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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Get your work-life balance in place and win a copy of Legendary Safari Guides by Susie Cazenove

Legendary Safari GuidesWork-life balance is an ongoing challenge. In this ever more pressured age, the tensions arise as we inhabit our technology infused days but yearn to view the starry night sky from the wilds of nature.

The challenges of managing time and space, work and leisure, are explored by Wayne Windell in the February issue of The Catalyst.

Small business entrepreneurs are particularly challenged to accommodate both their own and their staff’s needs in the arena of work-life balance.

If you find that you spend most of your time working, and tend to feel overwhelmed by duties and responsibilities, it is recommended that you reserve time for your family, friends and yourself when you plan your day or week. Dedicating daily time to fun and relaxation will lower the production of additional stress hormones, which give rise to poor mental and physical wellbeing.

The Catalyst is giving away three copies of Legendary Safari Guides by Susie Cazenove, because even if you can’t go on safari this week or next, you can probably claim an hour or two for reading about it.

Armchair travellers will delight in this book, which Travel Africa editor, Craig Rix, describes as “wonderful”.

To stand a chance of winning one of three copies, all you have to do is subscribe to The Catalyst and share their post on your social media.

The deadline for entries is 29 February, 2016.

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Braai, Banter and Beer – It’s Almost Time for the National Braai Tour with Jan Braai

National Braai Tour Map

FireworksRed HotThe Democratic Republic of BraaiEight days on the road travelling through some of South Africa’s most stunning scenery; every morning, afternoon and night a braai and good banter with tasks centred around the glorious heritage of this beloved country, all wrapped in more braais than you can fit into a potjie and dipped in the mouth-watering sauces that flame-grilled meat leaves behind on a plate.

No, it’s not a dream, it’s Jan Braai’s second annual National Braai Tour and it all lights up on September 12 this year.

Jan developed the National Braai Tour idea as a way to show off parts of South Africa that are both culturally significant, off the beaten track and a joy to visit. “We have so many places to see in South Africa, but everyone can’t always get to them all,” says Braai. “The National Braai Tour attempts to solve that by connecting South Africans with some of our most interesting heritage sites over the course of a week.” The motto for the week is very simple “Unite around a fire, share our heritage and wave our flag”.

Last year participants visited the likes of Golden Gate National Park, the Gariep Dam, Addo Elephant National Park and Bontebok National Park before finishing in Cape Town. Along the way they were encouraged to complete tasks that opened their eyes to the cultural importance of the areas, all while carrying their giant South African flags. “I think we have the most beautiful flag in the world,” says Braai, “and I want to see South Africans having pride in it.” The first National Braai Tour was such a hit that entries for this year’s event were sold out in less than a week.

For the 2015 National Braai Tour, participants will start with a night under the stars in Bloemfontein, before moving on to Kimberley and a guided tour of the Big Hole. “Everyone in South Africa knows about the Big Hole, but how many people have actually been there?” says Braai.

From Kimberley the #braaitour moves to Upington, where participants will visit the Donkey Memorial at the Kalahari-Oranje Museum, a monument to the humble donkey and the role it played in the development of the area. Next it’s on to the Augrabies Falls National Park and a visit to the falls as well as the Oranjekom Lookout Point, where visitors can best view the massive gorge (“Our answer to the Grand Canyon!” says Braai) as well as the wildlife that inhabits that particular area.

After a day of rest in Augrabies, the Tour moves through the Namaqualand area of the Northern Cape to Springbok. Along the way participants – dressed, naturally, in their Springbok rugby jerseys on this day – will have to stop and take a selfie with the Pofadder town sign. “Pofadder is iconic for having such a unique and recognisable name,” says Braai. “On this day we will celebrate the rich heritage and colourful nature of South Africa’s 11 official languages. If you go all the way to Pofadder you have to take a photo of the town name.”

Moving towards the coast, the #braaitour then travels to Strandfontein at a time when the world famous spring flowers should be in bloom. “We hope to see carpets and carpets of the magnificent flowers,” says Braai. “SANParks, custodians of South Africa’s natural heritage, has been very welcoming and they will be opening their arms and the Namaqualand National Park to us.”

The National Braai Tour then comes to a conclusion at Tietiesbaai in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve near Paternoster. En route to Tietiesbaai a braaied seafood lunch will be hosted by the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) at Muisbosskerm in Lambert’s Bay, where participants will learn more about the fish in South Africa’s oceans and what should and shouldn’t be eaten in order to preserve ocean life for future generations.

Camp will be set up for two nights in Tietiesbaai with the final heritage task being all participants gathering in the camp site to watch South Africa’s opening game against Japan at the Rugby World Cup on giant screens. Beer will be served. Lots of it.

Press release issued by Tenfour

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Wallabies? Vampires? Cathy Marston Shares 5 Bizarre Cape Wineland Rituals for Harvest Season

Love Your WineWine expert and author of Love Your Wine: Get to grips with what you are drinking Cathy Marston has shared five interesting and somewhat bizarre traditions followed on five respective wine farms in the Stellenbosch winelands.

On Middelvlei, wallabies, large footed animals similar to kangaroos, are used to stomp grapes. Harvesters at Eikendal have special stakes to deter vampires from their vineyards. Jordan Wines’ staff members wear kilts while harvesting. At Warwick‘s the two winemakers only taste at full moon, while the winemaker at Simonsig sabrages a single Pinot Noir grape to prepare for harvest.

Read Marston’s article to find out why all these practices are followed:

Wine farms across South Africa are gearing up to harvest and Stellenbosch is no exception. All around the region, equipment is being cleaned and sterilised, sugars are being tested and wines are being bottled to make room for the 2015 grapes. But Stellenbosch has a lot of other additional preparations being made, many of them unique to this special region. Here are five completely and absolutely true facts about Stellenbosch harvest rituals which you can take with a pinch of salt as you chortle into your glass of wine.

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