Author Archive for: ‘iamBobo’

Chasing The Summer!

Chasing The Summer!

Day dreaming about our upcoming travels. Its Winter here in Joburg, but in just less than a month, we satisfy that persistent itch to see some world, and chase the Summer. We cannot wait! This is what August will look like for us… #NewYork #Mykonos #Paris

Summer 2013 Collage

The Bungalow, Clifton, CPT

The Bungalow, Clifton, CPT

Anyone who knows me well will testify to the fact that when I travel, most of my travel plans are based on great dining experiences. I will always seek out the best restaurants in any city that I travel to. Firstly because, well, I just love to eat good food, and secondly, because I believe that through its food, you get to know every country/city a little bit better.  Upon the good advice of a friend who lives in Cape Town, we made a reservation for lunch at The Bungalow in Clifton. And thank God we did, because its always packed, especially during peak season.

The Bungalow opened its doors in December 2011, and is also sister  to the Paranga / Pepenero / Zenzero and The Kove restaurants. The restaurant has been described as “Clifton’s hottest restaurant and lounge”, and after spending a very lazy Summer’s day eating the most divine seafood, and sipping on bubbly all day, I have to agree that The Bungalow is as “hot” as its been said to be.

With its chic interior and excellent food & wine menu, a relaxed vibe, and beautiful clientele,  The Bungalow has given Cape Town a fine dining restaurant at one of the best locations around and therefore created an excellent destination to spend long Summer lunches that turn into dinner.

We love Cape Town Summer days, but we love Cape Town Summer days spent at The Bungalow a little bit more :-)

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Their seafood platter is sooo good!

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Tequila, anyone?

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Stunning view!

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Good people, good food, good weather, plenty bubbly…enough to make a girl smile!

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Cheers!

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Happy times!

 

The Bungalow Restaurant (The old La Med)
Address: 3 Victoria Road, Clifton
Telephone number: +27 (0)21 438 2018.

TBT: Monaco ‘09

TBT: Monaco ‘09

Looking back at a brief but lovely trip I took to Monaco back in September 2009. I had just spent a few glorious days in beautiful Paris and then made my way to Monaco to visit my friend Adjoa who was studying at the International University of Monaco at the time.

The six hour ride from Paris to Monaco on the Euro Star offered a glimpse of the scenic French countryside. Vast green fields that went on forever, beautiful farm houses, and grazing cattle were some of the sights we saw along the way. Eventually, we arrived in the spectacular principality of Monaco, situated along the breathtakingly beautiful French Riviera.

My impressions of Monaco? Beautiful, extravagant, and a glimpse into what REAL (and old) money affords those who have it. High-end restaurants, designer shopping, a stunning harbour, the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo, and opulent nightlife are some of the things you can expect from Monaco.

Overall, I found that Monaco was somewhat over the top, but who can ever be mad at spending a few days of luxury living at its best?

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Stunning French countryside as seen from the train.

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Sheep enjoying their lunch :-)

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As we drove into Monte Carlo

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Place du Casino

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View from our hotel room. The MOST phenomenal view I have ever woken up to.

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The sheer beauty of the French Riviera.

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Walking the streets.

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The harbour

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I want one!

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Dinner and drinks with the girls!

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Republic Bar & Grill, Accra

Republic Bar & Grill, Accra

When traveling to a new city, its always good to find out where the locals love to let loose and enjoy a drink or two. Its usually in these environments that the real personality of a city shows itself, and also where you really get a sense of what makes each city unique.

Word of mouth led us to a charming bar & grill in Osu, called Republic Bar & Grill. Osu is a district in central Accra, known for its busy commercial, restaurant and nightlife activity. It is locally known as the “West End” of Accra. When walking and driving through Osu, I felt was a strong sense of the authentic energy and soul of the people of Accra.

The selling point of Republic Bar & Grill is the fact that all the drinks are laced with Akpeteshie (Disclaimer: Not for the faint hearted). Akpeteshie is a home-made alcoholic spirit produced in Ghana and other West African nations by distilling palm wine or sugar cane. But beyond that, this charming bar & grill provides an eccentric and quirky experience in the city of Accra. From the sounds of Fela Kuti filling the air, to the vintage inspired decor, the colourful and interesting  clientele, and the yummy Akpeteshie laced cocktails (AGAIN, Be warned), a night out at Republic Bar & Grill is a sure stop before heading out for a night of partying in Accra (if you’re still standing of course).

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TBT: Amsterdam ‘10

TBT: Amsterdam ‘10

 

June 2012. On a whim, Katiso and I decided that we wanted to see Amsterdam. Within 2 weeks, we made this trip happen. What an incredible city. So beautiful, so interesting, and so colourful! We spent just over a week in Amsterdam. We enjoyed our time trying different food and beer, shopping, exploring, partying, and learning more about the city’s rich history. I’m not done with you Amsterdam, my heart yearns to know you better….

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This house is so beautiful, straight from a fairytale!

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Shopping in Dam Square

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Music for cash monies!

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Houseboats…so lovely!

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Katiso walking them streets.

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The infamous Red Light District!

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We even managed to catch a N.E.R.D show :-)

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Hello there Pharrell!

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:-)

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Katiso getting down!

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People Watching.

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The canals are so beautiful!

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Public toilets in the Red Light District. True story.

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More houseboats. I could so live like that!

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Our reward after a long day of walking!

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Bicycles seemed to almost be the primary mode of transport.

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Love it.

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Canal cruising.

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And another houseboat.

 

 

 

JAMBO!!!

JAMBO!!!

When my dear friend Mathapelo told me she was headed to Kenya for a few days this past December, I had to hold back on my envy, take a deep breath, and be happy for her. I’ve heard so much about the beauty of Kenya, its people, and its culture, and I’m dying to see it for myself.  I made it a point to catch up with her upon her return to hear all about the trip.

This is Mathapelo’s account of what she says was a life-changing trip.

On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi at 5:00am Kenyan time, the plane’s exterior windows were immediately beaded with humidity. Inside the airport, there was no air conditioning, which further heightening the oppressive humidity. After going through passport control we proceeded to claim our luggage and then we were off to boarding gate 1 where we boarded a flight to Mombasa.

When we arrived in Mombasa, we were met at the airport by Roger our tour guide, Roger generously handed out bottled water and mint scented face cloths for us to wipe our faces and took us on a two-hour bus ride from Moi International Airport in Mombasa over a long and narrow road. It was during this trip that I noticed how hard life was for most people, from my comfortable seat in an air conditioned bus, digital camera, iPod in hand and oversized shades, we drove past mud huts and houses on the busy road, hawkers begging to have their goods sold and children running after the bus waving at us.

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Drive from Moi International Airport to Malindi

After 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa we had reached our destination, I remember thinking to myself “this must be Kenya’s or should I say Italy’s best kept secret – Malindi”. It is the ‘little Italy’ of Africa. Billboards advertise in Italian, Kenyans speak Italian including Kenyan kids, grocery stores stock shelves of olive oil, salami and prosciutto, and tanned Italian men wander the beaches in skimpy bikini trunks with tall, skinny dark model like Kenyan girls young enough to be their granddaughters. Did I mention pizza, pasta joints and fine wine?

In typical Maasai Manyatta village-style, with chalet-like rooms made out of indigenous wood and the roofs covered with palm branches (Makuti roof) was our home away from home – Sandies Tropical Village. Crystal clear, tranquil waters, white beach sand, the coconut palm trees, free flowing booze 24/7 all add to this paradise. Here we were warmly greeted with the phrase “Jambo” Swahili for “hello”, this became our way of greeting for the duration of our stay in Kenya. We were welcomed with drinks, drums, dancing, singing and I immediately felt my heart smiling as this reassured me that I was home. The staff were friendly and offered to take our bags up to our rooms while we were whisked away to have lunch.

 

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Sandies Tropical Village, Malindi Kenya

 The days that followed my arrival in Malindi were filled with nothing but adventure from weaving through traffic jams while holding onto a metal rod for dear life and zipping by Malindi’s distinct architecture on a tuk-tuk on the narrow back streets with beautifully carved doors, shops stacked with metres and metres of colourful kikoy cloth, coconuts being sold by market women,  a trip to Mombasa to have lunch with friends with the ocean and charming boats as a backdrop, sundowners as we watched the sunset, feeding bananas to over enthusiastic monkeys in a forest  by the Gedi Ruins, dancing the adumu “jumping dance” with the maasai around the fire, long walks on the  white sandy beach of Malindi, lunch at old man and the sea, celebrating a friend’s birthday party at Pata Pata, one of the finest upmarket  clubs in Malindi , discovering Soweto Bar in the middle of a remote village in Muyeye on Christmas and visiting a marketplace full of local handicraft, paintings and beautiful maasai cloth.

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Christmas in Muyeye spent with villagers/Soweto Bar – Malindi Kenya

However, one of the most rewarding experiences of my trip was experiencing a completely different culture than my own, becoming the minority, being reminded of how privileged I am, making friends and getting to know my fellow travelers out of their comfort zone.

Ofcourse I will always remember the more tourist excursions that I took while in Kenya like the famous Vasco da Gama Pillar which is believed to be one of the oldest European monuments in Africa and having been built in 1498, Francis Xavier Church which is the first Portuguese church in East and Central Africa and the  Gedi ruins, what was once a rich trading hub from the 13th to 17th century and was mysteriously abandoned and taken over by the forest until the 1900´s when it was excavated amongst other things. The ornaments that were found inside the ruins are on display in the museum next door which we visited.

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Feeding monkeys at the Gedi Ruins

However, I think what stays with me more and what impacted me more was the spirit and kindness of the Kenyan people, the smiling faces of the children and enthusiastic waves as we drove/walked past and more importantly Hashim, an unassuming kind man whom we met outside our hotel as we were looking for a tuk-tuk to take us to the Vasco da Gama Pillar, Hashim became more than just our driver, we became friends, he made our stay in Kenya a rich, vibrant experience. This man shaped our memories of Kenya more than the place its self.  Hashim shone light on our ignorance and taught us about Malindi and ourselves in ways that he himself will never know and for this I will be forever grateful.

 

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Hashim – This man really took care of us

 It was also at the Vasco da Gama Pillar were we met Festo aka Captain Vasco who was to show us around. Festo is a care free soul who seems to enjoy the simple things in life. We exchanged numbers with Festo and asked him to take us to a spot where locals chilled for a good time. After a long day of touring Malindi, we finally went back to the hotel to have dinner and freshen up. We then hit the town with Festo and Hashim. They took us to Club Kienyeji which is situated along Tsavo road in Malindi, here, we entered a small, well-outfitted room and we were greeted warmly, we discovered a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of people dancing to the greatest Kenyan new generation music, bands we’ve never heard of before. Some playing pool while the boys were sipping on cold Tuskers. It was at this club where we left with that authentic Kenyan clubbing experience and it felt amazing. This is a real downtown gem!

 

Untitled7-1Me and the boys at the Vasco da Gama Pillar, Malindi – Kenya

My experience in Kenya did not leave me empty, I take home with me the spirit of the Kenyan children, the humility, courage and kindness of the Kenyan people and  the strength of the Kenyan women who carry wood on their arched backs and walk long distances  to make fire and feed their families .

 

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 My love for Africa and my desire to contribute to the development of this beautiful continent strengthens more with every trip I make within the continent. This experience opened me up to the idea that, even in a blink of an eye, you can make lifelong friends. I can only try to paint a picture with words or capture these moments through my lens but some experiences can only be understood and felt through the naked eye. Africa is definitely the place to be, best believe it! “

https://twitter.com/MathapeloR

http://olivereign.tumblr.com/

http://olivereign.wordpress.com

Ada, You Beauty!

Ada, You Beauty!

On the last day of our trip to Accra, we got invited by friends to spend the day in Ada. Ada is a small coastal town in the Greater Accra Region, about an hour’s drive outside of Accra.

It turned out that a friend of a friend has a family home right on the water, and every fort night or so, a group of them spend a Sunday afternoon there. We were promised a relaxed day in the sun, accompanied by good company, food and drinks. We excitedly accepted the offer. And we are so happy we did!

With that said, we embarked on the road trip to Ada on a smoldering hot Ghana Summer’s day. The drive to Ada was beautiful. Open road, fields that went on forever, grazing livestock, and small markets were all part of the scenery on our way there. Through all our chit chat and plenty laughs, there were moments of awe-invoked silence. I for one, just felt a calming sense of serenity, appreciation, and just felt so blessed to be able to experience this marvelous piece of our African continent.

When we arrived in Ada, were were certainly not disappointed. It was everything we had been told, and more! The house was gorgeous. It had a long and spacious wooden deck that led to a thatched gazebo right on the river. This was where we would spend the rest of our amaaaaaaazing day. We enjoyed a long afternoon of wine, food, hookah, laughter, and water sports. We rode on jet skis all day and at sunset took a ride on their speed boat.  As we rode further away from the house, the views became more spectacular. From small villages which were literally right on the water, to beautiful palm tree-lined beaches, the boat trip truly opened our eyes to the beauty of Ghana.

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By the time we got back to the house, the sun had set. And as if our surroundings couldn’t get any more beautiful… between the beautiful moon’s reflection on the water, the perfect weather, the perfect company, a delicious traditional Ghanian meal, we may as well have been in paradise!

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However, the reality of our lives was that there was a flight to Johannesburg which we had to board shortly. After toying with the idea of “missing” our flight back home, we dragged our feet to the car, and hit the road back to Accra.

If there was ever a perfect day, this was it. Ada, you are a beauty. Really, you are.

A Room With A View: Simon’s Town

A Room With A View: Simon’s Town

I spent a day in Simon’s Town over this past Summer. It was my first time visiting this charming seaside village, which is situated about 40 km outside of the city of Cape Town. This quaint town has a rich history, charming shops, restaurants for every taste, penguins at Boulders Beach, and many other outdoor activities to enjoy.

Simon’s Town is the perfect holiday destination to visit for some down time after spending time in the city.

When we woke up that morning, we stepped out oto to the balcony to this absolutely amazing view. I had to share!

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The Dopeness of This Photo!

The Dopeness of This Photo!

Dope.Pic FINAL

New York. July 2012.

The Love World Tour Does Everyday People Brunch, NYC

The Love World Tour Does Everyday People Brunch, NYC

Having experienced and grown to love the Saturday and Sunday brunch culture in New York when Sphume and I lived there, we were excited to introduce the rest of the girls to this awesome brunch and day time party tradition. Restaurants across the city host weekend brunch specials and sometimes even parties that are designed to cater to the foodie (and party animal) in residents of the city. Having established our favourite brunch spots already, most of them situated in the trendy Meatpacking District, we were excited to come across a brunch party we hadn’t been to before. Every Day People Brunch, that is.

Every Day People Brunch is a monthly day party started by founders Saada Ahmed, celebrity chef Roble Ali, Cherie Camacho and DJ Moma in April 2012. The brunch fuses different walks of life together in one space for daytime mimosas, signature Roble dishes and 90s’ feel-good jams to boogie down to.

This particular leg of the brunch party was held at the Co-Op, at the Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side, Manhattan. When we heard from friends what this event was all about, we were already sold. But nothing could have prepared us for the awesomeness that the brunch party turned out to be. Delicious food, flowing drinks, beautiful people, and banging tunes were the order of the day. We’ll say no more than to say when visiting New York City, make sure to see if you’re lucky enough to catch an Everyday People Brunch. Thank us later.

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