Now in its third year, the National Braai Tour draws participants from all over South Africa. Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and more regions are well represented amongst the 40 teams who will soon be travelling from Cape Town to the Addo Elephant National Park. And for the first time ever, in what must surely be a sign of the growing global appeal of the humble braai, the National Braai Tour will feature a foreign team. The “German Grillmeisters” are flying to the start in Cape Town and will soon learn more about South Africa and its unique heritage than any other previous cultural exchange that has occurred in the country.
“The ethos of the National Braai Tour is quite simple,” says Jan Braai, the man behind the Tour and the National Braai Day initiative.
“We want people to come together, sit around a fire, share their stories, learn about each other and South Africa, and have a good time while doing it. In my experience, sitting around a fire is where we get to know one and other best, so combining the braai with a tour of South Africa and its most significant heritage spots is essentially creating the ultimate South African history classroom. Our German friends will almost certainly go home after the Tour and spread the word that South Africa is the place to be.”
This year teams from all over the country will meet in Cape Town before heading off towards their first overnight camp of Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa. Team Automatic from Soweto – first time Braai Tourists and in their spare time a band called Ree Burth – will be taking on the Tour in their trusty VW Caravelle.
Another newcomer to the National Braai Tour is team Flavourza from Cape Town. Their team ‘captain’ is Jody Theodore, a qualified chef but one who loves to Braai. Jody ‘Flavourza’ trains upcoming food lovers in rural areas. He sets up mobile kitchens and events in rural areas and cooks or braais food which has true South African flavours.
All ladies team Pink Sauce will be looking to put paid to the myth that the braai is the domain of men only; they are a seasoned crew of braai masters who will add serious spice to the occasion, while the returning team of Phiwe Nomlomo, Suthu Zangqa, Thano Bekwa, Kuhle Thumana – otherwise known as Tshisa Nyama 4 – will build on their Braai Tour reputation as the most enthusiastic tourists on Tour; their campsite at last year’s Braai Tour proudly flew four South African flags at every overnight stop.
“In just three years we have created an environment where diverse groups of people get to hang out and celebrate everything they enjoy about South Africa and being South African,” says Braai. “Everyone who comes on Tour does so because they believe that South Africa is a great country and that South Africans are great people, and they want to be around different types of South Africans and share their heritage.”
As always, the National Braai Tour participants will be well looked after by the incredibly generous sponsors. South Africa’s largest supplier of beef, Karan Beef, will send a refrigerated truck on a tour packed with prime beef for the evening braais. Pick n Pay supplies all kitchen and ingredient essentials, while Spur and Cerebos will ensure that the braai sauce and spice never run out.
The newest sponsors to the National Braai Tour include; Twizza (soft drinks), Clover Classic (Clover’s new range of range of delicious, creamy yoghurts and custard, Johnssons (Braai Tour kit), Tosas, Easy Equities, Cape City Volkswagen, Addis (the essential Braai Tour toolbox), Eureka Mills (the best flour for Braai Tour roosterkoek), Sunhats (providing official Braai Tour headwear), Banks (all kitchen equipment), Homefires (a handy portable braai), Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel (registration venue), Coffee2Go (Braai Tour coffee) and SANParks (venues).
“The sponsors add to the occasion of the National Braai Tour,” says Braai. “They believe in the spirit that develops over the Tour and they contribute massively to that gees.”