Weekend Wrap: Madiba's centenary celebrations, Local golf courses flying SA's flag high, Exploring emerging routes

2018-02-11 19:52 - Kavitha Pillay
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - If you found yourself caught up in too many political stories this weekend, and still don't know what's the state of the nation, don't worry - we can relate.

You've probably missed out on travel news and updates - or just about any other news for that matter - but we'll fill you in on the top travel stories below.

From Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations and SA golf courses putting the country on the global map, to plane crashes and the weather, here's what you need to know.

Celebrating Nelson Mandela's centenary

This year is Nelson Mandela's centenary and in honour of Madiba, national government, industries and other organisations will host a number of events in celebration.

The National Department of Tourism (NDT) in collaboration with the National Heritage Council (NHC), South African Tourism (SAT) and the Nelson Mandela Museum launched the Nelson Mandela Centenary Tourism Programme in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, on Saturday, 10 February - one day ahead of his release from prison 28 years ago.

ALSO SEE: Celebrating Nelson Mandela's centenary + 3 Madiba sites every South African must visit

As part of the celebrations, ‘Release Mandela Historic Memories’ was launched. Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa says "the launch of Historic Memories is part of the conversations that we are opening so that our communities share experiences. We want to take those experiences to our young children in schools and to youth, because Mandela is an inspiration to youth."

The department also announced the 100 places and spaces App developed by SAT to encourage tourists to have an "experiential interaction with the sites" that have a connection with Madiba, and announced a number of tourism drives that will be happening in the Eastern Cape. Read the full story here.

Links at Fancourt improves ranking in World Top 100 + 2 other SA golf courses make the list

Fancourt in the Garden Route was recently honoured as Golf Resort of the Year at the 18th annual International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Awards, and now The Links - a privately-owned club at Fancourt - has improved its ranking in the 2018 Golf Digest World Top 100 Golf Courses.

The Links has gained kudos as the Golf Digest World 100 magazine (US edition) ranked this challenging golf course number 38, from number 43.

Other golf estates across the country that made the prestigious list are Leopard Creek that's situated on the border of the Kruger National Park and ranked at number 65, and KwaZulu-Natal's, Durban Country Club ranked at number 96. Read more here.

WATCH: Footage shows crash site of Russian plane carrying 71 people

A Russian passenger plane believed to be carrying 71 people has crashed near Moscow, shortly after take-off from one of the city's airports.

The plane crashed on Sunday afternoon, 11 February 40 kilometres from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. Russia's transport minister says there are no survivors from the crash. 

Plane fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area 40 kilometres from the airport. Footage on Russian state television showed them strewn across a snowy field with no buildings nearby. See the footage here:

Social media flooded with rainfall posts as Capetonians celebrate

On Friday night, 09 February, when drought-stricken Cape Town experienced some much needed rainfall, Twitter was abuzz with memes, photos and videos depicting the showers across the city. Click here to see what was shared.

ALSO SEE: WATCH: Time-lapse of Cape Town's approaching rain is beautiful!

The rain was short-lived however, as the weekend proved to be quite warm and dry across the Mother City. And while minimal rainfall has been predicted for Monday, 12 February, the situation still looks dire as Level 6b restrictions remain in place with Day Zero still on 11 May.

See the latest weather report here: Weather Update: Fire danger warning in west, widespread showers expected across SA

Find Your Escape: Emerging routes

This weekend, the Traveller24 newsletter is all about exploring emerging routes. If you haven't already subscribed - subscribe here.

As South Africans, we all have those destinations on our must-visit radars - the popular, easy-on-the-pocket and visa-free spots. 

These include the likes of Mauritius, Thailand and closer to home - Namibia for example. All spectacular within their own right and worth a visit for very different reasons.

ALSO SEE: Emerging Routes: 14 Unsung destinations and why you need to visit

But where are the places that are not so popular? Perhaps the question to even consider is which far-flung destinations are just appearing on the radar? It could be set to host a significant event or ultimately accessibility has improved. 

Here we've rounded up 14 unsung international spots and why you should be considering them if you're looking for somewhere new to stamp into your passport.  

Locally, the West Coast Crayfish Trail allows you linger and explore, as you absorb the way of life of the local communities - which is part and parcel of the experience. 

SEE: West Coast Crayfish Trail: Hike in comfort and meet the locals along the way

And if you're finding more cons than pros as to why you should be heading out for an unsung adventure, we have more than a few stories from local travellers to inspire you. What to share yours with us - get in touch at info@traveller24.com

Plan your trip: