Jan Braai visits the Garden Route: National Braai Tour 2017

The fourth annual National Braai Tour is the perfect prologue to National Braai Day.

Epic scenery, road tripping adventure, early-morning coffee in the great outdoors, stunning campsites and more braais than you can shake a stukkie wors at; there can be nothing more South African than the upcoming National Braai Tour, the perfect starter ahead of National Braai Day.

Now into its fourth year, the National Braai Tour continues to go from strength to strength and from iconic location to iconic location. It’s growing like braaiwood pyramid and is the ultimate build-up – a perfect prologue – to the now widely celebrated National Braai Day, which takes place on 24 September every year.

The 2017 edition of the National Braai Tour will take participants from Cape Town along the world-famous Klein Karoo and Garden Route before ending in Port Elizabeth. It will once again deliver an insightful journey of sightseeing splendour, campfire cordon bleu and essential learnings into the wide and varied heritage of South Africa. Once it’s over, participants and the rest of the country will be well prepared for National Braai Day on 24 September.

“The National Braai Tour is about showcasing our vision of nation-building around a fire. A blueprint of sorts on how to best celebrate heritage month and Heritage Day. It’s about bringing diverse people together to enjoy the one thing that unites us all, cooking and celebrating around an open fire,” says the man behind the Tour and the National Braai Day initiative, Jan Braai. “It’s also an opportunity to build public excitement and momentum towards 24 September in a way that gets South Africans thinking about and celebrating their own heritage, our shared heritage, and how great it is to be a South African.”

As always, the route has been selected to take in the diversity of the South African countryside and to showcase historically significant spots along the way. “The aim of the National Braai Tour is for participants to enjoy themselves, but also to learn more about this great country,” says Braai.

This year the National Braai Tour will start in Cape Town with a convoy heading out of the Mother City and onto the N2. Once over Sir Lowry’s Pass, the Tour will head to Struisbaai for a fresh local seafood braai before calling it a night at the Southern Tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where steaks will be braaied. In fact, this will occur nightly, because steaks are braaied every night on the National Braai Tour. As the journey to Port Elizabeth continues, the National Braai Tour will visit locations like Calitzdorp Spa (yes, there will be a special port tasting), Oudtshoorn, SANParks Wilderness, Forever Resort SA at Keurbooms, SANParks Storms River, and finally The Willows Campsite in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Before setting off every morning, participants will be treated to freshly braaied roosterkoek and barista-made coffee. That should provide the strength and stamina required for a solid day of ‘educational tourism’ – and braaing.

Among the many heritage sights en route, the National Braai Tour will visit is the Cango Caves, Nelson’s Bay Cave at Robberg Nature Reserve, Bloukrans Bridge, Nelson Mandela Heritage Walk and the largest South African flag in the world at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth.

In the evening it will be live music and braaing – with recipes and food provided – while uniting around a campfire. At registration each participant is issued with a full size South African flag on an individual sized pole. These flags are carried by participants at all times. “It’s the rainbow wave of the Tour,” says Braai.

“We have much to celebrate as a nation and as diverse people,” says Braai. “What better way to do that than with a Tour that teaches you about our collective heritage, your fellow South Africans and a day that encourages you to celebrate around a fire.”

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