The Times Mossel Bay: Launch Issue Summer 2021/2022 Flipbook PDF
Free quarterly publication for visitors to Mossel Bay
FLIP PDF 6.66MB
THE TIMES Mossel Bay
LAUNCH EDITION/ SUMMER 2021/22 FREE COPY /
SUMMER / 2021/22
And welcome to the launch issue of The Times Mossel Bay!
Our latest publication joins the other magazines in MAC Publishing’s stable: The Times Plett & Knysna, and The Times George, Wilderness & Oudtshoorn. Deservedly so, as a significant Garden Route holiday destination, steeped in history, brimming with activities and with a huge variety of accommodation, restaurants, coffee shops and nightspots. As a growing independent publishing company, the support of the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro), Mossel Bay Tourism and our advertisers is key, and enables us to publish and distribute this valuable resource to holidaymakers and residents free of charge. Our mission is to inform, educate and inspire and, in compiling the content for this issue, we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of what Mossel Bay has to offer… from world class golf courses and Big Five game reserves right on the doorstep of the town, to quaint hamlets like Hartenbos within a short driving distance along the coast. In this launch issue Andrew Sullivan teams up with former Golf Digest editor Stuart Maclean to bring you the vital statistics of 15 championship golf courses between Mossel Bay and St. Francis. The city’s rich cultural and historical background is fascinatingly
recorded in the Bartolomeu Dias Museum which we explore on page 36. Esther de Villiers reviews the adventure activities that will enthral and thrill you on land, water and in the air! Follow her quest as she delves into some of the bay’s most unique adventure activities on page 16.
To pack in as much information as we can, our mini digest pages of snippets list eateries, delis and wineries, drives and walks, entertainment and other attractions. For the full directories of restaurants and activities and a calendar of events happening over the next three months, go to www.visitmosselbay.co.za. We hope that as you turn the pages of The Times Mossel Bay you will be inspired to get out there and explore one of South Africa’s favourite towns. As Aneli Gerber, COO of Mossel Bay Tourism says, “There are holidays for every budget and activities of every kind, from soaking up the sun with the waves at your feet to adrenalinepumping, heart-racing bucket list adventures. Add to this extraordinary mix the honest-to-heart hospitality of the local community and you will want to stay here forever. The magic of Mossel Bay will touch you and create memories to last a lifetime. Wishing you the very best time in Mossel Bay!” Happy holidays!
The Times Te
Publishing & Sales: Lorna MacLeod
Group Editor: Jeannine Orzechowski
Editor: Esther de Villiers
Sub-Editor: Cindy Wilson-Trollip
Art Director: Alice Evans
Contributing Writers: Andrew Sullivan Wesgro Cover photo credit: Mossel Bay Tourism For advertising please contact Lorna on 078 907 8862 or email [email protected] Editorial Disclaimer. The Times Plett & Knysna and its appointed agency, Mac Publishing and Consulting, subscribe to a code of responsible journalism. While we endeavour to use reliable sources and to verify information before publication, we provide no warranties for the accuracy or completeness of content contained herein. Copyright laws apply and we reserve all rights. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher, Mac Publishing and Consulting.
NEXT EDITION - AUTUMN 2022 Please contact Lorna on 078 907 8862 to book your space!
SUMMER / 2021/22
Crossing the tees: an insider guide to golf courses on the Garden Route South Africa is truly blessed with the quality and quantity of golf clubs and courses players have at their disposal, spread far and wide across the land. In The Times coverage area alone, over a distance of just 300 km between Mossel Bay and St Francis Bay, there are 15 championship standard courses. Andy Sullivan teamed up with former Golf Digest editor, and owner of the widely used and trusted website – South Africa’s Top 100 Courses – Stuart Maclean, to give you the inside line on what these courses have to offer. Whether hacker, pro or somewhere in between, get your tee times booked this holiday and just enjoy everything that golf on the Garden Route has to offer. By Andrew Sullivan PINNACLE POINT
MOSSEL BAY MOSSEL BAY GC
Ranking 87 The linksy Mossel Bay course straddles the Cape St. Blaize peninsula, five kilometres from the lighthouse at The Point, and from its high position it has glorious views over the Indian Ocean. The club’s slogan for many years has been, “You can see the sea from every tee.” At the turn of the millennium the nearest golf courses were in George, but Mossel Bay now has company on the peninsula with Pinnacle Point just eight kilometres away. They make a compatible pairing for visitors to the town. The old Bob Grimsdell layout was upgraded in 1999 as part of the development of The Mossel Bay Golf Estate, inside and surrounding the property. A new clubhouse was built – currently being extended – and the status of the smallish club was transformed overnight, with an increased membership and more rounds. It remains a relatively short par 72 layout – three par 4s of 300 metres and less – yet the greens have challenging contours, the terrain is undulating, and the course is exposed to breezes off the sea. Interestingly, Mossel Bay is the home club of Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who grew up as a boy at nearby Albertinia.
Ranking 20 Pinnacle Point is one of a rare group of golf courses in the world built on high cliffs overlooking the ocean. It’s a spectacular experience and ranks with the likes of Pebble Beach in California, Old Head in Ireland, Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand and Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic. The Peter Matkovich course in Mossel Bay is possibly South Africa’s major golf attraction for tourists and has contributed immensely to the success of the Garden Route as an award-winning golf destination.
With sensational views from every tee, it was once described by St. Francis Links CEO Jeff Clause as “golf on an Imax screen.” It became a global phenomenon from the day it was first opened for play in late 2006 and was soon featured on the covers of international golf magazines. American writer George Peper described it as being set “on more jaw-dropping terrain than Pebble Beach and a much better course than Old Head. This is extreme golf, but it is honest golf. There are no silly holes – just engaging, exhilarating ones.” For the club’s 10th anniversary the clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant were revamped. Next door there is the La Vita Spa, plus a function venue and new cart barn. A new fitness centre was opened next to the driving range and reception area. The estate itself has grown enormously, and in the last year luxury homes have emerged on the peninsula behind the ninth tee.
GEORGE GEORGE GC
Ranking 14 George GC has long been regarded
as one of the most delightful parkland courses in South Africa. It was in the top 10 of the very first Golf Digest rankings in 1998 and has held its own since, despite the plethora of great layouts built over the last 23 years. Its reputation comes from being a wonderful walk along attractive leafy fairways; having an interesting variety of holes on gently undulating terrain; the enjoyment of its challenges for a diverse range of handicaps; and conditioning of a consistently high quality. Plus the majestic backdrop of the Outeniqua mountain range. It is one of the busiest and most popular courses in the Garden Route region which includes seven of the top 25 courses in South Africa. George GC was for many years the only golf course in the city, and now there are five. Visitors to the nearby Fancourt resort quickly discover that George GC is one of this country’s gems and refer to it as “The Old Course.” A feature of George is the vast dam around which the first, 17th and 18th holes are played. It’s more a scenic feature than a serious hazard. Other than for a wild hook off 18, the water only comes into play left of the fairway
on No. 1, a superb risk-and-reward par 4 opener. The single-storey clubhouse has a wonderful outlook over the exceptional 18th hole.
THE LINKS AT FANCOURT
Ranking 1 The Fancourt Links is one of the world’s most significant and creative design achievements. Gary Player was set the challenge of building a unique and distinctive five-star golf course for Fancourt owner Hasso Plattner and produced something monumental for the game in South Africa. Golf Digest ranks it among the top 100 courses in the world outside the United States. Dramatic unconventional holes, undulating fairways, pot bunkers, and links-style greens in a variety of shapes and elevations make this one of the modern wonders of the golfing world. It might not qualify as a “true links”, yet it is a surreal experience for those who have the privilege of playing it. Exclusivity has not only given The Links an extra mystique, but everything about the experience of playing there is distinguished; from the clubhouse to the first tee starting rituals, to the menu
at the halfway house. It adheres to an ethos of high standards and respect for the game’s traditions. The club has a small membership and is not open to visitors. However, Fancourt hotel guests do have access to a limited number of tee times. The Links is not only a highly challenging golf course – even tour professionals have found it daunting – it is also a pristine environmental habitat, its 18 holes bordered by grasslands and wetlands. It is a wildlife reserve, without large animals. Since 2011 it has retained its designation as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, one of only 905 courses in the world to achieve this global benchmark.
Ranking 18 Fancourt is South Africa’s premier resort experience, a major conference centre, and a winner of numerous international awards. The Garden Route region has much to offer golfing visitors, and Golf Digest voted it South Africa’s No. 1 golf destination. A round at the Outeniqua begins in front of the outside deck of Monet’s restaurant, and the undulating opening hole, a short par 4, gives a good impression of what lies ahead. There are water hazards on 11 holes, and the course is well bunkered from tee to green. The Outeniqua, unlike the Montagu, is an out-and-back layout through the Fancourt residential estate, and only returns to the clubhouse after 18 holes. There is a separate halfway house. The terrain is constantly changing, with notable elevation changes in places, particularly along the tree-lined boundary of the property. When golfers leave the 13th green they enter into a beautiful parkland arena of five holes gathered around water hazards which constitute a memorable closing stretch. There are two strong par 4s, a par 3 with a peninsula green extending into the water, a downhill par 5 reachable in two yet with water closely guarding the green, and a shortish par 4 to finish.
