Teleki commemorative plaque on Kilimanjaro

Sámuel Teleki started his first expedition in February 1887. With that, he was the first to explore the Greater Fissile Valley and reached the snowy border of Kilimanjaro. On the same expedition, he was the first to conquer Mount Kenya. During this expedition, he reached the Teleki volcano named after him, which, according to the discoverer, was still in operation when the expedition discovered the place.

The success of the Teleki expedition is announced on the Kilimanjaro site by a plaque. The sign, at 5200 meters, commemorates the fact that Samuel Teleki was not only the first who reached the snow border on Kilimanjaro, but later he returned to try climbing the mountain, which was an extremely risky venture under the climbing conditions of his age. The mountain has been a World Heritage Site since 1978.

Count Sámuel Teleki was born in 1845 into a noble family. From an early age, he showed great interest in geography, geology, and astronomy. He had already been thinking of an African voyage with promising and longer hunting trip and safari, according to the traditions of the time. Under the influence of the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, he decided to lead expeditions to Africa instead of safaris in order to reach a mythical lake, which legends have told us.

The expedition from Pangani finally reached the shores of the legendary lake, which Samuel Teleki named after the heir to the throne, Rudolf Lake. The lake was renamed Lake Turkana in 1975 from local tribes, and since 1997 it has been a World Heritage Site. After the discovery of the lake, the expedition turned south, where Teleki discovered what has since been called the Teleki Volcano. Teleki was the first explorer to lead an expedition to unexplored parts of Africa.


South Africa – Pongrácz Champagne

South Africa is not only famous for its diamonds, but also for its grapes, wines and sparkling wines produced there. If you visit the Stellenbosch wine region, you may come across a Hungarian name.

Pongrácz Champagne is the most famous and one of the most popular champagne brands in the country. It was named after Dezső Pongrácz: a Hungarian nobleman, an outstanding figure in South Africa’s wine and sparkling wine industry.

Dezső Pongrácz, or as he is known in South Africa: Desiderius Pongracz, fought as a soldier in World War II. After World War II, he was captured by Russia, where he spent more than 10 years in a labor camp. After the labor camp, he returned to Hungary for a while, but after the outbreak of the revolution of 1956, he reached the African country on his adventurous journey.

After arriving in South Africa, he began working on farms and then climbed up the ladder until he had acclimatized there such popular species like Chardonnay, Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.

He also dealt with wine and sparkling wine from a scientific point of view, and has published many studies and books throughout his life, and is still regarded by many as the founders of South African sparkling wine. At the age of 61, he died in a car accident while delivering wine to a friend.