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Walter Jackson's Posts
Walter has posted 69 reports and 85 photos.

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Abu Dhabi Visit: 2007-2
2008-02-22 - I have only ever spent an hour or so in the capital. I was in Dubai for the annual power generation conference and drove down to see a client. I would like to go back as a tourist one day to travel to some of the local islands, or go into the desert with a tour.

Ajman Visit: 2007-2
2009-03-01 - I took a trip along the coast while I was in Duabi on business. Our tour took us as far North as Umm Al Quwain, through Sharjah, Ajman and back to Dubai. We did a desert safari in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, with quad bike racing in Ajman. It was a wonderful trip with camel rides, dune riding, skiiing down hill on the sand, 4x4's and we ended with a traditional feast somewhere in the desert. I don't know whether it was in Ajman, Sharjah or Umm Al Quwain! We had local food, sat on carpets, smoked the local pipes and looked (and participated) at belly dancers.

Andorra Visit: 2007-10
2009-02-04 - We travelled to Barcelona for a holiday in Octocer of 2007. From here we decided to rent a car and drive to Llivia and Andorra for a roadtrip. We drove through some lovely countryside scenery. The Parc Natural del Cadi-Moixero (Spain) was along the way and we stopped there for breakfast.
From Llivia, we drove to Andorra. When you leave Llivia (which belongs to Spain) you basically cross the border into France for a few metres, back into Spain (or on the borders edge) for a few metres, back into France for some miles and then across the border into Andorra. When you leave Andorra you enter Spain again with the motorway that takes you back to Barcelona. It is a lot of bordercrossing in one day, so it is wonderful that they do not have borderposts anymore.

We were in Andorra at the end of Summer, so there was no snow. Most of our friends who have been here have come in ther winter to ski at less expensive resorts compared with France and Austria. We just wanted to have a day trip away from the city and into the mountains. Andorra is very beautiful, with small towns and houses up the hills. It reminded my wife of a story she watched as child called Heide, about a girl who lived high in the mountains with her grandfather, a boy called Peter and some goats (I think).

When we return to Andorra next year it will be for a ski trip of our own.

Austria Visit: 2008-4
2008-04-07 - We took my wife's parents on a 14 day trip through Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the summer of 2007. We stayed in Oberstaufen, Germany and used this location as a base to travel from. It is near the Austrian - Swiss border, so we travelled through Austria nearly every day. We spent some time at the lake near Bregenz in the East of the country.

In April of 2008 we took a flight from Stansted in the UK to Bratislava in Slovakia. From there we rented a car and drove through the countries of Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and back to Slovakia. We stayed over in Vienna for 2 days. It really is a beautiful city. We loved the fact that people seemed more cultured. The city that was home to so many famous musical legends seems to have instilled a culture of music appreciation in all who visit. Everywhere we went locals and tourists were enjoying a concert or street performance.

It is a magnificent city to explore. The grand scale of some buildings, the history of music, 2nd world war and the modern new approach was magnificent to take in. There are enough museums to keep anyone busy for weeks.

They produce some decent standard wine within the city limits and we would recommend this as a romantic trip with time to explore all the intricate streets and corners within the old city. Take time to enjoy the statues and wondrous detail on all the buildings and churches.

Baarle-Hertog (and Baarle-Nassau) Visit: 2007-9
2008-02-07 - I had a meeting in the South of the Netherlands, so I flew in to Eindhoven. From there I rented a car and drove through this odd part of Europe. The border here is so complicated, I am glad there is no more border control. You drive along and be in Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium... every few metres. There are some interesting stories that say some houses are divided between the 2 countries. This novelty is worth the trip just by itself.

Belgium Visit: 2007-8
2008-02-07 - Belgium was one of the 1st countries we travelled to when we came to Europe. It always seems like a lego version of a real country. All the roads and houses seem so perfect that it can't possibly be real. Lanes for bicycles, cars and motorbikes/mopeds remind me of a children's cycling practice track. It also seems that there can't possibly be any crime. people all have perfect little lives. My favourite areas are all Flemish speaking places (we speak the language), of course Brugge and most of the country-side. Brussels is the exeption to my earlier discription. It is not a bad city, but for me does not have the charm of the rest of the country.

Botswana Visit: 2001-8
2009-03-09 - Botswana borders on South Africa to the South, Namibia to the West, Zambia to the North and Zimbabwe to the East. It has long been a favourite among tourists who want to go on Wildlife Safaris. The Okavango delta provides some of the most incredible wildlife viewing on the planet. Most people fly to Johannesburg international (renamed Oliver Tambo recently)airport in South Africa and from there get a local connecting flight to Gabarone, the capital of Botswana. Apart from the Okavango, there are two other unique and world famous areas within Botswana, the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the Kalahari desert. The salt pans are the biggest in the world and no place on earth compares with the scenery. The Kalahari desert looks like a vast grassland, but there is no surface water. The only people who live here are the Bushman, or San people. They know how to dig up roots and get moisture from the earth. It has been voted the top tourist destination in the world on several travel shows I have seen and remains one of the most fascinating, unique and wonderous places I have ever been.

Busingen Visit: 2007-7
2007-07-31 - We recently had a vacation in Oberstaufen (Southern part of Bavaria in Germany). We found it a very useful base from where we explored Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and even as far as Lake Como in Italy (a magnificent drive through the Swiss Alps). We reached Busingen whilst driving around the shore of the Bodensee on the way to Zurich. It is only a slight detour of about 30 minutes each way. We only spent a short time there as it wasn't our final destination, but there are quite a few stops along the way that are well worth the trip. We would recommend hiring a car (a Tom Tom proved immensely valuable for a road trip like this).

Campione d'Italia Visit: 2007-7
2007-08-07 - We did not plan, nor did we know that we had entered this area of Italy. Our waitor told us that we were in Swizerland. This area is in fact very easy to reach if you are planning to go their specifically. You just fly in to Milan and rent a car for the short drive up to lake Lugano. We took the long way and drove all the way from Oberstaufen in Germany, through Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland and all the way down to Como, in Italy. We stopped here on the way back to have a meal and realised that they all spoke Italian. It is nice to happen upon a place like this if you weren't specifically looking for it. I suppose it is part of the spirit of travelling - discovering new and interesting places.

Canary Islands Visit: 2006-12
2008-02-21 - Tenerife has been the favourite place my wife and I have ever been. We normally rate places in several categories that include activities, nature, transport and many more. We are both agreed that this island is our favourite destination so far. We travelled here in November 2006 for our honeymoon, so our calculations might be a little bias.

That said, Tenerife offers a whole lot of activities and natural beauty. We stayed in Santa Ursula - a quieter part of the island on the North West coast. It was outside peak season, so we have the hotel virtually to ourselves. From there we explored the entire island by renting a car for a few days. The hotel also provided a free shuttle service to Puerto de la Cruz, a lovely port town a few miles away.

We visited Loro park, where we had a really excellent time. We saw orca, dolpin, bird, seal and penguin shows along with some magnificent bird and plant life. The king of Spain was there the same day as us!

We drove up El Teide with the car and took the cable car to the top. A must for anyone visiting the island. From there we drove down the other side to visit Castillo San Miguel Medieval Night and Show. Knights perform authentic jousting, fighting and riding maneuvres for the entertainment of the crowd and people seemed to really get involved in the whole spectacle. Each section of the tour gets its own knight to cheer for. It was a wonderful evening out.

One of the other highlights of the trip was the boat ride we took with the dolphins. We travelled down to the more touristy Playas de las Americas to get a tour guided cruise around to the famous cliffs and back. It turned out to be a great experience since you get to see some whales and many dolphins swimming in front and next to the boat.

The island kept us entertained throughout our stay and I would recommend it to everyone.

Catalonia Visit: 2007-10
2008-02-07 - We flew to Barcelona to meet up with some friends from South Africa. It has to be one of the top city destinations in the world. We had a local friend who has lived there for many years, so we had an opportunity to see some of the hidden gems to eat and go out in the evening. There is just so much to do and see. From the Gaudi architecture, olympic stadium, Barcelona FC stadium, new marina, aquarium and many more attraction, you will be kept intertained throughout. From here you can also plan daytrips to Andorra and Llivia, which was just a few hours' drives from here.

The catalan people have a proud rich history and our local friend introduced us to the language, culture and most specifically the food of the region. Try and avoid Las Ramblas for dining. There are many hidden eateries with well priced local cuisine. We saw many flags and traditions of Catalonia when we were in Sardinia. Apparently there is a close link between the two.

Czech Republic Visit: 2008-4
2008-04-07 - In April of 2008 we took a flight from Stansted in the UK to Bratislava in Slovakia. From there we rented a car and drove through the countries of Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and back to Slovakia.

We stayed in Breclav and drove around the countryside. All you ever hear about is Prague, but we wanted to see what rural Czech republic was like. We had lunch at an interesting place near the Austrian border. They served odd soup with pastry in it with Kartoffelpuffer. No one could speak Afrikaans or English, so it was interesting to communicate. We enjoy this far more than in Eastern Europe where most people can speak some English.

Denmark Visit: 2006-6
2009-02-23 - I travelled to Allerod for a meeting, but had a free day to explore Copenhagen before I returned home. It was the 1st city where I saw free bicycles that you can use to ride around the city. Being from Africa this concept was utterly foreign to me. It just wouldn't work there! It really is a beautiful city, with lots of canals and water wherever you go. I did get 2 parking tickets because I didn't know about their system for putting the clock on your window to the same time as when you park. The place can also be a bit expensive.

Dubai Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-08 - I have been to Dubai a few times on business. Mostly to attend conferences in Power Generation. Strangely, it was the first place that I ever put skis on my feet. It was just after they finished the indoor ski dome and it was great fun.

I try and stay in a hotel in a different part of the city every time to experience the slightly different culture. I have stayed in Deira, Jumeira (few times), Jebel Ali and Sharjah. The traffic is the worst part, but a trip up and down the river in a dhow will make up for it. Luckily I had the opportunity to go on a few desert tours while I was out there. The best ones will let you ride camels, quad bikes, and even the Landrovers. You can also include a desert feast in the evening - complete with belly dancers and pipe smoking!

I like to drive into the desert, because it has such a calming effect. The desert has a strange combination of peace, adventure and danger that is quite exhilarating. My company has been involved in many projects there including the fabulous Palm and World islands, as well as the Burj Al Arab. I was there when they broke ground and it is fascinating to see it rise ever higher.

Eastern Cape Visit: 2000-1
2007-11-28 - I lived in Port Alfred in 1988 and was at school there for a year. It is a gloriously beautiful town between Port Elizabeth and East London. I also began the new millenium there, in Jeffreys Bay to be exact - a world famous surfing town - along with 10's of thousands of other beach goers. It is easily accesible by flying to PE, or taking the N2 coastal road from Cape Town for the more adventorous.

England Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-21 - We moved to the UK in the beginning of 2005, so we have been here for 3 years. We lived in a hamlet called Bendish near Hitchin for a few months and then moved to a village called Great Chesterford just south of Cambridge. We love living here because we have such a great life in the village. We are very active in the community with the local cricket club and commitee. Through this we have made many friends and integrated fully with the local tribes.

We moved here to explore Europe, since South Africa is too far to travel from. We have been in most counties during weekend breaks and I believe they should be seperately marked on this list. We have also been to Wales, Scotland and Ireland to complete the obvious trips. Now we are starting to explore the rest of Europe.

It won't let me select currently live in England!

Estonia Visit: 2006-9
2008-02-08 - Our cricket club in Great Chesterford, Essex went on a tour of Estonia in 2006. We played their national team, officially ranked the lowest of all national teams in the world. They were very friendly hosts, although the team was mostly made up of expats from cricket playing nations. They are quite famous for their ice cricket tournaments.

Easyjet do a flight there from Stansted. The country can easily be explored by renting a car at the airport. We used a tour operator which included many interesting events like shooting with AK47's and go-kart racing. The Talinn town square is the place to go for a nice meal and is a very good example of the European town centre of the Middle Ages.

Euskadi (Basque Country) Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-21 - We got a flight from Stansted to Biarritz with Ryainair. It cost only £20 per person for a return ticket, so we could not let the opportunity pass by. We stayed in Socoa, which is a few miles from the French Spanish border, on the French side. From here we spent 4 days exploring up and down the coast.

We drove down as far as Bilbao and surrounding areas. The Guggenheim museum was a highlight of the Spanish section. Nothing they put inside that museum can ever compete with the outside. It is an amazing structure, further enhanced by its riverside location and the myriad angles that it can be viewed from across the river, the bridges and from all sides around.

