St Jude’s

by Tim Dawe

The School of St Jude in northern Tanzania fights poverty through education. You won’t find it highlighted in glossy travel brochures. However, for the many travellers who want to visit and assist charitable organisations in developing countries, it’s a memorable destination and a worthwhile experience. While not the journey, it can be a fulfilling detour – with travel benefits. Continue reading “St Jude’s”



by Tim Dawe


Travel is not always about being pampered with a spa on a cruise. Many travellers are looking to supplement their holiday by assisting charitable foundations and make a difference. It’s the combination of supporting their charity and volunteering their time and labour that is satisfying. Now what about “doing good in the world” through a profit-based company? Continue reading “Shanga”

A Cooked Cow

by Tim Dawe


Some people bang on about the romance of trains and the joys of long-distance train journeys. Well, when you’re sitting in the same so-called sleeper seat after 24 hours (six of them competing for a night’s sleep with cute but frolicsome kids) staring glassy-eyed out the window at flat nothingness for hour after hour, Australia’s Indian Pacific train can be, well, downright boring. Continue reading “A Cooked Cow”


by Tim Dawe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven before I arrive at Vergelegen I am overwhelmed. That’s because of its impossibly guttural Afrikaans pronunciation – with all those Gs.

I am staying at Somerset West, near Cape Town, today, on a lovely Sunday drive through the wine districts around Stellenbosch. On our return my host pulls off the road on a last-minute whim and backtracks. And now I’m facing this beautiful grande dame of South African wine estates: Vergelegen. Continue reading “Vergelegen”

Travelling from Paarl

by Tim Dawe



I’m travelling in South Africa – more on travelling, and travel, later. My current destination is Paarl, a pleasant and historic town 60km north-east of Cape Town on the major road (N1) joining Johannesburg. It’s pleasant because of its 11km-long Main St lined with old oak trees and Cape Dutch architecture – even a vineyard homestead. It’s historic because this is the third oldest European settlement (1637), once the colony’s fruit and vegetable producer, now an important wine and brandy area. It is the headquarters for South Africa’s wine industry, the KWV. Stellenbosch is 30km away. Continue reading “Travelling from Paarl”

Prisoners in a gilded cage

by Tim Dawe


Through the window I see the electrified perimeter fence and cleared no man’s land. Guards in electric buggies on night patrol periodically shine a light through the crack in my bedroom curtains. Entry to this compound is by fingerprint scan overseen by CCTV and burly security guards.  A hellish detention centre? Continue reading “Prisoners in a gilded cage”