Sunday, 5 August 2018

Note from Sense of Africa: Martin Cook

Sense of Africa

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our friend and the MD of Sense of Africa East Africa, Mr. Martin Cook. Martin was taken ill at the beginning of the year and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer. He traveled to Vietnam for treatment in April, but after a short but hard-fought battle, he passed away on Monday, 25th June 2018. His funeral was held in Vietnam on Wednesday, 27th June.
Martin was appointed to drive and oversee the Tourvest turn-around strategy for the tour operating division in East Africa. Last year, Martin indicated how proud he was of what had been achieved, having driven the rebranding of all three regions businesses to Sense of Africa and having turned the corner from loss maker to a valuable contributor. Under his leadership Sense of Africa became one of the leading DMCs in the region. In his words, this was one of his best achievements, in essence ending his career on a high note.
Martin was a friend to many and a strong leader who was an invaluable colleague, team player, mentor and partner and his presence will be sorely missed.
May his soul rest in peace.
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Namibia: Onguma Game Reserve | Онгума Намибия

#Dronesberg #Namibia #OngumaGameReserve #ОнгумаНамибия #EtoshaNamibia #EtoshaAoba #Africa

Onguma Game Reserve
Onguma Game Reserve consists of 34 000 hectares on the Eastern Border of the Etosha National Park. The Reserve boasts 5 stunning lodges and offers not only guided game drive activities into the Etosha National Park but also guided walks and sunset drives on the private Onguma Reserve.
Accommodation consists of:
° Two Camping sites for those who really want to get close to nature.
° Bush Camp for the modest traveller, with bungalows and rooms, perfect for the family.
° Tented Camp for the more exclusive safari experience, in exquisitely styled tent.
° Tree Top Camp for an intimate, rustic wildlife experience.
° The Fort for breathtaking sunsets over Etosha Pan and iconic luxury.
° Etosha Aoba for a traditional Colonial bush lodge experience.

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South Africa: Olaf’s Guest House in Cape Town

Olaf’s Guest House in Cape Town

Olaf’s Guest House is a charming 9 en-suite bedroom bed & breakfast accommodation ideally located in Sea Point, Cape Town. Olaf’s Guest House is only 10 minutes from Cape Town city centre, including the trendy Long- and Kloof Street with its restaurants and cafes, the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, and the famous Table Mountain.
Olaf's Guest House welcomes you to a sanctuary from the bustling metropolis of Cape Town. When you stay with us, you’ll find all the comforts of home and an attention to detail surpassed only by our personal service.
Located just outside our front door, you’ll find fabulous shopping, breathtaking beaches, pubs, coffee shops, and the Promenade, a popular spot to walk along the water and take in the view.
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South Africa: news from Jambo Guest House

To all our dear friends, hello from Barry and Mina at Jambo Guest House.

This past spring, in our own garden, our Clivias, the Wisteria over the front fence, the Port Wine Magnolia with its tantalizing scent and the Petrea over the front gable, all burst forth in bloom to herald the arrival of spring and to cheer us up just when we needed it most.  In May Barry had a double knee replacement operation and now has two new knees.  Although it is supposed to take a year to recover, Barry is up and (almost) running already and you would probably not notice that he has new knees.

Needless to say, we didn’t take a holiday this year but instead, we took short breaks and re-discovered our own beautiful part of the World.  The weather was great even though it was winter, but sadly we do need the rain.

Due to the dry winters, some of you may have heard that Cape Town is experiencing a severe water shortage and it has become staple dinner-table and radio talk show conversation.  At Jambo, Barry has installed rainwater collection tanks, water filters and booster pumps and reduced flow rates so we don’t anticipate any further water shortage problems at the guest house.

As if we didn’t already know and it is what we have always known -  Cape Town has for the 5th time been voted the best city in the World by the readers of The Telegraph in Britain.  According to the 90 000 readers who voted in the annual Telegraph Travel Awards, Cape Town was the number one city beating cities like Vancouver and Tokyo.

According to the newspaper's website, Cape Town gained the title for its coastal location, overshadowed by Table Mountain, great wine and Boulders Beach where African penguins roam freely.

Also, only last month, Cape Town was of the 19 cities which joined a list of 180 which have been recognised for their contributions to the development of art and design.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, OBE, the famous explorer, who spent the first 12 years of his life growing up near Cape Town says that it is the most beautiful country in the world and all our guests agree.
Jambo is truly very centrally situated, close to many of Cape Town’s "must see" sights and beaches.

According to the UK Post Office Travel Money’s annual Long-Haul Holiday Report, the city of Cape Town has topped the list of best value for your money destinations.   Conducted by comparing the cost of 10 tourist items — including coffee, cocktails and dinner — in 34 cities and resorts around the world, Cape Town came out on top.

