Why 2017 is the year dot.

In the original year dot the Earth was a healthy planet, but over time humans have multiplied, made some poor choices and the Earth is now in crisis.

How do you fix a planet, where do you even start?

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Actually, it’s simple; you download an app and you Do One Thing.

The #DotChallenge is an acronym for Do One Thing and works on basic maths.

I can commit to saving 3500 litres of water a month by having a shower instead of a bath. Big deal. But if a hundred or a thousand or a million people in my city do the same thing, it makes a huge difference.

Once you start making small changes to save water, conserve energy and reduce waste it starts becoming a way of life.

The DOT app provides ideas or DOTS that you can commit to and covers everyday actions relating to water, waste, energy and conservation.

It is an easy way to create awareness, start conversations and change mind-sets and habits.

The app was launched on 1st January 2017. Download here for Android and here for iPhone.

When the world goes dotty it will be a good thing.

For a full explanation of the DOTChallenge and the app, click here.

These guys are totally dotty

Two intrepid adventurers will be rowing the Cape to Rio route to raise awareness for the DOT Challenge and you can follow their progress on the app, and see the number of dots grow as more people download it and start adding their dots.

Clyde Barendse and Braam Malherbe will be rowing 6700km over 2 to 3 months in this tiny craft, the Mhondoro.

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The boats weighs about a tonne fully laden, which is quite a weight to propel by rowing.

It has a tiny cabin that contains the navigation equipment, charts, personal gear, a tool box, medical kit and provisions. There is just enough space for one person to curl up and sleep or two people to sit with the door closed during extremely adverse weather conditions.

On the other end of the boat is a much smaller cabin that houses the auto and manual helm that controls the rudder. The rudder can be programmed via a remote by Braam or Clyde while they are rowing. During rough conditions and large swells the back rudder will be used to allow the boat to surf the waves. Approaching the waves side on would cause the boat to capsize, although it is designed to automatically right itself.

The rest of the space on the boat is taken up by the two slide rowing seats. For the entire duration of the trip Braam and Clyde will be strapped to the boat.

The days and nights will be a never ending cycle of eat |  sleep  |  row | repeat.

Eating.

The boat is stocked with freeze dried food sufficient for 90 days. Only 30% of the meals are wet food, and are of the boil in a bag variety, cooked on a Jetboil in 3 to 4 minutes. The average meal contains 800 calories and extra treats include biltong, almonds and macadamia nuts.

This is not a foodie adventure, its pure survival.

Water will be obtained via a battery powered Schenker Water Maker. The battery is charged via the solar panels on the top of the cabin and the hatch. A hand operated water maker is on board as a back-up.

Entertainment

To break the endless eat, sleep, row routine, Braam and Clyde will take turns to go overboard into the sea every day, attached to the 40m line. This is bath and toilet time, recreation time and a chance to observe and record what is happening in the ocean.

They will be taking photos and video with a GoPro Hero 5 and a low light 4k camera.

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The 1st January was the planned launch date but poor weather conditions prevented Clyde and Braam from starting their epic journey, and they are still waiting for the go ahead from the weather gurus.

Download Windy.tv  This is a great app to see how wind, currents and swells will affect their trip, and give you your daily weather where ever you may be.

Follow the conversation at #DOTChallenge and #CapeToRioRow

FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN ON SOCIAL MEDIA

DO ONE THING

Facebook /DotDo1Thing

Twitter @DOTDo1Thing

Instagram @DOTDo1Thing

Earning your stripes is so last year, get out there and go dotty.

I have downloaded the app and created my profile. I challenge all my blogger friends and every one of my 98 000 Twitter followers to do the same.

We will make a difference.

I can’t fix the planet but I can DO ONE THING.

Go Wild with 7 Stops on the N7.

The N7.  Six hundred and seventy kilometers of hot black tar heading relentlessly north from Cape Town to  Vioolsdrift at the border to Namibia. It’s a long road, mostly straight, veering off every now and then to skirt a mountain, leading you up the odd pass and providing a hint of the exquisitely raw ,untamed landscapes of South Africa.

It would take forever to explore the countless roads leading off the N7 into two street towns, mountain villages, farming communities and remote Atlantic beaches.

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Piketberg is a small town off the N7  built on the slopes of the Piketberg mountains and it looks out over the Olifants River Valley. The town has interesting architecture like the Neo Gothic Dutch Reformed Church built in 1880. It is also very hot and it is only 8:30 am.

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The air seems to buzz in the stillness of the heat as we drive out of town and start weaving up the tight turns of the Versveld Pass. This extremely narrow road requires some concentration to navigate. Conversation ceases and ten eyes are fixed on the road. A collective sigh of relief as we near the summit and stop for road works. A wall is being built between the edge of the road and the sheer drop to certain death. This is a good thing !

We get out the car and take in the view. Any anxiety is forgotten as we hover on the edge snapping frantically trying to capture this yellow and blue vista, nor very successfully in my case, so go there, you have to see this, and drive this skinny road.

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The chatter starts again as we summit the mountain and into the hanging valley of Piket-Bo-Berg.

Like soldiers on parade peach, plum, pear and apple trees form precise green rows as far as the eye can see. The sun is drenching the land with warmth and light and you can almost hear everything growing.

Kruistementvlei Farm is a celebration of the earth.

They work with nature, because nature knows best.

Jeremy the owner takes us on a quick walkabout as he enthusiastically talks about pooh and compost, and explains the concept of PermaCulture. This Eco Friendly farm aims to be totally off the grid and self – sustainable in the not too distant future. Nothing goes to waste here, not even the “business” of guests staying in any of the five cottages, caravan or campsite. (so reasonably priced I thought the rates were from 1995)

Creative cabins, outdoor showers, dining areas in cave like rocky overhangs are shown to us at high speed, we  only slow down and stop when we get to the compost.In front of us are piles of what I hope is soil and behind us large wooden pallets are filled with fruit peels, happy bugs and other waste.

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Jeremy has a passion for the earth and the power of pooh. We stand in the rising heat as he explains the concept of waterless toilets. He plunges a spade into a pile of something dark and earthy looking, then scoops a handful and we each have it thrust under our noses for a sniff. It has no odour at all, yet it originates from a very smelly source.

Nature is amazing.

We head back down towards the house, stopping to see the pot bellied pigs flopping around in a pool. In a separate pen, year old piglets snuffle and roll over for a belly tickle. The farm dog yawns and settles under a bush and a jackal buzzard glides overhead, too hot to bother flapping its wings..

I am a hot sweaty mess by the time we arrive in the coolness of the dining room for a brunch .It is approaching 40 degrees C, summer is definitely here to stay.

Jeremy believes that to be part of a community you must be involved in the community. The Piket-Bo -Berg Farmers Market is held on his farm on the last Saturday of each month and by all accounts it is an event not to be missed. Live music, farm produce, vintage clothing and other lekker stuff is for sale while live music adds to the atmosphere, and everyone contributes to the rich compost produced by the waterless toilets.

Jeremy also established a community library for all the children in the area, has a youth group for the teenagers and hosts “workaways” where interested travellers can learn all about his earth friendly farming and lifestyle.

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No generators, TV’s or motorised equipment are permitted here. It is just you and nature. Hikes through pristine fynbos lead to caves and rock art, bird sightings and hearty appetites. MTB trails abound, swimming, star gazing and making the most of nature’s playground. You too will contribute to the compost. 🙂

Piekenierskloof Pass is an easy hour and a half drive from Cape Town and just before the summit you will find a delightful farm-stall / shop / accommodation called Kardoesie. Unique in every way, this place is where you stop to embrace the countryside and really leave the city behind you.

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Views for days, a restaurant, gift shop, fresh produce and mini shop as well as accommodation, a pool and a dog who goes for rides on a quad bike. We were given the most thoughtful personalised “Padkos” boxes containing mini quiche, chicken nuggets, dried sausage, peanuts and raisins and sweeties to see us on our way to Citrusdal.

Padkos directly translates to road food. Snacks for a long car journey. 

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At the foot of the Piekenierskloof Pass lies Citrusdal and the most intriguing info centre I have ever encountered. Situated in a room in “Die Sandveld Huisie”, a whitewashed house with a long stoep and a thatch roof, in itself quite charming, but that is not what makes it unusual.

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Every inch of this building, the surrounding trees, garden and verandah are adorned with the most colourful and imaginative everyday items that have been recycled and decorated with bright enthusiasm. It is a place that must be examined at length over a long period of time. Broken glasses hang from trees and catch sparkles of sunlight, a toaster is planted on a step and has flowers growing out of it. An old kettle swings in the breeze and colourful ribbons contrast with rusty remains.

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Inside is a shoppers dream of pretty things and stuff.  Juandre drags us away from what could be a shopping frenzy, sits us down and tells us about the artists and crafters who produce much of these colourful items. The talk is accompanied by mint flavoured ice cold water, most welcome as the temperature is now at 41 C and there is a very real danger that I could overheat and my head would just explode and make a mess over all these lovely things.

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Fortunately the ice cooled me down and my head did not explode so I was able to listen to Juandre talk about the community projects he runs without any funding. He knows the reality of this community and has applied this knowledge wisely to really address the needs of the youth and little ones. A feeding scheme supports The Ubuntu Child Development Centre , teenagers are given options to develop self esteem, be creative with recycled materials and to play a positive role in the community.

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We moved on to the museum which houses another fabulous project telling the stories of the residents and providing materials and equipment for the women to create items that can be sold and help to support their families. This is truly inspiring stuff and deserving of your support if you are ever in Citrusdal.

The museum displays interesting furniture and household items from days gone by, showcased by recreating rooms in a home.

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Clanwilliam, Gateway to the Cederberg, home to the mighty Clanwilliam Dam that I am so tempted to jump into fully clothed. It is late afternoon and still just over 41 C. These are not reasonable temperatures for women over a certain age. God bless the person who invented aircon in cars.

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We are in the very heart of Rooibos country where these plants thrive. They obviously love this extreme heat. Even the sunflowers were taking strain and given their name you would think they would be flourishing.

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Fortunately we are heading to the  Rooibos Tea House, the only one in the whole world. It stocks eight brands and over one hundred flavours of this healthy tea and we are going for a tasting. Sanet gives us a brief intro into Rooibos tea before we adjourn to the covered verandah where we sniff the various dried blends.

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The flavours are varied and endless, and although served hot, surprisingly refreshing.

Chai spices , berry infused, ginger and chilli all delicious and aiding a broad variety of ailments. I left feeling slightly less melty, pleasantly hydrated and with an armful of teas to enjoy at home in more pleasant climes.

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Did you know that the 16th January 2017 we will celebrate the very first National Rooibos Day. This day is not just for tea lovers, rooibos is used in cooking, baking, cocktails, beauty products and of course exciting tea flavours. Watch this space for more details closer to the time. All locals should be celebrating this day as rooibos is very Proudly South African.

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The Rooibos Tea House also sells a fabulous selection of bags, jewellery, gifts, fabrics and wool. And yummy cakes to counterbalance the healthy teas. 🙂

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And so ends my #7StopsN7  adventure, all that is left is to enjoy the aircon in the car on the 3 hour journey home.

So, lovers of nature, MTB riders, hikers and rock climbers, foodies and city dwellers the next time you are on the N7, make a stop, take a detour, stay over and discover the secret attractions of this area.

It’s not just about the attractions, natural beauty and outdoor activities, it is about the communities, the friendly welcomes, the respect and care of our natural resources, the creativity and the desire to share their treasures with you.

People Rocking Nature. I love it.

