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Conscious Traveling: A Look at Sustainable Travel

Traveller packing pag

One of the industries that took a severe hit from the recent pandemic was the tourism industry.

Air travel was virtually non-existent, and people were not allowed to leave their own homes, let alone the country. The time we spent in isolation gave many of us time to evaluate how we live our lives, be it how we work or vacation.

People have discovered different facets of their lifestyle; a good example is a working-from-home balance. Working from home is better for the environment according to HBR, and the post-pandemic culture encourages that. Would it have happened without Covid-19? It isn’t very certain. In fact, people started to concentrate on living better, taking tips from trained sustainability experts, and seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Those tips range from water conservation to changing eating habits to support sustainable methods of farming. As is clear, change is easy to make within the home, but what about within the travel industry? Can you make your vacation more friendly to the world around you?

Sustainable travel is one of the key weapons in the environmentalist’s arsenal as we battle climate change. The New York Times explain how air travel emissions were worse than anyone expected in 2019, with the growth vastly outstripping projections. With planes unable to fly, those emissions stopped and that wasn’t the only positive impact of the Covid crisis. In Venice, a lack of visitors left the water quality in the canals better than it has ever been. While planes are no longer grounded and Venice is open for business again, people learned those lessons, and some now seek to travel more responsibly.

How can you travel sustainably in a post-pandemic world? We’ve got some tips that should help you and further reduce your impact on the world around you.

Don’t Fly Everywhere

If you wish to travel to Europe, you must fly, but you don’t have to fly everywhere. For example, you could fly into Spain and then take a train across the country. This is especially prudent if you plan a trip that takes multiple countries. Rail travel is far more energy-efficient than flying and should be considered for domestic trips as well. Why fly from Miami to New York when a train can get you there in just over a day? Sure, it’s quicker to fly, but is it sustainable? The answer is no. You can also travel sustainably by sea, with Explora demonstrating the wide range of destinations available to travellers across the world. By taking a cruise you can visit multiple locations during a vacation without jetting between destinations burning aviation fuel, which is much better for the planet.

Travel Off The Beaten Path

Some tourist attractions are paying the price for being too popular. Some of the most beautiful places on earth, such as the Taj Mahal, suffer degradation through too many people visiting. Indeed, the ancient city of Dubrovnik in Croatia even limited the number of people who could visit because of the negative impact of cruise ships pulling into the harbour and people spilling into the old town. That’s why it is a good idea to find places off the beaten track, ones that haven’t suffered from tourism pollution. If they’re not often visited, they might also be grateful for your vacation dollars.

Pack Sensibly

Think about the weight you place in your suitcase as you’re packing for a trip. Every bit of clothing or tech you load in puts extra strain on the plane if you’re flying out of the country, meaning it takes more fuel to propel it through the skies. Of course, you might not think you can save the world by minimalist packing, not when others around you are loaded with cases, but if everyone started to pack smarter, it would positively impact emissions output. It’s also easier for you to haul around the airport as well.

Slow Down

Finally, when you do go on vacation, slow down. You don’t have to do ten countries in two weeks; you can have a great time taking a seven-day break in a city and staying put. If you simply fly into a city and stay there, your carbon footprint is reduced as you’re not taking multiple flights or even rail trips. Some cities have enough to keep you entertained for weeks, whether domestic, such as San Francisco and New York or further afield, like Barcelona and London. Pick a place, travel there and explore at a leisurely pace, rather than rushing around and cramming too much in. It’s better for the environment, and ultimately better for you.

This article was written Exclusively for b4i.travel by Camilla Hope

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UNIQUE HOTELS IN THE GARDEN ROUTE 

Travelling to the picturesque Garden Route in South Africa is truly a holiday you will not forget! 

The captivating views, calmness of the sea and the freshness of the air will certainly leave you wanting more. In preparation for your trip to the Garden Route check out these less traditional, unique and beautiful places to stay at!

Bubble Tent

South Africa’s first and only bubble tent overlooking the Indian Ocean is a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Experience a romantic getaway with the moon, stars, and a magnificent view of the ocean.

