52 favourite places in South Africa Week 3- Knysna

Sunset Knysna

The quaint seaside town of Knysna certainly deserves a place in my list of 52 favourite places.

In Knysna one is spoiled for choice with activities, shopping, restaurants and accommodation.

Knysna waterfront

One of my favourite things to do is to visit Featherbed Nature reserve. This 4 hour excursion to Featherbed Nature reserve situated on the Western head of the Knysna headlands (heads) is a wonderful experience. It includes a boat ride across the Knysna estaury, them a drive to the top of the head with an Unimog, (breathtaking views!!) a walk down through the coastal forest, and along the shores of the Knysna estaury to the restaurant , a delicious lunch, and a boat trip back to Knysna.

Paddle cruiser Knysna

Visiting the Knysna heads, or Thesen island, shopping or eating at the waterfront, a sunset cruise on the John Benn or paddle cruiser, a whale watching trip in whale season, oyster tasting …. Knysna certainly deserves the status of the favourite town of South Africans.

Something that’s still on my bucket list, is to hire a house boat on the Knysna waters for the weekend – one day J

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52 favourite places in South Africa – Week 2 Table mountain

As a South African tourist guide I have the privilege to visit some of the most beautiful places in South Africa regularly. I have chosen my 52 favourites, and will share these in this blog.

Table mountain viewed from Signal Hill

Visitor’s often ask me how often I have been to the top of Table mountain – in my 10 years of guiding I have honestly lost count – lucky me!! I have walked to the top of Table mountain  a couple of times using various routes, and have used the Cable Car on all other occasions (that takes only 6 minutes)

Table mountain was named Hoeriekwaggo, by the  people who lived there long before the ships came from the East and the West.  Hoeriekwaggo means the mountain in the sea. The Portuguese seafarers, who sailed around the Cape in the 15th century,  were probably the first people who made the association with a table Taboa do Cabo – which the indigenous people did not, since they had no tables! The Dutch adopted the name – Tafelberg and it stuck.

Table moutain new 7 wonders of the world

Some interesting facts about Table mountain:

It is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new 7 wonders of nature.

It is 1088m high at Maclears beacon, which is the highest point

There are about 800 hiking trails on the mountain, and these are frequented by many hikers regularly.

My most awesome experience has been hiking the Hoeriekwaggo trail – a 5 day guided experience which takes you along the Table mountain range from the city to Cape Point. It is really worth it!!

Rainbow & sunset 11 July 2008 007

The  57 square km of Table mountain is home to an astonishing number of plant species: 1470 (the whole of Britain has 1492 different plant species)

As a South African you get a free ride with the Cable Car on your birthday – so enjoy it!!!

Table mountain view from Blouberg Strand

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My 52 favourite places in South Africa – Week 1 Nelson Mandela Statue Pretoria

As a tourist guide I have the privilege of visiting some of the most beautiful places in South Africa on a regular basis.

This is a privilege I am deeply grateful for, since I know that South Africa truly is one of the most awesome countries in the world. This is my opinion of course, but it has been verified by every single one of the hundreds of guests, whom I have accompanied through South Africa over the past 10 years.  So this is why I had the idea of writing a weekly blog, choosing my 52 favourite places in South Africa. In this way I can share these with a wider audience. Some readers may be inspired to visit the places (physically or virtually), and everyone can enjoy the beautiful pictures and interesting info, which I will post.

So here we go: WEEK 1 Favourite place Number 1 – the Nelson Mandela statue in the picturesque gardens of the Union buildings in Pretoria.

Nelson Mandela statue Union buildings 2014 (1)

Everyone who comes to visit me, is taken on a walk to this grand bronze statue, since it is literally up the road from my home in Pretoria. Most will agree that it is “larger than life” 9 meters – pretty much the same as Nelson Mandela himself, and therefore very appropriate. Since the unveiling of the statue on 16 December 2013, shortly after the death of Nelson Mandela, the number of visitors to the Union buildings park as increased significantly. Families, school children, tourists (local and foreign) all flock to see the most famous man in the world – with his arms outstretched to bless the city of Pretoria – the capital city of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela statue Union buildings 2014 (4)

True to our African spirit, the number of entrepreneurs seeing a business opportunity has mushroomed. The ice cream vendors, curio sales men/women and of course the photographers – who take a picture of people in front of the statue for R20-00 and print it on site. The pictures  are taken in such a way, that it looks as though one is holding Mandela’s outstretched hands. They have the position and poses waxed, and are causing a real buzz at the statue, with the eagerness to sell their pictures.

Nelson Mandela statue Union buildings 2014 (3)

So if you live in Pretoria, or are visiting the city and have not been to the statue – go! It is breath taking, and the gardens are a wonderful place to go for a walk. The Union buildings are the official seat of our national government in Pretoria and are one of the most magnificent buildings in our country. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, completed in 1913, symbolising the peaceful Union formed in 1910, between the two major political forces at the time (the British and the Boers) It is  inspired by Greek Mythology, Neo-classic architecture of the Italian Renaissance, as well as elements of the English Renaissance and Cape Dutch architecture.

Raphael July 2014 (1) 

The Union buildings and gardens are a national heritage site, well worth visiting. Entry into the buildings is not possible, as they are closed to the public – since that is where our presidents offices are! They can however be admired from the outside.

July 2014 Jasmin and Christel

 

Anya July 2014 (2)

Nelson Mandela statue Union buildings 2014 (2)

 

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Numerology evening in Swakopmund

numerology

Introduction to Numerology with Christel Engelbrecht.

Would you like to know more about Numerology and yourself? Discover how this ancient science can help you to understand yourself better. The evening will be practical and hands on. You will learn how to calculate your Life Path number, and personal year number, and get to understand, what they mean for you in 2014. Numerology is a very useful tool to understand yourself and others better.

