Most mountain bikers probably follow the normal course of the popular red route in the Harkerville forest outside Knysna, but Garden Route 300 race director Patric Mosterd feels they have hit on a winner by doing it in reverse. After changing the direction of the 24km loop over the past two years when it formed part of the race's first stage, Mosterd said they would persist with that option when the three-day race is staged from April 28. He said the red route would therefore again form part of the feature event's 75km opening stage, after which riders would tackle 50km and 75km stages on days two and three. "What is nice about doing the red route in reverse is that it makes the section completely different from the normal offering," said Mosterd. "Everyone loves riding in the Harkerville forest and the red route is an iconic trail in our area. "It puts a different spin on the opening day and it flows quite nicely with the rest of the stage, which has amazing forest scenery. It's been a winner and something we are sticking with." Besides the red route, Mosterd said the nature of the stage enhanced their objectives of providing the riders with a memorable mountain biking experience. "The route does undulate quite a lot because you can't get away from the fact that the area surrounding Knysna is very mountainous," he said. "Many of the routes are natural single-track and pretty soft underfoot, which means there is not much danger of encountering tricky rocky conditions." Most of day one, he added, flowed under the tree canopy, exposing riders to trails through Knysna's spectacular indigenous forests. "This includes long stretches of single-track covering about 8km at a time, which is genuine forest riding," said Mosterd. "Not only are there the Harkerville trails which were purpose-built, but the route also takes riders on natural trails created by people who harvested trees in the past and dragged them through the forest." After . . .
Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for climate change action. This year Earth Hour is at 8:30pm on 25 March 2017. "You can celebrate Earth Hour in a slightly different and completely guilt free way," says Alan Straton from Straton Solar who says that using green energy is the biggest and most visible way to make a noise for climate change. "Celebrate your commitment to our planet and your installation of energy saving solar panels on your roof by shining a light onto them during earth hour with the rest of your property in darkness," suggests Straton. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the parent organisation of Earth Hour and started Earth Hour with teams and partners in Sydney, Australia back in 2007 with a lights-off event. Starting in 2007 as a single-city event, Earth Hour is now celebrated across all continents. In the past decade, as global climate efforts gained momentum, Earth Hour has helped bridge the gap between the grassroots and the corridors of power, taking climate action from conference rooms to living rooms. It has empowered millions to support and participate in critical climate and conservation projects led by WWF and many others, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action. From the shores of Argentina where Earth Hour helped mobilize public support for the creation of a 3.4 million hectare-wide marine protected area, to the heart of Uganda where local communities and businesses helped create the first Earth Hour forest, the movement’s impact has been a game-changer for popularizing climate action. "We started Earth Hour in 2007 to show leaders that climate change was an issue people cared about. For that symbolic moment to turn into the global movement it is today, is really humbling and speaks volumes about the powerful role of people in issues that affect their lives," said Siddarth Das, Executive Director, Earth Hour . . .
Cape Town, March, 7, 2017. Life admin is the buzz word of the year, and it’s a perfect fit for all those little daily details that everybody has to do, but hates doing – buying electricity, taking out insurance, providing adequate health care cover and so on. However, in a move set to bring millions to the shores of Cape Town, Merchants in partnership with iSelect, will be easing the life admin burden of thousands of Australians with the signing of a five-year business deal between the two southern hemisphere companies. Established in 2000, iSelect started as a health insurance comparison website, but has recently diversified its product offering and is now selling additional services such as car and life insurance, home loans, electricity and broadband. This has resulted in significant growth for iSelect, however their challenge was to find enough talent to manage the growing rate of customer queries – a somewhat difficult task in Australia where the unemployment rate is low. “For most companies, offshoring a contact centre is about bringing costs down and efficiencies up. However for iSelect, the offshore move was to enable it to effectively grow the business, while still providing top quality service to its already established client base,” explains Darren Arnold, Strategy Director at Merchants. “They needed a skilled and educated sales force that could deliver high quality telephonic sales driven by a desire to always get it right – no matter what ‘it’ may be. The products that iSelect sell are needed, but not items people would spend hours choosing. Their customers want to get what they need as quickly as possible so that they can go on with their daily lives.” With Merchants partnering with iSelect to manage the contact centre in Cape Town, their customers can experience the best in skills and technology to deliver this aspect of life admin correctly and with minimum interruption to their day or night. In addition, all iSelect consultants are . . .
Mountaineering ace and motivational speaker Deshun Deysel will share her experiences from a lifetime of challenges as one of the keynote speakers at the Western Cape's Provincial Conference on Sport in George next weekend. The conference will be hosted by NMMU on March 10 and 11 to explore the contribution sport can make to society, emphasising the development of youth and building community participation. It will have a theme of Olympism, reviewing the province's contribution to last year's Rio Games and how the Olympics impact on sport and its development. The first black South African woman to climb Mount Everest, the 46-year-old Deysel, who grew up in Uitenhage and now lives in Johannesburg, has forged a career in motivational speaking while also managing to satisfy her mountain climbing craving. As a novice, she was not able to summit the mountain in the 1996 expedition, but she described being part of the first South African team to plant the country's democratic flag on top of Everest as "a dream come true". After the Everest expedition, Deysel found herself increasingly driven to explore other mountain climbing avenues. This saw her undertake 14 expeditions on five continents, providing invaluable experience which she now imparts to others as part of her company, Deshun Deysel and Associates. She will use the conference in George to specifically focus on goal-setting and how competitors can handle tough situations. "I will address the issue of sticking to goals and trusting the process," said Deysel. "I will deal with how impatient people can sometimes be in the pursuit of a goal and how this can, ultimately, cause them to give up and fail." She said one of the chief lessons she learnt from her mountaineering career was the importance of looking after your body. "You have to have an intimate understanding of your body's needs and learn to listen to it. "Too many athletes push themselves so hard that they suffer unnecessary . . .
Should you belong to a professional association? If you want to get ahead in your career, the answer is “yes,” according to Bianca Filmalter, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA). “Association membership has incredible benefits for ambitious, career-oriented businesspeople,” Filmalter said. Solving Career Concerns Filmalter believes that belonging to an association can help members in a variety of ways. “As the saying goes, ‘No man is an island,’” she said. “Business people do not thrive when they are isolated from colleagues. Regular interaction leads to learning, personal growth and career progression.” Filmalter noted that the following career concerns can often be resolved through association membership: Stuck in Limbo: Is your career making little or no progress? Interacting with others in your profession could be the answer. “An association might offer workshops on how to advance in your career,” Filmalter said. “Or, it may be time to seek a new employer. You can make connections through association functions that could lead to a better position with a different company.” No One to Ask: If you are self-employed, or a part of a small department at your workplace, there may be times when you would like to know the opinion of others in your position. “Your employer or clients look to you as an expert in your field,” Filmalter said, “but there are times when even an expert can use some good advice. Many associations have online message boards where members can ask each other questions or discuss various important topics.” Reinventing the Wheel: Are you ever frustrated with ineffective or convoluted processes in your workplace? With time and patience, you might come up with an easier way – but why reinvent the wheel? By talking with peers in an association, you can learn about solutions that others in your industry have already discovered. “An association can provide educational opportunities . . .
