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Fine wine and high octane in Cape Town, South Africa

Known colloquially as the Mother City, the South African capital has Unesco world heritage sites as well as being the former home of Nelson Mandela. Fiona Keating reports.

 DAY ONE: There are direct flights from London to Cape Town and takes approximately 14 hours and 30 minutes. Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, transfer by taxi to AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront.

Guest checkin: The four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront is minutes from the lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The hotel has 188 rooms with views over the glorious Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill.

 Morning meeting: The Watsonia & Bluebell rooms at the Cape Town International Convention Centre have glorious views of the city with floor to ceiling windows and access to the terrace for a caffeine hit.

 Networking lunch: Zeitz MOCAA Food is fresh to the Cape Town restaurant scene. Set on level six of the Zeitz Mocaa refurbished silo space, the menu is based on local ingredients and South African flavours. Finish off the meal with their signature black ice cream.

Team building: An unforgettable experience is the Robben Island Tour Guide. The route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell where he was incarcerated for 18 years.

Predinner cocktails: Excellent wine needs to be enjoyed in a glorious setting. The art gallery at Cavalli Estate is a treat for your eyes as well as your taste buds. You can also enjoy a wine pairing dinner at the Cavalli Estate restaurant, sampling Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdelho.

Day 2

Small meeting: The Workshop17 Watershed is a good spot for a quick catch-up in the Pure Good Café. There’s also the Ideas Lounge, an informal break-away space with small meeting tables and writable walls to brainstorm ideas.

Lunch:  There are over 80 restaurants and eateries to choose from at the Watershed V&A Waterfront. At Stir Crazy Cooking you can book a masterclass in making various cuisines such as South African, Asian, sushi, vegetarian, Cape Malay, Italian or vegan.

Incentive activity: A full day at Cape SideCar Adventures includes a round-trip Cape Peninsula outing visiting Cape Point, Boulders Penguins. Or get a touch of the David Attenboroughs with an outing along the South Coast coastal road to Bettys Bay for whale watching.

Meet the expert

Amanda Kotze‐Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer of the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB). 

The coronavirus pandemic has presented the world with a new set of business challenges and a very unpredictable operating environment, and South Africa is no different. Tourism and events tourism, in particular, plays an important role in the SA economy.

The tourism sector is at the forefront of the impact of the coronavirus, but it will be one of the first sectors to recover. In a bid to mitigate the impact of COVID‐19 on South Africa’s tourism sector, the department of tourism launched an R200 million Tourism Relief Fund on 6 April 2020.

The fund provides once‐off capped grant assistance to small micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of COVID‐19 in South Africa.

The South African National Convention Bureau is currently exploring and

packaging CSI initiatives to offer to the incentive market, as a value add, post-pandemic. The situation is presenting us with an opportunity to look at unique ways of conducting our business, which will influence how we do business in the future.

For now, we don’t know when or how the pandemic will pass. At SA Tourism, we support the measures taken by our government to contain the spread, and we look forward to do whatever we can to ensure that South Africa is ready to welcome the world again.