Howzit – my South Africa

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Destination South-Africa.

Contributed by Ben Russel.


Happy landing on Airport Cape town – The fun starts.


Located on the southern coast of Africa, nestling in an almost secret location. For me one of the most extraordinary properties in the world.

Conrad Pezula Exterior

The Pezula Private Castle with over four thousand entries it was awarded as the “Best Property in the World”. Wow, so probably one of the most stunning places to stay in South Africa a destination that’s poised to leave you speechless.

Conrad Pezula 1

The Noetzie Beach is located in the immediate vicinity to the hotel, cliff-faces and landscapes that don’t know equal. Our “castle” is provided with five spacious luxury suites, in three different palatial structures, each of them boasting with beautiful bathrooms, private terraces overlooking the beach, the finest of the three castles is Pezula Cliff Castle, followed by Pezula Main Castle and Pezula Honeymoon Castle.
To fit your tastes, the suites come with fully equipped bars, stacked wih beautiful South Africa’s finest wines. We enjoyed the lovely Ernie Els white wines.

It has a heated outdoor pool which will make you happy, other services provided are helicopter excursions, horse riding, trail blazing, canoeing on the peaceful Noetzie River, golf at the Pezula Championship Course and you can play a few games of tennis at the Field of Dreams. If you feel like exploring the outskirts feel free, there are a lot of things do to.
Depending on the season you choose or the suites you’d desire, but be aware the daily price is not as cheap in the 70’s. Pezula Private Castle presented by Conrad Pezula is voted one of the three Top Beaches in South Africa.
We had the ocean at our doorstep, excellent and very accommodating staff, candles in the bathrooms, oysters at the restaurant and dined on overlooking the ocean, the meals were freshly prepared to taste.

Conrad Pezula

For golfers: Conrad Pezula, voted South Africa’s premier golf resort. It offers golf fans often offers like the “Best of Both Worlds” package which includes a 9-hole round for two days and an 18 hole round of golf or alternatively a treatment at the Conrad Pezula Spa & Gym.
Located on the Garden Route near the town of Knysna, the 18-hole Pezula Championship Golf Course offers unique golfing experiences. Designed by golf architects David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, it is embedded in the natural environment. From Hole One to Five, guests look out on an original forest of fascinating flora and fauna. The view between the hole six and twelve is dominated by the picturesque lagoon of Knysna. At hole 13 you have a view over the Indian Ocean. After the game, call it hole 19 players can enjoy the Noah’s Champagne and Cigar Lounge, which offers local and exotic spirits, wines and champagne. Later on a massage, the resorts spa is located on a huge sandstone cliff, one of the two Knysna Heads that line the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon. This location allows breathtaking views of the lagoon’s natural harbor, the Indian Ocean and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains. The resort has 83 suites in a locally inspired, sophisticated ambience. The contemporary architecture of the resort blends harmoniously into the landscape: individual, flat villas, each with two suites in the lower and two upstairs. Each of the up to 250 square meters villas offers spectacular panoramic views of the golf course, lagoon or ocean.

For local dining in Cape Town I would recommend Bree Street. Formerly the domain of mechanics’ shops, this downtown stretch has been recently hosting a culinary renaissance. “La Parada” is my favourite tapas spot. The décor is an unabashed ode to Spain, including vintage travel posters and the gilded bust of a bull keeping a watchful eye over communal tables.
The owners lured the Spanish chef Andrés Conde into the kitchen. It’s not every day that an alum of El Bulli lands in their city, so Capetonians have been clamoring to see what he can do.
Here you will find a more authentic pan-Spanish ethos. To encourage sharing, he introduced a huge seafood paella and a three-pound lamb shoulder slow-cooked for 24 hours. Some items were not as successful, including a still-average tortilla Española and a woeful attempt at a crema catalana. But the garlicky calamari with salsa verde were expertly seasoned, and a succulent lamb basted in honey, garlic, mustard and rosemary was a highlight.
Its worth it.

If you are goin from Capetown to Jo’burg, we would recommend Rovos Rail (it will take two days).
Story: As so often happens, it was a combination of influences and events that led to the purchase of the first coach, the start of what would become Rovos Rail. A Wilbur Smith heroine with her own private railway coach, a man called Phil Acutt with a passion for trains and the presence of the Witbank Steam Railway in the coal-mining town where Rohan Vos ran his successful auto spares business, all played a part.

“Rohan has always been obsessed with things mechanical,” remembers Anthea Vos, who has been at his side throughout and has raised a family in and around developing the railway business. “In fact, he started his first business with the capital derived from the sale of a 1940 Packard and a 1928 Austin that he had rebuilt. Rohan was involved in so many ventures, but I didn’t see this one coming.”

In 1985, Rohan and Anthea took up a last-minute invitation on a Magaliesberg train trip for business suppliers. “I became a train widow on that day,” says Anthea. “I sat all dressed up by myself; Rohan spent most of the time in the engine with the driver. The irony was that we should have seen then how difficult it would be – the train broke down and we were bussed back to town.”
The same year, influenced by his friend Phil Acutt’s love of trains and the work done by the Railway Preservation Society in Witbank, Rohan attended an auction to buy a coach – the intention was to restore four carriages and hitch them to a South African Railways train as a family caravan.
Steam-train enthusiast, Geoff Pethick, was present at the auction and assisted him. “It was the 26th of September – a cold day with rain in the air – and I’d hoped Rohan wasn’t another penniless lunatic with grand ideas,” he recalls.

Later on he realised that here was a man of vision.

Living in style.