Dear Travel Partner
What happened to the first half of 2019? We are racing towards a new decade I am not sure where June or March or January even went!
We do however know that this year so much has been accomplished with the launch of our very own Safari Plains – our luxury Waterberg Tented Lodge. We travelled far and wide to present our gorgeous collection from India, to Scandinavia, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK, twice!
April and May saw us focused closer to home with great success at WTM Africa, Indaba and We are Africa.
Right now we are preparing for our annual migration of the GM’s and owners to host the Extraordinary showcases in Johannesburg and Cape Town on the 20 and 22 August respectively.
Tick Tick! Stop the clock!
Yours in travel,
FAMILY GLAMPING AT SAFARI PLAINS
Always wanted to take the kids safari, why not opt for glamping? Safari Plains offer a Kids Program your kids will never forget.
Imagine roasting marshmallows over a boma fire under the Milky Way, learning to track the Big Five, the Small Five and the Ugly Five, or spending the afternoon outdoors enjoying all Safari Plains has to offer.
Safari Plains offers a host of kid-friendly activities in the bush, while good old fashioned activities around the lodge such as I spy with my little eyes, Yoga on the lawn, arts and crafts, nature walks, Bumble Safaris and movies and popcorn all make sure that kids go to bed tired, happy and sun-kissed every evening.
The team at Safari Plains has curated a very special selection of activities just for the kids. Think dazzling stargazing drives, identify bird calling sounds and learning the uses of trees and plants.
Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Waterberg Mountain Range in the Limpopo Province, a mere two hours’ drive from Johannesburg. The exquisite beauty of its wide-open savannahs, free roaming Big 5 and spectacular vistas is an idyllic melting pot for a majestic wilderness destination.
Explore the surrounding bushveld on open vehicle safaris, bush walks or horseback safaris. An outstanding big five safari experience awaits on the twelve thousand hectares private game reserve that is home to Safari Plains.
MEET THE CHEF AT CLIFFTOP EXCLUSIVE SAFARI HIDEAWAY
Head chef, Lucas Letsebe, has settled into his role at the stunning Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway. Chef Lucas was culinary trained at Lephalale College in Limpopo, with his passion for produce and cooking he was determined to become a chef.
While chatting to Chef Lucas, on the viewing deck, you can see he is quietly confident in his new role. He seems unflappable and is always ready with a wide smile. “Creating a dish that tells a unique story, is my daily inspiration”, says Chef Lucas. Creating art with food in such a magical location is any chef’s dream.
During lunch, it is easy to see the storytelling proficiency extends to the plate. Chef Lucas presented a Slow Roasted Pork Belly resting on a Butternut Puree, Baby Radish and a Corn Salad with a Robust Red Wine Reduction, one of Clifftop’s signature dishes. Clifftop truly has a wide selection of menu items, for those preferring a lighter lunch option be sure to try the scrumptious Spicy Prawns accompanied by a Nicoise Salad.
Needless to say, the dining experience combined with the breathtaking view of the Sterkstroom River in the Welgevonden, Chef Lucas and his brigade will leave you with a story to take home.
THE FIRST PICTURE OF THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE KRUGER
We are excited to introduce the latest addition to the Hamiltons pride. At only five weeks old this little one has already stolen our hearts!
Hamiltons Tented Camp is set within a 10 000 hectare private concession this is truly the “Gem of Kruger”.
Uncompromising elegance and breathtaking beauty identifies Hamiltons tented Camp.
Guests will enjoy some of Kruger’s most spectacular landscapes and an extraordinary variety of wildlife, bird-life and plant life. A fine tradition of luxury in true ‘Out of Africa’ style.
THE BOMA – DINNER & DRUM SHOW UNDERGOES A MAJOR REFURBISHMENT
This legendary Victoria Falls dining and entertainment experience not only has a fresh look with its new décor capturing the style of the traditional Zimbabwean cooking hut, but the kitchen has been rebuilt and modernised and other structural enhancements made.
The US$250,000 refurbishment – completed last month – was done to keep pace with the growing popularity of this “must do” Victoria Falls activity, which first opened its doors 27 years ago. Keeping pace with the latest equipment and service delivery expectations, whilst maintaining the tastes, sights and sounds of The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show, were key factors in this major project.
Interior designer Belinda Jones describes the concept for the décor as coming from traditional Zimbabwean cooking huts, and as an amalgam of different local tribes.
While the traditional art form of decorating the walls and shelves with bright pigment goes back a while, it has now been revived as a new art form.
We look forward to welcoming you and your clients to our “new” Boma – Dinner & Drum Show soon!
AWAY WITH PLASTIC – GLASS IS IN AT KHAYA NDLOVU MANOR HOUSE
Leading names in the South African hospitality industry are enjoying the cost and sustainability benefits of one of the world’s most advanced water purification technologies, utilising the Bluewater Pro water purification unit to produce their own brand sparkling and still mineral water, which they bottle themselves and serve to their guests.
