Winter has arrived! The days are getting shorter and the evenings longer, with sunrise being much later and sunset much earlier. The morning game drives start off quite chilly, but then heats up towards the end of the morning drive and the afternoon drives are the direct opposite – you do not feel the need for a jacket at first, but just as the sun sets behind the mountains, a warm fleecy jacket is more than welcome! For those who will be visiting the lodge in the next month or two, please remember to pack those scarves and gloves. Should you not have space, you can also buy them from our winter stocked Curio Shop!
This year, the World Travel Market in Cape Town and Tourism Indaba in Durban was another big success for us! We were represented by Sam Chatham from Somewhere South at WTM and the feedback was great! It was our first time exhibiting in the Durban ICC and we could not have asked for a better outcome! It was wonderful seeing all the familiar faces as we met with a lot of our existing agents and tour operators and also with a lot of new and upcoming agents. Thank you to everyone who visited our bright blue stand, we are looking forward to a year of good business with you till we meet again in 2015! I hope those of you who attended Indaba had a safe journey back home after a very busy three days!
This month, we had some excitement on the Trapcam as the rangers placed it close to a new hyena den on our property. When on game drive, you can sit and watch them for hours, playing around the den. We were lucky to get a lovely shot of the clan members and the pups around the entrance of the den site. I hope you enjoy the photo!
We were sad to say goodbye to one of our rangers, Devon Becker, this month. Devon decided that he would like to put some time in to further his studies and obtain his FGASA Level 2 qualification. We wish him all the best with his future endeavors! We also welcomed two new staff members to our EP family this month. Firstly, we have an EcoTraining student, Andrew Bartlet, who joined us to gain some practical experience in the day to day running of a lodge. As part of his training to become a qualified guide, he needs to be exposed to a lot of areas of the lodge and obtain some practical hours in and around the lodge, as well as on game drives and bushwalks. Welcome Andrew, I am sure you are going to enjoy your time with us and I hope that you will gain invaluable experience while with us! We are also happy to introduce our new ranger, Jonathan Vogel, who will be joining our wonderful team of rangers to ensure our guests have an unforgettable experience on game drive. Jonathan has been guiding since 2009 and I am sure he will fit in straight away. Welcome to the team Jonathan!
We celebrated some birthdays again this month. On the 3rd, I celebrated my birthday, followed by Phillip who celebrated his birthday on the 4th. Phillip is one of our green-fingered gardeners. Phillip has a way with plants! Wherever he plants whichever plant, it grows like you cannot believe. Then, the last birthday for the month was on the 5th when Etienne’s dad celebrated his special day. We do not see him very often as they live in the Free State, but I am sure he had a wonderful day! To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during May, we hope you also had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter!
This month, chef Reimond is sharing a decadent Strawberry Cheesecake recipe with us. If you ever have a craving for something sweet and creamy, give this recipe a try, you will not regret it!
2 ½ cups cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. sponged gelatine
3 tbsp strawberry syrup
100g shortbread biscuits
50g melted butter
Strawberry syrup topping
1 cup strawberry syrup
9 tsp. sponged gelatine
Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter, press into individual dessert glasses. Allow to chill. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and strawberry syrup together. Sponge the gelatine into hot, but not boiling water and beat this into the mixture, incorporating well. Pour the mixture over the biscuit mixture and allow to chill. Make sure that the syrup is warm, then melt the gelatine and mix it into the syrup. Allow to cool down to room temperature. Cut strawberries in half, lay them over the set cheesecake and pour the syrup carefully over the cheesecakes. The layer should be about 1mm deep. Allow the dessert to set completely.
Serve chilled and enjoy!
All the best till next month!