Friday, 31 October 2008


Price: from R18 560.00 per person sharing

Package includes:
Economy class airfare Johannesburg – Cairo – Aswan (Nile Cruise) Luxor – Cairo - Johannesburg on the services of Egypt Air
Current airport taxes, fuel surcharges and fees
Meet and assist + all transfers in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor
Immediate check-in on arrival
Introductory conference lecture by Egyptologist
2 nights accommodation 5* hotel in Cairo (Ramses Hilton Hotel or similar) including breakfast
Full day tour of the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids and Sphinx
3 nights on board a 5* Nile Cruiser (Presidential Nile Cruise or similar) including dinner, lunch and breakfast
All sightseeing and entrance fees whilst on cruise
Dayroom in Luxor 5* Isis Luxor Hotel
Farewell dinner with drinks

Package excludes:
All meals and tours not specified
Items of a personal naure, eg. Mini-bar, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
Visa and passport costs
Travel insurance

Please note that all rates are subject to availability and change due to currency fluctuations and price increases. Terms and Conditions apply.

Friday Fun

Here is how it works:
Study the above map of Europe
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Monday, 27 October 2008

10 things you don’t want to overhear on an airline PA system

1. Ocean crossing flight: This is your Captain speaking, I just wanted to take this time to remind you that your seat cushions can be used as floatation devices.
2. Hey folks, we’re going to play a little game of geography trivia. If you can recognize where we are, tell your flight attendant and receive an extra pack of peanuts.
3. Our loss of altitude allows a unique close up perspective of the local terrain. I assure you that it’s all part of our airline’s new commitment to make your a flight a sight seeing extravaganza.
4. Goose! Bogey at 2 o’clock….one on our tail!!!! Eject!!!! Eject!!!!!!!
5. Ummmmmm….Sorry……(silence)
6. (As the plane turns around right after takeoff)…. uhhhhh….we have to go back ….we ..we ….uhhhhhh…. forgot something…..
7. I’m sure everyone noticed the loss of an engine, however the reduction in weight and drag will mean we’ll be flying much more efficiently now.
8. Fasten your seat belt. (In the same tone your friend with the suicidal driving tendencies uses when you get in the car).
9. This is your Captain speaking….these stupid planes are a lot different than the ships I’m used to.. so you’ll have to give me some leeway…
10. It would be a good idea if right now everyone closed their shades and watched the in-flight movie.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Pretoria for the Business Traveler

A short distance from Johannesburg (an hour’s drive along the busiest highway in Africa) lies Pretoria, in the Tshwane metropolitan area. The official seat of government in South Africa, Pretoria is a beautiful city, famed for its Jacaranda trees which blanket the city in purple-blue blossom every spring. Pretoria is more laid-back than Johannesburg, and has a more “African” feel. On the perimeter of South Africa’s “lowveld” area, the thorny bush of Africa mingles with Pretoria’s lush vegetation and its rich red soil. Even in mid-winter the temperatures are mild, ideal for viewing the city’s many historic sites, its tree lined avenues and its Herbert Baker architecture.

Where can we hold our event?

Pretoria offers many diverse places to hold conferences or events, herewith but a few to have a look at. Alternatively contact me direct with your needs at

Menlyn Events Arena
Zebra Country Lodge
Victoria Hotel
Tuscan Conference Centre
Tshwabac Clubhouse
Tshwane University of Technology
St George Hotel & Gauteng Convention Centre
Sinodale Conference Centre
Sherwood Forest Guest House
Shere View Lodge
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel & Towers

History and Government:

The Herbert Baker designed Union Buildings, the seat of South Africa’s government, rival the grandeur of the White House and are not to be missed. Ideal for the historian, the city is rich in historical sites relating to Afrikaner history and beautifully preserved historic buildings, including the prominent Voortrekker Monument, the home of Paul Kruger and the city’s original town square, Church Square. Equally important are sites of our recent political history, with Freedom Park a “must see” destination commemorating the lives of thousands of South Africans who devoted their lives to their country’s liberation. The city also has a wealth of historical and natural history museums.

Culture and Entertainment:

Pretoria has a strong music and theatre scene, some outstanding restaurants and nightclubs and excellent art galleries, most prestigious being the excellent collection of South African art at the Pretoria Art Museum. The National State Theatre in Pretoria offers the very best of South Africa’s ballet and opera with international standard shows. The city also has good shopping, a wealth of African and local arts and crafts markets and an African cultural village, for a taste of tribal life.

