Thursday, March 15, 2012

Green Route Africa News

Green Route Africa celebrated the end of 2011 with a small office party where the staff assembled blankets they had knitted throughout the year. Blankets were donated to Iliso Care centre.
Iliso Care Society, a NGO, is situated in Site C in the township of Khayelitsha. Khayelitsha is a large community outside of the city of Cape Town, located 25 kilometers from the city centre. They have following projects.
·        Soup kitchen
·        Safe home programme
·        Housing orphan children
·        Youth group
·        Vegetable garden

In an exciting new development, Carryn Ortlepp, who was previously our Operations Manager, will now be dedicating her efforts to Green Tribe, our own non-profit organisation.

Please remember our Destination Showcases are now updated and loaded on our website, so please make use of these very useful tools, packed with useful information about the destinations we cover.

What our clients say!!

‘I wanted to say a big thank you to you and your team for all the hard work and support on our event. Thank you for the team you put into place on-site, and thanks to them for making this happen.

Prior to the event, Carryn did a fantastic job, despite the challenges, and obviously did a great handover to the onsite team who knew exactly what was going on with all aspects of the event. On-site, the whole team was fantastic, working brilliantly together and always on top of everything, which was not easy with all the changes and intricacies. And the best part was everything was done with a smile! I don’t know if you know, but the event strapline was ‘Above & Beyond’ and the Green Route/Dragonfly team certainly went above and beyond to make sure this was a successful event.’ UK

THE LAST WORD – It makes you think

"If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Henry Ford

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Flight News: 1 Time offers direct flights to Mombasa from Johannesburg

Low cost carrier, 1time Airline has confirmed that it will launch its second East African route to Mombasa, Kenya, in March. Initially, the low-cost carrier will offer two return flights a week from OR Tambo International Airport to Mombasa International Airport.

“We have been looking to expand our routes for some time, and Mombasa presents the perfect opportunity to do so. The city is one of Kenya’s most popular destinations, and a highly sought after holiday location. Therefore, this route has vast potential to entice new customers, and add further value to 1time’s bottom lines,” said 1time ceo Rodney James.

East Africa News

Travel in East Africa both in April & May is highly advisable for Incentive groups as the rates are much lower and often regarded to offer the best deals both in Kenya and Tanzania
This low tourist season in East Africa also known as the green season happens to be one of the best times of the year for wildlife viewing especially in the northern Tanzania game parks, with Serengeti plains teeming with hundreds of thousands of migratory animals including the wildebeest and zebra.

Plan Hotels opens the New Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge in Karatu, north circuit in Tanzania.

Exploreans Ngorongoro opened in January 2012 and is set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in Karatu district about 160 km from Arusha town in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape. This all-suites wood log cabin style retreat is a mere five minutes driving distance from the entrance to the world famous Conservation Area and 20 minutes’ drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have one of the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa.

This all inclusive property features 20 spacious, individual, private log cabins with fire place, featuring en-suite facilities with solar heated water, large walk-in shower, double hand wash basins, WC, bidet, hand-shower and hairdryer. The resort is on an all-inclusive basis which includes; in room deluxe coffee, tea and hot chocolate making facilities; in-room mini bar; afternoon tea at the pool or lounge; juices, soft drinks, selected wine, local beer, coffee and tea served during meals and at the lounge bar. Other services available include laundry and valet service, in-room service, a Library, television with satellite channels, Mvua African Rain Spa, safari boutique & a swimming pool with sundeck.

CSR Projects in Tanzania

CSR projects are a relatively new concept in East Africa.  Most cultural tour sites in mainland Tanzania have developed by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in conjunction with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), starting with selected villages around Arusha in northern Tanzania. These are traditionally existing villages which provide visitors with a glimpse of the authentic lifestyle of the many tribes in rural Tanzania. Besides enriching itineraries for visitors, the cultural tours are generating income directly to the local communities that are visited. By visiting the cultural sites the guests would be giving support to community health, water projects, primary education and many other projects carried out at village level including reforestation and protection of the environment.

Mto wa Mbu is one of the first cultural tourism sites developed by TTB and SNV. The site is situated on the foot of the Great Rift Valley, bordering Lake Manyara National Park, straddling the famous Arusha / Serengeti route, 120kms and 60kms from Arusha and Ngorongoro respectively. Following the setting up of irrigation systems in the early 1950s, the area rapidly developed into a small town attracting a new wave of tribes from all over the country, each with its own cultural background. Nowhere else in Tanzania have so many different tribes settled in such a small area. The Mto wa Mbu tour is a village walk, designed to provide guests with an experience of the rich cultural heritage in Tanzania, this can be a half day or full day activity.

The varied products, handicrafts and activities that can be seen in the market place and in the village farms is an illustration of this cultural diversity. When you visit the Mbugwe people from Manyara Region; they will show you how they grind different grains to obtain flour using traditional millstone; join the local people of Mto wa Mbu and learn how they construct mud huts, typical housing for most tribes around the area. You will be shown how to mix mud, rice husks and cow dung to obtain the right mud stuff for strong walls, and how the local people roof their huts using dry banana barks and leaves. The local people will show you how to make different tools like spears, knives, arrows. Learn from the local women how pots and dishes are made from clay soil and baked to make them hard.

The Reserve Restaurant opens in Cape Town

The very sleek and sexy Reserve Restaurant and Night Club recently opened its doors to much acclaim. The Reserve’ offers an escape from everyday life to the discerning Capetonian and International socialite. Avant-garde costumes, feathered boas, and masked courtiers, are all encouraged. They create an atmosphere of privileged bliss in which to live out your fantasies. Invitation only, themed parties are held weekly, with DJs setting the mood and custom-made drinks carrying it into the night.

Housed within the old Reserve Bank, a historic 150 year old building in Cape Town’s city centre, the imposing space with its 12m high ceiling has been decorated in a fabulously eclectic style. An Andrea Graaf interior billed as “a fantasy of creating two different areas the patrons can explore and enjoy, while always admiring the different visual and sensual elements.” A birdcage provides the piece de resistance, with accents of bright pink ducco-ed coffee tables and a bar reminiscent of kitsch 1950s Palm Springs. Both areas host 30 plus, which makes for an intimate affair with dance podiums set up throughout the lounge areas for the more risqué. The nightclub has been opened a few months, but this has been complimented by the very recently opened Reserve Restaurant. Executive chef Alessandro Pizza serves up modern Mediterranean cuisine, reflecting mostly his Italian background and his extensive experience in the south of France. He concentrates on using fresh produce and subtle flavors to create dishes reminiscent of sunny afternoons on the cote d’azur.

Signature dishes include the Italian style beef tartar prepared with a rocket pesto, Parmesan shavings and sun-dried tomato or the delicious potato gnocchi with slow cooked lamb ragu. For dessert you could indulge in the caramel centered chocolate fondant served with a shot of red berry coulis and vanilla ice cream.

The restaurant comfortably seats 120 guests and both venues can be hired for exclusive use.


“Thank you, Spasiba, Merci Beaucoup, Danke”, these were the opening words by Yolanda Woeke-Jacobs, Director Sales and Marketing Dragonfly Africa / Green Route Africa, whilst addressing  Meetings Africa international hosted buyers at the 5* Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, where Nelson Mandela completed his memoirs. Mrs Woeke-Jacobs thanked the buyers for taking the time to attend Meetings Africa and for exploring our beautiful country during their pre and post extension trips.
Meetings Africa, taking place at the end of February of each year, is Southern Africa’s premium MICE trade show and brings together local suppliers with hand-picked international buyers. As the Dragonfly Africa Group was fortunate enough to have hosted international buyers from various destinations for the pre and post programmes, we thought that it would be a wonderful opportunity to invite them all to a “United Nations” dinner. Our aim was to allow buyers of different nationalities to discuss ideas and experiences, and to introduce our hard working team to the different markets. 
We were very pleased to have The Saxon Hotel on-board, who provided the exquisite venue and the stylish canapé dinner. Guests were greeted at the main reception and escorted across the bridge to the Villa Reception venue. Here they enjoyed a glass of traditional cap classique. Whilst the guests were mingling we had the extraordinary talent of the Coda cellist to entertain.
For most this was a fitting finale to a fun and educational trip and the buyers left with many happy memories, determined to return with groups, or in their own capacity.

