Roughly translated, the Drakensberg means “dragon mountains” or “mountains of the dragon”. The mountain range stretches more than a 1000 km from the Eastern Cape Province in the South through Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lesotho, the Free State , through Mpumalanga Province and ends up North through Limpopo where it is known as” klein Drakensberge”.
Some of the peaks are mammoth in size and is on average 2900 meters high. The highest peak is Thabana Ntlenyana and reaches 3482 meters above sea level. The mountain is a dynamic wonderland and home to river valleys, foothills, stunning waterfalls, rock pools, mountain streams as well as caves. These majestic Drakensberg is over 180 million years old.
The Drakensberg is the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment which encloses the central Southern African plateau. It is within the borders of South Africa as well as Lesotho. In the summer it is very warm and many travellers will visit this region during December to February. During the winter the mountains are dusted with snow and is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Within the Drakensberg of Kwa-Zulu Natal lies the 243 000 hectare mountain region that is a world heritage site. It is known as Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park that has around 300 San rock art sites with over 35 000 paintings in caves all around the park depicting humans, animals and complex spiritual life of the San stretching over a period of 4000 years. It is also home to a huge diversity of plans and animal species.
The very high treeless peaks of the Drakensberg are the furthest South in Africa and farther away from the equator. Therefor this provides cooler habitats and lower elevations than most mountain ranges in Africa. High rainfall generates mountain streams and rivers. These rivers include the mighty Orange River as well as the Tugela River.
The mountains are very rich in plant life and includes 119 species listed as globally endangered. There are more than 2000 plant species and 98 of them are endemic. The flora of the high grasslands is mainly creeping plants as well small shrubs. Included in this is the rare Spiral Aloe which has a spiral shape. In the meantime, the lower slopes are home to conifers (Podocarpus) which are rare in Africa. It contains a great number of endemic plants and grasses found here includes oat and caterpillar grass to name just two. In the highest part of the mountains the flora depends on the slope and varies depending on the hardness of the rock clasts.
The Drakensberg area is home to 299 recorded bird species. This makes up 37% of all non-marine avian species in southern Africa. This is a wonderful place to visit for all bird lovers, you will probably not even have enough time to see even half of them on a visit. You will also find 24 species of snakes of which two are highly venomous. So be careful when you go for walks!
There is one bird that is endemic to the high peaks, the mountain pipit, and another six species are also found mainly in this area. Th endangered Cape vulture and lesser kestrel are two birds of pry that hunt in the mountains. There are also mammals found here including the klipspringer, eland and mountain reedbuck. These are all types of antelope. You will also be able to see three endemic species of frogs in the mountain streams. Fish are also found in many rivers and streams including the Maluti redfin.
The lower slopes of the Drakensberg support a lot of wildlife. Perhaps the most important of these are the rare southern white rhinoceros as well as the black wildebeest. It is also home to large herds of grazing flowers and antelopes. Endemic species include a large number of chameleons as well as other reptiles.
This is a wonderful are to visit, something you must see. The view is absolutely breath taking and you will not be disappointed in the beauty of the snow on the mountain tops or the wonderful grass cover in the summer. Go and visit, you will love it.
How wonderful that there is a day dedicated to baking and eating pancakes. Not that I ever need a reason for baking these wonderful treats. I love eating them warm with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. If I close my eyes I can just smell that now. Why no treat yourself and your family to these wonderful treats.
2 1/2 cups of water (you can replace the half cup with milk)
1/4 cup of oil (I use sunflower oil)
2 cups of self-raising flour (you can use regular flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. If you are a celiac, replace with self-raising Gluten Free flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1. Beat the eggs, water and oil together.
2. Add the flour, salt and sugar and mix very well.
3. Bake as many pancakes as you can eat!!!
The nice thing about pancakes is that you can either fill them with beautiful mince and sauce or chicken as a main meal, or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as a wonderful snack. Enjoy your pancake day!!
Kan jy glo!! Internasionale pannekoekdag. Die perfekte verskoning om pannekoek te bak al reën dit nie. Nie dat ek enige rede nodig het om pannekoek te bak nie. Vir my is daar niks lekkerders as ‘n lekker warm pannekoek besprinkel met kaneelsuiker nie. As ek my oë toemaak kan ek die geur van kaneelsuiker in die lug ruik. Waarom bak jy nie ook vandag heerlike pannekoek nie!!!
