What to watch on National Geographic this Summer

Cinematographer Tom Fitz stands semi-submerged in the ocean waters of Biscayne National Park, filming the bird life and the surrounding mangrove coastline landscape. (photo credit: National Geographic/Phoebe Fitz)

Do you want to feast your eyes on some of the best programming and content that is due to arrive on screen this summer? I was one of 50 selected media to join a live stream today, to showcase National Geographic’s new slate of programmes in the coming weeks. As a surprise, we were honoured to have none other than Bear Grylls, as a special guest, who answered questions about his National Geographic show called “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

The Walt Disney Company Africa announced the upcoming content slate for both National Geographic and National Geographic Wild for Spring/Summer 2022, with channels that now broadcast in high-definition. With a promise to ignite the explorer in all of us, and with a 133-year legacy, viewers across the continent will also be able to immerse themselves in the very latest and ground-breaking storytelling in stunning high definition for the very first time, taking them further than ever before.

Featuring the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world, the coming months’ content highlights offer something for everyone, as several new natural history series, feature documentaries, and programming stunts, will showcase the wonder of the natural world, take them on exhilarating adventures and illuminate historical figures who epitomize the strength and triumphs of humankind.

Continue reading

La Parada Tapas Bar opens in Rosebank, Johannesburg

Last week I attended the media launch of La Parada Tapas Bar in The Firs Centre, Rosebank, Johannesburg. It was a colourful night, filled with ladies in feathers and lots of food and drinks!

La Parada has about 8 branches nationally with Rosebank being the most recent launch. It is known for its tapas, which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. Tapas may be cold or hot. In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine. Tapas can be combined to make a full meal and it is a social type of cuisine, ideal for sharing. We were able to taste a selection of the tapas, that were served by waiters floating around the floor. The prawns were my favourite, followed by the tantalising pizzas and sliders.          

                                               

Continue reading

National Geographic Photo Competition 2022

 © Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

As part of its Planet Possible initiative, which aims to inform, inspire and empower consumers to live more lightly on the planet, National Geographic invites photographers across South Africa to participate in 2022 edition of the National Geographic Photo Competition. Themed #ExploreNaturalAreas, this year’s competition, supported by Sunday Times and TimeLIVE, aims to celebrate South Africa’s natural spaces and highlight the need for their protection.

© Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

While the 2021 competition was only open to amateurs, a large number of entries were submitted by professional photographers. This year, both groups of enthusiasts may participate as the competition will feature both an amateur and professional category. Entrants stand in line to win a share of R 100 000 in cash, with each category offering prizes of R 25 000 for first place, R 15 000 for second place and R 5 000 for third place. Additionally, the top 10 images in each category will be published on TimesLIVE on 4 September. The winning shots be showcased in the Sunday Times, on TimesLIVE and on the National Geographic Africa social media platforms on 11 September.

Continue reading

Hyatt South Africa launches Iftaar and Suhoor offerings for Ramadan

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, Hyatt South Africa are getting into the spirit of this auspicious month, launching an Iftaar and Suhoor offering for the duration of the fasting period.

I attended the launch last night at Hyatt House in Melrose, Johannesburg and you can view my TikTok video about this event here or below.

The buffet offering will be available to inhouse guests and local patrons at all properties in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Last year, the Hyatt Regency Cape Town, ran with an Iftaar buffet that proved to be a huge success.

“We were encouraged and pleased by the response we had last year and felt that it was necessary to continue with this offering again and build on it,” explained Asif Raza, Cluster General Manager for Hyatt South Africa.

“With two more properties added to the portfolio, we are now pleased to offer guests Suhoor and Iftaar at all three properties and look forward to sharing their Ramadan experience with them.”

Raza promises guests a tantalizing buffet menu.

“Our food and beverage team led by recently appointed specialty chef, Asif Mughal, have curated a delicious yet versatile menu that will include Arabic, Indian, Pakistani and South African dishes in the form of salads, hot and cold starters, main meals, desserts and traditional Ramadan beverages,” said Raza.

Chef Asif Mughal

The Iftaar buffet at Hyatt House Johannesburg Rosebank and Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton will cost R275 per person with children between 6 and 12 years of age paying R150 and children under 6 eating free.

The Iftaar buffet at Hyatt Regency Cape Town will cost R299 per person with children between 6 and 12 years of age paying R150 and children under 6 eating free.