South Africa was also recently awarded the Star All-Round Destination accolade in the Travel Bulletin Star Awards, the UK’s most prestigious awards program, held at the Langham Hotel in London.
The awards were voted for by UK travel agents.

The country was also recognised in several categories of the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Travel Awards 2017, held earlier this year in London. Readers were asked to rate their favourite countries, cities, islands, hotels, spas, airlines and tour operators.

It is now easier than ever to get here with Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Edelweiss and Eurowings adding or increasing frequency of flights to Cape Town. Eurowings, a low-cost carrier that is part of the Lufthansa Group, launched flights between Cologne and Cape Town in November this year.

So, if a holiday in our ‘Mother City’ may not have been on the cards, perhaps you should think again: -

There is a very favourable exchange rate, so your Pounds, Dollars and Euros will go very far.

We have some of the best wines in the world and have been producing them since 1659 which is when the first grapes were pressed in Constantia and today we are listed 9th in the World in terms of production.  There are more than 200 wineries within half an hour drive from Jambo Guest House.  If you are driving yourselves we will show you a route for a whole day’s tour visiting our favourite wineries in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.  Alternatively, we can book you on a tour with experienced guides.

Surfers can find some of the best waves to ride from the monster break at” Dungeons” near Hout Bay, which can be 15 metres high (though only in winter) to a gentle wave in Muizenberg where beginners can learn to surf.

Our guests can enjoy anything from snorkelling with hundreds of Cape Fur Seals off Duiker 

Island to sea kayaking near the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach. In the winter months, you can sea kayak with Southern Right Whales in Hermanus which is a nice days outing.

Coffee snobs - visit Truth Coffee in town, voted the best by the UK’s Daily Telegraph for the second year running.  We prefer Giovanni’s just down the road!

For steak lovers, we have the best meat on the planet and many superb restaurants in which to enjoy it, from downtown eateries with panoramic views of the city and Table Mountain to the two oceans at Cape Point with views over both Atlantic and Indian oceans. 

Cape Town is famous for having fresh fish and seafood at our restaurants and of course, we have many superb restaurants close by. We will recommend some of the best ones and help you with directions.

The Waterfront has been busy this year hosting not one but two ocean races.   The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, a sailing race around the world in 8 legs, with trained amateur crew members, made a stopover here in Cape Town. The organisers own a fleet of identical yachts, the Clipper 70, and provide qualified skippers to lead each team. The crew can either sign up for the whole race, or one or more legs. The race was conceived in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox Johnson who founded Clipper Ventures plc as a company to run the race. The race ran every two years between 1996 and 2002, and then skipped a year, with subsequent races beginning in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017

The Clipper Race uses lighter, faster boats and the route follows the prevailing currents and winds. The current fleet of yachts is 12 Clipper 70 yachts first used in the 2013-14 race. The race has used two other previous classes of yacht comprising 8 Clipper 60s and 10 Clipper 68s. The inaugural race did not feature sponsor's branding.  In 2000, The Times newspaper came on board as title sponsor with some yachts being sponsored by international cities. The last race, held in 2015-16 had yachts sponsored by international cities as well as yachts sponsored by varying organisations.

After that, we had a stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race, the 13th edition which started in Alicante, Spain and will finish in the Netherlands. 

Interestingly this year, because of the water shortage in Cape Town, Blue Water, a Swedish water purification company teamed up with CONSOL Glass and provided 15000 litres of drinking water in glass bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles thus saving our precious water and also not polluting the oceans with plastic.  The world's premier offshore race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavour, which started over 37 years ago as the Whitbread Round the World Race. The Volvo Ocean Race crews experience life at the extreme as they race day and night for more than 20 days at a time….

We have written in previous years about the World land speed record - the SSC Bloodhound and the attempt to reach 1000mph.  This year there were successful test runs at 200mph at Newquay airport in Cornwall, the UK. During October next year, the Bloodhound will be here in South Africa.  The plan is to test run at 500mph on the specially created track at Haksteen Pan in the Northern Cape.  This will be the first chance to use the car’s desert wheels and braking parachutes and gain an insight into the aerodynamic performance and handling…  Will we see you there?

On the art scene, the big news here is the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in the Waterfront, just a 15-minute walk from Jambo.  It is situated in converted grain silos, built in 1921 and consisting of 42 giant concrete tubes which originally stored tons of grain before being shipped around the world.

Some of the concrete tubes have been carved away to reveal an oval atrium surrounded by concrete shafts overhead, while the entire space is illuminated by natural light streaming through a glass ceiling.  Inside the bisected tubes, cylindrical lifts have been installed to transport visitors to the upper floors. From the outside, large bulging pillowed windows —  resembling diamond-shaped sails — are the building’s most noticeable feature, offering sweeping views of the city below for clients of the Silo Hotel. 

When it is completed the Zeitz MOCAA will have 80 galleries spread over nine floors of which 65,000 square feet will be dedicated exhibition space. Through an entire floor dedicated to education, the museum hopes to develop a new art-loving, museum-going audience.

It is a great time to visit SA again.

§  A pound is worth R16.72 today,
§  A Euro is worth R14.80 today,
§  A US Dollar is worth R12.45 today, 
§  and that means a South African trip is better value for money than ever before.

In closing, we hope you had a wonderful festive season and we wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018.
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South Africa: Cape Town water shortages earlier in 2018


Cape Town is without a doubt one of the most exceptional cities on earth, constantly topping the charts as a must-visit destination for tourists, enhanced by breath-taking scenery and a significant offering of experiences.

As beautiful as it is, the Western Cape is a water-scarce part of the world (much like Southern California and Western Australia), and is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and periodic droughts. You may already be aware our region is currently experiencing a significant drought.

Despite this, Cape Town is open for business and is proactively countering the effects of the drought. The City has implemented a number of initiatives to increase the water supply and make provision for water shortages in collaboration with the community who are actively playing their part to save every drop.
° The specific hotels that we book our clients into have modified how they utilise water to reduce their consumption - giving guests peace of mind that every drop is being used responsibly – whilst not compromising on their comfort.
° Clients will still have access to safe drinking water.
° At present, clients will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Mandated guidelines suggest a shower of no longer than 2 minutes, and the use of baths is discouraged. Some swimming pools have been converted to use salt (ocean) water.
° Restaurants and bars will still be in operation and are currently not negatively influenced but must still comply with water restrictions.
° In the event of what the City of Cape Town refers to as ‘Day Zero’, there will be available water for tourists and locals’ critical needs. This is considered to be water for personal hygiene and consumption. ‘Day Zero’ is a projected date, in approximately two month’s time, that is entirely dependent on current rates of water consumption. If all stakeholders adhere to the required water savings target, ‘Day Zero’ can be avoided.
° The Cape Town CBD, where the specific hotels in which we book our clients into are based, have been spared from this potential ‘Day Zero water shutdown’. There will be water available as normal in this area.
° All critical emergency services (hospitals, clinics, police services) will continue to function in the event of ‘Day Zero’.
° Tourists will still be able to access and enjoy primary tourism attractions such as our iconic Table Mountain, Cape Point and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. However, specific river-based experiences may be impacted.

Although clients will be made aware of this on arrival in Cape Town, it will not negatively affect their experience or their tour. Much like a local, tourists are encouraged to treat this scarce resource with the utmost respect. By adhering to these water-wise practices they can enjoy the best the area has to offer, whilst not placing any undue strain on the water supply.
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Namibia: news from Otjiwa Lodge | Очива Лодж Намибия

#OtjiwaLodgeNamibia #ОчиваЛоджНамибия #Africa #Otjiwarongo #EtoshaPark #Dronesberg #OtjiwasEaglesRest

News from Otjiwa Lodge Namibia

Schalk and Marquerite Muller have taken over the Management of Otjiwa Lodge's Eagles Rest and The Nest  as of February 2018. The energetic, Muller couple are happy to welcome our mutual guest with excellence to uphold Otjiwa's unique safari experience and maintain its value as a place of beauty.
The Mountain Lodge remain under the management of Maureen & Piet Laubscher. Otjwa Lodge accommodation layout is as Follows:
Otjiwa's Mountain Lodge 
° Five Exclusive Mountain Lodge Chalets - each boasting secluded privacy, twin beds, air-conditioning and mini-bar. Indigenous African flair combines a hint of rustic luxury with amazing panoramic views. Guests share a nearby lounge, bar, dining area and an amazing hilltop infinity swimming pool.
Otjiwa's Eagles Rest
Eagle’s Rest is a resort in itself, with spacious lounge and TV, stylish dining-room, bar, shaded outdoor lounge, beautiful swimming pool and a large boma (seating and open-fireplace), all set in an extensive, well-tended garden.
° Seventeen Elegant Deluxe Rooms situated nearby reception complex. Stylish luxury includes en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, TV and mini-bar, and private verandah with uninterrupted views of the bushveld and panoramic sunsets.
° Seven Chalets (Self-Catering) in a village green setting just short distance from the Reception complex. Each Chalet has an open-plan kitchen, large shower-room with WC and washbasin, two bedrooms, and a lounge with sofa-bed - to accommodate a maximum of six people. A private verandah offers panoramic views of the bushveld and African sunsets together with the option of cooking on an open fire.
° Ten Campsites with easy access (4x4 not required). Clean river sand, shaded under acacia trees, modern facilities, ablution blocks, hot and cold water and braai areas, but no electricity - to ensure a more authentic African adventure. Three campsites are large, seven are smaller and more private.
The Nest
A large, isolated modern House surrounded by bush, and featuring an illuminated water-hole which attracts game passing by at night -sometimes even a thirsty rhino! The house has five bedrooms which can sleep 6 to 16 people and has an open-plan kitchen, a comfortable braai (barbecue) area and swimming pool - suitable for a large group or a family.

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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Namibia: plastic bags banned

#Namibia #NamibiaWildlifeResorts #NWR #banplasticbags #nationalparks #Etosha #MinistryofEnvironmentandTourism #Africa

Notice: Plastic Bag usage within the National parks

Windhoek, – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) would like to inform you that with immediate effect plastic bags are no longer allowed within all Namibia National Parks. Therefore, any plastic bags that might be in visitors' possessions will be removed by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism personnel when entering any of the National Parks in Namibia.
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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Zimbabwe: new Verney’s Camp

#Zimbabwe #VerneysCamp #HwangeNationalPark #MachabaSafaris #OkavangoDelta #GomotiPlains

Machaba Safaris is delighted to introduce a brand new Verney’s Camp which opened in May 2018 in a remote 10,000 hectare private concession in the south eastern section of Zimbabwe’s iconic Hwange National Park.  
Verney’s Camp boasts ten luxury safari tents (8 double / twins and 2 family tents), all built on wooden decks at ground level, tucked perfectly under the shady arms of the teak forest and overlooking a busy waterhole frequented by Hwange’s famous elephants. Each tent has been carefully positioned for maximum privacy and enjoyment of the views, connected by natural pathways to the central guest area. Tents are beautifully appointed complete with en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and double vanity basins.

At Machaba Safaris we pride ourselves in our community development and initiatives ensuring the wildlife, local communities and guests all benefit. Machaba co-sponsors a local school in Hwange National Park which guests can visit as a half day tour. The tour also stops at a small rural village and the Wild Dog Research Centre.

Rates are fully inclusive of accommodation, all meals, laundry, lodge activities, return vehicle airstrip transfers (for drive-ins from Victoria Falls), drinks including most alcohol (excluding imported and premium drinks) levies and taxes.

Access is via a 40 minute flight from Vic Falls Airport to Manga Airstrip and then a 45 minute road transfer. It is a 3.5 hour drive from Victoria Falls via Hwange Main Camp.
Machaba Safaris is a family owned collection of 4 safari experiences including 3 camps in Botswana’s iconic Okavango Delta, namely Machaba Camp, Little Machaba and Gomoti Plains – plus the new Verney’s in Zimbabwe. Our lodges offer excellent value for money and a true wilderness experience including mekoro (canoe) safaris, game drives and walks.
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Thursday, 19 July 2018

South Africa: Morokuru Beach Lodge opening | Мокоруру Лодж Южная Африка

#SouthAfrica #MorokuruBeachLodge #DeHoopNatureReserve #Africa #Dronesberg #whalewatching #МокоруруЛодж #ЮжнаяАфрика

The Morokuru Beach Lodge will open on 07 July 2018 along the pristine coastline of the De Hoop Nature Reserve in South Africa.

The reserve is famed for its southern right whale watching, limestone cliffs, rock pools and coastal fynbos.

This eco-friendly beach lodge will offer four luxury Ocean View Suites as well as one Dune Suite with views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding sand dunes. The lodge will also have its own restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Victoria Falls: new recycling project launch | Водопад Виктория Зимбабве

#Africa #Zimbabwe #VictoriaFalls #SouthAfrica #Dronesberg #AfricaAlbidaTourism #HwangeNationalPark #Namibia #ВодопадВикторияЗимбабве

A fantastic project is underway in Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls town, in an effort to become more ecologically conscious. The recycling journey has already begun with paper and plastic, as part of the first operation.

The paper and plastic will travel to Harare where a portion of the plastic will be used to make recycled plastic products. The rest will travel to recycling plants in South Africa.

The hope is that not only will it be beneficial to the environment but also a means of job creation for the local community. The operation is sponsored by Africa Albida Tourism, owners of several of the illustrious lodges in the area. This venture is creating a great buzz, with Hwange National Park expressing its interest in getting involved.
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