Finger On The Pulse - September 2019

Finger On The Pulse - September 2019

  • Main Story: Walking in Africa
  • Feel Good: Revolutionising Anti-Poaching Efforts
  • Food: Decadent Amarula Cheesecake
  • What’s New: Morocco, Fly-Camping And Pangolins
  • Our Story: Digital Detox in Exquisite Surroundings

Walking in Africa

Perhaps the purest way to enjoy a safari is on foot. Ona walking safari, you are a participant with the wildlife, not just a spectator. Your senses awaken as you stroll along the same path as the animals. You can examine the smaller creatures who are harder to see from a vehicle and wander off-road into remote areas inaccessible by car.

One company offering walking safaris, particularly in the Serengeti National Park is Wayo Africa. Starting in October, they offer a unique 10-day charity trek in support of black rhinos. Participants will meet the Serengeti Rhino Rangers who are on the ground daily, tracking, monitoring and protecting the black rhino population.

During the trek, you will stroll along the Orangi River through rocky hills and forests, enjoying the views over the northern Serengeti. Each night you’ll settle into a camp for a delicious dinner and a glowing campfire under the stars.

Contact us now to find out more about this special trek or click here to discover what walking safaris in Tanzania may entail.

Revolutionising Anti-Poaching Efforts

We’ve all heard the scary statistics about the plight of the rhinos, but here, for a change is a good news story.

A low-key businessman, part time cop and cowboy from a small town in Texas, recently decided he should come to the Kruger National Park with his free-running dogs to help chase armed rhino poachers.

His journey has been a huge success, and he and his hounds have helped catch 145 poachers and confiscate 53 guns over the last year, which has resulted in more arrests and a new strategy to fight poachers.

South Africa is home to about 80% of the world’s last remaining rhinos. Over the ten-year period from 2008-2018, about 8,000 rhinos were poached and their horns sent to Asia for dubious uses. Currently, there are fewer than  20,000 white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos remaining in Africa.

The anti-poaching units in the Kruger had previously been using dogs on leads to track the poachers, but often this method wasn’t fast enough. Joe Braman, our featured Texan, uses free-running dogs. He had to train them in Texas as the genetics of the dogs had been bred to have an aggressive nature. Now that they are in South Africa, the Texan dogs are breeding;  their puppies will be trained and may be sent to other areas in Africa to catch poachers.

There is huge teamwork involved; the locals provide information as to the whereabouts of poachers, helicopter operators have to be ready to launch at very short notice and the law enforcers on the ground warrant praise as well.

The statistics speak for themselves as previously only 3-5 percent of the known poachers were being caught, but the rate has increased to 54 percent.

Read the full article on National Geographic.

Decadent Amarula Cheesecake

Leopard Mountain Safari Lodge is a 5* lodge set in the 58,000-acre  Mayoni Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is from this lodge that we offer you your recipe of the month, featuring a South African twist of a classic dessert: Amarula Cheesecake.

Amarula is an African liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. If you (sadly) cannot get Amarula, you could substitute Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur.

Ingredients

Cheesecake
·      750g cream cheese (3 packages)
·      250g  (1 cup) crème fraiche or yoghurt or sour cream
·      100ml (1/3 cup) Amarula liqueur
·      200g (1 cup) castor sugar
·      2 tablespoon flour
·      2 large eggs
·      4 egg yolks
·      ½ lemon (zest and juice)
·      ½ orange (zest and juice)
·      10ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
·      Packet of tennis biscuits-or 13 ginger cookies/Graham Wafers
·      100g (1/2 cup) melted Butter

Method:
Crust
Crush biscuits until crumbly.  Mix with melted butter until consistency of wet sand.  Press mixture into cake tin and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.

Filling
Mix cream cheese, crème fraiche, and castor sugar together. Add beaten eggs and extra egg yolks and stir until smooth. Fold in flour, vanilla essence, and lemon and orange zest and juice. Pour mixture into chilled cake tin with crust and bake at 160°C  (320°F) until almost ready – about 50 minutes. It should have a slow wobble. Switch oven off and leave in oven to finish cooking slowly.

Credit: Leopard Mountain Sous Chef Njabulo

Morocco, Fly-Camping and Pangolins

With so much happening and so many new adventures to talk about we thought we would do a quick round-up of our favourites.

American Airlines flying to Africa
American Airlines recently announced that it will begin flying to Casablanca, Morocco from June 2020. The thrice weekly flight will leave from Philadelphia on a Boeing 757 and will be the only U.S airline with a non-stop flight to Casablanca. Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s national carrier, will be joining Oneworld airline alliance early next year. Passengers on American Airlines will then be able to connect throughout Africa using American Airlines’ Oneworld partnership with Royal Air Maroc, which has a vast network within Africa.

Fly Camping in the Karoo
Samara Private Game Reserve has just launched “fly camping” to its various safari options.

Adventurous guests would enjoy a guided bush walk through some of the 70,000-acre wilderness, and then spend the night at a mobile camp. Tents would be set up by the guides, and the evening would be spent around the campfire enjoying a braai and listening to the jackals, nightingales and perhaps lions…The next morning, the guests could either walk or drive back to the lodge.

The name “fly camping” comes from the olden days when explorers set up camp with only a fly sheet protecting them from the elements.

&Beyond offering some “first time” experiences
At &Beyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, you can now be part of some first-time experiences including the following:

a)      The Pangolin Conservation Experience offers you an excursion with a specialist conservation team to monitor the most trafficked mammal in the world. Participants will watch as the team locates the pangolin, replaces the tagging devices, conducts health checks and gathers research data. This special interaction will allow you to observe the unique features of the pangolin at a close distance.

b)      The Night Eye Experience takes you on a night safari in a vehicle that is set up with infrared cameras. You can then “see” in the dark and watch all the animals without intruding in any way. You can then take a copy of the video footage home with you as a memento of your special night safari.

Get in touch with us to find out how you can include these experiences in your next itinerary.

Digital Detox in Exquisite Surroundings

Ever dreamed of “getting away from it all” to a peaceful Zimbabwean bush camp? Need a walking/game drive/paddling holiday?

Well, one of our Travel Specialists recently did just that, and here is her blog about the experience.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this month’s newsletter. Let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the newsletter, we’d love to hear your feedback.

We’ll be back in October.

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