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BARCELONA to ROME 22 to 29 August 2013 Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Fares from US$3,787 per person
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General Sales Agent: Janine Pretorius Tel: 012 664 0925 Email: email@example.com www.RSSC.com Offers expire September 30, 2013 and their availability is limited. At the time of your purchase, fares may be higher. For current fares and promotional offers, please contact your local Travel Agent. Fares listed are in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy. All fares listed are per person and bonus savings listed are per suite. All fares and offers are for new bookings only, are capacity controlled and subject to availability, may not be combined with other offers and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. 2-for-1 Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; fares may not include Personal Charges, Optional Facilities and Services Fees as defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Guest Ticket Contract. FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package applies for guests 1 and 2 only. FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package is only available for Concierge Suites and Higher beginning with these voyages: Seven Seas Voyager® June 2, 2014; Seven Seas Mariner® April 7, 2014 and Seven Seas Navigator® May 21, 2014. FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and number of shore excursions are subject to availability. Restrictions apply and cancellations received 36 hours prior to shore excursion start date may incur penalties. Regent Seven Seas Cruises® reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares or promotional offers at any time. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the Guest Ticket Contract at www.RSSC.com. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas ©2013 Regent Seven Seas Cruises®.
• Up to four gourmet restaurants, including the iconic steakhouse Prime 7, plus haute French cuisine at Signatures, Continental dining at Compass Rose, casual indoor and outdoor buffet dining at La Veranda, our new Tuscan-inspired evening restaurant Sette Mari at La Veranda and the al fresco Pool Grill * Terms and conditions apply
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FOR RESERVATIONS, RATES, SCHEDULES AND SPECIAL PACKAGES, PLEASE CONTACT US: PRETORIA: TEL: +27 (0) 12 334-8459/60, FAX: +27 (0) 12 334-8464/8081 CAPE TOWN: +27 (0) 21 449-2672, FAX: +27 (0) 21 449-2067 E-MAIL: INFO@BLUETRAIN.CO.ZA
2012/05/03 9:11 AM
CONT E N T S 36 12
Editor’s letter and competition winners
Limelight: Jan-Erik Swart Masterful man of music Directions Best of the new from across the Garden Route
Environment: Knysna elephants Mystic forest giants
Destination: Oakhurst A historic farm stay
Business: Online shopping A global trend clicks in the Garden Route
Gear up: Mountain Biking Ischen Stopforth’s 10 must-haves
Event: Surf’s up The Ross Taylor Benefit Surf Contest
Special feature: Weddings Big business in the Garden Route Food: De Rustica olives Lighting the way in the Karoo
PHOTOGRAPH MELANIE MARĂ‰ MODEL ABBIE GELDENHUYS 083 444 5190 STYLING MANDY LYNN VARRIE 082 853 9619
74 78 84
Motoring: Mercedes-Benz AMG Equally at home on road and track
WIN with South 4 Fabulous reader give-aways up for grabs
Wine: Newstead Family Vineyards New flavours from Plett
Socials Seen out and about
Music: Wendy Oldfield and Wild Lettuce Laying down new tracks
Subscribe and WIN A three-night stay for two, including breakfast, in the four-star contemporary luxurious Phoenix Guest House in the heart of Wilderness
Last Word The Otter: trail or trial?
“ IF I T D OE S N ’ T C H A L L E NGE Y OU , I T D OE S N ’ T C H A NGE Y OU.”
Follow South on
These motivational words by New York fitness guru Fred Devito will take me through winter this year, staying positive when the sun hides for too long, muscles burn or careful planning and preparation fly out the window. Because, as we all know, whether you think you need it or not, change is the one thing you can be sure of in this life. And then, to make sure I’m prepared for the inevitable duvet day, brought on by the weather at this time of year, I’ll keep this thought by creative powerhouse Pablo Picasso up my sleeve: “Everything that you can imagine is real.” Keep working, keep dreaming. Between the two we should all be able to conjure up a season rich in both experience and promise.
L IE SL H AT T INGH E DI T OR
Here are the lucky South readers who walked away with the Autumn prizes:
A Route 66 beanbag, a Route 66 cushion and a Route 66 door stop together with an adjustable Ash desk lamp, total value R3 450 from Bespoke – Bea van der Watt A horse safari from Adventure Horse Safari’s including an evening ride followed by a braai around the campfire, including overnight accommodation, breakfast and buffet lunch all to the value of R3 180 – Chantel Brown
Two night’s accommodation for two at Eight Bells Mountain Inn, breakfast included, valued at R2 400. Prize subject to availability, valid until end of November 2013. Excluding Cape school holiday periods – Luretha Cronje The subscribers prize: A two-night stay for two people in an ultra-luxurious Deluxe Junior Suite at the newly rebranded Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa in Knysna, including
breakfast and dinner at Café Z and a full resort experience with a choice each day of either a round of golf on the famous Pezula Championship Course or a neck and shoulder treatment at the Spa worth R11 000 – Elaine Haynes A worm-bin from Ezi-Grow Tunnels worth R750 – Dalene Bredell
PHOTOGRAPHS DANIE NEL
EDITOR Liesl Hattingh | email@example.com 021 424 0792 or 082 777 5746 ASSISTANT EDITOR Itha Kieser | firstname.lastname@example.org 044 873 2771 or 082 333 7407 ART DIRECTOR Sean Robertson | email@example.com 083 446 0478 COPY EDITOR Janine Oelofse | firstname.lastname@example.org WRITERS Timothy Twidle, Gareth Pretorius, Marliza van den Berg, Colleen Blaine, Melissa Reitz, Nikki Ridley, Chantel Nienaber, Ischen Stopforth, Richard Webb, Fawa Conradie PHOTOGRAPHERS Melanie Maré, Desmond Scholtz, Elle Redman, Charlene Harte, Wesley Vorster, Glenn Murray, Fawa Conradie, Love Made Visible ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Eugene Hugo | email@example.com 021 424 0792 or 071 672 3545 SALES EXECUTIVES Lino Vermaak, Steph Minwalla, Nimray Jocelyn Kruger firstname.lastname@example.org 021 424 0792 FINANCIAL DIRECTOR Juan Hugo | email@example.com MARKETING AND EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR Shyne Murray | firstname.lastname@example.org | 044 873 2771 OFFICE ASSISTANT & PA TO MANAGING DIRECTOR Charlotte Ngubane | email@example.com 021 424 0792 ACCOUNTS Eldri Lombard | firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTING Paarl Media Paarl DISTRIBUTION On the Dot (national) | 011 401 5881 | Allison Jonck (Garden Route) | 081 473 0953 SUBSCRIPTIONS See page 95, visit www.southmagazine.co.za, send an email to email@example.com or call 044 873 2771 PUBLISHERS Young Africa Publishing 2009/000077/23 Cape Town: Studio 2, 2nd Floor, 6 On-Pepper, 6 Pepper Street, Cape Town, 8000 Postal: PostNet Suite 38, Private Bag X3, Roggebaai, 8012 Tel: 021 424 0792 | Fax: 021 424 5292 George: 3 Rand Street, George Industria, George, 6536 Tel: 044 873 2771 | Fax: 044 873 2784
© SOUTH 2010. All due care will be taken with material submitted but the magazine and the publishers cannot be held responsible for loss or damage. SOUTH assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial, graphic, photographic or other material. All rights in letters and unsolicited material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to SOUTH’s unrestricted right to edit, crop, adjust and comment. SOUTH is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part with the written permission from the publisher, Young Africa Publishing. While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information given to the reader, the editor, the publisher and the proprietor cannot accept responsibility for any damage or inconvenience which may arise therefrom. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Meet some of the people who made this edition so special: ELLE REDMAN
Photography is Elle’s passion. She loves to capture the free spirit and natural moments in any situation. What did you learn this year?
Interesting things happen around us every day. You may be caught up in the middle of a trending news story, or find something relevant to what’s happening in your community today. Some of the most memorable photos of all time were caught in the middle of the action. Name one new thing you did this past year?
Photographed a baby elephant called Fiela. I waited for months for the phone call to say ‘come quick, the baby elephant is on the way’, but then it happened so fast, I could not get there in time. Meeting Fiela when she was a mere six hours old was amazing. Name one favourite place or activity on the GR.
Brenton-on-Sea at sunset – being there always reminds me that we must be grateful to witness another beautiful Garden Route sunset. GARETH PRETORIUS
Gareth is a writer, project manager for a local charity and a born-again thespian. When not juggling these careers, he’s a Sunday surfer, a beginner beekeeper and a glutton for good books and music. What did you learn this year? I learned that my knees look ridiculous in a kilt! Name one new thing you did this past year?
Beekeeping. Name one favourite place or activity on the GR .
Spending an afternoon with friends, exploring the gorge at Drupkelders. TIMOTHY TWIDLE
Timothy is an artist, photographer, writer and radio presenter. On Sunday mornings he presents a programme called Classic Sunday, a miscellany of music and poetry, on the local radio stations in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Timothy enjoys nature, reading, good company and dining out. What did you learn this year? I started to learn the operas of Richard Wagner. Name one new thing you did this past year?
I completed the cryptic crossword of the Financial Times Weekend correctly, for the first time. Name one favourite place or activity on the GR.
My favourite place on the Garden Route is Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area.
MASTERFUL MAN OF MUSIC The talented Jan-Erik Swart’s passion for sharing the wonder and benefits of classical music drives his quest for perfection and participation. W O R D S
T I M O T H Y
T W I D L E
At the start of 2013, having just gained the degree of Master of Music (cum laude) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, this devoted musician was appointed Classical Music Curator of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival and the Klein Karoo Klassique. Both these annual events in Oudtshoorn have drawn large crowds and achieved rave reviews over the past few years. Not one to rest on his laurels, this year Jan-Erik conducted a massed choir of 240 singers at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival – along with the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Eric Rycroft – in the performance of a selection of well-known works, including Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven) from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, the Hallelujah Chorus from the oratorio Messiah, Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. At the same festival, he also teamed up with Chris Chameleon and the South Cape Children’s Choir in the staging of Misa Criolla, a folk mass by Argentinian composer Ariel Ramírez, based on the rhythms and traditions of Latin America, for which they won the coveted Kanna Award for Best Musical Production. Jan-Erik believes the potential for the development of music in South Africa is huge and he has an ambitious vision for the future. However, finding funds to pay for musical instruments,
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P H O T O G R A P H
M E L A N I E
teaching or even going on tour is not an easy task. He laments the attitude of the Department of Arts and Culture, which he says “is interested in African contemporary music, but tends to regard classical music as elitist and neo-colonial”. Moreover, government schools tend to focus solely on music in the commercial field, adds Jan-Erik, who is also Director of Music at Glenwood House School in George. “Music in the school curriculum is so critical that a nation’s musical culture will collapse without it. In other countries, children start playing on complex instruments from an early age and have holiday camps to develop their skills,” he says. In fact, many studies have shown that the concentrated effort required in learning to read and play classical music greatly improves the academic results of young learners. Jan-Erik would like to see a broader and greater appreciation of classical music and choral singing, and urges people to “get involved and support local, regional and international performers who visit the region. Join a local amateur choir or ensemble. Support existing music societies by providing logistic or administrative backing, and start music academies. Most of all, the Garden Route needs concert venues with proper acoustics.” F I N D I N G I N S P I R AT I O N
Jan-Erik draws inspiration from the texture and harmony of the music
M A R É
of the Renaissance (1400-1600) and its emphasis on the contrapuntal mixing of sounds and voices. Jan-Erik’s career includes being coach to naval cadet bands, for which he received the Chief of the Navy’s Commendation and Pro Patria medal in 1992, conductor of the South Cape Children’s Choir, which won the Animato National Choral Competition at UNISA in 2010 and founder of the South Cape Symphony Orchestra. “I am on a never-ending search to source and listen to both classical and contemporary works in order to have them performed in South Africa,” declares Jan-Erik. He believes that the South Cape Children’s Choir could host international choral groups and perform concerts together. He cites the Royal Copenhagen Children’s Choir of Denmark, that host on average six international choirs per year. “My dream,” says Jan-Erik, “is to develop a South African Children’s Choir, based in George, that could undertake international tours.” He has always had a love of choral singing and the South Cape Children’s Choir has become his “abiding passion”. Jan-Erik’s sheer determination and will to succeed might see that dream realised sooner than anyone might expect. Watch this space…
WINTER 2013 |
directions The besT new producTs, shops, resTauranTs, services and evenTs
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running for life
Frederick van Heerden, an investment broker and enthusiastic photographer from George, was delighted with his photo of giraffe made the shortlist of the sony world Photographic Awards 2013 â€“ nature and wildlife. Frederick snapped the graceful creatures in the Letaba river bed in Kruger national Park. six lions were on the chase so the giraffe were running for their lives â€“ straight towards Frederick. the photo was selected from 55 000 entries in 170 participating countries. www.frederick.photium.com
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ADVENTURE ON DEMAND Although Quad Adventures is not a newcomer to the area, the company now offers amazing combinations of adventure and excitement. Depending on the activity, Quad Adventures operates from different venues, including the Montagu Pass, Cradock’s Kloof and Willowmore. Choose from short trails up to three-day adventures. The most popular is the Short Quad Adventure Tour of 14,8km that will test your nerves and get your adrenaline pumping. You can also make up your own combinations to include overnight stays. Consider a Tingling Twosome (quad biking and paintball/war
games), a Thrilling Threesome (quad biking, abseiling and canoeing) or a Fearsome Foursome (quad biking, abseiling, canoeing and kloofing). If you’re brave enough, join the Nature Discovery tour and become closer acquanted with snakes, scorpions and spiders. The two-hour nocturnal tour includes a qualified and experienced guide, flashlight, water, magnifying glasses and, of course, the “hairies”, the “creepies” and a snake or two. Quad Adventures also hosts birthday parties and team building exercises. Call Anita Barnard on 072 303 9011 or visit www.quadgardenroute.co.za.
