Tintswalo Lapalala has taken up the #SpekboomChallenge to champion the planting of spekboom (Portulacaria afra) within the pristine Lapalala Wilderness Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo).
The luxury tented lodge already operates off the grid, but to offset the carbon footprint of its safari vehicles and emergency generators, it has now started cultivating seedlings of these ‘super’ plants.
Information on the #SpekboomChallenge is shared with guests who are encouraged to participate in the conservation initiative. On check-out, each person receives a cutting with the invitation to plant their own spekboom. Guests have the choice to plant their spekboom around the lodge, or elsewhere within the expansive reserve that stretches across 44 500 hectares of untouched wilderness.
The spekboom is indigenous to the Eastern Cape but is also found throughout the drier parts of South Africa. One hectare of spekboom can sequester between four and ten tonnes of carbon per year. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world. The spekboom can live up to 200 years and can grow up to five metres tall. They are equipped with a unique mechanism to adapt to their surroundings and during drought periods the water-wise plant is able to conserve and prevent water loss during the heat of the day. Spekboom is very high in nutritional value with a delicious, juicy lemon taste that is a favourite food for black rhinos, kudus and elephants.
Says lodge manager Tanja Jacobs: ‘We have had a very good response and our guests just love this conservation initiative where the spekboom is specially packaged and presented to them as a farewell gift from Tintswalo Lapalala. We are a family-friendly lodge and children especially like getting their hands dirty and choosing a spot to plant their own seedling in the reserve. After spending time here in the wilderness they are inspired to leave with a greater understanding of the shared responsibility towards conservation and the small things we can do each day to help make our earth a healthier place.’
Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Now Part of Exclusive Luxury Travel Network
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA January 2020 – Tintswalo Atlantic has been accepted into Virtuoso®’s exclusive portfolio of luxury travel partners, comprised of more than 1,800 preferred suppliers in 100 countries. According to Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo Lodges, inclusion in Virtuoso will open up new sales and marketing opportunities to the network’s 20,000 luxury travel advisors and their highly desirable clientele. Virtuoso agencies sell more than (U.S.) $26.4 billion annually, making the network the most significant player in luxury travel.
“Virtuoso’s acceptance process is incredibly selective, so becoming a preferred partner is a true honour,” said Goosen. “The reputation Virtuoso member advisors have for outstanding dedication to their clients is a perfect fit with our own bespoke approach to service. Now that we’re part of this renowned network, we look forward to offering Virtuoso advisors and their clients special amenities, values and experiences that surpass their expectations.”
Tintswalo Atlantic joins Virtuoso’s collection of the finest luxury hotels, resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour operators and other suppliers worldwide. These partners, which specialize in world-class client service and experiences, secure Virtuoso clients superior offerings, rare opportunities and exceptional value. These prestigious providers are able to market to Virtuoso clients via network vehicles and to Virtuoso agencies through multiple communications channels and events, including Virtuoso Travel Week, luxury travel’s largest worldwide gathering. Tintswalo Atlantic’s acceptance into Virtuoso gives it direct relationships with the world’s leading leisure travel agencies in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
Bouchard Finlayson has introduced a Vegan Deli Platter to complement its wine tasting offering at the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley estate. Four of the current Bouchard Finlayson wines are already vegan-friendly, with the intention to produce only vegan-friendly wines in future, in line with its ethos as a WWF Conservation Champion to protect animals, conserve natural resources and reduce carbon footprint.
Bouchard Finlayson is especially known for its hand-crafted, award-winning Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, of which the following vintages are already vegan-friendly: flagship Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2017 and Chardonnays Missionvale 2017 and Crocodile’s Lair 2017, as well as red blend Hannibal 2017.
Served on wooden platters made out of old wine barrels, the new Vegan Deli Platter (R300 for 2 sharing) is available on a pre-order basis and will include healthy bites of hummus, olive tapenade, locally produced Fauxmage Chêvre-style cashew cheese, vegetable ‘biltong’, vegetables and micro-greens and crackers, olives and nuts. A scrumptious Deli Platter option is also available for meat eaters, as well as a snack box for children. Visitors may enjoy this unique Bouchard Finlayson food and wine experience seated on the terrace overlooking the vineyards with the ocean in the distance, or on cooler days, served in the atmospheric wine cellar.
Tintswalo Atlantic has introduced a brand-new lunch experience which is available to non-resident guests on Wednesdays. The Tintswalo Atlantic Where else in the World Wednesday Lunch (WWW Lunch) may be booked in advance and is subject to availability, to a limited number of guests only. Since its relaunch in October 2019, Tintswalo Atlantic is focusing on its resident guests to provide an exclusive lodge-experience for 24 guests. The WWW lunch is therefore the only opportunity for visitors who are not staying over in the hotel, to enjoy a meal at the iconic property. Diners may expect wholesome and fresh, seasonal cuisine and honest, uncomplicated seaside fare served in one of Cape Town’s most unique locations. The cuisine is complimented with a wine list that includes some of South Africa’s best vintages, including top quality local wines from Hout Bay, Constantia and Cape Point wineries. Destined to be one of the most sought-after culinary encounters in Cape Town, the 4-course Tintswalo WWW lunch experience is available every Wednesday at R960 per person.
Reservations: Tel 021 201 0025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday lunch at Tintswalo Atlantic is a relaxed, unhurried affair which starts with a complimentary welcome drink on the deck where guests may enjoy the magnificent setting and intoxicating sea views. Head Chef Thando Jaxa will be ready at the barbeque station to kickstart the lunch with a traditional South African braai experience. Delicious bites from the grill may include Glazed Lamb Satay with Tzatziki; a Haloumi, Basil and Zucchini Skewer with Roasted Red Pepper & Almond Puree; and Mussel and Crostini Pot served with lemon wedges and herb parmesan.
Next to follow will be a Tapas Platter that will include Seared Tuna with Sesame, Honey & Soy Dressing and Mange Tout & Sweet Corn Salsa, and a Garlic & Thyme Chicken Thigh served with Brown Lentil Cassoulet, Grilled Oyster Mushrooms and Grain Mustard Jus. Vegetarian options include Herb Polenta with Glazed Beetroot, Parsnip & Parsley Mousse and Buttered Edamame.
A multi-sensory experience, guests will be seated on the sprawling wooden deck to inhale the fresh sea breeze at the shoreline. In cooler weather the elegant dining room with its open kitchen enables diners to enjoy an interactive dining experience. Main course options include freshly caught Atlantic Yellow Tail with Carrot & Ginger, Chimichurri Gnocchi and Sautéed Fennel; Parmesan & Thyme Crusted Beef Fillet with Potato Fondant, Burnt Baby Onions, Asparagus Spears and Coffee Jus; or Harissa Cous Cous with King Oyster Mushroom, Peas, Garlic Pak Choi, Confit Baby Tomatoes and Herb Beurre Blanc.
Lunch ends on another high note with Traditional Malva Pudding with Malva Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. This is followed by tea/coffee and friandise of Banoffee Bites or Hazelnut Truffles, before departing guests have the opportunity to participate in a special Tintswalo Atlantic farewell custom that was started by the owners of Tintswalo, the Corbett/Goosen family. Tintswalo is a magical place and so guests are invited to make their own, personal wish by casting a smooth pebble into the ocean, leaving only good thoughts and memories behind, and taking this special memory away with them.
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILDSIDE WITH BOUCHARD FINLAYSON NATURE WALKS & WINE IN THE VALLEY THAT IS ‘HEAVEN ON EARTH’
Bouchard Finlayson is gearing up for the summer festive season with a range of experiences on offer to guests visiting the wine estate outside Hermanus. Activities include Guided Nature Walks led by the legendary Frank Woodvine, Bouchard Finlayson’s resident amateur botanist.
As a WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Conservation Champion, Bouchard Finlayson is known not only for its award-winning wines, but also for its focus on conservation and sustainability. In line with this eco-friendly ethos, more than 100 hectares of fynbos is protected within the magnificent Hemel-en-Aarde Valley estate. Guided walks offer guests the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Bouchard Finlayson and to learn more about the rich Cape Floral Kingdom, including some of the 330 plant species that have been identified on the estate.
A choice of three different Walking Trails are offered, ranging from 45 minutes to two and a half hours. (R400 for up to six people) Guided walks are subject to availability and require booking at least seven days in advance. The nature trails are also available to hikers to use free of charge, after they have collected maps and signed indemnity forms at the cellar door.
After an invigorating walk, guests may return to the tasting room where Bouchard Finlayson’s range of wines are available for tasting. Cellar tours are also available by prior reservation. (R60 per person). Delicious Deli Platters can be pre-ordered (R260 for 2 people sharing) to be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the vineyards, or in the atmospheric cellar in cooler weather. Bouchard Finlayson welcomes families with children too and snack boxes are available for children (R70 each), in addition to colouring-in pages and wax crayons. There are rolling lawns for children to run around and kick a ball, while the fountain in the courtyard with koi carp fish is guaranteed to entertain the little ones for hours on end while adults enjoy wine tasting.
Wine tastings are offered showcasing the latest vintages, ranging from the ultimate summer wines: white blend Blanc de Mer 2018; Sauvignon Blanc 2018 and Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017, to the Chardonnays that Bouchard Finlayson is famous for: Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2018; Kaaimansgat/Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2017 and Missionvale Chardonnay 2017. Red wines include Bouchard Finlayson’s famed red blend, the Hannibal 2017 and the 2018 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, the estate’s award-winning flagship red wine – first created by Peter Finlayson, the founder of Bouchard Finlayson who is also widely known as the pioneer of Pinot Noir in South Africa. (Cost: taste three wines R30 per person; six wines R60 per person)
Tintswalo Atlantic has won the coveted 2020 Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence in the category of Best for Weddings, Parties or Special Occasions in the Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean and Middle East region.
Condé Nast Johansens is a global collection of luxury hotels, spas and venues approved by local experts from the publishers of Vogue, GQ and Condé Nast Traveller. Created to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across the hotels, spas and venues within the collection, the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence are a trusted mark of quality, recognised by luxury consumers and travel professionals alike. The 2020 Annual Awards for Excellence winners were determined by the combined results of online voting, guest feedback and local expert reports.
Tintswalo Atlantic is the perfect venue for a magnificent destination wedding and is popular for special celebrations too. These include milestone birthday parties and executive launches and corporate events, as well as honeymoons, anniversaries and babymoon breakaways.
Renowned as one of Cape Town’s most precious hidden gems, the 5-star boutique lodge is positioned on a pebbled beach at the foot of Chapman’s Peak within the Table Mountain National Park. Twelve island themed suites include a luxurious 2-bedroom Presidential suite. Individually decorated with romantic touches, all suites have a lounge area with wood burning fireplace, spacious en-suite bathroom and a private terrace right on the water’s edge.
Tintswalo Atlantic is a gourmet destination of note, complete with a wine cellar offering the Cape’s finest vintages, including from nearby wine estates of Constantia, Hout Bay and Cape Point. Sourcing local and sustainable ingredients is key to the wholesome cuisine that features fresh seafood, vegetarian and ethically sourced game and meat dishes.
The entire lodge may be booked for weddings and private events. A variety of wedding packages are offered, ranging from custom-made small, intimate weddings, to grand 2-day or 3-day Destination Weddings for up to 120 guests. Tintswalo Atlantic is hailed as one of the most romantic destinations in all of Southern Africa and is a popular honeymoon destination. Exclusive, luxurious and private – there simply is no other place quite like it.
Tintswalo Safari Lodge has launched a multi-faceted programme to strengthen rhino conservation efforts in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, which borders the Kruger National Park, the Timbavati and Sabi Sand game reserves.
Recently, game rangers from Tintswalo Safari Lodge raised R33 000 to contribute to the cost of DNA sampling and the safe dehorning of a number of rhinos in the Manyeleti. Undertaken by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), the pre-emptive removal of a rhino’s horn in a safe, controlled manner is one of the drastic, but highly effective conservation management tools applied to deter poachers. Children from the nearby Cottondale Primary School and Dayimani High School, as well as Tintswalo guests had the opportunity to participate in this important conservation and anti-poaching initiative. The project was a collaboration between the MTPA, the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF), GRU-Wing, Flying for Freedom South Africa and Tintswalo Safari Lodge.
It is Tintswalo’s mission to engage and work with local communities by raising conservation and environmental awareness through educational campaigns, training workshops and participation in environmental and rhino campaigns in the area.
Tintswalo also provides funding and support for a variety of anti-poaching interventions in the Manyeleti Game Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park, as well as various South African Wildlife College (SAWC) initiatives. Specific projects include the ‘Eye in the Sky’ Bathawk Programme; Wildlife Guardianship/Anti-Poaching Field Ranger Training and the K9 Anti -Poaching Project.
Tintswalo Safari Lodge also plays an important role in creating awareness amongst guests and international tourists who visit the area and has facilitated generous donations from philanthropic individuals towards various anti-poaching programmes.
Other ongoing initiatives include an awareness programme in conjunction with the local communities in the region, private companies and government departments. The project sets out to develop and educate the youth to protect our precious natural resources by creating an understanding of the relationship between the game reserve, eco-tourism and lodges, South Africa’s natural heritage, the community and jobs – to have a sustainable future for all.
To date, the programme has reached about 2500 school pupils from the 19 communities surrounding the Manyeleti. Once a week, Tintswalo Safari Lodge collects 12 school children and their teacher and drives them to the Manyeleti Game Reserve where they are treated to lunch and a game drive safari experience. Some children have never seen the wild animals that they live so close to, and many have never been inside the game reserve where so many of their parents work. After the game drive, the children are guided through a workshop about rhino conservation, the rhino poaching crises and the link between the tourism industry and tourism jobs. Each child receives a certificate of achievement as an anti-rhino poaching activist, before they return to school.
More about the rhino poaching crisis in Africa
South Africa has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and has a very important role to play in global rhino conservation. From 2007-2014 the country experienced an exponential rise in rhino poaching – a growth of over 9,000%. In the last decade, 8,889 African rhinos have been lost to poaching. In August 2019, the Department of Environmental Affairs announced that, despite increased anti-poaching initiatives, 318 rhinos had been poached in the first six months of the year. Most illegal activity occurs in Kruger National Park – 19,485 km² of protected habitat on South Africa’s north-eastern border with Mozambique. Kruger consistently suffered heavy poaching losses, and so in the last few years the government and international donors have channelled ever more funding and resources into securing the Park. Although it is encouraging to see South Africa’s poaching levels drop, the losses are still extremely high. A rise in incidents outside Kruger National Park also points to the growing sophistication of poaching units that are gaining a wider geographical coverage and, it would seem, expanding their operations across borders. Poaching syndicates are well-equipped, highly-organised and dangerous – they use helicopters, machine guns, veterinary immobilisation drugs and other sophisticated methods to stalk rhinos and kill them, taking their horn and selling the horn.
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has scored a hat trick in the 2019 Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards held in Kuala Lampur (Malaysia), having been voted the Best Safari Retreat on a Global Level; as well as Best Villa in Africa; and Best Pool Villa in South Africa.
The Haute Grandeur Global Awards is the world’s leading, most respected luxury hospitality Awards initiative, honouring establishments that continuously excel through remarkable hospitality experiences. The Awards are revered as the highest accolade in hospitality, and a promise of unparalleled guest service excellence, recognizing exceptional contributions by hotels, lodges, casinos, resorts, retreats, spas and restaurants worldwide.
Located in the malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo), the luxurious 5-star Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa is 2h45-minutes’ drive from Johannesburg. It accommodates up to 24 guests and includes a Honeymoon suite and two child-friendly Family suites, as well as an opulent Villa. The award-winning private villa accommodates six guests on an exclusive-use basis, complete with a gym, massage room and swimming pool, and the services of a private chef, butler and guide with a game viewing vehicle.
With a design fusion of African chic and edgy European influences, Mhondoro offers luxury accommodation, fine cuisine, passionate service and breathtaking views. Daily game drives and guided wilderness walks are offered, including visits to ancient rock art sites within the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The 35 000-hectare reserve is known for excellent birding and game viewing and is home to the ‘Big 5’, including a large white rhino population.
Mhondoro’s unique features include temperature-controlled swimming pools to offer all-year round swimming. To the delight of guests, the environment-friendly salt swimming pools are often frequented by elephants passing by to enjoy a drink. Mhondoro also focuses on the health and wellness of guests with fresh and delicious healthy cuisine using locally sourced produce and vegetables and herbs from its own kitchen garden. Available to guests are an infrared sauna and gym, as well as a Spa to enjoy pampering skin and body treatments, complete with an outdoor spa bath overlooking the reserve and watering hole. Other special facilities include a ‘star deck’ for exceptional stargazing, and a waterhole with underground game viewing hide connected with a tunnel to the main lodge to provide excellent photographic opportunities around the clock.
