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#10southafricantowns

Travel books at Maps 4 Africa

Maps 4 Africa: Navigating Africa Without Google

In today’s Google-powered world, it’s tempting to believe paper maps and guidebooks are obsolete. Who needs hard copies when every piece of information ever collected is contained inside our phones? I’m as guilty as the next person of operating this way. But as recently as a couple of months ago, I found myself stranded in the middle of Joburg’s northern suburbs when my mobile signal suddenly dropped and I didn’t have Google Maps to guide me to my next destination. And you can’t use the “Well, you live in Africa” excuse, either. The same thing happened last year in Manhattan. I still need maps — real maps — and real guidebooks when I travel. And even if I don’t need them, I want them. Luckily there’s a great place to buy them in Joburg. I discovered the Maps 4 Africa shop many years ago, then forgot about it, then discovered it again last year while looking for a Mozambique guide book for my trip to Maputo. You’d think Exclusive Books, the country’s most popular retail bookstore, would have a wide selection of guidebooks for Mozambique — a major tourist destination and one of South Africa’s closest neighbors. But nope — […]

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The road on Route 62 in South Africa

My #10SouthAfricanTowns Project: I Need Your Support!

A couple of months ago I announced my plan to visit 10 small South African towns in 2020, in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of my blog. I will blog about my visits to the 10 South African towns throughout the year (along with my usual Joburg-centric content), and I also plan to publish a #10SouthAfricanTowns book in early 2021. I received about 75 different town suggestions, and after much consideration I’ve whittled the list down to ten. This map is subject to change. (In fact, I’ve changed two of the towns since this post was initially published on 6 December.) But for now, here are the ten towns I’ve chosen: In case you don’t feel like clicking on the map, here’s the list in no particular order: Bathurst, Eastern Cape Prince Albert, Western Cape Philippolis, Free State Kaapschehoop, Mpumalanga Kameel, North West Kakamas, Northern Cape Bredasdorp, Western Cape Val, Mpumalanga Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal Ohrigstad, Limpopo I chose the ten towns based on a few factors: 1) Each town was suggested by one of you, my wonderful readers; 2) I hadn’t visited any of these towns before; and 3) The towns cover all nine of South Africa’s provinces, except for Gauteng […]

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Church in Ladismith

My 2020 Challenge: 10 South African Towns

In June 2020 the 2Summers blog will turn ten years old. One decade of blogging. This means I’ve been blogging for more than 20 percent of my life. It also means a baby born on the day I published my first post in June 2010 — here it is, in case you’re curious — is now old enough to actually read and comprehend this blog. It means I’ve currently published 951 blog posts, including this one, and will probably surpass the 1000-post mark in 2020. I want to do something to recognize this milestone, and I’ve decided I need to be serious and start planning now. I’m going to make 2020 the year of South African Towns. A Year of South African Towns I’ve visited a lot of small South African towns recently. And I’ve realized that right now, for whatever reason, exploring small South African towns is what brings me the most joy. Long road trips used to exhaust me, especially when I was alone. But since moving to South Africa I’ve developed a taste for solo driving. I’ll happily jump in the car and drive four or five hours alone, knowing I’ll reach a new town at the […]

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