South African Tourism products have recently been featured prominently in different parts of the world, thus enhancing the country's status as a preferred travel destination.
For a start, South African Tourism proudly received the award as "Africa's Best Tourism and Convention Bureua", during the World Travel Awards event in Barbados, and this achievement was followed by a positive mention of some of the country's leading holiday establishments in a top international publication. The latest Tattler Guide in the U.K. lists nine South African properties among its "101 Best Hotels in the World".
The nine, in no particular order are Cape Grace, Mount Nelson, Le Quartier Francais and Grootbos Lodge (Western Cape), The Outpost in Kruger, Camp Jabulani at Kapama, and Singita Lebombo, Kruger's Singita Sweni Lodge and Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge.
Only Italy, with a total of eleven properties, managed to outdo South Africa in the final listings. SA Tourism pointed out that the country's products continued to bring home a number of top international awards, and this was proof of the industry's robust marketing aptitude.
Chief Executive Moeketsi Mosola said the role played by these winning holiday destinations was built on the country's reputation as a globally competitive tourist destination.
A train has been exclusively set aside for a new train tour that will take passengers from Johannesburg and Pretoria to the Lowveld. The train journey will take passengers through Witbank, Middelburg, Waterval Boven, the Elands River Valley, Nelspruit and along the western boundary of the Kruger National Park until it reaches Hoedspruit.
Once in Hoedspruit, passengers will stay at Forever Resorts Aventura Swadini, from where they will explore the Blyde Dam, including a visit to the dam wall and a boat trip to see the tufa waterfalls. Other activities will include visiting a wildlife rehabilitation centre, a silk farm, and an optional visit to the highest peak in the area, Mariepskop, which is 1944m high.
For more information on the journey and the other activities offered to passengers, please contact JB Train Tours on 011 913 2442. The price for the first tour has been set at R1750 per person, with the train departing on a Monday morning and returning on a Thursday afternoon.
By Dirk Nel In Polokwane