The French part of our trip was mostly spent drving up and down the coast. It is our favourite part of France, as it reminds us very much of our native South Africa. There beaches are beautiful and you actually have some waves (nowhere in the mediterranean is there any waves like back home). The people were very friendly and helpful.

Saint Jean de Luz was a highlight. It is a really nice little beach town with a quaint harbour. There are many restaurants and cafe's to hang around and just watch the boats and people drift by.

Finland (mainland) Visit: 2008-5
2008-08-08 - I went on a business trip to Finland for 3 days in May 2008. We flew into Tampere and stayed in a very nice hotel next to a huge lake. I believe that almost all hotels, houses or buildings in Finland is next to a lake. There are just so many lakes that Finland can better be described as a collection of closely connected islands.

From Tampere we rented a car and drove North to Vaasa on the West coast. We had wonderful weather and stopped at a few lakeside restaurants on the way. You actually drive away from the lake district the direction we travelled, but there was still plenty of water around for spectacular views.

Vaasa has a proud sea fairing tradition, which is why we went to go and meet with one of the ship engine manufacturers over there. We had a buffet lunch at the Strampen restaurant. The place is over a 100 years old and they serve traditional dishes of fish that was delicious.

Apparently it was the 1st really nice day of the summer, so the whole city seemed to be outside, sitting around with their shirts off (men only) and enjoying the sunshine. I don't even remember how the meetings went, but everyone was very friendly and in high spirit. Its amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for the body and mind. It is something we take for granted coming from Africa, where the sun shines all the time.

Florida Visit: 2009-1
2009-01-22 - We stopped over in Miami for 2 days on the way from London to Honduras. It was my first visit to the USA, but it rather felt like I was in South America. The flight attendant, baggage handler, taxi driver and even waiter in the beachfront, ocean drive restaurant could only speak Spanish. My 1st 2 days in America was spent saying "No Habla Español"The beach was beautiful and we enjoyed the couple of days walking around the sea front and eating shrimps.

France Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-07 - France is probably the most attractive tourist destination in the world. It has the culture, beaches, art, ski slopes, romance and history to provide in any travellors taste. We have been all over France and take frequint trips to various parts. Because we are South African citizens we have to travel to somewhere in France every year to renew our stupid Schengen visa. We never know how long we get the visas for, so its just luck of the draw.

Last year we did a cricket tour to Paris, which was a load of fun. Mostly expats from the UK, Oz and SA that play there. 22 guys on tour via Eurostar. It happened to be the same time as the rugby world cup, so I got a chance to see my countrymen play a few games. We were there when Argentina beat France and having a few beers with some Argentinian fans in the dedicated tent in front of the eiffel tower was an amazing evening. South Africa eventually won the whole tournament which was the cherry on top of a wonderfully hosted world cup. Go bokke!

We have also been to the cities to Marseille, Biarrits, Reims, Calais, Beauvais, Amiens and will have to get somewhere new to go in August when my 6 month visa runs out again - maybe Corsica.

Free State Visit: 2003-8
2007-07-31 - I was born in this province, in Kroonstad. Bloemfontein is the Legal capital of South Africa and the biggest city in the region. It has a busy airport and you can fly there from any other major city in South Africa. You will find a number of excellent game reserves in the region and forms part of the gold belt that goes all the way into Gauteng (or Transvaal province as it was called).

Gauteng Visit: 2009-4
2009-06-02 - I lived in Springs from 1990 till 1994, Johannesburg in 1976-1977 and 2001-2 and Pretoria in 2000, 2003-2004. There is an international airport known in various stages as Jan Smuts, Johannesburg international and recently as Oliver Tambo Airtport. Flights are available to most areas and cities of Southern Africa from there. Pretoria is the capital of South Africa and is only a short drive from the airport.

Germany (other) Visit: 2007-10
2008-02-22 - Aaah, my 1 st time in Germany was to attend the last week of the German beerfest in Munich. It has to be one of the greatests events in the world. The tents hold 1000's of people and are made up to themes. There is a band in every tent to keep the festivities going and all the locals wear traditional clothing. There is this atmosphere of fun and the beers keep flowing all day. A must see for all.

We have done more sedate trips to Germany. I travelled there with my wife and in-laws last year. We stayed in Oberstaufen, near the Autrian - Swizz border. It was a brilliant base from where we travelled all the way down through the San Bernadino pass and on to Lake Como in Italy. Oberstaufen itself is a gorgeous town set in the German Alps. You can ski nearby and it has one of the longest downhill car runs in Europe - lots of fun. From here you can also easily travel to Neuschwanstein and Swangau Castles - the fairytale like castle built by a "crazy" local Monarch.

Gibraltar Visit: 2007-7
2008-02-07 - Entering the small enclave is half the fun. The famous rock is visible from miles away and you have to give way to aeroplanes - you enter by crossing the only landing strip. Make sure to get one of the local tourist min buses to take you to the top and not via cable car. Once you get off the car you have to drag yourself up and down the steep hill and you will miss half the stuff. I think its cheaper to get one of these tours as well. They take you everywhere you want to go, you get an earful of history to boot without the bootcamp workout.

The caves, Barbery apes and all the rest are impressive, but for me the view from the top is the highlight. It is simply breathtaking. Standing at one of the Southern tips of Europe, overlooking Africa was worth the trip by itself. Take a weekend, you won't regret it.

Guinea (Conakry) Visit: 2008-7
2008-08-08 - I travelled to Guinea with a private charter plane from Bamako (in Mali) to Siguiri and on to the Lifa gold mine near Lero. You have to land in Siguiri so they can stamp your passport. It was only about 30 minutes from Bamako to there and then 20 minutes to the mine. The client I went to meet had someone greet me at the airport in Mali and they took my passport into a security room. When I got it back there was a visa for Guinea and Mali in it. For a South African, who needs a visa to go everywhere, this was like magic!

I spent a week in the country, living within the mine camp and travelling to site by bus. Most of the local people are employed by the mine and they are paid about 15 times the national average. Life is good for them. They all have mobiles and cheap motorbikes you assemble yourself. They seemed friendly enough, but since my French is limited to "hallo" and "life is good" there is very little to comment on from direct conversation. The local towns around were rumoured to be quite dangerous and there was apparently quite a bit of anymosity towards foreigners, but then any town near where miners live and get drunk at night is dangerous.

That said, we saw a few oddball cyclists who arrived at the camp (remember that it is in the middle of nowhere) on their way travelling around the world on their single gear bicycles. They had started in the UK and had been on the road for 27 months apparently. What a way to see the world!