7 Stops on the N7 Route is the brainchild of  Kardoesie owners Hanri and Anette Theron, and aims to share the magic of the areas surrounding their thriving farm stall and restaurant. This route includes the towns of PiketbergCitrusdal, Clanwilliam, Wupperthal, Van Rhynsdorp, Nieuwoudtville and Garies.

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West Coast Way SA incorporate the 7 Stops on their exciting new Wild Route where the slogan is “People Rocking Nature”

For more information go to www.westcoastwaySA

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Grand Constance, a winter pairing.

It’s one of those winter’s days when your duvet is your best friend and you seriously contemplate working from your bed. All I want to say is “Really Cape Town, does it have to be this cold?”

But I have a date with food and wine and history at Groot Constantia, so I dress up and show up, shivering and muttering just a little bit.

The focus is food, but I am still at the “I don’t understand this menu” level .

The food is being paired with wine which unless served in a really small glass makes me sleepy, drunk or both very quickly.

My mood improves slightly as I enter the grounds of Groot Constantia. A weak sun is shining on the vineyards and the old buildings have a classic beauty that is admirable in any weather.

Groot Contantia perfevcting life for 300 years Di Brown

Entering the private function room at Jonkershuis Restaurant I am cheered up a bit more by the warmth of the fire, gorgeous table, warming nibbles and a glass of Grand Constance.

a warm fire paired with Grand Constance Di Brown

I am addicted to Grand Constance, so let me tell you a little bit about it.

It comes from the Cloete Cellar at Groot Constantia which is the original home of the South African wine industry dating all the way back to 1685.

Grand Constance is a sweet wine with spicy undertones and smoother than anything you will ever taste in your entire life.

It is high in sugar, totally organic and wine maker Boela Gerber has managed to come very close to replicating the recipe and methods used hundreds of years ago, when this wine was highly sought after by the who’s who of Europe.

Groot Constantia still have the original purchase order from Napoleon Bonaparte who needed thirty bottles of Groot Constantia wine a month to give him comfort during his exile on St Helena Island.

Grand Constance Di Brown

Grand Constance is made from Muscat grapes which are left on the vines until they are practically raisins. They are then picked, stomped and allowed to ferment for a few days before being pressed and put into barrels for a couple of years. That’s just the basics of the process; they are not giving away all their secrets.

Whatever they do and however they do it, the result is very palatable. In my opinion Grand Constance can be paired with everything, but Groot Constantia does have other great wines, and this is how they chose to pair them.

Grand Constance

By now I am cheerful and warmed by the fire and the generous glass of Grand Constance that has warmed and charmed me into good humour. I take a look at the four course menu and foreign words assail me.

Pafait, gnudi, emulsion, parmentier, terrine, fondant.

Help! What does it all mean?

A few English words come in to focus and reassure me, nice easy words like cauliflower, mash, kudu and chocolate cake. OK,maybe I will survive.

the table is set, Jonkershuis Di Brown

The starter and dessert were both paired with Grand Constance and did an excellent job in enhancing all the subtle flavours of the wine.

For the foodies, here are the details, foreign words and all.

Starter: Chicken liver parfait, soft creamy goat’s cheese on brioche toast served with a choice of these preserves.

Apricot and vanilla, spiced beetroot relish, apple chutney, almond and honey praline, pineapple and chilli preserve.

The dessert was a celebration of chocolate flavours and consisted of a dark chocolate and citrus terrine, a chocolate fondant with salted caramel and a gluten free chocolate cake.

We also enjoyed a Governeurs Reserve White wine with Ricotta Gnudi, butternut emulsion, sage noisette butter and spinach.

This was followed by a Governeurs  Reserve Red with Deconstructed Kudu Wellington, buttered cauliflower mash, puff pastry with porcine and red wine sauce and roasted winter root vegetables.

Despite my initial misgivings and appalling ignorance and inability to speak fluent “food and wine” this restaurant is not easy to leave.

From the creative blends of flavours to the friendliness of our hosts and the perfect private setting for a day of indulgence, GrootConstantia  delighted me.