Lakeside Lodge & Spa welcomes everyone to take part in the inaugural Big Splash on the 30th of April 2017. This is your chance to support the Pink Loerie Foundation by creating a costume hat, and then taking a 200m plunge into the lake with your fabulous hat. The Mardi Gras theme sets the tone with family fun day making the day an event not to be missed. If that’s not enough reason then listen to the amazing prize: the most creative swimming hat wins a weekend stay including a 30 min back, neck and shoulders massage at our 5 star hotel & spa. If getting wet isn’t you thing, join in the festivities with a drag how in the amphitheatre at 1pm and light live music by the lake. The Queens of Wigstock will keep your entertained with performances by Betty Brangles, Olivia Mae, Victoria Styles, Jett Jones and Charnéb Churchill. Foodies and winos can expect food by Chef Kelly Annie Pieterson and award-winning wines by Walker Bay wine farm, Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate. Kids can enjoy watersport activities on the Swartvlei Lake, provided by Lakeside Lodge & Spa. A live performance from local sensation Shaza Greeff tops off an amazing day out with family and friends. Programme 9:00 to 11:00 The Lakeside BIG Splash 13:00 to 15:00 The Drag Show, The Queen of wig stock 16:00 to 20:00 Light live Music by the lake (picnic special) CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
February 2017: Here’s another way to reach Shamwari Game Reserve in style, with Plett Air Safaris who now operates a reliable flight shuttle service between Plettenberg Bay and Shamwari Game Reserve, which links the Garden Route and the Eastern Cape perfectly, to make your journey even easier. Plett Air Safaris also conveniently links to Fly CemAir, for those using this airline from Johannesburg or Cape Town. In just 45 minutes from Plettenberg Bay, you can be here at Shamwari Game Reserve. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The annual Sanlam Top Destination Awards, in its third year running, plans to expand this year with additional entries, more guests at the awards ceremony, extravagant décor and further prolific sponsorship opportunities with the theme of Authentically African #MyHeartBeatsAfrica. The awards have been designed by Discount Traveler for one purpose and that’s to uplift the hospitality industry in South Africa by acknowledging top accommodation establishments as key industry players. Managing Director of Discount Traveler, Jonathan Pepler states that the Sanlam Top Destination Awards far exceeds our expectations, especially due to the great response we’ve received each year. “We are building a brand that will continue to show recognition to one of our country’s most influential industries and one that has a positive impact. The hospitality and tourism industry in its entirety is a driving force in our economy and to simply play a small role in this, is significant to the bigger picture.” Pepler continues, “We strive to uplift that local family business that has put blood, sweat and tears into their establishment, to show people the utmost dedication that goes into running a guest house or B&B and then on the other hand we want to show recognition to the four and five-star hotels that are doing everything right in terms of service offering and deserve an applause.” Entries are open to all accommodation establishments in South Africa and there are nine categories available to enter. Entries have been open from the 1st of February 2017 but voting will commence from the 1st of March 2017. Voting is open to the public and establishments are encouraged to get their guests to vote for them. Votes are tallied and the top establishments are then judged according to an internal set of criteria. Nominees are named and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, 14 September 2017 which will be held at the Cape Town City Hall. Title sponsor of . . .
Experience an outdoor concert overlooking the Swartvlei lake for one night only. On the 11th of March, Lakeside Lodge & Spa will showcase a full orchestra accompanied by accomplished singers performing British patriotic favourites, classics and semi-classics. This family friendly event encourages guests to dress up in red, white and blue with a spot prize for the best dressed couple. This sold out event last year is a highlight on the Garden Route events calendar and is not to be missed. Love wine? And streetstyle food? Enjoy award-winning wines and a selection of street-style food prepared by Chef Kelly-Annie Pietersen and her team of chefs. Date: 11 March 2017 Time: 16:30pm Call: 044 343 1844 or email: email@example.com Book now:shop.benguelacove.co.za/products/last-night-of-the-proms-2017 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Recent increases in tourism to South Africa are bringing large numbers of visitors to the beautiful Garden Route area, creating a need for more and improved accommodation options for the traveller market. Marked by its spectacular coastal and forested mountainous areas, the region also boasts the vibrant town of George. Since George is both a large urban centre and the location of the region’s airport, it has developed into a town offering many features for travellers – visiting for both leisure and business purposes. Catering for both kinds of travellers is the Protea Hotel by Marriott® George Outeniqua, located in the centre of the town but in close proximity to forests, mountains and the sparkling coastline characteristic of this area. This quaint 3-star hotel with its Cape Dutch façade highlights the history of the town. Built in the early 1800s, the building was the home of the first magistrate of George, Adrian van Kervel, an important figure in the town’s history who also oversaw the building of the Drostdy in 1812. To highlight the historic architecture of the building, the hotel’s recent refurbishment includes repainting to provide a focus on the Cape Dutch gable and parapets. “The refresh of the property has been taken through from the outside to the interiors, too,” says GM of the hotel, Jenny Jordaan. “To create an ambience of warmth and depth, we’ve also pulled up carpeting in the bedrooms and installed laminated wood flooring, which we extended to some of the public areas too.” This charming old-world hotel, now revitalised and refreshed, and located in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, is well-positioned to welcome guests from all over to enjoy its facilities and location. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .