Sunday, 10 January 2016

South Africa: Jambo Guest House newsletter | Джамбо Гест Хаус Кейптаун


Dear Friends,
Well, we made it through another exciting year and by the time you read this Jambo Guest House will have been open for 20 years!

A nice surprise was a Certificate of Excellence awarded to us by TripAdvisor for 2015 so I guess we must be doing something right! We have to commend our staff, Cathy and Mandy, who have been with us for 18 and 14 years respectively, for all their hard work performed with love, honesty and loyalty in helping us to achieve these awards. Our thanks and love go out to them.
Springtime in Cape Town and at Jambo always catches us by surprise. Although winters are mild we wake up one fine morning and suddenly everything is in bloom and the garden is filled with all sorts of wonderful flowers and scents.
This year, as always, proved to be no exception. A garden full to bursting with Clivias, of which we now have a big selection of all different shades. The blue swathe of the Petrea climbing up the side of the house and over the front gable. The Port Wine Magnolia with a scent that is almost overpowering as you walk towards the jacuzzi. The Moonflower with its’ pendulous trumpet shaped flowers giving off an amazing aroma at night.
Our beloved Wisteria pretended to have given up the ghost this year with a lot of die back. We cut out all the dead wood and the result was so sad that it sent us running to the nursery to buy a new climber. We emerged with a mystery climber (we think it is a Mandevilla) but when planting it, we found a single live shoot of the Wisteria. We are now proud to announce that it has regenerated itself and we now have two healthy climbers covering the Grove Road fence!

The Koi are now well established in the pond, have become very tame and like to be petted and will feed from your hand. We probably need to lessen their numbers now as they have grown so big but we can never decide which ones we must say goodbye to...
Cape Town this year was host city to the second leg of the Clipper round-the-World yacht race from Brazil to the Mother City. The race was started by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson and is unique in that all twelve yachts are identical and, apart from the Skipper of each, anybody can sign up and be crew - no experience necessary! It is a race split into eight legs with the start and finish in the U.K. We were privileged to have had a crew member of the yacht “IchorCoal”, sponsored by the mining company of the same name.
He stayed with us during the race stop-over in Cape Town. After leaving Cape Town for the third leg of the race, crews sailed down to 40 degrees south and could expect some of the most extreme and exhilarating sailing in the World, en-route to Australia.
Although I wrote about it last year the new Cape Town cruise line terminal is now definitely on track to becoming a reality. Plans are advanced to build it at E Berth in the Duncan Dock which is close to the Silo District of the V & A Waterfront. The plan is for the terminal to be fully operational by 2017 and includes the development of the Seitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. According to Cape Town’s Mayor, Patricia de Lille, between 2005 and 2013 there has been more than a 100% increase in the number of passenger ships visiting Cape Town and this is set to increase even more.
During this year’s Tour de France, something I follow closely, South African team MTN Qhubeka, Wild Card Entrants in their first tour, managed to wear the polka dot jersey (King of the Mountains) were second in the team competition at one time, and took thirteen top -10 finishes and best of all, won a stage. Not bad for first timers!
Qhubeka is a Nguni word meaning to carry on, move forward, to progress. Qhubeka helps people move forward and progress by donating bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance people can travel, where they can go, how fast can they get there.

Thousands of young South African lives have been changed as they became the recipients of bicycles raised by donations through the Qhubeka programme.
The sponsors of the team next year are Dimension Data, the global ICT solutions and services provider. The team will be known as Team Dimension Data and will include famous Manxman Mark Cavendish, winner of 26 Tour de France stages.
The attempt to break the current world land speed record is still on track and is scheduled to take place in the Northern Cape in September next year. The Bloodhound SSC is 13m long and has been designed to travel up to 1600 km/h. It has already been tested at 1200 km/h. The car was unveiled in London in September and was also on exhibition at the Science Forum South Africa at the CSIR conference centre in Pretoria.
According to the U.K’s Telegraph, there are 25 reasons to visit South Africa right now. At the top of the list is the fact that all the major currencies, with Sterling being the highest, are at an all time high against the Rand so you can really score when you are here.

Truth Coffee Roasting coffee shop in Buitenkant street, Cape Town, has also been mentioned by The Telegraph as being the very best in the whole world.
From a list of 13 unique coffee shops and roasteries in the world, Truth's steampunk-inspired artisan coffee shop - a warehouse filled from top to bottom with metal piping and quirky, old machinery - came out on top, grinding out some of the top shops in France, Vienna, Singapore and Italy. So come and join us and we’ll go drink some coffee!
The Telegraph also mentioned the incredible landscapes, the extensive variety of very good wines, the proximity of nature, seriously good hiking, general good weather and great shopping due to the weak rand.
Telegraph travel readers also said “You really can’t overstate the case for visiting Cape Town,”. “First, there’s the in-your-face beauty of a craggy mountain range that drops precipitously into a glittering sea, its flanks carpeted in green. Then there are the pristine white beaches lapped by – if the truth be told – a chilly Atlantic, but their curves defined by giant granite boulders to bake on, and burbling mountain streams in dappled forests.”
We must not forget our wildlife around the Cape. Wild leopards can now be found in the mountains, our penguin colonies, seals, guinea fowl, mongoose, clawless otters, ostriches, resident humpbacks and southern right whales in winter and great white sharks.
This past weekend Cape Town hosted the HSBC Sevens World Series Rugby and we had to guard our parking bays as people coming to watch the tournament park in any spot, regardless of it being private property! 106000 fans attended the two day event and with the Stadium just across the road and the Waterfront a short walk away the vibe in our area was really truly great!
It is a great time to visit SA again.
°    A pound is worth R23.41 today,
°    A Euro is worth R17.42 today,
°    A US Dollar is worth R16.02 today,
°    and that means a South African trip is better value for money than ever before.
In closing we wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016.
Love, Barry and Mina
Jambo Guest House
1 Grove Road,
Green Point,
Cape Town,
South Africa

°    TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015
°    Tourism Grading Council of SA - 4 Star Guest House Graded AA Superior Accommodation
°    AA Travel Guides Hall of Fame 2003,2004,2005,2006,2007 & 2008
°    Winner AA & SAA Guest House of the Year - 2000,2001 & 2002
°    AA Travel Guides "Steady Star" 2005 for outstanding services to the tourism industry

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