Ranking 8 The Montagu is a visual treat from first tee to 18th green, its broad holes framed by attractive vegetation, trees and gardens, set against a backdrop of the Outeniqua mountain range. The older Fancourt course and originally a Gary Player design, the Montagu was substantially upgraded and redesigned by Scotsman David McLay Kidd in 2004. He added 430 metres to the total measurement. The work included both a new opening hole, and a new par 5 ninth hole, on different land to the original holes. It’s the only Fancourt course where the two nines return to the clubhouse. Further upgrades were made in 2018, overseen by Gary Player, to improve playability and emphasise its traditional parkland look and feel. It’s a strong championship course, famed for superb conditioning and fast-paced firm greens. The first nine has some of the most challenging par 4s, the third, sixth and seventh all more than 400 metres from the Protea back tees. A feature of the front nine is the river which flows sinuously through the property, arriving in front of the ninth green and departing at the fifth tee, where it enters the main Fancourt storage dam. It’s particularly in play on the sixth and seventh, two of the resort’s most memorable par 4s.
Ranking 44 Oubaai is a stay-and-play destination with the first Ernie Els signature course in South Africa. It’s a beautiful modern links-style course without trees on a headland above the Indian Ocean. Two interesting aspects of the design are firstly the outand-back routing – due to the clubhouse being positioned close to the ocean – and secondly that there are five par 5s and five par 3s. It’s renowned for its excellent conditioning. The first nine heads back inland towards the estate entrance and there’s a halfway house near the Oubaai Hotel Golf & Spa. The course returns to the clubhouse at
the 15th green, and a round ends with three scenic holes where you look down on the Gwaing river gorge and then finally encounter ocean views at the attractive par 3 17th. The closing hole tees off high above the Oubaai cove, where ships used to offload cargo more than a century ago. It is an unusual boomerang-shaped dogleg left par 5 in front of the clubhouse. The bold line for the second shot is across the corner of a deep bushy ravine. Oubaai is exposed to the wind, and the opening three holes are pure links design in terms of their look, creative mounding, bunkering and run-off areas. Golfers have wide fairways at which to aim though, and the challenge lies more in the approach shots to relatively small greens.
Ranking 90 The Kingswood Golf Estate is perfectly placed between the Fancourt Links and George Golf Course at the very heart of the Garden Route’s golf hub. From its perfect blend of design and scenery to its temperate weather, you’re certain to find Kingswood’s championship golf course a unique challenge, and one you’ll want to take up again and again. The design is inspired by the “home of golf”, St. Andrews (The Old Course) in Scotland with its links style open fairways, undulating greens and traditional pot bunkers. On the first nine you should be off to a good start as the course follows the spectacular topography of the landscape. From the 10th, the views turn to the Outeniqua mountains, and they are breathtakingly beautiful. Your golf experience builds as each hole is different with its own nuances, trickery, and challenge. The last four holes are a challenge second to none and if you can make it through here by parring all four holes on a competition day with no “gives” – introduce yourself to the management team and collect a free round voucher. Either way, this ultimate golf challenge will keep you coming back for more. This course is truly
the jewel of the Garden Route and should not be missed on any golfing tour.
KNYSNA KNYSNA GC
Ranking 91 Knysna is among the most popular courses on the Garden Route, a short but challenging parkland layout on a scenic site adjacent to the Knysna lagoon. It provides a gentle contrast and fun experience compared to Knysna’s two spectacular resort layouts, Pezula and Simola. And its overall conditioning is often the equal of those two, with magnificent modern greens complexes. The course is continually undergoing improvements to the design, notably the bunkering, thanks to the fact that one of its members, Sean Quinn, is among South Africa’s leading course architects. He currently works overseas for Jack Nicklaus, but Knysna is his home. Knysna’s layout, with many holes framed by tall trees, is unique in having shallow saltwater tidal pools and channels as hazards which add to the course’s character and beauty. The 371-metre sixth has a daunting tee shot played to a fairway guarded on both sides by water. What stands out is the superbly balanced variety of different holes continually shifting direction. There is no monotony here. Some holes are generously wide, others perilously narrow, and they usually play longer than the card suggests. The par 5s and par 3s are particularly excellent, with the 175-metre 12th a fierce test on a windy day, its green surrounded on three sides by water.
Ranking 22 Pezula has some of the most photographed holes in South Africa. A round at this course on the East Head high above the town of Knysna delivers one exceptional hole after another. The front nine has magnificent views over the Knysna Lagoon, and the drama reaches a crescendo on the back nine as the holes tumble downhill
SIMOLA GOLF COURSE
KNYSNA GOLF COURSE
to the brink of the high cliffs above the Indian Ocean. Pezula’s attraction lies in the originality of many of its holes, and the exhilarating elevation changes. Taking your driver out has never been this exciting or as much fun. The routing by American designers Ronald Fream and David Dale was inspirational. Given such undulating and inaccessible terrain on an environmentally sensitive property, there are only three holes where you play uphill. And five different tee options on every hole means Pezula caters exceptionally well for a broad range of golfers. The front tees are 1 800 metres shorter than the championship tees. Pezula is a cart course for good reason, due to the East Head terrain. Even for fit and strong walkers the course is best enjoyed in the comfort of a cart, particularly in terms of pace of play. There are long walks between shots, and unless you are the only golfers on the property you would be holding up other groups in carts. There’s an extremely steep and twisting climb from the 16th green to 17th tee. While Pezula is part of an estate, the houses have been built well back from the golf course.
Simola is a spellbinding Jack Nicklaus signature design, high in the hills above the Garden Route town of Knysna.
Ranking 19 Simola is a spellbinding Jack Nicklaus signature design, high in the hills above the Garden Route town of Knysna. The hotel buildings stand high on a ridge overlooking the course, with views of the Knysna lagoon. Simola is on such undulating terrain that golf carts are essential. They are included in the green fee. Walking the course is not easy because of some of the distances between green and tee. The high ridge framing the property splits the course into two distinct parts. There are 12 holes in the area below the hotel, and another six in a separate valley. The short holes are a feature of the layout, testing a wide range of clubs in the bag from a fairway metal at No. 6 to a wedge at No. 17. The par 5s are excellent, beginning
with the switchback opening hole which must be one of the most challenging on the course. Three of the par 5s are played to elevated greens, and these are tough targets to hit, even with a short pitch. The clubhouse is part of the main hotel area, and the bar on the upper floor has an outstanding view of the course below.
PLETTENBERG BAY PLETT COUNTRY CLUB
Ranking 40 First-time visitors to Plettenberg Bay Country Club (PBCC) usually can’t hide their excitement over the discovery of this attractive and cleverly designed course. Indeed, when the SA Senior Open was first played here in 2017 many of the veteran tour professionals were vociferous in their praise of the course. And only the champion, Mark McNulty, was able to break par for that tournament. PBCC is a holiday resort course catering for a high number of visitors but does offer some serious challenges, especially around the greens. Talented Gauteng North golfer Louis Moolman set a course record 9 under 63 in the first round of the 2018 SA MidAmateur, yet failed to break par in his subsequent three rounds. A major renovation by Gauteng designer Rob O’Friel in 2000 transformed the original layout and boosted the number of rounds. Plettenberg Bay is a busy course considering the relatively small community and another 18-hole facility at Goose Valley. For the last 10 years it has averaged over 100 rounds every day. Its charm lies in the interesting variety of holes – water hazards, wetlands and streams regularly come into play – artfully contoured greens, and outstanding yearround conditioning. The back nine meanders through a tranquil valley among indigenous bush and contains some of the more beautiful parts. The bunkers were redone by Better Billy Bunker in
Glenwood House’s philosophy is to offer holistic mainstream education from Grade 000 to Grade 12, which will enable boys and girls to develop all-round skills and abilities, catering for the body, mind, social and emotional development and well-being, and for the spiritual development of each and every child. The school has an overt Christian ethos which underlies all activities that are on offer. Glenwood pupils are ultimately prepared for the Grade 12 exit examinations of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), a qualification that is internationally portable.
Trust us with the PRE-PREPARATORY Grade 000-12
FROM GRADE 000 - 0
• 0 DAYS LOST TO COVID-19 • 100% MATRIC PASS RATE • BOARDING HOUSE FACILITIES (WEEKLY & TERMLY)
success of your whole child |
Tel: 087 354 8315
WEEKLY AND TERMLY BOARDING
Glenwood Avenue, George | glenwoodhouse.co.za
GLENWOOD HOUSE SCHOOL
2018 to improve drainage. The clubhouse is on a ridge overlooking the course, and while this makes for downhill starting holes on each nine, the ninth and 18th are played uphill.
GOOSE VALLEY GC
Ranking 93 Goose Valley is an enjoyable and popular privately owned course on an attractive site overlooking the Keurbooms river in Plettenberg Bay, easy to access being on the N2. It began as a nine-holer and increased to 18 in 1996 with the development of the Turtle Creek residential estate on the property. The seven holes on that side have a distinctly different look to them than the older section. It’s reasonably busy with about 32 000 rounds a year. The course has an interesting mix of holes, with attractive and challenging modern greens complexes. There are as many as six short par 4s (301 to 335 metres), yet none of them would be considered an obviously easy birdie hole. While there are only a few water hazards, the course is well bunkered and fynbos borders some fairways. A charming clubhouse with an outside verandah sits side-on to the fairway of the 323-metre 18th.
and greens, and indigenous bush lining some fairways has similarities with the Humewood links in Gqeberha. Attractive design features have resulted in an interesting variety of holes. The 11th and 13th share a double green. A rare water hazard guards the par 3 eighth. It can be windy along this coastline during summer yet St. Francis Bay remains playable in difficult conditions.
