Tintswalo Lapalala has introduced a new activity available to resident guests with a keen interest in conservation, who wish to spend some time with the reserve’s highly effective Anti-poaching K9 unit.
A small group of up to six guests will have the opportunity to gain personal insight into the adventures and challenges faced by the reserve’s Anti-poaching unit. The unit has an excellent track record and plays a crucial role in 24-hour monitoring and patrolling of the reserve. This does not only entail the protection of animals, but also of plant life as the reserve falls within the Waterberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers sanctuary and protection to all fauna and flora.
Situated in the Waterberg (Limpopo province), Lapalala Wilderness consists of 48 000 hectares of unspoiled wilderness that creates a safe haven for a range of African species, including the endangered black and white rhinoceros, cheetah, African wild dog and roan antelope. It is globally recognised for its rhino conservation efforts and was the very first reserve in history to introduce black rhinoceros onto private land.
Guests will have the opportunity to interact with the Anti-poaching team and learn more about the remarkable capabilities of the Anti-poaching K9 unit, which are trained to track individuals through the dense and rocky terrain of the reserve. They will also witness demonstrations by dog handlers and their K9 partners consisting of Hounds, Pointers and Malinios, showing off their impressive training and skills, and laser sharp focus.
Tintswalo Lapalala is known for offering interesting and immersive guest activities over and above standard safari game drives, to present a unique, sustainable wilderness and safari experience in a malaria-free area. Environmentally conscious and off the grid, the family-friendly lodge has seven luxury tented suites with private plunge pools, accommodating up to 16 adults and four children.
With 37km of pristine river frontage, unique wilderness activities include riverside picnics, fishing and swimming in rapids and crystal-clear rock pools. Daily game drives and guided bush walks are on offer, as well as a Children’s Activity programme. Excursions are offered to ancient iron age and rock art sites within the reserve and the community-based Wilderness School. Other relaxing pursuits include spa treatments, sundowner cruises, birdwatching, stargazing and romantic sleep-outs.
The Marine Hotel in Hermanus will celebrate the arrival of Spring with the launch of a brand-new Afternoon Tea offering to be served in the elegant Pavilion restaurant overlooking the ocean. ‘The Marine Afternoon Tea by the Sea’ is available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 14h00 and 17h00 at R295 per person, and reservations are essential.
Prepared by Head Chef Oelof Vorster and Executive Sous Chef Lesley Corneilse who heads up the Pastry division, the decadent feast starts with a complimentary glass of Villiera Brut Rosé to accompany the savoury selection. These include dainty, crustless Finger sandwiches, handmade Chicken and mushroom empanada and Confit lamb shoulder croquette with herb aioli. Vegetarian options are available with prior notification.
No Afternoon Tea is complete without freshly baked Scones, and here at The Marine the tradition continues, served with whipped cream, preserves and Boerenkaas.
The delightful afternoon treat may be enjoyed with freshly ground coffee, or a pot of Dilmah tea, ranging from a choice between Supreme Ceylon, Single Estate Darjeeling, Rose with French Vanilla, and Natural Infusion of Blueberry & Clove, and Green Tea with Jasmine Flowers or Pure Chamomile Flowers.
The indulgent sweet selection offers Macaroons and Choux puff with Chantilly and chocolate glaze that steal the show, presented on elegant cake stands and served on Jenna Clifford’s delicate Green Floral crockery by Lavish’d. The classic French cake Gâteau Opéra, with crème anglaise, Italian meringue, butter cream, ganache and Joconde sponge is another highlight of the Afternoon Tea, as well as a picture-perfect Raspberry Pavlova.
Brookdale’s Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard 2020 was crowned the Trophy Winner for the Best Old Vine Wine, in South Africa’s most prestigious wine competition, The Trophy Wine Show, with Investec as headline sponsor. At the awards ceremony, Brookdale’s winemaker, Kiara Scott, received the Rosa Kruger Trophy for the 2020 vintage, which took Gold with a top score of 97/100 placing it first in its category. The 2022 Trophy Wine Show was Brookdale’s first time participating in the competition which is judged by an illustrious international and local judging panel, chaired by wine authority Michael Fridjhon.
Brookdale’s Trophy Award follows hot on the heels of its excellent result in the Decanter World Wine Awards, where the same vintage of Brookdale Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard also scored Gold. Kiara Scott attributes the astounding success of this vintage to ‘an evolution in our winemaking practices, as we work with our heritage vines and terroir to express vintage specific characteristics with minimal intervention.’
Brookdale is situated at the foothills of the Drakenstein Mountains of the Paarl Wine Valley where a 36-year-old block of trellised Chenin Blanc is one of few certified ‘Old Vine Chenin Blancs’ in the region. The Brookdale Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard (2020) was the highest scoring white wine from the Paarl region in the 2022 Decanter Awards, clearly showing a world of possibility within the Paarl terroir through the unique combination of character and elegance when in the right hands.
The Brookdale Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard (2020) is only the fourth expression of this terroir-specific wine that is produced in limited quantities. It is widely recognised for its flavour, nuanced character and precise equilibrium. Under the gentle hand of winemaker Kiara Scott, the wine has enjoyed the benefit of a minimal intervention approach to winemaking, that results in a unique combination of character and elegance in the glass.
‘Unmasked, crushed stones unspool while limey, powdered chalk rides a wave of white citrus and white pear, underpinned by subtle oak spice. On the palate, the sensational white fruit continues. The mineral structure presents vertical and endless, enlivened by soft buoyant acids and a mouth-coating citrus purity. The finish is luminous, with a real granitic freshness’, commented wine writer Malu Lambert.
Brookdale’s range of lifestyle wines under the Mason Road label was also entered into The Trophy Wine Show for the first time this year. The Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2021 (scored 93) and Mason Road Serendipity Rosé 2021 (scored 90) walked away with Silver-medals to prove the mettle of the young winery’s burgeoning wine portfolio.
The Cellars-Hohenort’s talented Executive Chef Tronette Dippenaar, has created a brand-new menu of dainty sweet and savoury delights to further elevate the hotel’s timeless tradition of Afternoon Tea.
The new High Tea features a choice of 11 loose-leaf teas, as well as Lavazza coffee. Each tea blend is meticulously curated by Master Tea Blender, Mingwei Tsai, who has also created a unique Cellars Hohenort Blend of Nigiro tea, incorporating the spicy fragrance and bronze/apricot colour of the Liz McGrath Rose. The Liz McGrath Rose was hybridised in 2003 to commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Mrs McGrath, the founder of The Liz McGrath Collection of three sister-hotels.
Complementing the floral theme, Jenna Clifford has designed The Wavy Rose bone china crockery by Lavish’d – a visual feast for the eyes that also brings the hotel’s glorious gardens indoors.
Served in the elegance of this historical venue, Tea at The Greenhouse is a celebratory affair and includes a glass of L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rosé (or non-alcoholic sparkling wine), perfectly matched with the savoury selection that includes Tea Sandwiches, Caramelised Onion Tart, Smoked Salmon Mousse Cornets and Goats’ Cheesecake. Irresistibly decadent delicacies such as Walnut Carrot Cake, Key Lime Pie, Mini Milk Tarts and Buttery Scones with strawberry jam and Chantilly cream, are served in a picture-perfect setting offering sublime and understated ambience and breath-taking views across the hotel gardens.
Tea at The Greenhouse is an elegant affair, and the most perfect way to while away a few hours during the chilly winter months. Served Wednesday to Sunday 11h00 to 13h00 & 14h00 to 16h00. R395 for Adults, R195 for Children (4 – 11 years). Booking is essential.
Mukwa River Lodge has opened on the riverbanks of the mighty Zambezi in Zambia. Situated 28-minutes from Livingstone Airport, and from there another 10km to Victoria Falls, the enchanting riverside retreat was built from scratch on an unspoiled stretch of land by the owners, Edgar Rudge and Aaron Menezes. It is sister property to The Residence in Houghton (Johannesburg), and Camp Ndlovu in the in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo).
After five years of development, the newly launched finished product is exclusive and intimate, accommodating only 14 guests in six spacious, free-standing suites, including one family suite. Constructed around steel structures with natural materials and decorated with local art, crafts and custom-made furnishings, the luxury lodge is designed with comfort, sustainability and understated luxury in mind – seamlessly integrated into the lush, natural environment. Mukwa River Lodge aims to preserve wildlife and local culture through community education initiatives and employment opportunities, wildlife conservation and sustainable practices.
Promising a culinary encounter to remember, Mukwa serves locally sourced and produced dishes, complimented by an excellent wine list. All suites have private decks with double outdoor showers and a bath, pool loungers and dining areas, as well as plunge pools with spectacular river or island waterway views.
The lodge offers sweeping views across the river into the Zimbabwe National Park, providing game viewing opportunities from its sprawling decks when animals come down to drink at the river. Guests are encouraged to relax and embrace the luxury whilst immersing themselves into nature. The gym also boasts views of the surrounding greenery, whilst the spa offers restorative treatments influenced by the indigenous products and culture native to the area.
