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Marc interviews

Tanya Nefdt Does Tanya mind Marc’s nephew referring to her as a hottie? Mzoli Ngcawuzele If Mzoli eats meat for dinner, does that mean he’s taking his work home?

rope Miserly misanth

got the munchies? FOR THE MENU see pages 2&3


gets a visit from the ghosts of Christmas newsworthy and meaty

PLUS Gift guides, festive fashion, trail tales, glorious getaways, motorbikes and much more merriment

View from the Top ANOTHER YEAR HAS SOMEHOW SNUCK past, and we are once again into the annual shutdown known as the holidays. The word ‘holidays’ is an abbreviation of the ancient Mesopotamian phrase: ‘Holy crap – are the kids really going to be at home for 40 days?’ So we start to figure out ways to get out of the house for a few days before the rug rats get encrusted on the TV couch. This raises the next question: of whether to go for an action-packed, stress-inducing holiday, or to seek out a destination with a natural cultural propensity for loafing. Those with the means to travel overseas, and who are completely exhausted from working themselves to death all year, might end up spending their hard-earned cash sitting on an island in Greece, along with many Greeks who have no hard-earned cash and therefore spend their days sitting on an island in Greece. For the most part, a northernhemisphere holiday at this time of the year will be cold and wet, so you might be more inclined to move around a bit. Just remember that in Germany you can now have your driver’s licence revoked if you walk across a road while the little red German man is still saying ‘Halt!’, and in Paris the Gendarmes come out at 3am to remove the drivers who have died of old age while trying to escape the traffic circles. And then there’s the warm beer, the exchange rate and the French hospitality. So there is really no good reason whatsoever to go north. Better to stay in sunny South Africa, where the waiters won’t be rude to you and you don’t need to mortgage the house to buy a burger, or pay to use the beach. The only challenge is that because we have absolutely the best weather in the world at this time of year, along with the best exchange rate, we do have to compete with an influx of deprived Europeans looking for sun and cold beer. Lonely Planet just voted Cape Town the third-best-value holiday destination in the world, so let’s make the most of it. Of course, Capetonians grumble about the holiday invasion and how they have to beat off the starving Germans to get to the counter of their local deli, or fight off the British for that last bottle of sunblock, or cruise the streets looking for a parking space not taken by a GP number plate. But wherever you end up spending your holiday, remember that the safest way to get there is still in an aluminium tube hurtling through the air 30 000ft above the earth. And, if you’re really smart, it will be painted green.

Have Your Say Whether you’ve had a great flight or feel like we could improve our service, we’d like to know. Drop us a line at Dear khuluma, My husband and I recently flew from Cape Town to OR Tambo with kulula. We arrived to check in and were shocked to discover he had left his ID and driver’s licence at home, so had no proof of identity with him. The kulula ground staff were extremely helpful and agreed that if we could get a copy of his ID emailed to them right away, we would be able to board. We were able to arrange this and caught our flight. They also told us that we would be able to use the copy they’d printed for our return journey. Armed with this copy of his ID, we returned about a week later, this time from Lanseria. We’d booked one-way tickets for both flights, so there was no record on our flight details regarding acceptance of this copy of the ID, so we faced the same problem. The staff were again very helpful, but rules are rules and for a while we thought we’d have to get his original ID sent by courier. The supervisor, Izette, kindly sat at the computer and scrolled through countless bookings looking for a note on our departure booking. She found it just in time and we were again able to fly as planned. This was a very stressful experience for us, but we were impressed with the kulula ground staff at both airports, and would like to commend them on their friendly and helpful attitude. They were patient and courteous, and we would like to thank them all very much. Although we don’t fly all that often, kulula is always our first choice of airline. Keep up the good work! Kind regards, Jenny and Neville Herbert

Check out our

Reader’s Survey and win! We at khuluma value your thoughts, so we invite you to participate in our Reader’s Survey. All we need is a smidgen of your valuable time to tell us what you think is lekker or not so lekker in khuluma. The results will be reported as statistical totals only, and you won’t be individually identified. Visit, click on Reader’s Survey, and begin. One lucky participant can win an incredible hamper from Dynamic Vision consisting of a Guess purse, Guess mens belt, Guess ladies fragrance, Guess mens fragrance, a pair of Carreira sunglasses and a Nine & Co by Nine West handbag. All that for sharing your opinion! Competition is open to all South African residents, excluding employees of Picasso Headline/Times Media Ltd/ Competition closes 31 December 2013.

Erik Venter, CEO: Comair Ltd




What’s in this issue? 24 Best Xmas lunches

55 Bushman’s Kloof

regulars 1 LETTERS Write to us; we get lonely 10 ÜBER-EDITORS LETTER Marc’s soapbox 12 KULULA PAGES Where would you like to sit?

guide 14 EVENTS ’Tis the season to be busy 22 EAT Weird and wonderful Christmas chow 29 SHOP

Fashion, markets and gifts galore

55 SLEEP Find magic at Bushman’s Kloof 61 WATCH Desolation, Disney and dinosaurs 65 READ Five thrillers and one wild guide 69 LISTEN CD reviews, NYE gigs and Carl Cox 79 GAMES Six great stocking stuffers 83 GADGETS Don’t leave home without these 4


74 Carl Cox


SETTING THE TONE IN REAL ESTATE FOR 55 YEARS RUNNING! Tel: +27 (0)12 682 9600 | E-mail: | Web:


87 NEWS Marc grills Tanya on her favourite comedian 95 ENTREPRENEUR Mzoli, Marc … and meat 103 LOCAL HERO On the scene with a paramedic 113 LOCAL HERO Charities to support this Christmas

travel 120 FAMILY FUN Keep the kids smiling this holiday 129 LAST-MINUTE Sometimes no plan is the right plan 137 MOTORBIKES Exploring the two-wheeled subculture 146 TRAIL RUNNING Hit the ground scrambling

action 155 BEHIND THE SCENES Don’t call it champagne! 169 BIKES The latest Harley has … three wheels? 172 CARS The five coolest cars you’ve never heard of 177 CONSERVATION Working to stop snares

stuff 185 BUSINESS Is the season looking jolly for retailers? 187 PROPERTY Take a holiday at home 189 HEALTH Our survival guide for the silly season 192 COLUMN Finding humanity in the middle of nowhere

- - - - - - - TEAR HERE - - - - - - - - - - TEAR HERE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -TEAR HERE - - - - - - - - TEAR HERE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -TEAR HERE - - - - - - - TEAR HERE - - - - - - - -


Is the fuel price hike affecting your business? The latest fuel price increase has affected everyone from consumer level, right up to the business owner involved in the transport of commodities. The need to curb theft in order to reduce losses has always been a priority, but now more than ever the total control of diesel use is paramount to controlling your expenses. Digit vehicle tracking incorporating DFuel allows you to monitor how much diesel is in your vehicles, live, 24 hours a day. This is not a report that arrives in the post a week after the event, this is a LIVE system that can tell you the status of your entire fleet right now. Of course with the included comprehensive reporting software, reports can be generated of all the refuelling events, how many litres are added, where and when vs. the km travelled, giving you fuel consumption figures at the click of a button. These measured figures can be compared to the financially submitted reports, to ensure that the fuel you are paying for actually goes into the tank and not into jerry cans. Contact an agent now for a full demonstration:









Consumer line: (011) 480-4916 or visit Turbo Energy is available from your pharmacy, Dis-Chem and Clicks


Airport to Cape Town

FROM CAPE TOWN’S CBD TO THE AIRPORT EVERY 30 MINUTES BETWEEN 04:15 AND 22:15.* MyCiTi provides you with a comfortable, safe and cost-effective way to connect to Cape Town. Buses run uninterupted between the Civic Centre station on Hertzog Boulevard, V&A Waterfront and the Airport station outside the main airport terminal building.

*For a full list of our scheduling and pricing information please go to the website below.

EDITOR Anthony Sharpe CONTENT COORDINATOR Vanessa Payne COPY EDITOR Joy Capon PRODUCTION EDITOR Shamiela Brenner HEAD OF DESIGN STUDIO Jayne Macé-Ferguson DESIGNERS Mfundo Ndzo Shaun Reddiar COVER PHOTOGRAPH Morné van Zyl CONTENT MANAGER Raina Julies BUSINESS MANAGER Robin Carpenter-Frank PROJECT MANAGER Richard White SALES CONSULTANTS Bonnie Eksteen, Randall Grace, Francois King, Steve Norval, Marc Plastow, Andre Potgieter, Luke Roebert, William Rompelman, Roman Ross, Clint Smith, Zelda Stein FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT Lodewyk van der Walt

To advertise in this magazine please contact Richard White (Project Manager) on 021 469 2500 or

SENIOR GM: NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES Mike Tissong ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jocelyne Bayer CEO COMAIR LIMITED Erik Venter MARKETING MANAGER, Shaun Pozyn SENIOR BRAND MANAGER, Bridgette Ramuluvhana BRAND MANAGER, Thembeka Mabaso COMAIR LIMITED 1 Marignane Drive, Bonaero Park, Kempton Park, 1619 Tel 011 921 0111 contact centre 0861 KULULA (585852) PRINTING



For more information: Transport Information Centre (toll-free 24/7) 0800 65 64 63

Copyright: No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent of the publishers. The publishers are not responsible for unsolicited material. khuluma is published monthly by Picasso Headline Reg: 59/01754/07. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline, kulula or Times Media. All advertisements/advertorials and promotions have been paid for and therefore do not carry any endorsement by the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its contents, neither kulula, nor the publisher can be held responsible for any omissions or errors, or for any misfortune, injury or damages that may arise therefrom. We reserve the right to edit interviews for layout purposes.


Über-editor Marc Lottering

Who you calling miserly?

Who will be our next ed?

Marc’s creds

South Africa’s a funny place. It’s got lots of funny people. And some are damn hilarious. Every month, khuluma chooses a particularly amusing individual to be our über-editor. This funny man or woman interrogates prominent South Africans for us. So book your flight for next month to see who it’ll be, or check out

Marc Lottering hails from Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s top comedians. After 13 years in the entertainment industry, he still keeps audiences in stitches across the country and his self-scripted one-man shows, featuring his unique and popular characters, continue to play to packed houses. When he’s not performing locally, he travels and entertains abroad.



picture: morné van zyl

HO HO HO! And so here we are, sprinting towards 2014! It’s a festive month for many, and for others, a time to reflect quietly upon the fact that the only time you paid any thought to your 2013 New Year’s resolution was around midnight, at that awful party when you eventually started downing cheap, lukewarm bubbly. Yip, your friend’s a dodgy host – don’t make that mistake again. I hate to sound like that person who doesn’t have any stimulating conversation, but I am going to say this anyway: Can you believe how quickly December happened to us?! I know it always comes straight after November (every year), but I’ve been caught off guard again. I’m still going to find myself looking for a parking bay outside overcrowded malls, gently edging my car forward, just behind somebody’s bum, only to be told, ‘I’m not leaving!’ Take hope … this month too shall pass. And take hope in the knowledge that, amidst all the madness, the world is full of fabulous people. I got to interview two such South Africans for this issue of khuluma: Tanya Nefdt, the vibrant journalist and TV presenter from eNews Channel Africa; and Mzoli Ngcawuzele, owner of the successful braai-and-beer spot, Mzoli’s Place, in Gugulethu. Tanya is vivacious and charismatic – like I was looking in a mirror! I was struck by how in awe she was of me. And so I was in awe of her. Loved chatting to her. I interviewed Mzoli at Mzoli’s on a Friday afternoon. The place was pumping with foreigners and locals! Beer, meat and big laughter was the order of the day. And Mzoli is a serious man with a huge heart – a real inspiration. About the cover, that’s me as the title character in Scrooge – an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Directed by Lara Foot, the show also features Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Andrew Buckland and Christo Davids. It’s on at the Baxter Theatre until the end of January 2014. Run to Computicket once you land! For stand-up comedy lovers, come and sit down at Grand Arena, GrandWest on 7 December for the Marc Lottering Comedy Roadshow. And finally, for couch potatoes, get your lovely hands on my latest DVD, I Don’t Work On Sundays, in stores nationwide. Happy 2014! Peace out. ■

Flying 101:

Choose the best seat in the house Book the seat of your choice with kulula’s pre-paid seating benefit.

THERE’S NO DENYING the excitement of jumping on a plane for a holiday with your loved one or best friend, sitting together, marking places to visit and toasting the upcoming adventure. At, we know that where you sit on the plane is an important part of your flying experience, so that’s why we offer our customers a pre-paid seating benefit. Whether you prefer a window seat for a perfect view, an aisle seat for easy access to your bag in the overhead compartment, a seat in the first few rows so you can dash off the plane first,



or one further back to relax during the flight, you are now in control. Shaun Pozyn, marketing manager for, explains: ‘With so many different travel preferences, we give you the option to choose exactly where you want to sit on the plane, for only R35 per person per flight. When making a flight booking, you will be able to select your pre-paid seat before paying for your booking. So whether it’s snuggled up next to your partner or on the opposite side of the plane from your mother-in-law, the choice is yours with our pre-paid seating benefit.’

However, if you want to leave it to lady luck or don’t feel like making any more decisions, simply decline the offer to pre-pay for your preferred seat and enjoy the delight of being surprised. ‘You can change your mind and add a pre-paid seat to your booking at a later stage,’ says Pozyn. Simply go to the ‘manage booking’ tab on, or call the contact centre on 0861 KULULA (585852) at least 24 hours before departure. Remember, even if you have a pre-paid seat, you’ll still need to check in, either online or on at least 24 hours before your flight departure, or at the airport 90 minutes before. For safety reasons, infant bookings and the exit row seats situated at the emergency doors are excluded from pre-paid seating or online check-in seat selection; these need to be selected at the airport check-in counters. Be sure to book your flight, car and hotel with kulula this festive season. Now that’s full-on-travel. Legal stuff applies. Refer to for more info.

Tsogo Sun: So much to choose from. Only one choice

A getaway to Thai for PHUKET. NOW THERE’S a tricky name. Before you sound like a real moegoe, it’s pronounced ‘puh-ket’. And, my china, it’s in Thailand to be exact. And you have to go, especially with this deal. From just R12 027 (including taxes of R4 903) per person sharing for seven nights, flying Thai Airways and staying in a Superior Room at the Centra Ashlee Hotel, it’s paradise for a heavenly price. ‘To die for.’ That’s what my lady said when she saw it, and she was right. Located on Phuket’s west coast, the hotel overlooks the magnificent Andaman Sea – crystal-clear water, just like the movies. We got there just in time to enjoy cocktails at sunset from the rooftop swimming pool and lounge bar, all in a very fresh and modern vibe. The Centra Ashlee Hotel is ideally situated near the great entertainment, dining and shopping areas of Patong, which the missus was nuts about. I, of course, went for the water sports on Patong Beach, just five minutes from our pad.

But there’s loads more to see and do, like thePhi Phi Islands (ja, another special name), located just 40 kays away from both Krabi and Phuket. Jeez, if you thought Phuket Beach was lekker, these islands are known to be the most beautiful islands in the world. Remember The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio? Well, this is where they filmed it. Also check out the Two Heroines monument; these were two hardcore sisters who saved Phuket from Burmese invaders back in 1785. And when in town, you have to go to the markets, Chinese shrines and Buddhists temples, in-between carrying all the shopping bags. And don’t get me started on the nightlife – pumping, my china! I also managed to get my lady to go jungle-trekking, sea-canoeing and bungeejumping, which the hotel organised for us. Call me Captain Adventurous – ek skrik vir niks. And don’t worry if you’re travelling with lighties; they’ll arrange babysitters for you if you want a bit of romantic time alone. So I’m telling you now, Phuket is where it’s at. The offer is valid from 1-31 March 2014 (pay by 31 January 2014). Package prices are from a starting price – per person sharing. Subject to availability. Single supplements do apply. All prices are correct at the time of publication.

Tsogo Sun is the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, providing a variety of hospitality, entertainment and leisure experiences. Combining an established heritage with an energised approach, the group proudly includes 14 casinos and over 90 hotels in Africa and the Seychelles. If you are looking for a seaside holiday or family break, Tsogo Sun has the ideal getaway for you. Its association with kulula allows you to travel throughout South Africa to the widest selection of hotels. Joint holiday packages include breakfast, and kids under 18 sharing a room with two adults stay and eat breakfast free.


Got some eBucks? Pay or part-pay for your next kulula flight using your eBucks.

Rent a car with your flight and get a 10% discount, or get the best rates with Europcar.

Protea Hotels ensure your stay with them is as unique as the kulula experience. Try out any one of the hotels – you won’t forget the experience.


Your Discovery Vitality status will determine your discount off local flights.

THE NOTICEBOARD Want to chat with us? Like our page on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter @kulula. Be on the lookout for

Like they say in Phuket, ‘sawàt dii khrúp,’ or as I say, ‘Cheers, my china!’ Trevor

our cool updates and competitions or drop us a line; we would love to hear from you.




What’s on in


Pantomime The Joburg Theatre will be showcasing the pantomime Aladdin, a perfect outing for you and the whole family. Remember to shout, ‘Look behind you!’ Tickets are R130-R240, available from Please note: The inventor of shag carpet made a big pile of money.

5 December – 12 January

Live music The Coca-Cola Dome will be hosting one of the most successful Canadian bands in the business, so catch Nickelback’s first performance in South Africa. Tickets are R340-R790, available from Please note: A drummer cymbalises the enthusiasm of a band.



Music festival Check out the Rise & Shine Festival in Sandton Central Park for some great acoustic music, including Mr Cat & The Jackal, Albert Frost, Shortstraw, Banda and more. Tickets are R100-R250, available online or at the gate. For more info visit Please note: A chicken farmer’s favourite car is a coup.

Magic show Make your way to the Carousel Casino & Entertainment World in Pretoria for illusionist Ilan Smith’s new show, Imagine. Best you keep a close eye on him, because he’s out to prove that the hand is quicker than the eye. Tickets are R50, available from Please note: Magicians who get mad are known to pull their hare out.

14-15 December


Live comedy Visit The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City for Barry Hilton’s brand-new show, B.E.E. (Best of Everything Ever). The performance will showcase some of his latest work. Tickets are R75-R265, available from Please note: Funny-looking corn grows on a laughing stalk.

text: richard noble; pictures: supplied

7 December


Live music The Dave Matthews Band will be performing for the very first time in South Africa, at the Coca-Cola Dome, and they’re guaranteed to get you rocking. Tickets are R400-R675, available from Please note: A good band leader is always in tune with what’s happening.

6-8 December

Ice theatre Head down to the Teatro at Montecasino for the internationally acclaimed Sleeping Beauty on Ice, with the Imperial Ice Stars. The show will thrill and enchant audiences of all ages. Tickets are R100-R400, available from Please note: If you’re alone and freezing, consider yourself icesolated.


3 December






What’s on in



TWO LEFT FEET Until 7 December

GET YOUR SHADES ON Throughout December

GET YOUR STOMP ON 31 December – 2 January

Festival Make your way to Contermanskloof Farm in Durbanville for the Rezonance NYE Trance Party. With more than 100 local trance and electro DJs taking the stage over three days, it’s sure to be one helluva party. Tickets are R470 per person, available from Please note: Trance-heads tend to stomp on their watches, because they have time to kill.

Musical The Theatre on the Bay presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical Sunset Boulevard. With brilliant, mesmerising choreography, it’s guaranteed to get those feet tapping. Tickets are R100-R350, available from Please note: Are twin brothers called son-sets?

Live dance The Cape Dance Company presents Cadence, a new season of diverse neo-classical dance at the Artscape Theatre, with new works created by international choreographers. Tickets are R120, available from Please note: A lupine dancer is a steppin’ wolf.

UNDERGROUND FUN 14 December Expedition

Experience something different this month with an Underground Tunnelling Adventure at the Castle of Good Hope. You’ll get to explore a vast array of tunnels that will take you around the city – great for a family day out. Tickets are R175-R250, available from Please note: Animals that tunnel in the soil have to have an escape root.

CHECK THE WAVES, DUDE Until 16 December

Festival This month Cape Town plays host to the 10th annual Wavescape Surf Festival. A variety of film screenings, auctions and exhibitions will be open to the public at various locations around the city. Entrance to the festival is free. For more information check out Please note: Short surfers ride microwaves.

text: richard noble; picture: supplied


Live music Head down to the Riverclub in Observatory for some live music at the Summer Experience. A host of local DJs, as well as international act Fatman Scoop, will be there jamming the night away. Tickets are R180-R400, available from Please note: Sitting in the sun last summer, a lot of people became well-red. 16


FOR BOOKINGS +260 (0) 211 254 605 (Zambia) +27 (0) 21 430 5300 (South Africa)






ZAMBIA IS HOME TO THE WILD ZAMBEZI RIVER, THE LEGENDARY AFRICAN WALKING SAFARI, AWE-INSPIRING LAKES, A PROFUSION OF BIRDS, WILDLIFE AND THE FAMOUS COPPERBELT REGION ARE AMONGST THE MANY ATTRACTIONS OF THIS WARM AND FRIENDLY COUNTRY. Experience the buzz of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, at Protea Hotel Cairo Road and Protea Hotel Lusaka. View the great Copperbelt town of Chingola with a stay at Protea Hotel Chingola or stay in a private game reserve at Protea Hotel Safari Lodge. Protea Hotel Livingstone offers a wide range of adventure activities, from river rafting to abseiling, excellent Tiger fi shing, and is situated only 10 minutes from the “smoke that thunders” – Victoria Falls. En route to South Luangwa National Park or Malawi you can experience affordable luxury at Protea Hotel Chipata. Southern Belle, one of the largest houseboats in southern Africa, is located on Lake Kariba in Zambia, which is renowned for its stunning sunsets and spectacular stargazing. A unique cruising experience on one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. PHDS 28109/13


What’s on


Music festival Get yourself down to the Berea Rovers Club in Stamford Hill for the fabulous Holi Festival of Colours. You’ll have the opportunity to jam to some awesome DJs, while getting splashed with a multitude of different coloured powders. Tickets are R150-R280, available from Please note: When artists dream in colour, it’s a pigment of their imagination.

GET YOUR RAGE ON Until 7 December

Festival Make your way to Umhlanga and Ballito for the annual Vodacom 4U Rage Festival. There will be a host of parties, with a number of different DJs and other artists taking to the stages of Durban’s night scene. For more info and tickets visit Please note: Did you hear about that new drug that makes people angry? It’s all the rage now.

SING ALONG 13 December


Live music The Durban Botanical Gardens is the venue for the Old Mutual Music at the Lakes – Carols by Candlelight concert. All proceeds go to the Botanical Gardens’ Garden Window Project, so dig deep into those pockets. Tickets are R50-R110, available from Please note: The landscaper thought gardening magazines were fun to leaf through.

A DOSE OF CULTURE Until 29 December



Live music Experience some family-friendly fun at The Concert in the Orchard in Salt Rock. Visitors can experience some great local bands in an idyllic location, whatever the weather. Camping chairs and blankets are recommended. Tickets are R20-R50, available from Please note: When the orchard owner went to trial, he was judged by a jury of his pears.

Exhibition The Durban Art Gallery is where it’s at for the Impressions of Rorke’s Drift Exhibition – The Jumuna Collection. It showcases pieces of art made in the Rorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre since the 1960s. Entrance to the event is free. For more info visit Please note: The portrait artist made extra money as a census-taker. He was good at canvassing people.

6 December



Throughout December

text: richard noble; picture: supplied

On stage, drama The Playhouse Theatre’s production of The Zulu is based on a variety of old Zulu tales, and is guaranteed to keep you entertained while giving you a little dose of culture. Tickets are R150-R200, available from Please note: People who like yogurt are well cultured.


