BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT
39 ELEMENTAL BUYS
53 BEST-KEPT SECRETS
2 SCENIC ROUTE @southafrica
42 A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
63 ...WITH DEREK WATTS
Afrikaburn Image: Sean Furlong www.seanfurlongphotography.com
64 EVENTS CALENDAR: APRIL, MAY AND JUNE
18 OUR FABULOUS NEIGHBOURS
44 OFF-SEASON TRAVEL FOR EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR
58 HEALTH & SAFETY
6 FOUR SEASONS IN SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTHERN AFRICA TRAVEL
29 MAKE IT – LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW... 30 SEASONAL PUZZLES AND GAMES 48 FARMING OR HARMING?
WIN tickets for the family to GOG Lifestyle Park, Emerald Casino Aquadome, Sun City Valley of Waves, Stoke City Adventure Park, Wild Coast Wild Waters and Pines Resort water parks!
Enter at www.onroutemag.co.za Ts&Cs apply. Giveaway
closes 31 May 2018.
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B Y ANG I E S NYMAN
Four Seasons in South Africa
Galileo Open Air Cinema, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
South Africans are so spoilt with our year-round spectacular weather. Spring, summer, autumn and winter, we can pretty much enjoy the great outdoors all day, every day, 365...
OLD FAVOURITES Make the most of our national treasures – the beautiful National Botanical Gardens.
SEE WHICH ONE IS NEAR YOU: Free State
SPRING: Picnic in a park! Awaken from your winter hibernation and go on a quest for good food to feed the body, and spring views to feed the soul. Picnics are a great way of eating out, and an underutilised form of family entertainment. With no limitations on space, and with friends who can BTOP (bring their own picnic), it’s such a fun and relaxed way to socialise!
MOVIE PICNIC NIGHTS
KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS, CAPE TOWN
Not only do Capetonians have the mountain and beautiful beaches, and claim that they live in the “best city in the world”, it makes us even greener with envy to learn that during summer they can also attend movie night picnics every day of the week! These rotate between Winelands farms, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and the V&A Waterfront, and are hosted by The Galileo Open Air Cinema. When the sun sets the stars appear on the big screen in romantic comedies, cult classics, musicals, adventure sports and even documentaries.
Northern Cape HANTAM NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Nieuwoudtville
Western Cape HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Betty’s Bay; KAROO DESERT NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Worcester; KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Cape Town
KwaZulu-Natal KWAZULU-NATAL NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Pietermaritzburg; DURBAN BOTANIC GARDENS
Mpumalanga LOWVELD NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Nelspruit
*Gauteng PRETORIA NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Pretoria; WALTER SISULU NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Roodepoort; JOHANNESBURG BOTANICAL GARDEN, Emmarentia *Open-air movies are also screened at Gauteng’s SANBI botanical gardens!
For more, visit www.sanbi.org
Events start at 6pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays. Tickets start from R89 (entry only; hire a back rest, R20, or take your own blanket and cushions), to R175 (VIP reserved premium seating, a drink, blanket, back rest, popcorn and sweets), with couple’s ‘Snuggle’ at R320 (includes blanket, chocolates, pillows and mattress). There’s also an artisanal food market and drinks on sale, picnic baskets plus a great vibe. You may take your own food (except alcohol at wine estates). Ideal for a memorable evening with friends, a ridiculously romantic date, small birthday parties or work social. Visit www.thegalileo.co.za for venues and movie lists @GalileoCinema @Galileo_Cinema
FREE STATE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Bloemfontein
Pretoria National Botanical Garden
Image courtesy of SANBI - Taken by Thato Phumo of Tlou Pride Photography
Take the family (and maybe the dogs) and make the most of our glorious sunshine – and possibly the stars – at these picnic spots in spring…
BRING YOUR OWN PICNIC
MODDERFONTEIN RESERVE, JOHANNESBURG
The Modderfontein Reserve is a 275-hectare private park – the second-largest private park in Gauteng and includes portions of the Modderfontein Spruit, many dams, grassland and hills. Lovingly cared for by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the reserve is ecologically sustainable and is ideal for cycling, running and walking (guided walks available). With a strong focus on environmental education, awareness and research for scholars and students, it’s a venue well worth supporting; and for Gautengers seeking wide-open green space to have a picnic, it’s virtually on your doorstep! Shake off city stress by packing a delicious picnic spread and immersing yourself in the amazing flora, while keeping an eye out for steenbok, reedbuck, duiker, black-backed jackals, Cape clawless otter, hedgehogs and four varieties of mongoose, as you sit, munching your sarmies! Val Bonne Country Estate, which consists of event venues (Beretun Hall and the Grange) and a restaurant (Dobbs House) which overlooks Grebe Dam, can be found at Modderfontein Reserve. These can be booked for larger events. Open from 6am-6pm; closed on Mondays Admission/conservation fee: R30 per adult, R15 per child, R500pp annual membership fees Visit www.modderfonteinreserve.co.za or call 079 519 1589 for group bookings.
A READY-MADE PICNIC
CAPE POINT VINEYARDS, CAPE TOWN
Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek is a prominent wine estate in a unique setting with 360-degree views of mountains, fynbos, vineyards and glorious sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean that make for an unforgettable experience. The ancient soils provide terroir ideal for the production of world-class Sauvignon Blanc that’s strong in minerality and complexity. While there’s a restaurant, wedding venue and tutored wine-tasting to be done here, a simple picnic in this incredible spot is what the good life’s all about! Deli-style picnics are available for order on weekdays (except Thursdays, when their Weekly Community Market happens from 4.30pm-8.30pm) and weekends, from noon to 6pm. R395 adults sharing, kiddies R65 per child, plus top-quality wines to order, too. Booking is essential on 021 789 0900 or email@example.com. Visit www.cpv.co.za for more information.
Images courtesy of venues
BIG GAME-VIEWING Addo Elephant National Park, Port Elizabeth – day visitors can picnic and braai overlooking the waterhole at the rest camp; call 042 233 8600.
CHEESE-MAKING Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij, Magaliesberg – after some mountain-biking and a tour at this cheese farm, picnic by the lush river; order your take-home picnic basket filled with a decadent feast at least a day in advance: R450 for 2 people, R620 for 3 people, and R790 for 4 people; call 012 207 1289.
ART APPRECIATION Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein – After a look around the gallery, picnic in the pretty gardens within 12 hectares of natural vegetation, in addition offering four walking trails; call 051 447 9609.
PICNIC SPOTS WITH AN ADDED TWIST
Water parks offer pure escapism, and what better way to spend a Saturday, Sunday, public holiday or school holidays cooling off and having family fun at one of these top-notch venues:
GOG LIFESTYLE PARK (PRONOUNCED GEE-OH-GEE!), LANSERIA
If you’re driving anywhere near Lanseria, you’re bound to come across GOG’s giant inflatables, so you had better have the family’s cozzies on standby in the boot otherwise you’ll never hear the end of it! Wide open spaces with water galore (including a novelty reservoir-type pool to remind you you’re in the country), make this water fun park ideal for kids of all ages. You can even walk ON water here in the enormous water balls… plus, there’s more!
SLIP-SLIDING AWAY GOG does things better, bigger, higher and faster, hence their monstrous 12 metre-high by 50-metre long water slip-andslide – said to be the highest in SA! This giant provides hours of non-stop fun for the not so faint-hearted. An overhead cascade of water shoots you down and over the hump to splash into the huge water-filled pool.
SPLASH PAD & SPRAY PARK Here, parents can introduce toddlers and babies to water in a safe, enjoyable way. The soft spray is unintimidating and gently wets their faces. For older tots and kids, water cannons and series of big rings spraying water just add to the fun! Off-water entertainment includes convoluted, expansive jungle gyms, see-saws, park gym equipment, obstacle courses with mud pools, peddle go-karting, climbing and bouldering walls, zip lining, abseiling and even bumper cars. Fresh air, fun, food and drink. What more do you need for a fabulous day out! Plot 126, Nietgedacht, Lanseria; 072 394 7437; www.goglifestyle.co.za
NEW RIDES AT VALLEY OF WAVES, SUN CITY
Recently, Valley of Waves at Sun City underwent an exciting upgrade, the newest attractions being Noble’s Descent – the body slide which sees your fear peak as you wait in the capsule for the trap door to vanish beneath your feet, for the ultimate 17-metre vertical free-fall at about 65 kilometres per hour, before being swept upwards into a near-vertical loop. G-force pins you to the slide and shoots you up, over and down before crashing into the splashdown lane – and, the second, Ovango (a boomerang tube slide), which starts out undercover, includes a 6-storey drop and a 12-metre vertical wall climb. Ride all the usual Valley of Waves rides, from body slides – the Tarantula and the Scorpion, and tube rides – the Viper and the Mamba, and, of course, the thrilling (some would say, terrifying!) drop in the Temple of Courage slide. Everyone’s alltime favourite is, of course, the Roaring
Images courtesy of venues
To win complimentary tickets to GOG Lifestyle Park visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
Lagoon wave pool with hydraulic mechanisms that can generate waves of nearly two-metres high every 90 seconds.
Sun City, R556, North West; 014 557 3444; www.suninternational.com/sun-city/activities/ valley-of-waves
As well as the new fast food arena with the Food Factory, The Brew Monkey microbrewery-themed gastro pub now caters to hungry swimmers and sun worshippers. Then soak up some rays with a cocktail in hand in The Royal Baths, an adult swimming pool beside the Amphitheatre, and explore the many walkways through tropical forests surrounding Valley of Waves featuring the Spider Web Sway Bridge, hidden cave waterfalls and rare plant varieties. Waterworld, the enormous man-made lake near the entrance to the Sun City complex still offers thrills for water-lovers in the form of parasailing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tube rides.
To win complimentary tickets to Valley of Waves visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
SUMMER: Splash! SA’s top water parks
STOKE CITY ADVENTURE PARK, MIDRAND
Stoke City is a water-sports paradise offering fun in the water for all ages, and some one-of-a-kind experiences. Watch the many on and off-water activities from the large observation deck with refreshments on sale, or from the ample rolling lawns with jungle gym, and even a beach volleyball court. The Cable Park offers waterskiing, kneeboarding and wakeboarding on the main cable – anyone can learn how it’s done!
