Between us, the get lost team has stayed at a lot of hotels. Like, a lot.
But you know what The Twelve Apostles has going for it (besides its ridiculous sea view terrace, swimming pool, fine dining and pillow menu)? Arguably, the world’s best hotel robe. Gosh, it was luxe. Heavy and comforting, the perfect lounge robe.
The Apostles is the very definition of 5-star luxury. Perched above the Atlantic Ocean and with a backdrop to Table Mountain, this boutique hotel offers up breathtaking sunsets, access to incredible cape beaches and an award-winning spa.
Not to mention you can choose your soap/ skincare. We went with rooibos, hbu?
Honestly, this place is heaven. In fact, all of Mauritius is heaven, but SALT of Palmar is the cherry on top. Why? Firstly, look at it. It’s a colourful pastel wonderland, an aesthetic feast for the eyes. It’s also adults-only, now don’t get us wrong we love kids and babies and small humans, but trying to relax by the resort pool while there’s a game of Marco Polo in progress isn’t… well… relaxing.
At SALT, it’s grown-up time, all the time. Whether you’re doing sundowners on the resort rooftop, laying by the private beach, getting a (literal) salt treatment at the spa or eating your way through their locally-sourced menu.
The ethos here is all about creating a sustainable, welcoming vibe for their guests and they’ve nailed it. On a recent stay, we were invited into the kitchen to learn how to make Mauritian curry—now if that’s not bloody welcoming, what is? The curry was perfection, FYI. We ate two servings and rolled into our ocean-side bed slightly sunburnt and satisfied.
To go halfway to Senegal or all the way to Senegal? That's the question.
I’m sitting in Khadim’s living room watching him strain a pot of café touba—Senegal’s claim to coffee fame. Café touba is often described as a spiced coffee, but drinkers be warned: it’s less pumpkin spice and more kick-you-in-the-face-with-pepper spice. Warming like a shot of whisky, enjoyed year-round in Senegal and rumoured to hold aphrodisiac powers, café touba is 100% better than your average flat white. No offence to your barista.
Going ‘all the way to Senegal’ involves adding five sugar cubes to your cup like a true touba aficionado. Halfway is for chickens like me who don’t want to ride a caffeinated sugar high well into the early morning. It’s already 7pm, this gal needs her beauty sleep.
Khadim’s living room (the only place in Cape Town offering traditional café touba) is my last stop on what has been an African food odyssey led by local musician and guide, Sindile Kamlana, AKA Khofhi the King. In just one afternoon Khofhi and I have Gatsby’d and chapatti’d; been to Mali and Ethiopia, and back again. And now I’m feeling very full—with both food and stories. If this was a date, it’d be the best date of my life.
You might be thinking—why do you need a date/guide to eat African food in South Africa? Well, the thing about Cape Town is it’s actually quite hard to find African cuisine if you don’t know where to look. And sometimes you just need a break from Western Cape wine farm experiences.
“African food here in Cape Town has been sidelined for a long time,” Khofhi explains. The cosmopolitan city’s fusion centric and fine dining restaurants tend to get more airtime than the local joints. Hence, the need for a local who knows where to eat and when.
Our first stop is a seemingly unmarked Somali cafe, home to a loaded bain-marie and a bunch of aunties cackling while they’re cooking out the back. We’re here for the chapatti (flaky flatbread, like roti’s delicious cousin) and shaah (a chai-esque Somali tea, very sweet). This is an in-and-out style kitchen, with all kinds of CBD workers popping in for a plate of goat stew or the famous Somali spaghetti topped with banana. Yep, banana. Don’t doubt it till you’ve tried it.
We throw back our shaah’s, tip the aunties and hot foot it to our next meal. “Remember to pace yourself,” Khofhi warns me as we walk. “We’ve got a lot to see and eat today”.
We wander through the Cape’s oldest post office-turned-market, stopping to taste some Durban spices. I wave at the statue of Nelson Mandela as we pass by the mighty town hall, before arriving at Nobantu.
Nobantu is a small sit-down place that serves politicians and bus drivers alike (it’s right next to the city bus depot). Here, cooks from Cape Town townships are dishing up South African quintessentials, like pork and pap (a porridge made from maize) and chakalaka, also known as “South Africa’s favourite salad”. Chakalaka, a dish made from beans and fresh veggies, is a staple you’ll find on any menu and at any braai (barbecue). It’s delicious, and sometimes spicy. Great on toast, even.
But the most impressive thing about Nobantu would have to be its unrivalled view to Table Mountain. Who needs fine dining on the waterfront? Not us.
One sweet, sticky cinnamon koeksista (similar to a donut) and a plate of spongy Ethiopian injera bread (made from teff flour) later, we find ourselves at Fatima’s Restaurant on Long St. This place is the epitome of a local gem; a bona fide melting pot of African cuisines. At Fatima’s they cater to everyone, but especially to those who love ‘Africa’s most controversial dish—jollof rice’. Controversial because Nigerians steadfastly maintain their jollof is the best jollof.
I’m close to exploding / unbuttoning my pants at this point, but I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to taste the Mali version of Nigeria’s most coveted dish. “I’m really proud of Fatima’s restaurant,” says Khofhi, “this place attracts people from all African countries in one space. It’s a hot spot for people who love to watch football… Fatima comes in the evenings and her sister is also in the kitchen… it’s a real family business.”
When I ask Khofhi what African cuisine he likes best, he tells me it’s without a doubt food from Mali—“people from Mali put a lot of love into their cooking,” he says.
And that’s the common culinary thread today—love.
Food is nothing without the love of the cook, just like café touba is nothing without the love of Khadim. And as I drink my spicy coffee and listen to Khadim’s story, I feel warmed. Touched, even. Maybe it’s the djar spice. Maybe it’s the aphrodisiac. Who knows.
But maybe next time I’ll go all the way to Senegal.
If you’ve ever wanted to live in a Wes Anderson dupe—this is the hotel for you.
Situated just outside of Durban, South Africa, The Oyster Box is 5-star luxury hotel with a famous cat, its own lighthouse and a host of cheeky local monkeys to keep the guests entertained.
Literally. Don’t leave your beachfront doors open unattended, they’ll raid your mini fridge.
The buffet breakfast on the pool patio is indulgent in all the best kinds of ways (oysters and Bloody Mary’s, anyone?); the day spa has its own hamam; and the variety of bars means even the booziest of us can stay entertained.
The only thing The Oyster Box is missing? Bill Murray.
An African safari is on everyone’s bucket list; tick it off in style with an all inclusive luxury Tanzania safari, where you can bask in stunning scenery, spot the Big 5 and try some of Tanzania’s delicious food.
Here are the top 5 experiences you can’t miss on a luxury Tanzania Safari:
1. Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is otherworldly, as you drive through granite ridges and dip through the Savannahs valleys you’ll be able to fulfil your childhood dream of spotting herds of elephants and wildebeest, and get some sick snaps of lions and zebras.
2. Ngorongoro Crater
Make sure you feast your eyes on the exquisite Ngorongoro Crater, the ‘Green Crater’ will genuinely make you gasp especially when you see Hippos dozing next to the Soda Lake.
3. Mto wa Mbu village
Mto wa Mbu village will give you some insight into Tanzania’s unique way of life. Hear stories from local tour guides and try mouthwatering local cuisine.
4. Central Serengeti
Serenegti is famous for a reason: known for its ‘Endless Plains’ and the famous ‘Great Wildebeest Migration,’ which is one of the largest animal migrations in the world. The landscape is spectacular, as are the Big 5.
5. Hot Air Balloon Flight
Hard to think of a better place to fly in a hot air balloon than over the magnificent national parks in Tanzania. Soak up the scenery as the sun rises and start your morning with a cheeky glass of bubbly – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
In 2020, Dutch and Austrian photographer Pie Aerts and Marion Payr created Prints for Wildlife, a print sale of some of the most epic wildlife shots in the world.
The project was a response to the global pandemic, which had a devastating effect on wildlife, conservation projects, tourism and communities across Africa. The first two instalments of Print for Wildlife raised more than US $1.75 million dollars for conservation non-profit organisation African Parks. To get lost, the project is not only a great way to support a terrific cause, but a fantastic excuse to get an unbelievable print of an animal into your home.
We’ve selected ten of our favourites below – check them out:
The fundraiser sees internationally renowned wildlife photographers donating one of their photos to be sold for a limited time at just $100. So far, more than 15,000 wildlife prints have been sold and delivered to wildlife lovers around the world.
Prints for Wildlife’s third outing will launch on August 28, 2022, with limited numbers of prints available for $100 from over 130 photographers, including Beverley Joubert, Drew Doggett, Karim Illya, Ami Vitale, Joachim Schmeisser, Will Burrard-Lucas, Marsel van Oosten and Gaël Ruboneka Vande weghe. No less than 100 per cent of profits go to African Parks, who currently manage 20 parks in 11 countries, including Kafue (Zambia), Akagera (Rwanda) and Liwonde (Malawi) National Parks, on behalf of African governments for the benefit of local communities and wildlife, the largest and most ecologically diverse portfolio of protected areas in Africa under rehabilitation by any one organisation.
“The incredible success of Prints for Wildlife came as a much-needed reminder that, even in times of crisis, humanity can come together to spread hope and do good for our planet,” says Marion Payr. “Wildlife conservation, protecting valuable biomes and supporting communities has now found a place in the hearts and, with the stunning art of all the generous photographers, on the walls of thousands of homes across the globe.”
There are some legitimately crazy shots in this collection – just check the gallery above. If this doesn’t make you want to board a plane and head straight to Africa, then we’re not sure what will.
Everyone pines for warm weather when travelling, but ‘the hottest place on earth’ is probably a little further than most would like to go.
The Danakil Depression has been described as the least hospitable place on the face of this planet, with an average daily temperature of 46 degrees Celsius in summer, yet curiosity has gotten the better of intrepid travellers which have started to visit over the last couple of decades.
There’s three-day, two night trips to the Danakil Depression that also take in a trip to the edge of the equally otherworldly Erta Ale: a glowing, furious (and active) volcano deep into the ground, which is probably the most accessible volcano of it’s kind in the world. It’s important to note that this is for the intrepid – extreme temperatures and the nature of the landscape mean this is not a destination for everyone.
But travel is all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing places that are nothing like home, and this certainly fits that bill. Plus, you can always say you’ve spent a couple of nights in the world’s least hospitable location (not including that share house you lived in when you were 21).
Forget King George or George Costanza – there’s a new George in town….Cape Town, that is.
Centrally located in the upmarket St Georges Mall, Gorgeous George has its own inimitable style that sets it apart from other cool stays, a style that could best be described as a kind of chic, jazz luxury.
The focal point is the leafy rooftop that looks out over a hip neighbourhood, with sun beds surrounding a gorgeous (there’s no other way of saying it) wading pool.
The pool is perfect for pool parties, bikini-clad influencers, people that tan, and people looking to soothe their muscles after a big day climbing Table Mountain or in Cape Town’s renowned surf.
There’s a retro-style radio in each room and funky nude artwork adorns the walls in most rooms and corridors, pleasing both sophisticated connoisseurs and pervvy people. There’s a jazz bar on level one that heaves with stylish people (but closes quite early).
But it’s the rooftop that is the highlight. Get there as the sun rises, and get the braaied boerewors – little South African sausages that pack a heap of punch in a small package. Just like George.
“Sheikh Hussein guides anyone who calls his name.” So says the Arabic inscription atop the Sheikh’s tomb, deep in the Bale Mountains National Park in the Horn of Africa. On two occasions each year tens of thousands of pilgrims – most belonging to Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group – flock to this shrine in the remote village of Dirre Sheikh Hussein to celebrate the man they credit with introducing Islam to southern Ethiopia almost a thousand years ago.
Over the course of several days, pilgrims pay homage to the man they revere for performing many miracles. They fall into trances, sing, dance, laugh and cry in fervour and mix prayers to Allah with pre-Islamic rites. According to Sheikh Kadir, the chief of the village and a descendant of Sheikh Hussein, religious fundamentalists who disagree with the blending of ancient local and newer Islamic traditions are a threat to the pilgrims. Some have destroyed the holy tombs of saints in surrounding mountains, but despite their intimidation they have not yet disrupted this celebration.
For the past nine years I have been travelling to the northern border of Namibia to visit Himba villages. Originally I went to the area of Epupa and my partner and I were invited to stay in a village. That evening one of the children passed away. Wanting to give the family some space, we left in the middle of the night. Later, when we learned more of the Himba’s culture in regards to death, we felt compelled to return.
Our return to the village was welcomed with open arms and led to a fascinating experience. At the end of that stay we were initiated into the village, and I return on an annual basis.
Each year I spend at least two weeks in the village, photographing the people and learning about their culture. I always bring the images from my previous trip, which cause a stir in the village and provide me with a lot of freedom.
I now run photographic tours to share my relationship and experiences with others. These tours allow the Himba culture to be experienced, while also providing the tribe with things that they need for their daily traditional lives, and it shows them they have an amazing culture worth hanging on to.