Extraordinary May 2021 Newsletter

Dear Travel Partners

Winter is here, crisp mornings and cozy fireside meals beckon us to the bush. Our Winter’s Tales with Extraordinary are getting much needed support from our valued locals. We are even beginning to notice a couple of international accents in the lodges.

Visiting Cape Town for the first round of the Extraordinary Mini-Meeting events, where we hosted small groups of agents for some socially distanced setups and shared new images and information, has been so great. A feeling of some normality is welcome and we were delighted by the warm support from all Capetonians.

Some awesome news this month with the Kalahari boys’ arrival in Limpopo and a well-deserved win for Lucy and her Mabula Ground Hornbill project!

Looking forward to catching up with all of you soon.

Yours in travel,
Cindy

A POWERFUL NEW MALE COALITION HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO MABULA

We are delighted to announce that after a great deal of in-depth research and searching for the exact genetically unrelated match, The Greater Mabula Private Game Reserve has welcomed three young-adult male lions to the fold. These perfect youngsters hail from the Kalahari. This relocation was prompted by the ongoing initiatives to increase genetic diversity on the Reserve.

The lions were initially kept in a boma to allow them to settle and acclimatise to their new home. Mabula Game Lodge has successfully been home to wild free roaming lion since the nineties and these magnificent specimens are the 5th generation of lions on the reserve.

The lions have now finally been released onto the Reserve where they will hopefully meet the resident pride of females. Initially a bit hesitant to leave their cosy enclave the most gregarious brother trotted out first and began marking territory to be shortly followed by his siblings. All three settled quite well and have already begun to explore their new home.

“The translocation was a huge success and we thank all parties involved,” says a jubilant Ivan Kilian Mabula Reserve Manager. “These animals promise to be an excellent addition to reserve.

WELGEVONDEN PROVIDES SANCTUARY TO ADDITIONAL BLACK RHINO

In mid-March, a Welgevonden task team left the Reserve on a mission, their task? To assist in capturing and relocating black rhino to their new home on Welgevonden Game Reserve. The team arrived at their destination in the early afternoon and were quickly debriefed on how the operation would work.

“We knew it was going to be intense from the get-go,” said Armstrong Maluleke our Conservation Officer, “the goal was to capture and secure all the rhinos within 36 hours to get them to the Reserve within two days. This is easier said than done knowing that black rhino love thick bush, which would inevitably complicate the capture.”

Working with a professional team of veterinarians, helicopter pilots and game capturers our team slotted in to assist with loading and the collection of data from the rhino while they were prepared for loading onto the transportation crates. Experienced persons are needed to work with rhino in particular as, under anaesthesia the risk can be high that the animals stop breathing.

The Rescue Rhino Programme established in 2015 has been remarkably successful. Welgevonden undertook the programme with two main goals. Firstly, the rapid escalation of the poaching crisis during the time had the potential to decimate South African rhino populations. The increase in the costs required to mitigate the poaching onslaught were (and are still) extreme, with many owners no longer able to carry the burden of these costs. As such, Welgevonden provided the opportunity for sanctuary with effective security, by offering owners the ability to house their animals on the Reserve at no cost. Secondly, white rhino were identified as major ecosystem engineers driving the formation and expansion of nutritious grazing lawns, which are a vital resource to the large population of general grazers on the Reserve. This directly benefits the Reserve’s Plains Project. With the timing of these two goals coinciding perfectly, the Reserve increased the rhino population. Since then, the programme has led to the overall white rhino population doubling during the past five years and, although not without challenges, has put the Reserve at the forefront for the conservation of these precious animals.

It is through this conservation success with white rhino, that the introduction of privately owned black rhino onto the Reserve was eventually facilitated.

SOUTH AFRICAN CONSERVATIONIST AWARDED FOR COMMUNITY APPROACH TO CONSERVING THE SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL

South African culture is steeped in stories of the Southern Ground-hornbill, but numbers are declining as human impact mounts. South African conservationist, Lucy Kemp, has received a prestigious Whitley Award worth £40,000 to align traditional beliefs with new conservation action that will protect the bird and its habitat.

The Whitley Awards are presented annually to individuals from the Global South by UK-based charity the Whitley Fund for Nature. Lucy is one of six conservationists to be recognised in 2021 for their commitment to conserving some of the planet’s most endangered species and spectacular natural habitats. During a virtual celebration (12th May), they received messages of support from charity Patron HRH The Princess Royal and Trustee, Sir David Attenborough.

Sir David Attenborough, WFN Trustee, said: “Whitley Award winners are local environmental heroes, harnessing the best available science and leading projects with passion. I admire their courage, their commitment, and their ability to affect change. There are few jobs more important.”

AFRICA’S THUNDERBIRD

With its striking red-black-white colouring and rhythmic, drum-like call, the Southern Ground-hornbill is a long-lived and large-bodied bird. Valued culturally as the “bringer of rain, the hornbill is said to have the ability to predict, signal and even command the summer rains and are believed to be so powerful that they can avert lightning strikes. Many farmers rely on sightings of the bird for a signal of when to prepare their land for crops and are growing increasingly concerned with their decline.

Whitley Award winner, Lucy Kemp, said, “A magically wild childhood, filled with travel and exploration, instilled the belief in me that the careful balance of nature is truly precious. Most threats to species are caused by humans so it’s important that we educate ourselves and learn how we can adapt our actions in order to better protect them. My work with schools and young people provides me with the hope that the next generation will use their knowledge to live in harmony with our area’s remarkable creatures.”

Visit www.whitleyaward.org to find out more.

ZIMBABWE’S VACCINATION PROCESS COULD MAKE VICTORIA FALL’S THE SAFEST TOURISM DESTINATION IN THE WORLD

Since the initial Zimbabwean national vaccination rollout started in Victoria Falls on 22 March 2021, over 17,000 residents between the ages of 18 and 80 have received their first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. An ongoing initiative that sees the popular tourist destination surge forward to become a safe travel destination.

“Victoria Falls and the wider community in the destination, along with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Government have faced the pandemic, come together incredibly well and it may well be the very first city in the world to have the majority of its residents vaccinated,” Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said.

Already more than 70% of the estate staff at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge have already been vaccinated. This includes Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites and Lokuthula Lodges run by the hospitality group African Albida Tourism.

In an attempt to achieve herd immunity, the government is working towards vaccinating 60% of the population.

INTRODUCING MLUWATI PRIVATE CONCESSION EXECUTIVE CHEF REIZ ULLAH

Throughout his career, Reiz has had the pleasure of experiencing many genres of food service, such as business dining, high-end hotels, wellness retreat spas, independent living and the education market. As well as being appointed as Personal Executive Chef by (FIFA) and German Football Association for the German national team during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. All of which has taught him the importance of food safety, working in a diverse environment and being a leader.

With more than 20 years of experience in WF/GF cooking, vegetarian, vegan, raw, international cuisine and most allergens. Reiz continually strives for improvement through research, always wanting to know what can be done better to make his food more comforting or exciting.

The desire to help accomplish sustainability and wellness to an organization is paramount. Priding himself in the ability to teach, multi-task, follow policies and continually exceed goals, Reiz brings the ability to follow established practices by proper training and development of team members. With a dedication to bringing consistency and customer service to any dining experience, client satisfaction is a true passion.

GRILLED BEEF FILLET RECIPE

(serving 2) Preparation time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 Beef fillets (each about 180-200 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Smoked flake salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Medium zucchinis
  • 4 Baby carrots
  • 50g Portabellini mushrooms
  • 200g Butternut

Preparation

  1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Brush with olive oil.
  2. Rinse and peel vegetables. Cut zucchini diagonally into slices, cut butternut into cubes and blanch for 5 minutes. Cut Portabellini mushrooms in half. Brush the vegetables with remaining oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put the meat and vegetables on the hot grill and grill according to preference. (Cook meat on each side for about 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness). Serve with thyme and rosemary wine jus.

Red wine reduction sauce

Ingredients

  • 400ml Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 20ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 10g Beef stock
  • Thyme spring
  • Rosemary spring
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. In a saucepan add red wine, balsamic vinegar, rosemary spring and thyme spring, bring the mixture to a rapid simmer over high heat.
  2. Allow wine mixture to reduce until thickened, about ¼ a cup, around 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add in beef stock, and rapidly simmer over high heat until the sauce is reduced and thickened to about ½ cup, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove rosemary and thyme, discard.
  5. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter.
  6. Taste the red wine sauce and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Garnish steaks with chopped thyme, rosemary, and parsley a few minutes before serving.

EXTRAORDINARY HAS PROUDLY LAUNCHED MOBILE APPS FOR MABULA GAME LODGE, SAFARI PLAINS, CLIFFTOP EXCLUSIVE SAFARI HIDEAWAY & THE CAPE MILNER HOTEL.

Enjoy a paperless environment with contactless check-in.

You will also find helpful information and points of interest as well as options of booking spa treatments and available activities in advance.

Download any of Extraordinary’s new mobile apps today!

Features include:

  • Contactless check-in and complete all COVID-19 requirement forms before arrival.
  • View restaurant and bar menus available.
  • Book your own spa treatments or extra activities.
  • Make use of useful information and points of interest available on the apps.
  • Mammal and bird checklists are available for the lodges.
  • Travel directions to the property.
  • Direct links to our social media pages.
  • Connect with our Reservations Team.

CLIFFTOP EXCLUSIVE SAFARI HIDEAWAY

MABULA
GAME LODGE

THE CAPE
MILNER HOTEL

SAFARI
PLAINS