Destination Info: Tzaneen
5. In the Realm of the Rain Queen
Shrieks of terror and excitement echo across a landscape ruled by an African monarchy over 600 years old as Terence and Paul go tubing the rapids of the Letaba river in the far north of South Africa. The boys have come to these legend filled valleys to seek out the mystical one at who’s command the water of these rivers flows; Modjadji, the mysterious Rain Queen; the inspiration for H Rider Haggard’s “She”, who rules over a kingdom of ancient baobab trees, sacred cycad forests and magic. After consulting a traditional shaman for guidance, they cook her a feast “fit for a queen” using the fertile region’s finest ingredients.
Terence is as entranced by Steven, the Belgian chef’s blonde looks, as he is by his culinary skills watching him bring European flair to a crocodile and avocado timbale accompanied by a salsa of peppers, tomato, cilantro and atcha, a spicy local Indian-style mango pickle.
Paul fails dismally at trout fishing but makes a brilliant DIY trout smoker using a cardboard box, a banana leaf and a lot of imagination.
Then they meet Florina, a cook from the Lobedu tribe, who shows them how to prepare a local delicacy, mopane worms. These caterpillars are served with marog (an African spinach), and the leaves of the moringa tree, a plant renowned for its healing properties.
With the feast prepared, the boys journey to the royal enclosure. Will they meet the Queen? Will she receive their gifts? Will she make it rain? Africa is indeed a mysterious continent.
Episode Specific Credits:
Blue Sea and Phyllis Mushwana
Doug Van Heerden
Moshakge Nerwick Molokwane
Special thanks to
Wegrachsbos Organic Dairy
“Never Despair” Trading Post
Modjadji’s Royal Kraal
Cheerio Trout Fishing & Holiday Resort
Agatha Crocodile Ranch
Heather and Doug Van Heerden
Bona Pub and Restaurant