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Peter's Post
Our travel expert answers queries on routes and destinations around the world
E-mail your travel questions to travelmag@sundaytimes.co.za

Travel Stories

Girls Gone Wild Mozambique: gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart catch up with an overland tour group to explore Mozambican waters

Cape Town rated top destination for 2014

The news that Cape Town has been ranked as the top holiday destination for the year by British newspaper The Guardian and the US's The New York Times was welcomed by Western Cape tourism MEC Alan Winde on Monday.

Panama named best place to retire

In the 2014 edition of its annual Global Retirement Index, American magazine InternationalLiving.com places Panama at the top of the list of the best places to spend retirement.

Travel News

Girls Gone Wild: The Best of 2013

"For a change of pace this summer, try any of these 10 adventure destinations which are child friendly. If you’re lucky they’ve got space over the holidays, or else book early for 2014."

Climbers urged to resist lure of Australia's Uluru

For many tourists, the experience of seeing Uluru for the first time in the middle of the Australian desert heartland brings a feeling that is difficult to suppress -- an urge to clamber up the daunting formation once known as Ayers Rock.

International tourism up 5% this year: UN

International tourism grew by five percent in the first eight months of 2013, a better-than-expected growth driven mostly by strong results in Europe and Asia, the World Tourism Organisation said Thursday.

Tourists invited to live like Gandhi in his ashram

Tourists searching for peace and simplicity can for the first time check in to Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous ashram in India. But don’t expect modern comforts. And chastity is required.

Live in-flight entertainment includes stand-up comics, musicians - with video

Virgin Atlantic will be turning its planes into flying comedy clubs and music venues as it brings a line-up of live, in-flight entertainment to the skies.

New travel survey paints profile of Millennial traveler

A new survey profiling Millennial globetrotters around the world has found stark generational divides separating older travelers from their younger cohort.

Girls Gone Wild Holla Trails, Stand Up Paddling: gallery

To catch waves like a dolphin or bounce down mountain-bike trails like a springbok, a visit to the Dolphin Coast and Durban is called for. Marianne Schwankhart tests the surf, the cycling - and herself

Girls Gone Wild Thabaphaswa: gallery

Nature conservation and cattle farming converge rather than collide at Thabaphaswa, writes Claire Keeton. Pictures by Marianne Schwankhart.

South Korea introduces new tourist police 'Gagnam Style'

South Korea unveiled its new "tourist police" force Wednesday, with snappy uniforms from rapper Psy's costume designer and a "Gangnam Style" launch in central Seoul.

Business flyers offer advice for stress-free travel

For stress-free travel, take cues from frequent flyers like business travelers who combat jet lag and fatigue by drinking plenty of water, stretching on the plane and taking advantage of the hotel gym.

Girls Gone Wild Winelands: gallery

Claire Keeton and photographer Marianne Schwankhart indulge in some reds and some whites - and find they can still take fun seriously.

Eight Cape Town beaches get Blue Flag status

Eight Cape Town beaches and two marinas were awarded Blue Flag status on Tuesday, said the city.

Girls Gone Wild Swinburn: Gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart drive through fire for a climbing weekend in a Free State hamlet.

Girls Gone Wild Hartbeespoort Dam: gallery

Claire Keeton sets off at sunrise for a tandem hang-gliding flight. Hang-Gliding pilots are a rare species but North West has a gaggle, who fly from Aviators Paradise near Hartbeespoort Dam.

Girls Gone Wild Chintsa: gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart catch two lifts in one day - with horses and surfboards- in Chintsa, Eastern Cape

Girls Gone Wild Blouberg: gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart hike up for a spectacular view of the largest group of Cape vultures in the world

Samoan airline hails success of 'fare-weight' system

A tiny Samoan airline that is the first to introduce a fare system based on passengers' weight hailed the success of its policy Wednesday and predicted it would become a global norm.

Girls Gone Wild Mashatu Game Reserve: gallery

A veteran tracker teaches Marianne Schwankhart the fine art of reading footprints in the bush.

Switzerland opens first sex drive-in

Switzerland's first sex drive-in will open in Zurich, aimed at creating a safer space for sex workers and taking prostitution off the city's streets.

Top luxury destinations and bucket list experiences for rich travelers

For globetrotters with bottomless budgets, Australia, Paris, and a cruise around the world represent ideal luxury getaways.

Statue of Liberty reopens on July 4

The Statue of Liberty finally reopened to visitors Thursday, on the July 4 national holiday, months after Superstorm Sandy slammed into New York, causing extensive damage to the landmark.

Artificial island off coast of Panama City to be completed by 2014

Panama is following in the footsteps of Dubai's famous Palm Islands with the creation of two offshore developments off the coast of the Punta Pacifica quarter of Panama City.

