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www.bluetrainmag.co.za

Complimentary Guest Magazine

December 2012

Gift Guide • Labyrinths • KZN Battlefields


contents 28 www.bluetrainmag.co.za

Hanlie Kotze Letter from the Executive Manager

Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu Letter from the Editor

News Keeping You Informed

From The Mailbag Passenger Letters and Comments

EVENTS Dates To Diarise

BITS Need To Know

WALKING YOURSELF WELL Labyrinths

UNCLE KRAMPUS IS COMING TO TOWN Unconventional Festive Festivities

BAUBLES, BUBBLY AND BLING December Gift Guide

WEARING YOUR ART ON YOUR SLEEVE Giving Rhinos a Voice Through Art

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Complimentary Guest Magazine

December 2012

08 Gift Guide • Labyrinths • KZN Battlefields

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ZANZIBAR BIZARRE Close Encounters of the Zanzibari Kind

A PURVEYOR OF FINE PERFUMES Tammy Frazer

AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW Royal Chundu

WATCH THE ROAD The Marriage of Luxury Cars & Watches

A NEW TELLING OF AN OLD TALE KwaZulu-Natal’s Battlefield Tours

EDIBLE ART Chef Chantel Dartnall

PUTTING THE SUPER IN SUPERCAR The Jaguar XKR

Destination Listings Luxury Accommodation & Dining Guide

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IN THE TRACKS OF A LEGEND The History of The Blue Train

SUITE LAYOUT Coach Info

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Letter from the Executive Manager Hanlie Kotze Warm festive greetings to all! 2012 at a Glance As the years pass by, they seem to become more eventful, and 2012 was no exception. In May, South Africa was elected to co-host the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which was a victory for the Minister of Science and Technology, Honourable Naledi Pandor, as well as for the scientists and engineers of the African continent. Spain proved why they are the world’s number one football team when they once again lifted the coveted European Championship trophy in July; the world was united by the spirit of the Olympic Games in London; and the USA made history when they re-elected their first African-American president for a second term while half of New York was under water! 2012 has been an eventful year indeed.

I was There As all of these events unfolded, it is perhaps appropriate to acknowledge the legacy that each person who was involved in them has left. They cannot only say that they were there, but that they played a small part in making it happen. While not all of us can play a part in every memorable event, we can make a difference in our everyday lives. The things we do and say when we are around our family members, friends and colleagues has an influence on them. As we live our lives, we create legacies. Whether these are good or bad, is up to us.

The Blue Train Wins Again From a Blue Train perspective, 2012 was also very rewarding. The Blue Train was recognised with a South Africa’s Short List award at the inaugural Media24 online 2012 South African Wine List Awards in August 2012. Wine lists were awarded one, two or three “flutes” according to percentages reached when matched by the judges to the scoring criteria for Short, Medium or Long lists. The Blue Train achieved three flutes for its Short List assortment. The Blue Train was also proud to be announced as the runner-up in the category of Favourite Specialist Train Operator at the exclusive Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards in September. Also in September, The Blue Train was named Africa’s Leading Luxury Train by the World Travel Awards – an award it has enjoyed for four consecutive years. This award qualifies us for the Grand Finale, which will take place in India in December, where The Blue Train will compete with the world’s best for the coveted World’s Leading Luxury Train award.

Happy Holidays I would like to wish you all a blessed, joyous, fun-filled and safe Festive Season. US President, Barack Obama, once opened one of his speeches by saying: “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Let us continue to spread the love, peace and hope to others. As we do so, we unconsciously implant those values within ourselves. Happy Holidays! Warm regards,

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Letter from the Editor Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu

What is not to love about Christmas time? Glittering baubles on pine-scented Christmas trees, glasses of bubbly and delicious fruitcake, shortbread and chocolate; holidays and presents and spending time with friends and family. But while there is a lot to love about Christmas, as the years go by I cannot help being saddened by the rampant commercialism that invariably surrounds it. I have nothing against businesses making the most of the year’s best buying season, but I do feel that often the season invariably becomes more about “what I want” and less about “what I have”. Christmas has become an excuse for wanting more and asking for more – another bottle of perfume from your husband, a pair of earrings from your parents, chocolates from your friends. When instead – during the time of year when we are supposed to feel relaxed and happy and in touch with our loved ones – we should be thanking more and being more grateful for all of the blessings that the past year has heaped upon us. I think the North Americans definitely have the right idea with their celebration of Thanksgiving – a holiday which, much like Christmas focuses on food and family time, but unlike Christmas, also has the central tenet of gratitude at its heart. For me, Christmas would be even more enjoyable if gratitude came to form as much a part of it as presents and eggnog have. Imagine a Christmas Day where families take the time to thank each other for everything they have done over the past year; rather than just waiting impatiently to see what Santa has brought. Or spending time around the dinner table counting our blessings as opposed to our presents; or looking for the silver lining in our lives as opposed to silver spoons in gift boxes. Thank, I think, would make the Festive Season even more worth looking forward to. Wishing you and your family a peaceful and gratitude filled Festive Season.

Noeleen

editor@bluetrainmag.co.za

THE BLUE TRAIN www.bluetrain.co.za Pretoria, Gauteng Tel: +27 12 334 8459 Fax: +27 12 334 8464 Cape Town Tel: +27 21 449 2672 Fax: +27 21 449 3338 United Kingdom Tel: +44 1403 243619 Fax: +44 1403 217558 Central Europe Tel: +44 2089 245126 Fax: +44 2089 245126 United States Tel: 001 305 864 4569 Fax: 001 305 675 7693 PUBLISHER Deidre Theron-Loots deidre@africanspiritmedia.co.za African Spirit Media (Pty) Ltd PO Box 11273, Hatfield, 0028 Tel: +27 861 THE MAG (843 624) Fax: +27 88 012 346 2367 mail@africanspiritmedia.co.za

EDITOR Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu editor@bluetrainmag.co.za MANAGING EDITOR Nicky Furniss nicky@tcbgroup.co.za ADVERTISING SALES Bryan Kayavhu+27 78 248 5245 bryan@tcbgroup.co.za Nikki de Lange +27 83 415 0339 nikki.sales@tcbgroup.co.za Robyn Shillaw-Botha +27 83 629 8818 robyn@tcbpublishing Images © iStockphoto.com Cover Image © iStockphoto.com DESIGN & LAYOUT Joanne Mc Laren joanne@virtualdavinci.co.za Virtual Da Vinci Creative Room

PRINTING Business Print Centre, Pretoria CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Keri Harvey, Michael Vlismas, Nick van der Leek, Adam Cruise, Cadine Pillay/mediaclubsouthafrica.com, Kerry de Bruyn, Keith Bain, Pippa de Bruyn, Bernard K Hellberg, Adam Cruise, Beth Cooper Howell, Nicky Furniss. The Blue Train Magazine is published monthly by African Spirit Media (Pty) Ltd. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of African Spirit Media (Pty) Ltd, The Blue Train or any of their clients. Information has been included in good faith by the publisher and is believed to be correct at the time of going to print. No responsibility can be accepted for errors and omissions. No material (articles or photographs) in this publication may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without specific written permission from the Publisher. Copyright © 2012. All copyright for material appearing in this magazine belongs to African Spirit Media (Pty) Ltd and/or the individual contributors. All rights reserved.


news

The Blue Train Steams Ahead in Africa

The Blue Train was recently named “Africa’s Leading Luxury Train” at the World Travel Awards 2012 – an accolade it has now enjoyed for four consecutive years. Hanlie Kotze, The Blue Train’s Executive Manager, could not hide her excitement: “We are thrilled and very proud to yet again be named amongst the crème de la crème of the African continent. The World Travel Awards are hailed as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry and aim to reward those travel brands that have excelled and made a great contribution to the industry. This award is evidence of the hard work everyone has been putting in – especially over the last couple of months. It also serves as a signal that our plans to take this brand to another level are on the right track,” she said. “This award qualifies us for the Grand Finale, which will take place in New Delhi, India on 12th December 2012, where The Blue Train will compete with the world’s best for the coveted ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train’ award. We will be keeping our fingers crossed!” Hanlie concludes.

The Blue Train Wins Silver The Blue Train is delighted to have been announced as the second placed Runner Up at the exclusive Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards in the category of “Favourite Specialist Train Operator”. This prestigious awards ceremony was hosted at The British Museum in September 2012. The Blue Train previously won Gold in 2010, and came fifth in 2011. This year, the top prize went to The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which is a worthy winner. Other trains in the Top Ten included The Palace on Wheels, The Maharajas’ Express and Deccan Odyssey in India, The Rocky Mountaineer and Royal Canadian in Canada, The Hiram Bingham in Peru and The Old Patagonian Express in Argentina. Rovos Rail, the other specialist train in South Africa, won tenth place which is fantastic news for South Africa – playing host to two of the world’s Top Ten trains. “We are truly delighted with this achievement. The nomination alone in these prestigious awards is a great honour for us,” comments Hanlie Kotze, the Executive Manager of The Blue Train. “We always strive to meet and possibly exceed all of our guests’ expectations, every time, all the time. It is through great nominations and awards

such as the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel awards that one finds time to reflect and iron out any shortcomings or complacency that may have crept in on our service standards,” she adds. Condé Nast Traveller is a highly respected publication that is largely regarded as the only authority on travel and lifestyle in the UK. Its ‘Truth in Travel’ ethos along with its policy of never accepting sponsored press invitations means that the publication never yields to pressure and is a magazine readers trust.

