African

Posted in African, Travel, on 2 May 2018, by , 0 Comments

Johannesburg is a rich city with an expansive list of places to see. It’s so difficult to pack in all of the experiences you would like to show a guest who only has one day to explore the city. We’ve put together an itinerary focused on showcasing all of the best elements Jozi has to offer.

The Rosebank Art & Craft Market

A tourist favourite, the Rosebank Art and Craft Market offers beautiful hand-made products from South Africa, Ghana, Congo, Cameroon, Malawi, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Your guests can browse a wide range of handcrafted wide range of ornaments, beadwork, handbags, décor items and paintings. A plus is experiencing the vibrant traders and bartering for the best price!

Image: www.tripadvisor.co.za

www.gauteng.net

Dlala Nje

Founded in 2012, Dlale Nje aims to challenge perceptions through inner-city immersions and experiences in some of Joburg’s most misunderstood areas. The walking tours have proved to be incredibly popular and an absolute must for anyone who wants to experience the real Johannesburg. Dlale Nje has various tours including the Ponte City Experience and This is Hillbrow which explore famous landmarks in the area and give the guests a true taste of Jozi.

The tours average around 3kms over 3 hours and includes a meal and a beverage. Translators can be provided on request.

www.dlalanje.org

Carlton Centre

While still in the CBD make sure to take in the breath-taking views at Carlton Centre. The 50-storey building offers 360 degrees of the Johannesburg Skyline. The Carlton Centre is still the tallest building in Africa and was once the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Carlton Centre complex was once home to the famous five-star, 30-storey Carlton Hotel, which was prime accommodation in Gauteng and popular with the rich and famous. Guests Hillary Clinton, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Whitney Houston and Mick Jagger. Urban decay in the inner city in the 1990s took its toll on the hotel, which shut its doors in 1997 after nearly 25 years of operation and to this day the Carlton Hotel, which sits next to the Carlton Centre, remains empty.

The Carlton Centre now is now occupied by offices on the upper floors and a popular shopping centre. Admission to the “Top of Africa” costs R15.00 and is accessible via lifts in the mall.

www.gauteng.net

The Joburg Zoo

A must do for every visitor to South Africa is see the Big 5. The Joburg Zoo houses over 320 species of animals and is internationally accredited and highly respected for its high standard of animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct. The zoo offers various routes, so it is easy to select which enclosures you would like to visit especially if you are exhausted after the day’s sightseeing. The big 5 are conveniently located along African Avenue, The Giraffe Run and the Elephant Walk. The impressive collection of crocodiles along the way are an additional treat. The Joburg Zoo

The AngloGold Lion enclosure houses 11 lions with 3 magnificent pride males and their pride females. The Zoo also has rare white lions making up their lion pride.

citizen.co.za

Sundowners & Dinner at moyo Zoolake

Finish off a busy day taking in the sights with the beautiful views from the moyo Zoo Lake deck.

moyo Zoo Lake is a tranquil retreat from the urban hustle and bustle of Joburg and as the African sunsets, cocktails on the deck and fabulous live music set the tone for an extraordinary evening of fine-dining and soulful vibes. Let your international guest immerse themselves in an African hand wash ceremony and have their faces painted for those perfect Instagram moments of a short stay in South Africa.

moyo offers an extensive menu of African delicacies including Nyama na kumba, Moroccan slow braised lamb shank, Mozambique peri peri prawns and Senegalese line fish. There is also a well-rounded list of South African wines available to complete your meal.

During the chilly winter months ahead moyo offers warm and cosy blankets as well as gas-heaters to keep the chill at bay. So don’t let the cold scare you.

Continue Reading...

Posted in Uncategorized, Cook, Food, African, on 16 March 2018, by , 0 Comments

When we think of tagines we often think of an item on a menu that could be ordered the same way as a chicken tikka masala or an oxtail stew. But the word ‘tagine’ also takes its name from the earthenware cookware it is made in.

Tagines are typically a stew-like dish made with meat, vegetables or fruit, on occasion with potatoes or lentils and a thick gravy. It is served with a variety of starches today although traditionally couscous or bread was commonplace.

The very concise history of the tagine

When it comes to flavour, the moyo tagines and the majority of what you will find recipes for is based on the Moroccan tagines.

In most Moroccan dishes, including the tagine, one can trace the long lineage of immigrants and colonizers who have left their mark in more than one way.  The cuisine of the first inhabitants of Morocco, the Berbers, still exists today in staple dishes like the tagine. New spices, nuts and dried fruit came later with the Arab invasion, which we see in combinations like dates with lamb tagines. The Moors brought olives and citrus fruit and the Jewish-Moors left their incredibly sophisticated preserving techniques behind. The Ottoman Empire introduced kebabs and the French colony, although very short-lived, left behind a culture of cafes, pastries and wine.

When you consider the rich culinary history in the region it is both impressive how far the modern tagine has come and incredible that it has stood the test of time and still survives today.

Moroccan food, and therefore by proxy tagines, has a remarkable character when it comes to the spices that colours the cuisine. The staples are dried ginger, cumin, salt, black pepper and turmeric. Cumin is so common in Moroccan cuisine that it is often served alongside salt and pepper on the table. Cinnamon makes its appearance in tagines, from time to time, often in combination with sweeter ingredients such as dates or dried fruit. In tomato-based tagines, you may find paprika or smoked paprika.

But who introduced this appetizing dish to the nomadic tribes who first used it? Or was it invented in Morocco itself? According to the Encyclopaedia of Kitchen History by Mary Ellen Snodgrass, the tagine dates back to Harun al Rashid, a late eighth-century ruler of the Islamic empire. Foods cooked tagine-style appeared in The Thousand and One Nights (or more commonly known as ‘Arabian Nights’) in the ninth century. Some sources date it back to the Roman Empire because of the portable ovens used by Romans that are similar to tagines.

 

How tagines work

There are different ways to prepare the tagine. You have the original qidra style in which Arabian clarified butter is used to lubricate the surface and a puree of chopped onion is added for flavour and aroma. For “muqawlli” style cooking, the ingredients are placed in olive oil to enrich the flavours.

The fluted cone shape of a tagine contributes to the incredible succulent dish it creates. The angled lid causes steam to return to the dish as it cooks. This in combination with slow heat produces a stew-like dish that is cooked evenly and meat that is ‘fall-off-the-bone’ soft.

Let’s take a moment to remember our high school science classes. Some of the mystery around why tagines work so well to create tender flavourful dishes is in the science.

Some materials are conductors of heat and energy and others are insulators. Clay is such an insulator, which heats very slowly, almost reluctantly and then disperses the energy in the same way – very slowly.

Now just consider for a second when you cook a steak in a hot skillet, it gets a nice char, but it can also become a little tough, mostly because the muscle tissue seizes up due to the sudden shock of the heat.

On the other end of the scale, we have slow cooking methods. In the last few years, there has been a rising trend towards “sous vide” which means you cook meat in a sealed plastic bag at very low temperatures for hours and then adding a char or browning effect by a quick sear or grill right before serving (the “reverse sear”. Whether these techniques really make a difference is up to a person’s personal taste – but if you like slow cooked food then tagines could be to your liking.

Paula Wolfert, an American Cookbook author and expert on Clay Pot Cooking, tells the tale of how the food was prepared in Moroccan villages utilising slow heat. The custom was to prepare meals a day in advance by filling tall clay pots with meat, seasoning and vegetables. Packing them tightly and covering them, and then placing them overnight in the ashes of a big communal fire.  In the morning the villagers would retrieve the pot with everything cooked evenly after being cooked on a very uneven heat source for the night.

In addition to the slow cooking factor, there is an ‘urban legend like’ quality that some cooks ascribe to the clay tagines that absorb flavour over time. According to some, you will never find that kind of flavour in a stainless-steel pot.

 

The modern tagine

Although history points to tagines (the cookware) being made from unglazed clay we’ve seen an uprising of kitchenware brands modernizing this ancient cookware since the late 1990s. Tagines are now available in cast iron and enamelled cast iron that holds some of the same benefits of slow cooking tender flavourful dishes. The new cast iron versions prove to be significantly more practical in a modern kitchen where open fires are not as commonplace and stovetop proof cookware is required.

Our consensus is simple. At moyo, we love the warm hearty flavour of a tagine, that is why you will find them on our menu. We hope to see you at a moyo soon to enjoy this rich historic dish.

Continue Reading...

Posted in African, Travel, on 11 December 2017, by , 0 Comments

Crystal clear rolling waves crashing onto long white sandy beaches surrounded by dramatic settings of greenery and mountains makes South Africa’s beaches among the best in the world. Coastlines that stretch more than 2400 kilometres, consisting of vast unspoiled beaches and the trendiest hotspots to provide you with the best entertainment on your holiday. Here are 13 of the best beach holiday spots in South Africa.

Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay beach sits at the foot of the twelve apostles mountain range with trendy cafes, bars and restaurants set on the mountainside and sparkling blue water, soft white sand and palm trees falling beach side. Take a stroll on the long beach strip, set up a rental deck chair and bask in the warmth of the sun while working on your tan or enjoy a cocktail at one of the trendy sidewalk bars and café’s across from the beach. This beach has everything a holidaymaker could ever want.

Image: www.tripadvisor.co.za

Clifton Beaches

An area where you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to beach selection. The affluent suburb of Clifton boasts four magnificent beaches which are titled simply Clifton 1, 2, 3 and 4. Naturally protected from the wind these beaches attract many visitors both locally and tourists alike. These beaches are well worth the visit.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Blouberg Beach

On the Atlantic Ocean with the Benguela Current, Blouberg beach is a seemingly endless beach situated close enough to delight in the charmed view of Table Mountain. Perfect for surfers or vacationers to choose between joining the crowd or relaxing more privately. With the ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing, Blouberg beach is a great visit for thrill seekers.

All image credits: www.sa-venues.com

Muizenberg Beach

Muizenberg, a firm favourite with surfers and swimmers due to the warmer waters and good swells.  Not only popular amongst swimmers and surfers, but the multi-coloured changing huts and the long stretch of beach attract many photo happy visitors to get the best Instagram worthy pictures possible. There are also a variety of beachfront restaurants where beachgoers can grab a bite to eat.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Grotto Beach

If whale spotting is on your bucket list then this is the beach for you! Known as the best land-based whale watching site in the world, this beach stretches over 11 miles around Walker Bay in Hermanus. There is ample amount of space to watch the Southern Right Whales frolic in the bay, best seen between June and November.

Image: www.tripadvisor.co.za

Paternoster Beach

If you’ve ever been to Paternoster, you’d agree that the standout attraction is the endless stretch of deserted white sandy beach. Think spectacular sunsets, succulent West Coast seafood, brightly painted wooden boats and friendly fishermen. The long white sandy beaches are perfect for a nice stroll and the beach. Paternoster beach is very popular for whale and dolphin watching and enjoying delicious seafood from any of the little restaurants surrounding the stretch of beach.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Tinley Manor

If you blink when driving past this small town, you may miss it. It may be small but it sure packs a beautiful punch. Scenic beaches which can only be accessed by dirt roads make it a completely secluded picturesque piece of paradise. Famous for its blue oceans, tidal pools, fishing and surfing, this is truly a relaxing getaway spot.

Image: za.geoview.ifo

Sodwana Bay

Popular with scuba divers this beautiful sea town is a firm favourite for holiday-makers during the December and January times. This incredibly long stretch of pristine beach is perfect to explore. Summer nights to see Loggerhead and Leatherback Turtles coming in to nest on this sandy beach. Not only a great beach holiday but for the avid horse riders you can go horse riding on the beach and in the reserve. Bird watchers and hikers have the option of a 5 km walking trail through the coastal forests and sand dunes too.

All image credits: www.travelstart.co.za

South Beach

Durban’s popular vacation location, situated on the southern end of the Golden Mile. Known as a safe place for beginner surfers, it’s the perfect getaway if you have an active lifestyle. There is also the option to hire a canoe or bicycle and explore this incredible strip of beach. Beachfront hotels, restaurants and trendy nightclubs line the palm-fringed shoreline. Take a stroll on the promenade and grab a delicious traditional meal and moreish cocktails at moyo Ushaka

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Umhlanga

his is one of the most popular beach getaways for locals and holiday-makers alike and it’s no wonder with the warm Indian Ocean and gorgeous golden sands. The town has a great nightlife, delicious restaurants and is a stone throw away from Durban’s largest shopping centre, The Gateway Theatre Of Shopping. The lighthouse sets a beautiful backdrop to this beach while having sundowners on the Lighthouse Hotel’s balcony.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Ballito

The rocky Dolphin Coast in KZN provides the perfect exploration vacation. This beach town has a festive atmosphere all year round with a few beautiful beaches to choose from. During the December Christmas period, Ballito is buzzing with holiday-makers giving this town a vibe like no other.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Jeffery’s Bay

One of the top rated surf spots in the world, Jeffrey’s Bay, or J-Bay is known as the surf capital of South Africa. International surfers flock to catch the legendary waves surrounded by a paradise of sunshine. Not only for international surfers, visitors come from all parts of South Africa to experience the fun of J-Bay.

Image: hotelguide.co.za

Nahoon

East London’s most popular beach, Nahoon is perfect for lazing on soft sand or swimming in the warm Indian Ocean, and the surf on this beach will provide surfers with epic waves. A favourite activity for most visitors; a stroll on the boardwalk through the dunes, this is a beach that will not disappoint.

