Video: How To Cook A Sheep’s Head

One of the great pleasures of travel is the food. Of course, sometimes the food can be a bit strange. A new web series called “Africa on a Plate” takes you across the continent in search of unusual delicacies that aren’t so unusual in the local area. In the first episode, host Lentswe Bhengu shows us how they cook a sheep’s head in South Africa.

This video is part one of two. You can see the second half of this episode here, where Lentswe samples some home brew and eats a sheep’s head.

I must admit I was a bit put off at first, but as this episode progressed I could almost smell the rich meat being cooked to perfection. With a bit of seasoning I could eat this. Well, maybe not the eyes, but certainly the tongue and cheek.

For more “Africa on a Plate,” check out their YouTube Channel. They’re a brand new startup asking for funds on their Indiegogo site. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Best of luck to you guys!

This isn’t your usual how to cook show. Sit back and enjoy!

Fact vs. Fiction: Penguin Spotting At Boulder Beach, South Africa

Rock hopper African penguin colonies famously criss-cross the Cape of Good Hope south of Cape Town, South Africa, and one of the most popular spots to see the creatures is at Boulder Beach. There’s a bit of wood decking and infrastructure built around this colony, which makes it easier for tourists to access. As such, though you can get a bit closer to the animals you can expect a bit of a crowd. Don’t get to close either, the animals are still quite wild.

Jeopardy! wants to send you to South Africa

Popular American quiz show Jeopardy! and South Africa Tourism have joined forces to launch a new contest that will send one lucky winner off on the trip of a lifetime. To enter, simply drop by the Visit South Africa Facebook page, click on the “Jeopardy!” link and fill out the short form. You’ll want to hurry though, as the contest only runs through March 22 and a winner will be randomly selected the following day.

That lucky winner will receive an all-expense-paid ten day trip to South Africa that includes round trip airfare and luxury accommodations in some of the country’s best hotels. They’ll also travel by train aboard the famous Rovos Rail while immersing themselves in both culture and adventure activities throughout the region. Of course, no visit to South Africa is complete without going on safari, and the winner will be treated to daily game drives while spending two nights at the MalaMala Game Reserve where they’ll go in search of lions, elephants and a variety of other creatures.

To celebrate the launch of this promotion, Jeopardy! has also created an online version of the game that includes categories that are focused on South Africa. Trivia and travel buffs can test their knowledge of the country and its abundant wildlife. While the questions aren’t particularly tough it is still fun to play through.

Having visited South Africa in the past I can tell you that it is amongst my favorite destinations. The country is a great blend of culture and adventure that isn’t found anywhere else and the diversity of wildlife has to be seen to be believed. Whoever wins this trip is in for a real treat to say the least.

Video of the day: flying rhinos in South Africa

Flying Rhinos from Green Renaissance on Vimeo.

Flying rhinos aren’t something you see everyday–not even in South Africa, where 19 of these endangered rhinos have recently been moved from the Eastern Cape to a conservation location in the province of Limpopo. Still relatively new, an airlift capture technique was used to transport black rhinos out of inaccessible or difficult locations. Suspending a sleeping rhino by the ankles through the air and to waiting vehicles is undoubtedly a difficult task, but conservation managers, wildlife veterinarians, capture teams from WWF, SANParks, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife all worked in cooperation with each other to ensure the success of this translocation mission.

All in all, these rhinos were moved 932 miles across the country. With an average commute of just 10 minutes or so by helicopter, one of the advantages of flying the black rhinos in this specific manner is that they don’t need to be drugged for an extended period of time. The WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project has created seven significant black rhino populations over the last eight years–nearly 120 black rhinos have been translocated due to these admirable efforts.

Zimbabwe has mixed success stopping rhino poaching

Zimbabwe has seen an increase in rhino poaching this year, the government newspaper The Herald reports.

At least 23 of the 700 or so black and white rhinos in the country were poached this year, but authorities managed to arrest 37 poachers and horn dealers. Rhino horns are popular for folk medicine, especially in Asia where they fetch high prices. One tactic of the poachers is to poison water holes, which kills not just the rhinos but any animal that drinks there.

More than $4 million is being spent to protect the animals, the government says, including implanting radio transmitters into the horns of 100 rhinos this year.

Zimbabwe isn’t the only country facing this problem. The Huffington Post reports that South Africa is doing more to train park workers on how to investigate incidents of poaching. Several poachers were killed in shootouts with authorities earlier this year, but that didn’t stop 341 South African rhinos from being poached in the first 10 months of the year, more than in all of 2010.

Photo of rhino in Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe, courtesy Susan Adams.