WHAT IS ‘WAKEBOARDING’?
The indoor, climate-controlled Aquadome is a splash a minute, whatever the weather. Slip down the thrilling waterslide, explore the shipwreck or simply take a dip in the warm water. There are six heated pools (including a spa, baby pool, lazy river, main pool, gladiator pool and white-water pool.) With fully trained lifeguards on duty, it’s perfectly safe for kids to play to their heart’s content while parents relax and enjoy themselves too. While playing inside the Aquadome eliminates the need to coat the kids in sunscreen (yes please!), the Aquadome also features an outdoor deck area for those who want to laze in the sun. The beach volleyball and basketball court area are also hot favourites for summer fun, burning off excess energy. What’s great too is Aquadome is open all-year round! Emerald Resort & Casino, 777 Frikkie Meyer Boulevard, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng; 016 982 8175; www.emeraldcasino.co.za/resort-experiences/aquadome
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over a body of water while being towed in the wake of a motorboat, or by a motorised, overhead cable in the case of Stoke City. It was developed from a combination of waterskiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques.
Conveniently situated between Pretoria, Joburg and the East Rand, weekend activities here will feel as good as a holiday, away from the daily grind! Stoke City Adventure Park, corner R562 & Olifantsfontein Road, Olifantsfontein, Midrand, Gauteng; 082 348 6706; www.stokecity.co.za
To win complimentary tickets to Stoke City Adventure Park visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
WILD WAVES WATER PARK, WILD COAST
For holidaymakers at the coast, it might seem ludicrous to miss a day at the beach, but this water park is really worth it! What struck us was, even at the height of peak season, the number of visitors allowed in was limited and, while there were queues, they moved quickly. It was also impeccably clean and simply world class. Make it worth your while and go early and stay all day...
To win complimentary tickets to Aquadome visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
TAKE YOUR PICK OF SLIPPERY FUN FROM THESE SUPER RIDES: Boomeranga – get your thrills on with the sharp plummets, high banking turns and heart-pounding plunges; Aqua Loop – only the bravest take on this ultimate body slide adventure, taking a near-vertical 17m plunge in a capsule before landing in the splashdown
lane; SuperBowl – get pinned to the wall by powerful water forces; Speed Slides – beat your friends in the tallest, fastest, steepest and most adrenaline-pumping water-spray experience; The Lazy River – tube around the park peacefully under the sun’s rays. Kidz Zone offers a playful, fun and safe interactive water play area for little kids. Wild Coast Sun, Eastern Cape (5.5 km south of Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal, across the Mtamvuna River bridge); 039 305 4800; www.suninternational.com/wild-coast-sun/ activities/wild-waves-water-park
To win complimentary tickets to Wild Waves Water Park visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
Images courtesy of venues
The new Aqua Park is home to an incredible inflatable floating obstacle course featuring a variety of very large inflatables, for hours of your own emulated Total Wipeout fun! There’s stand-up paddling (SUP) too, which is completely hot right now (like your bod could be after all the core muscle-building involved!)
PINES RESORT, KRUGERSDORP
This water park is smaller, but well worth a visit! Spend a hot summer’s day, swimming in the pools, sliding on the numerous water slides, and playing on the splash pad catering for all ages. The jumping castle and playground will also keep little ones entertained. Bring your own picnic baskets, braai food – braais and grids are provided – and cold drinks, and eat in one of the many shaded picnic spots. Their shop stocks wine, beer, ciders, charcoal, firelighters and ice. It’s important to note that tickets are only available at Computicket and you may not bring your own alcohol. Pines Resort, 2 Ivan Smuts Ave, Silverfields, Krugersdorp, 011 955 3845; www.pinesresort.co.za *Please visit water park websites or call for seasonal operating hours and latest entry fees. Terms and conditions apply to the ticket giveaways.
Next summer will see the opening of Harties Waterpark on the R511 from Johannesburg to Hartbeespoort, next to De Vette Mossel, La Bonheur French Restaurant and Harties OpenMarket – watch this space: www.hartieswaterpark.co.za
AUTUMN: Chasing waterfalls in “fall”
hen the heat of summer dies down, set out and explore these KwaZulu-Natal Midlands waterfalls, the first three of which all originate from the Umgeni River or Mgeni River (Zulu: uMngeni), rising in the Dargle Valley in the Midlands (with its mouth some distance north of Durban’s harbour.) It then meanders eastwards through the picturesque green countryside where it is joined by the Lions River just before it reaches Midmar Dam. Below Midmar the river cascades some 111 metres down the Howick Falls and into the Umgeni Valley where the Karkloof tributary meets it before it flows into Albert Falls Dam, deemed to be one of the best bass-fishing dams in the world.
WALK HOWICK FALLS GORGE
The Howick Falls Gorge Walk is so easy to do, even kids will love it, and it will take you through tranquil riverine forest, grottos and meandering streams, surrounded by lush greenery and the damp scents you’ll only experience walking along a river. The falls crash down some 90 metres and the view from the top is spectacular!
Gorge Walk: Start amongst the dense undergrowth on the stone steps at the Gorge Walk sign at the bottom of Harvard Street, Howick, and wind down to the pool the water plunges into at the bottom. You’ll meet up with the trickling Karkloof Spruit and witness it meet the Umgeni River on your walk to the base, where the tumbling water makes a surprising commotion.
The leisurely walk can be done in under two hours, returning along the same path. The surrounding cliff faces can be scaled and abseiled upon by those preferring more of a challenge, with ropes, a helmet and great caution, of course. *A small fee attached to the walk goes to the Howick Falls Conservancy
To win complimentary tickets to Pines Resort visit www.onroutemag.co.za!
DRIVE THE ALBERT FALLS AMBLE – THE ROUTE LESS TRAVELLED
The Albert Falls Amble (or just “The Amble”) is said to be “the road less travelled” and is a route that leads you to the Midlands Meander and Boston Bulwer Beat routes. The Amble takes note of historical locations, nature reserves, farm stays, a handful of historic crafts (like cabinet- and shoemakers), and several outdoor pursuits to the north-east and including Balgowan, Nottingham Road and Mooi River. At the heart of the route is Albert Falls Dam and the towns of Bishopstowe, Wartburg, New Hanover, Dalton, Seven Oaks, Greytown, Kranskop, Ashburton, Hilton, Karkloof, Manderson, Baynesville and Thornville. The Amble is divided into roughly 10 mini routes (a complementary route map can be picked up at a KZN Tourism office in the area or at OR Tambo airport), with a principle town in each which is unfamiliar to the average visitor. The flyer summarises the town’s history, where to find the aforementioned crafts as well as accommodation options and activities that range from walking labyrinths, visiting lion parks, nurseries, farms, nature reserves, conservancies, lakeside resorts, picnic sites, a tea estate, pubs, historic buildings, churches and game farms.
The Karkloof River rises in the Karkloof mountain range and descends through thickly wooded forests creating many small waterfalls. The beautiful and dramatic Karkloof Falls are 105 metres high and plunge over the cliff at Shafton Grange, and were lauded by early settlers as “the most beautiful waterfall in the land”. Karkloof Falls can be found along Karkloof Road travelling out of Howick. Entry is free and you can picnic and braai under the trees surrounding the Falls.
HIKE THE TUGELA FALLS – AFRICA’S HIGHEST WATERFALL!
Images courtesy of venues
While in the area, it would be crazy not to see the amazing natural phenomenon that is the Tugela Falls. The Drakensberg Mountain’s Amphitheatre forms a natural border between KwaZulu-Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho and, at 948-metres high, the crystal-clear water of the Tugela Falls careens a kilometre down its facade in five leaps. It’s the highest waterfall in Africa, and there’s even speculation it might be the highest in the world instead of Venezuela’s Angel Falls. Those wanting to hike the falls need to be moderately fit to tackle the roughly 4-hour, 13-kilometre trek, and costs involved are R75 per person at the Sentinel Car Park and R45 per person at the entrance to the Royal Natal National Park. The hike, that can be done year-round, is said to be it’s very best in autumn, so you’d better get moving… Winter is on its way! For more information on KZN and for route maps themselves (including the fascinating Battlefields, Freedom, KZN Literature, 1 000 Hills, Zululand Birding and popular Beer Route), visit www.zulu.org.za/about/routes, or call 031 366 7500. For another handy resource, including for extensive accommodation options in the area, visit www.sa-venues.com
Karkloof Conservancy, that protects the Karkloof Valley in the mist belts of KZN, conserves a large portion of the Karkloof forest where you might glimpse of the rare and endangered Cape parrot, orange ground thrush, lemon dove and crowned hornbill. The samango monkey, blue duiker, tree hyrax, serval and aardvark make the reserve their home and several rare trees and the threatened Hilton daisy can be seen here, too.
HANG OUT AT KARKLOOF FALLS
WINTER: Escape to the bush
Selati Camp Presidential Suite
Fires, food and the Big Five… There’s nothing better than the bush in winter!
nd, if you break free and hightail it deep into the world-famous Sabi Sand Reserve, you’ll find the truly special place that is Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, set in 65 000 hectares of pristine bushveld in the south-western section of the Kruger National Park. Its four unique lodges honour the area’s rich heritage through Sabi Sabi’s philosophy of ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’: Selati Camp – named after the old Selati Railway Line that linked the goldfields to the coast, represents the past; Bush Lodge and Little Bush Camp – the present; and mystical Earth Lodge – the future. Together they accommodate the different needs of individuals, couples, families and groups, while gently coexisting amongst the nature that abounds here.
Little Bush Camp
When elephants come to visit
Recently OnRoute had the pleasure of staying at family-friendly Bush Lodge. The lodge sits along a dry riverbed with the central/communal area’s beautiful viewing deck overlooking a waterhole, and the chalets nestled in the undergrowth on either side. The contemporary and spacious, temperature-controlled thatch chalets, complete with private open views, are a cosy retreat for a family on chilly winter nights. The lodge staff is highly attentive, ensuring guests get the most out of their stay with the Sabi Sabi family.