Top-Rated Attractions

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
The Blue Train
Burgers Park
Kruger House Museum
Melrose House
The Pretoria Art Museum
Transvaal Museum
Museum of Natural History
Sammy Marks House
Mineral Resort

For more activities, click here
Or contact Charl at Cardinal Tours via email -

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Friday Fun Test

Here is how it works:
Study the above map of South America
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Friday, 24 October 2008

Mauritius Country Info

It is easy to run out of adjectives when attempting to describe the natural beauty of the small tropical Indian Ocean island paradise of Mauritius. The volcanic island Republic, covered with lush forest, streams and waterfalls, and fringed with palms, dazzling white sands and teeming coral reefs, lies east of Madagascar just south of the Equator. Mauritius, covering just 720 square miles (1,864 sq km), is the archetypal dream destination for an idyllic holiday, equipped with modern resorts that have been carefully developed to preserve the island’s beauty and ecology.

Mark Twain is quoted as having said that

‘Mauritius was made first, then heaven was copied from it’

and anyone who has experienced the island would no doubt agree with him.
Along with its natural beauty Mauritius has a valuable tourist resource in the warmth and friendliness of its multi-cultural population. Since being officially ‘discovered’ in 1505 by the Portuguese, the island has been occupied by the Dutch, the French and the British. All have added to the melting pot that constitutes the island’s human heritage, along with injections of African slaves, Arab traders and Chinese indentured labourers over the centuries.
Most of the tourist resorts are situated along the 205-mile (330km) coastline, with the capital Port Louis, on the west coast, being the centre of operations for most visitors. The bulk of the population, however, reside on the central plateaux around Curepipe, the island’s other major town.
Although everyone who visits Mauritius comes for the sandy beaches and blue lagoons, most are delighted to discover that the island has plenty of other attractions too, from some of the world’s rarest stamps to the first ever race course to open in the southern hemisphere. Of course no holiday would be complete, either, without good food and entertainment. Mauritius offers both, with some delicious local cuisine that makes use of tropical fruits and vegetables, and the chance to learn the island’s indigenous wild dance, the Sega, which originated among the African slaves of yore.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Airline Anecdotes 3

Another flight Attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”
From a Southwest Airlines employee…. “Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX, to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt, and if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.”
“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines.”

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Airline Anecdotes 2

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children.”
“As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
“Last one off the plane must clean it.”
And from the pilot during his welcome message: “We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry…Unfortunately none of them are on this flight…!”
Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what ya’ll are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault… was the asphalt!”
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a “Thanks for flying XYZ airline.” He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?” “Why no Ma’am,” said the pilot, “What is it?” The little old lady said, “Did we land or were we shot down?”
Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant came on the PA and announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Airline Anecdotes 1

Occasionally, airline flight attendants make an effort to make the “in-flight safety lecture” a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
“As we prepare for takeoff, please make sure your tray tables and seat backs are fully upright in their most uncomfortable position.”
“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 6 ways out of this airplane…”
“Your seat cushions can be used for floatation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments.”
“Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the plane immediately.”
Pilot - “Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land… it’s a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern.”
And, after landing: “Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
As we waited just off the runway for another airliner to cross in front of us, some of the passengers were beginning to retrieve luggage from the overhead bins. The head attendant announced on the intercom, “This aircraft is equipped with a video surveillance system that monitors the cabin during taxiing. Any passengers not remaining in their seats until the aircraft comes to a full and complete stop at the gate will be strip-searched as they leave the aircraft.”
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella…WHOA..!”

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Durban for the Business Traveler

Not many people know that warm sub-tropical Durban, with its kilometres of golden beaches, is home to one of the largest concentrations of people of Indian descent (Muslim, Hindu and Christian) outside India itself.

With its rich influences from the East, along with its colonial heritage and its location in the heartland of the famed Zulu Kingdom, and a diversity of other peoples, Durban offers a remarkable melange of people and cultures, reflected in its notable cuisine and it’s friendly and informal ambiance.

And from Durban it is an easy drive on excellent roads to some of the most beautiful places in South Africa.

Why go there?

Durban is one of South Africa's fastest growing urban areas with a population of 3.7 million people. A previous winner of the UN Award for Best Managed City in Africa, the local authorities are geared towards international conferences and go to great lengths to ensure their success. This conference city also goes the extra mile – from erecting welcoming banners to closing off roads to include street and beach parties in conference programmes.
Durban is in the heartland of the Zulu Kingdom and located in an area rich in scenic beauty – with majestic mountains, lush subtropical forests and many game and nature reserves, home to the much sought after "Big Five".

What about transport?

- The Durban International Airport is situated within 20 minutes of the International Convention Centre, the City's Central Business District (CBD) and beachfront hotels. The airport receives direct flights from various international destination and domestic services link the city to the rest of South Africa.
- A sophisticated road network serves Durban and transport is fast and reliable. Within Durban the Mynah Bus service ferries passengers between the north and south beaches, the CBD and surrounding suburbs.
- There are conventional metered taxis which can be summonsed by telephone. This is a service offered by all hotel reception staff.
- All the major car rental agencies have offices at the airports and in the cities.

Top-Rated Attractions

For some couple ideas and activities, click here.

Will we be safe?

- In terms of safety, the Durban area is one of the safest in South Africa. The North Coast beach areas are also safe for families to relax and enjoy a day or an evening out, while the Durban beachfront and promenade enjoys a high police presence.
- Durban’s CBD in partnership with the metro police, South African Police(SAP) and Tourist Protection Unit have made a considerable effort to protect and safeguard tourists and civilians alike: from surveillance cameras and improved lighting on the beachfront, to security guards watching over most large shopping centres and many businesses .

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The Basics


Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Friday in April to last Friday in August).


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.


The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. Most credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants. Visitors are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds to avoid additional exchange rate charges. Banks are usually closed on Friday and Saturday, but private exchange bureaux, called 'Forex', are open daily and banks in major hotels are open 24 hours. Cairo branches of the Egyptian British Bank and Banque Misr now have ATMs available that accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus and are quite common in the main tourist areas.

Currency Exchange Rates (Should be used as a guidline only)

EGP 1.00 = £ 0.10 / US$ 0.18 / R 1.54


Arabic is the official language although English and French are widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals require a valid passport, and a visa for travel to Egypt. For travellers entering Egypt via South Sinai and remaining in the South Sinai resort area, a free 15-day visa can be obtained on arrival.

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a valid passport, and a visa is required. A 30-day visa can be obtained on arrival for US$15, provided the purpose of travel is for tourism. For travellers entering Egypt via South Sinai and remaining in the South Sinai resort area, a free 15-day visa can be obtained on arrival.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK citizens must have a valid passport, and a visa is required. A 30-day visa can be obtained on arrival for US$15 or the equivalent, provided the purpose of travel is for tourism. For travellers entering Egypt via South Sinai and remaining in the South Sinai resort area, a free 15-day visa can be obtained on arrival.

Passport/Visa Note:

Passports must be valid for six months beyond the period of visit. Visa and passport validity requirements change at short notice.


A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas. Travellers to Egypt should come prepared to beat the heat with a high factor sunblock and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water. Cases of bird flu have been reported, and human fatalities have occurred. Although the risk is low for travellers, all close contact with caged, domestic and wild birds should be avoided, and all poultry and egg dishes well cooked as a precaution. Visitors should only eat thoroughly cooked food and fruits they have peeled themselves to prevent travellers diarrhoea. The waters of the Nile are contaminated and should not be consumed or bathed in. Medical treatment can be expensive and standards vary so insurance is strongly advised, including evacuation. Medical facilities outside of Cairo can be very basic.


Tipping is known as 'baksheesh' and some small change is expected for most services, though small change can be hard to come by. 'Baksheesh' can be a useful practice in order to gain entry to seemingly inaccessible places, or for extra services- a small tip can open doors, literally. A service charge is added to most restaurant and hotel bills but a 5% tip is normally given directly to the waiter. Taxi drivers are tipped about 10%.


There is a significant threat from terrorism in Egypt. Red Sea resorts on the Sinai Peninsula in particular have been targeted, such as in April 2006, when a series of bomb explosions tore through the popular resort of Dahab. Other resorts and dive centres have suffered similar bomb attacks in the last two years, and over 100 people have been killed and hundreds more seriously injured, many of them foreigners. Security forces persist with their counter-terrorist operations on the Sinai Peninsula, and police continue to provide armed escorts for travellers in certain areas. In April 2005 an explosion in central Cairo caused four deaths and 19 injuries, and on 30 April 2006 an attack on a tourist bus and one near the Egyptian Museum injured seven people; the three incidents specifically targeted tourists and Egyptian authorities warn that further incidents in Cairo are possible. In general, there are increased security measures at all tourist sites, and especially in resort areas on the Sinai Peninsula, but visitors should be alert and are advised to avoid political demonstrations and public gatherings. Developments in the region, including the conflict in Iraq and the tension between Israel and the Palestinians, continue to trigger demonstrations of public anger, and visitors are warned to be especially vigilant in public places; the mood at present is extremely anti-US, anti-Israel and anti-UN. Visitors to the cities and tourist sites will experience a fair amount of hassle and are advised not to carry more money on them than needed at a time. Women should take extra caution when travelling alone as there have been isolated incidents of harassment, and sexual assault is not uncommon; women should be particularly alert when visiting massage spas and other tourist related activities. The sinking of the passenger ferry travelling across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia to Egypt in February 2006 left over 1,000 dead and was one of the worst maritime disasters in recent years. Egypt also has a poor train safety record with several fatal accidents each year.


Egypt is a conservative society and visitors should respect local customs and sensitivities. Homosexuality is solemnly frowned upon and homosexual acts are illegal. Religious customs should be recognise, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours is forbidden in the Muslim culture. Travellers should be discreet or choose to partake in the custom themselves. Travellers to Egypt should dress modestly. Photography of military institutions is prohibited.


