Win a weekend away for two to Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa, a conference and wedding venue in The Midlands KZN

Conference centre Midlands, KZN

Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa is sponsoring a wonderful prize for 2 adults, to win a weekend at their 4-star ‘home-from-home’ on a bed and breakfast basis. Enter our competition by answering the question below and follow our Blog until the draw which will take place on the 21st September 2012. Good Luck! Be a winner!

Location, Location …

Woodridge Country Estate is situated along the magical Midlands Meander, overlooking the rolling hills of the Balgowan valley and direct neighbour to the world-renowned ‘Michael House’. This delightful, luxury conference and leisure venue is waiting to welcome you!

Elegance, beautiful appointments, unsurpassable hospitality and excellent cuisine and service are enhanced by the diverse activities on offer at the property, amidst the naturally grown lavender fields and in the surrounding Midlands Meander. A perfect Team Building destination.

Facilities include a Wellness Spa, a beautiful chapel with awesome valley views and a Wildlife Nature Reserve which attracts not only local folks in conference, or attending weddings but also tourists en-route to the Drakensberg or further afield.

For assistance with your strategic or business planning contact us on 0861 262 262 or info@venuepages.co.za.

Conferencing and Functions, KwaZulu Natal Midlands

Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa offers tailor-made Conference packages to meet individual budgets and needs and these include the facilitation and organization of team building activities on or off site as well as an on-site specialist in Strategic Planning.

The White Mischief venue is ideal for smaller conference groups of 5-24 delegates or for a private, intimate dinner and the Crested Eagle Venue is the perfect venue for 60 – 120 delegates offering full internet facilities.

‘On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever’ … this is from the view-point of the ‘Isibaya’ A La Carte Restaurant which overlooks the Balgowan valley and extending from this is a spacious wooden deck where light meals are served. The restaurant, serving sumptuous home-cooked yet top-chef prepared meals, is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Within the Nature Reserve is The Boma where one may enjoy an outdoor African eating extravaganza surrounded by the unspoilt natural beauty of the property.

Accommodation Rooms at Woodridge Country Hotel:

Set in the picturesque gardens on the property, Woodridge Country Hotel & Spa offers luxury accommodation in 10 Deluxe suites, 5 Family Chalets and 27 Valley or Forest Suites.

Midlands Meander Activities …. These are numerous and varied, all a stones-throw from Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa – your Gateway to the Midlands Meander and the Drakensberg. Some ideas for the leisure guests, tourists and conference visitors to the venue include: (Follow the map or collect the printed version at Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa and spend a day on this magical mystery tour of the meander with a packed picnic lunch provided by the hotel!)

• African Bird of Prey Sanctuary
• Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery
• Dargle Valley Market
• The Brewery at Nottingham Road
• Culamoya Chimes in the Dargle Valley
• Fly Fishing at Kleinbosch Estate
• Africa Adventure Centre
• Guided Horse Rides at Kleinbosch
• Karkloof Canopy Tour
• Shop at Simply Sam Antiques

Now the moment you have been waiting for …..
Competition Corner (Answer this simple question to enter the lucky draw on the 21st September 2012)
What is the maximum number the Crested Eagle venue can seat in conference?

Article written by Rosalie Howard, Venue Pages

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Conference speakers

Since my recent return to South Africa after two years in the UK, I have observed a great need for motivation, for innovation and a need to pool our resources to make a better life for ourselves and our families… to find ways to overcome apparent obstacles which have presented us with enormous challenges. Yes, no question of it … the ‘recession’ has had an enormous impact not only on us here locally but in the EU as well, as you know. And we can continue to lick our wounds and shut ourselves away, feeling helpless in the ‘light of world-wide economic disaster’ OR we can positively and willingly do something about it … there is always a light at the end of the tunnel …

Take some risks … you might find you can fly!
I met up with a long-term friend/associate in the field of Teaching and Motivation recently and he reminded me of what we all have at our fingertips if only we will be willing to look, and find and plunge into head-long, taking some risks … without risk, there are many things we will simply never know we are capable of! In the words of Apollianaire Guillaume ‘“Come to the edge”, He said. They said, “We are afraid”. “Come to the edge”, He said. They came. He pushed them … and they flew’.

Neil le Roux, who is closely associated with SACEE (The South African Council For English Education), based in East London has long been a speaker I have the greatest admiration for. I think, mainly because of his strong belief that we all CAN … Neil doesn’t give up, even in dire moments in his own life … he has never given up and never believed that there isn’t another way. He has spoken at events I have organised for my corporate clients who have all left the conference room lighter, inspired and with many new ideas. Furthermore, Neil will travel throughout South Africa to give a talk at any event, whether it is a conference or seminar, a cocktail function or dinner. He is light and funny, he is charming and well-informed. He is witty and worldly and has great depths of wisdom.

Some Bio
Neil holds a Master’s Degree from the University of the Free State, and also holds post-graduate qualifications from the Damelin Management School and WITS Business School.

He has wide experience in the private sector, and has served as National Director for the American Field Services Student Exchange Programme in South Africa and was Group Human Resources Manager for Mega Plastics.

Neil has travelled widely throughout South Africa studying the Management Training and Development Techniques and Programmes of many of South Africa’s Blue Chip companies. He has also visited companies in Europe, the UK the USA and the Far East.

Trainer, workshop facilitator and speaker, Neil’s current workshops/talks include:

• The Managers’ Toolbox (Productive Management)
• Thinking Out of the Box
• Enhancing Employee Profitability
• Improving Product and Service Standards
• Attitudes and team-work in the work place
• Team Support
• Motivation
• Team Building
• Teaching effective and efficient creativity

Any profits Neil makes on his engagements goes to SACEE for further English education in South Africa. On any corporate or group bookings (minimum of 14 delegates), for every two confirmed attendees, you will get one participant free. (3 for the price of 2!).

Neil shared with me a line he borrowed from Peter Ellyard (Executive Director of Preferred Futures Australia) “If we do not learn to live in the future today, we are going to have to get used to living in the past tomorrow” …. Food for thought yeah?

Neil le Roux may be contacted by any of the following methods:
e-mail: sacee@telkomsa.net
Mob: +27 (0)834173985
Or via info@venuepages.co.za

TEAM BUILDING IN KWA ZULU NATAL, TEAM BUILDING SOUTH AFRICA

 

When you think of the words ‘Team Building’, what comes up for you? “Oo, I need to be physically fit and strong, young and skinny or perhaps muscular and male … “. Fortunately this is not the case! Phew! That feels more comfortable!

To enquire about Team Building please click here and a consultant will contact you.

Team Building companies have designed their numerous activities taking every body type into account, every age and state of health and will never push you beyond your limits. That isn’t the point of Team Building. While it is meant to be a fun activity, the focus is largely on the Team Spirit, Team Bonding, getting to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses, learning to appreciate and respect one another for our pit-falls and our strengths. It is actually a very enlightening form of psychology if you think about it? Right? And the guys who run these events have studied and researched all this stuff and actually are the ‘fundi’s’ at knowing what event or activity will achieve the desired results…And it’s about what your company or department hopes to achieve from the effects and impact of the team building, emotionally, mentally and to see how resilient, how determined you are as a team, whether you do in fact work as ‘one’ and where there are those of us who prefer to work alone … or to be background support and not necessarily in the front … we are all diverse and unique and each one of us in the team will present in a totally unique way, all combining to build a team. All of this serves the team as a whole as each individual supports in his or her own unique manner to make the team work ‘wholly’. Isn’t this what all companies desire at the end of the day (to cash in on a worn-out cliché!) … I reckon … And quite besides what the company desires …. You as delegates want to have fun!

