Just a six hour drive from Johannesburg, Durban is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa, and with good reason. Most people visit for the warm, Indian Ocean beaches and laid back vibe, but there’s so much more to the city. With tons of activities, great shopping, endless entertainment, and an exciting food scene, Durban has it all. You have four basic options for getting there: driving, flying, taking a bus, or taking a train.
When we saw a special from ITT for a guided tour of Morocco, our curiosity was peaked. Neither of us had been on a guided holiday before, usually preferring to find our way through foreign lands independently, but decided to give it a go, hoping to benefit from the knowledge of local guides. While it had some pros, after this trip we decided that organised travel isn’t for us, and we’ve shared some of our thoughts below.
After reading tales from a thousand and one nights, images immediately spring to mind of vibrant colours and exotic flavours, vast deserts and bustling town squares, towering minarets with echoing calls to prayer, and above all, a deep-seated mystery that’s just waiting to be solved. Although Marrakesh is in North Africa and not the Middle East, its Arab influence over the years gives it an undeniably Arabian atmosphere, and this is the city that reeks of magic more than any other. It is the gateway to the Sahara, home to the incomparable Djemaa El Fna Square, and a city that everyone should visit at some point in their lives.
If you’re into history and old-world charm, Fez is the place for you. The old city or Medina, is the oldest, intact, medieval town in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most of the things we enjoyed were in the medina itself, but see below for our list of experiences and sights to enjoy when you visit.
If you’re travelling between Rabat and Fes, Meknes and Volubilis are great pit-stops on your journey. Meknes is one of Morocco’s Imperial Cities, surrounded by 40km of defensive walls and grand gateways, and makes for an interesting detour.
Rabat is the capital of Morocco, and lies along the Atlantic coast. It doesn’t often come up on most peoples’ Moroccan itinerary, and after visiting we can see why. Compared to other cities, Rabat is hardly memorable. However, we visited as part of our guided tour and did see some things of interest.
Casablanca is a bustling port city in Morocco, and the most cosmopolitan as well. Often mistakenly believed to be the country’s capital, it’s actually only the economic centre. While it doesn’t have the historic landmarks and vibe of other imperial cities, and doesn’t have many tourist attractions, it is not without value. See below for the top things to do when you visit.
Famous for its eponymous diamond, the historic town of Cullinan is a delight to explore. Just 30km out of Pretoria, it is easily accessible from Pretoria or Johannesburg. While it makes a great day out, there is enough to do in town to turn your visit into a weekend getaway.
While transportation technology has come a long way since the inception of steam trains in the 1800s, there’s something romantic about stepping on board that transports you to another era. Reefsteamers and Friends of the Rail, host frequent train trips to various destinations, such as Magaliesburg, Cullinan, Heidelburg, and Irene. Check their websites for more information regarding routes, timetables, and prices.
We opted to join Friends of the Rail on a daytrip to Cullinan,
We embarked on a week-long cruise from New Orleans on the Carnival Dream, bound for the Caribbean during the December holidays. The itinerary included two days at sea, along with a day each at Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay, Belize City, and Cozumel. We were three couples travelling together on a family trip, and overall, we all loved the experience.