Quick trips to destinations on personal ‘bucket lists’ are finding strong appeal among travellers around the globe.
Time-poor tourists are spending three to five days at destinations to complete their personal journeys instead of longer ‘trips of a lifetime’.
On a recent visit to South Africa, the national tourism body created 11, two and three- day trips based around The Western Cape Province, Cape Town and the Gauteng Province, which includes Johannesburg, with participants including a group of sometimes hard to please Australian travel writers who collectively gave all the tours the thumbs up.
One of the highlights of the Australian Travel Writers Convention in Cape Town was a visit by a group of gorgeous underprivileged kids from the Tinmugs Africa Trust. They had so much fun entertaining the group which raised a substantial sum to improve their living conditions.
In Cape Town you do the usual things – the impressive gondola trip to the top of Table Mountain, journey to Camps Bay and around to the Cape of Good Hope, an exciting sunset cruise and a compulsory dining and shopping excursion to the V & A Waterfront (Victoria and Alfred).
The itineraries on offer included Hermanus for whale watching, Stellenbosch for wine tasting and some of the more un-travelled areas of South Africa as outlined in the sample itineraries linked below.
Four of us opted for the Cape West Coast experience. The countryside stretches from Darling in the south to Bitterfontein in the north and comprise 44 small towns along the south-western coast of South Africa.
Between mid-August/September, flowers carpet the landscape in a kaleidoscope of colours. Life in this area is very community and family-based; re- telling tales from generations of fishing families dancing the Riel, and eating braaing askoek (grilled bread and ash cake) on the fire. Hospitality here was outstanding, from our first lunch at Mama Cucina in Riebeek Kasteel, to afternoon beer tasting at the Flagship Brewery to an overnight at the Merry Widow Retreat in Hopefield.
The next day we visited Simply Bee, a family owned brand with a range of wax, honey and propolis products formulated to care for your body and home. The Geelbek Restaurant in the West Coast National Park was brimming with patrons both outside and inside (it was a warm and sunny Saturday) to sample the traditional West Coast fare. Up early next day for a transfer to Cape Town and onto Jo’burg to tour Soweto and the museums and also take in the shopping at the ever popular Mandela Square.
Written by: John Savage