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Published by tasch, 2019-11-21 08:02:36

Financial Mail Travel November 2019

Keywords: Financial Mail,Financial Mail Travel,Travel Magazine,Business Media Mags




In Zambia’s former capital,
4 OUR ONLY WORLD Janine Stephen gets a feel for the
It’s the only one we’ve got, so why preciousness – and power – of water
wait for others to save it?
EN ROUTE Rediscover the island that
Mark Twain claimed Heaven
7 CONNECTIONS was copied from
New hotels and fresh lodges, plus
wild dogs, a new view in New York BUSINESS CLASS
and luggage we love
13 MELT DOWN Africa’s economic powerhouse
At the edge of the Arctic Circle, keeps getting better
Tom Eaton witnesses first-hand the
precariousness of our planet’s future 42 BUSH TACTICS
Why eco-escapes are great for
AWAY strategising, shifting gears and building
connections with colleagues
Just a handful of reasons to head for ARTYFACT
the Waterberg’s Lapalala Wilderness
23 BUBBLING UP Experience Kentridge
The winemakers adding sparkle to like never before
the Franschhoek Valley


IMAGES: Precious


Financial Mail Travel, November 2019



worldOur only Published by

I n just a few weeks, politicians and at a lodge that’s showing just how easily Picasso Headline
thought leaders, conservationists, luxury travel experiences and proactive 13th Floor, 2 Long Street, Cape Town, 8001
scientists and activists from around sustainability can work together. What’s Tel: +27 21 469 2400 | Fax: +27 86 682 2926
the world will gather in Madrid, required is a radical rethink of how we Web:
Spain to discuss matters that might treat our resources: recycling rather than
just determine the future of our species. plundering the earth for new materials; EDITORIAL
COP25’s conference on climate change treating every drop of water as precious;
will be addressing, among other Editor: Keith Bain
urgent topics, the oceans and planting more and growing our Content Manager: Raina Julies,
how to reverse the havoc own food; and treating the [email protected]
we’ve already wreaked on natural environment with Contributors: Mart-Marié du Toit, Tom Eaton,
them. Can we undo the greater sensitivity. Clifford Roberts, Janine Stephen
damage? Can all those We visit other precious Copy Editor: Brenda Bryden
clever folks come to places in this issue, Content Co-ordinator: Vanessa Payne,
something resembling including Lapalala, [email protected]
an agreement that might a wilderness in the Digital Editor: Stacey Visser
save us from the kind of Waterberg Biosphere [email protected]
radically bleak future that’s where over 70 000 children +27 11 280 3671
been presaged by doomsayer have enjoyed some of
climate scientists? DESIGN
This edition of FM Travel isn’t focused their earliest interactions with
exclusively on the rather practical matter nature and where grown-ups can now Head of Studio: Jayne Macé-Ferguson
of sustainability: what our writers do hope spend time at a beautiful off-grid lodge Senior Designer: Mfundo Archie Ndzo
to convey is just how much we have to lose surrounded by wild terrain. Just being there Advert Designer: Bulelwa Sotashe
if we simply stick our heads in the sand. In is a bit of an attitude adjuster.
his column about witnessing first-hand the Don’t discount the difference that SALES
thawing of an ice-covered region such as investments by big companies can make,
mid-winter Lapland, Tom Eaton trains our either. As you’ll read in our story about Project Manager: Dan Burman
attention on the kind of loss that’s in store Sandton on page 37, some of the most [email protected] +27 21 469 2489
for us should those meeting in Madrid not eco-sensitive green buildings on the
manage to make any meaningful decisions. continent are located right there in Africa’s PRODUCTION
Melting ice and disappearing glaciers economic headquarters.
aside, we’re always keen on the good news While it’s impossible to know the Production Editor: Shamiela Brenner
stories – tales of places where proactive outcome of COP25, or if measures will Advertising Co-ordinator: Merle Baatjes,
people are finding solutions and acting be put in place to secure our future, there [email protected]
accordingly, making efforts to preserve remains much worth celebrating on our Subscriptions and Distribution:
what we have and restore what we’ve precious planet. The trick, I suspect, is not Shumiera Fredericks, [email protected],
already damaged. On a trip to Livingstone, for us to sit back and wait for reports about +27 21 469 2400
where the state of the Victoria Falls in the summit, but rather for each of us to roll Printing: Novus Print Gauteng
recent months serves as evidence of up our sleeves and make the changes we
the radical drought afflicting much of want to see reality. MANAGEMENT
southern Africa, Janine Stephen spent time
Keith Bain Business Manager: Lodewyk van der Walt
Managemment Accountant: Deidre Musha
Editor General Manager, Magazines: Jocelyne Bayer

Copyright: Picasso Headline. No portion of this magazine
may be reproduced in any form without written consent of
the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited
material. financialmail Travel is published by Picasso Headline.
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso
Headline. All advertisements/advertorials have been paid for
and therefore do not carry any endorsement by the publisher.




The seventh World Happiness Report ranks Mauritius as the
happiest country in Africa. Imagine what it’s like to live there

Between the lao tree-fringed stretch of coastal road Eco-smart systems include solar panels, rainwater
next to Mont Choisy Beach and the elds of sugar collection (the golf course uses 100 per cent treated
cane that once represented the main driver of the wastewater) and transport hubs for electric cars, ebikes
Mauritius economy lies an extremely valuable pocket and buggies.
of land that has been transformed from sugar estate
and farm into luxury residences for discerning buyers. IT’S ALL ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

e prestigious Mont Choisy Golf & Beach What do property investors get when they buy there?
Estate development forms part of a forward-thinking A luxurious home environment that they’ll be loathe
Smart Estate project purposefully designed to to leave except to explore more of this tropical island’s
encourage the integration of the communities from treasures. Rooted in heritage — another USP — the
the popular tourist hub, Grand Baie, and the village of world-class residential estate boasts spacious private
Mont Choisy. villas and apartments lled with light and views of
the immaculate greens and indigenous landscape
Mont Choisy La Réserve is the third phase of the dotted with volcanic rock, the Peter Matkovich-
development, approved under the Smart City Scheme designed championship golf course, swimmable
and registered with the Economic Development lagoon, terrace pools (or a plunge pool if you’re
Board of Mauritius as regarding licensing for sales to fast enough to secure a penthouse) and a range of
foreigners. An investment of USD 500 000 or more leisure amenities.
secures permanent residency for them and their
immediate families while they own property on e clubhouse is a drawcard for residents and
the island. members who want to relax in a welcoming and
friendly atmosphere, socialise with friends and
A major focus of the Smart Estate is a boulevard family, and relish the comfort and services you
and parkway between the villages, which will create would expect from an upmarket club, which includes
a walkable precinct devoted to walkers, runners a well-stocked pro shop for all your gol ng needs.
and cyclists keen to indulge in their chosen form of
physical exercise surrounded by the tranquil beauty of What better motivation could there be to own a
the Mauritian landscape. home at Mont Choisy La Réserve and enjoy the best of
contemporary island living where a world of tropical
e plan includes a retail space, cafés and sunshine, exquisite beaches and amazing company
restaurants, o ces and entertainment facilities, an awaits you.
endemic arboretum, schools and medical amenities.

To secure your piece of Mauritius, please contact
+27(0)21 762 2617 or +230 525 001 02
[email protected]



You can’t have it all, but... 2 1

e Swedish manufacturers of the world’s leading luggage
have launched their 11-piece ule Crossover 2 collection. 6
It includes seriously snazzy carry-on and check-in du els,
underseat-sized cabin bags, and spinner and roller cases. 7
Features include a crush-resistant SafeZone, integrated TSA
locks, wear-resistant material, reinforced bumpers, wear  LIGHT-FILLED LODGINGS
rails and oversized zippers, V-tubing telescoping handles e forum company has launched a soothing 12-room hotel in a
and a look that never lets you down. resuscitated cottage in the virtual countryside of Lanseria. Exactingly
designed and decorated, it’s called white light/the rooms and is great
 URBAN TIME-TRIP for overnight business trips (just 30 minutes from Sandton) or family
gatherings away from the bustle.
Located in the heart of Cape Town, Labotessa is a
small hotel reimagined from the bones of a national  PUG LIFE
monument. Transformed into a swanky seven-room
beauty – each suite has private elevator access, a balcony Dogs are welcome at e Ivy Villa Hotel & Spa, a plush new garden-
and a view of the city, Lion’s Head and Table ensconced hideaway in Strathavon, Sandton. Along with treats
Mountain. and walking maps for canine guests, humans get a choice of large
suites and impressive villas plus the full-on attentions of on-the-ball
 WOLVES ON THE TABLE 5 butlers (reachable 24/7 via WhatsApp). e hotel includes a Reuben’s
Restaurant, the Poison Ivy lounge bar and a spa. ▪
Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life is a new
co ee-table book by wildlife photographer
Nicholas Dyer who has spent years
photographing the African wild dogs that
he tracks on foot in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi
Valley. He’s collaborated on the project with
conservationist Peter Blinston, and all pro ts
from their book go directly to the Painted Wolf


Recently revived a er a re closed it down for the second time, Tintswalo
Atlantic is back up and running, a ording guests the chance to bed down
in Cape Town’s most idyllic location. e seaside sensory immersion
includes the ceaseless refrain of sloshing waves, dramatic sunsets across
the water, the mountain at your back, and a gorgeous pebble beach.


Opening on 11 March next year, the highest outdoor observation deck
west of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is now selling tickets. Edge is a triangular
platform up on the 100th oor of a new skyscraper in Manhattan’s Hudson
Yards neighbourhood. It’s 334.73 metres up in the air – a one-minute
elevator ride.



Melt Down

A drive across frozen Lapland has Tom Eaton pondering the preciousness of our
quickly-warming planet

I mplausibly, we were driving a car across is like building a spider web out of overcooked intonation, where the snow oats down
the ocean at the top of the world. spaghetti that keeps dissolving into mist. In and the dri s pile up like something out of
e car was a sensible Swedish family the end, our spaghetti-web became mist; but a childhood dream of Christmas.
sedan. Our driver was a sensible Swedish in that particular Nordic spring, things were
family man. But there was nothing in my still progressing well enough that we had been My rst glimpses of the place were not quite
experience that could make sense of what we the stu of festive fantasy.
were doing. own to Stockholm to meet our potential co-
Nudging the car down a muddy country producers and a possible star. Luleå’s most famous attractions are
road and then cautiously nosing out onto the a church and a huddle of proud but grim
frozen ocean had been alarming, especially And now we had come even further north, wooden houses built in the 1400s, which
when our host told us matter-of-factly not to deep into Lapland, right on the edge of the explains why so many Swedes were happy to
wear seatbelts in case we went through the ice Arctic Circle, to nd something even more emigrate to the frozen, barren steppes of the
and needed to get out quickly. elusive than deep-pocketed producers: snow. American Midwest: a Minnesota blizzard
But this – cruising along a highway of deep, was just like home.
luminously blue ice, with bulldozed mounds at was my fault. Being a South African,
of snow forming the shoulders of the road on I had written a script set partially in clean, en there were the charred and collapsed
either side – was almost too much to process. crisp, snow-blanketed Stockholm, and, being remains of a MacDonald’s as we reached the
My colleague and I, now sitting with our a South African, I hadn’t realised that that was city limits. An accident? we asked our host. No,
noses pressed to our windows (shut in case about as realistic as e Lion King. Stockholm he replied, rather proudly: the locals had burnt
of sinking) and gazing down at the marbled is pleasingly clean and relatively crisp, but it down. Again.
glitter of the icy blueness under us, had come its snow, it turns out, comes in two varieties:
to Sweden to make a lm. Well, maybe. brown slush and non-existent. ese chilly rst impressions, however, were
Getting a lm made, especially in South Africa, soon melted away by the delightful people
e good news, however, was the producers of the Lapland Film Commission, or, as
had tracked down a body double for I remember it, Santa’s workshop; a cluster of
Stockholm: the neat, sturdy little city of Luleå, cosy, red sheds bedded down into snowbanks
pronounced Lee-yoo Lee-yaw with a singsong like cherries pressed into white icing,

We had come deep into Lapland to find something even
more elusive than deep-pocketed film producers: snow



while travel is going to become much more politically loaded
in the years ahead, it will still have the power to teach
lessons that might otherwise go unlearned

each brimming with warmth, golden light, and Why? we asked, was there a bulldozer we don’t react quickly enough, then the thin, PICTURES: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
charming, earnest people. parked out here, so far from land? gleaming surface of our civilisation gives way
and we plunge into the dark.
Of course, there would be snow, they said. Well, our driver explained, the bulldozer was
ere had always been snow. ere would very heavy, which made it a useful device for I understand the hypocrisy inherent in
always be snow. measuring the strength of the ice. travelling to the other side of the planet to
It was a quiet con dence based on realise how fragile it is and how transient we
experience, but there was something else, too. We blinked, and he shrugged. Rather an are. My ights alone pumped about two tons
Perhaps it was those 600-year-old houses. unmanned bulldozer cracking through and of carbon into the atmosphere.
Perhaps it was the distinctly Viking response plunging to the bottom of the ocean than
to the incursion of McDonald’s. Perhaps it a car containing a Swede and two South But, while travel is going to become much
was something in the vast, grey sky or the Africans, right? more politically loaded in the years ahead, it
endless vistas of black conifers poking up will still have the power to teach lessons that
through whiteness. Perhaps it was his calm pragmatism, or might otherwise go unlearned.
Whatever it was, it felt like a serene, a sudden realisation of how deep and cold
un appable permanence. Some towns and and terribly dark all that water under me I knew that our species is in trouble.
small cities move at a slow pace because they’re was, but that sense of permanence that I knew about the ice caps. But having my
dying. Luleå moved slowly, I felt, because it had had so impressed me about Luleå instantly mortality measured in the thickness of ice
all of eternity to get where it was going. melted away. – understand that I was only alive because
Out on the ice road, we had also slowed. a vast, inexorable process had reached this
e glittering blue highway had widened into It was spring. In a month, this spot point rather than that point – well, that was
a great expanse of cleared ice, large enough would be slush. In another, open water. e the di erence between knowing something
for U-turns, and there, in the middle of the bulldozer would have to retreat back to the and understanding it.
clearing, was a large bulldozer. shore. Santa’s workshop would be a dismal
thing surrounded by mud. Only the grim We will still skate across the surface of this
is, our driver told us, was where we wooden houses would endure, their splinters melting world. But the great thaw is here, and
turned around. He seemed slightly relieved. shivering in the watery sunshine. now we must tread more lightly; there won’t
always be a bulldozer showing us where to
e planet changes and we change with it. turn around. ▪
And if it changes more than we can bear, and


Limpopo lullaby
Seven reasons to love Lapalala Wilderness

Once you get your tongue around it, the name glides
out like a lullaby – a sweet ululation that evokes
the gentle spirit of this extraordinary landscape it
describes. Keith Bain sings Lapalala’s praises

A RIVER RUNS and business expertise of Dale Parker – a kranses and covered in hills that drop away to
THROUGH IT patch of land measuring 7 000 hectares was lush plains and immense valleys. Its soil is rich
purchased in 1981. Since being established, the red; its layered sandstone cli s ochre orange;
Deep in Limpopo’s UNESCO- reserve has expanded to around ten times its its rock pools crystal clear; and its grasslands
recognised Waterberg Biosphere, the Lapalala original size – there are now 44 500 hectares of and woodlands disappear into the far distance.
Wilderness is a pristine, little-traversed patch untamed emptiness. Gaze across it from one of the rugged outcrops
of wonder. Say the name slowly and you get and you feel like you’re looking into eternity.
a sense of what it feels like being there. is Over the years, more than 70 000 children
swathe of land restored to its former glory has have passed through the groundbreaking And, through it all, the namesake Palala
been preserved, thanks largely to the pioneering school that Walker envisioned – it’s a place River runs for 27 kilometres – some of the
vision of Clive Walker, a conservationist who where youngsters get a taste for the joy of being cleanest water in the country, with the option
founded the Environmental Wildlife Trust. immersed in nature. to cast for yellow sh from its banks, swim in
He dreamt of establishing a wilderness school the bubbling rapids, or simply idle on the rocks
in the Waterberg, and – thanks to the funds And what nature it is! In every direction, this taking in the purest paradise.
undulating landscape is dotted with high-rise