The Gieter & Deli Restaurant in Knysna offers local cuisine, delicious and beautiful food, cute décor and a good evening. Visit them on the Phantom Pass Road (after the Rheenendal turn-off) on your way to Knysna from George or contact 044 386 0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Health Hub
The newly opened Health Hub in Plettenberg Bay is a wellness-focused venue where locals can meet, trade, connect, refuel and unwind. Fresh organic produce, also used in the Deli and Garden Café meals, are on sale daily. Carpenters showcase and sell recycled-wood furniture and shelving, while local delicacies include Mrs Jones’ delicious homemade jam, homemade ginger beer and pickled fish. There is also an outdoor market, a nursery, arts and crafts, a cocktail bar, an old English-style pub, a hair salon, a beauty salon, aroma lounge, a kid-haven and even a business hub with conference facilities. Call 044 533 1744/5 or visit www.pletthub.com
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EASTERN CAPE: Govan Mbeki, Greenacres, Hunters Retreat, Uitenhage. GAUTENG: Centurion. KWAZULU-NATAL: Amanzimtoti, Ballito, Brittania, Isipingo, Kloof, Marburg, Port Shepstone, Sarnia, Tongaat, Umhlanga, Verulam.
MARSHALLS WORLD OF SPORT SUPPORTS RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING. NO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS ARE PERMITTED TO GAMBLE. FEASIBLE SOLUTIONS 38 cc TRADING AS MARSHALLS WORLD OF SPORT IS LICENSED BY THE GAUTENG GAMBLING BOARD AND THE WESTERN CAPE GAMBLING AND RACING BOARD. J A MARSHALL, S H MARSHALL, S C MARSHALL, D J MARSHALL AND B A BOWMAN TRADING AS MARSHALLS WORLD OF SPORT ARE LICENSED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL GAMBLING BOARD. EBETS (PTY) LTD TRADING AS MARSHALLS WORLD OF SPORT IS LICENSED BY THE EASTERN CAPE GAMBLING AND BETTING BOARD. NATIONAL RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING PROGRAMME TOLL-FREE COUNSELLING LINE: 0800 006 008. WINNERS KNOW WHEN TO STOP.
WESTERN CAPE: Athlone, Atlantis, Belhar, Bellville (Durban Road), Bellville, Cape Town CBD, Gordon’s Bay, Kensington, Kuils River, Mowbray, Parklands, Parow, Retreat, Riverpark, Rocklands, Stellenbosch, Woodstock.
Artists Laura Stalpers and Bevan van Druten recently opened EXHIBIT on the edge of the Swartvlei Lagoon, Sedgefield. The working studio is open to the public and they have a gallery displaying finished works. The opening exhibition consists of driftwood and stone sculptures, ceramics and artistic furniture. Favoured materials include stone, mainly Italian marble, that is ground, sanded and polished to create stunning pieces of art. Nature’s leftovers get a second chance at EXHIBIT as well. Laura and Bevan re-use branches, sticks, twigs and roots that wash up on beaches and along estuaries to build unique pieces of furniture and ornaments. Their satellite outlet in the main building at Scarab Village is open six days a week. Visit EXHIBIT next to the Sedge Links Golf Course. Hours: Mon - Fri from 10.00 - 18.00, Sat 09.00 - 13.00) Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Landing The Fat Fish
A N Y W HE R E W E AT HE R K I T Track the weather from anywhere in the world through your smartphone or computer. The Oregon Scientific Anywhere Weather Kit offers you an easy plug and play installation that automatically uploads weather data to your online storage for easy access to meteorological data. It even allows you to set up alerts to your smartphone when the weather turns bad. You can view up to a year of comprehensive weather data, including barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction and UV (optional sensors required) in your personal online storage space. Call 0861 123 555, visit www.oregonscientific.co.za or find the Oregon Scientific Anywhere Weather Kit in Cape Union Mart and Due South in the Garden Route, Knysna and Langeberg malls.
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This funky, hip and stylish local fish eatery in Plettenberg Bay recently opened on Central Beach, boasting great views and proving to be a big hit with locals. Clean lines, cool natural colours and interesting details contribute to the appeal of this spacious dining room. The menu, amusingly printed as a newspaper, is dominated by fish and seafood but there’s enough variety to please everyone. For those who prefer to nibble, sink your teeth into an extensive selection of tasty tapas. Other dishes to delight the palette include pan-fried stuffed calamari in caper sauce, a refreshing winter salad of butternut and beetroot dressed in citrus vinaigrette, fat fishcakes with avocado salsa, mezze and charcuterie platters and excellent fresh sushi. Also try out the delicate and juicy hake en papillote or select from the grill menu – rib eye, rump steak or baked chicken breast – if you’re a meat lover. Round off your meal with a cardamom-scented pot au chocolate with liquor-flamed oranges – just the thing to delight your senses. The Fat Fish loyalty to locals extends to the wine list, with vineyards in and around Plettenberg Bay well represented. The snazzy cocktail bar offers more than just good looks. Call 044 533 4740 or visit www.thefatfish.co.za. Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11.00 - 22.00.
Lunch break facelift
The first Alma Laser Clearlift in Africa is now right on our doorstep in George at Skinlogic. The Intro Clearlift “lunch break facelift”, performed using the machine, is a non-invasive, fractionated skin resurfacing that helps you look your best without surgery. It improves fine lines, wrinkles and the appearance of small veins and redness caused by vascularity. It is gentle enough to treat areas that are typically too sensitive to treat with traditional ablative lasers, such as the delicate skin around the eyes, neck, mouth and chest. The Clearlift laser works by creating thousands of microscopic perforations while the skin around each of these perforations remains intact. This allows your skin’s top layer to rapidly heal from the edge of these tiny holes, significantly improving your complexion. It provides noticeable results, often in as little as a single treatment. If your skin is showing signs of ageing, you are a candidate for Clearlift. Call 044 873 6558 or visit www.skinlogic.biz or find Skinlogic at 1st Floor, 38 Langenhoven Road, George.
THE OCEAN VIEW LUXURY GUEST HOUSE The Ocean View Luxury Guest House at “The Dune” on Wilderness Beach is pure luxury. It boasts suites opening onto a private pool and a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean. Contact them at 044 877 0137 or visit www.theoceanview.co.za.
6 WORLD RECORDS
The view from Bloukrans Bridge near Nature’s Valley captures all the majesty and tranquillity of the Bloukrans River valley below. It is the world’s highest commercial bungee jumping bridge at a height of 216m. Bloukrans Bungy, run by Face Adrenaline, is also the highest commercial natural bungy jump in the world and one that boasts a 100 percent safety record over all their operations since 1997. In 2008, Veronic Dean performed 19 bungy jumps in one hour while
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Bill Boshoff performed 101 jumps in a 24-hour period. Mohr Keet was the world’s oldest person to bungy jump from the bridge in 2010 at the age of 96. Scott Huntly broke Bill’s world record for the most bungee jumps in a day when he jumped from Bloukrans Bridge 107 times in nine hours in 2011. Which all proves that bungy has moved from an extreme sport to world class entertainment: tried, tested and safe. Call 042 281 1458 or visit www.faceadrenaline.com
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FLAVOURS OF KNYSNA Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna: 3 July at The Festival Pavilion at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival in Waterfront Drive. Restaurants in and around Knysna will showcase their talents and compete in what promises to be an evening of culinary delights for visitors. The main ingredient of the evening is Knysna’s most popular culinary delight… oysters. Tickets include wine and food tastings, also at participating restaurants and local entertainment. www.oysterfestival.co.za
MID-WINTER WARMER ABSA Calitzdorp Port & Wine Festival: 15-17 June. South Africa’s Port Capital in the Klein Karoo is the place to be this winter for this annual event. Contact Pippa Pringle 082 859 7740, 021 851 5193 for more detail. www.portwinefestival.co.za
OYSTER FESTIVAL BIG 5 CHALLENGE: 29 June - 6 July. This ultimate in sporting adventures forms part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. To enter the Big 5 you need to enter five of the following seven events: 29 June: Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour 80km MTB race or 30 June: Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour 100km Road Race; 2 July: 14km Coelacanth Salomon Featherbed Trail Run; 4 July: Totalsports XTERRA at Pezula – full distance; 6 July: Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half or Full Marathon. www.oysterfestival.co.za
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ANNUAL UP WITH DOWNS GOLF DAY AT OUBAAI GOLF ESTATE: 1 August. This event raises awareness and funds for Up With Downs – a school for children with Down Syndrome and various special needs. People can get involved by sponsoring a green or a golf cart. Enter a four-ball and remember prize donations are welcome too. For more info contact Janet on 082 925 3368 or email@example.com.
KLEIN KAROO KLASSIQUE: 8-11 August. Oudtshoorn’s music, art, food and wine festival that creates a platform for the classic arts not featured at the KKNK. Visit www.klassique.co.za or contact 044 203 8600
PHOTOGRAPHS FREDERICK VAN HEERDEN, GLENN MURRAY, ISTOCKPHOTO, SUPPLIED
PRINCE ALBERT WINTER SCHOOL: 2-11 August. Participate in a range of courses designed to stimulate and inspire, including lectures, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions and excursions conducted by local experts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.patourism.co.za
furniture. decor. gifts. upper LeVeL, MiLKWood ViLLAge, BeAcon rd. WiLderness teL: (044) 877 1509 fAX: (086) 659 8250 ceLL: 082 457 2270 LYnette@LYnneK.co.ZA And YVonne@urBAnJungLe.co.ZA
MYSTIC FOREST GIANTS For as long as most of us can remember a shroud of mystery has surrounded the Knysna forest elephants. The general belief for many years was that only a lone female, the Matriarch, survived. But thanks to a new approach to research and monitoring, five or more of these elusive giants are believed to exist, making it essential that proper conservation and management plans be put in place to protect the last free roaming elephants in South Africa.
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n estimated 1 000 elephants occupied the Outeniqua-Tsitsikamma area in pre-colonial times and as many as 400 to 500 still remained in the 1850s. Thereafter, a series of events that had a marked impact on the forest elephant population took place. In 1869, the Great Fire raged from Knysna to Humansdorp, devastating much of the forest and its animals, including many elephants. And by the end of the 1800s the secret ivory trade was thriving. So by 1902, less than 50 elephants remained. The numbers continued to drop and in 1914 Major PJ Pretorius, famed for his slaughter of about 130 “troublesome” Addo elephants, convinced the government to allow him to shoot one bull for scientific purposes. Instead, he killed five elephants. In so doing, the Knysna elephant population was reduced from 13 to 8, and it has since been teetering on the edge of extinction. Although attempts to keep track of elephant numbers were made with various surveys, no real conservation plans were ever put in place and it was even suggested in the eighties to let the remaining elephants die out. In the nineties, however, the government granted permission for the translocation of three Kruger elephants in an effort to augment the population. But the expensive project was unsuccessful and after five years the Kruger elephants were removed. After that, elephant activity was still monitored by forest guards, but it was believed that the sightings were always of the same animal: a lone female with one broken tusk. Because of
this, it became a popular belief that only the old “Matriach” existed and further formal conservation of the elephants was unnecessary. The existence of the mysterious forest elephants began to slip from most people’s minds. But that began to change in 2007 with a ground-breaking discovery through DNA analysis of elephant dung, undertaken by conservation geneticist Dr Lori Eggert of the University of Missouri-Columbia and environmentalist Gareth Patterson. The results suggested that five females were still roaming the Knysna forest. The wheel of fortune continued to turn in the elephant’s favour when the previous Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, commissioned the book Elephant Management: A scientific assessment for South Africa in 2008, which lead to the National Norms and Standards for Elephant Management
The Knysna Elephant Park elephants live in a controlled, free range environment interacting with visitors on their terms.
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and required each area managing elephants, regardless of population size, to have Elephant Management Plans in place. Shortly after the release of the National Norms and Standards, scientist Lizette Moolman joined SANParks in the Garden Route and together with Dr Sam Ferreira of Skukuza, has been instrumental in drafting the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) Elephant Management Plan. It is this plan with its research and monitoring programmes, which could result in the survival of the fragile Knysna elephant population. Since the drafting of the GRNP elephant plan, a new approach to monitoring the elephants has been adopted. Techniques used are non-intrusive, involving data gathering on elephant signs such as dung measurements, notes on feeding signs and taking dung samples for hormone studies. “We know that there are between one and five elephants so we are doing non-invasive research to try and get a better idea of the age and sex structure of this group. We are not concentrating on following the elephants around as this could be potentially stressful to evasive elephants such as these. Instead we are concentrating on dung,” says Lizette. “Any survey technique has its limitations. To get exact numbers is nearly impossible – a challenge that is amplified the smaller the group of animals become. And in this area you have additional challenges such as the difficult terrain, the evasiveness of these elephants and that it is an open unfenced area.” Lizette and her team are currently doing
research that aims to identify historically used habitat types other than the areas used by the elephants today. Due to human development, such habitats may now be inaccessible to the elephants. The scientists believe that before the influx of humans into the area in the mid-1800s, the elephants may have also used the coastal lowland areas which today they are cut off from. These areas could now suffer a lack of important elephant ecological roles necessary for ecosystem health and biodiversity. Once the historical range has been determined, the ecological roles that elephants used to play in these areas will be assessed as well as the ecological roles they play today in their current 700 kilometre range. This, together with assessing the perceptions and values of stakeholders such as landowners and forest contractors, forms the main research focus outlined in the GRNP Elephant Management Plan, conducted by Lizette and SANParks. Says environmentalist Gareth Patterson, whose studies of the Knysna elephants led to his book, The Secret Elephants and an internationally released documentary The Search for the Knysna Elephants: “Wherever there are humans and elephants, it is inevitable that conflict will occur. However, compared to other areas in Africa, our human-elephant conflict is low. But we musn’t be complacent and must respect that the fynbos, forest edge and the forest are all components of these elephants’ range. Special care should be taken, particularly when the oldest bull comes into musth from November through to May each year.”
ABOVE Environmentalist Gareth Patterson’s fieldwork and studies lead to his book The Secret Elephants. L E F T Thandora was recently released in the Gondwana Game Reserve to join other elephants and begin a new life in the wild.
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Gareth claims to have detected a musth bull by its characteristic strong smell when out doing field work. He also believes that births have occurred in the herd over the past years due to evidence of dung and spoor of young elephants that he and the forest guards have recorded. It seems that there may be a glimmer of hope for the survival of the elusive Knysna elephants, but their future cannot be left in the hands of conservationists alone. “The research we are doing is aimed at making informed future decisions around the management of elephants in this area. Even once we have more answers, due to the fact that the elephant range falls only partly on SANParks managed land, these decisions will never be SANParks’ alone. All stakeholders, including landowners, will have to be involved,” says Lizette. “I think we need to create more awareness about the Knysna elephants among the youth. Within just a few kilometres north of Knysna, there is this fantastic vast ecosystem, with amazing animal inhabitants, and the youth should be able to take pride in this. As for the elephants themselves, I think they should be given special status as a living national heritage, and afforded special protection,” declares Gareth. in the news It seems that not only are the Garden Route’s wild elephants receiving the acknowledgement and care they need, but so are some of the captive elephants of the area. On March 5th, the Knysna Elephant Park was proud to announce the birth of little Fiela, the fourth elephant calf to be born at the park. Unfortunately the baby’s mother, Thandi, rejected her daughter and the park’s staff members have had to step in to look after Fiela around the clock. “We will never be sure why Thandi has rejected her baby. She is relatively young and it was her first calf, which may have something to do with it,” says Dr Debbie Young, Director of the park’s research unit. Needless to say, Fiela is thriving on her bottle feeds and the dedicated care she is receiving. Sleeping at night in a separate pen in the herd’s boma, Fiela has now begun to spend the day out with the other nine elephants. “Fiela is doing very well,” says Debbie. “One of the other young females, Keisha, is being very protective and showing a strong interest in allo-mothering her.” Further down the road at Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay, zoo elephant Thandora is forging a new life of freedom in the wild. Originally from Bloemfontein Zoo, where she spent 23 of her 27 years, Thandora was given a new lease on life after her companion died and it was decided that she needed better living conditions. Gondwana Game Reserve was
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chosen as the most suitable environment for her relocation and together with Bloemfontein Zoo and Conservation Global’s research unit, the reserve embarked on the mammoth relocation project. Before the relocation could take place, Thandora was required to undergo an eight-week rehabilitation programme to adjust her diet from “domestic” foods to natural forage and to improve her fitness. And upon arrival at Gondwana she stayed a further two months in a boma to acclimatise to her new environment, both physically and emotionally. “Due to her captive environment, her muscle tone and poor fitness could have been life threatening when released onto the 11 000 hectare reserve,” says Reserve Director, Mark Rutherfoord. But on the 22nd of April Thandora was finally released into the reserve to join the other elephants and begin a new life in the wild. “She was initially reluctant to come out of the boma, which we had expected, since it has been her home for two months. But she is progressing nicely and is browsing, grazing and drinking with growing confidence,” says John Vogel, Reserve Wildlife Manager.
The Elephant Rehabilitation Project www.conservationglobal.org 083 462 8702
ONLINE SHOPPING HAS BECOME A GLOBAL TREND THAT IS FAST TAKING THE WORLD BY STORM, BUT SOUTH AFRICA HAS YET TO CATCH ON, ALTHOUGH A NUMBER OF GARDEN ROUTE COMPANIES HAVE REALISED THE VALUE OF BEING ONLY A CLICK AWAY FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS. “There is a global trend taking place and the South African market has yet to switch on,” says Daron Chatz and Sean Butterworth, two Plettenberg Bay entrepreneurs whose virtual retailer was recently voted Cosmopolitan’s top online fashion
IN A CLICK
store less than two years after launch. Daron and Sean make it clear that they take their success seriously and haven’t been resting on their laurels since receiving the accolade. Both originate
from a film and television background, with years of experience in matters ranging from content and creative direction to technical management and professional editing suites. Sean has the technical savvy, Daron the marketing flair.
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Hot Online Fashionâ€™s Sean Butterworth and Daron Chatz
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The two say their business did not come about from grand dreams and inspiration, but “clicked into place”. Early on, they took a joint decision to partner up and dabble in the online space, basically doing web hosting and development. Using that experience as a springboard, they soon began to notice the retail climate changing and a global trend taking root. Luckily for them, they found the gap they were looking for and launched Hot Online Fashion – a market leading, proudly South African online fashion store. Since the business’ inception almost two years ago, the duo has managed to set themselves apart from other online fashion stores. Aside from a solid understanding of the online environment, search engine optimisation and quality Internet marketing skills, their success has not only been through advanced technical know-how but also basic good business practice. During an interview with South, it becomes clear that Sean and Daron are happier talking about the endless testimonials they have received from happy clients who share their excitement at receiving their orders in the post, than the ins and outs of how they stay at the top of Google searches. Their business is based on fundamental principles that revolve around creating both a convenient and information-rich user experience while providing access to an endless variety of brands and products that one might only find in a colossal warehouse-size fashion store. Yet traipsing through a giant warehouse searching for the right size, colour, price and brand is likely to turn off even the most dedicated shopaholic. Shopping online makes so much sense and their success proves the theory correct, although surprisingly only one percent of South Africans shop online. Sean and Daron say their biggest clients are those who do not have any other option, such as women living in outlying rural areas desperate for access to the latest fashion styles and brands, and eager to break away from small town department stores. Hot Online Fashion is already being recognised by big brands that are scrambling to get on board. “Having these big brands that know that the market is changing coming to us with big budgets, is a validation of our business and reminds us we are heading in the right direction,” explains Sean. One of their biggest challenges, they say, is the lack of quality Internet infrastructure in South Africa. In true entrepreneurial spirit, however, they work around this and are constantly adapting and improving with
Hot Online Fashion releasing category focused microsites such as shoelovesshoe.com. Both Daron and Sean vehemently agree that online businesses could make a real difference to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. They understand their market and support local brands, designers, photographers and models. What do they ask for in return? Local support, lots of happy clients and hopefully an eventful mind-shift of the South African market towards the endless possibilities of online shopping.
“Having these big brands that know that the market is changing coming to us with big budgets, is a validation of our business and reminds us we are heading in the right direction.” F LY P H O T O Some would say the printed photo is a thing of the past, but not Cindy and Sam Duncan, who are leading the way back to the nostalgic tradition of printing memories, but this time at the click of a mouse. “When was the last time you took your photos to have them printed?” Cindy asks. Most people would not remember as they keep their photos on their computer in digital format. Therein lies the genius behind Cindy and Sam’s online business, FlyPhoto, which they operate from the Garden Route in conjunction with one of the country’s leading photo print suppliers, ORMS, in Cape Town. Sam and Cindy, joined by their friend Doug Batchelor, set up FlyPhoto almost eight years ago. Their formula for success is simple, and the reason why it works is because of the three factors for which they are continuously praised: quality, price and excellent customer service. Making use of FlyPhoto is simple. You register on the site, upload the photos you wish to print, select your sizes and pay. Depending on where you live, your prints are delivered to your door within 24 hours. Imagine the impact this service has on a professional photographer’s business, being able to deliver the best quality prints to clients within days of a photo shoot. It’s hard to figure out why anyone would want to do it any other way. The newest development to this successful site is likely to set them apart from other photo printing businesses in South Africa, namely photo books. As a professional wedding and event photographer, Cindy knows all too well how important photos are to her clients. “Besides being able to make your own professional and personalised photo album, which is easy and fun,
O P P O S I T E FlyPhoto’s Cindy Duncan
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in South Africa, compared to overseas. After working at Farm Fresh Direct, she was blown away by the incredible produce available from local farmers. Shelly believes firmly in the need to support these farmers and allow people to enjoy farm fresh produce in their homes within 24-hours of harvesting, rather than having to buy two- to three-week old produce from stores, or pay more to buy fresher items from specialised upmarket stores. She gets more excited every day and her enthusiasm for the business will drive it to grow from strength to strength. Meeting the farmers and witnessing their enthusiasm for their produce motivate Shelly. The couple is hoping to expand the business, first to include deliveries to Knysna and Oudtshoorn, and eventually to set up near Plettenberg Bay to broaden their delivery routes and the number of local farmers they support.
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A B O Ve Farm Fresh Direct’s Shelly Howard and Johannes Viljoen
photo books are the best end product for your photos and memories,” she says. With technology taking over almost every aspect of our lives, we rely too heavily on digitally saved photos when it is so easy to lose them. “Print your photos before you lose them,” Cindy advises.
Fa r m F r e s h Dir e c t
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Shelly Howard and her partner Johannes Viljoen recently bought the very successful Farm Fresh Direct, a unique online business that allows locals in the greater George area to purchase produce directly from the farmers in the area. The site offers almost 600 different products fresh from the farm, picked daily and sent to the company for distribution. Johannes used to be a farmer in the Karoo (Richmond) and Shelly is from the UK. After working on yachts she came to South Africa and worked at Farm Fresh Direct before buying the business from former owner Jonel Ackerman. Shelly says she was astonished to find a total lack of beautiful, fresh produce in the shops
Both Hot Online Fashion and Farm Fresh Direct are making sure they give back some of their success by contributing to various causes. Hot Online Fashion is linked to Green Pop and FeedSA. For every 100 sales they make online, they donate a tree to be planted and they give a percentage of their turnover for three months at a time to FeedSA. Farm Fresh Direct contributes 2.5 percent from every sale to the Eden Food Bank, which is linked to 80 – 100 different charities.
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Mossel Bay Tourism has been very successful in harnessing the Internet for marketing through their award winning website. Now, a radical new platform created for Mossel Bay Tourism by Martin Hatchuel is set to create a social media platform for about 150 volunteers to share their experience and life in Mossel Bay. Marcia Holm, of Mossel Bay Tourism, explains: “The aim of this new programme is to create an on-line storytelling festival using Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube to find, collect and collate stories about Mossel Bay’s people, culture and environment.” These colourful and varied stories will be posted to a ‘wiki’ on the Internet with photographs, articles and even films. The programme will create awareness in order to potentially grow the town’s number of visitors and eventually become an annual Mossel Bay Travel Festival – modeled on the New York Travel Festival. This programme is all about sharing and collaboration and at the moment they are sharing the idea to source the people who will make it a reality for them.
Hot Online Fashion www.hotonlinefashion.com FlyPhoto www.FlyPhoto.co.za Farm Fresh Direct www.farmfreshdirect.co.za Share Mossel Bay Twitter @getme2mosselbay Facebook VisitMosselBay
SEVENTH H E AV E N
Tucked between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, the old Seven Passes Road marks an area of outstanding natural beauty, replete with pastoral fields dotted with cows, pockets of ancient growth forest, pristine lakes and breath-taking views. The area â€“ along with the iconic Oakhurst farm â€“ is as historically important to the Garden Route as it is lovely. W O R D S
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inding through the mountains and over numerous local rivers, the Seven Passes was built by Adam de Smitd in the 1880s. However, the area between the historic pass and the coastal hamlet of Wilderness was parcelled off and sold to colonists long before that. One of these land parcels was Oakhurst, bought by an Englishman who’d never even seen what was then a tangled forest wilderness where leopards hunted and elephants reigned supreme. Henry Dumbleton didn’t take much interest in his wild African property, eventually sending his son, Henry Jnr, to take charge of it in 1842, some 20 years after the purchase. After clearing and taming the land, building a forge and the main house, Henry left for Canada and his brother Walter Douglas moved from England and developed the farm further. It is Walter’s descendants who have owned and farmed the property ever since. Covering approximately 640 hectares inclusive of 200ha of pristine fynbos and coastal afro-montane forest, Oakhurst is today one of the last remaining large working farms in the Garden Route, and its commercial longevity can be attributed to the dedication of its succession of owners and the production of top quality beef and dairy. The farm still features the original farmhouse, a beautifully restored cottage, a chapel, a schoolhouse and the original forge, all built between 1860 and 1880, as well as four old workers’ cottages built in the 1980s. The buildings, restored by the current owners, 5th generation son Jake Crowther and his wife Claire, are now used as the guest accommodation along with The Forge.
