Fastjet deal boosts presence in the region

Fastjet, the aspiring pan-African budget airline, has increased its presence in SA and Southern Africa through a brand-licensing agreement with Federal Airlines in SA and Solenta Aviation in Mozambique.
Travel industry publication, Travel Meetings & Buyer, reports that the airline has moved its head office from London to SA.

On Friday, holding company fastjet plc informed its shareholders on the London Stock Exchange’s Aim exchange that it had raised $28m in a share placement and had agreed to a further $44.2m subscription with Solenta Aviation, bringing the company’s capitalisation to about $50m.
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Fastjet

Tests begin for ‘fastest train in Africa’

 On Monday, the Moroccan rail office announced that engineers are preparing to test Africa’s first high-speed railway this week, with trains reaching 320kilometres (200 miles) per hour.

The ONCF reported that one train reached 275kph (170 mph) on Monday, along a stretch of track between the northern cities of Kenitra and Tangier. ‘This is already the fastest train on the African continent,’ declared French Foreign Ministe, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was in Morocco to sign a loan deal between the ONCF and the French Development Agency.
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Africa fastest train

Tanzania tour operators: Conservation agenda takes center stage on Nyerere Day

Organizers have announced that conservation will feature prominently in an annual commemoration of Tanzania’s founding father, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, on October 14, 2017.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) expressed its  resolve to place more energy and time  into marketing Nyerere Day in Arusha, Tanzania’s designated safari capital this year, to recognize his outstanding contribution to conservation.

“In the wake of a general decline in the wildlife population of Tanzania and East Africa, we are organizing Nyerere Day in Arusha to raise awareness of the importance of conservation,” noted TATO Chairman, Wilbard Chambulo.
Research findings by scientists from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), also known as the World Wildlife Fund in the US and Canada, and the Zoological Society of London indicate that half of the population of wild animals on Earth has been lost in the last 40 years.
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Tanzania tour operators

 

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SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS EXTENDS GROUP BOOKING PROMOTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South African Airways (SAA), the national flag carrier of South Africa and Africa’s most awarded airline, has extended its special group-booking promotion, offering one free tour conductor ticket* (restrictions apply) for every 10 group passengers travelling on SAA. This offer is valid for new group bookings made and deposits received by October 31, 2017, for travel from October 26 through December 9, 2017, and January 11 through March 31, 2018. It applies to travel  on SAA-operated flights from New York-JFK Airport or Washington, DC-Dulles Airport to any SAA destination in Africa.

“We invite families, friends, co-workers and travel clubs to take advantage of SAA’s low group fares and this special tour-conductor offer to explore and experience the wonders of Africa,” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways. “With this tremendous value, your group can experience the vibe of Africa’s cosmopolitan cities, enjoy an exhilarating game safari to view the Big Five, indulge in amazing wine and culinary delights, or spend quality time together under the majestic African skies.”

To request your group quote, email GroupsNA@flysaa.com, or contact your local professional travel consultant. Visit www.flysaa.com to learn more about the exciting destinations we service.

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New Country Lodge in Franschhoek – La Clé Country Lodge

An exciting new addition in Franschhoek could be the perfect solution for those availability blues. The much-loved La Clé des Montagnes is being expanded with the addition of LA CLÉ COUNTRY LODGE.

This modern, yet charming Cape-Dutch-style, 5-bedroom house, with sprawling gardens, will be available per room or exclusively. As it is situated on a working wine farm in the heart of the village, guests have access to more than 1km of gardens, 2 dams for swimming (plus a normal pool), tennis court and a heli landing pad, all within a 5-minute walk of village restaurants and shops.

Interiors have been crafted by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs and the Country Lodge will be available on a per-room basis, as well as for exclusive use. It is the perfect complement to the 4 fully-serviced, private La Clé des Montagnes villas.

SOFT OPENING:
20 December 2017 – 31 January 2018
These dates are not shown in online availability but are available on request through trade partners only.
Soft Rate: 5 Bedrooms, for exclusive use only, R 32 850 per night.
Children of all ages are welcome. This offers exceptional value – no holiday supplement applies!

OFFICIAL OPENING:
From 1 February 2018, per room or exclusive use.
Loaded and updated in online availability.
Launch Rate: R 4 700 – R 8 650 per room per night.
Children 12 years and older welcome.
Exclusive Use: all special offers apply and all ages are welcome.

TOP TIPS:
CHEF’S TABLE — guests can engage with the chef, observing and enjoying the meals as they are prepared for that in-the-kitchen feeling.
DYNAMIC PURPOSE — 5 separate rooms or exclusive use.
WALKABOUT — a quick stroll from the Country Lodge to the village.
GROWN-UP SANCTUARY — An escape for couples and solo travellers, no under 12s.
CONCIERGE — the same service received at the Villas.

Contact: reservations@lacle.co.za

Fair Trade Holiday

Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris Fair Trade Tourism Approved

Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris has become the latest tour operator to be approved by Fair Trade Tourism (FTT), joining the list of nearly 60 operators committed to showcasing Africa’s most responsible tourism portfolio.

Announcing the approval, Jane Edge, MD of Fair Trade Tourism, said: “Springbok Atlas carries a wealth of knowledge of South Africa’s tourism industry dating back over 71 years. Its purchasing power, coupled with Fair Trade Tourism approval, represents a major potential boost for Fair Trade Tourism certified products”.

To which Glenn McKeag, CEO of Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris, responded, “We are proud to be associated with such a worthy segment of the tourism industry and hope we can play a major role in the drive towards responsible tourism and the selection of dedicated products”.

Demonstrating its commitment to Fair Trade Tourism, Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris launched a 100% certified Fair Trade Holiday in the market place, which includes Cape Town, the Overberg coastline, Kruger National Park and Johannesburg. For an itinerary to be branded a Fair Trade Holiday, at least 50% of bed nights in the itinerary need to be at Fair Trade Tourism certified/recognised businesses.

Currently, Fair Trade Tourism has 195 businesses in its portfolio, all of which are doing exemplary work in social, economic and environmental arenas. FTT directly certifies businesses in South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and recognizes businesses certified by equivalent certification schemes in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Seychelles.

SA’s Marine Dynamics wins global sustainable tourism award

SA’s Marine Dynamics wins global sustainable tourism award

 South African shark-cage diving company, Marine Dynamics, scooped a prestigious eco-tourism award at the Skål World Congress, Sustainable Tourism Awards 2017, in Hyderabad, India, on Friday, 6 October.

Skål International is an organisation of tourism leaders around the world, “promoting global tourism and friendship”.

Marine Dynamics won the award for Shark and Whale Eco-Tourism Benefiting Conservation and Community.

The popular shark-cage diving company, based in Gansbaai, Western Cape, is well known for its marine research and conservation efforts in co-operation with sister companies Dyer Island Cruises and the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary
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Marine Dynamic.

Happy birthday Table Mountain Cableway!

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company is celebrating its 88th birthday this week, with discount vouchers available in community newspapers.

The cable cars have been running up the mountain since 1929, taking Capetonians and tourists to great heights to see the best of the iconic natural landmark of the city.

Not only has the company been around for 88 years, but it’s also the 20th anniversary for the current cable car model since it was introduced in 1997.
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Table Mountain

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African Bush Camps US Representation

African Bush Camps has recently entered into a partnership with Index Select, a cutting-edge agency based in the USA. Index Select will support African Bush Camps in the American market in sales, marketing and PR. Index Select is a global hospitality consulting firm with a simple creed of conveying remarkable stories to the best in the travel trade and provides a strong platform to increase our brand awareness, grow the African Bush Camps market share and stimulate new business in the American Market.

Wazha Dube is the Index Select dedicated consultant for African Bush Camps and can be reached at wazha@indexselect.com

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Open For Bookings: Barefoot Luxury at Khayelitshe House

Situated in the heart of the Matobo Hills, just outside the boundary of the National Park lies Khayelitshe House. Enclosed by the iconic balancing rocks and surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of massive boulders, Khayelitshe House was designed as a relaxed weekend escape for Professional Guide Beks Ndlovu and his family.

Khayelitshe’s charm comes from its simplicity and organic blueprint. Drawing inspiration from Beks’ travels throughout Africa and the world, the eclectic design brings both tranquillity and energy. This is a home that is completely off-the-grid, one that inspires peacefulness and being at one with nature. The environmentally-friendly design blends in perfectly with the ancient and majestic landscape that surrounds the property. With a laidback atmosphere and a plaque that reads “if you are barefoot you are overdressed” at the front door, this house is ideally suited for families or groups of friends who want to explore the majesty of Matobo Hills.

Fully serviced, including a private chef and staff, and consisting of 4 en-suite bedrooms with incredible views from every window, the house inspires a feeling of remoteness that is hard to capture. The private land around Khayelitshe covers over 1200 acres of breath-taking wilderness, making it a beautiful escape from the grind of modern life.

Matobo National Park is considered one of the most pristine National parks in Africa. The rugged landscape is home to what is thought to be one of the highest concentrations of both leopard and black eagle in the world. Hidden in the caves of the Matobo Hills are over 3,000 registered rock art sites, giving it the greatest density of such art anywhere in the world, and adding to the richness of experience in the area. The park also includes an Intensive Protection Zone where a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros are successfully breeding.

Tusk royal patron Prince William honours Africa’s wildlife warriors

The 2017 Tusk Conservation Awards took place in Cape Town on Wednesday evening, 4 October. Paying tribute to the “unrelenting dedication and commitment” of Africa’s wildlife heroes, Tusk’s royal patron, Prince William, addressed attendees via video.

“I worry a great deal that our generation is not meeting our moral obligation to leave this planet in better shape than we inherited it,” the prince said. “Our children and grandchildren will not thank us if we fail in our duty to reverse the decline in so many species.”
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Tusk

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Uganda Wildlife Authority increases the price of Gorilla permits in Uganda

The Uganda Wildlife Authority has announced an increase in the price of gorilla permits that will now cost a flat fee of 600USD in both low and high seasons for all visitors effective immediately.

This price increase will also affect tourists who had already made bookings for the low seasons of April, May and November.

UWA raised the price of Gorilla permits to be able to suitably compete with Rwanda whose gorilla permits had seen an increase from 750USD to 1500USD.

With that in mind, all 2018 Set Departures organized by Great Lakes Safaris will require a 150USD supplement to make up for the increase in price for gorilla permits.