August 20, 2014

Top 5 places to play golf in the world

Gorgeous natural surroundings, rolling hills and green as far as your eye can see…for golf lovers, not much could beat getting to putt and pitch on a fabulous golf course in an exciting new destination. Here’s our pick of 5 golf courses around the world that will take your breath away…

St. Andrews, Scotland
What golfer wouldn’t want to play at the most famous course in the world? The Old Course at St. Andrews has been in action since the 15th century and is challenging for even the best. There are other excellent 18-hole courses, one 9-hole course, and a practice centre to cater for all skills levels. All are public, but reservations are a must.

Pebble Beach, USA
Pebble Beach Golf Links may be the best known course in the US. This part of California’s Pacific coast boasts crashing waves and amazing views, especially at the 18th hole. Be sure to select the proper club to tackle the wind that can sometimes be a factor.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai, UAE
Dubai might not be the first place you think of to play golf, but it should be. Like much else here, Dubai knows how to do it bigger. The spectacular 18th hole overlooks the Dubai Creek along the left and a second shot over a lake to a green set in front of the architectural marvel of a clubhouse; this must be one of the most breath-taking courses in the Middle East.

Legend Golf Resort, South Africa
Could you tee off from a mountain onto the green 400m below? We are proud to have some amazing golf courses right here in South Africa, and this is a one-of-a-kind. The world famous Par 3, the extreme 19th, is set high up on the Hanglip Mountain, and can only be reached by helicopter. It’s also a “world-in-one” Signature Course where each of the 18 holes has been designed by a world golfing legend.

Le Touessrok Golf Course, Mauritius
If a game of golf is your idea of paradise, just wait until you see Le Touessrok Golf Course near the capital Port Louis in Mauritius. This Bernhard Langer designed 18-hole course on its own island, with its endless views of the Indian Ocean, will feature on many golf bucket lists.

Where would you love to play golf in the world? Comment below and let us know.

August 8, 2014

Five reasons to visit Paris

Eiffel Tower in Paris

We love a good list. Especially a travel list. We’re exploring a new series that shares just five reasons to visit a special place around the world. Although there are hundreds or thousands of reasons to visit anywhere, we will try narrow it down to just five easy to remember reasons to inspire you. Get those travel bucket lists ready! The first (in no particular order) is the famous city of lights, Paris…

1: This famous view.

Eiffel Tower in Paris

2:  The food – macarons, croissants, cheese, baguettes, all of it.
Croissants in Paris

Picnic under the Eiffel Tower

Macarons in Paris
 3: Street-side caf├ęs (where you can enjoy the above-mentioned food delights).
Streetside cafes in Paris

Streetside cafes in Paris

4: Getting to stroll the streets while revelling in the unmistakable Parisian joie de vivre*.
*joy of living
Lamps in Paris

Parisian style

Streets of Paris

Woman walking poodles in Paris
5: Dusk
Dusk in Paris

Sunset in Paris

Paris is always a good idea. Comment below with your reason to visit.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

August 4, 2014

Mauritius Travel Guide

Mauritius is one of the most popular holiday destinations for South Africans, and it’s not surprising. Sunny blue skies and palm trees fringing warm turquoise water epitomise that dream holiday for many. Mauritius has that perfect picture-postcard appeal and offers good value for money for honeymoons, romantic getaways and family holidays. No matter where you are travelling, it’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible so here’s our general Mauritius travel guide…

Although English is the official language, French and Creole are commonly used. At the hotels and resorts you will have no problem communicating in English. Moving away from the tourist areas, however, you may find that the locals understand less English but almost all still have at the very least a basic/conversational understanding. Airport signs, as well as restaurant menus and tourist attractions, will have both French and English.

The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee (not to be confused with the Indian Rupee). The exchange rate is about 1 ZAR = 2.86 MUR.US Dollars and Euros are accepted at most resorts however we would highly recommend that you travel with Rupees as well. You can order your Mauritian Rupees through your Sure Travel consultant before departure (recommended for the best rates). If you have to, there is a foreign exchange counter at the airport that you can use (once you’ve picked up your bags and are ready to leave the airport building).

What things cost approximately:
Bottle of water: MUR 150
Soft drink: MUR 150
Beer: MUR 185
Cocktail (Alcoholic): MUR 350-450

No visas are required for South African passport holders.

2 Hours ahead of South Africa.

Best time to visit
With its subtropical climate, Mauritius is an all-year round destination. However there are preferred times to visit certain areas. If you’re visiting during the winter especially, the north/west coasts are advised as their beaches have the least wind.

December-April: Wet season (rain showers are short) & most humid. 23°C-33°C.
May-November: Less rain. May to August are usually the coolest months and September to November is warmer and less humid. 17°C-23°C.

Where to go
Discuss exactly what you have in mind for your holiday with your consultant. Close to the action in a hotel with activities and nightlife, a relaxing holiday away from the crowds on a quiet beach, good kids facilities, a variety of water sports and wind-related activities for the active traveller, an adults-only resort for a honeymoon, etc? You don’t want to arrive only to discover that the hotel you have chosen doesn't suit what you had in mind. There is really a hotel to suit everyone so let the experts offer you their first-hand advice.

North coast: Many windless beaches, most populated
South coast: Least developed, close to the airport
East coast: Trade winds (excellent windsurfing)
West coast: No wind, calm seas

Read a traveller's story of a family holiday at Beachcomber's Le Victoria here.

Getting there
It takes just over 4 hours to get to Mauritius flying direct from Joburg and Durban and about 5 hours flying direct from Cape Town. Air Mauritius flies direct from Cape Town, Durban and Joburg. SAA and BA/Kulula also fly direct from Joburg.

Navigating the airport
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport has a recently revamped airport terminal and is modern, bright and easy to navigate.

Getting around
Your hotel should be able to recommend a taxi service that offers a good rate. Always agree to a price before setting off to avoid any surprises later. There are buses but the timetables are near impossible to find and they aren't very reliable.

What to pack
Beach wear! Sunscreen, hat, reef shoes/protective footwear if you’re going to be walking on the reef (and depending where you are), umbrella or light rain jacket, insect repellent (to be safe but if you’re lucky it won’t be needed at all), something smart casual for restaurant dining (many hotels specify no swimwear, shorts and flip flops in the restaurants so pack some smart/casual wear) and a light jacket for evenings, boat trips or when the wind is blowing.

Ask the Sure Travel experts! Are you travelling to Mauritius and have a question? Comment below and we will get back to you.

Browse Mauritius packages, and find your nearest agency, on the Sure Travel website here.

Photo credits: Jenna Berndt, Sure Travel Social Media Coordinator

August 1, 2014

Sure Travel supports Slipper Day

In support of The Reach for a Dream foundation, Sure Travel Head Office donated to Slipper Day and staff proudly donned their stickers and slippers for work today.

For just R10, you can buy your sticker from a Wimpy, Makro or Hirsch's and wear your slippers (or just your sticker) on 01 August. The Reach for your Slippers campaign is Reach for a Dream’s biggest fundraiser and last year they raised R2.3million for children fighting life-threatening illnesses. A worthwhile cause we are so proud to support. Read more on the Reach for a Dream website here.

We hope you proudly wore your slippers today!