Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category
Kamfers Dam, which forms part of the central South African pan system, has historically been home to over 2,000 different species of water birds including the Lesser Flamingo. Over time these numbers have declined due to trespassers, domestic animals, low flying planes and irregular water level fluctuations. The success of the lesser flamingo’s breeding has been especially affected causing drastic drops in the population numbers. In an attempt to help the flamingos recover from the negative population trend, an unofficial bird sanctuary was established and the pan was registered as a South African Natural Heritage Site.
Further conservation efforts resulted in the building of a breeding island of 25 x 250 meters. In 2006, and 2007 Lesser Flamingos bred successfully for the first time in recorded history in South Africa. Kamfers Dam became only the fourth breeding locality in Africa and the sixth in the world for this species. Between 2007 and 2011 an estimated 24,000 Lesser Flamingo and 100 Greater Flamingo chicks hatched on the flamingo breeding island. Grey-headed Gulls also produced hundreds of chicks on the island. Unfortunately, the conservation celebrations were short-lived, as rising water levels in 2010 saw the eventual flooding of the island in February 2011.
The island lay under waters spoiled by broken sewer lines for years. Now, thanks to a collaboration of The Save the Flamingo Association, Bird Life South Africa and other partners over the years, the treats to Kamfers Dam are being addresses. In re-instating the importance of this beautiful biodiversity area and its birds, around R150 million has been spent on upgrading the sewage works and constructing a pipeline to pump excess treated water away from the wetland. As a result, the water quality is improving and the water level has dropped. The island is now exposed and the Lesser Flamingos may once again breed and began to rebuild their numbers.
We here at African Safari Company have been lucky enough to take part in the extraordinary coursed dinner/food journey at Le Quartier Francais’s Tasting Room Restaurant. The passion, precision and drive for excellency involved in each of Chef Margot Janse’s dishes is both undeniable and unforgettable.
On May 14, 2014 The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (as well as the continued 51-100 World’s Best Restaurants) were announced this week in London’s Guildhall in a dazzling ceremony fit for the culinary elite.
The Tasting Room was honoured with position number 72!
“We’re delighted to be featured once again on this prestigious list,” said Susan Huxter, owner of Le Quartier Français. “It’s wonderful recognition and it reflects the dedication of Chef Margot and her entire team.”
Executive Chef Margot Janse has consistently shown she can compete with the very best in the gourmet gauntlet. Chef Margot has maintained a spot on this celebrated list since 2002; in 2010 she was notably the only female chef to achieve a place in the World Top 50.
The Tasting Room has been a recurrent competitor on the world-renowned list. In 2011, The Tasting Room took the 36th spot as well as the title of Best Restaurant in Africa and the Middle East. In 2012, the trend continued with 56th position and in 2013, 53rd.
By now the knowledge that The Tasting Room is one of the world’s best restaurants comes as no surprise, yet the innovative cuisine doesn’t play by the same rules.
Surprise and nostalgia take centre stage at the fine dining restaurant in Franschhoek. Diners embark on a journey of taste, guided by culinary storytellers in the most beautiful and whimsical of settings.
If you find yourself in Franschhoek, South Africa this is the place for one of the most spectacular food adventures you will ever take!