Lowveld Living Celebrations edition

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ISSUE 83 | SUMMER | R30.00 (incl VAT)

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wise up on your

RU M Before we get started on some cocktails, here’s what you need to know about dark and light rum. DARK RUM


Dark rum is generally aged longer than its lighter counterpart. Sometimes brown sugar, caramel, or even molasses, is added for colour, which changes the depth of the rum flavour, as well as its visual appearance.

Light rum is also called silver rum. It is usually less aged, lighter in strength and, at the very least, does not contain dark syrups to change its appearance and taste. It’s a little sweet by nature and tends to blend well with fruity drinks.

Da n’ Sto my

Dark Rum Cocktails


60ml dark rum 90ml ginger beer 15ml lime juice

PREPARATION: 1. Pour all the ingredients in a glass full of ice and give the mixture a quick stir. 2. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy.

Not For Persons Under The Age Of 18.

Dark Rum Cocktails

This is a traditional daiquiri, but instead of light rum, dark rum is used. INGREDIENTS:


60ml dark rum 30ml passion fruit syrup (Reduce to 15ml for a more prominent taste of rum) 30ml lime juice

1. Shake it all up with ice and strain into a glass full of ice. 2. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry on a stick.

Light Rum Cocktails



120ml coconut water 60ml light rum 8ml lime juice 8ml sugar syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)

Cu tain Call


40ml light rum 30ml brut champagne 20ml lime juice 10ml bitter red liqueur 3 fresh basil leaves

Ca ibeno

1. Shake all the ingredients with ice. 2. Strain into an ice-filled glass.

Light Rum Cocktails


1. Muddle basil leaves in the base of the shaker. 2. Add the light rum, lime juice and bitter red liqueur, shake with ice and strain into glass. 3. Top with champagne.

For your nearest TOPS at SPAR store, phone our share call number: 0860 31 3141 or visit www.topsatspar.co.za.

Not For Persons Under The Age Of 18.

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The Southside Sip

2020 almost done it seems quite

unbelievable that 2020 is nearly over. A year of ups and downs, highs and lows, it has undoubtedly been anxiety-inducing and quite scary for some. Yet in some ways, it has pulled communities closer, and made families and friends dearer. At Lowveld Living, we have been fighting hard to keep our head above water and keep bringing you beautiful, exciting and often heartwarming stories. Discover amazing Lowveld birdwatching spots, learn to build a sundial with your kids, indulge in our beautiful kitchen revamp pages, travel to the bush or jump in the sea, journey the artistic road of past Lowvelders and be inspired by some beautiful spaces. We wish all our readers and friends of the mag a fantastic festive season. Travel safely, hug your loved ones, support those who have little, give thanks, and have fun, as we ride into 2021 – you deserve it. All the best From the Lowveld Living team, Nicky and Audrey xxx

EVERYTHING by Paul Kidd Hewitt In the middle of this infinite black sea, Amongst millions of blazing stars, Hanging delicately by a golden thread, You and I are here, And that is everything.

EDITOR Nicky Manson, nicky@lowveldlivingmagazine.com | EDITORIAL Nicky Manson, Life is a Garden, Bev Tucker, Trevor Crighton | ADVERTISING Audrey Ford Duimelaar, 0727264660, audrey@lowveldlivingmagazine.com DESIGN Creative Union, craig@urw.co.za | PROOF READING EditPro | PHOTOGRAPHY Africa Photographic Services EDITORIAL info@lowveldlivingmagazine.com | DISTRIBUTION GMF Consulting | PRINTING Novus Print CONTACT US 076 952 7761 | COVER EAGLE – DUNCAN BUTCHART






© Copyright 2020 Lowveld Living. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of Lowveld Living Magazine or the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All editorial information contained herein is, and remains, the property of Lowveld Living Magazine and/or its writers and/or photographers. Lowveld Living Magazine, its publisher, staff and contractors accept no liability for loss or damage in any form whatsoever arising from information, submissions or opinions expressed in this publication. Public comment and submissions are published at the sole discretion of Lowveld Living Magazine. E&OE.




inside 8 15 19 27 37 51 59

PLAY Books for the hols, birdwatching in the Lowveld

KIDS Make your own sundial

EAT New restaurants, foodie products, bakerys and lots of wins for the festive season

STYLE Gorgeous kitchen trends

GO An exclusive bush getaway at Makanyi’s Marula Villa and explore the turquoise island of Seychelles

LIVE Past Lowveld artists revisit their inspiration

SPACES Safari Moon Bush Lodge & Kingfisher River House offer designer spaces in the bushveld




Words Nicky Manson

one doesn’t deliver. I was not fond of any of the characters, which means I could not sympathise with them. R310, Penguin Random House.

MUST READ 30 Money Mistakes Women Make & Ways to Get Back on Track by Kim Potgieter: I enjoyed this read. Simple, easy to navigate, South African Kim gets straight to the point with the dos and don’ts of money management. Drawing on her own experiences, she advises getting a financial planner, she calls you out on not saving for retirement, and she will make you think twice about not ensuring your own financial independence. A must-read. Jacana Media. The End of Her by Shari Lapena: Stephanie and Patrick are newlyweds with twins but with the joy of new babies comes fatigue and Stephanie is battling with her role as a young mom. Along comes a person from Patrick’s past, who claims his first wife’s death wasn’t accidental and so sets the scene for marriage doubts, blackmail and many twists inbetween. I am a huge fan of Lapenas’ domestic thrillers, but this


he will stop at nothing to solve the case. A chilling story with very real themes that will keep you holding your child’s hand even tighter. R355, Jonathan Ball Publishers.

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter: A new murder case has the same look and feel as several old murders committed by a serial killer now behind bars. As Will investigates, it becomes clear he must relook at the original case to solve the current one. The only problem is that Jeffery (Sarah’s dead husband) was the police chief on the original case. An engaging story which moves between Jeffery’s old case and Will’s current one while Sarah is stuck in the middle. The truth will shock them all, you included. R315, Jonathan Ball Publishers. Cry Baby by Mark Billingham: Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Previously ignoring his gut instinct about a suspect, his worst fears came true. So when 7-year-old Kieron goes missing in broad daylight,

The Summer House by James Patterson: I don’t read Patterson anymore – he has become rather formulaic, but this caught my eye because of the storyline. There’s a bloody murder of young people in a summer house, allegedly committed by a group of highly-trained army rangers recently returned from Afghanistan. The evidence is overwhelming, but what could be the motive? Entertaining to the max. R310, Penguin Random House. The Shadow Friend by Alex North: This is a spine-chilling story that will have you dashing under the covers. Twenty-five

break from the daily grind of raising young twins except her past lurks in the corners of Cornwall and secrets threaten to spill over. Three women, three holidays, three families – what could go wrong? A delicious summer romp of womanhood, courage, raising kids, trying new things, finding your courage and your heart. Just lovely. Pan Macmillan.

years ago troubled teenager, Charlie Crabtree, commits a shocking murder and then disappears. Paul Adams knew Charlie and his victim and after graduating from school never returns to their tiny village until now. And that’s when things start to go wrong. A copycat killer is claiming to be Charlie but then where has he been all this time and what happened that night all those years ago? This book will unsettle you, and you won’t be able to put it down. R310, Penguin Random House. An Almost Perfect Holiday by Lucy Diamond: Summer is here, and three women decide to spend their holidays in Cornwall. Recently divorced Em is taking her new boyfriend on the family holiday with her teenagers and his six-year-old. Maggie is hoping for some RnR with her teenage daughter until her ex turns up and wants to bond. Olivia is seeking a

The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley: Fans of the Seven Sisters series will adore Riley’s new stand-alone novel. Posy Montague has lived in Admiral House her whole life, but with grownup children and rising costs, it may be time to leave. But


with his new wife and big shiny plans for the family home and their sleepy town. It’s only a matter of time before a series of events threaten to derail both Roy and Carl’s lives and test the bonds of brotherhood. Nesbo is a brilliant writer and creates characters that you can’t help but love despite their obviously large flaws. A delicious page-turner. R310, Penguin Random House. Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair and Phil Hockey: Now in its 5th edition, it has been brought fully up to date with critical new features from birding experts. R370. And enjoy the new accompanying checklist of Sasol Birds. R50, Penguin Random House.

can she let go? This moving tale of love, family, and heartbreak moves between Posy’s life as a young girl growing up in Admiral House and her time in the present day as a mother and grandmother. It’s a beautiful story about friendship, finding love, losing love, raising families and more. R210, Pan Macmillan. The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo: When Roy and Carl’s parents die, 16-year-old Roy becomes Carl’s protector. After school, Carl leaves their small town to seek his future while Roy settles into the simple life. Years later, Carl returns




Purple-banded Sunbird


Marc Cronje is a professional birding and wildlife guide. Living in the Lowveld, he offers birding safaris in private reserves, the Kruger National Park and at some of the Lowveld’s favourite spots Words Nicky Manson Production Marc Cronje