2 1/2 koppies water (jy kan die 1/2 koppie water vervang met melk)
1/4 koppie olie (ek gebruik sommer sonneblomolie)
‘n knippie sout
2 koppies bruismeel (jy kan gewone meel gebruik met 2 teelepels bakpoeier)
1 teelepel suiker
1. Klits die eiers, water en olie goed saam.
2. Voeg die meel, sout, en suiker hierby. Klits goed.
3. Vul ‘n pan met die deeg en bak soveel pannekoeke as wat jy kan eet!
Jy kan gevulde pannekoeke bak met heerlike maalvleis en sous of sommer net met kaneelsuiker.
This is a wonderful recipe we stumbled upon by accident. My husband was diagnose as a celiac in 2009 and ever since we have been trying out new recipes, trying to make things the way we used to with gluten free ingredients.
It is not as easy as you might think and has taken over 10 years to get to where we are today. I published my Gluten Free South African recipe book a few weeks ago and there is one recipe in there that saves us all the time.
My husband went to the USA in 2013 and there he tasted the most beautiful little cheese rolls served with gluten free meats. He loved it so much he looked it up when he returned home. We have made these ever since and they are really tasty. You can eat them as they are, warm out of the oven or fill it with whatever you want. Cheese, jam, little sliders (mini burgers), the options are endless.
They are so easy to make and tastes wonderful. Try a stick blender if you don’t have anything else.
1/3 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of milk
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1 1/2 cups of tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard for extra taste! (optional)
Pinch of salt
1. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and use a stick blender to mix it together.
2. Pour the mixture into mini muffin pans and bake in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
Don’t use the large muffin pans or the cup cake pans. They are all too big and the cheese puffs will not rise correctly…
When I bake my cheese puffs I use a stick blender, the Russell Hobbs one underneath… It really does work wonderfully…
I have just launched my Redbubble shop. This will be for selling products, anything from coasters to T-shirts, with photos about South African food and South African scenery. Something you can buy and keep to remind you of home if you are living overseas somewhere. Keep a look out. I uploaded my first picture today. There are many more to come. Remember to keep checking back!!!
Click on the link above and have a look. What do you think? What kind of things would you like to see on my next design? Let me know…
My recipe books are now all available on Amazon. There is a selection of both English and Afrikaans books. The list is as follows:
Recipes from South Africa – paperback version
This is a real paperback book that you can order and have delivered. Something to keep forever and pass on to your children. This book contains interesting information as well as all my recipes for starters, main courses, puddings, cookies and treats as well as cakes. Over 140 pages.
Cookies and Cakes – e-book version
This recipe book is for everyone that LOVES baking. You will find all kinds of cookies and cakes including coffee, sweet, old fashioned sweet, oats, custard and soentjies. You will also find chocolate cake, cup cakes and fruit cake recipes. Over 20 recipes.
Tarts and Treats – e-book version
This is a special treat with wonderful recipes from marshmallow tart, milk tart, sout tart and other treats including vetkoek, melkkos and much more. If you are looking for nice treats to bake for visitors or parties, this book is for you! Over 20 recipes.
Resepte vanuit Suid-Afrika – e-boek weergawe
Hieride is my volle resepteboek met resepte vir alle geleenthede. Dit sluit in voorgeregte, hoofgeregte, slaaie, souse, nageregte, koekies, koeke en spesiale lekkernye…. Daar is ook ‘n paar nuwe resepte wat ek graag met jou wil deel.
Smullekker koekies – e-boek weergawe
Hierdie resepteboek is vir jou as jy daarvan hou om te bak en brou. Alles van koekies tot koeke…. Koffiekoekies, vlakoekies, soentjie, hawermout, soet, outydse soet en vele meer. Daar is oor die 20 resepte.
Terte en Bederfies – e-boek weergawe
Hierdie boek is vir jou as jy graag wil bak. Spesiale bederfies vir vriende en familie wat kom kuier of om verjaarsdae te vier. Alles van malvalekkertert, souttert, melkterk, vetkoek en melkkos… Meer as 20 resepte.
Ek is besig om aan die sagtebandboek in Afrikaans te werk. Sal baie binnekort beskikbaar wees. Geniet die e-boek weergawes vir nou…. Maklik om te gebruik en te stoor. Gebruik sommer jou telefoon of tablet om vanaf te kook en bak 🙂
I have now finished and published my Gluten Free book as well. This is especially for all the celiacs out there. My husband was diagnosed in 2009 and since then I have been adapting my South African baking recipes.