Honduras (mainland) Visit: 2009-1
2009-01-22 - We travelled to Honduras to look at a power station near Choluteca. The landing in Tegucigalpa (Capital) was very exciting to say the least. You come down between the mountains and bank steaply into a sudden drop. Trust me, you will remember it for a long time. From here we travel down the pass to Choluteca, which is in the South of the country,near the Pacific ocean. We stayed in the Paradise hotel for 3 days. Not the best hotel, but the people were very friendly. No one spoke any English and kept calling us Gringos and laughing. Every time I explained to people that I was from South Africa, they said I was too blanco (too white for an African basically). They also seemed to all know that the soccer world cup was being held in South Africa in 2010. Its amazing how much you can communicate with only a few words in another language.The country is quite poor, but nothing like the countries I normally visit in Africa. They had great pride in thier work at the powerplant, and it was one of the cleanest and best kept I have ever seen. There are also some signs of improvement. Choluteca recently added a Pizza Hut to its list of restaurants and seeing as we were short on choice, went out for a meal there. The people who worked there seemed to have a permanent smile on their faces. You could see they were genuinely proud of this new "restaurant". the place was packed and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I hope these people keep this attitude even when new places open. It made me appreciate what we take for granted living in a 1st world country.Tegucigalpa was very different. Here all the shops had heavily aremd guards standing outside and even the restaurant we went to in the upmarket part of town had a few men outside as sentries, with shotguns. We stayed in the Plaza de General and it was a fantastic hotel. Well worth a look in if you want to go there.

Hungary Visit: 2008-4
2008-08-08 - In April of 2008 we took a flight from Stansted in the UK to Bratislava in Slovakia. From there we rented a car and drove through the countries of Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and back to Slovakia.

People only ever talk about how beautiful Budapest is and that is the only place anyone visits. We travelled through the West of the country and stayed in the rural areas. We visited towns like Level, Mosonmagyarovar, the Ferto - Hansag Nemzeti Park and Bezenye. The country seems quite poor. There are many wind turbines which seems in contrast with the old feeling of the villages. They seem quite a few years behind the rest of Europe in terms of development. The streets are not well maintained. The cars are older models than in the West and there is still a strong feeling of Russina oppression.

Hopefully the tourists and EU money will help the country to develop. They were friendly people, but as we found in the Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia there is still a heavy burden from the old Communist regime and the people carry the mental scars even today. It will take time for freedom to sink in and economic prosperity to reach the masses.

Ireland, Republic of Visit: 2007-11
2008-02-22 - One of my colleagues is from Northern Ireland and she kept nagging that we should go see what it is like. We flew in to Dublin and stayed there for a few days before driving up to the North coast in county Antrim. You very quickly understand why the Irish wear green colours in sport. The countryside is magnificent. Rent a car and drive across the whole island. It wont take more than 2 weeks and it will be one of the best trips you ever take.

Italy (mainland) Visit: 2008-4
2008-06-17 -

Our first trip to Italy was in 2007 and consisted of a drive through the San Bernardino Pass from Switzerland and around Lake Como. It was an incredible experience, so we decided we will return to Italy to explore other parts.

We travelled to Rome in April 2008 to experience the ancient city first hand. It did not feel like walking though a museum as people said. There were too many tourists and bustling locals to make you even think it was a museum. There was however a lot of history. Many places that would be a must see elsewhere does not even make it onto the top 100 of Rome’s attractions.

We would suggest that you save up some money and go on guided tours of all the sites. It certainly adds to your enjoyment if you do not have to stand in any queues or have to try and read up on all the history yourself. Also pay extra for a nice hotel in the centre. It will all contribute to make the experience exceptional. Many tourists opt for the cheaper option, but be aware you might travel all the way to Rome to be disappointed.

Our favourite places were the Palatine Hill/Forum, Coliseum and Vatican City. They are on the top of most lists for a reason! The guides were very informative and coloured the places with vivid characters and stories.

We also tried to dine in out of the way places. Out in the suburbs where there are no tourists. This did save lots of money, but also enhanced our appreciation of the Roman culture.

I have since been to Italy twice for business. Day trips to Milan, but that unfortunately doesn’t allow much time or sightseeing. It is still a lovely country and we look forward to many more trips over the years.

Kwazulu-Natal Visit: 2003-11
2007-08-02 - Kwazulu-Natal offers a wide variety of attractions. The city of Durban is a major port and has an international airport. Here you can spend days on the endless golden beaches. Margate to the south was one of our most popular destinations for summer holidays. You can find some great reefs to dive in Sudwana to the north and for the more adventurous, a trip through the mountains into Lesotho will profide an great opportunity to see this small landlocked country. You should also spend some time at the Shaka Zulu museum. A great look at the African people's part in this area. Not a destination that you would want to rush in a day or two.

Lesotho Visit: 2000-3
2007-11-19 - We entered Lesotho through the Sani pass (starting in the Kwazulu-Natal Drakensberg national park) with a 4x4, which is essential if you want to travel in these parts. The "roof of Africa" is a scenic route that takes you through the mountainous terrain that makes up most of the country. You can see traditional people travelling along the pass on donkeys or walking. It really is a beautiful route and there are quite a few interesting places to stop. You can visit a pub, which is the highest in Africa (I think!). Take some time to talk to the locals, as we were told some very interseting stories about their culture and legends about the mountains.

Liechtenstein Visit: 2007-7
2008-02-07 - It might be small, but it is still worth a trip. We drove around the country while touring through Switserland an d Italy. It was on the main highway we took from Germany to the San Bernadino pass into Italy. It is a magnificent drive.

Limpopo Visit: 2006-10
2008-02-06 - I lived in the Limpopo province during 2001, working as foreman on a farm just north of Pietersburg. The Bushveld Region, Soutpansberg Region and Valley of the Olifants are the top tourist attractions in the region.

Llivia Visit: 2007-10
2008-02-07 - We drove to Llivia by car from Barcelona. It was only a few hours drive, but we only spent a a short time in this region to explore before carrying on to Andorra.

Luxembourg Visit: 2007-8
2008-02-07 - This was the 1st country I travelled to specifically just to tick off this bloody list. It can so easily become an obsession, haha. It is so small and not that different from any of the surronding areas, so it won't be that high on my list of places to return to.