What’s on the


GAME ON Every Saturday

Outdoor markets If you’re staying in Sedgefield this month, better make your way to one of the markets. The Wild Oats Farmers’ Market has great fresh, locally produced food. The Scarab Village Market features beautiful arts and crafts. The Island Market offers up an array of edible, wearable and decorative goods. These markets are perfect for stocking up on Christmas gifts and food. Please note: Farmers follow the price of corn on the stalk market.


12 December – 21 December

Pantomime If you fancy a chuckle, don’t miss the George Arts Theatre’s production of Cinderella – The Pantomime. It’s sure to be a blast for you and the whole family. Tickets are R90, available from Please note: A perfectly spherical pumpkin makes good pi.

YOU’RE IT 26 December

Touch rugby If you’re feeling active on Boxing Day, Stilbaai Rugby Club is the place to be for some good-old Touch Rugby. A number of games will take place on the day, and there will be food stalls, a bar and music to accompany the rugby. For more info check out Please note: Of all sports humour, football is my favourite: I get a kick out of the punts.


12 December – 2 January

Festival The Fancourt Festive Season Programme features a variety of events, activities, culinary and sensory experiences that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Highlights include carols, kids’ parties, picnic concerts and much more. For more info on the programme and bookings, visit Please note: The price of the big fan can blow you away. 20


13-14 December

Sevens rugby Head down to the Outeniqua Park Stadium in George for the George Sevens Premier League. With R1-million up for grabs for the winning team, there’s gonna be tough tackles, great runs and some seriously hard hits. Tickets are R100-R250, available from Please note: A sports match was attended by scores of people.

FESTIVE FESTIVITIES 16-31 December Festival

If you find yourself in Mossel Bay, the Diaz Summerfest offers a variety of entertainment, including markets, live music, an Idols competition and much more. For more info and the events programme, visit or check out their Facebook group. Please note: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall – and a pretty good spring and summer, too.

WHEELS OF MOTION 31 December Mountain Biking

The annual Great Brak Grabadoo MountainBike Fun Ride is one of the biggest sporting events in the southern Cape, and will help you to get rid of some of that Christmas weight. For more info and to enter, go to or contact Mimi Firestone on 084 583 3144. Please note: The BMX rider put superglue on his wheels so that he could stick the landing.

text: richard noble; picture: supplied




Season’s eatings EVEN THOSE with no religious affiliation to that baby born in Bethlehem regard Christmas as a time for gorging on gourmet goodies. But for every fa-la-la-la-feast there is a ho-ho-ho-horrible holiday tradition to stop even the biggest binge-eating yuletide glutton in his tracks. Think about it. Bread sauce is just plain weird. Eggnog is not nice. Candy canes are cute on a Christmas tree, but taste terrible. Plus, über-hygiene-conscious supermarkets bind and gag them in shrink-wrapped plastic. Any attempt to remove the aforementioned cover breaks the cane. Now they taste terrible and they can’t be hung on the tree. Nuts in shells are a very bad idea – tightly encased,



with a curious internal dustiness (which may or may not be weevil droppings), their presence leads, at best, to shell fragments in the eye. At worst, there is an awful increase in risqué and risky nutcracker-related jokes from the surplus-torequirements, but obligatory, lonely relative in the room. We are not alone. In Norway the traditional treat is lutefisk – cod dried to such a degree that water alone cannot reconstitute it. So, it’s soaked in lye (i.e. lut). Yes, lye, the chemical used to dispose of murder victims and unclog drains. The one that explodes when it comes into contact with aluminium. Once the fish reaches the desired gelatinous texture, it is then repeatedly rinsed, but still…

Meanwhile, in Chile, the Christmas beverage of choice is called cola de mono – literally, monkey’s tail – which doesn’t bode well. As I see it, there are two ways of coping with Christmas cuisine. Option one is to move to Japan, where their festive food of choice is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Anyone who says they don’t like KFC is a lying food snob. Battered, artery-clogging chicken is so popular at this time of year that the fast-food chain’s Christmas Party Barrels must be ordered up to two months in advance. Queues to collect these packs stretch long and late on 24 and 25 December. It is said that KFC as a Christmas culinary convention began in the early 1970s, when the brand was

new to the Japanese market and people were eager to absorb Western ways. A representative of an American Christian mission school ordered chicken at a Tokyo KFC, as they couldn't get hold of turkey. A bright employee suggested the situation could be made into an ad campaign. The rest is history. In Japan, Colonel Saunders and Santa are now synonymous. Option two is to get a big dog. A Bedlington or Irish terrier will do nicely – tall enough to reach into the sink when standing on its hind paws, and with that inherent terrier instinct towards theft. The dog-ate-the-turkeywhile-defrosting story always happens to someone. If you're really lucky, this year it could be you.

picture: supplied

Anna Trapido ponders the miracle of how we came to eat all these weird things at Christmas.

JHB 44218



od i o g


With over 700 stores across the country, we see every corner of South Africa. But we’d still love to see your so good moment from your favourite part of the country. So when you go away this season, share your so good holiday moments with the rest of South Africa. It’s as easy as:

#SoGoodInSA Use your phone

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Take a picture or write a post

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Put down

the turkey CLEOPATRA MOUNTAIN FARM HOUSE Sure, the décor is a little less Egyptian than one might expect from the name.


Granny Mouse Country House (Natal Midlands)

This quaint country house offers a combination of fine dining and rural charm with its hearty Christmas lunch, available either as a buffet or a set five-course menu.



The mulled wine and mince pies served on Christmas Eve are reason enough to head to the Midlands and stay over. Ask about special packages including accommodation. Price on request. 033 234 4071

Hartford House (Mooi River)

If this year’s Christmas lunch is anything like last year’s, expect traditional Zulu dancing, a parade showcasing Summerhill Stud’s best stallions, and a five-course lunch that is bound to blow away the senses. Executive chef Jackie Cameron serves up innovative seasonal dishes inspired by local ingredients – a lovely way to spend an

afternoon in the country. From R550 per person. 033 263 2713

Cleopatra Mountain Farm House (Drakensberg)

Chef-patron Richard Poynton is a man with a real passion for food, and it comes across in every dish. Expect plenty of local ingredients, and herbs and vegetables from his garden in this year’s five-course Christmas menu for R275 per person (burgers with chips and ice cream for little ones at R65). Built along a river in the magnificent Drakensberg, this is an idyllic, tranquil family destination. Contact: 033 267 7243,


The Eatery at Durbanville Hills (Durbanville wine valley)

This recently refurbished restaurant is offering a Christmas feast, with honeyroasted gammon, stuffed turkey, tiramisu and frangipani tart with fruitcake ice cream. It also caters specifically to kids, with a special platter offering pizzas, fishcakes, chicken, cheeses, chips and cooldrinks for R145 for kids under 12. There are great views of the neighbouring winelands, with Table Mountain in the distance. From R395 per person. 021 558 1300

text: xenia onatopp; pictures: supplied

DREADING THE HASSLE of roasting three different things at once, while entertaining the in-laws and balancing a glass of champagne on your head? Cut out the hassle of chopping, cooking and fussing over a Christmas lunch by choosing one of our 10 favourite spots around the country for fabulous, festive, fuss-free dining.


Winchester Mansions (Sea Point)

WINCHESTER MANSIONS You'll need a stroll on the Promenade after everything on offer here.

CLICO BOUTIQUE HOTEL This is just one of the courses. Just one.

This Cape Town institution is serving up a host of Christmas feasts this season, with a five-course gourmet Christmas Eve dinner, with welcome drink and live entertainment (R425); a table-breaking Christmas Day buffet lunch, with welcome drink, finger snacks and live entertainment (R475); a two- or threecourse gourmet Christmas Day dinner with welcome drink (R215/R260); and a buffet Boxing Day brunch with a welcome drink and live band (R295). It’s also right on the Promenade, so you can walk off all that Christmas stuffing while taking in the sea views. 021 434 2351

The Pavilion at The Marine (Hermanus)

Under the guidance of executive chef Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse fame, The Pavilion serves up sophisticated dishes in an elegant setting. Its traditional Christmas lunch consists of a five-course menu with canapés, welcomes drinks and petit fours, from R595 per person. And the location on the seafront is a winner for summer feasting. 028 313 1000

Tobago’s (Cape Town)

The Radisson Blu Waterfront is putting on a spectacular Christmas Day buffet at its restaurant, including welcome drinks and a menu offering everything from soups and charcuterie to salads and a carvery, with glorious sea views. There will also be live music, a Santa Claus for kiddies and gifts. From R645 per person. 021 441 3000 hotel-capetown/dining/ restaurant


Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Pretoria) RESTAURANT MOSAIC Salvation is at hand for lonely Gautengers with Chantel Dartnall's fine-dining lunch.

THE PAVILION AT THE MARINE Sure, it doesn't look like traditional Christmas fare, but do you care?



If you happen to be hanging out in the ghost-town-esque province that is Gauteng over December, don’t despair, for executive chef Chantel Dartnall is without a doubt one of South Africa’s best chefs, and her fabulous fine-dining food is worth the drive out to Crocodile River Valley. This year’s

Christmas lunch will include a five-course meal with wine pairings from R750 per person (R575 without). 012 371 2902

Clico Boutique Hotel (Rosebank, Joburg) For city slickers wanting Christmas lunch with the glam factor and fine-dining food with an oriental twist, the Clico is putting on a five-course lunch for R450 per person (excluding wines). The menu starts off with prawn bisque with lobster tail, followed by honeyglazed quail with champagne froth, honey-glazed steak with butternut fondant, stuffed turkey with apple dauphinoise, and ending with tiramisu served on a bed of Christmas cake with truffles, nougat and raspberry sorbet. 011 252 3300


Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate (Plettenberg Bay)

This Garden Route gem is offering an extravagant Christmas buffet, from tempura prawns and cauliflower soup to roast beef, Moroccan lamb, roast turkey, honey-glazed gammon, eggnog trifle and, of course, loads of mince pies, from R420 per person. A hotel that prides itself on its attention to detail for the little ones, it’s ideal for a family outing, offering lunch at R200 for kids aged 12-16 and R150 for kids under 12. 044 534 8082 ■

festival fuel Celebrate the festive season the Col’Cacchio pizzeria way with Italian-inspired food, excellent wine and warm generosity. Choose from our impressive variety of gourmet pizzas, delicious salads and fresh pastas. Kids are given dough to play with and can draw up their own pizza designs on our brown paper ‘bases’, making Col’Cacchio pizzeria the perfect place for the whole family. Kick back, relax and enjoy the holidays with us.

Find a Col’Cacchio pizzeria near you.


STUFF THOSE STOCKINGS Whether you’re buying for the ultimate barman, pampering princess, masterchef, outdoor junkie or tech-head, we’ve got gift ideas to make you go gaga.


Super quaffer

The perfect gift to set the pros apart from the wannabe winos, the Zwilling Sommelier Set offers stainless-steel accessories that make opening those bottles over the festive season a breeze. The fourpiece set includes a foil cutter, corkscrew, decanter and drop ring. Available in 2, 4, or 6-piece sets, starting price R1 470, Kitchen Passion,

Keep your festive season spirited with one of Fine Brandy. By Design’s award-winning local potstill brandies. Try this DIY cocktail kit consisting of two glasses, a muddler, 750ml Flight of the Fish Eagle brandy and 30ml of honey. R215, from leading liquor outlets nationwide

Ice ice baby Everyone loves a fun-shaped ice block in their brandy and coke. We also love that this brightly coloured bobble ice tray features a built-in reservoir to catch spills. From R60, @Home and Wellness Warehouse stores nationwide

Air rush

text: xenia onatopp; pictures: supplied

There’s nothing worse than a guest who brings an overly young Cabernet Sauvignon to dinner (except for the one who comes empty-handed). But simply pass it through the Vinturi Aerator (a system that works faster than a decanter) and you’ll have a softer, smoother wine. This is every barman’s secret weapon. R549,

Be guided A comprehensive guide to the South African wine industry, the latest edition of the Platter’s South Africa Wine Guide includes tasting notes, award-winning info and wine-route details, and will serve as a very useful tool for stocking up wine collections. R148,

Brandy trunk giveaway One lucky khuluma reader can win a Fine Brandy. By Design trunk gift set containing five top local brandies: Oude Meester Demant; Van Ryn’s 12 Year Old Distillers Reserve; Klipdrift Gold; Flight of the Fish Eagle and Collison’s White Gold, worth a whopping R3 500! That’s enough to keep you lubricated well into 2014. To enter, go to and click on the Competitions tab. The competition is open to all South African residents, excluding employees of Picasso Headline/Times Media Ltd/ Competition closes 31 December 2013.



360 eight 1054-1

Find the car you’ve always wanted. is the gateway to new and pre-owned cars from some of the most premier dealerships in South Africa. Every car purchased through our new supercharged website comes standard with all the necessary checks, inspections and quality guarantees.


FOR THE PAMPERING PRINCESS Hands-on Hand cream is something we often forget to buy for ourselves, and these beautifully fragranced hand lotions come in three varieties: Peach Flower; Orchid & Blossom; and Olive Blossom. R49, Woolworths,

Go to the source Butter up A skin-enriching body butter that will please any heart – the extra-rich blend of moisturising avocado and shea butters, avocado oil, glycerine, and conditioning olive and basil extracts will leave skin wonderfully soft and happily glowing. R550, Crabtree & Evelyn,

Eternal flame

Nail it

This alluring candle doubles as a rich moisturiser and room infuser. Mama Mio’s soy-wax Gravida Candle offers a fresh citrus essential oil and gentle floral fragrance, and can be found at salons and spas across the country. R360, Mama Mio,

It’s hard to go wrong with Chanel’s new range of summer nail polishes. Try the Le Vernis range 167 Ballerina for those who like pastels, and the 605 Tapage for those who love making a bold statement. R290, selected Edgars stores,

La Source’s Reviving Leg & Foot Mist is just the ticket for a little refreshment on hot summer days. Formulated with refreshing peppermint oil, menthol, conditioning spirulina and seaweed, it’s perfect for friends who travel frequently. R330, Crabtree & Evelyn,

Stocking filler These gorgeous fragranced soap tins come in an array of colours and fragrances, from Exotic Mango to Vanilla & Amber. R70, Woolworths,




we’re more than an airline It’s never been simpler to book your travel - with flights, cars and hotels all available on So, whether you’ve got a wedding in Warmbaths or a conference in Calitzdorp, we’ve got your trip across Mzansi covered. Now that’s full-on travel.



Coffee connoisseur Blend in Cuisine queens are currently lusting after the KitchenAid Artisan Cordless Hand Blender. We love the Candy-Apple Red Colourway, and the Onyx Black is super-sleek. R3 990,

Nothing beats the smell of a good cup of coffee, and to create the perfect cuppa, beans need to be ground minutes before brewing. The Zassenhaus Antique Coffee Mill is the ideal gift for any coffee-lover. R1 050, Kitchen Passion,

Let them eat cake

Oiled up

For a queen of tarts who likes to display her baked goods, the Le Creuset Cake Stand (in colour Flame) has a scratchresistant surface, which means cakes can be cut directly on the stand. R475, Le Creuset,

Every cook needs a good-quality extravirgin olive oil, and we’re loving NoMU’s new black-and-white container with top-quality olive oil from De Rust in the Klein Karoo. R85 per 500ml, Nomu

Slush puppy Nostalgic and thirst-quenchingly refreshing, who doesn’t want to create their own slush puppy at home? And in just minutes. Make milky or fresh fruit juice slushes with the Zoku Slush & Shake Maker. R250, @Home,

Stocking filler What foodie doesn’t indulge in a little top-quality Swiss chocolate? This Lindt Milk Chocolate Bear will melt anyone’s heart. R39, at supermarkets countrywide



The great all-rounder. HDS 10/20-4M - hot water high pressure unit providing the professional user high water flow and a host of refinements to tackle the toughest cleaning jobs. Dealers nationwide Tel: (011) 457 6600



Gone fishing Braai master Perfect for camping, beach-braaing and safe to bring indoors too, the LotusGrill makes for hassle- and mess-free braaing, and is an overall, compact braai master’s guide to a good summer. Plus it comes in six spunky colours. R2 300, Mobelli,

Green fingers We love the quirky yet sleek design of this Alessi Watering Can (in Kiwi), and so will your gardening friends. R695,

No fisherman is likely to go forth and conquer the ocean’s bounty without a sharp wit and, of course, this multipurpose fishing tool. R180, Woolworths,

Read between the lines A great read for the fire-loving, braai-making bushwhacker is Justin Bonello’s new book, Roads Less Travelled (Penguin). Based on the second season of the travelling chef’s home-grown television series, it’s a must-have for people who are all about friends, the outdoors and creating memories around the fire. R230, Exclusive Books,

Water works Whether hiking, cycling or running, outdoor enthusiasts need to keep hydrated, and the Bobble water bottle is the ideal squeeze. The Sports Bobble comes complete with built-in filter and easily detachable cap. R129, Total Sports, Due South, Wellness Warehouse and Cape Union Mart stores nationwide

Stocking filler The camping fundi will love this eco-friendly wind-up torch. R150, Woolworths,





For the players

Feel the beat Ideal for the tech-savvy dancing queen, Beats Pill wireless speakers will bring the party wherever you go. Lightweight, portable and wireless-enabled, meaning you can change tracks from your phone, this speaker system is completely cordfree and carries surprisingly powerful sound for its size. R2 439,

A gamer’s dream, the MVP Carbon headphones deliver pulse-pounding bass and extreme detail, allowing players really to stay in the game. With pillow-soft ear cups, noise isolation, a reversible mic boom and compatibility with all Xbox, PS3, Wii and PCs, don’t give these to your boyfriend if you want to have quality time any time soon. R2 999, Phoenix Distribution,

Galaxies ahead Samsung recently introduced the Galaxy Gear Smart Watch to our local shores, so S4 addicts have even more reason to brag about their top gear. This is a great add-on gift for your S4 friends, with a host of amazing features. It’s phone-meets-watch-meets-the-future. Enough said. R4 599,

Gaming nirvana Picture-perfect Canon’s new G series PowerShot G16 camera is on the button for the happy snapper and serious photographer alike. It’s compact, but has a wealth of features, including a 41% quicker autofocus and a 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7 CMOS sensor. R6 399,



It’s here. The mother of all gaming platforms, the PlayStation 4 boasts a monstrous two semi-custom fourcore AMD x86-64 CPUs, and 8GB of GDDR5 memory, which are expected to give the console serious longevity. With an impressive line-up of games in the pipeline, this is sure to have any gamer salivating. R6 299,

Stocking filler These ZEISS Lens Wipes clean not only spectacles but also camera lenses, smartphones, tablets, laptops and cellphones. Each box contains 32 premoistened micro-fine tissue lens wipes. R45, available from optometrists, or call 011 538 4200 for stockists

Saturday, 11 TH January 2014 kenilworth race course, CAPE TOWN L’ORMARINS

Q ueen’s P late 2014




TIS THE SEASON OF TOIL AND FOLLY Will Edgcumbe ditches the mall madness for a couple of mellow markets.

pictures: supplied

IS THERE ANYTHING more stressful than buying Christmas presents – that slow death by trawling through malls, getting our shins bashed by trollies and verbally assaulting people for nicking our parking spots? And the result? Gifts that, when unwrapped, bring a strained smile and a ‘Wow, this is … nice.’ If you can look past people selling artisan (i.e. home-made) bread for R50 a loaf, Christmas-themed macaroons, ‘craft’ beer that looks like it was strained through someone’s socks, and the usual assortment of lifeless hipsters trudging around in suspenders and lycra, then markets are a nice alternative to malls for Christmas shopping. You’ll still need to go early if you want to miss the crowds, but generally you’ll find some pretty cool locally made gifts that should elicit at least a peep of delight from the recipient.

Gonubie Christmas Fair

Irene Village Market

Magical Moonlight Markets

Gonubie Sports Club, East London 13-16 December 083 225 0871 First question: does this market have a beer tent? Yes. Yes it does. If anything makes a crowded place more bearable and tired feet stop whinging, it’s an icy draft. We should probably also tell you that you can buy an assortment of gifts, accessories, clothing, furniture and the like here. And beer. Delicious, cold beer.

Smuts House Museum, Irene 7, 14 & 16 December This twice-monthly market is hugely popular with locals and runs three times in December. There are more than 300 stalls selling everything from art and crafts to antiques, clothing and pet stuff. Basically, no matter how long the list is of family members and friends you need to buy stuff for, you can probably find something for everyone here.

Bryanston Tuesday evenings, until 17 December The Bryanston Organic & Natural Market has been going for 36 years now, which is no mean feat, and their moonlight markets are really popular. You can expect a wide variety of stuff to buy, as well as live music, kids’ entertainment and carol-singing – there’s a pretty good vibe. And there are five coffee shops, so you can find a decent kick if you need it.




Twilight Christmas Market Blaauwklippen Vineyards, Stellenbosch 17-21 December 5pm-10pm, 22 December 10am-4pm The super popular Blaauwklippen Family Market is held every Sunday, selling everything from fresh produce to crafts and plants. Plus there’s plenty of wine on hand. Their Twilight Christmas Market is set to up the ante, with loads of stuff to keep the kids occupied, live music and a mellow atmosphere.

Shongweni Farmers & Craft Christmas Market Shongweni, KZN 16 December Held every Saturday morning and arguably the most popular market in the greater Durban area, the Christmas instalment of the Shongweni Market kicks things up a notch. The variety of food stalls is insane and there are loads of handmade items that’ll make awesome gifts. Dogs are welcome (on a leash), so if they’re your thing, you’ll see everything from Great Danes to those little rats that science actually has a hard time proving to be canine. Anyway, get to the market early, because it seems like half of KZN turns out for it.

I Heart Market Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban 7, 14, 21 December The I Heart Market, held at the foot of Moses Mabhida Stadium, is Durban’s trendiest and vibiest market, and there’s always a good buzz when it’s on. There’s quite a strict policy regarding what people can and can’t sell, so the quality of the wares is pretty dang high – loads of handmade and vintage clothing, jewellery, trinkets, furniture and more, made by the city’s best young designers. Again, get there early, because the trading gets pretty brisk.





Lize Hartley dresses down the hottest looks for the silliest of seasons. CHRISTMAS IN THE southern hemisphere can be tricky – our decorations, as per Europe’s influence, are all white Christmas: pine trees; snow; and red and white clothing. But green, red and gold are all wearable colours, no matter the weather. Whether your event is during the day or at night, there are ways to wear the festive season to suit a beer-drinking, biltong-eating country that celebrates Christmas and New Year on the beach.

HER OFFICE PARTY You know the rule: If you’re showing off your legs, cover up on top, and vice versa. This knee-length strapless dress by Blackeyed Susan is fun and flirty, without being inappropriate. Pair with some subtle gold jewellery and gold strappy sandals for a festive look that is still appropriate to wear around your colleagues and, more importantly, your boss. R689, R479, available on

Accessories are a great and simple way to bring colour to an ensemble, so choose a bold bag like this Blackcherry snakeskin option for your office Christmas party. R430,

These star-shaped earrings are a great way to wear festive fashion without getting too obvious. White and gold is the perfect festive colour scheme, and while the shape gives a nod to snowflakes, you won’t look like you’ve stepped out of a party shop. R159,

Few things are as bold and eye-catching as strong, red lips, so if your wardrobe consists more of neutral pieces, use your make-up to vamp up your look. Remember, go for strong lips or bold eye make-up – never both! This Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in Jet Set is the ultimate red lipstick. R185,

If you really want to keep things chic and professional, opt for a versatile, easy-to-wear piece that you can wear again, like this sparkly shift dress. The shimmer is subtle but adds a hint of glamour and festivity, perfect for a classy cocktail party. R595, DECEMBER 2013



HIS OFFICE PARTY You don’t want to rock up dressed in an elf suit to this one. You’re going to be surrounded by colleagues, superiors, and that woman from accounts who you’d really like to impress. Instead, opt for subtle, festive details, like these red-and-white striped socks. They’ll also make a great Christmas gift! Hint: Don’t wear the scarf and the socks at the same time. That will make you look like an elf. R301,

Lugging gifts around for everyone? Maybe not, but at the very least you’ll be giving someone a Secret Santa gift. Carry your Christmas gifts around in this stylish man bag instead of a plastic bag, and no one will ever know you were a bit of a cheapskate and got them at your local R5 store. R550,

If you really, really aren’t into dressing up for an occasion, just slap on some green or red sneakers and call it a day. Gold sneakers will do, too! Too much? Okay. These comfy green Superga sneakers won’t put you out of your comfort zone, and you can wear them with almost anything. They’ll also make the rest of your outfit easy: stick to neutrals. R450,

Go bold with solid colours, like these cotton trousers. Pair them with a plain white collared shirt and good leather shoes, and you won’t need to add anything else to stand out, but still be appropriate in a professional environment. The colour is festive and the fit is comfortable, so they’re perfect for night-time events. R350, Woolworths

If ever there were such a thing as ‘gingham bow-tie season’, December would be it. Don’t be afraid of the fact that it is a self-tie bow tie – it comes with instructions, so what you’re getting here is an accessory as well as an important life skill. R150,







Nothing says drama like black and gold, and ’tis the season to wear metallic. This G-Couture baroqueinspired dress is flattering and eyecatching. R599,

Eye make-up is a great way to bring some sparkle to an outfit. Opt for warm tones of gold, bronze and champagne, rather than silver and white, and don’t be scared to make your eyes really pop. This Stila palette is the perfect collection, and it comes with a soft eyeliner, as well as a look-book to help you create a specific look. R395, available at Woolworths and on

These pretty hoop earrings are the perfect Christmas-dinner jewellery. With enamel inserts and gold detailing, they are dazzling but understated, and they’ll round off a chic look perfectly. Wear your hair up to show them off. R119,

If you’re up for some bold colour, this simple red dress is for you. You can dress it up or down, and the length is perfect. The flair skirt is cute and flirty, and, best of all, it won’t break the bank. R595,

Christmas and dinner dates are the best times to deploy some serious bling. Keep your sparkles classy with this embellished clutch bag that seems to be covered in frost and snowflakes. With this as your arm candy, you won’t need any other accessories. R499, Forever New, also available on





Chances are that at some stage you’re dining out with someone who has put a lot of effort into hair, make-up, outfit planning, and deciding which shoes have the best pain-to-beauty ratio. Put in a bit of effort yourself with a stylish blazer in Christmas colours, like this one from Marco Benetti. R999, Just because dinner’s themed, it doesn’t mean you have to dress up like a Christmas tree. Subtler interpretations are out there, like these faded green stovepipe chinos. Sergeant Pepper makes quality menswear that isn’t so trendy that you’ll wear it only once before asking yourself what you were thinking, so these are a great investment. R799.99, Stuttafords

If you prefer to use accessories to bring colour to an outfit, this green-and-white silk tie is perfect for Christmas time. You can wear it all year round, but at this time of year it’ll definitely give your outfit a festive feel. Or, for a slightly more obvious Christmassy option, red-and-white polka dots will do the trick. Green: R299, Red: R399, Woolworths



If your Christmas meal is a very laid-back affair, keep it casual with a classic checked shirt. This Levi’s collared shirt is a wardrobe essential that gives you a rugged off-duty look, perfect for family get-togethers and summer picnics. Pair it with classic blue jeans and sneakers. R699, also available on

If you’re paying for dinner, you might as well whip out your Randelas in style. This quirky gold dinosaur money clip is playful but discreet, and it’s the perfect accessory – you won’t need to don any silly hats. Plus, you get to choose between triceratops, T-rex and stegosaurus! R300,

Eskom - Khuluma

Advertorial: Summer savings - when on holiday

Less air-conditioning... more air You’ve worked hard all year long; the time has arrived to unwind, switch off, recharge, and give your electricity usage a break too when you check into your favourite hotel or lodge or B&B.

Help keep South Africa powered up this holiday season by doing the following in your room: l


l l


Switch off electrical appliances such as televisions, cell phone chargers and laptops when you are not using it. Switch off appliances in standby mode – ‘standby’ uses almost 50% of the energy an electrical appliance would normally use. Switch off all lights when you leave your room. Switch off the air-conditioner when you don’t need it; open windows to allow cool air coming in from the outside - if it’s necessary to switch on the air-conditioner, a temperature setting of 23° is sufficient. Shower instead of taking a bath; it uses less hot water.




If you need hot water plug the basin; don’t leave the hot taps running. Don’t open the bar fridge unnecessarily or leave the door open too long; if you do, warm air flows in and causes the fridge to use more electricity to maintain the correct temperature. Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need for your morning cup of tea or coffee.

Less is more... the less electricity you use the more energy efficient your holiday will be.

For more energy saving tips this summer visit

Powering your world Issued by Eskom Integrated Demand Management September 2013 Eskom Holdings SOC Limited Reg No 2002/015527/06





Maxi dresses are great pieces for summer, but they don’t need to be exclusively for the beach. This strapless metallic maxi is the perfect feminine party dress. Wear your hair up to show off your neck and shoulders, and the pretty sweetheart neckline. The metallic is slightly more underplayed than silver or gold, and the dress does all the talking, so no need for over-the-top accessorising. R1 899,

This necklace, with its handmade glass beads, is like wearing a glass of champagne around your neck. Sure, it’s a bit of a literal accessory, but what better night for it? This is light, pretty and will go with everything, and it’s an eye-catching piece that will give hot strangers a good excuse to strike up a conversation. R210,

You may not opt for a sparkly manicure every day, but New Year’s Eve is the perfect occasion for it. Sally Hansen’s Golden Rule is your top choice. It’s a trusted brand, so you know the colour won’t start chipping two hours in, and this vibrant shade will give your outfit a bit of extra oomph. R99.95,

Forget about earrings that get caught on everything – headbands are a great way to accessorise. Take a classic LBD, pin your hair in a low bun or a pretty up-style, and add a pretty hair accessory for a feminine finish. R120,



Midrand 324 Old Pretoria Road Halfway House Tel : 011 312 4060 Sandton / Randburg 20 Rhodes Street Tel : 011 781 4888 Durban 1322 South Coast Road Mobeni Tel : 031 462 7722 Pinetown Cnr.Old Main Rd & St John’sA venue Tel : 031 709 6263 Ballito Bay Mall Tel : 032 586 1470 Margate Cnr. Harcourt Rd / National Rd Tel : 039 317 3732 Cape Town 2 Highway Park, Northgate Estate Tel : 0860 788 346 Ghana 34 Spintex Rd, Accra Tel : +233 247 945 516


HIS NEW YEAR’S EVE While we’re feeling festive this time of year, no one expects you to go full Johnny Depp with crazy accessories and fancy dress. But a bit of fun never hurt anyone. Try these pink floral shorts for a bit of festive fun to bring in the new year. R129.99, Mr Price

Chances are you’re going to be on your feet all night for this one. So opt for shoes that won’t begin to hurt you 10 minutes in, like these simple, chic slippers. Added bonus: They’re easy to slip off if the night takes you to the beach around sunrise. R79.99, Mr Price

While we’re on the topic of possibly landing up at the beach, you may as well prepare yourself properly. Dax Martin swimwear is local, superstylish and perfect to wear under your New Year’s outfit, just in case things end off with a late-night swim. R378, Sure, wearing sunglasses indoors is a bit douchey, but if ever there were an apt occasion to channel your inner Kanye West, it’s that big New Year’s bash you’re going to regret in the morning. But at least there will be photo evidence of your swag. Go for gold with these Sk8shades, made locally from recycled skateboards. R1 500,

Add some quirky cufflinks to a stylish, simple outfit to round it off and take it up a notch. These dachshund-shaped silver cufflinks are fun but chic, and if you were going to wear dog-shaped anything, a big New Year’s Eve bash is the time to do it. Plus they’re 100% local! R650,




Special offer for Kulula fans!

SAVE 20% when you make a reservation with us! *T&C’s below

WE TAKE CARE OF YOU, SO YOU CAN ENJOY EVERY MOMENT Home from Home understands that although you enjoy travelling, there is nothing worse than tiny hotel rooms or having to book more than one room for your loved ones. We offer luxury self-catering accommodation in Cape Town. Our five and four star graded urban properties are luxurious, spacious and equipped with modern amenities for self-catering. Guests have access to Wi-Fi, secure underground parking, pool and gym facilities. Our range of services include pre-arrival grocery shopping, airport transfers, car rental, housekeeping and booking of restaurants, day tours and sightseeing trips. Our properties are all minutes away from the Cape Town International Convention Centre, V&A Waterfront and Cape Town’s beachfront entertainment. Let us take care of your accommodation needs, while you focus on the other things that really matter to you. V&A MARINA




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+27 21 418 2821 *Please quote your flight number when making a reservation to quality for this discount. This offer only applies to bookings made directly with us and excludes bookings through third party affiliates.




pictures: mark peddle

Bridget McNulty goes in search of a little festive wonder, and finds it at Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg.

THE ONLY THING I don’t like about the festive season – and Christmas, in particular – is that I miss Father Christmas. Or rather, I miss the excitement and magic of waiting for Father Christmas, wondering what he would put in my stocking and hoping that this year, finally, he would get my gift list right. (I mean, how hard could it be? I spelt it out for him!) Take out Father Christmas and, I fear, you lose a lot of the magic of the season. No matter how hard I try, I can’t surprise myself with what I put in my own stocking. But this year I have a solution! A way to inject a little magic, a little wonder, into the festive season. Being an adult doesn’t have to mean that you’re never

surprised by joy – especially not if you find your way to Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg. Bushmans Kloof is technically a wilderness reserve and wellness retreat. But that doesn’t really describe how magical the place is, how truly, unexpectedly wonderful it is to find yourself, just three hours from Cape Town, in the midst of the most breathtaking natural beauty – dramatic orange and red rockscapes, fynbos as far as the eye can see, zebras roaming free – yet also at a five-star retreat. Seriously, this is luxury as you’ve never seen it before. From the massive suites decked out the way you wish your home was, to the fabulous food and the

impeccably trained staff, it’s the kind of experience you’ll write home about … if only to make your family jealous.

Where the wild things are What makes this place so special? Well, let’s start with the wilderness part. Bushmans Kloof is located on a massive stretch of land that’s been handed over to nature to do as it will. The result is a serene haven for animals and guests alike, malaria and predator-free, so it’s entirely safe to go on a walk or drive with your guide at the beginning or the end of the day. There’s nothing quite like sipping on a gin and tonic while gazing at a herd of bontebok to make you feel as if you’re exactly where you should be.




The reserve has one of the largest private herds of Cape mountain zebra (the once-near-extinct cousin to the more common Burchell’s zebra) in the world, and because of their wildlife reintroduction programme, you’ll now find the fynbos fields filled with red hartebeest, grey rhebok and ostrich, as well as the more exciting bat-eared fox, African wildcat, Cape fox, caracal, and even aardwolf and aardvark. Experienced guides bring the animals’ stories to life. Did you know that a herd of zebra is known as a dazzle, because when they run together, their stripes dazzle predators so they don’t know which one to chase? Keep that nugget for the office Christmas party.

The antediluvian mountains around Bushmans Kloof were inhabited by San tribes for 120 000 years, making this the home of mankind’s oldest nation

Get ready to rock Another touch of wonder comes from the incredible rock art. The antediluvian mountains around Bushmans Kloof were inhabited by San tribes for 120 000 years, making this the home of mankind’s oldest nation. The San preserved their cultural and spiritual legacy through rock paintings in their ancestral home – and you have the opportunity to see some of the 130 unique rock-art sites, some as old as 10 000 years. The mind boggles. But it’s not all natural wonder here; there’s a good touch of human magic too. Like the spa treatments in the Riverside Gazebo, set in the middle of nowhere, with an uninterrupted view out over the fynbos wilderness. It’s as close to a massage in the wild as you will ever get and, I’m sad to say, has ruined every massage room I’ve been to since. No matter how peaceful the whale sounds, no room with four walls can compete with a gazebo looking out over zebra-




dotted plains, especially when you’re free to lie there for as long as you like after your treatment, soaking up the ambience.

Remember this There’s also ambience aplenty when it comes to food. On our first night, we were treated to a starlit braai at Embers, an open-air deck built into the rock, with flickering firelight casting shadow puppets on the rock walls. As amazing as that was, it was nothing compared to the night that followed. You know every



so often when you experience something so wonderful that, as it’s happening, you repeat to yourself, ‘Remember this. Remember this’? No? Then you need to go to Bushmans Kloof and have dinner at Kadoro. Kadoro is a small shepherd’s cottage out in the middle of the reserve, so far from anything that no electric light is visible – anywhere, even in the cottage, which is lit by 100 flickering lamps and candles, and the glow of the bonfire outside. Oh yes, this is a private, candleand starlit dinner. A three-course meal

of your choice is prepared, and you’re given drinks to sip by the bonfire, gazing up at the stars. It’s like walking into the fairytale version of your life, the way you wished it was, all the time. And then it comes to an end … just like that. The wonder, the magic, the extraordinary sense of ‘What’s going to happen next?’ You drive away and leave Bushmans Kloof behind. But somehow, just knowing it exists, out there on the edges between real life and fairytale, makes me believe in magic again. And, just maybe, Father Christmas.


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text: anthony sharpe; pictures: supplied

FREE BIRDS Release date: 6 November This one’s perfect for the kids (and parents tasked with looking after them) – a film about a turkey who goes back in time to change the (main) course of history. Yes, seriously. Owen Wilson lends his voice to Reggie, who is saved from the inevitability of becoming Christmas dinner when the US president makes him the ‘Pardoned Turkey’. Then, after being kidnapped by Jake (Woody Harrelson) of the Turkey Freedom Front, Reggie travels back in time to 1621, just days before the first Thanksgiving. There, he meets and falls for Jenny, (Amy Poehler), the beautiful and fierce daughter of the wild turkeys’ Chief Broadbeak, and is drawn into a plan to liberate the turkeys of the past, present and future. We did not just make that all up. See for yourself in cinemas. Anticipatometer: 3/5 n n n











It’s that time of the year – when adults have a bit more and kids a whole lot more time to spend munching popcorn and gazing up in wonder.



Release date: 6 November No, it’s not a documentary about soil erosion; Mud is a bit more interesting than that. This coming-ofage tale is set in the Deep South and concerns two teenage boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who find a strange man called Mud (Matthew McConaughey) living in a fishing boat in a tree by the Mississippi River. Mud asks them for help in reuniting with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), as he weaves tales of his exploits and the reasons he’s hiding out. Although initially suspicious, the boys find themselves drawn into Mud’s life and the circumstances surrounding him. It’s a modern fairytale with yet another sterling performance from McConaughey in his comeback phase. Anticipatometer: 4/5 n n n n

Release date: 13 December It was bound to happen quickly: a film about whistleblowing website Wikileaks and its enigmatic founder, Julian Assange. The Fifth Estate follows hacker Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague, journalist Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl), as they found a website dedicated to releasing information withheld from the public by governments. Soon their project gathers momentum and they are breaking news faster than news sources. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in US history, they find their relationship strained as they struggle with a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society, and what are the costs of exposing them? It’s an uneven film anchored by an excellent performance from Cumberbatch. Anticipatometer: 2/5 n n

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Release date: 13 December The second instalment in Peter Jackson’s vastly elasticised adaptation of that little-known paperback, The Hobbit, is here. Ominously titled The Desolation of Smaug, it seems set to up the doom-and-gloom ante, as our intrepid adventurers journey on towards the Lonely Mountain and impending desolation. Along the way, they encounter the shape-shifting Beorn, a forest full of evil spiders and dangerous Wood Elves. The film also reintroduces everyone’s favourite goldenlocked elf, Legolas, and his companion, Tauriel. While he’s stretching the source material a bit thin, Jackson can be counted on to deliver a breath-taking spectacle. And besides, there are worse places to wile away 156 minutes than Middle Earth. Anticipatometer: 4/5 n n n n











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Release date: 20 December This dark cautionary tale comes from the pen of noted author Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men, All the Pretty Horses) and the lens of even more noted filmmaker Ridley Scott, so it’s got good pedigree at least. Michael Fassbender plays the eponymous counselor, who, tempted by the lure of quick and easy money, delves into the dark world of drug trafficking through his business partner. However, when the deal goes wrong, he finds himself plunged into an increasingly nightmarish situation as the consequences of his actions spiral out of control. It’s one violent, lurid film, with a helluva cast including Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt, although it’s let down by a slightly clumsy and over-talky script. Anticipatometer: 3/5 n n n

Release date: 20 December Disney’s latest animated musical fable is perfectly pitched (excuse the pun) for the holiday season. In the kingdom of Arendelle, there are two princesses: Elsa and Anna. Elsa possesses the powers to create ice and snow, but, after letting these get out of control, she flees into hiding, leaving the kingdom trapped in eternal winter. Determined to set things right, fearlessly optimistic Anna sets off on an adventure alongside a rugged mountain man, his reindeer sidekick Sven, and a hapless snowman named Olaf to find her sister and save the kingdom. Meanwhile, the Duke of Weselton plots to turn the masses against Elsa, branding her a monster. Critics have compared Frozen to Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, making this a sure-fire winner for kids and parents. Anticipatometer: 5/5 n n n n


WALKING WITH DINOSAURS Release date: 26 December Why are there not more movies with dinosaurs? Seriously now, prehistory has provided us with hundreds of mind-blowingly awesome giant lizards, and now technology has gifted us the means to recreate these beasts on enormous screens. In 3D. This was probably not the thought process that led to the creation of this, based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, but nevertheless, here it is. Walking with Dinosaurs tells the story of three pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi, Scowler, and Juniper, following them from infanthood to adulthood. With the BBC behind it, and the same 3D technology used to create Avatar and Transformers: The Dark of the Moon, this should be well worth catching on the big screen. And seriously now, it’s frikkin dinosaurs. In 3D. Anticipatometer: 4/5 n n n n

We’ve got five Walking with Dinosaurs hampers to give away! Each hamper contains a pencil case and stationery, 2-in-1 lunch buddy, beach ball, and beach towel. To enter, head over to and click on the Competitions tab. The competition is open to all South African residents, excluding employees of Picasso Headline/Nu Metro/Times Media Ltd/, and closes 31 December 2013.



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LIBRARY LOUNGE Give the gift of imagination this Christmas with five page-turning thrillers and one wild guidebook. Terminus ADAM BAKER Hodder & Stoughton The world has been overrun by a lethal infection, ravaged by a pathogen that leaves its victims locked halfway between life and death. New York, bombed to prevent the spread of the disease, has been reduced to radioactive rubble. In step the heroes: a rescue squad enters the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan, searching for the one man who can create an antidote. They must battle floodwaters, lethal radiation and infected, irradiated survivors as they race against the disease that threatens to extinguish the human race. Terminus might seem a bit clichéd, with the human race about to be wiped out again, but it has a good narrative and excellent dialogue between its characters, making for a lock-and-load adventure packed with tense and absorbing scenes. If you like zombies and survival horror, this one is for you.

Tarnished JULIA CROUCH Headline Have you ever thought that sometimes the past should be left alone? Well, mild-mannered Peg has never asked too many questions about her fairly unusual upbringing: her absent father; her deceased mother; her bedridden aunt. She can’t remember much from before the age of 10, but she’s happy to fill the gaps with fond memories of home-cooked meals and walks along the beach. But when, as an adult, Peg discovers she had an uncle who died many years ago, the holes in her childhood memory start to trouble her. Yet as skeletons come tumbling out of the family closet and the past begins to reveal itself, Peg starts to wonder whether her youthful lack of curiosity might not have been such a good thing. Tarnished tells a tale of slow-burning suspense, and throughout you’ll often be asking yourself the same question: will she ever find the truth? This is a truly chilling page-turner, one that will grip you from beginning to end.

text: richard noble; pictures: supplied

The Never List KOETHI ZAN Harvill Secker If you’re a fan of thrillers, you should get yourself to your local bookstore as soon as you get off this plane, because Koethi Zan’s The Never List is very scary indeed. There were four of them down there for the first 32 months and 11 days of their captivity. And then, suddenly and without warning, there were three. Even though the fourth person hadn’t made any noise at all in several months, the room seemed much quieter than it was before. For a long time after that, they sat in silence, waiting in the dark, wondering who was going to be next in the box. This is Zan’s debut novel, and it’s razor-sharp. It combines the very best of page-turning suspense with classic mind-game thrills, chills and gut-wrenching twists. It’s guaranteed to keep you up at night. Readers beware.



SANBI Biodiversity for Life

South Africa’s nine National Botanical Gardens are beautiful, natural escapes close to some of the country’s most popular and vibrant urban centres. These Gardens offer visitors from near and far a taste of South Africa’s uniquely rich and colourful biodiversity. The Gardens also feature an array of facilities such as restaurants, function rooms and conference venues. Various activities such as hikes, picnics and shopping are also available. Visit a National Botanical Garden near you and bring along the family or a friend.


The King’s Deception STEVE BERRY Hodder & Stoughton There is a secret from our history, 500 years old, startling in its revelations and devastating in its political impact. A secret that has, thankfully, stayed hidden … until now. A former Justice Department agent who goes by the name of Cotton Malone travels to the UK, where he finds himself caught in a dark conspiracy from long ago. Now both the CIA and MI6 seem to be competing to uncover the mystery. To complicate matters, Malone is on holiday with his son, and when the boy vanishes, he is forced into a race against time as he battles to work out a puzzle that leads him from the Middle Temple to the chapel at Windsor Castle. It’s like a cross between National Treasure and a James Bond novel – Berry really raises the stakes with The King’s Deception.

Bad Monkey CARL HIAASEN Sphere If you’re keen on something outrageous, hilarious and highly addictive (pun intended), this is the unique Carl Hiaasen at his absolute best. When a severed arm is hooked by a couple out on a fishing trip in the Florida Keys, former police detective turned reluctant restaurant inspector Andrew Yancy senses that something doesn’t add up. Determined to get his badge back, he undertakes an unofficial investigation of his own. His search for the truth takes him to the Bahamas, where a local man, with the help of a very bad monkey, is doing everything in his power to prevent a developer from building a new tourist resort on the island. With deadly consequences… Bad Monkey will have you on the edge of your seat and laughing out loud. This is one to read alone.

Wildlife of East Africa: A Photographic Guide DAVE RICHARDS Struik Nature This is a great all-in-one photographic guide to East Africa’s most conspicuous and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, insects, trees and flowers. It’s an essential companion for any safarigoing photographer or nature lover. Each entry describes the species’ appearance, size and habits, and gives information on conservation status, habitat and best viewing locales. So you won’t have any trouble telling a giant forest hog and a common warthog apart. This is an invaluable guide for visitors to national parks and other wildlife-rich places in East Africa, and very handy for travel. It’s complied by true wildlife enthusiast Dave Richards, a local lodge manager and safari guide who has written and photographed several other nature and travel books. Get ready to book your ticket to Kenya (and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Timon and Pumbaa.


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Festive frets of fury Being on holiday means a whole lot more time for Claire Martens to rock, roll and relax.


