HELLO MALAWI!

KumbaliI was recently a guest at the beautiful 4-star equivalent KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE, 9 klms from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi and I was quite mind-blown at the standard of hospitality, the high level of professionalism, exceptionally well trained staff and the very nature of Malawi’s people.

Guy and Maureen Pickering who own KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE are the most welcoming, warm, caring and friendly folk who are available 24/7 during one’s stay at their lovely home-from-home Lodge in the country.

What stood out for me is the superior and professional manner of their staff, who clearly love what they do and who love where they are. Smartly attired at all times, always willing to go the extra mile, polite and who made our stay at their lovely lodge a total indulgence in luxury!
Lilongwe Airport – 9 klms from the Lodge is an international airport, with flights from OR Tambo, Johannesburg several times a week – a mere two hour journey, no visas required, merely your passport. An easy flight on SAA.

Landscapes
This landlocked country is filled with a variety of picturesque landscapes from north to south. Its highest peak stands at 3,000 meters while the lowest point lies just a little above sea level. Malawi, in the spring and summer, is lush and green with plains, forests, mountains, plateaus, and exhilarating river valleys. In the Highland areas and forest reserves there are great options for accommodations, Kumbali Country Lodge being one of these.

Wildlife
With diverse flora and fauna, much of which is in more than10 wildlife reserves and national parks the climate in this little country is the perfect setting for tropical vegetation. Although Malawi’s population of large mammals is not as high as those of its neighbouring countries, wildlife viewing is still enjoyed by visitors, both locally and those from away. We visited in their winter which has a climate much like that in Durban on the warm winter days. To me, this is perfect! .

THE GREATEST ATTRACTION …..
LAKE MALAWI lies between Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi – the 9th largest freshwater lake in the world. Here, in this rural, peaceful and natural area, fishing is quite a busy industry amongst the local folk, in their simple but practical fishing boats – These areas are where most of the Malawian population will be found.

Lake Malawi is, I would guess, the most visited tourist attraction in Malawi, as this large body of freshwater with its golden sand beaches is a magnificent destination for swimming, diving, snorkelling, extreme water sports and a photographer’s paradise! There is only one other country I have visited with such blue, clean water and that is New Zealand! …. It is breath-taking from every point and massive!.

Because of the large rural population, the economy of the country relies largely on agriculture. In recent years, the government has made great strides in developing the country from one of the least developed countries in the world to gaining a more stable foot in the direction of financial independence. Since 2005, the tourism to Malawi and environmental protection plus education and health services have received a lot of attention and the welfare of these people has therefore greatly improved..

ACCOMMODATION AND CONFERENCE FACILITIES IN MALAWI

The best way to visit all that Malawi is proud to show off is to base yourself at a good Lodge or Hotel and to travel daily from this point. Such is the luxury yet affordable “KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE”. Situated within a 650-hectare forest reserve, the Kumbali Country Lodge does not only pride itself on its luxurious accommodations but on its environment as well.

The Kumbali Lodge offers superior, spacious accommodation in 14 executive rooms and 2 deluxe suites. All the rooms at the lodge include wireless internet access, satellite TV, facilities with South African DSTV channels, tea and coffee making facilities, fans, mosquito nets and table and chairs. Most rooms have spacious, under thatch verandahs overlooking their peaceful, beautiful grounds. The accommodation matches the best Malawi has to offer..

Conveniently located near Lilongwe, the Conference Centre provides a beautiful and natural setting for conferences and private events – a result achieving venue in the peace and tranquillity of the country. These are the services provided at the lodge:

• Luxury Accommodation in14 executive and 2 deluxe rooms
• Fine dining, private dining and table d’hote or a-la-carte meals in the restaurant
• Charming Conference Centre (2 venues)
• Wireless internet access
• Fully stocked and cosy bar
• Comfortable outdoor seating overlooking a magnificent, well manicured and well tended garden and fresh water pool with a private lounge upstairs
• Lilongwe Airport transfers
• Transport to/from Lilongwe city centre
• Printing and photocopying
• Packed lunches
• Laundry facilities (7 days a week)
• Dry cleaning available on request
• Reliable electricity supply (generator power back up
• Torches and umbrellas in all rooms

CONFERENCES AT KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE

In two well equipped, unusual conference venues, Kumbali offers excellent conference facilities to local delegates and international delegates, capable of seating up to 60 delegates +-. Special residential/conference packages are available. Kumbali Country Lodge has increasingly become a very popular and busy conference destination. The beauty of hosting your event here, depending on its size and number of delegates, is that you are likely to have exclusivity of the Lodge. A private fine cuisine dinner may be prepared for your gala night while at the start of your event, a wonderful ice-breaker could be a good old South African Braai or authentic local cuisine at the on-site Cultural Village where local entertainment will be laid on for you too and a well stocked pub.

 

 
The Kumbali Lodge is to be compared with any well run, up-market 4-star venue along the Midlands, or in the Drakensberg.
MALAWI CULTURAL VILLAGE AT KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE

For an authentic African village experience visit the on-site Kumbali Cultural Village. Within walking distance of the Lodge, the Village has accommodation with traditional and international cuisine on offer, a local arts & crafts centre, and a covered outdoor conference facility.

PERMACULTURE
A short walk from Kumbali Country Lodge, is Nature’s Gift Permaculture Centre- a demonstration plot for Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology. The permaculture centre is on 20 hectares of land and serves to demonstrate and promote solutions for food and nutrition security in Malawi.

What is Permaculture?
“Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability and the strength of natural ecosystems. It is the integration of land and people, supplying their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without sustainable agriculture there is no possibility of a sustainable human culture.”

Nature’s Gift Permaculture Centre is a ten minute walk from the lodge. The staff, interns, and volunteers, welcome visitors and taking them on a tour of the centre, proudly showing that Malawi is indeed a rich country.

Make a change … on our vast Continent, there is so much we haven’t seen, haven’t experienced and the best way to experience MALAWI is to visit there. And so, for your next ‘different’ conference experience, choose KUMBALI COUNTRY LODGE and a tour to the Lake which will be organised by the owners of the Lodge who also have a smaller Lodge right on the water front!

Brought to you in the interests of professional conference and event organising by VENUE PAGES (www.venuepages.co.za)

Please use the contact us form below should you wish to contact us.  We source venues for you through Africa.

 

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Conference venues Durban – Riverside Hotel and Spa

Conference venues Durban

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Conference venues Durban

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Conference venues Durban

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Durban/Durban North

Durban is a cosmopolitan sea-side and business city that combines the perfect mix to ensure that your conference or seminar or your holiday is a pleasant and memorable experience. Varied and exotic cuisine, the beaches, uShaka Marine World, the Rickshaws, Umhlanga Rocks, adventure all combine to provide variety, excitement and sheer enjoyment when visiting this city. … And a stones-throw from the city, in the general metro region are unique and special villages and towns, each offering their own special brand of culture, shopping experiences, pristine beaches and the countryside of the Western Suburban regions. The terrain and the move from the sub-tropical city into the hinterland of the surrounding North and South Coast and the 1000 Hills region, moving into the beautiful, scenic Midlands of KwaZulu Natal and the majestic Drakensberg mountains are a reminder of the diversity of this scenic province. AND, that’s not all … Durban is the gateway to some of south Africa’s top Big 5 Game Reserves.

The balmy, sub-tropical climate on the East Coast brags perfect summer weather while the cooler weather of winter is the best, without doubt in South Africa.
Hotel accommodation Durban: From the hotels on the Golden Mile, with its associated nightlife, to the elegant guest houses and Boutique hotels found in the leafy suburbs surrounding the city, Durban sincerely has it all!

The Riverside Hotel and Spa is just one of many perfect combinations for a successful conference with time for chilling, with luxury accommodation, a relaxing pool-side and Health Spa. Situated, overlooking the Umgeni River from the hillside on which it is built, from the Riverside Hotel, guests are blessed with distant vistas of the Golden Mile and the Dolphin Coastline. Abundant bird life, prolific along the Umgeni River is a natural attraction to many who visit Durban North.
The Riverside Conference Centre is ideally situated directly opposite the front entrance to the hotel, with easy access for residential conference delegates to their rooms, the restaurant and the Spa. In a dedicated, separate building, the conference centre, with several venues is quiet, allowing conferences and seminars to run without interruption or noise, offering a result achieving atmosphere. Day delegates are assured of ample secure parking within the hotel grounds and, with the hotel being so centrally located, it allows for easy access no matter where the delegates are travelling from. 20 minutes’ drive from King Shaka International Airport.
All conference venues are equipped with state-of-the-art conference equipment and additional requirements are available with prior notice.

ACCOMMODATION ROOMS AT THE RIVERSIDE HOTEL AND SPA : 169 BEDROOMS AND SUITES offer luxury at its best. individually appointed in unique, stylish décor. These offer all the regular comforts associated with a four star-hotel, but also include a kitchenette, complete with microwave, mini bar fridge, cutlery and crockery.

For those who do not have access to a laptop, an internet café, situated in the hotel lobby is freely available with access information available from the reception desk.
Wedding packages at the Riverside.

For the perfect, dream wedding, professional, qualified wedding coordinators at the Riverside Hotel will provide you with just the package you are looking for, to suit your budget and taste. This includes a fabulous variety of menus, varying in price.

Riverside Spa

You will lose the hard-pressed sense of time the moment you walk into the Riverside Hotel’s Health Spa. Where the basic elements of earth, water, fire, metal and wood synchronise with your surroundings. This has become an essential ‘element’ in busy conference centres, for the all-round well-being of clients in conference, to relax the mind and simply let go …

The Riverside Hotel awaits your arrival and the professional, friendly staff will be happy to welcome you with a welcome cocktail of your choice, and porter service to take care of your luggage.

Contact us at the Venue Pages for your next Durban conference or seminar and we will obtain excellent rates and packages for your event at this city hotel out of the city yet only minutes away by road.

Brought to you in the interest of efficient and professional conference planning by The Venue Pages – http://www.venuepages.co.za
Article compiled by Rosalie Howard.

For quotes and availability on this and other venues in Durban or throughout South Africa please contact us on 0861 262 262 or use the form below

CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION VENUES GAUTENG

Conference venues Gauteng

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Conference venues Gauteng

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, situated in Gauteng. It is the most densely populated city in this region and in the entire country while also being the economic hub of the country. Johannesburg has the largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa and is the largest city in the world which is not situated on a river or at the coast. It is therefore, without question, the largest conference destination in Southern Africa boasting two airports, OR Tambo International airport and Lanseria for many internal flights. A very busy city with many thousands of business and therefore the ideal conference, convention and seminars destination, both nationally and internationally.

Home to many fine conference and convention centres which are First World in standards and operations, convenient, complete with state-of-the-art, modern equipment and facilities. An easy commute from all other larger cities in South Africa and further afield.

Conference venues Gauteng

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Airport transfers are available and affordable from many hotel venues in Johannesburg who offer a complimentary shuttle service to guests.
Accommodation ranges from 5 star properties to the more budget friendly establishments which are virtually on every corner.

Johannesburg, although essentially in the Highlands, enjoys a sub-tropical climate with hot and dry summer months from October to March and is infamous for its late afternoon thunder showers and cooler evenings. Also known as the lightning capital of the world. The winters are cold and dry, with occasional snow falls although these are infrequent. Temperatures in winter might drop to minus 2 or 3.

Conference venues in Johannesburg are offered at small boutique hotels and guest houses and at larger dedicated convention centers and conference venues, either part of the larger hotels or ‘stand alone’ convention centres.

Conference venues Gauteng

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Many 3, 4 and some 5 star hotels are situated at or very near to OR Tambo International Airport allowing delegates and business travellers to move between the airport and their hotels with ease with free shuttle services offered by most of these. Other large venues have been built in village format, comprising several accommodation establishments, flanked by large conference facilities and restaurants in safe and secure surroundings. Conference organisers are truly ‘Spoilt for Choice’ in Jozey …

Johannesburg is a gateway to other regions in the Gauteng province and beyond such as Mpumalanga and Polokwane, and nearer home, Muldersdrift, Magaliesburg, Rustenburg, Centurion, Irene and Pretoria. These outlying areas are often a preference to the conference organiser due to their location, peace and solitude for result achieving conferences or seminars which require focus and little distraction. Popular conference venues in the greater Johannesburg region include areas such as Midrand, Fourways, Randburg, Randfontein, Houghton, Sandton and the East Rand and Southern Suburbs.

Some of the largest conference venues in Johannesburg are Sandton Convention Center, situated in Sandton, a top class shopping and business center, Gallagher Estate, situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, The Coca Cola Dome, the fourth largest such structure in the world, Midrand Conference Centre and MTN Expo Center, Nasrec, the city’s biggest venue and in close proximity to Soweto. These venues will cater for all types of conferences and events and have ample space for the large international events.

For information and availability on any Johannesburg conference centres or hotel accommodation, contact us at http://www.venuepages.co.za where you will find a wide range of properties, not only in Gauteng but nationally throughout South Africa. With 16 years in the Professional Conference Organisers and Event Managers industry, our experience and expertise covers all aspects of Conference and Event specifications and client requirements. We are your one stop shop! Tel : 082 055 0102 or 0861 262 262.

Fro a free no obligation quote on conference venues in Gauteng or any other province of South African please contact Rosalie Howard on 082 055 0102 or complete the contact us form below.  We offer our services of sourcing venues for client as a free service earning commission from the venues we place work at.

CONFERENCE VENUES CAPE TOWN – LAGOON BEACH HOTEL

Conference venue Cape Town

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What’s up in Cape Town on the conference venue scene?

SPOILT FOR CHOICE…..I have found, in the many years I have worked in the Conference Tourism industry that Cape Town more than any other South African city has ‘the mostest’ … literally hundreds of hotels and conference centres to select from in all areas. I will feature one of many because it really warrants mention …

LAGOON BEACH HOTEL in recent months completed a major refurb. and this, what was always a lovely hotel is even lovelier than before!

Because of consistently excellent service and tip-top standards, we have always supported this venue, which assures guests of quality cuisine, luxury and comfortable accommodation and friendly, helpful, well-trained staff, always professional yet warm and willing to go the extra mile.

Conference venue Cape Town

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Situated in the most idyllic location, on Lagoon Beach, in Milnerton in Cape Town, with breath-taking views of Table Mountain. This is Cape Town’s second largest conference venue – Lagoon Beach Hotel and Spa.
With direct access to the pristine Lagoon Beach strand and quick and easy access to Cape Town’s CBD… with the beach on their doorstep, plus the cheery, holiday vibe of the city, you have ‘ the best of both worlds’ whether on holiday or as a participant at a conference at this luxury four star hotel. 200 sophisticated en-suite rooms and suites, numerous holiday apartments, 9 conference venues and 4 world-class restaurants form the structure of this lovely venue. It’s close proximity to the renowned Milnerton Golf Course plus a short distance from Canal Walk (one of the largest shopping centres in South Africa) make LAGOON BEACH HOTEL a very appealing base when visiting Cape Town for any reason. AND, right at the hotel is a relaxing, superior Spa for those tired muscles at the end of a hectic day!

From this central location, guests might like to take short trips along some of the world’s best wine estates, most of which are a mere 50 km ride from Lagoon Beach Hotel and Spa. Whale watching from here is also popular and for those who enjoy an adrenaline shot, guests may launch themselves from one of the world’s highest commercial Bunji jumps and for something completely different, be entertained by South Africa’s unique, very own, brightly attired minstrels on hey days and special holidays!

This is where two mighty oceans meet and embrace, where fashion struts down catwalks that rival any, anywhere else in the world and where runners from every corner of the globe compete in the world’s most scenic marathon, where Table Mountain casts its gentle protective shade over a mixed, rainbow cultured nation, where a prison island hosted the world’s greatest liberation icon and where the finest wines in the country are made – CAPE TOWN is ‘where it’s at’ and filled abundantly with many varied attractions unique to Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape. And LAGOON BEACH HOTEL & SPA is your central point from where you will reach all these world wonders without journeying far.

CONFERENCE VENUES

From the 9+ conference venues Lagoon Beach Hotel offers, all fully equipped with the latest technology, up to 600 delegates may be accommodated in the largest conference room, however the smaller groups are welcome with a minimum of 10 in their smallest venue therefore no matter how small or large, up to 600 delegates, you are all welcome at competitive rates.

This editorial was compiled and composed by Rosalie Howard from http://www.venuepages.co.za. Visit our website for an abundance of venues nation-wide. Send an enquiry for the area you are considering and we will handle the rest.

Complete the form below and we will source a venue for your conference, function or event at no charge.  We earn a commission from these venues for our work.

THE EFFECTS & AFTERMATH OF THE ‘RECESSION’ IN THE TRAVEL, TOURISM AND CONFERENCE INDUSTRY (AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE)

 

This is a topic worth discussing while many of us would rather put to bed the ongoing negative talk that is still prevalent, world-wide and while we should also get out of Ostrich mode and face the facts that are … is it all bad news? I don’t believe it is … we can see light at the end of the tunnel.

When it all began, ‘all of a sudden’ … and the nasty words ‘World Recession’ hit the front pages, I didn’t believe that it could affect me or mine or our productivity to a great extent as it has never happened in our industry before with any great impact … but one morning I woke up and faced the realisation that suddenly the bottom seemed to have dropped out of business in our particular industry … that being the Conference Industry as a PCO (Professional Conference Organiser).

First the negatives, to get them out of the way …

In 2008 we had the best year ever financially, with so much going on, resulting in having to employ additional staff to manage the daily volume of enquiries and bookings. It was fantastic and I am sure I speak for many small businesses, in all fields when I say this … To adopt half a line from the old Frank Sinatra song … “In 2008… it was a very good year” … It was.

I took a trip to the UK for my Christmas holidays because I could afford to and from the moment of my return in January 2009, it was evident that things were not quite right in the conference tourism industry.

In our marketing capacity, we were being told by all and sundry that there just wasn’t a budget any longer for advertising and in fact, many corporate companies, and government departments were already retrenching staff and managing their businesses with skeleton staff … Worse than this was the realisation on a daily basis that companies and even government departments had been told to cut back on their conference budgets to such a degree that it became extremely difficult to find suitable venues for our clients to match their budgets. Many companies and government departments opted for the use of their own facilities where this was possible and I am sure that I am accurate in suggesting that the 4 and 5 star hotels suffered most in this industry with the enormous drop-off in numbers and ‘bums in beds’ as a result. It was 3-star or nothing …

In many ways this recession was a hidden blessing … however before anyone gets angry with me for this suggestion, I say this purely because I have observed and have been involved in how many individuals and companies have found alternative resources… it’s amazing how much talent is available in all of us which we seldom considered or were aware of until we were forced into the situation of having to find other means of making ends meet … I have seen degreed women and men turning their hands to wood-work, a previous hobby, to building houses, something they had never even considered was a possibility, to waitering in the evenings for tips to make up the shortfall … I take my hat off to all those who have rigorously looked for and found other means the subsidise salaries in their professions to put bread on the table.

However, all this is stale news now … for it has been a topic elaborated on over and over again, added to, expounded on and regrettably over-dramatised by the sensation seekers amongst us, resulting in fear, more fear and to many a sense of hopelessness.

Hopelessness is not the way to go ….. for we have all been equipped with the wherewithal to manage, to cope and to surge forward in any circumstances … though it doesn’t feel that way at times, I know … we have to move on, move forward and I think, in my humble opinion, try as best we can to ‘live in the present’ …. Yeah, I hear you say, we have to plan for our futures … and I do whole heartedly agree with that however the future is not clear at all … we haven’t got there yet, so focussing all of our energy and attention on ‘tomorrow’ can be exhausting and we forget to consider where we are NOW, and appreciate the present for what it now presents us with. We could miss the boat, in saturating our minds with what comes next. While it is necessary to dream about tomorrow, for our dreams often do become our reality (so beware of what you dream – it could just come true!) … however, to return to a more serious note … I am sure you will agree that most of us have found that we are really extremely entrepreneurial, resilient and very talented individuals, with many other resources we have been able to tap on, sufficient to keep us fed and housed, while we have had to forget about many luxuries, about that trip abroad or even just down the coast for a weekend, or our weekly dinner at a fine restaurant … I often ponder on something I was once told, that we can’t take with us any of the stuff we accumulate in our lives … we go solo when we go … so yes, let’s enjoy what we can afford to have but let us wake up to the fact that we have become a species that focuses way too much time on ‘having’ and too little time on ‘being’ … Being is guaranteed, having is not.

And now for the good news …

The old cliché claims that ‘when the going gets tough … the tough get going’ …

World Cup 2010 contributed enormous growth and was a major boost for tourism in South Africa. Stats claim that there was a 15.1% growth in tourist arrivals to the country in 2010 who visited South Africa primarily for the World Cup.

The United Nations’ COP 17 Climate Change Conference also contributed much to the economy and also proved what we are capable of.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said at the annual congress of the S.A. Association of the Conference Industry last week that South Africa has secured more than 200 international conferences already for the forthcoming five years. He estimated that this will attract approximately 300,000 delegates to the country and an economic boost of more than R1.6 billion for the economy. That’s good news!
In 2011, South Africa received 392,000 business travellers, of which 140,000 were meetings incentive conference and events (MICE) delegates. Van Schalkwyk said his department had set a target of 15 million international arrivals by 2020.
This augurs well, wouldn’t you agree? …
What we in the South African Conference & Tourism industry must maintain is the exceptionally high standard of service and quality of venues we are renowned for world-wide … we cannot afford to drop the ball … it is natural to our citizens to offer top class hospitality and standards – it is part of who we are – and we have the wherewithal for international-standard training. Let us never become arrogant or de-motivated for the hospitality industry largely contributes to our economy. We have so much to offer …. We also have much to gain for the good of all. Let’s pull out all the stops and be better than our best … we can do it. We have proved this. World Cup Soccer was a fine example of this.

Article written by Rosalie Howard. The Venue Pages