Cape Town Water Update

Cape Town Water Update

We aim to bring you all the updates from the Western Cape regarding the current drought affecting Cape Town,  There is a lot of information and misinformation in the international press, so we hope this consolidation of news helps you with the information you need to know.

Currently Cape Town is on a course to a date called DayZero, this is when residential taps will be turned off and residents will need to queue to receive water. The government have made it very clear that schools, hospitals, businesses and tourism establishments will need to conserve water but services will be delivered.

Multiple hotels across the Western Cape have established their own water supplies through desalination plants – The Tsogo Sun group will have their desalination plant up and running in 3 weeks time, The Mount Nelson receives water from a spring that runs through their property and many other hotel groups have similar strategies in place.

The Groenland Water Association which supplies water to farmers in the province has released 10 billion (Yes BILLION) Litres of water into the catchment dams for Cape Town,  and in the process has pushed DayZero into the Cape rainy season which should further push the day further, closer to the time.

Various other desalination plants and Aquifiers will come online in the next 2 months, supplying water to business and hotels across the city

 

Various Municipalities, including Stellenbosch in the Western Cape have augmented their own water supplies and in the process have disconnected from the Cape Town water system thus easing the burden on the city’s water system

There have been some reports that have said international visitors to Cape Town have been putting strain on the city’s water supply, This is categorically not correct as international visitors only make up 1% of the population of Cape Town, As seen in the video below the money spent in Cape Town has a far better impact on the drought than staying away from the city

The interview is with with the Deputy chair of the Tourism Business Council of SA and COO of Tsogo Sun Ravi Nadasen.

National government are declaring the drought a National Disaster, while this is very serious, it is good news as national funding for water augmentation projects can now be made available to Cape Town which will assist in alleviating the crisis.

So while there is a serious drought in Cape Town and we ask all our clients to save water where they can whilst here, We must reiterate Cape Town is open for business and your group, convention or individual travel will be as enjoyable as any other time you choose to visit.

 

 

 

Cape Town Drought

The Cape has experienced a severe drought, the worst in living memory. There are serious water restrictions in place and the current water levels in the Cape dams is sitting at around 30%.

The rainy season Mid May to Mid August is still ahead of us and should significantly increase the dam levels (we are at the height of the drought now in our dry season).

The V&A desalination plant which will supply 2 million litres of water a day will be online in March / April 2018 and the Strandfontein desalination plant which will provide 7 million litres of water a day will be online in March 2018. Other major projects coming online are the Cape Flats aquifer which will supply 80 million litres of water per day, The Table Mountain aquifer at 40 million litres per day and the Atlantis aquifer 30 million litres of water per day. These aquifers will be online in the next 3 months and will augment the supply of water from the dams.

Most hotels have installed water tanks and boreholes to pump and store water as a contingency linked to collecting rain fall in order to maintain the levels in the tanks.

Lastly water may be cut to residential homes in a worst case scenario but rationing will take place in commercial and tourism zones.

We will have a focus on hotels that are preparing on drought saving measures: Further hotels will be featured in the coming weeks

The Westin:
Located on the foreshore, the hotel building a reverse osmosis plant at the hotel to convert sea water into drinking water for guests.

Westin marketing director Ross Baines said they would release the details in the next few days, but that the plant would be running by the beginning of March. It would provide water to other Cape Town hotels in the Marriott group, of which there are six in the City Bowl area.

The Cape Grace:
The five-star Cape Grace Hotel on the V&A Waterfront did not have a desalination plant, but had installed a machine that extracts drinking water from air. Brand manager Samantha Williams said they implemented various measures to cut down water use, including giving guests bottles of hand sanitiser.

 

 

 

 

Chinchilla Rooftop Cafe & Bar

We recently visited the new Chinchilla Bar located in Camps Bay’s, Cape Town which opened its doors in late November. Not to our surprise, the bar was already bustling with locals and travelers.

 

The bar has dazzling 180 degree views of Camps Bay Beach and is located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, surrounded by most of the other well known bars and restaurants in the area.

 

Chinchilla’s décor is as cute as its name, fresh and colourful and the venue is furnished with relaxed café chic seating, perfect for that sunset cocktail before heading to dinner or out to experience Camp’s Bay’s night life.

 

Their signature cocktails are their forte with lots of options that have been created by their very own mixologist. They offer classics like “Long Island Ice Tea”  through to more exciting and unpredictable cocktails like “Lolly’s That Make Me Jolly” which are made up of sorbet ice-lollys and sparkling wine.

For those that feel like a snack or wish to dine at Chinchilla, their short but sweet seafood inspired food menu has options from light snacks to sandwiches and more substantial main courses with some dessert options.

Safari in Southern Africa

Clients often ask where the best place in Southern Africa is for a safari experience, the answer is anything but straight forward. The reason for this is because there are so many different and uniquely exceptional experiences available.

  

The Sabi Sands takes some beating and is widely regarded as the pinnacle safari experience in the region.  It is impossible to argue against this and I would not even begin to try.

Shamwari in the Eastern Cape is  so incredibly special with numerous achievements in conservation and the successful reintroducton of the Big Five into the region. The Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is unique and  the  TV documentary based on this has achieved global acclaim.

Chobe in Botswana is an incredible wilderness and the river is something quite mystical. The large elephant herds, hippo pods and lion prides leave you truly breathless.

The Okavango Delta definitely deserves a mention and is one of those real bucket list experiences for many people. There are many exquisite high end boutique stlyled lodges to choose from.

Along with the above heavyweights some of my other personal favourites are:

The reserves of Northern KZN particularly Phinda and Thanda with their sublime hospitality offering and amazing wildlife are both highly recommended. As a KZN boy, I suppose I have a degree of bias but the experiences I have seen many of our guests and groups  enjoy over the years has given me some of the most incredible life memories, which I will treasure forever.

 

The Pilanesberg with the wide range of lodges and probably the best value for money is as good a natural environment  as any of the very best mentioned above. The game somehow seems to have a unique wildness,  you get a sense of the harsh competitiveness of the bush where survival really is a daily achievement.

In conclusion there are a plethora of options and each is unique and has it’s own individual nuances and features. The one thing that is certain is you will have one of the most incredible, authentic and memorable experiences of your life. As a motivator it is  still incredibly successful as an incentive choice, achieving  phenomenal success across group profiles everytime.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Sun City

Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Sun City

 

We have just successfully operated an exceptional inbound incentive programme for a leading  Global Financial Services and Lifestyle Company.

The first leg of the programme comprised of privatising all four of the Sabi Sabi Lodges as well as & Beyonds Kirkmans Camp, in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

The sublime experience enjoyed at this world renowned game reserve was incredible.  Game viewing was the highlight with most guests seeing all of the big five, including an incredible interaction between a leopard and a hyena with the hyena successfully stealing the kill of the leopard. The hospitality, cuisine and special evening events with vibrant entertainment rounded off the experience and will leave each participant with special lifelong memories.

Then onto Sun City for the group Gala Dinner Awards evening, The Palace hotel was the base. Three venues were used including pre dinner drinks in the Elephant Courtyard with a harpist for entertainment.

Then onto a formal served dinner at the Palace Pool Deck, which ended with a  massive fireworks display. This signalled the move to the after party in the Lost City Crocodile Lounge where a DJ and casino awaited the group to entertain them late into the night.

The logistics included fourteen charter flights and in total across the programme seven of The Inside Edge team were on the ground to make sure every micro detail was meticulously delivered.

 

New York City

New York is indeed a fascinating fast paced city. An eclectic blend of diverse cultures and a rich history of “rags to riches success stories” have created a buzz and vibe that truly sets it apart.

A recent site inspection to this magnificent city spoiled us with visits to historical landmarks. A city where “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” can only be the platform for a spectacular incentive trip and with its vast variety of beautiful venues, leaving us in a difficult position of which venues “not to select” from the spectacular options on offer.

 

From an old banking hall with a superhero undertone in its name “Gotham Hall”, to restaurants overlooking the bustle of Grand Central Station, to “Top of the Rock” rooftop venues on the Rockefeller Centre, planning has commenced and the programme is shaping up for what we are sure will be a well received and fantastic reward for many of the already well travelled top achievers. “Lady Liberty” we are on our way!

 

Mauritius

We have just returned from a trip to Mauritius and stayed on the West coast of the island which meant that every day ended with a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Although Mauritius is undoubtedly a tropical paradise, the island has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches.

The cuisine in Mauritius is heaven for the seafood lover. The dishes where influenced by Indian, French, European and Chinese cuisine but many of the dishes are unique to the island.

The capital of Mauritius, Port Louis which is the country’s political, cultural and economical centre was great for local cuisine and bargain shopping with hundreds of stalls selling Mauritian souvenirs, local delicacies and of course, Mauritian rum!

Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens is one of the main attractions of the island.  We were taken on an informative guided tour through the gardens which not only boasts rare and magnificent plant species like the giant water lily, but also showcased several fascinating bird species.

The lavish estate, Château de Labourdonnais sits amongst the magnificent orchards in Mapou and offers intriguing excursions as well as an impressive venue for events. The lush gardens with hundred-year old trees, endemic plants and orchards with tropical fruits is absolutely spectacular. The tour ended with a tasting of the estates own locally crafted rum.

A firm favourite with every one of our small group and the highlight of the trip was swimming with the dolphins. Swimming with pods of wild spinner dolphins was a massively rewarding and therapeutic experience which will never be forgotten. This was followed by a boat trip to the stunning island of L’ile aux Benitiers where we had a barbeque lunch and some leisure time to explore the lagoons and coral reefs around the island.

From beginning to end, the Mauritian people showed sincere warmth and hospitality.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge

We recently had the opportunity to visit the refurbished Phinda Rock Lodge, which is part of the &Beyond group of hotels. Situated in Northern Natal, just 300km north of Durban it is easily accessible, either by road or their private airstrip.

Phinda Rock Lodge is a small exclusive lodge which caters perfectly for small executive groups. The Lodge itself has 6 double suites which include private plunge pools overlooking the landscape.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge has had a major refurbishment which takes it into the league of the very best safari lodges in Southern Africa.

 

Spectacular Zambia

With all that Southern Africa has to offer it’s not always easy to stand out as a top contender. If Zambia Victoria Falls with its natural heritage and spectacular landscapes, including one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, isn’t enough, some extraordinary activities and experiences should leave you with a lifetime of exceptional memories.

The Royal Livingstone Anatnara Hotel has easily got to have one of the best sun-set locations in the world, on the deck overlooking the top of the Victoria Falls. Guests gather as if in a spiritual ritual daily and sit memorized by its tranquil beauty.

If you prefer the sunset from different angle, we invite you to join us on the Royal Livingstone Express train onto the Victoria Falls bridge. The initial brain child of Cecil John Rhodes, the significance of visiting the bridge and the “Cape to Cairo railway scheme” will see you fulfil Rhodes dream of “crossing the Zambezi River on a train, where as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls”.

The Silo Hotel

The Silo Hotel has recently opened its doors for visitors in Cape Town, Run by the magnificent Royal Portfolio Hotel Group, it is well known for its other luxurious hotels in Africa.

  

The Silo has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Zeitz MOCAA will house Africa’s largest collection of contemporary African art and will open in September 2017. We think this museum will become Cape Town’s answer to Le Louvre and the Tate

From the outside, it’s an industrial beast with an standout set of 25-feet-high convex windows overlooking the V&A Waterfront. The inside, by contrast, is a riot of color, patterns and design, with 28 individually designed rooms stocked with vibrant custom furnishings, oversized chandeliers and feature artworks.

The hotel compromises of 28 rooms, for dining options it offers a bar, a cafe, a rooftop restaurant and a private dining room that can accommodate 22 guests.

The hotel also features a spa, a panoramic rooftop bar with swimming pool and The Vault, the hotel’s very own private gallery of African contemporary artists in the building’s basement.

  

The Silo has long been a landmark of Cape Town and in 1924when it was completed was the tallest building in Sub Saharan Africa at 57m tall. It has been a functional grain silo and integral part of Cape Town ever since and only recently closed in 2001 when it began it’s new chapter in the Zeitz Museum and Silo Hotel.