Image: www.travelstart.co.za

Continue Reading...

Posted in African, Travel, on 16 October 2017, by , 0 Comments

South Africa is a country filled with majestic mountains, rolling hills, sprawling grasslands and vast valleys which provide a breath-taking backdrop for exceptional Safari getaways and offer the opportunity to view the all-important Big 5. We take you on a bushveld adventure and show you our top 5 premium and top 5 affordable lodges our beautiful country has to offer.

Kwa Zulu Natal

The Zulu Kingdom is not only popular for its balmy subtropical climate, dazzling Indian Ocean and the towering mountaintops of the Drakensberg, but this beautiful province also offers some of the most incredible natural bushveld and luxurious game lodges allowing you to experience the magic of an African safari.

Premium Luxury Lodging

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is a four-star luxury safari lodge situated on the western boundary of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. The combination of breath-taking expansive views and remarkable architecture makes the most of its prime position overlooking a waterhole with an uninterrupted experience of animals in their natural habitat. Choose from 4 types of accommodation all positioned to takes advantage of the spectacular views with complete privacy.

All image credits: www.rhinoridge.co.za

Affordable Luxury Lodging

Nambiti Plains Lodge is a Five Star Eco Lodge, situated within the scenic landscape of the Nambiti Game Reserve. This lodge offers a luxurious stay with the reality of the African wild surrounding the Eco-lodge. Perched on the edge of the waterhole overlooking the natural plains with suites boasting 1180-degree panoramic views, guests can immerse themselves in pure luxury while watching the animals gather around the waterhole and beyond.

All image credits: www.nambitiplains.com

Mpumalanga and Limpopo – The Kruger National Park

The world-renowned Kruger National Park reserve is the largest game reserve in the country, stretching across 2 million hectares with an abundance of flora and forna. The Kruger National Park is well-known for its awe-inspiring safari experiences offering an enormous range of unparalleled safari accommodation with a range of traditional and luxurious safari accommodation. Regarded as the greatest safari experience, it’s no surprise that the Kruger National Park is the top destination in South Africa for many international tourists.

Premium Luxury Lodging

Narnia Lodge, the 5-star luxurious treehouse style lodge is perched among a canopy of 100-year-old trees overlooking the Sabir River. Choose from 9 luxury suites providing complete privacy each equipped with their own plunge pool overlooking the river. For the hopeless romantics, avid adventurers or the people who need a complete disconnect from the norms of life, you can opt for a night under the stars in one of the 4 luxurious treehouses in the Lion Sands Reserve just a stone’s throw away. A wildlife treat indeed!

All image credits: www.lionsands.com

Affordable Luxury Lodging

Lukimbi Safari Lodge is situated in the easily accessible southern portion of the Kruger National Park. This stunning affordable luxury lodge has a choice of classic suites, premium suites or two ultra-luxurious suites. With these private lodging options, you can’t feel closer to the bush without actually being in it.

All image credits: www.lukimbi.com

Eastern Cape

If you are looking for an encounter with the majestic “Big Five” on a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience, then the Eastern Cape will satisfy your desire. Alluring scenic diversity is one of the Eastern Cape’s most attractive characteristics with the lush expanses of the Tsitsikamma Forest to the marvellous southern slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains and wild, arid plains of the Great Karoo. Get ready to embark on a memorable journey through the astonishing Eastern Cape.

Premium Luxury Lodging

Kichaka Luxury 5-star Lodge is ideally situated overlooking the magnificent Eastern Cape bush and Big 5 game. Guests will enjoy an outstanding level of comfort and luxury during their stay in one of the 10 exclusive suites Kichaka has to offer. Each lodge is built in secluded settings ensuring total privacy and a real sense of space providing guests with unrivalled levels of sumptuous opulence.

All image credits: www.kichaka.co.za

Affordable Luxury Lodging

Sibuya’s Bush Lodge is a four-star lodge set in a pristine wilderness paradise overlooking the indigenous wooded valley perfectly observed from the spacious viewing decks that surround the main lodge. With four secluded luxury thatched suites to choose from Sibuya guarantees a personal private experience.

All image credits: www.sibuya.co.za

North West – Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve, the fifth largest reserve in South Africa, spans 75 000 hectares. It is situated against the Botswana border in the North West, boasting breath-taking landscape and is home to the famed Big 5, the endangered African wild dog and a large variety of other mammal and bird life.

Premium Luxury Lodging

Molori Safari Lodge and Spa is a five-star lavish lodge catering to those who love spending the day lounging by one of the infinity pools and absorbing the tranquillity of the surrounding views of the bushveld. With several infinity pools to choose from, the guests are spoilt for choice. Built on the rolling hills of the reserve, the 10-bed camp and spa were designed to look over the valley and surrounding hills. All the suites have floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls, opening onto a private deck and swimming pool. Luxurious bush accommodation at its best.

All image credits: www. molorisafari.com

Affordable Luxury Lodging

Thakadu River Camp is set within the riverine canopy along the banks of the Marico River compromising of the main camp as well as 12 large and spacious luxury tented suites, each with their own viewing deck overlooking the Marico River.

All image credits:  www.madikwe-game-reserve.co.za/thakadu-river-camp/

North West – Pilanesberg National Park

Nearby to Sun City Resort, you will find the Pilanesberg National Park, lying amongst the only significant hills in the area of the flat highveld plain. Although its small size, this game reserve offers an increased chance of seeing some of the fantastic game including the Big Five found in the reserve. With its unspoiled wilderness and abundant animal life, it’s no wonder the park is one of South Africa’s favourite and accessible parks.

Premium Luxury Lodging

Buffalo Thorn Lodge is a tranquil sanctuary in the middle of the bushveld offering guests an intimate bush experience. With five thatched chalets which accommodate a maximum of 10 guests at a time, this private luxury lodge is the epitome of exclusivity. Take in the breath-taking scenery on the private decks of each stand-alone unit or relax in the private jacuzzi while experiencing nature at its best.

All image credits:  www.buffalothornlodge.co.za

Affordable Luxury Lodging

Black Rhino Game Lodge is nestled within an old Tamboti forest at the foot of an ancient volcano crater. A hidden treasure located west of the Pilanesberg National Park, Black Rhino overlooks a watering hole that is constantly alive with different birds and animals giving guests a kaleidoscope of African colours. Discover a luxurious bushveld getaway in the private suites all with their own private outside showers. This is the ideal place to treat yourself to the splendour of the African wilderness.

All image credits:  http://blackrhinogamelodge.com/

Continue Reading...

Posted in African, on 19 September 2017, by , 0 Comments

With Heritage Day approaching, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate our unique cultural heritage, diversity of beliefs and traditions. Here, we’re celebrating our heritage by taking a closer look at our favourite heritage-inspired designs by top local creatives.

Thabo Makhetha

Thabo Makhetha, who specialises in luxury African womenswear rooted in culture, was inspired by Basotho blankets for her prêt-a-porter range called Kobo by Thabo Makhetha. The talented designer utilised traditional Basotho Blankets and reinvented them into a contemporary high fashion range.

Laduma Ngxokolo

Knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo has gained international acclaim for his award-winning range ‘The colourful world of the Xhosa Culture’, inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. His love for textile design began in 2003 and he has since received many prestigious awards for his work. His brand, Maxhosa by Laduma, established in 2011, was designed with the desire to explore knitwear design solutions suitable for Xhosa traditional dress.

African inspired interior

Attention, attention. If your niche is interior design and home decorating, then these next creatives will intrigue you. Victor Nqakaza Ntsindiso, Jane and Jann and Shweshwe have created South African heritage inspired wallpaper that will give your space that ‘Proudly South African’ feeling as you walk through the door.

Victor Nqakaza Ntsindisos was inspired by his understanding of traditional African patterns and symbols, which he translates into a two-dimensional world, evident in his geometrical wallpaper designs.

Jane and Jann, owners of Fabricnation textile designs garner inspiration from the South African textile tradition. These traditional designs are used in a modern urban context to create a wallpaper range they call ‘the fabric of the nation’.

Shweshwe, sometimes also referred to as German print, is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing. The printed fabric isn’t only suitable for traditional events – now, designer Shweshwe has adapted this magnificent print into a beautiful modern wallpaper.

Stylishly contemporary furniture designer, Pierre Cronje, created a range of bespoke furniture pieces inspired by Cape Dutch Settlers and French Huguenots. These unique designs are beautifully created to fit into our contemporary lifestyles.

Last, but definitely not least, is the extremely talented 82-year-old Mama Esther Mahlangu, the first woman and first African artist to paint one of the 17 official BMW Art Cars. This saw her joining the ranks of artists such as Andy Warhol and Frank Stella. Her traditional Ndebele-inspired aesthetics of geometric, graphic and bold prints were beautifully painted on one of the BMW Art Cars in 1991. Now, BMW South Africa has installed her Ndebele painted panels into the new BMW 750Li individual. These cars will form part of BMW Group South Africa’s Heritage Collection displayed at various Arts and Cultural events.

Continue Reading...