We, in our company have been very fortunate to have met and got to know the guys at Beach and Bush Adventures, based in KZN who have an enormous variety of activities, purpose designed for your desired outcome. I have noted some of the variations below that they will offer your team and will also suggest venues that are tried and tested and most suitable for these activities, while there are many others throughout the Province that will work just as well. And very important to know is that Sean and his team at Beach and Bush Adventures will take their team virtually anywhere nationally to facilitate your team building. They are not stuck with venues in KZN. Good guys to know!!

Beach and Bush’s ‘Minute 2 Winit’ – Cocktail Challenge team build for the rainy day and is a fantastic alternative to physical team building and a perfect ‘Ice-Breaker’ on the first night away from home.

General

Participants spend time in groups completing low-impact / mentally challenging tasks in a set time limit as per the popular television show. They then end off by creating unique cocktails which are graded and presented to the group.
The first stage consists of groups competing directly across a series of classic ?Minute 2 Winit! puzzles and tasks. Groups are then scored and access to a wide range of cocktail mixing ingredients, garnishes etc are dependent on the score attained.
Using limited resources, teams must then mix up a storm to create the ultimate cocktail.
Teams present their cocktails to the panel in front of the entire group and our experienced judges sample and rate the creations, often a hilarious undertaking!

All team members then have access to the bar to mix additional cocktails, a great party starter.
At the end each group must present their cocktails and explain them, they are judged and the cocktail champions are announced.

SPECIFIC OUTCOMES: RELAX, INTERACT OUTSIDE OF WORKSPACE, CO-ORDINATE, TIME MANAGEMENT

The Amazing Race Team Build : This …Is… Fun!!!

This option is customised according to the area in South Africa where it takes place. Beach and Bush have set up routes throughout South Africa, but are always willing to re-quote and re-plan according to your needs.
The tone of Beach and Bush’s Amazing Race team building activity is action packed, sophisticated, yet fun. Events are chosen based on your desired team building outcome. Challenges such as the ‘art challenge’ are geared to set a more upmarket tone, and events such as the ‘road block’ and ‘giant puzzles’ test your skills whilst keeping the event light-hearted and fun.
Brief overview: Teams meet at the start of the race. They are given instructions on the route and details of the challenges, which can be completed in any order. Teams begin the race, completing ALL the challenges as quickly as possible, acquiring clues after each challenge allowing them to proceed. The objective is simple…. complete all the challenges and be the first team home.
Amazing Race team building activity options include: Kayak Challenge / Croc Farm Challenge / Cocktail Mixing / Casino Challenge / Fishing Challenge / Giant Puzzles / Bungee Jumping / Sangoma Challenge / Art Challenge / Down-Down Challenge / Sushi Challenge / Treasure Hunt / Polaroid Camera Challenge / Road Block Challenge / Climbing Wall Challenge……….. and many more fantastic options.
Available In South Africa and across Africa on request.

What Is Included

• Professional facilitators at each station
• Pre-planning & set up
• Chosen activities
• All equipment and required items
• Access to all relevant properties used in the activities

Durbs By The Sea … The uShaka Challenge

The appeal of the uShaka Challenge Teambuild is that it’s low impact and the focus is on fun while, the challenges are specifically structured to encourage fundamental team building outcomes such as improved communication, cohesion and respect for roles and norms. Ushaka has become a successful team building venue enjoyed by all taking part in this challenge.
Activity Options: you can choose to either do a ‘dry’ or ‘wet’ uShaka Challenge Teambuild, and activity options include the following examples and much more.

DRY:

• Bribe the Pirate: bribe the pirate on the ship with either coke or rum for the next clue.
• Too Cool for School: wax a surfboard on the beach.
• Polaroid Camera Aquarium: find a clue situated in the aquarium, take a Polaroid picture as proof of finding it to get the next clue.
• Help Bongani Lifesaving Challenge: using a rope and kayaks you’ll have to perform a rescue operation either in the surf or in the canals (physical).
• Wimpy Challenge: have to make something and eat it.

WET:

• Lazy River Catch Up Race: find a clue in the river running through the park.
• Snorkel Lagoon Treasure Hunt: find a clue hidden in the lagoon.
• Chicken Run Plunge: go down a 90 degree slide holding an egg without breaking it.
• Kayak Race: racing around buoys on the surf (physical).
The uShaka Challenge Teambuild is a flexible team building event that can be structured to be run either as a race (as in the Amazing Race) or as a more static concept like Fear Factor. With a large group, it is usually recommended that a combination of the 2 be applied. Ie: Each group is given a number of tasks to complete, some of these are time based, whereas with others the goal is simply to finish.

DRUMMING …..

Ponder on this … every single organ in our bodies beats to its own rhythm …synchronising and working in harmony with every other organ. A normal body works in an organised manner, each cell and each organ supporting all the others … Rhythm is in everything that lives … (That wipes out some people’s belief that they have no sense of rhythm! You can’t get off that lightly!)
Drum Africa is a fresh look at interactive drumming sessions, uniquely designed as a teambuild for corporate groups. Let the rhythm of the African Beat surge through your body as you drum away your stress and build your team. No previous musical experience is needed and if you can clap your hands to a beat, you can play a drum and carry a rhythm.
Drum Africa is brought to you by Beach and Bush Adventures, one of South Africa’s top corporate teambuilding and event organising operators.

General

Beach and Bush’s Drum Africa is an interactive team build designed for groups of 10 – 200 people. It is mobile and can be done anywhere as long as there is sufficient space and seating. Drum Africa is also a great add on to any of the other Beach and Bush teambuilds.

Each drumming session takes around 1 hour but can be customized to fit in with your schedule, the sessions are broken up into 4 parts and as the drummers skills progress, so does the difficulty. Each person is equipped with either a djemba drum, shaker or rhythm sticks. At the direction of our facilitators we start with a simple beat and before you know it you’re making MUSIC!!!
Interactive drumming is a great way to build your team, within minutes we’ll have the group interacting in a unique way, every individual will have there own part to play in ensuring that the show goes on. Participants are quick to learn that individual efforts count for very little and team work is essential. Drum Africa is specifically designed as a teambuilding event and professional facilitators are always on hand to ensure that the session is a success.

Recommended Venues

• The Boathouse – North Coast
• Pumula Beach Hotel – South Coast
• Tala Private Game Reserve – Inland between Hillcrest and PMB
• Mondazur Resort Estate Hotel – Southbroom South Coast
• Palm Dune Beach Lodge – North Coast
• Bonamanzi Game Park
• Fordoun Hotel, Spa and Restaurant – Midlands
• Woodridge Country Estate Hotel and Spa – Midlands
• Granny Mouse, Country House – Midlands
• Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort – Central Berg
• Champagne Sports Resort – Central Berg
• Quantani Resort – Free State
• Alpine Heath Resort – Northern Berg
Article written by Rosalie Howard: The Venue Pages

 

 

LEGENDARY SAFARI EVENTS

Did you know that Hayward’s Grand Safari Events & Expeditions set a record a few years back for the biggest luxury safari expedition ever conducted – a 58-day cross Africa operation to mark the launch of BMW’s all new X5 vehicle.

This huge logistical exercise took place at three World Heritage Sites in South Africa (The Cradle of Humankind Johannesburg, the Cape West Coast National Park Langebaan, and the Kwa Zulu Isimangaliso / St Lucia biosphere) over a 4 week period.

It involved more than 8,500 km’s of travel, 300 tons of equipment in sixteen 8 ton trucks and an ultimate luxury safari tented camp that hosted more than 2000 guests (120 per night for 18 nights).

The 60 bedroomed tented safari camp complete with en-suite facilities per tent, was managed by a strong team of 60 crew, an outstanding chef team, the very best guides each region could offer and a full AV sound and lighting team.

Guests ratings averaged 9.6/10 across 22 points of Customer Satisfaction. Each evening was themed and entertainment was South
Africa’s very own opera stars performing Ama Opera… to incredible applause under an African night sky.

Why am I telling you this now? Well, simply put, that was a few years back – we are now in another league and our expertise and capability have grown in leaps and bounds producing safari camps that are truly exquisite.

Call us for a presentation and a re-look into what Hayward’s can do to spice up your big group safari event experiences. ANYWHERE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

WILD COAST JIKELEZA FESTIVAL AT INKWENKWEZI GAME RESERVE

 

Day 71: Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve

Day 71: Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve (Photo credit: sharonpe)

The Eastern Cape has seen some busy activities in this past month with the Grahamstown Arts Festival having kick-started the events which have followed in its wake. Stats at the festival recorded that some 218 000 visitors checked in at the Arts Festival.

This past weekend, The Stanton’s who own the magnificent Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve and Lodge hosted the 13thWild Coast Jikeleza Festival’ on their beautiful property, 30 klms east of East London. This is a sequel to last weekend’s ‘Christmas in July Festival’ at Hogsback.  Both events attracted thousands of visitors and the organisers said that the attendance and participation exceeded all expectations.

Graham Stanton, founder of the Wild Coast Jikeleza Association and co-owner of Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, was motivated to start the annual Jikeleza Festival and Jikeleza Association by a trip along the KZN Midlands Meander 13 years ago. ‘Jikeleza’, a Xhosa name means ‘Meander’ and the tourism area of Jikeleza starts from Floradale outside East London and continues along the East Coast Resorts Road.

The Jikeleza Marketing movement is responsible for having created some 500 full-time jobs for local folk.

The festival attracts visitors from Port Elizabeth, Queenstown Mthatha and of course, East London and surrounding areas.

A little background

Inkwenkwezi, was a manifested dream of the Umtata born Stanton brothers, Graham and Keith.

Some time after Graham matriculated, he moved to the CintsaValley and bought portion of the property on which Inkwenkwezi is now situated with the idea of developing a game farm.

Over the years, stocking of the game park has resulted in there being over 40 species of game, including sightings of leopard which have been encouraged by the buck/game to return to the area.

One of the Big-5 reserves however taking into consideration the uniqueness of the reserve’s locality, being adjacent to the coast there is also the possibility of spotting the Southern Wright Whale which would entitle this magical property to be called a Big-6 Reserve!

Inkwenkwezi started off employing 10 staff members and over the years, as the reserve has grown they now employ 80 people with these numbers likely to grow as the reserve develops even further. Local crafters are also encouraged to provide the on site Curio Shop with locally made items, native to the area.

Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is a 4-star property offering luxury tented accommodation, tastefully appointed with all mod-cons and en-suite bathrooms plus 25 en-suite bedrooms in the Lodge.

Conference venues at Inkwenkwezi Game Lodge

4-star Conference facilities seat up to 120 delegates while the Lapa, used for out-door conferences and events seats up to 30 people. A relaxing haven in the bush where traditional and Western cuisine is offered to resident guests.

Each family in residence in the luxury tented camp is served right royally by a dedicated tour guide/ranger who attends to all one’s needs from collecting guests at their tent and taking them to the Lodge or the Lapa for their meals to taking them on a personal game drive throughout the magnificent reserve, home to Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, many species of Buck, Zebra, Cheetah, Warthog and many bird species.

Activities on site include guided game drives, guided mountain biking, guided quad bike tours, and the tour of the Elephant Sanctuary, a highlight of one’s visit to Inkwenkwezi where visitors may interact with the elephants, feed them, touch and smell them. An experience you will never forget, close up and personal with one of the world’s greatest and largest animals.

Article written by Rosalie Howard, The Venue Pages.