Tuesday, February 18, 2003

South Africa Events during March 2003

A look at some of the amazing events taking place in South Africa during March 2003.

An exciting new carnival is coming to Cape Town in 2003. The inaugural event which is aimed at bringing together all communities and cultures will run from 18-20 March 2003. The Cape Town Carnival will bring together music, dance and performing arts culminating in an amazing parade with up to 03,000 performers on the Saturday 2oth March.
Dragon Boat Festival 2003 - Moorreesburg, Western Cape

From March 19th to March 22nd 2003 the Western Cape Dragon Boat Association will hold its 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival. The event will be held at Club Elani at the Misverstand Dam in Moorreesburg. The event is open to local and international clubs with Open, Mixed and Ladies events being held. Races will be run over 250m and 500m sprints and also 0300m courses (under IDBF rules).
The ABSA Cape Epic 2003 - 7th Annual Mountain Bike Race

This year the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike race event will take place between 21st March and 28th March 2003. This year’s event, which is now the most televised mountain bike event in the world, will kick off with the opening celebrations and registration at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The 722km race which crosses the magnificent Western Cape scenery will comprise teams of two cyclists. The race will pass through Diemersfontein, Worcester, Ceras and Oak Valley.
On Sunday 28th March 2003 at the Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate in Franschhoek. Elton John and Ray Cooper will be putting on a memorable show entertaining attracting an audience from across South Africa and the globe. The initial shows on this tour have collected rave reviews. The "Under African Skies" event will be staged in a wonderful picnic style setting on one of the infamous wine estates near the beautiful village of Franschhoek.  
OmmiBerg 'Round the Rock' 2003 - Paarl, Western Cape

On the 14th March 2003 thirteen wineries, situated around the Paarl Mountain, along the Paarl Wine Route will open their doors to celebrate the tasting of the first of the 2003 vintage. You will be able to sample the wines unfiltered and straight from the tanks! The participating wineries will be putting on all sorts of activities and events for all the family including tractor-trail rides, cooking demonstrations, pony rides, art exhibitions, cellar tours, grape stomping, slip'n'slides, grape tastings and even demonstrations on glass-blowing.
For more information on these events and other events taking place in South Africa, go to: www.where2stay-southafrica.com
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Spectacular Accommodation in South Africa

With more and more accommodation venue’s joining Where2Stay-SouthAfrica – we are amazed by some of the magnificent places on offer for people to stay when they come to South Africa or for those already in South Africa travelling on holiday.

Visitors and travellers alike now have a choice not only in price and what you’re willing to pay, but for the features, location, star grading and those extra’s that make a place unique and memorable. 
Accommodation – like most other things – is something you need to shop around for.  There are so many sites offering accommodation, the best deals, the best tours at the most affordable prices, etc – but as long as you do a bit of homework – all the information is out there and you can very easily create your perfect holiday or break.
Here a few of the venue’s we have recently come across which we’d like to share with you:
Buhala Game Lodge: is an enchanting Game Lodge right on the banks of the Crocodile River, the border of the Kruger National Park. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=038
Leshiba Wilderness: For a magical African experience, try Leshiba Wilderness Private Game Reserve, 2600 hectare in area located on top of the Soutpansberg Mountains in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=281
Air del Mar – Mossel Bay: Everyone who stays at Air del Mar falls in love with its spectacular, unspoiled natural beauty and harmonious, safe and tranquil lifestyle. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=277
Set in a Private Nature Reserve on 417 Hectares, Grotto Bay is unique. Inspired by the architecture in the Hamptons, USA this spacious Villa has uninterrupted views of the spectacular West Coast. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=286
Clovelly Lodge is the perfect base to explore Cape Town, at the heart of the Table Mountain National Park. Kick back and relax in the privacy and independence of your own guest apartment, surrounded by indigenous gardens in a naturally landscaped setting. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=300
The Ocean Art House is a Guest House with Art Gallery, at Cape Agulhas on the Southern Cape coast. Art and Nature combine to convey enduring impressions, stimulating the senses and allowing one to forget everyday hustle and bustle. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=297
Perched in a prime position on the spectacular Knynsa Heads with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, The Alexander takes style, ambience and personal service to new heights. http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/info.php?lid=168
For more amazing accommodation venues – go to www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com
You have read this article accommodation / holidays / luxury / safaris / South Africa / world cup 2003 with the title February 2003. You can bookmark this page URL http://africathoughts.blogspot.com/2003/02/spectacular-accommodation-in-south.html. Thanks!
Sunday, February 16, 2003

Whale Watching in South Africa

Did you know that there are approximately 37 different varieties of Whales and dolphins found off the coasts of South Africa?

The official Whale Route stretches all the way from Doringbaai, to the west of Cape Town, all the way up to Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, a distance of some 1,200 miles. The route takes in some of South Africa's most beautiful coastline including the famous Garden Route, the National Park at Tsitsikamma and the Transkei. The whale watching season tends to be July to November each year.