The Blue Train Magazine in the Spotlight The Blue Train Magazine once again did us proud at the recent 2012 SA Publication Forum Awards which reward excellence in custom publishing. The magazine was awarded certificates of excellence in two judging categories, namely design and communication, and was not only selected as a finalist in the Communication category but went on to place third overall in the category, which included over 150 other corporate publications. The magazine was also selected – for the first time – as a finalist for the award of “Best External Magazine Category A” (magazines with a higher budget). This effectively recognises The Blue Train as one of the best external corporate publications in South Africa – an accolade which the magazine’s production team are extremely proud of.

Business “Unusual” Charters A special tailor-made, all-inclusive charter on The Blue Train is a wonderful way for guests to explore South Africa’s landscapes and landmarks, lasting from a few hours to several nights. From a VIP cocktail breakfast, lunch or dinner, to a business “unusual” conference, a product launch with a difference, a special wedding reception, staff incentives or even a birthday celebration, the experience is up to you. The Blue Train follows any route, provided the rail networks are compatible to its technology.

The Blue Train is now a Heart Save Area Several Blue Train staff have completed a Heart Saver CPR/AED Course and are now proficient in the necessary knowledge and practical skills to recognise life threatening cardio-pulmonary emergencies on board. This will enable them to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of an emergency. The staff will be aided by the Samaritan Pad 500P with CPR Advisor, which is a small, portable and easy to use device, which helps to restore a pulse in most heart attack victims. It also aids rescuers by giving precise visual and voice instructions on how to use the device and how to administer effective CPR.

For Further Information For more information on The Blue Train’s exciting packages and to read the booking conditions for advance reservations, visit www.bluetrain.co.za or contact The Blue Train reservation office in Pretoria on +27 12 334 8459 or Cape Town on +27 21 449 2672. Email any general enquiries or feedback to info@bluetrain.co.za. n

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From the Mail Bag

Passenger Letters & Comments

Whilst one can expect a bit of luxury and quality in comparison to other luxury trains, it was the staff who made our 25th wedding anniversary such a very special occasion. Mrs WA Archillies, South Africa We had a wonderful experience. We will highly recommend this trip to others and will also definitely take The Blue Train again ourselves. Mr & Mrs Bransden, Australia Another perfect experience. Thank you. Mr & Mrs Snyman, South Africa All the staff provided excellent service. Everything about The Blue Train experience has been outstanding. Mr AH Popper, Australia The Blue Train exudes very high standards throughout. Any South African who has not undertaken this jewel of an experience does not realise what we have in our country. Mr T Allan, South Africa Thank you for a terrific experience. Mr & Mrs Wardell, USA Everything exceeded our expectations. Mr PJ Koekemoer, South Africa The Blue Train was a memorable experience and the highlight of our holiday in South Africa. All the staff were also very good. Mr & Mrs Coles, Australia My wife and I will cherish this experience for the rest of our lives and we will also certainly be back! Mr & Mrs Mongie, South Africa Enoch and Israel (dining waiters) were very friendly and provided exceptional service. Mosa (train manager) was a fantastic host. This was a truly beautiful experience which gave us great memories as well as value for money. Mr VBS Wilson, South Africa

Do you have a complaint or comment that you would like to share with us? Please fill in the guest questionnaire that is available in your suite or alternatively send an email to info@bluetrain.co.za. Please also feel free to send your photos from your trip on The Blue Train to the same address. Comments may be edited, shortened or translated from the original language.

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ad


events Art of a Good Vintage Tokara winery has recently unveiled its annual Wine Made Art exhibition. This year’s theme is “Inspired by the Simonsberg” and many of the works focus on the flora and fauna of this iconic landmark, which watches over Stellenbosch and is home to Tokara’s vineyards. The exhibit of 27 paintings is open to the public until the end of December. The subject matter of the 27 paintings is remarkably varied – from the area’s animals and its landscapes, to its communities and even the mountain’s namesake Simon van der Stel. The winery launched its new vintage wines to coincide with the unveiling of Wine Made Art 2012, and Tokara Restaurant’s celebrated chef Richard Carstens has created a special festival menu, paired with the new vintages. For more information, visit www.tokara.com or email wine@tokara.com.

A Giant of a Pantomime Janice Honeyman’s festive season pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk will delight audiences, both young and old, during its run at the Joburg Theatre until 30th December. Starring panto stalwarts Tobe Cronjé and Desmond Dube, Jack and the Beanstalk tells the story of Jack, who is tricked into trading his cow for some magic beans. These eventually grow into a beanstalk which leads to a magical land ruled by a giant. Audiences can look forward to cheering on the hero, booing the villain, and revelling in the stunning costumes and magical scenery for which Joburg Theatre pantomimes are so renowned. Tickets are available from www.joburgtheatre.com.

A Class Act The SAMA Award-winning instrumental sensation Sterling EQ will bring their extraordinary fusion of virtuosity, fresh beats and undeniable x-factor to the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre on 28th December. Known for changing the face of instrumental music in South Africa and beyond, the all-woman super group is fresh from releasing their third studio album, Pulse, to critical acclaim, while they continue to tour and garner international recognition. The one-hour performance will feature singles from Pulse, as well as a selection of hits from their previous albums. Entrance is free and the show will begin at 18h30. For more information, visit www.sterlingeq.co.za.

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events Toast the New Year Clos Malverne Wine Estate in the Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch will be ringing in the New Year with an extravagant eight-course menu paired with the estate’s most prestigious vintages. To add extra sparkle to the occasion, guests will also toast the New Year with a glass of the estate’s maiden Brut Rosé bubbly, which is only set to debut later in 2013. Guests can look forward to a spectacularly decadent menu including kingklip ceviche (paired with Sauvignon Blanc), smoked ostrich salad (paired with Cabernet Sauvignon), and mango and macadamia nut tart (paired with Clos Malverne Honey Dew). Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Clos Malverne Food & Wine Experience cost R468 per person. For more information or to reserve your table, contact +27 21 865 2022, or email info@closmalverne.co.za.

Festive Season Flavour Celebrate the festive season with South Africa’s inaugural Pick n Pay Taste of Christmas from 7th to 9th December at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg. The event will feature a selection of the city’s top restaurants serving up seasonal menus, designed to inspire and excite the senses. The chefs will also be on hand to give advice on how to refine that ambitious festive menu, thus preparing you for the ultimate season of extravagance. A range of artisan producers and top boutique suppliers will also showcase their wares from cheese, food and wine for your Christmas table, to gastronomic gifts for the foodie who has everything. For more information and bookings visit www.tasteofchristmas.co.za or www.itickets.co.za.

‘Tis the Season Celebrate the start of the Festive Season at Laborie Wine Farm in Paarl on 7th December, for their annual Carols by Candlelight. Father Christmas will be on hand to entertain the little ones, and CrissCross will keep visitors entertained with traditional Christmas carols as they lay out their blankets and picnic baskets in the gardens, and soak up the sights and sounds of Christmas. Tickets are available from www.webtickets.co.za. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets or to pre-order one from the estate. The Laborie Lazy Days Christmas Market will follow on 8th and 9th December and promises a wide range of lifestyle goods and fresh produce, from Christmas cakes to pork pies. For more information, contact +27 21 807 3390, email info@laboriewines.co.za or visit www.laboriewines.co.za.

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bits Scuba Nirvana Scuba divers in search of their next underwater thrill need look no further than spectacular Desroches Island in the Seychelles. Protected from commercial fishing practices and 230 km from Mahe, Desroches’ isolated location, as well as its more than 18 classified dive sites, ensures that scuba divers can enjoy an aqua marine spectacle like no other. Divers can choose from an array of mesmerising wall dives, tunnels, deep caves, passages and swim throughs and can look forward to spotting a huge array of underwater inhabitants, including snappers, fusiliers, sweetlips, stingrays and nurse sharks. The Cast-Away Dive Centre also offers PADI dive courses (Open Water and Advanced) for novices who are keen to learn. For more information, visit www.desroches-island.com.

Quintessentially African Tea Yswara, a unique gourmet tea company, is the first of its kind to introduce a curated experience of fine African teas. Yswara offers a collection of top quality rare tea blends, refined tea accessories and fine living goods, created exclusively by African artisans from African materials. Each tea blend is carefully selected and composed by Yswara’s tea masters. Their signature blend “Or des Anges”, for example, is a fusion of rare white tea from Southern Malawi’s Satemwa Estate, blended with precious 24 carat edible gold petals. Yswara also offers a range of luxury tea accessories to complement its exquisite blends, including an organic spoon collection from South African artist Pamela Schroeder, and glazed African earthenware Sankofa Tea Set Collection by ceramist Adrian Lombard. Yswara products are available online at from www.yswara.com, or from The Wish Collection in Sandton City in Johannesburg.

The Best of Beauty Buys Shopping for beauty products just became more fun with the launch of Kaboose, a free virtual beauty advisor that is available to shoppers whenever and wherever they chose. Kaboose provides subscribers with a number of unique shopping tools, including personalised product recommendations based on the beauty profile they create at www.kaboose.co.za. It also: informs subscribers where to get their favourite products at the best prices, at their preferred location; rewards subscribers with exclusive deals regardless of where they shop; and allows them to share information and reviews with experts and other beauty product fans. To sign up for your own personal beauty advisor, create a free Kaboose account by logging on to www.kaboose.co.za on your phone, tablet or PC.

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bits Classic Cape Town Touring Sidecar Adventure Tours (run by City Sightseeing) are an exciting new way to discover Cape Point. Passengers can view more than 2,200 fynbos species and explore the Cape Point Nature Reserve while cruising in a vintage World War II sidecar. This classic sidecar motorcycle is driven by an experienced and knowledgeable chauffeur and it takes two passengers. The tour departs from the City Sightseeing ticket office at the Two Oceans Aquarium and visits a number of the Mother City’s most famous attractions along the way, including the Silvermine Nature Reserve, Boulders Beach, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak Drive and Camp’s Bay. In total the Cape Point Sidecar Tour takes approximately five hours and covers a distance of 150 km. Book online at www.citysightseeing.co.za.

Picnic Perfection With summer well under way, a picnic is the perfect way to celebrate the season. From intimate moonlight affairs, to family gatherings and theme based picnics, the Dial-a-picnic team are the experts in bespoke picnic planning. They go out of their way to meet client briefs, from rummaging through antique shops for silver goblets, to sourcing the best organic produce grown by local farmers. They are known for their meticulous attention to detail, right down to tying your cutlery with satin ribbons and personalising your picnic basket (hand woven by a local community project) and its contents. Dial-a-picnic has branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Nelspruit. Visit www.dial-a-picnic.co.za for more information.

The Royal Treatment Royal Chundu is a haven of quiet solitude and untouched beauty and the first Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia. Comprising of two luxurious lodges on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, Royal Chundu is situated just upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls on a 15 km stretch of private waterway which is protected by two sets of rapids. As well as luxurious accommodation, world class service and sumptuous pan-African cuisine, visitors can also look forward to visiting the famous falls, enjoying a spot of game viewing in the nearby Chobe National Park in Botswana, as well as bird watching safaris, river rafting, and visits to neighbouring villages. For more information or to make a booking, call +27 87 700 8310 or +27 13 751 1038, email reservations@royalchundu.com or visit www.royalchundu.com.

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Feature

Walking Yourself Well Labyrinths

The 11-circuit medieval labyrinth at Rietvlei Farm in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal

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Feature

Most people complain about “running around in circles” when they are at their most stressed. It is thus a curious concept that walking a series of circles in fact creates calmness. Yet it does and, as a result, more and more South Africans are embracing the relaxing act of walking labyrinths. Text: Keri Harvey Images: © Terry de Vries & Keri Harvey

From small city gardens to farms, labyrinths are being builtalloverthecountryanditisestimatedthattherearecurrently over 200 labyrinths in South Africa. While heading out with the family to walk a labyrinth may be a quirky outing, labyrinths have been used for millennia for relaxation and clearing the mind. From Ancient Egypt and Norway to Italy, Spain and Morocco,

every continent has labyrinths. They appear on ancient Greek coins and in Roman mosaics, with the earliest depiction of a labyrinth engraved into a mammoth tusk in Siberia and dated at over 7,000 years old. Yet South Africans have only recently twigged on to the benefits of walking labyrinths. Terry de Vries has been building labyrinths and hosting labyrinth workshops for over ten years and says: “The great

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Feature This 11-circuit medieval labyrinth in the Little Karoo was made of local stone

You can whale watch as you walk Whispering Whale Labyrinth on the West Coast

An 11-circuit medieval garden labyrinth at Rustenberg Wines in Stellenbosch

A classical 7-circuit labyrinth at Obesa Nursery in Graaff-Reinet

thing about labyrinths is that they bridge countries and cultures and religions. Actually, they have nothing to do with religion and pre-date our current world religions. You don’t need to believe in anything in particular to walk a labyrinth and feel the benefits.” Labyrinths should not be confused with mazes, the latter being designed to lose yourself, the other to find yourself. While mazes are built with hedges and plenty of dead ends, labyrinths are laid out flat on the ground and as there is only one path to walk, it is impossible to get lost. “Labyrinths have one path into the middle and one path out, so your only decision is whether to walk the path or not,” says Terry. This also means that labyrinths allow you to disengage your left brain hemisphere – which has to be switched on, alert and analytical in a maze – and to engage your creative, intuitive, imaginative right brain hemisphere, because you do not need to think about where you are walking in a labyrinth. Labyrinth design is not random either; all are based on either a classical or medieval pattern. “They are not just a pretty collection of circles,” adds Terry, “but are circles in a set pattern, so that when you walk them, they encourage calmness in you.” When you are calm, all of life seems easier and better, even work and sleep is improved. South Africa has labyrinths built from an array of materials – even from cacti – though sticks and stones are the most common building materials. Completely unique is the Reconciliation Labyrinth at Slangkop lighthouse in Kommetjie in the Western Cape. It is designed for two walkers, who walk halfway on their own and then cross over and walk in the other’s footsteps.

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In ancient times, people walked labyrinths to welcome the new seasons, or as a walking prayer meditation to ask for a rich harvest. Norwegian fishermen walked labyrinths to ask for a good catch and their safe return home from sea. Today people walk labyrinths to clear their minds, to find the answers to personal questions, to process grief, to heal trauma and depression, to work through divorce or addiction, to solve problems, set goals, gain insight or simply to calm down. Still others walk just for fun, for exercise, or to spend time outdoors. The motivation does not really matter, neither does it matter if you believe in meditation or not, because the outcome is the same: calmness and clarity of mind. Research on the effect of labyrinths on people has turned up some interesting results too, showing that they calm children with ADHD, even though children usually run labyrinths. Other research indicates that people receiving chemotherapy react better to their treatment when they walk labyrinths. Possibly, labyrinths are healing because your mind calms down, and your body simply gets a chance to be itself. Anyone can build a labyrinth, using any material to demarcate the path. Simply use what you have where you are. Sticks, stones, shells, bricks, even shoes have been used to sketch out a labyrinth. What matters more is that you walk the paths of the labyrinth and feel the difference a little calmness makes. For a comprehensive listing of labyrinths in South Africa visit www.rainbow-labyrinths.co.za. Terry de Vries builds labyrinths and facilitates labyrinth walks, workshops and retreats in the Western Cape. Contact her on +27 82 442 5623 or email terrydevries@mweb.co.za. n


Feature During Christmas time in Spain, Caga Tió logs are filled with sweets and presents and then beaten until they release their bounty

Uncle Krampus is

Coming to Town Unconventional Festive Festivities

For most people, sharing the Festive Season with the aunt from Klerksdorp who has bad breath and talks to her roses, the uncle who thinks iPhone is Zulu slang, and the cousin who arrives dressed in black and talks to people that are not in the room is about as unconventional as it can get. But take heart. It could be worse. From Wollongong to Warsaw, people have found some pretty strange ways to celebrate the Festive Season. Text: Michael Vlismas Images: © iStockphoto.com

For example, you can thank your lucky Christmas cracker you are not one of the Poop Log brigade. The Spanish have a tradition called Caga Tió or in plain English, the Pooping Log. This is a hollowed out log with a face on it. The details are pretty sketchy, but as I understand it, the

log is tossed into the fire and people beat it with sticks until it “poops”, namely splits open and offers up its bounty of sweets, candles and maybe even an onion or two. And the Catalan people do this while singing a delightful little ditty which hits a high point of: “If you don’t poop we’ll hit you

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Feature Children around the world wait eagerly on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to pop down the chimney, but in Austria, children who have misbehaved during the year may receive a visit from terrifying Uncle Krampus instead

with a stick”. Nice. And pity the poor children of Austria. While the rest of the world is celebrating the Festive Season with cheerful songs, presents and all manner of good stuff, they have Uncle Krampus to look forward to. Austrian children are so well behaved because they are terrified of Krampus. He is the evil Father Christmas. Basically, if you are good, you get presents from the big guy in the red suit. But if you are bad, then Uncle Krampus – a demon with a head like a deformed goat – pays you a visit. People celebrate this by dressing like this hideous creature and walking the streets looking for someone they can beat with a stick – which explains why all the Poop Logs ran off to Spain. If you thought your last festive meal was a spectacular failure, then take comfort from the fact that your guests were not forced to eat rotting flesh. In Greenland, a festive delicacy is burying an auk (pronounced like ‘oke’, but not the same thing – thankfully) and letting it rot for a few months. Then, they dig it up and serve it. Not even your Goth cousin would go that far. Festive food can also border on the downright bizarre in some countries. In Sweden, pig’s feet are a delicacy over the Festive Season. You can buy them in bottles, pickled, and “semi-boneless”. Norwegians, on the other hand, love nothing than a whole sheep head on their plates. And do not be surprised if you arrive for a festive meal in Portugal to find 15 place settings but only ten guests. You see, the

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other five are for the dead people. The dead also have their festive frivolity in Portugal and are catered for at the traditional meal. Charming. In Norway, the spirits are not as welcome. On Christmas Eve, people hide all the brooms in their houses because they believe that witches and evil spirits come out at this time. And of course, every good witch needs a broom to ride on. But there is a very thin tinsel line between what is considered unconventional and what is now just festive custom. Putting up trees and decorating them? Pagan tree worshippers were among the first to mythologise trees. And presents? Well, these were banned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. How we wish this was still the case in our Empty Wallet Age. Eating until you burst? In 1377, King Richard II hosted a festive feast where 28 oxen and 300 sheep were consumed. And the feeling that the Festive Season is merely a commercial trap? During the Reformation, the Puritans actually banned Christmas entirely on a few occasions. But for all its trappings, ‘tis the season to be jolly. So whether you are beating the Poop Log, eating a sheep’s head, inviting dead people to lunch, riding on your Nimbus 2000 broom, or dressing up like a demon, at least enjoy it. And how about a holiday card for that aunt of yours? Something along the lines of: “Roses are red, violets are blue, if you don’t do something about your breath, they’ll stop talking to you”. n


Feature

Bling

Baubles, Bubbly &

Our Gift Guide for Fabulous Presents this Festive Season

For the Ladies

Bling Bubbly Add extra glamour to your festive season with the flagship Desiderius Pongrácz in a dazzling golden gift handbag. R235 at selected boutique wine stores.

Make a Splash Spruce up your home with the brightly coloured silicone Drop Fruit Bowl. Available in white, grey, hot pink and lime green, R495, www.yuppiechef.com.

One to Watch Make a style statement with the latest edition of the Seiko Sportura aviation chronograph that comes complete with mother of pearl and diamonds. R7,000, leading retailers.

Take Note These pretty recycled leather notebooks are perfect for recording precious moments or just for jotting down the week’s grocery list. R120 each, Woolworths.

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Garden Grooming Soothe green fingers with a complete Gardeners hand care set from Crabtree and Evelyn. Gardeners Hand Care Tin, R750.

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The Ultimate Indulgence One in every 100 bottles of Shimansky’s limited edition My Girl fragrance contains a dazzling 0.25ct My Girl diamond inside, valued at R7,200. R795 for a 50 ml bottle, Shimansky.


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Best Foot Forward Show off your summer ready feet in these hand beaded Linda Camm sandals. R750, Deon Viljoen in Stellenbosch.

Handbag Essential The SKINOVAGEPX travel set from BABOR makes the perfect travel companion and includes a cleanser and an eye cream. R480, BABOR.

Case in Point Protect your laptop and look stylish too with this handcrafted leather and nylon laptop pouch. The Avignon 13� is available from iStores nationwide for R799.

Lip Smacking Get beautiful soft, plump lips, the natural way and in a range of fun colours. Hannon Plumping colour Lip gloss R95, available from selected hair-and beauty salons.

Perfect Picnics Indulge this Christmas with delicious tea, biscuits, preserves and sweets all packaged in a beautifully crafted wicker hamper. The Kensington Hamper Petit, R1500, Crabtree & Evelyn.

Say Cheese Add some glam to the kitchen with a set of four acacia wood mini cheeseboards and some delicious accompaniments including roasted garlic and balsamic vinegar onion marmalade and tomato and sweet chilli jam. R249,95, Woolworths. A Classic Elizabeth Arden’s Limited Edition New York Beauty Collection Eight Hour Cream celebrates New York as well as the iconic brand. R145 for 50 ml from leading retailers.

Mastering Mixology Learn how to be a cocktail queen with the latest edition of the South African Cocktail and Shooter Guide which is available from liquor stores nationwide.

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For the Guys

Festive Fun The perfect treat to hang on the Christmas tree, and it is filled with deliciously creamy festive fudge. R200, Crabtree & Evelyn.

Light the Way Be the king of the braai (barbeque) with this ingenious braai light – that will also ensure that you never have undercooked sausages again. R299, Woolworths.

On the Cuff Cut a dashing figure with these silver men’s cufflinks from Shimansky. They are available in a number of colours and designs. R1038 – R2388 per pair.

For Whisky Aficionados The Macallan Fine Oak ten year old double glass pack is the perfect present to give whisky aficionados this Christmas. R390, leading liquor stores nationwide.

Strike Gold Johnnie Walker’s celebratory premium blend, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, is the perfect blend to inspire celebrations, with a dash of glamour. Available at leading liquor stores, nationwide.

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All in One The genuine leather Florence Portfolio features a notepad and stylus, and a magnetic cover that wakes or sleeps your iPad to save energy. R1499, iStore.


Feature Beery Handy Never be without your trusty six pack, with this nifty beer carrier. R120, Woolworths.

Give it Horns Make a statement with these abstract Spinnaker speakers which are also Bluetooth enabled. R3599, iStore.

Made in Africa Michael Mikiala Men is a professional range of natural skincare solutions specifically formulated for African men’s skin. R90 – R180. Contact info@michaelmikiala.com for free delivery.

Computer Savvy Get more use out of your laptop or computer with this handy USB hub man from Woolworths. R99,95.

Conversation Starter 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans is an irreverent and entertaining popular history of modern South Africa, that is sure to get the conversation going with its entirely subjective and often controversial list of brilliant Saffers. R180, leading book stores.

Bond-worthy This cunningly designed watch boasts an in-built digital video recorder and 2GB of memory, to turn any guy into a secret agent. The WiKi Spy Watch is available from www. yuppiegadgets.co.za for R1125.

Stylish Socks Project a sense of personality and style with these Italian-made socks from Gallo. Prices range from R140 to R280, Deon Viljoen in Stellenbosch.

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Wearing Your Art

on Your Sleeve

Giving Rhinos a Voice Through Art

Through her conscious art background, Cape Town-based artist Nix Davies is doing her bit to help fight the current plight of South Africa’s rhino population, which continues to drop due to rampant poaching. Text: Cadine Pillay/mediaclubsouthafrica.com Images: © IKSTINGKT

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Crash of Rhinoceros is an initiative started by Davies that aims to create awareness about rhino poaching and the dangers faced by these animals on a daily basis. IKSTINGKT, a collection of rhino sculptures made by several artists who worked in collaboration with Davies, was launched at the annual Afrikaburn cultural festival in April. The exhibition consisted of life-sized artworks modelled in the shape of the rhino and displayed across the Karoo desert, where Afrikaburn is usually held. Conscious art is art with a voice. “It is about adding value to the making and understanding of the art by increasing our awareness of what we are doing, the context in which we make art, and the motivations that produce art,” says Davies.

Getting People Involved The idea of IKSTINGKT came about when Davies decided to educate Western Cape pupils about the danger faced by rhinos. A larger collaborative movement grew from this, with other artists, teachers, conservationists and members of the public coming on board to expand the work. The rhino sculptures soon found homes in various public spaces, such as schools, shopping complexes, beaches and tourist sites, including Table Mountain. Davies’ vision for Crash of Rhinoceros, however, does not end at the viewing of sculptures by the public. The aim is for the movement to be adopted by artists in other countries as well. Through a template called My Rhinoceros, which varies in size, anyone wishing to build their own rhino sculpture can do so. Australia and Taiwan have already taken to the movement, and several of the artworks have been spotted in these countries.

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The template is made out of X-core board, a type of fibreboard made of recycled materials, and widely used in the construction industry. Through IKSTINGKT’s Facebook page, interested parties can learn how to build their own rhinos from scratch. “It will raise conscious awareness of the long-term effects of our actions as humans,” says Davies of the global movement. She plans to extend the installation internationally by linking with artists, activists and conservation groups in other countries.

The Hunting Trophy One artist who has extended the efforts of IKSTINGKT through her own work is Joanna Orr, who started a graphic and web-design company called Head on Design. Orr’s company produces its own range of rhino sculptures, in the style of hunting trophies mounted on the wall. The sculptures are made from recycled material similar to that of the Crash of Rhinoceros works, and funds from their sale are channelled to anti-poaching projects. Orr uses either tanned upholstery or suede leathers in a wide range of colours, or X-core board in white, with some of the trophies colourfully decorated with paintings by local artists. Buyers of the rhino sculptures get to choose which organisation their money will go to. Each design takes around a month to create and perfect, the process starting with a sketch of the head at different angles to get a feel for the three-dimensional form. Sculptures are similar in size to that of the actual animal. For more information, visit www.ikstingkt.org or www.facebook.com/ikstingkt or follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/ikstingkt). n


Zanzibar Travel

Bizarre

Close Encounters of the Zanzibari Kind Much has been written about Zanzibar and it is easy to see why. The place is a prototypical tropical paradise and a rich cultural hotspot with a deep historical diversity. But what few writers comment on – and what is undoubtedly one of the island’s most valuable assets – are its people. Text: Adam Cruise Images © Adam Cruise & iStockphoto.com

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Zanzibari people are as well known for their friendly and welcoming demeanour as their island is for its turquoise blue seas

The people of Zanzibar are a mixture stirred over centuries to the point that no Zanzibari knows who originally came from whom. The tribes on the mainland of Tanzania know their roots – they originate from this or that tribe – but a Zanzibari is a Zanzibari precisely because he or she has no idea, except that they belong to this island. This has made Zanzibaris distinct. They make loyal friends and are also the most excellent hosts. Perhaps the centuries-old melting pot is what makes these people so amiable. Or perhaps it is the sweet waft of cloves that permeates the island, those little aromatic flower buds introduced from Indonesia back when the Sultans of Oman were in charge. Never have I witnessed such cordial, easy going and eager to please souls. Of all Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Zanzibari smile is the broadest. But a Zanzibari’s good nature does have its foibles. Some time ago, over the Christmas break, 11 of us scuba-mad holidaymakers chartered a yacht to explore the bays and islets to the east of the island. The skipper and his crew where salt-of-the-island Zanzibaris, each flashing their bright teeth in conviviality for every second of our waking hours. They fawned over our comfort and enjoyment as if we were the Sultan and his entourage. They also knew a few island “secrets” that, because of their eagerness to please, did not remain secrets for long. But we were not complaining. We were shown

The author celebrating Christmas the local way

dive sites unknown to most commercial operators and enjoyed unexplored, pristine coral reefs. The crew were also expert shark-criers. The captain would summon

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sharks by banging on a wooden pole on the surface of the water. The sharks were accustomed to this noise, possibly because it is the same sound fishermen make on their dhows whenever they haul in a catch. From a diving perspective it was exhilarating. We would be dropped off in about 10 m of turquoise water and descend to wait at the bottom of the anchor. The skipper would then start his rhythmical beat and voila! We had half a dozen Reef sharks circling us, wondering where all the fish were. However, on Christmas Day things went a little off plan. We descended to the sound of a beating drum and the sharks duly arrived. Except they were no longer little Reef sharks, but Silvertips, big, barrel bodied sharks with attitude. Worse, their rage at finding no fish waiting for them was taken out on the only other species in the vicinity capable of eating fish – us. Like a bad B-grade movie the sharks began to circle in ever decreasing arcs. At times they would gnash their jaws and thrash their heads from side to side. The message was clear: “Beat it! Or else…” By this stage, our group of divers had huddled together like a bait ball at the bottom of the anchor, but it would be impossible to ascend together, because the crew would never be able to extract us all from the water at once. Through a series of jerky hand signals we decided to

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send up buddy teams one by one. It was also decided in true gentlemanly style that the women and the youngest should go first. The first two to run the gauntlet were a woman and her niece. Up they went, with the sharks now making repeated rushes. Somehow they made it to the surface ready to be plucked out of the ocean by able hands. As they broke the surface, the woman spat out her mouthpiece, waved her arms frantically and yelled: “Quickly, quickly!” The Zanzibaris, bedecked from head to toe in shiny tinsel, were at first a little hesitant. They must have assumed that this was some Western cheer for Christmas, so they yelled back mimicking the sound as best they could. “Kikily, kikily!” they cried, also waving their hands in the sky. “No,” shouted the hapless woman, almost choking on her words. “Out, out, we want out.” Off the Zanzibaris went dancing a jig on the yacht’s foredeck while yelling: “Howt, howt!” As it turned out – thanks in part to a strong desire for self-preservation coupled with the fact that the sharks were only feigning an attack – we all managed to extricate ourselves post haste. Once safely on board, we could not help but join in the merriment of the crew, who cheered and saluted us for the remainder of Christmas Day with a hearty “Kikily kikily, howt, howt!” n


Feature Perfumer Tammy Frazer has, in just a few years, developed a rare gift for discerning a range of scents and using them in their most natural form to create alluring fragrances

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Feature

A Purveyor of

Fine Perfumes Tammy Frazer

Tammy Frazer hates rules. Tell her there is something she cannot do, and she will pour all her energy into proving you wrong. When people told her that her plan to launch her own perfume was a waste of time, she instinctively rebelled – and Frazer Parfum, a little shop of magical scents in the bowels of Cape Town’s St Stephen’s Church, is the result. Text & Images: © Keith Bain

Pioneering spirit is in Tammy’s genes. Her grandfather invented Oil of Olay and flew around the world in his own plane. He left a larger-than-life legacy, and Tammy is equally as headstrong. Five years ago she relinquished the corporate safety net, left Australia and returned to the relative chaos and entrepreneurial possibilities of South Africa. The big idea began with a dinner conversation with some of her “rocket scientist” friends. When she got home, she delved into the reality of luxury perfumes, and was surprised to learn how it works. Essentially, five large perfume houses control an industry that is all about synthetic ingredients, marketing and brand recognition. Whether we are spraying the sexy youthfulness of Calvin Klein, or a classically inclined scent like Bulgari, we are really buying into a concept. Essentially, we are tricked by clever campaigns which confuse us into associating an expensive fragrance with desirability. It is a monopoly industry with a premium placed on pushing the illusion of exclusivity. It was this kind of revelation that fuelled Tammy’s creative impulses. And the challenge was not merely to create perfume, but to revolutionise its production. But in the ethereal realm of fragrance, where do you start? Historically, perfumes were used to disguise natural body smells, because people seldom washed. We stank, and those who could afford flower distillations would douse their bodies with them. But the body’s natural odours encode much of the chemistry that connects us sexually. There are subliminal signifiers denoting attraction, and studies suggest that these

Creating perfume requires physical labour; plenty of work goes into reducing the raw ingredients into their essential oils

Over and above her own range of fragrances, Tammy develops scent ranges for hotels, resorts, and even wine estates

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Feature Tammy’s boutique has the look and feel of a spruced-up alchemist’s lab, with ample proof that there is more to perfume than glamorous advertising and celebrity endorsements

odours actually help us to seek out partners with whom we are genetically compatible. Of course, human culture has flattened out most of Nature’s intricate evolutionary processes, and now when we choose a scent, it is a reflection of what we would like to say about ourselves. And because of the way most modern fragrances are produced, we are really communicating with artificial, lab manufactured aromas. Tammy wanted to do something very different. She wanted to create something beautiful and unique; something which would bring its users back to earth. And she imagined a return to basics. She went to the source, meeting the farmers who grow and harvest the flowers and grasses and various natural ingredients for the fragrances she started creating. “Most of my clients are shocked when they experience the real, natural aroma of the scents used in my perfumes, because what they smell in commercial fragrances is primarily synthetic,” she explains. Her approach has certainly paid off and her range of ten fragrances, designed around different “chapters” of her life, retails in just a few ultra-exclusive locations around the world, such as Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie salon on the fifth floor of Harrods in London. This is where those who really care about what they wear (and can afford it) go to find the world’s finest fragrances. And they do not come cheap either, because the process is totally hands-on, and the ingredients all natural. Some are rare and exotic and some simply delicious, like Chapter One (nutmeg and jasmine), which is inspired by an Indian summer: bold notes of spice and cinnamon, and the lingering richness of sandalwood, chocolate, and vanilla. Or Chapter Nine (ruby grapefruit and frankincense), which is a reminder of the Pakistani desert.

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Meeting with farmers; seeing, touching and smelling the earth in which the raw materials are grown; and having a visceral relationship with the natural environment... She may well be the only perfumer in the world who works this way. She is, after all, not one for rules. Sure, there is a lot of hard science involved. But like any form of alchemy, there is a degree of magic and artistry involved in transforming what Nature gives us into something which can not only turn heads, but potentially make someone fall in love with us. Frazer Parfum is sold at a few select outlets around the world, including Tammy’s own boutique laboratory on Bree Street in Cape Town. By prior arrangement, you can also work with Tammy to create a bespoke fragrance, while learning about the various scent families that combine to create a single perfume. Visit www.frazerparfum.com for more information. n


Travel

The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow Royal Chundu

Basking on the banks of the Zambezi, you are able to lose all sense of time and regain perspective. Suddenly these are the only things that count: a splash in the infinity pool, the tinkling of ice in your glass, the shimmering gold of Southern Africa’s most majestic river – all enjoyed from the shade of your daybed. Welcome to Royal Chundu. Text: Pippa de Bruyn Images: © Royal Chundu

The rolling tide of water that is the Zambezi moves continuously towards its 100 m plunge at the Batoka Gorge, where mushroom-like plumes of spray soar into the sky. Victoria Falls, aptly baptised The Smoke that Thunders, is one of Africa’s greatest spectacles, but to appreciate the real beauty of the river that births it, you need to head to its upper reaches, on a shoreline far from the hustle and bustle of the main attraction. Comprising of two luxurious lodges – River Lodge and Island Lodge – Royal Chundu offers space and privacy amidst the untamed riverine wilderness. The lodge encompasses 15 km of pristine

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river frontage, flanked on either side by rapids which effectively create an aquatic oasis. Opposite lies a nature reserve where elephants, buffalo and a variety of antelope wander. It is wild, yet utterly luxurious. Small wonder then that it was crowned Zambia’s Leading Luxury Lodge and its Leading Eco-lodge in the 2011 World Travel Awards.

Luxurious Accommodation If you have ever dreamed of being marooned on a tiny palm-dotted island – one with room service and an infinity


Travel

pool, open air bath tub and king-size bed, hairdryer and air conditioning – Royal Chundu’s Island Lodge is the place to visit. With only four villas, it is arguably the most exclusive lodge on the Zambezi and the perfect place to celebrate your nuptials or reignite old romantic embers. River Lodge is no less of an aphrodisiac. Every one of its ten airy suites, connected via a teak boardwalk, is carefully positioned to maximise views without compromising on privacy. If there is any complaint, it is how hard it is to tear yourself away from your new riverside home, with its deep armchairs, king-size bed and double showers – all with views of the swirling river and abundant birdlife. But move you must, even if only because the pool deck beckons with its large day beds and smiling staff to pour the first gin and tonic of the day. It is the kind of place where you are happy to rediscover the joy of doing nothing, so make sure you schedule enough time to do just that!

Alluring Activities Naturally there are guided trips to Victoria Falls, a 30 minute drive from the lodge (best undertaken in Royal Chundu’s 1939 Rolls Royce), as well as game viewing trips to nearby Chobe National Park in Botswana. But some of the best experiences on offer are unique to Royal Chundu. Firstly there is the colonial elegance and detailing of the lodge itself: located on the site of the old Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge, it was built almost entirely from scratch by owner Hugh O’Mahoney, who attributes his style to the influence of his mother, Kitchie O’Mahoney. Like so many intrepid women who settled in Africa after World War II, glamorous Kitchie was a born adventurer: from Malaysia, she travelled to Dorset, England, where she met and married Mike O’Mahoney, before finally setting sail for the uncharted wilds of Africa, where Mike had accepted a post as a surveying engineer in Northern Rhodesia. According to Tina Aponte, Kitchie’s granddaughter and Royal Chundu’s managing director, “Kitchie embodied refinement in the extreme – regardless of the terrain. She refused to lower her standards, ever, and we’ve tried to uphold this. She always served in and on silver, so I scoured antique stores and websites to find authentic silver tea and coffee sets for the rooms and dining tables. For island picnics in the middle of the Zambezi, my grandmother would pack her entire dinner service, full tablecloths and linen napkins. So now we offer our guests something similar: island picnics with tables, silverware, full bar, Persian carpets, hammocks, the works!”

Cultural and Natural Adventures Another experience unique to Royal Chundu is the makoro trip that explores the tiny village of Mushekwa. Here Edith Mushekwa, midwife and

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marriage counsellor – among other things – and daughter of the village founder, personally meets guests. She takes them on a tour of the village, showing them her modest but immaculate mud and thatch house, the community garden, the precious manketi trees (according to Edith, “even the very poor can survive on this nut!”) and the other interesting plants this fishing and farming community relies on to survive. Keen bird watchers can ask for a personalised safari, to go in search of species endemic to the Royal Chundu area, such as the Black-cheeked lovebird or the Emerald cuckoo. These trips can last from as little as two-and-a-half hours to a full day – the choice is entirely yours. Similarly, Royal Chundu’s fishing trips are tailor-made to your requirements, be they to catch the infamously difficult Tiger fish or the prized Upper Zambezi yellow fish. Whatever your interests, do not miss Royal Chundu’s river rafting, an exhilarating trip that requires no experience. Guests are taken by open-topped vehicle to launch their inflatable canoes upstream from the lodge. Every canoe has an experienced paddler who steers guests from lush reed banks, through island eddies and deep flowing channels, into playful rapids that are enormous fun to traverse. A makeshift bar, set up on a sandy beach is the perfect reward for the intrepid rafter. The floating spa is another reward well worth claiming. With the lullaby of the river trickling past, you will be rubbed into a submissive, blissful state, ready for the next adventure – the evening sunset cruise, when the sinking African sun turns the river into molten gold. Meals are served in a variety of locales, from the al fresco viewing deck to the elegant dining room. But it is dinners in the open air boma that are the real highlight, with the famed Makishi (masked) dancers providing one of the most riveting performances you will witness in any lodge. If you must make yourself available to work demands, the lodge offers Wi-Fi, satellite TV and cell phone signal. There is also a business centre and conference facilities for small groups who appreciate that inspiring surrounds lead to inspiring solutions. But better by far to switch off that phone. For this is a magical place. As a recent visitor commented in the guest book: “At Victoria Falls I saw a rainbow, and now I know where that pot of gold is found: just a few kilometres upstream, at Royal Chundu!” n

Useful Information Royal Chundu Luxury Zambezi River Lodge (ten units) and Island Lodge (four units) is a 40-minute journey from Livingstone Airport by road. It is also within easy striking distance of Chobe National Park in Botswana. All guests booking a stay at Royal Chundu will enjoy a complimentary sunset cruise every evening. For more information or to make that booking, call +27 87 700 8310 or +27 13 751 1038, email reservations@royalchundu.com or visit www.royalchundu.com.

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Feature

Watch the Road The Marriage of Luxury Cars & Watches

Cars are not just about transport, and watches are not just about telling the time. A watch, in fact, is the end product of a time consuming piece of micro-engineering – in many ways similar to the hand built qualities of an exotic car. This, then, is probably why many of the world’s top car manufacturers have turned to fine watchmakers to the capture the essence of their vehicles in distinctive timepieces. Text: Bernard K Hellberg Images: © AMG, Breitling, Lamborghini, Bugatti

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The pairing of luxury car manufacturer Bentley and luxury watch maker Breitling has made for a stylish and profitable marriage

Those who enjoy the finer things in life – and can afford them – do not collect them as a monetary investment, but rather for the sheer enjoyment of owning something that is intrinsically beautiful and will stand the test of time by virtue of its superior design. Over the last three decades or so, another phenomenon has appeared to add hedonistic pleasure to the lives of those already materially blessed – superb, handcrafted wrist watches branded with the logos of the fine cars owned by these fortunate individuals.

Bentley and Breitling An example of such a materialistic marriage is that of the one between famous carmaker Bentley and equally famous watchmaker Breitling. With the launch of the Bentley Barnato 42, Breitling pays tribute to the exploits of the famous ‘Bentley Boys’ who, through their victories at Le Mans and elsewhere, placed Bentley at the forefront of motoring desirability. Little wonder, then that the Breitling for Bentley trades heavily on the winged B logo that their two products share – an inevitable coming-together that was

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Bugatti

AMG

bound to happen sooner or later.

Hot Rods and Horology Other carmakers who have recognised the linked marketing value provided by the pairing of car and watch include Porsche, whose watches are, in fact, produced by a separate company – Porsche Design. Although not quite in the same class as Breitling, Porsche Design chronographs have been on the market for at least 30 years, and consist of a modern range that places a premium on absolute perfection down to the last detail – just like the cars whose name they carry. Famous red-blooded Italian sports car maker Ferrari initially commissioned luxury watchmaker Girard-Perregaux to provide them with timepieces. However, the deal fell through when Ferrari wanted more watches more often. Ferrari then turned to the Italian-sounding Panerai (now Swiss manufactured). Panerai also has a strong South African connection – being owned by the Rupert-controlled Richemont Group. Given Ferrari’s sporting heritage, it is inevitable that their chronograph range (with stopwatch function) would be their most popular models. Rival Italian sports car maker, Audi-owned Lamborghini, has gone one better, with an exclusive range of timepieces designed by Tonino Lamborghini – son of the founder. Described as being very ‘car orientated’, these timepieces often feature unusual designs. Ultimate exclusivity, however, must belong to Bugatti, the Volkswagen Group’s luxury division. The unusual slanted design on the wrist is meant to allow drivers to read the time without taking their hands off the wheel. Unkind rumours suggest that the Bugatti range was hastily brought to life because this multi-million Euro car does not have a dashboard clock – allegedly a design slip-up! These timepieces are designed by boutique designer Parmigiani Fleurier.

AMG Arm Pieces AMG, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, also, in

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Lamborghini

the recent past, joined the ‘branded watch frenzy’ by linking up with IWC of Schaffhausen, a famous Swiss watchmaking town near the German border. This watch, appropriately named Ingenieur, was launched in 2004 and was offered in titanium only (watch and bracelet). It was discontinued a few years later and has consequently become a cult watch that you pick up for a ‘mere’ R35,000 if NIB (new in box). It is clear, therefore, that as long as the emotional needs of, especially, the male of the species are addressed, the collecting of fine cars and even finer watches will continue to flourish. n

Bugatti’s distinctive range of watches are designed by watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier


Feature

A New Telling of an

Old Tale KwaZulu-Natal’s Battlefield Tours

On a recent trip to the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, Adam Cruise discovered that, just as there are many ways to fight a battle, there are also many ways to tell the tale of one. Text & Images: Š Adam Cruise

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I had done this before; twice, actually. So revisiting the site, and listening to the story of the epic battle of Isandlwana, fought between the British and the Zulus, was nothing new to me. Or so I thought. During the previous occasions I had had the considerable fortune of listening first to the commanding and ground-breaking performance of the late David Rattray, and then to raconteur extraordinaire Rob Caskie relating the saga of what was perhaps one of the worst British defeats prior to the Great War. A force of 20,000 Zulu warriors, armed with nothing but shields and assegais, annihilated a highly trained and well armed force of 1,800 redcoats. The battle took place over a couple of hours under the semi-darkness of a partial solar eclipse. It was known to the Zulus from then on as the “Day of the Dead Moon”. That was just the first act of the drama. Act two was the heroic and successful British defence of the mission station at Rorke’s Drift where 150 soldiers (many of them wounded) withheld a protracted assault of 4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for that endeavour – the most ever awarded in a single battle. David and Rob were colossal personalities and polished narrators who could vividly conjure these events for audiences on the field below that strange sphinx-shaped hill. Both possessed an innate ability to create a vivid “theatre of the mind” by reviving the tragic events that unfolded on 22nd January 1879. Both were able to place the listener on the battlefield among the mayhem as it unfolded, and where thousands of soldiers lost their lives in a few blood-spattered hours. Now, for the third time my only question was whether such command performances could ever be repeated? These days the battlefield tragedy is lead by David Rattray’s son, Andrew, with some local narrators as his able assistants. But, I pondered as I drove across the Tugela River, would the forthcoming experience live up to that lofty standard that has made Fugitives’ Drift Lodge internationally renowned? It did not. But that was when the surprise came.

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This time the content of the story as told by one of the “assistants”, although identical, seemed very different. With the greatest of respect for Rattray and Caskie, this new speaker’s tale was, for me, the best of the bunch. It was not that he had a bigger personality or a better gift of the gab (in fact he was a long way shy in both). The simple fact was that, unlike his predecessors, this new storyteller was a Zulu, born and raised on this very landscape where the Zulu nation reached its zenith. Both Rattray and Caskie were at pains to deliver both sides of the conflict and both went a long way towards unearthing the previously unknown Zulu side of the story. They must be commended for piecing together what was ostensibly an oral tradition without any written records. But a Zulu has a way of telling a story that no European, even of the calibre of the aforementioned narrators, could ever dream of. The inflections in his voice, his imploring eyes, multifarious body postures, the tilt of his head, and his rhythmical style all had me rooted to the ground. This performance came from deep within the speaker’s breast. 200 years of culture, history and Zulu tradition came gushing out in a three hour discourse that would have me stamp the experience, in metaphorical ink, not “real”, not “broughtto-life”, not “demonstrative”, but truly “authentic”. What was most compelling was that the Zulu approach by Mphiwa Ntanzi (and I believe the same can be said for his fellow Zulu storyteller Joseph Ndima) blended in harmonious contrast to Andrew Rattray’s approach, which is very similar to the magnificent spectacle delivered by his famous father. With Andrew conveying the story of Rorke’s Drift and Mphiwa and Joseph tackling Isandlwana, guests are treated to a two act tale that is both complex and balanced. The tragic events of British soldiers clashing with Zulu warriors on that fateful day over 133 years ago is still transmitted to spellbound listeners with consummate poise. The difference now is that the Zulus also get to tell what is essentially their story. For more information on the Fugitives’ Drift battlefield tours, visit www.fugitivesdrift.com. n


Come and enjoy the experience with us!

021 876 3547 info@dutcheast.co.za www.dutcheast.co.za 42 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, South Africa


Chef

Edible Art Chef Chantel Dartnall

While artists paint with watercolours and writers with words, Chef Chantel Dartnall paints with food. Her dishes are characterised by a meticulous attention to detail and the kind of dainty and precise touches that remind one more of a botanical drawing than a plate of food. But as well as enticing the eye, Chantel’s cuisine is equally as enticing to the palate – which explains why her fine dining establishment, Restaurant Mosaic, is regularly listed among the top restaurants in the country. We recently sat down with Chantel to learn more about her culinary philosophy. Text: Nicky Furniss Images: © Restaurant Mosaic

Dressed in her characteristic black chef’s jacket, with her hair in stylish pixie bob, Chef Chantel Dartnall always cuts a sophisticated figure. I joke with her that no one trusts a thin chef, but she is quick to retort this has less to do with how good her cooking is and more to do with her environment: “We have lots of steps at The Orient, plus my dad also designed my storerooms to be very far from the kitchen!” Set on the Francolin Conservancy between Pretoria and Hartbeespoort Dam, Restaurant Mosaic and The Orient Hotel in which it finds itself are very much labours of love for both Chantel and her family. The land on which the hotel sits once belonged to her grandfather and the original house to her uncle. It was built in a very traditional Greek style, so when Chantel’s parents decided to convert it into a hotel, one of the few architectural styles that would fit the existing structure was a Moorish one. And so, the hotel’s characteristic turrets and terracotta walls were born. Chantel, on the other hand, had always dreamed of having her own restaurant in the Parisian belle époque style. “The inspiration for the restaurant was drawn from the 1900s. Belle époque relates to art nouveau so it’s that romantic, over-the-top, highly decorated era in Paris when

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Chef

all things natural and beautiful were incorporated into the environment,” she explains. While a Moroccan-style hotel and a Parisian-style restaurant may seem at odds, they work curiously well together, perhaps because they add a sense of other-worldliness to the property – which is precisely what the family had hoped to achieve. “We have put a lot of effort into creating a multisensory experience here,” explains Chantel. “It’s about getting out of town, it’s about relaxing, it’s about the drive. Because for me it’s important when people arrive that they feel like they have been transported somewhere else; somewhere where they can forget about the outside world for a while.” It is also this natural environment that Chantel draws most of her culinary inspiration from. “I grew up on this farm and the area is so in tune with what I do and what I feel. It is where I draw my inspiration and creativity from.” While Chantel was trained in the classical French style, her culinary philosophy is anything but traditional. She is arguably the only chef in South Africa who presents what she likes to call ‘botanical cuisine’ – a style of cooking that was perfected by renowned French chef Michel Bras. “Botanical cuisine is about bringing nature closer to people,” Chantel explains. “So I draw pictures with food to depict what I have in my environment.” Though botanical cuisine, by its very definition, has an emphasis on vegetables, fruit and flowers, Chantel is quick to point out that it is in no way vegetarian. “It also means bringing in whatever cattle, lamb, or game birds you have, but presenting them in a fashion which includes their natural environment – what they grazed on, the environment they were in.” Part of Chantel’s culinary philosophy also involves ensuring that all of her ingredients are humanely and sustainably sourced. “For me it’s important to make sure that we know the origin of every single ingredient we use, how it was slaughtered, how it was caught. Because of that I visit the farmers, so that I know that every single ingredient on the menu has served a purpose and was treated humanely.” Although many of the herbs and edible flowers she uses in her dishes come from her own garden (when the zebras haven’t munched them all, that is) Chantel buys all of her produce from three local farms in the area, because she also strongly believes in supporting the people in her community. This is no more evident than with her kitchen staff, all of whom she hired – without any culinary skills – from the area. “We employ only people from the local area. They started with

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me as gardeners and cleaning staff and worked their way up,” she explains. “The ladies who work with me in the kitchen didn’t know anything at first – they didn’t even know what a radish was – and now they can make all of these intricate dishes. It is really amazing to watch them grow and this makes our work here even more rewarding.” Chantel’s hands-on approach with her team has certainly paid off as the restaurant regularly receives accolades and awards. However, while these serve as a morale boost for her team, Chantel believes that her true reward comes from somewhere completely different. “I think that the most important thing is that everyone who dines in the restaurant leaves with a great experience and fond memories. That is more important to me than any awards.” No doubt, Chantel’s guests will continue to enjoy the experience of dining at Mosaic when she introduces her new summer menu in January. “The summer menu will be focusing a lot more on textures, being very natural and capturing the true flavours of the ingredients. This has increasingly become an inspirational driving force for me. When most of my veggies arrive, they still have the soil caked on them and they smell so fresh – that is what I want to bring to the table. I want my guests to experience nature. I don’t think people spend time outside anymore, so it is my job to give them that on a plate – natural and delicious.” Hmm, it certainly sounds delicious indeed. Restaurant Mosaic’s menu changes seasonally and guests have the choice of dining from an a la carte menu or – to get a true taste of Chantel’s talent and vision – from either a petit degustation (five courses) or grande degustation (seven courses) menu, both of which come with optional wine pairing. For reservations, email reservations@restaurantmosaic.com. For more information, visit www.restaurantmosaic.com. n

Quick Questions What is your guilty pleasure: Chocolate Is there any ingredient that you refuse to cook with? Sea urchins What is always in your fridge at home? Cream and butter What is your pet peeve in the kitchen? I can’t stand anyone having chewing gum. As soon as you have something minty in your mouth, it dulls your palate.


