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RETURNAfrica offers a collection of unique experiences in South Africa’s two most iconic destinations: Kruger National Park and Cape Town.

RETURNAfrica’s origins lie at Pafuri in the far north of the Kruger National Park. It is here, on the ancestral land of the Makuleke people, that we have built a unique partnership and a collection of superb safari experiences including Pafuri Luxury Tented Camp, Pafuri Walking Trails and Baobab Hill Bush House. Our operation is rooted in more than two decades of friendship with the Makulekes, who lost their home under apartheid but who have now returned as our landlords, our business partners and our guides.

In Cape Town, our portfolio includes Welgelegen Boutique Hotel. Spaced in two Victorian-built houses, Welgelegen is in a tranquil and quiet area. Within a short walk of the more bustling Kloof Street some of Cape Town’s best local restaurants, bars and artisanal stores can be explored. The Cableway, Camps Bay and The Waterfront are no more than a ten-minute drive, and with views of both Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, Welgelegen truly is its translation: Well situated.

Tools and processes to ensure your business’s safety

Dear SATSA Members

Tourist safety has become a hot topic during recent weeks, and while SATSA works behind the scenes to bring about systemic change to improve safety and security, we have rounded up two initiatives that your business should consider:


It has been proven over the past few weeks that in times of crises in the tourism industry there is no one better than SATIB to lean on. Clients of SATIB can make use of the SATIB24 Crisis Call which provides clients with a range of crisis cover. Crisis Call – South Africa includes cover for evacuation and medical expenses (maximum limit of R75 000), kidnapping/hi-jacking/rape (maximum limit of R75 000), alternative accommodation/catering/travel costs (maximum limit of R30 000), communication costs (maximum limit of R5 000), and management costs (maximum limit of R100 000).

The crisis call centre can be contacted on:

RSA: 0861 SATIB 24 (0861 72842 24)

Outside RSA: +27 1000 70230

The above numbers are for emergencies only. For more information on this service, please visit the SATIB website

911 Rapid Response Mobile App

Nhongo Safaris has partnered with 911 Rapid Response and released a mobile app, currently available on Apple iStore as well as on the Android App Store.

The app enables your mobile smartphone to be used by either international and local visitors to South Africa as a mechanism to alert response teams in times of crisis. For more information on how the app works, watch the video below:

Reminder: Chapter Meetings in and around your province

A number of Chapter Meetings are coming up in the coming weeks. We urge all members to attend and keep up to date on the work that SATSA is doing for the benefit of our members.

Chapter meetings in October are as follows:

17 October 2017: North West, Thaba Legae Guest Lodge, 10h00

                                  Western Cape, Radisson Red, 15h15

25 October 2017: Garden Route, The Wilderness Hotel, 10h00

SATSA will also be hosting a number of workshops in conjunction with Fair Trade Tourism as part of an initiative to involve tour operators in the Fair Trade Tourism process. The first of these took place on 13 October 2017 at The Backpack Hostel in Cape Town and the next one is scheduled for 26 October 2017 at The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg.

In November SATSA, in partnership with South African Tourism, will be hosting speed marketing sessions in two of our provinces. From 9 -11 November, selected operators will be visiting Limpopo, and from 22 -23 November operators will be introduced to the North West province.

Animal interactions: “Doing nothing is not an option”

“If we are going to market effectively, we need to make sure brand South Africa is prominent and good”. This was the sentiment shared by South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona during the panel discussion ‘Animal interactions – How do we craft a compliance process?’ at this year’s SATSA Conference held at Spier, Stellenbosch.

Joining Ntshona on the panel was Jane Edge, CEO Fair Trade Tourism, Mandy Freeman, from Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, Suzanne Benadie, Sales and Marketing Director of Your Africa, Gerben Hardeman, Manager Responsible Travel and Tourism at ANVR, and John Werth, Executive Director PAAZA. Moderating the panel was Colin Bell, from Natural Selection.

While some markets, such as the Dutch, choose to completely exclude all animal interactions from their itineraries, Hardeman offered advice to delegates saying: “South Africa need to phase out the worst experiences, improve the rest, and promote the best.” Ntshona said that doing nothing is not an option and advocated for a strong research-based approach to set the standard which will inform those who ultimately hold the power – the consumer.

As an outcome to this discussion SATSA set up a board sub-committee to investigate and develop a way forward in terms of animal interaction. Ms Keira Powers was confirmed as the Chair and will be working on a Terms of Reference to guide the sub-committee and also to look at which other stakeholders should be included. At this stage the committee is comprised as follows:

Ms Keira Powers – Chair (Spirit of Africa)

Ms Hannelie du Toit

Mr David Frost

To listen to the full audio episode, click here

New requirements for trips to Robben Island

As of 5 October 2017, all clients booked for trips to Robben Island must provide identification when purchasing tickets. These could include either their identification documents (ID), passport, birth certificate, drivers licence or certified copies thereof, and are verified when clients check in for their trip.

Robben Island Museum has said that the new move is part of an ongoing endeavour to provide guests with the best possible service, and aligned to best practices and auditing requirements.

Tourists to the island must also have their tickets and identification handy at all times to be checked before and after they board a ferry.

SATSA understands that this newly implemented process (without any prior warning) is both time consuming for operators and difficult to manage with the impending high season. We will be looking to engage with the museum to find a workable solution for all those affected.


The SATSA application process is fully electronic and you are assisted through the process by a personal Member Relationship Consultant. The below 5 steps explain the process:

Step 1

On the SATSA website ( click on BECOME A MEMBER and then click on APPLY NOW

•  Complete the drop-down box and don’t forget the funny maths sum at the bottom

• This will send SATSA the information in order to send you an invitation to join SATSA

Step 2

• The invitation to join SATSA will be sent to you by email

• There will be Appendix A, B and C attached to the invitation. See the next section for details about them

Step 3

You will find a computer link to click at the bottom of the email in your invitation to join SATSA. This will bring up the on-line application form which you must complete and submit

Attach the following to your application:

  1. Your Company Registration Certificate:corporate – CIPC certificate or confirmation from similar authority in the country of incorporation
    1. a trust – the letters of authority issued by the Master of the High Court, or similar authority in the country of incorporation
    2. partnership – an affidavit signed by all partners confirming the status of the business and the right to use the name under which the business trades
    3. a sole proprietorship – an affidavit signed by the sole proprietor confirming the status of the business the right to use the name under which the business trades
  2. Proof (including by way of affidavit) that you are entitled to use the trade name under which you conduct your business (should this differ from the registered business name)
  3. Proof that the business is registered for tax purposes
  4. ID of the person nominated as the company representative for SATSA (“Nominated Representative) – no need to have this attested at a police station
  5. Proof of residency and work permit if the Nominated Representative is not a citizen of the country in which the applicant is operative
  6. Appendix A: Legal Compliance – here you read through the letter and initial next to paragraphs that apply to your company then sign and send to us
  7. Appendix B: Solvency Report – your accountant/auditor/bookkeeper scans this onto his letterhead so that it is a legal document and then fills it in and you return it to us. What SATSA needs to know is that your financial affairs are in competent hands. If you do not have this, you can also submit:
    1. copies of your audited financial statements
    2. latest management reports
    3. in the case of a sole proprietor, a copy of your latest tax return
  8. Appendix C: Insurance Compliance – your insurer/broker scans this onto his letterhead so that it is a legal document and then fills it in and you return it to us. Call Pat Henning 011 886 9996 if you need a list of SATSA affiliated insurers or advice about the type of insurance required
  9. Appendix E: Letter of Undertaking – here you are signing to say that you will ensure that any vehicles you hire have the correct amount of Passenger Liability Insurance, Licences and Operating Licence and are well maintained. Do not complete this if you do not hire in vehicles

• Appendix F: Subsidiaries – should you have subsidiary companies you will complete their information on this document and also submit a motivation letter (from the holding company) indicating management, financial and insurance control. Only subsidiaries listed with SATSA will qualify for benefits, bonding and a SATSA subsidiary Membership certificate

• Appendix G: Divisions – here you can list any divisions within the company that you would like to add to your SATSA membership. Only divisions listed with SATSA will qualify for benefits, bonding and a SATSA division Membership certificate

• Operating Licences for the vehicles which you own and use to transport tourists.

