Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Game viewing on horseback

GUESTS visiting any of the lodges in the Kapama, Thornybush and Timbavati reserves can now combine their stay with the experience of game viewing on horseback. Wildlife Encounters has launched River Horse Safaris, offering guests the opportunity to ride along side herds of impala, giraffe and other animals in the bush.

Guided outrides of one to two hours are available every morning and afternoon with arranged transfers from surrounding lodges. Guests can extend their visit in the bush with the overnight option, which includes an afternoon and morning outride, choosing to stay at the main camp or the specially constructed hideout with adjacent paddock.

Walking Safari's in Madikwe Game Reserve

TUNINGI Safari Lodge has finally announced the introduction of walking safaris in the Madikwe Game Reserve.
"After two years of dreadful, endless paperwork, we have finally received gun licenses for the lodge," says a spokesperson for the property, explaining that this means it can now offer walks in the bush.
The walks are not meant for guests to go chasing the biggest and most dangerous animals; the walks give guides a chance to showcase the smaller things in the wild.

"They will teach you how to track an animal and how to identify a poisonous plant and how to make a toothbrush in the veld. They will find birds' nests and eggs, rhino scrubbing posts and teach you about the termite mounds. The knowledge they have to share with you is endless!"

By law, children are not permitted to go on the walks because the reserve is a dangerous Big Five area. Instead they will be entertained back at the lodge with various activities such as t-shirt painting, treasure hunts and clay moulding among others.

A walk in the bush is the only way to really experince the African bush, to become "one" with the bush.

Definitive African Expreince

MALAMALA and Mashatu camps have launched a combination package called the Definitive African Experience. Guests will spend two nights at MalaMala followed by three nights at Mashatu Game Reserve. Included is the flight between the two reserves.
The package includes en-suite accommodation, all meals and snacks, game drives in open four wheel drive safari vehicles and a choice of one adventure or research activity at Mashatu which will be either a cycling or walking safari, a predator or ivory drive or a star gazing bush dinner. The itineraries will operate weekly, and are based on a minimum of two confirmed guests.

The two lodges compliment each other and it is a great mixture to allow guests to experience two different parts of Southern Africa. Malamala is situated in the world renowned Sabie Sands Reserve which borders on the Kruger National Park, Mashatu is in the Tuli block on the south eastern tip of Botswana and has a variety of biospheres from open plains, wetlands, forests and riverine areas.

Both lodges offer excellent game viewing opportunities. Contact Go Safari for more details

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We are delighted to offer a complimentary night at Ulusaba for arrivals between 2nd January and 31st March 2009.

Stay 4 nights at Ulusaba for the price of 3! or, stay a little longer and...
Stay 5 nights for the price of 4! or, stay even longer and ...
Stay 7 nights for the price of 5!
Between the 2nd January and the 31st December 2009 up to two children under the age of 12 years travelling with one or more adults can stay at Rock Lodge at no extra charge.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Canoe the Zambezi & visit Victoria Falls

Special offer for January 2009

Explore the upper Zambezi River on a canoe and overnight in the bush for a night. Round off the trip with a visit to Victoria Falls and enjoy some of the many activities on offer.

5 day package from R5 894.00 pps ex JHB (Add R1 225 airline charges. Total R7119.00)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The world is indeed going through some significant change to shed the excesses of the past, and there are lot of doomsday profits jumping on the bandwagon. The communists are having a field day on their soap boxes ridiculing the global capitalist failures ; well I say hindsight is an exact science! There is no perfect system and the world economy will recover from this temporary setback. People will adapt because they have to; it is as simple as that, but they will certainly not stop smelling the flowers! South Africa is such a great and affordable destination that I have to spread the ''gospel''.

Where else can you have a great Kudu steak and top quality wine for less than $10 each! There is a package for every conceivable budget! All travel professionals will sharpen their pencils during the next 12-18 months. I can guarantee they will offer you better deals! Every market operates on supply and demand, and this oversupply of tourism products will decrease prices significantly. Five star hotels in South Africa are dropping their prices! If you have a burning desire to experience an African Safari it is the time to start planning your trip. Most people outside the industry do not know that it is possible to have a great Safari at 5 star lodges that charge a 1/3 less than the so-called high end establishments. Select your vacation months carefully to get the best deals. Peak season travel is not necessary when visiting South Africa, where you have great weather for 10 months of the year. The period between peak and winters months are best for good deals. The northern Safari regions are even accessible during the colder months of winter - May, June and July. Day time temperatures are quite good!(20 to 25 Deg.C).

The best advise I can give is to do more homework before you travel to a destination; speak to someone who has been there and don't leave it all to the local travel agent. They often do not know a particular market and then find a local expert to prepare a travel package. Guess how many layers of commission you are paying for then? Local experts will put a complete tailored(4*+) package together for as little as $200 -250 per person (including accommodation, transport, taxes, services of a driver and some meals). Your dollar buys a lot more in this emerging market where the currency weakened significantly as a result of the credit crunch fallout!.

The Internet is a great tool for research and there are millions of honest business people advertising their services. Doing a quick credibility check is also easy when finding a South African travel service provider. The best tour operators will give you detailed feedback without expecting anything in return. Only when conditions of sale have been met will they expect a small deposit, which will leave you with months to save for the rest of your vacation. Plan your trip at least 6-12 months in advance. That way you are able to find the best possible deal while putting money away on a monthly basis for your trip.

Happy Travels

Tertius - New Fusion

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kruger National Park Safaris

Go Safari offer a variety of top class guided and self drives tours to the Kruger National Park. With a mixture from a 3 day self drive safari staying in the Kruger National Park to a fly in safari to one of the world class five star lodges there is a Kruger Park Safari for everyones budget.

The safaris vary from 3 to 7 days and can included two to three different camps and private lodges adjoining the Kruger Park and even include different parkd like Mashatu in Botswana and the Kruger Park in South Africa. The options for a customized safari are endless and the drive one way and fly back safari's, honeymoon safari's and walking safari's are very popular.

For a dream safari to one of the best safari areas in the world contact Glen at Go Safari and they will assist you put this together. info@gosafari.co.za

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Go Safari wins award

At a glittering SATSA - Gauteng Chapter - year end awards lunch held at the stunning Kloofzicht Lodge in the Cradle of Humankind on the 28th November 2008, Go Safari won the "Members of the Year" award.
Congratulations Glen & Susan!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

UK paper readers vote Cape Town “Best World City”

The Telegraph Travel Awards for 2008 were released today and New Zealand, Australia and South Africa were voted the readers’ “favourite destinations on earth”; while their favourite cities were voted as Cape Town, San Francisco, Sydney and Vancouver.

The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town was named one of the favourite city hotels in the world to visit.

More than 25,000 readers were polled in Britain’s biggest survey of travel habits and an overwhelming 92 per cent of them maintain that the financial crisis will not affect their choice of holiday destinations. 96 per cent of the readers polled refuse to downgrade their holiday accommodation.

The readers’ favourite destinations (outside of Europe) can be identified as ones where the pound has strengthened against the respective foreign currencies in the past year (the Australian and New Zealand dollars, and the South African rand).

The Telegraph readers’ holiday budget remains high – more than half of the readers polled spent more than £1,000 (R15,220) on their last holiday: one in six spent between £2,500 (R38,000) and £5,000 (R76,000) and one in twenty spent more than £5,000 (R76,000).

“As Britain enters a new winter of discontent, taking a break may never feel more needed, but the value for money it provides will be scrutinised like never before,” said Charles Starmer-Smith. “This is why, during belt-tightening times, readers return to destinations they know – namely, the English-speaking former colonies.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

President Thabo Mbeki resigns

President Thabo Mbeki has thanked South Africans for giving him the opportunity to serve them over the past 14 years, first as Deputy President and then as President of the country.
Mbeki formally resigned as President on Sunday after being asked to do so by the national executive committee of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
In a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, Mbeki said he departed the office knowing that South Africa had many men and women who had dedicated their lives to ensuring that the country, Africa and the countries of the south would, in time, create a better world for all of humanity.
Mbeki said goodbye to the nation in all 11 official languages, and also offered hope for the future.
"Gloom and despondency have never defeated adversity. Trying times need courage and resilience. Our strength as a people is not tested during the best of times," Mbeki said.
"We should never become despondent because the weather is bad, nor should we turn triumphalist because the sun shines."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Disney sends tours to SA

Adventures by Disney, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that plans guided family vacations to various countries around the world, has decided to add South Africa as one of its eight new destinations to visit in 2009/2010.

The 12-day, 11-night safari to South Africa includes four nights in Cape Town, a four-night stay in the Garden Route towns of George and Knysna and three nights at Kapama Game Reserve next door to the Kruger National Park.

South Africa Tourism is excited by the prospect of more US tourists visiting the country. Chief marketing officer, Roshene Singh, says: “The US market is SA Tourism’s second largest source market and we are delighted that this initiative will bring more Americans to our shores.”

The Disney package offers a variety of activities, including visits to national icons such as Table Mountain and historical sites such as Castle of Good Hope, shopping at Greenmarket Square in Cape Town, wine tasting at Spier Winery, cooking classes in Stellenbosch, whale watching in Hermanus, visits to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden sanctuary and Featherbed Nature Reserve in Knysna, as well as game drives and bush walks at Kapama Game Reserve and numerous other activities.

Monday, September 15, 2008

THUNDER City at Cape Town International Airport has added a fully rebuilt Puma helicopter to its collection of heritage aircraft, which is the largest civilian-owned collection of ex-military jets in the world.

Thunder City is a special tourist attraction in that aviation enthusiasts from all over the world come here to fly the world’s last four flying English Electric Lightnings and three BAE Buccaneers, plus seven Hawker Hunters and a Strikemaster.

Newly appointed Thunder City ceo, Emilio Titus, says: “Our vision is to grow the market globally for passengers flying in our supersonic jets, as well as the modernisation programme for Puma helicopters. While we have a well-established market in the UK, Europe and the USA, I plan to expand our markets in the Middle East, Asia, Canada and Brazil.”
Story by: Hilka Birns

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Singita voted world's best hotel again !!

The Singita Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park was recently named the Best Hotel in the world in the 2008 Travel + Leisure Magazine's World Best Awards, making it the only hotel to win the accolade three times in the 13 year history of the awards.
Singita came second in last year's rankings but earned first place honours in 2004 and 2006.

The World's Best Award winners are determined through an online poll where globe trotters are asked to score a range of tourism companies and destinations based on their recent travel experiences. In the 2008 awards, Singita achieved an overall score of 94.2, for its "exceptionally well-designed lodges deep in the African bush."Other key features of Singita that were highlighted by Travel + Leisure include Singita's 14 000 bottle wine cellar, cuisine and "service that set the gold standard for bush luxury".

Despite their luxury rooms and facilities and unique bush experiences, Group Manager Mark Whitney attributes the hotel's success to the people who work there. "When we look at feedback from our guests, 90% of the time they write about the people who work here. It's our culture of service and the authenticity of our service that people remember." Whitney believes that Singita's success in the global tourism industry bodes well for South Africa. "[The global recognition] is remarkably good news for a small place on the southern end of the continent, that doesn't get a lot of good press."

Other South African hotels that featured in this year's Top 20 are Sabi Sabi Game Reserve (8) and the Cape Grace (20), while Bangkok was voted the world's best city and Virgin America, the world's best domestic airline. Singita will be presented with their award at a ceremony in New York on the 24th of July.

For a full list of winners visit: http://www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2008/

Article curtsy of http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My South Africa.

CNN International has joined up with South African Tourism (SA Tourism) in a bid to raise South Africa’s profile for CNN`s business and leisure travel audience ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
The three-year partnership launches this month with the creation of a website, mysouthafrica.tv, which forms part of the "My South Africa" brand campaign.The campaign will encourage CNN viewers worldwide to create their own page on the website, upload photographs, videos and stories that encapsulate their experiences of South Africa.By doing so, they stand a chance of winning a trip to South Africa.