ST. FRANCIS LINKS
Ranking 5 St. Francis Links occupies one of the finest links sites, built in high, rolling dunes overlooking St. Francis Bay and the Indian Ocean. The dunes stretch for kilometres and you could have built as many links here as there are at St. Andrews. Jack Nicklaus excelled himself as a designer with his varied challenges, short and long, wide and narrow, uphill and down, each hole complemented by exquisite greens complexes with bent grass surfaces that hold their own mysteries. The scene is set with a remarkable
opener, requiring a drive over the edge of a bunker in a dune to a hidden fairway. Four different sets of tees make the course enjoyable for everyone, and forward tees are even the sensible choice for lowhandicaps on a windy day. Some bunkers are deep and severe, yet the course has become more playable in recent years with fairways widened. Each hole is named, and some aptly describe what lies ahead. The par 3 fourth, Double Vision, has two separate greens, one on a lower level used most of the time, and another more difficult target higher on a dune. Eye of the Needle at No. 8 is just that: you thread your tee shot through a gap to a narrow fairway. No. 11 is simply called Eish! That’s what many golfers exclaim standing on the elevated tee when they first see this spectacular par 4 carved through the dunes. The double-storey clubhouse occupies a scenic position above the 18th green. There’s a fine-dining restaurant, and it’s a popular venue for functions.
ST. FRANCIS BAY GOLF COURSE
RANKED BY YOU, FOR YOU You can now check out South Africa’s Top 100 Courses at www. satop100courses.com, ranked by category and rated according to 14 different aspects, such as greens, fairways, halfway houses, ranges, pro shops, locker rooms, and service. Each course has its own web page with detailed information about the club, its history, and interesting facts. Golfers are encouraged to submit reviews of courses they play and rate the conditioning and facilities, so it’s an interactive system which changes daily. Annual rankings are announced in the last week of January each year. The rankings were initiated by Stuart McLean 25 years ago when he was with Golf Digest magazine. If you play a number of different courses each year and are interested in becoming part of the rating team, contact Stuart on 082 338 4579.
ST. FRANCIS BAY ST. FRANCIS BAY GC Ranking 8 The original nine-holer was conceived by Maxwell Hulett, brother of Cape St. Francis developer Leighton Hulett, and opened in 1975 for private use. The growth of the area in the 1990s, and more permanent residents, made the construction of an 18-holer inevitable. The course was rebuilt in 1999 by Danie Obermeyer and Phillip Basson from Golfscape with a new layout although several older holes were retained. With its sandy soil, the St. Francis Bay GC has a strong links feel to it, particularly the bunkering
No 6, The Boatshed, Thesen Island, Knysna (044) 302 5731 l [email protected]
Cruise the R328 For locals making the trip between Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay regularly, a drive along the R328 via Robinson Pass may have become old hat – even onerous, as the winding road prevents getting up to cruise speed in most parts. But Garden Route & Klein Karoo visitors should ensure this journey becomes part of their itinerary. The variety of views presented soon after traversing the semi-arid flatlands south of South Africa’s ostrich capital, direction Indian Ocean, is sure to entrance. Once you’ve
passed the summit of Robinson Pass, numerous viewpoints allow for a stretch-and-ogle or quick picnic stop. At one such mountainside enclave, a mini-waterfall rushes down the rock before gurgling into an easily accessible pool, where you can splash your face or fill up your flask with clear, cool water. Then, just past Ruiterbos Nature Reserve, the vast grounds of Eight Bells Inn lure bikers and road-trippers alike, who pull in for a frosty and a bite, or stay for the night. Call 044 631 0000 to book.
Beat the java drum
Wild and hot
Baruch’s Coffee Roastery in Voorbaai is the perfect spot to indulge in delicious roasted goodness. Its 100% Arabica beans hail from exotic spots like Kenya, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Brazil and Colombia, and key is that these top-quality beans are professionally roasted in the Baruch’s own roasting drum. The garden area is ideal for watching this process unfold over a cuppa and a bite – choose from Israeli cuisine or freshly baked sweet treats. Catch them Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm or call 044 695 2078.
Cape Oysters is a foremost supplier of fresh wild oysters, trading from its no-frills premises in Riverside, a resort hamlet on the Klein Brak riverbank. This family business is today run by seventh generation members of the family Munro, so look out for the ‘T Munro Oysters’ signage on the right when heading towards Mossel Bay on the R102. Sustainably harvested rock oysters are shucked on site. While you wait, check out the giant flagons of Tabasco sauce in the general dealer/café where orders are placed. Call 044 696 6140.
Grabadoo in Great Brak!
Gaming and dining galore
Veteran of the film, theatre and TV industry Patrick Walton chairs the Garden Route Film Commission. Based in Hartenbos, the Garden Route Film Office (GRFO) was established to facilitate production of movies, series and commercials on the Route and Klein Karoo. “Key role players assist in taking this vision forward in a self-sustainable way, guiding the GRFO as one-stop service entry point for local and international industry members,” explains Patrick. Visit www. gardenroutefilmcommission.com to check out some of the spectacular locations on offer.
Fast gaining a reputation as one of the hottest spots to eat and browse in Mossel Bay, Spekboom Deli is located on Louis Fourie Road, just north of Langeberg Mall. Incorporating an artisanal bakery and exciting urban nursery, the vibe is friendly and easy-going. Eye-pleasing art, such as Elmarie Engelbrecht’s still life paintings, further enhance the vibrant milieu. Swing past Spekboom for a healthy breakfast with delicious coffee, a wholesome lunch, or to grab delectable dinner supplies. Visit www.facebook.com/ spekboomdeli to find out more.
The annual Grootbrak Grabadoo is the biggest summer cycle race on the Garden Route, attracting 1 600+ participants and even more supporters. It’s also a joyous social affair with its jovial atmosphere, great sportsmanship and festive spirit. Veterans and novices are expected to line up for a variety of routes (15, 36, 53 and 71 km) on 31 December. There is also a 4,8 km fun walk from Great Brak Sports Grounds. Check out www.facebook.com/Grabadoo and visit www.onlines.co.za to enter online.
The Garden Route Casino complex is perched on the spectacular Pinnacle Point, on the southern seaboard of Mossel Bay. Located just a few kilometres from the centre of town, it’s an excellent idea for a night out after enjoying all else the area has to offer during daylight hours. If you’re lured by the luck of the draw, the casino boasts 400+ slot machines, while 16 gaming tables entertain those trying their hand at poker, blackjack or roulette. Visit www.gardenroutecasino.co.za to find out more.
‘Blaize’ of glory Cape St. Blaize Cave is an archaeological landmark adorning the easternmost extremity of Mossel Bay. The rugged grotto used by hunter-gatherers 160 000 years ago, is carved into a rockface overlooking the ocean. Gaze up at the cave’s ceiling 10 metres above, then turn towards the ocean for a view of white foam hitting the rocks below, where pre-colonial inhabitants dating back to the Stone Age dined on shellfish. Trails from the cave lead up to the historic Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse, built in 1864.
The whitewashed structure with its striking red tiles is manned 24/7. Entry to the cave is free at all times, but make sure not to fall on the slippery rocks, ‘coz that’ll cost you in more ways than one! The St. Blaize Trail is a popular 13,5 km hike that follows a contour along the cliffs westwards from the lighthouse, starting at the cave and ending at Dana Bay (brave it in either direction). Call Mossel Bay Tourism on 044 691 2202 to find out more.
The Jonkers of Jakkalsvlei
Let the love light shine
Jakkalsvlei (jackal’s marsh), named for the abundance of foxes, jackals and wild cats endemic to the Langeberg mountains, is a family-owned winery nestled among the hills and dales surrounding Herbertsdale. With good water, fertile soils and a warm dry climate, this is a choice environment for fruit farming and vineyards. Oupa Nelis Jonker acquired the land in 1972, and today it is farmed by third-generation Jonkers. Its award-winning restaurant and grape picking during harvest season make it a destination of choice. Visit www.jakkalsvlei.co.za for details.
Love Light SA is a registered NPC for abused women and children, often battered by those they trust most. Its campaign to build a residential home in Mossel Bay, providing a haven for these moms and kids, is now in full swing. The need is increased by the lack of a local children’s home, while scarcity of foster care means that Mossel Bay kids are sent to facilities elsewhere, such as Môreson in George or Dorothy Broster in Knysna. Email [email protected] if you can assist.
Trek twixt bays The three-day hike between Danabaai and Vleesbaai is described thus on Tripadvisor: “As novice, I was apprehensive of this first-time hike. But I was pleasantly surprised when my fears were replaced by appreciation for the awesome scenery. Day one started with majestic views of these southern shores and I quickly made new friends. We discovered interesting indigenous flowers and rock formations daily. We were treated to delicious braais, the luxury of being served an added pleasure.”
When hitting the road from the bay of Dana to that of Vlees, it’s a 30 km drive that takes 25 minutes, but can’t compare to the experience of traversing the route on foot. Apart from the indigenous flora, small game and abundant birdlife, sightings of bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the surf or further out in the bay, are rife. Lucky hikers also witness nosediving Cape gannets that resurface moments later with a fish as prize for their aero-aquatic antics. Call Mossel Bay Tourism on 044 691 2202 to find out more.
History, wine and song ReedValley Wines was established on one of the oldest farms in the Mossel Bay district, originally owned by the Muller family. The homestead was built in 1826 and throughout the 1800s the farm was an oasis to weary travellers while serving as gathering place for the area’s early settlers. The warm welcome is still reflected at ReedValley today, with wine tastings, two eateries, a play place for littlies, and live music spanning several genres. Tastings are enjoyed in a
structure built nearly two centuries ago, then serving as a barn for livestock. The original stone walls remain, but modern elements now add to the building’s charm. Where once goats roamed is now the famous Barn Theatre, which has played host to both top SA talent and emerging bands. Swing past for a taste of the EdenValley wine range or settle in for a meal. Check out www. reedvalley.com or call 044 698 1022 for details.
+27 (044) 382 2866
SUMMER / 2021/22
In your element: Mossel Bay is fast becoming the Garden Route’s adventure centre Written by: Esther de Villiers
For adrenaline addicts who fantasize about sporting webbed feet, peering over the blue expanse of ocean fringing the Southern Cape’s chief harbour town often induces spontaneous salivation. IMAGES COURTESY OF MOSSEL BAY TOURISM
Water-based activities are legion off these shores, and considering the area’s mild climes, it’s nearly always guaranteed that outdoor offerings can be taken advantage of all year round. With summer now in full swing, moms and dads, youngsters and seniors wont to play in the spray have all of Mossel Bay’s aqua adventures at their fingertips. Here for the picking is everything from surfing to shark-cage diving, speedy boat rides to leisure tubing, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. For the land animals among us, the range of active attractions is no less appealing: sandboarding, quad biking, horse riding, mountain biking, hiking or a wild safari may well pique your interest. And for those who want to fly? Well then there are various alternatives to sprouting your very own pair of wings, from skydiving to helicopter flips and scenic flights. Read on for further details on some of the bay’s most unique adventure activities. MOSSEL BAY ZIPLINE The one excursion that cunningly combines most of the above elements is also one of the town’s most recently launched bragging-right boons. It’s the longest over-the-ocean zipline in the world. Imagine a kilometre plus of screaming fun with waves crashing below. Quick facts about the experience: the average ziplining speed is 80 km per hour; height above sea level is 90 m; and the line’s approximate length is 1 150 m. Participants must be eight years of age or older and can’t be taller than 1,9 m (6,23 ft) or heavier than 120 kg (265 lbs). Long hair, braids and dreadlocks must be tied up before participating, as this is a fast ride and best not attempted with flowing locks, flapping fashion accessories, or dresses billowing like Marilyn’s over that (in)famous subway vent…
Book by clicking on www. mosselbayzipline.co.za and be sure to check out additional rules and regulations. The sternest of these is that anyone who arrives inebriated will forfeit an exhilarating zipline trip, as you need to be aware and alert for the safest and most satisfying enjoyment of the excursion. SCUBA EXCURSIONS Garden Route Scuba and Electrodive are two of the operators active off the Mossel Bay coastline. The latter has been training beginners as well as dive professionals since 1985 and is a registered NAUI training and charter centre. Offering guided diving and snorkelling from the shore, a diving duck, or a 40-foot catamaran, all ages and skills levels are welcomed. Go to www.gardenroutescuba.co.za or WhatsApp Leanne at Electrodive on 081 525 7322. BOAT ADVENTURES SANS BOUND One of the most titillating seacraft services on offer is Mossel Bay Boat Adventures - if the press on this topperforming activity is to be believed. The Freaking Fast Wave Rider avails an invigorating 15-20 min high-speed fix on what’s claimed to be the fastest RIB (rigid inflatable boat) in South Africa. Category winners of the gruelling Trans Agulhas race in 2009, this duck has been re-powered with two 300 HP Suzuki outboard engines and can reach speeds of 150+ km per hour over flat seas en route to Seal Island. Tours set off from Quay 4 at Mossel Bay Harbour Waterfront. After registration, wave-riders are issued with life jackets and given a full safety briefing. And then… well, you’d better hold on tight! Enjoy the thrill of jumping waves through the shore break of Hartenbos, 10 km down the coastline and reached in a matter of minutes. Included in the adventure are some high-speed,
white-knuckle S-turns and smooth but superfast driving. Through the tears you might get a glimpse of the Orca oil rig or admire the spectacular vistas of Garden Route coastline with the Outeniqua mountain range as backdrop. Mossel Bay Boat Adventures also offers parasailing, high-speed tube rides and the Fat Boys Blob (the heavier, the higher… go figure!), whale watching and private sunset cruises. Visit www.mosselbayboatadventures. co.za for all H2O action options. GREAT RESPECT DUE Sharks – and their Great White variety, above all – have fascinated us for various reasons since time immemorial. Be it their supersized grace or evolution specifically geared to divide and conquer, seeing sharks in their natural environment invariably equals Thrillsville. Gansbaai and Cape Town are traditionally known as top sharkcage diving centres, and Mossel Bay has in recent years deserved its place on that podium. During the last preCovid shark-diving season, the bay produced more shark sightings than either of the aforementioned. The Shark Lab is a mini aquarium that offers views of smaller shark species, while its onsite tanks exhibit octopi and other marine life. White Shark Africa, on the other hand, puts YOU inside the tank – or rather, inside a six-person cage secured to the side of a boat. Visit www.sharkbookings. com for cage-dive details. DEEP SEA CHARTER Deep Sea Adventures in Mossel Bay is the proud owner of fishing charter vessels Nikita, Dankie Pam and Dreamcatcher, the decks of which have seen prolific catches off the Southern Cape coastline. Over the past 13 years, Deep Sea Adventures has had a hand in realising the wildest dreams of anglers from near and far. The opportunity to have
a 10+ kg kabeljou on your line will give any amateur fisherman goose bumps of excitement, not to mention the bite and fight with a yellowbelly rockcod or a good-sized grunter. And it’s not only the thrill of hooking larger piscine types that makes fishermen blow their fuse, but also the chance to catch several species on one trip. Visit www.deepseaadventures. co.za for further information. SURF AND SWIM FOR FUN Surfing lessons are expertly presented by the able Surf’s Up team, and aquatic antics for kids and their creators are offered at Diaz Water Park and Hartenbos Seafront Fun Park. Alternatively, explore Die Poort with its rows of rocky reefs forming a natural tidal pool, to experience another of the bay’s top-rated waterbased attractions. Generations of children have learned to swim at Die Poort, where chains and ropes are secured to assist bathers when the surging tides cause strong currents to flush the pool. At its upper end, there is a diving board backed by high rocks on the sea side. This is Blougat, a deep pond whence you can stroll for 3 km along a walkway across the rocky coastline, or venture out on the 15 km St. Blaize hiking trail towards Dana Bay. ALL ABOARD! The Diaz Express is a memorable rail experience run on the existing Garden Route Transnet rail network between George and Mossel Bay, with Mossel Bay serving as the main point of departure. Destinations include several attractions such as the ever-popular Santos Beach, Great Brak River, Glentana and Maalgate. Each of these forays afford lovely views over the Indian Ocean with ringside seats during whale-watching season, river estuaries, and the Cape floral kingdom’s indigenous abundance.
The Diaz Express itinerary features breakfast and lunch excursions twixt Hartenbos, Glentana and Maalgate throughout the year, Mondays to Saturdays. But for the December/ January season, Christmas holiday specials are offered as a standout treat for rail enthusiasts, families, and individuals in pursuit of a scenic adventure of note. These shorter seasonal trips kick off on December 6 and end on January 8, and traverse the tracks between Hartenbos and Great Brak River. Take note that bookings close at midnight of the day before. Apart from unsurpassed scenery, the Diaz Express crew also share titbits of history while facilitating visits to quaint crafts shops, art galleries and gastronomic experiences en route. Such stops include, among others, the boutique coffeeshop/art gallery at Seeplaas, where you can enjoy good company over a cuppa and something sweet before taking in the exceptional creations of artist Ken Maloney. You can also look forward to lounging about at Opispoor Pub & Grill on the station premises, with views over Great Brak River and the lagoon. Call 082 450 7778 or visit www. diazexpress.co.za to get in touch.
ENTER THE DRAGON Where land-based activities are concerned, boarding down Mossel Bay’s Dragon Dune has become famous on a planetary scale. The biggest and longest sandboard ride in South Africa, Dragon Dune is situated on private land and provides the ultimate ride on sand, which is not unlike the thrill of snowboarding. “We cater for everyone from corporates to oil sheikhs, beachbums and school groups, skiers, team builders and tour operators,” invites the website. “The focus is on having fun… and if you’re not confident enough to stand up on your board, you can also sit down or enjoy a belly-board ride.” RIDE, BIKE, HIKE Horse riding at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, quad biking in Hartenbos, and the Oystercatcher Trail – which includes luxury guided walking tours along the beaches, fynbos and woodlands west of Mossel Bay – complement the multitude of offerings that fall under the town’s Great Escape campaign umbrella.
FLIGHTS AND FLIPS – THE SKY’S THE LIMIT! Mossel Bay Helicopters is am ong the flyers offering a variety of memorable scenic-soar packages to choose from. Whether you want to arrange an exciting trip for your family and friends to experience Mossel Bay and environs from a bird’s eye view, or seek the thrill of belly-up flips and rolls, there are customised packages to suit every individual requirement. For those folk less turned on by engines and propellers who prefer to pursue the silent whoosh of a glider or ‘chute, Mossel Bay Skydive should be first port of call.
wildlife, big five or small, endemic or imported, is covered in a feature on page 22. But when planning your great-outdoors excursion itinerary these holidays, don’t forget to tick Garden Route Game Lodge and the Indalu Elephant Experience. For input on many other ideas and adventure enquiries, go to www. visitmosselbay.co.za or call 044 691 2202. If you are already comfortably ensconced in this friendly coastal town, find Mossel Bay Tourism on the corner of Market and Church Streets and book your adventure.
Tandem skydiving over the bay is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Not only will you enjoy the thrill and excitement of free-falling on your very first jump, but you’ll also experience an exhilarating scenic flight over the Mossel Bay area with an eagle’s view of the Indian Ocean, beautiful beaches, and the majestic Outeniqua mountains. WE KNOW YOU’RE GAME FOR IT The range of opportunities to get close and personal with all kinds of African
Make Plett your playground ! AWA RD-WINNING LUXURY RETIR EM EN T LIV IN G
For those folk less turned on by engines and propellers who prefer to pursue the silent whoosh of a glider or ‘chute, Mossel Bay Skydive should be first port of call.
SELLING FROM R1.5M
SELLING FROM R2.2M
CLUBHOUSE COMPLETION EARLY 2022
When you choose to make The Plettenberg Manor your new home, you choose peace of mind, quality of life and a luxurious lifestyle.
Kira Bladergroen PAGE 18
+27 82 771 3640
w w w . t h e p l e t t m a n o r. c o . z a
For curious imbibers
High time for tea
Ye olde laundry
Be fire aware!
A great way to meet likeminded people is to sign up for a gin masterclass experience at the Cape Saint Blaize Artisanal Distillery. Learn more about the distillation process, enjoy a Cape Saint Blaize gin and tonic, experiment with flavour profiles and make your own 500 ml bottle of gin to take home and enjoy. There are two sessions daily at 11 am and 6 pm. For more information or to book your class call 044 691 1885 or email [email protected] capesaintblaize.co.za
Betty’s Boutique Hotel believes that high tea should always be served on delicate china cake stands, and in fine china teacups and saucers, with plates and linen napkins... just the way Queen Victoria liked it. Traditionally a selection of teas is served to wash down the tasty, crustless cucumber sandwiches, delicate pastries and dainty cakes and scones, but for those needing a higher caffeine boost, the hotel also serves Baruchs’s freshly ground coffee. Daily from 11 am 4 pm. To book call 076 815 2125.
One of South Africa’s most unique museums, the Janine Iron & Washing Museum in Hartenbos, is well worth a visit. Dedicated to Janine, the late daughter of founders Jan and Jeanette Ellis, the museum houses a diverse collection of, amongst other items, more than 600 rare irons, 50 very rare laundry stoves, washing possers and ironing mangles dating back to the 1800s. Watch a fascinating video about laundry through the ages before you browse the collection. Call Jan 083 283 3831 for more info.
In Mossel Bay the discharge of any fireworks is only permitted with prior written permission from the municipality. Fireworks, firecrackers, and flares are a major fire risk and paper lanterns hold the dual concern of catching fire in the dry veld or on flammable material and challenging the resources of rescue services when they are incorrectly identified as emergency flares. Make fires only in protected and designated areas and dispose of cigarette butts safely. Report fires to 044 606 5000 or 044 691 3722.
The great escape
A world of butterflies
For Joe du Plessis and Ilze Nel lockdown was the impetus to open a shop to create a space for locally made goods. Years of experience in hospitality helped them to launch Local is MOSS Lekker, which sells a wide range of products. Pop in for delicious stuffed olives, artisanal chutneys, patés, marinades, sauces and relishes, full-spectrum CBD, and local golfing hero Louis Oosthuizen’s award- winning wines. Find them at 12 Marsh Street, close to The Point and on Facebook. Enquiries: 076 030 0990.
‘Escape rooms’ are a world-wide phenomenon and Mossel Bay is on trend with its thrilling Escape Route Experience. As the name suggests, this is a challenge in which players are locked in a room and must solve puzzles and use logic and their wits to find their way out. It’s described as a “high end, quality, immersive experience” and is affiliated with the world renowned escape room company, Mystery Escape Room in the USA. Great fun for families or groups of friends. www. escaperouteexperience.co.za
Just half an hour’s drive from central Mossel Bay, the recently opened Western Cape Butterfly Sanctuary is worth a visit. Built by Louise and Chris Nel at their Ruiterbosch Lodge, it’s the culmination of a dream to create a safe haven for butterflies, including some endangered species, and is a joint project with the organisation Conservation of Butterflies in South Africa (CBISA). In their natural habitat, only 3% of butterfly eggs will develop into adult butterflies, while in a sanctuary, the odds are almost 100%. Ten percent of
the butterflies bred at the sanctuary will be released back into nature. Ultimately the sanctuary will house 4 000 butterflies, representing over 50 different local species, among them the rarest butterflies in the world. This will include the Ramsgate piper, of which only 16 individual specimens are known to exist. Guided tours are available on the hour from 10.30 am – 2.30 pm seven days a week and last about 30 minutes. www.facebook. com/WesternCapeButterflySanctuary
e g n a h c e h t Experience 044 874 3468 www.theliquidfacelift.co.za
SUMMER / 2021/22
Conservation is key for these Garden Route game lodges GONDWANA GAME RESERVE
Written by: Jeannine Orzechowski
There are few things as thrilling as being with animals in their natural habitat. From the excitement of tracking a lion or experiencing a cheetah kill, to the simple pleasure of observing the labours of a dung beetle, a safari experience with your partner or family is guaranteed to top your list of memorable moments.
The Garden Route is famous for its natural environment. A 300 km route of spectacular coastal beauty, it winds along pristine beaches, and past lagoons, forests, mountains, and thousands of hectares of undulating fynbos landscapes. One of the lesser known facts about this area, which attracts visitors from around the globe, is that it is home to numerous wildlife game reserves, at least four of which are within an hour’s drive of Mossel Bay. These reserves present a uniquely South African safari experience with game drives in 4x4 vehicles, walking trails or horseback safaris. And all of them offer the thrill of observing animals in the wild in a malaria-free area. To top it all, they lie within a
region which enjoys a temperate climate with an average of over 300 days of sunshine per year, setting visitors up for the ultimate wild experience.
BOTLIERSKOP PRIVATE GAME RESERVE Midway between Mossel Bay and George, at Little Brak River, Botlierskop is a family-owned and privately operated game reserve. The 4 200 hectare property with its views of the Outeniqua mountains and the Indian Ocean is home to four of the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino), a variety of antelope including the copper springbok, rare black impala and golden wildebeest, and zebra, giraffe and hippo.
Botlierskop takes its name from one of the spectacular rock formations on the farm. The oddly shaped hill or “koppie” is a landmark in the area. Legend has it that in the late 1700s the hill was used as a lookout point for ships coming into nearby Mossel Bay. A huge fire would be made on top of the hill as the signal for farmers to get ready to take fresh supplies to the ship. In 1996 the land was bought by Dr. Dirk Neethling, a wildlife veterinarian who combined game farming with tourism. His son and daughter-in-law, Arnold and Mariné, started doing game drives for the public, operating from their farmhouse, which is now the Manor House, and today they own and run the lodge which has grown
and flourished despite some severe hardships and disasters including a massive fire and severe floods. A deep-seated conservation ethic was passed down from the late Dr. Dirk Neethling to his son Arnold. Today, Botlierskop strives to uphold his conservation legacy in new and innovative ways and has joined forces with The African Wildlife Conservation Foundation (AWCF) to actively enhance and promote wildlife conservation in Africa. Their Veterinary Safari involves guests in a conservation project where lion, elephant or rhino are darted from a helicopter to monitor their health. The cost of the activity is donated AWCF. The reserve offers a range of luxury accommodation from tented suites
and newly renovated rooms in the stately Manor House to selfcatering luxury Bush Villas and an entire child-friendly Village Lodge. Day visitors can book guided game drives or bush walks, horseback safaris, spa therapies, dining, and special kids’ activities including the junior ranger programme. Or you can simply enjoy lunch, relax on the deck around the pool and soak up the view. There’s a pool for children with water slides and a fountain pool for littlies, as well as an expansive play area and curio shop. When you book an activity you’ll get free access to this area, or you can pay the entry fee of R50 per person for the day. At the dam, wooden decks with shaded areas are picnic-perfect and allow you to do some game watching. Picnic baskets can be pre-ordered.
GARDEN ROUTE GAME LODGE Just 45 km outside Mossel Bay, The Garden Route Game Lodge is a family-owned and operated Big Five reserve with an abundance of animal and bird life. It’s set against the backdrop of the Langeberg mountains and is home to lion, white rhino, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, cheetah and leopard. Antelope species abound with common sightings of bontebok, red hartebeest, kudu, eland, impala and springbok.
GARDEN ROUTE GAME LODGE
Children are well looked after at GRGL. A special programme, Kids on Safari, will entertain them while Mom and Dad relax. They’ll be able to go on a one hour bush walk (in the predator-free area of the reserve), try their hand at fishing tilapia in the dam, explore the skull garden and track cheetah with a field ranger. There are also special dining times and menus for children, with childminders on hand and two children’s themed play areas. Luxury accommodation is offered in eight Sunset Ridge luxury suites (family suites have plunge pools), 16 lodge rooms and 18 private chalets. There is also a spa.
Owners Anthony and Natasha Doherty started the lodge in 1999 on what was once an old dairy farm in order “to preserve some small piece of paradise for future generations to enjoy.” It was one of the first private game reserves in the Western Cape to reintroduce big game and in the past 20 years neighbouring farms have been acquired for expanded wildlife habitat. Today the lodge is an expansive 3 500 ha.
Game drives in open Land Rovers are offered to residential guests and day visitors and take between two to three hours depending on how much time is spent at each sighting. There will be a refreshment stop during your game drive at selected lookout points. If you’re lucky enough to be out at dusk you’ll be offered sundowners. Cheetah are a special attraction on game drives.
The lodge has various dining options. Dinner is served either in the Boma or in Serengeti’s restaurant which has a wooden deck looking out over the reserve and serves traditional South African dishes from an a la carte menu. There’s a pool side terrace for light meals and refreshments. Game drives for day visitors depart daily at 11 am. www.grgamelodge.co.za
GONDWANA GAME RESERVE Gondwana Private Game Reserve is the biggest wildlife reserve in the Mossel Bay area, an 11 000 hectare property offering the Big Five (lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino, and leopard), as well as eland, giraffe, hippo, cheetah and zebra. It has awe-inspiring views
BOTLIERSKOP PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
of the Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains in every direction with indigenous fynbos vegetation cloaking the undulating valleys, adding vivid colour and interest. An array of activities for guests include game drives, mountain biking, hikes, Africology spa treatments, and the popular Junior Ranger programme.
fynbos vegetation is recorded and protected. Our goal has always been to have an authentic safari experience enabling natural systems to operate within the reserve. We are privileged to have a large enough protected area for this to happen allowing it to sustain natural free roaming herds including the Big Five.”