Purple-crested Turaco

born in Joburg

, Marc’s keen interest in nature and birds comes from being brought up in the Johannesburg Zoo where his dad was the curator of primates and small cats. Now based in Mbombela, he moved to the Lowveld when his family started the first Chimpanzee Sanctuary in South Africa, Chimp Eden. Before following his passion into guiding, Marc worked at the sanctuary for five years. “Since a young age, I was exposed to a wide variety of wildlife and was involved in wildlife education and the threats wildlife face, “ explains Marc. “While finishing my degree in Nature Conservation, I soon realised the only way to protect our wildlife is through education and exposing people to wildlife in a positive manner. I qualified as a guide and started the educational and tour programme at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary; I also got involved in guiding school groups in the Kruger.” So why birding exactly? While working at Chimp Eden, Marc travelled Central and Western Africa rescuing Chimpanzees, and soon realised the sheer bird diversity in the tropical rainforest. “One day on a game drive in Kruger a report of a Pels fishing owl came in from an area I frequent regularly, and this bird was a turning point for me as it opened my eyes to the amazing birdlife in my office, that I was not noticing,” remembers Marc. “I started a bird list, and I began travelling Africa and the world to find birds. Today I have over 1200 species on my list within Africa. My current world list sits at just over 2000 species of birds.” Marc has been guiding for eight years and has led tours across Southern Africa and Africa including Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Kenya, Uganda, amongst others. He has also led bird-watching tours abroad to Spain, Costa Rica, India and Sri Lanka.” COVID-19 has meant no travelling for this keen birder and tour guide, and so he now offers his expertise as a hop-

on private bird guide joining nature enthusiasts on their Kruger trip or Lowveld outing to share his love for birds. Marc is an avid bird spotter and can compile birds lists for your farm, estate, or lodge. He also conducts private birding tours of Kaapsehoop, Nelspruit Nature Reserve, Peddalars bush outside of Barberton and the Lowveld Botanical Gardens. We chat to this lover of nature about his passion for birding. We also reveal a sneak peek at what you can expect to see in one of Marc’s tours of local treasure, the Lowveld Botanical Gardens. Any challenges in birding? Yes, sometimes the birds might not be around even though you know they are in the area. Also, at times, the bird might be calling, but you cannot get a view of it. As we are in nature, sometimes the weather can be bad, and then this makes birding tricky. That’s birding and why we love it, and it just means we have to come back and try again. What is the best time of the year to bird? We are fortunate in the Lowveld as we have some fantastic birding the whole year-round. Summer is the best time for birding as the migrant birds are here and the birds call more so finding them is more straightforward. A rare bird you have seen? White-winged Flufftail in Dullstroom; Egyptian Vulture in Kruger; Blue Swallows in Swaziland; White-necked Rockfowl and Nkulengu Rail in Ghana; Great and Little Bustard in Spain; Green-breasted Pitta in Uganda and the resplendent quetzal in Costa Rica. Any anecdotes from your time birding? Yes, I will never forget walking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda birding along the forest track, and we walked into a troop of Mountain Gorillas. We were meant to do gorilla trekking the next day and had the troop and a large male silverback all to ourselves in the forest. I will also always remember my first sighting of Bengal tiger while out birding

Bush Blackcap

SUMMER | 2020



birding in the botanical gardens

Green Twinspot

in Jim Corbett NP in India. We were having breakfast in the forest, and a female tiger and cubs walked by. What advice would you give someone wanting to get into birding? Start by enjoying the birds in your garden. Get to know and identify them. Travel to new areas to discover new birds. Most importantly enjoy your birding and enjoy being in nature. Equipment you need? A pair of binoculars and a bird field guide. Marc is actively involved in research projects including the Southern African Bird Atlas project and Wild Dog monitoring within the Kruger National Park. INFO 083 705 6436, Marc.cronje1991@gmail.com, Facebook/Marc Cronje. Instagram@ Marc_Cronje. www.naturetravelbirding.com, Facebook/naturetravelbirding. www.naturetravelafrica.com, Facebook/naturetravelafrica.com Pels Fishing Owl

A birding experience in The Lowveld Botanical Gardens: As one drives to the entrance, it’s always a good idea to stop at the Grace Hall Bridge and scan for the pair of African Finfoot that are resident in the river. The area is also an excellent place to see the Purple-banded Sunbird, and the special bird of the gardens, the Olive Sunbird. Other sightings to watch out for along the river include the African Black Duck, Little Sparrowhawk and Half-collared Kingfisher. In the parking lot, keep a look out for the Ashy Flycatcher, White-browed Robin Chat, Cape White-eye, Purple-crested Turaco, Red-headed Weaver, Yellowfronted Tinkerbird and Grey-headed Bushshrike. As one enters the gardens and heads into the African rainforest section, pay attention for the stunning Narina Trogon, in summer one might hear the bird calling. Other forest birds seen in the forest section include Cape Batis, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Black-backed Puffback, African Goshawk and Green-backed Camaroptera. In the trees, one must listen and watch out for the Stunning African Green Pigeon. The forest floor also hosts a few pairs of Lemon Dove. The area around the waterfall hosts a very special bird, the Southern Bald Ibis. A pair breeds on the cliffs near the waterfall, and this is a unique bird to have in Mbombela as they generally occur at higher altitudes on the Highveld. The river below the waterfall is an excellent area to search for the gorgeous Half-collared Kingfisher. The walk along the river has some good birding with some of the highlights being the Southern Boubou, Orange-breasted Bushshrike, Greyheaded Bushshrike, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black-headed Oriole and Red-winged starling. Walk in the wooded area around the stage as it is home to some great birds, and is especially good for Honeyguides, with all three species being in the area; the Greater, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguides – knowing the call is vital to picking up these birds. The trees are good for woodpeckers, like the Olive Woodpecker. Both species of Tinkerbirds, the Yellow-fronted and Yellow-rumped, are in this area too. Happy birding! African Finfoor



kids k


sun dial Hey kids! It’s holiday time – let’s make a sundial

Here’s an educational, hands-on project all about time, the earth’s rotation, and our life-supporting sun. Get ready scientists and explorers, time is upon us!

A BIT ABOUT THE SUNDIAL Did you know? The sundial is the oldest known instrument for telling time. This ancient, mysterious doohickey tracks the position of the sun using a gnomon, which is the centrepiece of the sundial that indicates time by the position of its shadow. Up until the early 19th century, sundials were the main instrument people used to tell time. When correctly positioned, sundials can even tell time down to the minute!


kids i

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: A flat piece of wood: This is going to serve as the body of the clock. You can upcycle an old slab of wood from the garage, use a tree stump, or even repurpose a tile slab. Pebbles: These are going to be the hour placeholders. They can be collected during a walk, scavenged from the garden, or bought. We recommend using pebbles with a flatter surface and ones lighter in colour. Paint: To paint numbers of the clock onto each stone. A dowel stick for the gnomon: This is the centrepiece of the sundial, the sun hits it, a shadow is cast onto the wooden clock base indicating time. A compass or Google: You will need to find true north to accurately position your sundial. Plus Some glue, a sunny spot in the garden, and an analogue watch.

POSITIONING AND ASSEMBLING YOUR SUNDIAL True north, here we come! Did you know there is a sundial app for kids to download? Ask Google or check the App Store for help. If you have a compass, then pinpoint exactly where Santa comes from. Once you have found true north and are happy with your sunny spot in the garden, position your wooden clock base. Paint on the numbers of the clock onto each pebble or stone. Have some fun with different numbering styles. Use the super glue to secure your dowel stick in the centre of the clock base. You can also use a pencil or straight stick from the garden. Position your hour place holder pebbles around or on top of your clock base, depending on how large your stones are. By now, you should see the shadow being cast onto the sundial. Use your analogue watch to see if the shadow and real-time are matching up. A DIY garden sundial is an excellent opportunity to get outdoors, inspire a thirst for exploration, and create awareness for the vastness of our universe. Courtesy of Life is a Garden, www.lifeisagarden.co.za



on a



LA Baguette at Ukuthula Bush Lodge is a new bakery in Hoedspruit that draws its influence from the French art of baking Words Nicky Manson


karine and fabian

Jacquemin fell in love with South Africa on a visit in 2008. After numerous followup visits, they decided to move here and opened a lodge, Ukuthula Bush Lodge in Limpopo. With an equal passion for baking, Karine did a French baking course to share a little of her culture with South African guests. “The lodge was our first project in South Africa, and the bakery was to come second,” explains Karine. “However, lockdown forced the closure of the lodge, and we found ourselves offering the French bakery specialities earlier than expected.” LA Baguette offers fresh, French products such as croissants, pains au chocolat, raisin wheels, roulé cinnamon, baguette, Miche, the famous chouquette, French seeds bread and more. We chat to Karine about her lifelong passion for all things delicious. Why open a bakery? We wanted to open a bakery to introduce our traditional French specialities to residents of the charming little town of Hoedspruit. Qualifications? I did a Scientific studies diploma, was a teacher for 20 years in the National Education, and have a artisan bakery Diploma. Do you have a signature product? Pains au chocolat and croissants are iconic products of French baking and have been very popular since their discovery by the residents of Hoedspruit. Favourite thing to bake? The pain aux raisins in French, which is called the raisin wheel. Here is a treat – so crispy outside, so soft inside – just harmoniously balanced between the acidity of the raisin and the sweetness of the vanilla cream. Something we must try? You should try the pain au chocolat, the croissant, the chouquette, the roulé cinnamon and all our bread, but above all the piping hot baguette, just out of the oven, with salted butter and a square of dark chocolate. What else do you bake or cook? Salted and sweet pies, quiches, cakes and coming soon are

pancakes, waffles, churros, and French sandwiches. Challenges in baking? To adapt French baking know-how and its recipes to local products and ingredients. Most technical product you bake? Pain au chocolat, croissants and the raisin wheel are very technical to make. From weighing the ingredients to taking them out of the oven, it can take almost eight hours. Weighing must be precise, pause times respected, and each product requires dimensions specific to the cutting of parts. We must work quickly to avoid the early activation of the yeasts and the melting of the butter. The growing conditions are demanding, and we have to adapt there too. Where will we find you? Ukuthula Bush Lodge has become the home of LA Baguette. You can place your orders with Karine and pick them up at the lodge. Delivery is also possible. We hope to open a shop in town soon. INFO Karine Whatsapp 063 651 7466, labaguette.byubl@gmail.com

SUMMER | 2020



hot in the

kitchen Fish & chips, burgers, curries and more – there is a whole lot on offer at the new Kitchen Co Words Nicky Manson



kitchen co

is the new kid on the block. However, the kid reference doesn’t really work here as the space is more chic than kid geared. Kitchen Co has taken over the area of the old Habana. While the framework, nuts and bolts are the same, a couple of subtle décor additions have added chef and owner’s Darius Gallier’s personal touch to it. We delve deeper. Where did you train? I did my training in Scotland based at the De Vere Group 5-Star Hotel, Cameron House, just outside of Glasgow. I jumped straight in without any previous hospitality experience. I was drawn to the kitchen dynamic for many reasons, but mostly the passion and drive that all chefs have for their craft. Why cooking? From a young age, I’ve always thought of cooking as therapeutic and creative. It’s incorporating art, science and chemistry on a plate. Where have you worked? I started in Scotland at numerous hotels as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant, then moved onto England. When I moved back to SA I started at Singita in the Sabi Sands then La Residence in Franschoek and Lion Sands in Sabi Sands. What made you want to open your own restaurant? It was the right time. I wanted to have full control over the food, environment and personalised experience. What is important to you about food? The way it brings people together, how it works on all senses and makes people happy. It forms part of a memory that takes people places they have never been before. What kind of food do you make? It is classical French cooking, with an African twist, done in a family-style setting. Is there a signature dish? All the dishes have meaning behind them; however, in the future, Kitchen Co will be highlighting some of my other favourite dishes based on my own experiences and travels. What is your favourite thing to eat from the menu? I created the menu so that I wouldn’t have any favourites. It all depends on the day and the weather.

What are your links to the Lowveld? I grew up in the Lowveld. I went to Uplands Prep and College. My family and friends are all from the Lowveld. It will always be my home. What do you cook at home? It depends how creative I feel. Could be cheese on toast, or it could be a juicy steak with a Bearnaise sauce and triple cooked chips. What can we expect from Kitchen Co in the future? I never want to get complacent. I will always evolve the menu and guest experience day-by-day. The main focus is to create a very unique and casual elegance in the Lowveld by providing excellent guest interaction and service, and delicious foods done differently, as well as to utilise and support our local produce available as much as possible. INFO 013 880 0446, Kitchenco.mpu@gmail.com. Facebook/kitchenco, Instagram@kitchenco

SUMMER | 2020



wine in a can Premium Spier wines are now available in cans for the ultimate convenience. Quick to chill, light to pack and easy to recycle, think picnics, travel, bush drives and more. Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Merlot. R35, www.spier.co.za

WIN a case of Savage Sparkles. Follow Savage Sparkles and Tailored Bev Co. on Instagram, email your contact details to info@ lowveldlivingmagazine.com and put “Savage Sparkles” in the subject box. Closing date is December 10, 2020. Ts & Cs apply.

savage & enjoy Savage Sparkles is Africa’s first hard seltzer. A flavoured sparkling water with alcohol. Savage Sparkles is a 5% alcohol beverage with only 3 grams of sugar, 3 grams of carbs and 100 calories in every 300 ml can – all this without compromising on taste. Available from Tailored Beverage Co. and liquor stores.


WIN a box of each flavour of SECCO Infusions. Follow SECCO and Tailored Bev Co. on Instagram, email your contact details to info@ lowveldlivingmagazine.com and put “SECCO Infusions” in the subject box. Closing date is December 10, 2020. Ts & Cs apply.

infuse flavour SECCO Infusions are a range of natural drink infusions made from freeze dried fruit and spices, which naturally add colour and flavour to your drink. Brought to you by Tailored Beverage Co., simply add to glass, top up with G&T, cocktail, soft drink or even water and allow to infuse. Available in Ginger Lime, Raspberry Rose Hibiscus, Pepper Berry and Spiced Pomegranate. All natural, no added colourants or flavouring.


saluti to summer We are in love with Truman & Orange’s new beautifullymade premium Italian gin, Ginato. Think juniper berries from Tuscany, citrus from southern Italy, and Italian grapes. It’s this combination of three core ingredients that creates the very spirito d’Italia. Try the two variants: Pompelmo and Clementino. Pompelmo has peel of sun-ripened Sicilian pink grapefruit while Clementino boasts Southern-Italian clementines. R385, available from liquor stores.

eat shop for nuts Ambassador Foods Factory shop is a must-visit. The famous nut shop is now filled with leading brands like Lancewood cheese, Denny Mushrooms and gorgeous spices from Cape Herb and Spice. Ambassador offers quality products at great value. Bahati Centre, corner of R40 and R357, Sabie Road, White River. Shop online, www.factoryshoponline.co.za. They deliver countrywide. WIN a delicious Ambassador Foods hamper worth R500. Filled with sweet and smoky almonds, summer fresh peaches, raspberry and cashew oat bars for snacking on the go, Gin O’clock Gift Set, a Balsamic glaze from Cecil Vinegar and their new mushroom crisps. Email your contact details to info@ lowveldlivingmagazine.com and put “Ambassador” in the subject box. Closing date is December 10, 2020. Ts & Cs apply.

all dressed up The perfect fizz for every occasion, Baglietti Organic Rose No.7 is ready for party season. A sparkling wine with a rich scent of white peach, citrus and summer berries. It’s elegant and dry with elements of raspberry, citrus and almonds on the mouth. The rose comes in a spectacularly shaped bottle and will make a gorgeous gift. Available from Tailored Beverage Co. and liquor stores. WIN a bottle of Baglietti Organic Rose No.7. Follow Baglietti and Tailored Bev Co. on Instagram, email your contact details to info@lowveldlivingmagazine. com and put “Baglietti” in the subject box. Closing date is December 10, 2020. Ts & Cs apply.

decadence Founded in 1991, Shautany Chocolatiers has established themselves as one of the leading purveyors of luxury artisanal chocolate in SA. What began as a small family business creating pillow chocolates for the hotel industry has grown into a professional and dedicated retail chain with the emphasis on personalised service and unique experience. Shautany Chocolatiers offers a large array of luxury products through their five branded boutiques throughout Mpumalanga and The Garden Route. Famous for its handmade truffles, ganaches and choc bars, Shautany sources its chocolate from the Belgian Callebaut Collection and in doing so supports cocoa farmers in West Africa by reinvesting in farmer training and community projects through the Cocoa Horizons Foundation. 013 750 3033, chocolate@shautany.co.za, www.shautany.co.za. Facebook/ shautany chocolatiers, Instagram@shautany_chocolatiers WIN a wine and Shautany chocolate hamper. Email your contact details to info@lowveldlivingmagazine.com and put “Shautany” in the subject box. Closing date is December 10, 2020. Ts & Cs apply.


go nuts CocoDamia produce high quality, healthy nut products. Based in Mbombela, their name is derived from their main ingredients – coconut and macadamia nuts. Scott McKenzie and Terry Pappas are behind the brand:

Yoons, Cavalieri, Matumi Fresh amongst others. Have you always been into food? Yes! We hope that our love for food will keep us inspired to make more delightful product lines in the future. Why macs? As well as the health aspects, we try to support local as best we can, and the Lowveld has so many fantastic macadamia farms. We love that we can get our products in our hometown. And they are just so delicious. Tell us about your gorgeous packaging? We wanted to incorporate South African nature into our designs, so we chose the Pangolin, Southern Carmine Bee-eater and Grey go-away bird, all designed by the amazingly talented Toni Mclagan.

