WITH SOUTH AFRICA REOPENED, THE ROYAL PORTFOLIO LAYS OUT RED CARPET FOR AMERICAN VISITORS
Now that South Africa has reopened to American travelers, The Royal Portfolio is once more welcoming transatlantic guests. “We’re absolutely thrilled to see Americans again,” says The Royal Portfolio’s founder and visionary, Liz Biden.
In order to enter South Africa (and several other destinations), Americans now only need proof of a negative Covid-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. “And when it’s time to go home again, we are arranging effortless in-room Covid-testing for re-entry into the United States,” Biden added. Visitors to South Africa benefit from an extremely favorable exchange rate against the dollar, as well as comfortingly rigorous health protocols at the country’s wealth of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.
The Royal Portfolio is a collection of award-winning private hotels and lodges in iconic South African destinations. The Royal Portfolio comprises:
Royal Malewane in the Greater Kruger National Park, with its exquisite Main Lodge, the more intimate Farmstead and the finest interpretive guiding team in Africa.
Birkenhead House, perched on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Hermanus, an ideal spot for relaxing and for whale watching.
La Residence in the wine country of Franschhoek, consistently voted “best in Africa” by the readers of America’s leading travel magazines.
The Silo Hotel on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront: the magnificent top floors of a grain silo that was the tallest building in Africa when it opened in 1924; the building was recently converted by London’s megastar architect, Thomas Heatherwick, into its dual purpose as the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) as well as The Silo Hotel.
“Our team has created a 10-night Royal Itinerary which includes a stay at each of our four properties, offering the perfect circuit for discovering the wildlife, glamour, cuisine, wines and sophistication of today’s South Africa,” says Biden, “enabling us to look after our guests from the moment they land in South Africa until the moment they leave. South Africa has one of the world’s most advanced private health systems,” Biden stressed, “and with the roll-out of vaccines, low infection rates, and easy access to testing, life is speedily returning to normal.”
With Increased Demand and Congressional Funding, Amtrak Restores 12 Long Distance Routes to Daily Service
Slated to debut this summer, new schedules offer the most departures since June 2020
As part of its COVID-19 recovery efforts, Amtrak announces full restoration of daily service for 12 long distance routes following pandemic-related schedule reductions in 2020. Providing customers significantly more departures for the upcoming summer travel season, the new schedule has been updated on all Amtrak reservation systems, including on their website and the Amtrak app.
Due to COVID relief funding, Amtrak will sustain and restore operations and recall the more than 1,200 furloughed employees through the remainder of FY21 and into FY22. The funding is pending President Biden’s signature on the final bill.
“Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we’d like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.”
The daily schedules will commence in May 2021 and be grouped into three phases:
(New York – Raleigh – Jacksonville – Orlando – Tampa – Miami)
Destinations listed above do not represent an exhaustive list of all route stops
All destinations and scheduled departure/arrival times served by the long distance network will be maintained. Additionally, Amtrak will continue to operate the Auto Train daily and the Cardinal and Sunset Limited trains tri-weekly, as it has been done historically.
The schedule restoration is a critical part of Amtrak’s strategy for investing in long distance service. Other components include
From New York City to the California coast, from Florida beaches to the Sierra Nevada, and from the Windy City to heart of the Big Easy, Amtrak’s world-famous long distance routes offer countless itineraries to over 500 destinations from coast to coast. Customers traveling aboard these trains can expect the following:
Private rooms offer the perfect option for customers seeking privacy and space on a short trip and added comfort and amenities when traveling overnight. All customers traveling in private rooms enjoy complimentary lounge access in stations and meals onboard. Amtrak recently launched the addition of private rooms on select Northeast Regional trains operating overnight between Washington, D.C., New York and Boston.
Amtrak Vacations also offers numerous National Parks-themed packages to choose from.
Visit Amtrak’s website or the Amtrak app for more information on schedules and fares. For information on enhanced COVID safety measures, please visit this website.
