Blouberg Beach

What do you need from us?

Hello from sunny Cape Town.

We are enjoying an incredible 31C today in MAY which is why I am heading to Blouberg Beach after work to swim with a bunch of friends. Wish you could join us. 😊

Yesterday I spent the day exploring some of our favourite tourist spots and noted a few foreigners doing the same thing, which leads us to hope that business is starting to move albeit very slowly but it is moving in the right direction.

Our portfolio partners are geared up and ready to receive your guests, we would like to make their visit as enjoyable as possible after these dark lockdown days. Head over to the CLIENTS section of the website to view our portfolio.

During the past year, as we celebrate 10 years since we opened Big Tree Marketing, we have been giving back to our industry by sharing and helping wherever we have had an opportunity. Take a look at the awesome event we put together ‘Tourism through our eyes’ a few weeks ago.

As the ‘fam-trip’ experts we have also managed and hosted a number of very successful educationals with trade and media, below are the articles published:

Big Tree Marketing | Oudtshoorn and De Rust Tourism VIEW ARTICLE

Big Tree Marketing | Swartland Tourism VIEW ARTICLE

In the meanwhile, while we hang on just a little longer, what do you need from us to be ready to hit the ground running the moment enquiries arrive in your inbox?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon. We have the weather, beaches and of course awesome wines. Visit us soon.

2020 Big Tree Marketing Round-Up

There is not much more we can add to the many and varied descriptions of 2020 suffice to say we are thankful to be at the end of this year!

Nobody knows exactly what travel in 2021 will look like, we think for the foreseeable future, holidays will look and feel very different to what has gone before. Remote destinations, private travel and outdoor activities will probably be favoured over crowed city tours and cramped public transport. While remote may be best, going off-grid may be less important than being informed and up to date with world developments.

Travellers will be mindful of safe health practices alongside sustainable principles. FIT’s and family ‘bubbles’ will choose destinations that manage the coronavirus responsibly giving them reassurance when making location decisions.

South Africa is an inviting destination being in the middle of our warm summer months, this may be in our favour during the decision making process. The distribution of a vaccine is also good news although it will obviously take time for it to roll out to all our source markets.

It’s been a tough year for tourism but we are a tough tribe. Experience has shown that we have compassion, we are creative and we fight to bring change and eventually this too will pass. We have learnt so much about resilience, but mostly about helping one another not just financially but emotionally holding each other up through hopeless and dark days. This rainbow nation shines bright through its tourism tribe, may this be a legacy that lives long and brilliant.

From our side this what we have been doing over the past 12 months:

New Website

When the President announced Lock-Down we took the decision to put Big Tree Marketing on ice, giving our portfolio partners an opportunity to stop payment, re-group and figure the way forward. After spending two months recovering from eight cycles of chemo, lock-down came in the form of a blessing. Two months to rest and recover reading and watching Netflix but even for a work-a-holic doing nothing constructive became too much and soon it was time to buckle down. We developed a plan to increase our business services after completely recreating our website. New look, new content and images.

Freelance Writing

Next we formalized our writing services and applied to become a member of SAFREA (South African Freelancers Association). Our members page is here!

To date we have written seven themed stories and a Press Release for Oudtshoorn Tourism. Please visit our website blog page to read some of our work and discover some of our favourite recipes. This one may interest you it being the festive season and all – Lindsey’s Christmas Limoncello

Social Media

We stepped up our Social Media services in a big way when Tegan joined our team as a consultant. She brings youth, creativity and an eye for detail which is evident in the feedback we are getting from followers. We launched Instagram Reels and Competitions with a number of successful campaigns bringing good organic growth to our clients.

“Social Media has undoubtedly become a necessity for all businesses in this age of technology. I have taken over this responsibility at Big Tree Marketing with a few years social media experience and many months of training from a local digital company. This has led to major growth in Big Tree Marketing’s online presence. We have run three very successful online giveaways with Oudtshoorn & De Rust Tourism, Aire Del Mar, Stille Woning and Ecoaches, bringing more followers and engagement to each participant. Our recent business trips have been published online in the form of Story Highlights and we are also using the new Instagram tool ‘Reels’ to grow traction. We have published 12 Reels videos over the past two months which have done very well and have brought increased engagement on our platforms. I am grateful for the lessons and opportunities 2020 gave us and look forward to all the exciting new possibilities 2021 brings.”
Tegan Gibaud
Social Media Manager | Big Tree Marketing
@bigtreemarketingsa – on all platforms

Outsourced Educationals

One of our high value skills is co-ordinating and hosting educationals, we have been organising them since 1999 and are damn good at it. While considering how to move forward in these tough financial times we made the decision to include outsourced educationals into specific tourism regions as a management service on offer.