Arctic Monkeys

Loud Like Love Universal AN UNLIKELY ALBUM title for a band known to be avant-garde and reckless, Loud Like Love still carries with it the reddened stain of Placebo’s characteristic whine. The band has a tendency to revel in the daring of their subject matter, hiding the sordid details within the murkiness of their alternative sound, so it’s strange that there is nothing too controversial about this, their seventh album. Perhaps we’ve just seen it all before. It’s certainly not their strongest offering, buoyed up only by their unrivalled distinctiveness, which has been their shroud from the beginning. In some ways, Placebo have stooped to mediocrity in ‘Too Many Friends’ and ‘Bosco’, but surface again to breathe in ‘Loud Like Love’ and ‘Exit Wounds’. The pulse of Placebo still beats, but Loud Like Love struggles to get the blood pumping.

AM Domino AS SOMEONE ONCE SAID, the Artic Monkeys have grown with their age. It must be the one good thing about getting older: your company is more pleasant to be around, as is your music. Back in 2006, when they exploded on the scene, unleashing the potential of internet marketing in one exhilarating swoop, they were everyone’s favourite success story. Now it seems they have carried the sun with them. AM is nothing like the morning; this album is like the intoxicating midday heat and I don’t even think they had to try very hard to make it so. ‘Arabella’ simply nudges a little groove into the air around you, ‘R U Mine’ gives off little sexy pulses of light, and ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’ eases one into a glorious nostalgia. AM is an uncomplicated album done in a complex way, but there is no reason to question it. Just let the music take you; you never know where you might go.

Jack Johnson From Here to Now to You Brushfire FROM HERE TO NOW TO YOU is all about the weather; the feeling has nothing to do with the lyrics. The album begins with a whistle and ends with a fresh breeze, and in-between it’s as if the sky has opened up after a storm. Jack Johnson can make everything feel all right with his down-to-earth brand of graciousness and mischievousness. Can there really be anything better on a summer’s day than a cocktail and his song on the radio? Well, if you are anything like me, then one or two of each is quite enough. I do wonder how much of Jack Johnson we really need if he isn’t going to start churning things up a little. Nothing seems to have changed much for our favourite sandy-skinned surfer, so try not to expect anything more than tales of love told on the tails of acoustic melodies.








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Adios, 2013! Annie Brookstone gets the lowdown on five New Year’s Eve parties so rad you’ll want a time machine so you can attend them all. Jameson Vic Falls Carnival (29 December – 1 January) What do you get when you take thousands of revellers, and dozens of acrobats, dancers, fire performers and sensational musical acts from across southern Africa, and bring them together at one of the Seven Wonders of the World for three days of nonstop partying? The Jameson Vic Falls Carnival, of course. Featuring the likes of Just Jinjer, ISO and Ryan Dent, as well as opportunities for bungee-jumping,

elephant safaris and white-water rafting, the Vic Falls Carnival is like a music festival, adventure getaway and sightseeing tour all rolled into one. Tickets range from $40 (around R400) for a single-day entry to $100 (around R1 000) for a VIP two-day pass, and are available on For more info about the line-up, activities, and accommodation and travel packages, visit

Electric NYE Ball It’s been a busy time for Electric, having already brought the likes of Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia and Hardwell to our shores this year. Needless to say, they’re sending 2013 off in spectacular style with UK house legend and titan of the triple-deck, Carl Cox. The Electric New Year’s Eve Ball will see the Cape Town International Convention Centre become the epicentre of all things EDM, with a host of top local DJs thrown into the mix too. Hey, if it’s good enough for NYE party veteran Carl Cox, it’s definitely good enough for us. See in 2014 with enough blips, bleeps and bass to keep you bouncing well into the year. Tickets range from R470 (general admission) to R2 050 (VVIP) and are available through Computicket. For more info, visit Check out our interview with the man himself on page 74.



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New Year’s Eve at Kirstenbosch It’s the perpetual New Year’s celebration dilemma: do you opt for the rocking party or a beautiful setting to get the year off to a memorable start? Why not both? New Year’s Eve will see Cape Town’s majestic Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens getting a little wilder, as Yoav, Goldfish and Tailor lure out heaving

herds of festive season party animals. Bring along a picnic basket, a bottle of bubbly and a few of your favourite friends – you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic scene as you welcome 2014 under the stars (and with some of them too). Tickets are R290. Book at Webtickets. or through the Kirstenbosch ticket office on 021 761 2866.

5FM New Year’s Party at The Ruins, St Francis Bay The summer season sees the quiet seaside town of St Francis Bay become the place to party come year-end. Now in its 13th year, the 5FM New Year’s Eve Party at The Ruins will see revellers of all ages partying like there’s no tomorrow (or like it’s a public holiday, anyway), to the killer sounds of LCNVL, PHFat, aKING, and 5FM DJs Rob Forbes and Fix, among many more. And we hear it’s going to get messy this year – in the best way possible, of course – as word has it that this will be SA's largest outdoor colour party yet. Yoh! Tickets are available through Computicket. For more info, visit The Ruins’ Facebook page at www.facebook. com/theruinsstfrancis.

Smoking Dragon Festival (29 December – 1 January) The Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival, at the Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge in the Drakensberg, is a celebration unlike any other. Not only does it boast the most incredible line-up this side of 1999, including the likes of Bittereinder, Desmond & the Tutus, Fruits & Veggies and Beach Party, but the organisers are also partnering up with community initiatives, entrepreneurs and the artists through a ticket-share initiative to share the

love (and profits). There’s no doubt this little spot, midway between Joburg and Durbs, is fast becoming one of the most unforgettable places to bid adios to the year gone by. Tickets are R500 for general camping, with access to the main stage, public bar, food tent and ablutions, or R600 in the VIP zone, which includes access to the lodge’s jacuzzi, sauna, bouldering cave, internet cafe, restaurant and travel help desk. For more info, visit the Facebook event: events/367559860036189.




Do you have a special connection with South Africa? When I first played here [in the 1990s], it had been a place I never thought I’d get to play. I didn’t think it’d have a scene that would understand the music. Raving was primarily British – it had crossed over to Europe, but nowhere else. South Africa was amazing, because in the early days all we ever heard about was apartheid. But I discovered much more: safaris; wines; amazing people; the rugby; motorcycle racing; all sorts of amazing things. And you were throwing rave parties! So, there I was at the station in Johannesburg with 10 000 people going crazy. I felt like I was a part of history – part of where South Africa is today. And it didn’t matter if you were black, white, Chinese, large, thin, or whatever. I put on a record and it brought people together. I have an amazing affinity with your country because I believe I was able to bring a certain element of togetherness to it. I haven’t been able to do that since 2001. It’s about time that I came back.



picture: supplied

After almost three decades behind the decks, Carl Cox remains one of the world’s most influential DJs. This month, he returns to the Mother City after more than a decade, to help revellers see in the New Year. Keith Bain caught up with him between gigs.


the tables on NYE

What was your craziest New Year’s experience as a DJ? I played the Millennium party in Sydney, and there was a plane to take me and 400 other people back in time to do New Year again in Hawaii. I left Australia at 3 or 4am, landed at 7pm in Hawaii, then prepared for another midnight set. So I got a passport stamp that says ‘2000’ and then, hours later, another with ‘1999’. I was pretty shattered after all of that. I couldn’t drink or have a good time like everyone else – those were the early days of streaming internet and I was being broadcast worldwide, so both sets had to be on the money. And it was all vinyl. Has the technological evolution changed how you DJ? The equipment you choose to play from isn’t the issue; you still need to have a heart and soul for putting music together. You still have to be the person who runs the show. You’re the one people look to. If you just put a laptop on the DJ booth and push play, people will get pretty bored watching the glowing Apple sign. I was very lucky to go through the vinyl era – the age of turntablism. It gave me a deep understanding of mixing. Does crowd size matter? I was a punter – a clubber – before I was a DJ, so I know what it’s like being on that dance floor. If a record feels good and you believe that what you’re playing is good for the crowd, and you share that record with them, that feeling goes right across

to everyone. It doesn’t matter if there are 100 or 50 000 people; the vibe is the same. Any advice for the NYE punters? People often hit the ground running, and by the time I come on they’re finished. Pace yourselves. Don’t get completely drunk and then go to the party. Pacing yourselves will ensure a much better, much longer party. The longer I play, the stronger I get, so I don’t want people fading after two hours, because three or four hours into my set is when the really good times come. It’s not over till it’s over. Catch Carl Cox at the Electric NYE Ball at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 31 December. Book through Computicket, or enter our reader’s competition below. Three lucky readers can win a set of double tickets to the Electric NYE Ball! To enter, head over to and click on the Competitions tab. Competition is open to all South African residents, excluding employees of Picasso Headline/Times Media Ltd/, and closes 23 December 2013.






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On the 6th game of Christmas Let no stocking go unstuffed and no joystick untwiddled this festive season.

text and pictures: supplied by BT Games

GRAN TURISMO 6 Despite the PlayStation 4’s imminent arrival, Gran Turismo developers Polyphony instead opted to deliver the sixth title in the series to the ageing PS3. Of course, anyone who knows this series should expect an incredible experience nonetheless, and with 39 unique track locations (many based on real-world tracks), as well as a ton of real and concept cars from manufacturers including BMW, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Pagani and KTM, there is no shortage of content for serious petrol-heads.

CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS The US has fallen as a world superpower, but a few powerful factions seek to completely eliminate the country from the map. And so the Ghosts – made up of the forgotten remains of elite military forces – rise up to defend their home. That’s if you’re into the single-player campaign – most of Call of Duty’s longevity comes in the form of its online multiplayer component, and a new game mode called Extinction in which players band together to eliminate an alien threat.

SKYLANDERS: SWAP FORCE The Skylanders series, much like its competition Disney Infinity, uses a combination of physical toys and a video game to provide kids (and even a few adults) with a huge world to explore. This latest iteration of Skylanders makes use of toys that are made up of two parts: a lower and upper half. The legs determine how each character moves in the game, and the torso dictates their attacking ability, which means there are ultimately far more combinations of characters than there are individual toys.










FIFA 14 FIFA returns for another annual outing, this time arriving with a next-generation bang if you choose to grab the enhanced Xbox One or PlayStation 4 version of this beloved football simulation. The new Ignite Engine brings advanced new features like Pro Instincts, which lets the players on the digital pitch instinctively respond to the game around them with realistic reactions. A new animation system, stunning next-gen visuals and all manner of enhancements and improvements (across both the next-gen and current-gen versions of the game) aim to make this the best FIFA yet.

ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG We’re headed to the Caribbean for a piratical adventure with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. You take on the role of Edward Kenway, a young pirate captain (and assassin, obviously) who rubs shoulders with history’s legendary pirates like Blackbeard and Anne Bonny. Sail the seas in your own personal ship, visit three beautifully detailed primary cities (along with 50 other unique locations to explore), engage in fierce combat on both land and sea, and search for mountains of treasure as you journey through the game’s open world.

GRAND THEFT AUTO V Take control of three playable characters with distinctly memorable personalities in this fifth title in the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto franchise. Explore the city of Los Santos and its surrounds using a wide variety of air, land and sea vehicles. Experience a hefty selection of brilliantly designed missions. Enjoy more of GTA’s trademark humour and gloriously unpredictable open-world insanity. There’s so much to see and do in GTA V that you shouldn’t be surprised if you lose months of your life to its meticulously detailed shenanigans.




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Season e v i t s e F Happy 014! & all the

best in



A very geeky Christmas What gizmos has James Matthew found under the tree?

pictures: supplied

Canon D20 Digital Camera With summer here, you are hopefully spending as much time as possible frolicking about with wild abandon, being with family and friends and soaking up the good life. Naturally, you will take joy in documenting said frolicking for future reminiscing, and the Canon D20 12MP camera is built for just this. It‘s waterproof down to 10m, as well as being dust-, shock- and freezeproof, so there’s barely an activity imaginable that it cannot capture. And it shoots HD movies, like all good cameras should. The lens is a decent 28mm wide and sports 5x optical zoom, meaning any scene can be rendered beautifully. Finally, there’s a GPS onboard, so you needn’t even remember where you were when you tried to re-enact The Hangover with your mates. Get the Canon D20 from for R3 224.

GPS Logbook There are those who say the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. You can’t do much about the death part, but you can be smart about your taxes. With SARS becoming ever more tight-fisted, it is invariably good practice to have your ducks in a row.

The GPS Logbook takes all the effort out of documenting your business travel. Just plug the device into your cigarette lighter and enjoy the ride. It uses an ultra-sensitive GPS to track your movements, and stores all the data until you can upload the reports to the internet, where the records are kept for

the mandatory five-year period. Its smart design also allows for your peripherals to plug in, meaning you can still charge your phone/tablet without losing track of your travel. Neat. From R849, available online from, or from Tiger Wheel & Tyre for R899 in-store.

Coast Large LED MultiTool Light

Should you prefer life in the wild, I heartily recommend you acquire one of these robust gadgets. It can get you into and out of all manner of exciting scenarios, and it’s equipped with a powerful LED light in the handle, so you can also find your way back. Add to that a host of nifty tools like a wire-stripper and cutter, file blade, knife blade, all manner of screwdrivers, pliers, a pair of scissors and a can opener, and you’ll struggle to find a situation that cannot be managed elegantly with the help of the Coast MultiTool. Get it from for R357.

Otterbox iPad Reflex Case Despite being all outdoorsy and sun-kissed and frivolous, you can’t forgo the allure of digital cargo. Going to the beach or hiking the Overberg with your iPad in tow? Well, wrap that thing up, darnit! The Otterbox Reflex Case is cleverly designed with the concept of a car’s crumple zones in mind, ensuring you peace of mind while uploading those selfies to Facebook from atop the buttresses of the Drakensberg. The case is made from a unique blend of polycarbonate and silicone, and its design features a bunch of strategic air pockets that will absorb much of the impact should you be daft enough to drop your device. Be safe; use protection. Get it from for R799.



Join the...

CHAT Looks like our guest editor and braai master got a little burned during his interviews. Find out if he’s overdone, or just right‌

t Tanya a e c n e f es of Marc tak ho ho ho a m i h g callin ny puns a m o o t kes way Marc ma h Mzoli t i w t a e about m

An organised home is not a luxury, luxury, it’s it’s aanecessity! necessity! An organised home is not a An organised home is not a luxury, it’s a necessity!

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And now for the good news

pictures: eTV, supplied

Tanya Nefdt is usually the one asking the questions; now Marc Lottering turns the tables on eNCA’s feel-good reporter.

ML: Hello darling, thanks for your time. TN: Hello, thank you for asking me to be here. ML: So many thank you’s going all over the room; we’re just so thankful! TN: [Laughs] It is Sunday.

ML: You always look amazing, and clearly you have impeccable taste. So do you think that I’m a good comedian? TN: [Laughs] I think you’re a great comedian. I’m actually one of your

biggest fans, you do know that. ML: Okay, I’ve always thought you have awesome taste. TN: When we became friends, I thought, I’m going to tell everybody that Marc Lottering is my friend.




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ML: It’s the right attitude to have, but we mustn’t push it too hard. TN: Are we still at acquaintance level? ML: No, no, we’re way past that. [Laughs] Have you always wanted to be on TV? TN: I never imagined that I’d be on TV. I grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, you know, and we didn’t even have a TV. Okay, I’m joking, we had a TV. But I never imagined it. I often dreamt that I’d be on stage. So I guess it’s kinda like the same thing, it’s just that TV is out there, to the whole of South Africa. ML: So you kind of had visions, at some point, of theatre? TN: Ja, I think I was always participating in things at school, like concerts. I played the piano. ML: I played the piano as well. TN: At some point I participated in some beauty pageants. Can you believe it? ML: Yes I can. [Laughs] TN: So I was always involved in little things. Maybe that was a sign of better or bigger things to come. ML: When did journalism kick in? TN: I studied marketing to start, and then I was doing a business diploma at the business graduate school when I got a call from Andrew Barnes, the news editor at eTV. And it’s funny – always remember just to be yourself at all times; you never know who’s going to be watching or spotting or taking an interest in who you are. ML: Yes. Much to my detriment, I am always myself – all the time. TN: That’s how we should be! Anyway, I dealt with Andrew Barnes during my marketing days. He called to ask if I would like a place as a weather presenter on eTV. I said … er … no ways can I do that! I knew nothing about it,

first of all. But I’d always wanted to try it, you know. Point into the ocean and say, um, hier gaan baie lekker wees. ML: I’d still do it alone in my room, on a Sunday afternoon. TN: So I went and did the audition, but not in a million years did I think I’d get the job. And I suppose it’s in that moment when you’re not thinking about it, you’re just having fun, you’re not too desperate, and things just unfold … is that your dog barking? [Laughs] ML: That is my dog barking. My dog has been on the cover of this magazine before, so she’s obviously feeling some affinity. How long have you been with eNCA? TN: Believe it or not, but it’s just passed the seven-year mark, Marc. [Laughs] That’s a long time, but I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had so many opportunities at

the company. I think when you can do that in an organisation, you can stay as long as you want, especially if the company is good to you and you’re happy in what you do. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been given opportunities to move and try new things. And it’s funny that I’m at my happiest doing what I’m doing now. I’ve found my happy place. ML: It’s good that you’re saying this, because they are reading it. That is the right answer. [Laughs] So there’s no seven-year itch with you? TN: No, not at all. But if there is, it’s possibly because I’d like to branch out, but within the channel. ML: What is the most amazing story you’ve covered thus far? TN: You know, I’ve had a trillion stories. It’s very hard to isolate one because I get so involved in each and every story



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that I do. Let’s narrow it down to this year. I had the privilege to interview Sir Branson, but let’s move on quickly. [Laughs] Bonnie Tyler was in Cape Town. Come on, Marc, we come from very tight-knit communities and we used to look at these people on TV, listen to their albums, and never in a million years did we think we’d have the opportunity to meet them. And besides meeting them, singing along to one of their tunes – I went head-to-head with Bonnie Tyler, belting out ‘I Need a Hero’. ML: For me, it was, ‘Once upon a time, I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart…’ TN: ‘…but now I’m only falling apart.’ [Laughs] ML: [Laughs] We love Bonnie Tyler! TN: Another amazing one was Percy Sledge. I’m sure you saw that story – When a Man Loves a Woman. He sang to this couple on national TV. Twenty-odd years ago, that was their wedding song. So while they were telling me this story, I’d arranged for him to come and surprise them at the Table Bay. I promise you, this lady had tears in her eyes, she was so excited. ML: Do you think that she had tears in her eyes because she was excited or was she shocked at how different he looked from the cover of the album? TN: [Laughs] ML: She thought he was white! What was he like? TN: He was amazing! Okay, he’s getting on, but he’s still Percy Sledge, and he’s always going to be remembered for that song, which brought so many people together. So many babies were made in that moment… ML: Illegitimately! On the back seat of a Stanza.

You think you’re doing the story, but you’re actually the story. Oprah’s coaching you, guiding you. And you end up walking away with so much more TN: [Laughs] Okay, I’m getting to number one now: Oprah Winfrey. That’s my ultimate! I was building you up – like second princess, first princess, queen. ML: Are you calling me names? TN: [Laughs] No, the queen of talk! ML: I saw your pictures on Facebook, and for me that will be a moment. Was that a moment for you? TN: That was a moment, an absolute moment. Although it was the second time I’d met her. ML: [Laughs] Can you stop showing off? TN: I know, I know, I talk too much, but I had to just throw that in. But it was the first time I had interviewed her. That was a massive difference because she’s the lady who normally does the talking. So all the time before I started talking, I had this little mantra saying, ‘Don’t screw it up.’ I was sweaty, and that never happens to me. I went over my questions and was able to get all of them out. She was lovely; she smiled at me and even touched my arm. ML: Which one?

TN: This one, my left arm. [Laughs] It was surreal. I must say I got lost in the moment, because she’s magnetic. You think you’re doing the story, but you’re actually the story. She’s coaching you, guiding you. And you end up walking away with so much more than you went in there with. She talks about these whispers – you know what’s right, you know what’s wrong in your life, because they tell you. ML: Isn’t there medication for those whispers? [Laughs] But she’s amazing. I’m not going to lie: I’m envious. It’s an opportunity I would have loved. Have you ever interviewed someone and thought, ‘I’d rather be sleeping’? TN: That would be very rude to say. I’ve never felt that way. I’ve felt tired – not because of the person, but because we have very busy lives. ML: You are getting a promotion when this article gets published. TN: [Laughs] ML: I know that your segment is about making people feel good, which I love.




Do you get chased by people who tell you they’ve got stories they think you should cover? Is your inbox full of people who say, ‘Come on, I’ve got a watermelon growing out of my left ear’? TN: I wish I had more of those emails coming through! I want my inbox to burst with stories, because I want to tell those stories. I want to share them with South Africa and the world, because I think we need more of them. So to anyone reading this magazine on kulula, on this flight, I want them to send me stories. ML: What makes Tanya feel good? TN: My son. I have a teenage son, believe it or not. So don’t ask me how old I am. My day can be as bad as can be, and I walk in at night and see his face, and all my worries disappear. I also have good people in my life. Right here, sitting with you. I don’t have a lot of them; it’s just a handful. But when I’m surrounded by that handful, I’m the happiest I can be. ML: And it’s amazing, because most of them ask for nothing in return. Are we celebrating Christmas this year? TN: I love Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. When I was a kid, Christmas was a big thing, especially in our family. There was always four of everything: four nuwe sokkies, four new outfits, four new pairs of pyjamas, and we would be told to go to bed early so that the following morning we could open our presents. I loved that we always had something to look forward to. Christmas is a beautiful thing. I mean, it is the birth of Christ. ML: So I told my nephew that I was going to be interviewing Tanya Nefdt today, and he said, ‘Uncle Marc, she’s a hottie’. That’s the word he used. Are you offended when people refer you as a hottie?

TN: I don’t think they refer to me enough as a hottie! [Laughs] ML: Clearly not offended. Because I kinda think you’re a hottie. TN: Yeah, but have you ever had someone Tweet, ‘I wonder how old Marc Lottering is’? Have you had that? ML: Um, no, next question. [Laughs] Have you had that? You don’t like talking about your age? TN: No, but I mean, why Tweet about it? Just ask me. I’m not gonna tell them, but… ML: [Laughs] Okay, we have reached the end of the interview, but before we finish, I’m going to be probably the first one to give you a Christmas gift. TN: Marc, it’s not Christmas yet. This is definitely a joke. ML: No, it’s not a joke. I know you’re going to love what I’m going to give you. But first you must answer two questions for me. What’s your favourite airline? TN: [Laughs]! ML: Wow, it’s weird that you said

it; I wasn’t thinking it. Okay the second question: who is your favourite comedian? TN: Maaaarc Lottering. [Laughs] ML: [Laughs] This is so weird, because the gift I’m going to give you is two tickets to Scrooge, which is on at the Baxter Theatre till the end of January. TN: Oh, bless you. ML: And I’m also going to give you two tickets to come and see me at Grand Arena, GrandWest, on 7 December. TN: You know what, I was going to ask you anyway, so I’m glad that you offered before I had to be so forward. I appreciate that, thank you very much. ML: Okay, we’d better end here, because at this point I was expecting you to, you know … you didn’t get me anything? TN: [Laughs] ML: It was so great chatting to you; you’re such a giving person. TN: Ho, ho, ho! ML: Stop calling me names. Love you. TN: I love you!

No news is good news. Unless you’re Tanya, that is.




