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.

 

The Silo Hotel

The Silo Hotel has recently opened its doors for visitors in Cape Town, Run by the magnificent Royal Portfolio Hotel Group, it is well known for its other luxurious hotels in Africa.

  

The Silo has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Zeitz MOCAA will house Africa’s largest collection of contemporary African art and will open in September 2017. We think this museum will become Cape Town’s answer to Le Louvre and the Tate

From the outside, it’s an industrial beast with an standout set of 25-feet-high convex windows overlooking the V&A Waterfront. The inside, by contrast, is a riot of color, patterns and design, with 28 individually designed rooms stocked with vibrant custom furnishings, oversized chandeliers and feature artworks.

The hotel compromises of 28 rooms, for dining options it offers a bar, a cafe, a rooftop restaurant and a private dining room that can accommodate 22 guests.

The hotel also features a spa, a panoramic rooftop bar with swimming pool and The Vault, the hotel’s very own private gallery of African contemporary artists in the building’s basement.

  

The Silo has long been a landmark of Cape Town and in 1924when it was completed was the tallest building in Sub Saharan Africa at 57m tall. It has been a functional grain silo and integral part of Cape Town ever since and only recently closed in 2001 when it began it’s new chapter in the Zeitz Museum and Silo Hotel.

The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen with the brilliant Luke Dale-Roberts at the helm, who has been at the forefront of the Cape Town culinary scene since his time at La Colombe stretching back to 2006.

 

This was the perfect venue for our privatised tasting menu lunch for our VIP Group from Haivision. The TTK team did not disappoint – the meal was outstanding, the service exceptional and each and every member of the group were full of praise and compliments for an out of this world dining experience.

Watching the artistry in the open plan kitchen was spectacular, the team work and various role players coming together to create perfection on a plate was both inspiring and at the same time somewhat mesmerising.

       

Restaurant accolades include

2016 Eat Out Restaurant of the Year
2016 No 22 in The Worlds Best restaurant and Best in Africa.

We have a number of photos from this event, The balance can be found on our Facebook page here: Facebook

The 8 course menu that we used can be seen below, I am sure you will agree extravagant and amazing are suitable adjectives !

TEST KITCHEN

 The below menu will be available for guests on the day.

 8 COURSE SET MENU 

DARK ROOM

TEST KITCHEN BILLIONAIRES SHORTBREAD
PORK SCRATCHING, PINT OF GUINNESS , CELERIAC SALT AND VINEGAR
PEKING QUAIL SANDWICH
SMOKED LAMB, BARLEY AND TOASTED GINGER
WAFER, XO DRESSING 

FIRST COURSE

12 HOUR SMOKED TROUT TARTARE, HOMEMADE SOUR CREAM, LEMON VERBENA OIL, DILL OIL
GOURMAND Almenkerk Chardonnay 2014
TEA Weekend in Shanghai

 SECOND COURSE

 TTK NICOISE SALAD
GOURMAND Bellingham “Bernard Series” Viognier 2013
TEA Imperial Lapsang Souchong

 THIRD COURSE

SEARED SCALLOP WRAPPED IN BACON, CAULIFLOWER AND CHEESE, BLACK GARLIC SALSA
GOURMAND Fable Mountain “Jackal Bird” 2012
TEA Indian Nights

 FOURTH COURSE

PAN SEARED SWEETBREADS, LIQUORICE LIVER JUS, LIME GEL, PRESERVED LEMON AND PINENUT
GREMOLATA
GOURMAND Crystallum Pinot Noir 2015
TEA Indian Nights

FIFTH COURSE

PAN SEARED DUCK BREAST, SOUR CHERRY CLAFOUTIS, DUCK LIVER STUFFING, SOUR CHERRY JUS
GOURMAND Bosman Nero d’Avola 2015
TEA Lemon Bush

 SIXTH COURSE

LAMB MINESTRONE, POTATO PARMESAN DUMPLING, LAMB AND TOMATO EXTRACTION
GOURMAND Oldenberg Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2011
TEA African Ball

 SEVENTH COURSE

“BREAD, MILK & HONEY”

 EIGHTH COURSE

STRAWBERRY ROSE ICE CREAM, COCONUT MERINGUE,
MINTED STRAWBERRY SHERBET,
RHUBARB AND BURNT VANILLA BUTTER, BERRY SNOW
GOURMAND Silverthorn Green Man 2014
TEA Pink Flamingo

 

Escape to the Cape Incentive

In an action packed “Escape to the Cape” incentive trip with one of our best clients started off in Johannesburg, meeting the attendees off their international flights and chartering 6 private flights with personalized event branding to fly them into Cape Town. First stop was Shamwari with 4 lodges all booked exclusively, we had amazing game drives, seeing amongst others, Lions mating, elephant herds and giraffes. We culminated our stay at Shamwari with an open fire bush dinner under the stars.

