Monthly Archives: July 2014

100% Design South Africa 2014

The world-renowned design exhibition 100% Design is coming to South Africa, in association with Dauphin HumanDesign® Group and Conde Nast House & Garden magazine.

Proudly brought to you by Thebe Exhibitions and Decorex SA, the exhibition will showcase the very best residential, hospitality, office and product design that the country has to offer.

100% Design

South Africa will make its mark by offering one of the most exclusive design showcases when Johannesburg becomes the fourth city in the world to host the trend forward 100% Design exhibition from 6 – 10 August 2014.

Following in the discerning footsteps of London, Tokyo and Singapore, 100% Design South Africa will be the platform for inspirational contemporary designs in furniture, lighting, interiors, fabrics and product that Southern Africa has ever hosted under one roof.


Over one hundred of the South Africa’s most on-trend designers are expected to showcase their work at the official 100% Design South Africa launch in August 2014 alongside Decorex Joburg.

“100% Design South Africa is about discerning design and pushing creative boundaries in a visual theatre. From the minute visitors enter the environment, the show will look and feel very different to Decorex Joburg with a whole series of programmes and special events unique to the show,” explains Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Thebe Exhibitions.

100 BeautifulThings

100% Design South Africa will celebrate Cape Town’s prestigious status as World Design Capital 2014 by staging a pre-launch teaser of the expo with the 100% Design South Africa pavilion alongside Decorex Cape Town in April 2014.

Exhibition details:
100% Design South Africa
6 – 10 August 2014
Gallagher Convention Centre
Visit for more info

Edito 057 – All night long

Edito Newsletter 057

At the hour when the day takes flight
All animate Nature is subdued
By some obscure disquietude
Descending from the stars at night.

Victor Hugo would have done a good job writing the editorial of this newsletter, would’nt he?

For all, the long evening during summer holidays are always among the best time of the journey. It’s at sunset, when the heat leaves the scene and the quietness allows the first rest, that we enjoy, without hassles, preserving, just for a little bit longer, this last moment of the day…

The perfume of the bush rising up, the stars keeping our senses still alert. The moon taking place. At this time of the night, while many already play with Morpheus, it’s a new nocturnal life that emerges, sometimes in the step of Dionysus…

A dark maze where all things unite
To veil the outcome and the word!
Down in the deep, someone is stirring ;
Someone is dreaming on the height.

Like the Eagle owl taking off in the dark, we are inviting you to hawk about these few ideas of activities, pleasure and excitement that can be offered to those that the night enhances and arouses…

Good night all,

ParSébastien Charrieras

Underwater twilight in Mozambique

Being the second largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra boasts exceptional opportunities to admire the very best of Mozambique’s marine life.

But have you ever considered taking your underwater fun to another level by going on a night dive?
All it takes is to do a night dive speciality course, a proper diving torch and off you go, you’re ready for a whole new experience.

Benguerra Island

And what an experience… You’ll remember these moments for a long time, when you’re waiting to enter the water on that first night dive, the adrenalin rushing through your body and then, this is it.
The world slows down, you only see what is in the beam of your torch light, the reef looms up and you start seeing colors you’ve never thought possible.

As your field of vision is only as wide as the beam of your torch, you are looking at much smaller areas. Your eyes are focusing on small details and critters you wouldn’t have noticed on a day dive as you would have been too busy looking at everything around you.


The initial fear of the unknown has faded and you feel more and more comfortable in this new underwater adventure. Let’s focus on this new sub-aquatic nocturnal life that turns out being as diverse as you could have imagined. Cuttlefish, small shrimps, crayfish and even crabs are all out foraging for their food. Maybe they’ll be on tonight’s menu!?

Night diving - Scorpion fish

Without realizing how quickly time has gone by, you notice that your diving gauge is already on 50 bars. It’s more than time to start your ascend back to the surface. The boat is waiting to take you back to the lodge where you can already see yourself telling your experience around a tasteful cocktail. Let’s do it again tomorrow!

