Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

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Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
IMG_5612.jpgStaying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

Meet The Outpost Lodge. This magnificent property has 12 luxury spaces cantilevered on a hill giving you a bird's eye view of the Luvuvhu River. The private, freestanding spaces are interconnected to each other and the central lodge area by 500 meters of Zimbabwean teak walkway. The contemporary architecture makes use of concrete and steel and with state-of-the-art retractable, remote-controlled screens offering 180º of uninterrupted views, you will never want to leave! 

The Outpost is situated in the Northern Kruger National Park. It is a six-hour drive from Johannesburg and a beautiful one at that. It is best to drive in the daytime as you pass local communities and pass several roadblocks that consist of goats and wild donkeys. You also don't want to miss the magnificent baobabs that are scattered across the land. 

Tucked away and blending into the environment is the gorgeous Outpost Lodge. As you enter the lodge you see that it is situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the breathtaking landscape of the Northern Kruger. The lodge accommodates 24 guests so it is intimate and exclusive. The beauty of it is that not only are you engulfed by the bush, but you are elevated with this crows nest position to experience the bush from this incredibly unique vantage point.

The rooms are simply magnificent. I could have moved in full time! The walls are screens that roll up and blur the boundary between yourself and the bush. If you sleep with them down then you still experience all the sounds of nature whilst sleeping under your romantic mosquito net.  With uninterrupted views, you can enjoy a luxurious bubble bath overlooking the Kruger National park or enjoy an outside shower at sunset! The design of the room is clever and spacious and the large king size beds will ensure the perfect night's sleep! 

The food was inspired to say the least. With dinner on the deck under the stars surrounded by lanterns you will be in heaven. The food was delicious and included dishes such as Salmon with lemon jam paired with the perfect crisp white wine and decadent chocolate desserts. 
Before your game drive in the morning, you are invited to enjoy a light breakfast of fruit and baked treats before you head out. Once back at the lodge post-game drive you are treated to platters of gorgeous mouthfuls and I made sure to try both the vegetarian and meat selection! Neither disappointed! 

If going on amazing game drives twice a day to spot the wild animals isn't your thing you can enjoy the day at the glorious pool relaxing or go for a wild walking safari along the Luvuvhu river. I loved being barefoot and feeling the African earth between my toes and the cool water flowing water over my skin. Something I would recommend! The bird life is phenomenal in the area and there are over 350 species. A bird watchers paradise! If you close your eyes and just listen, the whoel bush is singing! 

The staff is friendly and enthusiastic to share stories of their land. Most of the staff are Shangan and like generations, before them, they have grown up in the area. It is wonderful to see an establishment that works together with the people in the area creating work and educating them to become Chefs and Rangers! 

This part of the world is truly spectacular and is something to behold in this lifetime. I can't wait to return and hear the birds sing at sunrise and to walk barefoot on the rich African soil! 

***COMPETITION TIME*** 

Would you like to win 2 nights for 2 people at this magnificent establishment? Then all you need to do is find me on Instagram to enter! You can click here. The instructions will be on the post on The Out Post Lodge. Prize valued at R29 600.00 excluding transfers to the lodge. T's & C's apply. 
*Values are as per above (for 2017 they increase for 2018)
Competition closes Monday 20th November at 9am. 

-Melissa 

-Melissa 

A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection

A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
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A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection

Plettenberg bay is a well known coastal town on the popular garden route of South Africa. This little coastal village has a hub of activities and if whale watching is one of them, then it is the right destination for you. The only thing you need to decide is where to stay.

The Plettenberg is one of the three hotels in the Liz Mcgrath Collection. Know for their luxury and five-star experience, The Plettenberg doesn't disappoint. 

The Hotel is situated on a hilltop overlooking the ocean with uninterrupted views and is roughly a six-hour drive from Cape Town.  With it being the popular garden route there is plenty of opportunities to experience all it has to offer along the way! You also have the option to fly into the local airport should time be limited. 

