At the age of 14, author David Bristow stuck a large touring map of South Africa on his bedroom wall, determined to mark off every road one day.
It was the start of a life-long love affair with the land – indeed, in 40 years of dedicated travelling David has pretty much ‘been there, done that’, visiting almost all of South Africa’s game parks, nature reserves, mountain ranges, beaches, towns and dorps, as well as hiking and biking countless trails.
This book is the accumulated knowledge of all that exploration: the very best (and sometimes the worst) of everything this country has to offer: wildlife, history, geography, art and culture, things to do, places to stay and routes and trails to be discovered by car, bike and on foot …
Anyone who’s ticked off more than a tenth of the 860 entries in this book is, according to the author, qualified to wear the T-shirt.
AFRIKA – DISPATCHES FROM THE OUTSIDE EDGE BY KINGSLEY HOLGATE
Driven by his passion for exploration and a deep love of Africa, intrepid adventurer Kingsley Holgate sets off yet again with his loyal team on a quest to circumnavigate the outside edge of Africa in an epic 64 327- kilometre, 449-day odyssey.
The expedition takes them over mountains, through jungles and across both rivers and deserts, with many a narrow escape and close call. Quick thinking, a wealth of experience and excellent teamwork are all that prevent the vehicles from being overturned whilst grappling with a monster dune, swallowed by a rising tide or swept away by a relentless current.
Not only do they embark upon an immense geographical challenge but also tackle malaria in a humanitarian struggle against this killer disease. Their One Net One Life campaign sees the expedition deliver mosquito nets to mums with children under five as well as mums-to-be. They also distribute spectacles to the poor and promote literacy by donating mobile libraries in rural areas.
Armed with a Zulu calabash filled with Cape-of-Good-Hope seawater and a Scroll of Peace and Goodwill, the team fight, cajole and plead their way across borders and through roadblocks in an inexorable battle with Africa’s red tape. Find a comfortable armchair and share this fantastic journey with Kingsley and his team, feeling humbled and inspired by the efforts of one family to save and improve lives in their beloved Africa.
PATHS TO PUBS– A GUIDE TO HIKES AND PINTS IN THE CAPE PENINSULA BY TONY BURTON
The most detailed coverage yet of the many paths that crisscross the Cape Peninsula, this book describes 72 trails that traverse Table Mountain, the rocky headlands of Cape Point, and the mountains, ridges, beaches and forests of Constantia and the villages that hug the peninsular coastline. Best of all, however, there’s a chapter presenting 33 favoured watering holes where weary hikers can wet their whistles after they have worked up a sweat.
Besides a detailed description, each trail features a concise route summary, contour map, and GPS coordinates for the start and end points. A handy overview presents the distance, duration, difficulty, exposure and gradient of each route; colour photographs and varied fact panels on local flora, fauna, geology and history add lively interest. The carefully selected pubs have been rated according to atmosphere, value and quality of food, and useful icons illustrate where there are views or sports viewing facilities. Mountain safety and emergency rescue advice and tips on hiking gear and what to pack are also included.
This practical guide, written by veteran hiker Tony Burton, is a must-have for novice and experienced hikers as well as casual ramblers. Even teetotallers will not want to be without their copy.
SOUTH AFRICA BY ROAD – A REGIONAL GUIDE BY PAT HOPKINS, WILLIE OLIVIER, DENISE SLABBERT AND JEAN DU PLESSIS
Seasoned travellers know that the journey is half the experience. It is in this spirit that South Africa by Road gives insight into the many national treasures that line our highways and byways – from vibrant cities to charming country towns and one-horse dorps steeped in history.
South Africa by Road: A Regional Guide is more than a mere travel guide; it is a comprehensive handbook to the country. The ultimate companion for any road trip, this book offers sound advice on the best routes, and contains all that holiday-makers need to know when planning their next vacation. Stunning full-colour photographs and an interesting mix of side panels will inspire travellers to take to the tarred and gravel roads of South Africa, and explore the many absorbing nooks and crannies of our extraordinarily diverse country.
Each chapter gives an overview of a region’s climate, flora and fauna, as well as history and heritage, and highlights the most noteworthy places. Ideas for what to do in each location are similarly outlined, as are key activities, routes and trails. From hot-air ballooning to white-water rafting, 4x4 trails to strolls in the countryside, spelunking to visiting museums, and architecture to festivals, there is something for everyone.
Customised full-colour maps in each chapter are marked with game reserves, national parks, nature reserves, hot springs and places of interest, and show toll roads, passes and national, secondary and dirt roads to help you plan your journey.
Excellent value for money, this handy and authoritative guide should be your first purchase in preparation for any journey in and around South Africa. So get your tyres checked and pack the padkos, there is a fascinating country waiting to be explored.
MANDELA – IN CELEBRATION OF A GREAT LIFE BY CHARLENE SMITH
The global response to Nelson Mandela’s death on 5 December 2013 was unprecedented in the history of the world. Even in death, he managed to do the impossible: to inspire grief at his passing as well as joyous celebration of his remarkable life.
In this new edition of Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life – which includes an additional chapter on Mandela’s death and the events that followed – award-winning writer Charlene Smith traces the life of a great statesman and tells how Nelson Mandela repaired the torn heart of a wounded nation.
A successful lawyer, Nelson Mandela sacrificed career, family and freedom to pursue an extravagant ideal: a non-racist, non-sexist future for a nation apparently determined to remain divided. At his release, after almost three decades in jail, he could have pursued narrow interests; instead, he publicly embraced reconciliation and social justice.
Nelson Mandela was determined to free not just black South Africans, but all South Africans, from prejudice. And it was in daring to do the unexpected, in weathering criticism from friends, in reaching out to enemies and in acknowledging the most humble that his greatness was revealed.
CAPE TOWN A–Z BY SEAN FRASER
Cape Town A-Z by Sean Fraser is an indispensable, user-friendly guide to the Mother City, featuring: detailed Cape Peninsula and City Bowl locator maps; a comprehensive alphabetical listing of all the city has to offer, from natural attractions to cultural institutions, architecture, fine wining and dining, nightlife, shopping, markets, festivals, galleries and more; contact details and opening times; star-rated entries that enable the visitor to prioritise activities based on time available; and a category index to cater for interests, preferences, company, weather or mood.
CAPE TOWN UP CLOSE & PERSONAL BY MIA FEINSTEIN
After several years of absence, photographer Mia Feinstein returns to South Africa to rediscover the place of her birth – Cape Town.
The lens of this talented young artist frames a photographic tour de force: hidden angles surprise, little-noticed features delight and old favourites assume new contexts.
From a selection of glorious bird’s-eye views to lively street scenes and close-up portraits, her camera reveals a Cape Town few have seen and even fewer have stopped to admire, making Cape Town Up Close & Personal a richly textured tribute to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
WEEKENDS AWAY IN AND AROUND GAUTENG BY DIANE COETZER
Tired of spending your weekends mooching around the mall, fighting for your patch of green in an urban park, or slouching on the couch watching DVDs? Well then, pack your bags, grab your kids and take the first highway out of town.
Gauteng, the country’s smallest province, is the ideal gateway to a staggering variety of weekend destinations. You can stay within its borders, or easily access neighbouring Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo or Free State.
Packed with information highlighting the attractions of 147 getaways, Weekends Away In and Around Gauteng is the perfect companion for families, starry-eyed lovers, anglers, adventure seekers, spa fans, game viewers and history buffs. Plush country hotels, intimate guesthouses, rugged mountain retreats, serene spa lodges, wildlife sanctuaries, fishing estates, and cosy self-catering cottages beckon.
The entries are conveniently organised by travel time from the landmark Nelson Mandela Bridge in Jozi, and the maximum car ride is about four hours.
BEYOND THE VICTORIA FALLS – FORAYS INTO ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE, BOTSWANA AND NAMIBIA BY GILL STADEN
The sheer enormity and power of the Victoria Falls never fails to humble its visitors. Adventure junkies flock here for the thrills the mighty Zambezi River offers, while others are content to marvel at the unrivalled geographical wonder of the place. Although this curtain of water is the major attraction of the area, there is much more to enjoy in the vicinity.
The Victoria Falls region is a convenient hub from which to explore a network of 19 spectacular national parks and reserves in the four countries that meet in this particular corner of Africa. The featured wilderness areas in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia do not only provide a haven for wildlife but also protect some of the world’s most endangered birds and a unique wetlands system vital for their survival.
Beyond the Victoria Falls – Forays into Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia provides an overview of each country as well as thorough descriptions of the parks, including information on how to get there, their geography, vegetation, fauna, flora, activities and accommodation. The border towns of Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Kasane and Katima Mulilo are also discussed in detail.
Key points regarding road, air and train travel between and within the parks as well as useful advice on climate, visas and border crossings, currency, culture, and health and safety are given. Tailor-made park maps are complemented by GPS coordinates and useful contact details.
Written by a Livingstone local who is closely acquainted with the region, this book is packed with essential travel advice, making it the perfect companion for anyone venturing into this unspoilt part of Africa.