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  • Writer's pictureMEaT Insights

Harley's, safari's and wine - We really get "Into Africa"



We were invited out invited to attend the Meetings Africa 2024 in Johannesburg at the beginning of March. Superbly hosted by Into Africa DMC who really took care of us across the show and the post FAM - which was simply amazing.


There could only be one member of the team for this sort of job. Our own intrepid explorer, adrenaline junky and animal lover - Leigh Bacon (Project and Venues Manager - WAM)


Meetings Africa Show:


After landing in Johannesburg we were met by Africa Meetings Show staff and guided to the train station where I boarded a train which took me within a couple of miles from the Sandton Sun Hotel and Conference Centre. We were then met by a coach to take us to the hotel.


The Sandton Sun Hotel is a large hotel attached the convention centre where the Africa Meeting show was held. It has 326 rooms, some great meeting space, A wonderful decking area where the Africa Meetings Show had their welcome reception.


Across the show I met and networked with lots of people and found out so much about what Africa has to offer.


I had a very comfortable stay at the hotel, my hotel room was spacious and comfortable. Breakfast was delicious and the service was brilliant. The extensive breakfast had something for everyone and was delicious. If you have any down time whilst staying here there is an outdoor pool and spa. If you fancy some retail therapy there is a shopping mall offering all the top designer shops!


Into Africa hosted us at a wonderful dinner at the Newmark Hotel – The Catalyst. Where we were hosted by The Newmark team We had a feast of South African Fayre




On Safari: Hoedspruit – Kapama River Lodge


Whilst staying in Hoedspruit we were hosted by Kapama Private Game Reserve. This has 5 different lodges on their site. This could be an ideal option for larger groups.

I stayed at the Kapama River Lodge. Such a stunning property. It was luxurious and high end. The food and service was first class. The staff really went they extra mile to give you the best experience and service. They have many event space options for groups as well as 64 bedrooms! It has 2 outdoor heated pools as well as a spa!


There were 4 other properties on the reserve.


Kapama Buffalo Camp has 10 luxury tents. If you’re thinking glamping - this is 100% more luxurious than glamping. It is a hotel room under canvas with extra comfort whilst having the outdoor nature feel and amazing views. There are also some great event spaces at this property.


The Southern Camp has 12 lodges. This is a smaller version of The River Lodge. This also has some great event spaces too!


Then we come to the Kapama Kruger Homestead. What an amazing property. This is more for families or the CEO in the group. It has 3 luxury bedrooms. It’s own pool, kitchen, chef, Ranger, tracker and house keeper! Outside and inside dinning. Although this property is 5 star and luxurious, it has a comfortable relaxed feel. You could also have an amazing event here too! Before the site visit some elephants were just outside the property!


Then there is the luxurious Kapama Karla Spa Lodge. This has a luxury spa with amazing views of the bush and animals. This has 12 5 star rooms and some wonderful event spaces.


The game drives were amazing. What I loved most about this reserve is the love and respect the staff gave the animals and in turn relayed this to the guests. They were led by the animals at all times and let nature be nature. The Rangers and Trackers are so knowledgable. I felt safe at all times in their care. My ranger TK and Cat were so talented passionate and informative.


I would highly recommend Kapama private Game lodge. It has something for everyone. Tourism, MICE, team building, offsite and meetings.




Cape Town:


During my visit to South Africa hosted by Into Africa, we were hosted by One & Only Cape Town. Thank you Samantha Snoek for the wonderful hospitality.


The One & Only Cape Town is situated in the centre of Cape Town, near to the coast. Ideal central location. This hotel is the height of luxury and decadence with some stunning bedroom suites. With so many wonderful event spaces to offer, from private dining, restaurants to a ball room and meeting rooms. It has an amazing wine room which can be hired for events.


My bedroom was beautiful, luxurious and comfortable. With views of Table Mountain! The bed was like sleeping on a cloud. The bathroom was beautiful with a bath Cleopatra wouldn’t have looked out of place in!


We were then treated to a delicious dinner at Nobu Restaurants Cape Town! Being a Pescetarian this was a feast for all of the senses! Just delicious and stunning! It was pure decadence! The food, wine and service was first class!





There are many places to dine and have drinks near to The One and Only. We sampled some wonderful South African wine at - Time Out. This is a market place for street food and drinks. It is very similar to the Tapas places in Madrid!


