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Author Archive | Sharon van Wyk


Kalahari dreaming at Tswalu

The Korannaberg are pretty impressive, as mountains go. And flying over them on the approach to a much anticipated exploration of the southern-most reaches of the Kalahari is quite simply breathtaking. As much as the landing on the tarred strip at Tswalu Kalahari reserve is welcome. The 90-minute flight from OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg […]

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Casa do Sol's two pools are perfect for family fun.

A touch of Mpumalanga magic

It’s 6am and I’m sitting in a small queue of assorted cars and bakkies at the Phabeni gate of the Kruger National Park waiting for South Africa’s flagship national park to open for business. In the back of my bakkie are two excited children, in the passenger seat an excited grandmother, binoculars at the ready […]

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Ballooning over the Pilanesberg.

A South African safari secret revealed

Tucked away behind a veil of dramatically beautiful mountains a mere two hours by road from South Africa’s bustling commercial capital of Johannesburg lies one of the Rainbow Nation’s best-kept safari secrets and one of my personal favourite game reserves – the Pilanesberg. Spawned by an ancient volcano which still sleeps beneath it some 1300 […]

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Knysna lagoon.

Gateway to the Tsitsikamma

It’s one of the jewels of South Africa’s Garden Route, offers a multitude of activities and attractions and is famous for its oysters… There’s no doubting Knysna’s list of accomplishments! Or its pulling power for both international and local visitors. For a start its location is unique, situated between coastal forests and a beautiful estuarine […]

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"Are you the Fugitive" Parade - Nelson Mandela Square, in Sandton

City style – on safari in SA’s urban jungle

When you plan your safari, you invariably find yourself having to spend one or two nights in South Africa on either end of it. Instead of spending those nights wishing time would go faster in a vacuum-packed-style airport hotel (spotlessly clean but largely characterless), why not add to the time you spend in South Africa’s […]

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The falls from the air - a helicopter flip is a must.

Victoria Falls – the capital of excitement

There have been few times in my life when sheer excitement has rendered me speechless. And even fewer when that excitement has caused my mouth to hang open in a zombie-like gawp. Indeed, there has only been one instance, thus far, when both things happened simultaneously in one stomach-churning moment of extreme amazement and incredulity… […]

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Robertson – a place of wine, mountains and endless vistas

Mention the words “wine route” and “the Cape” and immediately the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl come to mind, together with the big vineyards such as Boschendal, Nederburg and Neethlingshof. Which is all well and good if mainstream tourist attractions are what appeal to you. But if you love wine, scenery, great restaurants, quaint […]

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When a safari is more than a journey

I’ve just returned from a two week break in the Zambian bush. I spent the entire time helping out in a friend’s lodge on the banks of the Zambezi, greeting guests, hosting meals, running housekeeping and generally “playing” safari camp (which is actually one of my favorite pastimes!) Yes, I took some time to enjoy […]

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Madikwe River Lodge - a great place for families... and lions!

Madikwe – An African success story

As I sit and watch the kingfishers hunting at the edge of the Marico river, it’s hard to remind myself that four short hours ago I was in the heart of the urban jungle, full of stress after a long week at work. It’s amazing what a few hours of driving can do, transporting me […]

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You never know what's lurking in the long grass - take a close look at the centre of the picture to spot a spotted cat!

Busanga plains… a whole lot of wilderness

The 22,500 square kilometre Kafue National park is both the Zambia’s largest, and one of the largest on the continent. Its northern section, specifically the Busanga Plains area, where Wilderness Safaris have their beautiful Kapinga camp, is remote, wild and extremely diverse. Covering 750 square kilometres of pristine wilderness, the Busanga is home to 158 […]

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The beautiful Drakensberg tower over Tzaneen

The land of Modjadji, the Rain Queen

Limpopo, South Africa’s most northern province, is a place of mystery where visitors can unlock the key to ancient tribal cultures while sampling breathtaking natural beauty. This is prime African bushveld – wide open expanses of beautiful flat scrub, dotted with small acacia thorn trees and marked by curious granite outcrops and inselbergs. Towards the […]

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Luxury and a view, to boot!

Sediba – a place of smiles

Caroline Phaho’s smile is infectious. “Welcome to Sediba Lodge!” she beams as she opens the Land Rover’s door. I smile back in thanks, grateful for the fragrant, cooling face-cloth offered on a silver platter. It helped to wipe away the dust from the 25-minute drive from the Western Gate of the Welgevonden Game Reserve. Smiles […]

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A flight of fancy in a hot air balloon

It’s the oldest form of flight. And perhaps its most graceful incarnation. Indeed, hot air ballooning could be described as the pinnacle of mankind’s sortie into the skies – the honest-to-goodness grandfather of modern flying. One thing is for certain, it’s exhilarating, awe-inspiring and, curiously, amazingly tranquil. Floating gently a few hundred meters above some […]

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