Our Cape Town leg of the programme included canapés on Table Mountain during check-in then a 45 Harley Davidson transfer to the One & Only Hotel. Our stay at the Cape Town Waterfront was made special by a troupe of Cape Town Minstrels who led the way to dinner at Sevruga Restaurant

Activities whilst in Cape Town included Shark Cage Diving in the Great White capital of the world, a dinner in a cave overlooking the ocean which included 9 helicopter rotations as well as a 16 vehicle transfer in classic cars to one of the most exclusive and luxurious villas in Clifton.

The program culminated with a private cheese, wine, biltong and beer tasting as well as farewell lunch at the prestigious Delaire Graff Wines estate

A few comments from our client and Shamwari:

Jan the head ranger at Shamwari said
“In the 7 years of being a ranger here I’ve never seen so many charters land in sequence and so professionally with-out a single hitch”

Rachel of Zibrant Live! said
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you again for all your hard work, dedication and professionalism which made this event such a success. The unforeseen challenges were handled so smoothly and quickly, and nothing was too much trouble. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you, and you are a credit to TIE. We love working with the team and look forward to bringing more groups in the not too distant future!

What we crammed into 4 days was unbelievable and the experiences were first-times for most, if not all, of the group. They were blown away by what we created, and I don’t think the programme could have been any better.”

Rhino Anti Poaching Technology Event

On Tuesday, 11 April 2017, The Inside Edge travelled to the Houtbosrand Ranger Station in the Kruger National Park as part of a joint exercise involving South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African National Parks (SANParks). The ranger station, situated approximately 80km from the Mopani Rest Camp, is home to the command and control centre of the first wide area surveillance system (W.A.S.S.) in the Kruger National Park known as Postcode Meerkat. Ultimately, the purpose of the exercise was to allow the CSIR an oppurtunity to fully demonstrate the system’s capabilities to representatives from the SANDF and SANParks all while highlighting its vast array of advantages. The Inside Edge was responsible for some of the logistics involved during the two days it took to fully demonstrate the system’s capabilities.

The Postcode Meerkat system is the brain child of SANParks, Peace Parks Foundation and the CSIR who partnered together to research, develop and manufacture this game-changing system. The system itself comprises of a suite of radar and electro-optic sensors that can detect, categorize, observe and track humans moving in the park. This W.A.S.S.’s appliance will not only guarantee early warning and rapid response capabilities but will improve ranger reaction times, allow for better planning and support the apprehension of poachers. In addition, the system has been designed to be mobile so that it can be rapidly deployed to prevent poaching crisis zones from developing.

Ultimately, the Postcode Meerkat will significantly increase the park’s ability to protect our rhinos, other vulnerable species and could help save the lives of both humans and animals. The Inside Edge was honored to be a part of this joint exercise and truly believe that this technology can help bring poaching to an end.

Kapama Game Reserve Incentive

What:

Incentive Event for UK Company for employees across the UK who exceeded their sales target

How Many:

50 participants

Where:

Kapama Game Reserve (lodges)

Highlights:

World class safari experience, including on an afternoon game drive witnessing the spectacular sighting of a Leopard successfully hunting a warthog

Surprise Bush Dinner for the participants

Kapama Game Reserve is situated in the Limpopo province, next to the Kruger Park, in an area renowned for its wildlife and superb safari destinations, Kapama is home to the Big 5 game as well as over 40 mammal species and 350 bird species. Hoedsruit airport is a 10 minute drive away making this a prime incentive destination for clients who are inbound from Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Please be aware video below is not for sensitive viewers.

Incentive Programme

What:
Incentive Event for Investment Company with all staff from London, New York and Hong Kong offices attending

How Many:
150 attendees in single accommodation

Where:
Three Centre Programme which started in Cape Town before flying on Charter Flights to the Pilanesberg Airport, for a night in a luxury tented camp with 150 tents split into two villages in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. After which the group went on to spend the last two nights at the Palace Hotel at Sun City before flying home.

  

Highlights:
Spectacular events featuring top quality entertainment on each of the six nights in South Africa. Action packed activities during the day with many flexible options to choose from. Viewing Lion, Elephant and Rhino as well as a wide range of general game in their natural habitat, on both the game drives and bush walks.

Comments:
Best Programme ever how can we possibly beat this in the future?

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel

nullThe Beverly Hills Hotel Umhlanga Rocks (spelt Beverly like Sol’s daughters name without the “e”)

 

This hotel has had a huge impact on my life, it is the hotel I fell in love with when working there as Food and Beverage Manager and where I got my first taste of hotel General Management (more than 20 years ago). It is also where I first met my life’s love who later became my wife, she stayed at the hotel on business (we were both working for The InterContinental Hotel Group at the time).

The staff are what made the hotel special many from the very beginning when the hotel opened at that time in the twilight of their careers. They would regale me with incredible stories of when the Hotel opened and Sol Kerzner the hotels South African founder who later went on to develop Sun City and then after that The One and Only Group of luxury hotels and resorts.  I hung literally on every word, the staff, the guests, the owner it was rich pickings for these skilled story tellers.

Stories like lowering tables over the balcony after breakfast in the Society Room to set up the pool terrace for lunch, as there was not enough money to buy tables for both and they wanted to offer guests a different venue for different meals. During my time at the hotel the eccentric “Goldfinger” who came every Sunday morning for breakfast and brought his own gold cutlery to replace the silver the hotel used as standard. He announced his arrival in one of his Cadillac convertibles with Elvis blaring as he handed the keys nonchalantly to the valet.

The passion for quality and personal service were woven into the tapestry of this hotel and it was never a place but rather a living breathing entity. All of us who worked there were entrusted as custodians to make sure it remained the same for the new people who joined and the new guests that visited subsequently.

My wife and I were also incredibly fortunate to be invited to attend the 50th Anniversary celebrations, which did this grand hotel proud. Sol Kerzner himself was present and he too shared stories from the early years, convincing investors that this project in the sugar cane fields North of Durban was not folly and fantasy. Some of the original staff attended as guests and it was incredibly special to catch up and reminisce about the times that we shared at the “Bev”.

 

Last Sunday I was out walking on the promenade in Umhlanga with my wife and kids and we passed this local icon, the memories came flooding back and I found myself telling the stories to the next generation. Long may the legend continue……

The Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Pilanesberg South Africa’s most underrated Game Reserve

pilanesberg1

When most people think of The Pilanesberg Game Reserve the first thought that comes to mind is Sun City, understandably so in some respects as the two are in close proximity and both benefit heavily from having the other as a neighbor and programmes at the resort almost always have a visit to the Pilanesberg included at one or more points.

There is though so much more to this incredible reserve, which is home to the Big 5 and it is situated in a Malaria free area.

Ivory Tree Game Lodge with 60 suites and conferencing facilities.

pilanesberg5 reception

The very exclusive and boutique Lodge up on a hill with panoramic views named Tshuduku.

Of course there is also the family friendly Bakubung and KwaMaritane Lodges. These lodges offer exceptional value for money to both local and international visitors.

For the more adventurous we can build luxury mobile tented camps like we did in May this year (150 en suite luxury tents).

pilanesberg4

pilanesberg3

Enough about the accommodation offerings though it is the game experience that makes this park exceptional. Sightings are almost always out of this world we have had a group see the big 5 plus cheetah in two drives. Most drives see at least three, on my last visit in early November, we saw elephant, rhino and lion as well as abundant giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, springbok, warthog, hippo and crocodiles.

pilanesberg6

With my family a year ago we saw two young leopards playing on the side of the road for about twenty minutes and later a female leopard out hunting as the sun started to set, yes on the same drive. On the other drives we did (from Ivory Tree Lodge) we saw so many breeding herds of elephant, white and black rhino as well as lion on a kill (one lion and three lionesses). Amazing stuff, our ranger was rightfully hugely pleased with his performance as we said goodbye to him after delivering an outstanding and special experience for us all. Not quite so for everyone though as my young son then 8 year old son said goodbye he said “thank you so much, I had a great time, just so you know though we didn’t see any buffalo”! He was in fact correct but incredibly misguided all the same.

pilanesberg2