Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Green Route Africa and their clients give back to the community

World-wide incentive – interaction with kids

“The highlight of the program for me was our CSR day.  We painted one of the buildings at Henna Pre-School, interacted with children at the primary school and then played a soccer match on the field with the whole village coming out to watch.  It was an excellent day!  Have a look at the attached group photo with all the participants and the children on the soccer field.”

Australian Incentive

I wanted to send you a big thank you from iKhaya le Themba for the wonderful event with your client recently.  We all LOVE the new colours of iKhaya and are planning to make good use of the leftover paint to paint our gardening container also.

Nellie, who runs our library, was overjoyed to find all our books covered when she returned from the holiday weekend.  This is such an on-going project for us and it is so nice to have it DONE so we can use the books. As for the tree planters, they will just have to come back and see their hard work in 5 years’ time; it is going to be so beautiful here.

We love that we have a food forest surrounding us; it reminds us that the earth can provide for us if we take good care of it. Thanks so much to the Australian team who got down to work with lots of enthusiasm and no bother.  It is not hard to see why they are the top achievers for their company. 

Also a huge warm and heartfelt thanks for the donation of a much needed photocopier for our office. There is no more running down the hill to pay other businesses to do copies for us, only to return and find ourselves 2 copies short!  Amazingly the copier was exactly the one we had wanted and perfect for our needs.”

 I am reminded of a lovely quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu: -
Do your little bit of good wherever you are.  It is all those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”

Back at the office……

Congratulations to Antoinette at the Green Route Africa office who has taken the initiative to start “Odd Socks”. Her inspiration came to her whilst waiting for a client at the airport. Whilst waiting she mused on how cold her feet were and it got her thinking how much worse the less fortunate would be feeling this winter. The idea is to donate all those odd socks you have in your cupboard.

The concept has spread like wildfire through social media and she has socks coming from far afield as Korea, Netherlands and the USA!!! Our own Green Tribe initiative has since got involved and will assist with packaging and distribution of the socks to various NGO’s.  

You can find her on Facebook.

On a cold & blustery Cape Town winters morning, the Green Route team headed to Haven Homes to distribute warm blankets & to share some cakes with the 94 pensioners who live at Haven Home. Haven Homes is a privately funded Old Aged home caring for destitute & otherwise homeless pensioners. It is approximately 10 minutes away from the Green Route offices. While the residents' basic needs are taken care of by their amazing support team, the Green Routers offered their time, some sweet treats & a warm winter blanket to each resident to ward off the winter chills.

END WORD – It makes you think
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”  ~ Seth Godin

Green Route Africa News

Please don’t forget we have just completed our sample incentive programmes for 2013. These are available in English and French. They are wonderful selling tools as they cover the latest trends in incentives within East and Southern Africa.

If you wish us to send you a copy, please send an email to robin@greenroute.co.za.

Another fantastic selling tool is the Destination Showcases. You will find these on our website. They cover the A to Z of all our destinations.

Our Sales & Marketing Manager recently hosted a group of UK buyers to Zanzibar and discovered the “magic of incentives” does in fact exist!

In the Green Route Africa Cape Town Office, the following new staff members have been appointed.  Ilyaas Narker and Almari Cloete both join Green Route Africa as Senior Account Managers.
Ilyaas Narker
Almari Cloete

We also say farewell to Mayra Scarpetti who is leaving the travel industry for new challenges.

What our clients say!!

I'm sorry it's taken me this long to email to say thank you for your help, support and laughs in Zambia. It's rare you work with a DMC who you truly believe that if you hadn't been there, the group have worked just as well. Green Route were a huge support onsite and prior to travel - nothing was too small or too much for you.

“Just a quick word to say a big thank you to your team. It was a pleasure to work with you onsite in Uganda. This conference has been particularly difficult and your professionalism really helped us to deliver a successful event! I really felt safe with you on site and this is priceless. Thank you again for all the good work!”