Jonkershuis door Di Brown

Foodies will swoon and drool and to any non-foodies like me, the food might sound scary and weird but it is actually normal food with a delicious twist and when the plate is in front of you, you will recognise most of what is on it.Trust me, just dig in and enjoy it.

I finally left the venue, full, warmed, merry and with a great respect for the creative people who combine science and a passion for food with such artistic flair and make eating an adventure.

 

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Rooibos Tea is the new coffee

Food and drink have become such an integral part of tourism that our travel is dictated by our taste buds, and no holiday is complete without some sort of pairing.

When coffee beans took over the world a few years ago, a whole new language and culture was created, as were billions of new caffeine addicts.

Now many people are becoming concerned about their caffeine addiction, but really, who would want to give up coffee?

The good news is you don’t have to, just buy a teapot. It’s that easy.

Then experiment until you find your favourite rooibos tea flavours and add them to your daily liquid intake, reducing your coffee consumption proportionately.

You don’t even have to abandon your coffee culture habits as you can buy capsules for your Nespresso and make a Red Cappuccino, Rooibos Espresso or Rooibos Chai all made by Carmien Tea.

Rooibos teas are organic, totally caffeine free, naturally sweet and have no kilojoules at all.

Whatever your taste, you will find a natural, green or herbal infused tea to suit your palate

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Rooibos tea is a national treasure, unique to South Africa. The only place in the world where it can be successfully grown is 60 000 hectare belt within the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor,  in the West Coast  region of the Cape Province.

The Farm Tour.

On a bitterly cold morning we arrived at Bergendal and Ilze Bruwer from Carmien took us straight to one of the rooibos fields. The icy wind froze our faces as we sheltered under umbrellas from the light rain that started to fall.

We walked a little, stopping to sniff the unremarkable, slightly scruffy looking plants growing in this beautiful valley while Ilze spoke with pride and passion about this miracle bush called Rooibos.

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The weather deteriorated fast and we took a short drive to the hub of the business where the harvested plants begin the transformation to delicious tea. Most of the rooibos branches are cut to lengths varying from 1,5 to 5 mm before being bruised to aid natural reactions which develop the colour and flavour of the tea. At this point the green rooibos is crushed and fermented before the drying process.

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The rooibos is now left in heaps to ferment for 10 -14 hours before being spread out on the massive yards to dry naturally in the sun. It is then graded according to size, flavour, colour and taste before being sterilized by steam pasteurisation.

The fine dust from the tea created orange and red puddles on the rain drenched courtyard and we splashed through them as we made our way to thaw out with a tea tasting.

 

We warmed up in the tasting room with Rooibos Chai, followed by a delicious Green rooibos, ginger and chilli tea and finished with a surprisingly good flower infused brew called Vintage Romance.

Wine, tea and food pairing. 

Follow up your farm tour with a tasting at Hebron situated just up the road on the way back to the pass. The entrance is opposite the Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort. For the not so hungry you can do  four pairings with various teas, wines and lovely snacks like Lindt dark chocolate, Turkish Delight, goats cheese and dried sausage or you can go all out and have a four course meal with wines and teas to compliment each serving.

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Due to the cold outside and the cozy atmosphere in the Hebron room we did it all, led by the food wizard Arnel Pellegrom.

I must confess that not being much of a foodie I can find pairings  boring, pretentious and baffling at times but Arnel will entertain and enlighten any sceptic. Her enthusiastic descriptions of why she selected a specific tea and Groot Constantia Wine to compliment each course was  backed by quite a lot of scientific facts which I found very interesting.

I also loved her ability to admit that sometimes what she dreams up does not work as she thought it would, and then she grins and says the only way to really know is to taste it.

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Just to tempt you, here are the tasty details of my two favourite courses at Hebron.

Grilled loin of Springbok with pearl barley risotto and quince jelly paired with Carmien Vanilla Mocha and Groot Constantia Shiraz.

Phyllo mille feuille with blood orange sabayon paired with Carmien Cherry and Orange and my favourite drink in the whole wide world, Groot Constantia Grand Constance.