Mali Visit: 2008-7
2008-08-08 - I spent 4 days in Bamako during July on the way to a meeting with a mining company in Guinea. I stayed at a splendid hotel called the Azalai Grand. The country is experiencing tremendous economic growth and there is a palpable feeling of optimist.

None more so than in the vibrant market district. You will be stormed, harranged and coaxed into buying all manner of products. They range from the sublime (handcrafted artworks) to rubbish (poor quality amongst the great pieces) the vulgar (hides of endangered species of Rhino and Cheetah) to the weird (medicine of Monkey's hand and Elephant foot).

Schedule a whole day for the market so you can take your time to buy quality local crafts. Remember to haggle about the price. They normally set the initial asking price about 4 times the expected price, but you will have to work hard to get them down. It is not a matter of exploiting the locals, but more a way of showing off your business skills, if you like. It is common and expected to "drive a hard bargain".

The Niger river is the lifeblood of the country and you can take a spectacular trip up the river to the almost mythical Timbuktu. Once a wealthy trading post, it has become synonomous with adventure travel and the mysteries of darkest Africa. There are the most beautiful doors on all the buildings and severel impressive ancient mosques. Parodixically its fame for being 'at the end of the earth' and 'about as remote as you can get' has led to it becoming ever more touristy and soon it will loose its mystique completely. There is even an airport now for a quick fly in and out. Hardly the stuff of legendary hardship previous travellors had to go through to reach this place on the planet.

Monaco Visit: 2008-9
2008-09-05 - My wife and I travelled to Monaco from Nice, France and stayed at the Ambassador Hotel. My wife was 28 weeks pregnant at the time, so we got a free upgrade to a suite. It was a magnificent room, hotel and Principality. The view from the top of the hill, near the Palace square is magnificent. We took a tour of the GP circuit and the museum. You can see most of the attractions in a few days. Just make sure to bring extra cash for the famous casino - Monte Carlo. You will see exotic cars parked out in front on most nights.

Monaco is quite expensive any time of the year, but more so in the summer months and just plain extortionate while the Grand Prix is on. If you are short of cash, mjust do a short day trip from somewhere nearby in France. There are 2 spectacular villages close by, on either side of Monaco, called Eze (on a hilltop) with magnificent views, and Menton, probably the most beautful town along the coast.

Morocco Visit: 2008-7
2008-08-08 - I stopped over in Morocco for 2 days in June and July. I was on the way to meetings in West Africa and find Casablanca to be a conveniently located and sufficiently interesting base to travel from. I also stopped over in Marrakesh on the way back, by accident by the way, because our airline decided the change the route from Casablanca to London and go to Marrakesh instead. It is due South, so not even on the way.

Casablanca is obviously famous from the film, but it is so much more than that. It is surprisingly modern, without the drawbacks of being an overly westernized European city. You still have the feeling of freedom you get from being in Africa.

Next trip to Morocco will have to include Cueto and Melila.

Mozambique Visit: 1994-1
2007-11-28 - I do not know if there are any flights to Mozambique, because we have always driven there by car. I use to work close to the border in Komatipoort, South Africa, so it was easy to get across. Mozambique is famous for many things: beautiful beaches, great diving, but also for a horrendous civil war that lasted for decades. It destroyed most of the infrastructure and has left the country in abject poverty. It can still be dangerous when venturing too far inland without a guide, but luckily the tourists (especially South African scuba diving enthusiasts) have started to come back to this lovely country. Driving up the coast, or visiting Mozambique island is a great experience. There is a warm current, which shared the name of the country that provides wonderful trpoical temperatures all year rond.

Mpumalanga Visit: 2009-4
2009-06-02 - Mpumalanga is an adventure tourist's dream come true! It includes the southern part of one of the most famous wild life parks in the world, The Kruger National Park. Other areas to visit include Pilgrim's Rest (an old mining town) God's window near Graskop, Sabie, Blyde river canyon and Burke's Luck & Potholes. The region can easily be reached by car from the OR Tambo airport near Johannesburg. I have spent many years travelling this region and my wife and I got married there in November last year. It really is a magnificent part of the world.

Namibia Visit: 1999-8
2008-02-08 - Namibia is unique in its landscape and scenery. It is one of the few places on earth where you can feel completely alone. Visiting some of the ghost towns along the skeleton coast is an amazing experience. We entered the country from the South African border at Oranjemund and drove up to Luderitz.

Our entire tour took us through the most beautiful scenery from the coastal desert and dunes through to the north of the country where we entered Botwana. Highlights included Twyfelfontein (African rock art) and can be directly translated from our language as "doubt fountain", the Fish river canyon is the second largest after the Grand canyon in the US, but every bit as impressive. You will also find a vast amount of African wildlife and I would recommend travelling through the Otosha pan, Caprivi and down into the Okavango delta in Botswana.

It truly is one of the most amazing areas you will ever visit. There are some great African safaris that will take you from Cape Town in South Africa, all along this route through Namibia, Botswana (Okavango delta), Zimbabwe (Victoria falls), Congo (gorillas), Tanzania (Mount Kilimanjaro) and Kenia (Lake Victoria, Masai mara). I have not done the last part of the trip, but we are planning to soon!

Netherlands Visit: 2008-2
2009-03-09 - Most of our major clients are in the Netherlands so I spend a lot of time in the country for business. My wife used to live there for a year and she loves the country. I have travelled through most of the major cities, a lot of the small towns and through all of the provinces. I love the fact that there is water everywhere, the people are very friendly and their language is similar to our native Afrikaans in South Africa. The dykes, windmills and cows all over the place adds charm to the flatness and it makes for perfect cycling conditions. The country always seems clean and well maintained. They do more for saving the planet by cycling everywhere they go, so I love travelling there.

New Jersey Visit: 2009-1
2009-01-22 - We visited New York in January and drove across the George Washington bridge to take pictures of Manhattan from the other side. We didn't spend much time here and there didn't seem much to do anyway. Must be difficult to exist in the shadow of one of the most famous cities in the world.

