Saturday, November 21, 2009
Cape Town - though out of season - gives them an opportunity to experience the fun party scene of South Africa. We started with dinner at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant and cocktails in the One & OnlyHotel, Sol Kerzner's return to hotels in South Africa - where he started.
We had a great time out with my friend Roxanne Cloete. That wasn't the end of it though. We followed this up wit a drive to Lanzerac the next day where we had lunch and were able to experience some ignature wines, and ended the day with afternoon dessert in Franschhoek. It made me realise how much I missed my life in the tourism sector and how easily I could fall back into this lifestyle.
I attended three of these before visting sites in Gauteng. The PVA on Atteridgeville outswide Pretoria was freezing cold - and unsurprisingly poorly attended.
I also attended the South Africa vs. Brazil semi-final at Ellis Park. I almost frozemy nose off! The cold was unbelievable but he fans were there in full force for a truly incredible soccer spectacle - a beautiful game indeed!
We have know each other all our lives and over the years have grown to be friends.
A great family indeed!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
June and July proved to be quite eventful. May ended with cousin Kurt Sass' wedding. A great chance to meet up with family, relax and have a fun time. After 20 years of gallivanting around the world, I really love these too-few-moments when we get together and celebrate just being together!! Of course the dashing groom and his gorgeous bride made the time together even more special!
Kurt and Auriel with his mom, his sister Danielle and her husband and three gorgeous daughters.
And of course ... the clan!! The Sass-Pretorius' ... just a few of the fifty-odd Pretorius first-cousins and the equally numerous Sass family who attended the nuptials.
Just in case you missed the suit at the back of the crowd ...
Sandy Ngema's engagement was in there somewhere with my darling girldfriends Robyn Bollay and Sindi Mabe and new friend Anebel Cele in attendance. Not to forget Peter, Sandys wonderful fiancee and her gorgeous daughters who are living proof that we are all getting older.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
KZN 2010 Co-ordination Team takes KwaZulu-Natal Readiness Campaign to the world’s leading soccer nation.
In its continued efforts to promote KwaZulu-Natal as a unique tourist destination ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and to further its goals in hosting some of the big FIFA nations in the province, the provincial Government in partnership with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Ambassador Vusi Bruce Koloane of the South African Embassy in Madrid hosted a crowd stopping event at the Ambassador’s residence in an affluent suburb of Madrid, Spain. The delegation was led by the Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator in the KZN Office of the Premier, Ms Phindile Makwakwa and included the popular Maskande group, Ihashi Elimhlope together with one of SA’s hottest musicians, DJ Tira both rooted in KZN.
Commenting on the hosting, the Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator, Ms Phindile Makwakwa, said “The provincial government was honoured receive the invitation from Ambassador Koloane to be part of South Africa Day celebration in Spain. Spain is the world top soccer nation with an ardent following of fans. We believe this initiative will go a long way to provide destination information to football fans, the national soccer federation and other visitors who will be making their way to South Africa for the World Cup. Our message to them is simple: KwaZulu-Natal is a must-visit destination. Furthermore, we plan to roll out the red carpet during the World Cup so they come back for more long after the last whistle has been blown”. Ms Makwakwa’s presentation at the event showcased the tourism offering of KZN, the infrastructural development in the province highlighting the Moses Mabhida stadium and the new King Shaka International Airport, as well as the ability to host national teams in KZN and the alternative viewing opportunities offered by Durban’s fan park and the public viewing areas which will be hosted around the province.
Ambassador Koloane said: “I frequently invite provincial delegations from South Africa to showcase their cultural, business and tourism offerings to the people of Spain. This event was an absolute success and as a native of KwaZulu-Natal I felt especially proud of the strong positive invitation that was delivered to the guests.” Guests included prominent Spanish businessmen, members of the royal family, the soccer fraternity, tour operators, media and friends of South Africa.
Ihashi Elimhlope stole the show with their charismatic and energetic performance. DJ Tira had all four hundred guests rocking to the unique yet catchy beats of kwaito and urban African dance beats.