For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel, and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at theirwebsite and connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
A travel list is like a culinary recipe covering ingredients for a hearty meal. For a delicious dinner, mix selected ingredients in the correct proportions. And to make your trip a success, make an optimal list of things for it. If you are an inexperienced traveler and do not know what a foodie-focused travel kit should look like, we will help you with this. Ideally, you need to take everything you need (like) without overloading the bag. It may sometimes be tough, but following the below tips, you will always know what food should always be a part of your travel menu.
Food for Travel Foodies
The right choice of food is an important element of a successful travel approach. Ideally, it is necessary to balance the food set in such a way that you do not drag too much and get pleasure from the meal. Let’s try to figure out what products to take.
When making a list of food products to pack in your bag, it is necessary for you to ensure that the products you select meet the following criteria:
•Can be stored for a long time and retain their shape (do not crumble, do not choke, or melt);
•Can be eaten with no extra manipulations on your end (washed, dried, sliced, peeled);
•Meet the needs of the traveler in terms of calories and vitamins;
•Are useful, healthy, and tasty;
•Are light in and occupy less space in your bag.
At the same time, it is critically important to decide on your daily menu and pick the proper amount of food. Otherwise, you risk eating everything in one day or carrying a large bag of products that will stay untouched until the end of your trip. What’s more, having a full list, you can always check Kroger’s ads run by Rabato and save money on your travel food kit.
Good or Not Good? Seasoned travelers have a couple of tricks when selecting and preparing food for their travel meals:
Choose foods or ready-made meals that can be stored for a long time without a refrigerator. Food should remain resistant to sunlight, be easy to prepare, and not require any processing at all.
It’s best to prepare food in advance.
Refuse products that have a strong odor and crumble strongly.
When taking fruits and vegetables, wash and dry them in advance. So, you don’t have to wipe them on the road with wet wipes.
Cut up all the food you need at home and put them in a container or bag for a more convenient meal. This can be bread, cucumbers, or chicken cut into small pieces.
Give preference to products with a long shelf life. It is critically important to check the product expiration date before putting it in your bag. If there are 1-2 days left before the expiration date, then it is better not to take it.
A Full Food Pack
If you do not want to invent how to diversify the menu while traveling and want to get a checked and ready-made list of products, then use our recommendation:
•A set of vegetables and fruits: cucumbers, peppers, herbs. You can make vegetable pancakes, squash, pumpkin, or broccoli.
•Sandwiches of all types and with different fillings inside.
•Baked chicken or beef. It is recommended to store these products in foil.
•All types of snacks: nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain bars, etc.
Semi-finished products: processed cheese, porridge, etc.
You can find all these products in the Aldi store; just look for the available super deals and save money on every purchase you make.
Carry-on travel food must be ready-mad and fresh. If possible, keep it in a cooler bag. Be sure to supplement your grocery basket with a few bottles of clean water. If you are thinking about what kind of food to pack in your bag, then follow a simple rule: this food should be healthy, convenient, and tasty.
Make the Right Choice!
Take full responsibility for the trip so that you clearly understand what to take for a snack on the road and not panic an hour before the departure. Going “empty” in terms of food supplies is not an option if you suddenly think that a snack on the road is the tenth thing. It is not at all. You must be comfortable with the ride, which means you need food.
Well, do you still think that you will be fine without a snack on the road? You are absolutely wrong. Follow our recommendations, and the trip will be easy and relaxed.