Are all your products macadamia based? Yes, currently they are but we are branching out and playing around with a few recipes that don’t involve macadamias. Tell us about your product range? We make a macadamia nut butter; as a family we add macadamia nut butter to everything. It’s delicious as a drizzle over smoothie bowls, INFO Instagram/Coco_damia, Facebook/cocodamiaeats, pancakes, oats and ice-cream (especially ice-cream, trust us). It can also be used in shakes to add a nutty flavour, and www.thegoodfatco.com even in savoury dishes – we love using it when cooking Thai food. It’s also great on toast or fresh bread. We also make a honey and cocoa granola. Each box of granola contains 15% macadamia nuts. Our granola is crunchy and packed with all the good stuff. It’s tasty as a snack straight from the packet, or as a quick, healthy breakfast. How do you come up with your ideas? We knew from the beginning that we wanted to use macadamia nuts and create a range of products that was both healthy and delicious. Terry, one of the founders of CocoDamia, is a trained chef. We spent many mornings in his kitchen trying new recipes and perfecting the ones we loved. He’s to thank for these tasty treats. What are the health benefits? Macadamia nuts are a good source of plant protein, as well as being high in healthy fats and antioxidants. Our granola is packed with seeds – pumpkin, sesame and buckwheat – and seeds are an excellent source of fibre as well as long-lasting energy. Where can we buy your products? We have stock in Mopani, Faithful to Nature, The Flying Pig, Halls Farmstall,






it’s only

natural Aesthetics and functionality merge in these beautiful statement kitchens where wood plays the leading role giving character to cabinetry, countertops and elegant accents Words Mandy Allen Production Sven Alberding Photographs Greg Cox/ Bureaux, Warren Heath/ Bureaux

Back in the 70’s you couldn’t swing a lazy Susan without a pine-clad kitchen complete with lashings of faux wood grain, marbled laminate and the obligatory presence of orange. But wood has re-emerged as the material-of-themoment, looking fresh, contemporary and suited to every budget.

IN THE MIX Light wood and cheerfully patterned tiles give this kitchen a modern vibrancy. The material chosen for the bespoke cabinetry is Wormy Maple (also known as Ambrosia Maple), specially sourced for its interesting mineral striations and colour variations. Design Notes • Handle-free cupboards with a push-latch system have a contemporary seamless quality. • The slatted design of the cabinetry introduces a dynamic textural effect. • The Moroccan tiles introduce colour and pattern, as does the speckled Nguni hide on one of the bar stools. • Textured architectural glass on the wall-mounted cabinets references the past but in context looks contemporary. The airiness of the glass also breaks the solidity of the wood. • The kitchen’s functionality is enhanced with a large central island with built-in appliances, plenty of preparation space as well as concealed deep drawers for pots and kitchen equipment. Tip: Functionality is not the only reason to install a tile or marble backsplash in the kitchen. It’s one of the most effective ways to add texture, colour and visual detail to a space. It’s also possible to do on a small budget.

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style Wood is the main event in this poetic interpretation of architectural minimalism. Here the presence of timber provides texture, warmth, colour as well as visual energy thanks to a slatted design that marries with the outdoor blinds. In this kitchen, functionality has been distilled to its raw essence and a sense of weightlessness achieved via unbroken lines, floating cabinetry and integrated essentials such as the sink and conduction hob. Design Notes • A cast concrete countertop – a resilient surface choice – runs the entire length of the kitchen and has been installed in such a way that it seems to float above the wooden units. • Similarly, the wall-mounted cabinetry hovers above the floor. • The concrete has been tinted a soft organic shade to complement the warmth of the wood. • An extractor is a must for a busy kitchen. In this instance, the appliance has been encased in a bespoke sculptural plaster structure. • Seamless cabinets conceal various kitchen and crockery items. Tip In modern minimalism the display of eye-pleasing objects is welcome – just approach the creation of vignettes and displays with an editor’s eye to keep the mood serene. Although stripped back, the organically textured and similarin-tone kitchen accessories here have become a focal point on the otherwise sparse countertop, lending a touch of personality and style.




It’s not just furniture, flooring and cabinetry that look good in wood – here, the angular ceiling – clad in Western Red Cedar – is a striking design feature. Kitchen and dining zones come together to form an open-plan arrangement where architecture, building materials and furnishings appear seamlessly unified with each other. The mix of polished concrete and sleek wood has a strong aesthetic unity, creating visual-, tonal- and textural interest. Design Notes • The concrete ring-beams holding up the roof structure have been polished and left unadorned. • The tone and visible grain of the wood, along with that on the kitchen cabinets, infuse the space with warmth and verve. • The chairs, visible concrete, pendant lights and small decorative objects such as a handmade fruit dish and rough-textured plant pot all serve to create a pleasing organic contrast to the sharply defined architectural lines and polished wood. • The pendant lights above the dining table (Rock suspension lamps by Diesel Living with Foscarini) have been playfully suspended at slightly differing heights. Tip Take inspiration from this kitchen where pared-down still means personality. Glassware, mugs, bread bins and small appliances have been neatly organised and chosen with form and colour in mind with plenty of glass to bounce the light and steel for a modern, clinical feel.

style There was a time when pine was dismissed as nothing more than a utilitarian building material or, in the context of kitchens, a yellowlacquered, knotty-textured out-ofdate eyesore that one ripped out and replaced as soon as one could. But there’s a new kid on the (wooden) starting block – the strippeddown, organic-looking white pine – and its urban aesthetic and clean Scandinavian vibes are making this the material du jour for furniture designers, interior architects and homeowners. Design Notes • White pine (otherwise known as raw pine plywood) is durable, versatile, sustainable and affordable, making it perfect for kitchen cabinetry and furniture, central island construction and other finishes. • A freestanding unit serves to demarcate and divide the cooking and leisure zones in this open-plan space. On both sides, there is open and closed cubbyhole-style storage (concealing several appliances) as well as surface space to enhance the unit’s functionality. • An industrial articulated Anglepoisestyle lamp on top of the unit provides additional task lighting. • One of the main events in this kitchen is a seamless flow thanks to the profile of the cabinets as well as their lack of handles. The drawer units have nautical-inspired cutout detailing that works on simple pullpush rails. • A resilient work surface is essential in any kitchen. The new generation Formica or laminate as well as Corian are suitable matches for pine cabinetry and are available in a smorgasbord of colours and finishes. Tip When it comes to built-in cabinetry, pay attention to the size of drawers and storage units. A variety of depths will accommodate everything from cutlery to pots and appliances.



SCANDI NOIR Cool, calm and collected, this kitchen artfully marries clean-lined timber with chic highlights of black which serve to anchor the space and infuse it with a sense of urban sophistication. Design Notes • The kitchen cabinetry is a configuration of units chosen from the Sine Tempore collection by Valcucine and is in sustainable elmwood. • The work surfaces, a customised addition, are granite. • The presence of black as an accent colour defines the decorative atmosphere: elements such as the free-standing Lacanche oven in anthracite; the Shadows Suspension Lamps by Czech lighting studio Brokis; the powdercoated metal-framed AAS 38 stools from the About A Stool collection by Danish studio HAY; a selection of kitchen accessories; as well as an installation of striking artworks by South African artist Hanneke Benade. • Warm touches appear in the form of brushed copper accents on the oven, the mixer tap and the tan leather upholstery of the stools. • In keeping with the seamless quality of the kitchen design, the concrete ceiling has recessed lights as well as an integrated speaker. • The tint of the terrazzo floors was chosen to reflect the light and keep things feeling fresh and modern. Tip Don’t be hesitant to introduce collectable paintings in the kitchen zone. As long as it’s not at risk from being ruined by cooking splatters or steam damage, the presence of art will add unique character and visual interest to your space.

style It’s easy to see why this sizeable ground-floor kitchen and dining area, designed in a modern farmhouse style, has become the centre of this family home: the inviting space is perfectly suited to cooking and entertaining, special gatherings as well as homework, breakfast-onthe-run and other routines of everyday living. Mid-tone oak – a timeless choice – has been used for much of the carpentry including the substantially sized kitchen island and dining room table. Design Notes • Finishing off the oak kitchen island is a paperthin but ultra-durable tempered steel top as well as an integrated sink. Those elements, in combination with its large surface (for food preparation and serving) and storage capacity, make it the perfect kitchen workhorse. • The island features concealed under-counter storage as well as capacious open shelving that allows ease of access to everyday kitchen items. • The bespoke kitchen cabinetry has modern, clean lines and lends a graphic architectural element to the space. • The colour palette is deliberately toned down but has been injected with uplifting pops of natural greenery and glassware as well as the baby blue of the Smeg fridge. • An exposed sandblasted brick wall creates an interesting textural contrast with the wood. • The Smeg fridge, a design piece in itself, along with the bare Edison-style light bulbs and antique hallway table (just seen in the foreground) all add a touch of vintage nostalgia to the space. • The farmhouse aesthetic is brought into the 21st century through contemporary design interventions such as the matt black mixer tap, industrial floating steel staircase and the whitetinted concrete floor. • Wishbone chairs are a Mid-Century Modern design classic and enhance the sense of design sophisticated. Tip Clear glassware such as tumblers, wine glasses, vases and other oversized vessels – when left on display – will introduce a sense of visual transparency and weightlessness while reflecting the natural light.