We wish you a

shisa nyama!

pictures: soweto wine festival, supplied

His name has become synonymous with braais, beers and a blazing good time. Mzoli Ngcawuzele shares a cold one with Marc Lottering. Marc Lottering: Sir, thank you very much for taking the time. I know that you’re a very busy man. Tell me, you must be very happy about the fact that most of the world is not vegetarian. Mzoli Ngcawuzele: Of course [laughs], of course yes, I would have been out of business if the whole world was vegetarian. ML: There, you see, God works in mysterious ways – some of us must eat meat. In your own words, how would you describe Mzoli’s Place? MN: Mzoli’s? That’s a very exciting question. As you can see with the shisa nyama of Mzoli’s, it’s one entity that has integrated our society to address and unleash the racial tensions of yesterday. ML: Yes. MN: I believe we have done the right thing through a piece of chop. ML: Through a piece of chop? MN: Yeah, through a piece of chop. ML: You’ve brought the races together through a piece of chop? MN: Yes, that’s right. ML: Wow, that’s… MN: You see, all society then can get together through a piece of chop. ML: Wonderful that meat can do all of that – people meet up with meat.




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MN: [Laughs] ML: Would you say Mzoli’s is a good place to find a girlfriend or a boyfriend? MN: Yes, because how many marriages have come from Mzoli’s? Where people have met here and then they’ve gotten married here. ML: That was my next question. So, many people have gotten married here that have met at Mzoli’s? MN: From our beginnings. ML: So would you say to people reading this article, if they’re single and struggling, they should pop in at Mzoli’s. MN: Exactly, that’s an answer. ML: Absolutely, they’ll find good meat here. MN: [Laughs] ML: When did Mzoli’s first open? MN: We opened our doors in 2000, on the 16th of December. ML: And is this something you thought about for a long time before you opened? MN: Yes. You know, when you put together any business, you look at what’s missing, then you put a proper plan in place, and then start with some projections around what you’ve planned. We have done the very same thing; we put up some projections for Mzoli’s, and we found that we achieved the 24 months’ projection within three months. ML: Yes.

MN: It was overwhelming, and actually we have touched a nerve; this was something people were waiting for, people from all walks of life. ML: And where are you from? MN: I’m from here, from Cape Town. I was born in the Bo-Kaap. ML: You were born in Bo-Kaap? MN: Yes, in Point Street. ML: Oh wow, a lot of good things come from the Bo-Kaap. MN: I’m one of those who went to Saint Monica’s, in the early 50s. That’s the hospital where I was born. ML: And which school were you at? MN: I was at Langa High School. ML: And when you were at school, you know, people would always say they want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. Did you always know you wanted to braai meat? MN: I have never been interested in being a teacher, any of those. My focus was to get involved with all my communities, make a difference with my communities. I have achieved that. ML: Absolutely. MN: I’m making a difference within our communities. ML: Okay. I mean, I just heard your phone ring now, so this business has given you lots of opportunity to buy airtime? MN: [Laughs] ML: To afford airtime, I should say. Do you often see teachers or principals from when you were at school? DECEMBER 2013


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MN: I do a lot in various schools, to make sure they are good. We call this thing ‘Adopt-a-school’. We are involved in all those things; we have made a difference to a number of schools, by buying some computers, making a difference here and in the rural areas. We are very committed to a lot of schools. ML: I’ve been hearing that there’s quite a lot behind the man, because when people think Mzoli’s, they just think of a good time and a whole lot of fun. MN: [Laughs] ML: So for me, it sounds as though you’ve got a heart and are always wanting to give back, in terms of bringing people together. MN: Ja. My upbringing was like that; I come from that background. My father used to give out a lot to the needy. In the countryside, you’ll find that a certain house hasn’t got a cow, so no milk, or they don’t have the cattle to go plough the field. My father used to give a lot to that particular community, but we are doing things in a modern way, so we are more into urban areas. We are doing quite a bit of work. There’s an orphanage that we are busy building in Nyanga – it’s my company in conjunction with some black bikers from the area. ML: So you’re a good man doing good things.

MN: Of course. You cannot just take and take and take from the people. You must be able to say, ‘Now, I’m giving back.’ ML: Absolutely. MN: Put up proper systems in place to say, ‘This is what I want to do, this is what I’m doing to make a difference to mankind.’ That was the main purpose for me to be in business. ML: The Oprah Winfrey of Cape Town giving back, we like that. And have you ever – I’ve been sitting inside watching all this meat being sold – have you ever considered selling sushi? MN: Yes, we do. If you come tomorrow, you’ll find a sushi bar. ML: You are kidding me! You have a sushi bar? MN: Ja. ML: Wow! So you cater for all the people? MN: Of course, of course. ML: Excellent. I know that international people come to visit here often… MN: In big numbers. ML: …in huge numbers. And I see people end up dancing some of the time. Do you not have a problem sometimes with the way in which these international people dance? Are you finding that even they lose a step? DECEMBER 2013



MN: No, I’m fine with that. It is an experience to be here, you know, they enjoy Mzoli’s. Even now, I’ve got about 10 Americans who have just rocked up. It is an experience to come to Mzoli’s. Every day you experience something here. ML: Fantastic. I believe that it is quite an experience, just from what I’ve seen. I can’t wait to experience that myself. One thing I’ve got to ask you: a lot of people say, ‘I don’t take my work home with me.’ So if I had to ask the question, do you eat meat at home? MN: Of course. I love my meat. ML: So you take your work home with you. It’s a good thing. MN: It’s a good thing. My lunch maybe I eat at home – my chop, my beef. ML: So you’re a man who walks the talk. That’s very good. I’ve seen on your wall inside that many politicians and celebrities come and visit Mzoli’s. Do they come regularly? Do you see many politicians? MN: Yes, every minute, every hour you see one big face that you can recognise. This is a home for all, all the time. ML: Is there any politician who comes to mind who eats the most meat? MN: [Laughs] My friend, my favourite politician is the Minister of Public Works. My good buddy, he loves my meat. ML: The Minister of Public Works loves your meat. MN: Yes, that’s my guy, he loves my meat, and there are lots and lots of other guys, they love Mzoli’s meat. ML: So if we want to make the Minister of Public Works happy, we should drop some meat off at Mzoli’s for him, sponsor him to come here for the day. You’ve put Gugulethu on the map – tell me, is there any chance of us seeing Mzoli’s anywhere else in the country? MN: We have embarked on that now; we are spreading Mzoli’s all over the country. You know, there are a few things one has to do, to acquire land, to build, put up a new property – that’s exactly where we are now. We are in the planning stages. We are doing one in East London already, we are building there. By Easter next year that should be flying. ML: So you definitely are spreading your wings. And the more Mzoli’s we see, the more people will be coming together. I’ve just been inside and I’ve seen people from different sides of the rainbow all coming together in one place, so you bring people together. MN: Of course. ML: And I think what you’re doing makes the ANC and the DA very happy, because you’re bringing us all together.

So why don’t you go into politics? MN: I had my chance at politics, but not now. My main focus is to make a difference in business. We cannot all be in politics. ML: You’ve had your time in politics? MN: Yes, I’ve had my time. ML: That’s an interview for another time, then. Let’s leave that one for next time. MN: [Laughs] ML: So, my last question to you is, if somebody asked you what you want for Christmas this year, is there anything that comes to mind immediately? MN: My Christmas is always very simple and easy. I always have Christmas lunch with the whole family – that’s a very big number, over 50 or 60 – under one roof. That’s what I like most. That makes me a happy man: for the whole family to have a chop on Christmas Day. ML: You certainly can’t put a price on that. And I’m sure you get them a discount on the meat. MN: No, no, at Christmas we pull out a whole lamb, then the other relatives usually buy about 20 lambs, so every household can have its own meat. ML: Sounds like a feast. You can’t put a price on family. MN: Christmas Day is a special day for all families. ML: That’s beautiful. Well, Mzoli, it was an honour meeting you, and from my side, for Christmas I’m going to put you on a plane, not for real but in a magazine. MN: I appreciate that. DECEMBER 2013


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Bringing out the living

pictures: ER24, seth wood

Often first on the scene, paramedics work those critical moments that can mean the difference between life and death. Seth Wood spends 12 hours with men and women who walk the finest of lines. Other than in movies, I had never seen a car literally wrapped around a tree. The impact must have been spectacular. To one side, a young bloke – physically fine, but with an expression on his face so ghostly and chilling I know his life will never be the same.

He’d been driving. Now he’s looking on helplessly, hoping to wake from the nightmare. His best friend is trapped in the vehicle while a team of 20 or more emergency personnel tear the car to pieces in an attempt to get him out alive.



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R3910 pp sharing for 2 nights

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Chobe Marina Lodge

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R9053 pp sharing for 2 nights

Includes accommodation in a standard room, all meals, 2 activities per stay Return flights from Johannesburg to Livingstone on British Airways Cross-border transfers to and from the lodge Valid from 1 December 2013 - 31 March 2014 Terms and conditions apply

The Rex Hotel & Apartments Knysna, Garden Route from

R4129 pp sharing for 2 nights

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We’re late on the scene because of a crank call sending us to investigate a nonexistent emergency. I’m here only as an observer, shadowing Dave Swart. Dave is only 22, a paramedic, and obsessed with saving lives. He sees these kinds of situations every time he goes to work, but still, he says, what we’re witnessing here is particularly nasty. The scene around the tree is like something out a sci-fi movie; it takes incredible manpower and technical know-how to extricate an unconscious patient from a crushed car. Dave and the other paramedics are trying to keep his body stable, while preventing any further damage. I watch in horror, transfixed by the attentiveness of the team. It’s after 2am, and yet bystanders have gathered to watch. Dave refers to these accident spectators as ‘rent-acrowd’. They appear at every scene: people drawn morbidly by the prospect of death.

As an advanced life-support (ALS) paramedic, Dave is qualified to handle the most severe trauma situations From dusk till dawn Within two hours of Dave’s 6pm-to-6am shift, we’d been to three different motorvehicle accidents, or MVAs, the first right around the corner from the Mediclinic where his ER24 branch is headquartered. That had been relatively mild, a side-on collision and only one victim – a very lucky man who looked shocked but

claimed no serious physical injury and refused paramedical assistance. Even there, the onlookers had gathered, commentating and laughing like it was staged entertainment. By the time we arrived at the second car accident, it was dark, and flashing emergency lights lit up the intersection like a funfair carnival. There were more onlookers and gawkers, including one women snacking on takeaway chips as she stared, mesmerised by the unfolding rescue operation. And in the middle of the road, a middle-aged woman with a tiny baby on her arm, roaming between the smashed cars, freaked out. I have time to notice these details, but for Dave there’s no messing about. He grabs his equipment bags and makes a beeline for the injured. As an advanced life-support (ALS) paramedic, he’s qualified to handle the most severe trauma situations, but no injury is beneath him; he has an unwavering ‘bedside’ manner, aiming to provide life-saving care as speedily as possible.

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There’s no question of whom he’s helping or what the circumstances; when he arrives on the scene, he fires on all cylinders

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There’s no question of whom he’s helping or what the circumstances; when he arrives on the scene, he fires on all cylinders. Accident number three filled both sides of a four-lane boulevard in a residential neighbourhood. The gawking crowd ran to hundreds, some of them wandering around taking pictures. From the debris of scattered car parts and assembly of emergency vehicles, it was impossible to know what had happened.

One tall, heavy concrete lamppost had been knocked down and there were a lot of nervous people on the scene. Carrying some of his bags, I followed Dave as he first went to the aid of a conscious woman, who was placed on a spine board, transferred to an ambulance, and whisked away within minutes. Then, at the second vehicle, a young passenger screaming in pain. As an ALS, Dave has the expertise to administer

certain drugs and procedures that beginner and intermediate life-support personnel can’t, so once the victim was freed from the car, we climbed in the back of the ambulance with him on the trip to the nearest emergency room. With a firm, calming voice, Dave coaxed the young man to relax somewhat, then administered two doses of morphine to take the edge off his pain, while collecting vital information to smooth the hospital handover.




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The calm between the storms After that, there’s a long lull in call-outs. Dave spends the entire night listening to several communication devices as dusty-sounding messages flicker through the airwaves on various channels, but sometimes there are stretches when none of those calls correspond to his beat.

Waiting, effectively, is the most gruelling, punishing part of nightshift, when the various paramedic crews – all quite tight with one another – meet at a central location, and keep awake by eating, glugging coffee and swapping tales of their recent escapades. It’s their recall that flummoxes me; they remember every case in minute detail, descriptions littered with an alien language of abbreviations and jargon for technical procedures involving airways, pipes, drips, drugs and lifesaving techniques. Every now and then someone pauses, looks at me, and translates the codewords into English.

They evidently don’t mess around and know some pretty hectic medicine. Unsurprisingly, they don’t like getting stupid calls. Norbert, a studious-looking sort who later refers to himself at ‘The German’, runs an internal BSmeter, ranking the silliness factor of useless call-outs. Drug overdoses, people falling over after dizzy spells, and gunshots to the foot – these are a pain in the butt because they draw attention away from life-threatening situations. Their passion is for cases that warrant the paperwork, where they’ve a chance of saving a life.

Bloody-minded One thing that I hadn’t counted on is the theoretical knowledge these lifesavers have. I’d expected the bravura and ‘quick, to the rescue’ adventure-mindedness – and all of that’s there – but it’s their alertness and intellectual sensitivity that leave a strong impression.




Doctors are skilled at working in controlled, safe environments. We don’t mind the chaos These people are massively switched on, and inquisitive about the medicine. When he’s not working 12-hour shifts, Dave is studying, upping his game – it’s something they all seem keen on, constantly improving their know-how, understanding more. ‘You’ll seldom find doctors stopping at accident scenes,’ Dave tells me. ‘It’s because they’re skilled at working in controlled, safe environments. We don’t mind the chaos.’ And working in emergency situations means they have to stay on their toes; it’s not unusual for a single paramedic to be confronted with a huge accident situation and quickly have to determine a line of action. ‘No two scenes are ever the same,’ Dave explains, and while that keeps things interesting, it means it’s important for paramedics to remain receptive to new ideas, and aware of advances in technology and research. They’re always discussing their work, sharing details of scenes they’ve worked, debating procedures. I’ve never been among young people so eager to understand and so motivated by passion. Initially, I assume these paramedics are blasé about the blood, gore, human horror and death to which they’re perpetually exposed. Dave tells me up front that they photograph accident scenes, and he apologises in advance if his banter is jokey and unemotional. But when I see him in action, I understand why emotional detachment is crucial. ‘It would be a big problem if we carried our feelings from one incident to the next,’ he says. ‘We need to be there,

ed spe h e h t ot g touces b dents n i d ci ck Sti it re of ac uel m f li risk ur . r ion yo you and umpt s con 100%, for each new patient; I can’t get bogged down by the last situation I attended to.’ So it makes sense for them not to get personally attached, and yet when I see how they treat their patients and deal with the families of victims, I recognise their capacity for compassion, providing assurance and care wherever possible.

A shift in time As I head home, an hour before Dave will officially end his shift, I feel a new connection with the people around me: strangers on the sidewalk; fellow passengers on the train; random shoppers in supermarket aisles. The sun is rising; it’s been 12 hours of waiting, of racing to ungodly scenes, and of watching teams of up to 20 men and women fighting hell for leather to save one person trapped in a car. And then I realise brave, unsung heroes like Dave Swart see this kind of thing – and worse – every day. They save lives; they lose lives. They do what they do. It’s an obsession, an endless call to action that might just prolong someone’s existence. Some of the people witnessing today’s sunrise are doing so because there are people like Dave out there.

It’s in your blood Dave Swart’s DNA always seemed to be nudging him towards this job. By age 10, he was already nipper – a junior lifeguard – and at 17 he became a pro lifeguard, working the surf in Plettenberg Bay where he grew up. Although he ended up in Cape Town studying marketing, he continued to look for ways to get into sea rescue, and fortuitously ended up on a ridealong with a paramedic during a response-car shift. He still clearly remembers the very first call: a motorcyclist knocked down in Camps Bay. The experience flipped Dave’s switch. ‘I knew for sure that I wanted to be a paramedic,’ he says, suddenly aware that he always meant to be at the frontline. It took three years of training to get his national diploma in Emergency Medical Care, which qualifies him as an advanced life support paramedic (ALS), and he’s now completing his Honours (BTech in Emergency Medical Care). He manages to combine his studies despite long hours on the job. ‘I have the utmost passion for what I do,’ says Dave. ‘When my alarm goes off at 4:50am, I’m excited to go to work. Every day is different – no two calls ever the same. I love helping people, as much as I know it’s a cliché. Honestly, there’s no better feeling.’



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Not for the -ed faint

Eat your



Durban’s views

Getting to about our know all stadium

We made i to the top! t

FIND OUT MORE 031 582 8242 |

Big Swing | Segway Gliding Tours | Stadium Tours | People’s Park Café | SkyCar | Adventure Walk


A simple guide to giving

back this Christmas ’Tis the season to give. With that in mind, Bridget McNulty rounds up a list of charities and organisations who do amazing work all year round and could really use a little festive cheer. SOUTH AFRICANS are known for their generous spirits. We’re the ubuntu nation: we are what we are because of who we all are (try saying that five times fast!). We’re also the nation of inspiring charities, as you’ll see below. And there’s no better time to practise the spirit of ubuntu than at Christmas, whether or not it’s a religious holiday for you. This is the time of year when we celebrate family, sunshine and good food: let’s share a little of that. Giving doesn’t have to mean money; it can be volunteering time, sharing skills or donating that lovely hand-knitted sweater your Aunty Mavis gave you last year that you haven’t taken out of the cupboard. Whether your heart lies with children, animals, the elderly or the great outdoors, we’ve got a cause for you.

pictures: Food & Trees for Africa, I Am Water/Peter Marshall, Young Mom Support, Nazareth House

Help the aged Who they are? Algoa Bay Council for the Aged What they do? This registered welfare organisation in Port Elizabeth focuses on services that help the disadvantaged elderly (living on a state pension of R1 114 a month) to live active, independent lives in their community. How to help? Make Christmas special for a granny or grandpa without family support by sponsoring them on, buying midday meal tickets (R100 a month translates to eight meal tickets at one of their three service centres) or much-needed toiletries. Who they are? Nazareth House: Cape Town, Durban, Joburg and Port Elizabeth What they do? The Sisters of Nazareth, along with their team of qualified nurses and care workers,

THEY’VE EARNED IT Spend a little time at an old-age home – you might learn a thing or two.

look after frail elderly people without family or finances. How to help? There are numerous ways to cheer up the residents of Nazareth House this Christmas: volunteer time to spend with those without family; donate towards their Christmas lunch; clear out your home and donate any unwanted goods to their charity shop; or hold a fundraising event. Visit for more great ideas.

THE FUTURE Nazareth House cares for the young as well as the old.




Help the hungry Who they are? Breadline Africa What they do? Break the cycle of poverty in African communities by creating sustainable, long-term solutions staffed and run by locals. Their main project is the Container Programme, renovating shipping containers to be used as libraries, community kitchens, daycare centres, health clinics and classrooms. How to help? Each Christmas, Breadline Africa organises family-to-family food parcels. In their own words, ‘In the bustle of preparations for the festive season, we sometimes forget that for many, Christmas is a day of hardship just like any other day.’ Sponsor a food parcel at

Who they are? Operation Hunger What they do? Work to combat malnutrition in South Africa through feeding schemes, soup kitchens, food gardens and incomegeneration projects for communities in need.

How to help? Instead of just meeting your friends for a Christmas lunch this festive season, organise an Operation Hunger fundraiser where you donate to the cause (money or food) as your gift to each other. Visit to get help from their fundraising team.

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GROWING Planting a tree means giving back to thewhole planet.

Help the homeless Who they are? The Ark City of Refuge What they do? Care for the homeless, unemployed, abandoned and addicted men, women and children of South Africa. They offer temporary shelter, food,

clothing, and spiritual and emotional support, as well as practical rehabilitation to anyone in need. They currently serve 750 people 2 250 meals every day. How you can help? Visit and choose which home you would like to support this Christmas.



Johannesburg’s Alternative Airport Lanseria International Airport is Gauteng’s only privately owned international Airport. Commercial airlines, charter companies, and many other service providers, call it home. It’s conveniently positioned north of Johannesburg, close to the business hub Sandton, as well as Pretoria, Midrand, Krugersdorp and surrounds.

World class airport facilities: • • • • • • •

Spacious airport building servicing Domestic and International flights Self service check in kiosks Ample parking and Fast Drop ‘n Go Facilities Quick baggage collection Daily domestic flights on offer between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Johannesburg and Durban One-of-a-kind open air viewing deck that overlooks the runway Close proximity to hotels and B&B’s and many tourist attractions

world class facilities on offer, shouldn’t you be considering Lanseria International Airport?

With all these

Tel: 011 367 0300




Help the animals Who they are? Save the Rhino What they do? It’s been a rough year for rhinos – but the future looks a little brighter thanks to organisations like Save the Rhino, who focus specifically on genetically viable populations of critically endangered rhinoceros species in the wild. Their goal is not only to increase the number of rhinos in the wild, but also to improve their ecosystems and ensure that local communities benefit from conservation activities. How to help? Visit either to donate or to buy some of their fabulous festive rhino-branded gifts. Who they are? The Wildlife ACT Fund What they do? This team of experienced conservationists works tirelessly to save threatened and endangered wildlife species from extinction. Their main focus is on the critically endangered black rhino and painted dog populations, and the threatened cheetah and vulture populations in southern Africa, with a special emphasis on finding and implementing anti-poaching technology. How to help? Visit and adopt one of the last 450 remaining wild dogs (the most endangered large carnivore in southern Africa) in the country. Who they are? Township Animal Rescue What they do? If your heart goes out to furry friends

RAISING MOMS Young Mom Support says the key to supporting children is supporting parents.

more than wildlife, consider supporting this dynamic team that goes into townships across the Western Cape and rescues animals. They take care of vaccinations, de-worming, de-fleaing, feeding, dipping, injections, medication and operations, where necessary. How to help? Visit and support their dedicated work – all donations are guaranteed to be used 100% for the animals, or you can donate kennels of any description, wooden pallets to make kennels and dry dog food to feed the hungry pups.

Help children Who they are? Feed the Babies Fund What do they do? Fight malnutrition, and they’ve been doing it since 1957. A special programme

called Amandla kwi Zingane delivers fortified cereal (Amandla Plus) to 8 000 orphans and vulnerable children, and 240 crèches in the rural areas and townships of KwaZulu-Natal. The focus is on underprivileged children between six months and six years old, as this is an essential time for brain development. How to help? Sponsor a baby at for only R30 a month: this will feed a child over the age of six months for four weeks. Who they are? Young Mom Support What do they do? This registered NPO provides physical and emotional support for teen moms. Their tagline, ‘Every child loved, every mother able’ gives a hint to the inspiring work they do, as does their mission: ‘Support the mother – grow the child. Shame never made anyone




a better parent.’ Their goal is to help teen moms succeed. How to help? Support their valuable work in cash or kind – has a list of exactly what they need, from emergency food parcels to setting up a proper office and expanding their reach.

Help the environment Who they are? Food and Trees for Africa What do they do? Plant much-needed trees in disadvantaged or needy areas. FTFA receives thousands of applications for trees from schools, community centres, orphanages and hospices from all over South Africa. How to help? This Christmas, buy a gift that keeps on giving (and growing!) at Sponsor a tree in someone’s name and you’ll be sent an official tree certificate so you can track where your gift is growing. You can also do all your Christmas shopping at Shop Green (, full of environmentally friendly treasures that support FTFA’s community projects. Who they are? I Am Water Ocean Conservation Trust What do they do? Promote ocean conservation through life-changing human experience. They do this by taking children from disadvantaged backgrounds to the ocean, and teaching them about conservation. As Hanli Prinsloo, SA freediving champ and founder of the trust, says, ‘To hear, read or see a picture of the beauty and devastation of the

A NEW PERSPECTIVE The I Am Water trust knows the best way to learn about the ocean is to be in it.

ocean environment can never replace the personal transformation of putting on a mask and fins, taking one breath and experiencing the salty majesty of the ocean.’ How to help? This Christmas, ask your friends to skip the gifts and instead help sponsor a child’s first experience with the ocean, for only R250. Visit to find out more about the trust.

