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Monthly Archives: May 2013

The music festival that makes the difference

Swaziland’s acclaimed international music and arts festival is back !

BUSHFIRE Festival it’s a big festival of music and art which takes place this week end and not to be missed if you are around : 3 days of live music, theater, poetry, theater, circus, dance and visual arts to entertain your.

Moreover, you will enjoy its vibrant handcraft market, family-friendly performances & KidZone.

The BUSHFIRE Festival welcomes every year 20,000 people from Africa and the four corners of the world. It is the mixture of creativity, a multi-generational audience, in a socially responsible philosophy .

bush fire festival swaziland 2013

The festival venue, known as House on Fire, is situated in the Ezulwini Valley (Ezulwini means ‘place of heaven’), a short drive from Swaziland’s capital, Mbabanea. The Ezulwini Valley is the Kingdom’s main tourist area offering a wealth of attractions : hotels, restaurants, hot springs, casinos, craft markets, art galleries, riding stables, a nature reserve, a golf course and a cultural village.

It’s definitely a magical setting in the heart of Swaziland who creates and maintains an harmonious energy and what makes the festival so special regarding its atmophere.

Besides its artistic diversity, BUSHFIRE Festival is also know for its many social commitments, such as helping Swazi arts and the cultural scene to grow.  Indeed, the festival is donating 100% of its profits to Aids orphans through the Swazi NGO, Young Heroes (www.youngheroes.org.sz), and 100% of merchandise proceeds to the non-profit rural community development project – Gone Rural BoMake (www.goneruralbomake.org).

If you have the chance to go, believe me, you’ll live spectacular moments while helping your neighbor!

Website : http://www.bush-fire.com/

Kapama, 10 new luxury suites to come

Located in the south of the private game reserve Kapama, Kapama Southern Camp is a luxurious accommodation for the nature lovers.

Independent travelers, families, young couples, this lodge caters to all travelers who wish to enjoy a peaceful night in the heart of the wilderness.

But Kapama Southern Camp has not stopped to surprise you yet. With the acquisition of 300 hectares, the hotel property has expanded to build 10 new luxury suites that will replace the old rooms

Southern Camp Lounge Kapama blog

These suites, for which the opening is scheduled in December 2013, will stick to a modern style while being in accordance with the nature. They will be covered with modern thatches. They will be equipped with an inside and outside shower as well as a fireplace.  With other surprises unveiled on the opening day!!  In any case, the main idea is to offer you more cosiness.

Come and spend a few nights in Kapama Southern Camp!  Experience its originality through these big wooden structures inspired by the surrounding nature. These luxurious rooms have been designed with the aim of making the most of the natural environment. The elegant dining room that opens on both sides is a good example.

The cuisine should delight your taste buds. And for an additional charm note, how about a traditional boma dinner around a big fire and under a starry sky.

Kapama lodge boma

Regarding activities, take advantage of a complete relaxation by the swimming pool or at the Kapama Welleness Centre for a truly African spa experience. Or why not play the adventurers in the bush during an elephant back safari?.

My great brunch at Pot Luck Club

I had the chance to try the Sunday Brunch at Pot Luck Club last week-end.

In one word : Brilliant!

Still located at the Biscuit Mill, the New York Loft style restaurant is now settled at the top of one of the buildings (6th floor) and offers amazing views (Table Mountain on one side, the ocean and the harbour on the other).

About the food, you can choose between 2 options : A regular starter/main/dessert for R150, or a full menu (all items on the menu!) for R350.

venue

We started with a complimentary shot of Spicy Bloody Mary (Peanut Butter smoothie for the little ones).

Then were proposed and please hold your breathe : Home made ciabatta, smoked and pickled olives, almond and sundried tomatoes pesto, confit garlic, miso and soy sauce edamames, tempuraed celery leaves, oysters with dashi jelly, toasted brioche with mushrooms, porcini dust and lemon, mussels in a coconut, ginger and lemongrass broth, fried polenta with figs, duck spring rolls with tamarind sauce, watermelon with Campari jelly and blood orange sorbet, raw yellowtail tacos.

