June weekend escapes

2013-06-03 13:32
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Africa's best: 10 cities worth visiting

The Eastern Cape's Grahamstown has been named as one of Africa's unsung cities, according to CNN traveller.

Winter's here. So while it's time to haul out the overcoats and wellingtons, it also brings with it a host of events centred around experiencing the best this season has to offer. We've rounded up a few fun, thought-provoking and entertaining events to to plan a weekend escape around.

Wacky Wine Weekend

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Robertson Wine Valley’s biggest annual wine festival. Four festive days, each boasting its unique signature wine theme. This festival indulges the fun-seeker, novice and wine connoisseur alike. Expect to fill you glass at one of the master wine-tastings, wine- and food-pairings or educational wine presentations being held on ‘Seriously Wine Thursday’, ‘Wine Up Friday’, ‘Full On Wacky Saturday’ or ‘Wine Down Sunday’. 

When: 06-09 June 2013
Where: Robertson
Contact: (023) 626 3167
Website: www.wackywineweekend.com

Encounters International Documentary Festival

South Africa's only film festival devoted exclusively to documentaries. This South African International Documentary Film Festival was first held in 1999 and visited Johannesburg before its showing in Cape Town.

Encounters is the premier Documentary Festival on the African continent and a major event on the film circuit calendar. Documentaries have the power to take audiences into other worlds, hold a mirror up to humanity and lift the veil on our perceptions of ourselves and others.

What better way to spend a weekend in the Cape than overindulging movie food for thought. Visit the Encounters SA International Documentary Festival  website for more info on featured films Marley, The Island President, Pina, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Call Me Kuchu, Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark, Al Jazeera showcase, Breathe Again, Progress and Healers to name a few.

When: 06-23 June 2013
Where: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Contact: (021) 465 4686
Website: www.encounters.co.za

Pop Up Jazz Picnic



You're invited to relax at the Shepstone Gardens which is a historical Joburg landmark where good music, delicious food, chilled cocktails, and craft beer will be served.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to spend time in one of old Johannesburg's secret gardens, so don't miss out on this rare opportunity to while away the afternoon.

This Shepstone Gardens & Pop Up Food SA collaboration aims to bring you an afternoon of music and food delights at The Pop Up Jazz Picnic. Tickets are R240.00 per person including a gourmet picnic bag for two.

When: 09 June 2013
Where: Shepstone Gardens
Website: www.shepstonegardens.co.za
Contact: (011) 728 6738

Top Gear Festival

Top Gear Festival returns to the Moses Mabhida Stadium and will definitely leave you looking for more.

The Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and of course The Stig are coming back with a bang! Bigger and better than before, the all-new Live Stadium Show will not disappoint in delivering world class acts and charismatic antics that the Top Gear Festival is known for.

South African FMX rider Nick de Wit will school crowds on what freestyle motocross is all about ahead of Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour stop in South Africa later this year while the Dakar Rally winner and 2nd place finisher at this year’s event, Giniel De Villiers rounds up the current Red Bull athlete line up at the event.

When: 15-16 June 2013
Where: Moses Mabhida, Durban
Contact: (031) 303 9177
Website: www.topgearfestival.co.za

The Sardine Run



The Greatest Shoal on Earth, as it has been named, sees thousands of visitors flock to the KwaZulu-Natal east coast to witness the annual migration of millions of sardines.

Come and be part of this event where hundreds of thousands of dolphins, sharks, whales and seabirds follow the impressive body of sardines as they move along the coast.

It is truly a magnificent spectacle for locals and visitors. Visitors will also enjoy a full programme of entertainment, including cultural activities and music shows.

When: Dates to be confirmed (19 June-13 July 2013)
Where: Durban
Contact: (031) 682 7944
Website: www.zulu.org.za

Hagens' Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life

This traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies has been causing a stir worldwide, attracting 36 million visitors so far, come and witness it.

The exhibition deals with the complexity, flexibility and vulnerability of the human body, illuminating how it reacts in both health and disease. Hagen’s’ exhibition takes you on a journey from the spark of conception through maturity to old age.

The human body is nothing less than an ever-evolving, moving masterpiece and this is where you will witness how our muscles, bones and organs have been woven and knitted together. Tickets are available from R90.00 at Webtickets.

When: 20-30 June 2013
Where: Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Newtown
Contact: (071) 547 5558
Website: www. bodyworlds.co.za

Fine Brandy Fusion 2013

Following a successful event in the Mother City, the ultimate luxury showcase of premium South African brandy is set to rock the Sandton Convention Centre.

Commence your discovery of finest brandy and let the MC, Proverb, wow you. The Fine Brandy Fusion reflects brandy’s refined and trendy side in ways you never thought possible.

From the International Wine and Spirits Competition, Best Brandy winners around the world to boutique artisanal producers and trending brandy cocktails, all will be served at the dedicated Fusion Cocktail Bar so come and be part of the trend and share the spirit.

Tickets are on sale at Computicket from R195.00 including 17 tasting vouchers, 3 premium coffee vouchers and a crystal brandy snifter. No persons under the age 18 are allowed.

When: 26, 27 & 28 June 2013
Where: Sandton Convention Centre
Website: www.sabrandy.co.za/fusion/

National Arts Festival 2013



On the eve of the National Arts Festival’s 40th anniversary, the Festival programme continues to push boundaries and presents a thought-provoking line-up.

The National Arts Festival, now in its 39th year, has proved its sustainability and has grown to be one of the leading arts festivals in Southern Africa.  Expect to be thrilled by acts such as the Jazzart Dance Theatre’s translation of Biko’s Quest - For a True Humanity from one art form (photography) to another (dance and performance), and a showcase of Rhythms of the Eastern Cape.

As always, the backbone of the main programme is comprised of the work of the Standard Bank Young Artists where Anthea Moys will present a series of contests entitled Anthea Moys vs the City of Grahamstown as well as Fana Tshabalala’s engagement with cleansing ceremonies in his new work titled Indumba.

When: 27 June-07 July 2013
Where: Grahamstown
Contact: (046) 603 1103
Website: www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

Christmas in Winter

If you want to get a taste of a winter Christmas, head to the Tulbagh. Finish the month of June in style by visiting the Tulbagh Valley and enjoy yourself as the village will be decorated with Christmas lights and trees.

Father Christmas rides through the streets giving out treats to the children.  The restaurants offer traditional Christmas Dinners so make sure you visit the wine estates for wine tasting, activities and festive fair.

A visit to the theatre is a must where you can dance till dawn in the Rock with Santa party as cheese, wine and olive tasting will be held throughout the valley.

When: 29-30 June 2013
Where: Tulbagh
Contact: (023) 230 1348/75
Website: www.tulbaghtourism.co.za

Read more on:    weekend escapes  |  travel south africa  |  lifestyle

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