Notes

Today in History: the Boer War

The Anglo Boer War was fought by Britain and her Empire against the Boers.  The Boers were comprised of the combined forces of the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State.  The Boer Republics declared war on 11th October 1899 and the conflict ended on 31st May 1902, a duration of 2 years and 8 months. There were three distinct phases to the War: Stage 1 -  Boer offensive.  At first, the Boer republican fighters were successful in three major offensives.  Their commandos invaded northern Natal and besieged the town of Ladysmith, invaded Cape Colony to lay siege...

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Yebo Gogo

And just when you think we have had all sorts of cool and fabulous guests, we are visited by the Wakefield Grannies, a group of women from Wakefield in Quebec, offering support to AIDS Orphans and their Grandmothers in Alexandra Township, South Africa. They are also affectionately known as the Alexandria Gogos. On a visit to Quebec in 2004, Rose Letwaba spoke about her work to a small audience in the Wakefield United Church. Rose is a nurse in the health clinic in Alexandra Township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The picture she painted was of a whole generation of South...

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Thou shalt not covet…

We had the great pleasure of hosting the hottest name in Dutch furniture design, Nic Roex, who is on a honeymoon trip through South Africa. Nic is extremely impressed with the African use of color and pattern as well as the found objects movement. He confided in us that as a designer he is always looking for color inspiration and that what he has experienced in the Western Cape will be quite influential in his design and he admired our Haldane Martin pieces. Upon discussion I heard how much Nic's extraordinary Motorkapbank would be in ZAR I had a slight dizzy spell. But we live in hope that...

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Hope

Jacques Marais is an amazing photographer  who shoots for some pretty high profile magazines and companies. He recently visited De Hoop and took these truly wonderful images of a place which possesses such natural beauty that all our guests who return from the reserve after a day trip declare it to be a deeply satisfying, spiritual even, experience. Only three hours from Cape Town lies a special nature reserve situated in the Overberg region, near the southern tip of Africa. De Hoop Nature Reserve is approximately 34 000 ha in size and one of the largest natural...

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Strike a Pose

Summer is almost here and we are in the midst of producing a new brochure for Swellendam Tourism. When we say brochure, we mean map. This will be a very carefully planned document striking the right balance between the visual attractiveness and practical  use. We immediately decided to organize a shoot in the surrounding fields and pastures and what a great afternoon that was. Fleur van Eeden, super stunt woman and extremely kind person, and Braam du Toit, composer, bon vivant, writer and also a truly nice person were photographed expertly by Bruce 'Flying Horse' Geils down the road on the way to Suurbraak....

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Solomon’s Lily

Once a year, quite by surprise, this little beauty awakes for a few weeks and just takes your breath away. Our spectacular specimen is quite hidden away at the top of the garden next to a footpath and you do feel a sense of reward when you see it - it is in my opinion the best arum species. The spectacular  Arum palaestinum, flowering in spring on stems 50-60 cm's tall, with large decorative leaves slightly similar to a cardiocrinum or a hosta with a superb fragrance which is a bit similar to roses. Which is also  a nice fragrant part of the Augusta de Mist gardens. But that's not all. Arum...

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Scouting for the perfect shot

Part of the Swellendam Tourism goal for the 2013 season is to place more emphasis on the unique and custom designed. To this end the committee is a streamlined affair with all members choosing a workgroup which they identify with and which could also utilize their skill sets to best advantage. Suffice to say that the creatively minded Communications group is a pretty rag-tag bunch with A.D.D. in their D.N.A. Part of the immediate deliverables we have decided on is a map of the region with all the members listed and represented. We are very lucky to have access to some amazing talents in the Swellendam...

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Eco Retail in Swellendam

Fresh Swellendam produce

Seon Eco Village is a familiar participant in most markets around Swellendam, regularly appearing at the Farmers market on the R60 as well as the Under the Oaks market on Church Square next to Old Gaol. It was with much joy that we learned of the opening of the Seonae Eco Centre opening this week right here in Swellendam. The team from Seonae provide the freshest produce, grown locally (often organically) and where conventionally produced, the eco benefit is the fact that the produce did not travel for hundreds of kilometers subject to refrigeration. They will also retail the most unusual...

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A Whale of a Time

whale tale

Explore the magic of the SA coastline with its abundant marine life up close and personal in a stable kayak in the company of an experienced guide. Glide across sparkling water while enjoying a view of the majestic mountain, sea cliffs and marine life. After a thorough briefing on kayaking techniques and safety you paddle from the historical Old Harbour and do a round trip, the direction dependant on winds, swells and paddling abilities. A knowledgeable guide shall open up the wonders of our ocean to you, as we explore the beautiful natural surroundings. Kayaks are paddled in a Marine...

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So what if it’s just a mention?

Home Chef

The first little blurb about the Passionate Pomegranate Co and the totally useable products that they produce has appeared. Because of print real estate being what it is, the Augusta mention went from a nice substantial amount to a sentence. But we are not complaining. All that is needed is the mention, by name, to keep us happy. Watch the press and online media for lots more coverage as our two week PR blitz starts to pay off! When we in collaboration with Judi Rebstein from Old Gaol started to outline a launch plan earlier this year it all seemed so distant and somewhat unachievable but here...

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