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Monthly Archives: August 2014

21 remarkable South African icons

21 Icons is an annual collection of unique narrative portraits and short films by Adrian Steirn, who is one of Africa’s pre-eminent photographers and filmmakers.

21 Icons project is a visual celebration of the lives of men and women who have shaped the world around them for the better. Inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela, it tells the stories of people who have continued his legacy!

Nelson Mandela: Adrian Steirn's 21 Icons South Africa Series

This project is a unique concept since it combines fine-art portraits, short films, behind the scene photography, written narrative and a feature length documentary. The hope was to capture in an immersive manner the lives of the people it features. This meant striving for intimacy during the portrait shoots and interviews, to ensure that the charm, humility and sincerity of these amazing people came through. The intention is to inspire ordinary citizens to learn from the lives of these remarkable South Africans.

Nadine Gordimer

Steirn comments, “I’ve met many people whose stories are incredibly powerful – it’s a true privilege to discover more about the human spirit and share these individuals personal accounts, their positive character traits and their propensity to influence and shape perceptions and transform societal norms for the better, impacting the communities around them.”

conversation with Hugh Masekela

21 Icon season one began with Nelson Mandela’s portrait. Then it presented 20 great women and men such as Nadine Gordimer (the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature), Sophia Williams de Bruyn, Phillips Tobias, Desmond Tutu (1984 Nobel Peace Prize) …. And many other! The portraits from season one will be auctioned off later this year, and all revenue generated will be donated to charity of each icon’s choice. This tangible aspect of helping to provide financial aid to important causes is an important part of 21 ICONS South Africa’s quest to give back to the country.

albie sachs

On Sunday 3 August, 21 Icons South Africa has launched its season two, which debuts with Albert Sachs (lawyer engage against the Apartheid), celebrating one of the nation’s iconic individuals. Albie Sachs wrote Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter and won the Alan Platon Award, which is certainly one of the most prestigious literary awards in South Africa!

21 icons book

You should definitely buy the book or visit 21 Icons Website (21icons.com) to watch the amazing pictures and movies about these South African’s icons! This is a proudly South African project with a profoundly global message that celebrates the goodness in people!

So…Find out who is your icon!

 

By Capucine Motte

Garonga Safari Camp, a top eco-friendly lodge

Nowadays travelers are recognizing the importance of environmental conservation and are increasingly seeking accommodation that supports eco-friendly and sustainable tourism. Acknowledging this, hotels around the world tend to develop environmental, economic and socio-cultural programs whose main purpose is to preserve the culture and support the local economy.

Hotels Combined, a famous hotel comparison site, has recently examined its database of 800 000 properties to select 10 top eco-friendly hotels from across the world.

Garonga camp at night

We are proud to say that one of these 10 hotels is located in South Africa: the Garonga Safari Camp. This exclusive 12 bed camp is set in the greater Makali Conservancy Game reserve, situated west of the Kruger National Park, the largest park in South Africa and one of the best for safaris and game viewing. Garonga safari camp is a luxury bush lodge combining an exclusive environment with incredible wildlife. But that’s not all. This amazing camp aims to make the difference for both the environment and the local population.

Garonga Tent

The owners of this safari camp have indeed chosen to support local economy in different ways. They create employment opportunities to locals, with potential for career development. They also propose to take on volunteers to offer an experience of working and living in the bush. Furthermore, food and goods are sourced locally.

Garonga camp is also very active, on an eco-friendly point of view. 30% of the electricity comes from solar panel and water is never wasted, since it’s used to feed animals. Most of their vehicles are filled with bio diesel fuel, which has two advantages: it’s produced by a local farmer and it’s totally biodegradable. With these three green actions, Garonga camp does its best to offset its footprint on the environment.

solar panel in Garonga

Garonga safari camp is undoubtedly one of the best examples of sustainable tourism. Needless to say that it’s important to support that kind of commitment, especially in a country where the wildlife is fundamental!

By Capucine Motte

We (still) can save the rhino…

South Africa is home to 83% of Africa’s rhino population. Unfortunately, rhino poaching has increased dramatically over the last few years! Hundreds of rhinos were poached in 2013.

Rhino in South Africa

Why are rhinos the main target of poacher?
The main reason is that rhino horn is used for medicinal purposes. Although there is no scientific proof of its medicinal value, rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where it is used as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds, strokes, convulsions, and fevers.

It is also more and more commonly used as a status symbol to display someone’s success and wealth in Asian society. The scarcity of rhinos today drives the price higher and intensifies the pressure on the declining rhino population!

Killing an animal for fast and easy money is a huge temptation for someone with little or no income. At some point wages are so low that poaching becomes a survival issue. Animal conservation takes a backseat when hunger and poverty are real concerns.

Rhino withou horns

In an attempt to deal with this extremely worrying trend, the South African government and other specialized organizations (such as Save the Rhino) have displayed a conservation plan to protect these endangered species from poachers. Save the Rhino works to conserve the endangered rhino population of Africa. This organization supports a number of ongoing rhino conservation programs by funding a range of activities, such as monitoring or anti-poaching.

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs has made several legislatives changes in response to the threat to rhinos: infiltrating the illegal market of rhino horn poaching, military patrols in the Kruger National Park in order to arrest poachers…

South African private owners of rhinos are also developing a range of increasingly innovative approaches to make rhinos less attractive to poachers, such as injecting poison into rhino horns and also infusing the horns with a brightly coloured dye. However, these methods have limited applicability and they are very expensive.

Rhino safari

All these measures are implemented to protect black and white rhinos, which are both listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We remain hopeful that these measures will prove to be successful so that we can continue to see these wonderful animals in their natural environment.

If you come to South Africa you can easily contribute to the protection of rhinos by choosing accommodation or a camp which is very involved in the protection of rhinos.

For example you could spend a few days at Desert Rhino Camp in Dramaraland in Namibia, which is one of the country’s most amazing regions. Indeed, Desert Rhino Camp hosts the largest free-ranging population of black Rhino in Africa. Therefore, the camp maintains a tight relationship with the Save the Rhino organization.

You could also visit the Inverdoorn game reserve, only 2hours north of Cape Town. The owner of this reserve is really involved against rhino poaching! Actually he is the one who had the idea of injecting poison into rhino horns. Inverdoorn also created another association called Rhino Protect.

Desert Rhino Camp

It’s a win-win situation: On the one hand you will definitely enjoy your journey in these two incredible game reserves and on the other hand you will also contribute to the ongoing protection of Africa’s endangered rhino population!

By Capucine Motte

Singita Sabi Sand Lodges: World’s 7th best hotel !

The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and the biggest in South Africa. If you happen to visit this area and you don’t know in which lodge to stay, then Travel+Leisure magazine might have the answer for you. In their July 2012 issue, they ranked the top 50 hotels worldwide. It should come as no surprise that the World’s 7th best hotel is situated in the Singita Private Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Now you know where you should stay!

Singita Boulders

In the Singita Private Game Reserve, which lies within the Sabi Sand game reserve, there are two amazing lodges designed by emerging African designers: Singita Boulders and Singita Ebony.

Boulders has been built in a style which blends in perfectly with the landscape, while Ebony is a perfect blend of classic and contemporary styles. Both these lodges have a lot to offer. You can either spend an indulgent day in the lodge and enjoy the wine cellar or a nice massage, or embrace your adventurous side with a bike ride or a photographing wildlife.

Singita Sabi Sand Boulders pool

At Singita Boulders you’ll experience the ultimate form of luxury. This wonderful lodge provides you everything you’ve ever dreamt of, from massages and wellness treatments at the spa, unforgettable and excellent Big Five drives with experienced rangers, to delicious food and an extensive collection of premier wines. You’ll definitely enjoy your stay in the beautifully designed luxurious rooms and sumptuous bathrooms.

At Singita Ebony you can just stand on the wooden deck to admire the Sand River and watch buffalo or antelope grazing mere meters away from you. The lodge itself is a wonderfully eclectic mix of colonial, African and modern styles, all combining to create a truly homely atmosphere. It’s impossible to not feel relaxed and indulged here. The lodge comprises a gym, health spa, library, wine cellar and swimming pool.

Singita Ebony

There is no doubt that the Singita Sabi Sand lodges are definitely one of the best hotels of the World! All the staff is attentive to make your stay absolutely perfect. Quiet, simple and luxurious accommodation awaits you at this extraordinary place.