New York Visit: 2009-1
2009-01-22 - We arrived in New york expecting many things and I was mentally prepared for the notorious "rude/toughness" of the locals. It could not have been more different than what we expected. We arrived on one of the coldest weekends of the year (which should have made things worse), but everyone that we met and spoke to was friendly, helpful and one could go so far as to say jovial!2 Major factors contributed to make people so happy I guess. 1st we arrived the day after an extraordinary pilot landed a Boeing (with over a 100 passenger) safely in the Hudson river, without a single injury! It was called the miracle on the Hudson and gave many people a sense of hope where it has been missing since 911.The second thing was the inauguration of Barrack Obama which happened the day we left. He gives people hope and many people were in very good spirit that even the extreme cold could not damper. We took a helicopter trip around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, which was fantastic. It helped put all the famous buildings in perspective, and gave a real sense of the size of the place.Another recommendation would be the hotel we stayed in. It is called the Waldorf Astoria, and it is just perfect for a real old world New York charm. All the other obvious sites were great, but the Empire State buidling stands out because the people who worked there were so friendly and helpful. We didn't pre - book and there were absolutely now queues, but we were told it can get very busy during parts of the year. We went all the way to the 101st floor (another $15) and spoke to a man called Matthew, who works there. He gave us a very interesting tour of the city through the window on the 101st floor observatory. It made the experience special. Especially the part about the top floors being designed as a docdking station for Zeppelins.Also make sure to visit the site of the world trade centre. Talk to the locals and you get a glimmer of the terrible impact this event has left on the people who call this amazing city home.

Nigeria Visit: 2007-4
2008-02-06 - I travelled to Nigeria for business and only stayed for a few days. I flew in from Dakar, Senegal with Virgin Nigeria airlines. The client recommended the Eco hotel on Victoria island. It had a lovely view of the lagoon and ocean. It was a very nice hotel, but the rest of the city was less impressive. I was given an extensive tour and people live in the same poor conditions as the rest of Africa. Hopefully the current economic growth and oil money will eventually trickle down to the masses, but I won't hold my breath.

North West Province Visit: 2000-1
2008-02-06 - I lived in the North West Province for 4 years (1996-1999) while studying at Potchefstroom university. It obviously has fond memories for me, as student years are generally the most carefree and fun in a person's life. From a tourist point of view it is not the most exciting of the South African provinces, but there are still a few interesting places to see. The world famous Sun City and Lost valley resort, the Magaliesberg, Pilanesberg Game Reserve and of course this province is the access point to Botswana. You should also visit the Vredefort Dome (near Potchefstroom) where an ancient meteorite hit the earth millions of years ago. The area is a World Heritage Site. The other world famous tourist attraction is the site of hte The Taung Skull: the Taung Skull was found in a quarry in 1924 by Dr Raymond Dart and indicated to the world that indeed the man initiated on the African continent.

Northern Cape Visit: 2001-12
2007-11-19 - The Northwest Province of South Africa is the largest and least densely populated region in the country. It is dominated by dry and hot conditions that creates the unique fauna and flora. Thousands of tourists go to see the namaqualand wild flowers that bloom only once a year, but provide spectacular scenery across the region. Famous towns like Kimberley, where diamonds were mined are also worth visiting. This city was the most expensive place in the world ever during the height of the diamond rush. The West coast of South Africa offers the opportunity to see a different side of the country and is completely different to the more touristy East coast in terms of the people, food and scenery. It is well worth driving up the entire coast, all the way to the skeleton coast in Namibia.

Northern Ireland Visit: 2007-11
2008-02-07 - As you will notice from the date, we went to Northern Ireland during peak offseason. The place seemed to be deserted and it was perfect, if a bit cold. We stayed in a b&b that borders on the pathway to Giant's causeway and once we walked the 200m to get there, we had the whole place to ourselves - all day! We drove around, visiting all the local attraction without as much as a soul borthering us. The Bushmills distillery tour was a highlight. You can see how it is made all the way through to the barrels and then you get to consume some of the tast beverage in the ajoining pub.

I would recommend renting a car. It is the best way to see all the small places along the coast. Port Rush, Derry and the national park was a memorable detour. Make sure to talk to the locals, as they came across as friendly and willing to share directions, advice and Guinness.

Norway (mainland) Visit: 2008-3
2008-03-27 - We travelled to Norway in the 2nd week of March to try skiing for the 1st time. We stayed in the northern part of Oslo in Voksenasen, a hotel that was given to Sweden as a thank you for their help in the 2nd world war. According to their brochure, all the grounds belong to Sweden and is administered by their department of public lands (maybe a candidate for an extra place on MTP to visit if it is true!?).

The second week in March is a special time for the Norwegians because they have the annual Holmenkollen ski competition at the ski facilities near our hotel. It is one of the biggest events in the Norwegian calender as thousands of locals and international spectators come from all over to see these crazy people fly down a mountain on a piece of wood strapped to their feet. It is really something of a site to see these daredevils travel over 100m through the air at breakneck speeds.

The weather was cloudy and misty through most of the time we were there, so there wasn't much in the way of competition on the day. It is quite an experience to have rain in the city of Oslo and in a few minutes on the metro experience full blown snow storms up the mountain. The city's inhabitants were very friendly and seem quite active. They put their little toddler's on skis and off they go. We saw young one's with dummies in the mouth skiing down the mountain.

Our 1st skiing experience was incredible fun. We had an instructor to help out since we have not even seen much snow (being from South Africa). We got on OK and even did a few runs down the mountain. There are some spectacular views from the top of the mountain over Oslo city centre and the Fjord.

Norway and in partiucular Western Norway, with the spectacular views of the fjords has to be the most beautiful place in the world. Go and look at some cruises that travel past Bergen and through the fjords and you wil realise that the contrast between clear waters, mountains, snow and local scenery provide an astonishing backdrop for a holiday.

The only drawback, as all travel brochures will tell you, is the cost of living. Even for people like us who travel from the UK and can exchange pounds for NOK, it is very expensive. Expect to pay at least double for everything compared to the rest of Europe and at least 10 times what you would pay in Africa. This is true for food, wine, travel - everything really. So unless you are extremely wealthy, pack lots of food in your bag, go for a few days and see how long you can fast. Maybe even try the Salvation army soup kitchen, although we didn't see any of them round.

Poland Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-25 - We flew to Gdansk with Ryanair from Stansted. We stayed near Sopot in order to visit the Tricity area of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. It was the coldest month, so there were very few tourists (which is why we choose it). The Royal mile in Gdansk is one of the most beautiful streets in Europe.

The rest of the region was not as impressive and we found that there were many impoverished regions. Hopefully this will improve even more with the EU support. There was an excesive amount of grafiti everywhere. A sure sign that young people weren't happy. Apart from these, we found the experience to be interesting and enjoyable.

Our hotel (Novotel Jelitkowska) was very nice and the staff and general public were friendly and helpful for the most part. Most people could speak some English, especially the younger ones. We will go back to Poland, but maybe try Warsaw next.

Qatar Visit: 2005-9
2008-02-08 - I travelled to Doha for business and stayed there only for a few days. I paid a local taxi driver to take me around the city and walked for hours through the old city. It was a Friday when I arrived, so most people were in one of the Mosques. This gave me a few hours to explore the place on my own.

There were some very interesting new developments, and its was quite shocking to walk into a mall and watch two ice hockey teams playing a game inside, while it was almost 45 Celcius outside. I should like to return one day and explore the rest of the country.

Rio Muni (Bata) Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-03 -

Sardinia Visit: 2008-1
2008-02-07 - My wife and I travelled to Sardinia for a romantic weekend, and to explore the famous clear waters. Based in the town of Alghero, we explored the surrounding areas in mopeds (scooters). The beaches of Fertilia were magnificent, but for a more secluded place to relax, travel to Spiaggia di Bombarde. There was no one when we got there and we had the whole place just to ourselves. You will find the turnoff to the left, just before The Nuraghe Of Palmavera (which dates back to 1100BC). This is also an interesting place to visit with a preserved ancient village to explore.

There are also some other beautiful places along the way to Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune's cave), especially the launch site for boat trips to the caves (only open in the summer). The caves themselves were really impressive, with large chambers and many steps to climb on the way back.

The town of Alghero was interesting to explore, but only for a few days. Once you have gone up and down all the alley ways, there is not much left to see. The people were very friendly and this was one of the highlights of the trip.

Scotland Visit: 2007-9
2008-02-21 - We travelled to Scotland for the 1st time in 2006. We took a road trip all the way from the south of England to the top of Scotland. It was an amazing tour with stops along the Lake district, Glasgow, Oban, Fort William, Inverness, Elgin, Aberdeen, Edinbrugh and back through the lake district.

We took all the "off the beaten track roads", breaking away from hte highway just after Loch Lomond. From there we took back roads to Oban (a seaport on the West coast). It was a magnificent drive straight up from there to Inverness. We stopped in Fort William to see Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. We were very lucky to catch it on a clear day, so we went up the cable car to go and play in the snow and watch locals skiing at the top.

Another highlight was loch Ness. It provides a sense of awe and exitement to be able to stand next to (and in) such a famous body of water. We did not see any monsters, even though I did try to have a look while diving and splashing around frantically in the cold water. Travel tip: do not swim in April. Might be a bit too early in Spring.

I have been back quite a few times since then. Mostly trips to Aberdeen for business, as there are many companies involved in the Oil and gas industry based there. They are still exploring and mining the North Sea fields.

Edinburgh must be the favourite place to visit. It is a beautiful, relatively small, friendly and thoroughly enjoyable city to visit. Our last trip was in September 2007 to watch South Africa play Scotland in a warm up match for the Rugby World Cup. We comprehensively beat them that day, and happily went on to win the whole world cup. Whoop whoop. Go bokke!

Seborga Visit: 2008-9
2008-09-08 - We drove to Seborga to see why this was regarded as a principality, seperate from Italy. Seborga is currently not recognised as one of the places to visit, but the locals certainly believe they are seperate. Many people have the flag hanging outside their houses. The locals we spoke to seem quite proud of their heritage and the fact that they are not part of Italy. I do not understand how people can vote against these places. It is exactly this type of quirky history that makes travel more interesting. We have no right to deny them their place on the MTP list!

There were some spectacular views from the top of the hill down towards the French/Italian Riviera. You get off the highway between Nice and Genova and drive for about 15 minutes up to the top of the hill. Seborga is only the size of an average village. There is a spectacular little church in the centre of town. Well worth a visit if you enjoy the peculiar history of the small principalities.

Senegal Visit: 2007-4
2007-08-19 - I went to Dakar on business and flew from Heathrow with BA. The people are quite friendly (it helps if you can speak some French) and you can get a taxi from the airport to any hotel in the city. There are quite a few nice places to stay close to the beach. I had a tour of the city and surrounding areas. The capital is similar to other African cities in terms of infrastructure. You find some very poor 'suburbs' around the conrner of the parlement building and president's residence. It seems quite popular with French tourists, who lay on the beaches and take advantage of the cheap prices.

Sharjah Visit: 2007-2
2008-02-22 - I had a meeting with Petrofac in Sharjah, so I got a cab from where was staying at the Jebel Ali resort. It took me hours to get there since the route took me through Dubai in peak traffic. They have to do something about this, as I am sure most people are just sick of the traffic jams. Its worse than in London.

Sharjah itself was nice. there was a nice mosque across from their offices. I spent the rest of the day exploring the city after my meeting. They have different rules in Sharjah and they are very strict. I could not take my female colleague with since we are not married. She stayed in Dubai where it is not strict at all. I am sure that with time the Western influence and lust for money will erode these customs like it has done all over ther rest of the world.

Slovakia Visit: 2008-4
2008-04-07 - In April of 2008 we took a flight from Stansted in the UK to Bratislava in Slovakia. From there we rented a car and drove through the countries of Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and back to Slovakia.

There were 3 large groups of English parties on the plane. All men on their way to stag parties in the city of Bratislava. This type of travel has become very popular with UK travellors. Men go away to celebrate the marriage of one of the group by going to an Eastern European city where the alcohol is cheap, there are many bars and exotic clubs to go to and there is little chance of running into anyone their future wife might know. Unfortunately these people see little of the city's real attractions (none during the day anyway!) and they leave a bad taste and reputation for other tourists travelling from the UK.

Bratislava has an interesting history with the ancient castle dominating the skyline as you enter the city. The old town centre is an excellent example of medieval architecture and gives you the feeling of going back in time. There are many side streets that can be explored at leisure, yet the feeling of antiquity follows you throughout the city. We would recommend at least one night's stay even if other, more well know cities in the region are your final destination.

We found out during this weekend that we are expecting our first child, so Bratislava will always have a special place in our memories.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta Visit: 2008-4
2008-07-15 - The order of Malta is not really a place you would even notice if you are not a member of this (or similar travel sites) or maybe a stamp collector. It is just a small little building with some oddly dressed guards. If you look at the Swiss guard in the same city maybe the clothes aren't that odd.

The building is just a few metres from the Spanish steps. They are open to the public and you can buy stamps. I think you can also send letters from the post office. Not much to see really, but it counts just as much on the list as a visit to Bouvet island or Rockall so there you go!

Spain (Other) Visit: 2007-8
2008-02-07 - We have only been to the southern part of Spain, mostly the province of Andalusia. The nicest places we visited were Granada, Rhonda, Mijas, Seville and Malaga.

Granada: we travelled up to the top of the mountain called Sierra Nevada. The ski lifts were running even in the middle of Summer and the views from the top are spectacular. We also visited the Alhambra, a very impressive Arab fort in the city itself.

We spent a whole day walking around Rhonda. It was built on a cliff, with some amazing scenery. I will recommend going to the bullring even if you don't agree with the sport. You can have a tour while there are no fights going on. Me, I love it, so we saw a propoer bullfight at the oldest ring in Spain (I think).

Mijas is the "white town" near Malaga. Spectacular views and a must see. Take your wife/girlfriend here and score some brownie points.

Seville is one of the most popular attractions. There is a wondrous cathederal and a tour on the horse drawn carriages will cover most of the essential sites. Full of history, cuisine and flavour.

Swaziland Visit: 2002-4
2007-11-29 - I have only been to Swaziland a few times, mostly for work. It is still ruled by a king, so there is no real say from the people. The country does not make the headlines much, even in South Africa. As a tourist destination, the only place I know of is the Swazi sun. It is a lovely resort with an excellent golf course.

Sweden Visit: 2007-4
2009-03-09 - Stocholm Skavta airport is a long way from the city, but there is a regular bus service that takes you straight to the main station. It is a great city to explore over a long weekend. Highlights were the boat trip and the city bus tour. We spent an evening in the ice bar and really enjoyed the multitude of museums. The Vasa museum was our favourite. I like cities with lots of water about, so Stockholm was a treat for me. Loads of little bridges and alleyways everywhere. We stayed in one of the neighbourhoods to get a better feel for the people and ate in subarban restaurants away from the city.

Switzerland Visit: 2007-9
2008-03-05 - The country of Switzerland is one of my favourite places in the world. I love spending time in the mountains so it is perfect for me. The crisp air, snow and beautiful scenery all contribute to such a peaceful holiday - summer, or winter. There are a few places that cannot be missed. The San Bernadino pass, Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Zurich and Jungfrau. We will go back many times and I still need to visit Geneva and the radio thing on the list.

Umm Al Qaiwain Visit: 2007-2
2009-03-01 - I took a trip along the coast while I was in Dubai on business. Our tour took us as far North as Umm Al Quwain, through Sharjah, Ajman and back to Dubai. We did a desert safari in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, with quad bike racing in Ajman. It was a wonderful trip with camel rides, dune riding, skiiing down hill on the sand, 4x4's and we ended with a traditional feast somewhere in the desert. I don't know whether it was in Ajman, Sharjah or Umm Al Quwain! We had local food, sat on carpets, smoked the local pipes and watched (and participated) performances by belly-dancers.

Vatican City Visit: 2008-4
2008-06-17 - There are few places in the world that lives up to the hype and build-up, but the Vatican certainly is one of these. We have dreamed and waited for this moment for many years and it was every bit as awe inspiring as we expected. The sheer size of the church, the piazza outside and the architecture takes your breath away.

It was even more amazing once we actually got inside the Vatican museum. The art transcends time and carries the weight of history through the ages. The Raphael rooms were something you cannot describe, even more so when we finally reached the Sistine Chapel. Make sure you have a good tour guide to take you through because the stories behind these masterpieces add tremendously to the enjoyment. Michelangelo’s frescos on the roof exceed any other artistic works ever made. It is simply magnificent. The symbolism, poking fun at the Church, Pope and senior members of the clergy just adds another dimension to the work.

We entered the Basilica St |Peter as the last part of our tour and it certainly was a highlight. It is quite simply enormous. We were lucky enough to be there on a day when the Pope himself was conducting mass. It easily swallowed some 40 000 people - not even looking crowded.

The Vatican City will outlive even the religion that built it and is one of the greatest artistic, architectural and cultural achievements of mankind.

Wales Visit: 2008-2
2008-02-21 - I had to drive all the way to Port Talbot yesterday (20/02/2008) for a meeting. A 900 km round trip. Luckily we have had the opportunity to explore the place in more4 detail before. Our last "serious" visit was in Nov 2007 to watch South Africa play Wales in rugby. It was our 1st game after winning the world cup rugby the previous month, so it was very exciting to travel to the magnificent Millennium stadium in Cardiff.

The stadium is perfectly placed in the city centre, so we had easy access to all the local pubs after our victory. The Welsh were very gracious in defeat, and we had the opportunity to have a few drinks with our SA players at one of the local watering holes.

We will go bak there later in the year so that we can take a trip across to Lundy.

Western Cape Visit: 2001-12
2007-11-19 - There are very few regions in the world that provide the diversity of travel experiences this area has to offer. From historic sites in Cape town to the beaches of Wilderness, the forrests of Knysna and even safaris, where you can see Elephant, lions etc. I grew up in the Western Cape, spending 11 years living in George, but also Swellendam, Wilderness and Paarl between 1977 to 1989. George truly is one of the most beautiful towns in the world . It is only about 5 miles from the closest beach in Victoria Bay ( a nice secluded beach that offers great waves for surfing). You have the magnificent backdrop of the Outeniqua mountains and the pine forrests that stretch for miles. The town is part of the Garden Route, a world famous scenic drive between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Cape Town is one of the top tourist attractions in the world and you have to visit the "Mother City", as we call it at least once in your life. Table mountain stands watch over the entire escarpment, and day trips to Robben island, where Nelson mandela was incarcerated is a must. Other highlights in this truly incredible region includes Stellenbosch (especially the university), Paarl, the world famous wine route, Knysna, Buffelsbay, Wilderness, Haroldsbay, Mosselbay and Oudtshoorn (defintely go and see the Kango caves here). If you only have one chance to go to South Africa, then this will certainly have to be your first choice.

Zimbabwe Visit: 2000-9
2008-02-22 - I used to work close to the border and we crossed to deliver dairy products from our farm. We bought cheap cigarettes there and traded supplies that were in shortage. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists. Most famously the Victoria falls. It cannot be described and has to be seen. The noise is the most shocking of all and I guarantee no one will ever forget the place once they have been there. Unfortunately the political situation at the moment makes it difficult to travel through the country. I would not recommend going there at the moment.
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