Here, it’s a case of “live to eat” not “eat to live”, with magical infusions of local flavours by talented Chef Wilfred Mtshali and his
Viewing deck overlooking waterhole at Bush Lodge
team. In particular, we enjoyed the succulent fillet steak and lamb chops, the osso buco, and halibut. Game meats included crocodile, warthog and zebra loin. There are tasty vegetarian options, salad components (including the softest Danish feta and speckled quail eggs, amongst many others) to make any salad you can conceive, as well as a variety of freshly prepped veggies. Leave space for the array of local and international cheeses; and, irresistible desserts and high-tea treats if you have a sweet tooth, think nut and fruitfilled carrot cake, Rooibos panna cottas and animal-shaped biscuits, temptingly displayed. Simply leave your kilojoule-controlled diet at the N4!
Bush Lodge’s EleFun Centre offers fully supervised indoor and outdoor play with arts, crafts and interactive activities so parents can work (only if you must!), have a daytime nap, or your choice of luxurious treatments at the in-lodge Amani Spa.
Images courtesy of Sabi Sabi and Angie Snyman
MORNING AND EVENING GAME DRIVES Be assured that your game experiences will be unforgettable! Each tracker-ranger team in an open off-road game vehicle hosts the same guests for their stay, and skilfully seeks out the most fascinating game sightings. This could include an exhilarating high-speed tracking, based on radio-ed word of “ingwe” (leopard in isiZulu), crashing over undulating terrain through near-impenetrable thickets while bobbing and weaving to avoid being whipped by leaves. This time, the endeavour turned out to be highly worthwhile since our prized spot was a beautiful leopard known as White Dam’s Madoda (male/son). Madoda then moved out of the dense copse to easily be observed in plain sight, highlighting that it’s the unpredictability of wildlife that makes it so captivating to experience in person!
Sydney Mnisi and Mike Palmer
Our tracker, Sydney Mnisi was born and raised in the area and, with nine years of anti-poaching work prior to his three years here, draws on his lifetime of wisdom to decipher scents, sounds and spoor. Our highly professional guide, Mike Palmer, shared his enviable and infinite knowledge in intriguing detail. A tracker and guide have a profound relationship as a result of always ensuring their and the guests’ safety in this potentially deadly job, their many invested hours together and a mutual passion for the bush. White Dam’s Madoda
The trackers and guides know every resident leopard by name. Although, with open-border policies with the Kruger National Park, big cat legends, like the famous Charleston brother lion whose lower canine hangs precariously from its jaw, are free to roam as they please, so appear intermittently or sometimes disappear altogether. This once “pretty boy” lion miraculously survived a blow to the face by an angry giraffe’s hoof!
WINTER WONDERLAND Seasoned bushveld visitors tend to have a favourite time of year. For us, it’s the cooler but dry winter months, when the grass is low, visibility good and the bare trees are majestically silhouetted against a rising or setting sun. It’s a dream backdrop for disembarking from the game vehicle for a creamy Amarula morning coffee, or a G&T sundowner and snacks.
Big Five sightings
Not rising at 5.30am with the sun and birds for a game drive is unthinkable – the air is chilly and invigorating and, as you snuggle under blankets, usual work commitments and rush-hour traffic couldn’t be further from your mind. The night skies are spectacular too, with constellations clearly visible for breath-taking stargazing.
APRIL Autumn makes its appearance. The trees start changing to vibrant reds and yellows. Rutting season begins and the animals prepare for winter. The days are shorter, and mornings and evenings still comfortably warm. With little or no rain, the skies are clear and bright.
MAY Water becomes scarcer and as the grasses get drier and shorter, animals are abundant. The migratory bird species start their long journeys northwards, some travelling as far as India and China.
Images courtesy of Sabi Sabi and Angie Snyman
Winter is here but the mild climate makes for pleasant warm days with chilly early mornings and nights. Game-viewing around the pans and waterholes is superb!
Close-up encounters with the Big Five
JULY Midday temperatures are still warm, but layer on your clothing for game drives. Dry conditions prevail and big herds break up into smaller groups. Endless blue skies and bare silhouetted trees are a photographer and Instagrammer’s dream.
THE BIG FIVE AND “SMALL 5005”
The reserve is home to the famed Big Five – elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo – but because Sabi Sabi lies within a recognised hotspot of biodiversity, other rare sightings, like honey badger, pangolin, aardvark or even cheetah and wild dog, aren’t impossible! While off-roading is permissible only for the Big Five, there are hundreds of other species that can cross your path, including 47 large mammal species; 57 species of reptile as well as myriad smaller animals such as bats, small rodents, amphibians; invertebrates such as insects, spiders and scorpions – to which Sydney will attest with his painful sting while clearing branches; over 350 species of birds – including Verreaux’s eagle-owl and southern white-faced owl, which we were lucky to see this time; and over 90 species of indigenous trees and many more shrubs and grass species.
A promise of spring is in the air as days get warmer and start to lengthen. Vegetation is sparse and wildlife is still easy to find; pans and waterholes are by now the only water sources. You get the sense the bushveld is holding its breath hoping for early rains…
To enquire about Sabi Sabi African Safari packages email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 011 447-7172 or visit www.sabisabi.com. Follow Sabi Sabi on @sabisabireserve for fascinating glimpses into daily bush life. See OnRoute’s trip to Sabi Sabi on @onroutemag and @OnRouteMagazine.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL
Our Fabulous Neighbours!
BY A NG I E S NYMAN
As South Africans, we often overlook travelling to countries closer to home when many of them are, in fact, rather fabulous! Here’s a taste of what five of our neighbours – all of them accessible by car – have to offer their visitors...
SAY HELLO TO MOZAMBIQUE, BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, LESOTHO AND SWAZILAND! While a major tourism attraction to most southern African countries is naturally the incredible wildlife, each country is distinctive and idiosyncratic in its own special way. Whether it’s the foods and drinks you consume, memorabilia you take home, the people and interwoven cultural heritage, or your bucket-list experiences on the varying terrain, its essence will be imprinted in your mind forever. Venture across our borders and go and see for yourself...
Fulfilling your idyllic beach holiday fantasy needn’t mean hefty plane ticket costs when the spectacular Mozambique coastline and the semi-deserted islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago are a relatively short distance away. Mozambique is considered one of the best-value travel destinations in the world.
FOOD Mozambique’s historical Portuguese influence comes through strongly in the food, and until you’ve eaten traditional prego chicken or prawns caught fresh from the sea and then prepared for you in a beach restaurant, you’ve not experienced Mozambique! DRINK 2M (pronounced “doish-em”) beer, as well as Laurentina Clara pale and Preta dark lager, two of the most-awarded and exported beers in Africa, produced by the same Mozambican brewery, Cervejas de Moçambique.
Stained red lips are a phenomenon in Mozambique – the after-effect of a favourite drink called “R&R” (Tipo Tinto rum & Spar-letta Morango, a raspberry drink) which was stumbled upon originally, quite by coincidence.
CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS Marrabenta is a popular style of Mozambican dance music combining traditional Mozambican dance rhythms with Portuguese folk music. Take home a CD as a memento!
The website for Jolly Roger, “the only overnight accommodation and restaurant exactly midway between Maputo and Vilanculo” states that since R&R’s invention, “holidays in Mozambique were never the same … everyone was walking (staggering) around with a red mouth, innocently saying that they have not been drinking”!
DRINK IT AT HOME!
R&R is now available in single bottles or a six pack at Pick n Pay bottle stores (for those who are nostalgic after visiting Mozambique, and who have an extreme sweet tooth!)
SOUVENIRS Bright wax-printed fabric; wooden carvings and beaded necklaces.
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES Scuba diving and snorkelling in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean teeming with sea life and coral reefs; take a dhow ride to the isolated beaches of Benguerra Island; spend a day or two in Maputo visiting the huge curio markets, history museums, great restaurants and live music at night. Friendly local children
TOP TIPS Drive time: +/- 6 hours from Joburg to Maputo Currency and conversion: Mozambican Metical (MZN) divided into 100 Centavos; R0.21 = MZN1 In the southern parts, Rands are often also accepted to pay for accommodation. Benguerra Island
THREE TOP DIVE SITES IN MOZAMBIQUE!
Snorkel in Mozambique
• Bazaruto Archipelago • Ponta Mamoli • Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Malongane
Maputo view from Catembe Island
SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL
2. BOTSWANA Agate chalcedony quartz
From being one of the poorest countries in Africa in 1966, Botswana is now the third-largest producer of diamonds in the world with a growth rate and economic buoyancy that’s unmatched in Africa.
SOUVENIRS Traditional San crafts, including handdyed textiles, decorated bags, leather aprons, bows and arrows, musical instruments and woven mats, Botswana agate chalcedony quartz. The extra-fine grey, pink, apricot and brown coloured bandings and patterns make it very unique and sought-after.
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES Mokoro dugout canoes in the Okavango Delta; wildlife particularly on an Okavango Delta river safari; birdlife in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
Game-viewing in the Okavango Delta
DID YOU KNOW? Stew, pap and vegetables
FOOD Seswaa stew (red meat, especially beef or goat, boiled with “just enough salt”) with maize or sorghum pap and tasty wild spinach; Bambara groundnut snack; dried fish; Kalahari truffles (a desert species of mushroom with a rich, earthy flavour); and for the truly adventurous, phane (Mopane worms). We wanted to feature a picture but they’re too ugly to show, let alone eat!
Taylor Swift’s music video for Wildest Dreams was shot in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
DRINK St. Louis Lager brewed by Kgalagadi Breweries in capital town, Gaborone; Bostwana produces “Africa’s only energy drink”, fruity-flavoured Kabisa, best served ice cold; locals also enjoy Chibuku, a commercially produced and packaged beer brewed from either maize or sorghum and enjoyed in many African countries, as well as homemade ginger beer.
Guided tour on quad bikes, Makgadikgadi salt pans
DID YOU KNOW? Watermelons are thought to have originated in Botswana. San settlement, Botswana
CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS D’kar Village, home to a large community of Ncoakhoe San who operate an art gallery, cultural centre and wildlife ranch, and Xai Xai Village along the Limpopo River, home to some of the last remaining Bushman, otherwise known as the Basarwa people, in the world; the ginormous lone baobab trees.
