Three weeks ago I and a group of writers was invited to enjoy breakfast at the new Tintswalo at Boulders, perched above Boulders Beach in Simonstown, renowned home to the African penguins. Shortly after our visit, we were invited by Five Star PR to spend a night at the luxury boutique accommodation lodge, directly overlooking Boulders Beach. I chose to stay on Saturday evening 8 December, having to be at Stargarden in Fish Hoek for a reading from my second book ‘SwitchBitch: My Journey of Transformation in walking the Camino, Sole to Soul’ the following day. Continue reading →
Tintswalo is a collection of five family-owned luxury lodges and boutique hotel properties, of which two are in Cape Town. While its discreetly located accommodation lodge and restaurant Tintswalo Atlantic at the edge of the ocean below Chapman’s Peak is already well-known, despite being difficult to get into as a non-accommodation visitor, Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa is far more accessible, located in a residential street above Boulders Beach in Simonstown. I was invited to view the property by Janie van der Spuy of Five Star PR, and to enjoy breakfast, at the new property on Saturday morning, with a group of other writers. Continue reading →
CNN describes Cape Town as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, its ocean and mountain views being what makes it particularly special. It writes that the city experiences four seasons in a day, and that allows its locals and visitors to experience a variety of things to do. Despite the water shortage, it is ‘still one of the planet’s most extraordinary destinations’. Continue reading →
Earlier this evening German TV channel 3sat broadcast a flattering 45-minute documentary on Cape Town, entitled ‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt’ (Travel in far worlds: Cape Town). Cape Town is Continue reading →
SA Tourism cannot wish for better marketing than having a movie made which predominantly features beautiful spots in our country, and not have to pay for its production! German movie ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ features award-winning actors, and launches in German cinemas Continue reading →
* Ticket sales for Opulent Living’s black-tie event ‘Chefs who Share’ 2014, to be held on 11 September in the City Hall, open from tomorrow. A total of 14 local chefs, 7 international chefs, and 7 local sommeliers will be in attendance. Tickets cost R3000, and the proceeds go to the MADD Charity and to Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. (received via media release from Opulent Living).
* SA National Parks (SANParks) is to invest R50 million in enhancing the tourism infrastructure of Table Mountain National Park, including Cape Point (receiving 860000 visitors per year) and Boulders’ Beach (receiving 680000 visitors every year), making them important tourism assets for Cape Town. The announcement comes as the Park celebrates its 16th anniversary. Improved roads and services can be expected at Cape Point.
* The latest Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin reflects household consumption growing at a mere 1,8%, the slowest growth rate since the global economic crisis commenced in 2009. Growth in food and drink expenditure in particular declined for the first time in the past five years.
* The latest quarterly survey by the Bureau of Economic Research shows a sharp drop in confidence in the Accommodation sector, with an index of 36 in the first Quarter of this year, to a projected index of 22 in this quarter, and down to zero in Quarter 3. Rates are seen to be reduced in Quarter 3, and Business Confidence has dropped from 76% in Quarter 1 to 56% in this quarter! (received via e-mail from the Bureau of Economic Research)
* Huffington Post praises Cape Town, and lists ‘Top 10 Things to do in Cape Town, South Africa‘, but in reality it lists far more than ten things: visiting Cape Point; the penguins at Boulders Beach; the Winelands, including Le Petite Ferme, Môreson, Haute Cabrière, Delaire Graff, La Residence, The Franschhoek Wine Tram, Tokara, Kanonkop, and Groot Constantia; Umi restaurant and the Marly hotel in Camps Bay; Robben Island; Table Mountain; a township tour; eat at The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club, ‘Bistro’ (sic) Bizerca ‘Signal‘ (sic), Charly’s Bakery, and The Tasting Room; the V&A Market on the Wharf; shopping at Merchants on Long and Chandler House; and High Tea at Belmond Mount Nelson.
* New Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has accused the DA-run City of Cape Town of buying the vote by spending millions of Rands for the title for Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014, Continue reading →
Last night I attended an interesting talk on ‘The Great White Shark: a Global Perspective’, given by shark expert and Apex eco-tour operator Chris Fallows at the One&Only Cape Town. Chris’ talk covered the three key seal areas attracting Great White Sharks in South Africa, as well as other well-known shark areas in the world.
I was invited by Ian Manley, the hotel’s PR consultant, to Chris’ talk, one of two (the second will focus on the relationship between Orca killer whales and Great White Sharks tonight), in a series of Guest Speaker Talks, which include Joanne Lifson on 18 June on ‘Lights Canine Action’, Colin Bell speaking on rhino extinction on 3 July, ‘Africa’s Three Big Cats‘ by Lorne Sulcas on 15 July, and more. One&Only Cape Town ambassador Aubrey Ngcungama introduced Chris, who has documented his shark adventures in his book ‘Great White: The Majesty of Sharks‘, and who has filmed documentaries about the Great White Shark with Discovery Channel, the BBC’s Planet Earth, and National Geographic. In the hotel reception area, a shark cage with diver, as well as a model of a small shark, were set up to attract attention to the talks programme.
Prior to the start of the talk Chris and I chatted, and he explained that Orcas, known as ‘killer whales‘, are not whales at all, but are members of the dolphin family. Orcas are known to kill whales, by pushing them under water and making them drown. In South Africa Great White Sharks can be found where there are concentrations of seals, in three regions: Continue reading →
* The influential Huffington Post has published a fantastic article about Cape Town, entitled ‘15 Reasons Cape Town should be No. 1 on your travel agenda’, and has already achieved 749 Facebook likes, 211 Facebook shares, and 473 Tweets in the past 24 hours. The list of reasons includes its location; ‘some of the most picturesque beach communities you’ll ever see’, featuring a photograph of Clifton; beachfront bars, showing a photograph of the view onto Camps Bay beach from the now closed-down St Yves; 3000 penguins at Boulders Beach; the Sea Point swimming pool; the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden; the V&A Waterfront ‘tourist trap‘ but meaning it in a positive way; ‘the weather is almost too perfect’, with a photograph of the Twelve Apostles with a heavy South-Easter cloud!; Long Street not being as over-crowded or over-priced as Bourbon Street; the Royale Eatery, well-known for its burgers and thick milkshakes; colourful Bo-Kaap; the Neighbourgoods Market; ‘breathtaking universities‘; and braai’s, at Mzoli’s in Gugulethu in particular. The Stellenbosch Winelands and shark cage diving in Gansbaai are also recommended.
* TripAdvisor has found that user searches for South Africa are increasingly terms such as ‘museums‘, ‘luxury’, and ‘wifi’, while ‘safety’, wildlife, and ‘animals’ are less often searched than before.
* The 2014 World Cup, due to kick-off in Brazil on 12 June, could be headed for chaos if the threatened strike by staff of the LATAM airline group servicing most of South America is not dealt with before then. It is estimated that 300 international and 750 regional flights could be affected if the strike takes place.
* Century City is to complete a new Conference Centre by the end of next year. The CCCC will have 20 venues which Continue reading →