Friday, May 20, 2016

Staff Feature: Bonisiwe Zungu

Bonisiwe, or as she is known by her nick-name "Siza", is one of our newest staff members. She is our assistant cook in the Rhino River Lodge kitchen. Siza has been one of our favourite additions to the Rhino River Lodge staff as she approaches everything she does with a big smile and a positive attitude. Not to mention, she is a really fantastic cook as well! We get to know Siza a bit better through this interview....

What is your favorite part of being a cook at Rhino River Lodge?
I really like to cook because it always makes my mind creative with ideas of new things that will make the guest happy.

How do you get inspiration for new recipes?
I get inspiration from other professional chefs that I have worked with and on the internet as well. I really like to play with recipes from the internet. Also from my training course on catering.

What is your favorite recipe to prepare for guests on safari? Why?
I do have a few favorite recipes to prepare for guests, my rolly-polly pudding for dessert and my mushroom soup for starter. My rolly-polly pudding is a baked pudding kind of like malva pudding. It's a South African recipe that guests like. My mushroom soup everyone seems to really like.

Will you share an easy South-African recipe with us?
Siza's South African Rolly-Polly Pudding

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
125 g margarine
2 cups self-raising flour
60 ml apricot or strawberry jam

Mix 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups self-raising flour and 125g margarine.
After mixed together roll on baking table with rolling pin, spread 60 ml jam on top.
Roll up like a swiss roll.
Place on greased baking tray.
Make the sauce by dissolving the remaining cup sugar into the water and bringing to a boil.
Pour the sauce over the pudding, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 180 degrees.

Serve with homemade custard. Yum!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Guest Experience Highlight: Alison Langevad

Recently photographer, Alison Langevad paid us a visit at Rhino River Lodge. Here she shares with us some of the stunning photos that she captured during her stay with us.

We asked Alison to tell us a little bit about her photography:
"I enjoy both sport and wildlife photography. I first became interested in wildlife photography in 1995 while visiting Africa. My husband and I traveled extensively through Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda. We were fortunate enough to spend time with the Mountain Gorillas in Zaire, and so my passion for African Wildlife and its conservation began. We have since enjoyed the splendours of Botswana, Namibia and most recently South Africa. For me, Africa has a way of reaching deep into my soul and through photography I hope to share this. I sell stunning images on my website and have a Facebook page Alison Langevad Photography so people can indulge themselves a little each day."

Alison found Rhino River Lodge through the recommendation of a friend, "I connected through social media with a local photographer.  After a trip last year where we spent a short amount of time in KwaZulu Natal then left for Kenya and Tanzania, he wrote me this most amazing long email of all the reasons we should of stayed longer in South Africa. He described all the wonderful places close by we could of explored and suggested them for the future. It's people who are passionate about where they live that do the best promoting. Word of mouth is invaluable and now after such a wonderful stay at Rhino River, we can do the same."

We asked Alison to share her favourite memory from her stay at Rhino River Lodge, "My favourite memory would be the look on ranger Ryan Andraos’ face when we found the elephants. He was such a fantastic guide. They hadn’t been seen for a long time and we found them on his birthday. It was a great, light-hearted afternoon."

We asked Alison if she had a favorite safari subject to photograph, "I don’t actually have a favourite animal to photograph. I enjoy moments rather than things in particular. This makes every day on safari a good day because I’m never disappointed."

Alison shared her advice for taking great photographs on safari, "The best thing you can do to get great shots while on safari is give yourself time. It’s not about the equipment because it is quite easy to get up close.  It’s about having enough days to discover these wonderful creatures and then allowing the extra time to watch things unfold. We have learnt over the years to stop dashing around and spend longer in each place. We had enough nights at Rhino River Lodge to enjoy amazing sighting and indulge in our guides deep pit of knowledge, and could of easily stayed longer."

Thanks very much to Alison for sharing her experiences and gorgeous shots. Make sure to check out her website and facebook page for more of her photos.