We just returned from South Africa and had a wonderful time: at Cape Town, at Reilly’s Rock and especially at Arathusa. Thank you very much for your advice and assistance. We were particularly pleased that we had an opportunity to visit Reilly’s Rock, certainly a special place.
I will not hesitate to send friends your way when they consider a trip to South Africa.
As we all know, the beautiful game, the greatest sporting attraction in the world, takes place from the 11th June to the 11th July 2010 in South Africa. Accommodation at this time is understandably very scarce and is at a premium, with thousands of fans flocking to our shores to witness this sporting spectacle. We have secured some very limited accommodation that is available for this period, and we are able to offer the following dates for our 3-day Beautiful Game Tour, these dates being:
10 to 12 June
17 to 19 June
24 to 26 June
26 to 28 June
2 to 4 July
8 to 10 July
The itinerary for this 3 day tour for any of the above dates:
Day 1 – Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park (Dinner)
We will collect you after your breakfast from your hotel in Durban and travel along the scenic DolphinCoast and into rural Zululand, directly to the “big 5” Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park where we will spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in a brick under thatch chalet, each bedroom with its own private bathroom/wash-basin and toilet. Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge.
Our game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates into the park.
This first evening we go on a night drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organization that is tasked with running this reserve. Here we hope to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard, which are always difficult to find, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the owls and nightjars. You also get the chance to see some of the diurnal animals, such as impala, nyala, giraffe, zebra, etc.
Day 2 – Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon one of the predators returning to their day-time lair. This is the game reserve famous for "Operation Rhino" which brought the white rhino back from the brink of extinction. Now you should see just how successful KZN Wildlife has been in this endeavor.
Sightings of rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, and antelope such as impala, nyala and kudu are seen frequently and with the possibility of seeing lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, black rhino, hippo, crocodile, monitor lizard, hyena and antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently. These drives are conducted with your guide in his/her vehicle, making the most of the limited time available.
Day 3 – St. Lucia, Durban (Breakfast)
This morning we depart the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park after breakfast and make our way to the village of St. Lucia where we board a boat for a two hour cruise on the lake in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are guaranteed to see hippos, with a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and a vast array of bird-life. After our two-hour cruise and lunch in the village we make our way back to Durban, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
The tariff for this tour is R7230 per person sharing, and this includes transport to and from Durban, accommodation, one night drive, all game drives with your guide, entry fee, conservation levy, all transport in an vehicle, those meals as indicated, i.e. dinner on day one, breakfast and dinner on day two and breakfast on day three, one boat cruise on Lake St. Lucia and the services of a full time guide. Excluded will be your drinks, telephone calls, personal purchases, etc.
For Bookings please visit our web site http://www.zululandreservations.co.za/The_Beautiful_Game_Tour_2010.asp
At the end of July 2009, Lana and I visited a number of venues in the KrugerPark area.
We were invited to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve by Lion Sands. A truly lovely venue sited on the banks of the SabiRiver, the only Lodge in the Sabi Sand to have such access to this river.
Three lovely camps offering a range of services and prices from River Lodge to the very up-market Ivory Lodge and then the exclusive 1933.
River Lodge where we stayed has;a private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, 2 swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird hide, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, a conference room, Lalamuka Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air (Boma) dining area.
There are 18 luxurious thatched bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, outdoor & inside shower & wooden viewing deck. The bedroom area is air-conditioned with an overhead fan. All rooms have mini-bar & telephone access. The rooms are linked to all areas by raised wooden walkways.
The international award winning Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is ultra luxurious, and quite minimalistic. The public areas at Ivory Lodge offers guests the following: a private bar with fireplace, a library lounge , well stocked wine cellar, wooden viewing decks, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, Lalamuka Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air Boma dining area.
The Lodge comprises six privately situated villas, each with a separate living room, heated swimming pool and an open plan en-suite bathroom with an enclosure for the outdoor shower. These units are very spacious. The SabieRiver, which flows all year, is right there infront of the villa. Well sited to view the veriety of game that comes to drink.
This venue has four spacious suites, each with their own private view of the SabieRiver. The bathrooms have double vanity units, bath and outdoor showers. There is also a childrens dormitory, able to sleep up to 8 children, with his and hers bathroom and an interleading bedroom for an au-pair.
A gracious home away from home – with a few added luxuries, including your own private chef and ranger, with the exclusive use of a 4x4 Landrover for safari game drives.
To view Photos of our trip to Lion Sands Click here
Clients of ours saw a leopard today in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park -- Yay Haven't seen one for some time and there is certainly no guarantee that even on a 4 or 5 night visit, that this elusive cat will be sighted anywhere, roaming free within KwaZulu-Natal. So sad then, to read Tony Carnie's, front page of the Mercury article this morning. Here one fellow has amassed some 150 leopard skins from possibly within KwaZulu-Natal Province over the past few years. That is devastating. That is just one person, there are then the annual permits issued to hunt leopard and the "permission to destroy" a problem leopard permits, then other poachers, accidents? This over and above the survival problem the animals have with habitat degradation, disease, competition mortalities caused by other predators and so on. We have some of the finest protected areas in South Africa with incredible biodiversity. So many of our protected areas claim to be Big 5 Game Reserves. I am afraid we are not presenting the true picture here. Too many of our clients have been disappointed at the end of their holidays in KwaZulu-Natal, due to not seeing all of these high profile animals, invariably, it is the leopard that is missing from the list. Certainly there are arguments against prioritising the Big 5, but tell that to a foreign visitor, who will for sure be asked if he saw them all, on his return to his friends and family. This "Brag line" is now too well entrenched in the wildlife industry worldwide. There is a very different story for the Kruger Park area and especially within the Sabi Sand Game reserve properties. I was there last week and within a few days had seen 8 different leopard and many of them more than once - and close. The Big Five on virtually every game drive and certainly every day on the two drives. I confidently send clients to that area knowing that they should return home smiling. This could be the case here in KwaZulu-Natal as well - we need this province's authorities to turn this carnage of these protected species around. We do have leopard, but generally their ranges exceed the size of the protected areas in which they occur and extend into areas where they can be baited, shot or trapped. With immediate effect, hunting permits should no longer be issued and then the long hard battle vs the poachers should begin in ernest. Restrict the wearing of genuine leopard hide to Royalty and or those truly entitled to do so by rank. This hierarchy should determine and permit only those entitled to the privilege, to wear leopard skin - what a difference that would make. Take the 150 odd skins seized (as per Tony Carnie's report) have them properly cured and treated and stored by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for diligent sale to this Zulu elite. The value and significance of this badge of rank has been severely downgraded, what with even some cultural villages having their dancers thus attired! Capital should be made of this tragedy, Provincial coffers topped up from what should be a substantial return from these remains of the poached Leopard. Add value to the pelt, so that those entitled to were it may do so with pride, knowing that it had been sourced legally and cost a great deal of money. In turn the leopard population could increase in numbers and those that have become habituated to vehicular traffic, regularly seen. It's not too late but nearly so. Help to make KZN truly a Big 5 destination. Any ideas or insights? Should you wish to comment please send mail to email@example.com Regards Jeremy Williamson "I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference." -- Southern African Safari and accommodation reservations 477 Essenwood Road Durban KwaZulu-Natal 4001 Ph: +27 31 2083684 Fax: +27 31 2074700 Fax 2: +27 86 6844080 Web site: http://www.africasafari.co.za E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Experiences beyond expectation SATSA National Member No 560 -- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tourism KwaZulu-Natal We inform - communicate - network http://www.zulu.org.za 303 Tourist Junction 160 Pine Street Durban 4001 South Africa Beyond expectations ..... within your reach Tours and Advertising: email@example.com Info: http://www.africasafari.co.za/tournet for subscribe/unsubscribe instructions, archives, netiquette rules, membership listing, etc. Archive: http://www.africasafari.co.za/chat Admin: firstname.lastname@example.org
The "SA Tourism Update" Marketing Index released last week has indicated that established international tour operators fear a disrupted supply of product during the period of the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament next year and rate the introduction of carbon-neutral schemes less important than other issues such as solving the crime problem.
With less than a year left to go until the 2010 World Cup, responses from 280 tour operator respondents around the world regarding the major soccer tournament were interesting.
Results show that operators in the major source markets are fearful about the disrupted supply and displaced business they expect as a result of the event. Surprisingly only 56 % of SA-based operators thought the World Cup will be good for their business. This was the same as the percentage in Germany with the UK at 52 %. In the North American market 64 % of operators were actually negative and in the rest of Europe 66 % said it would not be good for their business.
The Marketing Index was conducted in association with Grant Thornton and SATSA. It covers twelve areas of interest to tourism suppliers engaged international marketing.
We are already experiencing difficulty with securing available accommodation during the World Cup period and what is more disappointing is how a few of our preferred venues have escalated tariffs beyone a reasonable margin. What really surprises me, is that even Provincial Government Departments with accommodation, have embraced this profiteering - they , at best, should be the ones setting an example by not inflating prices. What sort of signal are we going to give to the International Market ? What a perfect opportunity to show how inexpensive this "long haul" destination really is.
