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.
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
Walks and Hikes
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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 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.
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.
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 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!
We have just returned from a trip to Mauritius and stayed on the West coast of the island which meant that every day ended with a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Although Mauritius is undoubtedly a tropical paradise, the island has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches.
The cuisine in Mauritius is heaven for the seafood lover. The dishes where influenced by Indian, French, European and Chinese cuisine but many of the dishes are unique to the island.
The capital of Mauritius, Port Louis which is the country’s political, cultural and economical centre was great for local cuisine and bargain shopping with hundreds of stalls selling Mauritian souvenirs, local delicacies and of course, Mauritian rum!
Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens is one of the main attractions of the island. We were taken on an informative guided tour through the gardens which not only boasts rare and magnificent plant species like the giant water lily, but also showcased several fascinating bird species.
The lavish estate, Château de Labourdonnais sits amongst the magnificent orchards in Mapou and offers intriguing excursions as well as an impressive venue for events. The lush gardens with hundred-year old trees, endemic plants and orchards with tropical fruits is absolutely spectacular. The tour ended with a tasting of the estates own locally crafted rum.
A firm favourite with every one of our small group and the highlight of the trip was swimming with the dolphins. Swimming with pods of wild spinner dolphins was a massively rewarding and therapeutic experience which will never be forgotten. This was followed by a boat trip to the stunning island of L’ile aux Benitiers where we had a barbeque lunch and some leisure time to explore the lagoons and coral reefs around the island.
From beginning to end, the Mauritian people showed sincere warmth and hospitality.