Fancourt: Jewel in South Africa’s Golfing Crown September 20, 2021
The Western Cape’s Garden Route is rightly regarded as one of South Africa's ultimate destinations, with a breathtaking array of choices for family fun or individual pursuits. From the beaches of Plettenberg, to the holiday feel of scenic Knysna, the natural wonders of Wilderness and so much more, one could frolic for weeks on end with surprises at every turn. But there are also some amongst us who go to the Garden Route for a single...
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The Royal Portfolio, South Africa February 9, 2021
A Royal Flush Some of the best stories begin with “Once upon a time”. Such a time was 1999, when Liz and Phil Biden decided to convert their holiday home in the African bush into what is now Royal Malewane. located in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve on the western border of the Kruger National Park. [caption id="attachment_882" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Royal Malewane Safari Lodge private plunge pool at sunrise. Photo courtesy of The Royal Portfolio[/caption] This...
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Fugitives’ Drift: the legacy, the raconteur, the guest who never left October 21, 2020
True Tales, True Beauty It’s hard to top a good story, well told- exceptionally portrayed would be more fitting. And the stories told at the sites of the battles near and on the property of Fugitives’ Drift, around the boma fire, or at the bar, are of such immense scale that one is swept up and along, heartstrings plucked as the events of 22-23 January 1879 are vividly presented. The scale is matched by the vistas,...
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Distillery 031- A Home Run April 28, 2019
“I call this my gateway spirit” said Andrew, swirling the amber liquid in his glass. Well, through the gateway, down the hatch and the rabbit hole and colour me impressed, well impressed! Andrew Rall, owner of Durban's Distillery 031 is a singular man whose burgeoning craft distillery is a portal to some unique, top-notch craft spirits. He was referring to his D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin- something rather special. Serve it on ice to guests without telling...
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Nakai Beach Homestay- a way of life April 28, 2019
New Life, New Views Diagnosed with advanced Lymphoma cancer, Claude Venter was given six months to live by medical specialists. Seven years later, he looked relaxed and happy as he recounted his journey and explained how his decision to seek an alternative remedy saved his life- and changed his and that of his partners, Grant Horak and Paulo da Rosa. Claude probably thought me ADD as I kept bobbing my head left and right. Whales, dolphins-...
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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve- something very special September 17, 2018
Spring is sprung, but winter is coming- or have you not been following blockbuster series Game of Thrones? And when it does, I’d recommend heading to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in the Western Cape. Yip, the Cape of Storms, in winter. Botany, Bespoke, Community Luxurious Grootbos is a favourite for me and travellers return time and again to this botanical reserve above the town of Gansbaai. Their five-star rating is based on meticulous service, genuine hospitality, fine dining,...
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Zip, skim, plunge, relax- Lake Eland Game Reserve September 15, 2018
Extreme Fun, Extremely Chilled A smear of tears as I looked sideways at 160kph, suspended high above the valley, adrenalin surging after a heart-stopping drop. 32 seconds (or so) seems a lot longer somehow at such speed. Then my legs went over my head, my sunnies went askew, as the braking system kicked in. That’s the Zip Xtreme at Lake Eland Game Reserve– a peach of a spot at Oribi Gorge, 40 minutes from Port Shepstone on...
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Brookdale Health Hydro- A repeat peak performance September 15, 2018
Sitting in reception at –Brookdale Health Hydro just outside Nottingham Road village in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands- looking through the French doors as I signed my life away, I had a “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” moment. People on a chilly winter’s day in bathrobes and slippers eating their lunch. That was as an outsider. Once you’re “inside” it’s all good- so good they may as well throw away the key. But they wouldn’t. And inmates sneak...
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Ukuwela- Crossing Over July 31, 2018
A group of young English Animal Husbandry students was learning- a lot. A lot about being away from home for the first time, about early morning and nighttime chores, about the bush, animals, heat, Africa- and themselves. Moon tans with red overlays, flushed and sometimes strained and tearful faces were the order of the day as some found themselves pushed and pulled way beyond any comfort zones by tough Tommy Dierkse, facilitator during their two week...
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Q’s Review- Simonsig’s restaurant Cuvée February 22, 2018
Lunching one flawless Cape afternoon on the terrace at Simonsig’s Cuvée restaurant a tall, blonde and smiling young man approached my table. “Good afternoon.” He boomed a little too loudly for Q who prefers his midweek lunches to be on the plus side of discreet. “I know you.” he announced to the sun dappled terrace in a way manner that left Q feeling decidedly awkward if not downright uncomfortable. The shady terrace, crowded with guests was...
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