What do you get when combining a love for Scandi chic, a penchant for modern minimalism and an architectural aesthetic inspired in part by the practicalities of yacht design? A contemporary space that manages to be both family-friendly and streamlined. Design Notes • The key feature of this bespoke kitchen is its seamless galley-style configuration (including the cut-out shapes instead of handles) that effortlessly integrates with the open-plan living space. • The choice of pale wood is in keeping with the clean-lined contemporary architecture and has been inspired by Scandinavian design – birch, poplar, and white oak are all excellent choices for a similar look. • A folding shutter-style door, barely visible when folded, can be used to close off the kitchen from the dining and living areas if desired. • The presence of white, the warmth of the mid-tone wood, a selection of woven accessories and the cool grey of the stone floors, marble dining table and stainless steel kitchen countertop work together in harmony to create a space that is muted but welcoming. Tip Even something as simple as a small artwork or woven light fixture can uplift a muted decorating scheme by injecting it with a bold pop of colour or texture and form.


REFINED COMPOSURE Practical and elegant, this kitchen was designed with connections in mind: a visual reference to the garden outside; a spatial relationship with the communal spaces of the house; and a human connection with family and guests who congregate in the dining and living areas. Design Notes • Blonde oak used for cabinetry and the kitchen island has been left slightly rough to emphasise depth and texture. • Ash-tinted floors and a large white rug under the dining table contrasts with the oak cabinetry of the kitchen as well as the leather dining chairs, emphasising the warmth of their caramel tones. • Adding another layer to the textural quality of the construction materials is the rough black surface of the flamed Zimbabwean granite countertop. • The lights above the kitchen island are by South African designers MOS (Makers of Stuff ). They have been fixed in a variation of two different heights and fitted with bulbs of varying intensities. Tip When planning your kitchen design, ask yourself how often you entertain? If you love playing host and your budget allows, plan for a design that includes a double electric oven (you won’t regret it), built-in microwave as well a gas hob or electric/conduction stovetop with more than the standard four cooking zones.





of the bush Words Nicky Manson Photos Makanyi, Nicky Manson



so, there i was

with my bestie. Sitting fireside in our private boma, with a glass of bubbly in hand, moving between looking out over the inky darkness of the bush and searching for shooting stars in the night skies. Now, this was the life. 48 hours of uninterrupted luxury lay ahead and a favourite person to share it with. The hippos were grunting and splashing noisily ahead at a nearby watering hole. There was the fantastically recognisable song of the Night Jar, and then a rather loud growl to the right of us. Well, that was the end of stargazing. We made an abrupt departure from the deck of our five-star villa and ran indoors. Whatever was growling near us also beat a hasty retreat thanks to our screeches. Much laughter ensued and much relief when I realised saidbestie had grabbed the bottle of champers on the run. Phew! And so started our adventure at Makanyi Private Game Lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve. Makanyi is a wonderfully isolated spot in the Timbavati. Its neighbours are mostly private residents, and it’s the only commercial lodge for miles. This ensures a personal visit like no other; it feels like you have the whole reserve to yourself. Thanks to the neighbouring traversing rights, there is also much terra firma to discover with the Kruger National Park to our left and Thornybush Reserve on our right. The nearby residents like to keep Makanyi up to date with their latest sightings, and it was amusing when they all started tracking a leopard on our behalf. Makanyi sleeps up to 16 guests across seven spacious, elegant private villas and a sumptuous family villa. The property is small enough to hire exclusively with your mates or family and big enough

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go to ensure some quiet time even when it is fully booked. The Marula Villa, a two-bedroom luxurious space, was our home for the next two days. Marula is just beautiful. It has been masterfully decorated by owner Jessica Gold and offers restful interiors that invite the outside in. Adjectives like exclusive, sophisticated and uber comfortable come to mind. With a muted palette warmed by natural elements, the interiors are enhanced by handpicked decor pieces by local artisans. Natural shades reign, complimented with monochrome fabrics and pops of mustard. There’s lots of textures and wellthought out pieces of furniture to fill the open-plan space. The African influences can be seen in the art, traditional Jute grass mats and woven light fittings, but the design is predominantly European and chic. It’s also extremely comfortable so you don’t feel out of place getting horizontal on the large leather sofa. A very sexy gas fireplace sits under the flat-screen TV and warms the room quickly. There are indoor and outdoor dining rooms and a huge, well-equipped kitchen with scullery. In fact, there is 366m² of serious chill-out space. The villa’s outside area may just rival the interior thanks to a gorgeous deck with splash pool and private boma from which to enjoy all the wildlife splendour; sunsets included. Guests of the Marula Villa can join diners at the lodge for meals presented by chef Amos or the self-catering option just makes your visit that much simpler. Eat when you are hungry. Cook whatever you want. Cater to your kid’s demands; it is a really great way of staying in the bush. The bedrooms are quite beautiful. Almost identical, they are large with beds to get lost in, excellent high-thread-count linen and lovely roomy bathtubs. The villa is ideal for families or couples looking for that extra privacy, flexibility and more of a home away from home feel. With our food taken care of and our lodgings beautiful and very relaxing, it was time for a game drive. We had the pleasure of having General Manager Rico Demetriou and his tracker Rondy take us out into the bush. Knowledgeable, entertaining and exciting, this dynamic team have worked together for many years, and it shows. Rico has in fact been a ranger for several prestigious lodges before making his way home, as he fondly calls Makanyi. He was brought on with girlfriend Carmen Muller, to check out the original site of the lodge, get it up and running and make sure operations run


Anglo-Italian Jessica Gold, owner of Makanyi, is based in the UK and fell in love with South Africa after just one visit. Being touched by her African experience, Jessica sought out her own piece of the African bush and today considers herself not only a proud owner, but most importantly, custodian of a part of this sacred land and all who dwell there.

go smoothly in the absence of its foreign owner. Carmen is the front of house guru, although she is an experienced ranger too, and when we weren’t admiring her shoes, we were admiring her work ethic and passion for the bush. In these difficult times, a lot of the rangers have become freelance, which is why Rico was in the driving seat, but his first love will always be the bush he explains, and we were lucky to be on the receiving side of his experience and humour. Thanks to a magnificent rainy season, the Timbavati Reserve was beautiful, lush and green; the wildlife having a field day grazing the new shoots. Marula trees and Knob thorns competed for space with growing shrubs and long grasses. The resident elephants were busy gnawing at the bark of trees to reach the nutrient-rich cambion layer. Nature was undoubtedly at its best. We were introduced to a lot of new wildlife babies, some beautiful birds and of course, almost as important,

Makanyi’s very special Amarula hot chocolate concoction. The perfect way to start an early morning game drive. Guests at Makanyi can enjoy several activities on the property, namely: Game drives, bush walks, photographic safaris, photo printings services, a gym, wellness centre, star gazing, and a curio shop. The essence of Makanyi boils down to two elements: its private location being worth its weight in gold; its exclusivity is a given. Secondly, the team at Makanyi will make you feel like old friends in no time with their warmth and professionalism ensuring that you visit again and again. INFO 015 793 2663, info@makanyilodge.com, reservations@makanyilodge.com

Rondi & Rico

The perks of lockdown are few and far between but Makanyi has slashed its rates to encourage local travel. A Marula Villa self-catering stay is available for R3 000 pp per night (minimum 4 guests) until the end of March 2021.



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0800 87 22 64






dreaming Words Trevor Crighton


As the borders open, head north to Seychelles for the ultimate island holiday escape Words Trevor Crighton

dreaming of

cocktails, white sand beaches, pristine blue water and endless sky? Seychelles should be your destination of choice, for a post-lockdown island adventure. And its borders are open to South Africans. The 155-island archipelago is spread out across the northern Indian Ocean, with its eastern shores lapped by the Somali Sea. It’s a relatively short direct flight – just shy of five hours – from Johannesburg on Air Seychelles, which operates (at the time of writing) the only two Airbus A320neo aircraft on the continent. The comfortable new aircraft make short work of the trip, with an in-flight entertainment system that’s something of a revelation – you can access movies and series via your own connected device, rather than relying on a seat-back screen as you prep for the lockdownbusting holiday of a lifetime. Seychellois culture and society is an eclectic mix of French, British and African influences, with more recent infusions of Chinese and Indian elements. The country gained its independence from Britain in 1976, and there’s plenty of English influence – including the name of the capital, Victoria. It’s a small city, and will be the starting point for most trips as it’s about a 10-minute ride from the airport. A tour of Victoria is a great introduction to the mix that makes up Seychellois culture, with museums and art galleries sitting alongside striking Hindu temples. Don’t expect the bustling air of Mauritius’ Port Louis – the population of Seychelles is just over 100 000 across those 155 islands – but there’s plenty


Lagoon views from the dining room of Constance Lemuria.