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About 2km into the property, the road enters a hallway of blue gum trees, and a beautiful whitewashed chapel seems to glide toward you as the trees thin slightly on the approach to the main house. Built in 1870, the chapel is used every Sunday by the local community, and regularly for wedding ceremonies. Gravestones and crosses are tightly packed to one side and behind the chapel – the final resting places of five generations of the family and farm-workers. But there are no restless ghosts here, only history and a rare sense of permanence. Like the chapel, the plantation style main house is white washed, but with the added charm of bright blue shutters and a blazing red bougainvillea. The interior is a treasure trove of history, but the main house is Jake’s mother’s home, and as such it is private and off-limits to the public. However, visitors to Oakhurst can enjoy a small museum displaying artifacts found on the farm over the decades. These include flints used by the San hunter-gatherers who once inhabited these parts, and farm implements from the 19th century, most likely made at the forge, the original building on the farm. Claire and Jake live in the second house, a lovingly and painstakingly restored cottage dating from 1843 and overlooking a forested gully and natural swimming pool. The cottage is filled with restored furniture and everything has been made using period wood removed from old sheds and stores on the farm. Restoration was no easy task though. “When Jake first showed it to me, I told him no way were we going to be living here,” says Claire. “You can’t imagine what it looked like. It was half broken down and there were cows,
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calves and horses living in it. It was such a mess.” There’s no evidence of that now. Instead, the cozy interior is as inviting as a hobbit-hole, full of low door mantles, restored furniture and antiques, and centered around a huge and quintessential farm kitchen, itself dominated by a truly impressive 1950s AGA cooker which they got in exchange for a cow. The entrance to the cottage is a welcoming archway of flowers, and the view from the stoep is a living forest, home to baboons, bush pig and buck that often make an appearance at twilight. The Crowthers live there with their three children, girls Landon, Holly and little Anna, three smiling dogs, a golden retriever puppy that looks like a toy and a tortoiseshell cat. Young Holly takes me on a tour of the forge, which is situated just below the cottage, and explains that they once had more cats, but a rooikat got one, and a cow got the other. She also says that she might once have found fairy footsteps on her windowsill, and that they might get two fish for the pool. The tour and my little tour guide equally delight me. The Forge has been turned into cozy al fresco, self-catering accommodation with a sufficient blend between the outside and the inside to confuse a Black-Eyed Susan that is creeping into the lounge. There’s nothing cold about the place though, it’s simply beautifully restored and cleverly adapted to smoothly flow onto the forest. Thanks to the abundant use of weatherproof blinds, you can cook in your choice of kitchen or verandah, without moving your feet. A rock plunge pool is a tucked a metre or so away from the lounge, and just beyond that the large natural pool offers ample space for pool party gatherings.
The pool sits between The Forge and the Crowthers’ cottage. Jake’s creation, it is built to mimic the look of a mountain rock pool, complete with large half and fully submerged rocks. This is not a pool you’d train in, but one in which you could sit and imagine that you are cooling off in a mountain stream. Also called eco-pools, natural pools require no chemicals. The clear water is filtered through reeds and indigenous water plants – it’s a natural eco-system that can even accommodate a fish or two. “They help to clean the pool by eating the algae,” says the knowledgeable Holly. This is a nature lover’s dream, and befits what is an ideal base for the active outdoors type as there are several hiking and mountain bike trails through pristine indigenous forest on the farm and in the area. These include the Bergplaas plantation, the Karatara trails, the George Dam and Tierkop trail, the Seven Passes road trail, and the Duiwelskop Mountain Pass and Beervlei trail – all beautiful, challenging and offering some of best of the spectacular natural heritage of the Garden Route. The other self-catering cottages are situated a little way from the family homes and the forge, on the edge of the forest gully, and are beautifully decorated with an emphasis on country charm. Each cottage sleeps six people and features a deck and braai overlooking the forest. Altogether, along with the forge, which sleeps four, the property can accommodate 34 people. The surrounds are tranquil, the accommodation décor quaint, new and fresh, and the air peculiarly still as the property is well sheltered from wind. Inside, cast iron fireplaces ward off the cold on winter nights. It’s a perfect
the original farm house, that was built between 1860 and 1880, retains its stately atmosphere, while the farm still produces beef and dairy.
“it’s a perfect farm stay, with a delightful combination of earthiness and gentility.” winter 2013 |
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H i s t o r i c f a r m s tay s i n t H e G a r d e n route and Klein K aroo FOrest Hall The Crags, PleTTenberg bay Though not strictly a farm, Forest hall estate in the Crags near Plettenberg bay offers authentic old cottage rentals in addition to the modern crossed heritage grandeur of the manor house. The oldest estate on the garden route blends old and new, modern luxury with period surroundings, rich history and tangled indigenous forest. www.foresthallestate.co.za
the picturesque all saints Chapel, built on the farm in 1870 by walter dumbleton, is used every sunday by the local community community, for regularly weddings and for Landon, Holly, anna and cousin Jenna’s secret meetings.
farmstay, with a delightful combination of earthiness and gentility. Claire says that they have plans to add a wedding venue to the farm in the not too distant future. “We want to create a good but still affordable venue in these beautiful surroundings. Places with both chapels and venues are usually too expensive for most young couples.” They have specific ideas, but are keeping them under wraps for the moment. They are also developing mountain biking and hiking trails on the farm itself. Every old heritage property on the Garden Route has a ghost story or two, and Oakhurst has Langbeen. The locals say he was a farm worker who came to a bad end one drunken Saturday evening around the 1950s. But don’t worry, he’s only been seen once, by a worker sanding in one of the rooms when the Crowthers started on the restoration – and never since. No-one can even remember why he was named Langbeen. In any case, Oakhurst has far too much light, colour and life for spooks. It’s not too difficult to find special country getaways in this part of the world, full of history, heritage, antiques and a ghost story or two, and although Oakhurst has only recently been added to the selection, the farm should have no trouble competing for its share of visitors looking for peace and quiet in rural surroundings, backed by ancient deep-purple mountains, and hugged by gnarled forests with curious eyes and fairies.
Oakhurst Farm Cottages www.oakhurst.co.za 082 461 7669
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tHylitsHia Villa OudTshOOrn Thylitshia Villa offers Cape dutch style period architecture from the hey-deys of the ostrich feather trade. located on a working ostrich farm in the Klein Karoo, the 4-star villa is cosy, old and luxurious with stone floors, period furniture pieces and copper pots. www.thylitshia.co.za Die Gat COuntry HOuse OuTdshOOrn head back in time to the early 1800s at die gat Country house in de rust near Outdshoorn. The guesthouse is decorated in period pieces from the 1800s, on a magnificent working ostrich farm, surrounded by Klein Karoo mountain scenery. www.diegat.co.za POrtlanD ManOr Knysna no such list would be complete without Portland Manor. The manor house on this historic citrus and game farm was completed in January 1865. Then the home of sir henry barrington, now the home of magnificently restored and preserved history and country comfort. www.portlandmanor.com tHe POrt Wine GuestHOuse CaliTzdOrP Quaint history in a small vineyard, the Port Wine guesthouse offers charming and authentic 1930s Cape dutch architecture overlooking port wine vineyards. Centrally situated in Calitzdorp, the guest-house offers more than its share of history, with some port to enjoy with it. www.portwine.net
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Get active and join the Total Sports Xterra at Pezula Golf Estate in Knysna on Thursday, 4 July during the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.
CRANK IT UP WORDS ISCHEN STOPFORTH AND CHANTEL NIENABER
Ischen Stopforth, local mountain biking queen and recent winner of the JoBerg2c, lists the top 10 items in her personal arsenal.
S-WORKS MTB SHOES All contact points need to be protected. Good gloves, shoes and helmets are essential. I use Specialized Sworks MTB shoes and the ladies specialised Ridge long finger gloves. Designed for the demands of World Cup XC racers this ultra-light and stiff carbon shoe offers Body Geometry performance and Boa® dial adjustability. The S-Works MTB shoe is the pinnacle of cross-country performance.
CO 2 CANISTER
I never leave the house without the following tools: multi-tool (with a chain breaker), CO2 canister & adapter, plugs to quickly fix a puncture, spare tube and a small pump. Tubeless tyres have revolutionised our cycling as chances of getting a flat tyre are so much smaller.
GARMIN 810 CHAMOIS CRÈME Chamois creme is essential when riding long hours and rough terrain. My favourite luxury is Assos Chamois Crème which eliminates the abrasive feeling of a sweaty chamois without making you feel like you’re slipping all over the chamois. You can bid farewell to friction between your body and your shorts, and your favorite shorts will still conform to you like a glove.
My Garmin 810 is my heart-rate monitor, best training partner, route guide and also dubs as head computer for my power meter. It gives me distance, ascent, speed,route map options, temperature and HR – it’s got all the navigation and advanced training capabilities.
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SPECIALIZED S-WORKS PREVAIL MTB HELMET Your head – the most important contact point – needs to be protected. I use the Specialized S-Works Prevail MTB helmet. It combines an aerodynamic ventilation dynamic design and ultra-light construction, with height adjustability for perfect and comfort.
CYCLEOPS POWERTAP It gives me constant feedback on my power output, which is very useful when doing intervals. It also is an indicator of when I should be pushing harder, or when I should take a break from training, before I actually get over-trained. Available from Bicycle Power Trading (@CycleOpsJHB).
ASSOS BIBS FOR LADIES (F13 LADY TOPS) Good cycle bibs are essential. I prefer Assos bibs for ladies (F13 lady tops) – the most comfortable chamois and fit. Specially tailored for the athletic female body, it is also designed for for easy opening, closing and torso adjustment.
SPECIALIZED S-WORKS EPIC DUAL SUSPENSION 29ER The bike is most important. I ride a Specialized S-Works Epic dual suspension 29er. The full-suspension, carbon fiber, S-Works Epic 29 is the first 29er to win a World Cup event and Mountain Bike Action magazine describes it as the “best bike we’ve ever ridden”.
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CYCLING GLASSES Good cycling glasses are essential: Rudi Project has the advantage of being photochromic so you can go in and out of shade & forests without worrying about lenses being too dark, and makes for all weather conditions.
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ACHIEVEMENTS 6 x ABSA Cape Epic (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) – 3rd ladies in 2008, 2011 & 2nd ladies 2013 4 x Cape Pioneer Trek (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) - 2nd mixed 2009 & 1st ladies 2011; 2nd ladies 2012 3 x JoBerg2C (2011, 2012, 2013) – 1st ladies all 3 races 2 x Transalp stage race (2010, 2012) – 2nd ladies 2012
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while staying true to the memory of the young man who inspired it, the annual ross taylor Surf Contest at Buffels Bay has steadily grown to become one of the most popular fringe events in the country. W O R D S
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or those who surf, the act of riding a wave is akin to prayer or devotion, regardless of whether the surfer believes in a deity or merely acknowledges the extraordinary oceanic forces that grant an ever changing playground of delights. For the duration of the ridden wave, with the surfboard uniting human and nature, everything ceases, except the salt water and unbridled bliss. To place an almost sacred act within the confines of competitive sport, seems an unholy alliance, and yet the surfing industry is a multi-billion dollar a year leviathan. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the pressures of these conflicting forces created a synergistic diamond – a surf competition that entwines the boundaries of such events with integrity and an altruistic ethos, based on love and giving: the Ross Taylor Benefit Surf Contest in Buffels Bay, Knysna. Those who knew Ross Taylor speak of him with fondness, respect and in language splashed with superlatives. In 2007, when Ross was still only in his 20s, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. And this only a few years after surviving a shark attack at a break now known
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as “Ross’ Bay” by the Buff’s locals. Ross chose to live his final days in the same way as he lived his life: with an exuberance of tangible energy and an open-eyed awareness that infected everyone he knew and is still the heartbeat that pumps through the contest, which is this year held on 9-11 of August on Women’s Day. Five years ago, a bunch of mates organised a surf competition in a matter of weeks to help raise money for his substantial medical bills. Over 70 contestants participated and R38 000 was raised. It was at his request to some of his closest friends, who are now among the contest organisers, that the event is run annually and all proceeds are awarded to Hospice. Last year the event swelled to become the biggest entered, non-sanctioned surf contest in South Africa, with over 300 contestants competing in surfing, kneeboarding and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) disciplines. According to the organisers, when this year’s cheque for R121 000 was awarded to Hospice, “there was not a dry eye in the house”. Throw in a Saturday night bash that is host to some of the hottest bands around and the benefit
Close friends in and out the water, Brett and Adela Steagmann on the beach with ross at the inaugural event, which raised r38 000 for his Hospice bills.
weekend has become one not to be missed. This year the Association of South African surfing (ASA) and SUP Southern Africa have scripted the event into their annual calendar and for many surfers from all over the country, it’s one they want to win. But it’s not for money or for prizes: just for the heartfelt delight in having the bragging rights of being the winner of The Ross Taylor.
Love S h i n e The event logo symbolises “the love shine” principle, which was something that Ross personified through his attitude to life. It comes down to “joy and love through giving, while doing what you love doing”. In the words of Nicky Goodall, one of the organisers and someone who was close to Ross though his difficult journey: “The weekend has a phenomenal vibe, you can almost feel the legacy, for want of a better word, of Ross and how he lived. To have witnessed the growth of the competition and to be able to hand over a sizable donation to an organisation like Hospice, who do phenomenal work at very trying times, is incredible.
“It’s also been awesome to see local businesses come on board and buy into the event. This helps break the barriers between the surf industry and business, which is not a normal synergy.” On an early wintry evening, South chatted to one of the other organisers, who are all involved on a voluntary basis. Speaking from his home alongside the Knysna forest, Brett Steagmann related heart-warming stories of Ross’ courageous attitude and the subsequent generous inspiration that this contest has birthed. As Steagmann emphasised: “It’s all about the love of the tribe coming together, love of the surf and a spirit of giving.” For all the right reasons, this is a weekend not to be missed.
“Everybody understands the ethos of this particular competition before we get there, thus we’re all on the same vibe. It’s good natured, fun and friendly and we’re all stoked to be able to do something we love while contributing at the same time. Because of the size of it, it can get quite chaotic during the events, especially if you’re competing in two or three divisions that might be at different venues. It’s a constant stream of confused, happy, exhausted people running past each other looking for their heat, with
Ross Taylor Benefit Surf Contest www.rosstaylorsurfcontest.co.za Nicky Goodall 083 412 4598
different boards under their arms. I’ll definitely be back this year.” – Deon Bing, Cape Town
Knysna-Sedgefield Hospice 044 384 0593
surfer, Businessman anD Kfm 94.5 surf reporTer
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Something old, something new, somewhere awesome, somewhere true… Weddings have become big business in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo, a region that is proving popular for it’s spectacular scenery, wide choice of exceptional (and unusual) venues and professional service providers.
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ouples and guests from all over South Africa and abroad travel to the Garden Route, renowned for its spectacular scenery and range of stylish venues, for lavish wedding celebrations. Marius Barnard, a wedding planner based in Knysna, says the number of weddings along the Garden Route has trebled in the last seven years. There is a wedding season from September through to April and a typical weekend can see up to seven or eight couples tie the knot within a 50km radius of the lagoon town. Photographer Glenn Murray adds: â€œIn the early months of the year I sometimes receive five telephone calls in a single day, asking me to photograph a wedding.â€? Brian Windsor of The Bride and Groom in George says there are about 300 weddings per year along the Garden Route, and the direct cost of these weddings is approximately R36 million. If all other expenditure is taken into account, such as money spent by guests, the overall wedding business turnover reaches about R60 million a year. A plush wedding can set you back between R60 000 and R350 000. A number of venues, wedding planners, photographers and people in associated industries have taken advantage of the booming wedding market and prospective brides and grooms are spoilt for choice.
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Ge t me to the church on time Tramonto Wedding & Function Venue, named the 2012 Wedding Venue of the Year, by Wedding Design magazine is set amidst rambling countryside on the outskirts of George and all aspects of the big day can be left in the capable hands of brother and sister Frikkie du Toit and Wilma Fourie. Tramonto boasts a multi-denominational chapel and general purpose area, both in Cape Dutch style, in a country setting with verdant lawns, sheep pastures and horse paddocks. A wedding planner can take care of music, floral arrangements, make-up, hair, photography and videography. Tramonto also offers a child-minding service for guests. Golf estates have also become firm wedding favourites. Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate in George and Simola Hotel Country Club and Spa in Knysna are both popular choices, while the Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa outside George offers a custom built chapel adjacent to a ballroom for luxurious nuptials. The resort also offers weddings on either a whale viewing deck overlooking the ocean or a treetop platform. The Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa in Knysna can arrange for a wedding at one of the castles on Noetzie Beach. The castles are built
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from local stone and have crenellations and battlements, resembling a medieval stronghold. While wedding themes have become fashionable, the beach wedding will never go out of fashion. With its mile upon mile of golden sand and crashing blue waves, the Garden Route has much to offer for beach wedding fans. De Vette Mossel Beach Seafood Restaurant in Great Brak River offers a deck close to the ocean for the ceremony. Afterwards, a beach cook can prepare a mouth-watering selection of mussels, snoek, calamari and crayfish for the festivities. Niel du Bois, owner of De Vette Mossel, says: “Weddings are very important to us – 95 percent of the people getting married at our restaurant are from up country. Sometimes they are from overseas and have flown in, but that is usually when they are South Africans working abroad.” He says out of high season, they host a wedding almost every weekend. “I have calculated that each wedding brings about R75 000 into the area through accommodation for guests, travel etc. There should be a combined effort to really promote the Garden Route as a wedding destination.” In Knysna, couples can exchange their vows on a paddle cruiser on the lagoon before enjoying
t O p the Garden route has much to offer for beach weddings especially with its golden sands and blue waves as the perfect setting. a B O V e raffaele D’amato Jewellers in George are jewellers of distinction who offer individually designed and hand-crafted jewellery.
a reception on the Featherbed Nature Reserve on the western Knysna Head. Another popular venue is the Knysna Elephant Park where the bride and groom can arrive at their wedding ceremony on an elephant. At the Barnyard Theatre outside Plettenberg Bay, another popular venue, a couple of actors starred in their own play as they acted out their romance, engagement and wedding on stage. At Forest Hall Estate in The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, the bride and groom can exchange their “I do’s” in the indigenous forest, followed by a reception in the stately ambiance of a historic building. At the famous Kurland polo estate, one couple elected to have their marital bond sealed at the stables for the polo ponies after which guests were invited to a sumptuous reception at the luxurious Kurland Hotel. Weddings have even been hosted under canvas at the picturesque Nature’s Valley campsite and at Jubilee Creek in the Knysna forest. For those with a taste for the Karoo’s stark beauty, Abrahamskraal Guest Farm near Prince Albert offers an evening reception in a large Bedouin-style tent beneath the majestic canopy of stars.
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a B O V e l e f t the natural beauty of the Garden route creates a perfect backdrop for wedding ceremonies. a B O V e wedding planners along the Garden route offer inspiring décor with exacting detail. l e f t the conrad pezula offers intimate wedding breakfasts to indulging dinners for up to 100 guests.
“We are surrounded by miles of privacy in every direction. Weddings are an important part of the business of the guest farm,” say owners Johan and Hestie Fourie. Surval Boutique Olive Estate near Oudtshoorn host weddings in their contemporary chapel with the magnificent Swartberg Mountains as backdrop. Jewellers along the Garden Route add further value to the industry. Michél Nunes, a qualified gemmologist and jewellery designer, owns Raffaele D’Amato Jewellers in George. A team of goldsmiths, directed by Michél, fabricate engagement rings and wedding bands to order. “The plain solitaire engagement ring in white gold, yellow gold or red gold is most popular at present,” he says. The price of an engagement ring can range from R1 000 upwards. Michél can recall some couples that have spent in the region of R200 000 on a ring to celebrate their engagement. He says that design must add sentiment to a ring and often there is detail that may not be apparent to other people, but which the couple are aware of. “The sale of engagement rings and wedding bands forms a fair part of our business. If you handle the sale well and treat the partners to a marriage with courtesy, they can be your customers for life,” he says. Most important to the bride is possibly the wedding dress. The style worn by Catherine Middleton at her wedding to Prince William,
Duke of Cambridge, in 2011 has been hugely influential in the design of dress chosen by brides today. Popular materials for wedding dresses nowadays, according to Brian Windsor of The Bride and Groom in George, are chiffon and satin, overlaid by delicate lace work. A wedding dress can typically range in price from R8 000 to R18 000 and a haute couture dress may cost up to R25 000. The wedding cake is a focal point of the reception. Clare Roode of Clare’s Cakes in Plettenberg Bay usually takes between two and three days to make a tiered wedding cake, and a further day is required to transport the gastronomic delight to the post nuptial celebrations. Clare works extensively with the bride on the design of the cake. “The most popular format for the cake nowadays consists of three tiers in a clean and simple design,” says Clare. “Often the three tiers are made of one in carrot cake, the other in chocolate and a third in vanilla sponge, all finished with fondant icing.” Sometimes the tiers are composed of cupcakes, which are then served as a dessert.
c o n ta c t s Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa www.oubaai.regency.hyatt.com Tramonto Wedding & Function Venue www.tramonto-venue.co.za De Vette Mossel Beach Seafood Restaurant www.devettemossel.co.za Featherbed Nature Reserve www.featherbed.co.za Knysna Elephant Park www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za The Barnyard Theatres – Plettenberg Bay www.plettbarnyard.co.za
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a B O V e l e f t for many couples, the beauty and cerenity of the Klein Karoo is a popular choice. a B O V e the Dutch reformed church in Oudtshoorn with its impressive interior is a popular choice for performing ceremonies. l e f t raffaele D’amato Jewellers offer a large display of jewellery, gold chains and pearls, as well as an extensive collection of coloured gemstones and diamonds.
Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa www.conradhotels3.hilton.com Forest Hall Estate www.foresthallestate.co.za Kurland Hotel www.kurland.co.za Nature’s Valley www.natures-valley.com Jubilee Creek www.visitknysna.co.za Abrahamskraal Guest Farm www.abrahamskraal.co.za Surval Boutique Olive Estate www.surval.co.za
“There is a range of prices for the cakes,” says Clare, adding: “R2 500 is a good average. “I enjoy the challenge of making wedding cakes, they are a good way of advertising and I often get further business through referrals; they are certainly an important source of revenue for Clare’s Cakes.”
Raffaele D’Amato Jewellers www.damato.co.za The Bride and Groom www.bridalandfunction.co.za Clare’s Cakes www.clarescakes.co.za Ecozest firstname.lastname@example.org 082 745 7445 Weddings by Marius www.weddingsbymarius.co.za Glenn Murray www.gmurrayphoto.co.za
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A wedding is only complete with floral embellishment, both at the service and at the subsequent revelry. DP Ferreira of Ecozest, based in Rheenendal, has been creating floral arrangements for 12 years and normally arranges flowers for approximately 44 weddings a year. “The aim is to create a special effect for each and every wedding. It is hard to generalise since the choice is usually so diverse, but white is a common theme. The cost of flowers for a wedding can vary from R10 000 to R40 000,” DP explains. Suffice it to say that the floral displays arranged by this master of his craft are always outstanding. “Weddings account for about half of our work at Ecozest and so are very important to us. We are often asked to do the flowers for wedding celebrations in other parts of the
country such as KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and Cape Town.” Weddings, and the endless planning around the big day, can be extremely stressful, which is why many brides opt to make use of a wedding planner. Marius Barnard of Weddings by Marius will coordinate a wedding from start to finish in the most exacting detail and in a thoroughly professional manner. “A wedding on the Garden Route is generally more affordable than in either Cape Town or Johannesburg,” says Marius. “Guests and sometimes the bride and groom fly in from abroad for a wedding, but this usually occurs when there is a family connection.” It would seem the Garden Route and environs, with a wide variety of places at which weddings can be conducted, along with a range of service providers of outstanding quality has led to the explosive growth of weddings in the area. All the indications are that further growth should continue untrammelled. For those wishing to take the plunge and tie the knot, the Garden Route beckons.
Dating back to 4000BC, the humble olive tree has for centuries been a symbol for peace, wisdom and abundance. While the ancient Greeks used olive oil to light their lamps, Rob Still hopes his estate, De Rustica, will light the way for a world-class olive industry in the heart of the Klein Karoo. W O R D S
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ohannesburg mining entrepreneur and Pangea Exploration chairman Rob Still has over the past 20 years travelled to many of the world’s leading olive areas, both in the Mediterranean and emerging world. The olive industry, he says, appealed to him and over time he became convinced that South Africa had the potential to produce world-class olive oil. Realising the possibilities, Rob, who had always wanted to establish a farming estate, commissioned a viability study that included visiting almost all the olive farmers and processors in South Africa. Different regions in South Africa were evaluated and the Klein Karoo proved to be a good area to establish olive trees thanks to cold winters, relative summer heat and the constant availability of clear water. Selected mountainsides proved to be the optimum terrain for olives. Rob bought the Oudemuragie and Le Roux farms in the De Rust area as the first phase of De Rustica Estates, named after the small Southern Cape town and a book by Roman author Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella that was, for more than 1000 years, considered in the ancient Western World as the bible of professional agriculture. In fact, Columella dedicated a number of chapters in De Re Rustica to the olive tree.