Do this, it is different, it is exciting for your mouth and it is good for you.

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While we sipped Ilze talked us through the multitude of herbs, flowers, spices, fruits and nuts that Carmien are continuously experimenting with and adding to their teas to provide exciting new tastes and added health benefits.

Natural Rooibos is high in anti-oxidants, contains no kilojoules and is very low in tannin.

It also replaces essential minerals like iron, zinc, sodium and potassium, alleviates allergies, and is soothing to the nervous system. These are just a few of the health benefits of rooibos tea.

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What’s the big deal about anti- oxidants?

Anti- oxidants and free radicals occur naturally in the human body. The problem occurs when the balance between free radicals and anti- oxidants is off. Our modern lifestyle filled with environmental toxins, stress, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, cigarette smoking and UV rays increases the amount of free radicals in our bodies and this is not a good thing. Free radicals are blamed for all sorts of badness, from compromised immune systems to cell mutation, heart problems, cancer and other life threatening diseases.

The best and most natural way to control free radicals is to make sure we have a healthy intake of anti-oxidants and all Rooibos products have this is abundance.  So now you know.

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About the company called Carmien Tea.

The HQ and farm is situated on the Bergendal Estate near the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass in the heart of Rooibos country. Here they grow rooibos and do all the producing and packaging of the organic rooibos they grow and from the farms they source from  in Piekenierskloof, Nieuwoudville, Wupperthal and Gifberg.

 

 

The Feel Good Factors.

Their motto is Growing Goodness and this sums up exactly what they do.

They grow goodness in the way that they and the affiliate estates farm. By letting nature do her job they produce healthy, organic tea.

They grow goodness in the way they look after the farm workers and their children, providing crèches, kindergarten and after school facilities that are all well equipped with everything young people need to successfully thrive and learn. They provide bursaries and walk the talk when they state the children are the future.

They grow goodness in the way they support the community and the future of the business by making the workers on Bergendal shareholders in the rooibos industry.

They grow goodness by their commitment to FairTrade principles and practices and to the nine certification bodies they are regularly audited by.

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There is a Carmien tea for every occasion

The best way to prepare rooibos is to allow it to draw for 3 minutes. For the maximum benefit and best taste drink it without milk, sugar or honey. The best temperature is about 60 degrees but it can be enjoyed as an iced tea too.

It’s a tea for the whole family.Special blends are available for expectant and nursing mums and an organic kiddies and babies tea is available at the affordable price of R17 for 40 teabags.Start your kids in  infancy and set them on a healthy path for life.

Get creative and pair it with food and wine or food and beer, you will be surprised at the results.

Try this for a few days and then tell me how great you feel.

  • Start your day with a cup of Carmien Rooibos vanilla mocha if you are missing your coffee flavours.
  • Before a meal sip on the Carmien Green Honeybush, Rooibos and Mint tea as it is a palate cleanser, have another cup after your meal as it helps to digest your food and the anti-oxidants break down the any fats you have consumed. Great for detoxing and cleansing.
  • If you suffer from allergies, circulation problems, high cholesterol, headaches, stomach cramps, indigestion or stress there is a tea that will aid the alleviation of your symptoms.
  • For pure enjoyment Carmien Rooibos Chai contains cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Chai spices are said to naturally heal the body and promote heart health.
  • Before going to sleep a cup of Carmien Rooibos and Camomile for a good night’s rest.

 

To browse the Carmien Range and order online click here

Book a tasting at Hebron, Citrusdal, South Africa
admin@hebron.co.za
+27 (0)22 921 2595 / +27 (0)22 921 2581

Book a farm tour at Bergendal  ideally two days in advance by calling 022 921 8900

Carmien and Hebron are on the WestCoastWaySA Berg Route.

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Eye level with Table Mountain | NAC Helicopters

Cape Town has an intimate relationship with Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Most people think Capetonians are a little obsessed with the mountains, and they are correct, we are. They dictate our weather, our traffic and our appreciation of beauty as well as serving as magnificent natural landmarks and a backdrop to our little place in the world.

