Less than two decades ago, Maputo was war-torn and struggling to survive. Today it is one of Southern Africa’s hippest cities.
Bridget Hilton-Barber goes on a Venda Bender to get supine --- and serene.
Sabie is the undisputed outdoor adventure capital of the Lowveld. There's an amazing choice of things to do. You can experience the adrenaline rush of the world's highest cable gorge swing with a 68m freefall. Yihaa! You can go rock climbing, abseiling, spelunking, river-rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking, canoeing, tubing or horse-riding. You can go fly-fishing, sailing, power boating or 4x4ing.
Traffic in downtown Polokwane is already being diverted owing to extensions to the roads around the Peter Mokaba Stadium, renovations are under way, plans are being made, talk is big and voices are loud. But does Limpopo really have what it takes to lure tourists and tourism into the province ahead of 2010.
Designed to relax and revive stressed-out urbanites, the Healing Route takes you into the cool, calm heart of the Magoe-baskloof mountains with stop-overs at spots renowned for their soulful offerings and restor-ative powers. First stop is Kurisa Moya -- the name means tranquil spirit -- set on a wild mountainside overlooking the Kudu's River Valley.
"It's a sad, sad story," said the waiter from Pekoe View, a restaurant and curio shop overlooking Sapekoe Tea Estates, South Africa's largest tea producer, which closed in December last year. He pointed to the slopes below where hundreds of acres of tea bushes have been left to grow wild and woolly. "We used to get three or four busloads of visitors a week, now we get only a few people a month."
We have all heard of "shack chic", "shabby chic" and "township chic". But how about "shit chic"? In the rural townships between Polokwane and Tzaneen in Limpopo, people are decorating their long drops (pit toilets) in highly expressive and individual ways, despite obviously limited resources.
"The labyrinth is a bridge that can connect us to an ancient part of ourselves." Labyrinths have been around for millennia, offering healing in times of crisis or simply a chance for quiet contemplation. Escape encountered one such labyrinth in the mountains beyond Barberton.
"It was in a bathroom at the top of the Soutpansberg mountains that I met my Venda prince -- and I knew at first glance that I wouldn't be able to resist him. He had a deliciously rounded bottom and wore a simple, stylised loin cloth." Intrepid travel off the map can provide unexpected dividends. A journalist realises some of her deepest fantasies in a bathroom on top of the Soutpansberg.