TOP TIPS Drive time: +/- 4 hours from Joburg to Gaborone Currency and conversion: Botswana Pula (BWP) divided into 100 Thebe; R1.26 = BWP1 Major credit cards accepted. ATMs in the main towns only. www.botswana-tourism.gov.bw San, Botswana
SOUVENIRS Carved wooden masks and figurines of Himba locals; colourful material dolls; beaded trinkets from the Namibia Craft Centre, Windhoek.
Namibia is more than an undulating desert with one lonely little town. There’s heaps to do there besides dune buggy rides and sand boarding, although these are impressive and a must-see and do! Beaded trinkets
FOOD Eisbein and sauerkraut in a restaurant in the still very German-influenced town of Windhoek; Lüderitz oysters.
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES Free-roaming cheetahs and desert lions, DRINK Try the locally produced range of Windhoek beers and imported completely adapted to the arid environment; rock art; the Skeleton Coast and seal colonies. Erdinger German beer. Namibian Breweries Limited (NBL) brew all of their beers according to the Reinheitsgebot (German purity law), in practice since 1516.
Eisbein and sauerkraut
Windhoek local beer
CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS Himba tribe with their earthy braids; colourful material clothes and long, rolled-up Herero headdress (to this day, Herero women wear voluminous Victorian-style dresses, complete with horn-shaped headgear, as they hold on tight to their style of dressing, influenced by the wives of German missionaries and colonialists who first came to the country in the early 1900s); churches and modern buildings with foreign influences exist alongside one another, like the Independence Memorial Museum (referred to as the “Perculator” since it looks like one) built with North Korea’s financial assistance.
DID YOU KNOW? Interestingly, many streets in Windhoek are named after dictators as many socialist countries who opposed capitalist countries helped Namibia gain its independence 23 years ago!
The Namib Desert is believed to be the oldest in the world! Himba woman
Himba tribe hut
TOP TIPS Drive time: +/- 14.5 hours from Joburg via Botswana to Windhoek Currency and conversion: Namibian Dollar (NAD) divided into 100 Cents is equal to R1, which is also accepted as legal currency. Major credit cards accepted. ATMs in the main towns only. www.namibiatourism.com.na
SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL
Lüderitz city at sunset
SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL
4. LESOTHO The Sani Pass is a breathtaking entry point into Lesotho from South Africa’s Drakensberg National Park and is the gateway to the “Roof of Africa” scenic route, linking the magnificent scenery of the two mountain ranges. Popularly described as the “Kingdom in the Sky”.
Basotho hats and blankets with colourful prints
SOUVENIRS Basotho hats and blankets, colourful prints on handmade bowls and crockery, handwoven baskets and tapestries.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sani Pass – “Roof of Africa”
FOOD Sour sorghum porridge; after harvesting, maize and wheat are stored in exquisitely woven, giant baskets. DRINK Lesotho’s trademark brew is Maluti Premium Lager, a pale lager brewed by Maluti Mountain Brewery in the capital town, Maseru. It tastes even better by a fire at the highest altitude pub in Africa – the Sani Mountain Lodge – at 2 874 metres above sea level!
The large fossilised footprints of a carnivorous dinosaur dating back 200-million years ago were discovered in the Roma Valley near the National University of Lesotho in western Lesotho last year. But this isn’t the first Lesotho dinosaur to be uncovered in the country – in 1978, Lesothosaurus, a type of omnivorous dinosaur, was named by palaeontologist Peter Galton, the name meaning “lizard from Lesotho”.
CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS Old meets new in the capital town, Maseru where you’ll see blanket-clad horsemen in traffic jams, and woven handiwork on pavements outside modern buildings; Thaba-Bosiu is an important historical site, the shape of its rock pinnacle, Qiloane, is the inspiration for the Basotho hat; tribal dancing and stick fighting are a must-see.
Maletsunyane Waterfall abseiling
AfriSki, Maluti Mountains
Thaba-Bosiu, inspiration for the Basotho hat
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES African snow (AfriSki in the Maluti Mountains); the world’s highest commercially operated singledrop abseil at 204 metres down the Maletsunyane Waterfall at Semonkong Lodge, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records; trout fishing; pony trekking through the Lesotho highlands passing remote Basotho villages with their colourful design detailing; hiking and camping is at its best in autumn!
Drink it at home! St. Louis Lager (Botswana), 2M (Mozambique) and Maluti (Lesotho) beers are available (amongst others) in a limited-edition, imported selection of Africa’s Big Six beers from Pick n Pay bottle stores.
Drive time: +/- 4.5 hours from Joburg to Maseru Currency and conversion: Loti (LSL; pl. Maloti) divided into 100 Lisente is equal to R1, which is also accepted as legal currency. Major credit cards accepted fairly widely. ATMs in the main towns only, but some retailers may not accept all cards. www.tourism.gov.ls
Basotho man with his horse wearing traditional blanket
SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL
5. SWAZILAND The smallest country in the southern hemisphere, the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland is wedged between South Africa and Mozambique, and is known as the “Switzerland of Africa”. FOOD Avocados and pineapples; and roadside roasted mealies. Cultural dancers and House on Fire entrance
CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS Cultural villages and the friendly, welcoming and proud Swazi people; House On Fire at Malandela’s in Malkern’s Valley, is known to be “one of the most eclectic entertainment venues in the world”. It has the capacity to host large-scale theatrical performances, customised events and intimate gatherings for weddings etc. DRINK Sibebe Premium Lager, brewed in the town of Matsapha by Swaziland Beverages. SOUVENIRS Glass-blowing and 100% recycled glassware by Ngwenya Glass; handmade candles (Swazi Candles); colourful handmade, locally harvested sisal basket-ware by Tintsaba Master Weavers (some of which can be as large as 31cm, cost US$500-600 each and take approximately 50+ hours to complete, learn more at www.tintsaba.com or visit their shop at the Watershed, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town) and Gone Rural (www.goneruralswazi.com), both are women’s upliftment organisations; roadside carvings.
MTN Bushfire is Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed music and arts festival that celebrates creative expression, proclaimed by CNN as one of the “seven African music festivals you really have to see”. This year it takes place from 25-27 May at House On Fire. First artists announced for MTN Bushfire 2018 include top SA artists Alice Phoebe Lou and Samthing Soweto, with other global stars like Dub Inc (France), Flavia Coelho (Brazil), Elida Almeida (Cape Verde) and Tlale Makhene (Swaziland). Learn more at www.bush-fire.com
DID YOU KNOW? Sibebe beer is named after Swaziland’s Sibebe Rock, which is the world’s second-largest exposed granite dome (after Uluru in Australia) Sisal basket-ware by Tintsaba Master Weavers
Floral handmade glass bowl by Ngwenya Glass
Glass blowing Malandela’s Centre, also offering a restaurant and accommodation
TOP TIPS Drive time: +/- 4 hours from Joburg to Mbabane
Swaziland Gone Rural women’s upliftment project, handwoven baskets
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES White-water rafting; breathtaking scenery, especially in the western highlands; horse trails and hiking up Nyonyane Mountain to the craggy summit known as Execution Rock where ancient stories tell of Swazis suspected of witchcraft and criminals, forced to walk off the edge at spearpoint for their crimes.
Currency and conversion: Lilangeni (SZL, pl. Emalangeni) divided into 100 Cents is equal to R1, with Rands also accepted as legal tender (notes only). Remember to change currency back into Rands before leaving Swaziland to return home. Major credit cards accepted. ATMs in the main towns only. www.thekingdomofswaziland.com
NOTES FOR SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISTS
Travellers wanting to enter these southern African countries require a South African passport valid for at least six months and with at least two blank pages. No visas are needed, but do check with the consulate regarding visa requirements before travelling, in case there are changes. Under 18s leaving or entering South Africa must have valid documentation and affidavits as per South African Home Affairs. Vehicle licences must be valid and up to date, and your vehicle roadworthy. Currency conversions correct at time of writing.
For travel planning and further information contact Alphabet Travel on 011 219 6320 or www.alphabettravel.co.za
! N O I T C E S S D KI
Let it snow, let it snow... It’s not cold, it’s not wet and you don’t have to layer the kids in warm clothes before you let them play with it! The only drawback is that the ingredients include hair conditioner or shaving cream, so prepare for knotty hair or stubble - a small price to pay for happy kids and peace and quiet... So here’s how it’s done - it’s too easy!
Ingredients Option 1: using hair conditioner * 500ml bicarbonate of soda * 250ml hair conditioner, preferably white so that it looks like real snow
Option 2: using shaving cream * 500g bicarbonate of soda * 1 x tin of shaving cream * Plastic container or large pan to use for play area * Fun tools for creative play: beads, toothpicks, ribbon and craft eyes to make a snowman and Playdoh tools work well, too.
Method Step 1: Mix the two ingredients together! Done!
SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION KIDS’ SECTION – MAKE IT!
Welcome to ThE
Spring SPOT IT! Spring into action and find the 10 differences in these two spring pictures.
It’s been a long winter! Help Ladybird find the delicious spring flower by following the numbers 1 to 10.
Prices correct at time of going to print. Images are courtesy of manufacturers, distributors and stockists.
KIDS’ SECTION – GAMES SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION
s e m a G d n a s e l z Kids’ Puz
SUMMER ABROAD! Every fancy-pants would like to “summer in France”. Find all the summer items and the famous landmarks to plan your voyage.
NOTHING BETTER THAN THE BEACH! Find the beachy words in the crossword below.
LEAF SWEEP Help Mr Sweep, get all the autumn leaves into the basket.
SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION
KIDS’ SECTION – GAMES
Spot is sitting in his usual spot, spotting the difference between these two pictures. Help him!
ORANGE’S PORTRAIT Orange Leaf is keen to have his portrait drawn. Look carefully at each block and then redraw what you see. When all blocks are done, you will have the overall picture. Go for it!
A-MAZING! Brrrr, it’s -10 and you’re freezing! Time to hurry home; but which maze (A, B or C) will take you home?
SNOWFLAKE MATCH! Each snowflake has a partner, find it!
PRICE: R1 299
GOOD BUY! 6
Travel millions of miles without packing a bag, all with SmartGlobe Discovery, the first Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe with three activity panels! Packed with 19 exciting activities and hours of informative audio content, it gives both kids and adults endless educational entertainment with amazing facts about planet Earth. You’ll be amazed each time you spin the globe and point the interactive SmartPen. Toy Kingdom/www.toykingdom.co.za
GIVE YOUR KIDS WANDERLUST WITH THE SMARTGLOBE DISCOVERY
Practical finds to see you through the four seasons with ease and in comfort, whether youâ€™re at home or exploring the great outdoors.
TERRA-FIRMA WIDE-BRIM HAT The Terra-Firma wide-brim hat is Ultraviolet Protection Factor rated, breathable, wicks moisture away and is also incredibly lightweight. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, a hat like this is an essential investment to protect your skin. www.trappers.co.za
HONEY BADGER FLIPPER KNIFE Made from the highest quality stainless steel, this slim, lightweight knife is expertly designed to be tough! The fibre-reinforced nylon handle has a honeycomb design for a slip-resistant, multi-directional grip and fits ergonomically in your hand. With its frictionless opening and closing action, this everyday carry knife is a pleasure to use. www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za
Prices correct at time of going to print. Images courtesy of manufacturers, distributors and stockists.
ULTRATEC PORTABLE ZAPPER LANTERN Forget those unpleasant and potentially dangerous chemicals or sprays, the Ultratec portable Zapper lantern will keep you and your family mosquito free for up to 15 hours on one charge. Stand it on a table or hang it from your tent, this lightweight, water-resistant rechargeable lantern has three modes: turbo, high and low, and is ideal in any environment. www.makro.co.za
ENLAN 7-IN-1 MULTITOOL This handy little tool is small enough to fit on your keyring but packs a rather useful punch! It’s equipped with seven practical tools, amongst them pliers, a bottle opener, blade and carabiner clip. Available in red, black and blue, it makes for a great gift idea too. www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za
NITE IZE STEELIE CAR MOUNT KIT
THE ORIGINAL BUFF Buffs are highly practical, especially when the weather cools down. So uniquely versatile, it can be worn in up to 13 different ways for protection, comfort and fun!
Steelie is a world leader in phone and tablet-holding systems, and the Nite Ize Steelie dash mount kit is proclaimed by many to be the most effective phone holder you can get for your car. It docks your phone to your dashboard in a snap so that it’s clearly visible, accessible and right where you need it, everywhere you go. www.trappers.co.za
Winter PRICE: R1 999
FIRST ASCENT TRANSIT DOWN JACKET
THERMOSTEEL FROSTY MUG
The Transit jacket offers you ideal warmth without the bulk. Its high-tech insulation is designed to combat the winter chills. It’s also highly compressible and packs into its own stuff bag for convenient, lightweight travelling. www.trappers.co.za
The 590ml, double-wall, vacuuminsulated Frosty mug is an absolute must for just about anyone. Whether you spend your time driving, commuting, camping or just around the house, the Frosty will keep hot, hot and cold, cold for up to 18 hours! With a removable handle and a drinkthrough lid, the frosty is made of 18/8 Stainless Steel, is BPA free and comes with a 5-year warranty. www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za
TONGLITE LED BRAAI TONG This handy gadget will shine a little light on your braai with a warm white 16-lumen, LED flashlight that will ensure your meat’s cooked to perfection. The fibre-reinforced nylon handle and stainless-steel jaws are dishwasher friendly, and the removable LED flashlight is water resistant and uses only one AAA battery. www.capeunionmart.co.za
Prices correct at time of going to print. Images courtesy of manufacturers, distributors and stockists.
USB TRAVEL COMPANION Convenient power on the go! The Travel Companion by Ultratec allows you to charge two USB devices simultaneously from any 12-volt socket. Available in black, red, blue and rose gold, it’s a perfect and essential accessory for any vehicle.
PRICE: R1 300 AND UP, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE.
SHADES SUN CHILLERS UMBRELLA Lightweight and easily portable in its own compact bag, the Shades Sun Chillers umbrella with UPF50 blocks 98% of UV rays and offers wind protection too. Made in Italy from high-quality Lycra fabric, Shades Sun Chillers are ideal for use on grass as well as on the beach – there’s no need for mallets and deep holes, simply fill up the sand bags and erect. Available in eyecatching yellow, turquoise, pink, red, royal blue, orange, white, navy, apple green and purple. Order at www.shades-sa.co.za SPECIAL DISCOUNT: 10% off when you order and use the promo code: ONRoute10
COLOURFUL SLS LANTERN Ideal and appealing, the 120-lumen SLS Lantern from Ultratec is a colourful, silicone, battery-operated, waterproof lantern. Use it as a water bottle or liquid storage container, or to keep your phone or car keys dry. It’s lightweight and even foldable, plus it runs for up to 25 hours using three AAA batteries. Available in blue, pink, white, orange or green. www.yuppichef.com
CAR REVIEW B Y D AMI AN MURPHY
A CASE OF
MISTAKEN IDENTITY The surprising substance of the Landwind 5 reminds us yet again not to make comparisons before having a proper look!
here is a humorous series of adverts running on TV at the moment made for an insurance company called Hippo. co.za. In these ads, the Hippo alludes to comparison dos and comparison don’ts, often parodying awkward situations where the everyday man unwittingly compares two things he shouldn’t, like a rather overweight woman to his pregnant wife. The funny series of commercials resonates with all of us as most of us have, at one point in time or another, made a comparison we shouldn’t have.
ample space inside the Landwind 5 for a family of five, and the large boot copes well with the pressures of transporting kids and all that goes along with them.
When the Landwind 5 was delivered to us for review, the first thing that struck us was that it shared a striking resemblance to a Lexus. The badge, although not identical, still resembled that of a Lexus badge and the shell shared many striking similarities to a Lexus too. So when judging the car initially, we couldn’t help but hold it to the very high standards set by the Japanese luxury manufacturer Lexus. Sadly, this comparison didn’t lead us to believe that the Landwind 5 was a sluggish and poor attempt to enter a very saturated luxury SUV market. When that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Landwind 5 ticks all the safety boxes on paper with EBD, ABS, stability control, front side airbags, driver airbags and traction control, but it did have some body roll issues that made for some nervy cornering at speed. With a top speed of 170km/h, it gives further evidence to the fact that there is power to be found, somewhere in the Landwind 5. On further research, the manual version delivers a top speed of nearly 10% more and gets to 100km/h nearly two seconds quicker.
For starters, the Landwind 5 is more than half the price of the Lexus comparative, meaning at R289 880 for the top-of-the-range model we tested, you certainly get great value. With a well laid out interior and a stylish exterior, this entry-level SUV opens up a vehicle segment to a whole new market of clientele. There is
The 2.0L engine delivered acceptable performance in everyday testing, but we felt that the automatic gearbox severely hurt its overall delivery of power and speed. The 8-speed automatic gearbox missed the beat completely and there were moments of brilliance during the test where we felt that there is plenty to offer under the bonnet of the Landwind 5, which just couldn’t get out and express itself.
It may feel like we’re being overly harsh on the Landwind 5, but in reality, it has far more merit than fault. Yes, the automatic gearbox hurt the performance, but in day-to-day traffic, you barely get a chance to get above crawling speed anyway. Other than that, the Landwind 5 does offer the growing family a great tool to enter the SUV market and enjoy the comforts of a big car, with big space.
Off-season Travel for each month of the year
With the constraints of school holidays and taking time off work, world travellers are forced to flock to international hotspots all at once. But if you can plan your annual travel to hit popular destinations in their low or shoulder seasons, it can feel like winning the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
ravelling at off-peak times means perks such as reduced rates and possible upgrades to your flight seating and accommodation, as well as the absence of crowds and more opportunities to mingle with the locals. And with our weak (but slowly strengthening) currency, who wouldn’t want their hard-earned savings to stretch further?
Summer in Hong Kong is exceptionally hot and humid which can make traipsing up the 268 steps to see the Big Buddha, or any other of the many outdoor excursions, a draining and sweaty affair. January is mid-winter and the weather is much like Joburg in winter, just not as dry or clear. With many expats leaving town for the holidays but schools resuming almost immediately after New Year, you can ride to your heart’s content at Disneyland and Ocean Park without the snaking queues. You’ll also catch the build-up to Chinese New Year (at the end of January or early in February), but you might choose to depart just prior to the celebration itself as prices for accommodation rise steeply.
Going to Iceland in March might be one of the best things you do! For starters, since it’ll be less crowded, you’ll be able to spend more time in the Blue Lagoon near Grindavík, exposed to the geothermal “healing powers” of the silicate minerals that give the water its incredible velvet-blue hue. The water’s a steamy 40 degrees Celcius, and the air is icy cold and invigorating. Because the view will be of the possibly snowcovered mountains rather than tourists, you’ll also be able to fully appreciate the overwhelming beauty, as the steam rises against the open Atlantic skies. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST February, March, September and October (also typically the best time to see the Northern Lights)
AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST mid-October to December and early in January Tallow beach sunrise, Byron Bay
Byron Bay, Australia
Only recently has Australia’s southeast coast, and especially the surfing town of Byron Bay, gained popularity amongst bohemian surfer-types and trendsetters alike, becoming the bustling hotspot it is now. And while you might miss seeing the humpback whales from Captain Cook Lookout between June and November, you’ll also miss the recently departed New Year crowds and can laze on the beach all day long in the cooler autumn weather. Winter only descends properly in May. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST February and October The enormous Tian Tan Buddha at Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong
Reykjavík, Iceland in winter with harbour, skyline mountains and scenery beyond the city
The Maldives, Asia While pictures of the Maldives might make you think you need to be a movie star to stay there, you needn’t be to make a trip to this dream destination a reality. There’s also a lot more to do than roll between an overwater bungalow, the azure sea water and white, sandy beach with a cocktail in hand! You can take a 45-minute submarine tour of the underwater world of the Indian Ocean, do a half-day walking tour to discover the history and culture of Malé, or travel by speedboat from Hulhumale for a threehour snorkelling safari. Visit at the very end of the dry season (end of April or beginning of May) for reduced rates and chances of thunderstorms. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST Beginning of May Pink Cherry blossom and Edinburgh Castle
Playa Guiones in Nosara, Costa Rica
AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST April, May, June or September
Because Costa Rica has a distinct wet and dry season, you may have to compromise a little here. During June and July you might get some tropical downpours along the stunning coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula, but visiting the secluded surf town of Guiones Beach at this time won’t hinder your beach and ocean-sport activities. Shoulder months are uncrowded with price breaks available which are as much as half of peak Easter and Christmas times. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST May, June and September, October and November The Maldives
The medieval city of Edinburgh is famous for its unpredictable weather, but its off-season weather is often better than during the summer. While January and February can be chilly, it’s also very sunny and not so windy. April, as a shoulder season, sees sparse crowds and spring in the air and the blooming of dandelions and cherry blossoms. And, there’s no place better place to see the magnificent spring blossoms and view the castle atop its towering perch than the Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh’s busiest shopping street. Other popular sights here include the famous Floral Clock and impressive Ross Fountain.