“We’re actually overstocked with game,” says Dave Jacobs, head
ranger at Tintswalo Lapalala, the rst lodge to have opened within
the reserve. Such abundance explains why four Kalahari lions were recently
added to the existing population. ere’s also a large contingent of free-
roaming wild dogs and 25 di erent leopard have been identi ed by camera
traps – the reserve’s rocky ravines being their ideal terrain.
Back in 1990, Lapalala was the rst private reserve to import black
rhino from KwaZulu-Natal and has since then run a successful breeding
programme, growing the population to become one of the best in the country.
e breeding project is complemented by state-of-the-art security, which
has helped stave o poaching incidents. It is possible to witness white and
black rhino simultaneously – perhaps drinking at the opposite ends of a pool.
And while rhinos are a landmark recovery species here, there are other cool
drawcards, too. Roan – antelope seldom spotted in South Africa’s mainstream
reserves – and bat-eared foxes are regularly seen. Even Capetonians familiar
with mountain dassies (hyraxes), will get a kick out of seeing their tree-
dwelling cousins eyeing them from the branches. Dave is an advanced birder
and can ll you in on myriad questions about the 300-odd species found in the
area, including such specials as red-billed oxpeckers, Denhem’s bustard and
the violet ear waxbill. Aside from the game drives, there are opportunities to
get out and look for smaller creatures on foot, discovering trees and insects,
and the secret meaning of what’s in various piles of excrement.


There’s always been a touch of drama – theatricality and a bit of a backstory – informing
the themed décor dreamed up for the spaces at Tintswalo properties. In Cape Town,
at the family-owned lodge group’s seaside Atlantic property, each suite is done out to evoke
the atmosphere and charm of an island. At Lapalala, they’re designed to capture the essence
of noteworthy African tribes. Owner-designer Gaye Corbett has long been an adventuresome
traveller across the continent and has included in the décor personal photographs and objets
collected over the years from different destinations. They’re now displayed with great pride and
affection, and each has a story to tell.
Beyond the interior detailing, each of the canvas-and-wood suites is raised off the ground with
its own plunge pool and cane hanging pod seats and outdoor shower so you can watch the
stars as you drench yourself before slinking between the softest linens on the lushest beds. It may
sound like you’re swaddled in nothing but luxury, but just beyond your canvas walls are the harried
grunts and guffaws of all sorts of wildlife, a glorious soundtrack that makes you feel far, far away.
The rooms are linked via a meandering boardwalk, so there’s a sense of a bit of a bushwalk just
getting to the shared lounge and deck overlooking a highly-productive water hole – animals seem
to be ceaselessly traipsing towards it. The deck is also one of several places where wonderful
meals are served – food for which there’s no resistance. They set up potjies on open fires, and
take you into the bush for breakfasts with porridge cooked over coals and tables bedecked with
mimosas and green health drinks. Taking care of people is so deep in the DNA of the people who
work here, it’s not long before you feel as though it is home.



If you can bear to give up your suite for a night, you can sign up for a sleep-out
experience where you’ll really feel like you’re untethered from the world. It’s hardly
slumming it, though – after dinner, you’ll be taken to what is essentially a super-fancy
hide-like nest, elevated on stilts. You climb the steps and are left alone in a cushy,
romantic space with only the sounds of the surrounding bush for company.
A picnic on the Palala’s banks – schmoozing on a massive Persian rug laid under
a Bedouin stretch tent with full bar and amazing food – is just about as magnificent
a lunchtime as you could possibly hope for. Take your swimmers along – in summer,
Lapalala is thrillingly hot. Although in winter, you’d better brace yourself for serious chills.
Also on offer are massages and spa treatments (in the bush, if you like), and a boat
cruise – the light glistening off the water in the late afternoon is sublime. You’ll be sipping
G&Ts while eyeing crocs and hippos and listening to the call of fish eagles floating above.


Yes, you will see plenty on game drives, but
when Dave or another member of his team o ers to
take you out on a walk, jump at the chance. It is so
freeing to trek through this scintillating bundu, looking
for the outlines of paws and hoofs and claws in the
dirt, and getting an up-close understanding of cat scat
or hyena turds. ese on-the-ground clues a ord a
clearer picture of what goes on when humans aren’t
looking. On walks like these you can learn about the
lavender feverberry, which Bushmen used as a natural
deodorant, and a fern that – when eaten – will clear up
virtually any digestive tract problem. And there’s the
gloriously named resurrection bush, which was used as
an all-round health infusion. While walking with Dave,
you’ll likely also get a demonstration of how hyenas
mark their territory using something called “anal
pasting”, which is just as revolting as it sounds – and is a
great reason not to chew on grass plucked in the bush.

You can set o on foot to track rhino, or meet
Metsi, a rhino who is blind in one eye. ere are also
conservation activities that you can join for a fee – some
include riding with wildlife vets in helicopters and
being part of the action.


It is quite rare being in a place TRUE ORIGINALS
where there are no pylons and no
permanent electric buzz. Although you Dave not only knows his wildlife and has
can connect to Wi-Fi, Lapalala is entirely a barrage of facts about trees and shrubs and spider
off-grid, so your lights are solar-powered webs up his sleeves, but among the most fascinating
and water is heated by the sun too. And, excursions is a short walk – down a bank, across the
at night, there’s a chance to gaze up at river stepping over rocks, and then up some boulders
the stars – there’s zero light pollution, a and into an open-faced rock cli where there are
telescope to bring the moon closer, and San paintings believed to be 3 000 years old and well
someone to unravel the constellations preserved in black and ochre and faded burgundy.
for you. It’s the kind of deep inner-core Dave will decode what’s on the wall, even sharing a
detox that stays with you for long after theory suggesting that cave paintings were used as a
you go home to the bustle. But the form of sex education, a way of teaching teenage boys
longing to return stays forever. ▪ about the birds and the bees. And then, of course,
there’s the mystery of the shaman depicted with an
hyperbolically engorged member. Is it some ego
display? Or does it convey ritualistic meaning? While
you ponder that, Dave will decipher another piece of
the puzzle: a shaman who has trance-danced himself
into a dream state somewhere up in the clouds. And,
up there, he has slaughtered a kudu and the blood
drips down like rain. It’s believed that – to these people
– there were two types of rain. Female rain would last
three solid days. Male rain, however, was a mere three-
hour thunderstorm.

Lapalala is 300km
from Jo’burg and when
you arrive it’s the purest VIP
treatment from start to nish.
There are only seven tented suites –
each is unique and quite fabulous,
with a plunge pool on a deck
from which to take in the

magni cence.



Launch Edition: August 2020

November 2019


Next Edition: April 2020

placesPrecious Inserted with the full run of financialmail.
ADVERTISING CONTACT: Dan Burman, Project Manager
2019/11/19 2:37 PM Tel: +27 21 469 2489 | Cell: +27 83 630 8863 | Email: [email protected]

fmTravel_Cover_final.indd 1


Bubbling up

Along with its mountains and vineyards, restaurants and pretty sidewalk cafés,

bubbly is another cornerstone of the “lifestyle” experience with which Franschhoek entices
visitors. Clifford Roberts traces the valley’s infatuation with MCC

T he veranda at Franschhoek Pass “old world”. ick-walled alcoves are lled Simonsig. At the time, von Arnim worked
Winery is cluttered with mics, with neatly stacked bottles of Morena MCC; at Boschendal where he produced the rst
wires and other music gear this some of the corks are tied with string, a successful harvest in 1978.
morning. e vines just beyond are technique used before the invention of the
like rows of an auditorium except muselet wire cage. Above us, ornate steelwork “Fate intervened encouragingly,” says
the view is an emerald patchwork of farmland lamps provide dim light. Hildegard, “when Jean-Louis Denois – a young
cradled by mountains on all sides. Frenchman on holiday from the Champagne
For Davies, the valley’s image galvanised region – knocked on the cellar door at
“It’s just band practice,” says wine farmer with the establishment of a dedicated bubbly Boschendal during the harvest of 1980 looking
and part-time rocker Nick Davies, when I ask festival over a decade ago, a move that spurred for work.”
if he serenades the grapes. its reputation for MCC.
Denois moved in with the von Arnim
e winery is one of Franschhoek’s few e rst seeds, however, were planted by family for three or four months and he greatly
specialist makers of MCC (Méthode Cap Davies’ neighbours at Haute Cabrière. As encouraged the experiments that resulted in
Classique) sparkling wine and among two I drive back to town, a team works feverishly the rst Boschendal Brut.
dozen on a dedicated tourism route that on upgrades to the winery’s outside seating
promotes the style in the region. area. Pioneer Achim von Arnim isn’t around In December 1981, von Arnim discovered
today, but his wife Hildegard tells how he’d that a nearby farm, Clos Cabrière, was on the
e Davies’ cellar was referred to me as been inspired by SA’s rst MCC made at market and he snapped it up. On the 15-hectare
a must-see, and is easily mistaken for being property, he planted Chardonnay and Pinot