Book your stay here!

Source: Seeplass website

Tsala Treetop Lodge

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is only 10 kilometres from Plettenberg Bay and offers magnificent forest views from above the treetops. This is a must if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway!

Book your stay here!

Source: Bookings.com

Knysna Elephant Park Lodge

Go to sleep and wake up right next to the elephants at this lodge situated at the beautiful Knysna Elephant Park. While enjoying the tranquillity of the surroundings, take some time out to interact with and walk with the elephants at the park.

Book your stay here!

Source: Bookings.com

SOUL on the Heads

The luxury 6-bedroom property is located high up on Knysna’s East Head, offering guests captivating, unmatched views of the sea and Knysna heads.


Book your stay here!

Source: Bookings.com

Chandelier Game Lodge & Ostrich Show Farm 

Chandelier Game Lodge & Ostrich Show Farm is a great place to stay in Oudtshoorn where you can interact with giraffes, buffalos, and ostriches without even leaving the premises.


Book your stay here!

Source: https://www.chandelier.co.za/oudtshoorn-accommodation/luxury-tents/
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A GUIDE TO EXPLORING SOUTH AFRICA

Source: Canva

South Africa is a vast, diverse, and breathtakingly beautiful country. From the Western Cape’s gorgeous Garden Route cities to northern KwaZulu-Natal’s subtropical coast, the enormous Karoo semi-desert runs across the centre, while Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s top safari destinations, stretches along the northeast border.

There are around 290 conservation parks in the country. Nearly 300 mammal species, 860 bird species, and 8000 plant species call it home. The yearly sardine run is the world’s largest migration and can be seen from space.

With so much to do and see, South Africa should definitely be on your travel list and in this blog, we share a short guide on what you can expect when travelling to South Africa!

Quick Facts

  • Population:

56 million people

  • Language: 

South Africa has 11 official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Ndebele, Sotho, Setswana, Swati, Venda and Tsonga

  • Currency:

Rands

Climate

The warm temperate climate is due to the country’s subtropical location. With an average annual rainfall of 464 mm, South Africa is a relatively dry country. While the Western Cape receives the majority of its rainfall in the winter, the remainder of the country has more rain in the summer.

Cuisine

Because of the diversity of cuisines and iconic dishes available in South Africa, this topic deserves its own blog. The vast variety of culinary traditions embodied by the numerous communities that inhabit the country is reflected in the cuisine. To learn more about some foods to try out when visiting South Africa, have a look at this article by Eat Out. https://www.eatout.co.za/article/21-iconic-south-african-foods-ultimate-guide-visitors/

Best Time to Visit

South Africa is an all-year-round holiday destination, owing it to the lovely weather however, between the months of May to August South Africans experience winter, while the months of September to April are definitely much warmer and make for a great time to visit. November to March is known as the peak months where you will find many locals and tourists winding down on the beach, however, the rest of the months are off-peak and perhaps optimal for touring as places won’t be as busy. 

Transport

Travelling around South Africa is mostly straightforward and while we don’t suggest taking public transport as you would in European countries, the Gautrain in Johannesburg and MyCiTi Busses in Cape Town are a quick and affordable way to get around those cities. Taking local flights within each province are also a great way to get to your next destination but hiring a car is perhaps the most safest, convenient, and easiest way to get around the country, especially if you enjoy road tripping.

If you are planning a trip to South Africa, we hope this blog helps you understand the country a little bit, and don’t forget to grab your b4i travel sim card, to stay connected and talk like a local while you are on holiday.

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WHAT TO DO IN THE GARDEN ROUTE

Source: Canva

A 300-kilometer long coastline road from Port-Elizabeth to Mossel-Bay on South Africa’s south-west tip is known as the country’s most picturesque location and is none other than The Garden Route.

The Garden Route takes its name from the Garden Route National Park it passes through, the rich plant and wildlife found there, as well as the wealth of lagoons, lakes, mountains, woods, and beaches found along its winding roadways. 

