Tag Archives: trip to South Africa

Rockchic: Timeless Jewelry Recognized For Beauty and Power

rockchicFor visitors to Cape Town, South Africa looking for the perfect gift to bring home for the holidays, Rockchic is the place to find it. With an assortment of stunning, handmade gemstone jewelry including necklaces, bracelets, crystals and gems, and an assortment of jewelry accessories, you are sure to find the perfect piece to compliment any outfit.

Each piece is entirely crafted out of natural materials with the utmost precision, and each crystal and gem is the finest found in nature. Types of crystals and gems used in Rockchic’s jewelry assortment include amazonite, amethyst, fuchsite, malachite, and spirit quartz—among a wide spectrum of others.

When you purchase a piece from Rockchic, you are purchasing more than a necklace, bracelet, or earring set, you are purchasing a traditional form of power and beauty recognized by ancient South African civilizations. These civilizations, as well as current cultures, believe that crystals hold great power in both the physical and metaphysical worlds and that the uniqueness of each crystal has the power to protect, enhance, uplift, and strengthen its owner.

According to Michele and Kathleen of Rockchic, “(The crystals) have been used as amulets to ward off harm, as talismans to encourage virtues, as magical guardians to heal, and as tools to interpret messages from the spirit world. They have an attraction that transcends time and space.”

In addition to their undeniable beauty, certain gems and crystals have metaphysical powers specific to that gem or crystal. Below is an example of the metaphysical power one such crystal has, the Agate:

  • Agates are believed to have a healing power that works to calm, strengthen, and balance the mind and body.
  • Agates work to increase self-esteem and the trust others have in you.
  • Banded Agates provide you with strength to face life’s obstacles.
  • Agates also work to extinguish fear and provide you with pleasant dreams.

Because each crystal is completely unique from the next, it can have a different emotional impact on individuals. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you feel a connection between yourself and the crystal.

Below are steps taken from the Rockchic website that will help you when choosing the perfect crystal:

“To select a crystal, first put yourself in a calm space. Hold the crystal in your right hand with the point towards you. Feel it physically. Be open to sensations like tingling or change in temperature. Also feel the crystal emotionally. Think of the purpose you want it for and see if you feel attracted to it. Be more concerned with how it feels than how it looks. Allow the crystal to pick you by interacting with it in this way. Go with your initial feeling.”

To view Rockchic’s selection of fine gem and crystal jewelry visit their website at http://www.rockchic.co.za/index.html.

Animal Spotlight: The Ostrich

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Photo provided by Dave and Naomi Estment

Can an ostrich fly if it weighs 350 lbs and is 9 ft. tall? The answer is no—not unless it has jet engines strapped to its wings. But, the ostrich does have one airplane capability working for it—the ostrich can use its wings to direct its course when running and help the animal to keep balance.

What ostriches can’t do in the air they make up for in their great running speed. Running in sudden bursts at speeds slightly more than 40 miles per hour (70 kilometers per hour), the ostrich can move across large distances without tiring. The ostrich cannot maintain this speed for long periods of time though, so, on average, it runs 30 mph (50 kph) and has the ability take 10 – 15 ft. (3 – 5 meter) strides. 

What else makes the ostrich one of the most unique birds in the world?

• Built for running, the ostrich’s legs are long and each foot has two toes. These toes enable the creature to run faster.  

• Ostriches can be life-threatening if they feel they are being attacked. If the force of their powerful kick doesn’t kill a large animal, its 4 inch (10 centimeter) claw on each foot will probably do the trick. 

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Photo provided by Dave and Naomi Estment

• On average, the ostrich can live up to 30 – 40 years of age and is only found in select areas of central Africa and southern Africa.

• Not only is the ostrich the biggest and heaviest bird, it also has the largest eye out of any other land animal. Ostriches also have excellent vision, which makes it easier for them to see predators in the distance. 

• On average, herds of ostriches reach up to 10 members and consist of an alpha male and a dominant hen, as well as several other hens. During breeding season, the alpha male will mate with the dominant female and sometimes with other hens in the group. All other hens in the group must place their eggs in the dominant hen’s nest. The dominant hen’s eggs get the most attention and are in the center of the nest.  

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Photo provided by Dave and Naomi Estment

• Ostriches’ main diet consists of plants, roots, and seeds, but also includes insects, lizards, and other small creatures found throughout their territory. Because ostriches eat so much vegetation, their main source of hydration comes from plants and not from large sources of water. When an ostrich eats, it collects food in the back of its throat until there is a substantial chunk of food, at which time they will swallow.

The beautiful photographs in this post are provided by Dave Estment a well-known South African photographer and are copyrighted by Dave Estment.  To see more of Dave’s gorgeous work, please visit http://www.naomiestment.wordpress.com.  Thank you very much Dave & Naomi for sharing your work with us and everyone wanting to Live the Magic of Africa.

Take a Trip Back In Time on Robben Island

Aerial view of Robben IslandAs an official nature reserve and World Heritage Site, Robben Island is one of the most unique places to enjoy a family safari vacation or a South African honeymoon. Rich with cultural and historical elements as well as an abundance of wildlife and diverse eco-systems, Robben Island is a must visit destination.

Before you even arrive on Robben Island, you’ll be able to see some truly exceptional marine mammals indigenous to the area during the boat ride from Cape Town to Robben Island. Frequently spotted animals include Cape fur seals, southern right whales, and several dolphin species.

Robben Island

Upon your arrival to this stunning getaway, you’ll discover exactly why Robben Island is famous for its fantastic wildlife and unique vegetation. Some resident species you’ll see include a variety of antelope species, ostriches, reptiles, tortoises’, and more. The birdlife is also exquisite on this island and one of those most celebrated birds to observe is the African penguin. As a breeding ground for these adorable, little sea birds, Robben Island offers you the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the penguins and observe their natural behavior in the wild. You will also have the chance to see a variety of other seabirds and over 132 species of bird. Some of the most popularly witnessed birds include the guinea fowl, black crowned night heron, and the crowned cormorant.

Robben Island

In addition to its highly-acclaimed wildlife, Robben Island is also famous for its World Heritage Site title. History buffs and intuitive travelers alike find Robben Island to be one of the most intriguing places to take a step back in time—a time when great national leaders, icons, African citizens, and criminals were punished and imprisoned. This Island was also used as a place of hospitalization and quarantine for people with leprosy.

Did you know?

• Since the 1600s the island’s primary purpose has been to imprison political figures and criminals.

• Well-known political prisoners included Nelson Mandela (South Africa’s first president), other African leaders, Muslim leaders, and anti-apartheids.

• In addition to its use as a prison, Robben Island was once used as a hospital for lepers and mentally ill people.

• In 1997, Robben Island was dubbed as a World Heritage Site and is now one of the world’s greatest and historically-rich museums.

Below is a timeline taken directly from the Robben Island Museum website:
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Have you been to Robben Island?  What were your lasting memories?

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Client Testimonial from South Africa Family Vacation

My clients, the Sirois family, just returned from their African safari vacation to South Africa, where they traveled to Cape Town, the Garden Route and went on safari.  Here’s what they had to say:

The Sirois family having a Cape Malay cooking lesson

The Sirois family having a Cape Malay cooking lesson

Thanks to Hills of Africa we had a very unique and personalized experience on our visit to South Africa. We would never have been able to find all the wonderful places we visited without their invaluable advice. We even learned to cook a traditional Cape Malay meal in a home in the Bo Kaap District of Cape Town! Tour books don’t come close to what they did.
We had a fairly rigid time line and lots of things we wanted to do. They put together a fabulous itinerary that not only allowed us to fit in all the things we wanted (touring, shopping, wineries, safari, etc…) but also gave us some flexibility to add things along the way. They booked us with hotels, game reserves and tour guides that they KNEW would be top notch. Hills of Africa met all our expectations and more. We can’t wait to go back.

The Sirois family having lunch in Kalk Bay, Cape Town

The Sirois family having lunch in Kalk Bay, Cape Town

I love Africa, I love planning vacations to Africa, and I think it really shows.

Have you been to Africa?  What were your lasting impressions of your trip to Africa?

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Traveling to South Africa – How to Get There?

There are so many options for you to think about when planning for your African Safari Vacation.

One of these is flights and how to get there?

Hills of Africa Travel is here to help you plan your trip of a lifetime and we know the best and easiest ways in getting there.

South African Airways currently flies out of New York Kennedy and Washington Dulles to Johannesburg on a daily basis.

Delta Airlines flies out of Atlanta and New York Kennedy to Johannesburg on a daily basis. Here’s a little secret – if you want to fly to Cape Town and begin your Africa family safari in the Cape region, you can connect in Dakar to a direct flight to Cape Town. Plus you get to go into the private Delta Airlines lounge and freshen up – magic.

You can also fly through Europe with night flights and a day to spend exploring in one of the European cities, eg. London.

Hills of Africa Travel specializes in customized African vacations. We offer spectacular adventures with personalized and customized service, guaranteed to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

The Hills of Africa Travel team is ready to send you on a life-altering experience like no other. Call us today at 1-877-845-4802, or email us at hoainfo@hillsofafrica.com.