The hotel is classically decorated with an ocean theme running throughout. Its no wonder with the views that it boasts. With a gourmet restaurant and boutique shop, between shopping and eating what more could you need.

Each room feels like the penthouse of some of the top hotels in the world. With walk-in closets, large bathrooms, a lounge, and the bedroom separate you will have space and comfort for your trip. 

The bedrooms have coffee stations, minibars and of course king size beds. Be sure to request a room with a view when you book! Overlooking the ocean will let a wave of tranquility wash over you! 

Dining at The Plettenberg is an experience not to be missed. The food is served at their contemporary restaurant Seafood and group executive chef Peter Templehoff and his team have delivered in all areas. The menu has the classics such as the famous cheese souffle that is a must along with several seafood dishes that draw on inspiration from the ocean and the bounty it has to offer. The view is magnificent overlooking the ocean and with glass panels, you are sure not to miss it! 

If you find yourself in Plettenberg - it is a hub of activities. You can experience whale watching or Sup boarding. You could wander to local wine farms and have long lunches or you could visit one of the several animal sanctuaries in the area. If you just feel like relaxing then finding your way to the pool whilst overlooking the ocean isn't a bad option either. 

The staff is always available to help should you require anything and have a fantastic knowledge of the area and all it has to offer! I know that next time I visit Plettenberg I would like to linger longer and experience it all. All I can say is that one night is simply not enough to experience not only this amazing hotel but Plettenberg bay! 

-Melissa 

Pineapple, Paw Paw and Kiwi Smoothie Bowl

Pineapple, Paw Paw and Kiwi Smoothie Bowl

It’s all in the name. This smoothie bowl is packed with Vitamin C and quick and easy to make. There’s no reason not to start your day right by enjoying this bowl for breakfast.


Ingredients:

  • 120g fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 100g paw-paw, chopped
  • 250ml 1 cup coconut water
  • juice of ½ a lemon, juiced
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 3 blocks of ice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup gooseberries
  • 1 kiwi fruit, sliced
  • 1 dragon fruit (optional)
  • 1 star fruit (optional)
  • ¼ cup almonds

Instructions:

Blend the pineapple, paw-paw, coconut water, lemon juice, mint, chia seeds, and ice until smooth.

Add the smoothie to a bowl. Decorate with gooseberries and almonds kiwi fruit, dragon fruit balls, and star fruit.

This is a moment to connect with your food and put some good energy into it. If you feel like decorating with other seeds, nuts and a variety of fruits. Go wild! Real food is good for you and filled with vitamins and minerals!

Health Fact:

Kiwifruit is high in Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps to build strong bones and strengthen the immune system.

-Melissa 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
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IMG_7226.jpgExperiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

Far too often do we get tired of the hustle of our lives. 

Even so, sometimes travel can seem a little overwhelming. The thought of packing, unpacking, repacking, transfers, check-ins, flights etc all to arrive at a destination can be a deal breaker for that holiday you have been dying to go on. Well, what if I told you that a mere 3 hours drive from Johannesburg is a little piece of paradise that is uncomplicated in its beauty and is a thriving oasis for wildlife. 

Ekuthuleni is situated in Welgevonden private game reserve. A magnificent piece of land teeming with life. I flew into OR Tambo International airport (JHB) and took an easy drive to my destination. If you live in Johannesburg then you really don't have much of an excuse not to explore this part of the world! 

I really wish I knew about it when I did! You get to stay in the lap of luxury and experience the African Bush and its Big Five on safari without having to break a sweat behind the wheel.

That’s a drive I can really get behind. 

The Lodge is centrally situated within the reserve and previously was the manor house. It has a cozy and warm ambiance to it with beautiful screeded floors and leather furniture overlooking a grass plain that hosts local impala and warthog. With a watering hole, you might even spot an elephant coming for a drink in the heat of the day, as we did. The pool is inviting and I must admit I spent a fair amount of time getting my vitamin D fix! 