The region of Setouchi in Japan is curious, cool, creative and boasts an impressive level of experiences. It’s the authentic side of Japan that awaits with a restorative element that is unparalleled, offering countless experiences to choose from. Seven prefectures spanning the idyllic Seto Inland Sea, making it the iyllic blend of explorations across land and sea…close your eyes and begin to dream after considering inspirational ideas…
Eat your way through Setouchi…Kagawa is known as the Udon Prefecture. Home to these slurp-worthy thick white noodles and boasting the highest number of udon restauuranst in Japan. Sanuki udon has a square shape and flat edges and is native to Kagawa, comprised of wheat, salt, soy sauce and dry sardine- try your hand at creating them with a master chef or hop around to sample it at multiple eateries. And, naturally, no journey to Setouchi is complete without tasting the famed Wagyu Beef in Shimani, known the world over. Juicy, tender and stellar. Consider pairing it with a glass of Japanese wine at the Chateau Misen winery
Luxe it up overnight…Aman + Adrian Zecha have teamed up on a stellar collaboration to launch a new ryokan-inspired hotel brand in Japan called Azumi- the first will open on an island in Setouchi along the Seto Inland Sea- a fusion of culture, harmony, wellness and exceptional design
Hit all the power spots where mystical energy flows on a northern drive route, stopping at temples, shrines and cultural sites in Tottori, Shimani and Yamaguchi, or take the eastern route for the most ridiculously gorgeous views through Okayama, Hyogo and Tokushima (NB- a power spot for romance as it’s shaped like a heart)
Pick fruit in Yamaguchi! Apple, Mandarin orange; Blueberry; Pear; Strawberry; Grape and wrap it up at a stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen and the Otozure ryokan, welcoming guests for 600 _ years and truly the setting of a brilliant love story from hundreds of years ago. A gorgeously designed property with a true sense of place, focused on toji, hot spring recouperation.
Chill in a hot spring and completelty surrender to a natural therapeutic experience at Kaike Onsen in Tottori, the highest hot spring source in the prefecture, and take a stroll on the beach afterward before digging into a huge pot of fresh rich meaty snow crabs, a specialty of the region (best season Nov- Mar). Misasa Onsen is a great hot spring alternative, with water rumored to be extremely healing.
Cycle the famed Shimanami Kaido….do all 70 KM or book a support car or boat bike ride back if you just want a taste. This exceptional route is a cyclist’s paradise, treating riders to impossibly gorgeous views between the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
Get your Sake on with a hop around 7 of Hiroshima’s best breweries along Saijo Sakagura Dori and the Fujii Shuzo Brewery Exchange Hall in Takehara city. Sample to your delight and compare with the contenders for the winner of the day.
Get greeted by a white rabbit at Hakuto Beach in Tottori…just one of the ubiquitous sculptures and art installations found across multiple islands in Setouchi. The legend has it the rabbit of Inaba was crying because it suffered from threats from alligators but today, it’s a welcoming symbol to travelers who arrive to dig into watersports or trek through caves, across cliffs, discovering unusual rock formations
On July 5th, Esqapes opened the world’s first virtual reality massage center. The Esqapes Immersive Relaxation Center, located at 5757 Wilshire Blvd, Suite M111, Los Angeles, CA 90036, is like a “mini-vacation” that anyone can enjoy during a lunch break or after a long day of work. Each Esqapes environment is designed to tantalize the senses and help guests shed the stresses of daily life.
By combining beautiful virtual reality environments, carefully curated fragrances and programmed, automated massages, Esqapes will transport guests to a state of relaxation unlike anything else.
Guests can choose from 10 different Esqapes: from a tropical Koi pond at an ocean front resort, to a luxurious cabin in a snow-covered wonderland, complete with a crackling fireplace.
“The goal of Esqapes is to provide guests with a unique way to relax and take a break from the routines, responsibilities and daily issues that can cause anxiety and stress. Esqapes is using VR in ways unlike any other company, which is to de-stress and help people relax. With a combination of proprietary software, and traditional wellness practices, Esqapes is offering the spa of the future, today,” says Micah Jackson, creator of Esqapes.
Esqapes provides a novel method of immersing users into a virtual environment, while ushering them into a heightened state of relaxation. Using this system taps into the key senses that people use to evaluate their surroundings (sight, sound, smell, touch) which in turn helps them to relax and feel comfortable.
Micah has 20 years of expertise in innovative and interactive design. Some of his prior ventures include starting Angeles Vista Creative Ventures, LLC (AVCV) he worked for AOL, Yahoo, Disney. Three years ago, he resigned from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to pursue his newfound passion: virtual reality. Soon after, his first VR project ‘Where Angels Meet’ was chosen by Oculus/Facebook to receive funding as part of their prestigious Launchpad program. In 2018, he began to experiment with virtual reality experiences that transported viewers to beautiful places. This is how Esqapes was born.
