6 of the best copy

Throughout our travels, we’ve come across so many unique experiences we thought it fitting to share them with you.

In Cape Town, you could easily get caught up with the iconic attractions, and rightly so, but take a minute to get side-tracked and you’ll be amazed what you will find off-the-beaten track. A big highlight for us, has to be the Harvest of Hope Tour. Visit this project and be inspired by how by doing a little can change the lives of many.

The Harvest of Hope Company, sourced: www.harvestofhope.co.za

Harvest of Hope is a company that was established in 1982 by Abalimi Bezekhaya. It is a 100% social, ethical and carbon neutral business. The business entails community farmers who are cultivating tiny bits of land in townships to supply world class, non-toxic, fresh seasonal produce to the open market weekly – and all profits are ploughed back into Farmer Support and Development. A tour provides the opportunity to meet the farmers.

Visit www.harvestofhope.co.za for more information or watch the video, click here.

Staying within the same vein of thought – the Old Biscuit Mill is also worth the detour. Located in the heart of Cape Town’s Woodstock, this architectural masterpiece used to be a biscuit mill (no surprises there), but had not been in use for a really long time. A few years ago, the mill was transformed and now houses market stalls and cafés, designer stores along with vibrant office and workshops. It is a space where talented, creative people get together to showcase their talents. Over weekends you can enjoy the Neighbourgoods Market with over 100 speciality traders, fine-food vendors, organic merchants, artisan goods, gourmet products, local farmers (plants, herbs and fresh produce), as well as locally produced boutique wines. And on Sundays they host the Vintage Fair. The lively atmosphere and various gift options at the designer shops, makes the Old Biscuit Mill representative of inspired and cultural place that is Cape Town.

Much further abroad, in Kenya, most visitors only view the wildlife on game drives, while briefly interacting with the Masaai culture. But in Kenya they have amazing markets too. The Nairobi Masai Markets showcase products of over 300 vendors (not of the Masaai only) and give visitors the chance to buy a variety of curios, like beautifully carved wooden sculptures, beaded necklaces, batik wall hangings, shoes, soap stone carvings, sisal bags, kikois, textiles and other Kenyan products. All items are locally produced and the range is remarkable. These markets are held on Fridays on the upper car park, Westgate shopping centre, Westlands.

Also, take the time to pause for a cup of tea at the Kiambethu Tea Farm. Located only 40km from Nairobi, Kiambethu at Limuru is where the first tea was planted for commercial purposes in Kenya. AB McDonell was the man who decided to do so, and after trying various seeds, he found a seed from India which thrived at Limuru’s altitude. A visit to Kiambethu will give you insight into a piece of Kenyan history, where one man’s idea started a whole new industry of tea farming. Tours on the farm will also give you a good idea of how tea goes from the bush to the cup. After the educational tour, you can stroll in the tranquil field and then enjoy lunch with your now more meaningful cup of tea.

And of course Africa is not only about its food and its people, but spectacular natural setting and abundance in wildlife are probably the main attractions. Zimbabwe used to be a gem in this regard, but so many opportunities to share in its natural beauty have been missed over the past few years, mainly due to its political turmoil. But now is the time to explore its magnificent landscapes, and a definite must are the Mana Pools Wildlife conservation area. The Mana Pools refer to the four pools that are formed by the meandering of the Zambezi River. Naturally a gathering of life happens at these pools, with bird-life, hippopotami, crocodiles, as well as elephant and buffalo.

And if you are not satisfied with merely admiring the Zambezi from its river banks, you cannot miss out on the ‘wild ride’ down its highly rated rapids. If you are the adventurous type, this is the activity for you. These rapids are graded a five, and grade six rapids are considered impossible to raft on – so prepare yourself for “extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, steep gradients, big drops and pressure areas” (according to the British Canoe Union). Not for the faint-hearted then, but an experience of a life-time!

Travelling through Africa provides the opportunity for so many life-changing experiences. As you travel, be sure to keep an open mind and take in every moment – give new experiences a chance and you are sure to accumulate your own highlights of destinations. But these ones are guaranteed to give you a good head-start.


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