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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Wildlife of the Okavango by Duncan Butchart – an invaluable guide to this magnificent oasis

Wildlife of the OkavangoStruik Nature is proud to present Wildlife of the Okavango by Duncan Butchart:

A remarkable variety of animals and plants can be found in the wilderness region surrounding the Okavango Delta. This photographic guide covers more than 470 of the area’s most conspicuous and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, invertebrates, trees and aquatic plants.

An informative introduction describes the area’s geology, climate, habitats and the key roles played by some animals, such as termites and elephants. The species accounts feature concise text describing the species’ appearance, size, habits, habitat and status, with full-colour photographs to facilitate identification.

About the author

Duncan Butchart is a naturalist, illustrator and photographer. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on wildlife, including Wildlife of South Africa (Struik Nature), and has worked in 11 African countries as a specialist in ecotourism communication.

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Spring botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death

Botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death
Butterflies of East AfricaBaobabs of the WorldPocket Guide: Birds of East AfricaGiant StepsLandy

The UCT Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town will celebrate the arrival of spring with a botanical art exhibition, bringing together artwork from established artists of Cape flora with new artwork that has been commissioned for the exhibition.

The Western Cape floral kingdom, with its unrivalled diversity of plant species, has attracted explorers, artists and botanists for hundreds of years.

An exhibition titled “Flora Old and New” will be held at the Irma Stern Museum in September as part of the special public programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the internationally renowned South African artist, Irma Stern.

The exhibition will run from 3 September to 1 October, with opening hours of 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday to Friday, and 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday.

The director of the Irma Stern Museum will be giving a special walkabout on 20 September at 10 AM.

Please RSVP by 15 September.

Enter the lucky draw at the exhibition to win a hamper of Struik Nature books. The winner will be notified at the close of the exhibition.

Special Walkabout Details

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For specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike: Baobabs of the World

Baobabs of the WorldComing soon from Struik Nature: Baobabs of the World: The Upside-Down Trees of Madagascar, Africa and Australia:

A photographic masterpiece, this beautiful book is a fitting tribute to the baobab – an extraordinary and majestic tree found principally in Madagascar, and peripherally in Africa and Australia.

The first section offers a short introduction to the classification and general description of baobabs, details of their life history, biogeography, dispersal and their role in people’s lives. The second section comprises a guide to each of the eight baobab species, including botanical description, details of their habitat, distribution and principal uses, accompanied by clear images and line drawings of the leaves, flowers, fruits and growth habit of each species.

Interesting text and lavish photographs throughout make this book irresistible for specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike, and it will have particular appeal for tourists too.

About the authors

Andry Petignat is an amateur plant enthusiast with a particular interest in succulents, including baobabs. He has authored Guide des plantes succulentes du sud-ouest de Madagascar, published in 2009, and is responsible for the famous Arboretum d’Antsokay in Toliara, Madagascar.

Louise Jasper is a British photographer of nature, an artist and designer with a special interest in the diversity of flora and fauna in Madagascar. She has lived in Toliara since 2006 and has travelled widely in the country in search of baobabs. She has also contributed to a range of publications on the wildlife of south western Madagascar.

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Wits paleoanthropologist Lee Berger among TIME‘s 100 most influential people in world

lee berger homo naledi time 100Field Guide to the Cradle of Human KindWits University paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger‚ renowned for his discovery of Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba‚ among other achievements‚ appears on TIME magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list‚ now in its 13th year‚ recognises the activism‚ innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

“The TIME 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women‚ not its most powerful‚ though those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain‚ influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year‚ we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow‚ so we can look around the corner to see what is coming‚” editor Nancy Gibbs says.

Berger is an award-winning palaeoanthropologist‚ researcher‚ explorer‚ author and speaker from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University in Johannesburg.

His explorations into human origins in Africa over the past two-and-a-half decades have resulted in many new and notable discoveries‚ including the most complete early hominin fossils found so far‚ which belong to a new species of early human ancestor‚ Australopithecus sediba and‚ in 2013‚ the richest early hominin site yet found on the continent of Africa and a new species of human relative‚ Homo naledi‚ announced in 2015.

“It is an honour to be included in the TIME 100 and a tribute to the world-class and influential science being produced on the African continent by African scientists and African institutions such as Wits University.

“This recognition also reflects on the hard work of my colleagues‚ who are all critical to both the discoveries being made‚ as well as the interpretations put forward in the scientific literature‚” Berger said.

Source: TMG Digital

Related stories:

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Image: Wits

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Simple and inspiring – Crochet Flowers: Step-By-Step by Tanya Shliazhko

Crochet FlowersNew from Struik Lifestyle, Crochet Flowers: Step-By-Step by Tanya Shliazhko:

Crochet flowers are a favourite with needlecrafters because they can be made from scraps of yarn, are small and therefore achievable, and they are versatile. Use them to add charm to décor projects such as pillows, guest towels, or napkin holders, or gather them into a pretty corsage for a lapel or hat trim.

The flower patterns offer designs suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced crocheters. The combination of written instructions, colour charts and photographs take the reader through the process step-by-step, making it easy to check at every stage whether your work corresponds with the pattern.

Content includes information on hooks and yarns, basic crochet stitches, and how to read a pattern. Beginners can start with simple patterns using just one or two stitches and colours and, as their skills improve, they can take on more advanced designs incorporating additional stitches and shaping techniques. There is also a short section on how to use your crochet flowers to create home décor items and fashion accessories.

About the author

Tanya Shliazhko was inspired to start creating things by her grandmother, who decorated her house with bright floral handmade accessories. Growing up surrounded by handcrafted beauty inspired Tanya to create unique crochet items, focusing on floral elements. After many requests, she started writing patterns, eventually becoming a freelance crochet designer. She lives in Canada.

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A 7-day journey to wellbeing with Stephan Domenig’s Alkaline Juices and Smoothies

Alkaline Juices and SmoothiesStruik Lifestyle is proud to present Alkaline Juices and Smoothies by Stephan Domenig:

A healthy diet means eating a balance of acidic and alkaline foods. The modern Western diet is heavily weighted towards foods that tend to be acid-forming. Alkaline Juices and Smoothies presents an easy-to-follow way to cleanse your system and repair that imbalance.

This definitive plan will guide you in a seven-day journey to wellbeing, encourage the natural process of weight loss, increase energy and vitality and begin to restore your body to its natural rhythms. The destructive effects of the modern acidic diet are combated through a judicious menu of green smoothies, fresh juices and satisfying drinks. The detox plan can be followed for seven consecutive days, but even one or two days a week will yield benefits.

Also see: The Alkaline Cure: The Amazing 14 Day Diet and Mindful Eating Plan by Stephan Domenig

About the author

Dr Stephan Domenig is the medical director of the FX Mayr Health Center in Maria Wörth, Austria. After obtaining his medical degree, he worked as an assistant physician and surgeon at several hospitals in Austria and Brazil. He has a diploma in FX Mayr medicine and certifications in orthomolecular medicine, applied kinesiology and chiropractics.

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Discover a happier, healthier you with The Alkaline Cure by Stephan Domenig

The Alkaline CureStruik Lifestyle is proud to present The Alkaline Cure: The Amazing 14 Day Diet and Mindful Eating Plan by Stephan Domenig:

For more than 100 years, the nutritional principles laid down by the Austrian physician Dr FX Mayr have helped tens of thousands of people regain control over their digestive health, helping them to lose weight and feel full of energy.

In The Alkaline Cure, Domenig shares the clinically-tested principles of the Mayr alkaline cure. Analkaline lifestyle results in optimum digestive health, giving you an overall feeling of wellbeing and more energy. Extra benefits include clearer skin, a stronger immune system, improved metabolism, and reduced signs of ageing.

Discover the principles of the alkaline cure and follow the 14-day diet plan to reap the benefits of a happier, healthier you.

About the author

Dr Stephan Domenig is the medical director of the FX Mayr Health Center in Maria Wörth, Austria. After obtaining his medical degree, he worked as an assistant physician and surgeon at several hospitals in Austria and Brazil. He has a diploma in FX Mayr medicine and certifications in orthomolecular medicine, applied kinesiology and chiropractics.

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Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen becomes the first South African to be awarded a Michelin Star

JAN - A Breath of French AirThe French AffairJAN, a restaurant in the south of France owned and run by South African-born chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, has been awarded a Michelin Star, as Van der Westhuizen becomes the first South African to receive this honour. On the announcement, the chef was quoted on his Instagram feed as saying “This is where I say. Dreams do come true.” The restaurant was also voted as one of the best restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveller in 2015.

In March 2016 Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa, will be publishing Van der Westhuizen’s new cookbook – JAN – A Breath of French Air. It will also be available in Afrikaans as JAN – My Franse Kosverhaal. The book is a memoir and celebration of the renowned eatery JAN. Each chapter captures the mood and inspiration of what is served at JAN, and the collection of over 90 recipes covers everything from locally baked breads, amuse bouche and mouthwatering main course meat and fish dishes to what the chefs eat after a long night’s service in a hot kitchen.

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen was raised on a rural farm in the north of the country. After completing an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts he furthered his studies with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Design and Photography. He worked for ELLE magazine in South Africa and Paris before relocating to Nice to open his own restaurant called JAN. Since its humble beginnings in 2013, JAN has garnered a reputation as one of the top restaurants in the south of France. JAN – A Breath of French Air will be Jan Hendrik’s second book, which continues the journey first started in The French Affair, also published by Struik Lifestyle.

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7 Struik Lifestyle titles chosen as South African winners in 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa, has had seven titles named South African winners in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for 2015. These titles now all qualify for the next “Gourmand Best in the World” competition.

The winning titles are as follows:

A Taste of IsraelBeer SafariHome
Low carb is lekkerTaste the Little KarooThe Supper ClubTWO


  • TWO by Seline & Leandri van der Wat (Best TV – English)

The winners of the “Gourmand Best in the World” competition will be announced at an awards ceremony in Yantai, China from 28 – 31 May, 2016.

For more information on the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, visit


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New Rules for Kruger National Park: Day Visitors Can Now Book a Time Slot

101 Kruger TalesKruger National Park Questions and AnswersField Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National ParkMammals of Southern Africa Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of AfricaField Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa
Snakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaA Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern AfricaSasol 300 Easy-to-see BirdsLatin for BirdwatchersSasol Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa100 Common Bird Calls in East Africa

In an effort to enhance visitor access management and to avoid possible glitches this Festive Season, the Kruger National Park has implemented a new system to streamline day visitor arrivals at the gates during busy periods.

Day visitors can now book a time slot ahead of their arrival at the Kruger Park, ensuring their entry.

Kruger Park management says it expects the busiest days to be 25, 26 and 27 December as well as 1, 2 and 3 January.

Media release from SANParks:

Day Visitors will now be able to choose and book a time slot prior to their arrival from one of the following three time slots:

  • Time slot 1: Arrive 0 to 2 Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 05:30 to 07:30)
  • Time slot 2: Arrive 2 to 4 Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 07:30 to 09:30)
  • Time slot 3: Arrive 4+ Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 09:30 onwards).

The Day Visitor Quota for the park is a management tool to maintain the carrying capacity of the park. Visitors will be able to book up to 80% of Day Visitor Quota per gate, via SANParks Reservations offices.

Pre-booked day visitors guest will get preference over non-booked day visitors at the gate.

For the coming Festive Season, we aim to better manage the volumes that we expect on busy days, and importantly also manage the expectations. These busy days are expected to be Saturday and Sunday and in particular 25, 26 and 27 December as well as 1, 2 and 3 January. By introducing the three different slots, we hope to improve the spread of vehicles and, as far as possible prevent unnecessary waiting periods at gates”, said the KNP Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips.

Pre-booked day visitors must ensure that they arrive within the time slots, as per their reservation. Arriving outside the booked time slot, will be regarded as non-booked and therefore not preferential. Visitors who made reservations prior to this new system have been allocated to Time slot 1. These bookings can be changed through SANParks Reservations offices

Visitors should also take note of the following important information:

  • Day Visitor bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R36 per adult and R18 per child.
  • Day Visitors who have booked will still be required to pay Conservation Fees or use a valid Wild Card to enter the Park.
  • In order to expedite the admission process, on busy days in particular, Day Visitors are requested to pay for Conservation Fees in advance or ensure that they have valid Wild Card membership.
  • Guests planning to use Wild Cards are requested to ensure membership is valid before arrival and this can best be done online at
  • The number and profile of persons (adults and children) on the reservation and actual persons arriving should correspond.
  • All guests may be required to identify themselves upon admission (SA driver’s license, identity document or passport).
  • Due to existing contractual arrangements with Open Safari Vehicles (OSVs), they are regarded as booked for all Day Visitor admissions. OSVs entering Phabeni Gate will be allowed entry 30 minutes before external gate opening time during the summer.
  • Gate Quotas will be applied and un-booked guests could be refused admission.
  • In order to make the wait in the queue at gates a bit more pleasurable, SANParks will be providing serviced toilets at strategic points on the side of the road during peak times. Further to this a community initiative has been set up that will see hot and cold beverages being available for sale to visitors who will be waiting for entry.
  • Guests are kindly requested to be patient and understanding of this new change. SANParks will be learning from this so please feel free to provide feedback through the customer feedback system.


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