In what appears to be unusual, killer whales (also known as Orcas) have been found to be on the attack of Great White sharks in local waters. Even more unusual is that the organs of the Great White sharks have been targeted, and removed by the Orcas. The Orca attacks are making international headlines, this being such a rare phenomenon. Continue reading →
* British travelers can experience a virtual taste of Cape Town and other South African highlights whilst in Manchester(NoHo) and in London (Corbet Place), with a special film about our city on the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. Abseiling down Table Mountain, shark-cage diving, paragliding, kite-surfing, feeding elephants, and visiting the Johannesburg Neighbourgoods Market are featured. Two viewers will win tickets to travel to South Africa, to experience our country’s beauty in reality.
* For the first time Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has admitted that the Immigration Regulations, which were Continue reading →
* The second Cape Wine Auction will be held at Boschendal on 14 February 2015. Last year the inaugural Auction raised R 7 million.
* Uber launched UberCHOPPER today, partnering with Cape Town Helicopters, bookable on the Uber App. An UberBLACK vehicle will collect one from one’s destination, and drive one to the V&A Helipad. Three flight options are available: Two Oceans, covering both the Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay; Cape Peninsula, covering the V&A down to the Cape of Good Hope; and customised tours such as to the Winelands, whale-watching, and shark-cage diving. There is a maximum of three passengers per ride. (received via media release from Uber Cape Town)
‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ focused on the Overberg last night, visiting Hermanus and Stanford, as well as Elgin, but this was not mentioned, being described as being just outside Hermanus! It was a whale of an episode highlighting the Southern Right whale visitors, the sustainable apple and pear farming in Elgin, and Marianna’s sustainable restaurant in Stanford. No mention was made however of Hermanus’ produce nor its world-renowned wines in the Hemel en Aarde Valley!
Hayden raved about the Southern Right whales, which visit Hermanus’ Walker Bay from July, he said incorrectly (they arrive from the Antarctic from May onwards) until early December. On the Facebook page of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ it is incorrectly claimed that Hermanus is the ‘Whale Watching Capital of the World‘, copywriting nonsense. Hermanus is however known as the offering the best land-based whale watching in the world, which is something different, and Hayden did say words to this effect in the episode!
To add some real adventure to his visit to Hermanus, Forest Adventures’ Clinton Lerm (infamous for wanting to change the name of the village to ‘Lermanus‘ when his family tried to take over the tourism management of the town, to their own 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 →
The third series of ‘Der Bachelor’ commenced last week, and has achieved record viewership of over 4 million viewers on German TV station RTL, excellent news for Cape Town, given that Camps Bay is the location for the reality TV show again.
The new Bachelor Jan Kralitschaka is described in Germany’s leading magazine Bunte as having a charming Colgate smile, a sixpack, and radiant eyes. He was sent to Cape Town with 20 potential single candidates, to meet his dream wife. Different tourist spots in the Western Cape and other parts of South Africa are built into the script. Jan and one of the ladies will be shark cage diving in tonight’s episode!
The ‘Camps Bay Mansion’ villa was rented out after series 2, and was described as being a 1000 square meter, 10 bedroom villa, with a billiard room and wine cellar, and a Romeo & Juliet balcony, which was rented our after the second series of eight programs at € 937 per day last year, with a minimum rental period of seven days.
Given that Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro are doing extremely little to market Cape Town and the Western Cape, respectively, one can be grateful for every opportunity to put Cape Town on the German map!
POSTSCRIPT 16/1: The episode this evening started with a TV commercial for Amarula, one of the two key sponsors of the reality TV series. A helicopter flip over Cape Town was an exciting start to the episode, and a spa in the Winelands was also included, shot next to the vineyard. Jan and one of the contestants were flown to Gansbaai for shark cage diving via helicopter, both going into the cage, with a shark swimming close by. The team were then flown to Johannesburg, to a rehabilitation reserve for orphaned game, to lots of ohs and ahs. A promotion is being run with SA Tourism, offering a week’s holiday in Cape Town, with hotel accommodation included. A lot of the time on camera showed the contestants holding glasses of wine, promoting our wine industry too.
‘Der Bachelor’, RTL, 22h15 SA time, Wednesday evenings.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Excellent news for the marketing of Cape Town is that the new Bollywood movie ‘Cocktail’, which was largely shot in Cape Town, has seen the launch of a new TV commercial by SA Tourism to promote tourism to South Africa among Indian tourists, to co-incide with the release of the movie, reports Best Media Info.
The 30 second TV commercial has been released on international TV channels such as HBO and MTV, and communicates that Cape Town offers travellers ‘a truly unique fusion of fun, exciting, adventurous and memorable holiday experience to take home and treasure‘.
Beautiful scenes have been shot in Camps Bay in particular, the V&A Waterfront, and the Trinity night club are also featured in the TV commercial.
‘Cocktail‘ features three friends who visit Cape Town for a holiday, leading to a romance between two of them. The movie filming commenced in London last year, including locations such as Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Portobello Road, and Notting Hill. Then the action moved to Cape Town, and an upbeat dance number for one of the main songs in the movie was shot at a set specially created at Maiden’s Cove in Camps Bay. The perfect weather in Cape Town at the time of the shoot allowed Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, and Camps Bay, as well as in the V&A Waterfront to be featured in the filming.
The director of the movie, Homi Adajania, said that shooting the movie in Cape Town was a ‘dream holiday’ for the film crew too, being ‘as delightful an experience‘. Whilst they had the opportunity, the main actors went whale watching and shark cage diving. The actresses loved the local food, and they discovered our wonderful fish, and they ‘feasted on the South African delicacy – the Kingklip fish’. The cast enjoyed eating on Long Street, in the V&A Waterfront (including Belthazar), and at Beluga. Adajania said about Capetonians: ‘all South Africans are outdoorsy, fun-loving people who prefer to sprint on the roads at night, while weekends to them mean adventure sports‘!
The ‘Cocktail’ movie trailer was a huge hit when it was released two months ago, and had 1 million hits on YouTube within three days. The movie went on circuit two weeks ago.
SA Tourism’s dynamic Country Manager in India, Hanneli Slabber, said that ‘we are really excited to be associated with ‘Cocktail’ on this TVC (television commercial) campaign and we want to showcase the best that Cape Town has to offer to Indian Travelers. The movie showcases the star cast having a fun-filled holiday in South Africa and it blends perfectly with our positioning as being an exhilarating, fun and memorable holiday destination. This association gives us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase South Africa on the Bollywood stage and reach out to the vast section of movie going audience’. Growth in tourists from India in the first three months of this year was up 23 % compared to a year ago, and reflects that the country is becoming one of the favourite travel destinations amongst Indian tourists.
In recognition of the tourism growth from India, SA Tourism produced a cookbook for the hospitality industry, ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa’, in conjunction with the SA Chefs Association, detailing the specific dietary requirements of vegetarians, vegans and Jains in India; gives lists of food items that each group may (and may not) eat; gives a brief explanation of the culture that informs the dietary needs of these tourists; and gives a broad selection of recipes that will keep vegetarian, vegan and Jain visitors happy and well-fed as they explore South Africa.
The Cape Town tourism industry would be very happy to see the new ‘Cocktail’ movie, as well as the SA Tourism TV advertising campaign, resulting in a growth in the number of tourists from India in Cape Town.
POSTSCRIPT 30/7: SAA has announced that it is increasing its Mumbai-Johannesburg flight frequency to daily from 3 October onwards, reports The Times.
POSTSCRIPT 5/8: The Times of India reports that the number of enquiries for travel to South Africa has increased by 10% just one month after the release of the ‘Cocktail’ movie. It writes that S A Tourism has ‘tied up with 7 Hindi film production houses‘. ‘South Africa Tourism sees Bollywood as an effective way to compensate for the lack of a high budget to promote tourism‘. The newspaper quotes SA Tourism Country Manager Hanneli Slabber in saying: “We are lucky Bollywood fell in love with Cape Town. Bollywood has been very kind and will be a cost-effective way to showcase South Africa as a great tourism destination”.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage