News In And Around Limpopo

Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Media Launch

Limpopo Wildlife ResortsDuring the 2007/2008 financial year, Limpopo Tourism Parks (LTP) began in earnest to implement the infrastructure programme. Some of these products will be showcased at the product launch on the 1st of September 2009. During the 2007/2008 financial year, LEDET changed LTP mandate.

LEDET took back conservation responsibilities from LTP and charged LTP with the responsibilities of conducting generic marketing whilst focusing on tourism and hospitality services within Provincial Parks. Furthermore, three LIMDEV companies were also transferred to LTP.

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Military patrols to step up the fight against poaching

Limpopo Wildlife ResortsThe Kruger National Park wants to use military patrols to step up the fight against poaching which has seen 94 rhinos killed across the country this year, says its chief executive.

"We as a conservation agency and the public at large are paying a high price with these senseless killings of our animals, while some leader of a syndicate is winning the minds and hearts of ordinary and poor members of society to be on the front-line of these evil operations," said KNP chief executive David Mabunda.

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Launch Of The Nwanedi Nature Reserve Project In Association With The EU

Limpopo Wildlife ResortsThe MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr. Pitsi Moloto, will participate in the launch of the Nwanedi Nature Reserve project, which was  funded by the European Union.

The launch will be punctuated by several activities, including ribbon cutting, handing over of certificates to communities that were trained through the European Union project, opening of the Resort Bar with  a digital plasma Screen, introduction of the water tubes on Luphephe river, the launching of the game drive activities across the Greater Nwanedi Conservancy, the opening of a walking trail along the Nwanedi rivers, the opening of the hiking trail within and the surrounding Nwanedi area.

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Land of Legends

Limpopo  Wildlife ResortsSouthpansberg Athletics club in association with Limpopo Wildlife Resorts will be hosting the Land of Legends road race taking place on the 24th of April 2010.

The race consists of 2 different categories a 42.2 km and a 21.1 km suiting the athlete’s capabilities.

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SA Tourism Launches Third Ubuntu Awards

South African Tourism is going for a hat trick as it kicks off the third annual Ubuntu Awards.

The competition challenges the travel industry to come up with an innovative way to market the destination in the UK.

The organisation that comes up with the winning proposal will be awarded £25 000 to help them transform their plan into reality.

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Marula Festival 2011-A Success Story For Limpopo

Limpopo Marula Festival 2011The Town of Phalaborwa was abuzz with visitors from all over the country and beyond for 2011 Marula Festival that took place from 19-26 February 2011. The town with its 1233 beds, was fully booked whereas Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park and Tzaneen also received an over-flow of bookings on the last two days of the festival (i.e. 25th & 26th February 2011).

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St Stithians College Developing An Outdoor Education Facility

St Stithians College is developing a 500 hectare farm in the Waterberg (outside Modimolle), as an Outdoor Education facility, which will be known as the Kamoka Bush School.

Kamoka will be used throughout the year and will cater for learners of varying ages from the College. These camps will range from 2 to 28 night experiences.

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Limpopo Tourism and Parks Attends The International Trade Show In Germany

The LTP attended the ITB trade show in Berlin, Germany from the 7-14/03/2011. In attendance at this august show was Zanami Lodge who are the hope of Limpopo for wining this year’s ETEYA at Indaba in Durban. All the 9 provinces of the country attended to showcase their offerings.

The LTP was represented by the CEO, Mr. Rob Tooley and Senior Manager: Destination Development, Mr. Xolani Mthethwa.

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Limpopo Tourism and Parks Officially Launches Its Building To The Public

Limpopo Tourism and Parks officially launched its newly built offices to the public on the 15th April 2011.

The LTP has previously been operating from two different offices which was very costly for the organisation, hence movement to new offices just outside Polokwane at the this physical address, Southern Gateway Ext 4, N1 Main Road, just opposite to Meropa Casino.

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Limpopo Tourism and Parks hosts Potjiekos Competition

Phalaborwa-Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR), a business wing of Limpopo Tourism and Parks (LTP), hosted a Potjiekos Competition on Saturday the 11th June 2011 at Shonalanga Wildlife Resort just outside Phalaborwa. In total, 23 teams entered for the competition and each team comprised four members. There had to be a winner at the end of the day and Crane Tech were announced the winners of the competition. Shonalanga Wildlife Resort, located just at the banks of the Olifants River, gives one a perfect view of wild game due to the resort’s proximity to the Kruger National Park.

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Dash for Cash fishing competition

Dash For CashTzaneen-On the 17th June 2011, the CEO of Limpopo Tourism and Parks, Mr. Rob Tooley officiated during the official opening of the annual Letaba Dash for Cash Fishing Competition to be held at Tzaneen Dam. Tooley acknowledged the importance of the competition and wished all the participants well in the competition to be held over the next two days, the 18th and 19th June 2011. “We, as Limpopo Tourism and Parks, through our commercial wing, Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR), have sponsored the competition with R40 000 to create awareness to the general public about our facility, Tzaneen Dam, as a place to visit for leisure and sport”, emphasized Tooley.

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17th Amateur World Golfers Championship To Hit Limpopo Shores

Limpopo Province will this year play host to a major regional final to select a South African team to participate in the 17th Amateur World Golfers Championship.

The event organiser, World Golf Events SA, confirms that Limpopo Province will host a regional elimination event at Zebula Golf Estate culminating in the final leg to be held in KwaZulu-Natal Province. 

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LWR Launches Online Reservations System

Limpopo Wildlife Resorts have launched the new online reservations system.

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Building Future Tourism Leaders And Ambasadors.

Limpopo Tourism and Parks (LTP) will on Friday, 29 July 2011, afford 29 learners from Sterkrivier Combined School an opportunity to have firsthand experience of varios tourism activies at Doorndraai Dam. Activities lined up for the learners will include boat cruizing, Game driving, Hiking and a presentation on a fishing.

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The Luvuvhu 4x4 Eco-Trail

Travel from Phalaborwa to Phafuri, through the Letaba Ranch and Makuya Park sectors of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Four nights and five days of camping along the river beds, enjoying 4 x4 adventures over a wide range of topographies and experiencing a good variety of animal and birdlife. The newly refurbished Shona Langa resort is a base camp and an entry point for the Luvuvhu 4x4 eco-trail. This exciting product offers a plethora of wildlife, pristine river views and an unmatched tour of the Greater Kruger National Park. With animals roaming the eco-trail, visitors can sleep in the big five environment.

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Nylsvley has been awarded an internal Departmental award for innovation

NylsvleyNylsvley has been awarded an internal Departmental award for innovation; we congratulate Natasha and team for this achievement. A new birder friendly retreat is available at Serendipity which includes a fireplace in the bedroom!!




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Women Expedition

The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) established a tourism and hospitality division called Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) whose main mandate is to develop, manage and promote tourism products within Provincial nature reserves

Limpopo Wildlife Resorts upgraded some of these reosrts and a couple of them are graded at between one and three star levels by the South African Grading Council.

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Limpopo Wildlife Mahala Week 2012

The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) prioritises amongst other things the creation of a conducive environment for sustainable growth and stimulation of regional and domestic tourism.  Pursuant to this noble idea, Limpopo Tourism Agency introduced the ‘With Us campaign’ (tour with us, play with us and celebrate with us). Limpopo Tourism Agency  through its hospitality division (Limpopo Wildlife Resorts)  is once again opening up the gates of its various reserves for free access by the surrounding communities and the public at large between the 17th and the 21st September 2012.

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Closing Date For ETEYA Competition Extended

All emerging Tourism entrepreneurs are informed that the closing date for the highly contested National Tourism Competition, ETEYA has been extended to the 16 November 2012. Limpopo Tourism Agency is very confident that the competition will continue to make a significant contribution in growing the Limpopo’s SMME’ and the tourism industry.

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Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Experience The Effects of Floods

Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) experienced the effects of the recent heavy rains that fell in the past few days in the province. It can be confirmed that some of the resorts managed by LTA’s commercial division, Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR), have been hit hard, thereby leaving them as islands due to lack of accessibility.

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Limpopo Wildlife Photo Competition

Enter our photo competition and stand a chance to win one of three-2 night stays at your favourite Limpopo Wildlife Resort.

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LTA Hosts Boeremusiekjol To Boost Tourism In The Province

Mokopane-Doorindraai Dam, one of the Limpopo Tourism Agency’s (LTA) Wildlife Resorts, was a hive of activity when ganised a music festival called Bosveld Boeremusiekjol for its guests, who were resident at the dam from 01 to 03 November 2013.

This truly marked the commencement of the festive period when the province will be welcoming a number of people for various reasons including visiting friends and relatives (VFR) as well as for religious reasons.

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LTA Rolls Out Awareness Campaign On Provincial Conventions Bureau (PCB)

At the beginning of the 2013/14 financial year, Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) introduced a new business tourism division, Provincial Conventions Bureau (PCB), which will be responsible for bidding for major business events in the province. The new division headed by Ms. Seipati Tlaka as the Acting Chief Provincial Conventions Bureau Officer (ACPCBO), has already established relationships with other sports bodies, which came to host their respective events in the province such as the 37th National Drum Majorettes and Cheerleading Association Championships and Craven Week Rugby Championships for under 13 and 18. Both events were held from the end of June 2013 to the beginning of July 2013.

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LTA Performs Well During The Festive Periods

Limpopo Tourism Agency is pleased with the festive statistics received dating from the 1st December 2013 -  5th January 2014, Limpopo Wildlife Resorts has recorded a total of  over 53 260 people who went through our gates during this period. We are very pleased and satisfied with the numbers given the unfavorable economic conditions, upgrades and closure of some of the Resorts as a result of floods and aging infrastructure that we experienced in the past year.
The occupancy rate statistics serves as baseline for tourist’s arrivals in Limpopo Province during the 2013 festive season.

The province has recorded an increase of tourists arrivals from 62% in 2012 to 64% in 2013. The percentage of the occupancy rate was provided by the selected tourism accommodation establishments in the province as the departure point for the Tourist Growth Path of the Organizational Marketing Strategy.

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Polokwane Municipality Launches Football Friday

The Polokwane Municipality in Limpopo has launched football Friday. The campaign is aimed at getting people to support the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament.

The Peter Mokaba Stadium is among the four venues that will host the third edition of the tournament. Polokwane municipal spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene says: “We are ready, the pitch has been inspected. We have been given a go-ahead, we are busy with maintenance to support operation of the local organising committee.

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Tourism Boost During Holidays

Tourism in the province picked up during the festive season, a move that pleased the Limpopo Tourism Agency.

“Limpopo Wildlife Resorts recorded a total of 53260 people who went through our gates from December 1 to January 5 this year,” the tourism agency spokesperson, Ntlhekeng Kgatla, said.

The agency said the occupancy rate of selected accommodation establishments has increased from 62% in 2012 to 64% in 2013.

The boost in tourism occurred despite unfavourable economic conditions, closure and upgrades of some resorts due to floods and ageing infrastructure, the agency noted.

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Marula Festival Preparations Start In Earnest

Marula Festival preparations have started in earnest and the team comprising LEDET, Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, LTA officials and other stakeholders are already engaging to ensure that we host a well organized event.

A joint Communications team already envisages having a media launch of the event on 31 January 2014, but this will be communicated in due course.

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Kruger insists safety procedures are adequate after elephant incident

The Kruger National Park says it cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of tourists who do not follow the park’s safety regulations.

William Mabasa, GM: Communications and Marketing at Kruger National Park, told Tourism Update that visitors to the park were provided with a brochure with general rules, including that people should keep a safe distance from animals.

“If you stick to the rules that we give you, you will be safe,” said Mabasa. He said visitors to the park who go on activities such as walking safaris, are required to sign indemnity forms. However, Mabasa said this was not required for people self-driving the park.

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WTM Africa announces event programme

The line-up of events for World Travel Market Africa includes a responsible tourism programme, sessions presented by the African Business Travel Association and a travel blogger programme.

WTM Africa’s own World Responsible Tourism Programme (WRTP) will form a key component of the education sessions at the show. The programme is put together by Professor Harold Goodwin, organiser of the World Travel Market WRTP in London and will include a pan-African cast of speakers covering core responsible tourism issues affecting the African continent.

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SANParks opens bookings for summer season

Bookings for the December 2014 to January 2015 period in various national parks under SANParks’ management will open on Thursday, January 16, from 07h30.

SANParks GM: Sales and Marketing, Bheki Zwane, said the reason for opening both months at the same time was to make it easy to book accommodation and activities well in advance and allow people to plan their itinerary into the new year with just one booking. This is unlike previous years, where they had to book separately for December and January.

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Tourism performs well, shows positive outlook for 2014

The tourism sector in South Africa performed almost on a par with expectations for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Tourism Business Index (TBI).

The TBI Q4 results recorded a performance of 114.6 index points compared with an expected 110.8. The industry therefore experienced another good quarter with above-normal performance and consolidated a year in which only one quarter, Q2, experienced marginally below-normal performance at 98.

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SA's national parks draw more visitors

South Africa's national parks remain among the country's most popular family holiday destinations, with visitor numbers up by 2.4% in December compared to the previous year, SA National Parks (SANParks) reported on Monday.

A total number of 692,498 guests passed through the gates of the country's 21 national parks in December, the conservation authority said in a statement.

At least 73,910 guests spent one night inside a national park, lifting accommodation unit occupancy by 1.2 percentage points to 77.4% and bed occupancy by 0.8 percentage points to 65.3% for the month.

SANParks' camping facilities also registered growth of 3.2 percentage points to 65.9% site occupancy for December.

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Reed unveils hosted buyer programme for Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week has announced details of its hosted buyer programme.

The programme creates tailored opportunities for exhibitors to meet with top-level buyers in focused, one-to-one appointments. These buyers are qualified to the three shows making up Africa Travel Week through an accreditation system.

World Travel Market (WTM) Africa’s hosted buyer programme offers 300 senior level travel industry buyers with direct purchasing power the opportunity to attend WTM Africa. These buyers can select appointments with exhibitors prior to the show to enable them to maximise their time at the event.

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Tourism resilience applauded

The  MEC for economic development, Seaparo Sekoati, has applauded the local tourism industry for having remained resilient and unshaken despite the economic downturn and instability.

He said the sector stability was a good sign that the government and private sector, particularly in the tourism sector could do more not only to save jobs for millions of the people, but to continue to grow the economy of the province.

Sekoati and the acting CEO of the Limpopo Tourism Agency, Fixon Hlungwani, on Tuesday embarked on a three-day road show to share challenges, achievements and frustrations that the industry’s role players in the region face.

“What we have to do is to work closely as the government, the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to improve the standard of tourism in our province.

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Invitation to Indaba 2014

Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Affairs says some of the products made from the indigenous marula fruit are being sold on international markets.

The department is making final preparations for the annual Marula Festival in Phalaborwa this weekend.

The festival is about celebrating the Marula drink and to showcase products made from the fruit.

The department's co-ordinator for the festival, Moses Ngobeni, says six co-operatives that are run by rural women are harvesting the fruit to brew marula beer and producing ointments.

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Limpopo Tourism Agency Leverages On Meetings Africa 2014

The Acting Chief Provincial Conventions Bureau of Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA), Ms. Seipati Tlaka, will lead a delegation to another African Mega gathering to participate in Meetings Africa 2014 billed to take place from the 24 -26 February 2014 at the Sandton Conventions Centre, in Johannesburg. Provincial Conventions Bureau is a newly formed division of LTA focusing on business events and meetings.

Meetings Africa 2014 will kick off with the annual BOND Day (Business Opportunity Networking Day) on Monday, 24 February 2014. BOND Day is designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for the South African business events industry. The day will start with the Event Greening Forum’s 2014 Conference at Meetings Africa. This half-day event will be packed with information on Responsible Tourism, with a specific focus on business events.

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Marula a drawcard

The annual Limpopo Marula Festival started at the weekend in Phalaborwa and will end on Saturday.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has hailed the festival as an excellent catalyst for local economic development.

