February 28, 2014

Flying with your bicycle for the Cape Argus

Cycling the Argus next weekend and flying down to Cape Town? Here’s a quick guide to transporting your bike on the airlines…

Inform your travel agent at the time of booking your flight that you will be transporting a bicycle. You will be charged a handling fee. See below for airline handling fees and info:

SAA - R285,50 per bike one way which can be paid at any PnP store. A voucher will be generated as proof of payment which must be presented when handing the bicycle/s to SAA. Read more on the SAA website here for drop off areas, times, etc.

Kulula - R300 per bike one way. The fee must be paid before your departure and payment cannot be accepted on the day of departure at the airports. More details on the Kulula website here.

Mango - R275,00 per bike one way to (tandem bikes at a cost of R375). No payments will be accepted for your bike at the various Airport Argus drop-off points. More info on the Mango website here.

Don’t forget:
- Bicycles must be securely packed, preferably in special bike boxes and bags marked with your contact details. Handlebars should be turned parallel with the frame, pedals removed or turned inward, tyres deflated and the seat must be put down. All electronic equipment must be removed and transported separately in your checked in luggage.
- Ensure that you have the relevant voucher/baggage claim tag/handling fee receipt for your bike. This serves as proof of payment and has to be presented, along with your valid ID & air ticket, when dropping off and collecting.
- Bicycle inflation pumps and cartridges (check with your airline requirements regarding this) will need to be declared when checking in for your flight.

The information above is just a guideline and is subject to change - check specific requirements with your airline before travelling. Happy cycling and good luck!

February 21, 2014

The coolest hotel swimming pools in South Africa

Beat the summer heat with Sure Travel’s pick of the coolest hotel and lodge swimming pools in South Africa. With views to die for or simply in a unique, magical or urban chic setting, these pools will have you swimming in style…

Tintswalo Atlantic in Hout Bay, on Chapman’s Peak Drive.
&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge, northern KZN
African Pride Melrose Arch Pool Bar, Joburg – not for swimming obviously, but soaking up the sun and kicking off your shoes while you dine in the cool water is simply divine.
Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, Cape Winelands
Riverside Supreme Suite, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Cederberg, Western Cape
African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, Century City, Cape Town
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, Ballito, KZN
Fancourt, George
Garonga Safari Camp, greater Makalali Conservancy situated west of the Kruger National Park.
Hyatt Regency, Rosebank, Johannesburg
L’Ermitage Franschhoek Chateau and Villas
Mosaic Farm Lagoon Lodge, Hermanus Lagoon
One&Only, Cape Town
One&Only, Cape Town
 Where is your favourite hotel swimming pool? Comment below and let us know.

February 12, 2014

Romantic beach honeymoon destinations

Planning a honeymoon? This is one time when only pure romance will do. From palm fringed beaches to sultry African islands, nothing says romance and honeymoon quite like a gorgeous beach location. Check out Sure Travel’s pick of romantic beach honeymoon destinations here...

Palm fringed beaches, amazing seafood, ocean as far as your eye can see and only an hour’s flying time from Johannesburg, Mozambique  makes for a very romantic honeymoon.
View Mozambique packages here.

Sure Travel Hotel Recommendation: Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, situated in a tropical tidal estuary along the Inhambane coast. This eco-paradise derives its name from the flocks of flamingo that inhabit the lagoon, and even the rare dugong can be spotted here. Beautifully appointed over water chalets give you the feel of the Maldives, at half the price. Each chalet is separated by wooden walkways ensuring privacy and no kids under the age of 12 are permitted at the resort making it an ideal tranquil honeymoon option.
View the Flamingo Bay Water Lodge special honeymoon package here.

A picture postcard tropical island destination, seemingly made for honeymoons and romantic escapes.
A very popular honeymoon destination for South Africans, it is only a 4 hour flight from Johannesburg. It’s also a popular family holiday option so discuss this with your Sure Travel consultant if you would prefer a relatively kids free zone and are travelling during the school holidays. There are a number of fantastic fully inclusive packages available too – a good choice if you want to completely relax and not worry about how many cocktails you are drinking!
View Mauritius packages here.

Mumbo Island, Malawi
Malawi is one of the hot travel trends for 2014 and Mumbo Island, a small island only 1km across on Lake Malawi, is currently THE place to visit. Voted one of the top romantic hideaways in the world by well-known travel publications and experts, Mumbo Island is a completely unspoilt, rustic, isolated tropical island paradise surrounded by the crystal, clear warm waters of Lake Malawi. At Mumbo Island, it’s just you, your loved one and the island.
View Malawi packages here.

Looking for an ultra luxurious honeymoon surrounded by spectacular natural surroundings? The Seychelles is it. White sand beaches hugging an almost unbelievable topaz ocean, hidden by granite boulders and with barely another person in sight, it’s no surprise that the Seychelles got the royal stamp of approval (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their honeymoon there).
View Seychelles packages here.

Spicy and sultry, Zanzibar is another popular choice for honeymooners. White sand beaches, ocean in varying shades of blue and luxurious resorts, the island just spells out romance.
View Zanzibar packages here.