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The soil was ripped and prepared – drainage is important for successful olive tree growth – and about 80 hectares were planted with a mix of Tuscan oil varietals: Frantoio, Leccino and Coratina, as well as the Frantoio clones, Delicata and Favaloza. A few table cultivars were added to the range. De Rustica Estates later acquired the Groot Kruis Estate from Piet Kleyn, deputy chairman of the Klein Karoo Limited and CEO of the Ostrich Business Chamber. Piet and Navaid Burney, a private equity banker from Johannesburg, became directors and shareholders of De Rustica Estates. Forty hectares of olive groves were added on the mountain slopes of Groot Kruis. Last year saw the first harvest and production of their premium quality cold-pressed oil. It was a bumper crop and the over 10 tons per hectare harvested from the Leccina trees were the highest yield in South Africa to date. “I wanted to do something meaningful. In my view, the most important human need is creativity – building something and making a difference. In my early days in business, this drive was often satisfied as we built mines, but as I became more senior, I found myself increasingly remote from this activity,” Rob says of his agrarian ambitions.
The Jewel of the Klein Karoo
Rooiberg Lodge Rooiberg Lodge offers guests the opportunity to kick-back, relax and enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Little Karoo, situated 350km from Cape Town and 100km from Oudtshoorn.
The Lodge is situated in the heart of the Little Karoo, nestled in the foothills of the Rooiberg Mountain Range, and extends over some 14 000 hectares of fynbos and succulent Karoo. Located in the Assegaay Nature Reserve between Ladismith and Calitzdorp just outside a quaint little village, VanWyksdorp. We have a variety of nature-based activities, including a leisurely 4x4 route through the reserve. The astonishing floral
kingdom, together with an abundance of wildlife and bird life boasts the acceptance of the internationally recognized Gouritz Initiative conservation program. Perfect venue for weddings and conference â€“ up to 60 guests in Boma or conference centre, outdoor wedding unlimited
email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org www.rooiberglodge.co.za | Tel: (028) 5512 622
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From olive to oil De Rustica uses a state-of-the-art air-conditioned plant. Harvest time runs from the end of March to the end of June.
Honest y and potential De Rustica farm manager Kallie Frey shares a passion for olives. “It is such an honest product,” he says. “Although you can thin out the crops to enhance quality, use growing techniques, fertilise and manage the drip irrigation, you basically work with what you are given by nature. You cannot fiddle much to determine what ends up in the oil. “Another advantage of the Klein Karoo is that we are not exposed so much to fungal diseases like the olive groves in the Western Cape.” Olive oil is completely organic, “it’s like fruit juice, it’s best when it’s fresh,” says De Rustica managing director and Rob’s brother, Anthony. Storing conditions determine the rate of deterioration and at De Rustica, the storage tanks are temperature controlled to provide the perfect conditions. According to Anthony, about 7,5 million litres of olive oil are consumed in South Africa every year, with approximately 2 million litres produced locally. “We are not a Mediterranean country, where olive oil is their butter,” says Anthony. In these countries, the average person uses more olive oil within the first few days of a new year than the average per capita consumption in RSA per year.
The olives in South Africa are handpicked, placing the country a step ahead of the industry in traditional olive countries like Italy and Spain where the trees are shaken when the olives are ready in terms of flavour. The olives then drop to the ground to be harvested. De Rustica is committed to creating employment in this economically depressed area. While many local and international farms have mechanised their harvest, De Rustica has not followed suit in order to favour job creation. “Here we can pick the olives by hand when they are perfectly ripe in terms of flavour,” says farm manager Kallie Frey. “On a recent visit to these countries, the main thing I realised was just how exceptionally good our olive oils are compared to the Spanish and Italian products. We can pick some of the varieties when about 50 percent of the olives on the tree are still green and the rest black, ensuring good quality oil.” At the plant, the olives are washed before being crushed in a hammer mill. The paste is pumped into a temperature-controlled malaxer where it is stirred to break the cells and release the oil. The temperature is controlled and not allowed to rise above 28°C to ensure the production of cold extracted extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin classification is the highest quality of olive oil. Simply put, the oil must pass the SA Olive tasting panel standards and must have a fatty acid of less than 0,8% and a peroxide value less than 20Meq/kg. De Rustica has exceptionally low values. From there, it is moved to a decanter and separator where the oil and water and waste material are spun by centrifugal force before the olive oil is pumped into air-conditioned, stainless steel storage tanks. Once in the tanks, the oil settles off the sediment before it is filtered, blended and bottled. Two-and-a-half tons of olives can be processed within an hour and about 5kg of olives are needed for one litre of oil.
Hand-picking and immediate pressing ensures that only fresh, high quality olives brimming with flavour and anti-oxidants are used in all of de rustica’s olive oils. in the process de rustica also favours job creation.
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“To most South African consumers olive oil is a luxury and people think imported oils are superior to the South African ones. Imported oils are cheap, partly because they are heavily subsidised by the European Union, and because they are often not of the best quality. “Olive oil is where wine was 30 years ago. There is a lot of generic marketing to be done.” However, the market potential for South African olive oil looks promising. Rob believes that with the world’s rising numbers of wealthier middle class, combined with health and lifestyle issues, the demand for olive oil will grow even more. With property in Knysna and hopes of settling in the Southern Cape on a permanent basis, Rob has great plans for De Rustica and the Klein Karoo as an olive region. “I want De Rustica to be a trailblazer in the area and hope it will encourage other local growers to press and market through us.” Rob believes that the area has the potential to become the heart of the olive industry in South Africa and hopefully, in years to come, trees bearing ancient olives will stretch as far as the eye can see.
De Rustica 044 241 2177 www.derustica.co.za
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W H e R e T O f i n d d e R u S T i c A’ S Olive Oil De Rustica’s premium cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, with a white ostrich feather as logo to celebrate the traditions of the area, was awarded a silver medal at the SA Olive Awards 2012. Recently, in a blind tasting in France run by leading Michelin chefs, De Rustica’s oil came out tops. Look for it on the shelves at: • Various farm stalls in the Klein Karoo and Garden Route area; • Selected Spar stores, deli’s and tourist establishments in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and • Melissa’s food stores.
PHOTOGRAPHS de rustica
de rustica has installed a state-of-the-art airconditioned processing plant – within three hours of harvest, the olives are processed.
Born in the cruciBle of competition Can racing technology meet directly with high-performance cars for the street? Richard Webb track-tests Mercedes-Benz AMGâ€™s finest to find out. W O R D S
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, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, has a special place in the hearts of many car enthusiasts, so Kyalami racetrack seemed a perfect place to assemble and thrash a decent selection of AMG’s around the track under a blistering African sky.
ML63 AMG Surely, the least sensible AMG on a racetrack is the ML63 AMG. The fact that it was at the track at all spoke volumes for the firms’ confidence in the car. Easily as quick and better looking than Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo S, it features a new naturally aspirated 6.2-litre 386kW kW V8 mated to a 7G-Tronic auto gearbox. It’s absolute madness and makes no sense – and that is why it is so engaging. It handles as tenaciously as a wolverine descending onto its prey and holds its ratios beautifully through corners. The rear wheels receive 60 percent of the power, rather than the standard M-class’s equal front/rear wheel drive power-split, so it handles more like a proper sports car than any SUV I have ever driven. It became obvious that the ML63 AMG could have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, because of its ‘split personality’ condition. As perfect as it is for collecting groceries from Woolworths, it’s equally good for the kind of acceleration that causes blood to flow away from the brain – 0-100km/h
arrives in 5.0 seconds, combined with in-gear acceleration so combustible in urgency that it simply defies physics. This is a car sure to have Porsche looking over their shoulder.
CLS63 AMG SHOOTING BR AKE The CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake shares its twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine with its coupé sibling but allows for 590-litres of boot space. This is a proper estate car practicality with its very stylish, wide opening tailgate. It’s quick, with 0-100km spooling up in just 4.3 seconds. Off the line, it streaks off like a dedicated racing car as it emits the deep low-pitched blare under heavy throttle. Sublimely effortless at high speed cruising, its stability is peerless. Those automotive alchemists at AMG have engineered in considerable compliancy even with the optional 20-inch wheels. Inside, it’s a calm and tranquil place to be. The controls have a jewel-like quality about them and everything falls to hand rationally. Many who buy this car will care as much about being noticed as they will about performance, but this car offers much more than mere show and go.
SL63 AMG Then the key for the SL63 AMG was pressed into my palm. The car is bright red and caddishly good looking – speaking more of the latest hidden technology than any overtly stylistic
A B O V E The SL63’s engine is the clear focal point, and even with sound-sapping turbochargers, it emits a deep, melodic bellow – something that’s further intensified with car’s superbly engineered aluminium roof folded back
C6 3 AMG BL ACK SERIES Black humor, which makes light of an otherwise solemn subject, is why Mercedes-Benz simply had to create the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series. Black is the new AMG – a dark comedy – a comic work that employs every single sensory modality known to man, creating the best ever Black Series. The C63 held up well to extended circuit use with the big, naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine lapping up the revs through the seven-speed auto gearbox right up to the 7200rpm limiter. It looks like a road going DTM-Car, with a flared and sculpted body to suck air into radiators half as big as the standard car. It also accommodates a much wider footprint for planted handling.
The cabin is utterly convincing, with all of the creature comforts you’d ever need, even though it’s not quite suitable for a trip to the mall with the kids. There are no standard rear seats, but it does have the ability to record your track-day lap times! It is a true performance heavyweight capable of slogging it out with Porsche’s GT3. The C63 AMG Black Series is a technical masterpiece, yet it still offers a sensory driving experience.
OVER THE H O R I Z O N AT MERCEDES-BENZ Mercedes-Benz’s intention of driving down their high average median age of their buyers is no secret. The brand’s new A-Class leads its youthful charge, but you can expect a new range of even cheaper and smaller cars in the future, possibly through a partnership with Renault and Nissan. Mercedes-Benz knows that Nissan is intent on going up-market, so it may make sense. Could we see a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine or a 1.5-liter four Mercedes-Benz X-Class within five years to rival BMW’s MINI?
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consideration. Power from its twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol has increased to 395kW, accessed by two driving modes via the button on the centre console marked ‘Comfort’, which was emphatically not used, and ‘Sport’, which sharpens steering and throttle response in concert with firmer spring and damper settings appropriate for track conditions. A prod of the engine start button initiates a low-frequency bellow that builds as you keep the noise-peddle planted, treating you with a pop, sizzle and hiss of the over-run from the exhaust, a kaleidoscopic onomatopoeia sure to delight anyone with a pulse. Acceleration is hammerhead in intensity, adhesion to the track is otherworldly and the carbon-ceramic brakes are so effective they re-arrange your internal organs under earnest braking. Undulating cambers and highly spirited cornering causes the front-end to bite the tarmac on turn in, and the locking diff enabled back end squats down as if connected to the track by some celestial Velcro.
MERCEDES-BENZ AMG SLS The Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS is inspired by the iconic 1954 300SL but there is much more similarity than just those evocative gull-wing doors. Nostalgia clearly had a strong influence on AMG as they set to remaster the SLS for the now generation, with its massive bonnet and set back cabin. Getting access to that delicious interior via those exquisite doors is part of a protocol, a ritual even. Unlock the car and finely crafted handles automatically whir out from each door, retracting again when locked or driven off. The doors themselves are, thankfully, very light; a gas-filled strut assists with their fluid upwards movement. Entry involves stepping over a wide
sill and sliding down into the seat. Ladies, a word of caution here – choose your clothing carefully to help maintain your dignity, unless of course the loss of it is part of the ritual. The SLS’s cabin may be reminiscent of other Mercedes-Benz cars, but it takes only one corner at speed to realise that this beauty performs like no other. The steering is instantly responsive and razor-sharp, which combined with almost no flex from the chassis, can inspire huge confidence. Make no mistake, however, this SLS is a genuine supercar and uses the same 6208cc V8 engine as the R1,4 million C63 AMG Black series. Given the SLS is R2.7-million, it does beg the question: Is the pricing optimistic? Get it on a straight bit of the track and any misgivings are left behind as it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited 317km/h. AMG has squeezed an extra 40kW from the V8, plus the SLS is 110kg lighter than the C63. It’s insanely quick at 0-100km in 3.9sec, but it’s also incredibly easy to drive well. Fuel economy is not a reason you’d buy this car, but the 99-litre tank gives it a proper touring GT range of 668km. It’s perfect to claim your freedom on the twisty ribbons of tarmac sandwiched between majestic mountains and the Indian Ocean along the Garden Route. In the future, AMG will move to All-WheelDrive, including the 2014 E63 AMG. Driven by the need for performance and cold weather traction, Mercedes believes it will also further enhance demand for AMG models in their traditional markets. So whilst AMG cars demand experienced drivers, they are equally at home on the road as they are on the track. This points to good news for the well-heeled consumer, and something to aim at for the rest of us.
