Planning a Trip to Cape Town? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

If you look at South Africa’s coastline, you will notice that among all the destinations, Cape Town is by far the most popular. It offers an array of breathtaking views and various options for thrill-seekers.

Of course, before you go on a vacation, you want to cover the basics and learn something about the destination you’re visiting. If you’re a planner, you can even create a day-to-day schedule filled with things to do in Cape Town.

We created a list of the most important things you should know before you get on a plane headed to Cape Town.

Safety First!

Unfortunately, the most frequent question people ask is this — is Cape Town safe for tourists? South Africa is a country in development, and like any other country, it has some problems related to crime. Naturally, you want your vacation to be a careless experience, where you don’t have to be on alert all the time.

So, here are a few tips to stay safe in Cape Town — always be aware of your possessions, don’t wear expensive jewelry, don’t carry too much money with you, and keep it in your pockets, not in your purse. Your mobile phone should be in your pocket as well, not in your hand.

Moreover, you should always be aware of your location, and you should stay in a group, don’t get separated from your friends.

Take Advantage of the City Tours

If you’re not planning on staying in Cape Town for a long time, you should definitely take a city tour. Travel agencies in Cape Town offer relatively quick but detailed tours of the city’s most important sites. You can go on foot, by bus or boat.

These tours have guides in over 10 languages, which will make it easier for you to fully enjoy the amazing views of Cape Town.

Rent a Car

If you want to visit parts of Cape Town that aren’t that close, or you want to go outside the city, you should definitely rent a car. You can find affordable agencies that will even give you some advice on where to go and what to do.

Remember though, cars in Cape Town drive on the left side of the road. South Africa was a British colony, and some things have been adopted from British culture as a result.

Wear Comfortable Footwear

There is no doubt that the best way to visit any city, including Cape Town is on foot! Luckily, most of Cape Town’s attractions aren’t that far from one another and are reachable on foot. However, keep in mind that most streets in CT go uphill, so be prepared for some physical exercise, and wear comfortable shoes.

Braai Is a Must

Roughly translated, braai is the South African take on barbecue. They happen in backyards, with a lot of people all singing and drinking. You can come with your friends, and experience the South African culture in the best possible way.

Things to Do When You Visit Cape Town

If you’re dreaming of a perfect vacation that will be relaxing and exciting at the same time, South Africa has a perfect spot for you. Skip all those popular holiday destinations and head straight to Cape Town, one of the three South African capitals.

The city will leave you breathless no matter what type of holiday you prefer. It has plenty to offer to beach and mountain fans, gourmets and wine lovers, as well as urban travelers who just want to have some fun. To learn more about the must-see spots in Cape Town, stay tuned!

Conquer Table Mountain

If you are up for some hiking, Table Mountain will be waiting for you. However, in case you don’t like combining your vacation with physical activity of any kind, there’s a cable car that can take you straight to the top.

Whichever way you prefer, make sure to get there, as the view is jaw-dropping. Just remember to buy the tickets online — the line can be pretty long.

Witness the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Merge at Cape of Good Hope

Choose one day to rent a car and go visit the Cape of Good Hope — a rocky peninsula that is believed to be the southernmost tip of Africa and the place where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic become one. Although modern geographers have confirmed that the southernmost point is another spot called Cape Agulhas, visiting Cape of Good Hope is still worthy of your time.

Go for a Walk with Penguins on Boulders Beach

Most people have seen penguins in various zoos and aquariums, but have you ever had a chance to occupy the same beach with these waiter-like little birds? They won’t be afraid of you or run away as they are used to seeing plenty of tourists on a daily basis. You might even be able to pat them if they happen to be in the mood. If not, get a towel and sunglasses and simply enjoy the presence of these cute creatures while tanning in the sun.

Enjoy Wine Tasting in One of the Vineyards

Cape Town is known for a plethora of vineyards and wine cellars spread around the city’s beautiful landscape. All of them are open to the public and offer wine tasting in their perfectly designed mansions far away from anything else.

Since people have different preferences when it comes to architecture, these wine-tasting estates have been designed in a creative way to stand out from the crowd. Some of them like Stellenbosch Wine Farms are the perfect fit for nature lovers, while travellers who fancy modern venues can look for the ones with luxurious swimming pools.

However, one thing is certain — you can’t go wrong with any of them when it comes to the quality of the wine.

Try Delicious Steaks at V&A Waterfront

South Africa is one of the countries where you’ll try the meat of the finest quality. For the perfect combo, visit the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and sit in any restaurant you find appealing. There, you’ll be able to enjoy the more urban part of the city while tasting mouth-watering steaks and, of course, a glass of wine, again!

Exploring Africa with Kids – What You Need to Know

Exploring Africa with your kids is one of the most exciting adventures you can embark on as a family. Africa is a vast continent rich in culture, languages, food, history, landscapes, and of course, fantastic safari experiences.  Each African country is unique in its way, and regardless of where you go, there will be so much to see and do. As such, it is understandable that you might feel a little overwhelmed as you start planning your safari trip. This is why we have come up with our best tips on what you need to know as you plan your first African safari with kids.

Think of where to go

Africa has over 50 countries, and one of the first things to decide about is where to go. This should be directed mainly by what you are interested in. For the quintessential safari, East Africa’s Kenya and Tanzania, as well as South Africa and Botswana, are sure bets. If you are interested in out of the box adventures such as gorilla trekking, then Rwanda and Uganda are good options. An excellent way to make a decision is to list down all the things you would like to see and do and narrow down the places where they can be done with ease.

Photo of elephants taken during an African Safari trip.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Think of your children’s ages 

While there are no hard rules about the ages of children, those above six years are more likely to enjoy, understand, and appreciate an African Safari. Some lodges will restrict group safaris to children over five years; this should not be an issue if you are doing a private safari.

If you are traveling with young kids, we encourage you to book a private van for your family so that you can have some freedom for yourselves. Using a private vehicle also means that you do not have to adhere to strict game drive schedules which make things a lot easier for kids.

Discuss expectations

After checking all the tips above, the last thing to do is discuss your family’s expectations during the safari. Kids will be better prepared if they know that they will encounter different cultures, food, and environment.  Let them know that they might have to forgo some luxuries, such as Wi-Fi in the jungle. Advise them that wild animals are, well, wild, and they should not provoke them in any way.  During a game drive, it might be a while before anything exciting happens, and to counter boredom carry binoculars, cameras, or animal coloring books.  Finally, remind everybody to keep an open mind and have fun!

Tourist on an African safari filming a Giraffe

Source: Bought from Shutterstock.com

Book family-friendly accommodation

Most African countries will have different types of accommodation, from lodges to tented camps of all budgets. You want to book a camp that caters to families, such as one with family rooms. This can be two or three interconnected rooms so that your kids don’t have to sleep in a different place. A family-friendly lodge is also likely to have childminders, a children’s pool, a playroom with toys and games, and kid-friendly meals. If you are traveling during the Easter holiday or Christmas, such lodges will have many more activities for kids planned. All these will go a long way in making your safari more comfortable.

As the saying goes, “The best way to explore a new place is with the people who were born and raised there.” So, instead of purchasing a predetermined family safari itinerary, work with a tailor-made tour operator such as MasaiMarasafari.in or AjKenyasafaris.com. Their guides were born and raised in Africa, and they will customize your trip to accommodate your family travel plans and budget.

Tourist on a Kenya Safari with MasaiMarasafari.in.

Source: Bought from Shutterstock

Combine several activities

The excitement of being in Africa and coming face to face with the big five, or witnessing the great migration at the Masai Mara National Park can be exhilarating. Unfortunately, the excitement can wear off pretty quickly for kids, and you want to plan for other kinds of things to do. For instance, you can prepare for cultural visits, short hikes, horse riding, swimming and some time at Africa’s beautiful beaches. This will not only break the monotony but also increase your chances of seeing and doing more during your safari.

Plan to carry personal items

When traveling with kids, it is safer to bring some personal items with you rather than planning to buy at your destination. While Africa has big cities with almost anything you could want, most safari destinations are far removed from the cities. You might not get a chance to shop during your transfers from the airport to the parks. We advise that you bring your prescription medicine and items of personal nature. Depending on the weather, carry the appropriate clothing and footwear, and be up to date with the necessary vaccinations. Your travel consultant should be able to advise you appropriately on this.

A Climb to be Cherished – Why Many Love Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of Tanzania’s most sought after landmarks. A marvellous and magnificent mountain that’s surrounded by enchanting rainforest and an array of rock gardens, and topped off with a cap of snow that offers a colourful contrast to its peak. It’s a beautiful sight to behold and one that is held in high esteem for Tanzanians and the rest of the world. There’s no wonder why it is one of the most popular mountains to climb. It offers an exhilarating and exciting adventure to all who embark on the journey of climbing it. So let’s take a look at a few reasons why Kilimanjaro climbing is so loved among many.

So Much To Take In

This mountain also known as the ‘roof of Africa’ will leave you feeling like you’re on cloud nine when you reach its summit. It offers an extensive few of all that surrounds it, as well as being one of the only places a view of the equator is attainable. You don’t have to be short on exceptional imaginary when you’re surrounded by something so glorious. Have a celestial experience while you camp out on the mountain and see an astronomical amount of stars in the sky, fish for the selection of unique fauna and flora; it’s beauty at its best.

Keep Fit While Keeping Fascinated

While your eyes are gazing along the paths of this pleasant mountain and taking in all that there is to behold, you’re also burning a heap of fat. This trek will not only leave you tantalized and maybe a little tired, it will be a tremendous way to keep fit. Climb and cut calories at the same time; this is definitely a factor that drives many to take on the challenge of ascending this mountain.

Attaining an Achievement

Don’t only aim high on these Alps, aim high in your mind. What better way to make yourself feel good than conquering a mountain like this one. It’s no light thing, so once completed it’ll leave you smiling from ear to ear and chuffed about what you’ve accomplished. It takes a significant amount of skill, stamina, and self-motivation, so to overcome the various obstacles and still come out on top is cause for rejoicing. It’s an achievement that doesn’t have to be just be talked about, you’re images captured can boast of it, as well as it being a great accomplishment to jot on your C.V. to impress future employers.