As well as the competition mechanism, the online destination will host a picture gallery where visitors can rate each other’s entries and sign up for a monthly newsletter and quarterly virtual magazine."Our decision to embark on this campaign with CNN is informed by our determination, both to differentiate South Africa from competitor destinations and to entrench our excellent arrivals growth," said Roshene Singh, chief marketing officer at SA Tourism.
The tourism body aims to welcome 10-million visitors to South Africa in 2010 and feels it is well on its way to achieving its goal after receiving a little over nine million visitors in 2007.

An SA Tourism banner campaign will run across the My South Africa website. Print advertising will comprise a run of ad placements in CNN Traveller magazine, connecting with travellers across the globe.The My South Africa brand campaign will also be promoted via a push to blog sites and chat rooms, as well as social networking sites Facebook and Flickr, and CNN will produce a series of "call-to-action" television spots, the first featuring acclaimed music artist Yvonne Chaka Chaka, to entice viewers to the website

Saturday, July 5, 2008

South Africa's Wildlife Wonders

Cities have grown, much land has been given over to farming, hunting has wiped out entire herds, and the times when a herd of springbok could take days to pass through a Karoo town are long past.
Yet, thanks to the foresight of conservationists past and present, South Africa remains blessed with abundant wildlife.
Best known are the mammals, and the best known of these are the famous Big Five: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Not that giraffe, hippo or whale are small ...
South Africa's bushveld and savannah regions are still home to large numbers of the mammals universally associated with Africa. The Kruger National Park alone has over 9 000 elephants and 20 000 buffaloes - in 1920 there were an estimated 120 elephants left in the whole of South Africa.
The white rhino has also been brought back from the brink of extinction and now flourishes with a Kruger population of nearly 3 000 and 1 600 in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Attention now is on protecting the black rhino.
Both these parks are home to all five of the big ones, as are other major reserves in South Africa - such as Pilanesberg in North West - and numerous smaller reserves and private game lodges.

The big cats
The lion tops the food chain - and the glamour stakes. But it does have one formidable enemy in people, who have expelled it from most of the country so that it now remains almost exclusively in conservation areas.
The beautiful leopard survives in a larger area, including much of the southern Cape and far north of the country, although numbers are small in some places.
The third of the famous big cats is particularly fascinating. The cheetah is the speed champ, capable of dashes of almost 100 kilometres an hour. However, vulnerable to the loss of cubs to other predators, the cheetah's population is comparatively small and confined mostly to the far north (including the Kruger National Park), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, and reserves in KwaZulu-Natal and North West.

Lesser known wildlife
Other quintessentially African large animals are the hippo, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest (the famous gnu) and zebra, all frequently seen in South Africa's conservation areas.
Heightened awareness, however, has created an increased appreciation of lesser known animals. A sighting of the rare tsessebe, a relative of the wildebeest, may cause as much excitement as the sight of a lion pride stretched out under a bushveld thorn tree. And while one can hardly miss a nearby elephant, spotting the shy little forest-dwelling suni (Livingstone's antelope) takes sharp eyes and is cause for self-congratulation.
On the really small scale, one could tackle the challenge of ticking off each of South Africa's seven species of elephant shrew - a task that would take one all over the country and, probably, a long time to accomplish.

Over 200 mammal species
With well over 200 species, a short survey of South Africa's indigenous mammals is a contradiction in terms. A few examples will help to indicate the range.
In terms of appeal, primates rate highly. In South Africa they include the nocturnal bushbabies, vervet and samango monkeys, and chacma baboons.
Dassies - hyraxes, residents of rocky habitats - and meerkats - suricates, familiar from their alert upright stance - have tremendous charm.
The secretive nocturnal aardvark (which eats ants and is the only member of the order Tubulidentata) and the aardwolf (which eats termites and is related to the hyaena) are two more appealing creatures, and both are found over virtually the whole of the country.
One mammal whose charm is newly acquired is the wild dog or Cape hunting dog, one of the most endangered mammals in Africa. Once erroneously reviled as indiscriminate killers but now appreciated both for their ecological value and for the remarkably caring family behaviour in the pack, wild dogs require vast territories. A single pack needs on average several hundred square kilometres.
They are found in small numbers in the Kruger National Park and environs, northern KwaZulu-Natal (including the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park), the Kalahari, and the Madikwe reserve in North West province.
More common canine carnivores are the hyaena, jackal and bat-eared fox. Besides those already mentioned, felines include the caracal with its characteristic tufted ears, the African wild cat and the rare black-footed cat. Other flesh eaters include the civet, genet and several kinds of mongoose.
The plant eaters are particularly well represented by various antelope, from the little duiker to the large kudu and superbly handsome sable antelope, which is found only in the most northerly regions.
Mammals take to the air, too: South Africa is well endowed with bat species.