Mexico July is one of the slower and cheaper months for hotels in Cancun since people forget about tropical destinations when it’s warm in the northern hemisphere. Great bargains can be found, with all-inclusive packages at some of the nicer beach-front resorts in the middle of the Hotel Zone. Summer is sea turtle season and females lay their eggs which hatch during June and July; it’s also whale shark season and you can swim with these giants from Isla Holbox or Cancun. If vibrant cultural offerings are what you’re after, the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City is one of the country’s most significant and colourful folk festivals that takes place each July.
Bali, Indonesia Because Bali’s weather is perfect pretty much all year round, you’ll be hardpressed to find a time when it won’t be crowded. But with Australia in close proximity and its school holidays factored in, September or May are tipped as the best chance of getting your own piece of Paradise Island, and especially more attractive rates at the luxurious private pool villas in Bali’s Valley of the Kings. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST May and September
AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST July and August
India is a fascinating and culturally diverse country and a must-visit destination for budget-conscious travellers. As you might expect, Goa is a hippie town with lively street markets and expansive beaches. But if a slightly alternative beach holiday isn’t what you’re after, Ladakh or Port Blair offer adventure-filled breakaways. While thunderstorms may interfere somewhat with your plans, hotel rates, car and bike rentals (cheaper the longer you rent them for), as well as flights to Goa from Indian cities, are rock-bottom in these months. For the real deal in Indian food, local thalis (plate meals) are ridiculously cheap too. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST June to midSeptember Cancun, Mexico
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali, Indonesia
Kona, Hawaii Spring and autumn are the best times to bag incredible deals on the Big Island of Kona, so leave the summer madness to the tourists. Kailua on the west side of the island is home to Hulihee Palace, a former royal vacation home dating back to 1838, and Mokuaikaua, Hawaii’s oldest Christian church also from the 1800s. Visit the many farmers markets or taste local beers by the Kona Brewing Company at KonaBrewpub. Half-day trips will take you to indulge in Kona coffee tasting, or to see the historic images carved in stone in the Waikoloa or Puako petroglyph fields. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST May, June, September to early December Seville Cathedral at Christmas, Spain
Positano city in Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Since the weather in Seville is unbearably hot during its so-called peak season (with temperatures sometimes reaching 45 degrees Celcius), there’s really no need to join the crowds when the weather’s good all year long. In the pleasant cooler temperatures you’ll enjoy strolling to the city centre for traditional tapas, which can be perfect comfort food, while the town’s beautifully decked out for the festive season. Viewing the nativity scene at the majestic cathedral and picking out handcrafted gifts at Christmas markets will be truly memorable, even at the expense of a white Christmas.
From the middle of September, picturesque cliff-side towns like Positano on Italy’s southern coast, with its pebbly beach and steep, narrow boutique-lined streets, drain of swathes of summertime tourists. The weather’s still amazing so you’ll find a spot on the beach, yet won’t die of heat on a day trip to Capri. Its Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The Sentiero degli Dei (“path of the gods”) hiking trail follows historic and breath-taking mountain paths above the sea to other coastal towns. AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST October
AT ITS OFF-PEAK BEST September to January Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii at Hualalai
INSIDE STORY E X C E R P T S F R OM A N I N T E R V I E W BY C H R I S GI BBO NS , E D I T OR OF AC UME N MAG AZI NE
While current industrial farming methods seem to make sense, according to Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming and author of Farmageddon, the animals, consumers and the environment are paying the highest price for its inefficient and destructive effects. In the sequel, Dead Zone – Where the Wild Things Were, Philip reveals the further impact of factory farming on wildlife.
South American jaguar
The crux of the tragedy is that we are using billions of hectares of perfectly good farmland to produce soybean and cereals to feed animals, which are then, in turn, fed to humans. Why is that a bad thing? It’s a bad thing because essentially feeding human-edible crops to industrially reared animals is not only unnecessary, it’s also the biggest single sector of food waste on the planet. In this way, we misuse and waste enough food to feed an extra four billion people, yet there are cries of “needing
factory farming because of a looming food crisis”, “we need factory farming to feed the world”. The reality is that if you really wanted to feed people, you’d not do it with factory farming.
Soybean is a brilliant protein for human beings? Soybean is a wonder food. It is high in protein, highly versatile, yet the vast majority of soya in the world is being grown to feed factory-farmed animals… Yes, some of the oil goes into the human vegetable market, but, actually, oil represents very
little of the overall bean. If you look at it, 83% of the bean is the solid meal, 17% is the oil. It’s the meal that is being grown to feed industrially reared animals.
So we have created a three-stage chain when only two stages are necessary? Cows, sheep, chickens are absolutely expert at converting grass into meat, milk and eggs? What’s the most efficient way of producing meat and milk? Well, it’s the cow on a grassy hillside. That grassy hillside, because it’s marginal, steep land on which you’re not going
Images courtesy of Shutterstock & Philip Lymbery Industrial farming creates ancillary industries, like machinery and cages
to be growing crops. But grass grows there and cattle have been perfectly adapted over millions of years to turn that grass efficiently into protein, into meat, and into milk. But that cow on a grassy hillside doesn’t make money for the animal feed industry because she doesn’t require grains; doesn’t make money for the chemical industry, because that grassy hillside doesn’t need artificial fertilisers or pesticides; doesn’t make money for the pharmaceutical industry because that cow on the grassy hillside doesn’t get sick and so doesn’t need to be propped up by antibiotics. What happened fifty years ago, essentially, was the law of unintended consequences. We needed to boost food production and doing agricultural intensification seemed like a good idea. And then these ancillary industries, these vested interests, the animal feed, the chemical, the pharmaceutical industries came
into the picture. Also the machinery, the cages, the equipment manufacturers came into the picture and told farmers this was the new way. They still do now and they’ve reframed the debate about efficiency. So now efficiency is all about using chemicals to produce grain to farm animals.
When you began to write Dead Zone, you went on a two-year road trip to do your research and you discovered that this is not just about farm animals? In those two years, I discovered that factory farming not only causes untold misery for billions of farm animals… but that it is also a major driver of wildlife declines. Because what factory farming is, in a nutshell, is the grain-feeding of confined animals. In grainfeeding confined animals, the farm animals are taken off the land, the pasture, and put in confinement, in cages and crates. They’re
The industrial rearing of farm animals has another side which is the industrial growing of crops for animal feed, in vast chemicalsoaked prairies. In so doing you have a disappearing act: as the farm animals disappear from the land and as these massive fields of monoculture like soybean expand, so the trees, the bushes, the hedges and the wild flowers also disappear. With them go the insects and the seeds that are needed by the wildlife, and so the birds, the bats, the bees, the butterflies, all disappear too. On other continents, we see the effect with South American jaguars and Sumatran elephants, and even here in South Africa, the penguins are disappearing, leaving you with little else but the crop.
Why are our African penguins being dragged into this quagmire? This was really the inspiration for Dead Zone. I was standing on Boulders Beach in Cape Town, inspired by David Attenborough, probably the biggest wildlife hero on
...we misuse and waste enough food to feed an extra four billion people...
crowded together and that looks like a spacesaving idea, but actually isn’t, because you then have to produce their food somewhere else. And instead of using ubiquitous pastures on which to keep the animals, you then have to start using much scarcer, arable land that really should be dedicated to growing food for people.
free-fall rate? I discovered that off the coast of South Africa there is similarly a massive industry hauling these small pelagic fish out of the ocean, grinding them down for chicken feed, leaving penguins, dolphins, and other wildlife starving and heading towards oblivion.
You mentioned the health problem associated with factory farming, which is the use of antibiotics. You believe we’re destroying our own health?
the planet. I’d seen him with these birds and I wanted to go and see them myself. I was launching Farmaggedon in nearby Simonstown and went to Boulders Beach, and as I stood there watching the penguins there was a signboard which said: “Threats”. And amongst the threats, it said: “Overfishing”. Which means anchovies, pilchards, and so on. Now that word, ‘overfishing’, is a bit like ‘climate change’: there’s no-one to blame, it’s just so big. It’s like a big, bad sticking plaster over the debate. But I had been over in Peru and I’d seen what the anchovy fishery there, the world’s biggest single-species fishery, had been doing to the wildlife. Seabird populations had been decimated, plummeting by more than 90%. I came to realise in Peru that anchoveta was being ground down, not to feed people but to feed factory-farmed animals, be they farmed fish, chickens or pigs, leaving the birds starving. Immediately I wondered if this was why the African penguins were declining at a
The fact is that 50% of the world’s antibiotics are fed to farm animals to ward off the diseases that are inevitable in keeping animals caged, crammed and confined in stressful conditions. This is causing antibiotic-resistant superbugs to emerge and contributing to the demise of the modern medical miracle of antibiotics. The World Health Organisation is warning that if we don’t do something, both in human medicine and in animal agriculture, then we could very soon be looking at a post-antibiotic era where once again currently treatable diseases will again kill.