It is only when you see these mountains from the air that you truly appreciate how much the mountains dominate and shape our city and our lives.

NAC HELICOPTERS CAPE TOWN Di Brown

 

If you want to understand Cape Town, take a scenic helicopter flight with NAC Helicopters Cape Town, it will blow your mind.

5 standard tours are offered starting at under R1000 per person for the 15 minute Hopper Tour.

Longer flights cover a bigger area and include Robben Island and Cape Point.

Click here for detailed information on the tours on offer.

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My Experience on the Hopper Scenic Flight.

Sadly my camera is in for repairs and my cell phone pics do not do justice to the views that await you. 

I arrived at NAC as requested half an hour before my flight time, feeling a little disappointed as the weather was overcast and cloudy and I did not have high expectations of seeing much. Not that it would stop me, for the thrill of a flying in a helicopter I would have gone even if visibility was rated zero.

The excitement starts from the minute you walk through the doors and are ushered to seats on the deck overlooking the sea. Sipping coffee and watching the helicopters take off and land while you complete the paperwork and get weighed before the safety briefing is all part of the experience. The sounds of the helicopters starting up and the rhythmic tuk tuk of the rotors as the speed increases before they rise up and you watch as the helicopter becomes a small speck in the sky. Knowing it will soon be you heading for the clouds.

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flew in a Robinson 44, just big for 3 passengers and the pilot, Abri Le Roux. From the moment we hovered a centimetre off the ground until a few hours after we landed, I had a stupid grin plastered all over my face.

Head phones on, strapped in and off we go. The gods must have been smiling on me that day because the mist rolled away, the clouds moved and Cape Town was showing off in a big way.

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Abri made me feel completely at ease, talking about the workings of the helicopter, the altitude we were at and pointing out landmarks along the way. He also reassured me that I would be able to get photos on the way back and should relax and enjoy the views.

Being eye level with Table Mountain, looking down and seeing how a city had to develop around all these mountains and observing the contrast of rugged, untamed nature right next to high density urban landscapes is incredible.

It felt like for the first time I could say “I see you, Cape Town, and you are even more spectacular than I imagined.”

After we landed I went back to the deck, had another coffee, and watched a few more take offs and landings while I mentally came back down to earth. Sitting there, the mist came back in and the clouds rolled over the mountains, and I said thanks to the weather gods .

I would rate this as the best experience I have ever had. Ever !

About NAC Helicopters Cape Town

NAC stands for the NATIONAL AIRWAYS CORPORATION, a company with a solid 70 years of experience in the aviation industry. Started in 1946, NAC has grown into the largest general aviation company in Africa and one of the largest of its kind in the world.

NAC Helicopters Cape Town are based at the V&A Waterfront and are considered market leaders for coastal sight-seeing helicopter tours.

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The Feel Good Factor.

NAC Helicopters Cape Town supports the Forever Wild Elephant Conservation Initiative, a programme started by The Wilderness Foundation in 2011 to highlight and support the rhino poaching crisis. It has been expanded to include elephants, as well as other endangered species.

For every walk-in client, NAC Helicopters Cape Town donates R90 to the programme.

Tips. 

Take a camera, and if you have one add a polariser or ND filter to reduce the glare and reflections off the windows.

Take a jacket as the higher you go the cooler it gets.

Take your time. Enjoy the views without your camera, those scenes will be etched in your brain forever.

Ask the staff for advice if the weather conditions look overcast.

Sit on the deck after your flight, look for the Black Oyster Catchers, see the silly Hadedah birds sitting unperturbed in between 2 noisy helicopters, and ask Frankie to tell you about the seal who wanted to sleep on the helipad.

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Nothing beats flying in a helicopter, and doing it over a city as spectacular as Cape Town is mind blowing.

Disclosure . Thank you to NAC HELICOPTERS CAPE TOWN for hosting me on the Hopper Scenic Flight. All opinions are my own.