The Garden Route is quickly becoming a popular holiday destination for many reasons and here are some activities you could do when visiting this beautiful part of South Africa.

Enjoy a swim in the ocean at Plettenberg Bay

Enjoy the vibe and culture of Plettenberg Bay, a lovely coastal town that is set against picturesque mountain ranges. Take a swim in the ocean, relax on the sand or visit a restaurant while enjoying the lovely sea breeze!

Knysna Heads & Lagoon Tour

Get out on the sea and take in the sights of Knysna from a different perspective. Secluded coves and caves, as well as the towering sandstone cliffs of Knysna Heads, are only accessible by cruise ship- which promises to be breathtaking!

Bungee Jump off Bloukrans Bridge

For the adrenaline junkies, the Bloukrans Bridge on South Africa’s Garden Route is famous for being the world’s highest bridge bungee jump and the view from 709 feet (216 meters), over the stunning Bloukrans River Gorge, is sure to not disappoint!

Oudtshoorn (Outeniqua pass, Ostriches & Congo Caves)

Even though the beautiful old town of Oudtshoorn is slightly out of the route, you are guaranteed to have unmatched views of the majestic Outeniqua mountain range and country-like living like no other! Once you reach Oudtshoorn you can visit the famous Congo caves and interact with Ostriches at an Ostrich farm in the town, the ostrich capital of the world!

Walk with the elephants in Knsyna

Last but certainly not least is the most memorable experience of walking and interacting with the largest existing land animal, the elephants. Just outside Knsyna is the Knsyna Elephant Park which allows visitors to interact with, feed, and walk with these magnificent animals! We can assure you that you won’t want to leave these gentle giants!

Apart from these activities, there is plenty more to do in The Garden Route from dining out to exploring new hiking trails and taking a swim in the many beaches along the route! We hope that this blog has helped you prepare for your holiday in The Garden Route! 

All that’s left to say is to see you where the land meets the sea!

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What to pack for a South African winter vacation

South Africa’s moderate climate makes it a great holiday destination for resting on the beach or seeing wildlife on a game drive, even in the winter. Take a look at our packing list for a winter vacation in South Africa if you are visiting between June and August.

Winters in South Africa are generally mild, however, morning and night temperatures can drop to single digits (about 6°C/ 44°F). In the winter, coastal areas receive the most rain, but inland places are drier and colder. Long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, thick socks, a jacket, and a raincoat are all essential items to bring for a winter trip. Scarves and woollen beanies will also come in handy, especially if you plan to hike in the beautiful surroundings or go up Table Mountain, where temperatures can dip to below zero.

Source: Canva

General Clothes

We recommend bringing plenty of long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, as well as track pants or a few pairs of decent jeans because South African winters are not to be taken lightly. Snow is possible, particularly in the Western Cape and the Drakensberg, so layering is essential! In case you forget to bring yours, thermal vests and leggings are widely available in South African apparel stores during the winter months.

Scarves and beanies 

While our northern hemisphere friends have mastered the art of dressing stylishly and comfortably in the winter, we must remind you that, despite being south of the equator, our winters can be harsh, which is why we recommend bringing scarves and beanies, especially for those icy windy days in Cape Town!

Shoes

When visiting South Africa, you’ll almost certainly be doing a lot of walking, so bring some durable, comfortable and warm walking shoes. For those sunny days, if and when visiting the beach, bring along flip flops or sandals, plus a pair of heels or boots for a night out. In South Africa, most upscale nightclubs and bars have a strict footwear policy prohibiting the wearing of flip flops or sneakers.

Sunscreen

To avoid a terrible case of sunburn, bring sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The African sun is really strong, and if you’re from a colder European nation, your skin is far more vulnerable to sunburn. If possible, stay out of the sun between 12 and 3 p.m, when it is the warmest of the day. Sunscreens are widely available in South African pharmacies and supermarkets, so don’t panic if you forget to bring yours or your supply runs out.

