Kamers 2014 Easter in Johannesburg

I received an invite to attend Kamers Vol Geskenke earlier today. Kamers is a pop-up retail market that showcases local creativity and talent with high-end craft goods, the finest deli-products and live music. This was their Easter in Johannesburg show (the first ever in Joburg and from what I saw today, definitely not the last!).

The location for this weekend’s event was the The Forum Office Park in Bryanston, and what a great location. I loved the outside area under a big marquee tent with people sitting on the grass, having lunch, a glass of wine and listening to live music. Matthew Mole was an absolute hit!

Inside the traders were doing brisk business. As always, the stalls included jewellery, gourmet products, ceramics, soft furnishings, tableware, d├ęcor accessories, clothing, babywear and stationery. I loved the food and coffee stand run by Seline and Leandri Van der Wat (the two celebrity sisters from Masterchef fame), the absolutely stunning stationary from Papertrail and graphic design company M.Studio's pretty stand.

What finally stood out for me about this day was a hard to define atmosphere that made this event different from previous ones I attended. Previously, for me at least, it was a merchandising event - great shopping, then having a great lunch in a pretty setting to refuel before hitting the stalls again. This time the experience was more…whole. The shopping was still great and wonderful wares were on offer, but I got the impression people lingered more. It had a more relaxing, market day feel to it. Maybe it is the location, maybe it is the number of men that came with their wives this year :-) or maybe it is just me. But the atmosphere was brilliant and I am tempted to go back again and this time take my baby-sitting husband along….

You can read more about the event on their Facebook page.

The Lion Park

This is a long overdue post and I only remembered to write it because my computer complained about space on my hard drive. So, going through the photo folders I was reminded of an outing that I wanted to blog about.

At the end of last year my brother, his wife and their baby boy surprised my parents with a visit all the way from France. They timed it to be here for my parent’s 40 years of Transkaroo party (see here). On their last day in South Africa before flying back, we played tourist and visited the Lion Park just outside Johannesburg.

This park is neither a wild life reserve, nor is it a zoo. Maybe it is a bit of both, actually. It offers you the chance to go on game drives in your own car through the park and through six carnivore camps. We saw lions, wild dogs and cheetahs, but it was the white lions that really captivated us. It is very thrilling to be so close to these amazing creatures, even though we visited during the middle of the day while most of the lions were lounging in the shade of the trees taking afternoon naps. The other activity that is great (and probably explains why this park is the no 1 tourist attraction in Johannesburg) is the opportunity to interact with the lion cubs. The cubs, aged 3-6 months, are in an enclosure and visitors are allowed to go in and touch them. Giraffes roam the park freely and visitors can feed them (not my cup of tea – that long slimy, sandpapery tongue dripped with drool!!)

Because it is such a popular tourist destination, and since we are fortunate enough to be only a couple of hours away from amazing wild life parks with the change to see lions in their natural habitat, I expected the park to be very touristy and slightly boring. But it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience and we had a fantastic time. It is definitely worthwhile to take your out-of-town visitors there.

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.