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Magaliesberg Canopy Tour

The Magaliesberg Canopy Tour is an Eco friendly adventure activity that takes one on a 2, 5 hour journey of discovery through one of the most picturesque gorges of the second oldest mountain range in the world. The 2400 million year old Magaliesberg Mountains are rich in indigenous fauna and flora, with a history to match.

Slide in zig zag formation across the top of Ysterhout gorge from 11 platforms, constructed high into the cliff faces, joined by 10 cabled slides, up to 140 long and in places 30m above the canopy floor.

The experience begins with a safety briefing at the Canopy Tour offices, during which you will also be kitted out with a sliding harness, safety helmet, sliding glove and pulley. After the briefing you will be transported approximately 2 km up the mountain to the first platform. This is where your unforgettable adventure begins.

During the tour your guides will keep you entertained and informed with interesting facts about this ancient wonderland. Safety is paramount and the system has been built to the highest civil engineering standards. All equipment is state of the art and guides are fully trained.

Tours depart at 30min intervals, 7 days per week, from the Canopy Tour offices and are restricted to a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 9 persons per tour.

Jambo Tours and Safaris

Jambo Tours and Safaris is a values-driven company and we prize our exceptional level of service to our clients above all else. We are a company that offers honesty, integrity and service with a warm and welcoming smile and we want to give all our clients an experience that lingers in their minds long after our clients have left.

We specialise in guided Open Vehicle Safaris in the Kruger National Park, in specially modified Open Safari Vehicles, to give you the best game-viewing experience money can buy. Opting for a half day safari (±6 hours) or a full day safari (±10 hours), we guarantee you a game-viewing experience like no other, where you will be able to see the Big 5 like they’ve never been seen before.

We offer Panorama Tours along Mpumalanga’s scenic Panorama route, where you will be able to see some of the world’s oldest mountain ranges and canyons; the best viewing spots that look out over the world-renowned “God’s Window”, and some of the best waterfalls in the world.

We also offer educational Cultural heritage tours to towns like Pilgrim’s Rest; the mining town that was a big part of South Africa’s gold rush, and where gold can still be found in the rivers and streams today, and into neighbouring Swaziland and Mozambique, where you can get a chance to interact with the locals and learn about the history of the area and its importance

Thom Media & Travel (Pty) Ltd

Conservation Safari Company is a leading experiential travel company, that has been designing bespoke safaris and holidays to Southern and East Africa for over fifteen years. We offer fly-in safaris and game lodge experiences, luxury train travel, luxury hotel and guesthouse accommodation, meet and assist services at major airports, registered tour guides, special interest tours (photography, botany, birding, fishing, walking), air and boat charter, and so much more. Our focus is on delivering the best possble guest experience, while still benefiting the land and wildlife, amongst which we are priviledged to operate. We also manage your entire safari – from arrival to departure – and ensure that each connection and arrangement is seamless, so that your only focus is to relax and enjoy every minute, safely.

We have a passion for conservation and a portion of the proceeds from every trip booked with us goes to carefully selected conservation organizations and projects that we believe are making a legitimate difference.

From family holidays to intimate romantic getaways; from game viewing on the savannah plains to adventure travel and wine tasting in Cape Town: the team at Conservation Safari Company will help you to curate the perfect travel experience!

Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary

Panthera Africa is an ethical sanctuary for any captive bred big cats in need of rescue. Animal welfare is our top priority and with educational visits we share their heartfelt stories to raise the important awareness about the big cat industry worldwide. The animals are protected and will prosper for the rest of their lives at Panthera Africa, and together we will create a brighter tomorrow!

One of Panthera Africa’s main purposes is to be an educational platform where we create awareness about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving them the best captive life possible. We are a true sanctuary where no cub petting, breeding or trading takes place, and we take pride in speaking on their behalf!
Panthera Africa is open for you to come and enjoy the magnificent Big Cats! We are excited to tell you that we have lions, tigers, black leopard and caracals that are waiting to meet you and your guests!

We offer educational visits every day except Tuesdays at 9am and/or 4pm (Oct – March) and 10am and/or 3pm (April – Sept) depending on availability. Here you will get the chance of capturing these beautiful animals and hear their unique heart felt stories, in addition to learning facts about the species themselves and the critical situations they are facing.

The Royal Portfolio

Started in 1999 by Liz and Phil Biden, The Royal Portfolio is a collection of exclusive hotels, lodges and private residences located in iconic destinations across South Africa. The Royal Portfolio is a family owned and run business where guests feel a sense of familiarity and comfort. Each hotel is unique and each experience is authentic.