ByJeff Georges

Artsy urban stroll in Cape Town

First Thursdays is a free public event that takes place throughout the year (except for January) and starts at 5pm.

Art galleries and selected shops around Cape Town’s CBD stay open until 9 pm on the first Thursday of every month, allowing anyone to explore the city on foot and experience the cultural wealth this city has to offer. Restaurants, great bars, food trucks and street performances have also become a part of the art walk.

First Thursdays mapFirst Thursdays is for locals and visitors alike. It provides a fun opportunity for residents to indulge in local culture, mingle with neighbours and participate in the arts community. The program also offers visitors the chance to experience, in one evening, the diversity of Cape Town’s visual and performing arts scene, as well as having the opportunity to buy local gifts and meet to Capetonians.

First Thursdays falls within a particular area of the central city, primarily along the axes of Bree Street (between Buitensingel and Strand) and Church Street (between Buitengracht and Church Square). There is no set order or sequence in which you need to walk. At XO Africa we simply help you figure out what to see and where to go by highlighting a great variety of galleries, shops and activities.

First Thursdays Cape Town

Stage 1
Mogalakwena, metaphor for “fierce crocodile”

3 Church Street

This special little double storey gallery owned by Elbe Coetzee, anthropologist and author of Craft Art in South Africa opened in 2008. Elbe is the owner and founder of the Mogalakwena Craft Village in Limpopo where she works with a team of embroiderers, beaders, weavers and sculptors. The work of these artists is on display together with specialist exhibitions, which are very often focused on the work of women. If you are looking for authenticity and heartfelt gifts to bring home, this is the place to go.

Mogalakwena Artcraft gallery

Stage 2 

65 Loop Street

Stable is a shop that offers a collection of innovative South African designs, such as chairs, tables and lamps, etc.

Stable Gallery

Stage 3
StateoftheART & G2 art

61 Shortmarket Street

StateoftheART & G2 Art is a permanent gallery where art lovers can physically experience a diverse and dynamic selection of contemporary art. The gallery’s owners are showing their support for Cape Town as the being the World Design Capital in 2014 by introducing an initiative called ‘Start a Collection’, which allows first-time buyers an amazing opportunity to start their own art collection on a modest budget.

G2 art Gallery

Stage 4 

64 Wale Street, Cape Town

Commune.1 Gallery focuses on large format installations and sculptures, providing artists with a devoted area to showcase their creativity. The gallery is situated in a two-story, 1,800-square-foot stunning building with an interesting past. Built in 1763, it’s one of the oldest buildings still standing in Cape Town, and before Commune.1 took over, it was home to a mortuary. A must see gallery!

Commune.1 Gallery

Stage 5 Food trucks

Bree Street (between Peeper St and Dorp St

By this time you will be hungry and ready for break. Cape Town Food Trucks is all about bringing gourmet food to the best spots in Cape Town.

Stage 6 Brundyn+

170 Buitengracht Street

Brundyn+ is a contemporary fine art gallery that has created a niche for itself as a world class cultural voice in South Africa; it is home to some of the country’s most regarded and relevant contemporary artists, including Matthew Hindley and Alex Emsley.

Brundyn+ Gallery

Stage 7

Friends of Design – Academy of Digital Arts
186 Bree Street

1000Drawings is an empowerment project. It’s a one-night-only, massive inner-city art sale to raise funds for a deserving cause – The Night of a 1000Drawings.
Monthly doodle sessions (known as “doodles”) are a popular way to create much needed works of art for the exhibition.


ByFlorence Vanleuven

A pure sky experience in Namibia

After spending the day in search of the Big 5, there is something intensely magical that is waiting for you at the very moment the sun sets and twilight begins. Another kind of show that is placed under the sense of wonder, with nothing but the sounds of the bush… Stargazing

You will be enchanted by the unique atmosphere offered by what we call the Magellanic Clouds, the Milky Way, or the Cassiopeia constellation…

Little Kulala Lodge

The NamibRand Nature Reserve is home to some of the best stargazing spots on the planet, and is able to go beyond your expectations and take your passion for purest heavens to the next level!
Almost every evening, there is a breath-taking starry night sky that will leave you speechless, while being in the heart of one of the most pristine and preserved African environments, the moments are very special.