Sunglasses and hats

Even though it’s cold, the winter sun is still damaging. To keep the sun off your face and protect your eyes from damaging UV rays, hats and sunglasses are a requirement. They’re also a great fashionable addition to your outfit.

We hope that this blog helps you with your packing for your South African winter vacation!

Source: Canva

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10 Must-try Restaurants in Cape Town

Foodies, this one’s for you! A trip to South Africa is filled with many activities from safari’s, going up Table Mountain, swimming in the ocean, the incredible natural views and of course the food! If you are visiting Cape Town soon, these are some of the restaurants that should be on your list! You can expect all the “insta-worthy” pictures and crème de la crème deliciousness from these restaurants that are all rated above 4,5 stars

Source: Bruce Tuk

FYN

“Discoveries are made when boundaries are crossed.” FYN was voted 92 in San Pelegrino The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021.

This 50-seater urban diner combines an African-inspired menu and decor with a Japanese aesthetic, resulting in a captivating (and excellent) mix of tastes, flavours, textures, and styles. The restaurant is located on the fifth level and offers panoramic views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. The furnishings are stylish, inviting, and contemporary, with the kitchen at its heart.

Rated: 4,8 Stars from 407 Google reviews

Location: 5th Floor, 37 Parliament Street, Speakers Corner, Church Square, Cape Town

http://fynrestaurant.com/

The Pot Luck Club

From world-famous chef-patron Luke Dale Roberts, whose Test Kitchen was voted the greatest restaurant in Cape Town for 11 years, The Pot Luck Club is led by chef Jason Kosmas, whose delectable cuisine encourages plate-sharing so that customers can sample all five flavour profiles (salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami). The modern cafe, which is located on the top floor of the Silo at The Old Biscuit Mill, has great city views, especially at night.

Rated: 4,6 Stars from 1 311 Google reviews

Location: Silo Top Floor, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Thali

Thali is a traditional Indian meal that consists of 10 or more regional Indian dishes. This eating approach fits in wonderfully with the Chefs Warehouse model, allowing the restaurant to take customers on an aromatic journey through their interpretation of Indian cuisine.

Meals are served in three courses, starting with gentler flavours and progressing to spicier curry styles. Thali always has a vegetarian and vegan tapas menu available and gluten-free choices are available on request.

Rated: 4,6 Stars from 640 Google reviews

Location: 3 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town

*Thali caters for vegetarians, vegans, and pescatarians, and doesn’t take reservations.

https://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/thali

Belly of the Beast

Belly of the Beast, as it’s name suggests, is a carnivore-friendly restaurant, with all meat sourced from sustainably reared animals. Anything from pumpkin risotto to cured stumpnose fish or gemsbok (antelope) tataki could be on the menu. 

Rated: 4,9 Stars from408 Google reviews

Location:10 Harrington Street, Cape Town

https://bellyofthebeast.co.za/

Reverie Social Table

A distinctly South African table d’hôte style café with a focus on social eating, located in the eccentric Observatory neighbourhood of Cape Town. Chef Hattingh invites visitors to gather around her bespoke 18-seater table each evening for a five-course dinner cooked just for them and paired with carefully selected wines. Guests are urged to put their phones away and participate in conversation with one another. Ideal for folks who enjoy good cuisine, wine, and company.

Rated: 4,9 Stars from 152 Google reviews

Location: 226A Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town

http://www.reverie.capetown/

Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

This contemporary café, with its clean open-plan kitchen, appears to float over the verdant Constantia wine valley. Chef Ivor’s take on the famous Chefs Warehouse tapas-style set meal emphasises fresh seasonal ingredients and Southeast Asian flavours. Much of the produce is grown locally or on the lovely Beau Constantia farm, and it is then blended by a talented kitchen team into an ever-changing cuisine that celebrates the simple pleasures of eating and drinking well in a beautiful location.