“The direct and indirect economic benefits created by the festival makes it a perfect fit for our objective of using the arts, culture and heritage to create jobs and grow the economy, Mashatile said.

“This fine festival benefits airlines, car rental companies, tour operators, hotels and lodges, restaurants and retailers as well as communities who gather and brew the marula fruit,” he said .

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A Special Boost For Our Province

Limpopo is hoping that a three-day meeting with international buyers from the tourism industry in Sandton will lead to spin-offs for the province.

Seipati Tlaka of the Conventions Bureau of Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA), is attending the three day meeting which ends on how to improve tourism.

Provincial Conventions Bureau is a newly formed division of LTA focusing on business events and meetings.

The meeting, known as Meetings Africa 2014 kicked off with the annual Business Opportunity Networking Day (Bond Day) on Monday and ends today.

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R10k party for Panjo

Panjo the pet Bengal tiger from Groblersdal, Limpopo, celebrated his fifth birthday in style this week, racking up a bill of over R10,000.

At least 80 people attended the spitbraai affair on Sunday, with some guests staying overnight.

Panjo did not get a birthday cake, but he got to devour three chickens and some beef.

"We sang happy birthday to him, and he was quite happy, but he looked at everyone quite funny," said Justin Fernandes, son of Goosey Fernandes who raised Panjo since he was a three-week-old cub.

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World Travel Market Africa opens registration for the trade

World Travel Market Africa has opened registration for inbound and outbound travel professionals.

WTM Africa will offer attendees sessions featuring senior speakers from the African Business Travel Association, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Digital Tourism Think Tank and Travel Bloggers Unite. The Responsible Tourism Programme, put together by Professor Harold Goodwin, will also form a key component of the sessions.

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Roads closed in Kruger National Park due to heavy rain

Due to heavy rains in and around the southern part of Kruger National Park (KNP) several roads have been closed. Guests are advised not to use any gravel roads and to stay on the tar roads.

The Crocodile Bridge Gate is closed due to the flooding of the Crocodile River. Guests are advised to use the alternative route from Lower Sabie to access Crocodile Bridge Camp.

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Kruger National Park heavy rains update

Update on Kruger National Park as at 12:00

As a safety precaution it has been decided to close the following three additional facilities:

  • Shimuwini
  • Bateleur
  • Sirheni
  • Balule

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Mapungubwe National Park experiences heavy rains

In the last week, like most parts of the country, Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site (MNP&WH) experienced heavy rains, which could result in floods.

The Limpopo River is at full capacity but thus far all the facilities and roads within the park are operational. The temporary Wiepe bridge on the R572 road between the Park and the town of Musina is flooded and therefore offers no access.

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Update on Kruger road and camp closures

Following heavy rains at Kruger National Park, SANParks has advised that no camps have been damaged but that certain bush and trail camps have been closed as a precautionary measure. More heavy rains are expected from Wednesday.

The following bush camps will remain closed for precautionary measures until Monday, March 17: Talamati, Biyamiti, Balule, Sirheni, Bateleur and Shimuwini. The following Trails camps will remain closed until Monday, March 24: Wolhuter, Boesman and Olifants. The Shishangeni Concession has been closed.

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Marakele accommodation closed following floods

March 13, 2014

Accommodation facilities in Marakele National Park, Limpopo, have been temporarily closed due to damaged roads caused by heavy rain, SANParks announced this week.

Motswere guest cottage, Tlopi and Bontle tented camps will not be operating until Sunday, March 16.

“We advise all our guests who have made bookings for this week and the weekend to please contact our office since they will not be able to access their accommodation sites,” said Communications Manager for Marakele, Divhani Maremba. “The park is still operational but we advise visitors to stay within the demarcated roads.”

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Africa Travel Week unveils conference agenda

Thebe Reed has announced topics of discussion for the forums, conferences, seminars and lectures that will accompany the three co-located shows making up Africa Travel Week.

Topics covered will include responsible tourism, sustainable business, tourism education and technology.

The International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Africa Forum will feature two live debates. Speakers include Anita Mendiratta, an independent International Strategist and Adviser on Tourism and Economic Development, who will discuss what ‘luxury’ means in the context of African travel, and political analyst and talk show host, Justice Malala.

The forum will also include a ‘Meet the Editors’ panel, where travel editors will offer insight into their selection criteria for publication and a debate on conservation, featuring speakers including Botswana’s Map Ives of Wilderness Safaris and South Africa’s Juan Pinto, Director and Head Ranger at Royal Malewane Lodge.

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ATW targets buyers from emerging markets

Africa Travel Week says it will deliver many new buyers from emerging markets for its inaugural show in Cape Town from April 27-May 3 this year.

Exhibition Manager for WTM Africa, Polly Magraw, said this was in response to market demand. “While we have confirmed some strong traditional buyers, we are also bringing lots of fresh names to South Africa for the show.” She stressed that the new buyers would also be subject to a strict qualification process.

Africa Travel Week, which is being organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, will use the same online diary system used at its flagship events, such as IBTM and ILTM Cannes, to ensure exhibitors have the opportunity to meet with key buyers that are already doing business with African suppliers, or have the potential to place future business.

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Growth forecast for tourism in SA

The travel and tourism sector in South Africa is expected to grow 3.6% during 2014, while globally, the sector is expected to grow by 4.3%.

This is according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which undertakes an economic analysis of the impact of the travel and tourism sector in 184 countries every year.

WTTC’s South Africa Economic Impact Report revealed that the travel and tourism sector contributed R323 billion to the country’s GDP, 9.5% of GDP. This compares with a worldwide contribution of $7 trillion (R75 trillion) to the global economy.

The total contribution of the sector to employment in South Africa, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector, was 1 404 190 jobs, or 10.1% of total employment. The total global contribution of the sector to employment was 265 835 000 jobs, or 8.9% of total employment.

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Kruger update: selected camps reopen

The Kruger National Park, Limpopo, has reopened the Balule Satellite Camp as well as the Sirheni, Bateleur and Shimuwini bush camps, after heavy raised caused closures earlier this month.

SANParks has advised that Talamati and Biyamiti bush camps, the Olifants Trail Camp and the Nyalaland Fly Camp are still closed and will be reopened today (Wednesday, March 19), while the Wolhuter and Boesman trails camps will be closed until Saturday, March 29.

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SANParks CEO’s exit follows completion of contract

David Mabunda’s departure from his position as CEO at SANParks is not sudden and the process to appoint someone in his place has already started, according to SANParks.

SANParks announcement on Thursday that Mabunda would serve his last day as CEO on March 31 was met with surprise.

However, Gert Dry, Chairperson of the Human Resources & Remuneration Committee of SANParks' board told Tourism Update that Mabunda had completed his second term as CEO and his contract could not be renewed for a third term, according to the legislation.

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Earth Hour Saves SA Power

South African saved 575 megawatts during Earth Hour, Eskom said on Sunday.

"South Africans showed their power to save electricity when they switched off their lights for Earth Hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on March 29 evening, saving 575MW," the power utility said in a statement.

The electricity saved during the initiative was enough to power a city the size of Polokwane, Limpopo. Eskom measured the reduction in electricity used during the hour against usual consumption for the same time on an average Saturday.

"Turning off the lights saves hundreds of tons of coal from being burned to produce electricity, so that less greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, thereby saving the planet."

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Vakhegula Vakhegula - Grannies Football

The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil is approaching fast. The FIFA World Cup™ isn't just about one country though, it truly is the World's Cup! To celebrate fans of the greatest football event on Earth, FIFA & Coca-Cola are taking the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy on a tour around the world.

Football is loved by all South Africans, young and old. But too often old age's limitations end the active and playing days of soccer fans. Not so for one group of grannies. They refused to let their age slow them down.

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Limpopo Golf and Leisure

This communication is the fruit from a recent Limpopo Golf & Safari Route members meeting, where a need was identified to keep agents up to date on happenings at the golf resorts in Limpopo. This will help with agent’s better understanding of the product for packaging into itineraries etc.

As the appointed marketing agents for the Limpopo Golf & Safari Route, we are pleased to bring you the first of quarterly update, with information on what’s new regarding the golf route and a summary of the most important and relevant new information at the resorts to assist you with your product knowledge.

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More buffalo for Marakele park

A herd of 10 buffalo were released into the Marakele National Park in Limpopo this month following the successful re-introduction of a herd of 20 buffalo in 2013.

In 2009, the park was left with no buffalo population due to theileriosis, a disease that was prevalent in the area at the time. After the disease was cleared, 15 bulls were re-introduced followed by another herd in 2013.

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LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE – Limpopo Tourism Agency will partner with the Department of Roads and Transport, Department of Health, Road Accident Fund, Polokwane Show to conduct a number of Easter Activations.

Arrive Alive Easter Activation 15/04/2014 : 10H00 The Easter Activations were kick-started by MEC for Roads and Transport Lehlogonolo Masoga over the launch of the Arrive Alive Eater Campaign on the R 37 over a media launch, the launch also saw the official opening of the newly build Smelters mine turn-off bridge.

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Industry collaboration raises R3 million for SANParks' rhino conservation

Bavaria Breweries and South Africa’s Big 5 retailers have stepped up to the plate and delivered on their commitment to support SANParks’ rhino conservation strategy through the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die fundraising campaign. A cheque for over R3 million was handed over to South African National Parks (SANParks) and will be held in a ring-fenced account for strict utilisation by SANParks' rhino anti-poaching programmes and interventions.

As the enabler of the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die campaign, Bavaria Brewery initiated the historic fundraising collaboration between Woolworths, Spar, Massmart, Pick ‘n Pay and divisions of the Shoprite Checkers Group. As front-runners to the consumer, each retailer created the adoption ‘route’ for the public. From every purchase of any six-pack of Bavaria 0.0% regular or fruit flavoured malt drinks, both the retailers and Bavaria Brewery matched a massive margin sacrifice to fund the consumer’s adoption certificate cost and raise funds for the campaign.

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Update on restaurant refurbishment at Kruger

The restaurants at Satara Camp in Kruger National Park have reopened following refurbishment, SANParks announced. These include, Debonaires and Mugg and Bean.

The Wimpy at Pretoriuskop camp and the Mugg and Bean at Letaba have both closed for refurbishments and are scheduled to reopen on May 19 and June 5 respectively. The Mugg and Bean at Olifants camp is still open but is scheduled to close for refurbishments on May 7, and scheduled to reopen on June 20.

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Limpopo Fully Geared For The Tourism Indaba.

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE:  It's that time of the year again when the tourism industry prepares for the biggest tourism spectacle on the African continent, the 2014 TOURISM INDABA, billed to take place at Durban ICC and DEC in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province from the 10th -12th May 2014. INDABA is the biggest Travel and Trade show in Africa and one of the top 3 must-attend events of its own kind. The show attracts well over 13000 delegates from the travel, tourism and related industries. The TOURISM INDABA is a very important and significant platform whereby tourism destinations showcase what they have to offer as far as tourism is concerned.

"Our focus this year will be on special interest features that the Province has to offer to tourists. Some of the special interest features include: Golf and Safari, Trans Frontier Parks, Birding, Cycling and other adventure activities to mention but a few", said the Acting CEO of LTA Ms. Seipati Tlaka.

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How you can travel back in time

(CNN) -- Artist Rachel Sussman spent the past decade documenting the world's oldest living things. Working with biologists, she has traveled to deserts and islands, from the Australian Outback to Antarctica, to photograph organisms that are 2,000 years old or older. She has given a TED talk about her project. Her new book of photographs and essays, "The Oldest Living Things in the World," came out on Earth Day, April 22. Follow her on Twitter: @OLTW

CNN asked Sussman about her work in an e-mail interview.

How did you get involved with this project?

Before I got the idea for "The Oldest Living Things," I was searching for something I could really sink my teeth into. That search was both an intellectual one -- pondering ideas about combining art with science and philosophical concepts like deep time -- as well as a literal one. A visit to Japan in 2004 resulted in a surprising and eye-opening adventure to a supposedly 7,000-year-old tree, which ended up being the ultimate catalyst that brought all these different threads together.

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World Travel Market wraps up

Africa Travel Week concluded on Saturday, May 3, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

International buyers were selected from 47 countries, including emerging markets such as India, China, Brazil and Russia, for the show, says Carol Weaving, MD of Thebe Reed Exhibitions Group, which organises the show.

Weaving adds that more than 10 500 appointments took place across the three shows that make up Africa Travel Week. These are International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings (IBTM) and World Travel Market (WTM) Africa.

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European travellers look to SA for better value

As regional travel within European destinations slows, South Africa is one of the long-haul destinations ‘stealing’ European travellers.

This is according to Stephanie Boyle, spokesperson TripAdvisor for Business, Europe, Middle East and Africa, who explains that European tourists are finding better value in travelling to South Africa rather than their neighbouring destinations.

According to TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer, globally the three most sought-after travel experiences are beach, culture and learning, all of which are available in SA, she says.

Boyle adds that SA should expect an influx of travellers from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, India and France as it is on the wish list for travellers from these countries.

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Marakele welcomes two male lions

wo male lions have been released in Marakele National Park in Thabazimbi, Limpopo, SANParks announced this week.

The lions will complement the pride already in the park. They were translocated from Pilanesberg Nature Reserve in the North West Province to form new coalitions among the lions already in the park.

“Although this will increase the lion population in the park, the main aim is to diversify the gene pool,” said Johan Taljaard, Park Manager at Marakele.

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Limpopo Tourism Products Benefit From 2014 Tourism Indaba

Durban-The 2014 installment of Tourism Indaba has displayed growth by opening the doors to the entire African continent for the first time in its history. As the biggest Travel and Trade show in Africa and one of the top 3 must-attend events of its own kind in the whole world, Indaba continues to attract high volumes of people from various sectors in the tourism sector, including buyers, tour operators, exhibitors, tourism authorities, Provincial Departments, municipalities, etc.

Limpopo's delegation to this all important travel and trade show was led by the Chairperson of the Board, Mr. Mashilo Matsetela. The Head of Department (HoD) of the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr. Solly Kgopong, and Acting CEO of Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA), Ms. Seipati Tlaka, were also in attendance. Limpopo exhibitors comprised eight (8) SMME's, two (2) partners (Amarula Lapa and Transfrontier Destinations).

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SATSA announces conference dates

SATSA’s annual conference will take place at Spier in Stellenbosch, from August 7-9.

The conference will have speaker panels and discussions surrounding the central theme ‘New Opportunities’.

"We hope to speak to the opportunities available to our sector at present while encouraging lively debate around topical issues that affect the inbound tourism industry," says David Frost, SATSA CEO.

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Fair Trade Tourism launches South African toolkit

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT), together with Dr Xavier Font from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK, has launched a new toolkit for tourism businesses – the ‘Keep it Real South Africa’ – to help them communicate more effectively about responsible tourism.

The toolkit covers five chapters and features responsible tourism communication case studies from FTT-certified businesses such as accommodation, activity providers, visitor attractions and a tour operator.

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Marked increase in service levels for SANParks Restaurant

South African National Parks (SANParks) is proud to announce that two months after the opening of Mugg & Bean restaurant at Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park (KNP) there has been a 127.67% increase in this facilities turnover.

This according to SANParks’ Managing Executive: Tourism Development and Marketing, Glenn Phillips, who said this new restaurant operator in Lower Sabie has done exceptionally well in the short space of time since the official opening on 12 March 2014. He said it was equally encouraging to see a marked increase in customer satisfaction levels in such a short period.


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Limpopo Tourism Products Get Tourism Exposure Through Tsogo Sun Book-A-GuestHouse Programme

GAUTENG, VANDERBIJLPARK: Six (6) of Limpopo’s leading tourism establishments participated in the Tsogo Sun Book-a-Guesthouse annual conference which culminated in the Awards ceremony at Vanderbijlpark last week Friday. The theme for this year’s completion was “beyond business”. Limpopo was represented by six (6) products, namely, Masana Lodge, Masai Lodge, Ledimor Guest House, Dinoko Lodge, Zanami Lodge and @peace Guest House.

Book-a-Guesthouse was started by Tsogo Sun’s hotel division as a pilot project in Soweto that assisted six Guesthouse owners who displayed the potential to become successful entrepreneurs. The Department of Tourism saw value in the program from the beginning when it was initially launched by the Minister of Tourism, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, in 2005.

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SAT marketing must be measurable, says trade

Members of the trade welcomed Treasury’s allocation of R100 million to SA Tourism’ Sho’t Left campaign, which is geared towards domestic tourism. However, while the trade greeted the allocation with optimism, the need for SA Tourism to better link marketing inputs to discernible outputs was also highlighted.

Last month, Treasury announced that R100 million would be allocated to Sho’t Left, R70 million towards marketing SA on the continent and R800 million to marketing the destination around the world.

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Derek Hanekom appointed Tourism Minister

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday named cabinet veteran, Derek Hanekom, as the new Minister of Tourism.

Hanekom was previously Minister of Science and Technology. He received congratulations from many in the tourism industry on Twitter and replied by tweeting: “Hey, thanks for all your kind tweets! Must say, this beautiful South Africa of ours is a great product to sell. Let's do it together!”

SATSA CEO, David Frost, welcomed the appointment. “We are incredibly fortunate to have Derek Hanekom as our new Minister of Tourism. I worked closely with Minister Hanekom when he was Minster of Agriculture in the 1990s when I was at The Premier Group on de-regulating the agro-food sector and building competitiveness. He will bring a considered and balanced wisdom to the sector, and I for one, can’t wait to work with him again.”

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LTA take a girl child to work

Limpopo Tourism Agency in partnership with Seema Rural Youth Development Agency Initiatives and Bokone Circuit will host a delegation of 10 female learners as part of "Take a girl child to work" scheduled to take place as follows:

Date : 29th May 2014
Time : 10H00 Venue :
Limpopo Tourism Agency Head Office, Southern Gateway Extension 4, N1 Main Road. 

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SATSA unveils member-driven website

SATSA has launched a new member-driven website as part of celebrating 44 years of service to the inbound tourism industry.

The new website will feature a fully searchable comprehensive member listing that is GPS map-linked. The listing is aimed at facilitating inbound tourist arrivals into the southern Africa region.

Developed over the past few months, the new website will only provide a complete listing of credible tourism partners and will also act as an information repository for both inbound tour operators in search of tourism services and products as well as travellers looking for their next holiday.

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Polokwane invites Bulawayo to showcase tourism

The Polokwane Local Municipality in Limpopo has invited its Zimbabwean counterpart, the Bulawayo Municipality, to the local annual show to showcase its tourism and economic capabilities.

The South African National Defence Force and South African Police Service are among the institutions exhibiting their products at the local show grounds.

A representative of the Bulawayo Municipality, Brian Hlongwane says they are focusing on trade opportunities between Zimbabweans and South Africa.

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Kremetart Cycle Race Lives Up To Expectations

Makhado; Limpopo – The organizers of the annual Kremetart Cycle Race held over the weekend of 07 and 08 June 2014 have kept their promise of staging yet another successful event. The 25th installment of the race was held in the town of Makhado which was a hive of activity due to the high volumes of visitors to either take part in the cycle race or support the cyclists.

Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) saw the need to support the race as immensely contributes to tourism and economic growth of the town. For this weekend only, the town has received an injection of over R20 mil from this event. Accommodation was fully booked in and around Makhado, which is a positive sign of tourism growth in the province.

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Immigrations Act: We’ve won the battle but not the war

SATSA and the Board of Airline Representatives SA (BARSA) have welcomed the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to delay the implementation of a new regulation that children travelling with adults present an unabridged birth certificate when arriving, leaving, or transiting in South Africa.

“It is with some sense of relief that the Department of Home Affairs issued a statement last night that the regulations will now only become effective from 1 October 2014,” SATSA said in a statement.

SATSA has been actively engaging with Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, who in turn has been in discussions with his cabinet colleagues, on the new regulations.

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SETE conference – calls for papers

The Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) with sponsor, the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), is calling for experts in events tourism to submit interest in participating as speakers at the conference and exhibition taking place at the Durban ICC from October 28-30.

SETE is a business-to-business platform that aims to position South Africa as a sports and events tourism destination.

It encourages collaboration between the sports, events and tourism industries in showcasing products to international hosted buyers and SA corporates.

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SA falls short on tourism growth potential

South Africa’s tourism industry has grown significantly over the past 20 years, with visitor growth outstripping the global average. However, not enough is being done to market the country internationally.

These are some of the findings based on data since 1994, which has been analysed by Grant Thornton and form part of the 20 Years of Tourism report

During the last two decades, SA has seen an average visitor growth rate of 6.9% per year, which compares with a global average annual growth rate of 4%.

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Tourism targets 'unattainable' on SA’s current path

The trade has welcomed the SA’s target of growing foreign tourist arrivals to 15 million by 2017, but also warned that the target is unlikely to be achieved under the current environment.

President Jacob Zuma announced the target during his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, June 17.

“Despite tough global trading conditions in its traditional markets, South Africa’s tourism sector continued to show positive growth in 2013, reaching a record high of 9.6 million international tourist arrivals,” said Zuma.

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Bird Identification Course

Birds are the most beautiful and accessible creatures on earth. They can literally be found anywhere on the planet and if one appreciates nature, one cannot but appreciate birds.

Southern Africa is richly blessed with over 950 bird species (more than 10 percent of the world’s total). This great diversity of species, the wide variety of habitats they occur in and their fascinating behaviour and ecology make birds and bird watching a fascinating pastime. It is no wonder that birding has become one of the fastest growing pastimes in Europe, the USA and here in South Africa.

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Kruger clamps down on border controls

All business operators traveling through the Kruger National Park (KNP)’s border gates (Giriyondo and Pafuri) transporting passengers to and from Mozambique will be required to produce valid passenger transport permits from August 1, SANParks has announced.

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SATSA, NDT invite trade to Durban adventure tourism workshop

SATSA and the National Department of Tourism have partnered to present a workshop on self-regulation in the adventure tourism sector. It will take place at Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani Hotel, Durban, on July 14, from 09h00-12h00.

The workshop is part of a countrywide consultative process to seek the views and opinions of all role players.

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Youth gather at Marakele National Park for Environmental Education

South African National Parks (SANParks) hosted its Environmental Education weekend for the youth at Marakele National Park. The weekend camp was attended by a total of 60 learners from Gauteng and is part of SANParks’ Kudu Green School Initiative (KGSI), an environmental programme which started in 2010 that is targeted at the urban school-going children.

"This initiative strives to enable learners of all ages to gain an understanding of the climate’s influence on society, as well as appreciation of the environment they are living in and it targets learners from urban areas", said Ms Maria Moate, Chairperson of the Gauteng Environmental Alliance and Head of Environmental Education at SANParks.

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Legend Golf & Safari Resort unveils app

Legend Golf & Safari Resort in Limpopo has launched a new app for iPhone and Android smart phones.

The app gives users access to product information, special offers and interactive content.

Features include the hole-by-hole GPS info for the Signature Course, The Tribute Course, The Extreme 19th and the driving ranges, as well as 360 degree tours of the golf courses, resort facilities and rooms. It also offers special launch offers for golfers, discounts on game drives and spa treatments and a video library.


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The 2014 Kudu Awards call for nominations

South African National Parks (SANParks)  is once again calling for the 2014 annual Kudu Awards nominations. In its 10th year of celebration, the Kudu Awards is SANParks’ way of honouring and celebrating those people who eat, sleep and breath conservation.

The Kudu Awards is an initiative that aims to reward stakeholders for their contributions and efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for protected areas. A select number of persons and organisations who have made significant contribution to conservation will receive a Kudu Award in the form of a bronze sculpture of a Kudu head.

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SA National Parks Week dates announced

South African National Parks (SANParks) will be launching its 9th annual SA National Parks Week at Tsitsikamma in the Garden Route National Park from 8 to 12 September 2014. This is in line with its vision statement of ‘Connecting to Society’.

Since its inception in 2006; national parks week has seen an influx of over 130 000 day visitors in all participating parks. The concept of National Parks Week under the theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ was established in a bid to cultivate a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks system.

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MEC for LEDET Launches Reserve Renewal Project (RRP)

LEKGALAMEETSE; LIMPOPO: On 11/07/2014, MEC for LEDET (Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism), Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, and Acting LTA (Limpopo Tourism Agency) CEO, Ms. Seipati Tlaka, launched Reserve Renewal Project  (RPPL) at Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve. The event was attended by Stakeholders, beneficiaries, Senior Government officials, Community and Tourism Industry leaders.

The Reserve Renewal Project (RRP) is a deliberate and strategic intervention by the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and LEDET aimed at addressing the current infrastructure backlog of state owned Nature Reserves. The Acting CEO of Limpopo Tourism Agency, Ms. Seipati Tlaka, said, “The main focus of the project is to restore, renew, develop and maintaining the aging and dilapidating reserve infrastructure in the Province and to keep the reserves competitive while giving tourists value for money but most importantly,  to live up to our promise of being Accessible, affordable and Incredibly Wild.”

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People on the Move: Tintswalo appoints new executive chef

Tintswalo Safari Lodge in Limpopo's Manyeleti Reserve has appointed Executive Chef, Johan Christiaan Kriek. Kriek has more than eight years’ experience as a chef. “I am here to take Tintswalo Safari Lodge to new levels when it comes to new and exciting ways of cooking and presenting food,” he says.

Kriek specialises in traditional cooking with a fusion twist. “Some people say it’s risky; I say that is what being a chef is all about.”

Fancourt has announced the appointment of Georgie Davidson as CEO. She is taking over the reins this month from Kerrin Titmas, who is moving on after five and a half years to pursue new challenges.

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Media Advisory for Mandela Day

Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) and Meropa Casino and Entertainment World will partner for Nelson Mandela Day  scheduled to take place as follows:

Date: 18/07/2014 (Friday)
Venue: Reakgona Adult Centre  next to Polokwane Place of Safety
Time: 09:00

Your media House is thus cordially invited to be part of these activities.

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SANParks opens bookings for 2015 winter holidays

The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced today that the holiday bookings in various national parks under its management for the June 2015 to July 2015 period will open on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 from 07h30 for the call centres and email bookings. Online bookings will open on 23 July 2014.

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SANParks honours Madiba legacy

In celebration of Mandela Day and the legacy of the world icon, Nelson Mandela, South African National Parks (SANParks) employees visited the Children’s ward at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, on 18 July 2014.

SANParks employees visited wards 8.5 and 8.6 which cater for children between the ages of two and 12 years with varying degrees of illnesses, such heart diseases and kidney failure. The team, which included senior management, spent the day playing with kids and a host of toys were distributed to the kids.

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Acacia Park, Limpopo Tourism Agency Resort, Burns

Thohoyandou; Acacia Park, a resort managed by Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) located at Thohoyandou in the Vhembe District, got burnt on Friday the 19th July 2014. The fire broke down from one of the bushy areas surrounding the resort and was so strong due to the wind that it over powered the fire fighters from Thulamela Municipality. The cause of the fire outbreak is not known. The Acting Manager of the park, Mr. Khathu Nebaimoro reported that the gate and the reception area including his office from which nothing could be saved.

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Address by SANParks Chairperson, Mr Kuseni Dlamini to the media

Ladies and gentlemen of the media thank you kindly for honouring our invitation and also showing interest in the affairs of South African National Parks. This meeting aims to put in context important aspects of SANParks affairs and please take note that this is based on facts.

First of all, we are a public entity and accountable to the South African public. Based on that fact we have always been upfront in taking the public into our confidence on matters pertaining to South African National Parks. Over the last 19 years this organisation has performed exceptionally well achieving clean audits year after year. Good corporate governance has been the cornerstone of this organisation and continues to be at the forefront of our daily operations.

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Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi to officiate the Limpopo leg of the India Festival in South Africa

Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, will officiate the Limpopo leg of the India Festival in South Africa on Monday, 28 July 2014, at the Library Gardens, in Polokwane, Limpopo.

South Africa enjoys a long-standing cordial relationship with the government and people of India that has been solidified by the Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Education, Arts, Culture and Sport in 1996.

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Thohoyandou Stadium reborn

Lidoda Duvha will return to their traditional but newly renovated base, Thohoyandou Stadium, for the upcoming season.
“The stadium has been revamped and is ready for use,” said Mr Ronald Makhadi, who is overseeing the renovations at the venue. “I think a much supported team like Black Leopards will enjoy playing in the venue.

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World Ranger Day celebrated at Addo Elephant National Park

Rangers from the four national parks in the Frontier region converged at Addo Elephant National Park today to commemorate World Ranger Day.

World Ranger Day is observed on the 31st of July each year. It is the day to commemorate the many rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate rangers and the work they do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures.  World Ranger Day is promoted by the 54 member associations of the International Ranger Federation (IRF). The first World Ranger Day was observed in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the IRF

SANParks’ Frontier Region’s rangers, from Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks put on an impressive display of their skills, including aerial surveys, ground patrols, dealing with suspected poachers, first aid on a gunshot victim and vehicle stop and searches.  Senior members from the parks, as well as a number of Honorary Rangers from the region attended the day’s festivities.

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New SA Tourim chairperson appointed

Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has appointed Zwelibanzi Mntambo as the new Chairperson of the South African Tourism board with immediate effect. This follows the resignation of the former chairperson, Frank Kilbourn, last week.

“I am very pleased to have Zweli as the new leader of the board. His vast experience in the tourism industry coupled with his strategic leadership and management skills will certainly ensure that SA Tourism achieves its mandate,” said Hanekom.

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Marakele National Park best in northern cluster

The Marakele National Park in the Waterberg biosphere received the award as the northern cluster's Park of the Year during a ceremony held at Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage site a fortnight ago.

SANparks' northern cluster parks comprise Mapungubwe, Marakele and the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The annual awards acknowledge excellent work of committed employees and it is one of the initiatives driven by the annual Kudu awards intended to award excellence throughout SANparks. The ceremony also meant to instil a culture of achievements and excellence, encourage excellent performance and ensure a continuous quality service for the stakeholders.

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Oppikoppi Music Festival 2014

The 20th Oppikoppi Music Festival took place last weekend (7 - 9 August) in Northam (Waterberg).

Being the biggest musical festival in South Africa it attracted more than 20 000 visitors.

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World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day (WTD), celebrated every year on 27 September, is a global observance to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.

WTD 2014 is being held under the theme Tourism and Community Development - focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.

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Makalali Lodge opens camp one after revamp

African Hotels and Adventures (AHA) has reopened camp one of Makalali Private Game Lodge in the Kruger National Park following flood damage in March.  Camps two and three are scheduled to reopen in September.

Neil Bald, MD of AHA, said while repairing the damage the company also took the opportunity to refurbish the room interiors, wooden decks, pool furniture, the curio shop and a new boma.

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Free access to National Parks starts in two weeks

South African National Park (SANParks) is again opening its doors for free from Monday, 8 September 2014 until Friday, 12 September 2014 as part of the annual South African National Parks Week. This campaign under the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ will allow locals with valid identity documents an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice, free of charge.

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The 2014 Kudu Awards deadline extended

The 2014 Kudu Awards, organised by South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa, has extended the deadline for entries to 15 September 2014.

SANParks' Acting Head of Communications, Reynold Thakhuli said the Kudu Awards is SANParks' way of honouring and celebrating those people that go to any length to conserve and protect our natural environment and heritage for future generations.

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Limpopo Provincial Lilizela Awards Are Announced

Phalaborwa: Phalaborwa was a hive of activity on Wednesday, the 3rd September 2014 as the tourism industry gathered to witness the announcement of the best performers in the sector. MEC for LEDET, Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, was flanked by Chairperson of the Lilizela Awards, Ms. Thembi Kunene, and Chairperson of LTA Board, Mr. Mashilo Matsetela, as he officiated in the award giving ceremony  of the various categories of the second installment of the Lilizela Awards.

The following were announced as the Provincial winners, in the categories as outlined, to proceed to the national Awards to take place on 9 October 2014 in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province:

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Kruger Park celebrates Arbor Week

A total of 50 indigenous plants were handed over to the teachers and pupils of Matimba High School yesterday by the Kruger National Park at Nkavele village outside Punda Maria gate as part of the 2014 Arbor Week celebrations.

KNP’s spokesperson, William Mabasa, said the park celebrated the event with the school this year after an assessment of their greening needs and decided to align these with their mandate.

“There is a huge opportunity for these children to learn about the protection of the environment and do something about it,” Mabasa said.

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Limpopo fully geared for Tourism Month festivities!

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, LETABA CAMP : On Thursday, the 4th September 2014, the MEC for Limpopo Economict Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, launched the Limpopo installment of the annual Tourism Month to media and the tourism industry at Letaba Camp in the Kruger National Park. During the event the MEC outlined the focus for this year’s Tourism Month festivities and unveiled the events calendar.

The launch happened against the backdrop of a successful National Media launch which was presided over by the newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Mr. Derek Hanekom, who also announced Limpopo as the 2015 host for Tourism Month Celebrations.

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FNB and Total SA partner with SANParks for free access to national parks

In an effort to promote access to the natural beauty that South Africa has to offer, South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa has opened the 9th official South African National Parks Week.

The week, opened by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi begins today, the 8th of September and will end on Friday the 12th of September. Under the established theme “Know Your National Parks,” it will allow free access to the majority of national parks under SANParks management.

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MEC,Seaparo Sekoati, Leads a Tourism Delegation to Gaza Province in Mozambique

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, designed by Transfrontier Park Destinations,  is a unique destination that provides an exceptional experience through ideal off-road travelling opportunities for the Eco-Adventurers of the world. This unique route links the Northern Drakensberg Escarpment and the bush veld of the Limpopo Province traversing through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park to the white beaches of Mozambique. The MEC for Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, led a tourism delegation including tour operators, media and Government officials to Xai Xai, in the Gaza Province of Mozambique.

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SANParks welcomes Vietnamese delegation visiting Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) welcomes a group of Vietnamese celebrities, media and top business people visiting the Kruger National Park (KNP) over the next 3 days. This according to Reynold Thakhuli, Acting Head of Communications, who said the visit, facilitated by SANParks Honorary Rangers in partnership with the Rhinose Foundation, will contribute to efforts towards the reduction in demand for rhino horn by debunking myths relating to the perceived medicinal value of rhino horn, and by exposing leading personalities to the harsh realities of rhino poaching.

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Limpopo Tourism Agency to Host Yet Another Wildlife Mahala Week

Limpopo Tourism Agency’s commercial wing Limpopo Wildlife Resort is to host yet another Wildlife Mahala Week from the 15th -19th September 2014 from 6H00 to 18H00. The Acting CEO of LTA, Ms. Seipati Tlaka said: “This forms part of our tourism month festivities and Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy whereby we urge our people to travel within their own areas.”

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Limpopo Tourism Month Celebrations On The High

Nwa-Mitwa-Tzaneen: On 17 September 2014, Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), will host the provincial leg of the World Tourism Day  Celebrations at Khalanga Lodge, Nwa-Mitwa in Tzaneen. This will just be a week before the World Tourism Day Celebrations, which South Africa will host in the Northern Cape Province at Haksteenpan, Upington. This will be held in line with our country’s  theme, “Tourism Transforming Lives”

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‘Africa must work together to grow tourism’ – Hanekom

The tourism industry in Africa must take advantage of what the continent has to offer as a whole. African countries also need to work together to improve ease of travel and to combat the international misconceptions on the spread of Ebola.

These are some of the sentiments SA Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, shared while speaking as part of a ministerial session at the recent 2014 Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA).

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Fires in Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park (KNP) is currently experiencing four fast moving fires since Friday, 12 September 2014 due to the hot weather conditions in the area. A run-away fire jumped over the border on Friday from Mozambique into the KNP; burning areas south of Olifants River, Houtboschrand, N’wanetsi until Tshokwane; however it is now under control.

Yesterday around lunch time, another fire came from one of our concession areas on the western side of the Park. Two fires started today around Phabeni Gate areas as well and are still raging.

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Province readies for Heritage Day

The province’s official Heritage Day celebration will take place at the Mapuntsula sports ground in Lephephane village near Tzaneen tomorrow.

“Like the rest of the country, the province will celebrate its heritage under the theme, ‘Celebrating 20 years of democracy: Tell your story that moves South Africa forward,” spokesperson for the provincial department of sport, arts and culture, Mabakane Mangena, said.

The province would use the day to showcase its diverse cultures to remind communities of their traditions.

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Limpopo Tourism Agency Hosted Yet Another Succesful Wildlife Mahala Week!

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE: Limpopo Tourism Agency’s commercial wing Limpopo Wildlife Resort hosted yet another Wildlife Mahala Week from the 15th -19th September 2014 whereby a total of 393 people went through our gates free of charge during that week; this is part of our drive to encourage and grow domestic tourism. The public is encouraged to continue visiting other local tourism attractions within their localities and take advantage of the industry special available on our website,

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Speed Marketing Workshop For Limpopo

Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) in partnership with South African Tourism (SAT)  and South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) will host a speed marketing workshop this morning at Meropa Casino and Entertainment World from 9H30 to 16H00, the workshop will be preceded by a media briefing by the organizers at 9H00.

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Limpopo Back on the Winning Spree Again!

GAUTENG; GOLD REEF CITY: Limpopo is back on the winning spree again as three (3) of the seven (7) participating Provincial Tourism Products brought back the National Lilizela Awards in various categories, the winners are as follows:

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Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi to donate 400 school desks and hoist national flag

The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Mme Rejoice Mabudafhasi will hand over 400 school desks to Litshovhu Secondary School on Friday 24 October 2014, in Madombidzha village, Makhado Local Municipality.

The Limpopo MEC for Education, Mme Thembi Nwendamutswu, MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Mme Nandi Ndalane, Vhembe District Mayor, Cllr Tshitereke Matibe and Mayor of Makhado Local Municipality, Cllr Mutavhatsindi, will join the Deputy Minister during the handing over ceremony.

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SANParks appoints new CEO

SANParks has appointed new Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni. He takes over from Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa, who was the Acting CEO after Abe Sibiya completed the maximum six months in the role and returned to his position as Managing Executive: Kruger National Park.

Cabinet approved the appointment of Mketeni on a five-year contract at its meeting on October 22.

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The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park launches new website

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) recently launched its new website, (link is external).

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park straddles the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and joins some of the most established wildlife areas in Southern Africa into a huge conservation area. The new website for the GLTP was recently launched to act as both the public face of the project as well as a portal to share and disseminate information between the GLTP's key stakeholders.

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Environmental Affairs Minister and Deputy Minister lead South African delegation to 6th world parks congress in Sydney, Australia

South Africa today officially handed over the torch for the World Parks Congress to Australia as the hosts of the 6th World Parks Congress, being held in Sydney from today (12 November 2014) to 19 November 2014.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa is leading the South African delegation that includes the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson. The South African delegation is comprised of government officials, representatives of conservation management authorities, SANParks and the People and Parks Programme, NGOs, universities, the business sector and local communities.

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Call for entries: Lilizela Awards 2015

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE: After the successful staging of the Lilizela Award on the 9th October 2014 in Johannesburg, whereby 3 of the 7 Limpopo Provincial winners from were announced as National Winners, Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) together with the organizers (South African Tourism) would like to call for entries for the 2015 Lilizela Awards. Entries close on the 15th May 2015. Consumer voting is also open to the members of the public, and will close on 31 May 2015.

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Limpopo Celebrates the 14th Yellow Arum Lilly Festival 2014

LIMPOPO; ROOSSENEKAL: The Yellow Arum Lilly festival is an annual celebration of Yellow Arum Lilly flower which only grows in the Sekhukhune Region. Apart from the flower, people will get an opportunity to view the lilies in the natural habitat and appreciate the scenic beauty of the Region. The festival is staged by Limpopo Tourism Agency in partnership with the Roossenekal Tourism Association and will take place on the 29th November 2014 at Roossenekal from 9H00 until 16H00.

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10th Annual Kudu Awards crown Conservationists

The South African National Parks (SANParks) supported by First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa  celebrated conservationists at the 10th annual Kudu Awards ceremony held at Gallagher Convention Centre Estates in Midrand this evening (27 November 2014). The awards showcased excellence in the conservation industry from individuals and corporates alike.

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Minister Hanekom invites trade to Indaba 2015

Indaba 2015, will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from May 9-11 next year, Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, has announced.

Minister Hanekom said he looked forward to spending time on the tradeshow floor, exchanging information and ideas with exhibitors and buyers from across South Africa and the rest of Africa

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Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi to Unveil the Modjadji Dynasty Memorial in Limpopo

The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, in partnership with the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), the Modjadji Royal house, the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs and the KARA Institute will  unveil the Modjadji Dynasty Memorial on Friday, 05 December 2014 at Greater Letaba Local Municipality, Ga-Modjadji, Setlhakone village in Limpopo Province.

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Yellow arum lilies get exposure at festival

SEKHUKHUNE – THE Yellow Arum Lilly Festival is an annual celebration of the yellow arum lilies that are grown in the Sekhukhune district.

The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) hosted this festival in the quaint town of Roossenekal on Saturday in collaboration with the Roossenekal Tourism Association.

The main objective of the festival was to promote tourism and to create awareness about these unique flowers and who people why they needed to conserve them.

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LTA to Launch Festive Campaign at Mapungubwe Festival

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE: Limpopo Tourism Agency Chairperson of the Board Mr. Mashilo Matsetela and Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr. Bibi Kotsedi, will launch the 2014 Tourism Festive Campaign at the Mapungubwe Jazz Festival, scheduled to take place as follows:

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40% discount on selected Wilderness Trails in the Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) is offering a special 40% discount to new, short notice reservations for selected Wilderness Trails in the Kruger National Park.

The discounted rates apply to the following trails:

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Limpopo Marula Festival Media Launch

Ten years after it began with a mere 500 people in 2006 when it was launched, Marula Festival is to date an enormous brand to be reckoned with. The Festival is also part of government’s priority of rural development. Over the past three years, the Festival has attracted more than 30 000 revelers from most parts of the country including South Africa’s neighbouring SADC countries.

The town of Phalaborwa has been chosen the permanent home of the Festival because of its tourism profile and proximity to other major tourist destinations including the Kruger National Park within the Great Limpopo Trans-frontier Park, which includes Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

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Media Advisory on Congratulatory Ceremony in Honour of Limpopo Guest Manor

Ms. Mmabogoshi Msiza of Limpopo Guest Manor was announced as the National ETEYA (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award) Lilizela Award winner for 2014/15 scooping the R 100 000.00 in prize money as the overall winner.

Her product also scooped the inaugural MEC's Choice Award during the Provincial leg of the Lilizela Awards ceremony held on the 3rd September 2014 in Phalaborwa.

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Invitation to Tourism Minister's Outreach in Limpopo Province

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE: The National Minister of the Department Tourism Hon. Derek Hanekom will embark on an outreach tour of Limpopo. During the tour the Minister will visit key tourism attractions and have interaction with stakeholders and Industry leaders. Your Media House is hereby invited to be part of the media delegation that will part of the outreach tour.

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Provincial Wetlands Day Celebrations to Take Place at Nylsvley Nature Reserve

NYLSVLEY NATURE RESERVE; LIMPOPO: MEC for LEDET Seaporo Sekoati to lead the Provincial Wetlands Day celebrations at Nylsvley Nature Reserve in Limpopo on the 6th February 2015, World Wetlands Day is an annual event that commemorates the signing of the Convention on Wetlands which took place on 02 February 1971, in the Iranian City of Ramsar. The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national acti

on and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

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Minister Hanekom to host global tourism leaders

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), will this week visit several iconic sites in South Africa as guests of the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.

Both leaders are attending the International Institute for Peace through Tourism symposium this week.

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Tourism growth must be inclusive and resource efficient, says Minister

Unbridled tourism growth counters one of tourism key aspirations: cultivating sustainable and peaceful communities. For this reason, tourism growth must be inclusive and tourism must be practised ethically.

These were some of the insights Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, shared on Monday night when addressing the welcome reception ahead of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) symposium, which takes place this week.

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We need to tell our good stories, says WTTC president

The tourism industry is driving peace, prosperity and progress around the world but it needs to share its inspirational stories about the good work that is being done.

This is the message David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), gave to delegates gathered at the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) symposium, which was held recently in Johannesburg.

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Lilizela Awards: call for judges

South African Tourism (SAT) is inviting embers of the tourism industry to form part of the adjudication panel for the third Lilizela Tourism Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate tourism businesses for excellence, for their contribution to South Africa’s global competitiveness, and for growing tourism’s contribution towards GDP and job creation.

The following awards will be handed out at the nine provincial awards ceremonies as well as the national award ceremony, taking place in September:

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Indaba matchmaking tool sets up over 900 meetings

The Indaba Business Matchmaking Programme, an online diary and matchmaking system, has already scheduled more than 900 meetings between buyers and exhibitors for Indaba 2015.

With fewer than 60 days to go, this service provides delegates with a platform where they can view and select companies they would like to meet, and confirm their meetings before the tradeshow starts on May 9.

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SA Tourism targets growth from Japan

SA Tourism will continue to build on interest expressed by the Japanese market by activating a new campaign, hosting buyers and media for Indaba 2015, and organising its annual trade workshops in Tokyo and Osaka.

South African Tourism’s office in Japan launched a series of deal-driven campaigns to encourage Japanese travellers to experience South Africa as a leisure destination through offering various tour packages to destinations such as Cape Town, Pilanesberg and Johannesburg.

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Speakers unveiled for pre-Indaba bloggers conference

South African Tourism will host a pre-Indaba bloggers conference on May 8, which will include both local bloggers and those representing a number of important international markets.

The event aims to give the tourism trade the opportunity to gain insight into how making use of bloggers can benefit their business.

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SA Tourism launches global campaign

National Geographic Channel and SA Tourism have partnered to create a Nelson Mandela-inspired global campaign launching in April on the channel.

National Geographic photojournalist, Pablo Corral Vega, recently visited South Africa to embark on a journey tracing the heroic life Mandela.

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SATSA to host debate at WTM

SATSA will hold a debate at WTM Africa on April 17, with the subject, ‘How to get a better spread of tourists throughout the Western Cape Province’.

The discussion will be open to both members and non-members and will take place between 15h30 and 16h15 at the Conference Theatre at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

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Glenn Phillips at the helm of Kruger National Park

Glenn Phillips,Managing Executive Tourism Development and Marketing for SANParks, will take the reins of the Kruger National Park (KNP) from June this year.

Phillips signed a 5-year contract as Managing Executive for KNP, taking over from Danie Pienaar, who has been acting Managing Executive since April last year. Pienaar will return to his full-time position as General Manager of Scientific Services.

Spokesperson for SANParks Reynold Thakhuli told Tourism Update Phillips emerged from a due selection process as the ideal candidate for the position.

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South Africans celebrate Freedom Day

Scores of people have gathered at various Freedom Day celebrations across the country. South Africans come together on 27 April to celebrate Freedom Day and 21 years of democracy.

At the Newlands rugby stadium young people came in numbers to mark Freedom Day by praying about the social ills that plague the youth of the Western Cape.

The meeting is being spearheaded by Youth Transformation Africa, a network of faith based organisations.

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Indaba continues shift to focus on meetings

South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, says SA Tourism is reinventing the show. “What we have seen the last two years with Indaba is that its’ really been reinventing itself to make sure that [the show] remains relevant to the exhibitors and buyers alike.” Nzima says the value for money for the exhibitors and buyers is in the quality of the meetings that they get from the show.

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The 2015 Kudu Awards opens for entries

The 2015 Kudu Awards organized by South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and Total SA has opened for entries.

SANParks' Head of Communications, Paul Daphne said, “the Kudu Awards is SANParks' way of honouring and celebrating those people who eat, sleep and breath conservation. We want to celebrate those that go to any length to conserve and protect our natural environment and heritage for future generations.”

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