December 23, 2015

Sure Travel's travel highlights of 2015

Each year seems to fly by even faster than the one before. 2015 was no exception. We cannot believe it's almost Christmas and year-end already! As we do each year, we like to reflect on all the amazing travel experiences we've had. Here's what some of our Sure Travel HO staff got up to this year...

See our travel highlights for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Jenna Berndt, Digital Communications & PR
Favourite holiday of 2015?
I had an AMAZING year of travel! Each of my travels was special in its own way so it’s difficult to pick a favourite. I was very fortunate to get to visit Reunion Island again this year. This little French island in the Indian Ocean did not disappoint a second time.  This time around, I spent a week road-tripping around most of the island. It was a very different experience to my first visit on a guided educational trip but just as fun. Despite being small in size, the island packs a serious punch in experiences and there are still things that I never got a chance to do (a reason for a third visit methinks!) Here are just five reasons you should visit.

Then in October, I got to tick Thailand off my travel goals 2015 list.  And completely fell in love with it! I really understand why so many South Africans return year after year.

A treasured memory from your 2015 travels?
On Reunion Island, watching the sun rise over an active volcano and standing on dried lava flows leading into the sea are two memories that I will never forget.

I have so many treasured memories of Thailand too.  In Bangkok: A dusk cruise on the Chao Phraya River and watching the city light up at night from Bangkok's highest rooftop bar (The Sky Bar 63 floors up). In Phuket, I watched the most amazing sunset in every shade of pink, purple and orange imaginable. Getting to wash and feed elephants at the Elephant Hills Camp and spending a night at their Floating Rainforest Camp was so special. And the food! Sampling Pad Thai and fresh coconuts every chance I got. Steamed buns and mango sticky rice (and mango smoothies and mango sorbet. And mango everything. A lot of mango). Yum!

If you could go anywhere in 2016, where would you go?
I’ve been dreaming of visiting Ireland for so long – maybe 2016 will be the year!

Layla Baderoen, Fares and Travel Consultant
Favourite holiday of 2015?
We enjoyed a mini holiday in Brittania Bay on the West Coast.  Living in Cape Town we are always so fortunate to have beautiful weather in the middle of winter. What I loved most about Brittania Bay was that it was so peaceful. On our way back we stopped at the little fishing village of Paternoster and enjoyed some fish and chips. A perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A treasured memory from my 2015 travels?
Watching the beautiful sunset while relaxing on the patio with my family and friends.

On my travel list for 2016:
Hopefully going on a roadtrip along the Garden Route and ending off in KwaZulu Natal.

Charlene Jones, Marketing Assistant
Favourite holiday of 2015?
My favorite holiday for the year was when I went to Durban. Even though it was within South Africa it was still a bit foreign to me in a good way!

A treasured memory from my 2015 travels?
My treasured memory on this trip was when we visited uShaka Marine World; we watched the dolphin show and it was amazing to see how these mammals do amazing tricks.

On my travel list for 2016:
I’d love to go to Patagonia to see its beautiful mountains and ice glaciers. 

Geraldine Boshoff, Contract and Marketing Manager
November this year was a huge month of travel! My travels took me from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then the exciting city of Hong Kong and Club Med's Dongáo Island in China and then Pretoria.

Hong Kong is still one of my favourite cities. A new attraction is the Kowloon Walled City Park. It sits on the very site of the former Kowloon Walled City, remembered today for its share of crime and debauchery. We visited The Peak Hong Kong, the highest 360 degree viewing terrace in Hong Kong from where you can see China in the distance and the most incredible sunsets. Madame Tussauds has also opened her doors, displaying world icons such as the Hulk, fictitious super heroes and ​Jackie Chang, Bruce Lee and others. 

Cathay Pacific airlines lived up to their promise of “A life well-travelled”, known as one of the best airlines in the world.  I experienced great service, excellent cuisine and in flight entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere. From Hong Kong we travelled to the Zhuhai Jinzhou Ferry Port by high speed catamaran and transferred to the exclusive Club Med ferry to Dong Ao Port.  

This was my first experience with the Club Med product. Club Med Dongáo Island Resort is a great property offering wonderful accommodation, sports from kayaking to archery, night entertainment and with the restaurants catering for all tastes from Chinese and Japanese to Italian and French, it is a product with something for every​one​. 

Nasheta Votersen, Operations Administrator
Favourite holiday of 2015?
I'd never been to Durban before - and when the opportunity came up this year I jumped at it. Even though it was work-related, lots of fun was had by our group. Read about what they got up to in Durban here

A treasured memory from your 2015 travels?
Our family take an annual break to Avalon Springs in Montague. We return every year without fail.  The kids absolutely love it and of course there is lots of entertainment for them so mom and dad get to relax as well. It's a win-win situation!

If you could go anywhere in 2016, where would you go?
Do I have to pick just one? Honestly though - Turkey or Mauritius :)  #fingerscrossed

Anthea Kaufmann, Sure Online Manager
I had a real travel bucket list experience this year – enjoying summer in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was blown away by this beautiful city by the sea, often referred to as the “Venice of the North”. And there was no snow in sight!

We had just missed the “white nights” of summer as we arrived in early August, but we still had more than 15 hours of daylight which was absolutely superb! The streets and cafés were filled with people and the boats cruising along the canals never seemed to stop. It all felt so surreal. This was not the Russia I had imaged. Words cannot truly describe my experience in St. Petersburg and the photographs I took do not do it justice. I had to take a moment each day to ground myself as the city swept me away into a fairytale-like haze...

Read more about Anthea’s summer in St Petersburg here.

What has been your favourite travel experience this year? 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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