Before tasting the meat with a rare lightly smoked beef fillet with Helson Blumenthal style roasted potatoes, a whole melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank with root vegetables and rosemary cream.

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We finally enjoyed a small cheese platter, and an almond and peach tart with honeycomb and popcorn ice-cream and a yuzu panacotta.

For R 350. Needless to say I skipped my dinner..

Let’s talk about the wine. The wine list offers a narrow choice with (expensive) wines by the glass. But, they do have an unusual option : The bottomless Cape Classique. In other words, you choose between Pierre Jourdan Brut or Rosé, and for R150, your glass will never (ever) dry up!

Just one negative comment : the lounge music reverberates on the glass and metal frames, which makes the restaurant a bit noisy..

Anyway, great food, nice and efficient service, stunning views and modern decor… A winner !

Laurent Soragna

Charm & Safari, Botswana

Situated in the Linyanti Reserve Swamp System in Botswana, DumaTau Camp is hidden under a canopy of mangosteen trees over-looking a lagoon filled with hippos.

And if that isn’t enough to fuel your safari spirit, here’s more. Made up of 10 tented units, raised on platforms, the camp is an oasis waiting to be discovered. Each of the tents feature comforts like en-suite facilities and an outside shower, which I loved during the heat-filled days.

Dumatau Camp Botswana

Tents are very spacious, which make them perfect for a group of adventure-seeking friends, or a couple looking to celebrate their romance.

The dining and lounging area are located in the camp’s main building and can’t be more luxurious with the amazing surrounds as a backdrop to enjoy a cocktail or a bite to eat to.

Game viewing here is the main attraction, so get your cameras ready.

Expect to snap away at everything from zebra and giraffe to warthog and vervet monkeys. Trust me, this is where your love for the mother continent begins…

One of the best spot for Outdoor Dining

A member of Relais & Chateaux and Hunter Hotel group of hotels, you expect nothing but excellence.

Tsala Treetop Lodge is undoubtedly a place where friends meet along the Garden Route.

“Tsala, means a friend in Setswana”. With its earthy forest and African inspired architecture, this place provides a visitor with an authentic, yet luxurious African experience.

Tsala Treetop Lodge has just been ranked among the 10 most Spectacular Spots for Outdoor Dining Around the World by Zagat, in its last review, the equivalent to the Michelin guide in the USA.

Tsala-Treetop_dining_on_the_deck

‘’This bucolic forest lodge and its restaurant Zinzi are a must-visit dining destination in South Africa’s Plettenberg Bay. Encircled by lush forests, the resort offers an outdoor dining deck suspended above the forest floor, offerings views of tropical trees and distant hills. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a world-class breakfast.’’, from Zagat.

Dinning is an experience of both local and exotic dishes paired with the finest local wines.

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape,Tsala is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty the celebrated Garden Route or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

The lodge also offers an array of activities ranging from bird-watching, boat trips at the nearby Keurbooms river and for the more adventurous, Quad biking at the neary by Tsitsikama forest.

Tsala-Tree-Lodge-Suite-Deck-Pool

In a nutshell, it’s an ideal retreat which suits both for family and individuals in the heart of the Garden Route.

Okavango Delta, Biodiversity first

The Okavango Delta, one the world’s largest inland deltas, is a unique but fragile ecosystem with a high level of biodiversity and plays a significant role in Botswana’s economy through tourism.

The Okavango Delt is the world’s largest inland river delta.

The Okavango Delta is pristine and its ecological integrity still remains intact. The Biokavango Project aims to  reduce the threat risk regarding the future developments rather than attenuating existing threats to biodiversity..

okavango-delta-biodiversity

The “Biokavango Project” is building local capacity for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Okavango Delta.

This well achieved strategy involves three production sectors : water, tourism and fisheries, which all depends on ecological services and goods provided by the Okavango wetland system.

The tourism sector contributes directly to the biodiversity conservation objectives in the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta is the spectacular result of the Okavango (Kavango) River flowing into the Kalahari Desert.