Since first opening Royal Malewane in 2000, the vision of the Biden family has been to give guests a complete experience and a perfect stay.

The opening of The Silo Hotel enabled The Royal Portfolio to offer guests a unique journey across a portfolio of quintessentially South Africa experiences including a Big 5 safari in the Greater Kruger National Park, a gourmet  safari in the Cape Winelands, a coastal experience in Hermanus and the natural wonder, art and culture of Cape Town.

Tourist Safety: SATSA works behind the scenes

Dear Members

SATSA has been working behind the scenes to explore solutions to the recent spike in robberies involving tourist vehicles in Gauteng. SATSA convened a workshop attended by all major tourism transport providers, leading DMCs, SA Tourism and senior SAPS officials.  We have also drawn in the largest private sector security company, Fidelity.  Three immediate actionable outcomes were identified and SATSA was charged with operationalising these. A work plan is being developed which will incorporate pre-, during and post-incident support.

  1. Training

Develop training sessions that specifically address security issues in the tourism industry. This training will be made available to tourism staff, guides and drivers to avoid crime when possible and to manage a crises situation when it occurs, including emergency/crises protocol. We are also exploring links to formal accreditation in this respect.

  1. Joint Operations Centre (JOC)

Establishing a dedicated tourism specific JOC that will be operational 24/7 to centralise all systems, processes and response teams. This will include immediate emergency, medical and security response and post-incident management such as trauma counselling, media management, police statements, embassy assistance, etc.

  1. SATSA App

SATSA has been in the process of developing a general communications APP independent of the security concerns. This APP will be open to all staff of SATSA members and will improve our ability to drive real time communications with members on a host of key issues.  A tourism safety functionality will now be included in the app design. Consultation with various existing safety APP developers will take place to choose the best solution or potentially incorporate a combination of these. An important functionality that we hope to include is real-time alerts and communication of crime hotspots, industrial action, etc.

I am always more comfortable reporting on what has been done, as opposed to what is planned. It is however important that SATSA members are aware that your association is working on finding ways and means of mitigating the massive risk this poses to our sector. We are in consultation with various stakeholders and hope to, in addition to the above, also offer our members some value-adds in the security space.

We will keep you updated on these issues.

The Threat of the Plague Unpacked

There has recently been some unsavoury international media reporting regarding the Black Plague threat and our members are receiving enquiries from concerned travellers.

Please be advised that whilst South Africa is on the World Health Organisation watch list and that there is a risk, it is very low and the country is fully equipped to deal with and mitigate the spread of the disease.

Professor Lucille Blumberg‚ Consultant at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases‚ were interviewed by TimesLIVE about facts around plague as follows:

1) Calm down and don’t call it the Black Death

Scientists don’t call even call the disease the Black Plague anymore. “It is just called the plague.” Blumberg explained that the “black plague” and the words “black death” refer to the disease in the Middle Ages‚ when it killed millions of people in Europe.

But 1346 was before the age of antibiotics. In the 14th century‚ people’s fingers and toes may have gone black due to the infection in their blood. Today plague is a treatable disease with commonly used antibiotics.

2) The disease has not spread across borders in 3 months

The plague has been in Madagascar since August‚ with about 124 deaths‚ and not one case has spread to any neighbouring countries.

The Seychelles public healthcare system is so well run‚ it picked up a suspected case‚ but confirmed through tests the patient didn’t have the plague. This shows the level of preparation in neighbouring countries to detect possible cases‚ says Blumberg. “South Africa needs to be prepared and vigilant and we are.”

3) If you haven’t been to Madagascar‚ you have practically no risk of getting plague‚ said Blumberg.

4) South Africa is already prepared to detect a case‚ if it arrives here.

South Africa has one direct flight a week from Madagascar and travellers are screened at the airport for fever or cough and anyone sick will be sent to the airport clinic for tests. Madagascar is screening all travellers leaving the country and Blumberg says this is “working”.

The NICD has specialised testing available to detect the plague. If there is a case in South Africa‚ the country has good epidemiologists who would trace the patient’s relatives and colleagues and offer preventative antibiotics.

5) If you go to Madagascar and get sick‚ see a doctor

There is a serious plague in Madagascar and people have died‚ but Blumberg explained that this is primarily because sick people are not getting treatment in time. They may not know they have plague and think they have the flu or a cough. So if you go to Madagascar and develop a cough‚ fever or swollen groin‚ go to the doctor without delay. Travellers to Madagascar should apply insect repellent as the disease is spread by fleas.

6) Antibiotics work

In an age of increasing resistance to antibiotics‚ plague remains treatable with commonly available antibiotics. Blumberg said: “Plague is not resistant to antibiotics.”

7) What you should really be worried about: Malaria

Blumberg said a traveller is more likely to get malaria in Madagascar than plague‚ and travellers must take prophylactic malaria medication. She said travellers may come back from Madagascar with a fever and think they have plague‚ when they actually have malaria. This may mean the malaria is not detected in time‚ which can be deadly.

For the most recent updates please visit the National Institute for Communicable Diseases website

Welcome to the Garden Route and North West Chapter Committees  

SATSA’s Southern Cape Chapter will now be called Garden Route, following a decision at the recent Chapter meeting. The new name falls better within the marketing plan of the region and country.

The Garden Route Chapter was established to enable a more productive series of conversations and focus on the area and its first Chapter meeting was held last week on 25 October where the following Committee members were confirmed:

• Peter Dros (Fancourt) Chairperson

• Mario Febbraio (Tours4SA) Vice-Chair

• Mandy Freeman (Tenikwa Wildlife Centre) Secretary

• Evelyn Pepler (Ocean Odyssey) Membership

• Onne Vegter (Wild Wings Safaris) Communication

• Tammy Moult (Cango Wildlife Ranch)

• Marcia Holm (Visit Mossel Bay)

• Ian Hunter (Hunter Hotels)

The North West Chapter also recently elected a new committee as follows:

• Julius Ramotse (Sun International Management Limited) Chairperson

• Khosi Tyobeka (Zimasa Travel) Vice-Chair

• Gugu Tong (Empire Travel & Tours)

• Hans Viljoen (Bhubeza Safaris)

• Refilwe Tladi (Thalerra Investments)

• Patrick Serakwane (Legacy Hotels Management Services)

Farewell Alushca!

It is with mixed feelings that we bid our dedicated SATSA Co-Ordinator of the Western Cape, Alushca Ritchie, farewell. While we are sad to lose Alushca, we are very proud of her achievements and understand that being President of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Association is a time consuming role.

From November, Alushca will be focussing on her own businesses, as well as her role as President.

Alushca joined SATSA Western Cape Chapter in early 2014. “Through the years I have met amazing and passionate individuals and dedicated tourism colleagues. I will always be working in Tourism in the Western Cape in some shape or form, and will remain an Ambassador for SATSA. I look forward to seeing colleagues and friends in the ‘tourism sphere’ in the future.”

The Western Cape Chapter, headed by Illana Clayton will absorb some of the responsibilities and will be supported from Head Office by Sharon Gengan on the administration side and Celeste Visser on the sales and sponsorship side.

Western Cape Members can use the following contact details for SATSA:

• Illana Clayton on illana@TSCgroup.co.za

• Sharon Gengan on wc@satsa.co.za

• Celeste Visser on celeste@satsa.co.za

Those who would like to stay in contact with Alushca can do so on her new email address: info@capetouristguide.co.za

“It has been a great honour to be part of this journey and this dynamic organisation” says Alushca

Be Part of the Conservation Solution!

The Tourism Conservation Fund was officially launched to SATSA Members at this year’s SATSA Conference which took place at Spier, Stellenbosch.

Leading up to the panel discussion entitled “Tourism Conservation Fund – Moving from concept to action” 63 SATSA members pledged their support to the fund which included the likes of SATIB, Southern Destinations and Buja Tours. The Tourism Conservation Fund supports large scale and long-term projects aimed at delivering real socio-economic benefits to rural communities surrounding South Africa’s protected areas, thereby ensuring the prosperity of the country’s tourism industry through sustainable conservation and community development.

The panel discussion highlighted some of the key workings of the fund. On the panel were Werner Myburgh (CEO Peace Parks Foundation), Yolan Friedmann (CEO Endangered Wildlife Trust), Ryan Wallace (Event Director at We are Africa), and Major-General (retired) Johan Jooste (Head of Special Projects for SANParks).

Nhongo Safaris made the first official contribution to the fund of R10 000, with many other members raising their hands promising to follow suit.

To listen to the full conference episode, click here

Also included in this episode is the panel discussion “South East Asia, India and Middle East – New Markets, Pointers and Lessons”, as well as a partner input from Wesgro and South African Tourism.