A B O V E The SLS is the first Mercedes-Benz car designed in-house by AMG
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NEw BEGINNINGS South visits the Lund Family, whose newstead Family Vineyards is the latest addition to the Plettenberg Bay wine of Origin District, to find out the origin of the moniker â€œthe relentless farmerâ€?. w O r D S
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M a r i a
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Doug and Sue Lund
R I V I NG T H ROUGH T H E E N T R A NC E at Newstead Lund Family Vineyards, meticulously cared for vines and a garden that will turn most avid gardeners green with envy create a panoramic vista. The passion for what Doug and Sue Lund are creating on their family farm outside Plettenberg Bay is evident. Their tasting room is cosy, elegant and stylish, and Sue’s creative wand has transformed the area into a place where you can relax and enjoy many lazy afternoons. Both Sue and Doug originate from KwaZuluNatal, where they grew up and worked on sugar-cane and dairy farms. It was a desire for change and challenge that inspired them to start growing grapes. In 2006, they bought 11.5 hectares of fallow land in The Crags at the foot of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Doug, an international polo player, brings determination, resilience and perfectionism to the table. They call him “the relentless farmer” as he makes every effort to grow his product optimally and meticulously. Sue, on the other hand, has diverse experience in food, design and styling. The first vintage was launched in 2012 and is one of 20 wine farms in the Plettenberg Bay Wine of Origin District. These modern-day pioneers are producing award winning wines in one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. Sue says the climate and geographical character is very similar to New Zealand. In fact, it was a trip there that inspired the couple to attempt making wine here. Peter Thorpe from the nearby Bramon Wines assisted in the selection of varieties and
rootstock to plant, but the most influencing factor was the Lunds’ desire to make what they enjoy drinking. It has been an exciting, yet challenging journey for them and their dedication is paying off.
IDE AL CONDITIONS Nets over the vines protect the grapes against the birds spoiling the harvest as well as sunburn and assisting in even ripening. Due to the cooler climate, they practise canopy management, where the leaves around the bunches are stripped away to allow more sun and air flow. The soils in the area range from sandy loam to floodplain alluvial and some limestone based soils. Slopes facing different directions allow for a diversity of sites for varieties that have different needs. The proximity of a mountain range and the cool air drainage that it provides, combined with the cool breezes from the sea, leaves night temperatures cool enough to preserve the acids in the grapes. The average temperature of 22˚ during growing season makes this region well suited to white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and early ripening reds such as Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Rainfall is predominantly winter and early summer. The vines are planted in a north-south direction to maximise the sun and benefits of the cool breezes. Harvest is an exciting time and a typical day has a very early start. Sugars are tested and if at the correct level, picking will commence. Grape bunches are hand selected and packed in baskets. These are loaded and taken to the cellar about half a kilometre away. Their
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Beautiful views from the Newstead tasting room
winemaker is Anton Small, previously from Villiera Wines in Stellenbosch. The harvesters are given a hearty meal before they leave for home. “It’s a day that starts with anticipation, followed by excitement throughout and ending in prayer and thankfulness for a blessed harvest and crops,” say Doug and Sue. This year’s bubbly harvest took place in February at sunset. Family and friends gathered to participate and picked while sipping bubbly for encouragement in the lamp lit vineyards. Even though it was great fun, there was an urgency as the sugar levels had to be at a specific level for optimal bubbly making, according to Sue.
N at u r e ’ s b o u N t y Newstead’s label, depicting the family crest, is an elegant and striking piece of artistry designed by Sue and a local designer. The name Newstead refers to new beginnings and the “N” depicts two wine glasses. The tasting room opens on to a lawn overlooking vineyards and has hosted many wonderful lunch and dinner parties, says Sue. Emphasis is on fresh, simple and delicious. Sue tries to use what she has in garden, and even the simple onion marmalade served within an hour of the bulbs being lifted from the ground is mouth-watering. Warm, freshly baked bread with wafting scents of rosemary, warmed honey figs and strawberries served on pavlova with ice cream – all homegrown or homemade – delight the tastebuds. “Farm-to-fork is not a trend; we are living a lifestyle we have always resonated with. It is
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delicious, rewarding and saves plenty of trips to town which is 16km away.” Newstead produces a fresh, easy drinking unwooded Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc with a flavour filled nose. Both have been met with great excitement and high praise. The Chardonnay is well rounded with hints of spicy citrus and melon aromas with a smooth finish. The Sauvignon Blanc has an array of subtle lime, gooseberry and passion fruit aromas. It is simply delicious and a well-balanced wine. At the Bartho Eksteen celebration in November 2012 at Hemel-en-Aarde valley, Newstead was selected as one of the ten Sauvignon Blanc wines to be pitched against ten from the rest of the world, coming in fourth overall. There is a Cap Classique that is currently on the lees and will be launched in 2013. The Lunds decided to use the traditional French Champagne blend for their Cap Classique, namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Also in the pipeline is a single variety release of Pinot Noir. Newstead’s warm and welcoming tasting room is open by appointment throughout the year. It is a place to relax and linger, and a large outdoor venue will soon be available for functions and celebrations. They do not have restaurant-like formalities and serve food inspired by mood, guided by season and using locally-sourced ingredients.
Newstead Wines For tastings, orders and lunch bookings contact Sue. www.newsteadwines.com 044 534 8387
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Singer songwriter Wendy Oldfield and the instrumental duo Wild Lettuce have both released new albums. Their musical journeys are quite different, yet their passion, dedication and virtuosity are equally inspiring. W O R D S
G A R E T H
P R E T O R I U S
OPPOSITE Wendy Oldfield is back and better than ever in her remarkable career that spans over 30 years. L E F T Reinhardt Buhr uses a live looping pedal that makes him sound like two different guitarists at the same time combined with some crazy multi effects.
“YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET TO SOME POINT WHERE IT’S ALL SUDDENLY PERFECT, BUT IT NEVER HAPPENS AND I SUPPOSE IT’S THIS THAT KEEPS INSPIRING ME AS AN ARTIST.”
hat separates good music from countless other works that can be described with a variety of plunging terms of derision, is something that can be discussed and conjectured upon until the last cow returns from munching in the meadow. The difficulty with debating such a topic lies in the fact that such debates are all rational attempts to describe irrational vocations. For what it ultimately boils down to, is that good music evokes a visceral response from deep within the listener. It’s where the cliché, ‘the music moved me’ originates – something shifts inside the toe-tapping audience. And fortunately, the Garden Route is home to musicians who are capable of doing exactly this. Wendy Oldfield has a remarkable career that spans over 30 years, and while she might not like the description recently afforded her by a fan, of ‘living legend’, it just might be true. South caught up with Wendy in the middle of her current tour to promote her latest album, Supernova. A mother of three, Wendy breaks up her travelling with regular stints at her home in Wilderness. When asked about the tour, her response revealed an attitude towards her craft that hints at why she is so respected as an artist and why her career is still going strong after three decades. “It’s not really touring actually, but just continually working. Because I’ve now released the album, I’m just working extra hard and getting out there and performing lots,” she says. Besides her innate talent and professionalism, it’s this work ethic that has enabled her to keep doing what she loves. Even during the time when she was primarily committed to raising her children, Wendy still allowed her artistry to find fresh outlets through the creation of Under African Skies, a story-telling and children’s music CD, writing two children’s CDs that both won SA Music Awards (Singalong Kidz 1 and 2) and then later the album The Collection, which along with a couple of new tracks is a compilation of some of her most performed hits.
Her ability to adapt her music to a variety of projects and genres has rewarded her with a constant flow of work, from the early days in the ‘80’s as part of the rock outfit Sweatband to writing jingles for adverts, musical scores for television nature series and performing with musical geniuses such as Steve Newman and Gito Baloi, amongst others, in the World Music collaboration, Mondetta. “It’s not about the size of the venue,” she says when asked about memorable gigs, “it’s more about something I refer to as 100 percent attention – everyone that’s there hears every word and note that’s played. It’s what you’re giving out and what you’re receiving in turn from those who are listening to you.”
W E N DY ’ S L AT E S T A L B U M It was after performing with Robin Auld at the beginning of 2012 that she was inspired to start working on her new album, most of which was recorded in June last year at Peace of Eden studios in Rheenendal. Due to both artists’ busy schedules, the duo had to also record at various studios around the country when their paths crossed, or make use of modern technology – Dropboxing pieces to each other. “This was obviously not ideal. In a perfect world, you want to have two months to just devote to the working of an album, but it’s what was necessary.” This year Wendy’s been playing to 90 – 100 percent full houses, which she puts down to the tenacity of getting out there and playing live, and getting into the public’s psyche. “On this latest tour, up until now I haven’t had a dud gig, so it’s been very rewarding. It’s a songwriter’s album and the genres vary from swing to rock to reggae, so it crosses everything.” Perhaps the reason for Wendy’s continued success and professionalism is her ability to constantly reappraise her older work and realise
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M U S IC
W I L D F O R W I L D L E T TU C E
B E L O W The duo quickly became known for their wild live shows around the Garden Route, crazy and unpredictable rhythms.
Wilderness seems to nurture music-makers - those with raw talent who hone their skills through hard work and dedication. If you haven’t yet heard the name Wild Lettuce, you’d be forgiven for mental images of swashbuckling salads, but once you’ve experienced one of their live performances, or at least searched for one of their videos on the web, you’ll be, like the growing number of their fans, delightfully addicted. The instrumental duo of Reinhardt Buhr and Eugene van Pletzen play a hybridised homegrown world fusion that subtly mixes Spanish flamenco with antipodean tribal and hard rock. They are musical alchemists whose attitude to their art is summed up in percussionist Eugene’s words: “We’re just vehicles. We’re just here transporting the music.” This straightforward philosophy is translated into beyond-their-years skill and virtuosity when they perform. Reinhardt’s guitaring is mesmerising and his addition of the electric cello has added an exciting dimension to their repertoire. Combine this with his use of the looping pedal to overlay Eugene’s slickly stitched together variety of drums, didgeridoo, and a handful of other percussion instruments, and the result is a slew of sounds that transports the audience on a musical journey. Their music crosses cultural, generational
and geographical barriers. In 2011 they were invited to perform at a resort in Zanzibar but their trip almost fell apart at the last minute as it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan. However, after performing a few gigs, word spread and they ended up performing up to five times a week, including at a full moon party for 2 000 people.
WHERE TO NEXT The guys met at a fortuitous jam session at the Wild Farm Backpackers a few years ago, but ironically both grew up and lived in the same neighbourhood in Vereeniging without ever meeting each other. Since 2010 they’ve been playing and touring extensively, and make use of their regular Saturday morning performances at the Sedgefield market to sell their CDs. They’ve timed the release of their new album with the colder months and have a coastal tour planned to launch the new release. “We want to get our music out to as many people as possible, so social networking is vital. We got our sponsorship from Staccato Music through an online video and are hoping to secure a vehicle sponsorship as our equipment and rig have now grown to the point where we can hardly travel with it,” Reinhardt says, half-joking. Perhaps its coincidence, or it has something to do with the area, but there is an unspoken yet permeable respect for the music these three musicians are gifted with. Although imbued with this quiet appreciation, they all work very hard for their success.
Wendy Oldfield www.wendyoldfield.co.za Wild Lettuce www.wildlettucemusic.com
where things could’ve been done differently. “I’m a super critical person in terms of my music,” she says. “I’m always listening to stuff I did in the past and thinking perhaps there should have been an extra verse here, or that chord’s not quite the right one. But I’m always going to be like that. You think you’re going to get to some point where it’s all suddenly perfect, but it never happens and I suppose it’s this that keeps inspiring me as an artist.”
The best-looking BMW of modern times, the M6 Gran Coupe is the four-door version of the M6 Coupe, and uses the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. It chirps the rear wheels via the seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, needing just 4.2sec for the 0-100km/h dash. Lash out on the optional performance package and the limited top speed is elevated to a heady 303km/h. The Gran Coupe’s interior is beautifully executed. It’s an elegant riposte to the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and Audi RS7. www.bmw.co.za
T O y O TA
The new Toyota Auris is a well-made, practical and frugal addition to the worlds’ top selling car brand. It delivers impeccably reliable motoring, using well-tested 1,3 and 1,6 litre engines. An elevated window line and slanted roofline, fusing at the rear with a rooftop spoiler, help its sharper ‘keen look’. Much better than before, it is also lighter and quieter at motorway speeds. Ride and handling balance is enhanced, however, it is not overtly sporty when compared to its rivals. There’s loads of safety kit, including seven airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The Auris is amongst the most economical cars in the segment, making it cheaper to run than many small hatchback rivals. The Toyota RAV4 pioneered the small SUV segment years ago and the fresh redesign will be a solid offering with its 2.5-litre four-cylinder power plant and six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive helps the RAV’s dynamics, particularly when off-roading, which is enhanced by a lockable centre differential, respectable approach and departure angles, and good ground clearance. Inside, the stitched leather on the dash and gear stick create an ambient, comfortable cabin. The RAV4 has plenty of cargo space and is comfortable even when fully loaded.
