When the French Huguenots first settled in the Franschhoek Valley more than 300 years ago, it was full of elephants. Now it's full of grape vines. What a difference three centuries makes, I thought, looking up at the surrounding mountains and trying to visualise herds of this most African of animals terrorising the European immigrants as they planted row upon row of vines.
The 2003 Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey conducted by Deloitte pointed to an average hotel-room rate in South Africa (R440 a night). But what is average? Taking the air-conditioned, en-suite luxury end of the market as five-star and camping in the veld with a cooler box and long-drop as one-star, average should equate to three-star, and a reasonably comfortable, double en-suite room close to amenities. But it is hard to find that for R440 a night â€” at least it is in Jo'burg.
Okay. I'm not ashamed to admit it. When it comes to cameras, I am a real blonde. I'm generally lucky if I get two or three shots out of 24 to come out with the subject in the frame and in focus. Your holiday and travel snaps are made easy with the latest in digital cameras, even if, writes Sharon van Wyk, you are completely blonde.
So much to do, and so little time. That's how the Garden Route makes you feel. Like it's all flashing before your eyes and you don't have time to really soak it all up. It is kind of "to the left is Wilderness and to your right are the Outeniquas and up ahead is Knysna and there's the Tsitsikama and here we are in Plettenberg Bay.
Offbeat and unusual are two ways of summing up this anthology of Southern African travel par excellence, but they hardly do it justice. In fact, it's hard to describe a book that has everything from boys' own adventure stories, terrifying and blood-curdling wildlife encounters, and downright weird and bizarre accounts of times past.
Every traveller has a special place, somewhere he or she keeps going back to and can never get enough of. For me that place has always been the Kruger National Park. And although I've stayed in a number of camps, and loved most of them, I have finally found my ''home'' in the Kruger, where I could happily spend eternity.