A host of exhilarating water-based activities and adventures await for those wanting to experience, explore and discover. These range from birding and sunset cruises, to tiger fishing, guided game walks, safari drives, white river rafting and helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls, the 7th Natural Wonder of the World.
mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve is back under owner-management of the founders, Barry and Sonya Theunissen. The reserve is located in the heart of Zululand in KwaZulu Natal, just two and a half hours drive from Durban, where it is home to sister-lodges Biyela and Mthembu. ‘mFulaWozi is not just about magnificent game viewing, delectable cuisine, and stunning décor, it’s about a journey of purpose, and the creation of a culture of mutual respect’, says Barry Theunissen.
Carefully built by hand by members of the local Mthembu and Biyela Zulu clans, all suites come with their own private viewing deck where guests may immerse themselves in nature and the rich history of the area. Designed by architect Peter Whitehouse with interior design by Michelle Throsslle, both lodges are operated off the grid with solar power, and water sourced locally and supplied via a filtration plant.
Biyela Lodge is named after local chief Biyela, a descendant of King Shaka, and consists of 12 luxury standalone suites as an inviting and exclusive destination for couples, complete with private plunge pools. An oasis of privacy and eco-luxury, the suites are styled on a modern apothecary theme as a fusion of modern ideation, with an expression of the magnificent environs surrounding it. With cool rectilinear pavilions, the lodge is built into the hillside of this piece of untouched mFulaWozi wilderness, perfectly positioned to maximise the sweeping views of the imposing flood plains of the White iMfolozi River below.
Warm and welcoming Mthembu Lodge is set on the embankment of the White iMfolozi River, where it commands magnificent views complete with game watching from the comfort of its seven, luxury one-bedroom suites and two-family villas. Aimed at the discerning traveller, Mthembu is the perfect family destination, welcoming children from the age of 10, and offering a sensual, quiet, and a naturally elegant definition of space. It combines fresh innovative design and stylish African touches, with a wealth of natural materials such as earthy woods, leather and brass.
The mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve stretches across 16 000 hectares of untouched African bushveld, 6000 hectares of which have already been incorporated into the Hluluwe iMfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. With the dropping of fences between the parks, it is now one of the last havens where large numbers of animals, including the Big 5, that can roam freely. This unique wilderness area embodies the spirit of the Zulu nation and unlocks the tourist appeal of the rich culture, history and biodiversity of the land. It offers a thrilling game drive experience to resident guests of Biyela and Mthembu Lodges exclusively. Spa treatments are available, while other wilderness experiences include birding, guided walks and trails, and excellent photographic opportunities.
As one of the final bastions of the Zulu nation, mFulaWozi offers a unique combination and insight into of Zulu history, culture, wilderness and wildlife, allowing guests to connect with five hundred years of history. Shaka Zulu conserved this land to protect the endemic game as part of his hunting ground and conservation area. Historians, academics, and conservationists have dreamed and motivated for years to establish a sustainable ecotourism node of this vast scale and importance. Its purpose today is to continue protecting and preserving both the wilderness and its communities for generations to come.
mFulaWozi is championing a sustainable model for socioeconomic development within the local communities which have been impacted over the last few years. The upliftment of these disadvantaged communities has now allowed the communities to run various initiatives, creating a resilient economic environment. Not only is it a blueprint for a future where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together, but it is also mFulaWozi’s legacy to commit to the preservation and conservation of the Zulu culture.
Tswalu, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, is introducing a conservation experience focusing on generic data collection of endangered rhino populations of the Southern Kalahari ecosystem. From April to September, guests are welcomed to join the rhino notching initiative to analyze and support the genetic integrity of the protected rhino populations across South Africa after suffering a tragic decline over recent years.
During this intimate wildlife experience, trained trackers and veterinarians set out across the Kalahari to dart young rhinos, ideally between two and three years old. After marking and associating the rhino with a recorded number, the team plants a small microchip under the skin and horns for future identity and security purposes. DNA samples are then collected and later added into a global DNA database that helps track and prevent illegally traded rhino horns.
During this encounter, guests form part of the ground crew and are invited to take part of this microchipping experience that includes helping to monitor the rhinos body temperature and breathing. The private rhino notching experience covers the costs of a wildlife veterinarian, the specialized drugs in the darts, and flying expenses. Guests can further participate in Tswalu’s rhino recovery initiatives by donating directly to the reserve; first and foremost an ambitious conservation project that funds numerous research projects, geared towards understanding and conserving key species within the Kalahari ecosystem. All funds directly contribute to a credible and imperative rhino conservation project to re-establish populations where they can be protected.
