Following the 11th edition of Meetings Africa in Johannesburg, C&IT joined a selection of C&I press from around the world to explore South African destinations including Sun City resort in the North West Territory and Cape Town.
After waving goodbye to Meetings Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre, the group made the two-hour drive to Sun City, a compilation of luxury resorts, including the five-star Palace of the Lost City hotel, casinos, water parks and entertainment centres, as well as a 580kmsq game reserve.
The highlight of the stay came the following morning. At 4.30am, the group were aboard a truck heading into the resort's Pilanesburg Game Reserve, which is home to more than 7,000 animals including lions, leopards, black and white rhinos, elephants and giraffes. After a 40-minute drive through the wild, the truck stopped at two enormous inflating hot air baloons that would sail the nine journalists across the reserve.
The incredible views across the Sun City valleys were interupted by wildlife below feeding and frolicking in the morning sun. After landing, Champagne was poured and a toast was made to a successful flight and an unforgettable morning.
That afternoon, the group hopped on a flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Cape Town where the newly opened Century City Hotel would provide accommodation for the rest of the trip.
The first full day in Cape Town began with a site inspection of the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the construction site of its new 10,000sqm venue, which is set to open in March 2017.
This was followed by a short hop to the Cape Town Waterfront's V&A Helipad where the group were transported by helicopters to the Cavalli Wine & Stud Farm, a vineyard, fine-dining restaurant, art gallery and events venue located to the east of the city. After a wine-tasting session, a three-course lunch was served at the Equus restaurant before helicopters brought the group back to Cape Town.
The final day of the tour saw a trip to Robben Island, the infamous prison that held Nelson Mandela for 18 years. Led by a former prisoner and freedom fighter, the guide showed visitors how and where secret messages were swapped between inmates, the cells they slept in and where they were sent to work during their sentences.
After the boat back to the Waterfront, one final lunch was enjoyed before transfers to Cape Town International Airport for flights back to the UK.
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