Egyptians are friendly and approachable at work, and personal relationships are very important when conducting business. Business is usually conducted formally in Egypt; however meetings may not take place in private and it is normal for them to be interrupted with other matters. Punctuality is important, though don't be surprised if your contact is late or postpones the meeting. Be patient. Dress should be formal and conservative; suits and ties are standard and women should dress modestly. Women may encounter some sexism in the business world. Most Egyptians are Muslim and therefore one should be mindful of Islamic customs. English is widely spoken and understood, although attempting to speak some basic Arabic will be highly appreciated. The normal working week runs from Sunday to Thursday. Business hours vary, but in the private sector it is usually 9am to 5pm and in the public sector is it usually 8am to 3pm. Avoid scheduling business trips during the month of Ramadan as working hours are minimised and during the holiday period in August, as many key players will not be available.


The international access code for Egypt is +20. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). The city code for Cairo is (0)2. There are high surcharges on international calls from hotels; it is cheaper to phone long-distance from the 24-hour Post, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT) offices that are available in the major cities. For international directory phone enquiries dial 120. The local mobile phone operators use GSM 900 networks and have roaming agreements with all major operators. Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.

Duty free:

Travellers arriving in Egypt do not have to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g tobacco; alcoholic beverages up to 1 litre; perfume for personal use and 1 litre of eau de cologne; and goods for consumption to the value of LE 100. Prohibited items include narcotics and drugs.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Friday Fun Test

Here is how it works:
Study the above map of The Middle East
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Egypt Attraction

Khan al-Khalili
Buzzing with the activities of buying and selling, Khan al-Khalili is one of the largest markets in the world. It is situated within Islamic Cairo, a World Heritage Site that attracts travellers and locals alike. This is the best place to soak up... see full details

Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
With over 100,000 artefacts in 107 halls, the Egyptian Museum provides days of exploration. Inside are treasures from ancient Egypt, including priceless finery taken from ancient royal tombs, and one of the museum’s masterpieces, the statue of Khafre (Chephren). The most popular attraction is the... see full details

Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids are the earth’s oldest tourist attraction and the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the only remainder of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Throughout their history, they have fired human imagination, with much speculation as to their origin and purpose,... see full details

Old Cairo
The small and enclosed area, also known as Coptic Cairo, is the oldest part of the city and was once known as the Roman stronghold of Babylon; some of the old walls still exist. It is the ancient heart of the Coptic Christian... see full details

Coptic Church of St. George (Mari Girgis)
One of the few round churches still in existence in the East, the Greek Church of St. George features a long set of steps that lead up to the church where visitors will find a relief of St. George and the dragon wrapped... see full details

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary)
The Hanging Church derives its name from its location on top of the southern tower gate of the old Babylon fortress with its nave suspended over a passage. It's the most famous Coptic Church in Cairo with the earliest mention of the church... see full details

Asfour Crystal Factory
The Egyptians were the first people to develop the art technology of manufacturing glass and cutting it into beautiful shapes and began doing this 5,000 years ago. Established in 1961 and located in Shobra, the Asfour Crystal Factory Showroom is the largest crystal factory... see full details

Saladin Citadel (Al-Qalaa)
This massive stone fortress set in a beautiful tropical location with magnificent views, was built by Salah ad-Din in the 12th century. Visitors have the freedom to roam the castle, which remains in pristine condition, including the execution room. Two other mosques are located... see full details

Ramses II Statue
Discovered in 1882 during excavations, the statue of Pharaoh Ramses II was cut into six pieces in the 1950s and moved to Ramses Square in central Cairo where it stood for a further 50 years. In 2006 the statue moved to a new... see full details

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Desert Express

Every great journey begins with a single step. Welcome aboard the Desert Express for a journey of a lifetime.

Return airfares JNB-WDH -JNB
1 night Windhoek Country Club, bed and breakfast
1 night onboard the Desert Express dinner, bed, breakfast and all excursions
1 night Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, bed and breakfast
all transfers
one way airfare Walvis Bay airport to Eros airport
Airport taxes
*the trip can be done in any direction

all items of a personal nature
Departure taxes (if applicable)
Visas (if applicable)
3 Night package from R 7780-00 pps
Valid till 31 Oct 2008

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Magical Nile Cruising

The Nile River was THE source of life in Ancient Egypt. Every part of life and death revolved around this spectacular river. You can now experience its magic while being pampered and enjoying the amazing and interesting sights on the banks as you sail gently by. In Cairo, you’ll learn a bit more about the history and many mysteries of this fascinating country
Return economy class airfare from Johannesburg to Cairo on Egypt Air
Economy class airfare from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor to Cairo
2 nights accommodation including breakfast in Cairo
Half day guided tour of the Egyptian Museum
3 nights accommodation including all meals on a Cruise Liner including sightseeing excursions and entrance fees
1 night accommodation including breakfast in Luxor
All transfers
Pre-payable Airport taxes

