Thursday, November 10, 2011

Green Route Africa News

a)   Green Tribe News

Green Route Africa and their sister company Dragonfly Africa have been very busy over the last few months on some exciting Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

On a recent educational to Zambia, the delegates were so moved by the good work being done at Tujatane School that they decided to all contribute to the schooling costs of one of the children, Jasper.

The staff of Green Route are all furiously knitting colourful squares, which will all be combined to make blankets. These will be donated to Iliso, a local school in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

We recently ran a rather unique project called Hero’s Day. We had a group of 320 guests, who were subdivided into 19 smaller groups. Each of the groups visited a township project where they could interact with a local hero. Afterwards the guests joined forces at various wine farms and had to learn a variety of African song and dance, e.g. gumboot dancing, Kwela singing etc. At the gala dinner that evening each group had to perform what they learnt on stage! Great fun, educational, inspiring and they had a chance to give back to the local communities.

b)   Green Route Africa’s sister company, Dragonfly Africa, wins 5th SITE CRYSTAL AWARD

At a SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Executives) Crystal Awards luncheon held on the 14th October 2011 in Las Vegas, the Fuji Xerox Top Tier programme from Australia, operated by Dragonfly Africa, was chosen as a 2011 Worldwide Site Crystal Award winner in the category Best Destination Based Experiential Travel Program.

Mike Waller (Chief Operating Officer) & Yolanda Woeke Jacobs (Sales & Marketing Director) accept the SITE Crystal Award in Las Vegas.

Green Route Africa, Sun International and SAA host UK Incentive buyers

Green Route Africa, Sun International and SAA recently hosted 10 top UK agents for a trip of a life time to Cape Town and Livingstone, Zambia. Called “Take the Journey to Africa”, the programme showcased unique incentive elements that are on offer in these regions. Also, the group experienced two world-class properties namely The Royal Livingstone, Zambia and The Table Bay in Cape Town.

One of these key elements was a visit to the Tujatane Tongabezi Trust School. The Tongabezi Trust School opened on 1 May 1996 and due to its huge success it has been growing ever since. It now has 150 children. The school provides education to the Tongabezi staff children, as well as children from the local community, in an area where educational funding and materials are scarce.
The Agents in Zambia

Dinner aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, a unique dining experience combining the luxury of Sun International's Royal Livingstone hotel with the charm of rail travel, was a highlight for all.

In Cape Town the group enjoyed an interactive dinner experience at the renowned Cellars Hohenort estate in the Constantia winelands. Cape Malay cuisine is unique to Cape Town. It dates back to the 17th Century and has evolved to reflect the influences of the times. Originally a product of the early Indian and Malay settlers in the Cape, it has since been adapted by the creative cooks indigenous to this area.

What one of our guests had to say:

“Thank you so much for inviting me to join you all on what was an extremely well planned and fun week.  Whilst I know it was frustrating for you running over on timings etc but that just shows how fascinating, enjoyable and thoroughly involved everyone became.

Even though I had some knowledge of Cape Town, the experiences you delivered were way over and above my expectations.

As for Livingstone – the whole experience really blew me away and I can’t wait to develop a programme and work with you guys again.

Well done on bringing together a lovely group of guests as well – you obviously know your audience. There are not many educationals where I’ve come away with such lovely memories.”

Flight News

SA Airlink increase flights from Kruger to Livingstone

AIRLINK will be increasing the frequency of flights operating between Nelspruit Kruger and Livingstone, Zambia.

Initially launched in August 2009 with three flights per week, the route has started to mature and gain traction in the international market, with tour operators and their clients experiencing the benefits of a direct same day connection between these two premier leisure travel destinations.

The one additional flight, operating on Saturdays, will commence March 10, 2012 with Tuesday flights being added from August 7, 2012. The schedule will then operate Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The flights depart Nelspruit Kruger at 11h55, arriving Livingstone at 13h50 and departing Livingstone at 14h20 arriving Nelspruit Kruger at 16h45

Although the scheduled aircraft is a Canadair 37-seater the airline is flexible and, subject to confirmation and yielding, it is possible to negotiate an upgrade to a larger 83-seater aircraft.

SA Express increase flights from Cape Town to Hoedspruit

SA Express has announced they will increase the number of flights between Cape Town to Hoedspruit from two to three times per week. They also plan to replace the CRJ 200, which seats 50 passengers, to an 86-seater as demand is expected to increase. Flights are on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Zambia's major airports get new names

Zambia's new president Michael Sata has renamed the country's main airports after Zambian liberation heroes.
Livingstone's airport's new name is Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport.
The new name of the airport in Zambia's capital Lusaka is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

The Vic Junction Hotel undergoes a complete overhaul

What a transformation! The newly renovated hotel offers a completely different look and feel. The lobby / bar / restaurant is completely changed, all one level now and with white concrete floors and big modern furniture. Some design elements are quite strange where the designer has hung painted beds, chairs and suitcases on the walls...odd but not offensive. The restaurant is more open plan, and offers one long singles table. The conference room is now much fresher, they have removed the movie-style still lights and added sunken ceiling lights, which makes the room look so much bigger. The biggest complaint with Vic Junction was that it was always so dark. They have worked hard to lighten up the corridors by painting the steel girders and doors a light grey and changed the lighting and carpets which is a big improvement. The bedrooms have been completely redone; new carpets, fresh colours, some of the brick walls have been plastered, the raw brick left has been varnished and the bathrooms completely renovated. The bathrooms have glass frosted walls which allows more light to get in. They have done away with the shower in the bath and shower curtain and now all rooms except 6 only have showers. The 24 loft rooms again, are fresher and lighter. The rooms facing Somerset Road now have double glazing to reduce street noise. The hotel definitely offers a good 4* option within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront.

Sarova Hotels making headlines in Kenya

Sarova Stanley – voted “Kenya’s Leading Hotel” at the 18th World Travel Awards 2011 and “Kenya’s Luxury Business Hotel” at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2011

For the second year running, Sarova Stanley in Nairobi has brought home two of the most coveted awards in travel and tourism industry. Sarova Stanley was recognized as Kenya’s Leading Hotel at the18th World Travel Awards and Kenya’s Luxury Business Hotel at the 2011 World Luxury Hotel Awards.

World Travel Awards is the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought after awards for the global travel and tourism industry. Established in 1993 by the Founder and President Graham E Cooke to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in all sectors of the industry, World Travel Awards is recognized and respected worldwide as the definitive hallmark of excellence.

The Wall Street Journal has heralded World Travel Awards as the ‘Travel industry's equivalent to the Oscars’.

Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges Marketing & Sales Director Jimi Kariuki receives the Kenya's Leading Hotel Award 2011 from Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards. Looking on is Ben Katungi- Sarova Stanley's Food & Beverage Manager and reigning Miss Egypt.

Sarova Shaba Connects to the National Electricity Grid

Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, located in the Shaba National Reserve north of Nairobi, has become the first Lodge within the Shaba, Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves to be connected to the national electricity grid. The lodge has previously been running on a diesel-powered generator.

Commenting on this new development, Mr Anthony Kashero, the Lodge’s Manager, observed that this will not only see an improvement in the lodge’s operations but it will also enhance the guests experience within the game lodge. Community projects such as schools along the transmission lines are also bound to benefit from the new development.

Recently, the road leading to Sarova Shaba Game Lodge from Nairobi was fully tarred, significantly reducing travel time for guests. The lodge is 314 kms from Nairobi, a 45 minute flight from Nairobi to Shaba or Samburu airstrip or a picturesque 5 hour drive through the curving roads around Mt. Kenya crossing the equator at Nanyuki.

Sarova Shaba Game Lodge will continue observing energy conservation measures, including use of green energy in some of the lodge’s operations, thus reducing the lodge’s carbon footprint.

Rovos Rail & Hayward’s Tented Camp join forces to create a new “Out to Africa for the Day”

Haywards Tented Camp
Two African Legends have joined forces to bring us an exciting new destination for groups. The day begins with a fanfare champagne reception as you step onboard the world’s most luxurious train at Rovos Rail’s private station, Pretoria. Then an elegant steam safari takes you cross country to Hayward’s Grand Safari camp, one of the world’s most exclusive safari destinations. A light lunch is served on board. En route you stop for a brief but glittering diamond presentation at Cullinan.

Hayward’s is luxury African style. A unique, exclusive-use safari camp set to reflect the romance and grandeur of a bygone era. On arrival enjoy a ceremonial welcome then move onto a variety of activities such as horse riding, hot air ballooning, micro-lighting and game trailing. You arrive back in camp in time for sundowners and snacks. The end of the day sees you dining in fine safari style – a romantic 5-course dinner in a sunset setting, with great log fires and the beat of Africa. Finally your day into Africa ends when you get transported back to Pretoria.

As this is an expensive programme to run.. the bigger the group, the better the price. Minimum size is 40 guests and maximum group size would be 250 guests.
Rovos Rail

Cape Town Urban Adventure

Cape Town flower sellers
There is a new adventure-based activity in Cape Town, the Urban Adventure Challenge. Ideally suited for groups between 15 – 120 guests, the programme explores the urban city precinct in a fun and challenging way. This can be tailor made to suit budget and time constraints. The programme last from 3 hrs to a whole day activity.
After an informal session of “getting to know each other”, the interactive staff will have the group stretching those muscles ready for the challenge ahead. The group will be divided into teams, and after a short presentation of the “rules of engagement”, the teams will head to various starting points across the city. The Urban Adventure is a question and answer, Amazing Race and point-to-point style experience. At various designated areas the group have to do select activities for bonus points. These included eating a chilli in a Bo-Kaap spice shop, running into Green Market square and learning to play the jambe drum or bartering for flowers with the much-loved Cape Town flower sellers. After a gumboot dance behind The old Great Church (Groote Kerk), guests will be touched by the heritage and hardship of the stories told against the walls of the old Slave Lodge. The company gardens will reveal their beauty as the teams hunt for trees, watering holes, and for bonus points, chew down a floating donut (just to add some fun to the day). The Urban Adventure offers a rewarding, educational and “get-to-love-the-city” result. The group could  conclude the day with canap├ęs and drinks served on the balcony of the elegant Taj Presidential Suite, overlooking Parliament and Table Mountain, which is available for private cocktail events limited to 70 guests.