A country straddling two diverse continents, struggling to define its identity for centuries, steeped in history, and blessed with otherworldly landscapes certainly makes for an intriguing voyage. Torn between its oriental and occidental cultures, it is a continually shifting civilisation, which has played pivotal roles in many of history’s most critical events. After dreaming about this destination for years, we finally had the opportunity to visit, and before we had even left, we were already mentally planning our next trip to this wonderful country.
With miles of beautiful coastlines, there are tons of accommodation options to suit any travel style and budget. This list is by no means extensive, and we’ve chosen to share some of the places we’ve sampled over the last couple of years to give an idea of what’s available.
In general, self-catering or hotel apartments tend to be more spacious and better suited to families travelling together, as hotel rooms lack a communal space to congregate in. If staying in Durban Central or Umhlanga, hotel rooms are convenient and often cheaper than booking apartments for people without a Timeshare, and with all the food options around, you don’t really need the kitchen. However, the halaal options in areas like Ballito and Margate are quite limited, and in these areas it is recommended to opt for an apartment as you will likely be cooking or heating up food you’ve brought with.
While the halaal scene in Joburg is comprised of mostly chain restaurants and pop-ups, Durban is full to the bursting with halaal options, and we struggle to eat our way through the city at every visit. With new options springing up all the time, there’s always something new to try, and we’re always left wanting more. Note that since things change so fast in this space, it’s always a good idea to confirm halaal status before you go by calling or checking websites of local authorities, such as SANHA, ICSA, NIHT, or MJC.
You can fill your day with tons of activities, or laze around on the beach all day, and both will be equally satisfying. Some of the most popular things to do are mentioned below.
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.