Rated: 4,7 Stars from 115 Google reviews

Location: Beau Constantia Wine Farm, 1043 Constantia Main Road, Constantia Neck, Cape Town

https://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/beau-constantia

Osteria Tarantino

Inspired by the Italian owners’ passion for good food, the recipe for success here is deceptively simple – like homemade penne salsiccia made with fennel sausage, mushroom, lashings of garlic, chilli, pecorino and cream. Everything is homemade. No shortcuts in this proud Italian kitchen.

Rated:  4,7 Stars from. 307 Google reviews

Location: 125A Waterkant St, De Waterkant, Cape Town

https://m.facebook.com/OsteriaTarantino/

Obi Restaurant

Hatsushiro Muraoka (affectionately known as “Papa San”) and chef-partner Ben Bettendorf have established Obi Restaurant on Long Street, an authentic Japanese restaurant and bar owned and operated by Cape Town’s much-loved sushi icon- Papa San. Obi Restaurant first opened its doors in July 2016, delivering real Japanese ramen, tempura, and, of course, Papa San’s renowned inventive sushi.

Rated: 4,6 Stars from 627 Google reviews

Location: Shop 2, 14 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town

Sushi Box De Waterkant

Sushi Box De Waterkant is a popular Cape Quarter building on Somerset Road. Sushi Box is one of more than 100 boutique shops and restaurants in this lovely lifestyle village, which blends elegance and refinement with history and tradition.

The open-air dining space is surrounded by picturesque cobblestone streets. Along with the wonderful, fresh sushi and lively atmosphere.

Rated: 4,8 Stars from 464 Google reviews

Location: 2 Jarvis St, De Waterkant, Cape Town

Home

La Colombe Restaurant

Named South Africa’s best restaurant in 2019, this magnificent French-meets-Asian fine dining establishment, perched high on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, is sure to delight! La Colombe is a stunning setting for a world-class fine dining adventure, tucked in what feels like the trees of Silvermist Estate. 

La Colombe was voted 81 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. Other restaurants in the La Colombe stable include La Petite Colombe, Foxcroft and Protégé and Epice.

Rated: 4,8 Stars from 1477 Google reviews

Location: Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town

https://lacolombe.restaurant/

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7 Beautiful Airbnbs in Cape Town

Cape Town is a wonderful vacation destination! There is a vast selection of activities to delight any sort of traveller between the seaside and the mountains, but your accommodation is also an important component of a vacation. 

While hotels are the most convenient sort of accommodation, we believe that Airbnbs are a terrific way to live like a local and really experience a place. We also love being able to try different restaurants for breakfast! In this blog post, we share 7 beautiful Airbnbs you should consider staying at while in Cape Town!

Travelling SOLO or with a Partner?

Check these listings out!

Wifi & Netflix | Modern City Living | Parking | Pool & Bar

Source: Airbnb

Discover a nine-story classic building with apartments, stores, and a boutique hotel that has received international recognition. The hotel features an outdoor pool, gin bars, and craft brews, high-speed fibre and hot, fresh, industrial-chic décor, a garden, fitness centre, laundromat, and free parking on site. This centrally located Woodstock apartment has city, harbour, and mountain views, making it the ideal spot to unwind after a day of touring! The Old Biscuit Mill market and the colourful shopping and dining district in Woodstock. WEX1 is located about 3 kilometres from the city centre and 18 kilometres from Cape Town International Airport.

2 guests · 1 bedroom ·1 bath | Rated 3.80 stars from 5 reviews

Check it out here!

Tranquil Azure Retreat For Luxury & Views

Source: Airbnb

High in the mountains, surrounded by nature, quiet, and peace, you will find this stunning luxury apartment with great views. This is an upper-class neighbourhood where you’ll discover the exquisite Simonstown mansions with views of the yacht Bason.

2 guests · 1 bedroom· 1 bath | Rated 5.0 from 28 reviews

Check it out here!

Modern Artsy apartment perfect for couples

Source: Airbnb

One-bedroom apartment with modern décor, cosy interior, and quiet position in the middle of the colourful city. De Waterkant is a distinctive area in Cape Town, located between the CBD and Green Point. A popular, stylish neighbourhood in the heart of the city, with plenty of great bars, restaurants, and unusual coffee shops! Everything is at arm’s reach: a 5-minute drive to the popular V&A Waterfront and a 3-minute walk to the supermarket.