I have been plesantly surprised to find that a number of our preferred venues have not embraced 'Match" and have not increased their tariffs above their normal 2009 / 2010 normal increment, interestingly most are already nearly fully booked for this period - Good for them!!
Let's not miss or mess up one of the finest opportunities we have ever had to showcase our Country
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Uncharted Africa Safari co. is delighted to announce that Jack's Camp scooped four Good Safari Guide Awards at INDABA 2009! Jack's Camp, a subsidiary of Uncharted Africa Safari co. was voted by other tour operators as The Best Safari Camp in Southern Africa,Best Safari Camp in Africa, Best Safari Camp Guiding Team, and retained the Best Ecological Safari Camp award it won last year. We thank everyone for their much appreciated support, and we will continue providing all our Guests with what they never knew they wanted!
Tourism KwaZulu Natal's New Website, http://www.tourism-kzn.org is part of a joint partnership between various tourism authorities in South Africa, including Cape Town Routes Unlimited, Gauteng Tourism and Mpumalanga Tourism. "The core reasons for the partnerships are economies of scale and broader reach. We have been able to share much of the costs of the technology behind the site and realise that it will be mutually beneficial to promote the partners through each of our sites" says General Manager of Tourism Information Services at TKZN, James Seymour. The new site is based on an international system with the intention to make a destination management system that is more visually appealing and user-friendly. The site features real-time booking systems, Web 2.0 technology such as satellite and electronic maps, preference centre forms to capture contact details and needs of users into a customer relationship marketing database, and interactive media such as web cams and online videos. "The site has been a long time in development. The intention was to build a system that ensures tourism authorities in South Africa are aligned and operating on a higher level," says Seymour. Furture plans for the site include more Web 2.0 features such as blogs, more advanced real-time booking systems for all tourism services, shopping carts designed to tailor make packages, and an extensive network of touch screens to access portals. Credit: Tourism Update Mag May 2009
EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE MEDIA RELEASE No: 2009 - 05 2009 KZN WILDLIFE GAME AUCTION 16 May 2009 For Immediate release The 2009 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Game Auction, held at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World near Ballito, north of Durban on Saturday 16 May 2009, was a resounding success with the 1 625 animals on offer being sold for a total of R13.07 million. 20 blue wildebeest, 60 impala and 60 nyala came off the Makasa Community Conservation. The Auction was supported by 73 registered buyers and their families as well as interested members of the public and iNkosi Zwelinzima Gumede from the Makasa community neighbouring the Mkhuze Game Reserve. Top prices paid for various species were amongst others: White rhino:R405 000 Zebra: R5 300 Nyala: R13 000 Hippo: R38 000 Dassies: R520 “We are delighted with the excellent result of the 2009 Game Auction which has once again shown that the South African game industry appreciates the quality of the animals we offer,” said EKZNW CEO Dr Bandile Mkhize. “The benefits flowing from this event are many, and include a R13.07 million cash injection into our operating budget, and the dispersal of prime genetic material from our protected areas to private land holdings around South Africa,” he said. “This provides a bio-diversity conservation benefit as well as providing attractive animals for game viewing by eco-tourists,” he said. “I would like to thank the many buyers who supported our Game Auction and made it the great success it was,” said Dr Mkhize. Animals sold on the KZN Wildlife Game Auction are surplus to the needs of the many protected areas under the management of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The animals are captured by the EKZNW Game Capture Unit, arguably one of the top game capture units in the world and whose well-trained staff take extreme care about the welfare of the animals being caught. Credit: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
The reopening of Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, situated in the malaria-free PilanesbergNational Park, on May 1, after the devastating fire last year, was met with great jubilation from both staff, and guests who have made the lodge their holiday home over the last 25 years.
World Travel Awards - Africa 2009 It is with a great pleasure that we announce the winners of the 16th World Travel Awards, voted by travel agents worldwide. The 2009 World Travel Award Winners for Africa are:
The Good Safari Guide Awards - peer group recognition of outstanding achievements in the safari industry. The Good Safari Guide Award Ceremony 2009 The Gala Dinner took place at the Hilton Durban, on Friday 8th May 2009 (the first night of Indaba) at 7.30pm. During the evening the winners in 16 categories were announced:
The 2009 Award Results Best Safari Camp in Africa Winner Jack's Camp Best Safari Camp in Southern Africa Winner Jack's Camp
Nominees Amakhala Safari Lodge (RSA), Amakhosi Safari Lodge (RSA), Ants Hill (RSA), Ants Nest (RSA), Chiawa Camp (Zambia), Jack's Camp (Botswana), Kwando Lagoon (Botswana), Nkorho Bush Lodge (RSA), Notten's Camp (RSA), Royal Zambezi Lodge (Zambia), Samara Private Game Reserve (RSA), Singita Boulders Lodge
Best Safari Camp in Eastern AfricaWinner Elsa's Kopje
Thanda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal has taken top honours at the 15th annual World Travel Awards. At the glittering ceremony held in Durban last night, Thanda won esteemed awards for `South Africa´s Leading Safari Lodge´, and `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ for the third consecutive year. The awards were presented at the Africa Gala Ceremony during this year´s tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa. The evening was hosted by local celebrity MC and inspirational speaker Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon. Guests were entertained by Boney M´s Maizie Williams and South Africa´s all-girl electric string quartet Sterling EQ. Princess Nandi Zulu attended the event in support of Thanda. Managing Director of Thanda Private Game Reserve, and CEO of Thanda Group, Pierre Delvaux was thrilled with Thanda´s achievements, "It is with enormous pride, honour and humility that I accept these awards on behalf of Thanda Private Game Reserve, especially `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´, which has been awarded to us for the third year running. Although achieving awards for outstanding service and an amazing product has become synonymous with Thanda since its opening in 2004, we are forever mindful of the challenge of being able to maintain such standards and even higher expectations from guests and the trade alike. Competition is incredibly tough due to the number of world class destinations in Africa which means that we can never allow ourselves to become complacent. Essentially, what it amounts to is the experience that tour agents and operators and guests discover when they visit and stay at Thanda. I believe that service excellence is a state of mind, a consciousness that transcends formal hospitality training. This is what makes the difference: being able to anticipate what guests want. I would therefore like to thank the committed and passionate marketing and sales staff led by Anita Vernes as well as the dynamic and service-minded special staff at the lodge, led by GM Dr Tim Allen-Rowlandson. These are the magic people who make a difference and enable `team work to make the dream work´. I would lastly like to thank all the tour agents, operators and guests as well as Graham Cooke who leads the World Travel Awards and who oversees a distinguished international operation. I am truly grateful for all of their ongoing support." The World Travel Awards was established in 1994 to recognise and reward outstanding achievements within the global travel industry and the awards are endorsed by celebrities, travel trade and press from around the world. The awards have been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the `Oscars of the travel industry´, and winners are nominated by over 40 000 travel trade professionals world-wide. Thanda Private Game Reserve is currently the only game reserve in the world to hold Leading Hotels of the World status. Five-star facilities include the opulent main lodge, non-electrified tented camp, award-winning wellness centre, the cultural showcase Vula Zulu, as well the newly-introduced exclusive-use royal suite. Thanda´s World Travel Awards History: Winner of `Leading Safari in South Africa´ category in the 2006 World Travel Awards Winner of `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ in the 2007 World Travel Awards Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2008 World Travel Awards Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2009 World Travel Awards
From left: Miss South Africa 2009 Tatum Keshwar, Thanda MD Pierre Delvaux, Marketing Director Anita Vernes and GM Dr Tim Allen-Rowlandson.
The British and Irish Lions and the South African Rugby Union have agreed on a programme of ten matches for the 2009 Lions Tour to South Africa. The much-anticipated tour will include three Test matches against the Springboks. The Lions will play matches in seven cities over a period of six weeks. The tour schedule includes six weekend fixtures and four midweek matches. The Test matches against the Springboks are on 20th June in Durban, the 27th June in Pretoria and the 4th July in Johannesburg.
Book online at http://www.africasafari.co.za/British_Lions_rugby_tour_2009
Sat 30 May: Highveld XV, Rustenberg
Wed 3 Jun: Golden Lions, Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Sat 6 Jun: Cheetahs, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Wed 10 Jun: Sharks, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Sat 13 Jun: Western Province, Newlands, Cape Town
15/16 Jun: Coastal XV, Port Elizabeth
Sat 20 Jun: South Africa, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Tue 23 Jun: Emerging Springboks, Newlands, Cape Town
Sat 27 Jun: South Africa, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Sat 4 Jul: South Africa, Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
Do not miss out on the limited tours that we offer based around some of the matches in Rustenberg, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. We have already secured the accommodation for these tours and believe that these tours are unique to any other tours being offered around this very exciting series. Because of the great demand for accommodation and tours around this time, we will unfortunately only be able to reserve on a “first come, first served” basis, and will, also understandably, request an immediate 25% non-refundable deposit payment to secure your place on the tour of your choice. Tariffs are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) indicated as “R” and tariffs do not include lunches (except where specified), drinks, purchases, telephone calls, gratuities, etc. Transport will be in 8 or 12-seater mini-busses, with between four and six persons per vehicle, each vehicle with a qualified guide.