Brighten up someone’s day by sending them a bag of these beautiful Home made Romany Creams. Place your order today. Bags are £5.40 each (12 per bag) and you can order as much as you like! We will get a quote for postage once your order is placed. Otherwise send your own courier or collect yourself. We are based in Chesterton, UK.
You can now also order nationwide via eBay. All cookies are baked fresh to order and dispatched within 3 days of placing your order. A courier will be used to send the items. Please visit our eBay listing and have a look at what else we sell…
These are the most beautiful home baked Romany Creams, fresh and crunchy made with chocolate and coconut. Please note that none of the ingredients used contain gluten, wheat, milk, egg or nuts, but because it is produced in a kitchen that handles all the above, the cookies may contain gluten, wheat, milk, egg as well as nuts…
It is almost Christmas again, can you believe it… Feels like yesterday we all got together as a family and had so much fun. This year is a bit different. Lots of things happened but at least we are still able to keep in touch through technology… This year we are running a special for Christmas. Show the person that means the most to you that you are thinking of them.
If you live in the UK, you can order Home made Romany Creams, specially baked with love xxx We are selling little bags of cookies, 12 in a pack. It will be packaged in a beautiful bag and delivered to your door via courier… We are taking orders now and all orders will be dispatched within 3 working days.
You can buy them now through eBay:
1 x 12 pack of Home made Romany creams – £5.40 + R2.90 for delivery. If you buy 2 or more packs you will save 5%…
This is an ideal way of showing the South African, or anyone else, that you are thinking of them. These are beautiful cookies made with chocolate and coconut, so don’t miss out. If you want to place an order please contact me via our blog or visit eBay. You can also contact me via facebook….
Looking forward to your orders and speaking soon 🙂
Ystervarkies is one of my favourites. I don’t know if it is the chocolate syrup or the coconut you use to roll the pieces of cake in, maybe it is a combination of both, but NOTHING can beat the taste. In English they are also known as lamingtons, but for us they will always be ystervarkies 🙂
Let me share with you the recipe…. It is easy to make but can take some time so make sure you have enough time available to enjoy the whole process. First you have to bake the cake and then you make the syrup. Have a bowl of desiccated coconut separately to roll the cake in after you dunked it in the syrup….
Bake a sponge cake in a square or rectangle pan. Cut the cake into little squares, probably about 3cm x 3cm. It is not an exact science so cut them how big you want to, different sized are also just fine!!!!
To make the sauce you need to add the following in a pan:
60ml of cacao (2 tablespoons)
375ml boiling water
600g (3 cups) of sugar
15 ml of butter or margarine (1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Bring all the ingredients to the boil on the stove and cook for 2 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat. You have to dunk the pieces of cake individually in the sauce. Try and use the sauce as warm as you can without burning your fingers. Once you covered all the sides of the piece of cake in the sauce, roll it in the coconut (you will need about 500g)…..
Ek weet ek het al voorheen hierdie resep met julle gedeel, maar jy kan nie te veel daarvan eet nie. Ek het besluit om hierdie resep weer te deel omdat ek dit bietjie aangepas het oor die laasste jare. Die geheim is om bestandele te gebruik waarvan jou familie baie hou.
4 aartappels (gekoop en fyn gedruk)
‘n Knippie sout
‘n Knippie gerookte paprika, gee ‘n heerlike geur
Teelepel fyn gerasperde ui
Groot hand vol gerasperde kaas (cheddar, mozzarella, of dalk bloukaas)
Gesnyde salami of gebraaide spek in stukkies gesny
1 eetlepel meel (nie te veel nie)
Meng al die bestandele baie goed saam. Die beslag sal soos kapokaartappel lyk, nie te slap nie. Gebruik ‘n eetlepel om lepelsvol in die pan te sit. My pan vat 4 koekies gemaklik. Ek gebruik glad nie olie om in te braai nie, sommer net my “non stick” pan. Dit werk heerlik.
Los hulle in die pan aan een kant vir ‘n paar minute. Wanneer die koekie los is, draai dit om en braai bruin aan die ander kant. Hulle sal heerlik bruin gebraai wees. Bedien warm op.
Probeer gerus hierdie heerlike koekies en laat ons weet hoe dit gegaan het. Het jou familie daarvan gehou en wat is julle gunsteling bestandele?