South Africa News
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Jan. 08, 2015) - Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge today announced it is a founding member of National Geographic Society's newest foray in world-class travel experiences: National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. Sabi Sabi is committed to conservation of not just the land, but also the culture and people that make our guest experience so unique and so memorable.

Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. The initial collection - numbering 24 properties on six continents - further builds National Geographic's travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.

"For years National Geographic has brought an authentic experience to all their readers and followers. Today we are proud to be part of that experience as we offer our guests unique and authentic experiences of South Africa under the umbrella of the National Geographic brand" said Jacques Smit, Marketing Director of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge "Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge takes conservation, community and hospitality seriously and is proud to have these practices recognized through the National Geographic lodge program."

As part of a comprehensive vetting process, every lodge in the collection was judged on the following criteria:

The Property - The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.

Guest Experience and Quality of Service - Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences - from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.

Sustainable Tourism Best Practices - The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge's impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

"By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet," said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges. "Travelers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world's most incredible places."

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is proud to offer guests who book their stay through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World a special "National Geographic Exclusive" experience, which includes a wine cellar dinner complete with tasting vintages from around South Africa and learning about the country's thriving viniculture, a champagne breakfast in a surprise location, and - for a three night stay or longer - a complimentary spa treatment at the Amani Spa. This is all over and above the already all-inclusive experience of luxury accommodation in a uniquely designed lodge, including all meals and Sabi Sabi beverages topped with daily safari experiences in vehicles and on foot.

"The National Geographic brand is universally recognized for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, so we are uniquely positioned to unite and promote these exceptional properties and to set a new standard for tourism," said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic's executive vice president for Travel. "These lodges share the Society's vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand."

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
  • Fogo Island Inn, Canada
  • Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
  • Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
  • Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
  • Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Lizard Island, Australia
  • Longitude 131°, Australia
  • Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
  • Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
  • Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
  • Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
  • Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
  • Sayari Camp, Tanzania
  • Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
  • Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
  • The Brando, French Polynesia
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
  • Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
  • Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
  • Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan
For more information about National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, visit www.nationalgeographiclodges.com.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 (011) 447-7172
Fax: +27 (011) 442-0728
Email: res@sabisabi.com
www.sabisabi.com

Published in News
Given the confusion surrounding the forthcoming changes to the immigration rules for children travelling to South Africa, we have prepared a handy printable guide for tour operators, travel agents, and holidaymakers which highlights the key requirements.

SATOA Guides to the new Regulations For Travelling To South Africa With Children from 1 June 2015:

     Printable Infographic Of Documents Required For Kids Travelling To South Africa

     Guide To Getting A Duplicate UK Birth Certificate

For full details of the new regulations, including important information for additional requirements for when children are travelling without both parents being present, see the following official websites:

      The South African High Commission In London 

      Department For Home Affairs In South Africa

      PDF Summary Of New Rules From South African High Commission



About the author:  Paul Campbell is a member of the SATOA Committee and Managing Director of Travel Butlers Ltd, a UK based company that specialises in holidays to South Africa.
Published in News
Sibuya Game Reserve, located in the Eastern Cape Province, has appointed AMG to look after its trade representation in the UK. The agency has been tasked with raising the profile of its Game Reserve and tented camps and establishing the brand in the United Kingdom.

Sibuya, one of South Africa’s most unique safari destinations, has more navigable river than any other game reserve in South Africa and is sanctuary to an abundance of diverse wildlife, and a birding destination hard to beat, with nearly 400 different species of birds. The luxury tented camps are found on the banks of the Kariega River boasting spectacular views and high-end amenities. 

AMG account manager, Natalie de la Porte, who will be the account’s main point of contact, comments: “We are delighted to be working with Sibuya and to help the business get more presence in the UK trade. Its game and bird life has a lot to offer, and whilst the tented camps are different, they all offer a combination of quality, superb cuisine, friendly staff and commitment to the environment, which are all extremely important to the UK consumer.”

Nick Fox, owner of Sibuya, says: “We are very pleased to be working with AMG in the UK and were particularly impressed with their knowledge of South Africa as well as their connections in the travel trade. We are keen to see more business from the UK market, which we recognise as having great potential for us.”

For more information, please contact Natalie de la Porte at AMG: natalie@amgltd.biz
For more information on Sibuya, please visit http://www.sibuya.co.za
Published in News
The South African Department of Home Affairs has delayed implementation of the requirement for children under the age of 18 to travel with unabridged birth certificate until June 1, 2015. In addition to this, the requirement for children travelling with just one parent to have written permission to travel from the other parent have also been postponed.

Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba,  told reporters at a media briefing "We have granted the postponement of these two particular requirements - the unabridged birth certificate and written permission, to June 1, 2015."

This news will be widely welcomed in the tourism industry, and we congratulate the Minister and all those who have campaigned for a postponement as this will undoubtedly help boost travel to South Africa over the coming months.


Published in News

Updated Wednesday, 16 September 2014

It has been announced that these new regulations will be postponed until 1 June 2015




With the new regulations for visitors to South Africa travelling with children coming into effect from 1st of October, we have been having a look for some practical advice on how to comply with the new requirements.

The change that will affect the greatest number of travellers from the UK is that all children under 18 years are required to have a certified copy of their unabridged birth certificate in addition to their passport.

We have found that a number of our clients have panicked when initially hearing this, however travellers from the UK who cannot find this document can obtain a certified copy from the General Register Office at: https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

In order to test this system, we went through the process and ordered a duplicate certificate ourselves: the system required registration, however the form itself was fairly straight forward providing you knew the full name, date and place of birth and names of the parents. The whole process took about 5 minutes, and you can pay the £9.25 fee online.

The certificate we ordered came through 3 weeks after we placed our order, contained all the information required, and was clearly marked as a “Certified Copy of An Entry of Birth”.

Note that whilst the bottom of the certificate also stated “Warning: A Certificate Is Not Evidence of Identity”, we do not believe that this will be an issue. The South African Authorities are not looking to use the certificates as evidence of identity as such, but they are being used instead to establish the relationship between the passport holders with the passports being the evidence of identity.

For full details of the new regulations, including important information for additional requirements for when children are travelling without both parents being present, see the following official websites:

      The South African High Commission In London 

      Department For Home Affairs In South Africa

      PDF Summary Of New Rules From South African High Commission



About the author:  Paul Campbell is a member of the SATOA Committee and Managing Director of Travel Butlers Ltd.


Published in News
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 14:11

SA tourism under no threat from Ebola

Government reiterates that South Africa remains the destination of choice for tourism, despite a report in the media which stated that the industry had become the first victim of Ebola.  

No cases of the Ebola virus have been reported in the country, and government is confident of the systems and protocols that are in place to address any incidence of the virus.    

Minister of Communications Ms. Faith Muthambi said, “It is unfortunate that the newspaper would choose to report that a handful of tourists cancelled their trip due to fears, which according to the report are based on erroneous facts about the virus. This is despite the government’s assurance that it has efficient systems in place at the country’s ports of entry and medical facilities.  The risk of Ebola being introduced into South Africa remains low and our tourism industry remains vibrant and lucrative.”

Since the advent of democracy the arrivals in the country have grown by more than 300% to reach nearly 15 million last year, of which 9.6 million were tourists.

Tourist arrivals to South Africa in 2013 showed positive growth from all regions.  South Africa is one of the most-sought after global destinations offering a diverse variety of unforgettable experiences, which include leisure, business and events.  “South Africa is on record having hosted some of the biggest tourism mega-events in the world and the 2014 Tourism Act actually caters for the demands of the 21st century,” said Muthambi.

As a sought-after destination, government reiterates that it has ensured that stringent measures have been put in place.  The surveillance for viral hemorrhagic fevers has been strengthened at ports of entry. The National Health Laboratory Service and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases have also intensified laboratory surveillance and the port health services, including public and private health care practitioners, who are on alert for any ill persons that have travelled to very high risk areas. There are 11 designated health facilities in the country to manage any reported Ebola cases. South Africa has even dispatched a specialist team in response to the virus in Sierra Leone.

“So there is no need to incite panic and speculation on the tourism industry. South Africa is safe and is still an attractive destination for tourists,” said Muthambi.
Published in News
Thursday, 19 June 2014 09:43

Mossel Bay Fishing Getaway 2014

A 4 Day Fishing Program Mossel Bay 2014
Together with Out And About Travel & Go Fish Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay – Boggomsbaai – Vleesbaai - Fransmanshoek
4 Days / 3 Nights
4 – 10 Persons
1st June 2014 – 1st December 2014

