Hayward’s Grand Safari Company wins big at the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company wins big at the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017

Caption: mage: (L-R) Representing Hayward’s Grand Safari Company on the night and seen here receiving the award is publicist Mercédes Westbrook of Firehorse Media with Michela Balpiaz, owner of Ayama Wines and wine sponsor of the evening, together with celebrity emcees Josie Eveleigh and Tracey Lange.
Cape Town – At the 3rd Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017 which honours key players in SA Tourism and Hospitality, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company has been named the Winner in the Five-star Lodge category across southern Africa.

 The Sanlam Top Destination Awards was hosted at the Kelvin Grove Club in Cape Town. 35 winners from 9600 nominees walked away with the sought after title of ‘Top Destination’ in their respective categories and star grading.

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company provides private groups of 40 to 200 VIP guests with an authentic 5-star mobile tented safari camp experience in pristine wilderness reserves across the African continent. Each luxury camp guarantees corporate and celebrity clients’ total event exclusivity and superior guest comfort.
Rated as the only 5-star mobile Safari in Africa, hosts Peter Hayward and Celia du Preez, are appointed by leading multinational blue-chip companies, royal contingents, presidents and renown celebrities alike. Owner Peter Hayward said, “I am absolutely delighted to have received such high accolades from the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.
Image: Peter Hayward, Adventure Extraordinaire and owner of Hayward’s Grand Safari Company in camp with Celia du Preez on a mobile 5-star expedition in Africa

“As custodians of global Sanlam Wealthsmith investments, what better establishment to represent how to turn money into meaning and set the standard for a future vision of tourism and hospitality in South Africa and for the continent. “Together with Discount Traveler, this award is a testament to the skill and vision of its creators and sponsors.”

“Hospitality and tourism is a large driving force in our economy and we want to continue to recognise and reward one of our country’s most influential industries,” commented Jonathan Pepler, managing director of Discount Traveler and founder of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.


The Productivity to Just Be

The Productivity to Just Be

The Year 2021 started with a whimper for most… It was out of pure habit that I visited my local stationer and bought my new calendar diary to transfer my most important dates. I use the blank white pages of my still shiny 2020 diary to take notes while on the phone; okay I also doodle in it quite a bit.

Behind all the angst of the unknown in terms of both the virus and the global economy, January 2021 has been a very different month to that of the previous year – for those of us in South Africa, we couldn’t even celebrate the turning of time with a glass of champagne due to the country’s alcohol ban.

.For those lucky enough to still be employed or able to manage their businesses under #lockdown restrictions there is none of the energy usually associated with the start of a new year. For the many forced to swivel industries, the stress of trying to maintain one’s head above water while still coming up with new business ideas and marketing strategies under a whole new set of operating rules, these new landscapes make no promises and only offer a cool outlook.

I personally have had to reassess my idea of productivity.

Stress and angst are debilitating. Friends and family talk of the mind fugue and the exhaustion being experienced – for me, it feels a little like trying to run underwater, its awfully clumsy, slow and I can’t seem to hear or see ahead too well. While some in my circle try to attribute it to either old age, menopause or a doubling down on bad habits, there is no denying the mass consciousness of fear which grips the world and its a pretty heavy energy right now.

Online marketers are quick to respond to the lag with a million different hacks of how to motivate ourselves, usually accompanied by some slick copy writing which ends with a call to action to pay for your place in their race.


As the head of my family, I have to admit, I am a Do-er.

Pre-pandemic, I was an early riser who stuck to a strict timetable of chores and activities – none scheduled in for my own personal growth as I now recall – but pivotal in bootstrapping my business and ensuring my children would succeed at whatever they set out to do.

I have always believed that if you work hard you will get somewhere. This has proven true for me over the years too. I have had to pull me and my young family out of some pretty desperate places while relocating, job searching and finding a safe abode. And indeed, hard work and personal endeavour saw that I found my feet, set my course and like many, felt ready that finally 2020 was going to be the year it was all going to come together in a glorious succession of work-life-money balance.