Marketing Manager at Khaya Ndlovu Shannon Rombi is delighted with the impact the Bluewater Pro has had at the prestigious Hoedspruit Manor House, where the Bluewater Pro provides still and sparkling water for guests. “We offer our guests complimentary water in their suites, and if they are in the restaurant area of the lodge they purchase bottles of water… and it is delicious. Our guests are even commenting on how good it tastes.”
The environmental benefits of using glass over plastic bottles is appreciated by guests at Khaya Ndlovu, Rombi says. “We have had our logo branded on our glass bottles, and we do all our own bottling and capping. Besides not polluting the earth with hundreds of plastic bottles per month, we are saving a huge cost on purchasing water. The new-look bottles are much better, and as the majority of our guests are European, initiatives like this go far in their eyes.”
THE ONLY RIB RECIPE YOU WILL EVER NEED FROM CHEF PHILIPP – THE CAPE MILNER HOTEL
Maybe it’s because it is currently winter, when braai season officially starts – we braai a lot. Few foods done on the braai can match BBQ ribs. There is just something so wonderful about the aroma when they are cooking, and how your fingers get all covered with sticky, sweet BBQ sauce. The recipe below is from our iconic Cape Milner Hotel, Chef Philipp Tiede provides a step-by-step instructions.
For the ribs:
1 Tbsp paprika powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tsp minced garlic
1 beef short rib (about 1.5kg cut into 200g pieces)
For the barbecue sauce:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chopped onion
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 Tbsp tomato sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar
½ cup water
3 Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
For the ribs:
Place all ingredients except ribs in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Place ribs in a baking dish and arrange in an even layer.
Rub spice mixture on all sides of the ribs and cover dish with aluminium foil.
(At this point, you can roast the ribs immediately, but for the best flavour and texture, refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Heat oven to 180°C and arrange a rack in the middle. (If you rubbed the ribs in advance, remove from fridge and set aside at room temperature while oven is heating – at least 20 minutes.)
Place ribs in oven and roast until fork-tender, about three hours. Meanwhile,
make the sauce.
For the barbecue sauce:
Heat oil in medium saucepan, over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about three minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, whisk to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, occasionally whisking, until flavours have melded and the sauce has reduced to a third. Remove from the heat and set aside, until ready to grill ribs.
AFRICA ALBIDA TOURISM IS DOING THEIR PART FOR THE ENVIROMENT
Africa Albida Tourism have replaced single use plastic water bottles with re-useable glass bottles at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club and Victoria Falls Safari Suites. The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show and Lokuthula Lodges bed and breakfast will follow suit in the next couple of weeks.
As you know, we have long rallied for conservation of the environment, and this is a giant step towards achieving our vision of being free of single-use plastic across our properties by 2021.
We aim to reduce and then remove as much other plastic as possible from our operations, to a point in 2021 where there is hopefully zero, for example, plastic laundry bags, plastic shopping bags and other plastic bottles, such as juice bottles.
This development, which will see the elimination of more than 80,000 plastic water bottles a year used across the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate in hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, follows the installation of the Natura water system earlier this month.
The environmentally friendly Natura water system purifies water onsite through a three-stage filtration system. The water is then put into glass bottles for guest use, after which the bottles are collected, washed, sterilised and re-used. The system produces both still and sparkling water.
It is important as a responsible business to keep pace with world trends in all conservation issues, and where possible, as with Victoria Falls Recycling, to also lead. We have researched and talked to colleagues before making informed decisions.
The impact of this initiative has many benefits – with less plastic in circulation, it is less likely to find its way into the wild and therefore potentially harm wildlife, especially elephants.
This development comes after we stopped using plastic straws, adopting more eco-friendly paper straws instead, and launched Victoria Falls Recycling, a project which recycles plastics, paper, glass and beverage cans.
MJEJANE RIVER LODGE BOASTING SOUTH AFRICAN WINES
Mjejane River Lodge’s new wine list boasts wines from South Africa. Wines from The Hemel en Aarde Wine Route, Constantia Wine Route as well as a few from Durbanville and wines from Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, just to mention a few, will be availbla on the wine list.
Each wine was hand picked for the story they have to share.
Wine tasting evening and food pairing with selected wine makers during the course of the year, ensuring that guests can experience the wine routes while on safari.
Perched on the banks of the Crocodile River Mjejane Game Reserve has been absorbed into the Kruger National Park. Mjejane enjoys abundant wildlife and offers an outstanding Big 5 safari opportunity. Executive Rooms each offer a spacious air conditioned haven of well-appointed comfort with a private veranda.
PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARIS AT KWAFUBESI
Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp in association with Ian Cooper Photography is holding two very special Photographic Safaris, which will be open to novices, keen amateurs as well as experienced photographers on a set departure date.
Retreat to the heart of the bush, to a time uncomplicated by the burdens of modern-day life. A Wildlife Photography Workshop that will offer you Wildlife, Landscape, Macro and Night-sky Photography with Ian Cooper as your host and Professional Photographer.
Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp is situated in the heart of the Mabula Private Game Reserve, a mere 2.5 hours’ drive from Johannesburg & boasts 5 luxurious en-suite elevated tents, which are completely enveloped by the beauty of the true wild, African Bush.