Tag Archives: Transkei

Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa – Perfect Family Holiday Spot

I recently went on a very special family holiday to Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa on the Wild Coast of Transkei. The Transkei is one of my favourite places in our gorgeous country. It’s untouched paradise on our doorstep – screw Mauritius, hit Transkei, baby – it’s far more real (okay I wouldn’t say no to Mauritius, but you know what I’m saying).

Umngazi really is the perfect family resort and provides the easiest, most comfortable family holiday I have ever experienced. The kids have an absolute blast, with organised activities every day…bug-hunting, beach snail feeding, crab-hunting, fishing competitions, marshmallow braais etc. etc. absolutely divine. Nannies are also available to look after the kids while the adults sip cocktails at the poolside. It’s just decadent. It’s not my usual kind of holiday, but for the kind of family time we were needing, it was just perfect.

Us grown-ups also have plenty to keep us busy. Every morning is an organised walk or hike. I did the Sugar Loaf hike one morning, which is a walk along the hills on the coastline, with the most magnificent scenery. We did some whale-watching along the way from the cliff-edges – it was just breath-taking!

Gillies are around for hire and will help you organise a boat and bait and take you to the best fishing spots.

The sunset cruise is also a must – Kevin the skipper is a pro at attracting the fish eagles to swoop down and catch some fish and will also entertain you with his ‘fat mama’ dance…was a good giggle ­čÖé

All meals are included as well, with the amount of food at each meal phenomenal. If you enjoy fresh seafood, Seafood Saturday will have you at your knees – platters and platters of crayfish, prawns, mussels, calamari…ridiculous! There were vegetarian options, but they’re not the best. I may just be fussy in terms of the kind of food that I enjoy, but the vegetarian meals did not seem too thought out in terms of health and nutrition…if you want to see the rant (take it with a pinch of salt), see it here.

All in all it was an absolutely phenomenal holiday with the family and I’d recommend it to anyone needing┬á to take some time out in luxury. If you want to rough it a little bit, check out Swell Tours Guest Lodge – a bit of rough and rural paradise in the Transkei.

Spoilt, spoilt, spoilt, I heart South Africa.


Ashtanga Yoga – Photos

I recently started Ashtanga Yoga classes, based on the constant yoga buzz in my ear from @ClareMelina, resident yogi ‘green city gal’ (you can check out her blog,┬á Beauty in Balance).

I must say, every Ashtanga Yogi will give you the whole speech on how they can’t live without it, and yoga is their life, and will give you a long lecture about a constant love-hate relationship that they have with yoga. Let me tell you now that it is all true. The amazing changes that it starts to make to your mind and body are very unexpected, even though you are told to expect it.

I had a bit of a wobble in my practice (after I did the 6 week beginners course at Ekam Yoga) due to my recent operation, but will definitely get back to it as soon as I can.

There will be more yoga posts to come once I am able to get back into it, I am sure, but the point of this post is to share the yoga photos I took of Clare in the Transkei. I claim that the beauty of the shots has nothing to do with me, but rather the remarkable setting that we were in and the Bionic Woman strength of the yoga model.


Transkei, South Africa – Peace

A few of the crazies and I took the recent very conveniently placed holidays to take a real break from, well, everything we know, and packed up and headed off into the deep Transkei.


As South Africans, we are always itching to dash off overseas for a holiday when we actually have such amazingly beautiful places right here in our own country. All we need to do is rough it up a bit, go off the beaten track and we will find places like this for a ridiculous fraction of the price of an overseas holiday.

Okay, this one was quite FAR off the beaten track, I won’t lie about that, but the treacherous bends and a few encounters with near-death on the mountainside gravel dongas (I’d like to call them roads, but that would be lying), was well worth it.

Absolute untouched, unspoilt, rural beauty.

We stayed at Swell Tours Guest Lodge, a modest and rustic “lodge” on the north side of the Mdumbi river. We lived amongst the locals, minutes away from the untouched beach, with the locals helping us out wherever they could.I would highly recommend this place if you are interested in this kind of holiday – the owners are unbelievably supportive of their neighbours and in return very well respected in the area as well. It was just so easy and quite perfect, really.

The Xhosa people are so friendly and accomodating and I was quite touched by how happy they were with the little that they had. Well, depending on how you look at it, they are probably the ones who have so much and we are the ones that have very little. Humbling.

Life in the fast lane came to a grinding halt and we were very quickly forced to slow down, relax and feast on prawns, crayfish and oysters for next to nothing. Oh, and take a slow stroll down to the beach every now and then. If you’re into more than that, there are plenty of activities like surfing (the lodge is actually a surf lodge), kayaking, hiking, shebeen tours, horse-riding (although you may have to catch your own horse – true story), etc.

All in all, a truly memorable holiday that I hope you will also get to experience in your lifetime.

Support our country – there is so much untouched beauty here – you never know how long it will last.

Find your peace…