The impact of Covid-19 has cut deep on our mental health – but more perhaps more silently. We know what to do if we get the virus but what does one do when you want to run screaming for the hills and you can’t because its lock down. Its a personal battle that we grapple with in the privacy of our four walls.

Faced with the devastation either of our own lives or those around us, finding the meaning of life each morning can become one’s greatest and something only challenge for the day. My biggest battle has been trying to find the balance between self-care, stress and the motivation to keep putting on my battle gear and heading out to the battlefield.

Difficult economic circumstances make us automatically feel we must become more productive in order to compensate for the gaps. But, for many of us, we are finding instead, the need to take mental health days as a form of self-assigned sick leave… the one’s where in early lock down, it was easier to avoid having to face the worries of the world or our personal lives by sticking our heads under the duvet, especially since we couldn’t move further than our own front door.

Yes, the New Year has been announced, the first pay day of the year has either arrived for you or it was a no show. Instead of beating yourself up about what you should be doing to engender new business, motivate yourself to get out there or do something radically different and amazing, please take a few more moments for self-care.


Our well being must be our first priority. A stressed mind can’t think clearly and no one is sure of the future agenda at this stage. Stop beating yourself up that you should be working and instead do the most self-indulgent thing you can for you. Join that hiking group, the one you’ve been meaning to for the last five years. Sit and watch the Food Channel all day, there in may lie your latent passion. Study the butterflies that come to your garden. Set up a mental self-help support group on Zoom. Find your own personal sweet spot and keep dipping back in there.

Now more than ever we are being challenged by the expectation of always having to be ‘switched on’ in our work-from-home living spaces. Its counterproductive to think you can make any Goliath changes right now.

Instead, take a breath or two, sit quietly by yourself (for at least 1 hour per day or better yet 1 hour in the morning and the afternoon) and really feel your way into this new year.

The world needs you in all your authentic self… not that old office manager persona, as an entrepreneur hotshot, or as a super earning Mom or Dad. No, the world needs real people who can watch the dawn rising from a quiet space in themselves, in order to hear the true voice inside of us. Wait patiently, we have to give this voice the space to emerge, to grow and to flow so that we can reach deep into this new place and replenish in order to go out into this Brave New World.

We shift only when we observe the chasm. Spend time learning your new landscape. This is how we learn to build bridges and roads, the one’s that lead to our future, spoken with the words of our heart.

Mercedes Westbrook is a Momtrepreneur, raising her three children in Cape Town, South Africa. Firehorse Media is her homegrown business of 6 years, offering online support with #contentcreation, #communicationsstrategy, #socialmediamanagement, #publicity, and affordable #Wordpress #websites. Visit www.firehorsemedia.co.za for more.

Karoo Artists of the Swartberg’s quaint village of Prince Albert

Karoo Artists of the Swartberg’s quaint village of Prince Albert

Turn left off Prince Albert’s main Church Street up an unpretentious gravel road named Magrieta Prinsloo Road, Skaapies Einde and you might think you are driving into Karoo scrubland populated only by peacefully grazing sheep; after all Skaapies Einde means Sheep’s End.

Instead, the absent Ms Magrieta Prinsloo leads you to the humble edifice of Avoova’s elegant gift shop and factory, which first established this international brand with original crafted decorative items artistically rendered from ostrich shell pieces.

Today, Avoova employs 50 local artisan crafters and exports fine wares to multiple overseas destinations, elevating the repute of the the world’s largest flightless bird and its equally large but humble ostrich egg – one which can easily be likened to the Faberge egg of the Karoo.

Not only producing beautiful gift ware to adorn your home or to shower on friends and family, Avoova also looks after its community. Together with famed photographer and author Obie Oberholzer, Avoova raises funds for local education through beautiful images of the Karoo’s people and landscape with the sale of the book Karoo Story, another beautiful keepsake to take away with you. You can also visit Avoova at its four other boutique shops in and around the Cape.

