Welcome to the NEW 6th edition of the Curious Curator. We’ve been enjoying a crisp cold winter here in Cape Town and we’re delighted that we’ve finally been blessed with rain. The city is looking really stunning and it won’t be long before spring is upon us – even the flowers are looking beautiful already! We know many of you will be off enjoying your summer holidays this month, but we thought we’d share some news before the traditional peak booking period of September. Enjoy the read!
Andrew Hunter, Trailfinders (London office) – A £16k booking for 6 adults including Rovos Rail and Hunters Country Lodge.
Rachel Freemantle, Trailfinders (Leeds office) – Top tailor-made and highest value booking for 2 adults including Gorah Elephant Camp, Bushmans Kloof and Rovos Rail.
Holly Reid, Africa Sky (UK office) – A lovely cross border itinerary including Dinaka Safari Lodge, Belmond Eagle Island and Elephant Valley Lodge.
Steve (our President) whisked his family off to Zimbabwe to see what lies beyond Victoria Falls and boy was he impressed! Read his review here
CAPE TOWN DAM LEVELS ON THE RISE:
After the worrying water shortage crisis which reached critical levels earlier in the year, we are delighted to see dam levels rising. There is still a long way to go, but currently the overall % capacity is at 56.3% compared to 27% this time last year. This rise has been due to the welcomed rainfall we have been experiencing and the combined efforts of residents and tourists who have become much more aware of how we can conserve this precious commodity.
RENOVATION WORK AND CLOSURES:
On the 12 August Le Quartier Francais closed their Garden Room and Bar for refurbishment. The refurbishment (hours of work: Monday to Friday, 08.00 until 17.00) will be completed before the end of the year and they will re-open the restaurant and bar as an exciting new offering in partnership with the La Petite Colombe Team. The new restaurant will be named Protégé. During the time of the refurbishment hotel residents can enjoy breakfast in the La Petite Colombe restaurant. Lunch and Dinner service will continue at La Petite Colombe as usual during this time. In addition, dining options remain available at Leeu House, Leeu Estate, Marigold and Tuk Tuk Microbrewery.
The President Hotel is in the process of refurbishing their reception area and the rooms located on the first floor, which will be completed by 30 September 2018. The room refurbishments are a general light upgrade and will consist of new furniture, design, refreshing of corridors etc, whilst the reception area will include a full refurbishment, providing a new check in area for FIT’s and groups, so the reception area on the ground floor is currently closed off. No guests will be affected as the hotel have made provisions for an alternative reception area (and curio shop) on the First Floor. Kindly note that there will be no visual impact to your clients during the renovations as work areas have been screened off and noise kept to a minimal. All rooms are allocated away from the renovation areas as the rooms on the first floor and second floor have been blocked off and the hotel are only allocating clients in rooms on the 3rd – 6th floor. The renovations will be carried out Monday to Friday weekly from 09.00 until 16.00.
Shamwari Game Reserve – Lodge closures – Following our previous notice, please find the most up to date information regarding the Shamwari lodge closures.
- Eagle Crags : Currently closed until 31 August 2018 (reopening 1 September)
- Riverdene : Currently closed until 14 September 2018 (reopening 15 September)
- Long Lee Manor : Closed 1 November 2018 – 30 November 2019 (reopening 1 December 2019)
- Sarilli : Closed 16 January 2019 – 15 December 2019 (reopening 16 December 2019)
There is no work at Bayethe or Lobengula scheduled, however there may be next year in May & June 2019, but this will be advised towards the end of the year.
Anantara Bazaruto Island will be doing soft refurbishments to their rooms and Club Naval Facility. They will be bringing in new furniture, re-doing the flooring, painting and adding some new decorative items to the rooms, so only light power tools will be used. The work will take place from 1 August 2018 up until the 17th of December 2018 from 08.00 until 17.00 Monday to Sunday. All work will be internal and guest exposure will minimal with some noise level from 10.00 until 15.00. Access to each area will be sectioned off.
Don’t forget to look at our agent website for all of our latest free night and long stay offers available. There are some fantastic deals to be had if your clients are willing to travel in low season (May-Sept in Eastern and Western Cape). In and around the Kruger, you’ll find free night specials year round if they stay for a minimum of 4 nights.
Are your clients sushi lovers? If so, there are some fabulous special offers to be had in Cape Town at the moment including daily specials at Beluga and half price sushi on Wednesdays to Fridays from 11.00 to 23.00 at Shimmy Beach Club.
One of africa’s longest & highest ziplines re-opens in the mother city. Read all about it here
Effective 10th August 2018, Kwandwe and Plett Air Safaris are introducing daily scheduled flights from/ to Cape Town International Airport (via Plettenberg Bay) and Kwandwe’s private, tarred airstrip on the reserve.
Just a reminder that British Airways will commence their London to Durban service from October 2018. For more details click here
IN OTHER NEWS:
We looked after a lovely group of NFL players (current and retired) from the Carolina Panthers last year, and whilst they were in South Africa we took them to Abaphumeleli House and a Silikamva High School school in Hout Bay. This heartwarming story has recently been published by ESPN. Click here to read about their experience.
#13 is unlucky for some, but not for us, as we hosted our 13th Travel Academy back in May. Our delegates had a fabulous time and we have been overwhelmed by the fantastic feedback. Thank you once again to our sponsors and suppliers who help make this annual event possible.