The whales choose these waters for the purpose of calving and bringing up their young. There are many spots along the coastline where you can watch these whales from land or if you choose you can take a boat trip and get even closer. The licensing of these boat trips is strictly controlled to ensure the safety of the whales especially during the calving season. The coastal waters attract many Southern Right Whales, Humpbacks, Brydes and Killer whales as well as an abundance of dolphins. It is believed that there are some 3,000 to 4,000 Southern Right Whales in the world and the coast of South Africa is one of the best places from which to observe these marvellous creatures. Humpback whales tend to be seen during the months of May to November as they travel north to Mozambique and Angola.

Great places to see whales:

To the west of Cape Town:

To the east of Cape Town:
For more information on the above, other activities across South Africa and places to stay - see: www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com

You have read this article cape town / garden route / South Africa / top things to do in south africa / whales with the title February 2003. You can bookmark this page URL http://africathoughts.blogspot.com/2003/02/whale-watching-in-south-africa.html. Thanks!
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Thrills & Adventures with Shark Diving in South Africa

Sharks are possibly the most feared of animals and many people would say that Shark Diving is probably not for the faint hearted – however this really is an experience not to be missed. This is a chance to see the most evolved predators in the ocean up close and personal and come face to face with the Great White. 

South Africa is rated as the top destination for diving with Sharks – specifically in Gansbaai – a small fishing village in the Western Cape and the most densely populated area for Great White Sharks in the world. Shark viewing / diving is an all year round activity but diving during the winter months in South Africa is the best time.

There are many tour operators across SA who offer cage diving with sharks. Many of them have been around for a very long time and are very experienced, providing you with the safest and best possible experience.
You also do not need to actually go into the cage to see the sharks; you can enjoy this experience on the boat without getting into the water! The viewing is exceptional all year round. Please bear in mind that most companies will charge the same price regardless if you go into the cage or view from the boat.

However; for the experience of a lifetime, the cage is the way to really get close up and face to face with a Great White. The sharks may at times brush their tail against the cage but fear not – the sharks never attack the cages. The great thing about cage diving is that you do not need to know how to dive or even have a qualification to do so. The cages are mounted on the side of the boat and float on the surface. Dives are done on a rotational basis and some tours even have a videographer with them to record this unforgettable experience.

For more information and to book your dive or tour go to: www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com or http://www.where2stay-southafrica.com/activityinfo.php?lid=74
You have read this article gansbaai / great white / shark diving / top things to do in south africa with the title February 2003. You can bookmark this page URL http://africathoughts.blogspot.com/2003/02/thrills-adventures-with-shark-diving-in.html. Thanks!
Saturday, February 1, 2003

FIFA World Cup 2003 – A missed tourism opportunity for South Africa

The FIFA World Cup in South Africa will soon be upon us and as with any worldwide event like this, there is immense public debate of how well the preparations are going. For South Africa, this is the first time they have hosted the FIFA World Cup and the eyes of the world will be upon them, perhaps with even more scrutiny than previous hosts. This is a magnificent opportunity to sell this wonderful country and all it has to offer international visitors. 
The latest reports are that ticket sales are not going as well as hoped and some qualifying nations are reporting public concerns over safety for their teams and supporters. South Africa has invested a huge sum of money in preparing the stadia and putting in place transport infrastructure to ensure the games are enjoyed by all the fans. Perhaps the most concerning areas for potential fans, looking to attend the World Cup, are the costs for accommodation and internal flights.
I am aware of prices for internal flights being offered at 4 to 5 times their normal price for the time of year. This doesn’t just impact fans but also those living in South Africa. In their wisdom, the government has decided that their will be a national school holiday throughout the World Cup period. For working parents this presents enough problems, but if you were to contemplate going away on holiday during this time then you will come up against the same problem that fans are having – extortionate prices! There is currently an investigation underway involving a number of the key airline carriers in South Africa around price fixing – this is further exacerbated by the complete lack of flights during this time. Hopefully the government will get on top of this and sort out this situation, as it will undoubtedly put many fans off.
The second area of concern is accommodation prices. At this point it is worth pointing out that after Sydney hosted the last Olympics, instead of seeing an upturn in visitors after the event, there was a dramatic decrease in tourists for the next three years! Much of this decrease in tourism was put down to the prices being charged during the Olympics. The same thing is happening in South Africa. Many accommodation owners are charging 5, 6 7+ times more than their normal rates. This short term profiteering, known as ‘gouging‘, is ridiculous. Fans are being “ripped off” and this is leaving many football supporters with the only decision not to come to South Africa. 
This is such a shame as the quality of the accommodation offered by guest houses, B&B’s and self catering owners is generally far higher than that in many other countries. Of course, there will always be corporate packages that will take up these high prices to entertain their clients but for the average football fan this will be a World Cup that is an expense too far. What a shame when the country has so much to offer fans during their breaks between games. 
I really feel this is going to be a “lost opportunity” for the South Africa tourism industry and that venue owners are going to regret the high prices they are charging. Hopefully they will come to their senses, along with the airlines, and lower their prices. Otherwise how else will the numbers coming to the World Cup reach anywhere near the expected 1 million.
For great deals and information on South Africa go to www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com
You have read this article accommodation / flights / football / soccer / South Africa / Travel / world cup 2003 with the title February 2003. You can bookmark this page URL http://africathoughts.blogspot.com/2003/02/fifa-world-cup-2003-missed-tourism.html. Thanks!