Performance is a little pedestrian but it delivers all the things an SUV of its type should do. www.toyota.co.za
aBOVe leFT Ford ecosport concept aBOVe RIGHT BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Based on the Fiesta platform, the dramatic styling of the Ford EcoSport is loud and extrovert; a stunning looking car with a massive, open-mouthed grille, high bonnet line and a heavily raked windscreen to create an arresting character. C-pillars and wrap around rear-screen fuse together well, creating a well resolved look for a car just under four metres in length. The car’s interior is from the latest Fiesta and there’s loads of space to add comfort as you sit in the higher rear seats. Ford has engineered the Ford EcoSport as a global car. It’s attractive, fantastic to drive, comfortable, well equipped and just the right size for busy streets. The appeal will be universal. The second generation Ford Kuga SUV cheer-leads Ford’s ambition to dominate world sales in the SUV market, but will have to do battle with likes of Honda, Nissan, Toyota and others to top the throne. The original Kuga had more individuality, but the latest model boasts better practicality, value and refinement. Buyers will be able to choose between 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 1.6-litre turbo-charged Eco-boost petrol engines. The cabin is businesslike and uses high quality materials. At higher speeds, the Kuga’s handling is impressive, providing a great dynamic balance. www.ford.co.za
Contrasts are common in South African society and we have scant choice in some consumer decisions. But we have a salivating range of options to choose from when making car-buying decisions. Henry Ford would have approved.
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2013 TYRE SALE NEW TYRES SIZE 155-13 165-13 175/70-13 175/65-14 185/60-14 185/65-14
BUDGET R335 R350 R375 R415 R450 R450
PERFORMANCE TYRES HIGH KM R385 R400 R450 R475 R550 R550
SIZE 195/50-15 195/65-15 205/60-15 205/65-15 205/55-16 205/40-17
BUDGET R475 R550 R600 R600 R625 R575
HIGH KM R550 R575 R675 R650 R825 R600
BAKKIE/ 4X4 TYRES SIZE 205-16 265/70-16 265/65-17
FITTING and BALANCING
Prices include VAT and OLD TYRES While stocks last.
BUDGET R1160 R1325 R1400
HIGH KM R1400 R1800 R1850
BAKKIE/ 4X4 TYRES SIZE 185-14 195-14 195-14wsw 215-15 245/70-16 245/75-15
BUDGET R650 R675 R700 R875 R1150 R1150
HIGH KM R700 R700 R750 R950 R1225 R1250
BF GOODRICH SPECIALS SIZE 30.9.5-15 31.10.5-15 265/75-16
HIGH KM R1825 R2300 R2800
68 Courtenay Street โข George Tel: 044 874 4734/ 874 3054 Fax: 044 873 5765 GPS 33ยบ 57ยบ 18ยบ | 22ยบ 27ยบ 38
WHEEL ALIGNMENT SPECIAL!
to keep abreast of Garden route news and receive South competition reminders, join us on Facebook. Find out about events on www.southmagazine.co.za
t his q u a r t e r , w e h av e F ou r w onde r F u l p r i z e s t o Gi v e away, s o m a k e s u r e w e he a r F r om y ou. s m s e n t r ie s c l o s e on a u Gu s t 1, 2 0 13 .
The françois ferreira Academy in George equips students with the necessary culinary skills to thrive in a highly competitive industry. François, well-known chef and food guru, in association with bread experts, has hosted several courses on bread baking and phenomenal skills on dough. Demonstrations include small breads, rustic breads, sweet breads and festive breads, to name but a few. Olive Pride represents the exciting world of olive oils. Their oil has a rich supply of anti-oxidants, is cholesterol-free and has a unique flavour and aroma. eureka mills produces only high-quality premium stone ground flour.
The françois ferreira Academy, in conjunction with Olive Pride and eureka mills, is giving away a bread making course with françois for one winner and five friends valued at R3 000. contact lydia at the françois ferreira Academy on 044 884 0765 or visit www.francoisferreira.com; Olive Pride on 021 951 3540 or visit www.olivepride.co.za or visit eureka mills at www.eurekamills.co.za. To enter, sms southbread to 33742. sms costs r1.50.
Get wild in style at chandelier Game lodge & Ostrich show farm. Located between the lush green Garden Route and the wide-open spaces of the Klein Karoo, the Outeniqua- and Swartberg mountain ranges form a spectacular backdrop. The tented chalets offer a unique bush experience. Chalets are situated on wooden decks and great care has been taken to assure privacy and spectacular views. Each en-suite unit has a private observation deck from where guests can spot various game species on their way to the watering hole. Guests wake up every morning to birdsong. Children are welcome and up to two small children may share with their parents. chandelier Game lodge offers one night’s accommodation in a luxury Tent for two people, including an ordered dinner at the tent (R180 each), breakfast and a game drive valued at R1 290. contact chandelier on 044 272 6795 or visit www.chandelier.co.za. To enter, sms southgame to 33742. sms costs r1.50.
TuRn TO PAGe 95 fOR mORe infORmATiOn On OuR excePTiOnAl subscRibeR’s PRize: a three-night stay for two in a luxury room, including a gourmet breakfast, at the ultra-luxurious and contemporary four-star phoenix Guest house in the heart of wilderness, worth r7 500.
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The Quad Adventure 4x4 Quad Bike and Eden Adventures “Thrilling Threesome” prize consists of quad biking, canoeing and abseiling for two people to the value of R1 700. Contact Quad Adventures on 072 303 9011 or visit www.quadgardenroute.co.za and Eden Adventures on 044 8770179 or visit www.eden.co.za. To enter, sms southadventure to 33742. sms costs R1.50.
Peter Pharoah is known for his bold and powerful works that capture the essence of Africa. His unique style and versatility has generated a loyal following of fans who regularly visit his gallery in Wilderness to add to their collection of contemporary abstracts, wildlife artworks and distinctive tribal portraits. The Peter Pharoah Print Collection is available from the Pharoah Gallery in Wilderness as well as at Bespoke design store in George. Bespoke, owned by Eddie da Silva, stocks a small modern range of furniture and décor items all designed and manufactured in South Africa. Peter Pharoah and Bespoke are giving away a 1m x 1m unstretched/ unframed limited edition fine art giclee print on canvas to the value of R3 800. The winner will have a choice of prints available in stock. Contact Peter on 076 976 2629 or visit www.peterpharoah.com and Bespoke or Eddie da Silva on 044 877 0744 or 082 895 2760 or email at email@example.com. To enter, sms southart to 33742. sms costs R1.50.
Quad Adventures in Wilderness offers amazing combinations of adventure and excitement in quad biking. Depending on the particular combination, Quad Adventures operates from different venues, including the Montagu Pass, Cradock’s Kloof and parts of Willowmore. Choose from day trails or two- to three-day adventures. You can also make up your own combinations to include overnight stays. Eden Adventures in Wilderness specialises in outdoor adventure tours, team building activities and tailor-made tours of the Garden Route. They also offer canoeing, kloofing and abseiling.
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social scene out and about in the Garden route
p h o t o G r a p h s a n D
D e s m o n D
s c h o lt z
s u p p l i e D
Rocco de VillieRs renowned south african pianist rocco de Villiers entertained visitors at the hyatt regency oubaai hotel. Front from left: claudette Jordaan and tinneke van Jaarsveldt. Back from left: Deon nieuwoudt, christa weyers, rocco de Villiers, thabo rangaka, margreet du plessis, marlene esterhuizen, Fanie meyer and chris van Jaarsveldt.
KenaKo sa WoRld JunioRs golF TouRnamenT the Kenako south african world Juniors Golf tournament was held at Kingswood Golf estate in George in march. From left are world Junior series Vice-president tom Burnett (usa), Girls winner lara weinstein, Boys winner Jade Buitendag, world Junior series president susanna rosswag (Germany) and Kenako Golf & sports academy chairman ron Boon.
TRaVelling Family the zapp family, from argentina, has been travelling the world in their 1928 Graham paige since 2000 and have had four children on the way. herman and candelaria zapp chatted to locals at the island market in sedgefield in april.
occ actor heino schmitt, who plays altus in the popular soapie 7de Laan, was one of the celebrity guests at this year’s outeniqua wheelchair challenge, which took place in George in February. heino pushed the wheelchair of Jarobeam meyer in the 5km fun event.
sedgeField sloW FesTiVal
Fancourt caDDie leaDership proGram
sedegefield slow Festival organiser amanda Dixon (left) and sedgefield tourism manager rose Bilbrough celebrated the unveiling of a commemorative mosaic ball at a local shopping centre in the town’s main road.
Fancourt launched sa’s first accredited professional Golfing learnership programme for caddies in april in George. left to right: Yolandi Duma (ex-student of ernie els & Fancourt Foundation – currently womens champ of eastern cape), thabo mahlangu ( Board member of cathsseta), matthew wearrly, ralph stander (eden events), Gert oosthuizen (Deputy minister of sport), mike tsotetsi (ceo of cathsseta), Vusi mthethwa (president of saBGa), lloyd martindale (Golf Gm of Fancourt), Bolton mthimkhulu, thobela mkefa and clive Kula.
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The four-star guest house in the heart of Wilderness promises a luxurious experience in a sublime setting. A careful balance of exquisite detail and rich elegance adds to an atmosphere of peaceful indulgence from the minute you set foot in this private paradise. To protect the glass staircases, no shoes may be worn but new, freshly sterilised slippers are offered upon arrival (no exceptions). Enjoy gourmet breakfasts and four-course dinners, sink your feet into deep-pile Belgian carpets, laze around a bio-fire fireplace, snuggle under crisp linen or pamper yourself with beautiful toiletries â€“ these are just some of the experiences on offer. Phoenix Guest House, nestled in a forest location, offers a panoramic view of untamed Wilderness and the inviting Indian Ocean, making it the perfect base from which to explore the Garden Route.
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*The prize is valid for a year from publication (until May 2014), excluding peak season (December 1st to February 28th) but subject to availability. Booking is essential. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. The original voucher must be produced on arrival. Contact Peter Rayner at Phoenix Guest House 082 395 9986 for reservations, email email@example.com or visit www.phoenixguesthouse.com for more details.
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TRAIL OR TRIAL? Why do people climb a mountain? Because it’s there. Why do people dive into a cave? Because it’s not there. Why do people walk the Otter Trial? The answer to this one is not so simple. W O R D S
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he legendary Otter Trail, one of SA’s oldest and best-known hiking trails, lies wedged between the pounding seas and the Tsitsikamma Mountains from Storm’s River Mouth to Nature’s Valley – a 44km stretch of wild and relentless but utterly beautiful Garden Route coast. Having walked it with my family and friends over Easter weekend, I can only attempt to answer as to why we walked it. For five days and four nights we did not see one stranger, and not even a single light. We got away from it all; we were in a world long gone – a world that had once been long, long ago. I have two teenage children. To do this trip with them was a therapeutic exercise in bonding and mutual respect for our abilities, not only to complete the tough sections of the trail, but to re-energise our bodies every morning after a night’s hard sleep; to live out of a backpack in a small bungalow with family and friends for four nights; to be wet, cold and tired, and yet smile and appreciate the rich rewards that all of this brings. To experience the power of the elements: it rained solidly for the first three days – no dry wood, no sitting around a fire at night watching stars. It was wet and dark, so we stayed indoors until we eventually went to bed and realised that it was only 7.30pm. The incredible noise of the crashing waves keeps you awake at night, staring at the wooden ceiling, wide-eyed – or is it your aching body that’s keeping you awake, or the fact that you’ve been lying down for eight hours already, or the wild Genet that sneaks into your
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bungalow looking for a quick meal? Maybe it’s the sheer exhilaration at being part of this unforgettable place? All the bungalows are situated at sea level, so every morning you have to start with a steep climb. If you don’t warm up, the acids in your stiff muscles will make you pay. Somehow, you will take a breather, find another gear and simply continue. That’s the thing about this trail – there is no giving up. Little things have never been so important: meeting up with some bushbuck along the trail or some Loeries splattering red against the dense green canopy. Finding otter tracks along the river, or dolphins surfing the waves out of sheer joie de vivre. And then of course your snacks! It’s incredible how much a sachet of Game power drink powder does for your body and soul, or a packet of chocolate-coated peanuts, even biltong. These little rewards become
so important that you don’t mind pushing your limits. Ah, and then the ultimate reward: standing on top of the ridge on day five and looking down at Nature’s Valley lazily slinking along the coast under a blanket of trees. What a sight! And when you finally get your tired knees down the rocky slopes and onto the beach, how good is it to take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the sand, passing families along the lagoon and sponging up their admiring glances? “Just done the Otter?” they ask. No, hey, we normally come walking on the beach with heavy backpacks and smelling like Neanderthals. At this stage people who have not done the Otter are so mundane, domesticated, uninteresting, inferior. We, the Selected Twelve, are the custodians of the culture, the fearless Trojans of the tropics, tamers of the wild, curers of colds, winners of wars, wise beyond wisdom and hungry beyond belief – never again will 2km be as far as those last two that brought us to the Nature’s Valley restaurant. Never again will a feast be laid out for kings like the one we had. How sweet it tasted! Then my boy asked: “When are we going?” and the others started arranging backpacks and looking for car keys, killing the moment. Instantly, we became mere mortals, with sore feet, aching limbs and bad body odor. But deep inside each one of us we will carry a fist full of memories and a sense of belonging to a family that will never be broken up: we are the family of Kings of the Otter.