Friday, May 17, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Thank Goodness a group of people got together and decided, hey, lets see what is going on out there and bring all these earth/food/wholesome people together and put them into a market! It really has changed the way we look at things now. The best part about these markets is that we are supporting local producers, one market in particular will in fact not let you participate if you are not from Kwa Zulu Natal. Love that! I'll take you through all the markets i have been to recently, and then mention a few that i have not been to, but come highly recommended.
Shongweni Farmers Market - every saturday from about 7am till 11am.
The Shongweni Farmers like to keep everything local. Most of the farmers from the surrounding area’s have a table, selling everything from fresh free range Hormone and anti-biotic meat to fresh bread. There are also cup cakes, freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices and homemade pies. They don't just have food, they have a carpenter, lots of people selling plants/herbs/ worm farms. There is an area which is cleaned constantly for you to sit and enjoy your breakfast, whatever it may be. Thankfully you will not be able to buy a steers hamburger anywhere! What a lot of people do is buy there weekly grocereries there, this way, you have a chance to find out exactly where they are sourced and how they are grown. this will keep your carbon foot print down and i'm sure your body will be happy with more holesome food!
Kids entertainment is taken care of while you browse, there are slides and jumping things. The trend seems to be to bring your dog along, on leash please! And make sure it has been socialised, dog fighting is not on the list of activities!
Ample secure parking and it isn't too far from town. If you take the M13 towards Pietermaritzberg, take the shongweni offramp, and turn right, you can't miss it! Great Market!
The first time I visited the The Food Market, i spent a fortune! It was like heaven on earth! My eyes were wide and my mouth was hanging open in anticipation! I think we were only supposed to spend an hour there or something unrealistic like that, but we must of spent about 3 hours there! There was so much passion for food in one place it was almost tangible!
Ok, so you might have guessed that this is my favourite thing to do every last saturday, infact i sometimes i even debate whether or not to go away that weekend or not incase i miss the food market!
Its put together so well, there are no competing products, one cheese girl, one olive girl, one chocolate guy... you get the picture! They have the most amazing selection of baked goods, from brownies to beautifully iced buscuits. Robsons beer are there, the swiss goats cheese lady is there, the duck lady is there. Everything your foodie heart could possibly desire is there!
Everything is locally produced, right down to the coffee which is grown and roasted in Assagay. Here are some photo's that i took on my last visit.
I Heart Market - First Saturday of every Month DLI Hall, Greyville. 8-2pm
I heart market is a little less foodie, but still has the odd indulgance in cupcakes and juices. There are local designers of many kinds all in one place! It is a creativity over load! So awesome to see all this talent in Durban.
Essenwood Flea Market - every saturday of the month 8-2pm
Essenwood was one of the originals and still holds great appeal. They have a good range of locally made clothes, crafts, flowers plants, decor options. I hear that their food section has been revised a bit and has some really good offerings.
These are a good shopping mall alternative for christmas!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Today was a toasty warm winters Day in Durban with a temperature of around 28 degrees! Tough life we have here i thought as i dabbed sun cream on my shoulders and put on my running shoes.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The reason for our stay was for the annual mountain bike challenge which my boyfriend and his friends do every year. It is limited to 300 riders and is a very special, not only for its unique location but for its cause. Its main object is to raise funds and awareness for the wild dog population in the park. Since its inception the population has gone from 35 to 90 dogs in just a few years. This year around R25000 was raised for the wild dogs in particular and around R300 000 for nature conservation for the park. From what the riders say its one of the better rides and with its setting certainly one of the most special. What made this year even more special was that on the way to the start on the race, the bus that was carrying some of the riders saw the largest pack of wild dog on the reserve, which is around 20. Hluhluwe Imfolozi has the largest population of wild dog in the world and what people don;t know is that it is one of the most highly endangered animals on the planet. We camped in a specially set up and secured area which is only done for this race, but there are many other places to stay on the reserve.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the oldest game reserve in Africa and it is the place where King Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and implemented the first conservation laws. It was established in 1895 and has seen many successful projects throughout its years. One of the most successful was the white rhino conservation project in the 1950's and this ensures that good rhinos sightings are guaranteed. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. For a detailed history and other information of the park you can visit their website on the link below. It has good articles and is well worth the visit.
They offer plentiful accommodation options from self catering to a fully catered hotel. We normally stay in the Mpila camp. which is on the Imfolozi side. For rates and other options visit the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife website here. They offer guided walks in the morning and the late afternoon and game drives in the evenings as well as 5 day guided walks. These options are extra but well worth it as i feel you miss so much when in the car. The guides are phenomenal and are all well experienced, with many of them growing up in the area.
Our group were very fortunate to see Leopard, Cheetah, Lion, Wild Dog, Hyena, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo as well as Impala Nyala and a Terrapin. Although this is a great list, it is not always the case, which is what i appreciate so much about this park, you are never know what you will see, you could go a whole day without seeing anything besides the odd Impala and Warthog, i feel it makes you treasure your sightings that much more.
The one thing to remember is it is not a zoo, these animals are wild and you are in their territory. Two big rules are: Don't get out of your car while in between designated areas (accommodation/picnic sites etc). It is dangerous! And secondly, to keep on the roads and never leave the the paths. There are other rules to keep to too, you will be advised of these as you enter the park.
You could do this trip is a day, it took us around 2 and a half hours to get there, however, best viewing times are morning and afternoon, especially in Summer as the animals tend to keep to shady areas and aren't very active during the heat of mid-day. There is a great picnic site on the Sontuli Loop which has braai/BBQ facilities. The sontuli loop is always very rewarding in terms of game viewing potential, especially Rhino. I also find making friends with the rangers is also very rewarding as they are always happy to share a bit of information with you as the where abouts of the animals.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi has a very special place in my heart, I just find it so peaceful, perfect for recharging batteries and putting things into perspective.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A few weeks ago i was fortunate enough to drive along the Inanda Heritage Route with a friend of mines Dad who is very involved in the project. I think this day trip was one of my best yet...
First of all, how to get there! If one drives north on theN2 highway towards Gateway, you will see the Inanda off ramp, take that. There are signs along the way to help you so you don't get lost.
Inanda and Kwa Mashu were historically set as Black and Indian areas. As you drive along, you'll notice a house built in the shape of a airplane and another of a Boat. These were original homes by one of the successful businessmen at the time. If my memory serves me correctly he started one of the first bus services in the area. No historical significance, but just interesting to look out for.
The next stop was at the Ohlange school. This was one of the first dedicated black educational school set up by John Dube. His house (below) was built in 1908 and was were he started the Ilange newspaper, which is still in publiation today. For those of you who don't know John Dube was the first president of the African National Congress. This is also the site where Nelson Mandela voted in 1994. The guide told us that Mr Mandela went stright from voting to John Dubes' grave and said, "We've done it my brother, from today we are free!" WOW!! Inger and i were in tears! So this is truely significant ground here!
Further on down the route you will come across the Inanda Seminary School for Girls. It is a boarding school originally for black girls. Mr Harbour said that it was originally there to help educate the black women which were taken on as companions of the white colonialists. Not normal education mind you, they were tought how to make a good cup of tea and how to make bread and be good sevants / wives. Then it was taken over by missionaries who made it what it is today. A lot of the current black women in parliment attended this school. The grounds are beautiful and kept in prestine condition. The school fees are a mere R1600 a year which includes board and tuition. The girls are all very polite and you can see that they are proud of thier school, which was really good to see.
Then we went to see the Inanda Falls, which is truly breathtaking. They are currently building a viewing deck. Its perfect spot for a mid afternoon picnic!
I would suggest taking a guide with you as i would imagine one would miss out on a lot just driving through. I felt pretty safe during the trip and didn't think i was in any immediate danger.
For contacts on guides you can call the Durban Tourism information.
Happy Day Tripping!