• You will receive an invoice from the SATSA accounts department for the application fee which is a once-off R 1,926 (including VAT). Please submit your proof of payment

Step 4

Once we have all the correct document, it takes approximately 4 weeks to complete the application. This includes:

• notify all members of the new application. They have the right to object, but only on most serious grounds and this happens very rarely, and we allow two and a half weeks for this process. Should an objection be received, we would revert and try to resolve matter

• conducting a credit check

• notifying the relevant Chapter of the new application

Step 5

Once your documentation is complete and your membership is approved, you will:

  1. receive a confirmation email and the invoice for the membership fee
  2. on payment you will receive your SATSA certificate and membership number by email
  3. our website manager will contact you directly to supply you with the SATSA logo and the instructions on how to activate your mini-website on the SATSA website
  4. your mini-website will automatically go on to the SA Tourism website which our website manager will explain to you

Heads-up: Table Mountain’s new queueing system and rates

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has introduced a new queueing system at the Lower Station.

New Queuing system at the Lower Station

As of November 2017 the queuing system at the Lower Station will change. There will still be two queues at the Lower Station, one for Ticket Holders’ (i.e. those who have purchased online tickets) and one for visitors who need to purchase tickets at the Ticket Office.

Visitors who purchase tickets at the Ticket Office must now join the Ticket Holders’ queue first before accessing the ramp queue for the lifts (i.e. they will no longer be able to join the ramp queue once they have purchased tickets at the Ticket Office as had been the practice). This new system ensures that online ticket holders are given preference when accessing the cable cars. You are, therefore, advised to purchase tickets online for your guests.

Reminder of annual Cableway rates increase

Our annual rates increase takes place on 1 October 2017. In order to spread demand throughout the day we are introducing morning and afternoon tickets for the Tour Operator Ticketing portal as well.

Our 2017/18 rates (valid from 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2018) are:

Tour operator ticketing portal 2017/18 rates:

• Morning Peak (8am- 1pm)

Adult return       R270

Child return        R130

• Afternoon (1pm onwards)

Adult return       R255

Child return        R125

Ticket office and public online ticket for 2017/18 rates:

• Morning Peak (8am – 1pm)

Adult return       R290

Child return        R140

• Afternoon (1pm onwards)

Adult return       R275

Child return        R135

Please note that Morning Peak tickets can be used throughout the day. Afternoon tickets can only be used in the afternoons.

Cableway Tour Operator Ticketing Portal

Tour operators registered on Table Mountain Aerial Cableway’s tour operator ticketing portal save R20 per adult return ticket when purchasing Cableway tickets via the portal. Tour Operator Ticketing Portal tickets are never sold out.

Fresh look and feel for Giltedge website

Giltedge Africa, award-winning tour operator of luxury safaris in Africa, has launched their newly-designed website to be a helpful tool for international travel agents.

Giltedge Africa is now showcasing a new appearance with responsive design and integrated digital itineraries by WETU. Digital itineraries allow agents to better sell Africa’s destinations to their clients with interactive maps, supplier information and striking photos.

The new website uses geo-location and allows Giltedge Africa to personalise the experience for each agent – be they from America or Europe. One of the ways that personalisation occurs is by showing the correct country-specific toll-free number using the agent’s geo-location; and by displaying the right content for the right user.

Another updated feature is the integration of the specially-customized CRM platform throughout the site, along with the introduction of a Live Chat to help agents who need immediate assistance.

“While we’re happy to have launched the website, we are now looking forward to adding more functionalities in the next phases like a multi-currency function and an agent login,” said Julien Perreard, Head of Digital and Online, at Giltedge.

See the new Giltedge Africa website here

SATSA members rack up the awards in 2017

We love it when our SATSA members are recognised for the good work that they do, reinforcing SATSA’s credibility and quality assurance.

This year, Hayward’s Safaris has done particularly well:

Winner 5 Star Lodge 2017 By Sanlam

Nomination by World Tourism Awards for Best Glamping Camp in The World 2017/8

Only officially graded 5 Star Mobile Safari in southern Africa 8 years running

Best Mobile Safari by Safari Awards London 3 years running

Giltedge Africa has also been singled out as South Africa’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator for 2017, awarded at a gala dinner in Rwanda. World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global tourism industry. The Wall Street Journal describes the tourism awards as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry. Industry professionals from around the world participated in the voting process which is scrupulously monitored and independently audited.

To all our SATSA members, keep up the fantastic work!