Noir – two main varieties in the Champagne Colmant’s bubbly is among the most into a cellar below. Post-tasting, I stroll
region. Boschendal was ne with this move awarded at South Africa’s annual Cap through its small rose-garden, the owers
because at that stage it was a small development Classique Challenge, held since 2002. magni cently bejewelled by beads of water
in a valley not known for its wines. from the morning’s light rain.
Whether it was MCC or just the beauty
e rst MCC von Arnim produced on of the valley previously named Olifantshoek Part of the joy of a visit to the valley I nd
his farm came in 1986, named a er the (a er the elephants that once grazed there), is the ease of access along the well signposted
founding owner of 1694, French Huguenot international attention has since ballooned, single main road. I pass a group of cyclists
Pierre Jourdan. At the time, another major thanks to investment by the likes of Virgin’s – tourists with a guide – and there are more
development was taking shape in the village. Richard Branson and Indian businessman eco-bikes parked outside when I arrive at
Arthur and Adre McWilliam Smit had bought Analjit Singh. Leopard’s Leap. When I sign in, the gate guard
a restaurant and renamed it Le Quartier cautions me with a big smile “be careful with
Français, which is where the foundations were Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira – an MCC legend that wine. O en the man drives in, but it’s the
laid for Franschhoek’s reputation as the Cape’s who marks his 30th anniversary at Graham lady who drives out!”
“gourmet capital”. Beck this year – lives in Franschhoek too. He
was all set for retirement next year, but “Pieter e experience at Leopard’s Leap is as
Von Arnim also played a key role in without a bubbly project on retirement was welcoming as they come: a large visitor
establishing the wine route with advertising never going to be an option,” says his wife, centre dedicated to food and wine – and it’s
man-turned-wine farmer Michael Trull. Called Ann. He set the wheels for his personal family-friendly. I’ve booked for the South
the Vignerons de Franschhoek, it was founded label in motion in 2011 and released the African Table: a themed food-and-wine
in 1980. Key supporters included Boschendal lunch that allows foodies to follow the
(under Anglo American at the time) and the rst vintage of Pieter Ferreira Cap Classique kitchen activity on overhead cameras. Over
Ruperts of L’Ormarins and La Motte. this year. It is 100% Chardonnay, a Blanc de lunch, chef Pieter de Jager shares his biggest
Blancs 2012, made from a selection of fruit delight of the town: to be able to walk and
“ e town should erect a statue to Achim,” from the Robertson and Darling regions. buy a croissant in the morning. “It’s in the
says Paul Gerber, former winemaker at Le Only one small problem: Graham Beck country; and there’s exciting food; and it’s
Lude and now with Colmant, SA’s rst winery changed its policy, so Pieter’s staying put for beautiful,” he declares.
set up exclusively for the making of MCC, another ve years.
“for his contribution to MCC, but also his e meal makes a useful loop back
spirit of generosity.” I stop at Le Lude, another of Franschhoek’s to the town’s food heritage. is is the
top producers, where the elegance of its utes home of Foliage, Protégé restaurant, Le
and bubbles is re ected in the high-ceilinged Coin Français, La Petite Colombe, and
tasting room and Parisian décor. e tone is Chef ’s Warehouse at Maison with culinary
muted; French accordion music plays over the heavyweights, like Chris Erasmus,
speakers. ere’s a glass oor panel looking



PICTURES: SUPPLIED The Five stellar bubbly producers
Cap Classique & Boschendal
Champagne Festival
takes place on the weekend Book a tasting at one of the most celebrated wine
of 30 November. estates in the country – and the original home of Mzansi- produced MCC. The estate also offers exceptional
restaurants, including the gracious Die Werf overlooking
Darren Badenhorst, Scot Kirton and Liam the farm’s own edible garden. You can book picnics,
Tomlin, all invested. New on the scene is Fritz spend a night or two in one of the glam cottages, and
Schoon’s bakery café, the Hey Joe Brewery, explore the estate by bike or on foot. Plus, there are
and Leeu Estates’ Le Chêne restaurant. cellar tours, so you can see what 300 years of heritage looks like, horseback rides, a spa, and
The Tree House, an educational, activity-based centre for children.
But it’s not all about food and wine. On
the art front, Franschhoek is awash with Plaisir de Merle
wonderful collections. Many are in private
hands and go on display occasionally as part Originally known as Le Plessis Marly, after the hometown of
of the town’s dedicated art route. e most founder Charles Marais who fled France in 1687, the modern
prominent can be seen at wine estates such name means “Pleasure of the Blackbird”. Marais, as it turns
as Holden Manz, Leeu, Grande Provence out was one of a few French settlers in the Cape who
and La Motte. e latter celebrates its 50th knew about winemaking, so the tradition at this estate in
anniversary under Rupert family ownership Simondium is strong. Since 1993, winemaker Niel Bester
next year. It’s here that I take co ee under has been making the most of the estate’s diverse terroir; his
large oak trees and then browse the works of classic French-style Grand Brut MCC is a blend of Pinot Noir
JH Pierneef – the largest private collection and Chardonnay, fermented in the bottle for around 24 months.
on display, now adjoined with a temporary
exhibition of work by MJ Lourens. Among
its other attractions, the farm hosts classical Dieu Donné
music performances and historic walks.
You can get there without too much effort by
Later, I set o for another historic winery. hopping aboard the Valley’s wine tram – it’ll take
ere’s generally a rush on Dieu Donné for you to this historic estate (once called Uitkyk) on the
sundowners, 30 minutes before closing. is steep southwest-facing slopes of the Franschhoek
a ernoon, the sun is warm and a cool breeze Mountains. Here, the cool climate combines with the
strokes the leaves of the vines nearby. e day rocky soils of weathered granite to create a unique
is done; little else is possible except to re ect terroir. Winemaker Gregory Siebrits uses the resulting
and dri away. ere’s a familiar pop of cork grapes to produce two gorgeous bubblies – a Brut
at another table and Nick Davies’ musings on Rosé (2017) and an MCC Blanc de Blancs (2016).
MCC return. Bubbly is a shared experience,
whether from the bottle or the joy that’s to
be had simply from hearing that familiar Pongrácz
celebratory sound. ▪
The grapes come from the coastal region – winemaker Elunda
Basson uses only the best hand-selected Pinot Noir and
Chardonnay grapes to produce one of the country’s most
distinctive and adored MCCs. Latest in the range is the Pongrácz
Noble Nectar, a medium-sweet bubbly that pays homage to a
style of sweeter Champagne that was popular among aristocrats
in the 19th century. It comes in a beautiful purple-hued bottle that
will light up hearts this festive season.

Tanzanite Wines

Devoted to creating a uniquely South African MCC,
Melanie van der Merwe has been making wine since
1995. For most of those years, she has specialised
in bubbly and spent several vintages working on
prestigious estates in the Champagne region, honing
her craft. You can taste the skill – and the passion – in
her Brut and Brut Rosé, produced from Chardonnay
and Pinot Noir grapes grown primarily in the Robertson


Elephants drink it, hippos
live in it. Pleasure boats skim
its surface and citizens rely
on its life-giving flow. The
mighty Zambezi is a force to
be reckoned with, discovers
Janine Stephen



Toka Leya has
12 generous safari-style
tented suites strung out along
the Zambezi and offers that
effortless Wilderness Safaris service.
A glassed-in gym has the best ever
views, and there’s a spa and pool.
Activities include rhino walks,

sunset cruises and
Vic Falls visits.

