All posts filed under: Travel

For the love of Toyota

WE’RE ALL SET for our annual camping holiday and in the midst of it all, our trusty Toyota Prado circa 2000, perhaps in a covertly defiant act of consolidation with Toyota’s workers, has decided to give up the ghost. It hasn’t entirely broken down, but personally, the air-conditioning suddenly only working on number four-speed and sounding like a tractor is tantamount to giving up the ghost. We are in the midst of a Queensland summer, after all. We have a rich history with our workhorse. It has endured the craters of Fraser Island tracks, several camping trips to remote areas of Moreton Island and Stradbroke Islands, a few family road trips to Sydney and more. It has also pulled lantana out of our creek, bears the scars of my then three-year-old daughter’s artistic swirls with a disco ball on the tinted windows. It has been hailed upon, scratched by overhanging trees, dodged kangaroos … and all the while, its air-conditioning has soldiered on, giving us a reprieve on those long, hot trips. The good news …

Patrick Siebel

‘Off the Cuff’ with Luxury Africa’s Patrick Siebel

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Fancy an extravagant and indulgent African adventure? Luxury Africa takes a sumptuous slant on ‘going bush’ with its bespoke, high-end service and insider knowledge of the top safari spots in Africa. Owner, Patrick Siebel chatted to JN. My secret pleasure is … Driving a really fast & responsive car on a twisty but scenic mountain pass. My first job was … Church Administrator at Glenridge Church International. My most annoying habits are … Being pedantic about how things should look or are how they should be executed. A clear childhood memory is … Skiing down a run on my own, straight up to a restaurant where I ordered something to eat. Davos, Switzerland – aged 4. What makes me really nervous is … My kids being in a situation where they are not able to stand up for themselves. The best advice my parents gave me was … You need to be able to sit on the side of the road with a beggar, yet just as effortlessly be able to have …

KwaZulu-Natal – lots to love!

No matter how long I have lived away from South Africa, my love for the country never wanes. While our recent trip was limited to four weeks in KwaZulu-Natal, there was enough to feed the soul … until next time. I love … · Samoosas – piled high at the Karkloof Farmer’s Market … definitely worth returning for · A R15 Nino’s breakfast in Durbs if you’re seated by 9am … the screech of tyres as would-be patrons frantically try and make the early bird deadline · renegade zebras rubbing their rumps on lamp posts and walls at a Howick Lifestyle Village · the creativity of Moyo – the African fusion restaurant on Durban’s Ushaka Pier · Hot Horlicks on the menu and thatched roof at Piggly Wiggly on the Midland’s Meander · Colourful grasshopper on Mount Currie · The KZN countryside · Oupa Hans’ pickled Peppadews · Tsonga Handmade Farm – near the rural village of Lidgetton, where 160 women gather daily to create shoes, handbags and other accessories · Local craftsman, Calson Mangeni, …

Travels with my son

Thomas and I are incredulous. And it’s not because we are soaked through our clothes, from the spray of Victoria Falls. No, we are gobsmacked because we have just seen our first fifty trillion dollar note. We are standing outside the Zambezi Blues River Cafe, a shady haven of a restaurant in the small town of Victoria Falls, having just strolled up into town from the falls. A very charming man is asking for R100 in exchange for a large wad of Zimbabwean dollar notes. In his substantial pile are a couple of fifty trillion dollar notes, a few for five hundred million dollars and some for two hundred thousand dollars. My favourite is the pretty purple note for fifty million dollars. ”Will this money buy us a coke and a hamburger at the Wimpy?” I ask the man, thinking it’s worth a hundred bucks just to be able to touch such large denominations. ”Of course,” says Mr Charming and the deal is done. ”Here Tom, have fifty trillion dollars,” I say nonchalantly, tossing him …

Have you caught the ‘grey and yellow’ recently?

“You use the train?” she asked me, looking down her nose through her readers. Amassing me with the ‘them’ who relied on the grey and yellow carriages in the Cape Peninsular. I love the train, the carrier of personal worlds and private realities.  I remember my first trip, the first time I engaged, not as a tourist going to Simonstown, but as a commuter.  I’d moved offices and decided if I expected my staff to use the train, then I should too. So I boarded at Claremont station one sunny afternoon.  At my naïve best, I didn’t realize the class split by carriage between first and third class.  In the first five minutes, two rather dodgy looking teenagers were engaged in argy bargy that was accelerating beyond using their elbows. The fierce interruption by an elderly ‘tannie’ (auntie) further down the carriage, pried the one youngster away with her eyes to a seat safely beyond ‘punching distance’.  At the next station, I changed carriages only to find myself sitting opposite two prolifically and amateurly tattooed …

Exotic Quirimbas Archipelago, Northern Mozambique

Sue Segar, recently travelled to the remote and exotic Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique. What do Daniel Craig, David Rothschild and Tokyo Sexwale have in common? Well, one thing, I gathered on a recent trip, is that they have all discovered Mozambique. In particular, they have been captivated by the remote Quirimbas Archipelago, a vast chain of 32 offshore coral islands which runs for some 250 km along the country’s northern coastline. In fact, so captivated is our new Human Settlements minister that he recently bought his own island, called Quilalea, in this relatively little-known paradise. Till recently, the small island of Quilalea boasted the most expensive luxury resort in Mozambique, but Tokyo, who reportedly bought it for $20 million, will keep it for the private use of his family and friends. Flying over the islands in a small plane recently, it was easy to see why this compelling archipelago is increasingly being described as the ”New Maldives”. And why the Rothschilds bring their friends and have invested hugely in the area. It explained why …

Goodwill visit to Central Africa

Sue Segar spent a week traveling with senior members of the South African National Defence Force on the annual goodwill visit to soldiers deployed in the Central African Republic, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. We exit the airport building and walk into smouldering heat and a throng of beggars carrying dangly-legged beggars on their backs. We are told to keep walking and not to engage. Go straight to the vehicle, we do not want any diplomatic incidents says the general in charge. We know that we can be glad we have come through the diplomatic entrance – people have been known to part with hundreds of dollars just to make it through the crooked bureacracy from airplane to taxi. Welcome to Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Leopoldville, once nicknamed ”Kin la Belle” (Kinshasa The Beautiful), and now known as ”Kin la Poubelle” (Kinshasa the dustbin.) Whatever you do, do not take any photographs of airports, soldiers, policemen. And, if you think the Parisiens are hostile and unfriendly, try the …