September 24th is Heritage Day in South Africa. A day to celebrate our rich and cultural heritage, and to revel in the diversity of our nation. It’s a day where we showcase our traditions, marvel at our colourful background, appreciate our variety of languages and take pride in our heritage. Heritage Day means something different for everyone but generally incorporates family time, shared meals. indulging in cultural celebrations or simply getting back to nature. Plenty of South Africans choose to braai on Heritage Day, and the day has affectionately been referred to as “braai day”. South Africans love the sizzle and pop of a wood fire!
The weekly “Week in Pics” blog was cast aside in favour of celebrating the day. Indulging in a few traditional culinary delights, building a crackling fire and sampling locally crafted gins under a canopy of deciduous trees was how we chose to celebrate Heritage Day. The bushveld is the heart and heritage of the safari experience, so it was vital to celebrate in the untamed savannah surrounded by the high-pitched echoing choir of bird sounds. Guests enjoyed a culinary journey into the heart of South Africa and there were a few traditional dances from our team, complete with singing from Joy at Africa on Foot. Guides, together with the on-the-ground team introduced everyone to snippets of the safari lifestyle.
Together with Gemma Thomas and our camp managers, we co-ordinated, executed and photographed the perfect Heritage Day celebrations. Gem captured moments from the celebrations as she moved from Chacma Bush Camp to Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp in the Klaserie. There was plenty of attention to detail with the Bush Bar set-up – even a protea made an appearance, ensuring hints of South Africa appeared at every given opportunity.
Gemma says, “At Chacma there was a braai where plenty of merriment ensued. It was more of a celebratory Heritage weekend than just one day. Prior to the braai we made sure our guests enjoyed a gin tasting session complete with local fynbos gins, mini-cocktails and traditional snacks. On one of the morning’s we enjoyed a splendid bush breakfast. The entire Heritage Day weekend coincided with an 80th, so there were two reasons to celebrate!”
When Gemma left Chacma and journeyed to the Klaserie she helped to set-up the joint Bush Bar sundowner experience for Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp. She says, “There were plenty of people at the Bush Bar – at least 26 guests, and 6 – 7 guides! Platters of 5 types of biltong were neatly laid out for guests to sample. There were food platters a stand of locally brewed Zwakala beers. There were also plenty of local gins to try, which paired nicely with the snacks. Upon return to the camps, the team at nThambo hosted a drumming and dancing session for guests. Joy from Africa on Foot sang for guests. The evening ended with a braai complete with local side dishes”