Welcome to #ExploremotherlandAfrica. We aim to provide the ultimate tool for exploring Africa. A listing of all service providers in each region. We will feature hosts, volunteer programmes, tour operators, accommodation and restaurant listings.
Each service provider will be evaluated prior to publishing to ensure travellers top level experiences on their journey to #ExploreMotherlandAfrica.
We welcome reviews from travellers as well. All service providers, please provide details and links in the form below.
Travellers tell us about your experiences and recommendation
Travelling is not about the destination. It is about the journey. There are much quicker ways to get from one point to the next, yet train travels at a slow pace phases out the daily life hustle and bustle rush hour chaotic streams.
It is the ideal escape getaway, savouring moments on the pathway reaching the desired destination.
Trains are a differing dimension, gradual travel embracing experience realms of the beyond.
Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam with Rovos Rail
The epic journey takes a full fourteen days. The pride of Africa trip passes through Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe before reaching Tanzania.
A chance to experience diamond towns, historic villages, game reserves as well as Victoria Falls.
The high point is Great Rift Valley where there are dramatic viaducts, switchbacks and tunnels. There is also a twenty-eight day Cape to Cairo journey every two years.
South Africa – Blue Train Journey
The Blue train in South Africa is the most famous and has been dubbed as a 5-star hotel on wheels.
The meals, wine, accommodation with scenery along the 994-mile journey leaves from Pretoria taking off to the motherland of Cape Town takes about twenty-seven hours. This comes with stopovers.
There is also a trip from Pretoria to Durban at certain times during the year. This train journey with exclusive silk lines and bathroom gold fittings, cuisines by top chefs and nature scenes from the window is the ultimate experience in Africa
Namibia’s Desert Express
The Desert Express is a train for tourists between Windhoek and Swakopmund as well as Walvis Bay. There are excursions to the Etosha National Park. The elegant dining room is well equipped and conference facilities are on offer as well.The Desert Express in convenient modern and beats the desert heat.
Nairobi’s Jambo Kenya Deluxe
The Jambo Kenya Deluxe is a route between Nairobi and Mombasa. The overnight leisure trip from city to coast, savannah giraffes, zebras and ostriches are spotted while savouring gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Comfortable sleeping berths epitomizes the deluxe of the journey
Tanzania to Zambia with TAZARA
The Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA): Kilimanjaro and Mukuba express are passenger trains operating on TAZARA. It runs for 1860km between Dar Es Salaam and Zambia
Running a few times each week, the journey takes approximately two days and nights. This is for intrepid travellers with little concern for luxury or punctuality. The spectacular scenery makes up for delays and service
Tunisia’s ‘Lezade Rouge’
This antique ‘Lezade Rouge’ tourist train, runs daily into Atlas mountains foothills in the south of Tunisia.It passes through mining countries on the route from Metlaoui to Redeyef with periodic views. The journey is an hour long in each direction
South Africa’s Shosholoza Meyl
An alternative for budget travellers Shosoloza offers intercity journeys between Johannesburg and each major city. The pleasant journey takes the exact same route as luxury trains and costs less than $100. The trains are not elegant but comfortable and save flight hassles between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Travel overnight between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Rail features the classic 1950s-era British coaches with interiors of wooden panels. Elephants and baboons wander around in great sightings
Mauritania’s Train du Desert
Mysterious Mauritiana unravels in a 2 story passenger carriage, Train du Desert.Guest spend time at excursion spots like Chinguetti , the holy city the Azougui oasis, Ben Amira rock monolith.
How would anyone define a Cape Town meal? Malay chicken curry? ‘Smaaklik’ potjiekos? Mouthwatering Chakalaka?
Cape Town offers all these meals and a whole lot more. A rich culinary history that delights palates.
The cooking inspiration of our fair mother city Cape town comes from way back in time. The Dutch arrival; in 1652 on the shores added to diversity with farming expertise, harvesting succulent crops and veggies that fed the starving sailors.
Potjiekos, a veggie and meat wine flavoured rice dish is popular meal choice of celebration and ‘Melktert’ (milk tart) as well.
The slave era and arrival of Javanese during the 18th century were often hired as chefs in the Dutch households and the gourmet influences they brought, lives on in Cape town dishes with an African twist spinning out unique cuisine.
The tasty hearty Cape Twon flavours improved with the Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese and French residents and others. The melting pot of the Mother City is filled with flavours!
There are many circles of enjoying well-cooked home meals in the Cape Malay variety in the bustling Cape Town streets. Discover cuisines of any flavour from Greek, Morrocan, Mediterranean, Moroccan, American or Nigerian and another African cuisine at superb bistros and restaurants. Whether taste buds call for a bobotie or Cape Malay roti and beef curry, there are streams of culinary treats
The national South African snack.One bite gets you hooked. The dried meat gets cured in vinegar with a spicy blend creating and addictive flavour.