The crocodile ... and other reptiles
Less generously endowed with freshwater fish - 112 named species, a mere 1.3% of the world total - South Africa nonetheless has one river-dweller that is, as much as any of the Big Five, a symbol of Africa. The crocodile still rules some stretches of river and estuary, lakes and pools, exacting an occasional toll in human life.
Other aquatic reptiles of note are the sea-roaming loggerhead and leatherback turtles, the focus of a major community conservation effort at their nesting grounds on the northern KwaZulu-Natal shoreline.
South Africa's land reptiles include rare tortoises and the fascinating chameleon. There are well over 100 species of snake. While about half of them, including the python, are non-venomous, others - such as the puffadder, green and black mamba, boomslang and rinkhals - are decidedly so.
The country's comparative dryness accounts for its fairly low amphibian count - 84 species. To make up for that, however, South Africa boasts over 77 000 species of invertebrates.

Birders from around the world come to South Africa to experience the country's great variety of typically African birds, migrants, and endemics (those birds found only in South Africa).
Of the 850 or so species that have been recorded in South Africa, about 725 are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near-endemic.
Apart from the resident birds, South Africa hosts a number of intra-African migrants such as cuckoos and kingfishers, as well as birds from the Arctic, Europe, Central Asia, China and Antarctica during the year.
South Africa's birdlife ranges from the ostrich - farmed in the Oudtshoorn district of the Western Cape, but seen in the wild mostly in the north of the country - through such striking species as the hornbills to the ubiquitous LBJs (Little Brown Jobs).
A birder need not move out of a typical Gauteng garden to spot grey loeries, mousebirds, hoopoes, hadeda ibises, crested and black-collared barbets, Cape whiteyes, olive thrushes ... or a lone Burchell's coucal poking clumsily around a tree. And that would by no means complete the list.
Among the most spectacular birds of South Africa are the cranes, most easily spotted in wetlands - although the wattled crane is a lucky find as it is extremely uncommon. The beautiful blue crane is South Africa's national bird; the crowned crane is probably the flashiest of the three with its unmistakable prominent crest.
Among its larger bird species, South Africa also has several eagles and vultures. Among its most colourful are kingfishers, bee-eaters, sunbirds, the exquisite lilacbreasted roller, and the Knysna and purple-crested louries.

Source: SouthAfrica.info The all-in-one official guide and web portal to South Africa.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tswalo reopened.

After a month of extensive refurbishments we are delighted to announce the reopening of Tswalu. All interiors have been beautifully redesigned by Cecile and Boyd and
offer guests absolute luxury in the Kalahari. Guests can expect the softest Polish linen, awesome extended raised decks overlooking the endless plains. Soft, organic interiors reflecting the light, colours and textures of the Kalahari and the same Relais & Chateaux luxury, magnificent sunsets, stars and horizons that Tswalu is all about.

The lodge is now open and looking forward to welcoming you
For reservations and enquiries please contact us on

Monday, June 2, 2008

A House for Hippo's ?

Ulusaba, Richard Branson's luxury camp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve adjoining the Kruger National Park has a brand new tree house styled suite at Safari Lodge called Mpfuvu House!