Items of personal nature
International departure tax of US$15 per person collected at the airport
Domestic internal departure tax of US$3 per person collected at the airport
Subject to availability, currency fluctuation & IT fare rules apply
6 Nights from R 14 210.00 pps ex JNB
Valid between 01 Oct – 20 Dec ‘08

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Johannesburg for the Business Traveler

Johannesburg, the business capital of South Africa, dominates South Africa’s smallest but richest province, Gauteng. Johannesburg also hosts the airport hub of the sub-continent, OR Tambo International Airport.

Why go there?

Johannesburg is Africa’s most industrialised city, the economic hub of South Africa, the city built on gold first discovered in 1886, and also the gateway to all of Africa.
Home to key communication networks, state-of-the-art technology, conferencing, conventions, trade shows and international summits, Gauteng is one of the fastest-expanding world trade and investment frontiers. Johannesburg is South Africa's business capital and is a vibrant, exciting city with a wide variety of recreational, cultural and historic attractions, making it an ideal travel destination for business or holiday travel.

What about transport?

- OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International) is the busiest airport on the continent and the air transport hub of southern Africa. Over 50 airlines fly in to OR Tambo and the airport caters for over 13 million passengers each year.
- From OR International, you can take a domestic flight (max 2 hr flight) to another South African city. The airport is 24 kilometres from the city centre – it's a quick drive by hotel shuttle, hired car or taxi to your destination.
- Visitors are warned that Johannesburg, much like Los Angeles, is a young and sprawling city geared to the freeway-borne private motorist, and lack of convenient public transport is an obstacle for tourists to the city.
- There are conventional metered taxis but these do not cruise the streets in search of passengers and must generally be summonsed by telephone. Major hotels do often reserve bays for taxi companies, however, and reception staff can quickly make arrangements for visitors.
- All the major car rental agencies have offices at the airports and in the cities.

Where can we hold our event?

- Johannesburg has more than 75 top-class custom built conference venues designed to international specifications in major centres. There are also facilities for small to large meetings, seminars, corporate events and functions, with a conference or boardrooms equipped with standard conferencing equipment.
- Johannesburg's top conference venues include:The Sandton Convention Centre is next door to Africa's top-class shopping and business centre. It can accommodate 3 500 people and was the venue for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The centre has a gold classification for compliance with environmental responsibility, awarded by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme.The Dome, the fourth-largest domed structure in the world, is ideal for exhibitions, concerts, large conferences and other special events and accommodates up to 16 000 people.The Nasrec Expo Centre has massive exhibition facilities and can accommodate up to 20 000 people.

What should we see?

Soweto – The unique life and vibrancy behind the scenes of Johannesburg’s upmarket venues and site of some of our turbulent history.
The Apartheid Museum – A moving tribute to the events and heroes of South Africa’s Freedom Struggle.
The Cradle of Humankind - World Heritage Site which offers a fascinating insight into the palaeontology of the origins of man.
Newtown – The historic quarter of downtown Johannesburg brings our history and culture to life.
Sun City - Southern Africa's most dynamic and exciting entertainment complex and world famous golf resort.
Pilanesberg – Game reserve set in the crater of an extinct volcano, home to the Big Five.
Gold Reef City - Africa's greatest theme park created around an authentic 19th century Gold mine with underground tours, gold pouring, historical exhibits, restaurants, amusement attractions, a Victorian hotel and a casino.

Not Enough for you, click here for some more activities...

Alternatively, contact to book your day trip to one of the above places!

Will we be safe?

You should be as vigilant in Johannesburg regarding your safety as you would be in any other major city in the world. Admittedly, crime has been pretty bad here in past years with numerous hi-jackings and car-jackings, as well as more serious crimes, but our police force have recently announced a massive reduction in crime and living here in Johannesburg. You wouldn't venture out at night on your own walking the streets and this applies to most areas in Johannesburg. Driving a car presents no problems but you would need to make sure you know where you are going.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Central American Caribbean...

Managed to forget about our Traveler IQ test from last week? I think it should be a Friday Fun Thing, so I have given you some more help for the Central American Caribbean Area! Have Fun!

Monday, 6 October 2008

I am a travel agent

In every job there are things that make our jobs either, easier or more difficult, let me share with you the little challenges a Travel Agent faces every day, enjoy...

I am a travel agent................I have advance degrees in accounting, public relations, marketing, business building, computer science, civil engineering, and Swahili.

I am a travel agent................Of course I remember the reservation you booked six years ago, even though you don't have a confirmation number and you think it was made under a last name that begins with a T.

I am a travel agent.................It's no problem for me to give you seven connecting non-smoking poolside suites with 2 king beds and 4 rollaways in each, and yes, it is my fault that the hotel does not have a helicopter pad.

I am a travel agent..................I speak all languages and have visited every destination.

I am a travel agent..................It's obvious to me when you book your reservation for Friday, you really mean Saturday.

I am a travel agent..................My company has entrusted me with financial information, and yet I can't tell you why your hotel bill for March 1989 had a 50p phone call because, of course, you shouldn't have to pay for calls.

I am a travel agent.................I understand that Joe Blow Ltd. is a vast empire and will make or break my agency.

I am a travel agent.................Yes, I am lying when I say there are no seats left at the lowest price.

I am a travel agent.................No, it's not a problem for me to quickly construct several more guest rooms at the hotel you want, and this time I will not forget the helicopter landing pad!

I am a travel agent.................I am capable of checking fares for three people, taking five reservations and answering fifteen calls simultaneously.

I am a travel agent.................I always know where to find the best vegetarian, kosher, and Mongolian barbecue restaurants.

I am a travel agent.................I know exactly what to do in all cities without spending money.

I am a travel agent................I take responsibility for airline food, traffic jams,rental car flat tires, weather, hotel locations, and the national economy.

I am a travel agent.................Of course I can fit you into the hotel at the special corporate rate because you are affiliated with the Blackburn North Lawn Bowls club.

I am a travel agent................ I am never offended when I spend 10 hours researching a 21 day round the world itinerary only to hear you say you "booked it yourself over the internet and saved R30.00" I also never gloat when you call back to say the rate was sold out or that you are stuck in the middle of no where since they cancelled your flight and you cannot "call" your internet provider to be reprotected on another flight.

I am a travel agent................. I love when people walk up to me at parties and out of the blue expect me to know the latest airlines fares from Melbourne to Ibiza via Byron Bay, the Maldives and Nairobi "off the top of my head".

I am a travel agent................. I love that everyone assumes I get to travel everywhere for free and when I do get to take advantage of a perk people act like it is a sin against nature. If you ask me to get you the rate at my "travel agent discount" I will kill you.

I am a travel agent..................Don't bother telling me any dates or cities since I am a mind reader and already have the reservation in my crystal ball before you can tell me.

I smile, empathize, sympathize, console, cajole, up-sell, down-sell, cross-sell, perform, sing, dance, make coffees and fix the printer......................

I am your travel agent!!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Cape Town for the Business Traveler

Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. Amazing sites, from Robben Island, Nelson Mandela's former prison, to tourist brochure-views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, are within easy driving distance of "The Mother City". Sun worshippers, surfers and divers flock to nearby white sand beaches and azure waters under Table Mountain. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters.

Why go there?

With world-class conference and hotel facilities complemented by stunning natural and cultural tourist attractions, Cape Town is increasingly making its mark on the international scene for meetings, incentives, conferences and events.

Is it accessible?

- Cape Town International Airport has world-class facilities and many of the major international airlines fly direct to Cape Town.
- Domestic travel within South Africa is also very efficient with various airlines offering flights on the hour to other major cities. For connecting flights, the flying time from Cape Town to Johannesburg is 2 hours.

Where can we hold our event?

- Cape Town offers over 400 conference and exhibition facilities, including custom built centres designed to top international specifications, facilities at hotels, educational institutions and theatres. These extend to impressive venues located at wine estates, beach resorts and exclusive golfing estates.
- The city’s top venue, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), has been designed to bring all its facilities under one giant roof – 10 000 square metres of dedicated exhibition space, and banqueting and meeting facilities, and a link to a deluxe 483-room hotel. The CTICC can accommodate up to 10 000 delegates, its technology and infrastructure is state-of-the-art, its venues are flexible, and the kitchen facilities are the largest and most advanced in the Western Cape.
- Located near the sea and harbour and the world famous Victoria & Albert Waterfront in a cosmopolitan environment, the CTICC is without doubt on an equal footing with other top international convention centres.

Will we be safe?

Concerns regarding personal safety in South Africa are valid – it would be completely remiss of anyone to deny this, but the visitor to Cape Town can rest assured of the city’s excellent security standards and safety record. Common sense rules for safety are promoted everywhere, and all reputable establishments employ state-of-the-art security measures.

Activities around Cape Town

Wine Desk Waterfront
Table Mountain
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
World of Birds
Boulders Beach
Robben Island
Signal Hill Winery
Long Street
Slave Lodge

To View More Attractions in Cape Town, click here.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Travel Tips

SA will no longer issue temporary South African passports. The UK has already banned South Africans from travelling on temporary passports, due to security concerns. Remember if you don't have a passport that it takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks to be issued a new South African passport by the Department of Home Affairs.


Make sure that you have a passport that is valid for at least 6 more months before you travel - many countries will not issue you with a visa or allow you to enter should your passport be on the verge of expiry.

Make 3 photocopies of all your vital travel documentation (and get them certified) such as passport, air tickets etc. to avoid being stranded if your belongings go missing while overseas: keep one set with you, leave one in your luggage and leave the last one with a friend at home who can fax them to you if you run into trouble while travelling. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

VaccinationsWhen travelling to more exotic destinations, enquire whether any specific vaccinations or health precautions are required and have these done in good time.

Never travel without adequate travel insurance. The free cover that you may receive from paying by credit card is generally quite limited and the excesses to be paid are high. Talk to US about our innovative and competitive travel insurance products - rather be safe than sorry!

Travellers ChequesOur foreign exchange rates are updated regularly. Through our foreign exchange partner AMEX, you are able to order your foreign exchange online from the Sure Travel website, indicating your nearest AMEX branch so that you can collect your foreign exchange. When collecting your foreign exchange remember that you will need to present AMEX with: your passport, air ticket, and documentation indicating your current address.Credit Cards To use yourATM credit cards with cash advance you will need a PIN number, ensure that you get this activated by your bank. It's a good idea however, to check before you go whether credit cards are accepted at your destination. Don't find yourself stranded!CashIt's often helpful to buy small amounts of foreign currency before departure for phones, buses or a taxi. The exchange rate might not be so good - but it saves you the hassle when you arrive.

Remember that it is often best to travel just before or after the peak summer holiday season - it is easier to find seats on flights, prices are generally lower, the destination is not unpleasantly crowded and the weather is often more pleasant than in the height of summer.

Before you go on holiday, do some research on your holiday destination – Sure Travel’s website is perfect for this, look at our destination / city info. We are able to offer you an overview of the Destination, things to see and do, attractions, tours, restaurant info, visa info, airport info, currency info and much more all on one page…You will be armed with far more information and this will help you not to waste your precious holiday time scouting around once you get there. You can even e-mail this info to fellow travellers.

Don't attempt to cram too much into your holiday - too many sights, too many destinations will leave you exhausted and in need of another holiday to recover from the one you're currently "enjoying!" Relax and soak up the atmosphere and ambience of the destination.

When packing, collect everything you think you will need and then halve it. Travel light! Do not make the mistake of taking too much clothing - there is little worse than lugging a hefty bag for 3 weeks around Europe, only to find out when you unpack that you did not wear half your things. This way you will also leave some space for those "must-have" purchases that will tempt you at every turn. Do not take unnecessary valuables and jewellery. If you have to carry medicine get a doctor's note in case you are stopped by customs or loose your medication and need a replacement. Roll your clothing when packing, rather than folding it. You will be surprised by how much more you can fit in and also avoid excessive creasing....


Avoid walking around with a camera around your neck or standing on street corners looking at maps. This screams "tourist" to any unsavoury elements who may wish to take advantage of you. When you are in your hotel, avoid using the "make up the room" signs - it tells everyone that you're not around and the coast is clear. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry. Do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.

Make an effort to learn the basic greetings etc. of the local language and use them when interacting with the local people. They genuinely appreciate the effort and courtesy and you will generally be treated with even greater friendliness.

Never make the mistake of constantly converting expenses back into Rands - it will only make your holiday a miserable marathon, rather than the holiday of your dreams. Positive attitude is everything!

Making phone calls from hotels abroad can be astronomical, a good idea is to set up an e-mail account which will allow you to communicate via e-mail to all family and friends at an internet café. Most hotels also offer e-mail facilities. When abroad you can also buy a SIM card for that country and then buy pay as you go airtime. World traveller call cards can be purchased locally or abroad and can offer longer talk time.

Remember to take an international plug adaptor for the countries that you are travelling to with you so that you are able to charge your cell phone, camera batteries, laptop etc.

Don't forget some countries have a departure tax which is payable in cash when you leave that country. Make sure you've got enough local currency to pay it.

Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling

Anyone flying through time zones will have to overcome jet lag. Make sure that you leave home well rested. When you fly ensure that you drink plenty of liquids, eat lightly, and rest! Avoid coffee & alcohol. Try to get at least two or three hours' sleep during the flight. Very importantly reset your mind to local time. When the pilot announces the local time for your destination, reset your mind along with your wristwatch. Don't prolong jet lag by reminding yourself what time it is back home. On arrival, stay awake until an early local bedtime.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Friday Fun - Africa

Here is how it works:
  1. Study the above map of Africa
  2. Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Where is that country? In Asia?

My colleague and I have been brushing up on our geography - should I say - "where is that country?" knowledge. Herewith helpful tip before the big quiz! Look at the map! Try and remember where the funny countries are situated. And then Proceed the the Traveler IQ Test!
Good Luck!


La Pointe Villas is situated on the North West coast of Mauritius, a mere 5 minute walk to the Mont Choisy beach. It is 70km from the airport, 25km to the capital, Port Louis, and 4km to Grand Bay

La Pointe Villas has 10 air-conditioned studios (1 double bed) with safe, meal corner, television, bathroom with shower, equipped kitchenette with gas cooker, refrigerator, toaster, coffee set, electric kettle and microwave and a terrace or balcony.

They also offer the following facilities on the spot: Daily maid service, bed sheets and towels (except beach towels), tennis court, television, swimming pool, alarm system, medical service / doctor on calls, 2 washing machines and a barbeque.
Package Prices per Person Sharing:
R10 370.00 per person (Valid for travel 02 – 09 Dec, 04 - 11 Dec and 09 – 16 Dec 2008)
R11 630.00 per person (Valid for travel 25 Dec 08 – 01 Jan 09)
R10 790.00 per person (Valid for travel 06 – 13 Jan 2009)

Package price includes:
Return airfares on Air Mauritius: Johannesburg / Mauritius / Johannesburg
Current departure taxes and fuel surcharges
7 nights accommodation at the La Pointe Villas (Studio) on Self-catering basis
Starter pack including milk, sugar, coffee & tea, bread & butter, salt & pepper, jam, mineral water, eggs

Package price excludes:
All meals and beverages
Items of a personal nature, eg. Mini-bar, laundry, room service, etc
Travel insurance
Visa and passport costs
Optional tours and excursions

Limited seats available!

Top 10 Things to Do in DUBAI

Top-Rated Attractions

Gold Souk
Ibn Battuta Mall
Sundowner Dune dinner/Desert Safari
Arabian Adventures
Dubai Museum
Burj Dubai
Ski Dubai
Dubai Creek
Wild Wadi Water Park
The Emirates Golf Club
View all Dubai attractions

Traveler Articles – Advice from real travelers

First-time Visitors
Wild Wadi Water Park
Palm Jumeirah
Burj Dubai
Dubai Dutyfree Shopping + Prices

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Travel Alert


Effective 6 December 2008, South African passport holders will require Schengen visas for Switzerland, but will not need a transit visa. Passengers who depart SA before the introduction of the Schengen visa and stay until after the introduction will have to apply for a Swiss visa before departure.

Dubai Escape

Escape to beautiful Dubai, a city of contrast. From the desert sands to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, Dubai is a modern metropolis. With amazing man-made structures like the Burj al Arab and the Ski Dome it still manages to maintain its religious and cultural heritage.

Package Includes:
Return flights on ETIHAD Airways ex Johannesburg via Abu Dhabi
Airport taxes
4 nights in a studio room at Golden Sands Apartments 3*
Return transfers
Breakfast daily
Meet and assist and tourist visa
based on two adults sharing

Package Excludes:
Airport taxes levied
by countries at departure points
Visa fax fee of R52.00 per person
Items of a personal nature
Meals not advised

PRICE EX JNB - R 8770.00

Valid from 01st Oct 2008 to the 30th of Nov 2008

Wednesday, 1 October 2008



This 3-star Beach Resort and Spa is prominently situated at Patong Beach offering a superb combination of service, value for money and location. It is just a short stroll to the Beach, the bustling shopping and nightlife areas

Package price per person sharing: R13 440.00 (Valid for travel 01 – 19 December 2008)
Package price per person sharing: R14 560.00 (Valid for travel 20 Dec 2008 – 15 Jan 2009)

Additional surcharges will apply for:
*- Compulsory Christmas Dinner
*-Compulsory New Years Dinner


Welcome to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa, a 4 star tropical resort. Nestled amidst an atmosphere of natural tranquility, surrounded by lush vegetation and overlooking the spectacular scenery of Andaman Sea. Come and soak up the ambient atmosphere of sea, sand and sunshine at a haven of serenity away from the bustle and hustle of city life. Its world-class hospitality and friendly staff assure your every need is catered for.

Package price per person sharing: R16 470.00 (Valid for travel 01 – 19 December 2008)
Package price per person sharing: R17 730.00 (Valid for travel 20 Dec 2008 – 15 Jan 2009)

Additional surcharges will apply for:
*- Compulsory Christmas Dinner
*- Compulsory New Years Dinner

*- Return flights: Johannesburg / Hong Kong / Phuket / Hong Kong / Johannesburg on Cathay Pacific Airlines
*- Current airport taxes and fuel surcharges
*- Return transfers in Phuket: Airport / Hotel / Airport
*- 7 nights accommodation at the hotel fo your choice based on lead in category rooms
*- Breakfast daily
*- Packages are based on 2 people sharing

Packages exclude:
All meals and tours not specified
Items of a personal naure, eg. Mini-bar, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
Visa and passport costs
Travel insurance