Monthly Archives: July 2012

Kentucky – The Horse Capital of the World


A statue of Man-o-War at KHP. One of the best race horses ever

It is the month of the Durban July. People go to horse races for various reasons. Some go for the hats or the dresses. Others go for the parties and the atmosphere. Most, like me, go because they love horses.Whilst the Durban July is arguably South Africa’s premier horse racing event, transforming Durban during the first weekend of July into horse central in South Africa, true horse loving heaven is to be found further afield in the American state Kentucky.

Never in my life have I thought I’d see people that love horses more than I do, but in Kentucky I finally met my match. If people are willing to build bigger, more extravagant horse barns than their own homes, you know they like horses. Flying into Kentucky and seeing the stables and fields on the ground far below, I knew I was in good company.

Kentucky thrives on horseracing. It’s the heartbeat of the state and even real city dwellers who may not  know the first thing about horses will leave strangely fulfilled. I landed in Lexington, the home of Keeneland Racecourse—where the Blue Grass Stakes, one of America’s best known preparatory races for the Kentucky Derby is held annually. The Blue Grass Stakes is a R7,5 million race, compared to the Durban July which is a R2,5 million race. The Kentucky Derby is held at the famous Churchill Downs racecourse,  in Louisville and this race has a first prize of around R14,5 million. Continue reading

Categories: USA Travels | 1 Comment

Bastille Day in Franschhoek

The French flag is everywhere and side walk cafe feel of Paris is enhanced

The French flag is everywhere and side walk cafe feel of Paris is enhanced

There is a small little town in the Western Cape that  is famous for being the French district in South Africa—Fransschhoek.

Therefore it is just natural that on 14 July, Bastille Day in France, this little town becomes buzzing  and busting at the seams with not only people from all over the country but also activities, including wine-tasting and typical French games, like boules and the barrel competition.

I didn’t have a glue what to expect when deciding to go, but I honestly did not expect to find the little version of France, Franschhoek transformed itself into for the weekend. Painting itself literally red, white and blue—the French flag flying all over.

Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, or as the French know it, La Fête Nationale, commemorating the 1790 Fête de la Fédédation, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789. A symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, during the French Revolution. Continue reading

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5 fun things to do while in Durban

Published on GoTravel24’s website, 26 June 2012

The 1940’s ship wreck replica which hosts the Cargo Hold Restaurant

The 1940’s ship wreck replica which hosts the Cargo Hold Restaurant

There is a place in South Africa where even the cold fronts turn out to be not that cold. Durban is the quintessential holiday city, warm in summer and lovely in winter, in short the perfect place for a holiday.Known for its remarkable beaches and Indian food it’s a city that has so much to offer the visitor who is open to new memories. Here’s a few of my favourite Durban discoveries. Continue reading

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The Bush in the back yard

Published in Sunday Times Travel, 1 July 2012

Main Gate to Dinokeng

Main Gate to Dinokeng

Real bushveld is something you will only find in South Africa. A place where the scrub is so thick you can’t see the lion stretching out in the shade of an Acacia tree. A place where the heat is emphasised by the squealing of sunbeetles at midday.

Recessions are not for sissies and we’re all affected in some way or another by the current economic situation in the world, even if it’s only our wallets being a little lighter than we’re used to.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Gauteng`s newest precious gem , only 60 minutes from Johannesburg,  the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

Since I was a little I was crazy about the Kruger National Park and jumped at every chance I got to visit the bushveld. Lately the Kruger is fully booked for weeks or months in advance.  Trying to find accommodation in the Kruger during holiday season is about as rare as a lion-kill in the middle of the main road. Continue reading

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