Constance Lemuria

Golf with a view.


going on. The Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, circa 1840, is a good stop to get a feel for island life – it’s a working market where the locals go to pick up fresh fish, fruit and vegetables as part of daily life and provides a great opportunity to pick up some supplies of your own. Because there’s no industry on the island and the only real crops that grow in the granite soils are cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava, and bananas, almost everything is imported to the island by air, making the creature comforts relatively pricey – none more so, than alcohol. Exploring Mahe is relatively simple – there’s a beautiful coastal route around the island that takes in seascapes, but you can also head inland and uphill, traversing winding mountain roads through small towns. To the north is Beau Vallon, probably the most popular beach on the island. A strip of hotels and bars line the promenade and it’s used as a base for diving and snorkelling, thanks to its clear water and coral reefs. It’s a great base to explore the island, with the 160-room Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa possibly the biggest and best-appointed spot. The rooms are spread out in blocks around a beautifully manicured pool area that’s large enough to qualify as a water park, dotted with bars and places to relax. The beach is a short walk away, too, offering a great mix of local culture and cossetted luxury. A short drive around the Morne Seychelles National Park takes you to the West Coast, where Barbarons is a great base for a few days of exploring the quieter beaches. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, the Avani Barbarons Resort is part of an international chain and offers plenty of options – with the focus on ‘optional’ – including the island nation’s only Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar, set on a deck overlooking the beach, and perfect for a romantic dinner. It’s also a great place for kids, with a Kids’ Club running jam-packed itineraries for the little ones.


Views from Constance Lemuria.

Kempinski Hotel.

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Poolside of the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Allamanda Resort.

Praslin is the second-largest island in the archipelago and is just a 10-minute Air Seychelles hop away from Mahe. There’s a ferry option, too, but you’ll be able to tell by the locals’ reaction to questions about whether it’s a good time to take it or not, as the water can get unpleasantly choppy when the seasonal winds pick up. The island is home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Vallée de Mai National Park, one of only two places in the world where the symbol of Seychelles, the Coco de Mer palm, grows in its natural state (the other being nearby Curieuse Island). It’s easy to tackle the well-signposted trails in the park itself – the longest is about 2km – but it’s worth booking a tour with an agency like Creole Travel Services and having an expert on hand to share details on the staggeringly beautiful plants and palms that soar 30m overhead. Over 40% of Seychelles’ area is dedicated to protected areas for threatened species, from the sheath-tailed bat to the miniscule palm frog and giant tortoises to the mysterious Black Parrot, which calls Vallée de Mai, home.

DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Allamanda Resort.

One of Seychelles’ two golf courses is situated on Praslin too – and the 18-hole, par 70 course at the staggeringlybeautiful Constance Lemuria resort on the north-west coast is a particularly challenging one. The resort is world-famous, having scooped a host of international rewards, and it’s perhaps one of the finest five-star island establishments you could possibly hope to visit, anywhere in the world. With its private beaches, sumptuous restaurants with encyclopaedic wine lists, beautifully appointed rooms – or just the chance to watch the giant tortoises roam freely within its grounds – Constance Lemuria is definitely one for the bucket list. Whether it’s ultimate luxury or pure natural beauty you’re after, Seychelles should definitely be at the top of your island wishlist, now that the skies are open again. INFO Sechelles Tourism, www.seychelles.travel/en/

Kempinski Hotel’s pool and sun loungers.

win go

2 nights at Oliver’s

valued at over R12 000

Nestled in a lush valley overlooking the first green of the 18-hole championship White River Golf Course is Oliver’s Lodge and Wellness Centre. Oliver’s is an owner-managed boutique hotel located just 15 minutes from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. The picturesque setting provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy all that Oliver’s has to offer and it is a lot. Luxurious upmarket rooms, an in-house a la carte restaurant which serves decadent food, a fully-fledged Wellness and Beauty Centre which offers a wide range of bespoke treatments, a well stocked wine cellar, exquisite gardens, a glorious swimming pool for the balmy Lowveld days, the list goes on and on. Added to all of this is the signature ‘home away from home’ hospitality offered at Oliver’s. We can promise that it is a place that you won’t want to ever leave.To find out more visit www.olivers.co.za, email res@olivers.co.za or call 013 750 0479.


One lucky reader has the opportunity to experience all that Oliver’s has to offer. The prize includes a twonight stay for two people sharing a luxury room on a bed and breakfast basis, plus a couples 45-minute Back, Neck and Shoulder massage and a dinner voucher to the value of R600. To enter email info@lowveldlivingmagazine.com and put “Olivers” in the subject box. Closing date is December 31, 2020. Win is valid for six months. T & C’s apply.

SUMMER | 2020



Ross Culverwell


bringing art Words Nicky Manson

White River Gallery is welcoming past Lowvelders home with its new exhibition, Diaspora, curated by Karin Daymond. “In my own art practice, I have always been acutely aware of how my environment influences my choices. I wasn’t born in the Lowveld, but have lived here long enough to realise that it has had an impact on many artists and that it would be revealing to examine this. Sometimes we only process what we know once we move elsewhere, “ says Karin. “I am also an advocate for treasuring what is unique about the Lowveld. I have


encouraged invited artists to tease this out on a personal level, which is not always a simple process. Engaging with artists who are grappling with this concept has been stimulating all round. I think we are going to have an interesting range of work at the exhibition.” The exhibition opens on 21 November 2020 and closes on 17 January 2021.

Colbert Mashile

COLBERT MASHILE Colbert’s roots are grounded in the Lowveld as he was born and raised in the village of Buffelshoek, in the district of Bushbuckridge in 1972. After matriculating, his parents moved to Thembisa close to Kempton Park. However the area still lies close to his heart. “I have a strong social circle, and I visit this beautiful part of the world regularly.” How has the Lowveld inspired your art? Although I moved to the city at 17, I never lost my love for the rural areas I grew up in. We had no electricity or TV, so much of my time was spent


exploring the area, observing my surroundings. The animals which formed part of my childhood, also formed a significant part of our folklore, so in my artwork I often use animals depicting my upbringing. In my work, the tortoise represents patience, the rabbit is the street-wise guy, the male of any species represents brute force. Any Lowveld artists that inspired you? I was always intrigued by the art of Thami Jali and Amos Letsoalo, who is currently the curator of the Polokwane Art Gallery. I remember working closely with the crafters in our area, feeling


Colbert Mashile

the urge to discover beyond the process of craft-making, drawn to understanding how the crafters conveyed a thought, concept or a message through their craft. I also drew so much inspiration being in the company of like-minded artists at The Artists’ Press. Medium? As a young painter, I was drawn to more affordable mediums out of necessity thus watercolour on paper. I was also inspired and encouraged by artists such as Durant Sihlali at the Art Foundation. The late Professor Alan Crump further entrenched my love for watercolour, which formed a strong part of my studies in my final year at Wits University. Over the years, I have expanded this to include oil and acrylic, pastel and charcoal, and paper remains an often-used medium in my work. What is your genre? I wouldn’t necessarily classify my work as fitting into a specific genre, a better description is that I use traditional methods and mediums to create contemporary thought-provoking concepts. INFO I am represented by the Everard Read Gallery, whilst the Artists Press in White River carry a range of my prints. colbertmashile@gmail. com, Instagram@colbertmashile

details one finds on nature walks are all things I incorporate into my paintings; this keeps me tied to the Lowveld area even when I’m away.” Any Lowveld landscapes we would recognise? I mostly focus on the smaller details like tree lichens and fungus, bark and textures. However, I often paint my parent’s farm. I love drawing trees after they have been burnt for the fire breaks, that’s a sight that I associate with the area quite a lot. Medium? Watercolour on paper is my medium. I also work in ink and acrylic. I jump between genres and subjects, but all of my art tends to focus on the duality between calm and chaos. How did you discover your passion? I was always drawing and felt as though I could express myself best that way. Speaking in images made sense to me from a young age, and communicating that way is still very fulfilling. INFO Visit www.aimeelindeque.com to order prints or request a catalogue. Instagram/aimee_lindeque_ art. Facebook page/Aimee Lindeque. aimee. lindeque@gmail.com

AIMEE LINDEQUE Aimee was born and raised on a farm in the Schagen area. After attending Penryn College, she moved to Cape Town. Her family still live on her childhood farm, and she comes home for long stretches to visit and work in her makeshift studio. “The vegetation of the Lowveld influences a lot of my art. The colours from the bush and the tiny

Aimee Lindeque

SUMMER | 2020


live my inspiration effectively. Regardless of medium, the one consistency in my art is always my vivid use of colour. My work highlights the beauty in the mundane, the things we take for granted, the items that populate the moment. Where can we buy your art? I sell my work through social media as well as on OnlineArt.Gallery’s website, the Golden Goose Artistry in Pretoria and Unsung Art. INFO elizabeth@tristram.co.za, Instagram@ elizabethtristram, Facebook/elizabethtristramart


Elizabeth Tristram

ELIZABETH TRISTRAM Elizabeth was born and raised in Mbombela. “I moved away after I finished matric, but my family still lives there, so I visit often. Driving through the Schoemanskloof mountains always feels like coming home.” Has the Lowveld inspired your art? As a landscape, it hasn’t directly influenced my aesthetics. However, it encourages a sense of homecoming. My work is heavily inspired by memory and childhood, and the Lowveld is the foundation of this, it was the scenery of my formative years. Medium? I’m an oil painter, watercolourist and printmaker. I find it difficult (and tedious) to stick to one single medium and often find myself learning something new to depict


Ingrid has become known for her detailed paintings and drawings depicting birds in flight. Her fascination with fleeting time and impermanence is still a significant theme in her work, and her recent collections have become more focused on the Hummingbird species as a metaphor for “Capturing Moments”. Ingrid was born in Ermelo and matriculated from Hoërskool Middelburg; her parents still live in the area. “My father invested in a beautiful piece of land just outside Lydenburg where we spend as much time as possible in nature and the outdoors. I grew up camping and exploring the outdoors with my family. My parents are passionate birders, and my father would stop for almost every little bird. My parents taught me to notice the detail around me, find the beauty in one’s surroundings, and be curious and inquisitive.” Any Lowveld

Ingrid Uys

live Medium? I work mainly in oils on canvas and hardboard. I am inspired by my surroundings, nature and familiar objects and use them to develop themes I am working on. The genre tends to be landscape or still-life through which I explore an idea or situation that I’m thinking through. Is art your profession? I work professionally as an artist and psychologist. INFO www. juliamitchellpainting.com


Julia Mitchell

subjects we would recognise? My paintings of birds in flight have become an identified theme in my work, anything from swallows to bee-eaters to sunbirds. Medium? I paint in oil colours. Mostly on canvas/linen, but I also experiment on paper. My paintings can be described as impressionistic in a way, even though the birds may look somewhat realistic to a viewer. I use my artistic freedom to create pieces that are inspired by nature, rather than genuine reflections of nature. INFO Visit ingriduys.com to view her work. Instagram@ingrid_e_uys. info@ingriduys.com

Margy lived in the Lowveld area from 1984 to 1996, and was involved with the art community while bringing up her children. “We arrived in a beat-up brown Variant stationwagon which we called “the Very End“. We first lived in Plaston in a wooden house called “The Slow Cooker”, situated on a swamp amongst the blackjacks, mosquitoes and beetles. After we were living there for some time, we discovered a pig in a pen was living at the bottom of the garden unbeknown to us. I was heavily pregnant at the time and, to keep cool, I would lie on a camp bed between the front and back doors where there was a bit of a breeze. My other earliest memories of the Lowveld include meeting Esais and Val Bosch, Dennis and Mary Raphaely, Sally and Tom Sawyer, and Sue Hart. I remember the tall Flamboyant trees, the vegetation at the winding Crocodile River, the trees both exotic and indigenous, the heat and afternoon thunderstorms, the soil and the perfume of orange blossom Frangipani, and the high Syringa. Life, decay, life... I took with me. And friendships.”


Margy Malan

Julie moved to White River in 2006 when her husband Terry was appointed Chaplain at Uplands College. “As a family, we have many wonderful memories of our time in the beautiful Lowveld. It is a unique place to live, and the beauty, colour, and diversity of nature are visually so exciting. There is a wonderful vitality, a wildness and sense of freedom that is very energising.” Any Lowveld landscapes we would recognise? While living in the Lowveld, I often painted aspects of the landscape, and my still life paintings were combined with local birds and indigenous leaves, fruits and seeds. This is an ongoing theme, and plants and ancient rocks are the subject matter of my latest paintings.

SUMMER | 2020


live Has the Lowveld inspired your art? Yes, the landscape, bushveld, and abundant vegetation are a fundamental part of my creativity, like the great, greasy Crocodile River. I often use the plant life of the Lowveld in my works. Medium? Clay and glaze (for my ceramics), book making, ink drawing and watercolour painting. My works tend to reflect botanical subjects. INFO Find Margy on Instagram@margymalanart, Facebook/margymalanart

DR NATHANI LUNEBURG Nathani grew up on a farm just outside White River. She attended White River Primary School and Rob Ferreira Hoërskool. She relocated to Pretoria in 2001 and still resides there. “At the moment, I am a senior lecturer and coordinator of Visual Arts at the University of South Africa (Unisa). I teach painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital painting, amongst others.” Has the Lowveld inspired your art? Yes definitely. Once a week, my family and I visited the Kruger National Park, and the memories of the fascinating wildlife became one of the main inspirations in my latest artworks. I am also inspired by my childhood memories of our Lowveld garden with indigenous Lowveld plants, the Macadamia orchard on our farm and the childhood dogs I played with. Any Lowveld subjects we would recognise? For this specific exhibition, cryptic images of animals residing in the Kruger National Park and reference to

the Panorama Route are visible. The artworks also include the dogs I grew up with. Medium? Primarily it’s digital stop-frame animation in which I use up to 10 000 frames to produce an animation. Recently I have been experimenting with drawing and illustration, combined with digital painting. INFO 082 391 0388, nathani.luneburg@gmail.com


Olivia was born in the Lowveld and went to Penryn, leaving for a gap year and to study veterinary medicine at Onderstepoort. “I always had a Nathani Luneburg feeling that I would find my way back to the Lowveld. I have an intense love for this area, and wildlife conservation was the reason I wanted to become a vet.” Olivia had a bone marrow transplant at the start of 2019. With the intensive and lengthy recovery, coupled with COVID-19, she has not been able to return to veterinary full time yet. “I’ve turned to my other love, art and exploring nature through creativity. I’m grateful for this time to develop a different side of me.” How has the Lowveld influenced your art? It taught me to


live appreciate the light, to notice the natural cycles and to be in constant awe of the natural world around me. Nature is and always has been my safe space – the place I go to for healing, inspiration and wisdom. My art explores our relationship with nature and tries to restore that memory of connections to the natural world that many people have sadly lost. Medium? I currently use watercolour, acrylics, ink, photography and ceramics. My artworks are all inspired by the Olivia McMurray wonder that is nature. INFO Buy online at www.livandlight.com. oliviamcm@gmail. com, livandlightshop@gmail.com, Instagram@ livvymcmurray; @livandlight

ROSS CULVERWELL Ross was born and raised in Johannesburg but matriculated from Uplands College. “I lived and

worked in White River with friends for about two years, and then I left to travel and ended up continuing studying art in Cape Town at Ruth Prowess school of Art.” Ross worked as an artist’s assistant but lost his job due to COVID-19 and turned back to art. “I do feel very connected to the Lowveld because of the people I’ve met, the lifelong friends I have made and the amazing memories I’ve kept. I still have a lot of friends there, as well as a brother currently doing his matric at Uplands, and still come visit when I can.” Has the Lowveld inspired your art? In my new series, I made a drawing/video inspired by the classic Lowveld landscape. Medium? I use mixed media but mainly charcoal with animation and photography. My latest series explores landscapes, but I don’t like to limit myself. I want to examine a lot of different things. When did you discover your passion for art? I have been drawing as long as I can remember, but it took some time for me to embrace it fully. After I travelled I realised that it’s something that is a massive part of who I am and something I wanted to follow. INFO Contact Ross directly for buying art, rculverwell14@gmail.com, Instagram@rossculverwellart Ross Culverwell

DUNCAN BUTCHART Duncan lived in Mbombela between 1993 and 2013. His family had a property adjacent to the Nelspruit Nature Reserve which over a span of 20 years, he turned into a ‘mininature reserve’ that he called Turaco Wood. He is an illustrator and writer specialising in nature and has published several books including Garden Birds in Southern Africa (StruikNature, 2017) and Wildlife of the Lowveld (Southern Books, 1996). “As an ecotourism consultant, I have

SUMMER | 2020


live tackled projects for Lowveld enterprises including Kings Camp, Londolozi and the Mpumalanga Parks Board. I have produced illustrated environmental resources for Uplands and Penryn. I have presented numerous lectures on birds and other aspects of nature to the local community and I self-published the illustrated guide Birds of Mbombela in 2011.” Has the Lowveld inspired your art? The Lowveld represents the best of Africa to me; the diversity of life, especially birds, the landscapes of granite outcrops and flat-crowned trees, the crisp mornings, the glowing evening light, the powerful thunderstorms. Where can we find your art? My graphic-style pop art is the foundation for a commercial range of vintage-style poster-prints – the African Journey Collection – that feature Africa’s most iconic wildlife reserves and travel destinations. I have an online store, www.dbnatureworks.com. INFO 082 772 1437, duncan@dbnatureworks.com. instagram@butchartduncan, instagram@africanjourney collection DIaspora-LL-halfpageforprint.pdf




Duncan Butchart





boho bush

Nicola Leitch turned down a dream job travelling the world sourcing and styling spaces for a wealthy client in Europe to focus on a personal project in her new hometown Words Bev Tucker Photos Emma Gatland





, there’s the name. Safari Moon. Just two words bestow a world of evocative bushveld magic. Secondly, you respond at once to the visual impact. It’s a commercial lodge that feels like the private home of your wonderful friend who is also lavishly wealthy, slightly eccentric and fabulously talented. Which pretty much sums up Safari Moon’s owner-designer-decorator. She is a global nomad who is as much at home traipsing the high-toned cobbles of St Tropez as she is digging about at Mr Price Home, or scouting fabrics from coconut palm stalls in a Vilanculos mercado. The idea of building and setting up a new lodge in a new town made her mouth water. It came about through her husband Guy’s family roots in the Klaserie. “We were living in Cape Town where we have two other properties, but he was always moaning about the wet and windy weather. When we came to Hoedspruit for a wedding, it reminded us of how fantastic the climate and lifestyle is. It dawned on us that we could split our time between the Cape and here.” Not given to the timid approach, Nicola dived right in. A three-bedroomed house with “good bones” was located in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, and she sketched the concept for its transformation into a breathtaking lodge. “It was so exciting to transform a basic Bushveld family home into our dream lodge with the wonderful size and





+27 15 817 1834 bianca@kukuinteriors.co.za



space our vast African bush makes possible.” With her love of interiors and fashion, plus a lifetime of entrepreneurial experience in the design and decorating of homes, hotels and her former African Queen shops, the project showcases all her favourite occupations and talents. “I’ve always loved building, bashing down, revamping, decorating and designing. I’ve learned everything through hard labour,” she roars with laughter. The final 480-square metres – the rooms and bathrooms are enormous – abound in Nicola’s distinctive touch. It’s not a look that fits neatly into a category. “I’d say it’s a coherent mishmash. Glamorous but homely at the same time.” She belongs to a particular brand of interior stylists, loosely defined as possessing an eye for potential, a radar for brilliant finds and, crucially, access to storage space. They stash. They drag doors in from Rajasthan that don’t suit conventional frames but have irresistible allure, tuck away an antique bureau with fetching lines, buy far too many roadside crafts that will jab them in the neck from the back seat for the 800km drive home. The key is that they always yield to the leap of heart when they see a glorious and lovely thing. They tune out faithless vocalising by unbelievers “but what’s it for, why do you need it?” Most importantly, they have honed an inventiveness that skriks vir niks. “I scan everywhere I go, and I stash massively. When I see something I love, it always gets used somehow, sometime.” That Indian door? Kaboom! Now it’s an alcove at Safari Moon. That huge velvet sofa that’s far too big for any room? Tada! Prize position baby, piled with cushions on the



verandah. And so it goes. There are the custom-made beds from Splinters, embroidered fabrics from Kaross, glassware from Sophia Conran, Christoffel cutlery from a south of France brocante, framed Ardmore tablecloths hung like canvases, tea towels converted into cushion covers, a woven daybed morphed into a coffee table and art by Lionel Smit, bronzes from Charles Grieg and so on. Abracadabra! It’s all drawn together into this inviting, lush panoply resonating joie de vivre and igniting the senses and proclaiming, “here’s to life!”

FIND IT Safari Moon, www.safarimoon.co.za Design & Interiors by Nicola Leitch, 083 449 5868 Bathrooms by Buco – www.buco.co.za and Tile Africa – www.tileafrica.co.za Kitchen by Kitchen Eco Steps Landscaping by Blyde Eco Decks by Dirkie Reed – Tshukudu Decking, 082 255 0475 Draughtsperson: Simone Braun. Construction: Carsen Construction – www.carsen.co.za


subscribe & win

Sign up to the LL experience and the latest copy will be delivered to you. For only R222.84, you will receive a year’s subscription of six editions of Lowveld Living Magazine. Subscribe in the months of November, December 2020 and January 2021 and you stand the chance to win two nights at the glamorous boutique hotel Safari Moon in Hoedspruit. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of local sparkling wine on check in, a couple’s massage courtesy of Africology Hoedspruit and a Blyde Dam cruise including transfers from Selly Safaris Travel & Tours. Located on Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, Safari Moon is a boutique base from which to discover the wonders of South Africa’s Lowveld region. Explore a range of nearby attractions from the famed Kruger National park to the scenic Panorama Route, or simply chose to relax and unwind in nature, making the most of your private piece of Wildlife Estate wilderness. There are six stylish suites to choose from during your stay, named after different wildlife species that can be seen in the estate and around the lodge. Every room has its own charm, style and story, not forgetting a vibrant collection of both international and African art. Guests can expect a luxurious and tranquil space to revitalise and rediscover one of South Africa’s most sought after safari destinations. INFO 015 793 0259, 082 562 1842, reservations@african-retreats.co.za, www.safarimoon.co.za. www.africologyspa.com; www.selleysafaris.com TO SUBSCRIBE CALL: 079 523 4671or EMAIL: lowveldliving@gmfc.co.za, info@lowveldlivingmagazine.com Ts & Cs The prize includes a two-night stay with massages and Blyde River boat trip. Valid for six months. Magazine: Rate applicable to one-year subscription of six editions at R216.24. Processing of the subscription may take up to a week.

Win a getaway to Safari Moon Lodge valued at R10 000

a quiet place 68 LOWVELDLIVING #83

TRISH MARSHALL DESIGNS interior design, styling & procurement.

A most modern house sits in juxtaposition beside a river bordering the Kruger wilderness. Somehow it works Words Bev Tucker Photos Marc Taback

trish@tmddesigns.co.za +27 83 708 6124 26 Paradise Street, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa



River Lodge, in Mjejane Private Game Reserve, conveys the ideals of a bush retreat through lean contemporary design but the showstopper is its setting on the Crocodile River. The owner worked closely with Mbombela architect Tom Hattingh and a local building team lead by Andre de Zwart of Ingwe Construction to translate her vision into bricks and mortar. “I’m a true child of Africa. I feel deeply connected to nature and the South African bush has such a special appeal. I also love modern design. Good design pays attention to detail, people, space, the natural world, and materials to create something beautiful, memorable, and meaningful. The idea was to create an understated modern house that still sat beautifully in its environment.” The structure itself is arranged to discreetly honour the landscape, while the interior echoes the indigenous foliage found nearby, “inspired by the characteristic grey bark of a giant Leadwood tree clinging to the banks of the river outside. I remember when I came to view the stand the agent almost apologised for the



FIND IT Wallpaper: Clinton Friedman, Woodchip & Magnolia, Trish Marshall Designs. Fabrics & soft furnishings: Trish Marshall Designs, 083 708 6124 Architect: Tom Hattingh Architects, 083 626 6775 Building: Ingwe Construction, 082 820 4228 Kitchen pendants: Jacques Cronje, minima design Art: Lion, Elephant and Rhino canvasses by Ross Couper, Kingfisher pencil drawings by Andre Olwage Hanging chair: Joanina Pastoll, Studio Stirling HAY chairs: Crema Design Joinery & selected furniture: Brett Stephen Designs


tree obscuring the river view somewhat, but that is a 500-year-old living, breathing structure. I thought it was beautiful. A breeding pair of African fish eagles nest in it every winter.” When designing the garden her brief to landscaper Claire Patmore had the same ethos. “I wanted it to look like the house had just been dropped in the veld by a giant crane. I did not want a manicured garden at all. The wilder the better.” The interior is flooded with light that enters through floor-to-ceiling glazing. It has a quiet discernment that might be found in a modern art gallery where the building is as much an artwork as the art it frames. Of the three giant canvasses by photographer Ross Couper, she says, “I really connected with his photographs of the rhino and elephant mothers with their calves that are in the respective bedrooms. The bond between a mother and child (wild or not) is just so powerful. I had an unbreakable bond with my mother. She passed away over 20 years ago, but I hope she would be proud of the space I created.” For the living room she chose Couper’s work titled Lion Oath. “Lions have such intimate social structures and strong bonds and the photograph captured that perfectly.” Elsewhere, a series of kingfisher pencil sketches by Andre Olwage are positioned together in a flock. “The detail in those drawings is staggering. He was commissioned by the SA Post Office to draw South African kingfishers for a stamp series and that’s where I saw his work. He started out with the six most commonly found in the Kruger area, but I kept adding more until we had all 10 kingfishers found throughout South Africa.” On the patio, a giant map of Kruger holds sway. “People stand in front of it for hours. It’s a reminder of the responsibility we have as South Africans to protect this wild heartbeat of Africa. The true masterpiece is the view over Kruger with its unspoiled natural African bushveld.” The owner was responsible for all the décor and interior design, favouring a pared down aesthetic and considerately placed pieces. As with the African-inspired choices from Trish Marshall and Clinton Friedman, local design prevailed, with an occasional flourish like the beetle wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia in the UK in the living room and a set of original Hay chairs in the boma. “They cast such beautiful shadows during the day and are really comfortable.”



spaces “I see my favourite pieces almost as jewels for my house. I’m in love with the bubble hanging chair from Studio Stirling, designed and manufactured in South Africa by Joanina Pastoll and her husband. I also love my kitchen pendants by Jacques Cronje of Minima Design. They sit so beautifully in the space. And then of course the fourposter beds in the bedrooms from Brett Stephen Design in Mbombela.” The layout is suitably open plan as befits the easy living climate and the owner’s love of nature. It’s not easy for the owner to nominate her favourite elements. “The symmetry, simplicity and easy flow of the space, the large patio that opens up completely to the river with its chatty hippos and Kruger bushveld beyond. The fact that you can see right through the house into Kruger. The high ceilings with that perfect barn pitch. The modern boma area on the edge of the Crocodile river and next to the ancient leadwood tree, my completely wild, endemic garden that I share with little bush buck and genets, the cheeky little wagtails who keep me company on my patio, the woodland kingfishers nesting in the acacia tree in my court yard in summer, I can go on and on...” “My dream for Kingfisher River Lodge was to create a relationship between nature, the beauty of the building and the well-being and happiness of its inhabitants. It’s a very special place Andre and Tom have created for me.” INFO www.kingfisherriverlodge.co.za


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