The first couple of days on vacation in South Africa had been a bit chaotic and tightly planned. After arriving in Johannesburg the next morning we caught a new flight to Nelspriut to look at chimpanzees and go on a two day safari. Mostly safaris advertise the big 5: elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards, and buffalo. Not only are the big five to be found but many other animals like the giraffe and zebra are part of the experience. Some like the giraffes and elephants are in abundance in Krueger park and are very much out in the open but the leopard and tigers are are a bit more elusive. We got lucky in that we saw all big five plus lots of other animals in the first day. Including a very special mating performance by the lions which the tour guides found to be a special occurrence.
Part of our safari package was a braai, the traditional South African barbecue. Meet Mark, our safari guide for the day and our braai specialist.
While chatting with Mark it became clear that the braai is a very special and important part of their South African culture. Any chance he can get and at least once a week they braai. The type of meat changes but for us it was beef steaks royally seasoned with a light spicy chili and herb powder and continually basted with beer. The beer was just the type he was drinking from at the moment.
Typically to accompany the meat is garlic bread grilled in tinfoil on the grill with corn on the cob also grilled, a green salad, potato salad and a mixed brown and green bean salad. The braai felt very familiar to my Americanness.
Ending the two day safari we visited the Blyde Canyon and stopped at Harrie’s pancake restaurant. This time feeling rather familiar to my dutchness. I usually eat my pancakes filled with sweet ingredients like fresh fruit or syrup. But at Harrie’s their hearty pancakes really did look good so I ordered a spicy mince and cheddar cheese pancake.