As one of the many wildlife conservation experiences, Tswalu practices low-impact, high-value approaches to sustainable ecotourism to help fund the critical conservation work for future generations. Tswalu’s conservation goals focus on restoring the natural environment, re-establishing and protecting biodiversity, and maintaining the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological processes, all carried out through environmental research supported by the Tswalu Foundation. The Tswalu Foundation is a world leader in the field of environmental research within the southern Kalahari. However, the benefits of the targeted research extend beyond Tswalu, adding to a collective knowledge base that has already assisted conservationists in wilderness areas in other parts of Africa as well as those working in academic fields.
Brookdale has launched the maiden vintage of its unique Sixteen (white) Field Blend, as well as the fourth vintage of its old-vine Brookdale Chenin Blanc. A study in the balance of dichotomy, the two new wines showcase the diversity of Brookdale as one of the new wine-producing treasures of the Paarl Winelands.
Brookdale Chenin Blanc (2020) is the fourth expression of this site-specific wine that is produced in limited quantities. It is widely recognised for its flavour, nuanced character and precise equilibrium. Juxtaposed against this classic old-vine Paarl Chenin, is the fresh and intriguing vibrance of the new Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend (2021) – the first milestone in the journey of developing unique white and red field blends on the estate.
Under the gentle hand of winemaker Kiara Scott, the two new wines share the benefit of a minimal intervention approach to winemaking, that results in a unique combination of character and elegance in the glass.
Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend (2021) is a celebration of the ancient, lost art of field blend winemaking. In 2018, sixteen different white varieties were interplanted as bush vines on Brookdale. These include cultivars that have flourished for centuries in France’s Rhône River Valley, the Mediterranean coastline, and the Iberian Peninsula. Planted together for structure and complexity, and some for acidity, it speaks to a wide range of flavours, as well as versatility and enjoyment with food.
Winemaker Kiara Scott says the vineyard was monitored closely in season and harvested on ‘gut feel’ according to the variability of the ripeness of the grapes. This was followed by co-fermentation and vinification for a true expression of field blend philosophy, where it is ‘all about the totality of the blend, rather than the individual varietals’, to deliver a level of complexity, balance and elegance.
Tasting notes cite that ‘like a meadow in spring, the Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend 2021 is aromatically diverse; laced with white flowers, heather, orange blossom, and hints of jasmine; then bright green apples, pear, and an undertone of nutty apricot kernel. Subtle, balanced with a soft, enveloping texture, the palate offers concentrated, minerally stone fruits evolving to nectarines and ripe citrus. This depth is cut with a juicy, mouth-watering acidity before a pithy finish’.
The terroir of the Paarl Valley opens up a world of possibility through its unique combination of character and elegance. From old-vine Chenin Blanc (1985) grown on decomposed shale and granite, Brookdale’s flagship Chenin Blanc is one of the certified old Chenin vines found in the Drakenstein region.
Minimal winemaking was employed once again to allow this stony terroir to shine through in the 2020 vintage. ‘Unmasked, crushed stones unspool while limey, powdered chalk rides a wave of white citrus and white pear, underpinned by subtle oak spice. On the palate, the sensational white fruit continues. The mineral structure presents vertical and endless, enlivened by soft buoyant acids and a mouth-coating citrus purity. The finish is luminous, with a real granitic freshness.’
Tim Rudd, the owner of Brookdale says he is delighted to bring to market these two unique, terroir-driven wines. ‘Wine begins in the vineyard with the earth’s minerals, the sun’s warmth, and the air the connects them. It fulfils its potential with passion, creativity and skill in the cellar, but here at Brookdale we believe it really finds meaning the moment when the wine is shared and enjoyed together. We are excited to release these two new wines which are very different – but share the expression of the true heart of the Paarl Valley.’
Marketing and sales representation company, Inspirational Places (IP) has announced the expansion of its portfolio of luxury hotels and lodges across Southern Africa, with the addition of mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, and soon-to-be-opened Mukwa River Lodge in Livingstone, Zambia.
mFulawozi Wilderness, home to Biyela and Mthembu Lodges, is back under the management of the founders, Barry and Sonya Theunissen. The sister-lodges are situated on the banks of the White iMfolozi River in the heart of Zululand, just two and a half hours drive from Durban. Biyela and Mthembu re-opened in 2021 after an extensive revamp that included a focus on interior design. Biyela consists of 12 luxury standalone suites – an exclusive offering with private plunge pools; whilst Mthembu Lodge offers seven, luxury one-bedroom suites and two family suites as the perfect family destination.
The mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve stretches across 16 000 hectares of untouched African bushveld, 6000 hectares of which have already been incorporated into the Hluluwe iMfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. This unique wilderness area embodies the spirit of the Zulu nation and unlocks the tourist appeal of the rich culture, history and biodiversity of the land. It offers an exclusive game drive experience to guests of Biyela and Mthembu Lodges only.
Mukwa River Lodge in Zambia is set to open on 1 April 2022. It is situated in a prime position on the banks of the Great Zambezi River, an easy 21km drive from Livingstone with convenient access upstream from Victoria Falls. The six-suite luxury lodge will offer a range of exciting water-based activities, including water safari and game viewing opportunities. Mukwa River Lodge is sister property to Inspirational Places members The Residence Boutique Hotel in Houghton (Johannesburg), and Camp Ndlovu in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo).
Inspirational Places now represents members in South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. Other recent additions to the IP portfolio include Brookdale Estate in the Winelands (Paarl); Perivoli – Lagoon House on the banks of the Hermanus Lagoon (Stanford); The Alphen Hotel & Spa in Constantia and The Marly Hotel & Spa in Camps Bay (Cape Town); and Habitas Namibia in the greater Windhoek area (Namibia).
Allie Hunt, who has owner-managed Inspirational Places since 2008, says that with international markets opening up slowly, the company’s focus is to take the clients of Inspirational Places back onto the global platform. ‘We are passionate about profiling and promoting some of the most unforgettable Southern African experiences. Despite two difficult years during the pandemic, we managed to pull through, thanks to the commitment of the current members to keep Inspirational Places going. We are also thrilled to have been able to grow with the addition of a number of new members, whilst keeping our portfolio and service approach both focussed and personal.’
IP also represents shuttle and charter airline Federal Airlines, which continued operating, keeping the skies open under extreme conditions over the last two years. Federal Airlines continues to offer a reliable and dependable air service getting guests to South African safari lodges timeously.
Completing the current IP portfolio is longstanding members Schoone Oordt Country House in Swellendam; The Residence in Houghton; and Mosaic Lagoon Lodge in a milkwood forest outside Stanford; safari lodges Jamala Madikwe in the Madikwe Reserve; and Camp Ndlovu in the Welgevonden Game Reserve (Waterberg); as well as Wild Frontiers, which operates both as a DMC and Lodge owner in Tanzania (East Africa) and other parts of Southern Africa.
TINTSWALO OWNERS PARTNER WITH LIAM AND JAN TOMLIN TO OPEN ‘THE BAILEY’ – NEW 3-LEVEL CULINARY DESTINATION COMING TO BREE STREET (CAPE TOWN)
An exciting collaboration between famed restauranteur/chef team Liam Tomlin and his wife Jan, together with the owners of Tintswalo Lodges (Lisa and Warwick Goosen, and Gaye and Ernest Corbett), will see the opening of a 3-storey culinary and hospitality destination in a historic building in Cape Town in April (2022).
Opening at 91 Bree Street, diagonally opposite Heritage Square, ‘The Bailey’ will be a multi-level offering of welcoming spaces for those who are passionate about food, wine and good company. Unlike any other venue in the Mother City, interesting heritage spaces are being designed here to create a gravitational pull to a mature and sophisticated crowd. The Bailey will appeal to those with a sense of style and an appreciation for quality; who have a taste for culinary classics, great wines, whiskeys and other premium beverages.
Three juxtaposed levels of offering are being created against a backdrop of beautiful interior design within a historical Cape Town city centre building, showcasing its classic lines, high ceilings, stunning flooring and floor-to-ceiling original wooden windows.
On the ground level, the glamorous bakery café will feature a patisserie with fragrant teas and coffees, delicious cakes, macaroons, pastries and fresh juices. It will serve all-day breakfast, as well as brunch, lunch and classic cocktails, while the ‘ultimate’ High Tea will be introduced later in the year. Complete with a champagne bar, the stunning ground floor space of The Bailey is envisioned as the ideal meeting place in the heart of the city.
The second floor will be presented as a classic brasserie, paying homage to grand European tradition with a menu of iconic dishes and superb wines. Slick service will be orchestrated by the maître d’ holding the floor, adding an element of hospitality theatre to a contemporary dining experience.
The top floor will be curated into a unique wine and whiskey bar, also offering a private wine and whiskey reserve for regular patrons. Featuring an open terrace, it will be a relaxing meeting point to entertain a sophisticated mix of Cape Town’s creative minds and entrepreneurial mavericks. A space to relax, to think, and to collaborate within a like-minded community.
The Bailey is developing off the back of the success of the partners’ first joint venture – Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic, which opened at the end of 2020. It was voted ‘Africa’s Best New Restaurant’ in the 2021 World Culinary Awards and included in the coveted Condé Nast Traveller Readers Awards as one of the Best New Restaurants in the World.