The premature reports that have been circulating recently by the international press regarding South Africa not opening to international travel until 2021 have been extremely detrimental to the South African tourism sector, costing millions of rands in potentially unnecessary travel cancellations. Following a 2-hour webinar discussion with SATSA (South Africa Tourism Association) & TBCSA (Tourism Business Council of South Africa) over the weekend, we are here to support the motion put forward to government, that South Africa is ready to reintroduce international tourism to the country from September 2020.
The more accurate information is that re-opening dates for international tourism have not yet been determined. South Africa is working with a 5 level risk-adjusted approach to Covid-19 and is currently on level 3 (as of last week).
The Tourism Recovery Strategy, which has been developed by South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, is working closely with the South African government to strategise a plan and process to safely re-open inbound international tourism to the country sooner rather than later, and hopefully, by 1 September 2020.
The proposed Recovery Strategy is a phased approach that will allow for an initial 6 to 8-week preparation phase, followed by a trial phase where safe target markets that have a similar risk profile to South Africa will be allowed to travel to South Africa.
Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of TBCSA (the Tourism Business Council of South Africa) said last week, “By instituting a phased approach to reopening, we will have had the benefit from the learnings from the European and Northern Hemisphere summer season”.
The ATTA (African Travel and Tourism Association) has said “We are confident South Africa’s tourism economy can be opened up safely if we follow global best practice and the comprehensive protocols we have developed. By opening up as close to September 1 in a responsible manner, we will save the entire 2021 inbound tourism revenue stream and tourism in South Africa.”
Reasons to travel to South Africa post Covid:
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If you have any questions with regards to travelling to South Africa in the near future, or would like to make use of our complimentary travel planning, please get in touch with us HERE.
South Africa may have been on your travel bucket lists for years. Now is the perfect time to start planning your dream trip. The seasons in South Africa are opposite to Europe and the US, meaning it's our peak summer season over Christmas and New Year. We are thus optimistic that the travel bans will be lifted in time for Christmas and New Years in the sun! Here are some reasons now is a great time to start the planning process with your complimentary Travel Advisor.
South Africa has so much to offer, that it can be challenging to fit it all into just a few days, but that's okay, it just means you'll have to return someday ;)
In this post we'll be featuring two of our most popular South African travel destinations that our first-time travellers to South Africa request time and time again, and for good reason.
Kruger National Park Safari
Known to have more variety of mammals than any other reserve in South Africa as well as being one of the oldest and largest reserves in the world; Kruger National Park Safari options are vast. From self-drive and camping to luxury, fully inclusive lodges, the Kruger National Park has something to suit each budget. Our Clients generally request 4 or 5-star accommodation, and thus, this is what we specialise in. We have a vast knowledge of first-hand experience visiting and staying at these luxury lodges and look forward to sharing our top safari tips with you if you'd like us to assist you in planning your perfect trip to South Africa.
Game Drives & Wildlife
A Kruger National Park Safari offers outstanding game viewing, including the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo), giraffe, zebra, hyenas, birds and so much more. The benefit of staying at one of our recommended lodges is that you won't be limited to the roads when out searching for wildlife, but rather be taken on an off-roading 4x4 adventure in search of the Big5 (the Kruger is expansive and animals roam vast distances, so the ability to track wildlife without restrictions is a game-changer when on safari). And then there's the incredible knowledge and expertise of the safari staff. You will be astounded by how your tracker can decipher the difference of every footprint the animals leave behind, spot wildlife hidden from the untrained eye or name a multitude of birds simply by their song.
The Lodge, Accommodation & Food
The luxury safari lodges that we recommend in the Kruger National Park offer exceptionally beautiful accommodation with private plunge pools overlooking a waterhole surrounded by wildlife right in front of you, luxurious interiors, unique features such as outdoor showers and baths under the stars, we are certain you will be wowed when you arrive. In addition to gorgeous rooms, these luxury lodges offer world-class food & wine service, spa treatments and guest areas that are warm, welcoming and authentic.
What's generally included in the Rate
Lodge rates start at around R8,950 per person per night.
We recommend that first-time safari-goers, plan on spending 2 or 3 nights on safari. Guests who stay 3+ nights will benefit from additional inclusions.
*Most of the lodges we work with offer discounted rates for Brides, so be sure to ask us for all the honeymoon discounts and benefits if you have recently been married.
Cape Town Curated
Cape Town, known as "The Mother City" is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Voted best travel destinated multiple years in a row, Cape Town seriously has it all! A city surrounding one of the natural wonders of the world; Table Mountain, overflows with beauty, history and culture. Not to mention unbelievable beaches, world-class cuisine, spectacular wine estate, accommodation of high standards for very reasonable prices and endless adventures.