Exotic and affordable, Thailand is popular with everyone from honeymooning couples to young backpackers. Whether you’re looking for secluded romance or excitement and a vibey nightlife, you will find it there – discuss what you envision for your honeymoon with your Sure Travel consultant so that they can find the perfect island and hotel to suit you as a couple.
View Thailand packages here.

For all your honeymoon travel requirements, contact your Sure Travel consultant.
Find your nearest Sure Travel agency here

Where would your ideal romantic beach honeymoon destination be?

February 10, 2014

Share your travel love competition

This competition is now closed. Congratulations to our 2 main prize winners of the local getaway including SAA flights… Sonja Faul and Lee-Ann Schutz! Sonja wowed us with a stunning romantic photo of her and her husband on honeymoon in Cinque Terre, Italy, and Lee-Ann Schutz really epitomises a true travel lover – she even got the word “wanderlust” tattooed on her foot while in Amsterdam. 

Our 3 travel hamper winners are Wayne Gadow (he shared his great love of Italy on Twitter), Shannon Olivier (she ticked swimming with dolphins off of her bucket list while on honeymoon in Zanzibar) and Sara Essop, who shared a stunning photo of the Miami skyline at sunset. And we just couldn't resist spreading the travel love even further…Carli Mostert, Krisen Chanderdeo and Candice Lind, you have each won a travel hamper too!

View entrant photos here on Facebook. 

Competition details:
Share your travel love with us! Tell us your favourite travel dream or memory, post your most loved travel photo (selfies included), the place you would most love to visit… whatever it is about travel that makes your heart skip a beat <3 And we may just have a little something for some of you to keep those travel dreams alive. #SureTravelLove #LoveSAA

The prizes: Two lucky couples will win a 2 night getaway in either Cape Town, Joburg or Durban including SAA economy flights (Cape Town-Joburg-Durban routes only), accommodation & return airport-hotel transfers! Three other winners will receive a hamper of goodies to keep their personal travel dreams alive.

Please note travel prize has to be used by 31 March 2014.

How it works:
Share your travel love with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SureTravelLove.
Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles for announcements – you may just be our special someone!
Competition closes at 16:00 on Monday 24 February 2014.

Entry into the giveaway constitutes your acceptance and understanding of Sure Travel’s competition terms and conditions as on the Sure Travel website – read them here.

February 3, 2014

Visiting Protea Hotels & African Pride in Gauteng

For most South Africans when thinking of local holiday destinations, Gauteng isn’t usually one of the places which first comes to mind. I on the other hand, after visiting the province on a Protea Hotels/African Pride educational, will definitely consider making my way to the City of Gold when the Joburgers descend on the Mother City come December.

And here’s why… I had the fantastic opportunity of visiting all the Protea Hotels & African Pride properties in Gauteng on an educational while also staying over at a few of the hotels. My favourite was African Pride Irene Country Lodge. Tucked away in the country, down an oak-lined lane where cows graze in green pastures, far from the bustle of the city, Irene Country Lodge has a great country farm vibe. The scenery, lake, gorgeous old chandeliers in the lodge and amazing spa are really special.

The breath-taking lakeside view at African Pride Irene Country Lodge.

A close second favourite was African Pride Melrose Arch. From the moment we passed through the hotel’s magnificent wooden doors, the scent of Davidoff Cool Water (filtered through the air conditioners), exclusive ambience and exquisite features of the hotel greeted us. My dinner there at The March Restaurant was suberb! My favourite and always a first choice - salmon - was done to perfection, accompanied by a tiger prawn with udon noodle & vegetable stir-fry. My visit there is definitely imprinted in my memory!

The March Restaurant at African Pride Melrose Arch.

The popular Pool Bar at African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel with tables in shallow water where you can dine.

The African Pride Melrose Arch and Protea Hotel Samrand (conveniently located near the airport and CBD) had the best food by far!

Sipping on a cocktail at our first stop, Protea Hotel Roodepoort, located in the West Rand.

Protea Hotel Samrand

A definite highlight was enjoying one of the famous milkshakes at the vibey hot-spot, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! in trendy Melrose Arch. Lindt-o-licious was my preferred flavour. “Grown-up” milkshakes with alcohol are on the menu too. Everything at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! screams glamour from the celeb guests to the classy decor.

One of the famous milkshakes at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch.

A luxury room at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch where they say the beds swallow you whole and spit you out relaxed and rested!

The Protea Hotel Midrand is situated in a beautifully landscaped garden setting, with a cascading waterfall overlooking the Koi pond and sparkling pool. 

This trip led me to do some digging on what attractions and activities I could pair with the great accommodation Gauteng has to offer. To my pleasant surprise there’s plenty to do! I will definitely be returning to the ‘City of Gold’ for a longer trip.

Although she absolutely loves her home town of Cape Town, there are so many places around the world Natasha can’t wait to explore. Having already floated on the Dead Sea and explored our local waters on a MSC cruise, next on her travel bucket list is experiencing “La Dolce Vita” taking in the major sights of Italy.