Bungalow Restaurant and Lounge opens in Cape Town, Camps Bay

Contemporary cafe, Bungalow is Camps Bay's newest hot spot for chilling with friends and it’s definitely the place to be seen at the moment. Located between Clifton and Camps Bay beaches and 20 minutes from the city centre, on the old La Med site, it has wide open decks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With beautiful white and blue decor and plush white couches and beds, guests are invited to sit back and relax with one of the delicious cocktails. One might first go to Bungalow for its spectacular sea views and designer décor, but once you dive into the Chef's exciting and adventurous creations you'll discover another side to the restaurant. And who needs to conjure up images of white beaches, palm trees and turquoise seas when it’s all in front of you - while chatting to friends, sipping on exotic drinks and tucking into world-class meals!

Capacity is approximately 400 guests and it can be utilized for a buy-out. It opens between 12 midday till midnight. 

Dine-with-locals in Cape Town

Home dinners for tourists are growing in popularity in Cape Town. We have sourced South Africans who love to entertain and cook and paired them with visitors who are looking for a more culturally enhanced holiday. Travellers are served a three-course dinner featuring local delicacies such as bobotie, bredie, oxtail, braai, potjiekos, seafood, ostrich, venison, melktart and malva pudding.

Hosts are carefully chosen and have to adhere to high standards to be accepted into the Dine-with-a-Local programme. At this stage we can only offers home dinners in Cape Town and surrounding areas, including the Cape Winelands, Somerset West, northern and southern suburbs, the Atlantic Seaboard and along the Cape Peninsula.

Suitable for small to medium sized groups of 50 diners, divided amongst a few homes.

New CSR Initiatives in Victoria Falls

Since its inception two years ago, the International Anti Poaching Foundation (IAPF) embarked on a mission to try and raise much needed funds in order to pursue awareness building and pro-bono training exercises in Africa. The intention being to educate communities, and train anti-poaching units across the continent in the conservation and ground techniques they need to counter and effectively thwart the currently superior poaching elements found here. These fundraising efforts are a key function for the foundation as most of the areas affected by the problem of poaching are far too poor to afford any sort of training for the purpose of preserving their threatened wildlife and natural resources. Despite major drawbacks and numerous difficulties, the IAPF has managed since then, to train over 200 individuals who all now are qualified as special Anti Poaching Rangers and are protecting huge areas against poachers in various parts of Zimbabwe. ……….
The IAPF presents a unique opportunity for volunteers to be a part of the solution to poaching in Africa. Your participation is what makes the difference and they need you now. The programme duration is a minimum of 1 night /2 days. Longer programmes of up to 5 days can be planned. Accommodation is on the banks of Lake Nakavango, 7kms from Victoria Falls, in a small tented camp. The large standing room tents can sleep 2 people. The unfenced environmentally friendly camp is complimented by a recreational area, basic toilet and showers and large open fire. Heart meals are prepared by the resident chef over the camp fire.

Guests are able to have an experience unlike anything thing else, as they will be able to take part in real time anti-poaching patrols with highly trained rangers as well as having the experience of being in a Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino & Buffalo) game reserve. The program also improves bush skills such as tracking and identifying animals, birds and plants whilst actively preventing the poaching or Africa’s greatest and most unique asset – its wildlife. The main attraction is to monitor one of the most impressive animals in the world - the critically endangered Black Rhino on foot with armed rangers.
Guests contributions fund the free training of rangers from across the region that the IAPF provides.

Sun International goes Culinary Crazy

The Palace of the Lost City offers Master Chef cooking challenge

Dust off those aprons and sharpen those knives!

Master Chef Cooking Challenges offers a wonderful culinary team-building event for companies that want to build excitement and camaraderie. Each Master Chef Cooking Challenge takes place at The Palace Pool Deck and offers a culinary adventure. You’ll have an artillery of kitchen appliances at your disposal; Japanese Sushi knives, blowtorches, and every conceivable mixer, mincer and shredder. Plus, the best ingredients this side of the Atlantic - dry aged meat, wild game, SASSI listed fish and organic vegetables and fruits. Groups can use a Wok, Pizza Oven or Braai to cook in.

A huge emphasis is placed on creativity and visual presentation - you’ll learn how to create unique and difficult plate designs. You could end up filleting a whole fish or creating a new style Moroccan rub for pork belly or learn how to make an onion and apple velouté. This is an opportunity for even the most uninformed chefs to experience new thrills, learn new skills and techniques and push the boundary of creativity.

You can choose either a lunch or dinner cooking challenge