FIVE QUESTIONS WITH CANADIAN WINEMAKER NORMAN HARDIE

For the first time ever Norman Hardie, of Prince Edward County's Norman Hardie Winery, will host an exclusive food and wine journey through his South African homeland. Epicurean South Africa with Norman Hardie is a brand new, gourmet experience curated by Quench Trip Design. For twelve days, you will explore South Africa’s dramatic scenery from Cape Town, the rugged Western Cape and Cape Winelands rolling farmlands, Chapman’s Peak and the Cape of Good Hope.

Norm will be lead you away from the tourist trail to experience his favourite South African wineries and eateries, from a winemaker’s perspective. His welcoming friends and pioneering colleagues – who happen to be the country’s best winemakers – will open their cellars to you, allowing you to explore the many layers of the wine industry, like no other.

Get to know Norm, learn about his connection to South Africa and discover what surprises are in store for travellers on this Excursively Quench trip:

1.     What are you looking forward to the most about returning to South Africa?

NH: The stunning natural beauty and vibrancy of South African culture. After the cold and dark Canadian winter, everyone on this trip will be dazzled by the incredible environment of South Africa, as well as the enthusiasm that its people exude.

2.     Can you give our travellers a sneak peek at what they can expect from the trip? Do you have any surprises up your sleeve?

NH: The quality of experiences that we've included in this trip are second to none. I was able to draw on my own time in the country and the contacts I've made to help create excursions to some of the most innovative and exciting wine and food destinations in South Africa. Guests should expect to see some of the best of the country, with a level of engagement and knowledge that would not be possible without our connections to the place. With this itinerary, we've built a great foundation within which people still have the time and opportunity to explore on their own. I look forward to helping guests plan their own adventures and discover the fantastic off the beaten track places.

3.     How does the wine in South Africa compare to the wine produced in Prince Edward County?

NH: The wines of South Africa are generally of a richer style than those of Prince Edward County.  On this trip we will be visiting the best producers in many of the wine regions; guests will have a chance to discover the great variety in style of South African wines as we explore numerous geographic areas and micro climates. Additionally, there will be much opportunity for guests to uncover exciting new wine regions and producers who are gaining attention on the world stage.

4.     This is your first time hosting a trip, can you tell our community of travellers why you decided to partner with Quench?

NH: Quench is a leader in epicurean trips and has a fantastic reputation for organizing specialized experiences for discerning travellers. I was excited with the prospect of collaborating on a magical tour of South Africa with an organization which has such a high level of commitment to quality. The itinerary that has been planned is very well balanced, giving a great insider's view of South Africa, while also allowing guests to tailor the experience to their own interests.

5.     Why is South Africa a must-visit for travelling gourmands and wine connoisseurs?

NH: South Africa should be at the top of every traveller's destinations list. As a wine region it is producing some of the most exciting new world wines. The quality continues to increase exponentially every year and garner attention from top international critics. The food culture is second to none and the proximity to year-round fresh ingredients, local meats and endless artisanal producers makes it truly a food-lover's paradise. Additionally many international chefs have made their way to South Africa, elevating the level of cuisine. It doesn't matter if you're sitting in a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Cape Winelands or a safari camp in the bush, the quality of food is exceptional. The amazing food scene is further heightened by the incredible traditional meals of South Africans. It's a cultural experience that will wow any food lover.

Contact Quench today to book this incredible 12-day gourmet getaway.
Norman Hardie Winery

THREE REASONS WHY BOTSWANA IS THE BEST SAFARI DESTINATION

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With its pristine natural environment, wide open spaces, abundant wildlife and dazzling sunsets, Botswana has captivated travellers looking for the quintessential safari experience. Check out our list of reasons why you should consider this southern African country for your next family holiday.

1.     Botswana is uniquely remote compared to other safari destinations.

Most of the camps are only accessible by air, which gives you and your family a unique opportunity to enjoy the sheer beauty of the sprawling landscape from above. Also, the country’s conservation policy endorses low-volume tourism, meaning the crowds are few and far between.  

Quench Tip: To make the most of your precious safari time, we can organize quick transfers between camps on chartered light aircrafts for you.

2.     Botswana offers unspoiled wildlife viewing opportunities.

Botswana is located in one of the most pristine wilderness areas left on the Earth and the wildlife opportunities are incredibly abundant. The destination offers impressive and prolific game viewing, including Africa’s largest terrestrial wildlife migration. Every year, thousands of zebras travel over 500 kilometres round-trip between Namibia and Botswana. Families also have the chance to spot elephants, giraffe, hippos, lions and more.

Quench Tip: Our professional safari guides can help you and your family get closer to the amazing wildlife, while ensuring your safety and allowing plenty of opportunities to capture the perfect photo.

3.     Botswana features a diverse terrain with three complex ecosystems.

Bostwana is located in the heart of Kalahari Desert, and The Okavango Delta is the evergreen jewel of the region. It is the world’s largest inland delta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other highlights include the Linyanti water systems and Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the largest salt pans on the planet.

Quench Tip: During your trip, do not forget to explore the ancient culture of the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers of the Western Kalahari.

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Ready to go?

When to go
The dry season is from May to September, resulting in moderate temperatures. In April and May there is little to no rain and fewer clouds, however, temperatures dip at night and in the mornings, especially from June to August. Wildlife viewing is exceptional year-round, but during the dry season, herds of elephants pass through Linyanti in search of water, and many animals gather in ever-increasing numbers at various water holes.

The wet season (from November to March) is also called the Green Season in Botswana. Expect regular afternoon showers, but enjoy verdant emerald scenery in return. Some areas (such as Makgadikgadi Pans) fill with water, attracting flocks of flamingos and other migrating birds.  

Where to stay
Quench can arrange unbelievable stays in Botswana’s most stunning luxury safari and tent camps. A few of our favourites include stylish Jack’s camp, remote Duba Plains camp, and luxurious Selinda camp. Watch grazing animals from an open deck, dine around a campfire and appreciate a wonderful authentic atmosphere you will never forget. 

If you want to experience the true Africa, we’ve designed the perfect handpicked itinerary that combines the best of what Botswana has to offer and unforgettable #QuenchMoments. Our 11-day Soaring in Botswana Quench Express Trip is available year round, click here for more information.

Photo Credits: Lori Toledano