The Suhoor buffet will cost R150 per person at all three properties. For guests staying at the hotel, this cost is included in the room rate.

Guests requesting privacy during the Iftaar buffet or looking for spaces that can accommodate groups can contact the hotels directly with their requests.

“We have wonderful spaces at all three of our hotels that will make for a great private dining experience. At our Sandton property, we have the Treehouse; in Rosebank we have the spectacular rooftop View overlooking Johannesburg and in Cape Town we have the Pool Terrace, Regency Club Lounge and private conferencing venues that can be converted to dining spaces.” concluded Raza.

Guests can visit the following Hyatt hotels to experience the Iftaar and Suhoor offerings:

  • Hyatt Regency Cape Town – 126 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, Tel: +27 21 214 1234
  • Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton – 125 Ann Crescent, Sandton, Tel: +27 10 601 1234
  • Hyatt House Johannesburg Rosebank – 28 Tottenham Avenue, Melrose, Tel: +27 10 476 1234

Follow the Hotels Facebook and Instagram pages for up-to-date information on Accommodation and Food & Beverage promotions.

You can visit the Hyatt House website here.

On site prayer facilities are available at all three properties.

“Live Again” says South African Tourism

Can you believe that it’s been almost 2 years to the day that I started working from home on 18 March 2020. We thought it would be just for 2 weeks, which became 2 months and now 2 years!

As more people start the transition back to working from an office or at least a hybrid of working from home and working from the office, so too has our borders opened to vaccinated travellers who wish to explore our beautiful South Africa.

South African Tourism have announced their new advertising campaign to entice tourists to “Mzansi” (a colloquial and informal term for South Africa) and hence the name of this website – Mzansi Life and Style 😊

Here’s some more information about SA Tourism’s new campaign and some insight from the advertising agency that conceptualized the concept called Joe Public United.

Joe Public United is thrilled to join forces with South African Tourism (SAT) on a new global campaign called “Live Again” which is set to reposition South Africa firmly in the hearts and minds of international travellers.

With its diverse landscapes, cultures and creative assets, South Africa offers global business and leisure travellers a host of experiences, as well as a strong science-based approach to managing COVID-19. In line with this, the campaign captures and highlights the South African spirit of endurance, resilience and “ubuntu” as it showcases bucket-list destinations, adventures and experiences.

“As we collectively begin to live again, after two years of the pandemic, South Africa is open for business to leisure and business travellers. This is what we wanted to bring to the fore,” says Xolisa Deyshana, Chief Creative Officer at Joe Public United.

Speaking at the launch, SA Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer Mzilikazi Themba Khumalo echoed these sentiments saying, “The Live Again campaign captures the country’s brand promise to inspire new ways, as travellers enjoy unique leisure, cultural, business and events travel experiences that will re-energize body, mind and spirit.”

“This campaign sums up South Africa’s offer to international travellers to take the opportunity to be inspired by our beautiful country and recharged by our people and everything else that is uniquely South African. It taps into this country’s renowned optimism and resilience that has stood this nation in good stead at every turn. Through it all, we have never lost our spirit to overcome, and we are inviting the world to experience our country and recover from the COVID-19 situation in the same way. We are saying it’s time to ‘Live Again’.”

In challenging travellers to live again, the advertisement captures the spirit of a captivatingly beautiful landscape, dynamic culture and people, vibrant nightlife and exquisite cuisine. Its production also served as a ‘proof of the pudding’ sampling of the country’s tourism products, with over 170 crew staying for various periods in over 1000 rooms across the country.

“This campaign is special to Joe Public United because it has as its core message that South Africa is open is for business, the tourism sector is open for business and we are ready to welcome the world.  The campaign resonates with our commitment to the growth of our clients and of our country. It is time for South Africa to reclaim its place in the international tourism space.  It is time for our people and our country to shine, while we inspire the world,” says Mpume Ngobese, Co-Managing Director at Joe Public United.

“We are also honoured to have been part of producing South African Tourism’s first ever global audio-visual marketing campaign in five years and look forward to it inspiring travellers to visit South Africa,“ concludes Deyshana.

South Africa is open for business and looks forward to welcoming travellers and to witness the growth and transformation of the tourism sector.

WATCH THE “LIVE AGAIN” COMMERCIAL BELOW: