Category: Blog

Love in Bloom: Orchids of South Africa

White Orchid

Nothing says “I love you” like the gift of orchids. These alluring blooms symbolize love, beauty, luxury, and strength. Not only do they last much longer than roses, some are also deliciously fragrant.

Did you know? There are almost three times the amount of orchids grown in South Africa as there are in all of Europe! The southern African region boasts 479 species, 65 percent of which are endemic. Our orchids grow in a wide variety of different habitats, including bushveld, savanna, karooid scrub, thorn scrub, fynbos, and grassland. As in many other plant groups, the Western Cape is where most of the species flourish, in a wide variety of colors and uniquely shaped blossoms.

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

“A kiss on the cheek may be quite continental…” Most of us remember this song from the movie classic, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Truth is, our fascination with the allure of diamonds began long before these lyrics were penned.

Over the centuries, diamonds have been associated with romance, and have developed unique status as the ultimate gift of love. It was said that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with magic diamonds. The Greeks believed the fire in the diamond reflected the constant flame of love.

Why Hippos Don’t Eat Fish: An African Folktale

Hippos

When God was giving each animal a place in the world, the pair of hippos begged to be allowed to live in the cool water which they so dearly loved. God looked at them, and was doubtful about letting them live in the water: their mouths were so large, their teeth so long and sharp, and their size and appetites were so big, He was afraid that they would eat up all the fish.

Kudos to the Kudu!

Kudu

Did you know? Legend has it that the kudu is God’s favorite antelope! After creating the very first kudu, God held its face in His hands, looked into its eyes and exclaimed, “You are SO beautiful!” and kissed the kudu smack on the nose! And that’s why the kudu bears the fingerprints of God. You can see them on the sides of every kudu’s face.

IN TOUCH: Video Interview with Ed Lopez

 

Meet Ed Lopez, one of our Specialist Travel Consultants based in our Sarasota, Florida office. You will learn about how he likes to spend his free time, some of the continents and countries he has frequented, and the very special place that he plans to visit next.

South African Sweets

Most traditional South African desserts reflect a strong Dutch influence harking back to the early settlers of the country. You won’t find heavy chocolate desserts or cheesecakes in South African cookbooks; most recipes have simple ingredients that are readily available.

Melktart

MilktertThis sweet and creamy dessert is reminiscent of a cream pie, simple and delicious! The Afrikaans term, melk tert means “milk tart” in English.  A melk tert consists of a sweet pastry crust with a light, filling made from milk, eggs, and flour and is usually topped with cinnamon. It is a popular dessert or teatime treat. Recipes vary greatly from family to family and region to region.  Just about everyone who loves milk tart has a recipe handed down from “Ouma” (Grandma).

IN TOUCH: Interview with Angie Main

Meet Angie Main, one of our Specialist Travel Consultants. Formerly from Sarasota, she now manages our new North Carolina team. Angie chats for a minute about the traditional South African meals she loves prepare. You will enjoy many of these tasty treats during your South Africa tour.

The Best Time to Visit South Africa

Elephant baby with flowers

With our year round temperate climate, your decision about the best time to visit South Africa will not so much be based on the weather but more about the experiences and adventures you wish to have. For example, South Africa’s winter months (June, July, August) – which have the least rainfall, except for the Western Cape with its Mediterranean climate – is a peak time for game viewing, as a shortage of water means animals gather at watering holes.