POTENTIAL SANPARKS STRIKE
SANParks employees are planning a nationwide strike on Friday 20 September, which is set to include the Kruger National Park, over unresolved wage disputes. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and are ready to make necessary itinerary adjustments for alternative routes, to avoid affected areas.
WESTERN CAPE: THE SIGNATURE HOTEL OPENS
The ONOMO group has opened the new Signature Lux Foreshore hotel featuring 157 rooms, offering views of the Cape Town skyline. The hotel is perfect for business travellers and features a self-service check in, big screens in the hotel lobby showing the MyCiTi bus timetable, a complimentary shuttle to the airport and V&A Waterfront and free uncapped Wi-Fi.
WESTERN CAPE: UPDATES ON ROBBEN ISLAND BOOKING PROCESSES
SATSA recently shared several positive developments at the Robben Island Museum regarding the booking processes.
The time-out on making group bookings within a single batch has now been extended, and clients’ passport details are no longer required at the time of booking. Tour operators can now bypass the passport details and return to input the information up to 48 hours before departure.
Credit card payments:
Tour operators are urged to pay for bookings with credit cards as there is now an automatic credit card refund process in place. Before this, when Robben Island Museum cancelled a tour, tour operators would have to complete a voluntary refund form for each booking, then submit and wait for a refund. EFT payments and cash payments will still have to go through the voluntary refund process.
Visitor identification at check-in:
Robben Island has changed the visitor identification process when checking in for tours. A photograph or photocopy of visitors’ ID or passport for detail verification will now be accepted. Guests will no longer be required to carry original ID/passport for boarding purposes and can present their proof of identification with a copy or from their phone.
BOTSWANA: BUSHWAYS EXPANDS OFFERING
Bushways Botswana is expanding its offering with additional rooms at Boteti River Camp and Chobe Elephant Camp. Boteti River Camp in the Makgadikgadi National Park will receive 2 more standard rooms, bringing the accommodation facilities to 7 standard rooms, 3 family rooms, 1 platform tent and 8 campsites. Chobe Elephant Camp will receive 4 more standard rooms and 1 family unit with 2 inter-leading rooms in the next year.
KENYA: NEW CAMP OPENS
The Lerai Safari Camp recently opened in the Olerai Conservancy, roughly 24km north of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The camp is the only permanent safari accommodation in the conservancy and consists of 6 canvas safari suites. Facilities at the camp include a bar lounge, Wi-Fi, solar lights, charging facilities and a safe. Guests can enjoy activities like walking safaris, day and night game drives with a Maasai guide, Maasai cultural visits, hot-air ballooning, bird watching, horse rides and bush meals.
KENYA: NEW ROUTES AT MT KENYA
The Nyeri County government plans to open 2 more routes for hikers climbing Mt Kenya and is set to launch during this financial year. The aim of the new routes aim to increase tourism in the region and support the growth of mountain climbing. Currently, those who want to climb the mountain from the Nyeri side can only access it from the Narumoru gate route. The county government also plans to train mountain guides to help ensure that travellers get to the areas of their choice.
NAMIBIA: GONDWANA COLLECTION EXPANDS PORTFOLIO
The Gondwana Collection Namibia has acquired the Desert Whisperer suite which forms part of its Secret Collection, located in the Gondwana Namib Park. The Desert Whisperer is designed as a desert retreat for 2 and features an en-suite bathroom and balcony. The lounge and dining area are open plan with a well-stocked bar and a fully equipped kitchen. Guests can enjoy a plunge pool and relax under the shade of deckchairs on the wooden walkway. Guests in the suite can enjoy an exclusive personal reception, dedicated host and scenic drives. It is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks, and meals can be arranged beforehand according to their preferences. Guests can keep in touch with their host via radio contact and the suite offers full Wi-Fi along with USB ports for charging equipment.
ZIMBABWE: REFURBS AT AMBASSADOR HOTEL
The Ambassador Hotel in Harare is set to undergo a refurbishment and will be closed from December 2019 to January 2020. The guest rooms will be completely refurbished, and the scope of work will also include all public areas, the reception, conference rooms and the guest elevator. Other updates to the hotel will see the introduction of international sockets, including a USB port for international guests.
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Hogsback Spring Festival from 12 to 13 October 2019
Soweto Festival from 2 to 3 November 2019
Magoebaskloof Spring Festival from 21 to 24 September 2019
Hermanus Whale Festival from 27 to 29 September 2019
Please note that our offices will be closed on the following Public Holidays:
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 – Heritage Day
Monday, 16 December 2019 – Day of Reconciliation
Wednesday, 25 December 2019 – Christmas Day
Thursday, 26 December 2019 – Day of Goodwill