Concurrent with the event in Madrid, the KZN 2010 team together with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Joburg Tourism and the SA Embassy in Spain, hosted four journalists, who represent some of Spain’s top-end travel and lifestyle print and electronic media. The journalists spent seven days in KZN and 2 days each in Johannesburg and Mpumalanga sampling the range of attractions that the three provinces offer, from luxurious to relaxation to authentic cultural experiences. The group returned to Spain yesterday with very positive feedback, already having filed several print and online pieces while they were travelling in South Africa.
The Provincial 2010 Coordination Office
Ms. Phindile Makwakwa
Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator
Office of the Premier: KZN
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Claude J. Pretorius
Director: Marketing, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Mobile: +27 82 415 7269
Tel: +27 33 341 4772
Fax: +27 33 394 4110
Transit lounges at 5.30 in the morning …
I know why it’s so hard to meet anyone interesting, sexy and cool … and again I am reminded of why I love airports … and train stations in Europe. This is where they all are, getting ready to board a flights to some interesting destination. I have been flying for 25 years and it always feels this good. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am or how insane the deadline, it doesn’t matter the destination, there is something about getting on a flight – be it to Cape Town or P-Town – that always gets my alpha waves centred and my entire being back into equilibrium.
Reading three of the international dailies on board I am brought back to the reality of the financial crunch. Our daily lives in South Africa are virtually untouched when compared with the prominence of the recession international. As painful as our imminent job losses are, and as clear as it is that South Africa will have to tighten the cinch as well, I am constantly amazed at how financial sectors in the West have achieved losses of $4.1 trillion. What is $4.1 trillion? Is it real? Where would you put all that money? How do you lose so much money?
On a much lighter note, long haul flights help me catch up with all the movies I miss when work takes the front seat – as it is doing right now! For all the complaints about SAA, I still think its Business Class cannot be beaten, and if you are as unfortunate to fly in economy as I did on this flight – Lufthansa – I certainly missed my personalised screen and being able to go through as many movies as possible in 8 to 9 hours.
I love the European music sentiment though and it was great listening to the eclectic mix of Nellie Furtado in duet with James Morrison, Mraz, Kevin Rudolph, a great sounding Philipino living in Germany who I have never heard of before named Jennifer Kay. Of course, I can’t get enough of Jennifer Hudson’s album right now, and for all her bubble-gumminess and her private escapades, Rihanna’s Rehab is a pleasant little jingle … and Sugar Plum Fairies … I must get more of them – there seems to be a very retro sound in Europe right now.
I have been through worse airports than Frankfurt Airport, and at least I did not have to walk the requisite marathon that is the norm in many international hubs. The two hour wait at least gives me a chance to focus on the intense work schedule in the few days ahead and be sure that we effectively … BRING KWAZULU-NATAL’s 2010 READINESS CAMPAIGN to the heart of the leading soccer nation in the world. Next stop MADRID, SPAIN!!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I raced home from the Midlands last night. Just making it on time to cast my vote! Phew! I am now entitled to a political opinion for the next five years!
Durban South Africa is 2010 FWC Host City and gateway to KwaZulu Natal, the subtropical jewel in the crown of South Africa’s range of unique and authentic experiences. South Africa’s largest local travel destination and one of the three largest destinations for international visitors to this wonderful country, provides a buzz of urban attractions that rival the best in the world while setting itself apart with its rich cultural mixes that are steeped in the culture of the Zulu Kingdom together with the evident influences of the world largest concentration of Indians outside India, rich European influences and the range of miscegenation that has resulted.
Durban offers the international visitor 12 months of sub-tropical splendour and sunshine that is rivaled only by the welcoming warmth of its inhabitants. The local international airport offers a one-hour link to Johannesburg and a 2 hour connection to Cape Town – two of South Africa’s other popular destinations. There are direct international connections to the Indian Ocean islands and a soon to be instituted international connection to the Middle East on Emirates Airlines. The new King Shaka International Airport which is currently under construction and on-schedule to open before the 2010 FWC will further ease access into this world-class city with additional direct international connections. The new airport will be able to accommodate the super-liner Airbus A380, the world largest passenger transport.