T he Zambezi River cuts through malarial mosquitoes. Few escape the street All of which made the breath catch in
the dehydrated land like blue steel vendors, who politely offer tourists copper my throat as I approached the mystical
through biltong. The rains have not bangles or small, carved charms of the Nyami Victoria Falls for the first time. I was
yet come; the bush along the M10 Nyami, god of the Zambezi. A local told me expecting the enormous beauty of the falls,
is rusk-dry, shades of stone and that belief in the serpent-bodied, fish-headed the overwhelming scale of its 1 700m-long
camouflage. The driver turns up the aircon and deity was cemented during the construction curtain. But the sheer volumes of water,
turns off at the signpost to Wilderness Safaris’ of Kariba Dam in the 1950s when the dam cut spooling in joyous freefall as spray rained
Toka Leya lodge. In no time, we’re in the shade off the male spirit from its female companion. down, and blew up and sideways, drenching
of a hazy green oasis, watching the Zambezi In wrath, the god sent floods. The past decade, anyone without a poncho? Over 500
coil lazily by. however, has seen more drought than floods million litres per minute during high water,
and another dam due to start construction sometimes more; all that liquid, in heavenly
Just 12km further downstream, this, the in 2020 is set to cause the river god (and the excess, in a thirsty land.
fourth largest river in Africa, pours itself environment) further woe.
over the mighty lip of the Victoria Falls and I went back to the falls with a Toka Leya
crashes 108m down to the Boiling Pot and By the time I bunkered down at Toka Leya, guide as rainbows danced around the cascade.
Batoka Gorge. Yet here, upstream, the river is I’d spoken to many people who’d shaken their We got properly wet crossing Knife Edge
a winking expanse, dotted with hippo pods and heads over the missing rains. The river was Bridge and tracing the paths on the knuckle of
forested islands. A sunset cruise, is a languorous much lower than usual for the time of year. land on the other side. The rainforest (actually,
introduction to the river’s marvels. Elephant The heavily protected rhino in the park were “spray” forest) harbours turacos and wailing
and other game sometimes frequent the banks getting extra fodder; hydropower production trumpeter hornbills and remarkable views of
to hose up precious water and bee-eaters was down. Inland, I’d seen village women and the Boiling Pot and 1905 bridge that crosses to
hawk insects as we putter by. I’m oblivious to men loading oxcarts with water pumped from Zimbabwe. The splendour is seasonal: by the
the power of the water below until we come rare boreholes. Times were going to be hard end of the dry season, there can be no water
across a boat with a stalled engine, being pulled for anyone who relied on the land. When falling over the sheets of rock on the eastern,
inexorably downstream. It takes real effort to crops failed people would be more than Zambian side of the falls; whereas at high
drag the craft back to the safety of the bank. usually dependent on wild fruit and foods, water, the spray can obliterate views. Then,
such as monkey oranges, mongongo nuts and the best thing to do is take to a microlight
Livingstone was built on a rise 10km inland sour plums. and fly over the chasm, straight through
from the famous waterfall in efforts to escape



You can trust The shape of water
Safpar to get you
through the Batoka Gorge Other watery wonders to visit:
in one piece. Half-day and The Pantanal in Brazil, Bolivia
full-day rafting experiences and Paraguay
are offered, with longer This 42 million acre wetland, crisscrossed
specialised trips an by 1 200 rivers and streams is home to
option. the largest concentration of jaguar on
the planet – and 4 700 other plant and
spray dubbed the Angel’s Kiss. A microlight waterberries, which guard the river bank and animal species. Yet 12% of its forest cover PICTURES: KEITH BAIN, SAFPAR, WILDERNESS SAFARIS
pilot tells me passengers cry, and sing – and prevent erosion. has already been shaved away, over 40
sometimes, find God. dams constructed in the headwaters, and
Wilderness has planted over 16 000 trees ranchers are advancing, endangering this,
Back at Toka Leya, the sense of refuge was all around the lodge, in the Mosi-oa-Tunya park, the largest freshwater “sponge” on earth.
the stronger. Although it’s in a small national and in the community, slowly rehabilitating
park called Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that denuded earth. The figure also includes trees Coral reefs in the Seychelles
Thunders, the same name locals bestow on donated to Greenpop to plant in Dambwa Corals are threatened by bleaching,
Vic Falls), the wider Zambian environment Forest. Schoolkids on Wilderness educational thanks to warmer water, plus rising acidity,
shows signs of strain. Deforestation is an programmes sometimes help, as do staff but now research suggests that even
issue, and temperatures and water scarcity are and Toka Leya guests: I dropped a sturdy sunscreen hurts. A 2016 study found
expected to increase in the Zambezi Basin. jackalberry into a pre-dug hole in the Zambian Benzophenone-3 is toxic to young corals
So my back-of-house tour of Toka Leya earth. Long may it grow. (there’s some controversy as to what
took on extra importance. John Yombwe, damage various ingredients can cause).
32, once worked on construction and then “I feel like I am a creator,” says John. “You “Reef-safe” sunscreen is available in the
maintenance at the lodge. We began talking, see the trees grow, birds appear, people eating Seychelles, and some single-use plastics
rather awkwardly, about human waste and the fruits, elephants… it makes me feel happy. are banned.
septic tanks, and moved on to the intricacies It’s about fighting global climate change. We
of bioreactors, anaerobic bacteria and settling used to have rains in October and now they’re The Okavango Delta, Botswana
tanks. Toka Leya relies on the Zambezi for all coming in January. By 2040, we don’t know From the International Space Station, the
the camp’s water, but treats every drop of grey what will happen... [That’s why] the sound of Okavango looks like a fragile dandelion
water without chemicals. Pure again, the water the river, the mighty Zambezi, is special. Once seed, with the fluff the channels and
is released back into the environment. This I hear the water flowing, I know there is life. the stem the mighty river that feeds
allows the luxury of occasionally watering the Water is life.” the system. It supports 2 000 species,
area around the lodge – making it an oasis for including people (150 000 live here), wild
every bird and bushbuck in the vicinity. The Towards the end of my time in Livingstone, I dog, and giant ground pangolins. Its high-
water also feeds John’s many “children”: the found myself below the crashing falls, enclosed end lodges are highly desirable escapes
indigenous trees in the nursery. by the black basalt walls of Batoka Gorge. All and some employ green technology to
that water from the upper Zambezi charges help minimise, for example, the transport
“Welcome to my beautiful paradise,” John through this channel, making for top-class of diesel, which easily pollutes water.
says as we enter the potting shed, in which white water rafting. We’d churned through the Larger threats include talk of dams
baby trees unfurl new leaves and stretch up. Terminator and Oblivion rapids, paddling and and water abstraction for industry and
John learned about plants from his colleague, laughing. But at rapid #24, Safpar guide Melvin farmland, plus changing rainfall patterns.
Donald Lisama, “the moving library”. At Ndelewa suggested jumping out of the raft.
quiet times, the duo visits islands on the river And so we did. Lake District, England
and even sifts through animal dung and bird This impossibly picturesque landscape,
droppings to collect tree seeds. They have The Zambezi grabbed me as if it was a living once home to Beatrix Potter, boasts
learned tricks: pierce hard baobab seeds to being and I a mere chew toy. Buffeted by the lakes, rivers, tarns and 42 kilometres
speed up germination; sow light leadwood tug and tussle of the water, slapped by waves of coastline – plus 19 million tourists,
seeds on gravel so they don’t rot. John shows and wonder, we shot downstream, past the who visit the National Park annually.
me Natal mahogany, valuable African rocks, carried by pure howling, anarchic force. George Monbiot has called the area
mangosteens (“Bob Marley trees” because Back in the boat, I shook the roaring water “sheepwrecked”: erosion caused by
they sport figs on “dreadlock” stems), and from my ears in awe. It was transformative: farming is silting up the famous lakes.
a once-in-a-lifetime awakening. I felt scrubbed Efforts to restore Bassenwaithe Lake are
clean, inside and out. ▪ focusing on tree-planting and minimising
pollution from fertiliser run-off and sewage.



thBeeyobndlue lagoon

Mauritius may be sold as just another string of paradisiacal coves with warm waters to swim in

and white beaches to loll on. But dig a little deeper and you discover a spectacularly rich and
diverse island with plenty to do between sessions in the sun and surf, as Keith Bain discovers

B eaches? Mauritius has them of Creole and Indian and French heritage crisscrossing the forested hills. You can hike
and they’re just as pretty as the makes for a unique diversity – whether you’re for hours without spotting another soul, but
brochures suggest. But, despite the bumping into evidence of the island’s rich you’ll score more with a guide to help identify
hype about the island’s signi cant spirituality, or tasting its spicy fusion cuisine, avian curiosities such as echo parakeets and
beauty and its hackneyed image as there are always curious discoveries. white-tailed tropicbirds.
a purveyor of vitamin D, its allure runs deeper.
ere are wild and raw coastal stretches, DIVE IN CAPITAL GAINS
too – much of the south consists of craggy
basalt-black rock face continuously beaten by Book a snorkelling trip from Tamarin Bay or Port Louis tra c is a bastard, so walking tours
erce waves. A volcanic remnant, Mauritius is Black River. Each morning pods of spinner and are a godsend – meet your guide from my
studded with the silhouettes of craggy peaks, bottlenose dolphin play in the bay – they’re Moris ( for a food-focused, on-
some seemingly vertiginous, some punctuated there long enough for you to jump in the water foot adventure that dips into the city’s history
with waterfalls and covered in lush vegetation. and bond with them. By 8:30am, most dolphin and back alleys, ancient spice warehouses and
While its warm waters shelter shark-free swims are over, so grab breakfast-to-go, and hole-in-the-wall sweet shops. Skip breakfast
playgrounds with coral reefs and gnarly set o for the verdant rainforests of Black because you’ll be tucking into Mauritian
waves, its towns and villages are home to River Gorges National Park. e park shelters street food, starting with deep-fried chilli
cosmopolitan communities where the mix oversized ferns, intricate lichens, wild boar, cakes and Indian-style “crêpes” stu ed with
macaques, and around 50km of hiking trails spicy vegetables. Walks culminate behind




the wrought iron gates of the Victorian-era L’Escale, at Labourdonnais Waterfront fruits grown in the nearby orchard are used to
market, where you’ll nd unusual-looking Hotel, is a smart restaurant serving prepare delicacies such as palm heart salad and
varieties of familiar fruits – plus vegetables a variety of ice-creams and sorbets. Pause at the
you’ll need to ask the names of. avoursome Creole dishes. For a more adjacent rum bar for tastings of the estate’s sip-
down-to-earth atmosphere, head to Lambic, worthy potions, infused with ingredients grown
For more conventional shopping, Le a popular gastropub in an old colonial house on its 50 hectares of cultivated land.
Caudan Waterfront has over 150 stores serving roasted wild boar, game from the Black
selling everything from pareos (sarongs), local River region, fresh sh, and Flying Dodo beers Alternatively, settle in for the three-course
artworks, and essential oils to Indian textiles, from its microbrewery. Creole lunch at good value Chez Tante
handmade jewellery and duty-free designer Athalie, set on an old sugar plantation
clothing. Seek out the island’s biggest little SWEET GARDENS 10 minutes away from Pamplemousses. When
treasures – a duo of tiny stamps – at the Blue you’ve had your ll of spiced seafood and
Penny Museum. Among the world’s rarest, Ten minutes north of the capital, scented curries, explore its motley collection of
the red one-penny and blue two-pence stamps Pamplemousses houses the oldest botanical vintage cars posing between the fruit trees.
were issued in 1847 and are said to be the garden in the southern hemisphere, the
island’s two most valuable objects. Aapravasi 62 000-acre Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam HEAD FOR THE HILLS
Ghat is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Botanical Gardens. Hire a guide to show you
commemorating the place where the island’s the most curious of its 650 varieties of plants, Treks up the brooding edi ce of nearby
indentured labourers arrived from India. And, including the gargantuan Victoria amazonica Le Morne Brabant start easily enough, but
in the city, a few minutes away, the Natural water lilies, whose leaves achieve three-metre ultimately demand a bit of scrambling and
History Museum has all kinds of animal diameters. ere are tortoises and stags, and a decent pair of hiking shoes to make it to the
displays – including two dodo skeletons. wondrously tall talipots, palm trees that ower highest permissible point – for conservation
only once – when they’re 60 or even 80 years reasons you can’t go all the way to the summit
If it’s a Saturday, change into something old – and then die. at 555 metres. You’ll also require a guide
sophisticated and head to Port Louis Champs (a good option is Yanature; trekkingmauritius.
de Mars Racecourse for an entertaining Nearby, L’Aventure du Sucre is dedicated to com), who’ll arrange permits and unravel
a ernoon. e second-oldest racecourse on the history of the island’s economic mainstay, precisely why the craggy mountain’s ecosystem
earth, its atmosphere is thrillingly unique. sugar. e fascinating self-guided tour details earned World Heritage status. Plus you’ll hear
Visitors can reserve space in one of the VIP slavery and its abolition, as well as the arrival of about runaway slaves who sought refuge on its
“lodges” (such as the Crown Lodge; crown- Indian indentured labourers, and there are sugar summit and jumped to their deaths in the face where you’re plied with snacks and and rum tastings in the shop at the end. of discovery. e sti climb culminates with
drinks and special privileges. Racing season scintillating views across Le Morne’s tranquil
runs March to December, with 10 000-odd Minutes away, at Domaine de bay where you’ll spot plucky kite-surfers and
eager spectators on weekend race days – even if Labourdonnais, start with a tour of the lovingly wave-riders making the most of a gnarly surf
you don’t bet, you’ll have a rollicking great time. restored 19th-century colonial mansion spot called “One Eye”.
modelled on Versailles and then have a lavish
lunch at Le Table de Château where exotic




of the water. Alternatively, wait till you return
Pack bathing suits for a post-hike dip in The island is inundated with resorts, to the mainland and enjoy late-lunch or early
the sea, then head inland for a walkabout at from the sensuous and serene dinner at family-owned Chez Tino’s in Trou
Rhumerie de Chamarel, an artisanal distillery Oberoi  ( to the d’Eau Douce – try the irresistible and authentic
producing oak-matured rum that’s comparable more “curated”, millennial-geared feel Creole-Mauritian paella.
to cognac. Guided tours nish with swigs of of LUX* Le Morne (luxislandresorts.
the good stu , a er which you could settle in com), or its sibling in Grand Gaube, a Ground yourself and take the marked hike
at L’Alchimiste, its chic restaurant, or head to quiet fishing village near the buzz of through the lush rainforest-like gardens at the
the simple, family-run, totally lovely Palais Grand Baie. very beautiful La Vallée de Ferney, a declared
de Barbizon, where you’re welcomed by 200-hectare sanctuary where rare trees, plants
Chamarel’s beloved Rico I’Intelligent. He runs Skip the full-blown resort and birds are protected.
front of house while his wife coaxes avours experience and opt for the eco-tents
from handed-down recipes, and another at Otentic  (, which On the tiny coral Ile aux Aigrettes (Egret
family member takes your order. offers such activities as kite-surfing, Island), accessed from Pointe Jérôme near
canoeing and reef snorkelling, and Mahébourg, you can get a glimpse of Mauritius
A er lunch, head for Grand Bassin, an off-grid (no phone reception, solar as it was before colonists began replacing
a volcanic lake that’s among the island’s most power) hilltop annexe with sweeping indigenous ora with farmlands. e entire
sacred Hindu sites, presided over by views and vegetarian menu. islet is a protected reserve sheltering ornate
a 33m-high e gy of Shiva and fringed by day geckos, Aldabran giant tortoises from
a temple where priests perform blessings for Unique, too, is Bubble Lodge  Seychelles, Telfair’s skinks, and Mauritius
small donations (and monkeys steal edible ( – literally a kestrels, once the world’s most endangered bird.
o erings made to the deities). translucent luxury bubble-shaped tent
on a tea estate in Cap Malheureux. Mahébourg, where the Dutch landed in
SAVOUR THE SOUTH 1598, has loads of character. Rustic restaurants
originally built in 1819 from the timber of with faded façades beckon while stalls at
It’s a spectacular winding drive along the south demolished ships. In 1970, it was disassembled the markets ply local delicacies and just-cut
coast between Baie du Cap and Souillac, and moved, piece by piece, to its current pineapples. You can watch kite-surfers gunning
where breaks in the reef that otherwise encircle location. It’s now a restaurant serving Creole it across the bay where the British and French
Mauritius permit the surf to build ferociously chicken and smoked marlin salad and you once battled for possession of the island.
and then bash against the mainland. Outside can sip on the estate’s artisanal rums in the
Souillac, stop at windswept Gris Gris for a tasting room. Saint Aubin’s neighbour is Bois From Mahébourg, it’s just 10 minutes to
dramatic view – walks along the cli above Cheri, the island’s largest tea plantation that the airport, which means the former capital
the surf-sculpted volcanic black rock shoreline has a restaurant overlooking a crater lake. might be a useful nal port of call. en
are exhilarating. Pop into the factory to see how the leaves are again, nowhere on the island is very far from
air-dried and fermented before witnessing how anywhere else – it’s about an hour from one
North of Souillac, on a sugarcane estate, astonishingly intricate (and ancient) machines end to the other, so never a need to feel like
Le Saint Aubin is an old colonial residence you’re in a rush. ▪
ll tiny teabags, individually adding tags before
boxing them in a matter of seconds.


For a truly lazy day, join a catamaran day trip to
Ile aux Cerfs, the “Island of Stags” o the rugged
east coast. Typically, you’ll snorkel above coral
beds, have a chance to parasail from moored,
mobile jetties, and spend time sunbathing
on a beach. If possible, linger for lunch at La
Chaumière Masala, beneath an ancient Banyan
tree – its simple Indian thalis are served in open-
sided thatched cabanas on stilts so you get views




Dawn is breaking on Sandton’s gemstone age, writes Mart-Marié du Toit

T he rst residents of Sandton – around 30 000 years ago – compact, contained, tra c-free, and pedestrian-friendly, and
were Stone-Agers, presumably lling their days by hunting would pursue some form of good densi cation that would
and foraging. ey settled on the granite outcrops of maintain the character of the area.”
Lonehill, Witkoppen and Norscot Koppies with no idea that
skyscrapers would one day take over the landscape. In the late 1960s, developers Rapp & Maister took the rst step
In 1926, Johannesburg celebrated its 40th birthday. It was hailed as towards transforming Sandton into a business district that could
a world city with a sophisticated CBD. In the decades that followed, contend on a worldwide platform. ey started groundwork on
the in ux of investment into Jo’burg made it the prime location for Sandton City in the early 1970s and opened for trade in 1974. e
doing business. en someone decided to build a mall and o ce threat to Jo’burg’s CBD turned out to be real and marked the
tower in a veld in an unknown suburb called Sandton. What was
once known as the mink-and-manure-belt, due to the “horsey”
lifestyle of its residents, quickly became a sought-a er
postcode for businesses to call home. According to Miriam
Maina, PhD candidate at the School of Architecture and
Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, “the rst town
council faced some opposition from residents who viewed
plans to create and develop a CBD in Sandton as having
potential to compromise the area’s character. Planners at
the time sought to assure residents that the CBD would be




ARE EVERYWHERE.” – Alexander Forsyth-Thompson

beginning of the end for the lively inner in Jo’burg and Sandton is one of them. I think to mind. Its head o ce stands out in the
city. Forty-odd years later, Sandton (now people feed o each other’s buzz here. e Sandton skyline like a shiny new engagement
incorporating Parkmore, Morningside, big companies are all here – and everyone’s ring with its ve-star rating from the Green
Sandhurst, Chislehurston, Wierda Valley, so driven – the subculture of entrepreneurs Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
Atholl, Simba and Barlow Park) is still going with small businesses and start-ups feed o In such a densely populated city-within-a-city,
strong, with a total 2 053 288 square metres of of that.” green initiatives matter, and the developers
built o ce space, of which 1 649 227 square included optimally-designed energy-e cient
metres is occupied. According to William Forsyth- ompson adds that, “if you’re lighting, grey and rainwater harvesting
Harris of the data-powerhouse Gmaven, if the willing to work at it”, start-ups ourish systems, carbon monoxide monitoring in the
average o ce occupancy is 15 square metres here, thanks to “exceptional network basement and the sparkling, curved façade
per person, we’re looking at an estimated opportunities”. You just have to be seen at draws in light, which is critical to heat control.
110 000 o ce workers commuting to and the right places and talk to the right people, Green building is the future and many
from the Sandton CBD daily. he says. And the evidence is all around, most others, like the Sasol and Discovery head
overtly in the proliferation of “new buildings o ces, are seen as the “largest green building
Fintech entrepreneur and strategy that are popping up all the time”. developments in Africa,” says Maina. e
consultant Alexander Forsyth- ompson mixed-use precinct that combines city living
says Sandton is a gem of a destination, “you Speaking of new buildings, the with the bene ts of suburban life, Sandton
have these little pockets of trendy brilliance Growthpoint building that Discovery rents
for roughly R23-million a month springs





Gate, is directly adjacent to the Braamfontein and beyond, hopefully encouraging reduced marketing and leasing director at Abland
Spruit, one of Jo’burg’s longest natural reliance on cars, says Maina. agrees: “Cycling at the spruit, which sits right
greenbelts, which o ers enormous advantages at the entrance of Sandton Gate Precinct, is
for sustainable urban development. With seriously big operators – Investec, the very popular. People love the green spaces
IDC, the JSE, Webber Wentzel, PRIMEDIA, dotted around Sandton.”
There is still some work to do as IBM, EY and the like – entrenched in
the node faces many issues that go Sandton, it is no wonder that we think of the For a bit of glitz, head out to rub shoulders
against the green vein. One of the main area as an all-work-no-play-precinct. But with the business crowd and have a drink
challenges currently facing the node the perception is wrong. Entrepreneurs who at one of the swanky hotel bars dotted
is traffic congestion – this would have experience Sandton daily say it’s incredibly around town – the view from the San Deck
to be addressed to ensure long-term social, too. at Sandton Sun will show o a glittering
sustainability in the district. More Sandton and is a favourite among the local
recently, investments in public transport “Sandton has some great restaurants, bars crowd. e high-voltage smiles all around
infrastructure and integration systems, and pubs where you can go to relax,” says the restaurants at e Marc, the R2.6-billion
bringing together the Gautrain, the BRT Forsyth- ompson. “We also play a lot of development completed in March, will draw
and potentially, taxis, also have the potential golf, because we have so many clubs around you in and show you how to mix this cocktail
to improve linkage at a metropolitan level the edges of Sandton. e cycling culture of work, play, networking and buzz. ▪
is also massive here.” Grant Silverman,


If you don’t mind being a bit beyond the action,
head just north of Sandton, to the Indaba Hotel,
Spa and Conference Centre in Fourways.
With its scenic proximity to the Magaliesberg
Mountains, you feel as though you’re out in the
countryside, but with plentiful conveniences and
comforts (such as the Mowana Spa) at hand –
especially useful if you need to arrange meetings,
seminars or conference-scale gatherings (as
many as 2 000 delegates can be accommodated
across 24 venues). There are 260 guest rooms,
two restaurants and a gin school, plus there’s
the added convenience of being just 15 minutes
from Lanseria, Jo’burg’s smaller, quicker second


taBusch tics There are times when heading for the
space, silence and wisdom nature
offers is the best business decision an
executive can make. Briefcase in hand,
Janine Stephen heads for the bundus

