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Mauritius is closed for December




Mauritius’s borders will effectively remain closed for leisure travel during the peak December- January period, following its government’s decision to extend quarantine regulations until January 15, 2021. The move is another blow to outbound agents and operators who are missing out on December holiday bookings to South Africa’s favourite island destination.

TAG’s director Jonathan Gerber, told Travel News that South African travellers did not have an appetite to visit Mauritius while the 14-day quarantine requirement remained in place and that this meant that the island’s borders were effectively still closed to short-term leisure visitors.

Mauritius’s regulations require travellers to self-isolate in a hotel room for 14 days before they may visit the various beaches and resorts on the island. Guests are not allowed to leave their rooms and are provided with meals, hygiene and sanitary equipment, which are delivered to the doors during quarantine. The average South African leisure-based stay in Mauritius ranges from seven to 10 days.

“The quarantine regulations have made a massive difference to what we sell, as Mauritius has always been one of our top destinations,” said Jonathan. “It is astounding how governments have chosen to react to this virus.

While we understand that it is important for government policies in a country like Mauritius to be cautious – where self-isolation is difficult due to the dense housing conditions in its villages – it does not make sense why travellers, who are able to provide negative PCR tests proving that they do not carry the virus, must quarantine for 14 days.”

He added that while TAG’s Mauritius specialist brand, Beachtag, had not yet reopened its doors, its team had been kept busy selling packages (but with reduced numbers) to other island destinations through TAG’s Hashtag brand.

Md of World Leisure Holidays, Ramesh Jeenarain, said while the news of the quarantine extension was not good news, it had been anticipated. Ramesh explained that the decision had most likely been made due to the surge in infection rates in Europe, which were primary source markets for Mauritius. He was hopeful that infection rates would have decreased, and that some movement with vaccination distribution would motivate an easing in quarantine regulations by January 15. “This may still allow us to salvage the last few weeks of the January school holidays,” said Ramesh.

Ceo of Thompsons Holidays, Joanne Adolphe, said it had also anticipated that quarantine restrictions would not be over any time soon. Thompsons has been promoting sales to Mauritius from June 2021 onwards and has been actively promoting beach destinations, such as Zanzibar, Seychelles, Maldives, Dubai, Madagascar, Mombasa and Mozambique, in the interim.

“We have been in close contact with our ground handler in Mauritius and have taken the stance that we don’t want to take clients’ money for short-term gain if it seems unrealistic that a trip will go ahead. We understand that the Mauritius government has implemented its quarantine regulations for the health and security of both the Mauritian nationals and our passengers and we have to trust that they are doing the right thing for their country,” said Joanne.

In other news – Court rubbishes Enhle Mbali’s demands of million rands from ex-hubby Black Coffee

Actress and model Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa has lost her court bid to compel her estranged husband, DJ Black Coffee, to fork out millions of rand in legal fees and spousal and child maintenance. Learn more

Source: News365


Cableway Guide to summit Table Mountain 365 times in 2022 to build safe haven for children



Rudy van Dieman

Rudy van Dieman (26), a tour guide for Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, began 2022 with an ambitious goal: to achieve 365 summits up Table Mountain, for charity.

The challenge which began on 1 January 2022, and will end on the 31st December 2022, came about as a means to show youngsters the power of a strong work ethic and demonstrate that they can achieve anything they set their hearts and minds to.


“What youngsters in our society need today, is a good role model, to show them that there are opportunities outside of drugs. crime and gangsterism and drugs. I hope my challenge will be a beacon of hope for those in disadvantaged communities” Says Rudy

Rudy, who has worked with several charities since matriculating high school in 2014, is focused this year on uplifting a new organisation, Angels SA, located in his hometown of Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

With a crowdfunding campaign launched on Backabuddy, Rudy hopes to raise R1 Million, which the organisation can use to purchase a safe house for children.

“In Mitchells Plain, there are only three known orphanages, two are for babies until five years, and after that, children are placed in safe houses for three months then move from home to house until they find families to keep them longer. With the safe house, we want to create a stable life and environment for children, where they can stay until the age of 18, before entering the job market” – says Rudy

Since the launch of his campaign Rudy has raised almost R5000 with kind contributions from 17 donors.

Thus far, Rudy has completed 44 climbs up Table Mountain, covering a distance of over 100 km, and has been joined by more than 15 individuals supporting his cause.


Rudy’s initiative is inspired by his hero, Andrew Patterson, who through his 365 Ubuntu Climbs challenge in 2018, raised almost R1 Million rand on BackaBuddy, to support Habitat for Humanity, One Heart, and The Sunflower Fund. Read More.

“I watched Andrew climb table mountain every day through the summer sun and winter rain, I could never understand why he would do this. The more I watched him, the more it became clear to me, ‘to focus on today and what you can do right now to make South Africa better’ as Andrew says” – Rudy


Rudy with ‘Mountain Man’, Andrew Patterson in 2018

“Rudy first contacted me in 2020 to tell me he wanted to tackle this challenge. Climbing Table Mountain every day for a year is a mammoth undertaking — but once I heard why he wanted to do this, I had absolute faith in him. Rudy is an incredible man with big dreams and an even bigger heart. I’m incredibly proud of him and supporting him with every step he climbs.” – says Andrew

Determined to make a difference

Working full-time, living with epilepsy, and struggling financially, in conjunction with the physical demands of his challenge, has been difficult but no less rewarding says Rudy, who is determined to keep going.

“Just as life is difficult for so many people, this challenge hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I remain positive, and through God’s grace I am finding balance. I am putting one foot in front of the other, concentrating on the important things in life and trying my best to create positive change” – says Rudy

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South Africa’s tourism industry not happy with Travel restrictions



South Africa’s tourism industry

South Africa’s main inbound tourism industry body is lobbying UK politicians to remove the country from its so-called coronavirus travel red list, which it says is incompatible with scientific evidence and is wrecking relations between the nations.

The curbs were based on the discovery of the beta variant in the country even though the incidence of that mutation in South Africa is now minimal, Satsa, which represents 1,350 businesses, said in a presentation dated 10 August.

Covid-19 infections in both South Africa and the UK are dominated by the delta variant, which was first detected in India.

The UK accounted for 17% of South Africa’s 2.6 million foreign tourists in 2019, making it the biggest source market.

The placing of South Africa on the red list about eight months ago means that tourists from the UK have to quarantine for 10 days at their own expense in government-selected hotels when they return.

Vaccinated travellers from Germany, the US, France and other key markets can go home from South Africa without quarantining.

‘Fortress Britain’

The restrictions run counter to the UK’s efforts to forge closer links with South Africa in the wake of its exit from the European Union.

“It’s incompatible with the UK’s rhetoric about investment in South Africa, trade with South Africa,” Christine Thompson, a government relations and public affairs consultant advising Satsa, said on a webinar.

“There is a huge degree of resentment. This whole approach is very incompatible with the aspirations of global Britain and is more like fortress Britain.”

The restrictions are jeopardizing an industry that employs 1.5 million people directly and indirectly, and contributes about $5.5 billion to the South African economy annually, Satsa said.

They are also threatening the viability of key conservation areas such as national parks, it said.

“Our top priority is to protect public health,” the UK Department for Transport said in an emailed response to queries.

“Decisions on our traffic-light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors.”

South Africa has averaged 10,169 Covid-19 infections a day over the last week. The seven-day average in the UK which has a similar population size to South Africa, is about 28,000. Ninety percent of virus genomes sequenced in South Africa in the four weeks to July 24 were the delta variant, Satsa said in its presentation.

In other news – Zodwa Wabantu speaks after her court appearance

Crimen injuria occurs when a person willfully injures someone’s dignity, through the use of obscene or racially offensive language or gestures.

Zodwa Wabantu

This week a viral video of Zodwa in discussion with police officers at the Douglasdale police station sparked online conversation, the entertainer gave her version of events. Learn more

Source: businesstech

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Visit Stellenbosch unveils exciting new festival of gardens



Visit Stellenbosch announced a new, week-long festival that will transform its streets and surrounding countryside from September 30 to October 10.

The inaugural Garden Week Stellenbosch, inspired by the world-famous flower festival of Girona, Spain, will encompass everything from horticultural tours to landscape art, dining to hiking, and guest specialists to music in majestic settings.

It will include a first-ever Stellenbosch winelands experience featuring SA Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

Other highlights include a flower parade, which officially launches Garden Week Stellenbosch.

The event is an initiative of Visit Stellenbosch, with collaboration from local businesses, including restaurants and activity providers, Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch Visio, the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, Rama, Remgro, Candide App and Garden Day SA.

Advocate Gesie van Deventer, Stellenbosch executive mayor, said the event was the best way to bring in spring.

“As an avid gardener, I regularly get my hands dirty and love the multitude of beautiful gardens we have in our area. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting residents who take great pride in their gardens – from lush traditional havens to smart waterwise and newly established green paradises.

“I encourage all residents and visitors to participate in this event and to support our local tourism and experience economy for the benefit of all communities,” said van Deventer.
Visit Stellenbosch chief executive Jeanneret Momberg said the event promises to become a major annual highlight in the Cape and a much-needed boost for the tourism economy.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to Stellenbosch,” she said.

What to expect:

Open gardens and nature walks

Enjoy the historic Old Nectar estate in the Jonkershoek Valley, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Paradyskloof, Spier Wine Farm and Delaire Graff Estate. Guided walks and fynbos wilderness hikes are on offer.

Talks and workshops

The Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens has compiled a special programme of daily walks and talks by specialists. Workshops will be presented at the Rupert Museum, Blaauwklippen Wine Farm off the R44, Jordan Wines, Spier Estate and Babylonstoren. Topics include flower arranging, dye art, photography, growing-your-own and learning about bees. There will also be a botanical drawing workshop.

Food and wine

Stellenbosch is the heartland of South African wine, and home to leading chefs and restaurateurs. Expect festival-inspired dishes to feature on menus, as well as a series of garden-and-wine dining events.

Among them is a Finding Eden experience with South African Michelin star chef Van der Westhuizen. This casual tête à tête will take place at Blaauwklippen Estate’s magical Cathedral and will include an exploration of the gardens in his life.

Another festival highlight is a seven-course Botanical Banquet prepared by JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town, which brings the JAN experience to the Stellenbosch Winelands for the first time. Call 021 886 4310 or e-mail

In other news – Somizi Mhlongo responds to fake Gucci claims

When it comes to fashion some local celebrities take luxury names very seriously and media personality Somizi Mhlongo wants us to know he doesn’t buy any fakes.

Somizi in hot soup

An Instagram page Fake Gucci Community SA is causing quite a stir on their social media page. Learn more

Source: IOL

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