Behind the tourist image of South Africa lies hunger, illiteracy and genuine human warmth



Airlines that fly from the UK to Cape Town most regularly are: British Airways 0345 2221 1 1 (www.britishairwayscom), Virgin 01293 747747 (wwwvirginatlanticcom) and South African Airways 0207 312 5000 (wwwsaacom).


South Africa Tourism advises against visiting a township without a guide. Crime is still a concern in South Africa. although. despite the horror stories. the truth is that most South Africans are very welcoming to visitors and you will experience many more instances of kindness than hostility.

You can call and request a travel info pack from the South African Tourist Board on 0208 971 9350 or log onto wwwsouth-african- tourismorg

Once you get there. The Mall 8 Guard/an is the main broadsheet newspaper for South Africa with excellent listings of events and what's on, plus a travel section with an archive of articles on local places to visit (www.mgcozaflng).


Grassmutes ( or runs tours to the Cape Town's townships. local craft markets. the Bo Kaap. a vibrant inner-city area inhabited by descendants of Asian slaves brought to South Africa in the 18th century. and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated as a political prisoner for many years.

It can also arrange a stay at Vicky's 888 (from £12). A recent addition to its itinerary is a tour of the Spire Wine Estate in Stellanbosh where former vineyard workers are producing wines under their own labels.


Music has always been at the heart of African culture. but until recently the townships atmospheric bars and clubs have been off limits to visitors. If you're interested in checking out the eclectic selection of bands on offer ranging from Afro jazz to marimba. gospel and funk contact Township Music Tours. a World Music Development initiative which can be booked though Africa Collection UK (01403 256655 or Back in central Cape Town, the Pan Africa market on Long Street showcases bands from Cameroon. Senegal and Mali. as well as local bands.

Excess baggage

Festivals. flights and fabulous fares

LOCKINC FOR A LAST minute Easter getaxml .‘ if you're tlLll(‘.l\ gesu u i take atixantatic of some not deals from S TA Travel. From 11? 18 Ann. the\ e got Rcr‘ie ET." 1.? for four nights 'i".(_‘. accommmlatch .'.l‘,lo deals especiall, for students; and under . lit: include fcur nights it New York for 533.33. Mth details on

vim/w.statra‘. RICO.le or call 0131 228 {1117. THE SUCCESS OF Easyjet’s direct route between Edinburgh to Amsterdam has resulted in a new service between Glasgow and Amsterdam. Due to start on 21 August, there’ll be a daily flight, increasing twice daily a couple of weeks later. There’s also a brand new direct service to Belfast from both cities, starting from 21 August in Glasgow and 3 September in Edinburgh.

HOT ON THE HEELS OF this announcement is the news that Go is also introducmg a Glasgow and Edinburgh to Belfast




IT'S WHERE GLADIATOR was filmed - not Rome, but Malta which Ridley Scott used to recreate the ancient city, and if you fancy seeing it for yourself log onto www.bargainholidays. com, where they‘re offering seven nights with accommodation from £189.

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IF YOU'RE LANNING a long-haul trip in April or May, Usit Campus Travel has deals available including the Western Wanderer (London, Bangkok, Singapore and Perth) for £545 or the Southern Surfer (London, Los Angeles and Auckland) for £587. The sale prices are available until 20 April.

McCarthy's Bar lSceptre $701.01 00000

It is a wonderful idea that is couched in drunken whimsy and it makes a great book. Writer, journalist, broadcaster and minor celeb McCarthy wanders through the west of Ireland basically drinking according to a book of rules honed from years of journeyman experience. The rules

'ncé'iii'iii‘is in

include ‘Never Pass A Bar That Has Your Name On It’ and ‘However Exotic The Country, The Local Radio Phone-in Quiz Induces In The Traveller A Sudden And Dramatic Downturn In

The Will To Live’.

McCarthy is a very funny writer; one of the more neglected of the young guns that emerged in the early 805, he has always been a journalist too self aware and humble to inflict on the public acres of columnist’s rhetoric. His real coup here though is that beyond the dry flippancy he manages to paint a consuming picture of a rapidly changing country. Affectionate and populist, this is a book that can be passed from father to son or vice versa. (Paul Dale)

12—2‘, Alf 237;? THE LIST 123