Gondwana Game Reserve, which opened to guests in December 2008, was developed from overgrazed cattle and sheep farms and has been transformed to its former wild state. Over 20 species of game were introduced and over the years the wildlife population has grown and thrived in the grass plains, pristine fynbos areas and renosterveld. The reserve was home to the first wild lion cubs and elephant calves born in the southern Cape in the last 150 years. It is also home to breeding pairs of black harriers of which there are only 1 000 remaining worldwide, the orange breasted sunbird and the Cape sugarbird.
Luxury Accommodation is offered in Kwena Lodge, a modern and luxurious twist on the traditional Khoisan dwelling with 14 openplan suites which have skylights for stargazing, fireplaces and deep baths. Family or group accommodation is provided in 12 spacious and luxurious bush villas (3- and 4-bedroom configurations), which are privately situated, each with spectacular, uninterrupted views from their expansive wooden decks.
Owner Wendy Rutherford believes that conservation and tourism need to work hand in hand to preserve biodiversity in Africa and so The Gondwana Conservation Foundation (GCF) was developed as a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of South Africa’s threatened and endangered wildlife and vegetation. The foundation’s three pillars of focus are Conservation Education, the Rainbow Rhino Initiative, and Conservation of Critically Endangered Fynbos. “The Reserve’s dedicated team and ongoing projects are essential to the health of its local community and environment,” says Wendy. “We are involving our guests more and more in our conservation efforts as they enjoy understanding what happens behind the scenes and contributing to conservation in Africa. “We hope to continue to conserve our biodiversity by ensuring the wildlife population is thriving and the critically endangered
that thrive in their natural habitat include black-backed jackal, caracal, bat-eared fox and civet as there are no large predators on the reserve. The family believes that conservation is important for sustainable growth, maintaining healthy wildlife species and to restore and protect natural ecosystems. As such, the game population is managed carefully to preserve the natural habitat, fauna and flora. “Hartenbos offers the best of both worlds,” says Alida. “You can escape to nature in the bush, yet you are close enough to take a quick drive to the beach.” Self-catering accommodation is offered in two villas, four luxury tents and two family tents. Each of the two villas has two bedrooms
with en-suite bathrooms, a living and dining area with a kitchenette, and a private deck. The luxury tents accommodate two guests each and have en suite bathrooms with a kitchenette and a deck. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, and a main lodge with a lounge and games room, where you can also order breakfast and dinner. Guests can book a morning or afternoon game drive in a 4X4 vehicle or relax at the pool. Or just chill on the deck with a sundowner and enjoy the peace and quiet of the farm with its panoramic views of the hills and valleys across to the Outeniqua mountains. www.hartenbosgamelodge.co.za
The new Tented Eco Camp offers three- or five-night programmes with activities to ensure the welfare of the wildlife and vegetation in the park. You can even try your hand at being a game ranger. www.gondwanagr.co.za
HARTENBOS PRIVATE GAME LODGE Hartenbos Private Game Lodge is 15 minutes’ drive from Mossel Bay and 18 km from Hartenbos beach. It’s been privately owned by Hennie and Annette Jansen van Rensburg since 2018 and managed by their daughter and son-in-law, Alida and Wayne van der Merwe. The 850 ha farm is rich in beautiful Cape fynbos with multitudes of king and pincushion proteas, and has more than 25 species of antelope, including springbok, nyala and waterbuck. Disease-free buffalo, golden wildebeest, giraffe, and zebra abound, and birders can tick off 135 different species of birds. Soon to be introduced are lions and hippos. Smaller predators
PROFESSIONAL, FULL SERVICE REAL ESTATE AGENCY
With more than 55 combined years of experience in off plan residential development sales, Kent Gush Properties offers an impressive sales and rental portfolio comprised of Gauteng’s finest residences and world-class developments. Our belief in long lasting customer relationships cultivates honest communication and integrity which helps us to achieve our goal of an enjoyable customer experience – whether it be finding a dream home, securing a long term let or to unlock the value of a property investment.
Uncovering the origins of human culture Written by: Wesgro
The Cradle of Human Culture – tracing the origins and development of human culture over the past 160 000 years and in the process uncovering what it means to be human.
THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE CRADLE OF HUMAN CULTURE ENCOMPASSES CAPTIVATING ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES WHICH PRESERVE SOME OF THE WORLD’S EARLIEST EVIDENCE OF THE EVOLUTION OF MODERN HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
In South Africa we have two “Cradles”: the Cradle of Humankind, northwest of Johannesburg, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, and another extended site, the Cradle of Human Culture situated in the Western Cape, stretching from Elands Bay on the Cape West Coast (Weskus) all the way to the southern Cape coast, through Mossel Bay and on to Plettenberg Bay. The journey through the Cradle of Human Culture encompasses captivating archaeological sites which preserve some of the world’s earliest evidence of the evolution of modern human behaviour, and takes the theme of human evolution into the realm of the development of human culture.
From engraved ostrich eggshells and bone tools to shell beads and the first evidence of drawing, visitors will discover some of humanity’s earliest use of symbols, art and technological innovation. While the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng holds some of the earliest evidence of the human journey, starting from about 3.5 million years ago, the Cradle of Human Culture holds evidence of how our ancestors started to manifest abstract thought, to use fire to improve their toolmaking skills and to systematically exploit marine resources for their nutrition. These sites reveal how we, as Homo sapiens, started to innovate socially, behaviourally and culturally. By following our early predecessors’ footsteps, visitors will discover how we
became what we are today. The Cradle of Human Culture includes several archaeological and palaeontological sites in the Western Cape, with the major ones being Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Pinnacle Point, and Nelson Bay Cave. A trip to the Cradle of Human Culture encompasses these sites, as well as numerous others that track the expression of human culture through the ages. Diepkloof Rock Shelter, east of Elands Bay on the Cape West Coast, contains evidence dating back as far as 65 000 years of the earliest use of symbols by human beings, in the form of patterns engraved on ostrich eggshells that were used as water containers. While Diepkloof isn’t open to the
public for conservation reasons, there are many surrounding historical and archaeological sites to visit that link to this site, including Elands Bay Cave, with its beautiful rock paintings. Archaeological findings from Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay show that humans were regularly eating seafood from about 162 000 years ago. This world-renowned archaeological site is also home to some of the oldest evidence of the heat treatment of rock, indicating
a construction process of new material for tools. Pinnacle Point is open to the public and offers tours with local guides. There are also many surrounding historical and archaeological places to visit that link to this site. Nelson Bay Cave on the Robberg Reserve peninsula in Plettenberg Bay, is open to the public. Dimly illuminated by solar power, a boardwalk takes you back 120 000 years to when giant buffalo and eland roamed the savannah
which gave rise to the mountain. A well-conceived, glassed diorama presents layers of excavated evolution, and early evidence of Homo sapiens – the wise man – eventually living a socially complex culture.
GET IN TOUCH Cradle of Human Culture www.cradleofhumanculture.co.za T: 021 487 8600 E: [email protected]
Experience the two routes in the Western Cape, forming part of the Cradle of Human Culture. Along the Artist’s Journey on the Cape West Coast (Weskus), you will discover the West Coast Fossil Park, San rock art dotted along the Cederberg and unique guided experiences that will leave you feeling inspired. Along the Coastal Journey, you will catch a glimpse of the Cape Winelands, delve into the Cape Overberg and explore the famous Garden Route & Klein Karoo, discovering coastal caves and the underground natural wonder known as the Cango Caves.
POCKET GUIDE FOR EXPLORERS Cape Town • Peers Cave, Fish Hoek • Donald Greig – life size bronze sculpture • Maboneng Township Arts Experience, Langa • Bo Kaap • Norval Foundation, Steenberg • Zeitz MOCAA, V&A Waterfront • Art tours in communities, Woodstock • Iziko South African Museum Artist’s Journey • !Khwa ttu, Yzerfontein • West Coast National Park, Langebaan • West Coast Fossil Park, Langebaan • Elands Bay Cave, Elands Bay • Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Piketberg • Riel dancing and living culture, Wupperthal • Sevilla Rock Art Trail, Clanwilliam • Truitjieskraal, Matjiesrivier Reserve Coastal Journey • Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, Stellenbosch • Dine with Locals, Stellenbosch • Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Stanford • Klipgat Cave, De Kelders • Waenhuiskrans Cave, Arniston • Tidal fish traps, Still Bay • Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay • Cape St. Blaize Cave, Mossel Bay • Dine with Locals, George • Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn • Nelson Bay Cave, Plettenberg Bay
Did you know that
SUMMER is a great
time to have LASIK surgery? If you are dealing with vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, then consider laser eye surgery and make the most of summer. Wearing glasses and contact lenses can often get in the way and can put a damper on your summer fun at the beach.
Be ready for a swim at a moment’s notice and you can embrace all the fun a beach has to offer with no worries. Laser or lens surgery can remove the need for glasses and contact lenses and all the accessories that come with them, making traveling easier so that you can enjoy your holidays and summertime adventures with a healthy set of eyes - and nothing else! We offer various surgeries such as:
• Laser Eye Surgery LASIK PRK
• Cataract Surgery
Dr Joseph is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon who has been fellowship-trained in refractive, lens, and cataract surgery at a world-leading clinic in Dublin, Ireland with Mr Arthur Cummings. If you are ready to live a life without limits, contact the clinic to make your appointment or to enquire about the wonderful world of laser vision correction!