As an African-American founder, it’s Micah’s mission to become a pioneer in the VR industry. With Esqapes, he can set this example. One of the founding principles is to maintain a diverse staff at every location and at all times. No location should be run by people of a single gender or a singular race. Guests should feel welcome at all times.
Incredible new outdoor adventures, hotels, and cultural experiences abound in the summer season. From Zurich’s perfect blend of nature and urban culture to family-friendly offerings on the Inca Rail to Machu Picchu, these experiences make already wonderful vacations even more special. If you need an excuse to take a once-in-a-lifetime summer vacation this year, read on.
Stay Cool in the Caves of Belize
At the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, expert local guides are on hand to help guests beat the Belize heat in the naturally beautiful and historically fascinating caves of the surrounding area. Many of these cave tours take guests into caverns used by ancient Mayans. The caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, for one, feature burial chambers, artifacts, and calcified human remains. Che Chem Ha cave is considered to hold the largest collection of Mayan pottery in Belize. Go on a refreshing tube ride through the mesmerizing stalactites, stalagmites, and other rock formations of the Jaguar Paw Cave System, or canoe through Barton Creek Cave, whose crystal clear waters flow from a giant crack in a mountain. Guests can even climb cave waterfalls with rappel ropes and dive into their invigorating cascades. For larger groups and families, San Ignacio Resort Hotel recently opened River and Jungle View Suites, which boast large outdoor living spaces and dining areas perfect for guests to come together and enjoy scenic views of the Macal River, its surrounding rainforest valley, and Belize’s natural jungle setting.
Swiss Culture on Display at Zurich’s Street Parade
On August 10, the streets of Zurich become host to a demonstration of love, peace, freedom, generosity, and tolerance. The purpose of the Street Parade is to generate enthusiasm for electronic music and art, and it has grown into a well-established cultural experience that encourages diversity in music and club life. To add luxury to the experience, travelers should stay at Giardino Atlantis, an urban retreat that offers guests a natural oasis in a bustling city. The Atlantis’ proximity to the activities of Zurich make it an ideal spot for festival-goers, while its location at the foot of the Üetliberg Mountain offers ample opportunity to experience the peaceful, natural beauty of Switzerland. The hotel itself has impressive musical history — Freddie Mercury once gave a private performance on the grand piano at the hotel bar!
New Luxury Lodge Opens in Bolivia
Be among the first to stay in the luxurious, space station-esque Kachi Lodge on Bolivia’s remote and stunning Salar de Uyuni. The geodesic domes of the new lodge, which opened in May 2019, have a minimalist design to highlight the beauty of the stark surrounding landscape and the wide open skies that offer views of the stars unsullied by light pollution. Summer is the dry season on the Salt Flats, allowing guests of Kachi Lodge adventure opportunities such as trekking to the Tunupa Volcano’s crater or mountain biking on the edge of the volcano, hiking among Incahuasi Island’s giant cacti, and watching the sun rise and set from the peak of Kachi Island. For an authentic Bolivian culinary experience, guests come together in a central dome to dine on cuisine from the award-winning Gustu Restaurant and school in La Paz.
Exclusive Access to the Magic of Bhutan
In the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan summer is the low season for tourism, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a less crowded, less expensive trip. From June through August high-altitude flowers are in peak blooming season, lighting the lush forests of Gangtey Valley with color. The Gangtey Lodge offers a luxurious home base for travelers seeking to explore the mysterious and unknown Gangtey Valley, which is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Bhutan. The Kingdom has only been open to tourists since 1974 and takes great care that the landscape and culture remain unspoiled, thus preserving the spiritual, mythical atmosphere that encompasses Bhutan. Gangtey Lodge offers luxurious insight into the relatively unexplored destination with offerings such as traditional hot stone baths, spiritual cleansing rituals, and guides with special knowledge of the area.
See Machu Picchu Like Never Before with Inca Rail
School’s out, and it’s the time of year to make family memories that will last a lifetime. For a vacation guaranteed to entertain and educate, visit the wonders of World Heritage Site Machu Picchu together by way of Inca Rail, the only train service to Machu Picchu that offers en route entertainment programming for kids. The programming on-board the First Class Train, carefully designed to be both fun and informative, offers children coloring books themed around Peruvian culture, cuisine, and landmarks, entertainment kits, a variety of board games and a new gourmet kids menu inspired by Andean organic ingredients and locally-sourced herbs. Inca Rail turns visiting Machu Picchu into an immersive experience filled to the brim with culture, spectacular views of the Peruvian landscape, and fun for the whole family.
Discover Outdoors: Get Out of the City
If the heat of the city is too much this summer, Discover Outdoors has a wide variety of trips planned to take adventurers out into the vast wilderness right outside their doors. Summer is the perfect time to visit some of the farther north destinations on the Discover Outdoors menu of trips, like hiking among the looming peaks and lush river valleys of three national parks in the Canadian Rockies or circling the base of Mount Rainer on the Wonderland trail, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful backpacking trails in the US. The mild temperatures of the summer season make it the most pleasant time to experience these northern locales.
See Alaska from the Side of a Glacier
Experience Tordrillo Mountain Lodge’s new summer activities and the first via ferrata route in Alaska, opening in June. The new hiking and climbing route is located on the edge of the Triumvirate glacier, and will include taut steel cables, two suspension bridges spanning from arrete to arrete, steel rungs, and other components that help climbers ascend 800 vertical feet of rock. In February 2019 the property reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation, and thrill-seeking guests of all abilities can experience endless new summer activities such as helicopter-accessed fat tire mountain biking, world-class salmon fishing, kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, glacier hiking wake surfing, waterskiing and wildlife viewing.
From cities that may be closer to home to exciting overseas destinations, these are some of the top places to visit in 2019.
Auckland, New Zealand
The vibrant capital city of New Zealand recently became one of just 31 cities that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network for music. This trending travel destination is home to many of the nation’s renowned artists and institutions. No matter when you visit you can expect to find fabulous live tunes and there’s likely to be a music festival or special event to enjoy too. Visitors can also look forward to the famous panoramic vistas from the iconic Sky Tower and exploring countless museums like the Auckland Art Gallery, the largest art institution in the country featuring more than 15,000 works of historic, modern and contemporary art.
The Windy City has been popping up on lists of top travel destinations everywhere in recent years, and for good reason. It’s one of America’s top foodie cities, with high quality dishes served at all price points from deep dish pizza to hot dogs and fine dining at the two Michelin-starred Acadia. Chicago is also home to one of the world’s greatest museums, the Art Institute of Chicago and five pro sports teams: the MLB’s White Sox and Cubs, the NFL’s Bears, the NHL’s Blackhawks and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls making it easy to catch a game just about anytime of the year. There’s so much to do in this midwestern city you might just find yourself browsing through Chicago real estate looking for your next new home.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a place everyone should visit at least once and 2019 may be one of the best times to check this Argentinian city off your travel bucket list. Airfares are lower than ever thanks to low-cost carriers and emerging airlines, and the dollar is incredible strong against the Argentinian peso too, making that famously tasty Malbec more affordable than ever. Look forward to walking through the delightful pedestrian areas and watching tango dances in the streets as you explore the wealth of wine bars, cafes and steakhouses.
There are two important anniversaries in Berlin that will be marked in 2019, including the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the centenary of the Bauhaus, with its festival held from January 16 to January 24. Stroll through Berlin Mitte, the historical heart of the city. and you’ll be able to check out many of its top sites like the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic symbol of Berlin that symbolizes the reunification of the West and East. If you visit in September, the weather is not only likely to be ideal, but you can attend the Lollapalooza Berlin, hosted on September 8 and 9 in 2019. It’s sure to bring plenty of big-name artists – last year’s lineup included headliners like Imagine Dragons and Liam Gallagher. It also features an open-air art gallery, street theater, wine bars and a festival for kids.
