Silver Whisper by Silversea Cruises

Our site inspection on the Silver Whisper cruise ship during its short stop in Durban over the weekend was pleasantly surprising.

Accommodating a maximum of 388 passengers, the Silver Whisper exudes a classic feel with a range of amenities whilst still maintaining an intimate ambiance.

Catering for the most discerning guest, suites range in size from 27sqm to 117sqm, each boasting a private butler.

Guests have a choice of dining options with The Restaurant, La Terrazza, La Dame and the Pool Grill. The ship also features a show lounge, card room, library, Connoisseur’s corner and a spectacular Observation Lounge. For those wanting a bit of pampering, there is the Zagara Beauty Spa which offers a wide range of invigorating therapies. One may also choose to spoil themselves at The Boutique or try their hand at the onboard casino.

Located on the eighth floor, the pool area provides a relaxing space to soak up the sun or one may make their way to the tenth floor to enjoy a workout at the gym or simply sit back, relax and unwind whilst sipping drinks and taking in the spectacular views from the ship.

Remarkable Rwanda

“Remarkable Rwanda” before visiting seems like a bit of  a boast, after visiting it seems like one of the largest understatements ever.

The cleanliness of the country, efficiency, friendliness of the people and natural beauty are evident at literally every turn.

Air Rwanda has a brand new fleet of aircraft and the air access is ever expanding.

One and Only Nyungwe House is magnificent, the 22 suites are exceptional and the setting on a large tea plantation adjacent to the largest Rain Forest in Africa is breathtaking. Activities include a canopy tour (70 metres above the forest floor) and walking trails to view the wildlife of the forest (which is home to 13 species of primates), waterfalls, Chimpanzee trekking, tea tastings and a world class spa. Nearby there is the massive lake Kivu which is one of Africa’s great lakes covering over 2700 sq km and reaches a depth of almost 500m in parts. As you would expect the lake offers a wide range of water based activities and experiences for those looking for adventure and action or the more sophisticated and sedate options.

The second must see destination is the Musanze and Volcanoes National Park with five extinct volcanoes. Home to 12 visitable families of Mountain Gorillas, there are currently only around 1000 Gorillas left in the wild. This bucket list experience where you get as close as 7 metres away from these great apes is something quite extraordinary and will give special lifelong memories to all who experience this. There is also an opportunity to see Golden Monkeys in the wild.

The nearby luxury lodges include the Governors Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (10 suites), One and Only Gorillas Nest which opens in July (21 suites), Singita (12 suites) which opens in August.

The capital city Kigali is clean, safe and open for business. There are Radisson Blu and Marriott  Hotels as well as the popular East African Hotel Group Serena present, all of whom offer international standard accommodation and amenities. The vibrant city has a number of attractions worth a visit including the local markets, an art gallery, the Genocide Museum which can all be included in a city tour. There are a number of restaurants offering modern Rwandan cuisine as well as upmarket Italian and Belgium eateries.

The modern Convention Centre is perfect for all manner of events and can hold everything from small executive conferences through to large Conventions.

A few facts about Rwanda:

Gorilla Trekking – One of 3 places in the world

Rwandan Cuisine & Coffee – One of the worlds best coffee growing regions

Kigali Growth – 6% – 8% GDP Growth, 91% school attendance, Excellent Healthcare (Life Expectancy – 70 years old).

Safety –  Ranked 5th safest country worldwide in the Gallup Law and Order index (2017)

Safari – Akagera National Park is now a Big 5 destination

Umuganda – National day of community service, once a month ! (and plastic bags are banned!)

Whether for business events, incentives or leisure I can assure you Rwanda is truly REMARKABLE.

Rwanda News

 

As we head towards 2019, The team at The Inside Edge are excited about new challenges, new destinations and new experiences. We have identified Rwanda as a great destination with incredible potential for both Incentives and Business Events, we are confident it will develop into the next big thing and must visit destination globally.

To this end, I will be travelling to Rwanda in January to make our being able to operate with full service on the ground capability a reality by the middle of 2019 at the latest.  Meetings are being set up with key local partners, stakeholders and suppliers.

Kigali the capital of Rwanda has fantastic meeting and conferencing facilities, with their star of the art conference centre catering for 2600 guests. A mere 6 kilometres from the main airport making it very accessible. Rwanda has many luxury hotels and lodges both in the capital and across the country. Some of the product includes amazing gorilla trekking, with many National parks including the Nyungwe Forest National Park which is regarded as one of the most pristine rainforests in the world as well as incredible lakes and waterfalls.  Akagera National Park is more savannah like and has abundant wildlife including Lion, Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Leopard and Hyena.

Rwanda is ranked 5th safest country worldwide in the Gallup Law and Order index (2017) and is also widely recognized as one of the cleanest countries in Africa. To this end Rwanda have “Umuganda”, Translated directly as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’ is a national day of community service, which happens once a month where everyone goes out and helps the community, by cutting grass, helping paint a school or repairing buildings, Plastic and grocery bags are also banned

The country enjoys a great climate just about all year round and air access is improving all the time.

Keep updated on our Rwanda adventure by following our blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts

 

 

New York City Event

Probably one of the most sought after Cities’ on the top of many travellers bucket list, New York lives up to all sorts of exciting expectations. From the hub which is a mix of a “Sandton City Mall” crossed with a first world underground train station, a visit to Grand Central makes for a great start to get you into the excited vibrant energy that exudes from the city’s core.

Even ordering a New York Bagel there is seemingly limitless choices always prepared to order extremely quickly, New Yorkers as friendly as they are, are in a hurry. It’s a fast paced city that looks like a scene from the latest Spiderman movie mixed with a designer fashion show. While Yellow cabs zoom past on the steamy streets, keep your eyes open for the latest blockbuster being filmed.

New York has always been home to many celebrities and any true New Yorker will be able to point out where a famous Sex In The City scene or Friends episode was shot, or that multi-million dollar apartment that Madonna once owned. A visit to Central Park is not complete without seeing Strawberry Fields a tribute to John Lennon while a busking entertainer performs some of his acclaimed songs.

A recent trip with an incentive group had us crossing all the highlights and included a brunch cruise on the Atlantica around Ellis and Liberty Islands with the magnificent backdrop being provided by Lady Liberty herself and the famous BMW bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg). Trips to Chelsea Piers, The Highline, The Intrepid Space Museum Aircraft Carrier, Theatre District and 911 Memorial made us realise that if there is one thing you will take home with you, is that Americans (and especially in New York) are a proud and very patriotic people. Almost every hotel, museum or building of significant history has a tapestry of the stars and stripes. Larger than life flags will leave no doubt of the destination and culture that you have come to experience.

   

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos, Walker Bay, Hermanus.

Just 120km from Cape Town lies a town called Hermanus, which sits on a natural bay called Walker Bay. Grootbos, a 5 star luxury private nature reserve is situated here with spectacular views of the bay and and of the private reserve.

Accommodation in Grootbos is in one of 3 lodges – Garden Lodge (11 luxury free standing suites), Forest Lodge (16 luxury free standing suites) as well as 2 private villas.

 

Activities are well catered for at this amazing property, and these include:

Botanical 4×4 Tour
Horse Riding
River Cruise
Walks and Hikes
Beekeeper Experience
Beauty Treatments
Bird Watching
Scenic Flights
Coastal Safari
Quad Biking

Probably the most amazing activity is taking advantage of the wonderous Walker Bay, The property offers marine safari’s in conjunction with whale watching and shark cage diving. The area known for its amazing whale watching season from June and November when Southern Right Whale migrates from the icy Antarctic waters to the warmer coastal waters of South Africa and they make this protected bay their home to calve and mate.

In the peak months of September, October and November there are a multitude of ways to view these incredible animals in Walker Bay: We work closely with operators in the area to offer anything from an adrenaline fueled guided sea kayak adventure, to luxury boat charters, to helicopter flips as well as various strategic points along the coastline.

Most of the whales present in the ocean off Hermanus are giant 80 ton Southern Right Whales, however there are also Humpback whales and Bryde’s whales.


This is a stunning activity and once in a lifetime event, which can be added to any incentive group or as a post group add on.  Please contact us should you have any queries or would like further information.

Mauritius Event

We recently operated a combined conference & leisure programme for a telecommunications company, which took place on the North-West Coast of the beautiful island of Mauritius.

The event was held at the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa which is positioned in a protected marine park in the historic Balaklava area of the island.

  

The resort offers ample facilities including 4 meeting rooms, 2 swimming pools, a beach, 5 restaurants, a bar, a spa and a fitness centre as well as an array of water and land based activities, all of which provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate business with leisure.

The programme began with an exclusive welcome dinner at Mystique Beach & Bar located on the resort premises. Delegates where welcomed by traditional Sega dancers on arrival at the venue, and entertained by a 3 piece Mauritian acoustic band during dinner. The menu included seafood favorites along with international dishes.

  

The conference began the next morning and was followed by a relaxed sunset catamaran cruise off the coast of the well known seaside village, Grand-Baie. Energetic music and local drinks where enjoyed during sunset as the catamaran’s moved gently over the clear waters of the Indian Ocean. This was followed by a delicious Mauritian barbecue dinner onboard the catamarans.

Once the second day of the conference had concluded successfully , we departed on a tour of the West coast which was the highlight of the trip. The tour allowed participants to delve into the culture and history of the island which included a walk through the cobblestone streets of Port Louis with a local food tasting, a visit to Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens and a tour and rum tasting at L’Aventure du Sucre museum, which was a working rum distillery.