W aves wash the stretch of sunset Parliament on 2 February 1990 and gave his transformation. All of which points to how
pink sand. ere’s the lap, lap, “Quantum Leap” speech, in which he nally looking for solutions away from the usual
lap of moon-driven water unbanned the ANC and other parties and pomp, ceremony and hierarchies of the
and the skin-prickling cry of announced Nelson Mandela’s release. working world can be a wise decision.
a curlew in the dusk – and
perhaps the clink of the former president’s Mandela, in turn, headed to Londolozi Taking colleagues on eco-escapes to
whisky glass, set on stone. It’s going to be a long three months a er his release and spent time strategise, shi gears and build connections
night; speeches like this don’t write themselves there, gathering himself to face the demands impossible to contemplate in a boardroom
and there’s much to be decided before the of leadership. (Boyd Varty, then seven, can have obvious bene ts. Safari entrepreneur
whirling heavens turn to light and it’s time to describes family memories about Mandela’s Colin Bell, co-founder of Natural Selection –
return to the city. visits in his book Cathedral of the Wild, which has just opened a formidably beautiful
including the time the president had to get getaway for families and business people on
“I had long inward discussions with back to Codesa talks urgently a er the right- the site of FW’s old country retreat – says
myself,” former president FW de Klerk told wing rammed a Viper through the windows that nature has an extraordinary ability to
a documentary-maker about that time at of the negotiation venue). “clear clutter” and open up the space for
his retreat, Lekkerwater, in lonely De Hoop. good business decisions. “You’re taking
Something crystallised there in that lovely De Klerk also took his MPs to D’Nyala, everybody out of their comfort zones and
place of whales. De Klerk went back to a government-owned game reserve, to “test” into environments that are stimulating,
their taste for change in December 1989. He’d invigorating, beautiful,” Bell says. “ ere’s
already taken Margaret atcher to Mala this extraordinary ability to communicate on
Mala to discuss his ideas about constitutional a di erent level. Your creative juices start to

ow and your results and strategies are so
much more di erent and powerful.”





1 Eco-destinations 3
A story about using nature to aid business to note locations for senior partner team building,
or strategy development.
dates back to when he was a CEO of another 1. Lekkerwater Beach Lodge,
safari company and the 9/11 attacks had just De Hoop. Meetings can be “held on a “Road warriors have high expectations and
taken place in the US. “We took eight of our remote beach away from everybody, want to not worry about logistics and what
top people canoeing in Mana Pools,” Bell or in an ancient cave inhabited by our they eat,” says Beardsley. “ e quality of the
says. Part of the aim was to break with the ancestors 100 000 years ago. It puts service, lodging and personnel is outstanding.
oppressive news environment. “ e second a totally different context on things”.
part was to come up with a strategy around e settings provide detachment from the
how to come out of that terrible period and day-to-day grind, allowing colleagues to
handle the new world that was about to hit us. 2. Phinda, northern KZN. Mountain truly be together and focused. e adventure
We’d never have been able to do that if we’d all Lodge has facilities for 30 delegates. component – seeing cheetah running at full
sat around a table in the city somewhere.” speed, or lions hunting bu alo at sunset – also
provides memories for a lifetime. As such,
Business to wilderness takes many forms. 3. Nambiti Game Reserve has eco-destinations are very special and have
ere are more extreme versions, such nine lodges; some with conferencing an impact on multiple levels. You can have
as Bear Grylls survival-style camps. But facilities. incredible adventures, yet build a team and get
holding conferences, incentive breaks or business done.”
team-building events in precious natural you want to sell something to someone,
places can turn work into play. South sell it to them in the bush”. At a less luxurious level, Hammer Live
African lodges, from top-end Phinda in Brands, an agency with clients ranging from
northern KwaZulu-Natal to luxury options Bush experiences can also teach life and Burger King to Sanlam, recently took a team
like Kapama near the Kruger National Park, leadership lessons, and top-end specialists to a remote spot in Bainskloof before an
provide meeting rooms and conference o er focused experiences. e Lead with intense patch of work. “ ere’s a unifying force
facilities. Kapama has hosted doctors Humanity Network o ers seven-day, in nature,” says MD Howard Ross-Simms.
on tour, corporate incentive groups, and multidimensional leadership development Getting away from the “synthetic sense of
product launches; Nambiti in KZN has experiences that include time in a top connection” created by technology and back to
spoiled senior management teams on private reserve (Phinda again); core clients a more basic lifestyle “immediately forces us to
incentive trips, ophthalmic surgeon groups, are international business schools. And slow down and be more mindful and examine
nancial and insurance groups and car Boyd Varty’s immersive Track Your Life the connections with the people around us.”
dealerships. “If you take people to the bush, retreats explore such lessons as following Escaping to nature also ts within the larger
they open up,” says Nambiti chairperson one’s own path. Speaking in a podcast, company ethos. Its teams are task-oriented and
Clarke Smith. “It wakes up the senses. It he’s described how watching wild dogs go not permanently o ce-bound, but executing
allows people to have their eyes opened to from bonding (“the bond is primary”) to projects is very demanding. Eco-getaways
possibilities, to think more holistically. It’s playfully moving through the bush alert bond teams in invaluable ways – something
no longer about your o ce, or your piece to possibilities and to full attention during that Ross-Simms believes “can be as important
of paper. By reawakening your natural the hunt, can, for example, teach one much as the strategy that comes out of the event.
pathways and instincts, people reconnect about achieving objectives.
with what’s meaningful.” Also, he adds, “if “You can’t build a business if you’re just
A former senior partner at a European sitting in a cement building,” he says. “It doesn’t
management consulting rm and current work that way anymore.” ▪
dean of a business school in the US, Scott
Beardsley travels regularly to destinations
such as Phinda, Londolozi, Serengeti
under Canvas, and Ngala for business and
leisure. On holiday, he nds such safaris “an
incredible source of renewal and personal
rejuvenation”. On business, they’re excellent



Shadow play

Now’s a fine time to catch the work of one of the world’s most prolific artists. The undisputed master,
William Kentridge, is on show in a dual exhibition so vast it straddles Cape Town’s two biggest galleries

W illiam Kentridge is probably “not out of a clarity of thought,” he says, dimensional shape. Many he says were
the biggest artist in South “but out of a mixture of things.” cra ed to create a shadow or silhouette,
Africa today. Whether that’s Which is possibly why he compares his to give shape or form or substance to
something measured in studio in his home garden in Johannesburg to something immaterial. ese objects
the purchase price placed a kitchen, with himself as a kind of pressure have never really been looked at properly
on his work or the esteem in which its held cooker – the instrument that blends all the as sculpted works – they exist along
is uncertain. Perhaps it’s simply because his various ingredients and inputs to produce with objects such as puppets or gigantic
output is vast and straddles many mediums. whatever the work ends up being. machine-like contraptions or props
He seems at home in so many creative arenas “All things can come in to the studio,” he designed to be a part of a theatre set.
– one moment he’s staging an opera featuring says, “and, whether those things are news For the rst time, however, in an exhibition
his charcoal animations as projected backdrops reports, archival material, photographic entitled Why Should I Hesitate:
while life-size puppets stalk the stage, and records of events, dreams, thoughts, Sculpture, such objects have
the next there’ll be back-to-back exhibitions novels, or poems, they all been assembled for closer
of his work in successive galleries around have equal status in the observation in a showing
the world. He is fuelled by personal passion, studio in terms of being Catch Why Should of three-dimensional WORDS: KEITH BAIN, PICTURES: STELLA OLIVER, DAVE SOUTHWOOD
deep curiosity, and a relentless compulsion I Hesitate: Sculpture at
to work. Kentridge manipulates and bends
time, weaving the process of creation – traces raw material for a new Norval Foundation in Tokai work created by
of the labour of making the work – into the drawing or lm.” until 23 March 2020. Showing Kentridge over the
fabric of the work itself. is he does while simultaneously at Zeitz MOCAA,
channelling countless strands – particles of
history, inspiration and imagination – that He says that drawing Cape Town’s other big gallery, is past 19 years.
re ect his interests and hold a mirror up to is inevitably the starting Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Showing at Norval
the real world. point for any project. “It’s
a way of thinking aloud. Drawings To Work, which Foundation in Cape
In his work, he borrows, he references, he I rely on the process of focuses on Kentridge’s Town, it includes opera
alludes to a vast universe of existing artworks drawing practice. props, kinetic sculptures,
and artists, con rming again his passion for
art that has “bastard origins”; work that comes

drawing to generate thoughts, objects made for his
which may end up as charcoal animations, and new work tailor-
drawings or as sculptures or tapestries or made for the exhibition. It is a chance to
lms or pieces of theatre.” examine this artist’s creative legacy in a whole
Out of this process of thinking aloud new way, to discover more reasons to call him
have come many objects with three- our greatest living artist. ▪


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