Girls Gone Wild Mtentu: gallery

Claire Keeton visits Mtentu's wooden and canvas cabins. Marianne Schwankhart took the pictures.

Greek island for sale: yours for just €10 million

An uninhabited private island off the coast of Greece will go on auction at a starting price of 10 million euros ($13.2 million) in September, the company organising the sale announced Wednesday.

Girls Gone Wild microlighting in KZN: gallery

Claire Keeton goes flying on the KZN coast. Marianne Schwankhart took the pictures. The winter holidays are a good time to take flight

Tuk-tuks offer new take on Paris

The humble tuk-tuk, a fixture in Asian cities from Bangkok to Bangalore, is rapidly becoming a common sight in the touristy parts of Paris -- and the bane of traffic police.

Christchurch cardboard cathedral opens

Christchurch's cardboard cathedral officially opens today, replacing the neo-Gothic structure destroyed in a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people in New Zealand's second largest city.

Girls Gone Wild Swaziland: gallery

Claire Keeton goes hiking in Swaziland with a novice and Africa's most celebrated climber. Pictures by Marianne Schwankhart

Girls Gone Wild Suikerbosrand: gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart explore some on- and off-road biking options close to Joburg. The road and mountain-bike routes in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve and Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij (cheese farm) make a great family outing within an hour's drive of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Four coffees, three liqueurs and a R1360.33 bill in Venice

Tourists going to Venice beware — and make sure you read the fine print.

Climbers flock to Mount Fuji as season begins

Hordes of trekkers flocked to Mount Fuji Monday at the start of a two-month climbing season, after it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of its status as a symbol of Japan.

Slash your hotel bill by sleeping with strangers

In the latest sharing economy trend, another website has been created for travelers who don’t mind sleeping with strangers to save a few dollars.

Girls Gone Wild Lesotho: gallery

Crossing the border into Lesotho, Claire Keeton and photographer Marianne Schwankhart have their best time ever on horseback.

Pollution fouling the Sistine Chapel: Vatican

The head of the Vatican Museums has warned he will be forced to limit the number of visitors to the Sistine Chapel if its new air conditioning and air purification systems don't significantly reduce pollution levels.

By rail through the Baobab trees of Northern Mozambique

Mozambique has little to offer the foreign tourist in the way of rail travel, but the line between Cuamba and Nampula in the north of the country makes up for the dearth through the spectacle it offers along its 350 kilometres.

Beautiful secrets of Paris best discovered on foot

Of course it is possible to take the Metro from the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre but Paris is a wonderful city to explore on foot, taking in the city's numerous landmarks and stopping in its countless cafes and boulevard shops along the way.

Girls Gone Wild Mankele: Gallery

Around Nelspruit, Claire Keeton finds chimps, bike trails, caves and a luxury game lodge all worth the trip. Pictures by Marianne Schwankhart

Golfing in Iceland's midnight sun: lava beds, angry birds, winds

The names of the world's greatest golf venues roll off the tongue like a putt rolling toward the cup. Pebble Beach. St. Andrews. Valderrama.

Top 20 most visited museums in the world

Europe is the leader when it comes to museum culture, with nine of the top 20 visited sites split between London and Paris.

Melting ice pulls Norway closer to Asia, thanks to global warming

The town of Kirkenes in northernmost Norway used to be further away from Asia than virtually any other European port, but it suddenly seems a lot closer. The reason: Global warming.

Girls Gone Wild Smithfield: gallery

Claire Keeton heads to the home of a new arts festival, but still manages to ride a bike. Pictures by Marianne Schwankhart

Airbus next-generation plane prepares for first flight

Airbus’s new A350 plane is due to take off on its much-anticipated maiden flight Friday, a milestone for an aircraft the firm hopes will help close the gap with rival Boeing in the lucrative long-haul market.

Aviation industry draws up resolutions to protect passengers

Improved handling of passenger complaints, increased pricing transparency and regular updates in the event of delays are just some of the new passenger rights regulations drafted at a meeting of the international aviation industry this week.

Girls Gone Wild East London: gallery

Climbing in East London and Durban, Claire Keeton notes how this is a sport where rock stars cross paths with novices. Pictures by Marianne Schwankhart

How the richest households in the US like to travel

Sipping and eating through wine country in Bordeaux, Napa Valley and Tuscany have emerged as the most popular types of luxury travel desired among the richest households in the US.

Luxury Middle Eastern hotel opens women-only floor

Luxury property the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh is the latest to open a ladies-only floor designed to put traveling women at ease and make them feel “comfortable and secure.”

Girls Gone Wild Graaf-Reinett: Gallery

Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart go hiking near Graaff-Reinet, the only town in South Africa to be surrounded by a national park.

Space tourism won't hurt environment: Branson

British billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that rocket-powered space tourism flights by his firm Virgin Galactic would have only a minor impact on climate change.

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