That evening an authentic Indian farewell dinner was enjoyed at Kangan restaurant  whilst being entertained by the tranquil sounds of a Tabla & Sitar duo, a pleasant and relaxed ending to an all round successful event.

New Private Luxury Mobile Tented Camp

Located at Catalina Bay which is situated approximately 240 kilometres North of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It was recognised as South Africa’s first world heritage site and is recognised for its superlative natural beauty and  globally unique experiences.

In capturing the essence of Africa, we offer a once in a life time wilderness experience in a Big Five Reserve. Each Premium unit features exquisite bedding, vanities, plug points and a luxurious en-suite to indulge in whilst taking in sights and sounds of the wonder that is iSimangaliso Wetland Park under canvas.

Indulge in alfresco lounging and dining under the stars with award winning wines and a decadent banquet to tantalise the taste buds, whilst enjoying the natural wilderness the camp is positioned in.

  

Possible Activities:

  • Morning / Afternoon Game Drives
  • Guided Game Walks
  • Guided Coastal Dune Walks
  • Hippo and Crocodile Boat Cruise
  • Scuba Diving
  • Fishing
  • Turtle Nesting (Seasonal)
  • Whale Watching (Seasonal)

Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa

Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa

The hotel now managed by First Resorts has undergone a major refurbishment and both the public areas and bedrooms were fantastic. The rooms were spacious with a large dressing space/ entrance, lounge area as well as a private patio. Housekeeping was excellent, throughout. The facilities were well maintained, the gardens and golf course was perfect for a tranquil late afternoon walk, whilst watching the antelope and enjoying the birdlife which was abundant. The nearby Beach Club and beach were private and very exclusive.

The hotel is ideal for golf groups, conferences and leisure travel, situated just over an hour South of King Shaka International Airport.

The value for money on offer is truly outstanding, contact us for a quotation.

Zimbabwe is Back!

Having just attended the recent Indaba Travel Trade Show in Durban, an amazing feature that stood out was the Zimbabwe stand, reclaiming their rightful place at the top table of African Incentive Destinations. Who can forget recent years when those stalwarts of the Zim Tourism industry flew the flag as best they could but there was almost a sense of pending doom and despair lingering around the stand. Hardly any appointments were scheduled and most of the interaction seemed almost sympathetic.

Well not this year there was a constant buzz on the stand and deals were being done at what appeared to be just about every turn. International hosted buyers were hungry for the emergence of this regional super weight, with outstanding natural beauty and sublime hospitality. Welcome back neighbour we missed you, it sure is good to have you back and we cannot wait to make up for lost time.

To this end we feature a stunning four night incentive recommendation. Two nights at the grand old dame of hotels The Victoria Falls Hotel followed by two nights at the amazing Matetsi Victoria Falls with exquisite game viewing in their 55 thousand hectare concession with accommodation sprawling along the edge of the mighty Zambezi River.

Highlights include:

Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River

A fine dining dinner on a steam train accompanied by a harpist.

Helicopter flight over the Victoria falls.

Tour of Victoria Falls

Game Drives (Big Four there are no rhino in the reserve).

River based Game viewing.

Game Walks

Fishing

Spa treatments

For a full programme and quotation contact me

bradg@ie.co.za

we would be delighted to assist

Rhino Conservation

Rhino Conservation

An amazing opportunity exists to participate on a very hands-on basis in the Rhino Conservation projects which take place at a number of Private Game Reserves and National Parks across South Africa, all of which are aimed at saving this endangered species.

This incredible experience sees participants joining the specialist conservation teams as they do the amazing work of combating the threat of poaching and preserving these magnificent animals for future generations. Participants get actual experience working and assisting throughout the activity playing a key role in the success of the project, creating amazing memories and a massive sense of pride and achievement.

This is your chance to play your part and leave a real legacy, contact us for more information on enquiries@ie.co.za

Rhino Facts:

White rhinoceros are the second largest land mammal

The white rhino is the largest rhino species and can weigh over 3500 kg (7700 lb) and is the largest land mammal after the elephant.  Elephants can grow to be 7,000 kg (15,000 lb)

Three of the five rhinoceros species are listed as being critically endangered.

The Black Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Rhinoceros are all Critically Endangered which means they have 50% chance of becoming extinct in three generations.

Rhinos are speed machines

They can run up to 30 – 40 miles per hour; the fastest human can run 15 miles an hour, so finding a tree to climb is a better strategy than trying to outrun a rhino!

Fighting rhinos

Black rhinos fight each other and have the highest rate of death among mammals in fights among the same species. Fifty percent of males and 30% of females die from these intra-species fights.