Bayete Zulu Game Reserve

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There are those places that you visit where you realise how amazingly lucky we are to live in Africa.
Bayete Zulu is one of those places.

Bayete Zulu is a private homestead located in the Zululand Rhino Reserve, 300 km north of Durban – just 3.5 hours door to door actually. It’s a self-catering lodge which you have full use of for the duration of your stay and it sleeps up to 20 people in 8 luxurious rooms and 2 suites. The rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished with en suite bathrooms with big sunken baths and outdoor showers, so you can get your bits out under the stars ;)

And you have full use of the lodge, which includes a magnificent rim-flow pool with a view over the game reserve, a jacuzzi, bar and dining area, indoor & outdoor lounges, a fire pit, an outdoor boma dining area, a kids play area and game vehicles – 2 of them – with some very cool rangers on hand – we were mightily impressed with Graham and Louise and they put up with all our shenanigans whilst explaining the history of knob trees and scoping out a pride of lions for us ;)

It’s self-catering yes, so you take all your own food and booze, but there is the most amazing group of cooks on hand to prepare and cook all your food for you if you want – we had breakfast, lunch and supper sorted out for us each day which was awesome – especially the delicious potjie and braai with pap!

Bayete Zulu is located in the Mkuze West portion of the 22 000 ha Zululand Rhino Reserve, which boasts the big five along with a wide variety of other wild life. The landscape is varied and we were there when it was quite wet and green, so our surroundings were beautifully lush and cool. We stopped in the bush for morning coffee each day and in the evenings made a stop at dusk to watch the sun go down with a few alcoholic beverages. The peace and serenity one feels in the bush really does make you wonder what this rat race crap is all about – the sense of wonder at nature and the stars you can see at night, that you never see in the city and the smells and sounds – that is Africa – it truly is magnificent!

But the most mind-blowing experience of our visit and a top 10 list of life experiences for me, was the elephant interaction we had on our last day at Bayete.
Rambo, Rachel and Jabulani are a family of 3 habituated elephants who live on the reserve and interact with guests each day by choice – their story is unique and enthralling and you’ll get the low-down on how they came to live at Bayete along with some interesting facts about elephants in general and then about the 2 guys who live with these elephants from dawn till dusk each day. AND then you’ll get to feed them as well as touch Rambo‚Äôs ears, behind his tusks, between his front legs and even get to feel his tongue!
Talk about amazing experiences!?

Places like Bayete are few and far between and I highly recommend you take a trip there to see for yourself.
Get in touch with your soul again, unwind for a day or two, or three… Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of the veld, just be… YOU!
Flip, I must go again!

Nevermind that I got to visit along with the most amazing group of bloggers and misfits this side of Kathmandu – that was the cherry on top! I met some amazing people – creatives in their prime – full of energy & ideas and talent in bucket loads!

Christy-Lee Hosking of Pickle Photo was there and she captured the essence of Bayete Zulu in her pics way better than I ever could, so please go check out her pics on her site. She’s an uber talented photographer who specialises in weddings and portraits and it was awesome to meet her in person after admiring her work for so long.

The rest of the group that was with us is being profiled on Lauren Wallet’s ‘Love Lauren’ blog here, so check out this talented bunch yourself. I met some people I’ve had virtual friendships with for ages {so common these days} as we’ll as some new people I hope to see again in the future. Networking with like-minded people is awesome – something Lauren Wallet has built her business model on and she does it well, with energy and enthusiasm and always with a personal touch. Thank you Lauren, so much for inviting us to join you on this trip and to the team at Bayete Zulu - thank you for sharing your piece of paradise with us.

Here are a few beaut Pickle Photo pics - there are many more on that blog so go have a look-see there too…

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So your appetite is whet and you want to go too?
Hop on over to the Bayete Zulu website for more details, but the low down is that it costs R800 per person per night and there’s a minimum number of 6 people needed per booking.
Elephant interaction is R400 per person – do not miss it!

I for one, will definitely be going back… soon.

Spree is having their 1st Birthday SALE!

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So Spree is one of the newer online fashion retailers in SA – what makes them different though is that all of the fashions available have been styled by our favourite SA magazines – Fair Lady, Grazia, Heat, YOU, Sarie, True Love, Women’s Health and more… so now the fashions you spotted in those mags – you can shop them online at Spree!
Loving the monochrome trend which you can shop online:

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as well as these gorgeous greens and blues:

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Spree are celebrating their 1st Birthday and you get the presents – a massive sale in their online store awaits you and delivery is FREE across SA.

And the boys have not been left out – there’s men’s fashion online too!

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So if you saw it in your favourite magazine – now you know where to shop for it online – Spree!

Market at the Square this Friday night in Umhlanga

Umhlanga Village buzzes even more than normal this Friday evening with the Market at the Square in Granada Square, Umhlanga. This night market takes place in an outdoor courtyard and is plenty festive with loads of craft, food and drinks stalls, so you can head there for Friday night dinner and much browsing & socialising. If it rains, they’ll head down to the parking area below the square, but there will always be a market – don’t miss it!
Highly recommend the food from Ray’s Kitchen – insanely good!
For more info check out the website.

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Wonder Market this Sunday in Umhlanga

One of Durban’s best markets is this Sunday in Chris Saunders Park in Umhlanga. This outdoor market is awesome for families and kids as there is plenty of space to run around in an enclosed grassy park and the food is insanely good – as well as the drinks on offer! From craft beer to cocktails and delicious juices as well, you’re spoiled for choice. One of my favorite food stalls is Zak & Tonic - but get there fast – they’re everyone’s favourite, so they sell out fast! Finish off your meal with a Quma pop – freshly frozen fruit lollies on a stick – I had a watermelon one once that was most memorable.

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The Food Market this Saturday morning

This monthly market takes place in the Hellenic Hall in Durban North and you can expect a fresh food bounty ranging from olives and cured meats, to insanely delicious calamari, Greek delicacies and sweet treats. It’s a proudly KZN initiative which supports local producers and artisans – so support local! It’s the perfect place to have Saturday breakfast and there’s a kids play area outside so you can relax with a coffee while they run wild.
Visit the website for more details.

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New look, black book…

I decided I needed a change of scenery around here, so I uploaded a new look for the blog. yeah there’s loads of colour which is atypical of me, but I kinda love it!

You will also see there’s a sneaky ‘Black Book’ button up there – you’ll just have to watch this space – something I’ve been meaning to launch for ages, but just never had enough time… Well that’s what long weekends are for!

In the meantime, enjoy the new layout…

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Studio No. 19 Catalogue – swooning!

Mia Widlake’s ceramics and fabrics are some of my most coveted decor items ever, I lust for one of her skeleton dinner plate sets… So the release of the Studio No. 19 online Catalogue has me all flustered as I now want flipping everything in it!!!

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I am in awe of her talent – obsessed with everything!

Click here to view the catalogue online in full

Contact Mia Widlake via her website

Beautiful ceramic proteas from Noble Handcraft

Proteas are my favorite flower, so when I discovered these gorgeous ceramic, handcrafted beauties by Noble Handcraft, I was smitten. Whilst proteas last far longer than most cut flowers in a vase, they still don’t last forever – so this is the perfect solution for all-year-round flowers.

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Babette Noble hand crafts every flower and they are either supplied with wooden dowels which insert into the bottom of the ceramic flower, so they can stand up in a jar or vase or be pushed into soil alongside your pot plants, or as an oil candle with a separate wick long enough to hang into scented oil which turns the flower into a beautiful candle. They come in a myriad colours – I obviously have the white ones – but Babette can custom colour according to your taste or for functions – they would look absolutely amazing as wedding decor!

I’ve displayed the flower with a stem in a beaker and the candle one is in a consol jar that I’m going to fill with citronella oil. You can get your own from Noble Handcraft at I Heart Market in Durban or online via Hello Pretty, or contact Babette directly through her Facebook page or website.

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