Feature

Supercar Putting the Super in

The Jaguar XKR

There are certain cars that just get under your skin. The kind of cars that make you want to break the rules and push the limits; cars you want to rev loudly at traffic lights and smirk out of when other motorists look at you in awe and ill-disguised jealousy. They are the kind of cars that you can feel reverberating deep in your chest when they purr into life, and which radiate power just waiting to be unleashed on the open roads. They remind you of just how exhilarating it is to drive. The Jaguar XKR is just such a car. Text: Nicky Furniss Images: Š Quickpic

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Feature

I could hardly believe my luck when I came out of the airport terminal to find a low slung, convertible supercar waiting for me. From the side, the XKR is all smooth contours and dynamic lines, but it is its imposing front view that really gives an indication of just what this powerhouse is capable of. The XKR is all bonnet, and no wonder too, when you find out just what lies beneath it: only the most advanced and efficient supercharged engine Jaguar has ever produced. The acclaimed 5.0 litre AJ-V8 Gen 111 R direct-injection engine delivers

an astounding 625 Nm of torque and can propel the XKR coupe to 100 km in a hair-raising 4.6 seconds (for those who are keeping score, that is similar to the time of a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS). Though there are few places to (legally) test the XKR’s incredible speed, it is exciting to know that this baby can easily hit 250 km/h (its electronically limited top speed), and a heart pumping 280 km/h with the optional Speed Pack. But even if you cannot fully test the XKR’s speed capabilities, it is just as exciting to test its thrust. There

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is nothing quite like putting your foot down and having the car respond with a glorious, deep throated growl, before thrusting you forcefully back into your seat like an airplane take-off. It is a feeling that is instantly addictive. Huge 19” tyres ensure that the XKR never loses grip with the road – even at high speeds – and the state of the art six-speed automatic transmission delivers superbly seamless gearshifts. As one would expect, the suspension is hard, but passengers’ comfort is more than taken care of with electronically adjustable, heated and cooled memory seats; a dashboard mounted touch screen with all the bells and whistles; and one of the quietest cabins I have ever come across. When not speeding down deserted tracks of highway, the XKR is ideal for a gentle meander in the countryside. A flip of the switch lowers the soft top convertible roof, which stacks away neatly in the boot, with just enough space left for a medium sized suitcase or a set of golf clubs. The “back seat” is theoretical rather than practical, but can fit a couple of wee kiddies or perhaps the grocery shopping. But then again, who is going to bother with either in this car? For those who worry about the environment, the XKR’s C02 emissions are more than respectable – as are its fuel

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consumption figures – and it boasts a whole smorgasbord of safety features. But then again, when you are paying anywhere between R1,313,400 and R1,493,000 for the pleasure of calling one of these your own, practicality is not necessarily high on the list. The XKR is most certainly a car to play in – and to look like a rock star while you are doing it! n


Accommodation Guide

Azanzi

Beach Hotel

An intimate, all-suite boutique hotel on the eastern shoreline of the mystical Zanzibar Island. The central guest entertainment and guest areas of Azanzi flow into vast uninterrupted stretches of silk-like sand. The hotel suites feature an array of guest comforts designed to pamper you during the quieter moments of your fun-filled days. Your hosts will be delighted to arrange any number of activities for you, including snorkeling, diving, dhow trips and historic village tours. Alternatively, you may simply want to laze in the shallows of the water’s edge or cool off in the pool.

Mkokotoni Matenwe

Kiwengwa Mangapwani

Contact

Pongwe

Azanzi Beach Hotel • Call: +27 11 781 1661 • E-mail: res@anthology.co.za • Website: www.azanzibeachhotel.com Stone Town

WiFi

Universal AC

Spa/Pool/Gym

S,P

Smoking Rooms

Disabled Access

Room Service

Child Friendly

Guided Drive/Walk

Air-conditioning

Malaria Free

Conference Facilities

Wheelchair Friendly

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Chwaka

Bwejuu Paje Jambiani Makunduchi

Kizimkazi


Accommodation Guide

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

This five-star hotel combines local charm with fine dining and pampering, where the best local wines and cuisine come together in an idyllic setting. Situated in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, much is on offer at the Franschhoek Country House and Villas for guests to enjoy and indulge in. Complemented by the well known Monneaux Restaurant, the hotel is ideally located on the outskirts of the Franschhoek Village, only 1 km from the town’s centre. It is an ideal base to indulge your tastes for fine wines and world-class cuisine. Guests can choose between staying in the original and charming Franschhoek Country House or in one of its many modern and sumptious Villas. Whichever you choose, the accommodation on offer is designed with complete comfort and luxury in mind.

Contact

One hour drive from Cape Town

Franschhoek Country House & Villas– Franschhoek • Call: +27 21 876 3386 • Email: bookings@fch.co.za • Website: www.fch.co.za

WiFi Spa/Pool/Gym

access

Universal AC S/P/G

Smoking Rooms

Disabled Access

Room Service

Child Friendly

Guided Drive/Walk

Air-conditioning

Malaria Free

Conference Facilities

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Restaurant Guide

Bosman’s Grande Roche Hotel

An aura of timeless elegance sets the tone for Bosman's Restaurant at the five-star Grande Roche Hotel, where fine dining and attentive service are the order of the day. Situated in the Manor House at the Grande Roche Hotel in the Paarl Winelands, this 70-seater restaurant and terrace has a multitude of awards to its name including being listed as one of the top ten restaurants in South Africa, as well as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world. These richly-deserved accolades are recognition of the superb harmony of flavours and textures that are the hallmark of a truly magnificent dining experience combined with unsurpassable service and spectacular views across the Paarl Valley.

Contact

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Bosman's Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl Winelands • Call: +27 21 863 5100 • Email: reserve@granderoche.co.za • Website: www.granderoche.com

The Blue Train

access 50-minute drive from Cape Town


Restaurant Guide

Dutch East Franschhoek

The menu of homely but stylish Dutch East Restaurant is inspired by the seasons, combining local produce with eastern flavours. Dutch East Restaurant serves a variety of simple, eastern-inspired dishes. Head Chef Pasch du Plooy was introduced to eastern ingredients, flavours and combinations at a very young age. Later on he started to incorporate these ingredients into his style of cooking. Techniques like pickling and searing, as well as ingredients such as soy mirin and sesame have become staples in his kitchen. This makes for an eclectic and exciting dining experience in the heart of Franschhoek.

Contact

access One hour drive from Cape Town

Dutch East Restaurant – Franschhoek • Call: +27 21 876 3547 • Email: info@dutcheast.co.za • Website: www.dutcheast.co.za

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History

In the Tracks of a

Legend The History of The Blue Train

For over half a century, The Blue Train in South Africa has enjoyed an international reputation as one of the world’s pre-eminent travelling experiences. Officially named The Blue Train in 1946, the train’s predecessors trace their history to the 1890s and the discovery of diamonds and gold. Text & Images: © The Blue Train

For the empire builders of old, the unchartered African interior was the landscape of a dream in the making. A dream that would etch its course in parallel lines that snaked their way northward from the Atlantic shoreline, conquering the distance from Cape Town to Cairo. This dream was not to be, as the Great African Railway reached only as far as a bridge across the gorge of the Zambezi River, overlooking the thundering smoke of the Victoria Falls. But in the fading years of the 19th century, the discovery of gold and diamonds drew thousands to the edge of the continent, and those lines of tempered steel began to bear the burden of industry, commerce, and society on the move. Soon, as the moneyed classes made their presence felt, the network added leisure travel to its list of duties, and in the slipstream of leisure came luxury. The Union Limited and the Union Express, ferrying passengers between the mailships of Cape Town harbour and the goldfields of the Witwatersrand, were the standardbearers of steam-powered opulence in the easy-living heyday of the 1920s, boasting everything from card tables to hot and cold water on tap. A coat of royal blue and cream would later give the trains their distinctive livery, and it was from this line, in these shades, that The Blue Train – a “Palace on Wheels” – would ride the rails to legendary status. Withdrawn from service during the dark days of World War Two, extensively refurbished and modernised in the seventies and nineties, The Blue Train went on to define a new era of luxury travel, making the switch from steam to electric and diesel, linking veld to sea, and tradition to progress, with a sense of style, grace, and mesmerising power that have never come close to being matched.

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History

Keeping Up With Technology From the Age of Steam to the Age of the Internet, The Blue Train has kept on track with ever-changing technology. In the process, it has lost none of the charm that anchors it to a bygone era. In its earliest incarnation, as a direct descendant of the Union Limited and Union Express that plied their way between Johannesburg and the Cape coast, The Blue Train thundered down the rails at the command of a mighty steam locomotive. A wisp of romance still lingers from that coal-fired era, clouding the memory of an energy source that proved to be less powerful, less efficient, and far more difficult to maintain than its whisper-quiet replacement. Today, the dual Blue Train sets, differentiated only by their number of suites and the option of a Conference Car that doubles as an Observation Lounge, are hauled by a fleet of diesel or electric locomotives. Whatever the motive, The Blue Train glides through the countryside at a maximum service speed of 90 km/h, ensuring that the noise level of 55 decibels, somewhere between the sound of soft rainfall and normal conversation, is never exceeded. Inter-suite sealing ensures utter privacy for guests. In the world of ever-shrinking boundaries, ever-intensifying demands, rail travel in the grand old tradition has become a luxury in itself. The luxury of time: time to indulge, time to reflect, time to savour sights, sounds, senses and sensations. You’ll feel it from the moment you step into your suite, transformed by a magical act of alchemy from an elegant, spacious lounge by day, into a sanctuary of comfort and slumber by night. Bringing together cultures and travellers from across the globe, The Blue Train is an exclusive society on the move – one that will undoubtedly prevail for years to come. n

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Train Layout

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The Blue Train December 2012  

On board Magazine for the Bluetrain.

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