Dr Dylan Joseph
• Customized Lens Exchange
Tel: 044 150 0085
• ICL (Implantable Contact Lens)
Email: [email protected]
Dr Dylan A Joseph
SUMMER / 2021/22
Nothing is cooler than the pure zen of Harties
Written by: Esther de Villiers
601 7243 to find out about opening hours and tours.
claims to be the epitome of family entertainment and festivities.
Nearby Langeberg Mall and a variety of flea and food markets, coffee shacks and eateries sate a range of appetites throughout the year, and are complemented by cultural festivals and outdoor events.
Activities for young and old are hosted throughout the year in leisure zones surrounded by wide open spaces and indigenous natural fauna in a farm setting. A five-hectare open-air lawn lends itself to sports events, private functions, festivals, exhibitions and the like.
The ATKV resort has an amphitheatre where not only parties and concerts are hosted, but also religious services such as the Kersdiens (Christmas service) attended by thousands in this outdoor arena on Christmas morning. Several other services, such as the Kerssangdiens (Christmas carol service) and Middernagdiens (New Year’s midnight service) are held during the festive season, which at its peak has seen Hartenbos accommodating up to 15 000 visitors at a time. Apart from its 5 km of pristine Blue Flag beaches, river paddle boats, a super tube, fun park, heated swimming pool, flea markets, conference facilities and shopping centres, the resort is also the largest self-catering establishment on the Garden Route coastline. IMAGES BY: RIAAN HAMMOND
The ‘treffer’ that put rogue rapper Jack Parow on the map back in 2009 was called ‘Jy dink jy’s cooler as ekke’. This seminal anthem of the Parowpossessed significantly features two Mossel Bay references in a single verse (viz: “Jy dink jy’s cooler as ekke, want jy drink by Ku De Ta en ek drink by De Dekke… want ek hou vakansie in Hartenbos en jy in Quebec”). De Dekke is a popular ‘kuierplek’ in neighbouring Groot Brak River, where live music, comfort food and good company combine to lure locals and tourists back for more of the same, four seasons of the year. Hartenbos? Now that’s a stand-alone story right there. Interestingly, after raising the hackles of some pillars of the Harties community in 2018, Parow was temporarily banned
from performing in the traditionalhistorical Afrikaner bastion.
to nature lovers, this Garden Route town has something for everyone.”
Legend has it that public demand saw him back on stage the very next day, as part of a seasonal entertainment line-up that’s been de rigueur in this Mossel Bay beach ‘burb for many a decade.
A large part of the village covers the original farm, offered in 1733 to Esaias Meyer by the Dutch East India Company as reward for saving shipwrecked sailors off the spice vessel, Huijs te Marquette, in June 1734. Meyer called the farm Hart en Bosch (‘deer and bush’).
In fact, if you visit the tourism website www.visitmosselbay.co.za/ great-escape it will be clear that acts confirmed for these summer holidays offer something for every taste.
MIX IT UP According to www.suidersee.co.za Hartenbos is the ideal seaside holiday destination, as it offers an exciting mix of history, hospitality, culture and entertainment, all steeped in scenic surrounds. “From history buffs
In 1933, then South African Railways and Harbours turned the town into a holiday resort for lower-rung employees. Three years later, the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV – an Afrikaans language and culture society) purchased the farm for 7,000 pounds, and divided it into 670 lots that sold for about 60 pounds each. The resort was expanded over the years, and several lots were hired
out permanently on condition that no permanent brick structures were constructed on site; not until 1994 were people allowed to purchase these lots.
The town receives its lowest rainfall in June and highest in October, with temperatures ranging from 18.6 degrees Celsius in July, to 26.6° C in January. Hartenbos has its own primary school, sport clubs, and several churches.
INSIDE, OUTSIDE, FACTS AND FIGURES
VILLAGE WITHIN A VILLAGE
Since then, the town has flourished into a seaside holiday destination of note. With Hartenbos River and the beach on its doorstep, it offers excellent water sports, swimming and fishing opportunities.
The recently established familyfriendly Hart & Bosch Village is situated less than 2 km from the N2 highway’s Hartenbos turn-off, and a mere 20-minute drive from George Airport. The venue serves as picture-perfect rest stop for road trippers, while being a vibrant multiattraction option for both residents and holidaymakers.
In the name of history conservation, Hartenbos Museum pays tribute to the 1838 Great Trek by settlers into the South African hinterland. The museum features a fine collection of historical artefacts including ox wagons, weapons, household implements and clothing. Call 044
Electricity and water points are available for traders, as well as ample parking – all geared to facilitate yearround and seasonal popup stalls – call Lilanie on 081 444 3410 for details.
POETRY AND OCEAN PROSE Promenading along clean and wellmaintained seaside walkways in Hartenbos, the ATKV influence is tangible – and highly appreciated by South African poetry lovers – due to a series of ocean-themed Afrikaans verses displayed on plaques facing each of several viewing benches. Among these are ‘See-retoriek’ by Sheila Cussons, ‘Begin Somer’ by Ingrid Jonker, ‘Nag op die See’ by Totius, and a fragment of Adam
Complete with its own restaurant called Salt and Copper, a kid’s play area, tasting room, distillery and events section, Hart & Bosch Village
Small’s ‘Toefie koers na die vismark’. These poems are timeless, albeit penned over the past century and then some. Perhaps the last word on Hartenbos should go to Koos Kombuis – a vocal fighter against apartheid and founding member of the Voëlvry movement, which was instrumental in establishing alternative Afrikaans rock and roll. “As a child, Hartenbos symbolised to me everything that is positive, beautiful and noble about humanity. The fact that my parents could not afford anything better than a very small asbestos home right next to the railway line did not bother me. “With the years, Hartenbos has not changed much: even though the seafront restaurant is now licensed, the ooms and tannies (not just their children) still drink pink milkshakes after Sunday lunch. “But Hartenbos is not white anymore. Afrikaans, yes, but indeed multiracial. How did the ATKV manage that? They did nothing. It just happened. Virtually overnight. It’s high time the whole of South Africa learns the pure zen of Hartenbos.”
YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO THE VERNACULAR A “treffer” is a hit, referring here to a hit song. “Jy dink jy’s cooler as ekke” translates to “You think you’re cooler than me” which is impossible if it’s Jack Parow talking to you, because while you drink in fancy places, he drinks at De Dekke, and while you holiday in Quebec, he’s hanging out in Hartenbos. A “kuierplek” is a hangout. Koos Kombuis is referring to uncles and aunties when he says “ooms en tannies.”
Lovers of ghost stories, history and the Victorian era will be fascinated by the Historic Ghost Walk with Hello Adventure. Travel back in time and follow in the footsteps of the town’s early pioneers. This tour is not for the feint-hearted as you’ll visit sites with dark histories and confirmed paranormal activity. It’s a 2 km, twohour walk around the historic part of the town including the museum and old graveyard. This offbeat adventure takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings. www.helloadventure.co.za
The NSRI appeals to anyone launching any kind of craft on water to download and use the RSA Safe Trx free app. A responsible family member can monitor your trip using the app which will automatically alert emergency contacts should you fail to return at your expected ETA. The app is for both Android and iOS devices and includes an emergency call button to quickly make a distress call, share your real-time track with family, and initiate a search process with the NSRI.
Seabird rescue Just outside Mossel Bay in Mossdustria, the Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre (SAPREC) is doing wonderful work with endangered seabirds including African penguins, Cape gannets, and Cape cormorants and petrels, which are under threat from predator sharks, feral cats, and fishing nets. When a bird is brought into the centre, it is seen by the vet if necessary and stabilised with electrolytes. The rehabilitation process consists of daily activities and birds are carefully monitored, fed twice a day and assessed for fitness, waterproofing and
sociability. Once they achieve all the necessary milestones, they are chipped and released at a nearby nature reserve. Bird lovers can enjoy a unique viewing experience during feeding times at 9 am and 2 pm daily. Call 071 643 2496 to arrange a visit and contact the centre if you come across a seabird in need of help. SAPREC is a registered non-profit organisation run by volunteers and relies on external funding. Visit www.saprec. org to find out more or if you would like to make a donation.
Tourist info The wreck of Glentana
Caring for seals
The shipwreck at Glentana Beach is a landmark on the coast and at low tide it is possible to walk to the wreck, which has an interesting history. The British steamer Baralong was towing a 4 500 ton, 123 m long floating dock past Mossel Bay in 1902. It would have been the first floating dock in South Africa, but gale force winds and heavy seas forced the steamer to abandon the dock which was then beached in a natural creek.
Mossel Bay has some great surf spots for all levels of experience. For beginners, Diaz Beach has no rocks and a few different waves to avoid overcrowding. More experienced surfers should head to The Point where two waves break next to each other – Inner and Outer Pool. Outer Pool is known for the length of the ride and the barrel down at the bottom section. Mystery Reef is the local big wave spot and further along the coast Ding Dang has A-frame barrelling waves.
Cape fur seals often come out of the sea to rest on rocks or the beach. They can spend days out of the water, so it’s best to leave them alone because they can be very aggressive when provoked. If there are signs that the seal is in trouble, for example, open wounds, call the Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team (SMART) on 072 227 4715. Occasionally during breeding season pups may wash up on the beach. Do not try to save them but call SMART immediately.
Mossel Bay Tourism is the official destination marketing organisation for this historic town. Their Information Centre offers maps, brochures and general information as well as tourist assistance and help with making reservations for accommodation and adventures. Visit their website or pop into their offices for a chat with the friendly, helpful staff on weekdays from 8 am - 6 pm on weekdays and 9 am – 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Corner of Market & Church Streets. 044 691 2202 | [email protected] www.visitmosselbay.co.za
SUMMER / 2021/22
did not have a theme, but comprised items of historical interest donated by the public. Some years later it was decided to preserve the Post Office Tree and the site of the original freshwater spring that was used by Dias and his crew, and in 1984 the museum became a provincial museum renamed the Post Office Tree Provincial Museum. The complex includes the site where the first recorded meeting between the Khoekhoen and Dias’s sailors took place. By all accounts this was not a friendly encounter and ended in stones being thrown and a crossbow fired, as no permission had been requested for use of the freshwater spring.