Artists, Art Galleries and Giftware

With Avoova, undoubtedly the retail star in Prince Albert’s shopper’s corner, singular artistry still survives with local metal worker Kashief Booley carrying the title of Prince Albert’s blacksmith.

Not so long ago, every small town had a blacksmith who was indispensable to life from supplying tools, repairing wheels and shoeing horses. Today Booley is an artistic blacksmith who supplies locals with crafted items such as gates, burglar bars and other needful things. Perhaps in response to the sound of metal crashing on metal all day, he remains a man of few words.

Happy to fill you in with all the delectable art history and future investment possibilities of the art world however is Kurt fromWatershed. Situated inside a beautifully restored Victorian house typical of the architecturally rich town of Prince Albert, Watershed is a haven in which to browse and buy interior design, art, furniture and fashion artfully displayed throughout its four interlinked showrooms.

Along with an impressive collection of retro furniture, Watershed houses selected prints of world-renowned photographer Jürgen Schadeberg and the Karoo Collection, a showcase of local artists’ work.

From Berlin with Love

Schadeberg is the Berlin-born photographer who snapped many famous  Drum magazine covers in the 1950s, as well as almost all of the remaining photographs of Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned.

Framed copies and other memorabilia of the Drum covers are available for sale at the Watershed, which lays claim to house the only exclusive gallery of the works of internationally acclaimed photographer Jürgen Schadeberg in the world.

A Portrait of Mandela

Referred to as the ‘father of South African photography’, the Berlin-born photographer has lived and worked in South Africa for much of his life. He is particularly known for his striking portraits, including those of Nelson Mandela over several decades, the 1950s black musical and political scene while chief photographer, picture editor and art director of the magazine in the 1950s, as well as Apartheid and modern South Africa. He now lives in Germany, but Kurt is on hand for art lovers and memorabilia collectors to purchase signed and framed copies of his photographs.

Prince Albert to New York

International journalist Joseph Berger was one such collector who not only bought his own signed copy of a Schadeberg but was also moved to write a beautiful travel article about the heritage and crafting community in Prince Albert titled ‘An Artist Colony Thrives in the South Africa Desert’ for the New York Times Travel section.

Local photographer Louis Botha is another artist who finds sanctuary in Prince Albert and in the hearts of Michael and Renate, owners of the four-star De Bergkant Lodge which is highlighted in Joseph Berger’s New York Times travel piece for its beautiful heritage buildings and 4-star hospitality.

Louis Botha’s framed art works adorn De Bergkant Lodge’s dining room walls where the public is welcome to pop in and browse and buy together his two books Slow Down, Look Again andKaroo on sale as beautiful keepsakes of one’s travels through the Karoo’s vast and silent landscape populated with hardy but ultimately authentic characters. You can also pick up a pack of his beautiful photographic cards and send a message home to arrive before you do. You can read more about Louis Botha on De Bergkant Lodge’s blog here.

A Gem of a Small Town Life

Says Michael, owner of De Bergkant Lodge: “We like to believe that we bring a lot of international attention to this hidden Karoo village from the many Swiss, German, Dutch and other European travelers who like to enjoy nature blended with luxury hospitality.

“We have made a big investment in purchasing the lodge and want to share both its beauty and its tourism potential with the local towns people. We recommend all the natural and sporting adventure services and book dining arrangements for our guests at the local eateries. Wherever we can, we uplift the community and highlight the many talents and skills to be found and enjoyed here.”

De Bergkant Lodge also employs and trains local staff at De Bergkant Lodge and bring international service standards to what more sophisticated townie’s might only consider a ‘dorp’.

Renate, who heads up housekeeping says, “Michael is extremely exacting. Every little detail is considered and room preparation and set up is precise. Coming from a Swiss finance and banking industry, there is no room for error.”

“Of course,” says Michael, “we expect initiative and integrity from the people we employ. Not everyone is up to meeting our standard, but we are very lucky in having found Ashley who started with us as dining service staff and who is now promoted to front office. It is always a two-way street and expectation without effort won’t get someone stable employment. It goes without saying that theft or tardiness is not tolerated here.”

International Investment Uplifts a Small South African Town

De Bergkant Lodge’s international standards pay off not just for the upliftment of its service staff but for the town itself too. On any lazy afternoon, spent basking around one of the Lodge’s three swimming pools you can hear more than three international languages being spoken; but De Bergkant Lodge is as popular with local travelers too, hosting politicians to celebrities from across the country.

Investing in South Africa doesn’t come without its challenges as Swiss-born Michael and Renate have discovered. The village recently experience two electricity blackout of 19 hours each which impact booking systems and guest comfort.

“We are learning to adapt and unfortunately have had to go the route of generators to keep connected with our guest bookings. Luckily the South African sun makes solar an option for our geysers in our ten rooms and with most restaurants using gas to prepare foods, it means dinners are set to enjoy the romance of candlelight if Eskom brings us more blackouts. We like to call this adaption as the ‘art of living’ in the Karoo!”, chuckles Michael.

Art lovers will be interested in the upcoming Open Studios art weekend taking place from 5 – 8 July where resident artists open their studios – often located in their homes – to the public, creating the village’s very own ‘art route’.

Visitors have the chance to not only view the artists’ art, but to meet them in person and discuss their work with them. These works include mediums ranging from land art, water colors, ceramics, letter art, stone carvings, oils and acrylics.

Book your next breakaway at De Bergkant Lodge at www.debergkant.com.

Incentives to Africa: Kruger to Cape Town Safari Expeditions

Incentives to Africa: Kruger to Cape Town Safari Expeditions

Incentive professionals understand the importance of rewarding employees in order to drive productivity.

It is also their responsibility and challenge to find the most rewarding destination with which to motivate and excite incentive participants – one that provides the best activities, adventures and amazement which will motivate and drive participants to achieve heightened success.

Long haul destinations offer the promise of the exotic but it can be challenging for incentive professionals to fully understand how to get the most out of the destination when they are situated on the other side of the globe.

This is why working on the ground with a destination management consultant (DMC) of that particular country as well as the local operators on the ground, is so important.

Incentive Travel Tips only Experience can Deliver

South Africa is renowned for its encompassing beauty, natural reserves, world-class wines and safari adventure travel, together with a world-class luxury lifestyle along its vast coastline from its position on the tip of Africa.

What many foreign incentive operators don’t realise is that South Africa is a very large country and all too often lengthly and costly travel logistics can impact both incentive itineraries and client budgets.

Almost every incentive travel group to South Africa looks for the reward of a Big 5 wildlife experience and their first port of call is the world-famous Kruger National Park. However, many factors come into play here which are often not available at first glance to booking agents.

Firstly, moving large groups to and through the Kruger National Park is a challenge and along with the park’s other 1.5 million annual visitors, it is not a high-end luxury incentive activity.

The more upmarket private reserves which edge the park, such as Sabi Sands and the Timbavati region offer an equally thrilling wildlife experience but do not have the scale of accommodation facilities to host big incentive groups, so they focus on catering solely to the free independent tourist (FIT) market.

How to Travel on an Incentive into the Kruger National Park

Getting your group to the Kruger is your next challenge.

Landing at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng Province, the park is a five hour drive by car and longer by luxury bus. Alternatively, groups can fly into Hoedspruit and the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which then requires another hours’ drive to reach the Park’s Numbi Gate.

Traveling such distances often requires splitting the group and using costly alternative travel logistics can open up room for error. For the travelers themselves, the journey can turn into one long, hot and boring day… not something one wants to put ‘winners’ through.

Unless of course, they are arriving to something truly spectacular and inaccessible to anyone else.

Bespoke Safari Incentive Offerings

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company, the 2019 Winner of the Best Safari Experience in Africa at the Safari Awards this year, offers a bespoke Kruger National Park Grand Safari experience and is the first private safari operator to be allowed access to this South African wildlife treasure.

Transported to untouched wildlife regions within the 19 485 km² park where there are no public access roads or hotel or ablution buildings, or other tourists in sight, guests are hosted in 5-star luxury tented accommodation which caters to up to 200 people on pristine Park land that has not been touched by a human foot before.

Dedicated game rangers protect, teach and guide groups towards some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring nature experiences during the day while at night they are wooed by the night sky and entertained by the best chefs, butlers, cigar aficionados, story-tellers, spa specialists and cultural entertainers in Africa.

Immersed in pure natural environments for a week, guests emerge from a world-class luxury safari that is stained indelibly on their memory.

Setting a bespoke 5-star safari camp up in the Kruger National Park can be costly however, for those wanting to spend a shorter time engaging with the country’s wildlife and safari experience, there is something as equally inspiring and closer to ‘home’, or rather closer to Gauteng’s international airport.

Bringing the Kruger Incentive Experience to Johannesburg’s Doorstep

South African Tourism is behind the marketing of the all new Dinokeng Big 5 game reserve in Tshwane, just one hours’ drive from OR Tambo International Airport and one which offers a wildlife experience on a par with the Kruger National Park when it comes to immersing and engaging with South Africa’s natural heritage.

Adjacent to Hayward’s Grand Safari Company Headquarters in Boekenhoutskloof, this Big 5 reserve is also close to the diamond mining town of Cullinan and the Wonderboom Airport which offers direct transfers to South Africa’s second most visited destination, Cape Town, South Africa’s lifestyle and wine-drinking destination of choice.

Here, in Dinokeng, delegates are served an equitable safari experience on a par with the Kruger National Park but where incentive operators have more opportunity to spend travel logisitic costs on activities and entertainment to inspire and woo the group.

These include transfers by Rovos Rail, Diamond Incentive events, cultural entertainment and artisans such as the Ndebele King’s own traditional dancers and the five star services of classical pianists, hot air balloon sky safaris, wine and whiskey tastings and bespoke staged events right in its Big 5 safari camp each and every evening.

To discuss your next Grand Safari big group incentive trip, contact Top Woman in Mice and Hayward’s Safaris’ Production Director Celia du Preez on (South Africa) Tel: 0861 732 583 (International) Tel: +27 12 808 0442.

5 Bucket List Private Safari Destinations to Choose From

5 Bucket List Private Safari Destinations to Choose From

Always wanted to go on an authentic luxury safari into the heart of wild Africa?

Here are 5 top bucket list safari destination choices to decide on whether you’re planning a private family heritage safari event or a big group corporate incentive to motivate and reward your top achievers.

Each extraordinary destination offers its own unique experiences, real-time wildlife action and achingly beautiful natural environments.

We asked Adventure Extraordinaire Peter Hayward of Hayward’s Grand Safari Company to walk us through each bespoke destination following the company’s most recent achievement of being awarded the title of Best Safari Experience in Africa 2019 by The Safari Awards for their authentic safari expeditions and events.

  • Kruger Luxury

Almost every traveler to South Africa has the world-famous Kruger National Park at the top of their tick list when stepping off the airplane at OR Tambo International Airport. Whether self-driving through the park or booking into one of its hotels, visitors will discover it is a popular – and busy – undertaking.

Hayward’s Safaris had the privilege of being the first private safari outfitters to be allowed to take private groups of between 40 and 200 adventurers into the Kruger National Park where a 5-star luxury tented camp had been prepared for them in the most select and untouched parts of this 19 485 km² park. Here, guests experience wide open skies and stretches of untouched natural reserve where adventure game drives and guided bush walks spent exploring the area guarantees private sightings of the Big 5 without another camera-happy person in sight.

“Here, in these private and pristine Kruger National Park areas, not only is it teeming with wildlife,” says Peter Hayward, “you won’t spot another visitor for an entire week, except camp crew there to serve and entertain you. The safari game guides are of the highest caliber and you have access to the largest and best wildlife hot spot on the planet together with your own private luxury safari lodge set up just for you in the middle of it all.”

Spotlight on: We focus on safari highlights such as walking safaris, sun-downers by the waterhole, themed cultural events, stargazing and conservation talks.

  • iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

A World Heritage Site and Big Six destination in the northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal, this wetlands wonderland offers all the excitement of the Big 5 with an abundance of hippo and crocodile, together with the addition of a complete marine experience.

“From bush to sea to teeming freshwater lagoon, this region is tropical in temperature and abundant with wildlife of every kind. In the morning you can be diving the marine reserve and in the afternoon watching the flamingo framed against the sunset of its vast expanses from your cocktail cruise on the lagoon. This is nature in its most primitive form,” says Peter.

Spotlight on: As the country’s most important refuge for the continent’s rhino population, you will find both black and white rhino protected here in its most ideal habitat in the uMkhuze section – one of the oldest sanctuaries of the Park.

  • Cradle of Mankind Heritage Safari

Rich in the culture of our human origins, the Cradle of Mankind is another World Heritage Sites which offers explorers fascinating discoveries of our past. Join scientists and archaeologists deep in research as they discover secrets from the past at Maropeng. Close by, the Big 5 Dinokeng game reserve offers wildlife experiences to match that of the Kruger National Park.

Spotlight on: Guests enjoy it all here, from culture to craft, history, wining and dining and gentlemen’s activities such as fly-fishing and clay Pigeon shooting.

  • Kalahari Desert Adventure

In the deepest desert landscapes at the junction of three Transfrontier Parks between South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique where there is no other infrastructure in sight, you will immerse yourself in the magnificent beauty of the dunes by day and the spectacular nights skies at the campfire by night. A rare habitat of vast stillness and tranquility, each guest finds the greatest luxury of all… time. Time to oneself, time to connect, where time slows down and disappears.

Spotlight on: The Kalahari was the home of the first native hunter-gatherers. Cultural and dune safari activities focus on the cultural survival skills of the San people and their ancient history.

  • Okavango Delta

    Fly into the Delta in Botswana by airplane and see veins of sparkling water laid out below you in this green belt of nature and watery estuaries at the northern most reaches of desert-dry Namibia. The sparkling jewel within a desert, this Delta offers water safaris in among its islands, channels and fertile, forested regions. Rich and fascinating, your safari ensures big game experiences up close and personal from the safety of your game vehicle or motorized boat.

Spotlight on:
Enjoy Big Game viewing with a difference. Together with lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog and large herds of elephant and buffalo, you may also spot the red lechwe and shy sitatunga native to the region.

Discover more exciting safari destinations with Hayward Safaris when you visit www.haywardsafaris.com 

Go Closer – Slow Down – Be Here Now

Go Closer – Slow Down – Be Here Now

For some, travelling through the endless miles of the hot and dusty Karoo is a journey to be gobbled up as fast as possible, leaving a trail of dust between departure and arrival as fierce and wind-whipped as the dust devils that dance among the brush.

Photographer and author Louis Botha used to be one such traveler until the Karoo’s great silence and complex simplicity crept into his soul.

“It’s difficult to explain why, although I am convinced it is because photography taught me to ‘look differently’ at things but I started to plan my journeys to include the network of dirt roads that track through the various regions of the Karoo’s vastness,” he says.

Stopping as often as possible on his journeys, Louis Botha began to observe and appreciate from a new perspective: “I discovered a wealth of beauty and diversity I had never connected to before. This process gained momentum, pulling me in, until I realized I had lost my soul to the Karoo and I bought an old Victorian house in the 250 year old Prince Albert.

After a qualification in the field of commerce and several years in the corporate world as an executive, Louis Botha came to realise that Life is short, and Art is long!

“I decided to rearrange my lifestyle completely in order to make more time to express my vision and feelings through using Light reflecting off my subjects.  It’s only when one becomes part of the Karoo community that one fully appreciates the meaning of the words ‘less is more’!”

Captured by the quality of natural light available, the atmosphere of stillness, exposed human emotions and the character of its ancient landscape, Botha says, “In slowing down my life, my senses were sharpened. I was able to see again, to smell, to hear, to taste and to feel, almost as if for the first time.”

Photography of Voice

“For me photography challenges me to communicate without words, to evoke emotion without saying anything, to tell a story or to present the ordinary in an unordinary way, to make the viewer look again, think again, feel again, appreciate again. I am attracted by discovering the other side of people and things, the treasures waiting to be discovered in seemingly empty relationships and vast open spaces. The challenge is to remove the clutter and the pretentions, to reveal what is real.”

Simple Images Big Photo Art

Using an old Hasselblad from the 1950’s Louis Botha’s new knowledge gave rise to his first book ‘SLOW DOWN look again’offering 148 pages of black and white storytelling portraits on film of the people of the Karoo, their ordinary lives and the mystery that will always remain firmly part of Karoo for those who are destined to be just visitors.

His second book ‘Karoo’ is an even deeper look into the wide open spaces, silence and timelessness of this unique and ethereally beautiful landscape.

“Why go to Tuscany or Provence for peace or photographic opportunities when we hold such treasures on our own doorstep. Here, in the Karoo you are offered a chance to discover yourself, to figure out where you stand in relation to your creator, your loved ones and your next of kin. Thinking about who you are, what you stand for, your purpose in life and what it means for others, it also then becomes easier to engage with the environment, to connect with people, with places, with weather conditions and objects in your everyday life.

Adds Louis Botha, “After a while, one’s images start to reflect back at you, the true spirit of the subjects, and of oneself. This experience corresponds with the saying ‘every photograph says something about the subject, and something about the photographer’!”

When shooting, Louis Botha uses digital photography in general. Occasionally, and depending on availability, he may opt for medium format film when doing portraiture or panorama landscapes. His preferred end product is an image that is printed on high quality fine art paper or canvas, to be displayed on a very special wall.

Gallery Showing at De Bergkant Lodge

To meet the many perspectives of the man behind the camera, step into 4-star De Bergkant Lodge at the top of Main Street, Prince Albert where Louis Botha’s framed images adorn the walls.

Says De Bergkant Lodge proprietor Michael Sönnichsen, “We are fascinated how Louis Botha has captured the essence of the region and its people and we are honored to be able to bring this beauty to others in the form of a gallery showing his photographic works.

“Visitors to Prince Albert are welcome to come in from the heat outside and view his selection of works or purchase one of his photographic works, or books. His first book Slow Down Look Again retails for ZAR 490.00, his latest book Karoo retails for ZAR 690.00 or you may purchase both for ZAR 1 000.00.”

Photographic Workshops in Prince Albert

Hoping to share a little of his gift of sight and the beauty of the Karoo with others, Louis Botha offers a four-day photography course in Prince Albert which includes a landscape and a portrait practical workshop and addresses both the visual and technical skills required to capture images with greater impact. It is a very special workshop designed to introduce visitors to the abundance of silence, space, timelessness and beauty of the Karoo and its people.

“It’s not about the camera. If you can see it, feel it, you can capture it,” says Louis Botha. “I am intensely aware of the importance of light and time, for our lives, for the longevity of the earth and everything on it, and for the impact it has on every image captured.

“In friendly Prince Albert, people are warm, humble, rich in knowledge and stories, kind and sincere. Here, there is an abundance of form, texture, structure, colour, contrast, solitude, emotion, space and safety, and an absence of clutter, pretentions, materialism and noise.”