Barbecues or ‘braais are common past times. Sosaties are the cape version of kebabs. Meat marinated in chutney and curry skewed with apricots and onions.
Pap is derived from cornmeal and accompanies all cuisines.
Bobotie, a common Cape Malay cuisine is made from minced meat and curry that is baked and topped with dried fruits. It brings out the ethnic Cape Town flavours.
Unique to Cape Town the waterblommetjies is an indigenous flower that is edible and grows wild in the ponds. Bredie is a South African version of a stew and becomes a rich and elegant comfort food.
The sausage of South Africa
Gatsby’s are Cape Town specialities like Bunnie Chows are Durban treats. The sandwich is a basically a hollowed out roll with a curried filling or mixture.
Snoek and Chips
The best fish and chips in the entire world are found in Cape Town.
For dessert Malva pudding, a sweet and savoury spongy dish with apricot jam and a caramelized texture served with ice cream or custard.
The township reflects joy in freedom, human rights, justice and reconciliation. From shebeens to sangomas, a township visit is a unique, emotional and sensory experience abuzz with vivid social culture. Each township tells its own story about its establishment, its struggle through the apartheid years and its current situation.
A township tour can be one of the most illuminating and life affirming experiences you’ll ever have.
Down the road from Cape Town, with its magnificent beaches and world-class restaurants, warm African hospitality awaits in a bustling environment that few visitors to the city ever experience. An offering of an authentic taste of South African Township life leaves and adventurous traveller a unique experience.
B&B accommodation in townships has bright, cheerfully decorated rooms with a strong African Flavour. Meals at this unpretentious focus on traditional Xhosa dishes.
Gugulethu, Cape Flats
Gugulethu ‘Gugs‘, – our pride -is one of the oldest black townships in South Africa and one of the most energetic and fastest developing.
Gugulethu was established in 1958 because of the migrant labour system. It grew as the number of migrant workers from the Transkei increased and Langa became too small.
It was originally named Nyanga West, rooms were allocated in hostels, where three men had to share a tiny room.These were times when poverty, oppression and overcrowding were the order of the day under apartheid rule.
The hostels were for men only, no wives were allowed to visit their husbands. Women were left behind in the former Transkei and Ciskei homelands. The hostels remain the oldest buildings in Gugulethu.
In our present day, ‘Gugs’ is a mixture of former hostels and tin shacks, people built for privacy, as well as brick and mortar houses in the wealthier ranks
‘Gugs’ is a vibrant, thriving community reflecting all classes of South African society. Soak up hot, township jazz at the Uluntu Community Centre, shop at NY1s Eyona Shopping Centre or watch boxing at the Indoor Sports Stadium on NY1.
‘Gugs’ was the first black township to have an information technology centre. Ikhwezi (the star) Community centre is situated just next to the Yellow Door jazz club in NY-3. The centre provides top class training in multimedia and youth development programs. The area has a sports field, community centres and schools.
Eyona Shopping Centre, Gugulethu has the Ubuntu arts promotion and Cyn Catering service situated at the Yellow Door Jazz Café. It is popular for its drama, art and craft stalls, marimba music and top class jazz.
Sivuyile – we are happy – is the tourism information centre in Gugulethu. It opened an art and craft shop in 1999 and assists college art, students and local artist. It also serves as a photographic gallery. Young artists in the community produce sculptures, ceramics, beadwork, traditional clothing and textiles.
The Link, the first independent Black township newspaper in Cape Town, founded in 1997, has its offices in the Sivuyele College.
The best way to experience ‘Gugs’ is to go and see for yourself.
The Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory (DACPM) in Woodstock runs history and memory excursions and trains former freedom fighters to become excursion facilitators and take visitors to sites that are etched into South African memories: District Six, the Trojan Horse Memorial in Athlone, Langa and the Gugulethu Seven. The excursions have opened up spaces for freedom fighters to start the process of healing and reconstruction.
The tours also create the opportunity for others to listen, interact and understand what so many went through during the liberation struggle and the struggle of today: the struggle for jobs. Most stories that are told are very individual, very personal. And -also important- they are told with dignity.”
But the highlight of any trip to ‘Gugs’must be the Gugulethu Seven Memorial
On 3 March 1986, seven young activists were ambushed in a roadblock set up by police in NY-1 Street. The “Gugulethu Seven” as they are known, is one of the most callous examples of security forces operations. Built to commemorate their death, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial was sculpted by South African artists Donovan Ward and Paul Hendricks. The sculpture stands close to where the seven were murdered.
The cut-outs project onto the road surface in a play of sunlight and shadow that brings them back to life.
The work not only commemorates death but life and nation building – it combines elements of ruin or incompleteness with parts that seem to have just been constructed. It was unveiled in March 2000 on Human Rights Day.