The Route du Bonheur Diaries | Bushmans Kloof Part 2

When you find yourself in an unfamiliar place that speaks to you in a familiar way – as though it had been expecting you and you had been expecting it… and you only have a handful of hours in which to enjoy it, the only sane thing to do is, as the French say, Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez […]

In Safaris

The Route du Bonheur Diaries | Bushmans Kloof Part 1

A group of travellers head into a wilderness at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains. 270 km from Cape Town, from home, they are on a road trip from coast (Ellerman House), to vineyard (Delaire Graff Estate), to mountain (Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat), to secret garden (The Cellars-Hohenort) and have just reached their third destination. […]

In Art & Culture, Natural Wonders, Safaris

The Route du Bonheur Diaries | Delaire Graff Estate

Above: The driveway leading up to the Delaire Graff Estate We all have our own way of pressing reset, of coming back to ourselves after losing our footing in the flurry of forces internal or external. The open road has always done this for me, preferably a long road with the car heading somewhere far enough to […]

In Art & Culture, Gastronomy

The Route du Bonheur Diaries | Ellerman House

The intention of travel is echoed in the words of the character, Jack Dawson, in the film, Titanic, when he says, “I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s going to happen or who I’m going to meet, where I’m going to wind up. … I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it.” Of […]

In City Life

Woman in the Garden | The Cellars-Hohenort

Woman in the Garden, by Claude Monet, 1867  Before we let you into the life of the co-creator of one of the most beautiful gardens in South Africa – those of The Cellars-Hohenort in Cape Town, we’ll try to paint a picture of her for you… Imagine one particular picture, the impressionist painting by Monet featured above, and you’ll see, […]

In Natural Wonders, People of Africa

An Epicurist’s Guide to Starting the Morning

Epicurist. n a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink). Lemony Snicket (the American writer also known, much less excitingly, as Daniel Handler) once said that, “how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” While some of us prescribe to the winging-it philosophy of life, […]

In Gastronomy

10 Questions with Cédric Morel of Château de Feuilles
10 Questions with Cédric Morel of Château de Feuilles

The Seychelles… All you hear is time stand still… And feel such peace and absolute The stillness still that doesn’t end But slowly drifts into sleep The stars are the greatest thing you’ve ever seen And they’re there for you… R.E.M. might not have been singing about the Indian Ocean island of the Seychelles, in […]

In Island Escapes

Zarafa Camp
How to Collect Wild Elephants

There is a joke that goes, Five people — an Englishman, Russian, American, Frenchman and Irishman were each asked to write a book on elephants. Some amount of time later they had all completed their respective books. The Englishman’s book was entitled “The Elephant — How to Collect Them.” The Russian’s book titled “The Elephant […]

In Photography, Safaris

Bushmans Kloof Retreat
The Artist’s Way in the Cederberg

“The imagination needs moodling, – long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering. ” ― Brenda Ueland The Cederberg is known as a place for rock climbers and hardy hikers. What with its 71,000 hectares of rugged mountainscape, some 200km north of Cape Town. But rocks take on another meaning here, their size and peculiar shapes […]

In Rejuvenation

The Art of Honeymooning at Anjajavy l’Hôtel

The art of honeymooning is like much else in life. It has become only better, sweeter, with age. In the beginning, far back in the 1800s, honeymoons weren’t post-wedding trips aimed to get away from it all. “They were social journeys, demonstrations of a couple’s new status,” in the words of The Believer literary magazine. “Like so […]

In Island Escapes, Romance

Bush walks at Bushmans Kloof
20 Seconds of Insane Courage

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo I remember hearing these words for the first time, watching as Matt Damon, playing Benjamin Mee in the film, […]

In Big Cats, Safaris

The Sisterhood of the Animal Kingdom

While the world still gets its mind around what a woman wants, let’s look at what a woman is, as revealed in the African wilderness. On our recent safari to Morukuru Family in the Madikwe Game Reserve, the females of the Animal Kingdom provided us with the answer. Or rather, answers. Because a woman is not […]

In Big Cats, Safaris

Royal Chundu
The Making of an Explorer on the Zambezi

Travel necessitates a surrendering of control. Of routine, the familiar, the habits that we create for comfort and convenience and that inevitably close us off from new things – new people, places, customs, foods. The habits that cut us off from the flow. When we travel, we return to the flow. Just as everyone needs solitude – […]

In Family, Natural Wonders

African-Wild-Dogs by Beverly Joubert
The Way of the Wild Dog

Noun. pack mentality ‎(uncountable) – The tendency for groups of individuals to act together without planned direction. When it comes to looks, no two wild dogs are alike. Yet, as unique as the markings of each one’s Pollockian paint splotch coats are, they are “one” in every other way. Wild dogs are one of the most inter-dependent animals […]