The Dias Museum: a tree, a granary and a sawmill bring history alive The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex in the heart of the Mossel Bay CBD, inhabits some of the town’s first permanent buildings erected in the late 1700s, and is named to commemorate the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, the first European to land in the bay. His fascinating six month voyage from Lisbon is chronicled in The Maritime Museum and the life-size replica of the ship he and his crew sailed down the coast of Africa is an exhibition highlight. Written by: Jeannine Orzechowski
In early January 1488, as Dias’s three ships rounded the Cape they were blown away from the coast. He ordered a turn to the south and on 3 February the crew spotted land about 300 miles east of the Cape of Good Hope. Here they discovered a bay with natural springs to replenish their water supplies. They called it Aquada da São Brás - the watering place of St. Blaize, on whose feast day they made landfall.
BARTOLOMEU DIAS MUSEUM The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex is a collection of several buildings situated on large grounds overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s an essential on your itinerary, located right in the middle of the town and the site itself has an interesting history. First opened as The Mossel Bay Museum in 1963, it apparently
Dias’s journey not only opened the sea route between Europe and Asia but would eventually lead to the colonisation of southern Africa. A national festival to commemorate his arrival culminated in the renaming of the museum to the Bartolomeu Dias Museum in 1989. The Granary, a replica of the original storehouse (1788) and built on the original foundations, houses a live display of plants and flowers from the Mossel Bay area, and a conference facility for up to 100 people. The Maritime Museum, which was once a sawmill, celebrates Portuguese maritime history and has a life-size replica of Dias’s caravel, the São Cristóvãoin, which led the fleet of three ships commanded by Dias and his two brothers. The caravel was built in a shipyard in Portugal and an engine was installed to make sure it arrived on time for the festival on 3 February 1989. The journey to Mossel Bay took three months, half the time of Dias’s journey. The exterior appearance of the ship was maintained in the design of the topsides, deck arrangement, steering gear, masting, rigging and sails. However, below deck, the design was adapted to accommodate bunk beds for the modern day crew because the original did not provide any sleeping arrangements!
On the upper level of the museum are displays depicting the history of the town, and a souvenir and coffee shop.
The Maritime Museum, which was once a sawmill, celebrates Portuguese maritime history and has a lifesize replica of Dias’s caravel.
The Shell Museum and Aquarium was established in 1987. On the ground floor, exhibits embrace the ecology of molluscs (slugs and snails) with living molluscs and other small marine animals, as well as a life-size model of a giant squid. A touch tank in the aquarium encourages interactive learning about marine life on South Africa’s shoreline. The upper level has a collection of terrestrial, fresh water and marine shells from all over the world and the largest South African shell display. The whale and dolphin exhibit includes a life-size model of a 476 kg great white shark. There is so much more to explore: a small chapel built by the Portuguese and believed to have been the first place of Christian worship in South Africa; a stone padrão erected in 1969 replicating the wooden cross placed by Vasco da Gama in 1497; the freshwater spring and EthnoBotanical and Indigenous Field Garden with a Braille Trail for the visually impaired; the Mossel Bay Archaeology Educational Project; the Munrohoek cottages (built in 1830 by Alexander Munro, a retired Scottish soldier and shoemaker at a cost of £25 on land leased from the Cape government); and the Muslim burial site (two graves, uncovered in 1926, and believed to be that of Muslim saints who died en route to Batavia around 1864). The location of the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex offers a spectacular vantage point over the bay as you explore the historical buildings situated on lawns linked with pathways that lead you way back down the annals of early South African history. Entertaining and educational for adults and children, the museum provides a good overview of not just the history of Mossel Bay but in-depth knowledge of naval exploration and maritime history. A comprehensive visit will take about two hours. Visit www.diasmuseum. co.za for more information and for opening hours and entrance fees.
THE POST OFFICE TREE In 1501, 15 years after Bartolomeu Dias had landed at the bay which he named Aquada São Brás, Portuguese navigator Pedro de Ataíde sought shelter there after losing much of his fleet in a storm. He left an account of the disaster hidden in an old shoe suspended from a milkwood tree (Sideroxylon inerme) near the spring from which Dias had drawn water. The report was found by the explorer to whom it was addressed, João da Nova, and the tree served as a kind of post office for many decades. Leaving post ashore became a means of communication between ships that anchored in the bay for supplies. In 1963, a large post box, shaped like a sailor’s boot, was placed under the 500 year old tree for visitors to post letters and postcards which are franked with a commemorative stamp. Mail is still collected from this letterbox twice a day and once a day out of season.
SUMMER / 2021/22
Written by: Esther de Villiers
Carola Ann’s: Among all of Marsh Street’s marvels, this Syrian/South African joint force may well be its finest
Main drag leads you there Marsh Street in the Mossel Bay CBD is quite the show-off when it comes to beautiful buildings, and the cafés, congregations and other concerns they house. The town is famous for sandstone which features in a variety of structures, made more notable because these building blocks may range in colour from beige to pink, mauve, orange, yellow, red, grey and brown. Many of these can be viewed along this main drag, from the town’s western entrance all the way to the seaside hub of The Point: St Thomas Catholic Church was built in 1885 and used as a school until 1905 when it was enlarged and converted to a church; the Fynbos Shoppe premises at 31 Marsh date from pre-1877. St Peter’s Rectory and Church Hall at 58 Marsh Street was a single storey when constructed in 1856 on the site of the Chapel School Room (est. 1854); the Green Door Guest House building was completed in 1900 and adorned with intricate wrought iron verandahs and railings. At 40 Marsh Street a dwelling built for Adriaan Horak (1875-1880), which used to be called Windsor House, was later used commercially. Then, one gets to Carola Ann’s restaurant at neighbouring number 38… and all thoughts of history are overshadowed
THE TALENTED COUPLE TIED THE KNOT IN APRIL 2015, AND THE FIRST INCARNATION OF CAROLA ANN’S OPENED ITS DOORS IN OCTOBER THAT YEAR.
by exotic aromas and an ambience at once comforting and enticing. The Syrian/South African connection Chef Corelie de Villiers may have been creating kitchen magic since gaining her cooking qualification under the wing of internationally-lauded South African culinary luminary Peter Veldsman – but only after attaining her BCom degree from North-West University. “In a complete turnaround insofar as my career was concerned, I gained my Associate Chef Diploma from Peter’s chef school, the Culinary Arts Institute of Africa, and worked in his restaurant, Emily’s, after graduating.” Through contacts of Peter and chef Johan Odendaal, Corelie scored a job in Qatar, where she worked in Doha’s Kempinski Hotel for two and a half years. In the process she discovered and developed her love of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. Equally life-altering was the fact that she met her future husband and business bestie, Samuel Shami, during this time. “I met Sam, who comes from Syria’s principal port town, Latakia, while he was working at the front desk of the same hotel,” she says, adding that Sam continued to work in Doha after her contract ran out and she returned to South Africa.
Take a look at some special menu items you could encounter at Carola Ann’s - enough to send the pickiest of taste buds into overdrive: As a norm, all guests are treated to Corelie’s particular brand of freshly-baked bread. Hot-smoked trout and chimichurri prawn salad with melon, mango, pickled cucumber, baby leaves and toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce. North African marinated chicken with green olives wrapped in phyllo pastry with almond dust and cinnamon. Pressed lamb with pickled sultanas, dukkha and preserved lemon garlic cream. Green salad with red quinoa, charred broccoli and sour cream dressing. Roasted butternut, red onion, crispy lentil and rocket salad with za’atar oil and tahini.
Home to Klein Brak The twin villages of Little Brak and Great Brak (“Brak” referring to the brackish taste of water in the rivers upon which they have been established) are situated east of Mossel Bay. The former is where Corelie landed up upon her 2014 return. “I started doing cooking demonstrations at my mom’s house in Klein Brak to keep me busy while I decided what I wanted to do. These demos resulted in an opportunity to start a kind of pop-up lunch-only shop at Mossel Bay Backpackers in the centre of town.” Corelie was cooking a different Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dish every day and bringing these into town to sell. Her menus were posted on social media, and takers could order on WhatsApp or email.
to do so for the next five years.” Corona points the way After the Covid pandemic reared its head in early 2020, the Carola Ann’s crew, like so many other food, beverage and wider tourism enterprises, faced several challenges in their Church Street home. “We had to make an informed decision to face the challenge upfront and plan a move to bigger and more open premises with outdoor seats available. On moving to 38 Marsh Street in November of that year, it quickly became our new home away from home.” Corelie takes care of all food-related affairs at the restaurant; when she’s not in the kitchen cooking, which is mostly the case, she’s coming up with new ideas and planning new menus.
“During this time, it was only my mom and me doing most of the cooking. It took about four months for the word to spread and then things started to get very busy – so much so that Sam and I decided that he would make South Africa his permanent home.”
“Sam is always on hand to help out with the tasting of typically Middle Eastern dishes to make sure I am on the right track. He is also in charge of seamless running of the front of house, as well as the wine list and drinks menu.”
The talented couple tied the knot in April 2015, and the first incarnation of Carola Ann’s opened its doors in October that year. “After the lengthy process of searching for the right spot for our restaurant, we initially traded from 12 Church Street and continued
Meet Sam, Corelie and their knowledgeable staff at Carola Ann’s and savour the collision of continents at their eye-pleasing Marsh Street premises. Visit them on Facebook for menu details and events or call 064 154 6393 for additional information.