Memories of South Africa & Swaziland

South Africa, Swaziland

Overlooking the Three Rondavels with Charlotte, Mpumalanga

Okay, this is long overdue but in posting this it means my trip is really in the past. I've been home from South Africa for two months now but I still want to share a few of my favourite moments from my time there. I went primarily to visit my friend Charlotte, who has been living there with her boyfriend for the past three years. She was an excellent host and tour guide and I saw a lot of the country I wouldn't have had the chance to see otherwise. It was really eyeopening and it wasn't always easy but it's a place I would recommend everyone sees at least once in their life. I hope to get back one day but, for now, it's been great to have this chance to reminisce and reflect and share some of my stories with you from my time there.

If you plan on visiting this amazing country, check out my South Africa recommendations for a list of places I loved to eat, drink, and see while I was there.

Buying and selling corn as the sun rises, White River

1. Spending the day on the Mortlock farm picking avocados, selling corn to local women, cuddling stray dogs, processing macadamia nuts and driving between the crops in an old pickup truck.

2. Buying roasted corn from women on the side of the road.

3. The epic housewarming and braii at the Estate House that ended with Hayden's dare to dive into the just above freezing flinstone pool in his long underwear at 4am.

Home away from home at the Lake House, White River

4. The lovely spaces Charlotte made for me in her home.

5. Helicopter ride over the Lowveld courtesy of Roger.

6. My first braii at the Lake House.

7. Coming across a pack of wild monkeys while walking alone through the Nelspruit Botanic Gardens.

Stopped for an elephant in the middle of the road, Kruger Park

8. Game driving through Kruger and seeing all sorts of African wildlife only a few feet from our truck. Highlights include lions hunting a pack of impala and two male elephants fighting over a female, while she got it on with some other guy.

9. Hyenas stalking the fence a few feet away from us while Charlotte and I made dinner at our safari tent at the Skukuza rest camp.

10. Drinking too much wine and talking and laughing too loud too late into the night at said rest camp and being told by a Kruger Park warden to go to sleep.

Watching the sunset over Cape Town from the top of Signal Hill

11. Drinking red wine with Jean on top of Signal Hill my first night in Cape Town and her incredible hospitality throughout my week there.

12. Seeing whales from the ferry on the way back to Cape Town from Robben Island.

13. Chocolate and wine tasting with Roger and Charlotte at Bilton Winery. The lime infused white chocolate and Sauvignon Blanc pairing was heaven.

Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout
Pieter-Dirk Uys as Tannie Evita (photo courtesy www.evita.co.za)

14. Watching Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, the insanely talented cross-dressing South African satirist, activist and comedian, at the Baxter Concert Hall.

15. Picking up ten hitchhikers outside of Bulembu to ride in the back of the "bakkie" on our Swaziland road trip.

16. Dancing to Brazilian/Mozambican band Napalma at the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland.

17. Getting to meet Murray's extended family on our road trip to Comrades and the incredible warmth and generosity I was shown along the way.

Murray (left) with 30km to go to Durban

18. Cheering Murray on as he ran the 90km Comrades marathon.

19. Sundowners and a boat ride on Longmere Lake with Charlotte and Roger.

Chuva, Charlotte and Roger's gorgeous cat they rescued from Mozambique

20. Chuva.

21. Cooking dinner and drinking wine well into the night at Tanya's place in Johannesburg.

22. Eating a platter of bbq meat, pap and chakalaka with our hands at the 707 shisa nyama in Soweto.

With Charlotte, Kruger Park
23. Every shopping trip, girls night, braii, family dinner, Sunday night movie, game drive, trip to town, glass of wine, bag of biltong, episode of Come Dine With Me, patio beer, avocado on toast, cup of coffee and late night laugh I got to share with Charlotte.


Recommendations for South Africa & Swaziland

South Africa, Swaziland

A noninclusive list of a few of the places I saw in South Africa and Swaziland that I really loved. This list doesn't include the places I was recommended but didn't have a chance to see, or the ones I saw and wouldn't recommend anyone someone else to go to. These are places that I visited personally and would suggest to anyone else to visit as well.

Where to sleep*
Balule Rest Camp, Kruger National Park
Balule Rest Camp, Kruger National Park

Balule Rest Camp Kruger National Park
Skukuza Rest Camp Kruger National Park

*I was fortunate to stay with Charlotte and her friends and family for the majority of my time in Africa so don't have much insight into accommodation options.

Where to eat & drink
shisa nyama at 707 in Soweto
Shisa nyama at 707 Panyaza Shebeen, Soweto

Jock and Java Nelspruit
Kuzuri Nelspruit
Mahoi's White River
Fez Restaurant White River
Gum Treez Pub & Grill White River
Bohemian Groove Cafe Kaapsehoop
Harrie's Pancakes Graskop

Johannesburg & area
Wolves Cafe
The Good Luck Club
Cafe Mexicho
Ratz Bar
Ant Cafe
Neighbourgoods Market
707 Panyaza Shebeen Soweto
Tribeca Pretoria

Cape Town & area
Sidewalk Cafe
Haas Collective
Dear Me
Skinny Legs and All
West Street Cafe
El Burro
Old Biscuit Mill Market
Fairview Wine & Cheese
The Toad Noordhoek
De Oude Bank Bakkerij Stellenbosch
Kanonkop Wine Estate Stellenbosch
Morgenhof Estate Stellenbosch
Bilton Wines Stellenbosch
La Bri Wine Estate Franschhoek
Haute Cabriere Winery Franschhoek
Elephant and Barrel Franschhoek
Olympia Cafe Kalk Bay
Mariners Wharf Hout Bay

What to see
Bulembu, Swaziland
Bulembu, Swaziland
Kruger National Park
Bourke's Luck Potholes
God's Window
Three Rondavels
Lowveld National Botanical Garden

Johannesburg & area
Apartheid Museum
Co-op Gallery
The Creative Block
Union Buildings Pretoria
Voortrekker Monument Pretoria

Cape Town & area
Baxter Theatre
Labia Cinema
Robben Island
Woodstock Foundry
Signal Hill
Kalk Bay
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
Chapmans Beach
Elgin Valley
Camps Bay

Durban & area
Comrades Marathon

Bushfire Festival May/June
House on Fire


PARKSALE poster, Calgary

typographic poster for PARKSALE, an outdoor art market in Calgary
I've worked with the team at PARK for over a year now and always enjoy doing design for them as they are a great non profit organization with a huge emphasis on creative design. This week I worked on a poster for PARKSALE, an annual outdoor art market with no vendor or admission fees. My office for the month of August has been the home of my lovely friends Natalie and Greg as I am house-sitting while they are celebrating their one year anniversary in Thailand. The space definitely inspired the typographic paper cut-out design for PARK, especially considering the Rob Ryan pieces and soft vintage touches. It's been a beautiful and inspiring workspace, complete with lots of cuddles with Hercules the cat, and I'll be sad to leave this weekend.

typographic poster design

character home interior design

character home interior design

character home interior design

character home interior design

calgary character home interior design       character home interior design

character home interior design       character home interior design

character home interior design       character home interior design

framed Rob Ryan paper cut art

framed Rob Ryan paper cut art

typographic poster for PARKSALE, an outdoor art market in Calgary