We don't do pre-packaged itineraries because we understand that everyone is unique, with their interests, goals and budget. The way we like to assist our clients with their South Africa travel planning is to get to know them as best we can first before we recommend anything. This allows us to focus on their wishes and requirements, so we don't ever simply 'push' our ideas onto our clients. Using our extensive local knowledge, we can match certain establishments and experiences with difference guests, to ensure our clients have the best possible trip to South Africa possible!
Accommodation in Cape Town
Depending on your preferences, travel dates and budget, we will put forward a selection of wonderful places to stay in Cape Town. Choose between staying in one of our Private Villas or apartments, hip boutique hotels or luxury heritage 5-star hotels. The choice is yours, we're simply here to facilitate your wishes and share our local knowledge of our home city with you.
Optional Day Tours
Best time of year to travel to South Africa
October to mid-December is usually great weather, less crowded with lower accommodation rates.
Mid-December to mid-January is PEAK season in Cape Town. A very festive time to visit Cape Town with lots going on, but extremely busy with locals on holiday & foreigners alike.
January to end April - the weather is still fantastic, less crowded, still, lots going on in terms of concerts and markets. We love this time of year in Cape Town.
May to August is Winter in Cape Town, which can be quite wet and cold, however, it is not unusual to have wonderful sunny days and at the minimum, regular blue skies. Rates are far lower during this time of year.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK SAFARI
May to October is considered the best time to go on safari in the Kruger National Park. The Kruger is located in the north of the country with their 'wet' season being opposite to Cape Town. Rain brings higher humidity, and with it, mosquitos and denser bush, making game viewing slightly more difficult. September is particularly great for game viewing as it is spring which brings with it new life.
WHY BOOK THROUGH US?
So basically, for no extra cost, whatsoever, we offer you expert advice, travel planning and curated itinerary assistance based on YOUR interest, goals, dreams and budget. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of this incredible (FREE) offering to ensure you have the best possible trip to South Africa?
Feel free to reach out to us through the form below.
And be sure to follow us on Instagram for regular updates and South Africa travel inspiration.
Difference between a Travel Agent and Travel Concierge
A travel agent is a salesperson who generally represents and sells only certain cruise lines, hotels, or vacation packages. Their offerings are limited to ONLY the brands they sell and do not give their clients different companies/options to choose from. They generally have a set sales target required in order to maintain their commission structure or job with a company. You can often find great travel (packaged) deals through some Travel Agencies, however they will not be customisable and once booked, you will not have much further support from your Travel Agent.
A travel concierge is a professional travel advisor. A true Travel Concierge will have a vast knowledge of specific areas/regions/countries that they specialise in. A good Travel Concierge has personally experienced the offerings they put forward to their clients, to ensure they have first hand knowledge they can share with you. A Travel Concierge will take the time to understand your requirements and goals and curate their advice to meet these requirements. Most importantly, they look out for your safety and can anticipate any hiccups you may experience before you even realise it and plan around these so you can enjoy a hassle-free vacation. When you work with a Travel Concierge you have the comfort of knowing that if something goes wrong, you have someone to contact before, during or after your vacation.
What makes BACK IN TOWN Unique
Not only are we a professional (boutique) Travel Concierge agency that specialises in South Africa, but we are local, with our finger on the pulse and passionate about our spectacular country. We love sharing our knowledge of the lesser-known local spots, best times to travel, what to do and where to eat with our discerning travellers like you. Our goal is to truly focus on making your trip to South Africa the best it could possibly be, from your perspective (vision / expectations), guided by our knowledge, attention to detail and care.
How much does a Travel Concierge Cost?
In a word; ZERO! You will never pay more when booking through us than if you were to book directly yourself.
Unlike many other luxury travel concierges around the world, we do not charge any fees for our services when you book your accommodation activities and excursions through us.
Well then you may ask, how do we make any money right? The way it works is that we work tirelessly at building and nurturing valuable relationships within the tourism and hospitality industry within South Africa. We try to personally visit as many accommodation establishments as possible on a regular basis, and from those, we hand pick, which ones we feel confident in recommending to our discerning clients.
In return for our select bookings, the establishments pay us a commission. There is a standard commission structure in South Africa and therefore no incentive for your Travel Concierge to try and push one property over another, this truly allows us to prove that our clients preferences and wishes are our true focus!
If you have any further questions to see if our services would be a good fit for you on your next trip to South Africa, we'd love to hear from you. You can leave your questions below in the comment box or reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Airbnb and short-term rental market in Cape Town is certainly saturated, but this doesn't mean you can't still have a very successful listing in 2020 that provides far higher returns than that of a long term tenant. However, in saying that, this will only be the case if you are serious about it and make a concerted effort to stand out from your competitors!
It is NOT ENOUGH to simply supply the absolute basics, with no thought to interior design, amenities, comfort and value that you will be offering your guests.
But for now, let's START with the basics and build from there; below you will find a list of items we recommend every Airbnb listing should provide:
KITCHEN & DINING
Quantity Tip : Enough place settings, dishes and tableware to handle twice the number of your maximum group size, not because twice as many people will show up, but because guests don't want to do dishes after each use. It also means that if you have a dishwasher in your property, guests will likely use it less (only when full) if they have sufficient dishes etc. to use.
NB : Extra bedding and towels should be locked away, so guests don’t use everything and you’re left with no clean linen/towels for your next arrival.
LIVING / DINING ROOM
Lockable closet to store supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, back up linens/towels, firewood, wine, candy, electronics not accessible to guests) – only accessible for owner/manager/cleaners), back up key lock box on the property is always a good idea too.
INTERIOR DESIGN INSPIRATION
The Short Term Rental industry is extremely competitive ! How are you going to ensure your listing STANDS OUT from all the rest? The best way to do this is with your decor/interior design
Factors to consider :
The most Wished Listed Airbnb listing in the world
Pinterest Interior Design Board
Most Popular Airbnb Rentals on Instagram
Is there anything else you can think of that we've not listed above? We'd love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any questions on any of the above, feel free to pop a comment below or shoot us a mail: email@example.com
Do you have a 2+ bedroom property in Cape Town or Hermanus that you are thinking of renting out on Airbnb and looking for professional management at a reasonable cost? We offer full Airbnb Property Management in Cape Town and Hermanus, for just 16% commission on confirmed booking, no retainer, no fixed contracts.
Check out our Cape Town Airbnb Management offering HERE.
Check out our Hermanus Airbnb Management services HERE.
myUTOPIA is a breath of fresh air in the world of fitness studios. The beautiful, airy studio is situated in Cape Town’s V & A Waterfront, which brims with activity from the shopping centre, the waterfront promenade, and a host of other attractions. The luxury fitness and lifestyle studio is everything one could hope for, combining a 5-star experience and all the extras with yoga, Pilates, Barre and dance workouts. Every aspect of the design and the experience is perfectly planned out with the intention of helping clients effortlessly fit wellness into their busy lives.
1 July – Delheim’s Mushroom Forage
Catch the last of Delheim Estate’s popular Mushroom Forages for the chance to find your very own natural magic and discover a mouth-watering addition to your next meal. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced forager – the experts at these fun(gi) excursions will teach you how to identify, forage and clean your very own, hand-picked mushrooms. After your trip through the estate’s lush pine forest, enjoy a three-course meal with wine pairings prepared by Chef Bruce von Pressentin showcasing these flavoursome marvels. Participation is limited. Tickets cost R695 per person and are available on Computicket.
1-4 June – Wacky Wine Weekend - Robertson Wine Valley
The Robertson Wine Valley’s fourteenth annual Wacky Wine Weekend showcases more than 40 wine and tourism vendors in this popular family-friendly event. Warm up with your loved ones and enjoy award-winning wines, live music, outdoor sports, arts & craft stalls, with delectable food options and other exciting activities. Whether you’re a fun-seeker, novice or wine connoisseur, there is something for everyone at Wacky Wine Weekend! Tickets are available through WebTickets and cost R150 per person.
May – Mediterranean Taster Platters at Gabriëlskloof
Savour the last of summer with Gabriëlskloof Estate’s light and fresh Mediterranean taster platters, paired with premier wines. These new tapas-style tasters are best enjoyed on the veranda, overlooking the estate’s tapestry landscape, allowing you to delight in delectable Mediterranean cuisine with the idyllic scenery of olive groves, vineyards and wheat fields. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m coming to Cape Town but want to see as much of South Africa as possible during short our time there”. This is something that we often hear, you might think it’s impossible, but it’s not that hard. If you take a drive along the Garden Route from Cape Town, you’ll come across the winelands, long beautiful beaches, mountains, vast forests, whales breaching in the ocean, and you can even stop along the way for a quick Big 5 safari.
All opinions within this blog are our own and any hosted stays will be disclosed in the relevant blog posts. We do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind, and we will only give credit where credit is due. We put in a lot of time and effort researching the properties we visit, we want to build a long standing trust with you, our readers, with honesty and integrity being incredibly important to us.
If you would like to submit a guest post please contact us and we will gladly consider any ideas you may have.