Day 1:
• Arrival at the George Airport
• Meet and greet by your driver who will take you to your accommodation establishment
• You will either stay at a Hotel in Mossel Bay or outside town in Boggomsbaai at the Sandpiper Cottages
• Arrival at your accommodation establishment and check in
• Lunch will be served upon arrival
• After lunch, you will be met by your expert fishing guide. He will be your fishing guide for the next 3 days.
• An afternoon fishing excursion will take place. Considering the weather and water conditions, your guide will decide if rock or beach fishing is favourable on this day
• Return after your fishing excursion to freshen up
• Dinner will either be served in town at a local restaurant or if staying in Boggomsbaai, a traditional “Kaggel Braai” dinner will be served
• Overnight

Day 2:
• After breakfast, you will depart on a full day fishing excursion
• Again, your guide will take his experience to decide where the best fishing spots will be
• Lunch packs will be taken along and enjoyed on the beach
• PM fishing to take place
• Return to your accommodation to freshen up
• Dinner will either be served in town at a local restaurant or if staying in Boggomsbaai, a traditional “Kaggel Braai” dinner will be served
• Overnight

Day 3:
• After some breakfast, your guide will lead you on a half day boat fishing excursion
• Return after fishing for lunch at a local restaurant
• Some time will be had at leisure before going on another afternoon fishing excursion
• Return to accommodation to freshen up
• Dinner will either be served in town at a local restaurant or if staying in Boggomsbaai, a traditional “Kaggel Braai” dinner will be served
• Overnight

Day 4:
• After some breakfast, you will check out
• Transfer back to the George Airport
• Arrival and check in for your flight home
• End of your fishing getaway

For more info and booking visit our website at: www.oatravel.co.za
or just contact us by email: info@oatravel.co.za

Published in News
Follow the movements of Sabi Sabi's sophisticated guests and you will find them to be electronically mobile, online savvy and demanding of fast, instant information at their fingertips. Their briefcases - if they carry one - generally holds a cell-phone, laptop or tablet, and very little in the way of paper!

In line with this trend, Sabi Sabi has abandoned printed brochures and marketing copy and gone 'paperless' as part of an ongoing commitment to minimising the company's environmental footprint.

A stunning electronic e-brochure has replaced the heavy paper booklet, and features magnificent images of the lodges, wildlife and staff at Sabi Sabi. It is beautiful to look at, environmentally friendly and easy to access - available on www.sabisabi.com.

Dozens of social media platforms keep followers updated on happenings at the lodges and keep the safari experience alive. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are just some of the options available to those around the world who follow Sabi Sabi avidly, while the ever popular blog remains a very firm favourite. Updating current bushveld events has become second nature to the team entrusted with writing the exciting Sabi Sabi stories and the number of followers just keeps growing.

A Sabi Sabi app, launched earlier this year, is free for download from the iTunes App Store. It features all the information any guest could need - from the brochure to animal checklists, useful information and interactive applications (available at present for iPad only - click here to link to the Apple Store).

But while Sabi Sabi makes the most of the myriad social media and online platforms available while planning a visit, on arrival guests are encouraged to switch off the electronics, tune out the media and immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and unedited glory of the Sabi Sabi bushveld.
www.sabisabi.com
www.pinterest.com/sabisabireserve
www.facebook.com/SabiSabiReserve
www.twitter.com/SabiSabiReserve
www.itunes.apple.com
www.plus.google.com




Published in News
10 June 2014 Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has provided a grace period to allow children to travel with parents or guardians without an unabridged birth certificate until end of September 2014.

This means that families will be able to travel with children even for the coming school holidays as some would have made the necessary arrangements ahead of the commencement of the Immigration Amendment Acts of 2007 and 2011 and the new Immigration Regulations. The Amendment Acts and the new Regulations came into effect on 26 May 2014.

From 01 October 2014, the requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling with parents will come into effect for the safety of children, including their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping.

The Department urges citizens and foreign nationals to heed the call to apply for unabridged birth certificates for children. An unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents is required in terms of the Immigration Regulation 6 (12)(a) for children travelling with parents.

Enquiries: David Hlabane, 071 527 9463 and Thabo Mokgola, 071 712 9710.
Published in News
A new regulation came into effect at the beginning of June as part of the new Immigration Amendment Act in South Africa.

Under the new regulations, people travelling to South AFrica with children under the age of 18 years are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate for each child.

In the case where only one parent is travelling with the child(ren), consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered is required.  Alternatively, either a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or a death certificate of the other parent must be produced.

According to BARSA, South Africa will be the only country mandating that children travel wit han unabridged birth certificate.  From July 1st airlines will be forced to refuse travel to families not in possession of these documents. 

We ask that you ensure all your family travellers are aware of these regulations for the future.

SATOA 

Published in News
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