South Africa: Natures Hidden Gem, Tzaneen

South Africa is a place that I have always been enticed by. My fathers business is based in South Africa and since I was young he traveled back and forth, sharing his experiences of Safari and the gorgeous landscape of “the cradle of human kind”. He would bring home gifts and crazy ideas but the best thing he brought back to the U.S. was the Peppadew® pepper which was discovered and still grown in the lush region of Tzaneen, Limpopo South Africa . Two years ago I was lucky enough to visit Tzaneen and Johannesburg South Africa to learn about my fathers business, but while there, I was able to indulge in the beauty of the region and also learn about the culture and social issues in the region.

We drove up to the region from Tambo Airport in Johannesburg (about 5 hours). This area is also close to Kruger National Park. As we got closer to Tzaneen and our B&B I rolled down my window; the greenery, flowers and nearby streams added to the freshest natural fragrance I have ever smelled. Along the drive we witnessed monkeys and baboons and other amazing wildlife and agriculture. If anyone loves avocados, this is the place to be! AVO TREES EVERYWHERE!

Something quite contrary to the beautiful scenery and greenery, there was something extremely upsetting I saw during our drive up, and discussed with the locals throughout my trip. We passed Witkruismonument in Ysterberg just outside Polokwane. Here, there are thousands of crosses to honor the lives of those farmers who were murdered during acts of robbery and torture. This has been an issue brought to the U.S. attention as of this year but this issue has been going on for over a decade. If you want to learn more about this issue I have attached a few articles, one dating back to 2012. No matter your take on the situation, it is sad that innocent people are being murdered and that the country had such a brutal history of racism. In speaking to local farmers, they are terrified for their lives and livelihood. Along with murder, people are also destroying their crop and robbing their farming tools. There is so much work we must do globally in order to encourage unite and eliminate all forms of hate.

Crop of White Crosses

One Person Murdered Every Week

Afrikaner Parties Over Farm Murder Stats

Are Protesters Right on SA Farm Murder Rate

Things To Do:

Debengeni Waterfall

Magorbaskloof Hiking Trail


Vervet Monkey Foundation

Star Gazing

Hotels & B&Bs:

Sherwoods Country House-This is where I stayed, Older style decor but very clean and generous accommodations from the sweet couple that own the B&B not to mention delicious food

Other local options are:

Coach House Hotel & SPA Tzaneen

 Diggersrest Lodge 

Bramasole Guesthouse

Kings Walden

Some Restaurants I Recommend:

Sherwoods Country House

Crawdaddys

Kings Walden

Monyas

Wimpys

If you see Peppadew on any menu, TRY IT! 🙂

Definitely keep checking prices on: 

http://www.momondo.com

http://www.booking.com

http://www.travelzoo.com

and the hopper app


Advertisements

My Favorites in Philly: Spring/Summer Edition

Going to college in Philadelphia, I have done my fare share of exploring in the city. From roaming awesome street festivals to breaking into buildings, trying to get the best vantage points in the city- I have only scraped the surface of what Philly has to offer. Since summer is approaching, I am going to share with you the warm weather activities and places that I love the most.

Events and Places to Check Off:

Chinese Lantern Festival: This is one of my all time favorite happenings in Philadelphia. This city is so appreciative of every culture, especially that of Asian descent. The China Town in Philly is always celebrating cultural events and the Lantern Festival is such a tribute to the artistic welcoming of spring. Check out performances and special presentation hours on their website. Chinese Lantern Festival

Penn’s Landing/ Spruce Street Harbor Park: Penn’s Landing is a Summer Oasis and a Winter Wonderland. Chill on the water nets and hammocks or enjoy a cocktail on the “boardwalk”. Stroll and play around! Check out the concert lineup at Festival Pier for the summer (I will attach link when announced.)

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden: One of my favorite places to relax. The Japanese garden takes you out of Philly and across the globe. Get a tour or just mosey around and read about the Japanese traditions and how the construction of the house and gardens were inspired. They also have traditional tea ceremonies, I have yet to book a session but it is something I’ve been wanting to do, supposedly its amazing. Heres the link for that Ceremonies and Events at Shofuso. (Can you guess? I’m itching to go to Asia).

Boat House Row: This has always been one of my escape locations. I would go to boathouse row mid day to clear my mind and go for a nice walk down the Schyulkill River. If you choose not to walk, you can rent a bike. From here, you can also walk up to the art museum and observe the city, sitting on the “Rocky steps”. Quick parking tip: If you’re staying in the center city area and don’t want to hassle with finding street or garage parking, park in the boathouse area or lot but check for two hour parking signs.

Magic Gardens: What a beauty, created by Isaiah Zagar in 1991, the Magic Gardens is a must see “South Street Renaissance” piece. Spend an hour or so here just finding the little intricacies in the mosaic walls and observing other local art.

Street Festivals & Events: I always look forward to spring time because it means outdoor festivals and events! Some of my favorite is the South Street Spring Fest & Maifest, Chinatown Food Truck Festival (which I’m not sure they do anymore) and of course Made in America. There are also some great art and food festivals in Manayunk that are spectacular as well! Here are the links to the events and dates: Manayunk Street Festivals & Events and Philadelphia Street Festivals & Events.

Sips & Parks on Tap: Whats better than having a drink in your hand, surrounded by friends with a beautiful view. Sips and Parks on Tap are two different organizations that make this a weekly or daily occurrence in Philly. Parks on Tap is a traveling biergarten that makes stops at Philly’s gorgeous parks so you can chill in the park with your favorite friends beers. Sips is every Wednesday, different restaurants and bars pitch in and have special events. Check out their schedule and the restaurants Sips partners with!

All of this activity might make you a little hungry or thirsty, so here are a few of my favorite restaurants, especially in the spring & summer.

Restaurants:

Parc: A Rittenhouse favorite. French cuisine, killer brunch and outdoor seating.

City Tap House: I’ve only been to the Logan Square location, but I would expect greatness at the University City one as well. Some outdoor seating, amazing brussel sprouts and veggie burger. YUM!

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti:Great Italian food in Old City killer eggplant they also have bottomless mimosa brunch 🙂 They have live music on certain nights so sit on their outdoor deck and take it all in!

SAMPAN or Double Knot: Modern Asian food, unique dishes with so much flavor the restaurants share a kitchen. Double Knot has great happy hour pricing but less seating, they both have great atmosphere so check them both out! They’re both right next to Graffiti Bar stop over for an outdoor drink in a hidden alleyway next-door!

Talulas Garden: Great atmosphere with outdoor patio, fresh and flavorful food, photo worthy!

Assembly Rooftop: Amazing views of the Logan Square Area, great signature drinks including Frosé.

Hotels:

Find Great hotel deals on Travelzoo! Here are some of my favorites.

Sofitel Philadelphia

Hilton Penn’s Landing

The Logan

Lowes Philadelphia

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Definitely keep checking prices on: 

http://www.momondo.com

http://www.booking.com

http://www.travelzoo.com

and the hopper app