2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bath | Rated 5.0 stars from 5 reviews

Check it out here!

Waterfront apartment with balcony and views

Source: Airbnb

Located on the edge of the V and A waterfront and the trendy De Waterkant means you are in the middle of a Cape Town melting pot. Everything you need is within walking distance to have an amazing Cape Town experience. The apartment is a brand new development and has been decorated to a top standard. Enjoy the city views from your balcony.

2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bath | Rated 4.60 stars from 48 reviews

Check it out here!

Traveling with friends, family, or looking for the ultimate Airbnb?

Check these listing out!

Seacliffe on Two – 10 Seacliffe Road – Bantry Bay

Source: Airbnb

Seacliffe on Two is tucked away on a quiet road between Seapoint and Camps Bay, with breathtaking views of the bay. The magnificent Bantry Bay is known for being wind-free, and houses in the region are treasured for having the most spectacular ocean views.

6 guests · 3 bedrooms · 3 baths | Rated 4.94 stars from 140 reviews

Check it out here!

Mod Interior with Stunning Table Mountain Views And A Garden.

Source: Airbnb

Slide open floor-to-ceiling doors to soak in the breathtaking views of Table Mountain. Hadeda House was recently featured on the cover of INSIDE OUT MAGAZINE in Australia, with a terrific piece highlighting the house’s many gorgeous décor pleasures.

The house is located in leafy Tamboeskloof, one of Cape Town’s oldest and quietest neighbourhoods. It’s 10 minutes from Long Street, 5 minutes from Kloof Street’s exciting bars and restaurants, 5 minutes from Table Mountain, and 10 minutes from Camps Bay.

4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 2 baths | Rated 4.91 stars from 135 reviews

Check it out here!

Mountainside, Boho-Chic Retreat with Natural Pool

Source: Airbnb

At the foot of Table Mountain, relax in an Eco pool. Soak in a tub with views of the ocean from an endless terrace. The home’s natural material palette is enhanced by exquisite vintage touches. Multi-slide doors provide a smooth transition to the outdoors and views of the cliff-face of Table Mountain. The house sits in a cul-de-sac on the Table Mountain National Park’s border, in a lush suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain. The views of the mountain and the city bowl of Cape Town are unmatched!

8 guests · 4 bedrooms · 4.5 baths | Rated 4.90 stars from 72 reviews

Check it out here!

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Top 10 Reasons to Visit South Africa

There’s almost no reason not to visit South Africa; from the beautiful beaches to the rich cultural diversity to the Big 5 and much more, South Africa is unquestionably the ideal vacation location. If you’re still not convinced keep reading as we present the Top 10 Reasons to Visit South Africa, which is sure to seal the deal. 

1. The Big 5

Africa, and particularly South Africa, is recognized for its diverse animal and wild animal sightings. Taking a safari or game drive to see the gorgeous animals in their natural habitats is undoubtedly one of the top reasons to visit South Africa. The Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest game reserve, is one such popular destination for “bush holidays”.

(Picture Source: Adobe Stock)

2. Cape Town

Recently voted and known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city in the shade of the majestic and one of the new 7 wonders of the nature, Table Mountain. Great beaches, historical harbors, spectacular views of nature, and excellent cuisine await visitors in Cape Town.

3. Whale Watching 

Admire the whales in Hermanus, Western Cape, which has been named one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. The season runs from July through December, with the months of August and November almost guaranteed for sightings.

4. Culture and Food

South Africans are as diverse as the languages they speak, including English, Afrikaans, Tswana, Zulu, and Xhosa to name a few, and they are fondly known as the rainbow nation! You can be sure that the cuisine is as diverse as the language, and you can immerse yourself in a wide variety of cultures and cuisines like Indian bunny chows to pap and vleis when visiting South Africa.

5. World-renowned Wine Regions and The Garden Route

The Western Cape of South Africa is known for its extensive wine industry, which includes over 500 wineries in Cape Town alone. Between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay, the Garden Route stretches for almost 300 kilometers, providing travelers with unrivaled scenic vistas of the magnificent country! If you like wine and want to see some beautiful scenery while in South Africa, the Western Cape should definitely be on your itinerary!

(Picture Source: Adobe Stock)

6. The Weather

South Africa is known for its sunny and warm weather for almost 300 days a year, making it a great destination to travel to especially in the spring and summer months between September and March.

7. Beautiful Beaches

South Africa is located at the southernmost point of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. While the warm Indian Ocean on South Africa’s east coast, particularly in Durban, is ideal for a swim, the Atlantic Ocean in the Western Cape is slightly cooler but still offers beautiful vistas.

8. Sun City

Sun City, dubbed “Africa’s Las Vegas,” provides casinos, golf courses, entertainment, and shopping. It’s also home to the world-famous Valley of Waves waterpark and many more activities to keep everyone entertained!

9. Affordability

Due to the South African rand being weaker to many other currencies, a trip to South Africa can be affordable while still being a wonderful and memorable experience without breaking the bank!

10. Visa free policy of South Africa

Another wonderful reason to visit South Africa is that many countries, like the United Kingdom, the United States, Schengen countries, South America, Japan, and others, do not require visas.

South Africa is certainly a favourite tourist destination and we can understand exactly why! Whether you are looking to enjoy the warm Indian ocean, take a cable car up the majestic Table Mountain, travel through beautiful roads, or take a safari and see the Big 5 up close in person, South Africa is sure to exceed all your travel and bucket list dreams!

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What to do in Cape Town in Winter

Cape Town, South Africa, more lovingly known as the mother city, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. Surrounded by sea, mountains, and everything in between, you are definitely spoilt for choice when visiting this picturesque city!

South Africa has its winter during the months of May to August, and temperatures can drop to the single digits, but fear- not, there is still plenty to do in Cape Town during winter!

Two Oceans Aquarium

First on our list is Two Oceans Aquarium, located at the V & A Waterfront. The aquarium was first opened in 1995 and is home to over 8000 sea animals. The aquarium allows both adults and children the opportunity to view sea animals like fish, seahorses, jellyfish, penguins, sharks, and more, up close. The two oceans aquarium is named after its location, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Get tickets here.

V & A Waterfront

Next up we have V & A Waterfront. The V & A Waterfront is one of the most visited attractions in Cape Town and attracts over 23 million visitors a year! From the iconic Cape Wheel, shopping, eating, movies, and of course the majestic views of Table Mountain and the Cape Town harbor, it’s no doubt that you will always have something to do at the V & A Waterfront.

(Picture Source: Canva)

Table Mountain

If you’re up for the challenge, Table Mountain, probably the most famous landmark in Cape Town, is accessible via cable car. Marvel at the views of Cape Town from 3,558 ft high! Going on top of one of the oldest mountains in the world is sure to be a treat but ensure that you are dressed for the occasion as it can get really cold up there! The cable car only goes up when it’s safe to do so and weather permitting, so if you’re planning a trip up the mountain check out the Table Mountain website which displays the weather conditions at the top of the page, to find out the weather before you can go. Visit the website here.

Cape Town Hopper Helicopter Tour

Not ready to brace the cold from 3,558 ft high? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy all the beautiful views that Cape Town has to offer by taking a Cape Town Hopper Helicopter Tour. The tour will give you a birds-eye view of Cape Town as well as its beautiful landmarks! 

Another favourite is the Hop On Hop Off bus! The famous “red bus” allows passengers to hop on and hop off as they wish. The bus has different routes and passengers get to see the beautiful landmarks and iconic sites of Cape Town, without even leaving their seats! The bus is a double-decker with the bottom deck being enclosed, for those that feel a little extra cold! Get Tickets here.

Wine Tasting

While the list is truly endless with things to do in Cape Town in winter, the last one on our list is for all the wine drinkers! With over 550 wineries in Western Cape, it’s no doubt that a wine tasting is a must-do when visiting Cape Town! There are many options available which include cheese tasting, wine tasting, and cellars tours together or you can settle for one that is solely just a wine tasting experience. Regardless of which option you choose, going on a wine tasting is sure to warm you up!

All that’s left to say is happy packing and see you in Cape Town!

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Packing for a trip during a pandemic

After what felt like the longest 2 years of our lives, there is definitely some light at the end of the tunnel! We have undoubtedly passed the peak of the COVID pandemic, which means that many restrictions have been lifted and, even better, we can now finally TRAVEL!

While this is possibly the best news for tourism not only in South Africa but worldwide, there are still some precautions that are in place when travelling internationally. In this blog, we will share some items that you should add to your packing list when travelling both locally and internationally.

There’s nothing quite like the sound of your suitcase wheels on airport floors, but being a transitional* place for so many travellers from different parts of the world, the airport in our opinion at least, is still one of the riskiest places to be when it comes to Covid-19.

We probably know this all too well by now but sanitising, masking, and social distancing are proven ways to minimise your chances of catching the virus and so to start off this list a good sanitiser and disposable masks take priority.

Picture Source: Canva

Sanitiser

Now we’ve all come across those gluey sticky sanitisers which leave your hands feeling heavy, or those that you can smell a mile away, or better still those that make your hands feel like sandpaper, but when you’re travelling you will definitely need a good quality, hand-friendly (yes we just made that term up) sanitiser, that will last the duration of your trip (remember it needs to be less than 100mls to be carried in hand luggage). You will probably be sanitising your hands more often than you think which is why a good sanitiser when travelling is a great investment.

Disposable masks

We all have a face mask or 5 which we swear by and have been termed the favourite but when travelling, you don’t want to spend time washing face masks of all things. Disposable face masks are ideal for flights (yes you still have to wear a face mask throughout your flight), exploring, and are generally more convenient than the cloth ones.

Meds/Vitamins

Medication and vitamins, especially Vitamin C to boost your immune system should also be packed just in case you get a slight tickle in your throat or worse, you catch the virus. Carrying these meds with you will allow you to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and especially if you’re travelling alone and have to isolate yourself, you will have access to some medication should you fall ill.

Gloves/ Disinfectant wipes

For those a little more concerned, disposable gloves and disinfectant wipes are also a great addition to your packing list – this way you can ensure that all surfaces you come into contact with can be wiped down for the least amount of chance for transmission of the virus. Most airlines do offer these to passengers on board now.

Vaccination card/ negative PCR test

While most countries have now fully opened up travelling to and from their country, many of them require either a vaccination card, a negative PCR test (which most likely should not be older than 72 hours), or in some cases, both. With so many things to think about like sanitising keeping your mask on and what you’re going to eat on the plane, we advise having a 1 or 2 printed copies of your vaccination card/certificate as well as a digital version, just in case they get lost or you lose your phone.

Travel insurance

This is probably the most important item we could suggest when travelling during a pandemic. While travelling is becoming more and more normal, let’s be honest – there are so many things that can go wrong when travelling during a pandemic, like the unthinkable of catching Covid-19 in a foreign city. It’s bad enough that you will be sick, but not being able to jump on a flight or get back home while being ill is probably the worst feeling. This is why travel insurance is so important! Most travel insurance policies will cover your medical needs if you are hospitalised due to Covid-19 while travelling as well as pay for some if not all of the accommodation costs if you have to isolate and miss your flight. If you are looking for travel insurance for an upcoming trip, look no further because we offer this service right here at b4i.travel https://b4i.travel/travel-insurance/.

Being able to travel again feels like it is bringing back some normality and some reminiscence of life before the pandemic, but it’s so important to go fully prepared and minimise the chances of catching the virus while travelling. We hope that this article helps you pack accordingly for your upcoming trip during the pandemic, now all that’s left to say is Bon Voyage!

Picture Source: Canva