Tuesday, March 18, 2003

World Cup Suggestion – Mara B&B, Irene, Centurion (Gauteng)

Mara B&B is located only 45 minutes drive from 3 airports, namely OR Tambo International, Lanseria and Wonderboom Airports and is also ideally located within a 30-45 min driving distance of 3 different 2003 World Cup Soccer Stadiums, namely Soccer City, Ellis Park and Loftus Versfeld.

Mara B&B is located on a large property in a secure, fenced Estate in the beautiful suburb of Irene. The wonderful country atmosphere is a haven to retreat to, yet is only a few kilometres from all the amenities a large city has to offer.
The Area:
The area has a rich cultural heritage and many national leaders and historic figures have left their mark in Irene.
Smuts House is the restored home of General Jan Smuts, a former Prime Minister of South Africa and World Statesman and is a wonderful museum within walking distance of Mara B&B and also has nature walks on the property.
Irene Dairy Farm - established in 1895 with lovely restaurants and a deli, the kids can get to see the cows being milked.
Paintball Action Games - within walking distance of the B&B, fun for the more adventurous
Irene Craft Market - with over 200 stalls, a fantastic morning can be spent browsing and located within walking distance from the bed and breakfast (open on Saturdays).
Anglo Boer War Concentration Camp Cemetery and Memorial in Irene.
Kruger House Museum - on display are many of Paul Kruger's personal possessions. (former President of the SA Republic).
Union Buildings.
Voortrekker Monument - erected to commemorate the Great Trek by white pioneers, also called Voortrekkers.
Air Force Museum - aviation development form the Paterson Aviation School to modern day jets.
Van Wouw Museum - documents and photographs relating to the artist's life, as well as several small sculptures.
National Botanical Gardens - contains a large collection of plants grouped according to the various climatic regions of the country.
Rietvlei Nature Reserve - an ideal spot for a picnic or braai. The reserve also offers game viewing, hiking and permit angling.
Many excellent shopping malls only a few kilometres away.
For more information on places to stay during the World Cup 2003, please go to www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com

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Sunday, March 16, 2003

Accommodation advice for the World Cup in South Africa

As with any country that hosts the World Cup the topic of accommodation is always an area of contention. Whether you are travelling alone, as a couple or in a group choosing somewhere to stay is always never as easy as it might be. South Africa is a vast country and fans will have to cope with travelling long distances between games. Choosing the right location at the right price is key. 
The great thing about South Africa is that there is a lot of accommodation located all over the country.  Depending upon how much you want to pay and what you want to do between games will largely dictate where you decide to stay. There is a vast established network of good quality guest houses, B&B’s, hotels, game reserves, lodges and self-catering venues all vying for your custom. The hotels will be targeted by tour operators looking to accommodate groups and locate them centrally in order to facilitate organising trips. Another option is the Private Home. Many South Africans own second homes or are looking to rent out their whole house/apartment or rooms during the World Cup. This is a real alternative and these can be found by searching on many of the accommodation websites such as www.where2stay-southafrica.com . If you are in a small group this could turn out to be a really cost effective accommodation solution.
I have even heard of someone that has brought in a load of tents for the event with a view to hiring these out to fans. I do have some advice on this and that is to remember that the World Cup is being held in the winter of South Africa and although it is still pleasant during the day nights will be cold if sleeping outside. In addition I am not sure what security arrangements will be put in place but you will have to think about what to do with valuables for the times when you are sight seeing or at the games themselves. To my mind this isn’t perhaps an option I would choose.  My suggestion would be to look to base yourself centrally between games and to reduce your travelling time. If you base yourself slightly outside of major towns you will find accommodation cheaper and also probably have a choice of activities nearby such as game drives, 4x4, hiking, mountain biking, surfing, diving and fishing.
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Monday, March 3, 2003

Cape Town International Kite Festival – 23 & 24 October 2003

‘Uplifting Mind and Body’ is the theme for the sixteenth Cape Town International Kite Festival, which is happening on 23 and 24 October 2003 in Muizenberg and is proudly hosted by Cape Mental Health.

This is Africa’s biggest kite festival and attracts over 20,000 visitors, including some of the biggest names in kiting in South Africa and the world who fly in to show off their magnificent kite creations. With kite-making, kite-flying, food stalls, kiddies’ rides, a full programme of entertainment and an eclectic craft market, this is family entertainment at its best.

The Cape Town International Kite Festival will be open from 03:00 to 18:00 each day and takes place on the lawns surrounding Zandvlei, Muizenberg. There is lots of parking and easy access by train (False Bay or Muizenberg stations). Entry is just R15 for adults and R5 for children.

“More and more people are suffering from stress and mental ill-health,” said Ingrid Daniels, Director of Cape Mental health. “By inviting people to fly their kites, and highlighting the connection between physical and mental well-being, we hope to uplift minds and bodies.”

All profits go directly to Cape Mental Health to support their mental health services for people in disadvantaged communities. For more information on the Cape Town International Kite Festival and Cape Mental Health visit www.capementalhealth.co.za or contact them on (021) 447 9040 / info@cmhs.co.za 

For more information on Cape Town, event and activities and places to stay; go to www.Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com

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