The rooms are luxurious and cozy with large king size beds. The glass doors open up onto a patio overlooking the grass plain where you can enjoy the view from the comfort of your room. The bathrooms were a treat to experience as you can open the doors up and experience nature in all its glory whilst soaking away your city blues in a giant bathtub!

I cannot say this enough; the food was fantastic. One of the perks of being closer to the thriving metropolis of Jozi, this lodge has the benefit of fresh produce and they sure make the most of it. Often remote game farms lack freshness in their approach to food. Not at Ekuthuleni. With local chef Laptop cooking up a storm, I was in food heaven. His food is home cooking with local flair. Ekuthuleni is a family lodge and there is something to eat for everyone. From fresh salad to aubergine bakes and gnocchi we were treated to a feast. The best part? Each evening we dined in a new location. Either under the stars, in the boma or in the manor house around a crackling fire. Each setting and meal perfect in their own right. 

You will be treated to two game drives a day. With a knowledgeable ranger that will teach you all, there is to know about the environment. The game drives last about three hours and includes a halfway stop in nature to enjoy a cup of coffee or sundowners in the evenings. Nothing goes down quite like a cold gin and tonic! Not a bad way to watch the sun go down over the African Bush. 

With attentive staff and friendly service, I felt completely immersed in Luxury and spoilt with the magnificent game sightings! 

We watched a mother Lion chase two cheeky Cheetah siblings encroaching on her turf and were treated to the privilege of watching her walk her cubs around. 

As if that wasn’t enough I also watched a young elephant bull take a rowdy mud bath complete with the sounds of gleeful trumpeting and experienced the sentient presence of a herd of Rhino's grazing just meters from me. I would be hard-pressed to describe a more humbling experience.

It truly was a game packed experience and as a bush lodge, Ekuthuleni delivers. On. Every. Level.

***COMPETITION TIME*** 

Would you like to win 2 nights for 2 people at this magnificent establishment? Then all you need to do is, like The Truffle Journal on Instagram and Facebook and Ekuthuleni on Instagram and Facebook, then comment below on this blog post on who you would take with you and why.  Prize valued at R21 200.00 excluding all transfers. T's & C's apply. 
*Values are as per above (for 2017 they increase for 2018)
Competition closes Friday 10th November at 5pm. 

-Melissa 

Greens, Couscous and Apricot bowl

Greens, Couscous and Apricot bowl

*Serves 2

This recipe is wonderful because of the aromatics in it. It shows how using fresh mint can uplift a dish and adds a perfect finishing touch. Often mint is saved for desserts and smoothies, but it also adds a great pop of freshness to a bowl or salad. Mint is great for digestion so dont be shy to add a handful where you can. I’ve used couscous in this recipe, but if you would like, you can interchange it with freekeh. Freekeh is an ancient grain that is high in protein so give it a try if you haven’t already! You can also replace the chicken with tempeh or tofu to transform this into a vegan bowl and you cook it the same way you would the chicken.


Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts (or meat sub of your choice) 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 100g Turkish apricots
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh rocket
  • olive oil and balsamic to dress 

Instructions:

Preheat oven 180°C.

Place the chicken on a roasting tray. Season and add the thyme leaves. Place the sliced lemon on top of the chicken and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

While the chicken is in the oven, put a small pot over medium heat and add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, remove from the heat and add the couscous. Cover with a lid and allow to steam, about 5 minutes. When ready, fluff the couscous with a fork and mix well.

In a separate small pot over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic with a dash of coconut oil and sauté until soft. Add the spices and stir to release the flavour. If the spices dry out, add a dash of water. Add the apricots and mix well.

Remove the chicken from the oven and slice into pieces. Add the couscous, onion mix and chicken to a large salad bowl, and top with the mint, almonds and rocket. Toss all the ingredients together with a good glug of olive oil. Season to taste and enjoy!

Health Fact:

Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, protein, mono-saturated fats and poly-unsaturated oils. They are also an excellent source of anti-oxidants. You can soak your almonds overnight in water for easier digestion if you like.

-Melissa