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.

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.

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.

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.

 

London, England

London is an amazing  world class city with an incredible vibe and pulse.

Tradition and ceremony abound, with truly fascinating history on just about every block.  2018 London sees classical  and modern architecture sit side by side dominating the impressive skyline.

The Tower of London,  Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, seeing the the winding Thames River and the numerous bridges  from the London Eye, are just a few of the features which stand out as must see experiences for the first time visitor.

Cuisine is at the cutting edge of global trends with a wide range of options tantalising the taste buds across the price spectrum. The Granary at Kings Cross, which as an area has enjoyed a recent rejuvination, was outstanding on this visit.

The West End shows are  a personal favourite and there is something which appeals to each and every taste, from the classics like the Mousetrap, to musicals like Phantom of The Opera, then the modern spectaculars like Harry Potter.  Not to mention the world famous Comedy Store which is an icon in Leicester Square, showcasing some of the finest stand up comedy you will ever see.

Sport in the captial is incredible and for Cricket, Football and Rugby Union fans you are spoilt for choice. On this recent trip we saw a West London Derby between Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, which had an incredible atmopsphere with hilarious football chants and songs from start to finish. This on the same day England met Ireland on St Patricks day in a Rugby Union encounter at nearby Twickenham.

Someone once said “if you are bored with London, you are bored with life” there really is so much to do and experience the challenge is leaving out what not to do rather than selecting what you want to do.

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.

 

New York City

New York is indeed a fascinating fast paced city. An eclectic blend of diverse cultures and a rich history of “rags to riches success stories” have created a buzz and vibe that truly sets it apart.

A recent site inspection to this magnificent city spoiled us with visits to historical landmarks. A city where “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” can only be the platform for a spectacular incentive trip and with its vast variety of beautiful venues, leaving us in a difficult position of which venues “not to select” from the spectacular options on offer.

 

From an old banking hall with a superhero undertone in its name “Gotham Hall”, to restaurants overlooking the bustle of Grand Central Station, to “Top of the Rock” rooftop venues on the Rockefeller Centre, planning has commenced and the programme is shaping up for what we are sure will be a well received and fantastic reward for many of the already well travelled top achievers. “Lady Liberty” we are on our way!