September is Spring in South Africa!

The 1st of September is Celebration time in South Africa.  It is the beginning of spring and nature starts blossoming and days get warmer.  The spring wild flower displays in Western and Northern Cape is truly spectacular.  Spring in South Africa is also when you’ll find the southern right whales frolicking around the coast.  The Addo Elephant National Park is great to visit in spring when it’s not too hot or too cold.  It is home to the Big 7 (buffalo, lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, great white sharks and southern right whales), and a great safari add-on after a visit to Cape Town and the Garden Route.  In the Kruger area spring is the height of dry season with sparse vegetation.  Because the rivers and dams are so low a high concentration of game can be viewed, which means that game viewing during this period is usually very good.

There are some really fantastic events happening during the month of September, the Darling Wild Flower Show, the Darling Voorkamerfest, the Hermanus Whale Festival, the Nederberg Auction and the Magoebaskloof Spring Festival, to mention but a few 😉  Even if you are not interested in any of the scheduled yearly events, just to see the fauna and flora is reason enough to visit and enjoy Spring.

During spring the West Coast nature reserves are carpeted with flowers. The Darling Wild Flower Show will showcase the magnificent varieties of these beautiful colorful wild flowers. Happening at the same time in this interesting little town is the Hello Darling Arts Festival in Evita se Perron theatre. This event features some of the country’s top performers including Pieter Dirk Uys and his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout.  The Darling Voorkamerfest is regarded as one of the most unique arts festivals in the world. Different performances take place in township abodes or some of Darling’s grand Cape Dutch homes, and the owners play host to the guests.  This is a truly South African cultural experience not to be missed!

The Hermanus Whale Festival  is celebrating it’s 21st year as the only Enviro-arts festival in South Africa and puts the creatures of the deep on stage and under the spotlight alongside top performers and musicians from the 28th September to 1st October this year. The festival will continue with more activities during the following weekend 5th to 7th October. The Whales are always the star performers at the festival with the Endangered Species Marquee, claimed to be the best ever, quality crafters, sport events, kids entertainment, Two Oceans Marquee with a full music program, Checkers Food Emporium and thousands of people celebrating Spring in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

A range of exciting events have been planned to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Magoebaskloof Spring Festival.  The Spring Fair, which is held at the Magoebaskloof Hotel, prides itself on showcasing arts and crafts of exceptional quality. Only hand-crafted items are allowed and the vetting procedure is strict.
The Food Hall at the fair will showcase local organic cheeses, organic herbs, jams, jellies and pickles, dried fruit and health foods.  Other events include a bier fest with a German oompah band, several performances by The Men in Red (Welsh Male Voice Choir),the Peanutbutter Sandwich Walk -a big little walk of 2.5kms and a treasure hunt featuring places of local and historical interest. There will be an art exhibition featuring works by talented local artists and the forestry competition is great fun when timber and forestry workers pit their skills against each other. Picnics can be enjoyed alongside the picturesque Stanford Lake at the College.

A premier event on Cape Town’s wine calendar, the Nederburg Auction serves to showcase the spectrum of award-winning wines and rare Cape finds created by the country’s most talented winemakers. Since its beginnings in 1975 with the ‘famous five’ founding participants; Delheim, Groot Constantia, Overgaauw, Simonsig and of course Nederburg, and an offering of just 15 wines, the Auction has evolved into an international event where major local and overseas wine buyers bid for a stringently selected range of the finest wines created by South Africa’s most talented winemakers. This year marks the 38th year of this prestigious event.

Road Travel Africa would love to share some of these events with you, so get in touch and get the ball rolling.  We are only an email / phone call away and would love to assist in turning your dream African Trip into a Reality!

Celebrate Crayfish in the Style to which it has become accustomed

Its hard to believe, but the West Coast crayfish was not always the sought-after seafood delicacy it is today.  Once regarded as a pest, when they caught them in their nets fishermen would simply toss them overboard.  Wagonloads of dead crayfish were collected and sold to farmers as fertilizer.  It was only when markets abroad, France in particular, where they know a thing or two about good food, started to show an increasing interest in crayfish that fishermen began to can the product from 1890 onwards.  The popularity of the crayfish now means their dwindling numbers have to be controlled, through strict quotas and seasons.  Which is why the opening of crayfish season in November is a big deal on the West Coast.

Paternoster, in the heart of crayfish country, epitomises the wild beauty of the area, with its indigenous fynbos, sweeping white beaches, turquoise sea and craggy rocks which are home to the crayfish.  And matching nature’s grandeur in every way is Abalone House, Paternoster’s first five-star boutique guesthouse.  In the exotically appointed Saffron Restaurant, chef Darren Stewart creates exquisite world cuisine with an African twist.  Locally sourced seafood features prominently in his kitchen so the once-humble crayfish will be celebrated for the duration of the season – which lasts until April next year – with a delicious three-course menu of a delicately flavoured seafood bisque followed by steamed West Coast crayfish with garlic, parsley and lemon butter accompanied by basmati rice and ending with a chocolate croissant pudding with homemade Strawberry King ice cream.

Inspired by the vibrancy of Tretchikoff, whose iconic colorful prints adorn the walls throughout the establishment, and the surreal beauty of orchids, Abalone House’s 10 magnificent suites are designed around a tranquil central courtyard, some of which enjoy sea views.  Many suites also have private outdoor relaxation areas and there is even a rooftop Jacuzzi with a sea view – to relax after the work is done.  Or guests can cool off in the elegant swimming pool, before enjoying a relaxing cocktail in the Africa Bar.  In the guest suites, every creature comfort and business need has also been thought of and catered for.  All are luxuriously appointed, air-conditioned and have flat screen televisions and cappuccino/espresso machines, stocked mini-bars, ipod docking stations, CD and DVD players and a digital weather forecast station.  The extensive book and DVD libraries are available for the enjoyment of guests, and all suites also have built-in laptop safes.

Overnight guests can begin their stay with afternoon tea in the sun-splashed Orchid Room.  With its garden and sea views, it’s a calm space to relax any time during the day too – reading, playing board games or gazing out to sea through the antique telescope.  It is also where breakfast is served.  Abalone House is offering a special crayfish season package which includes an overnight stay, afternoon tea, a three course crayfish dinner, and breakfast.  For more information and reservations regarding this package call us today, we look forward to assisting you.