Cape Town, 26 April 2017: Oudtshoorn, the Klein Karoo town known for (among other things), ostrich riding and the Cango Caves, is set to enjoy a new-look hotel when the well-known Protea Hotel by Marriott® Oudtshoorn Riempie Estate undergoes refurbishment. The new owners, who acquired the property in October last year, felt that it was time for the property, with its country feel, to be revitalised. According to the owner, Barend Smit, “This is a big project, since the entire property will be refurbished. In addition to a redesigned front façade, the work involves the renovation of all the rooms, and each will have a brand-new bathroom, new flooring and fresh furnishings. “While we have decided to refresh the property, we are conscious of the need to retain the features that give this hotel its charm, so the refurbishment takes this into account,” Smit explains. To minimise the impact of the building on guests, the hotel will remain open and the work will be carried out between 9am and 4pm during weekdays only. The plan is for the project to be carried out in phases, and certain sections of the property will be closed during particular phases of the work. Work commences on Monday, 24 April. “We have no doubt that the hotel will be even more attractive to tourists and business travellers alike, and that we will continue to enhance the appeal of the region,” concludes Smit. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Port Elizabeth, 19 April 2017 - The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Ltd (SANRAL) has today announced road infrastructure development programmes with a total investment value of R1,6 billion for the national road network in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality. SANRAL will break ground for six new construction, maintenance and upgrading projects in its new 2017/18 financial book year, according to Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager. Three of the projects along the R334, R342 and R336 will improve the quality of the national road network from Somerset East, Kirkwood and Patterson to Addo, and from Addo to Motherwell / Nelson Mandela Bay, while the remaining projects are focused on the R75 and N2 for Uitenhage, Joe Slovo and Colchester. The announcement was made today at one of SANRAL’s several annual consultation and engagement briefings with municipalities in the Eastern Cape. Today, SANRAL engaged the mayoral portfolio committee members of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) on cooperation requirements from the NMBM in relation to traffic control and municipal approval of rezoning or subdivision of land adjacent to national roads network, amongst other things. “The forthcoming projects will not only advance road safety but also deliver a world-class national road network to the province Peterson said. “Along with the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission’s strategic integrated N2 Wild Coast Toll Road project, investment in the national road network in the Eastern Cape is poised to steer the region into a golden era of prosperity through mobility. A safer and effective road network is key to enhancing foreign and domestic direct investment, socio-economic growth and development as well as government service delivery,” Peterson said. Petersen indicated that SANRAL will set SMME contract participation goals and community training programmes in forthcoming tender calls to . . .
A beautiful reserve with two camps namely; Shikwari Suites 4 star graded & Pangolin Rondavel soon to be graded near Hoedspruit, Limpopo. Recently we have added 2 bathrooms to two of our Pangolin Rondavels. After many request for this option, we have finally managed this. Two more for the remaining bathroom will come later this year. After adding bathrooms; we are also adding bespoke hand cream and dual purpose liquid soap/shampoo in natural bushveld fragrance & products, locally sourced. Another first is a new Shikwari Suite to be named “Knobthorn Suite” celebrating the beautiful trees that flower here in early spring. This brings the rooms up to 6 and will be great for the tour groups that travel in larger vehicles. We are hoping to have this ready by the end of the year. More on this later. The Lodge has been moving to a greener footprint. We use “Laundry Balls” for washing laundry. We have found that there is no difference from using washing powder and the linen is still white, fresh smelling and clean. As geysers begin to give trouble, we are changing to solar. All this saves electricity and revenue. All our refuse is recycled and collected by a recycling company; kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps go out to the wildlife who love it. All produce and items for meals are locally sourced as far as possible to try and reduce our carbon footprint on our precious earth. We believe in supporting local. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
You don’t always have to travel far to have great experiences – often the best things to do are right on your doorstep. So, if you’re not planning on leaving Cape Town for one of the April long weekends, why not spoil yourself with some local treats? You could opt for total indulgence and leave home for the long weekend to stay over in luxurious accommodation elsewhere in the city or surrounds. For those with old-fashioned sensibilities of luxury, there’s the sumptuous high tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in the Gardens area of the city. Or, you could join the many foreign tourists who select the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers in Century City for its spectacular views over Table Bay and Table Mountain. If relaxing on the stunning pool deck at the infinity pool doesn’t keep you occupied all the time, there’s a surprising number of things to do in the area: kitesurf at Blouberg beach, visit the highly-rated Perfume Museum in Table View, take a drive to the nearby Durbanville Wine Route, or enjoy the birdlife in the natural setting of Intaka Island, a pleasant walk away from the Hotel. Durbanville is another area to consider for a different type of home-away-from-home staycation. A mere 20 years ago it was still thought of as a country village not far from Cape Town but, today, it has become a suburb of the city – luckily, it’s retained some of the features that made it a lovely country town. You’ll still see vineyards near the town, and the local rose garden is a treat. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the village, and stop off at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery which has an extensive collection of South African art and ceramics. The local wine route offers stunning views, great wine tastings and lots of good food. You might also be able to catch a movie in the open at the Galileo Open-Air Cinema at Hillcrest Quarry. And as for places to stay, consider Schoongezicht Guest House with its wonderful tranquil setting in the farmlands, while Lapa Log Cabins . . .
