December 24, 2013

Sure Travel’s memorable travel experiences of 2013

Can you believe 2013 is almost done and dusted? With the year winding down, we reflect on the amazing travel experiences some of the Sure Travel Head Office staff have had this year.

Read our memorable travel highlights from 2012 here.

Odete Jackson: Operations Manager
Favourite travel destination of 2013:
My favourite destination is a local one. Every year we land up back at Arniston - an unspoilt sea side village located close to the famous whale trail and De Hoop Nature Reserve.  We generally go in September when the bay is full of whales on their way to Hermanus. We love to sit on our deck and watch them breach and hit their tails on the water all day long.  

An unforgettable moment from your 2013 travels:
Our trip to Beachcomber's Le Victoria in Mauritius with our 4 year old daughter. Read about it here. Our daughter loved this island and so enjoyed swimming in the warm waters and water-skiing. I also had my first paragliding experience at the hotel and loved it!

On my travel list for 2014:
I would love to go to New Zealand or Australia. I have family there and it’s about time I discovered that side of the world.

Read about Odete’s family holiday to Mauritius here.

Abigail Pires: Group Solutions Manager
2013 Travel highlights:
I only managed to squeeze in one international trip to Turkey, which was "awesome" to quote my husband. This is a destination we definitely plan to go back to and I can highly recommend it to anyone considering visiting.

Read about the Blue Allure of Turkey here and Abigail’s Club Med Turkey experience here.

However, it was a great year for me to explore some local delights for a change. I started the year with a fantastic Kruger Park trip. Nothing beats the bush in Africa! Great cat sightings, beautiful hot weather and gorgeous sunsets. It’s hard to pick a highlight of that trip; maybe the leopard and cheetahs on the bridge right in front of us. This natural beauty in our own back yard should definitely be enjoyed before it's too late!

Closer to home, and a great trip up the West Coast, is Paternoster. Another travel highlight from 2013.

Shoneeze Lottering: Sure Online Ticketing Consultant
Favourite travel destination of 2013:
I went to Zanzibar this year and it was definitely an awesome experience. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania and only a 3.5 hour/4 hour flight from Johannesburg. People compare Zanzibar to Mauritius which is a huge “no no”. Zanzibar still has that old African rugged feel where fishing and agriculture is still a huge source of income for many. Tourism only recently started taking off thus Zanzibar is not as commercialised as Mauritius.

An unforgettable moment from your 2013 travels:
There was so much to do. I went on the Stone Town tour – this old city got its name after the first coral stoned buildings were built in the 19th century in a very old fishing village. Walking down the narrow alleyways is like taking a step back into the past as life there is still lived very much as in the past. Stone Town is also known for its beautiful architecture which can be seen in its old dilapidated tall buildings and its stunning wooden carved doors. A must visit is the Freddie Mercury house and Mercury restaurant, the old fort and Darajani bazaar (a shopping strip) if you are good at bargaining.

Another highlight was snorkelling at Mnemba Atoll – the sea life is so diverse and colourful and the water clear – followed by a barbeque on a nearby deserted island – there is nothing better than freshly caught fish.

A spice tour is also a must do as Zanzibar is after all the “Spice mecca!”

On my travel list for 2014:
I would love to travel through either Europe or the Far East – or both ;-)

Geraldine Boshoff: Contract & Marketing Manager
An unforgettable moment from your 2013 travels:
The Brighton Fringe! In May I had to attend a conference in Malaga, Spain. I travelled via the UK (the best way to get to Malaga) and decided to break my journey in Brighton (an hour outside London) for 3 days. I was very excited that I would be visiting Brighton at the time that the Brighton Fringe festival was taking place. Brighton Fringe is the largest arts festival in England and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. What a great experience! It’s a must-do for all lovers of any form of music, art and theatre. A bonus was the great spring weather.

More about Geraldine’s Brighton Fringe experience coming soon

Jenna Berndt: Social Media Co-Ordinator
Favourite travel destination of 2013:
Due to my amazing Contiki Eastern Europe experience last year, this year was quiet travel-wise. I did, however, have an unforgettable local experience volunteering with Wildlife ACT and tracking African Wild Dogs/Painted Dogs in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – the oldest proclaimed park in Africa – in KZN.

An unforgettable moment from your 2013 travels:
Eventually seeing the Wild Dog Pack after days of searching for them with no luck – albeit from a distance – in Hluhluwe.

Read about Jenna’s experience volunteering with Wildlife ACT here.

Searching for a signal for the Wild Dog pack

On my travel list for 2014:
Still Thailand or island hopping in Croatia, although I am now also tempted to visit the USA next year!

What has been your favourite destination for 2012? What unforgettable travel moments have you had? And where do you want to head off to next year? Let us know!


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