Weekend Wrap: 40th CT Cycle Tour sees fatal accident, Giant rhino bushveld art spotted, SA school holiday fun

2018-03-11 17:47 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - If you've been enjoying some quality time with friends and family, Traveller24 has all the key travel-related weekend news reloaded for you.

South Africans eligible to vote and who want to participate in the upcoming election in 2019, spent the weekend ensuring they were registered to vote - however Sunday was hit by a small home affairs glitch.

SEE: Monday's Weather: Dry Western Cape despite rainy start to the week for central and eastern parts of SA

While the weather played along this year, the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour has concluded with a fatal accident. A special rhino etched into the bushveld in Limpopo has been spotted and Virgin Atlantic has joined the economy-class race to make long-haul travel more affordable and packed with value adds. 

This weekend our newsletter also brought you a selection of family-friendly school holiday things to do all across SA's major cities - click here to subscribe if you have not done so already - it's free.

SEE: Come join Traveller24: There for every step of the journey

Here are some of the weekend's top stories you might have missed but need to know about. 

40th Cape Town Cycle Tour concludes with fatal accident

While the weather played along this year, road safety has unfortunately marred the prestigious event that sees some 35k cyclists, both local and international, descend on Cape Town to participate.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour Media Office has confirmed a 40-year-old cyclist was killed in a collision during the race on Sunday.

“One of the cyclists, a 40-year-old male, received immediate medical attention at the scene but tragically his injuries proved fatal,” the Cycle Tour Media Office said in a statement.

The cyclist is suspected to have died following a collision with a group of fellow cyclists. Circumstances surrounding the incident have not been made available.

Nolan Hoffman won the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour, claiming his third victory in the event, crossing the line in a bunched sprint at the finish on Sunday, while in the women’s race, Kimberley Le Court De Billot took the top spot.

 

 Home Affairs systems back up after voter registration weekend glitch

The Department of Home Affairs on Sunday confirmed that its systems were online - up and running again after being down throughout the country, as the first voters' registration weekend took place.

The department's spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said shortly after noon its systems across the country had been restored after going offline earlier during the morning.

"The department wishes to apologise for the inconvenience today."

While the option to extend the operational hours were considered for Sunday, it did not appear necessary, says the department. The outage came as South Africans participated in the first voters registration weekend ahead of national elections to be held next year. The IEC will be holding another voters' registration weekend, with dates still to be announced. See News24's elections coverage here 

WATCH: System failure at Home Affairs threatens voter registration weekend

Virgin Atlantic launches reinvents its economy class with three new levels 

The race to make long-haul more economically affordable has been stepped up a notch by Virgin Atlantic, who have just announced plans for three new economy class options as part of a wider multi-million pound investment into their offering.

While no specific date or pricing has been confirmed as yet, other than stating the product offering would be available in the ‘Spring of 2018’, passengers will be able to choose to fly ‘economy delight, ‘economy classic’ or ‘economy light’ with the new offering, 

Economy delight will include a 34-inch legroom seat, free advanced seat assignment, and priority boarding/check in.

Economy classic will offer free seat assignment – providing extra reassurance for families and groups that they can sit together, says the airline.

INFOGRAPHIC: Virgin Atlantic: 20 years of flying SA route by numbers

The new economy light ticket is set to be the most affordable of the three and ideal for budget travellers who only need their carry-on. Travel and Leisure notes this class will have to pay an extra fee to check any bags. 

The airline’s current policy allows economy passengers to select their seats starting 24 hours before departure; Economy Light ticket holders will have pre-assigned seating.  

As part of its wider investment plan passengers can also expect a personal USB charging point in economy and with the option to use inflight wi-fi connectivity 

The airline will also be introducing 12 new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft will in 2019 – offering unrivalled levels of comfort and reliability for customers – incorporating a new economy cabin design.   

WATCH: Qatar Airways Takes Delivery Of Its First A350-1000


PIC: Giant Rhino art etched into Mapungubwe bushveld spotted

Cape Town - If you happen to be flying over the Limpopo region in the vicinity of the Mapungubwe National Park, keep an eye out for a giant rhino.

Not a real one of course, but a rhino artwork etched into the veld to make quite a quirky, albeit necessary statement. 

Created by the game rangers of Mopane Bush Lodge as part of a special project which took them months to create - in order to raise awareness around the scourge of rhino poaching. 

In 2017, South Africa saw a small decrease in the number of rhinos poached, with the total standing at 1 028, only 26 less than 2016. But that's still way too much when you consider the dwindling numbers globally and that sub-species are on the final thread of extinction

UDPATE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Less rhinos poached in 2017, but 'battle is far from won'


Find Your Escape: School holiday things to do across SA!

It's almost time for the school holidays. Long weekends and a bit of quality time all round are on the horizon.  

The Easter school break really is a special time in South Africa - there's the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town as well as a number of iconic festivals happening around the country. 

From the Western Cape's West Coast to the Magalies bordering the North West and Gauteng, there are unique pockets of bliss for you and yours to take advantage of - not forgetting the weather is still great, so it’s time to grab your brood and head out for all the camping chill you can handle.

Human Rights Day is on Wednesday, 21 March and the Easter weekend hits just after the school holidays begin on Thursday, 29 March - This means you have a decent pocket of school holiday fun to fill until 9 April.

Either way, Traveller24 has some local-is-lekker ideas to help you out. Check out our family-friendly activities to ensure you and your family have the most fun possible.

Want to share your holiday ideas with us? Drop us a line at info@traveller24.com or tag us on Instagram or twitter.