the use of fruit cooked with meat, marrying sweet and savoury flavours, with hints of spice, curry and other seasonings. The food has a nuance of seductive spiciness, true testament to the culinary capabilities of Malay women world wide. A great example for the Cape Cuisine is the Bobotie - a light textured curry flavored meat loaf smothered in a golden savory egg topping. Yummy!

Recording of Mandela's first press conference after he was released from prison 1990

I just had a look on zoopy.com and found a recording of Nelson Mandela's first press conference after he was released from prison on 11 Feb 1990. The audio file was recorded by Bush Radio at Bishop's Court. Wow!

Robben Island tours >>
get Mandela's autobiograhpy "Long Walk To Freedom"
in the TravelComments.com eShop >>

14 March 2010

Coca Cola's official 2010 World Cup Song - video out now

Coke's official 2010 World Cup song is made by Somalia-born Canadian musician K'Naan. It is a special version of his song "Wavin' Flag", which appears on his current album "Troubadour". The song will be used as the main music element throughout the entire 2010 World Cup golbal campaign of Coca Cola.

13 March 2010

Lonely Planet: Africa Phrasebook

Ever wanted to spit out the Malagasy proverb "Do not dance on a load of wastes like an owl"? The Africa Phrasebook gives you cultural background, easy-to-use essentials and the ability to have meaningful contact with the locals. Covers: Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, French, Hausa, Malagasy, Portuguese, Shona, Swahili, Wolof and Xhosa.

Africa Phrasebook
1st Edition / June 2007
ISBN: 9781740596923
256 pp / 1 pp colour
Pick & Mix: buy and download individual chapters from this book!

- Coverage of the 13 key African languages
- Useful words and phrases to get you by in any part of the continent
- Handy pronunciation guide throughout
- Easy coloured-tab navigation

The Africa Phrasebook (printed version) is also available in the TravelComments.com eShop!

12 March 2010

Garden Route National Park: The Big Tree open to public again

The famous "Big Tree" in the Garden Route National Park is open to the pubic after it was inaccessible for the last 36 months because of roadworks in the area. The Tsitsikamma tree is estimated to be between 600-800 years old, has a trunk circumference of 9m and stands almost 40m high.

View The Big Tree, Garden Route National Park in a larger map

The majestic tree is open to viewing all year around. Interested visitors can park their cars in the parking lot beside the N2 near the Paul Sauer bridge over the Storms River. The walk to the majestic yellowwood is about 1km in total and takes about 10 minutes. Two additional trails start from the same spot for the slightly more intrepid hiker - one of 2,6 km and another of 4,2 km.

btw - Paul Sauer bridge is also known as Storms River bridge, but its official name is Paul Sauer bridge!

Interesting podcast about the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

The World, a cooperation between PRI, BBC and WGBH, has recently teamed up with Lonely Planet to present "Talking Travel", a two-weekly travel news podcast. The World’s Clark Boyd brings the news to the show, while Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid and Tom Hall bring the travel.

The World's Talking Travel podcast: Soccer World Cup in South Africa
(09 Mar 2010) Click here to download the podcast episode!
Now that the Winter Olympics are over, sports fans the world over are turning their attention to South Africa, and this summer’s soccer blow-out, the 2010 World Cup. In this episode of Talking Travel, Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid and Tom Hall assess South Africa’s readiness to host soccer’s premiere event, and about the unique prism that sports provide for tourism in general. [src.]