Today we drive to the Mpumalanga province, the north eastern part of South Africa, also called the Lowveld. The Red ‘53 Pick Up is making a delivery to Oliver’s Restaurant and Lodge, situated 7km north of Whiteriver, 30km from Nelspruit and 400km from Johannesburg.
En-route to our destination, approximately 150km from Johannesburg, we head out to the Kghodwana Cultural Village. Here one gets an insight into the Ndebele people’s culture, and their art. Plan ahead and make an appointment to meet Ester Mahlangu, the 80 years old Ndebele woman who has become a global art legend and an ambassador for the Ndebele people. Contact the curator of the village, Mr Petrus Mahlangu +27 836738955 or

read more:

Maybe you remember that BMW invited world art-legends, such as Ester to decorate a car in their signature style? What do you think, should we give the Red ‘53 Pick Up a new Ndebele makeover?

The Ndebele art reminds me of an artist and jewellery maker in Cape Town that has interpreted the Ndebele culture in her work and has managed to catch the eye of international fashionistas. This artist is Katherine-Mary PICHULIK and with her jewellery and accessories, she aims to create “bold items for brave women” and wearable works of art.

read more:

We are well on our way to Oliver’s Restaurant and Lodge in Whiteriver. This area is known, not only for its superb temperate sub-tropical climate in summer as well as winter, but also for its many scenic and adventurous attractions. Whiteriver is within close proximity of the Kruger National Park as well as the Blyde River Canyon with panoramic drives along the escarpment and lies in a Malaria-free area. The nearby Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport gives easy access from and to most major cities in South Africa.

Oliver’s Restaurant and Lodge is situated on the White River Country Estate overlooking the first green of the 18-hole championship White River Golf Course. Oliver’s Restaurant is well known for its fine-dining. The restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean dishes from the a-la-carte menu. All dishes are complemented with Kyburg Boutique and other fine South African wines together with personalised and friendly service, in a relaxed country atmosphere.

Tanja Ruf, the owner of the lodge, has Austrian roots. Born and raised in South Africa, Tanja was trained for the hospitality sector in Austria and this charm is eminent throughout the establishment.

First we deliver our Kyburg Boutique Wines to their well-stocked wine-cellar. After a dip in the pool, we relax on the restaurant’s veranda to enjoy the tranquil setting while we sip a refreshing sun-downer followed by an exquisite dinner. Soon we retire to the tastefully furnished and decorated rooms. Each room has a generous en-suite bathroom and a balcony with a view over the garden and golf course.

After a hearty breakfast we are ready for a round of golf. In the afternoon we head off to the in-house Wellness and Beauty Clinic to indulge in some treatments and then we chille the day away at the pool-side.

read more:


If you feel like shopping or having a breakfast or leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants or coffee shops close by, make a move to Casterbridge Centre, 5km away from Oliver’s. Casterbridge is set in a tranquil garden with quirky, independent shops, Saturday open air markets and fantastic entertainment spoils, such as an art-circuit movie or a performance at the Barnyard Theatre. Casterbridge also proudly supports local industries and regional artists.

read more:

For a unique and very memorable wildlife encounter, head down to Hazyview Elephant Whisperer, situated 45km from Oliver’s, in the Sandford Conservancy on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview. Here you will be able to interact with elephants, giving you the opportunity to witness their intelligence and compassionate nature. Feel their constantly curious trunks, touch their rough skin, exchange trunk greetings and offer tasty treats, while learning about their behaviour and history from the Elephant Handlers. There are different activities on offer.

read more:

Look out for the next chapter in the Diary of the Red ‘53 Pick Up as we take you to Leopard Creek Country Golf Club, the Kruger National Park and another Kyburg Boutique Wine delivery to some exquisite Private Game Lodges near Hoedspruit.

See you there!

Rosmarie, Fred and Tanja