CELEBRATE PINOT NOIR WITH BOUCHARD FINLAYSON HEMEL-EN-AARDE PINOT NOIR CELEBRATION (24 & 25 JANUARY 2020)
Bouchard Finlayson will once again join its neighbouring wine estates in the Hemel-en-Aarde to present the 7th annual Pinot Noir Celebration, taking place on 24 and 25 January 2020.
The Hemel-en-Aarde represents the unique combination of soil and climate that exists in only a handful of places where the exact balance provides the perfect expression of the elusive Pinot Noir grape, but it is the relaxing and festive atmosphere that sets the Pinot Noir Celebration apart from other wine festivals.
During the festival weekend epicures and wine enthusiasts may explore the Hemel-en-Aarde area and celebrate its most famous varietal with a range of wine tastings, wine safaris and culinary highlights. Guests will find themselves unwinding in picturesque wine country, whilst being informed and inspired by its passionate winemakers.
Highlights include ‘Among Pinot Friends, La Paulée de Hemel-en-Aarde’, an exclusive tasting event of older vintages Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir, carefully selected International Pinot Noir and selections from private cellars.
On the Saturday, ‘The Great Pinot Appeal’ will take guests on a journey through the three Hemel-en-Aarde appellations, touring through the vineyards and tasting the most recent vintage Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noirs in their respective wards. This will include tastings of Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship Galpin Peak Pinot Noir. The 2018 vintage exhibits generous texture, moderately rich yet supple. Showing intriguing perfumed dark cherry and wild berry, with espresso infused cinnamon spice adding to the appeal, the wine is deftly balanced, portraying elegance with tannins forming neatly on a lengthy finish.
Late afternoon ‘Many Pinots, One Love’ will see winemakers pouring their best while pondering over a day of great tastes, followed by the ‘Pick of the Pinots’ charity auction with one of a kind lots.
Wrapping up the weekend, acclaimed chef Jason Lilley from Cape Town’s Jason’s Bakery will take the reigns at the all-inclusive Grand Finale Dinner Event to showcase some of the best Hemel-en-Aarde produce available. Guests will be treated to ‘Live’ Food stations and Wine bars, a delectable dessert spread and entertaining local live acts, amongst many other delicious treats.
Tickets are available for the 2-day event (R2995pp), or the ‘Taste of Hemel-en-Aarde’ @ Pinot Noir Celebration Grand Finale Dinner Event (R795pp) only. For bookings and more event information, visit: https://www.pinotnoircelebration.com/
MHONDORO SAFARI LODGE & VILLA WINS A PLATINUM DINERS CLUB WINELIST AWARD FOR THE 3d CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has won a coveted Diners Club Platinum Winelist Award for the third consecutive year. The luxurious 5-star safari lodge was the only Diners Club Winelist Award winner in Limpopo province this year. 205 Restaurants from around the country submitted wine lists for judging by a select panel led by the publisher of the Platter’s by Diners Club Wine Guide, Jean-Pierre Rossouw.
Located in Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg, Mhondoro has been widely recognised for its unique culinary offering that focuses on a healthy food concept, complemented by an award-winning wine list. It distinguishes itself from other safari lodges with the style and quality of fresh, home-grown and beautifully plated food, presented in an exciting, modern African style.
General Manager Ronel Breytenbach curates the wine list, which is updated every six months with the assistance of Winewise.‘We are proud of our wine list which provides the opportunity for our local and international guests to get a taste of the top quality and exciting variety of wines that are produced in our country. We like to support the smaller boutique wineries and showcase some rarer wines such as the Sadie Paladius and Sadie Columella. Our wine list also features popular favourites, including Meerlust Rubicon and Chocolate Block, but we’re particularly proud to include some of South Africa’s unique blends and lesser-known varietals, such as the Oldenburg Granache Noir, Trizanne Signature Wines Semillon and Stark-Conde Three Pines red blend.
Photo Caption: The Mhondoro Food and Beverage Team
From left to right: Isaac Monageng (Food & Beverage Manager), General Manager Ronel Breytenbach, Eddy Khosa (Head Butler & Wine Steward), General Manager Fritz Breytenbach and Tintswalo Ndobe (Head Chef)