What’s that? Didn’t find your perfect match? Check out for a database of pretty much every nonprofit organisation in South Africa, and take your pick! Go on, make someone’s Christmas Day.

Cart your unwanted Christmas pressies straight off to the Salvation Army. Somebody wants them!



uShaka Marine World is the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere


wins It’s the silly season and the kids are yours 24/7. How on earth are you going to keep them busy? Claire Barnardo finds the spots that are sure to help.




FINDING NEMO Turns out the little guy has a lot of siblings. Like, a lot.

MANY PARENTS will (silently) tell you that they really fear the day when the school holidays roll around. Trying to think of what to do with the children each day becomes taxing. That’s why we’ve gone in search of the top venues with facilities for littlelies, plus places where you may even catch a breather yourself – if you’re lucky.


Snooze (overnight). 011 646 2000

pictures: supplied

uShaka Marine World

EVIL EYE Terence could tell the human trusted him. His plan was working…

Along Durban’s Golden Mile is a world of excitement waiting to be explored. Get to uShaka, the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere, for a day of discovery and enjoyment. For starters, there are the freshwater slides, supertubes and pools of Wet ’n Wild that will keep your children out of trouble for hours. Sea World has dolphin and seal shows, penguins, rays and shark dives. You can even meet a dolphin and watch the sea creatures being fed. There’s also Kids World, which is designed to keep the young ones busy with interactive displays and activities. 031 328 8000



Perma Edge

g a r d en r u o y e v i G edge... t c e f r e p t he


031 791 0162 | 072 357 6126 |


Duck ’n Deck Animal Farm There’s so much to enjoy at Duck ’n Deck Animal Farm, from pony rides to face-painting. There are a whole lot of animals to see, including sheep, goats, pigs, exotic ducks, geese, horses and many types of birds, and there are also cupcake- and biscuit-decorating sessions on certain days. Join a treasure hunt or take part in making face masks. Grab a bite to eat at Tiksiloo when you’re done. 031 768 1029

PINING FOR ATTENTION Yes, his name is Sonic. No, he is not a hedgehog.

One of Durban’s most iconic landmarks is its miniature version of the city on the beachfront


Funworld Head to Durban’s Funworld for full-on carnival fun. This one’s for the adults too – you can enjoy the fair together as you try out all the rides. There’s also the cable car, which gives you incredible views of the beachfront from the air. For kids both big and small, there are ageappropriate rides, from the Carousel for the littlelies to the Breakdance for the older ones. With the delights of real fair food too, you won’t want to miss this. 031 332 9776

Phezula Safari Park Just outside Durban, in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, is Phezula Safari Park. Enjoy a scenic game drive, or take an educational tour to learn more about reptiles. You’ll meet Ramesis, the 90-year-old Nile crocodile, and Cleo, the 42kg Burmese python. There are

NO ORDINARY GARDEN Kirstenbosch offers a playground unlike any other.

loads of different snakes, from the African rock python and green mamba to the Egyptian cobra and puff adder. Your children can also learn about Zulu culture and dancing. 031 777 1000

Mini Town One of Durban’s most iconic landmarks is its miniature version of the city on the beachfront. Like a toy land, it’s fascinating to see, as the trains and planes, as well as the harbour scene, are all mobile. Super for a family outing and something unusual, it’s a good holiday filler, and it’s also an educational way to get to know Durbs. 031 337 7892

Cape Town Science Centre Want to raise the next Einstein? Spend some of the holiday at the Cape Town Science Centre and discover a world of experimentation with a wealth of interactive displays. You won’t want to miss the human gyroscope, the first electric car or the inflatable planetarium. Kiddiwinks opens this holiday and boasts everything LEGO – including free space and robotic workshops for teens. Once you’ve done it all, stop by the SciCafé for refreshments. 021 300 3200

Deer Park Café For all the yummy mummies (and daddies) out there, this is the place to head to for your weekend espresso shot. A homely restaurant that caters



Protea Hotel Balalaika puts best face forward


rotea Hotel Balalaika in Sandton’s business hub has completed the first phase of a two-part refurbishment, at a cost of R12-million. The hotel’s public spaces, including the lobby lounge, Lord’s Bar and conference area, have been given a modern, classic make-over, with new seating, carpets, softs, wall coverings, 12 crystal chandeliers in the main venues, flooring, fixtures and fittings. The result is a fresh, new look for guests spending time in these areas of relaxation and meeting. The new colour scheme is lighter, including soft greys, blues and greens with rich texture incorporated into the design through embossed wallpaper and high-backed chairs, silk cushions and new tables. The Lord’s Bar has retained its private saloon style with dark wood panelling, button-back seats and touches of deep red to finish the design. The new fabrics and colours used in the rest of the public areas have been incorporated into the furnishings. The banqueting and conferencing level has also been given a facelift, with new wallpaper, carpets, light fittings, furniture and crystal chandeliers in the Oxford Room combining a modern and vintage look. Protea Hotel Balalaika has been open for 64 years, having started out as

a tea garden that, by Johannesburg standards, was literally “in the sticks” at the time. This makes it one of the oldest hotels in Sandton. General manager Jörg Zwinscher has been with the hotel, for some 18 years. He is delighted to report that the average occupancy of the property during the past 30 years has been 72%. “We have modernised the look and feel without losing the timeless elegance of Balalaika, which continues to live up to its reputation of providing guests with some country hospitality in the heart of Africa’s financial capital, Sandton city.” The hotel has retained echoes of its long history through framed photographs on the wall that are a source of fascination for guests. The new look gives guests more reasons to linger and return, as do the expansive and lush gardens, a luxury that guests appreciate in the built-up Sandton node. In addition, many of the staff have impressive long-service records and ensure the service excellence for which the property is known is maintained. ARTICLE WRITTEN BY HOTEL AND RESTAURANT - For more on this article, visit:

CONTACT DETAILS: Protea Hotel Balalaika, 20 Maude Street, Sandton Tel: +27 (0) 11 322 5000 | | Web:


Spier Fancy swirling a glass of Chardonnay on a hot, summery afternoon? It’s a must in the winelands. But just how to achieve it with the kids in tow? Simple: Spier Wine Farm. While you enjoy your wine-tasting, the kids can experience their own grapejuice tasting. You can also explore the farm on a Segway or be enthralled at Eagle Encounters. Spier also has a kids’ activity programme during the holidays. 021 809 1100,


Two Oceans Aquarium The aquarium is hard to beat for a day trip. Packed to the brim with a variety of sea creatures and educational exhibits to explore, it’s sure to keep your kids entertained. After fish-gazing in all the underwater galleries, check out the cute penguins in the Sappi River Meander. After all that, you can catch your breath with a light bite at the AfriSam Children’s Centre. There are also puppet shows, and children can create artworks from supplied recycled materials. 021 418 3823, THIS IS OUR CASTLE! Fred and Lily took King of the Castle a step too far.

for babes too (high-chairs), Deer Park Café serves breakfast, lunch or tea-time treats while the kids play. Plus you’ll be surrounded by other (more forgiving) parents as you try to park your pram somewhere. It has a spacious and enclosed park, with a lot of jungle gym equipment, which makes it ideal and safe. Make sure you book in advance during the holiday months. 021 462 6311

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens With sprawling lawns on which to burn some kiddie energy, Kirstenbosch is an ideal place to visit during the holidays. Not only can children run around in the incredible natural environment, but there are also many areas for them to explore. Pack a picnic, or if the kids will sit still long enough, you could have a cuppa at the Tea Room, or opt for a fancier meal at Moyo. And don’t miss the summer sunset concerts held every Sunday evening. 021 799 8783

Delta Park For a parent, there’s nothing like going somewhere fantastic with free admission. Delta Park is one of those treasures. With beautiful trees and expansive lawns, it’s a perfect family location. If you’re in the Gauteng area, head straight here for some outdoor holiday time. It’s a big hit in the parenting circle for the natural space, plastic play equipment, and massive, old, shady trees under which to picnic and unwind. There are also trails in the park if you want to take a cycle. 011 888 4831

Mini Steam Trains Besides your dear darlings, nothing could be cuter than these mini steam and electric trains. Open to the public on the first and third Sunday of every month, they offer a great way to spend an afternoon with your kids. What’s more, adults are allowed on them too! So take a little trip on one of these choo-choos, and pack your lunch to have on the lawn afterwards. There’s also a small museum where you can look at old engines. 011 046 9179




Papachinos Continental Cafés If you’re looking for the opportunity to eat out with the children, Joburg has many options. Especially if both mom and dad want to enjoy a meal at the same time. One such place is pizzeria Papachinos, which boasts well-set-up play areas, plus child-minders. Yes, people who will actually watch your children while you have a bite to eat (that luxurious pastime). They’ve got five branches around Jozi.

The Lion Park

The Zoo

Looking for something more adventurous? Then the Lion Park is for you. This exciting ecotourism park focuses on the regeneration of threatened species, especially wild dog, cheetah and the very rare white lion. It’s neither a game reserve nor a zoo, but animals are sectioned off in spacious zones. You can either view them with a self-drive option (don’t let your little ones hang out the windows, though), or you can arrange to go on a game drive. 011 691 9905

Remember the magic of going to the zoo for the first time? If it’s a fun and educational family outing you’re after, head back there. Over 100 years old, the Johannesburg Zoo is still as relevant. You can see more than 320 animal species, including some very rare, endangered ones. You can go behind the scenes to see how the zoo works, or you could venture into the night and meet nocturnal creatures. If you’re really brave, take your tent and do the zoo. 011 646 2000

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Left your holiday plans until the last possible moment? Don’t fret, says travel journo Seth Wood – often the best trips happen without warning.

We spend the entire year dreaming of an end-of-year holiday where we’ll get away from it all, and then we flock to precisely the same holiday town as everyone else

YEAR IN, YEAR OUT, countless eager vacationers moan about one thing: being stuck among other holidaymakers. It’s like a self-hate ritual, a ceaseless hamster wheel that clues us in on one annoying aspect of human nature: the herd instinct. We spend the entire year dreaming of an end-of-year holiday where we’ll get away from it all, and then we flock, with lemming-like obstinacy, to precisely the same beach, holiday town, resort or not-sotranquil former paradise as everyone else. Which is exactly why an unplanned, spontaneous holiday can mean vacation redemption.




Tips for more spontaneous travel

Chances are, if you’ve left your holiday plans really late, you’re pretty flexible about where to go. That’s good news ‘On your marks…’ A call in the middle of the night has me fumbling in the dark for my phone. It’s my New York-based editor who, as always, conveniently ignores time-zone differences and persistently calls when I’m asleep. Then her desperate voice pleading with me to fly to Ireland as soon as possible. Another writer’s gone AWOL and entire chapters are missing. Can I get there in a hurry and complete the assignment so the book can be published on schedule? As a so-called ‘parachute writer’, this was my speciality: going deep into unknown territory, experiencing it in depth and detail, gathering insider intelligence, and spilling the beans on the best the destination has to offer. For better or worse, I just could never say no, and the more limited my planning time, the more likely I was to see the assignment as an adventure, experiencing it as a series

of spontaneous discoveries. What’s the worst that can happen?

‘…get set…’ Of course, not everyone gets told where to go. If the queries I’ve fielded are any indication, one of our chief anxieties centres on our choice of destination. Chances are, if you’ve left your holiday plans really late, you’re pretty flexible about where to go. That’s good news. No point suddenly developing stubborn insistence on a popular destination. You could have sealed that deal months ago, just like the know-it-alls and overplanners did. In lieu of that, why not give yourself a surprise for Christmas? Take a chance on a trip that’s less about the destination and all about the journey. Sure, you’ll probably arrive somewhere eventually, but the adventurer in you takes comfort in not worrying too much about where the journey ends.

LAST-MINUTE doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. In fact, it’s often budgetary considerations that cause most of us to try planning ahead. Rather than limiting your experience by looking at the bottom line, make spontaneity your priority. Keep off the beaten track. Think about all the most obvious holiday destinations – the places your friends are boasting about – and then make it your mission to look elsewhere. Where are people not going this Christmas? Go there. Rebel against mainstream wisdom and marketing hype, and there’s far less chance of getting caught in the stampede. Keep away from tourist enclaves. The planners have zapped the best hotel deals and now they’re clogging the streets of the tourist hotspots. Exactly what you don’t want on an unplanned holiday, so head elsewhere. Keep calm. Don’t make too many, if any, plans in advance. The idea is to escape the daily drudgery of being ruled by routines and schedules. If you make plans, you suddenly have a time-based commitment, and that undermines spontaneity. Keep an open mind. Not liking a place can be just as enlightening as having a rollicking time; it all comes down to attitude. Going in with an open mind, without expectations to impede the gathering of new information, will keep the adventure earnest. Travel tells you as much



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Keep it local and fresh. Pick venues with character and homegrown style over chains that offer familiarity

It takes a special kind of bravery just to set off and see what happens along the way. But brave vacations are great adventures: you travel without expectations. And not knowing what to expect opens you up to many more possibilities than working to a fixed schedule.

‘…go!’ Recently, with two weeks in hand, I ended up driving around northern Arizona and Utah, knowing only that I wanted to see the Grand Canyon and hopefully catch Mormons in their natural habitat. Who knew I’d be travelling Route 66, walking across vast pools of petrified lava, and leaning over counters that served coffee at breakfast and turned into bustling bars at night? Occasionally, I’d make rapid-fire decisions based on the name on the signpost. Curiosity alone made me turn into ‘Goblin Valley State Park’, where

about yourself as it does about the place you’re visiting; strange and difficult destinations that take us out of our comfort zones can teach us a lot about ourselves. The trick is to be open to new experiences. Keep experimenting. Do the unexpected. Pick out-of-the-box activities and opt for experiences you normally wouldn’t consider. Keep it local and fresh. Pick venues with character and homegrown style over chains that offer familiarity. This goes for coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, anything. If you want insight into local culture, use products and services developed by local people. Opting for known brands is a form of planning; rather choose from outside your usual frame of reference. Keep learning. There’s a reason why prisoners earn university degrees – they’ve unexpectedly got time on their hands. Keen to skydive? Aching to kitesurf? Curious about yoga? Use your unplanned vacation time to pursue an activity you must travel for, whether it’s scuba-diving or volunteering in the Amazon. Finally you have time off and no competing plans, so execute that dream you’ve been putting off. Keep track of reality. Although you don’t want to be ruled by schedules, think rationally about the amount of time available to you. If you have a week, don’t start planning a trip to Alaska; getting there and back alone will chew up your entire holiday. Remember to factor in admin: visa applications don’t exactly scream spontaneity. DECEMBER 2013


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I gawked at rock formations that really did look like mythical creatures moulded from stone. I’d booked my rental car online at the airport while waiting for my flight, and each day took chances with random roadside motels. It wasn’t always perfect, but on the few occasions I did get lost, I revelled in the knowledge that I’d actually found someplace else.

Are we there yet? Ask yourself only one question: ‘North, east, south or west?’ Better still, just set off in whatever direction the wind

takes you. We’re so compulsively tuned into a scheduled, goal-oriented way of life that we’ve forgotten how to how to play it by ear. Yet isn’t that what holidays should be about? If the sensation of leaving without an agenda seems weird, perhaps filling you with dread and unease, it’s because our lives are fundamentally over-planned, hectically structured, scheduled and diarised. That sensation you feel when you travel without plans is the taste of freedom, release from the tyranny of knowing how every moment will be spent.

Since nobody ever talks about Lesotho beyond the occasional ski trip, curiosity alone should have us clambering to get there

The road less travelled… ROUTE 62. It’s not quite a bustling highway, but it does boast the world’s longest wine route. The real thrill, though – besides the fact that it’s scenically absorbing – is the line-up of offbeat and unlikely destinations that it leads to. All along are small towns, roadside diners, detours to who-knows-where. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of them – that’s reason enough to stop and explore. Karoo. Play join-the-dots as you investigate dorpies unshackled from the mainstream. They may lack malls, high-street hangouts and anything resembling conventional nightlife, but as you start to delve, you’ll discover cultural curiosities that make their people tick to their own beat. Plus there’s unexamined history, exhilarating quiet and yet another adventure lurking in just about every direction. Kalahari. Rewire your understanding of long-distance, by road-tripping to the back of beyond. Conventional wisdom dictates that the farther you are from civilisation, the more consideration you should give to your own survival. That’s true of this remote, arid and beautifully desolate corner of the country that sees little traffic. Lesotho. Since nobody ever talks about it beyond the occasional ski trip, curiosity alone should have us clambering to get there. An entire country engulfed by our own, and yet precious few South Africans make the effort to get there. What’s to plan? It’s waiting.



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Four wheels move the body.

It’s not just the petrol price that is driving people towards two-wheeled modes of transport. Dave Fall revs his steed and finds out where the road can take him.

THINK ABOUT motorcycle subculture and most people will whisper in hallowed tones about the infamous Hell’s Angels. Or they’ll conjure up images of other types of rowdies sporting graphic body art and wearing piss-pot crash helmets (if one at all), stud-encrusted leather jackets, bandanas and oil-stained blue jeans, with their individual club colours proudly emblazoned on their backs, collectively molesting the women folk, ransacking bars and perhaps, at a stretch, even taking over a small town. The late Marlon Brando has a lot to answer for, even 60 years on from






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If you ride in Cape Town’s mostly gridlocked central areas during weekday rush hour, you’re a modernday hero

his portrayal of rebel bike gang leader Johnny Strabler in 1953’s The Wild One. But it wasn’t all bad news; sales of leather jackets and blue jeans rocketed after the movie hit bioscopes. Interestingly, throughout his life Brando really was a biker at heart, having been expelled from high school at the ripe old age of 16 because he decided to ride his Triumph Thunderbird through the corridors after school.

Easy rider Seriously though, times have changed. Is the general public today quite as gullible as they are purported to have been all those years ago? I don’t think so. Taken in the South African context, today’s motorcyclist is a far more responsible individual – ultra-streetwise, if you like. Good grief, if you ride in Cape Town’s mostly gridlocked central areas during weekday rush hour, you’re a modern-day



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hero in your own right. All our major cities – Joburg, Pretoria and Durban – are ready and waiting for when you’ve got your licence, assuming you’ve honed the defensive prowess each and every South African motorcyclist needs to survive the crazy antics of fellow motorists driving in their tin boxes. Today, cruiser motorcyclists tend to be mostly easy-going types getting from A to B on Harley-Davidson or Victory bikes, or perhaps those from the East, such as Suzuki Intruders, Kawasaki Classics, Yamaha Drag Stars or Honda Shadows.

Speed freak For those looking for a little more of an adrenaline kick, there are the superbikes, which quite rightly have their place on

South African highways and byways. Just about every global brand of speed machine is well represented locally, from Aprilia and Yamaha to Triumph and MV Agusta. However, in South Africa, BMW (as in many other countries) takes the lion’s share in new and secondhand sales, also claiming arguably the biggest enthusiast clubs. (Check out for more info.)

Alas, our busy roads and the indifferent levels of driving ability displayed by those in charge of four-wheelers (often observed with mobile phones glued to their ears while negotiating tricky corners and changing lanes) mean the speed-freak motorcyclist is forced to seek out ‘track days’ at various race circuits near the major cities: Killarney in Cape Town; Kyalami in Gauteng; Phakisa in the Free State; and Swartkops near Pretoria. It’s really the safest way to go, while not having to worry about pedestrians or speed-humps. (Contact Motorsport SA, 011 466 2440 for more info.)

Take me anywhere

In South Africa the largest motorcycling sector of all revolves around adventure motorcycling

Arguably, though, in South Africa the largest motorcycling sector of all revolves around adventure motorcycling – equally divided between softcore but nevertheless intrepid off-road riders (Honda TransAlp, Suzuki V-Strom and Kawasaki KLR, for example) and the hardcore types on their top-selling BMW 1200GSs and KTM mounts. Bikes like these enable the riders to go virtually anywhere, anytime … and so they do.



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Riding two-by-two Motorcycling is kind of a social thing, and there’s no shortage of clubs to cater to your ride. Motorcyclists SA ( has a pretty exhaustive list of such clubs. Got a golden oldie? No problem, there are classic clubs for you, the details of which can be found via the Historic Motorcycle

Museum in Deneysville (016 371 1115). The major clubs even keep useful spares, and there’s always a bloke who knows a bloke… There are also various rallies held through the year across the country. Here the stereotype generally holds true: fast ride to the venue, sometimes in packs, lots of noise (caused by either the rider or the bike), as much liquor as a human can drink, and a few days of complete inhibition. The Nomads Motorcycle Club (www.nomads., founded in 1966, hosts a number of such rallies, and is a good resource for finding these too. One major historical event on the calendar is the DJ Run (www.djrun. from Durban to

Only bikers understand why dogs love to stick their heads out car windows.




You haven’t lived until you’ve ridden the triangular route taking in White River, Hazyview, Graskop and Lydenberg

Johannesburg, held under the auspices of the SA Vintage and Veteran Association, which this year saw its centennial run. For those keen on a little less mayhem, there’s even a motorcycle club called Ulysses (043 735 3556) exclusively for the older generation, where participants arrive on their bikes at a pretty leisurely pace. I attended one such event some years back, where, instead of the sound of doughnuts being performed at 3am, all that could be heard was the gentle snoring of contented souls.

Where your wheels take you South Africa is blessed with some of the greatest motorcycling routes in the world. The Western Cape is surely biker weekend heaven. Start with Chapman’s Peak Drive on Friday evening for sunset; cruise out along Clarence Drive R44 through Gordon’s Bay, Rooiels, Betty’s



Bay, Kleinmond and on to Hermanus to eyeball whales on Saturday; and then Franschhoek Pass R45, Bainskloof Pass R303 and Mitchell’s Pass R46 (Ceres) on Sunday. Finer routes than these you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Mpumalanga runs a close second, and you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden the triangular route taking in White River, Hazyview, Graskop and Lydenberg, stopping along the way to admire the Three Rondawels, God’s Window, Lisbon Falls, and the legendary and exhilarating Long Tom Pass. Yes, there are potholes and rather large trucks to be found en route, but as with all things in life, anything worth doing has its challenges. Perhaps the final word about motorcycle culture should be left to Brando’s Johnny. When asked, ‘What are you rebelling against?’ Johnny replies simply, ‘Whaddya got?’


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Hit the ground When you fall for trail running, says Keith Bain, prepare to fall hard. RYAN SANDES probably clocks more miles on a standard race day than most people will willingly run in their entire lives. The nimble Capetonian has a talent for finishing ultra (meaning: extremely long and tough) trail marathons in record times. What sets him apart as an elite athlete is his iron will, bestowing endurance that enables him to carry on running when most ordinary people would fall apart. Although he’s travelled to every continent on the planet to compete on some of the world’s most challenging trails, Cape Town’s mountains are his office. Living in Hout Bay gives him easy access to plentiful off-road terrain, and it’s here that he’ll disappear on training runs lasting seven or eight hours.





His regular running regime is not only to maintain his body’s competitive edge, but also gives him a chance to get away from it all, commune with nature, actively meditate, and play in surrounds that inspire him. It was during one such training session that he dreamed up the idea for a new kind of trail race – something to put an invigorating spin on what is already among the planet’s fastest-growing sports. Since trail running sees competitors disappearing into the mountains for protracted periods, it’s not the easiest sport to get spectators to show up for. So he imagined a race format that would challenge this, bringing a crowd to the start line by turning Lion’s Head into a sprint.

Since trail running sees competitors disappearing into the mountains for protracted periods, it’s not the easiest sport to get spectators to show up for




pictures: craig kolesky/nikon/red bull content pool, nick muzik/red bull content pool

Running on instinct

As much as he’s an advocate for the competitive side of what he does professionally, Ryan Sandes believes trail running’s soul is fuelled by enjoyment. And, like many trail enthusiasts, he believes we’re genetically wired and physically designed for running. ‘It’s a human thing to run,’ Ryan says, and not only does he believe we’re built for it, but that it’s also among the purest of human activities, recalling theories that link our ancient ancestors’ evolution to their ability to chase after prey. As pack hunters, their special skill was to outrun animals that would supply protein to their diet, leading to accelerated evolutionary brain development. We became human because we ran. And when hungry carnivores came after us, running ensured survival. Theory, perhaps, but it makes sense. Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run (an essential read for anyone interested in understanding why we run), says we take to the trails during times of crisis. Immediately after the September 11 attacks in New York, trail running became the fastest-growing outdoor sport in the USA. Christopher believes it’s a reaction linked to our primal survival impulse, triggered in the human psyche when we experience threat. Today, though, trail runners seem more inclined to be escaping the rat race than any physical danger. For those of us who’ve discovered this type of free running, it feels good and it feels right. It’s a way of discovering the world on your own two feet, and a great way to mix physical exertion with off-grid sightseeing and exploration, while getting away from the traffic jams, the shopping malls, the lunches and dinners, and late-night drinking sessions. It’s a refreshing, invigorating detox that your body will welcome this summer.

At the starting lion And so it is that one fine, sundrenched morning, some 200 fit and not-so-fit trail runners gather at the start of the second annual Red Bull Lion Heart. For a likeminded fraternity, it looks very much like a mixed bunch: world-class local champions AJ Calitz and Landie Greyling (who each go on to win their respective finals); character athletes like Steve Newman (aka the Naked Skydiver, who’s running in nothing but shoes and a tactically placed red plastic rhino horn); and enthusiasts like myself who found the sport by accident and instantly became addicted. And there’s Ryan himself, who knows he’s better geared for 160km, but looks keen on this considerably shorter distance. What’s evident at the start, where buoyant, expectant runners are being corralled for individual time trials, is that these are healthy, well-nourished athletes. The skinny, sometimes haggard, worn-out look of marathon runners isn’t here. Trail runners train hard, but when they do, it’s like they’re off on an adventure; they’ll take food and hydration with them, and along the way soak up lots of fresh, clean air, absorbing beautiful scenes that nourish the soul and stimulate the mind.



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Often you’re on the edge, where missteps can lead to long tumbles

Watch your step Of course, sightseeing in nature is a little more difficult when you’re putting pace up Lion’s Head, and there’s more to trail running than having an adventurous spirit and a fondness for steep inclines. Trails are a vast departure from road running. On far longer routes than Lion’s Head’s intro-size 3-4km, runners might carry GPS equipment or need to study maps at the start. Negotiating dirt tracks requires alert, busy eyes. You’ve constantly got to gauge the surface, steering clear of natural obstacles and hazards while flying along at high speed. Often you’re on the edge, where missteps can lead to long tumbles, plus there’s scrambling and jumping over rocks or getting across water, transforming a run into robust adventure. More punishing routes demand you carry a survival kit. You never know when you might get lost or even waylaid by wild animals. Although narrow tracks require concentration, the most likely mishap is

being distracted by your surroundings; the terrain is inevitably mood-altering. That’s the thing that has so many of us addicted: once our bodies and legs have accepted the physical demands, it feels like the most natural and invigorating thing in the world to run. After the flat mundanity of road running, topographic variation staves off boredom, the landscape fuelling both body and mind.

What goes up must come down The shorter Lion Heart format, though, demands little more than turning up in a pair of shoes. Testing technical ability at high speed, it starts with an audition: individual time trials that send us racing the clock on a quick 3.5km circuit to sift the best from the rest. Once most of us have fallen out, the remaining contenders face off in knockout heats that go all the way to the summit and back, an exhilarating lung-buster requiring sustained stamina after the initial steep incline that manages to

Fleet of foot

One might assume Ryan Sandes has some special technique to keep himself going, but he says he prefers not to overanalyse his running style. ‘Some people say it looks a bit strange,’ he says, ‘but it works, so why overthink it?’ Unorthodox or not, his shoecushioned feet at times tread so lightly he seems almost not to touch the ground at all. On the rocks, between sections where metal chains and footholds are in place to help hikers with sheer vertical climbs, he moves with the agility of Spiderman. It’s precision and confidence that come with hundreds of hours of training. He virtually floats up and over the rocks like they’re mapped out in his mind’s eye. Of course, that’s my amateur observation. Sports scientist Professor Tim Noakes says that although Ryan’s ‘very light on his feet and very springy’, his style is in fact no more economical than other runners. Ryan says his preference is to do what feels good, experimenting here and there rather than following trends such as minimalist running. ‘Do what comes naturally,’ is his credo. There’s more to trail running than technique and equipment – his is a love for getting out there and discovering. And if you ask Lion Heart champion AJ Calitz how to prepare for running on trails, he’ll smile and tell you simply to put on a pair of trail shoes and head for the hills.



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Trailing off

challenge even hikers. The final rounds include rock-scrambling and chainassisted climbing, and – of course – choice views that remind you just how fortunate you are to be alive. Plus, as all trail runners like to remind themselves at the start of a

race, there’s the reassuring knowledge that what goes up must come down. Could there be any better way to tame a lion? Cape Town’s Red Bull Lion Heart happens each year in November;

We suppose you’re expecting some sort of running gag here…

Trail-running races come in all shapes and sizes. They happen on mountains, through wine estates, across farms and all kinds of wild terrain. Big ones include legendary coast-hugging events such as the Otter African Trail Run, and humbling dry-terrain kneekillers like the Augrabies Kalahari Extreme Marathon, which involves seven blistering days and cold nights in the desert. There are team events, relays, and multi-day self-sufficient stage races where you need to carry supplies and overnight gear. Now in its sixth season, the Cape Summer Trail Series, over January and February, offers among the best entry-level events, with the option of longer (12-15km) or shorter runs (5-8km), and a couple of extra-long races (25-35km) for harder, more experienced runners. There are similar events in Gauteng and KZN, and a Winter Series, too. For heaps more races check out, but the truly great thing about trail running is that you don’t need a finish line to motivate you – just a pair of legs and human instinct.



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There’s méthode in the madness There’s probably as much proof that a monk named Dom Perignon invented champagne as there is for the existence of Santa Claus. And yet the name-dropping mystique of bubbleinfused wine endures. Keith Bain infiltrated a few local cellars to find out why.

CHAMPAGNE. Sparkling wine. Bubbly. MCC ... Whatever you call it, and whether it’s been CO2 depth-charged by factory-sized SodaStream machines or left to ferment in the armpits of virgins, it has seized imaginations as our celebration drink of choice. Bubbly’s irresistible alchemy transcends even the half-magic of fermentation, adding popping corks and dancing bubbles to the party. Associations with celebration were always tactical. From the late-1600s, when production was being perfected, producers deliberately linked their beverage with luxury and the elite, festivities, and important rites of passage, including anointments of French kings.



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RIDDLE ME THIS Bottles on the traditional riddling racks at JC Le Roux are turned by hand to get the dead yeast cells and other sediment into the neck.

It wasn’t always so. Although legend tells of a monk named Perignon, said to have boasted, ‘I am tasting the stars,’ upon first quaffing his invention, champagne was more likely birthed accidentally, and was initially called ‘Devil’s Wine’ because it caused bottles to explode inexplicably. Worse still, some claim English cider-makers invented it. Perignon, cellar master at a Benedictine abbey in Champagne, was probably working on ways to stop bottles from exploding. Rather than ‘inventing’ champagne, he probably worked out how to control the six bars of pressure that built up in the bottle. His solutions included thicker glass and wire collars to hold the corks in. Fast-forward, and today Champagne holds exclusive naming rights to their product, which is why, since 1992, South African winemakers have called their traditionally styled bubbly ‘Méthode Cap

Classique’. Like Italian spumante, Spanish cava, German sekt, and mousseux or crémant from French regions outside Champagne, MCC is a regional approximation of ‘Méthode Champenois’.

Le production line Romantics may believe champagne is made from the tears of angels, but it’s as much the result of cellar process as all wine is. The main difference is that champagne undergoes two fermentations – first in barrels, then in the bottle. The latter is when CO2 is trapped in the wine, imbuing it with bubbles. At the House of JC Le Roux in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley, a brief tour gives visitors a glimpse at key moments in this production cycle. Base wine, fermented at a nearby cellar, is brought to the production facility for one of two processes. Either it’s impregnated with CO2 to produce a kind of instantaneous bubbly

(‘carbonated wine’), or it undergoes a second fermentation, resulting in MCC. A mixture of sugar and yeast (liqueur de triage) is added to kick-start secondary fermentation, which happens in the bottle and lasts around eight weeks; during this time, yeast converts sugar to alcohol, producing CO2 as a by-product. Unable to escape, the gas dissolves into the wine, and voila! Bubbles! After fermentation, the bottles undergo riddling (or remuage). Stored upsidedown at an angle, they’re turned slightly every day, either by hand or machine; this causes sediment and dead yeast cells (or lees) to accumulate in the neck. Vitally, contact between ageing wine and lees during riddling imparts essential champagne taste characteristics. Generally, the longer the wine is left on its lees, the more perceptible these effects. After years of riddling (at least one year in South Africa), bottles go for disgorging.




On something resembling a space-age milking machine, the upside-down bottles are dipped into a bath of supercoolant, flash-freezing the dead yeast and some of the wine. As the bottle’s crown cap is mechanically removed, pressure displaces the frozen sediment and 5% of the wine. This is replaced with a secret mixture – the dosage or liqueur d’expedition – prepared by the winemaker, which determines the bubbly’s style and sweetness. Typically consisting of wine and sugar, brandy, cognac or even crème de cassis is used by some producers for dosage. Finally, the cork is inserted after one end is machine-squeezed to produce that distinct mushroom shape. A period of ‘bottle shock’ follows, during which the final MCC is allowed to rest before being washed, labelled and sent out into the world. Check out for more info.

YOU WEARING A WIRE? Towards the end of the production line, a wire collar is machine-fixed over the cork to make sure it stays in, despite internal pressure.

Finding the ‘sweet spot’: Genevieve ‘What other wine makes a noise when you open it? It’s saying “Come hither … let’s do something!”’ As sparkly and vivacious as any great champagne, Melissa Nelson is a former pilot. Captivated since childhood by the special sensation of opening a bottle of bubbly, she made a radical transition a few years ago to winemaking. ‘I wanted to capture that atmosphere, that feeling that only opening a bottle of bubbly can bring. For me, bubbly captures Christmas time with Granny. She wouldn’t let us open presents before opening the JC Le Roux.’ Melissa wanted to make an approachable MCC that captured the sense of similarly special moments. The result is Genevieve, a small-scale MCC made from 16 tonnes of Chardonnay grapes grown on Bot River’s Van der Stel Pass. Her virgin vintage, in 2008, produced merely 5 500 bottles.

Q&A with Mr Bubbles In Wellington, the postage stamp-size vineyard at Klein Optenhorst is tended by just three people: owners Naas and Jenny Ferreira; and their gardener. Several years back they began experimenting with wine. Then, the country’s leading MCC winemaker, Pieter Ferreira, suggested they let him turn their tiny Pinot Noir harvest into a boutique bubbly. Their 2009 maiden vintage consisted of 1 592 bottles. Their current vintage yielded 988 bottles and is among the most delicious things you will ever put in your mouth. We asked Pieter to explain how he earned his nickname ‘Bubbles’. How did you become SA’s MCC fundi? ‘Years of hard work. I started making wine with Achim von Arnim in 1984; his was the first specialist Cape cellar focusing on Cap Classique, producing Pierre Jourdan MCC. I also travelled to Champagne, where I worked for a few vintages – at Mumm, Krug, Moët & Chandon and Georges Vesselle. In 1990 I joined Graham Beck Wines, and we developed a specialist MCC cellar. Today our bubbly is enjoyed by presidents and royalty around the world. I’m still searching for the perfect bubble.’ What’s the secret of a great MCC? ‘Winemakers are windgat braggers. We all talk roughly the same BS. We all claim to use the best presses, the best stainless steel cooling tanks, the best wooden barrels.




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Whatever! For me, what distinguishes a great MCC from a lesser one is how grapes are handled between harvesting and reaching juice form. This is crucial for bubble size and final quality.’ What myths need dispelling? ‘Many people still think that everything sparkling is champagne. Other nonsense I’ve heard is that the bigger the bubble, the better the quality. Or that champagne and MCC cause headaches at weddings … nonsense! Everyone tops up with G&Ts, brandy and coke, beers and shooters while waiting for the bride and groom – all before the speeches. It’s ridiculous to blame the bubbles!’ What’s the biggest mistake you can make during production? ‘To go surfing on your busiest harvest day. Seriously, though, a lack of attention to detail can cost you dearly. The sloppy approach of manyana manyana or hakuna mathata by many winemakers results in serious mistakes and missed opportunities.’

IT’S DRY, BUT… Melissa Nelson’s Genevieve is the kind of MCC you can open any time of the day.

‘That vintage was looked after by angels,’ says Melissa. ‘It was phenomenal enough to make me carry on.’ Now up to 10 000 bottles, she’s far from big enough to have her own cellar, so she rents facilities in Paarl. What she has is a loved vineyard, cultivated by her viticulturist partner, Leon Engelke. Leon says the secret to a great bubbly is harvesting at the right moment. This may sound like a simple case of getting the grapes off the vines when they’re ripe, but the key is harvesting when the grapes’ sugar is optimal. ‘Bubbly is made from the first grapes of the season; they’re the greenest grapes of any wine.

So the trick is determining when the “sweet spot” is.’ Which requires science, luck and – ultimately – gut feel. And each year differs from the last, subject to the vagaries of weather and rainfall. If you’re a small winemaker, you’ve invested everything you have in that one batch. You need to have a lot of faith and conviction in what you’re doing. ‘You only get one chance per harvest,’ says Leon, ‘and you must make the best of it. Once you’ve crushed your grapes and bottled your wine, that’s it.’ Melissa says it does get easier, and each year she learns something new. ‘People ask when I’m going to make

What happens when you open a bottle of bubbly? ‘Pure bliss! It’s the only wine involving all your senses. You literally hear the excitement in the beads of bubbles. Then you see the lively crown rising from virtually nowhere in the glass, and when the bubbles break the surface, they explode into a magical array of beautiful aromas, followed by all those textures and flavours as you taste.’ For more info, check out and




another style of bubbly, but I haven’t perfected this one yet. It’s great, but I know I can make it even better. I know that one year I’ll pick it at the perfect time, with perfect weather. All the elements will align. Until then, I’m going to keep perfecting Genevieve.’ For more info check out

The revolutionary: Vondeling Matthew Copeland has been making wine since 1996, and heads up the vineyards at Vondeling, on the Wellington side of Paardeberg Mountain. The estate is in a lush, cool, well-watered area; in winemaking terms, it’s still too warm for traditional champagne-style grapes. ‘I love sparkling wine, and always wanted to make one,’ says Matthew. ‘I love this area, but it isn’t MCC territory.’ Then Matthew caught wind of a little-known process called méthode

YOU FEEL ME? Matthew Copeland says there’s a lot of gut feeling in knowing when his méthode ancestrale bubbly is ready.

ancestrale, a way of capturing the bubbles in the bottle using single fermentation. ‘What I’m doing isn’t MCC, or sparkling wine,’ he explains. ‘It’s the original method by which champagne was made – the “ancient” method. With MCC, you add sugar and yeast to start a second fermentation process and create your bubbles. This method is riskier. I put half-fermented grape juice in the bottle and then wait.’ Matthew explains the complex alchemy in simple terms. Yeast consumes the sugar, converting it to alcohol. This fermenting yeast produces CO2, which causes pressure to build as the sugar level simultaneously drops. The trick is to ensure that there’s just enough sugar so that when the pressure kills off all the yeast, the wine is in the style he wants, whether dry or not. ‘That’s exceptionally difficult to monitor,’ says Matthew, ‘and my window

of opportunity is tiny. During bottle fermentation, it may, at 2am, suddenly be ready.’ But the risk is exciting, because it’s enabled Matthew to produce a top-level bubbly from grapes grown in a warm area. ‘Because I ferment only once, I’m able to pick the grapes when they’re far riper, so quality is potentially higher than if I made traditional MCC.’ Matthew will be disgorging his wine to remove the sediment in February, after it’s rested on its lees for a year. ‘Because méthode ancestrale is a riper, richer style of bubbly, it’s better to get it off the lees quite early, so it’s on the market quite soon.’ A brut with flavours similar to a well-aged champagne, there are only 1 200 bottles of the stuff made – all bottled by Matthew and his brother. For more info check out

YOU’VE BEEN WARMED Vondeling’s vineyards are not in a traditional bubbly-making climate, but they still produced the goods.




Distinguishing Cap Classique from Méthode SodaStream SCIENTIST BILL LEMBECK measured around 49-million bubbles in a 750ml bottle of champagne. Champagne and MCC, as opposed to carbonated wines, get their bubbles through a double*fermentation process: once in barrels and again in the bottle. This traditional method (aka Méthode Champenoise) creates a finer, longer-lasting bubble than is achieved by instantly impregnating wine with CO2. Although we’d all love to think we know the difference between cheap and proper bubbly, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal once proved that most people don’t. He took a bottle of cheap wine, carbonated it in a SodaStream machine, and palmed it off on unsuspecting people on the streets of London. At least half his human lab rats were deceived, believing it was a genuine champagne. Don’t be fooled: carbonated bubbly produces much larger, coarser bubbles. ‘Visually, the traits of a good champagne or MCC include perfect, long chains – called collerettes – of very tiny bubbles rising from the bottom,’ says winemaker Matthew Copeland. ‘That means full integration, high pressure and good pH.’

I’VE HAD MY FILL At Vondeling, there’s not much in the way way of high-tech.

A BARREL OF FUN When it’s all said and done, then the waiting begins.

Pop quiz

FEW THINGS are more feared at New Year’s Eve than being splattered by cheap, sweet bubbly. Come midnight, there’s inevitably some clot who feels compelled to shake the bottle, pop the cork and douse the dance floor with sticky wine. Unless you’re a Formula One winner, champagne etiquette (not to mention common sense) dictates against hosing your friends with bubbly. It’s not only wasteful and messy, but since pressure in champagne bottles is approximately three times that of a car tyre, unleashing the cork indiscriminately is pretty dangerous. Champagne corks reach an average velocity of 64km/h; the longest recorded champagne cork flight was 54m, and incidents of cork-related eye damage are so prevalent that last year the American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a warning: ‘Champagne cork mishaps can lead to a variety of serious eye injuries, including rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and damage to the eye’s bone structure.’ A loud, explosive pop isn’t the desired effect when uncorking a bottle of bubbly. Rather, say experts, aim for a muted thud, achieved by gently twisting the cork loose, preferably while holding a cloth over the entire cork. Safety needn’t be your only consideration: while the bubbles are visually gripping and carry alcohol into the bloodstream faster, they’re also responsible for releasing flavours and aromas. When opening the bottle with a bang, bubbles are lost, along with a lot of other good stuff. Bottle pressure can be reduced by chilling, and drinking from tall, narrow flutes also helps to reduce bubble loss. Similarly, swirling champagne is another no-no, as it causes bubbles to burst. ‘Store your bubbly in a cool, well-ventilated place, and store upright away from vibrations,’ says JC Le Roux’s Gerhard Claassens. ‘Treat your bottle of bubbly the way you’d treat your child. Remember, it’s a pressurised product. By the time you get it, it’s been through quite a journey and had a rough life. If you’re going to slap it against walls or put it in the freezer, you’re looking for trouble. To chill, use an ice bucket with lots of ice and a teaspoon of salt for an hour before serving.’



Introducing the Mitsubishi Ninja Mitsubishi Forklifts and their local southern African dealer, Masslift Africa (Pty) Ltd, are proud to announce the introduction of a new low-cost, high-quality internal combustion forklift called the Classic Diamond, better known as the Mitsubishi Ninja. Masslift Africa has teamed up with for the launch of the Ninja and has decided to support the Smile Foundation, a charity that is actively involved with. For every Ninja bought through the special advertised in the khuluma magazine, R5 000 will be donated to the Smile Foundation, and the buyer will receive two free flights on ‘Go Green with Mitsubishi and’ is the apt slogan that has been chosen, considering both companies’ commitment to fuel efficiency, and the wellknown colour of both brands. The Ninja will be available in 2.5 and 3ton diesel and petrol/LP gas models. It has an identical powertrain (transmission, front and rear axle, and mast) to the current Mitsubishi premium Grendia range. The Ninja has the award-winning S4S, Tier 2 engine, which boasts very high power output and the best fuel consumption on the market. The quality manufacturing and parts allow Mitsubishi to provide 500-hour service intervals, increasing up-time and decreasing service costs. A larger counterweight opening helps to improve the heat balancing, which is ideal for hot climates such as Southern Africa. A distinguishing feature of the Ninja is that it has minimal electronics making it simple and robust, as well as substantially cheaper to manufacture than other major brands, while maintaining the reliability that is associated with the Mitsubishi brand. Geoff Tucker, who has over 30 years’ experience in the forklift industry and is CEO of Masslift Africa, says ‘It almost seems like Mitsubishi built a forklift specifically for Africa. It is a high quality, robust product, with minimal electronics. Plus, it saves the consumer money over the life of the forklift with fuel consumption being anything from 0.4- and

1.6-litres per hour lighter than other makes. With climbing diesel prices, this could save approximately R100 a day. The Tier 2 compliant engine is in line with the majority of the other top brands and durable even using the inferior diesel often found in Africa. It is not often that you get an opportunity to sell the most reliable product on the market at considerably less than the other top brands.’ The Ninja arrived in South Africa in June and Masslift CLASIDIA Africa is ready to karate chop the introductory pricing, so Classic Diamond look out for some incredible specials! MAIN FEATURES OF THE NEW MITSUBISHI NINJA • Robust (Japanese powertrain) • Reliable (Mitsubishi quality) • Resale value (50% – five years/5 000 hours buyback) • Reduced cost of ownership (2.1-litres per hour fuel consumption and 500 hour service intervals) • Ridiculously cheap (see our opening specials)

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pictures: dave fall

It seems 2014 will go down in Harley-Davidson’s 110-year history as one of the greatest yet. Dave Fall gets to grips with one of its more unusual offerings. AS A TODDLER I well remember rushing around everywhere on my tricycle, so it was a distinct case of déjà vu when riding the Harley Tri Glide at the Project Rushmore South African launch in Mpumalanga. Fitted with a 1 690cc V-twin motor and linked brakes that provide 30% more response, with oodles of chrome and glorious paintwork everywhere, the Tri Glide makes the yearning to travel from A to B just as strong as it was all those years ago.

What’s the rush? Project Rushmore is a four-year strategy plan implemented as a direct result of feedback

collected from the Harley-Davidson riders across the globe. It’s finally reached fruition, offering fresh, front-to-back styling alongside radical water-cooled engines on some models. Sportsters, Dynas, Softails, V-Rods, CVOs, Tourers and Trikes are all magical names in the celebrated Harley-Davidson range for 2014, with a whopping total of 30 models, 10 of which are entirely new in this, the company’s 110th year of manufacture. Good heavens, even the Pope got into the swing of the Harley-Davidson birthday celebrations by blessing thousands of mounted bikers in St Peter’s Square, in Rome, just a few months ago.




Trike, and trike again Riding any bike is all about inspiring the rider to new heights. Sure, there’s a learning curve in mastering the 2014 Tri Glide, but after a few short kilometres, the only curves I worried about were those found along Mpumalanga’s memorable Long Tom Pass. Incidentally, this trike is perfectly capable of keeping up with its two-wheel counterparts. Almost every visible element has been restyled, including the wheels, bodywork, luggage compartment, instrument displays and hand controls, with the goal of improving both the look and the function of each component. Infotainment features big on the Tri Glide, and it’s very car-like in essence, with the intuitive colour-screen Boom!™ Box system putting all the information you might need directly in front of you, combining quality audio, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, text-to-speech technology and GPS navigation, with support for intercom and CB communications, in one single package. The 2014 Harley-Davidson range starts at R95 600 for the XL883N, rising to R425 450 for the top-of-the-range CVO Ultra Limited. The Tri Glide Ultra Classic ticket price is R409 950. ■





Autopilot The days of actually having to drive yourself everywhere may be numbered, as Mercedes-Benz claims to have built the first fully autonomous car. The S500 Intelligent Drive was able to drive almost 100km on its own, handling traffic, intersections and traffic circles. It’s not 100% perfect yet, however, as an engineer had to take over manually a few times.



Tri Glide Ultra Classic specifications Engine:

Twin-cooled high-output twin-cam 103 powertrain (1 690cc) Torque: 138Nm @ 3 750rpm Dimensions: Length 2 670mm, Seat height 720mm Fuel capacity: 22.7 litres Dry weight: 545kg Brakes: Hydraulically linked braking system linking rear brake to front tyre (but not front tyre to rear), plus foot-operated parking brake Tyres: Front 16”, rear 15” Colours: Full range/two-tones/customised





Faster than a speeding bullet No, it’s not Superman, but rather the SSC Bloodhound – for all intents and purposes a supersonic rocket on four wheels. This vehicle will attempt to break the 1 000mph barrier when it starts testing in 2014. So why should you care? Because the Bloodhound SSC’s record-attempting run will take place on local turf, in the Northern Cape.


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CARS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF Move over, mainstream motoring brands. Check out five of the coolest cars you’ve never heard of.


Noble M600

This British sports-car manufacturer specialises in powerful vehicles, with the aim of taking on the more established prestigious brands. The M600 is its latest creation and, while it doesn’t look that exciting, it promises blistering performance from its Yamaha-sourced twin turbo V8. If there’s a car that epitomises the word ‘brutal’, it’s this one.


Ascari A10

Named after a famous racing track in Spain, the Ascari A10 is an attempt to rival highpowered Ferraris and Porsches. Not only is it seriously fast, but it’s also seriously expensive. Your £350 000 (roughly R5.8-million) gets you a bespoke, street-legal monster that Ascari claims is the fastest road-going production car around a track. Sadly, only 10 of these beasts were made.


Caparo T1

The T1 looks more like a spaceship than a car, and it behaves more like one too. Caparo claims its T1 offers performance similar to a slightly detuned Formula One car, yet is completely legal for public roads. It has 500 rampaging horses under the hood and weighs less than 500kg, consequently offering the kind of acceleration NASA astronauts experience on launch.

This company is the result of an Audi manager leaving the brand to start his own project. It’s called the Apollo and is made from numerous Audi bits. Gumpert says its Apollo has a top speed of 360km/h and offers unrivalled happiness for the price you pay. For that matter, though, I could think of plenty of other happy things to buy with $500 000 (roughly R5.1-million).


Morgan Aero Coupe

It may look like it’s from the 1950s, but don’t be fooled. Underneath that eye-catching retro body is a modern chassis and a BMW-sourced V8 engine, so you needn’t worry about reliability. Morgan has quite a cult following in the UK and its hand-built cars are collector’s items. Your £99 950 (roughly R1.6-million) gets you something rather unique, and you’re unlikely to see another on the roads.



text: david taylor; pictures: supplied


Gumpert Apollo


HEAL-ing nature

by snaring snares A group of landowners near Nelspruit is working to protect wildlife from one of man’s nastiest inventions. Dale Hes snared the story.

WHEN A BUSHPIG, normally a skittish and reclusive creature, appeared from the bush with a snare trapped around its face, there was no way the workers watching it could anticipate what it did next. The injured pig came straight up to the group, with a desperate look in its eyes, its mouth shut closed by the wire cutting into its face, almost pleading with the men either to free it or put it out of its misery. This remarkable occurrence in the Houtbosloop valley is what inspired Philip Owen and a group of landowners in three forested gorges close to Nelspruit to start HEAL – the Houtbosloop Environment Action Link. ‘We realised something had to be done about this,’ says Philip, who is based at the famous Sudwala Caves. ‘There’s an incredible variety of animals here, and many die terrible, painful deaths through snaring,’ Today, HEAL employs four rangers who patrol the Schoemanskloof, Houtbosloop and Stadsrivier valleys, searching for snares set by poachers and expertly following the subtle signs left by hunters in the dense undergrowth.

Bushwhacked Since its establishment in 2001, HEAL has discovered and removed more than 13 000 snares from these areas, which contain some of the largest patches of indigenous forest in Mpumalanga.





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ON PATROL HEAL ranger Maxwell Ngomane removes a wire loop snare in the Houtbosloop valley.

This beautiful region is home to duikers, klipspringers, bushbuck, reedbuck, bushpigs, brown hyenas, serval, porcupine, honey badgers, leopards, baboons, monkeys and the highly threatened Oribi antelope. I join two of the rangers – Maxwell Ngomane and Lazarus Lekhoane – on a rough and tough patrol close to Sudwala Caves, through the thickest bush imaginable. ‘We cover up to 5km through this type of bush every day,’ says Maxwell. ‘But I enjoy it, because I’m doing something good for the animals.’ During our twohour trek, which leaves me exhausted and torn by thorns, Maxwell and Lazarus find three wire-loop snares set between trees, close to the ground. ‘These tighten around the animals’ necks or legs. The harder they try to escape, the tighter the snare becomes,’ Maxwell explains, as he pulls the deadly cables closed.

TETNUS ALERT Snares such as these cause terrible deaths for animals.

On the front lines The area we’re patrolling is close to the Mankele community, many of whose members are unemployed and scratch out a living through subsistence farming – and poaching. ‘People sell carcasses for R20-R40 each for the bush-meat trade,’ says Philip, ‘which is peanuts, considering hunters will pay up to R7 000 to hunt a klipspringer. In many places, wildlife populations are decreasing. ‘On a few occasions, we’ve found dead animals with the bush around them completely clean from their struggles to get out of the snares. They die from starvation and dehydration, a horrible way to go.’ Philip points out that in the early days of HEAL, rangers used to find virtual minefields containing up to 50 snares. Due to the conflict between HEAL and communities, rangers can be targeted,

In the early days of HEAL, rangers used to find virtual minefields containing up to 50 snares and Maxwell was assaulted by angry hunters a few years ago. Philip himself has been at the forefront of battles with local forestry giants, who have replaced a vast proportion of natural vegetation in Mpumalanga with huge pine plantations, and are looking to further extend their empire. ‘There is so much pressure on the natural land already that we cannot afford for more to be destroyed,’ he says.




BROTHERS IN ARMS Maxwell Ngomane, Max Hartwig, Lennart Gradiska and Lazarus Lekhoane in the field.

The future HEAL manages to chug along on around R10 000 a month, through modest donations from companies such as Trans African Concessions and Sappi. It also annually calls in German volunteers to reinforce its activities. More landowners in the region are getting on board, and seeds are also being planted for an ambitious venture to establish a huge game reserve, which will cover an area almost as big as Swaziland. Extending from the N4 in Schoemanskloof all the way to Long Tom Pass in Lydenburg, the proposed 120 000ha Central Escarpment Reserve will, if all goes to plan, become one of the largest protected areas in South Africa. ‘This reserve will be unique in that it will encompass a variety of ecosystems, including the Lowveld, Middleveld and Highveld,’ Philip excitedly points out. During ongoing consultations that began in March this year, landowners who run properties that would fall within the borders of the fenced reserve have welcomed the idea. ‘There are already existing reserves in the proposed area, such as the Buffelskloof Private Nature Reserve and

the Makobulaan and Wonderkloof nature reserves,’ says Oscar Osberg, manager of the Sudwala Lodge. Oscar, who has played the lead role in developing the concept, says that in the future, the reserve could see the Big Five roaming the wilderness. ‘The absence of larger herbivores such as elephant, buffalo and antelope herds has led to areas which are wildly overgrown,’ explains Oscar. ‘The medium-term objective is to fence the entire proposed reserve area and reintroduce manageable numbers of wild game, and ultimately the Big Five.’ The need for such reserves is highlighted by figures from Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency anti-poaching ranger Themba Mazimba, who says more than 200 mammals have been poached in the past month in the Highveld region of the province alone, including 46 eland, 12 zebra, 33 kudu and seven leopards. Philip, Oscar, Themba and the HEAL rangers have made one thing clear: rhinos aren’t the only targets; all our wildlife species need protection. To find out how to support HEAL, call Philip Owen on 083 386 8907 or visit

Rhinos aren’t the only targets; all our wildlife species need protection

Fact Box

• HEAL has removed more than 13 000 snares since its establishment in 2001. • Excluding rhinos, more than 18 000 mammals are killed by poachers in South Africa every year, according to estimates from the Endangered Wildlife Trust. • If established, the proposed 120 000ha Central Escarpment Reserve will be the fourth-largest protected area in South Africa. • Sappi controls 554 000ha of planted forest in South Africa – an area larger than Denmark.



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WHEN I WAS A CHILD, Christmas was always a highly anticipated time. My sisters and I would count the ‘sleeps’ until Christmas Eve. In fact, if you’re a parent, you’ll know exactly what I mean. There’s no better way to get excited about the festive season than by having little people around who eagerly gobble up their advent-calendar chocolates every day in the countdown to the big day. But being a parent has its downsides. While children can write letters to Santa with a wish-list that’s a mile long and completely beyond the limits of reason, parents have to be frugal. We have to think of budgets, the one-gift-per-familymember rule, and the awful hangover that sets in when we realise we’ve overspent and now have to face up to the consequences. For retailers, who barely manage to cover their overheads during the rest of the year, Christmas is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The festive season accounts for 50% of their annual turnover and around 70% of their annual profitability, according to Ernst & Young retail expert Derek Engelbrecht. ‘It’s a make-or-break time for retailers,’ he says. ‘If it weren’t for the Christmas spending splurge, they wouldn’t remain profitable.’ There’s no doubt that this year has been tough for consumers (last year

Even though Santa’s hearty cry of ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ may ring a little hollow this year for retailers, who aren’t expecting major fireworks when it comes to Christmas sales, it’s still the happiest time on their calendar, declares Katherine Graham.

was, too, come to think of it, and the year before that). The usual suspects are to blame for limiting the number of shekels in your back pocket: rising fuel prices, higher electricity and food costs, a poor rand-dollar exchange rate, which makes imports more expensive, and the simple fact that there are more people out there who either don’t have a job or don’t have full-time employment. Derek says it’s unlikely that consumers will be able to turn to credit to help them fund their Christmas purchases, as their cards are probably already maxed out. He believes South Africans are spending less per gift than they were previously, and probably also looking to buy ‘experiences’ such as a massage, rather than just stuffing notes in an envelope. What will you be buying this year – CDs, books, toys, clothing or a gift voucher? Funnily enough, something as banal as chocolates topped last year’s list of most likely Christmas presents, according to the Deloitte Year-End Holiday Survey. (Be warned – this is not part of the Tim Noakes diet. In fact, neither are mince pies, Christmas pudding or roast potatoes … but you can eat the turkey.) The same survey noted that food as a share of consumers’ overall festive spending increased from 27% in 2011

to 30% in 2012. But Derek believes volume growth in Christmas sales will probably be pedestrian (last year, year-on-year growth was a measly 2.4%). ‘The sad truth is that if you want to get products to “move”, you need to lower the price, and when you do that, manufacturers’ profit margins get squeezed,’ he says. But that seems to be the only way to boost volume growth at the moment. It’s not all doom and gloom, obviously. Young people seem oblivious to the concerns that adults have (probably because they don’t have mortgages or university fees to pay). According to the Deloitte survey, around 14% of consumers aged 18-24 said they felt current economic conditions were positive, compared to only 2% of consumers aged 55-64. So let’s look for the silver lining this Christmas. If the wise men were able to bring the Christ child gold, frankincense and myrrh, perhaps we could afford to buy a humble present or two. After all, retailers are depending on us to stay alive.



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A holiday

at home This summer, book yourself a vacation in the place you know best.

THE APTLY NAMED ‘silly season’ can be both a happy, family-filled holiday, and a stressful period involving lots of entertaining and additional expense. And while it’s often assumed that making the most of a holiday involves going away somewhere, it is just as possible to have an indulgent, relaxing and pleasantly cost-effective holiday in the comfort of your own home. With these tips from, you can turn your home into a holiday haven.

picture: ThinkStock

Leave your work behind Perhaps the best part of going away for the holidays is leaving computers and work-related emails behind. But with a small amount of discipline, this can be achieved at home. If you have a work-specific laptop, pack it away for the holiday, and if not, make a conscious decision to leave work emails and documents unopened until your first day back on the job, so that these don’t intrude on your relaxing break.

Hours outdoors Nothing says luxurious summer holiday like lazing outdoors for hours, sipping on a cold drink and reading a good book. Turn your outdoor space into the plush getaway retreat you deserve by moving some comfy furniture outdoors. Add umbrellas, blankets and extra cushions for the days when you are entertaining and the sun is out in full force. Adding extra outdoor lighting also increases the time you can spend enjoying the summer evenings, so consider placing candles around your garden or balcony (using citronella candles has the added bonus of keeping mosquitos and bugs at bay). Solar light jars are also a fantastic alternative that offer an ecofriendly way of lighting your outdoor areas.

Fewer chores, more snores Holidays are for doing as little as possible and being indulgent, and being at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t

enjoy some time off from daily food preparation. Splash out a bit with some quick-to-prepare or ready-made meals that involve minimal time in front of the stove, and even less time at the sink. It’s also handy to keep a supply of snacks and treats for those moments when you want a little something but don’t want to spend a moment away from your book. Ice lollies made from fruit juice are also an incredibly cost-effective way of keeping the kids happy on a summer’s day.

Try the tourist thing Why spend a fortune on a plane ticket to see the sights elsewhere when South African cities and towns have so much to offer? Do a little internet research to rediscover all the things your area has to offer, and in-between the indulgent days of relaxation at home, spend some time out and about in your own city, reminding yourself why South Africa is a much-loved tourist destination.



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Healthy(ish) holidays! Annie Brookstone rounds up all the health tips and tricks you need to survive (almost) anything the festive season throws at you.

AH, THE SILLY SEASON. It’s all fun and games until a nasty hangover, excess stress or a bad case of sunburn turns you into the Grinch faster than you can say ‘Moderation? What’s that?’ Like Boney M’s Greatest Hits and frightening strangers dressed in Santa suits, holiday health pitfalls are best avoided altogether, yet seem inevitable at this time of year. Good thing we’ve got the solutions to bring the cheer back to your holidays…

picture: supplied

Tannic acid for over-eager tanners You know those people who say that tea can cure anything? They may just be right – tannic acid, which is found in black tea, is certainly a nifty at-home treatment for stinging sunburn. Simply steep three plain ol’ black teabags in a jug of warm water until the water is almost pitch black.

Then, using a facecloth you don’t mind getting stained, apply the cooled black tea to the affected area without wiping off. The tannic acid helps to take the burn out of sunburn and restore the skin’s acid balance, speeding up recovery.

3 not-so-obvious tips to beat the (heart)burn 1. Forego those late-night leftovers. Fatty festive fare is bad enough if you have an acid reflux problem, and eating just before you go to bed means you don’t even have gravity on your side while your body is digesting that sneaky turkey sarmie. Allow for at least three hours between eating and sleeping. 2. It’s not just about what you eat. Smoking can add to your heartburn woes because it aggravates the oesophagus, nicotine increases

stomach acid production, and it reduces the production of saliva, which is an acid neutraliser. Yet another reason to add kicking the habit to your list of New Year’s resolutions. 3. Loosen up. Worry about fitting into those jeans next month – for now, all that overly tight waistband is going to do is give your stomach less space to do its digestion thing. Double ouch.

Best babbelas brekkies Ah, the silly season. It’s all fun and games (and cocktails and shooters) until you wake up the next morning and your brain feels like a shrivelled-up little raisin rattling around in your skull. Instead of defaulting to a greasy fry-up, which may place even more strain on your poor stomach, give your body what it needs to recover. Here are some ideas:




Restorative smoothie Blend together 250ml milk (vitamin D), a banana (vitamin B6 and potassium), 15ml honey (magnesium) and a cup of ice for a delicious smoothie that’s not only easy to get down when you’re feeling sub-human, but will also help to restore the vitamins and nutrients depleted during your night of punishing your liver. The banana will replace some of the potassium you (literally) flushed down the toilet last night, so helping to relieve those weak, shaky muscles and high blood pressure – all common hangover symptoms. Asparagus and cheese omelette Add two or three spears of steamed fresh asparagus to your usual cheese

If the above hangover cures don’t work, turn to science…

Yup, Chinese scientists claim they’ve finally unlocked the mystery of that mythical elixir that man has been searching for ever since the cotton-wool mouth and pounding headache afflicted the first caveman to overindulge in fermented grapes. It is … wait for it … Sprite! Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou analysed 57 different drinks, including herbal infusions, teas and various other carbonated beverages, and found that the fizzy, lemony stuff speeds up a part of the liver’s breakdown of alcohol – the part that makes us feel rubbish. It’s not going to save you from a hangover altogether, but at least it’ll fast-forward it. The scientists plan to perform another independent study to verify their results, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put it to the test in the meanwhile. Go, science!



omelette for a babbelas-beating boost. The eggs and cheese provide vitamin B12, which will up your energy levels, while studies have shown that asparagus extracts can boost enzymes that break down alcohol. This summer veggie also packs a hefty dose of vitamin K, which improves overall brain function.

Top travel tip! Turbulence making your tummy turn? Before you reach for the barf bag, try this trick: on the inside of your forearm, about two or three finger-widths down from the top crease in the wrist, centred in the groove between the two large tendons, is the P6 point. It’s also known as the ‘inner gate’ in Chinese medicine, and it’s believed that pressing on this point (acupressure) can relieve nausea and motion sickness. Press or rub the point in 20- to 30-second intervals until the symptoms abate (or, of course, the plane lands).

Silly season stress-busters You’d think that being on holiday would mean saying goodbye to stress, but the end-of-year break has its own set of psychological booby-traps. Here are some ideas to help you soar through the festive season stress-free: • Share the workload. If you’re hosting an event, have guests bring a dessert, starters or snacks. It’ll save you time, money and anxiety, and make your guests feel involved. • Scale down your ambitions. Unless you’re Gordon Ramsay or Martha Stewart, don’t try to be. That threecourse meal, the extensive decorating and personalised gifts for the extended family? Sounds like a recipe for a frantic festive season – not fun.

• Budget, budget, budget. No one wants to start the new year burdened by financial stress. Consider discussing an agreed-upon maximum price for gifts with your extended family, or otherwise arrange a Secret Santa exchange, where each person has to buy only one gift. • Lists are your little helpers. Santa does it and so should you: make a list of everything you need to do, prioritise accordingly and tick things off as you go, to avoid getting totally overwhelmed and frazzled.

Music calms the savage (road) beast Spare tyre? Check. Jack? Yup. Spanner? Got it. Soothing music? Huh? If you’re hitting the road this holiday season, make sure that’s the only thing you’ll be hitting, by preparing a compilation of your favourite downbeat and mellow tracks. According to a recent study published in the journal Ergonomics, a quick change to some more soothing tunes may be all you need to calm down in stressful driving conditions. Upbeat music has been associated with faster, more reckless driving, but this new study has shown that an abrupt music change to something more chilled can help drivers to gear down from risky road behaviours quicker than a gradual music change. (Or, you know, you could just fly to your holiday destination – nudgenudge, wink-wink.)


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Buried treasure MENTION AUSTRALIA, and thoughts turns to kangaroos, the Great Barrier Reef and grown men in red Speedos. What should really leap to mind is vast, expansive nothingness. It’s the driest continent, covered by desert, and many of its most interesting bits are, in fact, surrounded by glorious, mind-altering emptiness. Isolated communities out there in the middle of nowhere tend to become social experiments. Being to some extent cut off, they become insular and peculiar. The gene pool shrinks. Unusual lifestyles evolve alongside rare hobbies and cuisines. One such remote and singular town is Coober Pedy, more or less midway between Adelaide and Alice Springs, neither of which feature on any global ranking of cosmopolitanism. Coober Pedy, though, is among the oddest places in the modern world. Optimistically nicknamed ‘Opal Capital of the World’, it was founded in 1915, and to the naked eye it’s like a place that’s already dead. Post-apocalyptic in aesthetic, it’s like stumbling onto the set of Mad Max. Many sci-fi films have been shot here, in fact, because visually it just doesn’t conform. It also appeared in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, where its rough populace was portrayed as hard-drinkers and lousy arm-wrestlers. Its name is said to be an Anglicised version of kupa piti, Aboriginal words meaning ‘white man in a hole’.



The surrounding desert is riddled with craters and scars left by the mad rush for opals – the minefields are so extreme, tour buses won’t let you out of the vehicle in case you fall down a shaft. The town is not quite dead, though, and its weirdness attracts tourists because more than half of its roughly 1 700 residents live underground, in cavernous dug-out houses that stay cool despite baking surface temperatures. It’s ingenious. There are underground churches, museums, galleries and even smart boutique hotels. You sleep soundly beneath the surface, and the lack of windows means it’s a genuine surprise when you emerge topside and find the sun is up.

Deserts are unforgiving places and they have a way of humbling people; those who survive and manage to thrive out there are a special breed. Coober Pedy’s population of loners and hermits, adventurers and crazies makes the best of a difficult existence. Many inbound prospectors came from Europe after the devastation of the world wars, hoping to strike it lucky. Many died poor, but even today some dream big. The most startling thing I observed wasn’t the weird way in which people lived or the strange beauty of the surrounding landscape, though. It was Coober Pedy’s cemetery, listed among its attractions because of the idiosyncratic designs of the headstones, used to illustrate the peculiarities of whomever was buried beneath. And amid the numerous Christian graves lined up in rows, a couple of gravestones at oblique angles, discernibly out of synch with the rest. ‘Muslim graves,’ our guide, who still spoke with a Greek accent, told us. ‘They’re facing Mecca.’ It was startling evidence of profound religious tolerance. Disconnected from the rest of the world, this community had developed its own rules of acceptance and respect, a forwardthinking form of inclusivity that’s often missing in the modern world. And proof that you sometimes have to leave the known universe to find evidence of humanity.

picture: supplied

Keith Bain finds tolerance in the most unlikely of places.


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More holiday, less us. At Europcar, we do our best to get you on the road as quickly as possible. It starts with our easy 3-step booking process on our website where you can choose from a wide selection of cars and products. Add our knowledgeable staff who are there to assist you day and night and you get a rental experience that is both fast and efficient. It’s our way of ensuring that you get the most out of your holiday.