The Hollywood Roosevelt is the most iconic hotel I can think of in LA. It’s history and its fame date back to when Marilyn Monroe stayed there as a resident for 2 years in her early career. (more…)
I’ll never forget my trip to Pompeii. It was one of the most haunting places I’ve been to. It was a place of mystery and magic, which you could feel in the air. If you’ve never heard of it, the city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. In the year 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted near it and buried the city under a thick blanket of ash.
Even though I now live in the U.S, I was born in South Africa. I try visit as often as possible. We are surrounded by so much beauty there everyday! I thank God for the wild + exotic marvels he provides for us in that part of the world.
I don’t think tourists realise just how beautiful it is there. I don’t think they understand the similarities there with where they’re from. When they book their trips to South Africa, I’ve heard they expect to find mudhuts all over the place with animals walking through dirty streets in a 3rd world pocket of nothingness. That’s simply not true. Of course they’ll always be poverty wherever you go, but the picture they have in their head is completely innacurate. I remember back to when I lived in New York. People didn’t think South Africa was developed at all. I hope to change that misconception!
When they land, tourists are always surprised to find that we have a very normal lifestyle there with bars and nightclubs just like them. We have attractions, schools, universities, businesses, buildings, highways and entertainment just like them. We have a well-developed and working infrastructure. I’ve been all over the world and our international airports are the best I’ve seen.
They gasp at our beauty. They enjoy our top-class hotels, our polished service and our commercial culture – just like they have. They see our world-class education facilities, our safe amenities, our well-spoken citizens, our clean streets, our modern households, our friendly attitudes, our quirky sub-cultures and our huge fashion scene.
They recognize our healthy lifestyle in amidst stunning settings. They love the open space, the land, the people, the views. They marvel at the Cape Winelands, the game reserves, the nature, the beaches, the rolling hills and the mountains. They toast to our sunsets and drink wine under our starry skies. They visit heritage sites of our world leaders like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.
Our greatest assets are our minds. We as a people are very forward-thinking and cosmopolitan. What I love about us is that we’re also down-to-earth and mindful of those less fortunate.
Our wildlife is part of our beauty.
In South Africa, you can get up close and personal with our animals. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world. Around where I grew up on the east coast of the country is a lion park. It’s called “Seaview Predator Park”. If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, this is definitely a place you want to go.
Even though all the animals are in cages, trust me, they are well-looked after. They are tame and sociable with tourists. Check out Seaview’s Facebook Page here and scoot over to Pinterest to see my Africa board.
Each and every time I watch the video my business filmed of them, my passion for my homeland grows stronger. Cape Town and Johannesburg have made their names famous internationally, but don’t underestimate the lesser-known places off-the-beaten path such as Port Elizabeth (5 hours from where Nelson Mandela was born!).
All in all, our time is coming.
Photos: Dane Doubell
Cover Photo: Death To The Stock Photo
Who thought that South Africa couldn’t have its own Hollywood? On the way to Stellebosch from Cape Town, there are huge mysterious structures which have been popping up for some time in an area which a signboard pointing to it labels “Cape Town Film Studios”. Phase 1 ended at the end of last year. That was the construction of sound stages, production offices, workshops, retail spaces, commercial offices and light industrial facilities. There are massive sets which are being built to mimic scenes that are frequently needed for films. For instance, there’s a typical New York street set being built and a typical USA style suburb. Also being built inside the studios are the interior sets which are magnificent replicas of the interior of a medieval castle and caves. Currently there are two drama documentaries being filmed at the studios. These are “The Great British Story” and “The History of the World”. The CEO of the Cape Town Film Studios is a guy called Nico Dekker. He is the former head and CEO of Table Mountain Motion Picture Studios and is assisted by an experienced management team, namely Rashay Magan (General Manager and deputy Chairman), Ross Rayners (Manager of Studio Projects), Fadiel Martin (Accountant) and Anant Singh (Chairman). He was in fact interviewed on CNN. On its website, it’s described as “Cape Town’s first, fully fledged sound stage complex”. Even famous vistors are impressed. Stephen Fry said on Twitter during the filming of “The Borrowers”:
“And – that’s a wrap. 12 hours of larkish fun. Must say deeply impressed with brand new Cape Town Studios. Make Pinewood etc look v shabby”