The city provides an exciting mix of Victorian and art deco architecture that makes it one of South Africa’s most beautiful urban experiences. A range of hotels from six star B&B’s and home-stays, restaurants offering cuisine that reflects the array of cultures, nightclubs, bars and theatres all provide that essential experience for the hedonist who wants a familiar cosmopolitan flair with an African twist. Beautiful parks and botanical gardens, huge stadiums including the soon to be launched Moses Mabidha Stadium – one of nine brand new or highly revamped structures which will the venues for all the matches during Africa’s hosting of the beautiful game – show clearly why this is South Africa’s largest sporting and event destination. Beautiful beaches play host to international surfing competitions and to Durban’s Winter Beach Festival – further testament to the beautiful weather that gives this province a year-long summer.
KwaZulu-Natal offers its visitors the unique opportunity to experience urban buzz in closed proximity to game parks that give access to Africa’s Big Five Game Experience. Just over tow hours drive north of Durban is the Isimangaliso Wetland and World Heritage Site. On the heart of what locals popularly call the elephant coast, the Isimangaliso Wetland which incorporates the St Lucia Estuary, is a haven for indigenous flora and fauna species. With the wide range of wild game in this protected expense, there is in addition a range of reserves ranging from luxury to affordable that offer the opportunity to view lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo in their natural habitat.
Two hours inland from Durban is the awe-inspiring Drakensberg Mountain Range – the Dragon mountains as the early European settlers called it or Ukahlamba, Barrier of the Spears, its popular indigenous name. This mountain range accommodates the highest spot in South Africa and boasts breathtaking spectacles such as Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle, the Amphitheatre and Sani Pass to name a few. The slopes and crags of the mountains offers ample opportunity for the intrepid outdoorsman to walk, climb, go horseback riding or simply relax in the splendor of this wonderful experience.
The beautiful blonde beaches stretch from the heart of the city for over 150 kilometres down the sub-tropical coast. Starting with the Aliwal shoal, a few minutes south of Durban: this is a scuba enthusiasts’ dream; a colourful array of fish and sea life above a fossilized sand dune. In addition, most of this coast line is unspoiled and offers beaches perfect for fishing, surfing and swimming.
And it the breathtaking beauty and scenic splendour of the province does not captivate, the province is a treasure chest for history buffs. The Zulu Kingdom is still ruled by a monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, a direct descend of the illustrious King Shaka who united the tribes of this region to form one Zulu Nation – the People from Heaven! The province is rich in cultural traditions and cultural lore and provides extensive opportunity to interact with this iron age culture. The region boasts the birth place of several luminaries for fought against colonialism – such as the famed King Cetshwayo who defeated the English Red Coats gun-driven onslaught with spears, cunning and courage. Famed pacifist Mahatma Ghandi started his first law practice in this province and used his philosophy of Satya Graha to opposed the racist government. Nobel Laureate and freedom activist, Chief Albert Luthuli as well as current leader of the African National Congress, the country’s ruling party, all were born in the province. Cultural villages, heritage sights, battle enactments, museums, libraries and academic institutions all lend to the intrepid explorers such for the cultural richness of the province.
Travelers who wish to experience the modern twist on the South African experience during the 2010 FWC will also be able to join South Africans from all walks of life in public viewing areas which will be strategically located around the province, and will provide an opportunity for local and visitors to enjoy the excitement of the World cup even if they are not in the stadiums. In addition, the province intends playing host to several of the international teams, providing training base camps for them in various parts of the province.
Durban as the gate way, and KwaZulu-Natal linked by first-world road infrastructure, regular inter-city air links and a range of private charters for the more well-heeled, provides a truly authentic and uniquely engaging opportunity to experience a slice of the South African reality against a backdrop of rest, relaxation and hedonistic pursuits