South Africa – A Reflection

As South Africa has just celebrated its 26th Freedom Day yesterday, We are taking this moment to reflect on how far we have come as a nation and looking forward to continue building the country.

The Lockdown across the world has left us all wanting life to return to normal so we can go about our lives again, We look forward to when we can travel again and see the richness and beauty of South Africa. We hope you will rejoin us on our travels soon. This video we found online which we wanted to chare, is a poignant reflection on the incredible country that is, South Africa. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Southern Africa Product Update

Product Update

“In this fluid, evolving situation the World finds itself in now, there are two pressing requirements – contain the virus and maintain strategic objectives.

We have noticed an increase in enquiries and thought to do a quick update of some of the new and refreshing happenings on our shores and in our game parks here in the Southern tip of Africa”

Elephant Collaring

There are opportunities for groups to work with renowned wildlife vetinarian Dr Johan Marais on elephant collaring experiences. The group will enjoy firsthand participation in this awe inspiring conservation work,in close contact with the largest land based mammal on the planet.

Dr John Marais is pictured here working on a Rhino doing vital conservation work.

Mduli Safari Lodge has opened in Kruger National Park

50 Luxury tents in the iconic wilderness of the Kruger National Park, offering exceptional group and individual safari experiences. We are pleased to be able to offer a special opening offer for group travel up to the end of 2020.

    

Ivory Tree Game Lodge and Shepherds Tree Game Lodge

Both situated in the Pilanesberg have undergone refurbishments and are looking exceptionally good.

Cape Town Gourmet Foodie Foraging Experience

Incorporating both the unique Cape fynbos and marine ingedients all sourced on a gentle hike, taking in the spectacular scenery of the Cape Point area.  Afterwards our internationally acclaimed chef will prepare a three course meal incorporating the fresh ingredients foraged earlier in the day.
  

 

 

The Marly Boutique Hotel Camps Bay

This perfectly located property in the heart of Camps Baywith 38 roomsoffers small groups and individuals an ideal base to enjoy the  vibrant action of the Camps Bay strip as well as having easy access to the stunning features of the region.

  

Victoria Falls update

The rains which have fallen in the catchment areas are flowing through down the Zambezi and are now reaching the falls, restoring this breathtaking natural wonder to its full glory after the drought conditions last year.

Carbon Footprint offsetting project

We have a fantastic new project assisting groups in offsetting their carbon emissions, we do this using the indiginous Spekboom plantIt is one of the best carbon sequestrators in the world. Hectare for hectare, a Spekboom thicket is ten times more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Virgin Atlantic

Have announced that they are going to be resuming their London Heathrow to Cape Town flights from October 2020.

British & Irish Lions

In anticipation of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021, We have showcased the different stadiums that will be used in the tournament. We can assist with an incentive or private group travel to this iconic series  in July 2021.

Saturday, 3 July 2021
Lions vs Stormers
Cape Town Stadium
Capacity 55000

The only stadium to host 2 matches, centrally located, the new home of Stormers rugby replacing the iconic Newlands.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021
Lions vs South Africa “A”
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Capacity 48000

A modern world class stadium, PE is also known as the windy city and is the province where current #springboks rugby captain @siyakolisi was born.

Saturday, 10 July 2021
Lions vs Sharks
Kings Park Stadium
Capacity 52000

This subtropical coastal city creates an exciting carnival like atmosphere. Epitomised by the outer fields hosting pre & post game parties unique in world rugby.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Lions vs South Africa “A”
Mbombela Stadium (Nelspruit)
Capacity 40900

Located in Mpumalanga, with the nearby #KrugerPark, the stadium roof supports resemble giraffes and the partisan local crowds are very vocal in their support

 

Saturday, 17 July 2021
Lions vs Bulls
Loftus Versveld Stadium
Capacity 51700

Loftus has true history, the 1st sports ground was erected on this site in 1906. The Bulls have played a massive role in #springboks rugby DNA & are arguably the most successful franchise in history.

Saturday, 24 July 2021
Lions vs South Africa (1st Test)
FNB Stadium
capacity 95000

Also known as Soccer City or the Calabash, this amazing stadium hosted the Soccer world Cup final in 2010. When sold out it makes for an electric atmosphere.

Saturday, 31 July 2021
Lions vs South Africa (2nd Test)
Cape Town Stadium
Capacity 55000

We return to the Mother City for the 2nd Test against the Lions, a short walk from many of the hot spots and world class hotels.

Saturday, 7 August 2021
Lions vs South Africa (Third Test)
Ellis Park Stadium
capacity 62500

The 1995 Rugby World Cup final was played here and won by South Africa, The first test played here was in 1928 against the All Blacks.

Shanghai

We had a great week doing Sales Calls in the stunning city of Shanghai, China to meet some new clients and catch up many of our existing friends and clients. Our Chinese representative, Tanya did a fantastic job as always, showing us the city and the sights of Shanghai (even more incredible is she is from Beijing).

 

An interesting fact is Shanghai is the most populous city in China with a population of 24 million people and also the 2nd most populous city in the world – This city is rich in history and culture with the most breathtaking modern skyline.

We definitely look forward to returning to Shanghai soon, it is always an incredibly special experience.

 

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

 

 

Safari in Southern Africa

Clients often ask where the best place in Southern Africa is for a safari experience, the answer is anything but straight forward. The reason for this is because there are so many different and uniquely exceptional experiences available.

  

The Sabi Sands takes some beating and is widely regarded as the pinnacle safari experience in the region.  It is impossible to argue against this and I would not even begin to try.

Shamwari in the Eastern Cape is  so incredibly special with numerous achievements in conservation and the successful reintroducton of the Big Five into the region. The Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is unique and  the  TV documentary based on this has achieved global acclaim.

Chobe in Botswana is an incredible wilderness and the river is something quite mystical. The large elephant herds, hippo pods and lion prides leave you truly breathless.

The Okavango Delta definitely deserves a mention and is one of those real bucket list experiences for many people. There are many exquisite high end boutique stlyled lodges to choose from.

Along with the above heavyweights some of my other personal favourites are:

The reserves of Northern KZN particularly Phinda and Thanda with their sublime hospitality offering and amazing wildlife are both highly recommended. As a KZN boy, I suppose I have a degree of bias but the experiences I have seen many of our guests and groups  enjoy over the years has given me some of the most incredible life memories, which I will treasure forever.

 

The Pilanesberg with the wide range of lodges and probably the best value for money is as good a natural environment  as any of the very best mentioned above. The game somehow seems to have a unique wildness,  you get a sense of the harsh competitiveness of the bush where survival really is a daily achievement.

In conclusion there are a plethora of options and each is unique and has it’s own individual nuances and features. The one thing that is certain is you will have one of the most incredible, authentic and memorable experiences of your life. As a motivator it is  still incredibly successful as an incentive choice, achieving  phenomenal success across group profiles everytime.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Sun City

Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Sun City

 

We have just successfully operated an exceptional inbound incentive programme for a leading  Global Financial Services and Lifestyle Company.

The first leg of the programme comprised of privatising all four of the Sabi Sabi Lodges as well as & Beyonds Kirkmans Camp, in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

The sublime experience enjoyed at this world renowned game reserve was incredible.  Game viewing was the highlight with most guests seeing all of the big five, including an incredible interaction between a leopard and a hyena with the hyena successfully stealing the kill of the leopard. The hospitality, cuisine and special evening events with vibrant entertainment rounded off the experience and will leave each participant with special lifelong memories.

Then onto Sun City for the group Gala Dinner Awards evening, The Palace hotel was the base. Three venues were used including pre dinner drinks in the Elephant Courtyard with a harpist for entertainment.

Then onto a formal served dinner at the Palace Pool Deck, which ended with a  massive fireworks display. This signalled the move to the after party in the Lost City Crocodile Lounge where a DJ and casino awaited the group to entertain them late into the night.

The logistics included fourteen charter flights and in total across the programme seven of The Inside Edge team were on the ground to make sure every micro detail was meticulously delivered.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge

We recently had the opportunity to visit the refurbished Phinda Rock Lodge, which is part of the &Beyond group of hotels. Situated in Northern Natal, just 300km north of Durban it is easily accessible, either by road or their private airstrip.

Phinda Rock Lodge is a small exclusive lodge which caters perfectly for small executive groups. The Lodge itself has 6 double suites which include private plunge pools overlooking the landscape.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge has had a major refurbishment which takes it into the league of the very best safari lodges in Southern Africa.

 

Munich, Germany

Having just returned from an amazing trip to Munich and the surrounding area, the incentive product surpassed our expectations and by a distance too.

The history, cuisine and culture of the Bavarian people, amazing technology on show at BMW, top quality hotels and the magnificent scenery. Not to forget the Olympic Tower  at 198 m high as well as the tranquil Tegernsee lake with the Alps as a backdrop all combine to create a full and exceptional programme.

The sunny warm weather was perfect and the late sunsets a treat, especially when enjoyed in one of the many Beer Gardens in the city.

Our DMC Conference and Touring were brilliant, they display the efficiency Germany is renowned for but do it in such a personable and fun way.

It is easy to twin Munich with Austria and the Central European location allows for easy extension trips to a host of major European cities. My own personal favourite (which I am saving for doing on my next group) is one of the good value for money River Cruises Conference and Touring are famous for.