Walk it While it Stands

There’s much controversy over the fact that the glaciers are shrinking from this mountain and that potential by 2030, the glaciers could disappear. It’s a disappointing point, but whether this will be the case or not, the climb is something that you should grab while it lasts. You don’t have to miss out on this marvellous experience, a trip up it can be just around the corner. And even if this mountain stays standing, you want to venture it while you’re still standing and fit a healthy; when ailments and age hinder you it may not be a possibility, so take to it while you can.

Marriage Laws in Nigeria

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Nigeria is a country that is very pluralistic, both ethnically and legally. Essentially, three legal systems exist: the Islamic law, customary law, and English law. And, at times, these laws are conflicting, as someone like Nenadi Esther Usman is well aware of. This is because Nenadi Esther Usman was born Esther Nenadi, a Christian, but married Mr. Usman, a Muslim man. That said, Nigeria, and even the traditional places like the state of Southern Kaduna, accept marriages under each of those law systems as being legal. Sometimes, however, people do choose to have multiple marriage ceremonies, under each of those laws.

English Laws

There are a number of conditions that must be met in order for a marriage to be recognized under English law. As Esther Usan was then the economic and financial minister for Kaduna, and the overarching law is that of English law, she married her husband under these laws. This meant she met the following conditions:

  1. Senator Nenadi Esther and her husband both agreed to be married.
  2. Usman filed his intention to be married to Nenadi Esther, and said notice was entered by the registrar, remaining open for 21 days, after which the marriage certificate was issued. During this 21 day period, anyone is able to object to the marriage. As the former finance minister, Esther Nenadi Usman though some protest may have been made due to the interfaith nature of their wedding and her being from Kaduna, but none were made.

There are a number of issues, or caveats, that may be raised in objection to a marriage. If these caveats are raised, the registrar refers them to the High Court, who hold the ultimate decision.

The celebration of marriage, meanwhile, also has to meet certain rules and regulations, including:

  1. That it is held at an approved location between 8am and 6pm on the presence of at least two witnesses.
  2. That a recognized minister conducts the ceremony.

Customary Law

This is the easiest of all marriage ceremonies in Nigeria. It is one that follows the traditions and customs of a tribe in the country, which means that the rules can vary. However, it usually requires:

  1. The man and woman to agree to be married.
  2. That the woman’s parents have consented.
  3. That the man has paid a dowry.
  4. That the woman is handed over to the man.

If these conditions are met, the marriage is classed as legally valid.

Islamic Law

Finally, there is Islamic law. Under Sharia law, a man is allowed up to four wives, so long as he treats them justly, equally, and fairly. In order for the marriage to be valid:

  1. Both man and woman must agree to be married.
  2. A male member of the woman’s family must consent to the marriage.
  3. The man must provide a dowry worth at least N5000.
  4. At least two witnesses must be present during the ceremony.

In terms of interfaith marriages, this is only permissible if the man is a Muslim and the woman is a “people of the book” (Christian or Jew), which Esther is.

Your Guide To ‘Chale Wote Street Art Festival’ in Ghana

Africa rarely seems to get much of a mention when it comes to Worldwide festivals which is strange considering the range of attractive, strange and lively festivals which are held across the continent. Today we are going to take a look at one of the coolest festivals across Africa, the Chale Wote street art festival which is held in Ghana each year.

If you fancy heading to an altogether different kind of street art festival then you don’t need to go to New York or London, this year you should be heading to Ghana.

Where it is Held

This brilliant modern festival is held each year in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Previously held in September, the festival is now hosted on the last weekend of August. The festival can be seen throughout the city streets and many community centers and public forums are opened up to celebrate the festival.

What is it All About?

The festival was put in place in order to create an exchange between local and international artists where they could all gather in one place to hold a festival of music, dance and of course, street art. The festival attracts street artists from all over the World who look to exchange ideas and concepts with local African artists.

The festival is a blending of international styles which seek to promote art in Africa and to promote African art and culture worldwide. The festival is still in its youth after having just five festivals but already the event is gaining mass popularity and each year has seen more artists join the movement and more visitors arriving to enjoy the show.

What to Expect?

If you plan on heading to the 2017 event then you can expect to say bright, colorful and conceptual street art, music, dance, spoken word, interactive installations, fashion shows and street parties. Each year has a theme, this year’s has not yet been chosen but the past themes have been as follows:

2012 – Outer-space exploration

2013 – Re-imagination of African folklore

2014 – Death: An eternal dream into limitless rebirth

2015 – African electronics

2016 – Spirit robot

The festival always seeks to push the boundaries of a wide-variety of concepts and styles and for this reason it has become so attractive to artists from around the World.

Quite honestly, you should expect a 6 day festival of all things positive colorful and well, African. There is constant music, constant partying, colors surround you wherever you go and the locals embrace all who come from afar to their city.

You should dispel any illusions that you have about Africa when you think about Accra, this is an exciting, modern and ‘happening’ corner of the World, never mind Africa and if you want to truly experience the best of this continent’s culture and style then you should be heading to Accra this year to enjoy the brilliant Chale Wote street art festival.