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Paws are Taking to the Sea Point Promenade – 18 February 2018

Mdzananda : 10 February 2018 10:54 am : Events, Pet Friendly

Paws on the Promenade 2018_lowres

You and your pooch are invited to the third annual Paws on the Promenade – a dog walk fundraiser in support of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Khayelitsha.

On Sunday the 18th of February at 9:00am, join in the fun as pets and owners strut their stuff along the beautiful scenic route of the Sea Point promenade. Starting at the Mouille Point light house, the route will extend to the Sea Point swimming pool and back – a total of five kilometers. Shorter turnaround points for old, tired and injured pets (or humans) will also be available.

“Our 2017 Paws on the Promenade was a great success with an attendance of 271 dogs and 368 humans. On a budget of just R1050 we raised R24 000. We hope to raise even more funds with this year’s event,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager and event organizer.

Everyone is invited; humans without four legged friends are welcome too. A number of stray dogs up for adoption will be available to walk with you. You can book a stray pet to join you on this walk by emailing

The event is hosted in partnership with Vondi’s Holistic Pet nutrition who will be sponsoring 200 goodie bags for the first 200 dogs to arrive on the day.

Raffle prizes and products will be for sale and delicious Bootlegger coffee will be available for purchase to get you started.

Tickets cost R40 per person and R40 per dog and are available on Quicket, by emailing. You can pre- or by visiting Vondi’s Hopistic Pet Food, 59 Regent Road, Sea Point. On day registration will start at 8:00am. Dress like your pet or wear something orange.

2017 POP 2

2017 POP 3

2017 POP 4

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Hebron Estate

Gill : 27 June 2017 4:04 pm : Pet Friendly


Finally the cooler weather has arrived and we could head for the hills for a weekend away. We were certainly rewarded for our patience and had the most fantastic weekend at Hebron Estate.

We booked the little cottage which is off to the side, away from the other dwellings and really enjoyed the peace and solitude. Hebron Estate is a Buchu farm and you are free to walk anywhere on the farm. There is so much variety and we were lucky enough to see some buck on our one walk and the beagle nose found lots of scents to investigate.

The walk up to the dam is lovely. Tall proteas grow on the one side and the different colours in the vegetation were amazing. Mountains in the distance, the promise of rain in the air and a great dog as company. Perfect.

Hebron Estate is definitely trying to edge it’s way into my Top 3! In addition to all the farm has to offer, other pluses are it’s proximity to Cape Town, the road is good all the way and the price was really reasonable.


















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Bergen Dam

Gill : 23 January 2017 8:50 am : Pet Friendly

This is one of the best pet friendly places we have had the good fortune of visiting. Situated just outside Bredasdorp it’s a pleasant drive from Cape Town and absolute doggy heaven.


The cottage is surrounded by green fields and the view of the dam from the stoep is comforting, amazing and peaceful. Especially if you are lying in the hammock after a good walk. A little stream flows through the forest behind the cottage and once across it there’s a nice hike up to the top of the SoutMuis mountains that overlook the area. There are lots of friendly cows about so your dogs need to be familiar with livestock.








Part of the welcome includes fresh farm milk in the fridge, rusks and a complimentary bottle of wine. What stood out for me though was that there are so many lamps and each lamp had a box of matches with it so you never had to search. There is also plenty of wood provided to fire up the donkey for shower time. I was amazed at how long the water stayed hot.

A lot of love and care went into making this cottage comfortable and homely. We really enjoyed our time at Bergen Dam and I cannot recommend it highly enough.


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Honeywood Farm

Gill : 4 October 2016 8:37 pm : Pet Friendly

Arriving at Honeywood Farm

Arriving at Honeywood Farm

Honeywood Farm near Heidelberg will have you relaxing from the moment you arrive. We stayed at Hunter’s Lodge, a converted labourer’s cottage perched on top of a hill. Rustic and comfortable you have perfect views to savour and long walks to enjoy. It’s well know amongst the mountain biking community and has a few nice long routes for cycling.

Accommodation wise there are a few cottages at the main farmhouse, a barn type building when you have large numbers and then Hunter’s Lodge and Woody’s which are more private and isolated. Now, we all know what bacon and braaivleis smell like to us so you can imagine what it smells like to a hound, a scent hound. This means I generally try and book cottages that are more private so Daks can have the freedom to explore without me having to be concerned that he’s inviting himself to dine with the neighbours.

Hunter's Lodge

Hunter’s Lodge

Woody's In The Distance

Woody’s In The Distance

Daks and I enjoyed long walks every morning and afternoon and really enjoyed our stay. The stars at night have nothing to dim their lustre and beauty and Honeywood is far enough off the beaten track to be completely quiet and peaceful at night.



We spent much of the beautiful, still winter days on the deck appreciating the view. Do be aware that the cows here are pretty friendly so your dogs do need to be well behaved around livestock. Also, I think if you are taking a dog with Hunter’s may be the better choice between Hunter’s and Woody’s because, although we didn’t see any baboons, we heard them in the forest near Woody’s. We also spotted some hare’s on our evening walks which were cause for much excitement and a chance to practice recalls with ‘extreme’ distractions :)

Cattle Watching From The Deck

Cattle Watching From The Deck

On our last morning there, there was some heavy cloud cover and then the mist rolled in. Fantastic.

Heavy Cloud Cover

Heavy Cloud

Misty Morning

Misty Morning

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Nursery Ravine

Gill : 30 July 2016 10:10 am : Pet Friendly


I’ve done Nursery Ravine a few times in the past but Daks and I haven’t done it together. We tackled it on Sunday and enjoyed the walk but did find it a little restrictive with all the leash laws and no dog pathways from Kirstenbosch Gardens. I guess we’ve just been spoilt with all the off leash walks we enjoy in the area.



We entered at Rycroft Gate, entrance is R55 for adults and you need your Activity Card for your dog to gain entry. We headed up to the left on the dog walking path, continuing left into a portion of Cecelia Forest where the dogs could be off lead. It was a brilliant, sunny day and not too warm with no wind so we had a lovely walk.

Daks had some doggy company as his ‘cousin’, Riley the labby, and family were with us.


Once you get down to the Ravine, it’s all dogs on lead and quite a steep ascent and descent. So I wouldn’t recommend it if your dog is super strong and pulls on leash ;)





We enjoyed the walk but I can’t see it becoming a regular one for us. Society places so many restrictions on our dogs, often with good reason and for their safety, that I’d rather spend our weekend walks in places where there is more freedom for well behaved and well socialised dogs.


I’m including a map of the on leash/no dog areas for your convenience.

No dogs

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Glamping at Buffalo Drift

Gill : 26 July 2016 8:31 pm : Pet Friendly


We had an amazing weekend away at the Tented Camp at Buffalo Drift. Generally we hire a cottage when we go away and this was our first time ‘glamping’. It was wonderful and peaceful next to the river and while I thought it may be cold at night we slept nice and snug and found the tent very comfortable.


The days saw us taking long walks and we were amazed by the variety there in terms of the vegetation. The farm is exceptionally neat and tidy and everything is very well maintained. An added plus it that it’s just outside Gouda so a really quick drive from Cape Town enabling you to maximize the use of your time away.

Each tent has a canoe with paddles really, if walking is your thing, there’s loads of space and the walks are all flat so the entire family can join in. Definitely a repeat destination for us.









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Flower Valley Farm

Gill : 16 June 2016 8:58 pm : Articles, Pet Friendly

In the Western Cape we’re fortunate in the variety of places we can take our dogs for nature walks. The Grootbos turnoff is on the road between Stanford and Gansbaai. It’s a pleasant dirt road and one of the special places it leads to is the amazing Flower Valley Farm. Flower Valley Farm is the home of the Flower Valley Conservation Trust which is a registered Non-profit organisation. Situated only 220km from Cape Town and with pet friendly accommodation in the area, this makes it a perfect destination for a weekend away.



When researching the area for our visit to Platbos Forest, I discovered Flower Valley which is dog friendly and has five hiking routes to choose from. The routes range from three to seven kilometers in distance, we opted for the seven kilometer Stinkhoutsforest Trail. You head up the hill for magnificent views and then down into the valley and through the Afromontane Forest. I’ve seldom encountered so much variety on a single walk.



There’s a stream that runs through the forest with some tables and chairs under the trees that would be perfect for a picnic. Remember the tabard and bug spray as there can be quite a few miggies around, depending on the time of year.



There are a couple of old rouge baboons that hang out near the offices so keep your dogs on lead on arrival. The farm manager, Mariana, is very helpful and will tell you where they on the day. They make a big show of being brave but keep their distance so were not a problem for us. This is a superb doggy destination and one I’ll be keeping on my list for future visits.

Flower Valley

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Platbos Forest

Gill : 22 May 2016 10:10 am : Pet Friendly

NB Platbos Forest Admin have advised, April 2018, that they are no longer pet friendly


March saw us tootling off along the R43 again to visit Platbos Forest. Platbos forest is the southern most indigenous forest in Africa and had been on my list to visit for a long time. Situated between Stanford and Gansbaai, it’s also the perfect distance for a weekend break. There’s a once off payment for pets of R100 which, I think you’ll agree, is very reasonable.