The Mpfuvu House suite (pronounced ‘mp-foo-vu’ which is the Shangaan word for Hippopotamus) is perfect for those looking for a little more privacy and seclusion. Located just 15 minutes walk along a raised canopy walkway from Safari Lodge, the new suite offers excellent views of Xikwenga Dam, where hippos and elephants come to bathe.

This stunning suite features a King Size bed cocooned in a luxurious mosquito net, spacious lounge including a sofa bed, dining area for up to 4 guests and a private viewing deck. The lavish en-suite bathroom, complete with oversized bath, separate shower and his- and hers- vanities, has floor to ceiling windows for panoramic views over the bush.

Inside there are all the usual creature comforts, including a full in-room bar, tea and coffee making facilities, plus torches and ponchos to keep guests warm when walking to and from the Lodge.

Beyond the entrance to the suite is another small bridge to the ‘Mpfuvu Lounge’. This beautiful open air viewing deck is the perfect place for sundowners complete with lounges, viewing stools and a large dining area for up 20 guests. Binoculars are available as well as a self-service bar.

The Mpfuvu House will open for bookings on Monday 2nd June 2008, with arrivals from the 1st July 2008 priced at R7800 per person per night.

Contact Go Safari at info@gosafari.co.za

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tourism Industry - business as usual

It is important that we as an industry speak as one on this topic, and as often as possible, to the outside world, our overseas tour operators, and our customers. The positive message that must go out is this – that the South African tourism industry is very much open for business. We are all conducting business as usual, obviously with a special regard to client safety. The current unrest has been very localised and restricted to very limited and specific areas; mainstream tourism areas (including all airports) have NOT been affected, and it is very unlikely they will be either. It is still safe to visit South Africa, with our vast array of attractions, wildlife and scenic beauty; and we all stand ready to welcome our guests with open arms. There is no need for anyone to cancel any tourism activity. It would be sensible for us all to proceed cautiously, and keep informed on a daily basis regarding developments. In particular it would be sensible to proceed with caution with regard to township activities, and be sensitive to local developments. Whilst this xenophobia violence is a serious crisis, there is quite simply no need for blind panic and total doom and gloom in the tourism sector. And you can be confident in advising your partners and customers accordingly. Please actively go out and communicate this as widely as possible.

It would be a huge tragedy if all the hard work that has gone into marketing South Africa in recent years was to go to waste. Tourism interest in South Africa is definitely on the up, as evidenced by a great Indaba last week.

Michael Tatalias CEO - Southern African Tourist Services Association

Monday, May 19, 2008


Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town’s most iconic luxury hotel, outshone its competitors last week by winning not one, but two of the world’s most sought after travel accolades. Voted ‘Africa’s Leading Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2008 The world’s top travel and trade industry professionals agree that Mount Nelson Hotel is Africa’s leading hotel. Now in its 15th year, the World Travel Awards is often referred to as ‘the travel industry’s Oscar’s’. 165 000 travel agents and industry professionals from over 200 countries cast their votes online, and for the first time ever, a glittering gala ceremony was held in Durban last week to acknowledge, honour and promote organisations who have made the greatest contributions and innovations to tourism and travel throughout Africa. The event culminated in the announcement of the winner of the ‘Best Hotel in Africa’ award.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beautiful South Africa

The USA might have the longest mountain range, the deepest canyon, the tallest tree, the hugest plain. There is snow, desert and sea. But these attractions are several days journey apart, unmanageably large and difficult to get to. In South Africa we have all of these things, and you can see several of them in one day.

Scotland has castles, Germany has beer, England has countryside, Italy has ruins, France has, well, frogs, Austria has hills, India has curry, Thailand has beaches, Greece has islands, Australia has reefs, Kenya has animals. South Africa has all of these – and usually in the same place.

And often we overlook just how beautiful these attractions are. It is only when you look at a topographical map that you realise that the southern Cape coastline is actually a series of delicate mountain ranges marching along the coast and trailing their tails in the sea. The road between Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay goes over the top of a number of river gorges of deep mysterious grey rock with shy ferns at the bottom. All you ever see of them is a gap on the side of the road, a glimpse of stone, and a patch of bridge. From the bottom, however, they are so gorgeous that – if they were anywhere else on earth – they would be international beauty spots with hot dog stands, postcard kiosks and curio shops selling tins of air.

Then there is the amazing Karoo. My most enduring travel memory is driving to Grahamstown from Kimberley on an early winter misty morning. The sun was rising and as we came over a hill just after Smithfield, the huge flat plain in front of us was a sea of pale pink mist, shot through with gold, with koppies rising out like enchanted islands, stretching off into the unimaginable distance. We were all so captivated by the sight that our driver narrowly avoided leaving the road to wipe out the Karoo’s only tree.

Of course, this is just on the surface. The country underground is writhing with undiscovered fossils, which very few people know about but which get palaeontologists into an ecstatic froth. And where there are fossils, there are thick and abundant seams of precious metals, stones and other Aladdin’s-cave-type goodies.

On the fauna and flora front, we have the flowers and the fluffies. And I’m not talking about the large obvious ones, I’m talking about the ones you have to get down on your hands and knees to see. Usually you have to be nimble and quick because whatever you are getting close to is likely to slither off if you take too long.

Our natural features are just wonderful. They are not as big as the Rockies (thank goodness) and they are not as tiny as the European lakes (which always make me nervous when I cruise on them in case I inadvertently pull out the plug). The best, of course, are the lesser known ones: the unexpected little waterfall, the beautifully-decorated Ndebele hut in the middle of nowhere, the strange knuckles of rock that don’t appear to have a name.
Story by: Niki Moore

What is there to do in Jozi?

Johannesburg, affectionately known as Jozi or Joburg has always been a vibrant place since its inception more than a hundred years ago. The City of gold is not normally the number one South African tourist attraction, but it is the number port of entry!
Most of people use it as a transit venue en-route to a Safari or Cape Town trip. People are often ''trapped'' in Jozi while waiting for local and International connecting flights.

What do you do in Jozi during this time do you ask?Well there are quite a few places to visit in this supposed concrete jungle (Psst....this is the city in the world with the highest number of trees per area of measurement)! Personally I love Johannesburg pulsating beat and lifestyle.

Start with a trip to Soweto to see the biggest township (what african areas were called during apartheid rule) ; visit Gold Reef city and go down this old mine to see how gold was mined here decades back.
The Cradle of Human Kind is situated in the North Western area of Gauteng near Sterkfontein caves, where you can trace the origin of our early human ancestors. See the skull of Mrs. Pless at Maropeng.
The Magalies Meander is a ''locals'' route that can keep one occupied for a whole day, but added to the visit to Maropeng, there will be ample time to try the cheese board at Van Gaalen's original Dutch Cheese Farm.
The Rhino & Lion Park will provide enough of a thrill for those with a few hours to spare, wishing to escape busy airports and city areas.Top the day off with a visit to Lesedi traditional village for a dose of African culture, food and dancing. Visit the sample Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu villages. Do try the tribal dances!

Alternatively start the morning drifting high above the Magaliesburg area in one of Bill Harrop's original balloon Safaris.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tourism Growth in South Africa

International tourism to South Africa has surged since the end of apartheid. In 1994, the year of South Africa's first democratic elections, only 3.9-million foreign visitors arrived in the country.
By 2004, international arrivals had more than doubled to 6.7-million. In 2005 they grew to 7.5-million (+10.3%), in 2006 to 8.4-million (+13.9%), and in 2007 to 9.07-million (+8.3%).
Tourism is also one of the fastest growing sectors of South Africa's economy, its contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) increasing from 4.6% back in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006. Directly and indirectly, tourism constitutes approximately 7% of employment in South Africa.
And the outlook for the industry is extremely positive, particularly with the exposure the country will receive in the lead-up to the world's biggest sporting event, the Fifa World Cup, taking place in South Africa in 2010.

South Africa attracted over 22 000 more travellers from the US in 2007 - an 8.7% increase over 2006.
Arrivals from Asia and Australasia also grew strongly in 2007 compared to 2006, with a 16.9% increase from India, 12.9% increase from China, and 6.9% increase in visitors from Australasia