Dutch foodies

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GRAAFF-REI­NET — A group of se­ven - in­clu­ding three Dutch jour­na­lis­ts - ha­ve re­cent­ly spent a me­mo­ra­ble week tou­ring the Ka­roo in se­arch of good food (and fin­ding plen­ty to wri­te ho­me a­bout!).

The tour was hos­ted by the Eas­tern Ca­pe Parks and Tou­rism A­gen­cy in part­ners­hip with South A­fri­can Tou­rism, to pro­fi­le the Ka­roo as a lei­su­re tou­rism des­ti­na­ti­on.

An­ne­li Bronk­horst, who is the ECPTA re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve ba­sed in Bel­gi­um look­ing af­ter the Be­ne­lux (Bel­gi­um, Net­her­lands and Lux­em­bourg) mar­ket, ca­me up with the i­dea of a “Foodies’ Tour”, and ap­pro­a­ched a ma­ga­zi­ne in the Net­her­lands a­bout a fe­a­tu­re on the Eas­tern Ca­pe. The pro­ject grew from the­re, with as­sis­tan­ce from Ka­roo He­art­land and South A­fri­can Tou­rism in the Net­her­lands.

Lo­cal tour gui­de and Ka­roo ex­pert C­han­tel­le Ma­rais was then broug­ht in to cost the tour in terms of i­tems such as gui­ding, trans­port, and ex­pe­rien­ces, and the first tour was ar­ran­ged.

“We would li­ke to launch in the Be­ne­lux mar­ket as part of our dri­ve to get mo­re in­ter­na­ti­o­nal tou­ris­ts to the des­ti­na­ti­on,” said Su­san Wil­son, Ex­pe­rien­ti­al Mar­ke­ting Ma­na­ger of ECPTA.

“Cur­rent­ly we see that a food t­rend is e­mer­ging, and food to­get­her with cul­tu­re and ad­ven­tu­re is mo­re and mo­re ap­pe­a­ling to in­ter­na­ti­o­nal tou­ris­ts.”

From feed­back re­cei­ved from the group, the tour has been a re­soun­ding success.

Dutch me­dia vi­si­tors Bert Di­jk­stra from De Te­le­graaf, Hen­na Ren­furm of Oog op A­fri­ka ma­ga­zi­ne, and Re­nee Con­ra­di of Foodies Ma­ga­zi­ne we­re joi­ned by A­drien­ne Sout­hey to pho­to­graph the food and the va­ri­ous ex­pe­rien­ces, and Sa­ri­na En­gel­brecht, who has a blog My Ka­roo Li­fe. C­han­tel­le Ma­rais shared her ex­per­ti­se and ent­hu­si­asm for the Ka­roo throug­hout the trip.

Af­ter ti­me spent in So­mer­set East, Bed­ford and Cra­dock, the group spent a won­der­ful day ex­plo­ring the de­lig­hts of Nieu-bet­hes­da, w­he­re the Owl Hou­se pro­ved to be of gre­at in­te­rest. Mount Cam­de­boo Pri­va­te Ga­me Re­ser­ve was a won­der­ful ex­pe­rien­ce, and the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of trout and the whis­ky tas­ting at Ang­ler & An­te­lo­pe in So­mer­set East was al­so gre­at­ly en­joy­ed. A­not­her high­lig­ht was the Mind­ful Ea­ting food ex­pe­rien­ce in Bed­ford with Kim van Nie­kerk.

A wal­ka­bout day in Graaff-rei­net in­clu­ded the no­vel ex­pe­rien­ce of lunch spre­ad a­mongst six dif­fe­rent ve­nues, thanks to Blue Mag­no­lia, GRT bre­we­ry, Cold­stre­am Re­stau­rant, The Mul­ler Hou­se & The Drost­dy Ho­tel.

They al­so had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to see the Val­ley of De­so­la­ti­on from two dif­fe­rent an­gles,

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