The Artificial Intelligent Eye for Japanese Tourists – Japan’s Image Recognition Platform for Sightseeing Spots.
Sokkuri-Trip developed by Trippiece Co., Ltd based in Tokyo, Japan. AI based “Sokkuri Trip” helps to rediscover Japan from the view of the world, recommending a superb view of Japan that resembles or similar to the images of other parts of world.
As someone said Journey has to be always Self Journey, we cannot really walk or travel in other’s shoes. As we make self decisions for the self journey, then why not make more discovery and explore the best options in real time on the destination to be selected for the travel. Visit sokkuri-trip.jp!
Sokkuri-Trip developed by Trippiece Co., Ltd based in Tokyo, Japan. AI based “Sokkuri Trip” helps to rediscover Japan from the view of the world, recommending a superb view of Japan that resembles or similar to the images of other parts of world.
Need a surprise check or any validation about an existing place in Japan? 1. Upload the image you have from any parts of the world, 2. AI searches for the best view of Japan that is similar to the image uploaded, and 3. You can see the place that exists in Japan with magnificent view that is similar to the image you uploaded and provides content for the same.
Nowadays, AI and Deep Learning are synonymous with enabling all most all human tasks and bringing in human-like intelligence quickly for decisions on spot without much hassles. Image Recognition is one of the most important and significant components of AI. Image Recognition is the ability to process and identify images and patterns in pictures and Videos. This allows a system to recognize different types of objects in pictures in a fraction of second and provide the desired output as per data learned by systems.
Imagine, if this Image Recognition capability is applied for your Travel decisions and selecting the right sight seeing spots or ever wondered there are more Amazing Nature Scenery or sight seeing spots resembling some country or countryside? Yet you can’t recall or make your decisions. Make no delay, visit HERE.
Attention towards Japan continues to grow from foreign visitors, the number of foreign nationals visiting Japan 2017 recorded a record high of 28.69 million people. In addition, the Tourism Agency estimates and has announced plans that by 2020 around 40 million visitors will visit Japan. To provide a quick decision and help selecting nature’s best spots in Japan based on the interests such as landscapes or be it on other interests this platform helps a visitor on a entirely new dimension.
“Sokkuri Trip” is a product made using Google’s “Cloud Vision API”, AI that can Dynamically recommend Japan’s most spectacular view which is most similar from the uploaded image. “Sokkuri Trip” sets “exactly” according to two criteria. “They do not resemble photos”, but are similar.
Whether objects are reflected also recommends places where you experience experiences when you actually visit:
Determination of “imagery similarity” Feature quantity is extracted from the uploaded image using object recognition model by Deep Learning.
Judgement of “content similarity”
Using the image labeling function by Google’s “Cloud Vision API”, it is based on the ranking and filters the results by learning methods.
So in nutshell in previous days what we used to say that: it is hard to have destination images view before visiting, now you can enjoy Projected and Perceived Image of Japan as a Tourist Destination for given any season, any location, any landscape, any historical monuments or even streets.
Making the right impression or decision with less cost is paramount to succeed in today’s very competitive market, where photographs have acquired a prominent role in doing so. This tools evaluates and analyzes of destination image mainly from the perspective of the tourists.
The evolution of online information sources allows tourists to access tourism-related information available worldwide. Analysis of travel websites through content gives a valuable insight what is Pre-written.
On the other hand images projected by a variety of destinations gives a perception. If that perception is developed by real time then it is defined as a systematic, focused on analyzing projected images with regard to Variety of Travelers based on their interests.
Recently, 360 Magazine traveled to South Africa during one of the largest travel conventions on the continent. One hundred journalists from Northern America joined Indaba Media in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.
Nelson Mandela is respected as the “Father of the Nation.” He was an anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist, who served as President from 1994 to 1999. Mandela also served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His vision was to dismantle apartheid (a system of segregation based on race) by tackling discrimination and fostering reconciliation. Mandela looked ahead and realized the law must change in order for a better future. Twenty-four years after the corrupt system was terminated, South Africa has been in overdrive to establish a firm democracy.