This only source  of water during the dry period the Okavango Delta attracts thousands of animals creating one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

Paul Stein, when simplicity and purity create Art

Many hotels and galleries open their door on the first Thursday of each month in order to expose various South African artists or even foreign artists. It is a great opportunity to meet the artists so they can really explain their work while you’re tasting some wine…

While walking in the streets with a bunch of friends, we passed by the Cape Heritage Hotel, a very luxurious hotel.

This hotel has been designed by Heath Nash who used recycled materials and Mielie who has contributed to the curtains and puffs which are also made from recycled fabrics. At last, Michael from Moonlight Magic has created animal trophies out of wire and paper which portray a stunning atmosphere.

There, in the New Heritage Gallery, we discovered Paul Stein’s work thanks to a very nice lady who proposed us to taste some wine, a delicious Chenin Blanc and some Merlot while explaining to us what we were going to see.

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Born in Johannesburg in 1956, Paul’s parents were part of the cultural scene of JHB in the sixties and through them he was exposed to many artists of that era (in particular, Eduardo Villa).

He usually says about his work: “As far as subject matter, one of my current interests is the notion of genesis and concept of locked in ideas. The idea is of a powerful impulse which needs to find a way out of a matrix and be brought into life, and these mysterious life strengths moves these bundles of energy  in time. I find inspiration in Contemporary Jewellery, the Architecture of our time, machinery from the Industrial era, the natural world.”

An interesting characteristic about this exhibition was that, the room where the works were exposed had no light and we could use our own flashlight to observe Paul’s work and interact directly with his work.

More infos about Paul Stein’s work on :

www.newheritagegallery.com

Julie Bonnemoy

A striking and unconventional beauty

To commemorate our 45th edition, we bring you this new newsletter format and articles available on our blog.

This veritable gold mine of current information, is jam packed with articles on travel destinations we’ve handpicked to suite our varied clientele, as well as practical information to help you on your journey including interesting and exciting accommodation hot-spots; recommended activities to include in your itinerary and so much more!

namib rand reserve namibia

To kick-start this new format, I couldn’t think of a better country to focus on than Namibia, in all her stark and unconventional beauty.

Having had the privilege of living in Namibia and been lost in her vast and magnificent landscapes many times, I know the prolific wildlife, raw beauty and unique scents of this remarkable country will leave its mark on you forever, as it did me.

To take you on this unforgettable journey, our devoted and eclectic Windhoek team is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to organize your Namibian adventure.

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Palmwag, exclusive eco-safari

For the more discerning traveler in search of safari, Palmwag offers abundant wildlife and prolific fauna in a luxurious setting.

The Desert Rhino Camp is an exclusive lodge with 8 Meru-style canvas tents that sleep up to 16 guests. Raised from the ground on a wooden deck, each tent features an en-suite bathroom with a hand basin, flush toilet and shower.

The camp is truly redolent with a safari atmosphere, with dinner served around the campfire, where you can relax and socialize with the guides.

rhion camp palmwag in namibia

Desert Rhino Camp works closely with the Save the Rhino association, responsible for the protection of the largest free-roaming black rhino population in Africa.

These rhinos are known for their excellent adaptation to desert conditions, particularly of Damaraland and Kaokoland. Part of the Lodge revenue is donated to Save the Rhino to help assist them in their admirable work.

In addition to rhino, Palmwag concession includes elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, Oryx, springbok, kudu and predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard, brown and spotted hyena. The wildlife moves freely in the heart of this part of Damaraland, one of the wildest regions of Namibia.

Access to the camp is by 4×4 only from Palmwag Lodge.

Splendor and secrets of the desert

Sossusvlei is a stunning salt and clay pan, surrounded by the highest dunes in the world, some reaching 325m.

The entire Sossusvlei area is ensconced in sand and is only accessible via the dry bed of the river, Tsauchab. Many years ago the river connected to the sea, but then harsh easterly winds started to carry sand in from the Kalahari and in time, the bed gave way to the dunes.

sossusvlei namibia dead tree

Visitors arriving at Sossusvlei will immediately be overwhelmed by the silence and serenity of this truly magical place; particularly when climbing one of the pan’s dunes to admire the expanse of sand and dunes from above as they are gently coaxed by the wind.

Sossusvlei is a fascinating destination for those in search of raw beauty.