Winter weddings abroad are often associated with crisp white isles and snow-capped mountaintops in the distance. In South Africa’s Western Cape, winter weddings don’t have to stand back, though. From venues that boast panoramic views over scenic white mountain ranges, rugged African landscapes and untouched, white sand beaches, couples can choose from a wide range of venues, all within three hours’ drive of Cape Town. While South African summers are well cherished, the winter options available from Cape Country Routes Collection (CCR) will easily do away those wedding jitters. CCR (www.capecountryroutes.com) is an independent group of top-tier accommodation and wedding facilities. Kagga Kamma Game Reserve in the Southern Cederberg Mountains is ideal for a customised couples’ getaway and to ‘secretly’ set engagement plans in motion with its particular proposal packages. Plotting your engagement or want to ‘drop a hint’? Renowned for its luxurious four-star cave and hut suites, a few nights’ stay at the Reserve is enough to kick-start the next chapter in your relationship. The Reserve sets the perfect scene for you or your significant other to pop the question. Start off with a romantic, private pre-setup candlelit dinner against the backdrop of fascinating rock formations and the Cederberg landscape. Or opt for dinner under the stars in the Reserve’s designated Open Air Room. Opt for a scavenger hunt and gourmet picnic that leads to ‘finding’ the key to unlocking the next stage in your relationship. As with most post ‘I do’ expectations, no wedding is complete with a memorable honeymoon, especially for cosy winter evenings. Rest can be assured with various unique packages offered at Kagga Kamma Game Reserve. Don’t let the winter chill steer you away from the coast. Discover the tranquil setting of Arniston Spa Hotel, located near the southernmost point of Africa. Perfectly set in a sheltered bay, a favourite spot for whales to gather later in winter, the . . .
Members of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association (Paarl & Wellington) walked away with several accolades during the recently held Cape Winelands District Municipality Tourism Awards hosted in Wellington. This was the fifth edition of the awards, which recognise exceptional performance within the Cape Winelands tourism industry and showcase the best tourism entities, products, service excellence and the people behind it. The Drakenstein Local Tourism Association had the most entries of the five municipal areas situated within the Cape Winelands with a total of sixteen nominations in the seven different categories. Categories included New Tourism Business of the Year, Tourism Business of the Year, Wine Tourism Destination of the Year as well as Adventure, Outdoor & Eco-tourism Business of the Year, Tourism Related Event/ Festival of the Year and Best visitor’s information & services of the Year. A Special Discretionary Award to an Individual in Tourism is also presented to an individual in recognition of their commitment to tourism in the region. The Paarl region produced two of the winners, namely the hugely popular Spice Route Destination in Tourism Business of the Year category and Le Bonheur Croc Farm in the Adventure & Outdoor category. Val du Charron Wine and Olive Estate in Wellington was the runner up in the Tourism Business of the Year category, while Paarl’s Rhebokskloof came second in the Wine Tourism Destination category. Dawn Jorgensen received the discretionary award in acknowledgement of her contribution to tourism in the region. Jorgensen’s tourism journey started at Diemersfontein Wine Estate before she embarked on running her own tour operating company Africa Awaits Tours & Safaris for ten years. She started the highly acclaimed blog The Incidental Tourist in 2010 and has worked with the tourism board committee and Travel Massive Cape Town. According to Annelize Stroebel, manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism . . .
The final upgrades of the R160-million project to upgrade plazas by Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessioniare, operator of the N1N4 freeway, will commence along the N4 at the Marikana and Brits Toll plazas between April and October, 2017. The works will see two lanes added at both plazas, one in each direction. Liam Clarke, commercial manager of Bakwena, says that the upgrade at Brits and Marikana means that the extra wide lanes westbound will be closed for abnormal vehicles for the seven months following from 10 April 2017. There may be some variance to this period depending on weather conditions, but the scheduled completion date is October 2017, says Clarke. Alternative routes have been implemented for abnormal trucks using this route over the next eight months, while the toll plaza upgrade is underway at Brits and Marikana toll plazas. Abnormal vehicles will need to follow the alternative route signage that has been provided along the route. “The Brits alternative route will consist of the K25, R566 and R512; while the Marikana alternative route will consist of the Buffelspoort ramp, the R104 and Kroondal ramp,” says Clarke. The project to add additional lanes at Zambesi, Pumulani, Stormvoël and Doornpoort Toll Plaza was completed on schedule in December 2016 and is already reducing delays during peak periods. The initial upgrade at Zambesi Toll Plaza has already been assessed and resulted in a 20-minute saving on commuter driving time. The time savings on the more newly completed plazas at Stormvoël. Pumulani and Doornpoort are still being evaluated. The upgrade at Doornpoort has so far led to an increase in vehicles per hour in peak periods from 3,300 to 3,800 vph, an increase of 15%. In addition to including new e-tag lanes in the upgrades of each toll plaza, Bakwena is also incentivising toll road users to switch from manual payment to e-tags. “Use of e-tags is convenient and benefits motorists by considerably speeding up their transit through . . .
Eastern Cape, 31 March 2017. No major road construction will take place along the eastern seaboard linking Cape Town with KwaZulu-Natal but work is in progress just north of Durban close to the King Shaka Airport. The Easter holiday – from Friday 14 to Monday 17 April – is traditionally a period when there is a rapid spike in traffic on most major national and provincial highways. Historically, there is heavy traffic on the N2 the day before Good Friday, travelling toward Caledon, and again on Easter Monday, going toward Grabouw. These will be the only peak travel times barring any unforeseen major traffic incidents or weather conditions. The 550km stretch between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is expected to be in a fair to good condition. The road consists primarily of a single carriageway with climbing lanes. Routine maintenance is expected to occur along sections of the N2. A new interchange – the Baywest Boulevard – was recently opened which should facilitate traffic flow on the section between Van Staden’s River and Port Elizabeth. Construction traffic will be encountered in the Grahamstown area with the possibility of blasting activities taking place near the Fish River Pass. North of Durban construction on the upgrading of the N2/M41 Mount Edgecombe interchange in ongoing. There will be temporary traffic diversions in place and drivers are advised to be on the lookout for stop-go controls and other traffic signs. Between Empangeni and Pongola on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast construction is taking place at the Kwabhoboza Interchange. Motorists travelling the Garden Route are advised to be alert for pedestrians and stray animals within the informal settlements in Knysna along the George to Natures Valley route. Undulations occur along the Gamtoos River to Van Staden’s River section. Caution is advised as pedestrians will be encountered at Thornhill. Temporary closures due to blasting along the Grahamstown to Fish River route will result . . .
Come along to the Cape Getaway Show this weekend, 31 March to 2 April 2017, and stand a chance to win amazing prizes. From the grand prize of a five-night holiday for two in Mauritius, to weekends away, travel and outdoor gear and loads of other great giveaways, you’d be unlucky not to win. Entries are only possible at the Cape Getaway Show. The Cape Getaway Show has something for everyone, with over 200 interactive travel, outdoor and adventure exhibits, kiddies activities and great music line-ups on Saturday and Sunday. With special events happening each day there is loads for the whole family and a few special treats for the outdoor sports fanatics. Win a trip to Mauritius Win a five-night stay for two adults at Solana Beach Resort in Mauritius valued at R50 000, courtesy of Flight Centre! Flights and breakfast are included, excludes airport taxes. The prize is valid from the 1st June to the 31st August 2017 and is subject to availability. Many more great prizes are also up for grabs, including… • Win a Thula Thula day trip for four people and a copy of the book “The Elephant Whisperer” signed by Francoise Maltby Anthony. Enter at the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve stand, thulathula.com. • Win a two night stay for six persons sharing in a self-catering cottage overlooking the ocean at Monkey Valley. Enter this competition at the Monkey Valley Resort Stand. The resort is located in Noordhoek Cape Town, monkeyvalleyresort.com. • Win a two night stay at Teniqua Treetops in a self-catering, tree houses for four people. Enter at the Teniqua Treetops stand. Teniqua is located near Sedgefield, teniquatreetops.co.za. • Win a two night stay for two people sharing at The Coral Tree Cottages self-catering cottage and receive two vouchers to Adventure Land, coraltreecottages.co.za. Unlock your travel dreams at the Cape Getaway Show, this is most definitely one of the events that should not be missed. Opening and closing times: Friday; . . .
Tintswalo Atlantic has introduced a special ‘Winter Warmer’ package, complete with all-enveloping comforts and gourmet cuisine, at R7000 per night for two people sharing. Valid from 1 May until 31 August 2017, the Winter Warmer includes luxury accommodation in one of the 10 ocean-facing king suites, as well as a delectable five-course dinner with a bottle of house wine, and a delicious breakfast the next morning. Tintswalo Atlantic is fast gaining a reputation as a gourmet destination of note, since the recent appointment of new Head Chef Guy Clark, who is already making waves in Cape Town as a culinary name to watch. Renowned as one of Cape Town’s ‘best kept secrets’, thanks to its exclusive oceanside location, Tintswalo Atlantic is the ideal destination for a romantic getaway or to celebrate a special occasion. Each suite has its own balcony or terrace, right on the water’s edge – surrounded by nature only, inviting guests to simply lean back, breathe in the fresh sea air and listen to the crashing waves below. The five-star boutique lodge is situated within the Table Mountain National Park, perched in a magnificent setting on a pebbled beach at the foot of Chapman’s Peak. As one of the city’s most precious hidden gems, it boasts breathtaking panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean towards Hout Bay and the dramatic Sentinel mountain peak. It is a wonderful hideaway to get away from it all – while also being within easy distance to Camps Bay, the Cape Town CBD and Constantia Valley, with its world-class wine estates. Valid from 1 May until 31 August 2017, a special overnight offer includes luxury accommodation, as well as breakfast and a five-course dinner with a bottle of house wine, at R7000 for two people sharing. Note that during weekends, a minimum two-night stay applies. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .