pet-friendly-directory3rdMany of us feel that our pets are like our children and we absolutely cannot think of leaving them behind when we go on holiday. Well, we felt the same and in 2001, with a shared passion for animals and a love of travel, we spent a year doing intensive research on the subject. The result of this was that in March 2002, under the publishing banner of PETS WELCOME SA, we produced the First Edition of The South African Pet-friendly Directory. Featuring 108 pet-friendly holiday getaways countrywide, the book was well received by both the public and the media.

Glenda Nevill reviewed the book for The Big Issue (June 2002) and said: "You've got to applaud the initiative of this pair of authors who've finally solved the problem of what to do with the babies when one wants to get out of town - you take them with you!"

We were absolutely thrilled by the response and immediately began working on a new 2nd edition of the Pet-friendly Directory, which was published in October 2003. "It's back. Bigger and better than the previous edition, and packed full of even more wonderful holiday getaway spots that will welcome you and your pets." This was the introduction the 2nd Edition got from the October 2003 issue of Animaltalk magazine, and with 155 pet-friendly options, it was a definite improvement on the first.

We started getting more and more letters from people expressing to us how grateful they were for the chance pet-friendly-directory4thto finally go away. Some people hadn't taken a holiday away from home for many years because they didn't want to leave their precious, four-legged kids behind. All these letters and requests made us realise that this absolutely had to continue and that we were indeed providing an important and much-needed resource.

All of a sudden, guesthouse owners were contacting us, wanting to advertise. Some that had never even allowed pets were considering building onto their existing facilities in order to accommodate furry guests. This encouraged us even more and a lot of work went into the next one, which, despite some setbacks, was finally published in September 2005.

This 3rd Edition was a bumper book with 226 pet-friendly options across South Africa, including quite a number of camping and caravan parks, which had been lacking in previous editions. As the Cape Argus (23 January 2006) reported, it was "a book to get tails wagging!"

More and more information was sent our way and, feeling a little nervous… (could we actually make the next one even better… and bigger?), we set to work compiling the 4th Edition. In November 2006, we proudly released the new Directory, featuring an incredible 317 pet-friendly places to stay! What a success! Guesthouse owners were happy, people were happy and most importantly, pets were happy!

pet-friendly-directory5thBefore we knew it, six months had passed and with PFDs flying off the shelves across the country, we began our fifth quest for new and exciting pet-friendly destinations.

A chance sighting of our stunning cover photo sent in with a letter and  published in a magazine provided inspiration and before we knew it, it was April 2008, and our stunning 5th edition was on  the shelves, offering a staggering 344 pet-friendly places in South Africa that will welcome your pets with open arms.  These places don't just tolerate animals – they see them as part of the family just like you do.

So from Cape Town to Wilderness; Port Alfred to Mazeppa Bay; from the Drakensberg to Pongola; Clarens to Ficksburg; from the Magaliesberg to Hartbeespoort; from Nelspruit to Magoebaskloof and from Augrabies to Paternoster – every dog deserves a holiday… surely you and yours do too?