How do we change this? What do we have to do? Changing it is waking up and taking a common-sense approach to agriculture. We need to restore farm animals to their ecological niche as grazing animals, as rotational animals, on mixed farms that are either utilising the ubiquitous pastures which cover a quarter of the Earth’s land surface, and cover much of the land’s surface here
in South Africa. Or keep the animals as part of a mixed livestock crop rotation where the animals can restore soil fertility naturally to the land. So, moving away from monoculture, moving away from industrial specialisation, and towards treating farm animals like living, breathing creatures as part of the overall farming package. This would take us away from the wasteful practice of feeding four billion people’s worth of human-edible crops to industrially reared animals…
Won’t this be much more expensive for the consumer? No. Mixed rotational farming is the future… we have to realise that this supposedly ‘cheap’ meat, this factory-farmed meat, is something we pay for three times. We pay for it once at the checkout, the second in our tax dollars for subsidies into agriculture that encourages intensification, and the third is in the huge clean-up cost to our health and to the environment. The ultimate thing is that the world will not allow us to continue with industrial farming for much longer… [it’s] undermining the life support systems that we need as a society. Just some examples: bees are in rapid decline because of industrial agriculture. Without bees’ pollinating services, a third of all crops are out of the window ... Also remember that industrial agriculture is very hard on the soils ... the United Nations warns that if we don’t do something, if we don’t change our ways, we have just 60 years left of the world’s soils before they’re gone. Then what?
Images courtesy of Philip Lymbery
...that cow on a grassy hillside doesn’t make money for the animal feed industry...
NEW BRICKS & MORTAR STORE CAPE TOWN The revolutionary site that, in 2006, put the “yuppie” into the purchase of cool kitchen gadgets, is again revolutionising the retail space; but this time they seem to be moving backwards... but are they? Twelve years ago, Yuppiechef launched their business selling the quirkiest and best-quality kitchen goods online. No brick and mortar shop with high rental and constant upkeep. Rather, it was simple, online e-commerce which blew the lid off retail in a big way. Then, late last year, Yuppiechef opened its first actual store in Cape Town – the first of a planned many.
Images courtesy of Yuppiechef
Yuppiechef co-founder Andrew Smith said the new strategy was to create an “omnichannel”, which includes a combination of physical stores and e-commerce. E-commerce enabled Yuppiechef to start a retail business with no stock, staff or expensive rentals and was part of a pioneering industry in South Africa. But over the years, the company has learned that there will always be a need for the old-fashioned shopping experience. Some people don’t want to simplify their shopping experience, they want an authentic experience. “Customers shouldn’t have to see Yuppiechef as either an online retailer or a physical store,” Smith said in a statement. “No channel has to win or lose. Instead, Yuppiechief is a single retail brand [and] customers should have the freedom to interact with us on their terms, whenever and wherever they are.” This move from Yuppiechef followed closely in the footsteps of international online retail giant Amazon, which also opened a number of shops in the USA.
Willowbridge Centre, northern suburbs, Cape Town; 021 200 5935
THE MIDLANDS KITCHEN Those travelling to and from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal haven’t been spoilt for choice in the way of pitstops and food options, or anything new for that matter, in the last few decades. But now The Midlands Kitchen, just off the N3 exit 132 at Nottingham Road, is encouraging you to “come hungry”. It’s not surprising with its enormous building housing a host of restaurants with extensive big-town menus with ingredients which are “locally sourced, real ingredients”! There’s seating inside or out, on a veranda with a beautiful view beyond the N3. Choose from Artichoke’s authentic vegan food (the Bhimtal Bowl, at R65, had our mouths watering!), 100% pure, madeby-hand Artisan Pies (est. 2017!) served with relish, El Tostada original Mexican, The Chicken Authority (organic and free range, of course), Falafel (a fusion of the Middle East and the Mediterranean), Mama Stellino’s photogenic authentic, artisanal woodfried pizzas (from R105 but with incredible gourmet toppings), Mr Biswa’s Durban Curry restaurant and The Burger & Butcher organic burgers. There’s also the Chef’s Harvest Table and The Earl of Sandwich with “everything between bread”!
NEW FARM-FRESH FOOD PITSTOP N3 EXIT 132, KWAZULU-NATAL
Oysters R Us
And to drink? Exit 132 – Artisans of Coffee offers a variety of brews with interesting cup sizes: A Bull (500ml), A Cow (350ml) and A Calf (250ml), and A Rich One (full-cream milk), A Skinny One; plus Full Charge (caffeinated) and Half a Charge (decaffeinated)! For early birds, there’s the Breakfast Bar, Juice Brew to not wreck your diet on your first day away, and Wild Child Gelato, milkshakes, pancakes and waffles, with awesome flavours. Add to this, rolling lawns for kids and dogs to stretch their legs (and designated “Doggy Poo Parlour” in a faraway corner), spacious clean bathrooms for the humans, and takeaways too for hasty Gautengers who haven’t yet had their holiday. There’s really no reason not to stop! www.themidlandskitechen.co.za; 033 266 7046
BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT
BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT
THE LITTLE CHURCH – LLANDAFF ORATORY QUAINT TEA GARDEN & GIFT SHOP VAN REENEN’S PASS, KWAZULU-NATAL The Little Church Tea Garden
You may have heard of, or even visited, the so-called “smallest church in the world” atop Van Reenen’s. While, in fact, it cannot lay claim to being the smallest in the world, it is the smallest in SA – and it’s the dinkiest little Roman Catholic oratory you’ve ever seen! Privately owned by Geraldine Johnstone, amazingly, you can hire it for weddings and other Christian services. Its history is quite fascinating… built by an eccentric retired magistrate who later became a priest, in memory of his son, Llandaff Mathew, who lost his life in an endeavour to save the lives of other miners at Burnside Colliery near Natal on 19 March, 1925. His body was never recovered after another massive rockfall. The fully consecrated Roman Catholic church seats only eight – the number of lives, we’re told, Llandaff saved – so it’s an ideal venue for those with small families and minimal friends! It was declared a national monument in 1960. Another noteworthy mention is the adorable tea garden (and antique gift shop with reception dining room alongside), with its delish homemade food, friendly owner-run service, and the magnificent view – great for wedding photos or quiet contemplation after your halfway stop, which makes for a refreshing change from the usual roadside offerings. Accommodation can also be sought out here at Llandaff Lodge and Mike’s Cottage. www.littlechurch.co.za; 058 671 0106/072 156 1401
The Little Church
WOOLLY BUGGER FARM SECRET TROUT-FISHING COUNTRY ESCAPE TONTELDOOS, MPUMALANGA
The luxury stone self-catering cottages are far enough apart to ensure solitude and tranquillity, with a fireplace inside and a braai outside. Guests can also utilise the lapa with braai, splash pool and ablutions. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or family gathering, Woolly Bugger Farm is just what you need to feel like a fish back in water! Tonteldoos (meaning ‘tinder box’) is located in a peaceful valley near Dullstroom, a popular fly-fishing destination. Surrounded by farmlands, Tonteldoos town has a pub, a cheese farm, a country kitchen and a few places to stay.
www.woollybuggerfarm.co.za; 079 103 0949
Woolly Bugger Farm
Images courtesy of Woolly Bugger Farm
You might think this farm’s cool name originates from its pet-friendly policy, but if you’re headed to this part of the world for fly-fishing you’d know it’s, in fact, the name of a lure. But it’s not just the name that reeled us in, it’s the fact that at seven kilometres outside Tonteldoos, and 22 kilometres due north of Dullstroom, this fantastic 270-hectare farm is far enough away from any real civilisation that you can walk extensively with your dogs, fish for giant trout or 4x4 to view sites overlooking spectacular expansive landscapes.
HEALTH & SAFETY
SEAT BELT SAFETY
Educating kids about wearing a seat belt properly is one of a parent’s most important duties, so don’t wait another day.
ith your eyes set firmly on the July school holidays in order to survive the first half of your busy year, it’s imperative to remember just how essential seat belts are for kids when travelling. At a recent event where MasterDrive interacted with primary school children in a number of safety exercises, trainers estimated that as many as 70% of the kids needed help strapping themselves in.
Eugene Herbert, Managing Director of MasterDrive says, “Awareness needs to be raised amongst children that they should always wear a seat belt. Even if parents do not own a car, children will at some point be a passenger in a car. As a passenger, every child has the right to their own seat and seat belt and therefore the knowledge of how to use a seat belt.”
“…As a country with an above-average road fatality rate, you need to be sure your child is properly protected within a vehicle should a crash occur. It is especially important that the parent takes this onus upon themselves because in certain instances they are not supported by the law.” This can be seen in Regulation 231 from the National Road Traffic Act, which explains the number of children that may be carried in a vehicle: • Any child under the age of three is not counted. • Two children between the age of three and six are counted as one person. • Three children between the age of six and 13 are counted as two people. If one were to follow this law, it’s not possible for every child to have their own seat and consequently, seat belt. “If you have never gone over how to wear a seat belt with your child, we urge you to go home tonight and do so. A safe and bright future for your child may depend on it.”
SEAT BELT ESSENTIALS • Ideally, children under 12 or shorter than 150cm, should sit in the rear and use a booster seat. • The lower part of the seat belt should go across your pelvis not your stomach. • The shoulder belt should sit on your chest and collarbone and not touch your face or neck. • Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.
As a passenger, every child has the right to their own seat and seat belt and therefore the knowledge of how to use a seat belt. Eugene Herbert, Managing Director of MasterDrive
LIFE-SAVING ASSISTANCE WHEN YOU’RE IN A SPOT
should happen, it can send emergency responders to your GPS location, all at the push of a button. This hardy, pocket-sized device should surely be a part of your essential adventuring equipment so that you can always stay connected.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IT? The SPOT Gen3 is the latest version of award-winning SPOT trackers, a device which enables a critical, life-saving means of communication should you find yourself out of cell signal while on any kind of adventure. It uses 100% satellite technology and is easily portable.
WHY IS IT SO CLEVER? Customised tracking allows you to change the rate at which tracks are sent. Tracking is also motion-activated, with a vibration sensor informing your SPOT device to send track updates whenever you move and/or stop, thus conserving battery power. Track messages will be sent until the device is turned off, and there is no need to reset after 24 hours.
