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Bridget Hilton Barber

Weekend getaway: Hotel Cardoso, Maputo

Less than two decades ago, Maputo was war-torn and struggling to survive. Today it is one of Southern Africa’s hippest cities.

Taking it lying down

Bridget Hilton-Barber goes on a Venda Bender to get supine --- and serene.

Simply hanging out at Sabie

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.

It’s time Limpopo left the lapa

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.

The healing route

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.

As the tea grows cold

''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.''

Magical realism

"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.

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