In Safaris

The 10 Commandments of Lemur Life (Or, How To Be A Lemur)

There are many things lemurs can teach us about life. Like how to keep the mystery alive (new species of lemur continue to be discovered even to this day); how to dance like no one’s watching (case in point: the coquerel’s sifaka that make the garden at Anjajavy l’Hôtel their own dance floor, while guests look on from […]

In Island Escapes

Delaire Graff
The Secret To Understanding Art

Above: Anton Smit’s Faith sculpture greet guests as they arrive at Delaire Graff Estate Most of us start out in life as rather eager artists. Our first art studios are the creches or primary schools of our youth or the tables of our family homes (also, sometimes the canvas itself, along with the walls and bed linen for the more […]

In Art & Culture

Morne Vrey
Mr Vrey in the Cellar with the Corkscrew

Morné Vrey is the man behind the wines at Delaire Graff Estate in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. He has been for the last eight years, each year creating new wines that are quick to become favourites of wine enthusiasts around not only South Africa, but the world. Morné began his career as assistant winemaker at Hazendal Wine […]

In Gastronomy, People of Africa

Importance of Being Educated
The Importance Of Being Educated

Above: Anjajavy l’Hôtel A year or three ago, I found myself at my 10 year high school reunion. The school halls and teachers that had once, allegedly, been mine, seemed foreign, weird, like a limb that didn’t belong to me. I blamed my mind’s poor powers of retention. Freud might say I’m suppressing bad memories. He’d be right. Some of us […]

In Art of Giving, People of Africa

Bees in Africa
The Unexpected Brilliance of Bees on Safari

Bees aren’t the usual reason we go on safari. (They only give us the gift of life, but anyway…) Bee eaters, perhaps, for the birders among us. But mostly, it’s the big cats and the Big 5 and other less dainty wild things that call us, excite us. ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya will make you think completely differently […]

In Natural Wonders, Safaris

Shane Kloeck
The Art of The Search with Shane Kloeck of Morukuru

There are two ways to approach the search – at least, two considerable ones. Two rather contrasting views that, combined, were it possible, would surely be the best perspective of them all. A wide-angle and telephoto lens in one. The search that is the game drive on safari is not unlike the greater quests of life – the search for […]

In People of Africa, Safaris

Horseback Riding on the African Plains
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

The words of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If”, have remained with me throughout life. They’re that shoebox of family photographs you dust off and flip through once in a while, to remind yourself of who you are, where you’ve been… The poem hung on the passage wall in my family home. The more I glimpsed the words, read them, pondered them, […]

In Big Cats

The Je ne sais quoi of Johannesburg

The question has often been asked. Do people make places? Forbes once addressed it in their blog, noting, “Some cities have been smoking hot for a while now; others are just recently catching fire. They share a lot of DNA, generally having universities, an investment-friendly culture and political will to support innovation. But perhaps most important […]

In People of Africa

A Spa Owner’s Guide To Mindful Travel

Of all the trips I have taken in life, the best ones have been the ones that were the most exhausting. For instance, those four days hustling Landrovers through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in search of wild dogs, Kingsley Holgate at the helm. Driving from sun up to down, pushing vehicles out of deep mire, meeting with gun-wielding park rangers […]

In Rejuvenation

The 5 Stages of Dining – A Food Safari at Morukuru Family

People often talk about the last meal they’ll have “before the plane goes down”, so to speak… if we could control fate, if we knew when said moment would strike, what would we choose as our last meal? Maybe you’ve never thought about it. Perhaps the people I associate with are a little morbid. I can take some […]

In Gastronomy

You Never Forget An Elephant

Above: Zarafa Camp in Botswana  “You know, they say an elephant never forgets. But what they don’t tell you is that you never forget an elephant.” – Bill Murray in the film, Larger Than Life I remember the elephant’s ears, waving outward to make him seem much larger than he was. Although, let’s not beat […]

In Safaris

Madagascar 12
Madagascar For Kids

In our Relais & Châteaux online magazine, Instants, we featured a piece, entitled, Water Babies: Indian Ocean Islands For Kids, an introduction to the beautiful island getaways between Africa and Asia that welcome young ones of various ages. You can read the full article here. But we still had a few images to share – from one […]

In Family, Island Escapes

Every great dream begins with a dreamer – We Are Africa 2016

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” the pillar of the Great Plains Conservation stand at this year’s We Are Africa event reads. Dereck and Beverly Joubert, founders of the organisation, stand close by, dreamers themselves, but also vital agents of change. We Are Africa attracts both dreamweavers and doers. That’s what makes it so special. “The […]

In Gastronomy, Relais & Châteaux Africa News