Category Archives: Granny Mouse


All Nuptials are welcome at Granny Mouse

There are many traditions when it comes to South African weddings, and here at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, we are well versed in arranging weddings, and know each and every wedding is unique.

We in South Africa have a number of cultural traditions, which is definitely part of our charm and interesting to those experiencing another cultural differences.

The definition of a traditional South African wedding is a ceremony where two people are joined together following the culture or tradition of where they come from.

A traditional Afrikaans wedding is a highly personal and cultural event. Weddings are generally based on Christian beliefs which are a strong part of this culture. It’s very similar to a white western wedding with some cultural elements. Some traditions have fallen away due to the expense, or just seen as “old fashioned”.

The father of the bride pays for the wedding, the groom’s father pays for the bar tab and the groom pays for the honeymoon, which should be a big secret for his future bride! In the meantime, the bride deals with all the details of the wedding from the colour theme, to the food and flower arrangements!

The father of the bride will walk his “baby girl” down the aisle and hand her over to her future husband. A custom that is known to be bad luck, is that the groom will not be allowed to see his future bride at least 24 hours before the wedding. And definitely not in her wedding dress!

The reception is full of fun banter, with the bachelor friends of the groom going all out to embarrass the groom and singing silly songs when he tries to do his speech. The cutting of the cake is super important, and there has to be a picture of this moment together with feeding each other cake. The party gets started with loads of “langarm” dance moves, which is like a barn dance vibe to local Afrikaans pop music.

The English white wedding, which is originally European, has pretty much made it across the globe. Brides are generally dressed in white. The groom, when asking for her hand, goes down on one knee. The wedding itself is generally very formal and there is a strict guest list which is delivered to guests on fine printed invites.

There are also Hindu weddings, which are ceremonies to unite the families. The ceremony takes three days and starts with the henna tradition, where mehendi artists paint the groom and brides hands and feet at their respective parents’ homes.

There is also a day for family prayer with the actual wedding taking place on the third day. And anyone who has attended a Hindu wedding will definitely find the men folk outside at the boot of their cars catching up and “participating in male bonding” in order to take a break from the ceremony, which is quite lengthy  The food is served by the younger folk and generally includes pots of breyani, dhall and non-alcoholic beverages. After the wedding there are a few ceremonies, one of which is to welcome the bride into her new home.

The Zulu wedding can take many shapes and forms. Usually the bride changes at least three times on her wedding day, showing off to her in-laws how beautiful she is in different colours. Although it is not a Zulu custom for the bride to wear a traditional Christian white wedding gown, nowadays many brides prefer to do so. The wedding service takes place at the local church, and during this time the bride is usually dressed in white. After the church, the wedding party moves to the groom’s home, where the bride changes into a traditional Zulu outfit. One of the highlights of a traditional wedding comes when the parties from the bride’s and the groom’s families compete with each other through the medium of Zulu dance and songs.

During this ceremony the family of the groom slaughters a cow to show that they are accepting the bride into their home. This is a sign that she is now part of the family. The wedding ceremony ends with the bride giving gifts, in the form of blankets and furniture, to her new family, including the extended family – this tradition is called “ukwaba”. Even the long-deceased family members receive gifts and are represented by the living ones. The family cover themselves with the blankets in an open area where everybody will see. The spectators ululate, sing, and dance for the family.

Whatever cultural wedding you are hosting, the “Mouse team” at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa will be on standby to ensure the smooth running for your once in a lifetime nuptials!



South African medicinal plants and their properties

The KZN Midlands is home to a wide range of indigenous, rare and beautiful plants. With forests that are home to the rare Cape Parrot, some of the last moist mist-belt grasslands and includes habitats of many endangered species, there can be little doubt then that this area is a hot spot of biodiversity.

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, in particular, boasts deluxe suites that have indigenous plants, graced with an abundance of Watsonias, aloe arborescens, buddleja, salviafola, crassula, lampranthus and freylina, to name a few.

The General Manager of Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, Sean Granger, offers some insight on a few indigenous plants that are not only a spectacular sight to behold, but they are also known to have cosmetic and healing properties.

  • African Wild Potatoes – Not related to the household potato, the African wild potato is associated with the lily and is a drought resistant plant native to South Africa. Traditional healers have used it as a muthi to treat delirium, ‘bad blood’ (in diabetes), PMS and as a parasiticide. It is also commonly used as application of a deep penetrating ointment to treat symptoms associated with arthritis. It is also beneficial against skin conditions such as eczema, acne, scars, burns, rashes, bed sores, warts, stretch marks, sunburn, insect bites and dry skin.
  • AloeArborescens – The benefits of aloe are well-known throughout South Africa. Its long history of medicinal use is a testimony to the healing impact it has had on those who have used the products that originated from this eye-catching, yet unassuming succulent. Its fleshy leaves hold nourishing properties that facilitate the healing and improvement of many skin-related ailments and even blue-bottle stings.
  • Baobab Tree – The iconic Baobab Tree is a familiar site in hot, dry lowland areas of Africa. Resembling an ‘upside down tree’ (also referring to its common name), with the branches looking like roots, Baobab provides food, water and fibre but also has medicinal uses. The young leaves are used in cooking or to treat fever. The stringy fibres of the bark are used to make ropes, paper and are woven into fabrics, while emergency water is retrieved from the branches and trunk. The powdery fruit mass is a natural source of calcium (Ca), contains magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) and B-complex vitamins and makes a drink high in vitamin C.
  • Camphor Bush – Camphor bush, is also known as African wild sage or ‘vaalbos’ (Afrikaans). Its name refers to the strong camphor smell of the leaves. Farmers in the North West province of South Africa use the young leaves of camphor bush in a feed mix due to its relative high protein content. Camphor bush helps treat fevers, wounds and cuts and acts as a natural preservative when added to body and skin care formulations. Inhaling smoke from burning Camphor bush leaves can clear blocked sinuses and headaches, while the leaves treat coughs, toothache, bronchitis and abdominal pains.

The Granny Mouse team do offer this disclaimer: Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.