The great city of Durban took the 360 team by storm with Indaba – a meet and greet of media and travel agents to express their lives views and attractions on what the city and South Africa has to offer.
Day one of the Indaba Convention, journalists met at the Maharani Hotel for an opening ceremony. Later, trade show floor booths opened for business at the Durban International Convention Center in addition to presentations from various industry professionals. During the press conference, it was said that the trip’s airline, British Airways would now offer direct non-stop flights between Heathrow Airport and Durban.
Indaba also touched on other tourist attractions. South Africa offers an unbelievable amount of restaurants, markets, bars and lounges, but take pride that they surpass expectations in their food & drink festivals. The Whisky Live Festival and South African Cheese Festival are two major events – just to name a few.
Human rights were another important topic discussed at the convention. The South African people continue to exuberate equality and fairness along with an effort to amend the ways in which the LGBT and minority communities are treated while traveling.
As the evening winded down, an opportunity for networking commenced. Soon after, journalists engaged in conversation while devouring traditional eats coupled with a small beer/wine reception followed by a brief fashion presentation.
On day two of Indaba, Durban Tourism celebrated a dinner cruise on La Vue Floating Restaurant. The 85-foot luxury catamaran (200-person capacity) features two amazing decks, two full bars and a dance floor. Cozy with great cocktails – it’s perfect for groups.
Durban’s population is just over 595,000. The metropolitan area has a population of over 3.8 million and is known for its golden beaches, relaxed surf culture and vibrant culinary scene (some of the best spicy curry dishes said to rival India’s). Culture stems from the blend of Zulu, Indian, European and remnants of British roots that make up the city’s diverse heritage. South Africa’s Station Drive Precinct, once a rundown warehouse district has been transformed to a major tourist attraction with exceptional fine dining, drinking and shopping. Thanks to a collaborative group of artistic individuals, businesses range from homegrown distilleries and breweries to local art galleries.I Heart Market is a good and design market held on the first Saturday of each month. Presented with locally produced goods and artisanal creations such as ceramics, crochet toys and original prints – shoppers will not be disappointed. Nearby tourists can partake in an exquisite gin tasting at Distillery 031 along with lunch at Lion’s Match Factory.
The feasting does not stop there – Durban’s own, House of Curries restaurant, blends bold Indian spices and flavors for extravagant curry dishes. House of Curries has been a staple on the Florida Road strip since 1999 and a perfect attraction for relaxation on their patio deck.
Much like a market, BAT Centre is a place where local artists and crafters work on-site, exhibiting and selling their works in a vibrant complex. This nonprofit arts center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and celebration of the visual arts, crafts, music, dance and literature of the Province.
Street art has found new life in redevelopment projects across various neighborhoods. These street artists were inspired by their surroundings with many exploring themes of politics and nature, all whilst using their work for social activism.
Travelers in search of nighttime adventures can visit Cubana Havana, a popular cigar/hookah lounge featuring handcrafted cocktails as well as a simple menu located on the highly revered Florida Road. Tourists shouldn’t miss Mahatma Ghandi Road in downtown Durban for an evening of fine music at a world – class Jazz bar known as The Chairman. Not only is there an assortment of signature cocktails and cigars, but also a gallery and sophisticated atmosphere that believes in justice for all.
Fun fact. Over 85% of all BMW 3 series vehicles are produced at the Rosslyn plant just outside of Durban and are shipped to various markets worldwide, including the USA, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada.
The expedition kicked off in Johannesburg aka “Joburg,” (approximately 8 million in population and largest city in the country), the epicenter of South Africa who’s currently in a state of revival. The team then headed to Nelson Mandela Square, a must-see tourist spot. The campus includes the DaVinci Hotel, indoor and outdoor shopping malls, upscale boutiques, a movie theatre, grocery stores, restaurant/bars and a casino.
In order to achieve a local feel, stop by Neighbourgoods Market for purchases of South African eats and assorted libations distributed from multiple vendors.
The following day we departed for Constitution Hill and embarked on a full tour of the visitor’s center. Constitution Hill was former fort site transformed into a prison. “The Robben Island of Johannesburg” included notable prisoners Mahatma Ghandi, Joe Slovo, Bram Fischer and Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for more than twenty years at this location. “As an African American being able to stand inside the actual cell of Mandela was life-changing. The dark, ominous confined space gave me a newfound appreciation of what it means to be free. No human should ever have to endure such injustice because they yearn for social equality and justice for all,” says Lowery, President of 360 Magazine.
Lunch at Lebo’s Backpackers Outdoor Restaurant was set outside in various cabanas at a local Soweto hostel within its community park followed by the Soweto Tuk Tuk Tour. The team enjoyed riding in these three-wheeled taxis, while sipping on craft beers and witnessing the city’s rich history. Stops included Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela’s house still stands, as well as Hector Peterson Memorial.
Art lovers be sure to drop by CIRCA Gallery which stands beside Everard Read headquarters, parading some of the most important contemporary art collections from around the world.
With regards to nightlife, music lovers can head to Taboo Night Club andNews Cafe to discover local and international DJ’s. News Cafe combines its food, services and venue into a coffee bar, cocktail bar, restaurant and entertainment venue all-in-one. It’s the perfect destination for relaxation or clubbing with a modern aesthetic.
From Johannesburg, the voyage shifted to Cape Town, a world renown entertainment and prestigious modeling hub for some of the industries top talents. With just under 4 million in population, it’s considered the second most populous city in South Africa. The group checked in at The Table Bay Hotel and visited Nobel Square for a photo opportunity followed by lunch at V&A Waterfront’s The Yard Restaurant. Just adjacent in the Silo District is the highly acclaimed Zeitz Mocaa Museum. It exhibits twenty-first century contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora with over 100 galleries throughout 9 floors, showcasing art from still photography to moving art installations.
Our local guide incorporated “Footsteps to Freedom” walking tour Mandela in Cape Town: From prisoner to President. “Dinner at Crypt Jazz Club was a personal favorite from the team as they feasted into the night while being enamored by some of the nation’s most prolific local musicians.
Table Mountain’s Cable Car Ride offers 360 degree spectacular views of the coastal town while being hoisted to the top. At the summit, clouds draped the surrounding view while journalists snapped selfies for Instagram. On the other hand, if winds are too strong for the cable ride, adventurers can hike alongside of the mountains during park hours to witness this landmark backdrop engulfed by condensation – similar in type to dry ice bucket. Just below, you can take in Bo-Kaap township, an area filled with colorful homes and cobblestone roads. Subsequently, lunch was served by famed chef Abigail Mbalo (from MasterChef South Africa) at 4ROOMED Ekasi Culture. She’s widely known to take indigenous delights and fuse them into gourmet bites fit for the Food Network. The day ended with a night of laughter at the Cape Town Comedy Club, a must-visit for all who enjoy pizzas infused with locally sourced ingredients coupled with barrel of laughs.
At Port Elizabeth, history unfolded. In 1820, it was established to house British settlers and boasts a population of 1.3 million, as its now a part of the newly formed Nelson Mandela Bay. This Vegas-style resort town is home to Sun International’s The Boardwalk Hotel that includes tons of shops, eateries, bars and casinos within walking distance. Named The Public Art City Tour: Route 67, stops included a visit to Voting Line Sculpture and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Lastly, dinner at Asada/Fushin was a meal to remember. The restaurant fabricates South African fusion flare with scrumptious fresh seafood and sushi.
Within two weeks, we received a first-hand account of the history and culture behind Nelson Mandela and his legacy in South Africa. With an intricate four major city tour, we were able to experience an amazing arts and culinary scene in the ever changing country of South Africa. Given the plethora of outdoor activities, architectural gems, gorgeous landscapes and tender-hearted people, this destination should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list if it’s not already.
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