Thursday, December 24, 2009

Confirmed France will stay in Knysna

The French Football Federation confirmed that France would make Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysna its base camp for the Fifa World Cup.

Pezula chairman Keith Stewart said "he was delighted that after months of negotiations and visits from the federation and Fifa, and following the World Cup draw in Cape Town, Pezula was set to become the home of the French team next year"

“This is a fantastic opportunity not just for Pezula but also for Knysna. I believe this event will herald a new chapter for Knysna as a destination.

“Les Bleus will bring a significant media contingent of about 200 accredited journalists with them, plus an entourage of followers that will fill up the town. The community will reap the benefits for many years to come.”

The team has booked the hotel exclusively for the World Cup. France, drawn in Group A to play South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay, will arrive at Pezula in early June.

Pezula has its own private multi-sports field which the team can utilise for practices.

Stewart said the federation was attracted by the privacy, security, luxury accommodation and superb facilities at the resort.

On Monday, Eden Fifa World Cup coordinator Andy Lamont said Japan and Paraguay had formalised their bases for 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hyatt Regency hotel opens in Oubaai

The resort is the second Hyatt property in South Africa, joining Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, which opened as a Hyatt hotel in October 1995.

The luxury Hyatt Regency hotel at Oubaai golf resort at Herolds Bay was officially opened on Monday night at a glittering function attended by international and local dignitaries, golfer Ernie Els and stakeholders.

The 100-room Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa is part of the 263-hectare Oubaai Golf Resort, an upscale residential and golf development overlooking the Indian Ocean on Herolds Bay. Located on the Garden Route, which extends along the Western Cape from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, the development also features the country’s first Ernie Els championship golf course. Located five minutes from George Airport in an area renowned for its pristine beaches, indigenous forests and nature reserves, the hotel’s position between the ocean and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains naturally lent itself to the development of an exclusive resort. In addition to the Hyatt Regency, the property will also consist of residential villas and apartments, and an upscale shopping center.

The land for the resort was bought in 2000 after Karafi Holdings Africa managing director Mahmood Shehata saw the property while on holiday in Herolds Bay.

“I told Mr Karafi about this piece of real estate and he said to buy it, even though we had no plans for the property at the time. A year later we met Ernie Els, and with his vision and our vision we made it come true.”

More than 1500 people were employed in the construction of the resort and hotel and 350 people are now permanently employed there.

Hyatt Hotels’ senior vice- president of operations Europe, Middle East and Africa, Frank Lavey, said he was proud and delighted to open the hotel to the public.

“It is a truly stunning facility and a world-class golf resort. I am thrilled to have fulfilled the operation role here.”

The hotel forms part of the 263ha Oubaai golf resort.

Accommodation and Design
Leading firms, including QTS – Quadtrisir Architects and LLP – Design, were selected to handle the interior design of Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa. The hotel offers 100 stylish guestrooms and suites equipped with the latest in communication and entertainment technology, all featuring spacious bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and separate baths.

The Presidential Suite, two Executive Suites and six Junior Suites are designed and furnished to accommodate the requirements of a discerning traveler.

Room sizes range from 45 to 54 sq m (440 to 530 sq ft) for standard rooms. Junior Suites begin at 96 sq m (870 sq ft to 1,080 sq ft), the Executive Suites are 120 sq m (1,300 sq ft) and the Presidential Suite is an impressive 191 sq m (1,700 sq ft).

For guests who desire an extra level of personalized service, the hotel offers Regency ClubTM accommodation. Regency Club guests may utilize the services of a dedicated concierge, and enjoy a private lounge for complimentary continental breakfast, evening canap├ęs and cocktails. Regency Club guests will also receive complimentary access to the airport lounge.

Resort Services and Facilities
Freesia Spa at Hyatt Regency Oubaai is a new addition to the collection of Hyatt PureTM spas around the world, which are all designed to embrace the local culture and provide an authentic indigenous experience. Returning to the true definition of spa, “sanitas per aquas”, which is Latin for “healing by waters”, treatments and services promote wellness and renewal. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness facility.

Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa offers guests a range of first-class services, including airport transfers on request, concierge assistance, babysitting by prior arrangement, 24-hour room service, a business center, wireless Internet access in public areas, and a dedicated retail center.

Food and Beverage
Guests of the hotel will have a choice of three restaurants, each offering a distinctive and personal dining experience. The hotel’s Cucina Restaurant, featuring picturesque floor-to-ceiling windows, a show kitchen, and outdoor seating, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A large wine wall accents the private dining room, and a fireplace lounge, adjacent to the restaurant, offers seating and cocktails.

Located in the village of the resort, the Waterside Bar and Grill serves afternoon snacks as well as drinks and dinner. The bustling atmosphere here covers an extensive outdoor seating area, a show kitchen, and an oyster bar counter. A lounge adjacent to the seafood restaurant will offer cozy seating arrangements, an outdoor terrace and a unique bar, with service available from indoors and out.

The Visitors’ Clubhouse provides a scenic dining option for breakfast and lunch, with windows providing stunning views over the mountains and the driving range.

Convention and Meeting Facilities
The hotel offers more than 1,200 sq m (12,900 sq ft) of conference and banqueting space with a ballroom divisible into two sections, four meeting rooms, and a spacious boardroom. There are indoor and outdoor pre-function areas as well as multimedia facilities with WiFi connectivity available in all meeting rooms.

A unique feature of Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa is a wedding chapel for guests who seek a perfect, picturesque location in which to be married.

Recreation and Relaxation
Oubaai is a naturally undisturbed site nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route. Once the site of a prehistoric settlement, it is bordered on one side by a river valley, on one side by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, and on its two other sides by woodland and natural vegetation.

Guests can take advantage of the hotel’s location by surfing and fishing in the crystal clear waters of Herolds Bay Beach and exploring the Oubaai Heritage trail, which offers more than 5 miles of hiking trails.

The resort also features an outdoor swimming pool, a separate children’s wading pool and access to the Lifestyle Centre, which includes a tennis court, two outdoor swimming pools, including a heated lap pool, a squash court, and an exercise facility and studio for group classes.

Other activities to enjoy include bird watching, dolphin and whale watching from the on-site deck, and tours to nearby wineries.

The development features the first Ernie Els signature golf course in South Africa. The 7,126 yd (6,516 m) 18-hole links-style golf course was completed four years ago and is fully operational. In the design, the three-time winner of major championships, Ernie Els, and his team have taken full advantage of the spectacular landscape. Furthermore, they had the full support of Nicklaus Design, the privately held company of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and family, which served as technical advisor on the project.

Special opening rates and packages for the new Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa are available by calling the hotel or a Hyatt Worldwide Reservations Center, or by visiting

Resort Address and Contact Information
Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa
406 Herolds Bay Road
George, 6530
South Africa
Telephone: +27 44 851 1234

Feed donation for farmers in the Garden Route

Farmers in the Western Cape who would like to donate animal feed to producers in the drought-stricken Southern Cape can do so, with the Western Cape Agriculture Department footing the transport bill, Western Cape Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gerrit van Rensburg said yesterday.

"Farmers who desperately need feed, and farmers who have an abundance of feed and who wish to help, can contact Agri Western Cape, the Milk Producers Organisation, or the Western Cape Agriculture Department. Donors will be reimbursed according to AA tariffs"

Van Rensburg said: “This measure is independent from the national government’s disaster relief programmes, and should be seen as a Christmas gesture to the Southern Cape farmers.” – Katherine Wilkinson

Garden Route residents can expect water tariffs to go up shortly

Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said: “The most effective way to solve the current water shortage is to cut water consumption, and the most effective way to cut water consumption is to increase the price of water, especially for people who use excessive amounts of water.

“Although municipalities are generally not allowed to increase their water tariffs during a budget year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has authorised the implementation of emergency water tariffs for the coastal municipalities in the Eden district. This was in recognition of the deteriorating situation in the Eden district.”

Affected municipalities are Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Bitou, which see their populations doubling on average during the holiday season. It is expected that municipalities will introduce stepped water tariffs which will penalise heavier consumers.

Bredell also said the Water Affairs Department was introducing water restrictions for agricultural water users.

Although there has been some rainfall during the past fortnight, this has not alleviated the situation and catchment areas of rivers and dams in the region remain exceeding dry.

“There is no immediate relief in sight as the forecast for the next three months is for hot, dry weather,” Bredell said.

“The provincial government is actively assisting municipalities to implement sustainable solutions. The province mobilised R53-million in national emergencies funding for the Mossel Bay, George and Knysna municipalities.”

He said the provincial Disaster Management Centre was confident none of the towns would run dry during the festive season if locals and holidaymakers respected the water restrictions.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bungee Jumping at Bloukrans Bridge

This is for all the people that's adrenalin junkies and that would like to test the nerves. This is the highest commercially operated bungee in the world at 216 meters.

The bungee is situated at the Tsitsikamma Forest Village Market just 40 km east from Plettenberg Bay along the N2

You can experience the trill in 4 ways

Flying Fox - a 200 metre cable slide or foofie slide out onto the archway of the bridge

Double Rush Adventure Combo - a combination of the flying fox and the bungee jump

Bridge Walking Tours

Operation hours
09:00 - 17:00 - daily

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Newest family member to the George Lodge International

We would like to welcome our newest member to the George Lodge International family

As from next year the George Lodge International will be doing tours and transfers keep a close eye on our blog for more details on what we will offer in 2010.

Another team for the Garden Route in the FIFA World Cup

Denmark National Soccer team will also be staying in the Garden Route with the teams of Japan and Paraguay.

Denmark will be staying at Simola in Knysna

Japan will be staying at Fancourt in George

Paraguay in Mossel Bay

Interesting fact is that Denmark and Japan both teams are playing in Group E

More teams may come to make there base camps in the Garden Route like Slovenia (may stay in Oubaai) and France (may stay in Pezula in Knysna)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Malls in the Garden Route trading hours for festive season

Langeberg Mall - Mosselbay
Garden Route Mall - George

Woodmill Lane -Knysna

Special Seasonal Hours

14th December to 9th January 2010

Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 6:00pm

Saturday: 8:30am to 5:00pm

Sunday: 9:00am to 2:00pm

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Safari Ostrich Show Farm - Oudtshoorn

This farm is situated in Oudtshoorn

Safari Ostrich Show Farm is an operating farm where visitors will see large flocks of ostriches at different stages of development. Multilingual guides will explain every aspect of ostrich farming, from breeding to rearing.

Visitors get to sit on an ostrich but to do this they take a few things in consideration like how much you weigh and the temperature in Oudtshoorn

If you brave enough you may just get to ride 1

Every tour end with an "Ostrich Derby" where local jockeys display their riding skills. A high entertaining and educational tour is guaranteed