While Geoff and his group that recently returned from South Africa certainly enjoyed the whole experience, I feel very confident speaking for the group when I say that the safari portion was by far the favorite part of the trip.
Geoff worked with Nicki Wingate from Exclusively Africa. Nicki lives in South Africa and has for over 20 years helped people to have an amazing experience in Africa . Nicki set the group up at Lion Sands Game Reserve which is located within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The group had the advantage of being on a private reserve which meant they were not competing with the other groups at Krueger National Park. They were able to go off the road into the bush whenever their guides and trackers decided to.
The resort itself is gorgeous and well appointed. They stayed along the Sabi river and were treated to wildlife sightings from just about anywhere on the resort. There were two game drives a day along with the traditional “sundowner” or evening drinks in the bush. This was truly a bucket list trip - the trip of a lifetime for all.
If you'd like to know more about traveling to Africa and the different options available, Nicki will be presenting in our office on December 1. Geoff will talk about an upcoming trip in the works to Botswana as well. Information is below.
P.S. YES, all of the photos in this newsletter were taken by Geoff.
DESTINATION OF THE WEEK
Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
The Lion Sands Private Reserve conserves 25,000 acres of habitat that is home to the highest and most diverse concentration of wildlife in the southern hemisphere. You can see all of Africa’s iconic species here, including all of the Big Five, along with a supporting cast of no less intriguing 137 mammal species and over 450 varieties of bird – while having minimal encounters with other people. The magic here lies in HOW you experience this extraordinary place.
Coming to Lion Sands is a literal departure from hectic everyday life. Remote and peaceful, it’s utterly restorative and coupled with the lodges’ all-inclusive hospitality, you’ll finally find the opportunity to take time out for a little self-care. Good sleep, wholesome food, and soul-soothing sunshine are as good as any therapy – and then there are still spa treatments, light exercise, yoga, and nature walks to get you back on track.
From boma feasts to safari stops, dining is a highlight for all of our guests – with any dietary requirement, including kosher-catered for. Our chefs transform local recipes into contemporary dishes, giving you a taste of Southern Africa. Paired with wines from our collection of premium Cape labels, enjoying a meal becomes an experience in itself. We also offer wine tastings – a favorite of connoisseurs and dabblers, alike.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Biltong is a form of dried, cured meat that was originally created by Dutch pioneers in South Africa, “Voortrekkers”, who needed reliable food sources on their long treks across the continent. Perhaps this will spark some ideas for use with venison! It's a bit time consuming, but well worth it!
5 tbsp Brown (malt) or cider vinegar (approximately)
2.5 tbsp Coarse salt (2% of the meat weight)
2 tsp Ground black pepper
2 tbsp Coriander seed
1.5 tbsp Brown sugar
- Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan, then grind down in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. It should be mostly powder, with a few pieces of seed shells left in.
- Using a sharp knife, following the grain of the meat, cut into 1 inch thick lengths and place in a non-metallic container.
Combine all the spices and sprinkle into the meat. Sprinkle the vinegar on and rub everything in thoroughly while turning the meat with your hands.
- Cover the container and let your biltong cure for 24 hours in the fridge, turning and rubbing through the meat occasionally.
Remove the meat from the container and pat dry with kitchen towels, taking care not to remove too much of the spice.
- Add a hook to the thickest end of each length. Plastic-covered paper clips make for a cheap solution. Hang in your biltong box, or in a well aired, ventilated space with a fan blowing gently to increase air flow. Do not point a fan directly at the meat (to avoid case hardening). Make sure none of the pieces are touching. Place some newspaper below the meat to catch any liquid.
Drying times will vary with humidity, airflow and temperature. Test the readiness of your biltong every couple of days by squeezing the sides together with clean fingers. If you feel any give in the meat, it’s still ‘wet’ inside.
Once ready, cut into thin slices with a sharp knife and enjoy some of the best meat you’ll ever eat.
Note:- if using venison or game, or cheaper cuts of beef, add 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda to tenderize the meat.
TRAVEL TIP OF THE WEEK
What to Take With You on Game Drives
The last thing you want to have to do while on a game drive is to have to return to camp, mid-sighting. Be sure to take everything you need along with you:
- Sun cream and hat
- Camera (and if it’s a mobile phone camera, put it on silent)
- Warm clothes
- Water and snacks
VIRTUAL VACATION OF THE WEEK
This video gives a terrific overview and review of Lion Sands in South Africa. Video by the Luxury Travel Expert