(Photo: Supplied, Park Inn Radisson)
Ever eaten a Mopani worm? Beef trotters or tripe? Whether you love it, or want to experience it for the first time, this hotel serves you traditional food alongside its a la carte menu and lets you experience true South African culture.
This is certainly the friendliest hotel I’ve ever been to as every single person you come into contact with greets you like you've been away for a few weeks and now you’re finally home. It was just such a joy to be there.
We got to Park Inn by Radisson Polokwane after a very early flight and had a red carpet welcome on arrival. A wonderful breakfast, it was time to head out and explore an area most would imagine to be a bit boring, when compared to Joburg or say Cape Town.
Hello the Ribola Art Tour. When I said Polokwane let's you tap into real South African culture I meant it. There are various routes on the Ribola Art Tour and we went on the Shengani Green Route.
There we got to meet various artists like Patrick Manyike, Pilato Bulala, Thomas Kubayi and Kenny Nonyane in their homes and hear how their art changed their lives and how they use either fallen wood or scrap metal to make their sculptures.
UPDATE: All wildlife interactions at Polokwane hotel stopped by tourism heavyweights
Patrick makes beautiful sculptures from wood that has fallen from trees and lets the wood speak to him so he can create something beautiful from it. Pilato uses scrap metal to make “scraptures” which include a working car and various other pieces. He also makes jewellery from empty drinks cans, which you can buy for as cheap as R50.
Thomas is the man who taught Patrick and various other men how to carve art from wood and Thomas has his own gallery at his home. But wood carving is not all he does. He and Kenny also play wonderful music with the help of a few other men and invite you all to learn to play or dance and just be a part of the experience.
We also stopped for lunch at Caesar’s Roadside Chicken. The place used to be known for selling spare parts for cars and then they started selling braaied chicken as a side business. Now things have reversed and they’re more known for their chicken, pap, chakalaka and morogo (African spinach), which you eat with your hands while sipping a cooldrink, enjoying a chat with whoever else has popped in to enjoy the delicious food.
This is a full day tour in the hot African sun, so be sure to wear lots of sunscreen and drink a lot of water.
When we got back to the hotel, we were treated to a beautiful supper next to the pool while a live band performed. And we all got traditional African doeks to wear while we ate supper.
The food was amazing. We had mini bunny chows, lamb breyani and oxtail on the table while the chef also served us various things from tempura prawns to lamb shanks to malva pudding for dessert. It was just a sampling of their new a la carte menu and it was fantastic.
Then we danced the rest of the night away while the band serenaded us before having some hot chocolate and going to bed. To find out more about the hotel’s facilities or book a stay, visit their website.
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*Freelance writer Carmen Williams was hosted for her stay, including hosted activities.