WHY DO YOU NEED IT? The SPOT Gen3 allows family or friends to track your movement or, if the worst
The SPOT Gen3 is available online for R2 999 from www.animalgear.co.za
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
hile adventuring off the beaten track while on holiday may be the highlight of your year, it comes with its inherent dangers, especially when you have your children with you. Arm yourself with a SPOT Gen3 tracking device that will watch over you if you’re ever in an emergency…
HEALTH & SAFETY ARE NICOTINE-FREE E-CIGARETTES REALLY LESS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH?
f, for a moment, you’ve mistakenly thought that a car is on fire when its occupant opens a window and has been vaping, you’re not the only one! But if you’re the one doing the vaping, something to consider seriously are the health implications of inhaling these chemicals…
According to Medical News Today, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York set out to test the hypothesis that vaping e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine would be less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
To this end, the researchers, led by senior author Dr. Irfan Rahman, focused on “the immuno-toxicological and the oxidative stress effects by e-cigarette flavouring chemicals on two types of human monocytic cell lines.”
Oxidative stress – a process in which oxygen radicals are produced in excess, resulting in a series of damaging effects, including increased toxicity, damage to our DNA or even cancer. Monocytes – a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in our immune response to inflammation. Taking oxidative stress and monocytes into account makes the results of the study key for understanding the relationship between e-cigarettes and the immune system. To assess the flavourings’ potential for causing oxidative stress, the team measured the production of so-called reactive oxygen species (ROS).
The authors of the study hypothesised that the flavouring chemicals used in e-juices/e-liquids induce an inflammatory response, cellular toxicity and ROS production. As expected, the cytotoxicity tests performed by increasing the levels of oxidative stress revealed increased inflammation and tissue damage. Furthermore, the researchers added that by mixing a variety of flavours resulted in greater cytotoxicity and cell-free ROS levels compared to the treatments with individual flavours, suggesting that mixing of multiple flavours of e-liquids is even more harmful to the users.
SKIN PROTECTION FOR ALL SEASONS CLOTHES-FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN Tired of your shirts yellowing from sunscreen and it causing irreparable damage to them? NIVEA Sun Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sun Trigger Spray with Clothing Protection is the answer! It still has ultra-high sun protection barriers at SPF 50+.
R199.99 for 300ml and R174.99 for 200ml from leading pharmacies and supermarkets
EXTREME DRY WINTER SKIN RESCUE KIT If you’re like us, one of the things we enjoy least about winter in SA’s interior is the dryness, especially if you’re active and outdoors! Eucerin can come to your aid before the cracks set in and you suffer needlessly through a season we’d prefer you enjoy. Eucerin AtoControl Body Care Lotion 12% Omega R189.99 for 250ml; Eucerin pH5 Soft Body Cream R179.99 for 454g; Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS Hand Cream 5% Urea, R129.99 for 75ml all available at leading pharmacies and supermarkets.
Derek Watts has been presenting M-Net’s Carte Blanche for 30 years this year! After all that time telling other people’s stories we ask him about the seasons of his life and his love of travelling. We joke that the one person you never want showing up at your door is Derek Watts. Have you ever knocked on someone’s door just for the funny reaction, or are practical jokes not your thing? Not sure about knocking on doors, but lots of requests to prank someone’s mate or colleague!
Seriously though, many of your stories have a “good news” angle, so people have a whole lot to gain when you appear! Can you recall a time when meeting someone made you feel like a million bucks – who was it and why was it so great? Probably meeting Jane Fonda on her ranch outside Albuquerque. Just so un-Hollywood. She made us tea then we drove with her around the ranch on quad bikes looking for places to film. We did a sequence by a stream to pretend we were fishing and miraculously caught a huge salmon on the first cast. Jane laughed so much she almost fell in!
Who that you’ve interviewed made you most angry, and who have you felt the most pity for? Well many a South African government official… but the award for rudest fellow and copyright owner of the fakest smile (apart from mine) is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most pity? It must be little “Lerato” who was raped, sodomised and partially disembowelled by a family friend at the age of six. She was left for dead on the banks of the Jukskei River. She survived thanks to a series of operations and now 21, she helps young victims of abuse!
Tell us about the “winter” (lowest point) and “summer” (highest point) of your life. The winter was moving animals from the Luanda Zoo when a tiger escaped and killed my producer and close friend Rick Lomba. The summer was ironically standing on the ice of base camp Mount Everest with Cathy O’Dowd after her epic and controversial ascent. The climbing season was closed and there was not a tent or person in sight. Just that majestic mountain. Yes, we did get there by helicopter… Kilimanjaro is my only claim to dubious fame.
With it looking like South Africa’s political affairs are turning a corner, are you hopeful that South Africa has a “spring” in our future?
Clearly, you must enjoy travelling as it’s a big part of what you do, and on your blog you say, “I TRULY BELIEVE that I could be one of the world’s greatest adventurers...”
Image Courtesy of Derek Watts
DEREK WATTS I think I did qualify that by saying, Well… if it was a nine-tofive escapade with regular cappuccino breaks and an electric blanket and feather pillow along with DStv in the evenings. But I do enjoy bonding with the great outdoors and right now am planning a Botswana wilderness motorbike tour with Tuli Adventures in May. On a KTM 1 290 Super Adventure R, of course! My other highlight is the Computershare Change A Life charity cycle tour – last year we tackled the breathtaking climbs of Majorca which was the best riding I’ve had in my brief pedalling career. They call me “The Stork”. Search me why.
Please fill in the blanks: My most unique travel experience is… navigating with the demon Terrence Marsh from Redline Motorsport in the Toyota 1 000 Desert Race in Botswana. Felt (and probably looked) like a frog in a blender. My biggest travel/holiday disaster was… being pushed onto a rat-infested dhow at Bagamoyo in Tanzania at midnight by the ebullient longbeard Kingsley Holgate and drifting into Zanzibar at first light with a massive headache and empty wallet. I never travel without… Yes… that feather pillow! My fantasy travel companion for a long road trip would be… South African-born Falcon rocket man and Tesla legend Elon Musk who can tell me all about his modest plans to get to Mars! My favourite local travel destination is… In town… The Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga. Out of town…Tshukudu Bush Lodge in Pilanesberg National Park. Both have feather pillows! One day I plan to… live on Anse Lazio beach on Praslin… @DerekWatts www.derekwatts.co.za
If not here, where else in the world would you choose to live and why? Anse Lazio beach on Praslin Island in the Seychelles. Because I’m a beach bum and diving and snorkelling addict. What do you mean, that’s not really practical?
What are the plans for your journey ahead? Will you be sticking to the route you’re on, or are there detours in sight? Even the road I’ve been on for 30 years has had many potholes! So I take it day by day.
Carte Blanche is South Africa’s longest running investigative journalism programme. Catch Derek and the team at 7pm on Sundays on M-Net.
Ngwenya Glass Village holds a Country Market on the first Sunday of every month featuring exclusive local vendors from all over Joburg. It offers a range of arts, crafts, live music and delicious treats in a unique environment allowing visitors to enjoy the outdoors with great food and a fun-filled atmosphere. What makes Ngwenya Country Market different? There’s something for everyone, tasty cakes and bakes and a
variety of delicious food traders which will have you going back more! Bring along friends, family and children to enjoy the beautiful country outback of Muldersdrift, while supporting local South African businesses. Ngwenya Country Market: Shady Lane, Muldersdrift (off Beyers Naudé Drive and the R114), 9am to 4pm. @ngwenyacountrymarket
NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
Steven Cohen’s show put your heart under your feet… and walk! / to Elu (The exhibition is an intense meditation on loss, grief and absence, following the death of Cohen’s partner and artistic collaborator, the dancer Elu.)
GRAHAMSTOWN, EASTERN CAPE – SA’S CULTURAL HEARTBEAT
For eleven days each year, writers, performers, artists and musicians converge on Grahamstown for an extraordinary showcase of creativity. Audiences soak up the scene between binge-watching shows and exploring the small university town and its beautiful surrounds. The programme for 2018 is jam-packed with exciting performances including those from featured artist Mamela Nyamza, an edgy group of Standard Bank Young Artists (who will all present new work) and a visit from internationally acclaimed performance artist Steven Cohen. Mary Watson’s Jungfrau, an exploration of family secrets based on a Caine prize-winning short story penned by Watson, and an experimental retelling of Hamlet by Boris Nikitin are just two items that have already been announced. The extensive festival includes a curated main programme, Fringe, Thinkfest! Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Film Festival and more, so make it part of your winter road trip. www.nationalartsfestival.co.za
THE WILD COAST SUN DRIFT EXPO EASTERN CAPE This family event is hosted by the Wild Coast Sun and Puren Plant Hire and features music, motorbikes, suicide rides and food stalls. Tickets cost R50 per person and it’s free for children under 12. Petrolheads will find all the action and get their fix at the rooftop car park. www.suninternational.com/wild-coast-sun
Afrikaburn Photos: Sean Furlong www.seanfurlongphotography.com
For those looking for pure escapism, AfrikaBurn is a not-to-be-missed festival that encourages unlimited freedom of expression. This happens with the building of a surreal and temporary community through collaborative arts projects in a strictly non-commercial environment. Set literally in the middle of nowhere, this alternative anarchic space is known as a “do-ocracy” – festival goers have to take the initiative since nobody’s directing the action, and you’re free to do as you please as long as no harm comes to anyone else. Collaborate with friends or let your imagination fly solo and build something, sing something, dance something, cook something, make something, gift something, share something, play something or fulfil almost any role that strikes your fancy – this leads to some brilliantly imaginative and intriguing results, every year is different and you never know what to expect!
AFRIKABURN, TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK NORTHERN CAPE
It’s also an exercise in total self-reliance: you need to bring all your food, shelter, water, fuel and basic first aid supplies too… A pimped-up bicycle – the wackier the better – is recommended, to traverse the vast space. Most important is that, whatever you bring in, must be taken out. You can leave only your footprints to be dispersed by the wind! www.afrikaburn.com The “gift economy” of AfrikaBurn means that there’s no vending, no cash bars and no branded promotion of services or products, the aim being real social interaction and absolute peace and harmony!
Images courtesy of Event Management & Shutterstock | Details correct at the time of writing
NGWENYA COUNTRY MARKET
28 JUNE-8 JULY
FIRST SUNDAY EACH MONTH Image by Pierre Planchenault