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Struik Travel & Heritage

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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

History from a Different Angle: Nechama Brodie Commandeers a Red Bus to Launch The Cape Town Book

Cape Town City Hall

Nechama BrodieThe Cape Town BookWith The Cape Town Book, Nechama Brodie has written a deserving biography of the Mother City – telling the often forgotten stories and revealing magical hidden gems about the place where so much of South Africa’s history has taken place.

This book is much more than just a tourist handbook, and anything but a history lesson. It builds a bridge between old and new, contrasting contemporary settings with their origin stories. Brodie highlights the people that played a role in creating Cape Town, from the slaves and slave owners to modern-day celebrities and political figureheads, and paints a fresh picture of the city everybody loves so much.

The Cape Town Book aims to be an inclusive and comprehensive document of history, focusing on the individual, unique spaces of the city. This includes the entire peninsula, from the Cape Flats and Northern Suburbs to Simon’s Town and Kommetjie. Brodie also covers topics such as “What Came Before?” and “Who Came Before?” – the first two chapters in the book – and consults experts and archival material to tell the full story.

To launch her new book, the sister publication of the bestselling The Joburg Book, Brodie took a small group of avid bookworms on a special sightseeing trip on board one of the famous Cape Town City Sightseeing double-decker red buses. As we jolted through the city she shared facts about the things that could be seen from the top, sowing a thread from street to street and leaving no stone unturned.

“Everywhere we go history stalks us,” Brodie said as the group gathered in the Company’s Garden to start the day’s adventure. “With The Cape Town Book I want to help you notice where and when it happens.” Armed with coffee and pastries, we learned more about the living museums and preserved relics that bear testament to the very beginning of the colonisation of the Cape.

From the Company’s Garden Brodie commandeered the red bus, sending us travelling past UCT Hiddingh Campus towards parliament – where history-in-action could be witnessed as students gathered for the historic #NationalShutdown as part of the #FeesMustFall campaign – with the author acting as a bespoke tour guide.

From parliament the bus drove down Spin Street, which Brodie revealed to have been the location of South Africa’s failed silk industry, towards the Castle of Good Hope and Grand Parade. After a brief pause to take in the surroundings and all that it represents, we travelled up Buitenkant Street and onto De Waal Drive where strong winds, which have shaped Cape Town in their own remarkable way, could not deter Brodie’s captivating voice-over.

It’s fascinating to take into account that Table Mountain was at some point the bottom of what was once a much larger mountain, and that Robben Island used to be a hill on a coastal plain, the author mused as we looked towards the famous landmarks in the distance. People would have been able to walk across.

The next stop was Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, albeit briefly, before the bus hit the road again, following it to Hout Bay via Rhodes Drive and past Constantia. Travelling on Victoria Road back to the city a group of whales could be seen playing in the distance, emphasising the diversity of life in the Mother City.

All along the way Brodie shared a wealth of information on the city, from the story behind the bitter almond trees planted by Van Riebeeck to logic behind the well-known Cape Dutch architecture. If the tour and is anything to go by, The Cape Town Book is sure to be an indispensable read for anyone interested in the true story of the Mother City.

Cape Town


Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp) tweeted live from the launch, using the hashtag #TheCTBook:



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Scroll through the Facebook album for photos taken during The Cape Town Book red bus tour:



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Join Nechama Brodie and Lester Kiewit at the Launch of The Cape Town Book at the Iziko Slave Lodge

Invitation to the launch of The Cape Town Book

The Cape Town BookStruik Travel & Heritage would like to invite you to the launch of The Cape Town Book by Nechama Brodie.

Brodie will be in conversation with Lester Kiewit on Thursday, 22 October, at 5:30 for 6 PM. The event will take place at the historical Iziko Slave Lodge, one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. RSVP by Tuesday, 20 October, to avoid disappointment.

The Cape Town Book is Brodie’s compelling account of South Africa’s first city, its landscape and its people.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 22 October 2015
  • Time: 5:30 for 6 PM
  • Venue: Iziko Slave Lodge
    Corner of Adderley and Wale Streets
    Cape Town | Map
  • Interviewer: Lester Kiewit
  • RSVP: 011 327 3550

Book Details

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Join in the Fun (on a Yacht) at the Harken Round Robben Island Pursuit Race

Robben Island: Mandela's prison and place of inspirationHarken and the Royal Cape Yacht Club would like to invite you to the Harken Round Robben Island Pursuit Race.

The event will take place on Saturday, 17 October, at 11 AM. The prize-giving ceremony will be at 5 PM and drinks and snacks will be provided.

The Round Robben Island Pursuit Race in partnership with Harken is an annual yacht race and this specific event will be a pursuit race, meaning that the teams will chase one another. For more information on the historical island, read Robben Island: Mandela’s prison and place of inspiration by Charlene Smith.

To compete, fill in your details on the online form.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

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Visit Any National Park for Free During the 2015 South African National Parks Week

National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field GuideSouth African National Parks Week will take place from 14 to 18 September this year and for the whole week South African National Parks (SANParks) will be opening their doors to the public – for free!

The annual event forms part of the ongoing “Know Your National Parks” campaign and any person with a valid South African ID book will be allowed to enter our wonderful national parks free of charge.

SANParks acting head of communications, Reynold Thakhuli, says the aim of the week is to instill a sense of pride in South Africans of our natural heritage and resources: “When people start to take pride in the national parks, then we believe that they will start to understand the importance of conservation.”

All the parks will also be hosting activities focusing on education. Read the article:

All of the parks will be hosting activities during the week which will be aimed at education. “We are focused on involving young people and communities, to cultivate knowledge of the importance of conservation and an appreciation for the country’s natural heritage”, said Thakhuli.

The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) will launch the week in Knysna on 14 September which will focus on conservation initiatives, activities in the forestry and estuarine areas and business opportunities in the Park. Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West in the Western Cape will host two groups from the local community to a special programme every day. This will kick off with an entertaining presentation about the search and recapture of Sylvester, the lion which went on a walkabout from the park for 24 days. The Kruger National Park will host two seminars for traditional leaders from the surrounding communities bordering the park and also strategic media executives for the purpose of exposing them to the tourism products that exist in the Park.

In the run-up to National Parks Week SANParks have been tweeting images of famous landmarks and urging nature lovers to guess which park it is:

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @SANParks or by using the hashtags #SANationalParksWeek and #KnowYourNationalParks.

So now the only question remains, which park(s) will you be visiting next week?

To help you make the decision, read National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide by Chris and Mathilde Stuart, and tell us about the experience on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 14 September 2015
  • Place: South African National Parks
  • Cost: Absolutely free!
  • RSVP: Not required, but remember your South African ID


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Calling all Twitchers to the 2015 SASOL Tankwa Birding Bonanza at the Tankwa Karoo National Park

It’s that time of the year again! Sanparks, Sasol and BirdLife South Africa take great pleasure in inviting all twitchers to the 2015 SASOL Tankwa Birding Bonanza!

Timeless KarooNational Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field GuideSan Rock EngravingsThe Great KarooSasol Birds of Southern Africa IVSasol Birds of Southern Africa

The event will kick off on Friday, 10 April, and will run until the Sunday. All birders are welcome to join in the fun – proudly hosted by the SANParks Honorary Rangers Boland Region in the Tankwa Karoo National Park.

Expert birders will guide amateurs through the Tankwa semi-desert and point out the different birds in the region. Contact Jenny or Michael Lodge to make a booking, which include self-catering accommodation in the park for two nights, a prize-giving dinner, lectures from top birding experts and so much more.

To sharpen your birding knowledge have a gander at Sasol Birds of Southern Africa: 3rd Edition and Sasol Birds of Southern Africa IV by by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Peter Ryan and Warwick Tarboton, with photography by Norman Arlott.

Prepare for your journey to the Karoo with the following titles: Timeless Karoo: Discover the sunlit interior by Jonathan Deal, San Rock Engravings: Marking the Karoo Landscape by John Parkington and Neil Rusch and The Great Karoo by Leon Nell.

The writing duo Chris and Mathilde Stuart captured the essence of natural parks in South Africa in their book, National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide.

Don’t miss this exciting weekend with the birds!

Event Details


2015 SASOL Tankwa Birding Bonanza


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Join the Old Road Coach Tour from Cape Town to Somerset West with John Muir

Walking Cape Town: Urban walks and drives in the Cape PeninsulaJohn Muir, author of Walking Cape Town: Urban walks and drives in the Cape Peninsula is giving a guided coach tour of the old road between Cape Town and Somerset West.

Along the way, he will speak about the building of the old road and the challenges it presented, as well as some fascinating histories of the suburbs that the road passes through.

The tour will start at 9:15 AM at the Strand Street Parkade in Cape Town, and will end with lunch at the Helderberg Reserve. The trip costs R350.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Sunday, 19 October 2014
  • Time: 9:15 AM
  • Venue: Strand Street Parkade, 42 Strand Street
    Cape Town | Map
  • Cover charge: R350
  • RSVP: Pat Benbow Hebbert,, 021 794 7464
  • More details: People’s Post

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Charlene Smith to Host Free Lecture Series at Luther College Campus in Iowa

Mandela: In Celebration of a Great LifeLuther College in Iowa, America, is hosting Charlene Smith for a series of lectures.

Smith’s lecture will be delivered in Valders Hall of Science Room 206 at Luther College Campus and are free and open to the public.

Smith, a trauma counselor, writing coach, and author of Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life, an authorised biography, will be presenting four talks on four topics:

  • “Every 26 Seconds a Woman is Raped: Last Thursday was my Turn” on Wednesday, 15 October at 7:30 PM
  • “Nobel Peace Prize Winners I Have Known: How Ordinary People Changed the World” on Thursday, 16 October at 12:45 PM
  • “Human Rights in the US and South Africa” on Thursday, 16 October at 2:30 PM
  • “Making Your Enemy Your Friend: Changing the World Nelson Mandela-Style” at 7:30 PM
  • Catch it if you can!

    Event Details

    • Date: Wednesday, 15 October to Thursday, 16 October 2014
    • Times: 15 October at 7:30 PM, 16 October at 12:45, 2:30 and 7:30 PM
    • Venue: Luther College campus, Room 206
      Valders Hall of Science
      700 College Dr
      United States | Map
    • Cover charge: Free

    Book Details

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Transformative Writing Course with Charlene Smith in Johannesburg

Mandela: In Celebration of a Great LifeCharlene Smith, the author of Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life, is offering a course that will help participants to write better across a number of genres.

The course is one day long, and is hosted by Altron House in Parktown on Wednesday 24 September 2014. The cost is R2 400. There is only space for 18 participants, allowing for personal attention.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2014
  • Time: 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Venue: Altron House
    4 Sherborne Road
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Refreshments: Bring a packed lunch
  • Cover charge: R2 400
  • RSVP: Charlene Smith,
  • More details: Skills Portal

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Kingsley Holgate Foundation To Host World Youth Rhino Summit on World Rhino Day 2014 in KwaZulu-Natal

Africa: In the Footsteps of the Great ExplorersIntrepid explorer, activist, and author of Africa: In the Footsteps of the Great Explorers Kingsley Holgate has initiated the World Youth Rhino Summit through the Kingsley Holgate Foundation.

The summit will take place from 21 to 23 September 2014 in celebration of World Rhino Day 2014 on 22 September.

The aim of the summit is to engage youth conservation leaders in rhino and wildlife conservation. 140 young conservation leaders from South Africa, Pan-Africa and Asia will gather at the iMfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Charlene Smith To Speak in London About Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life

Mandela: In Celebration of a Great LifeRobben IslandCharlene Smith, author of Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life and Robben Island: Mandela’s prison and place of inspiration, will present a lecture at the Merchant Taylors’ School in London on Thursday, 18 September 2014.

Smith, who was born in South Africa, was the authorised biographer of Mandela. She was part of the underground resistance against apartheid, and had known Nelson Mandela for 23 years. Her lecture is entitled: “The challenge of being good: Nelson Mandela and the Power of One”.

South Africans who find themselves in London can come and listen to Smith give an insider account of the liberation struggle at 7:30 PM. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for school pupils and can be purchased here.

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