The NamibRand nature reserve covers more than 200 000 hectares; it is far away from any other loud or bright presence, making it the perfect place for viewing the sky at night.

Furthermore, the reserve has been awarded for its efforts in terms of sky conservation, and has recently been named Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve by the Dark-Sky International Association.

That just goes to show that this is the place to be…

NamibRand nature reserve

Beyond the stars, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is also distinctive in its desert landscape’s diversity. Virtually all facets of the Namib are represented, from mountains plunging down into endless grassy plains, interspersed by red vegetated dunes, creating a living tapestry of colours and shapes.

We must not forget the game species that can be seen in the reserve, including Oryx, mountain and plain zebra, springbok, red hartebeest… And more.

Let us help you see another amazing place, taking the road in the direction of Sutherland in the semi-desert region of the Karoo, South Africa. Located 380kms from Cape Town, The Southern African Large Telescope is a 10-meter class optical telescope designed mainly for spectroscopy. To give you a better idea about the power of this telescope, just imagine that it is able to see a candle flame shining on the moon!

The Southern African Large

Guided tours by day and by night are organized. It is highly recommended to book well in advance, knowing that attendance will be limited. Its spectacular location in the heart of the Karoo Desert offers wonderful conditions for unforgettable stargazing. On your way to this area, you will traverse through wild and vast semi-desert landscapes which make the reputation of the Karoo region. Make sure to ride carefully as you might meet various species such as turtles, baboons, springboks, etc., on your way.

Imagine for just a moment, sleeping under the stars in the middle of the Namib Desert. This is made possible by the Little Kulala Lodge, situated close to the Namib’s Sossusvlei dunes. From the top of your chalet, you will find all you need to sleep, with your head in the stars.

ByStéphane Rossard

Groovy Jazzy Jozy

A blend of rhythm and influences associated with charm and elegance – this is what we call Jazz. It is an incomparable musical style that has survived the eras, while only being spread around the world, until it reached Africa in the middle of the twentieth century.

Jazz and South Africa are closely linked, since the “rainbow nation” was the birthplace of some of the most talented artists, such as, Dollar Brand, Hugh Masekela, Behki Mseleku, and Mongezi Feza, as ‘Afro Jazz’ pioneers.

The orbit - Jazz club

The genre has blended with many others and due to history and time has become a culmination of ragtime, blues, and European rhythms. They have rewritten the world’s traditional codes and have given the floor to minorities; they have allowed cultures and different ethnicities that had previously been divided by the apartheid regime, to meet again.

XO Africa invites you on a journey through which you will encounter many treasures and timeless melodies. Forget what doesn’t matter, and stay focused on this musical path that opened the world’s borders to diversity and sharing.

Be in the tempo, and throw yourself into this warm and elegant atmosphere that made each jazz performance famous. The sounds that interweave are able to affect you emotionally, and the depth in the music will be felt from the opening note to the last wave goodbye.

Jazz club

We hope we have instilled a desire to learn more about Jazz, and it is therefore our duty to recommend you The Orbit, a splendid jazz club situated in Joburg.

In a very cozy, zen atmosphere, the greatest artists follow after one and another, allowing you to easily get a true taste of the Jazzy universe. With vintage-inspired decor, beautiful soft lighting, black and white paintings, and instruments in each corner of the concert hall, The Orbit is the place to be!

ByXavier Lopes

Moon safari in Etosha

When we speak about safari people generally think about morning drives through the African Bush…but have you ever thought about a safari by night? What about a safari when the sun sets?

This is completely different and the bush is totally transformed; a whole variety of nocturnal animals come out when the sun goes down.

At night, your senses are magnified; your hearing is keener, and you can expect to have a completely different adventure. This is an exciting experience.

safari by night elephant at etosha park

When night falls you optimize your odds to see the big five: the elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros…but you also have the chance to see nocturnal animals such as the pangolin, aardwolf, honey badger and more.

The Etosha National Park of Namibia has many waterholes with fountains and natural springs, which are the best spots to observe animals drawn out of hiding to drink at the water’s edge.

Safari by night

The park offers many water holes: Okaukuejo is well-known and famous as the place to see the black rhino.

Lovers of predators will be delighted as lions, cheetah, and leopards can be seen at Okondeka, Halali and Goas.

Immerse yourself in this unusual adventure.

BySophia Mailly

A movie under the stars

We all grow tired of everything, even good things. On holiday, the standard evening at a restaurant may become a bit boring if it becomes an everyday occurrence.

What about a movie?

Going to the cinema is always a good way to boost daily life and if the night out is made even more special with a picnic under the stars, you can live an excellent moment which could become one of the best memories of your holiday.

open-air-cine-waterfront cape town

In South Africa, outdoor cinema became popular after the time of drive-in’s. Galileo, one of the flagship projects, offers cinema projections in the Western Cape from November to April in unusual places such as Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, the V&A Waterfront and The Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville.

The repertoire of eclectic movies range from Star Wars to Pretty Woman, and also movies like Brian’s Life, The Truman Show and Mission Impossible. These evenings are not limited just to watching a good movie in the open air; you’ll have the option to buy snacks or a picnic basket and to hire comfortable chairs and blankets for total comfort.


These kinds of initiatives are growing in many South African cities. In Johannesburg, the independant cinema Bioscope (see paragraph below) organises regular showings on rooftops and spaces of « The Maboneng Precinct ». In Cape Town, the « Pink Flamingo », spreads its screen on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy Hotel among the airstream trailer bedrooms and welcome you with blankets, hot water bottles as well as a hot beverage in winter. In Pretoria, The Molo Molo Cinema Club also organises an outdoor showing each 2nd wednesday of the month.

Open Air Cinema Galileo

If you do not enjoy the breeze, or are simply a big fan of the cinema, we invite you to discover The Labia Theatre, a former ballroom of the Italian ambassy which was converted into a theatre by Princess Labia in 1949 for the staging of live performances, and which became a cinema in the 70’s. This place, steeped in history, offers a large range of independant films, foreign movies and retrospectives that offer a change from the usual blockbusters you may watch elsewhere. Its bar/restaurant invites one to prolong the moment by enjoying a glass of wine or beer, or grabbing a bite before or after the film.

In the same spirit, but in a more contemporary way, The Bioscope in Johannesburg is a very dynamic and vital centre of artistic life. If you want to stimulate your senses or stand in the heart of Joburg intellectual life, plan a night out to the Bioscope.

ByMuriel Romero

Okavango Delta, 1000th World Heritage Site

The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, officially declared the Okavango Delta its 1,000th World Heritage.

Okavang Delta view

The Okavango Delta was acknowledged as one of the most diverse ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa, comprising wetland and dry land habitat and supporting a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic species, including 71 species of fish, 400 species of birds, and an estimated 200,000 large mammal species, including buffalo, elephants, sable antelope, and black rhinoceros.

The Okavango delta is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion.
Additionally, the Okavango Delta is at the heart of a landscape that is home to the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 200,000.

Okavango safari

The Okavango Delta northwest Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains.
It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean, with a wetland system that is almost intact.

One of the unique characteristics of the site is that the annual flooding from the Okavango river occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronised their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods.

Safari in the Okavango Delta can be enjoyed year round.
There is a fantastic selection of camps and luxurious accommodation in Okavango Delta : Eagle Island Camp, Khwai River Lodge, Kwando Lebala, Kwando Lagoon, Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, to name few of them.
Some are located deep in the Moremi Game Reserve in a region known as the “predator capital of Africa” that can only be reached by airplane.

Moremi Game Reserve

A World Heritage Site listing is the highest level of protection and status that a protected area can obtain, which speaks to our vision of ensuring that the world has sufficient intact natural ecosystems and wilderness areas that are valued and effectively protected for the benefit of all species.