The following morning I was able to have breakfast in my room overlooking Table Mountain! The service was amazing and the breakfast was delicious! I was given a VIP experience!


After breakfast we met with Alex who had arranged a wonderful surprise for us. There were a group of motor bike riders with their Harley Davidsons. The bikes arranged from classic (James Dean type of bike) and some newer models. We were told that this was going to be our transport around the Cape Town Peninsular! Being a huge fan of Harley Davidsons I was in my element. I chose one of the classic bikes with my rider – Silvio. I felt like a cool Hollywood starlet – ( in reality I was more like Bridget Jones)! It was such a smooth ride and was a wonderful way to see Cape Town, I felt the air, could smell the ocean and really experience my surroundings. You can hire up to 50 Harley Davidsons to do this tour!


Silvio was telling me about the area as we slowed down. I was unable to hear anything or take anything in because of the wind and the exhilaration and excitement!




After our journey we met up with the minibus which then took us to Boulders Beach. This is famous for the Jackass penguins. Called this name as bray like donkeys. We managed to see one or two penguins as we arrived when they were hunting for food! We met up with a Marine Biologist that told us about the penguins and the sea life. They talked about the conservation of Boulders Beach, the sea animals and plants.


We had a lovely fish lunch at Camel Rock, a local restaurant not far from Boulders Beach. We got a real feel of the area.



When we started out that morning, the weather was a bit cloudy and Table Mountain had a blanket over it. There was also a hint of a storm. However, the weather Gods were very kind to us. We managed to go to the seventh wonder of the world – Table Mountain. We took the express pass and went up the mountain in a 360 rotating cable car. We got a 360 view with the middle of the cable car slowly rotating. The views were breath taking, you could see the whole of Capetown. There is also a restaurant at the top of Table Mountain which can be hired for an event!



Newlands Vineyards:


We were hosted for a one night stay at the Vineyard Hotel. This hotel is situated in Newlands within easy reach of the Stellenboch vineyards region. It is set in the beautiful grounds of a vineyard. Although they only make a few bottles of wine as the hotel is their main business.

It has 207 bedrooms including fully equipped apartments as well suites which are all luxurious. It has a incredible spa along with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and a gym. The hotel has some wonderful event space offering some great options for events and conferences. It also has some beautiful outside areas too which can offer additional options for an event!


We were treated to a decadent and delicious dinner at The Morii. The food, wine and service was amazing. Offering locally sourced ingredients. The head mixologist was due to compete in a Mixology Competition! Watch this space!


Whilst in Stellenbosch we visited two vineyards. The first vineyard was Del Air – Graff Vineyard. William Graff has curated a wonderful art collection inside the vineyard. There are statues and paintings displayed all around the inside of the common areas of the hotel. The hotel was luxurious and very contemporary. It had some beautiful bedrooms and wonderful event space. Including a restaurant and some amazing outside space. The Vineyard is trying to be as self sufficient as possible including making organic fertlizers using a worm farm!


Our next Vineyard was The Bartinney Vineyard. We had a wine and chocolate paring. It was a wonderful way to find out how diverse wine is mixed with different foods and flavours. A great team activity or an activity to do with friends!


We were then given a tour of the winery, we were told how the wine was made, checked and stored. They even put wine in cement barrels! This should give the wine a less oaky taste! We were then shown around the hotel and event spaces. The hotel was a more traditional and quaint hotel with some wonderful event space.


Next stop was a tour of Stellenbosch. Our guide told us about the history of the area, the tragic fire and the perils of the sea getting to and around Cape Horn. The history of the settlers and the influence that is still there today. There were some beautiful historic buildings which be wonderful event spaces.


After our wonderful tour. We had a lovely wine tasting at The Stellenbosch Wine Bar

and learnt about the different grapes and soils and how this makes the wine taste.

This then led to a delicious final lunch together.


Summary:


South Africa is very versatile and diverse due to it’s culture and landscape. You have the bush, mountains, sea and lots of land (vineyards and golf courses). There is something for everyone. So many wonderful and different activities as well as some amazing hotels, venues and event and conference spaces. This is without the already wonderful and friendly people, exquisite wine and amazing food and scenery!


**Budget – once you are there, the quality of food and hotels is excellent value for money!


If you or your team are looking at Africa for conferences, meetings, events and incentives. Do get in touch with the team and let's start planning! (info@wearemeat.com)



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