Month: February 2017

In the Garden of Togetherness

First published on the Royal Chundu blog. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. And the village of Mushekwa, alongside Royal Chundu on the banks of the Zambezi, has many children. Even the children help in raising children. Young boys that reach only to my hips walk with a child propped upon their own sides. Everyone here is a mother and a father, a sister and a brother, a teacher and a nurse, a friend. When we enter into their space, when we visit the village, the people, Edith Mushekwa and her greater family, beside their homes, we are at once at home ourselves. It’s the village way. The spirit of community. It gets you and it changes you. Each visit to the village takes us away from everything. Literally, yes, it being a short boat ride away from the lodge. But also away from what most of us are used to… back home, in the city. Edith and her extended family, and their extended family, are constantly working. But working together. …

Waddler, Waverider, Wingman. Meet the Bird of Love…

First published on Relais & Châteaux Africa’s blog. “… Once a penguin finds its perfect other penguin, they stay together pretty much forever.” ― Anna Staniszewski This is a whole other kind of birding safari. There is no waiting for the bird to take flight, so to better capture the details of its outstretched wings. There is no scanning the trees for the shake of a tail feather or the rustle of a nest. These are birds of the sea. Aquatic and flightless and known as the African Penguin. And here, at Boulders Beach in Simonstown, Cape Town, is the only place in the world where you can get up close to them in the wild. Their tuxedo outfits and characteristic waddle aside, what makes these birds so charming is their unique love for each other. Penguins pair for life, climbing into their nests beneath the trees here at Boulders Beach with their loved one at night, every night (for better or for worse). Between ancient granite boulders, Boulders Beach is itself a declaration of love – set up to protect …

The Moonwalkers of Cape Town

First published on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog. A mountain rises up in the heart of the city. It splits off into new peaks, toward the vineyards of Constantia and Steenberg, toward the Atlantic Ocean, toward the southern most tip of the city, the Cape of Good Hope. It was here before the bars and restaurants. It will be here long after the hotels and art galleries and cinemas. It is the true north of the city, resetting us on our path – we who live around it. It is part of the city’s personality, but more than that, it is part of us. The locals. Travellers to Cape Town know its significance. It’s why most days and full moon nights you will find people from all around the world making the pilgrimage – whether to the top of Table Mountain or its outlying peaks, in particular… Lion’s Head. The mountain resembling that King of the bush but home only to the birds, lizards, dassies and people of the Cape. As ingrained in my psyche as …