We booked the Old Olive Cabin as it was secluded and away from the rest of the cabins and the camp site. In fact, you need to park your vehicle and cart your things down to the cabin in a wheel barrow. This, of course, added to the appeal. If you take you doggy with do be careful though as the nursery is close to Old Olive Cabin and when we were there it was littered with broken glass and bones. Having a foody dog I had to watch Daks like a hawk as the bones were calling him, not too difficult if he’d had a good walk and was snoozing.



The forest itself is lovely but smaller than I anticipated so we did end up walking the same route fairly often. Daks didn’t mind this but I was looking for a bit more variety so we also visited Flower Valley across the way which was breath taking. More about this in a later post.

Be warned, the mosquitoes and biting flies at Platbos are tough! I took Tabbard and Tabbard candles to burn plus camp spray insect repellent and they had a good chomp anyway. Be sure to back lightweight long sleeves and pants to protect you. Lucky for us it was cool and we had quite a bit of rain. In fact, there were some lovely downpours at night which made snuggling down in bed very inviting. Do be aware that the loo is a long drop and the shower is heated by a donkey boiler. Both these facilities are a little away from the cabin itself.


















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Joose se Klip – Franskraal

Gill : 2 May 2016 11:33 am : Pet Friendly


Daks and I don’t do hot weather, so the heat of summer has us looking for cooler places to visit. We found just the spot at Joos se Klip in Franskraal. This spacious two bedroom house has a fully enclosed yard and a huge deck out front overlooking the sea. Although a large or motivated dog would manage to jump over the fence, Daks was quite happy to nap between all the walks and activities.

Checking Out The View From The Deck

Checking Out The View From The Deck

The beach is on leash but was so quiet in the morning that we could dispense with the leash. Daks has a good recall and there wasn’t anyone for him to bother. There were a few other dogs on the beach at times so he could have a game and when we got near to any dog-less people I slipped his leash back on.






Franskraal is so quiet and I cannot recall when last I saw an inhabited place that is so clean and litter free. It was such a pleasure walking there. It’s close to Pearly Beach so we popped down there to have a walk and also visited Uilenkraal River.



Pearly Beach

Pearly Beach

Uilenskuil River

Uilenskuil River

Amazing Colours on the Banks of Uilenskuil

Amazing Colours on the Banks of Uilenskuil

This is a great weekend destination as it’s not too far from Cape Town and the scenery along the R43 between Hermanus and Franskraal is lovely.

Please Can We Stay Longer?

Please Can We Stay Longer?

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Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve

Gill : 13 March 2016 12:59 pm : Pet Friendly

Regular readers may remember that we discovered this magical place when we were staying at Klondyke Cherry Farm. It almost instantly moved to the top of my ‘must visit’ list. We booked for a weekend at the end of November and had a fantastic time. I’d recommend either the Goatherd House or 50 Shades of Green as both are very private and secluded.

50 Shades of Green

50 Shades of Green

50 Shades is smaller with one bedroom and sleeps four whilst the Goatherds House sleeps six so this is something to keep in mind. We chose 50 Shades, basically because the little veranda looked inviting and I loved the grass and very natural feeling of the place. We were not disappointed. With minimal cell phone reception on the Vodacom network and none on MTN, peace and quiet is a given.

Wonderful And Relaxing

Wonderful And Relaxing

Bath Time Anyone?

Bath Time Anyone?

An important point to remember is to take extra dog food with. You stand a good chance of having an extra guest for the evening. Janey is sure to meet you and escort you to your cabin. She’s a great tour guide and loves to accompany guests on their hikes.

Friends for the weekend

Friends for the weekend

Little Lukas was as absolute sweetheart, loved cuddles, and also spent the night with us, she has sadly passed on since our visit. Lukas was quite a hero at Matroosberg and escorted folks off the mountain during a white out. Her owner told me how all the students could see during that time was the black of her coat as she led them to safety.


Daks and Our Guests – Janey and Lukas

The hiking is amazing with wonderful views. On the Friday we did a general mooch around for about 2 hours and on the Saturday we walked to the waterfall, up the valley and on the Sunday to the Rock pools so there is some nice variety.
While we were at the rock pools it started to rain. It was wonderful to watch the storm arrive.

Mooching Around Near 50 Shades

Mooching Around Near 50 Shades

The Amazing Proteas

The Amazing Proteas

View From Our Walk

View From Our Walk

Come On Then

Come On Then

Somewhat Dry Waterfall

Somewhat Dry Waterfall

Heading To The Rock Pools

Heading To The Rock Pools

The Rock Pools

The Rock Pools

Storm Arriving

Storm Arriving

For those that prefer camping, there are two camp sites, one of which is pet friendly.

Fun Times

Fun Times

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