It is said competition makes us faster, but collaboration makes us better. Big Tree Marketing is all about collaborating with tourism partners who share values and work ethic. With this in mind, we wrote a brief explaining what, why, where, who and how we can bring more bed nights into targeted areas and are thrilled to advise that not only did we complete particularly successful educations with great feedback from tourism buyers, the further online exposure has exponentially extended our clients ROI.

Here is some feedback:

‘I have had the privilege to work with Lindsey Gibaud recently. Her company, Big Tree Marketing, assisted our DMO to put together a trip for the Travel Trade to visit our towns. The aim of this was to create awareness, develop business relationships and increase bed-nights into our regions.

They are a service provider who have built heritage relationships with most tour operators across South Africa, have access and relationships with decision makers in the travel trade that we do not have e.g. inbound buyers. From the start the service that Lindsey and her company gave us was top notch.

Utter professionalism is the best way to describe it. Communication was always clear and timeous. As the saying goes “The proof is in the pudding”. The trip was a huge success. Lindsey has a way of bringing people of different walks of life together and sets people at ease. Her organisational and communication skills are superb as well as was her co-ordinating of this event, the managing and hosting of it. Big Tree Marketing has an added benefit of being able to do social media as well. At the end of the tour we received all the curated content and images and are now able to use it again on our own platforms. Lindsey has at all times a positive demeanour, she is a problem solver and totally a team player. I am looking forward to work with her again in the future!’
Paarl & Wellington Tourism Officer

Tourism Training

More and more we are becoming aware of new interest in inbound tourism. Restaurants, B&B’s, guest houses, adventure products all looking to bring tour groups to their organisation. In our discussions we realise that many don’t understand or are unaware of how itineraries are planned and tours packaged.

Many don’t understand buying channels while others struggle to grasp the complicated jargon that peppers tourism speak. In the past we would take these new-comers for coffee and spend a couple of hours explaining the ‘rules of engagement’ and give tips and advice. This subsequently lead to us creating a training programme to help small tourism enterprises, SMME’s and other businesses interested in joining our tourism world. Further to this during our educationals we were frequently asked for advice on how to better manage Social Media accounts, this became another practical learning opportunity. Here below are our Training programmes, contact us for details.

Understanding Inbound Tourism 101
A half day training course for newcomers into inbound Tourism

Improving Your Online Presence Social Media 101
A training programme for small business owners to create and maintain best practice on social media platforms

News from our Portfolio Partners

During this past year we have continued to elevate and market our Portfolio Partners and are incredibly grateful for their continued support of Big Tree Marketing. We love the work that we do mostly because we work with clients who have high values, ethical attitudes and who really want to make sure that each guest enjoys the very best experience possible while in their care. It is our privilege to continue working with our partners, here below is their message to you.

Aire del Mar

Fairly late into lock-down we were approached by Aire del Mar to market their gorgeous guest house in Kleinbaai near Hermanus. It has been an honour and a delight to work with Hannelene and her team connecting tourism buyers to their guest house. How’s this for a guest comment: ‘The best place to relax and view the ocean for hours … the rooms, service, friendliness of staff and breakfast were great.  Thanks Aire Del Mar for a safe weekend away despite all regulations, you ticked all the boxes for making our weekend special’ In early October we hosted an educational group to the guest house with very positive results. Should you need STO rates for this well positioned, friendly guest house please let us know.

Hannelene, Elsa, Magda and team wish you a Blessed and happy Festive Season. We are looking forward to seeing you soon in Kleinbaai in 2021.

Cango Wildlife Ranch

Every day we focus on teaching people to care more, about our planet and its inhabitants. These words ring truer than ever… ‘Be kind to our planet and may she be kind to us in return’. It has been an incredibly challenging year for Cango Wildlife Ranch and our ability to survive with no tourism for such a prolonged period of time tested every part of our heart and soul. Thankfully, our enormous monthly overheads coupled with our premium standards of animal care were overshadowed by the kind souls who donated to us, and the many staff who volunteered their time and efforts during the lockdown.

This pandemic has taught us so much. It has reminded us that as a facility we are founded on love and passion and that deep-rooted family values form the
cornerstone of our business.

Every staff member and every animal is part of our family and together we are prepared to face every storm. 2020 has taught us so much; compassion, patience
and endurance but it has also taught us how much we take for granted; like hugging a friend, walking through a shopping centre without a mask and most of all what a privilege travel is! A privilege that we take far too lightly.

May 2021 bring you nothing but health, joy and freedom. May the lust to wander and
make memories rank high on your priority list and may you have the means to do so. As you embark on long lost travels, whether across the globe or in a neighbouring town, realise the impact that you make as a traveller and the communities who benefit from your contribution.

As you gain… they gain, and together tourism can unite and elevate communities the world-over. We anxiously await your visit and we send chuffs, purrs and
Season’s Grrrrreetings from our family to yours. Be safe and see you soon!

Big Tree Marketing - Ecoaches


We are Super blessed as the business started picking up now. We are currently running with only 7 vehicles( Rushes, Fortuner and Quantums). 
Most importantly we are excited to be able to start helping our staff get back on their feet and looking towards the future with gratitude and faith for a better year and future.

We have decided to freeze our 2020 rates to help operators close deals from their end. So with that said whoever doesn’t have eCoaches 2020 rates please advise asap so that we can get them to you straight away.

May God bless each person and their families in this time.  Keep the faith and don’t give up. Have a peaceful, healthy and prosperous Christmas &New Year. 

Michele, Jaco, Bheki, Mxolisi & drivers

Garden Route Game Lodge

Garden Route Game Lodge jumped early with a selection of special offers being promoted on their website. This 4 star lodge just 4 hours from Cape Town offers the following:

Guided Game Drives | Reptile Encounters | Kids on Safari | Birdwatching | Flora and Fauna Interests | Mountain Biking | Guided Game Walk | Picnic in the Reserve | Private Dining | Food & Wine Paring | Poolside Cocktails | Games Room & Lounge.

Meals are served in Serengeti’s Restaurant, poolside or at our African Boma. The award winning wine list is guaranteed to delight. End your safari with a pampering session at the Ayana Spa.

Anthony, Natasha, Malcolm and everyone at GRGL send best wishes for a happy Festive Season.

Big Tree Marketing - Stille Woning

Stille Woning

What a crazy year this has been! But God has provided every step of the way and we have realised what is important and what is not.
We are honoured to have had our first international bookings coming in over the festive season, a slow start but things are moving in the right direction.
We are looking forward to what 2021 has in store for us. May you have a blessed festive season.

From Lucille and her staff at Stille Woning.

Big Tree Marketing - The Graywood Hotel

The Graywood Hotel

Owner Denni-Lyn has taken over management at The Graywood Hotel and will be joining me for meetings in Cape Town early in 2021. The relationship with this hotel and its sister property in Port Elizabeth goes all the way back to 2004 when I was their marketing manager. Both hotels have a special place in my heart as we started our independent journeys together. The Graywood Hotel is absolutely perfect in terms of Knysna location, affordability being 3 star and close to the waterfront and town centre.

From Denni-Lyn, Millicent in reservations and the team at The Graywood Hotel, here’s to a happy festive season, may 2021 bring us all good news, good health and good business.

Big Tree Marketing Client - The Kelway Hotel

The Kelway Hotel

After we opened our doors again in July 2020 with new protocols in place to ensure the safety of all our guests we have seen many new clients as well as old familiar faces. We have been incredibly blessed so far and hope to continue rising above the challenges while going into 2021.

We have frozen 2020 rates for 2021 and also offer special rates for local travellers for both leisure and corporate. Our Conference facilities are also COVID-19
compliant and we will ensure that any event, conference of meeting takes place with ease. Please contact our reservations department for any enquiries or bookings: Nadia on or 041-5840638

Wishing you a good Festive Season, may this time be an opportunity to reflect on the good that 2020 has brought, and the hope that 2021 meets your every hope and wish.

White Shark Projects

The 1st of December marks 15 years with Charmaine Beukes at the helm of White Shark Projects. With new adventures and opportunities presented she has now handed the “captain’s cap” to the very passionate Jessica Smit. Jessica has been part of WSP for a number of years having moved to SA after a period volunteering. Her roots are firmly in South African soil with her husband and child living close to the WSP lodge in Kleinbaai.

The Shark Team is looking forward to sailing into the future, building and expanding on all their values, building new relationships and strengthening existing ones with Jessica at the helm.

Happy Christmas from Jessica and everyone at White Shark Projects. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

From myself and Tegan at Big Tree Marketing, we wish you happiness and peace over this Festive Season. For those celebrating Christmas, may God bless you at this very special time with your family.

‘It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch though of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!’

And that’s a wrap for 2020.

Do what you love

I love my work, mostly because I get to meet new and interesting people often.  I give an annual talk to Grade 11 Tourism learners and one of them asked this year what it is that makes me love my job.  My answer was immediate, ‘the people’. 

Today I made a new friend, we met for coffee after being team members on an online training course.  Tingo Mtambalika grabbed my attention during the course for his bright and positive disposition and this while we were in the early stages of lockdown and our tourism sector in the doldrums.

We chatted about various aspects of our work and Tingo told me how he started his business Santacruise Tours.  About 14 years ago he used to take family and friends on Sunday drives to explore the beauty of Cape Town.  Sunday Drives became so popular that friends used to call Tingo and say that they had heard of a specific area and suggested this destination for the next Sunday Drive.

At this time Tingo’s brother was working at a local hotel, he had noticed that a honeymoon couple from Tanzania spent every day at the hotel without leaving to explore the city.  When he asked about this their response was that they had heard Cape Town is unsafe and were too afraid to leave the hotel.  Well this was not an option for Tingo’s brother who immediately called for a mid-week Sunday Drive.

Tingo’s natural enthusiasm and love of people shone through as he drove the honeymooners to Cape Point narrating with interesting facts and pointing out places of interest.  Needless to say Tinga’s desire to impress the couple with the beauty of the city was so spot on that they went home and told their friends.  A second call came tfrom the hotel with a request for Tingo to take a Brazilian couple on a ‘Sunday Drive”, despite language challenges they too were so thrilled with their private tour that they insisted Tingo take payment despite his protestations saying it was so much fun showing the beauty of Cape Town and besides they had bought him lunch, no need to pay.

Word soon spread at the hotel and abroad and the calls started coming in.  Each tailor-made tour is put together with love, consideration and careful investigation.  Santacruise Tours offers a selection of tours including a township tour incorporating a visit to Emasithandane Orphanage in Nyanga.  Tingo was thrilled to share that six young girls are currently being sponsored by past guests.

Tingo and his family chose Cape Town as home because of the scenic beauty, abundance of activities, history and culture.

Santacruise Tours operates with 6 vehicles in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg.  Most itineraries are Cape Town and Garden Route focused.    Before lockdown clients originated from USA, UK, Brazil, Tanzania.  These days Tingo works mostly with locals, sharing with them the same passion and joie de vie as always.

Tingo’s plan is to grow a one stop shop for tours into many African destinations, being from Malawi his first outbound tour to his home country takes place early next year.   He believes that the Covid19 crisis will pass and we will recover.  ‘This too shall pass’, he says. ‘Do not lose hope, love what you do and do what you love’.

Santacruise Tours contact details: or 073 808 0411

Long Weekend Garden Route Escape

Still looking for your long weekend escape?

With the long weekend approaching you may still be looking for a family escape in a place where you can breathe fresh small-town air, explore and indulge in some of the best wine and food around.

Four and a half hours from Cape Town on the renowned R62 Oudtshoorn is a town for all ages. Having recently spent a week there I realise that a long weekend may not be enough time to experience all this Klein Karoo town has to offer.

Quite apart from the beautiful landscape, Oudtshoorn is framed by the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains, giving guests unique entry through one of the many mountain passes that lead into the town. Off road adventurers will be charmed by the Swartberg Circle Route passing the road to Gamkaskloof and through Meiringspoort with its famous waterfall. I understand from chatting to visitors that the falls are spectacular at the moment.

Guided Cave Tours and Wildlife Preservation

On the list of must-do’s for families definitely include a visit to Cango Caves – a natural phenomenon dating back millennia. Their guides offer insight into an
underground magical world where brave adventurers once discovered these subterranean tunnels which are now an international tourist attraction and natural
world wonder.

On the way back into town from the caves allocate enough time to stop at Cango Wildlife Ranch for lunch and an opportunity take up their special deal of a guided tour, meal and soft drink plus an animal greeting. Have your camera ready, there are many photo opportunities around every corner. Cango Wildlife Ranch are partners with the Cheetah Preservation Fund, do ask your guide about this important global project.

Taste a little bit of heaven

For wine, gin and food lovers the choice may be difficult given the many options in this area. Karusa wine produces top quality red and white wines and my favourite MCC. Other local wines found in this area include Grundheim, who also produce stunning gins and a rather lovely rum with the funkiest label I have ever seen. De Krans is another great option so do include them in your itinerary.

If like me you are an olive fan then do not drive past Surval Boutique Olive Estate, I am so enthralled with their garlic and rosemary olives that I am about to courier a few bottles back to my home in Cape Town. De Rustica just outside the quaint town of De Rust make award winning olive oils having recently won the best olive oil in the world accolade. Naturally a few bottles of this precious oil also travelled home with me.

Amongst favourite restaurants it is a good idea to visit Nostalgie Restaurant, Black Swan and their sister bistro Mintt. We had a most delicious breakfast at Café Brulé at Queens Hotel and Cape Karoo Ostrich Emporium is open during the day for meals.

Get your heart pumping and then chill

Adrenaline junkies can get their thrills at Cango Caves Ziplines located at the parking area of the caves and the Skydiving company located at the airport is definitely an option for those brave of heart.

Accommodation options range from affordable B&B’s and Guest Houses to star-graded hotels. There are a number of self-catering, backpackers and camping
options in the area. If, however you are looking for a Big 5 game experience to add even more adventure to your trip, Buffelsdrift Game Lodge situated just outside the town is your stop.

This luxury tented camp offers game drives, elephant greeting, lion feeding and an opportunity to learn more about their Endangered Wildlife Trust work ensuring gene pool purity for cheetahs. Morning and afternoon cheetah walks are available, and funds raised on this excursion go directly to the trust.

For more information on accommodation, activities and attractions please contact Oudtshoorn & De Rust Tourism: | 044 279 2532

Welcome Aire del Mar

Big Tree Marketing welcomes Aire del Mar Guest House to their portfolio

Aire del Mar Guesthouse located in Kleinbaai has joined the Big Tree Marketing portfolio. At a time when business owners are looking for high quality hospitality and tourism marketing, collaboration is the savvy way to grow both awareness and bookings in an affordable way.

The guesthouse is situated in the hub of the shark diving capital of South Africa and is a welcome partner to the Big Tree Marketing portfolio of clients which includes White Shark Projects.

Fresh ‘Aire’

Aire del Mar is perfectly located enabling guests to take advantage of scenic sea views, breathe in the fresh ocean air and relax in this quiet seaside town. Eight of the nine rooms have uninterrupted sea views and one enjoys spectacular mountain vistas.

All double occupancy rooms are stylishly decorated with genuine care and attention to detail, even the amenities follow a maritime theme. Rooms are equipped with Nespresso machines, wi-fi, satellite TV and South Africans favourite home-made rusks.

So many activities on offer

Gansbaai is popular not only for shark cage diving but also whale watching, wine, beer and cheese tasting with some outdoor activities offered to those more
adventurous guests. Golf, fynbos and horse-trail adventures are also popular with visitors.

‘We are delighted to welcome Aire del Mar Guest House to the Big Tree Marketing portfolio, despite these confused and anxious times an exciting journey lies ahead for us both. We can’t wait to showcase this gorgeous little sea-side gem to domestic and international markets’, said Director Lindsey Gibaud

For more information visit and

Date : 11 September 2020
Written by : Lindsey Gibaud
Big Tree Marketing
Written for : Hannelene Maritz
Aire del Mar Guest House

Increase brand performance

How to increase your brand reach, performance AND save costs

Let’s talk about the “pivot”…

The buzz word I am hearing everywhere is ‘pivot’. More than likely you have too, it is over-used and quite frankly I find it annoying.

It is mostly heard when companies are explaining how they are managing to survive during lockdown by ‘pivoting’ their businesses. Here’s an example, a restaurant has pivoted its offering to now provide meal-kits, curbside take-aways and contact-free purchasing.

Our Model is already flexible

While this is trending, some of us have been operating in a commercially savvy way for years. Our model is based on co-operation which enables flexibility (read pivoting) to adapt to the peaks and troughs that seem to follow the hospitality and tourism sector. Remember unabridged birth certificates, Ebola, the recent drought …

Big Tree Marketing is a small business and being small makes us nimble. We have built our business on collaborations with a strong foundation of trust, respect and willingness to reach our common goal. Our approach is to increases performance while saving costs which makes good business sense in today’s ‘Coronacoaster’ world.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration increases brand reach, aligns resources and speeds up solutions. Buyers embrace the signal from one brand that another brand can be trusted, this is exactly how Big Tree Marketing brings new partners to the negotiating table of bona fida buyers.

Connect with heritage relationships built over 20 years, proven skills and experience at a fraction of the cost of paying a full-time marketing executive.

Cost-effective marketing solutions

So, if you are looking for a marketing solution that is cost effective, has an unbroken track record and is above all affordable contact us now.

50% rebate for September and October 2020 retainers on new clients – for more info email

The Kelway Hotel Now Open

“Thank you for your hospitality…

…and for taking such good care of us!”

‘Thank you for your hospitality and for taking such good care of us’ This is some of the guest feedback at The Kelway Hotel.

The Kelway Hotel Now Open

The hotel opened on 22 June under strict Covid19 safety protocols with a small dedicated team offering full-service dinner, bed and breakfast and the utmost attention to detail. Despite the many challenges facing all suppliers into the tourism value chain, The Kelway Hotel were one of the first in Port Elizabeth to open its doors to guests.

Hands-on personal attention

Hotel General Manager Liezel Haarhoff said ‘Although we are obviously not filling all our rooms, we are open and guests are checking in. Our small team is very hands-on giving personal attention while ensuring guest and personal safety and we are very encouraged by the feedback and appreciation we are getting.’ With all businesses having to re-think operating logistics within severe safety processes the hotel team have learnt to streamline in some areas and innovate in others. All staff have been trained and are certified according to TBCSA guidelines and the hotel was granted the Stay-Safe-Eat-Safe badge giving guests peace of mind.

The Kelway is fully compliant with TBCSA guidelines.

Technology Solutions

Some of these processes include; signage indicating safe arrival procedures, check- in is paperless using QR codes with sanitized pens for anyone needing to jot anything down. Breakfast menus are also ordered through QR codes with options to eat in-room or at socially distanced tables in the restaurant. Rooms are cleaned using a new set of clothes with good quality cleaning solutions with high touch areas receiving additional attention. Once cleaned and inspected the rooms are sealed until guest check in.

Green Solutions

Some of the back of house changes include drastically reducing waste to landfills, composting and a view to growing some fresh produce themselves.

To read a full description of The Kelway Hotel safety protocols please Click Here.

Game Lodge Specials

Post-Lockdown Safari Specials

Garden Route Game Lodge Specials

Safari Specials are back. Blessed with winter rains, the veld is looking truly magnificent this winter, with the Aloes in full floom. Nature never locks down and Garden Route Game Lodge’s prolific wildlife are waiting to welcome you back.

Peace of mind when you book your next bush break

Garden Route Game Lodge has been using this time during lockdown to prepare for the safe return of their valued guests. Whilst you may notice a few changes, their commitment to the safety and well-being of guests remains at the heart of their approach to hospitality.

Take advantage of these amazing safari specials, tailored for families and couples alike. Now is the time to experience our local offerings whilst international borders are still closed. Read our blog post on South Africa as an attractive long-haul destination here.

Wild Winter Warmer

Wild Winter Warmer

Stay 3 Nights, Only Pay for 2

Family Fun Safari

Outdoor Adventure Safari

Love Safari

Rates are valid from June to September 2020. Garden Route Game Lodge’s Covid-19 prepardeness and cancellation policies offer you peace of mind when you book your next stay. For more information on the Covid-19 preparedness at Garden Route Game Lodge, click here.

South Africa

South Africa an attractive long haul destination

South Africa will be an attractive destination when long haul travel starts up again

We strongly believe that South Africa will be an attractive destination when Long Haul travel opens again.  Globally we have had one of the strictest safety protocols. Could our severe regulations indicate that SA is taking this virus very seriously and the safety of people is paramount?  When tourists are deciding which destination to visit, surely this will put us ahead of a number of other countries who have not been as diligent in managing the pandemic?

Open Spaces

Our vast spaces where visitors can remain largely in their ‘bubble’ while enjoying the abundant wildlife and nature on offer here.  Private escorted family tours, exclusive use game viewing vehicles and small group nature walks are already popular, this will become high priority when bookings start rolling in again.

Safety Protocols

Tourism suppliers are working hard at putting safety protocols in place to ensure guest well-being is as fail-safe as possible.  Guidelines for hotels, guest houses, transport suppliers and attractions are all being fine-tuned with the aim of ensuring maximum safety.

Value for money

Let’s not forget our attractive exchange rate for inbound visitors, the ZAR has weakened significantly over the past few months giving tourists more value for their money when they land on our shores.


South Africans have heart and the tourism sector, while crawling through this prolonged challenge, is hard at work sharing ideas, safety guidelines and encouraging one another.  We work in the small to medium enterprise level and without doubt the most encouraging feature of this lockdown has been support shown to one another. 

South Africa is naturally a beautiful country; nature, views, experiences, culture, adventure, food and of course wines but the greatest beauty in my mind is the heart of its people.

Thabo Mbeki’s poem ‘I am an African’ ends with these words ‘Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop us now. Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!’.   And so this too will pass and we will find peace and happiness and success in tourism in South Africa again soon.

Tourism in Lockdown

Tourism in Lockdown

Tourism MUST move to a higher lockdown level to survive

After the initial shock that the Covid19 Virus had arrived in South Africa, the realization that tourism is probably going to be the very last sector to recover seeped into everyday discussions.

Based on the webinar from South Africa Tourism on 11 May here is an update of the current situation with links to submitting protocol guidelines that are urgently being called for to move tourism higher up in the lockdown levels.

Without doubt South Africans believe that although we have no clue when we are going to move between levels, this movement depends on the trajectory of the pandemic and the sliding scale is based on variables beyond our control.

Leisure tourism is projected to be active at level 1 with business tourism coming online slightly ahead in level 2. Based on the current trajectory with September 2020 forecast to be the peak of infection, it is therefore clear that level 2 will start in November and Level 1 in January 2021. Our industry simply cannot wait too many businesses will just not survive until then.

Government’s aim is to hold the pandemic back, on the other hand tourism is about moving people to different areas. What protocols in terms of health and operations can we put in place to de-risk the sector in order to move tourism into a higher lockdown level?

All Tourism Associations are calling for urgent submissions from members and non- members which will be collated and submitted to government through the Tourism Minister.

These guideline submissions (de-risking) will hopefully enable certain aspects of the industry to re-open before levels 1 and 2 thereby giving tourism a better chance of recovery.

Have your voice heard:

Here are the links to submit your recommendations:
Also visit or

Submissions close 12:00 midday Thursday 14 May.

Finally, SA Tourism believes that recovery will be led by domestic then regional, followed by international bookings. Key source markets will clearly also need to be in-line with destinations, no matter how prepared we are if those countries are not able to travel there is little chance of seeing business from those source markets.

VFR’s (Visiting Friends and Relatives) will probably start first and are categorized as
Phase 1, with not much revenue generation.
Phase 2 will generate revenue with overnights and air travel.
Phase 1 is expected to be mainly self-drive travel.Phase 2 being air travel across Africa. We cannot assume that the same airlines will be operating and in the same schedules. Re-negotiations will be needed because we will want to link with other countries that have managed their pandemic well.
International | Long Haul
Phase 1 International carriers resume flights under globally accepted safety standards (not yet in place)
Phase 2 full recovery in progress