Booking essential: christel@souljourney.co.za
Christel 082 3967806

Date: 17 December 2013   Time:18h00 – 21h00 Cost: 200NAD
Venue: Tee Stube Swakopmund

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Numerology evening 25 July in Pretoria


Wisdom through numbers
Introduction to Numerology with Christel Engelbrecht.

Would you like to know more about Numerology and yourself? Discover how this ancient science can help you to understand yourself better. The evening will be practical and hands on. You will learn how to calculate your Life Path number, and personal year number, and get to understand, what they mean for you in 2012. Numerology is a very useful tool to understand yourself and others better.

Booking essential: christel@souljourney.co.za
Christel 082 3967806 or Marieke 012 6867126

Date: 25 July and 1 August   Time:18h45 – 21h00 Cost: R120.
Venue: 2 Wild Olive street, Southdowns, Irene, Stand 2592

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Souljourney

I have just been on a 2 week tour through KZN  & Swaziland with 5 special German ladies! I am in awe with the diversity and abundance in the vegetation, and bird and animal life, in such a ‘small’ area of our country. We saw everything from hippo’s to elephant, croc’s to eagles … the friendliness and smiles of all the people we met in restaurants, along the road, even at toll gates and airports was awesome!!

Giraffes in Swaziland
Seeing the giraffes close up was awesome!

The primitive trail in Hluhluwe Imfolozi was certainly a highlight, a nature experience second to none – not for the faint hearted though, but something I will treasure forever. www.souljourney.co.za

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Fun with numbers, July 7

Introduction to Numerology with Christel Engelbrecht.

Would you like to know more about Numerology and yourself? Discover how this ancient science can help you to understand yourself better. The afternoon will be practical and hands on. You will learn how to calculate your Life Path number, and personal year number, and get to understand, what they mean for you in 2012. Numerology is a very useful tool to understand yourself and others better.

Booking: christel@souljourney.co.za 082 3967806 Time:15h00 – 17h00

Cost: R120. Booking essential.

Venue: 21 Bayview Avenue, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town

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Numerology workshop 29 & 30 July in Pretoria

numerology

Introductory workshops to Numerology

Would you like to know more about Numerology and yourself?

Discover how this ancient science can help you to understand yourself better. The evenings will be practical and hands on. The workshop on 29 July focuses on indicative Numerology and the workshop on  30 July focuses on predictive Numerology. You will gain the most value, by attending both workshops, but each workshop is also complete in itself.  You will learn how to calculate your Life Path number, and personal year numbers, and get to understand, what they mean for you in 2014/2015. Numerology is a very useful tool to understand yourself and others better.

Booking essential: christel@souljourney.co.za  Christel 082 3967806

Date: 29 & 30 July Time:19h00 – 21h30 Cost: R200-00 per workshop (or R300-00 for both workshops) Venue: 180 Eastwood street Arcadia Pretoria


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My personal experience of GIM – Guided Imagery and Music

I had the privilege to experience my first Guided Imagery and Music session in 2007. The experience was incredible, and GIM has subsequently enriched and healed my life in a profound way.

 

Due to childhood trauma, and teenage depression I have struggled with a feeling of disassociation from my body for a number of years. I found ways of not feeling my body, and not feeling my feelings in order to cope with life.

Throughout the GIM session, I felt the power of life, the vibrant energy of vibration in my whole  body. It felt like the instruments were ‘dancing’ underneath my skin. It was an entirely new sensation for me. GIM has since taken me on a journey of gentle and deep healing. The secret lies in the healing power of music and this unique holistic approach of working with it. GIM can be seen as a specialised form of Music therapy.

Guided Imagery and Music, GIM is a music-centered, psycho-therapeutic healing modality, which can be applied in a variety of settings during individual sessions or group work. It was developed by the late Helen Bonny, in the United States in the 1970’s. It is a process of exploration of consciousness, facilitated by listening to specifically sequenced music programs in a relaxed state, accompanied by a GIM fellow – trained GIM practitioner. Music is seen as an auditory co-therapist and partner of the guide/GIM fellow. It acts upon the body, mind, and spirit of the traveler, to facilitate integration and healing.

Most often this broad framework is followed during an individual GIM session:

1. Introduction, choosing a theme and setting an intention

2. Relaxation

3. Music: Listening to recorded music program in a relaxed state – traveling to the GIM music program

4. Art expression of the journey – Mandala drawing

5. Post-talk

What are benefits of experiencing GIM as an individual?

GIM assists in stress reduction, it facilitates a feeling of well-being in a holistic way. It is particularly effective in the healing of grief, loss, depression and anxiety. GIM stimulates physical pain relief and healing of physical symptoms. It also brings about self-awareness and deep transformation, which brings about personal growth

A person who undergoes the GIM process, has the opportunity to integrate all of his/her mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of well-being. In addition to the feeling of wholeness as a human being, he/she is often awakened to a transcendent identification with the Greater Whole. Persons who experience GIM go through profound changes and, as a result of one or more sessions, make choices that lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

The GIM method of healing was brought to South Africa in March 2007, by Prof. Dr. Gina Kaestele from the “Imago Institute”. A group of  enthusiastic students enrolled to do the training with Dr. Kaestele. The majority completed their training in September 2010.

The 10 South African GIM fellows are now practicing in a variety of settings in Cape Town and Gauteng. The South African network of Guided imagery and music was formed in August 2010. This network aims to support the SA GIM fellows in their work. It also aims to promote GIM in South – Africa and to organise further training possibilities. Visit www.gim-sa.co.za for further details.

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