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, your staff 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. Onsite, 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.
France / UK

Latest Flight News

DC4 charter series

A local charter company recently announced the launch of an exclusive, colonially inspired “Springbok” incentive series, featuring the historic Douglas DC4 Skymaster aircraft, operating into some of Southern Africa’s most loved incentive destinations. Aptly named “The Colonial Victoria Falls”, “Lourenco Marques” (travel to Mozambique) and “German South-West” (travel to Namibia), the journeys aim to recreate the elegance of air travel from a bygone era, coupled with iconic destinations.

The Group Incentive Series combines flights, accommodation, transfers and activities. Passengers are invited to “dress for the occasion”, reminiscent of a time when service on board really was rare roast beef, instead of peanuts and pretzels.

Originally intended as military transport for the US Army Air Force during the war years, the Douglas DC4 aircraft was used by South Africa Airways for its famed “Springbok Service” between Johannesburg and London, a journey which used to take an unbelievable 36hours! The aircraft is unpressurised and can seat 48 passengers.

Etihad launches flights to East Africa
Etihad Airways has commenced flights to Nairobi from Abu Dhabi (Etihad does have regular flights to Australia, opening up East Africa to this market). The new daily, two-class A320 service is the airline’s first passenger service to East Africa and a critically important step in expanding its presence in Africa. The A320 has 16 Pearl Business-class and 120 Coral Economy-class seats. 

Air Namibia – flights from Windhoek to Victoria Falls and Harare

Air Namibia made its maiden direct flight from Windhoek to Harare on the 16th May when it’s Embraer ERJ-135 landed at Harare International Airport at 11h25.

The airline, which also offers direct flights daily between Windhoek and Victoria Falls, becomes the 12th airline to introduce flights to Harare. On arrival, the 37-seater single-class plane, received the traditional water cannon salute reserved for planes making their inaugural flights into the country. The airline has plans to introduce a 112-seater Airbus A319.

Air Botswana – Daily flights from Cape Town to Maun

We are very excited to announce that Air Botswana has introduced daily services between Maun in Botswana and Cape Town.

The service operates seven days a week, with two direct flights each day ... giving travellers the opportunity to enjoy a sea and delta holiday experience!

Flight Schedule

•Direct Flights – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

•Maun/Cape Town – Daily departure and arrival times: 15h25 // 17h55

•Cape Town/Maun – Daily departure and arrival times: 09h45 // 12h25

The plane is a BA146 which is a 75-seater aircraft.

Zanzibar - A bucket list destination

Robin Mcleod, our Sales and Marketing Manager recently visited the exotic “Spice Island” and gave us some wonderful insight on this exciting destination.

The famous explorer, David Livingstone wrote, “In Zanzibar, nothing is as it seems”. 

The island of Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, about 35km off the Tanzanian coast, and although it falls under Tanzanian jurisdiction, it operates like a self-contained country
Even before visiting the island, Zanzibar evokes within travellers a sense of the exotic and mysterious. Traditionally a haven for FIT travellers and honeymooners, corporates the world over are now waking up to the possibility of Zanzibar as an incentive destination, either as stand-alone or in combination with safaris in other parts of East Africa.  Dragonfly Africa / Green Route Africa has now extended its operational reach to include Zanzibar as a destination.
From the moment of arrival, the island is an assault on the senses. From the incredibly vibrant, colourful and bustling Stone Town to beautiful tropical beaches to the heady smells and tastes of spicy curries. The mix of religions creates a unique melting pot of cultures which is reflected in the cuisine, architecture and d├ęcor. The island is small, only 96 km long and 32 km wide, so practically everything is “one hour” from one place to the next. From east to west is 1 hour. From Stone Town to the south is 1 hour and from Stone Town to the north is also an hour. The airport is situated a mere 10 minutes’ drive from Stone Town.

The North Coast, being the site of hotels such as La Gemma dell’Este and Essque Zalu Zanzibar, is where most of the new hotel development is taking place as it offers the added advantage of not being affected by the tides. In the East and South luxurious hotels such as Sandies Neptune Pwani Resort, Melia Resort, Baraza and The Residence offer a mixture of half-board, full board or fully inclusive meal options. While the hotels in the East and South are affected by the tides, they compensate by offering stunning pools and lovely, sandy beaches.

Incentive-style activities abound – from sunset cruises, snorkelling and lunches on a private tropical island to amazing race-style jeep safaris. A visit to the spice farms is a must and can be combined with a trip to the Jozani Forest, home to the endangered Red Colobos Monkeys. There are also various CSR projects for groups to get involved with.

So, back to my first statement – Zanzibar is not at all as it seems. Initially, the azure waters and coral reefs take your breath away, then you are overwhelmed by the incredible sights, sounds and smells of the island, but ultimately it is the incredibly friendly, kind and helpful people of this delightful little paradise who keep you captivated.


Our Sales and Marketing Manager interviewed two staff members, Tessa Owen and Bonny Robb, who were the recent leads responsible for a successful group of 900 delegates in Cape Town. He wanted to get an idea of the challenges and possibilities, when looking at an event of this magnitude in Cape Town.

Question: What do you think was the biggest challenge, as an event organiser, handling a group of this size in Cape Town?

Tessa - My biggest challenge was sourcing unique and suitable venues for off-site events. Cape Town is well suited for groups up to even 500 delegates, but once you get past this mark, it becomes a challenge and the function has to be created from scratch. This does however allow for more creativity in developing the event.

Question: What was the highlight, in your mind, of the event?

Tessa - Running a unique and successful Gala Dinner for 900 guests. This was, in my mind, worthy of a Site Crystal Award.

Bonny – Seeing the international delegates, from 46 countries, all revelling in our beautiful city!

Question: Could Cape Town easily handle an incentive event of say 1500 delegates?

Tessa & Bonny - Most definitely, we have the hotel capacities, transport logistics, tour options, smaller dinner venues, and, with some creative thought, off-site group dinner venues.

Question: What would you say are the 4 most important elements in organizing such an event?

Tessa - Clear communication in general, realistic budget expectations, a strong team on the ground and lastly choosing trustworthy and reliable industry suppliers.

Unfortunately due to our client’s wish for privacy, we cannot publish any images of this event.

CASE STUDY DRAGONFLY: Extreme Adventure in Southern Africa – a sample itinerary

Our operations team in Johannesburg were recently given the task of creating a unique adventure itinerary, based on a Bear Grylls type experience. For those of you who don’t know, Bear Grylls is a TV show featuring the ultimate adventure seeker and survivor in the wilds. Always up for the challenge they created the following itinerary incorporating safari in South Africa and an island challenge in Mozambique.

n day of arrival in Johannesburg guests connected straight through to Hoedspruit Airport, bordering the Kruger National Park. From there they transferred to the mobile tented camp in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. After dinner delegates were introduced to the ‘Bear Grylles’ Surviving Africa program and its hosts. Andreas, the camp owner is a master tracker and Survival expert whilst Mark Tennant is a renowned guide and film-maker, better known for his brilliant series, ‘Mad Mike & Mark’.

The next day delegates were given an introduction to survival skills and then literally dropped off at various location. This involved orienteering, setting up camp, making dinner and surviving the night in wildest Africa.

Day three and the various groups returned to the mobile tented camp for a bit of luxury and a well-deserved dinner.

On day four, the group departed Hoedspruit Airport on charter aircraft, and had to interpret ground to air maps and successfully locate 5 GPS points en route to Vilanculos, Mozambique. Teams were also required to accurately determine flight times between the GPS points. After arrival and clearing customs in Vilanculos, the group made their way to Vila do Paraiso Lodge. This little piece of paradise consists of chalets, each with 4 bedrooms, which are fully air-conditioned, with bathrooms en-suite.  The open plan kitchen and living area leads out onto a deck which overlooks the beautiful Indian Ocean.  Each house has its own private plunge pool on the deck, great to relax in after a day on the beach - or anytime!

The next day was the Ayoba Challenge - (A day in the Life…)

After breakfast the group moved down to the beach where some delegates were involved in the local fishing activities, such as taking the nets out into the bay and then retrieving them. These are activities carried out by locals daily and all members of the family village participate, old and young, until the harvest is in. The fish that were harvested in this activity were stored, as it made up part of the teams’ food for the next day, whilst they camped on Paradise Island.

Whilst some team members were fishing other team members were given a budget to go to the local market to purchase other foodstuffs. They had to make their own by local taxi into town.

In the afternoon the teams were allocated a dhow and crew with which to sail across the azure-coloured waters to Paradise Island, where on arrival they were welcomed and shown their camping area for the night. Again, as in the Timbavati, teams were left alone and had to use the same skills needed in the Timbavati to see them through the night. A certain amount of equipment was provided, the rest they had to work out for themselves.

After surviving the night on a tropical island, the delegates then had to complete the Paradise Island Survivor Challenge. Set up on the beach were 6 challenges. Each challenge was signed with bamboo and banners (clients can add their banners etc.)

The challenges included; The Grid Minefield, Archery Shoot-out, Pairs Memory Game, Underwater Recovery, The Baz-Dugong Water Challenge and the final challenge – Ocean Bonfire where delegates had to  build a raft and make a fire at sea. After all this hard work and challenge it was time for a well-earned reward!!!

Just before lunch delegates were transported in motor boats to the luxurious Indigo Bay Hotel, where the group checked-in to their 5-star accommodation. The group spent the rest of the evening and night at leisure at Indigo Bay Resort before heading back to Johannesburg the following day for their international flights home.

New function venues in Cape Town

With Groote Schoor (the Presidential Residence) temporarily not available as a stylish Gala Dinner venue we went in search of some new venues around Cape Town that we could offer as replacement. We found three fantastic new properties, two of which are located in the city centre, and the third in the Constantia Winelands.

QV 54
Situated in the Cape Town city centre in the historic Queen Victoria Street, QV54 is a convenient and highly versatile venue. The building was completed in 1937 by architect Brian Mansergh as one of the last great Art Deco buildings in South Africa. With a domed ceiling, arched windows and teak wood panelling QV54 has a grand and opulent feel to it. The main area can be utilised on its own or in conjunction with two downstairs lounges and two upstairs lounges. The main area can be viewed from upstairs on three sides, thus making the upstairs section the ideal VIP area.

Events so far have included  a party for one of South Africa’s biggest advertising agencies, a car launch, weddings, a billionaires birthday party and a reception for Dr 90210 himself, Robert Rey.

The venue can accommodate functions as small as 50 guests and up to 1,000 guests and can accommodate a wide variety of functions and events such as fashion shows, cocktail functions, corporate dinners, presentations, conferences, stage related functions and more.

Rhodes Place

The great thing about this venue is that it is located in the heart of the city of Cape Town. A mere 10 minute transfer from the V&A Waterfront, Rhodes Place carries with it a wealth of Cape Town’s history.

Cecil John Rhodes was one of the richest men in the world at the time, the creator of the De Beers Diamond Empire as well as the originator of the Rhodes Scholarships. He has left his legacy throughout South Africa, and this is very apparent in Cape Town. Rhodes who was a keen politician, became a Member of Parliament and was instrumental in incorporating vast areas into the British ruled Cape Colony, in the 1880’s.

Rhodes Place is a relic of his political aspirations and where many colonial banquets and meetings were held during that time.

Chaf Pozi - a new Soweto township restaurant that’s got style

Unlike traditional restaurants in Johannesburg, Chaf Pozi offers visitors an exciting experience to enjoy food and be entertained in the hub that is Soweto. This sprawling township is located just 20 minutes from downtown Johannesburg.

Perfectly located at the foot of the iconic Orlando Towers, Chaf Pozi offers a shebeen (local pub) vibe second to none! Chaf Pozi has become a “must” for both tourists and locals alike and for the dare devils, a bungee jumping experience is available off the top of the Orlando Towers - 100m high!

The restaurant has played host to many aspiring artists, creating a platform for the up and coming youth in the entertainment industry. Friday, Saturday and Sunday offers guests the opportunity to listen to music ranging from jazz to up-beat hip hop.

The extensive menu covers local cuisine including mutton, beef, chicken, wors (sausage), samp (local maize dish), pap (polenta), chakalaka (tomato based sauce) as well as a variety of tasty side dishes.

As one critic wrote, “It balances the qualities of a mellow mood with a feeling of adventure and the massive towers overhead shield the area from outside influences, adding to the sense of seclusion”.

A great venue to combine with a cycle tour through the township, which offers an opportunity to interact with the local community.  Chaf Pozi can cater for up to 1000 seated patrons.

Brand new Conference venue opens in Big Five territory

Legend Golf & Safari Resort opens its new conference facility.

Conferencing in South Africa has got a whole lot more innovative with the opening of a R10m conference venue – in the heart of the African bush. One of the country's premier leisure venues, Legend Golf & Safari Resort, opened the doors to its innovative conference centre at the beginning of March 2012.

With the addition of this 500-seater, Queen of Sheba facility, the Resort has become one of Africa’s principle conferencing venues, offering international delegates the experience of a lifetime as they meet in the heart of the 22,000 hectare, malaria-free Entabeni Safari Conservancy in the Waterberg area of Limpopo - where the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) roam wild and free.

The forward-looking conferencing venue has been specially constructed to include all the facilities you would expect at a world class resort. Legend Golf & Safari Resort is home to the world's most extreme Par 3 and the Extreme 19th, which requires a helicopter trip to tee-off. The property is approximately 3½ hours’ drive from Johannesburg.

Update on the stylish Taj Hotel in Cape Town– what makes it such a unique property?

Spread across two heritage buildings, the Taj Cape Town retains the original marble pillars, vaulted ceilings, glass domes and architectural elements of the legendary Temple Chambers and the South African Reserve Bank Building. Its new Tower dramatically rises above the city skyline. While the Heritage rooms are classically designed and are located within the historic structure of the hotel, all the Tower Rooms have floor to ceiling glass facades and private balconies, from where guests can enjoy splendid views of Parliament buildings, the city or Table Mountain. The hotel offers a total of 166 rooms and suites.

Location: In the historic heart of the city, offering guests an authentic Cape Town Experience, including its rich history and heritage, culture, atmosphere, people, food and vibe, on their doorstep.

Authenticity:  Experience the real Cape Town away from the hustle and bustle of the V&A Waterfront.

History & Heritage on their doorstep: Within walking distance of some of South Africa’s most significant landmarks, including  The Slave Museum, House of Parliament, Company Gardens, St. Georges Cathedral, St Georges Mall and the Ou Kerk (the Old Church).

Close to Attractions: Variety of monuments and museums within walking distance.

Endless Entertainment: Some of the best sidewalk cafes, bars, coffee shops, restaurants and vibrant nightlife are all within walking distance.

Food & Wine: Considered the food capital of South Africa, Cape Town has an abundance of dining options, many within walking distance of the Taj Cape Town.

Shopping: Walking distance from Long Street, Loop Street, Kloof Street and a variety of clothing boutiques, shops and antique stores. The V&A Waterfront shopping centre is a 20 minutes’ walk or a complimentary shuttle ride away.

Art Galleries: Within walking distance of over a dozen of the city’s most recognized and renowned art galleries.

Conference facilities: The hotel offers a world-class conference centre. There are eight meeting rooms, the largest of which is able to comfortably host a banquet for 110 guests.