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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Frankfort, Kentucky


    Cultural and Scenic Tour for Beekeepers
    PROGRAMME 2004

    Tour Dates: Depart Atlanta, USA, November 29, 2004
    Return Cape Town/Johannesburg, SA, December 14, 2004
    Tour Price Including air fare: $3500. Tour 13 nights/14 days
    Air Fare RETURN - (South African Airways). Air Travel from
    Atlanta GA, to Johannesburg, South - Africa.
    17 hour flight, one stop on Ile de Sol

    Contact: Robin Mountain 502 597 6580 office

    Brief Resume of Tour

    The above tour price includes:

    - all transfers mentioned in the itinerary in an appropriate sized vehicle with driver
    - services of English speaking SATOUR registered guide throughout the tour (Day 1 to 13)
    - subsistence and accommodation where necessary for driver and guide
    - 2 nights The Don Suite Hotel Arcadia b&b
    - 2 nights Hluluhwe Game Reserve – Hilltop Camp b&b and 1 safari daily
    - 2 nights Beach Hotel b&b
    - 1 night Holiday Inn Garden Court East London b&b
    - 1 night Knysna River Club b&b
    - 3 nights Santos Protea b&b
    - 2 nights the Protea Breakwater Lodge b&b
    - all excursions with entrances mentioned in the itinerary
    - baggage handling fees
    The above price excludes:

    - any other meals and drinks
    - optional excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
    - gratuities
    - any items of personal nature i.e. laundry, telephone, mini bar
    - any other flights

    All prices are subject to change but all effort will be made to keep this trip as affordable as possible.

    (greeting) Sanibonani! "Good day!"
    (response) Yebo! "Yes good day!"
    (greeting) Ninjani? "How are you?"
    (response) Sikhona, ninjani nine? "We are well how are you?"
    (response) Natsi sikhona! "We also are well"

    Detailed Resume of Tour

    Tuesday Nov 30: Arrive in Johannesburg (Day 0) Pretoria 2 nights

    Wednesday Dec 1: Johannesburg/Pretoria. (Day 1) Pretoria 2 nights - The Don Suite Hotel Arcadia, Pretoria.
    Met and greeted by Recreational Tours, SATOUR registered local guide.
    Gold Reef City, Beekeeping Visit (TBA) pm,
    Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and boasts some of the finest architecture such as the Herbert Baker designed Union Buildings, the Afrikaner Cultural Museum and Voortrekker Monument, Church Square.
    Johannesburg City tour, known as the City of Gold.
    The exploitation of these gold fields gave rise to the industrial, commercial and financial development of Johannesburg which is now considered the economic hub of Africa. In conjunction with this development many black people came to the city to find work and settled on the outskirts of the city which now have given rise to very large black townships such as Soweto and Vosloorus.
    Visit Gold Reef City. African dancers, go down gold a mine shaft, and gold pour.

    Thursday Dec: 2 Thursday: Johannesburg/Pretoria (Day 2)
    Pretoria City tour.

    Cullinan Diamond Mine; continue to the mining town of Cullinan for a visit to Premier Diamond Mine. The mine has produced many of the world’s largest stones amongst which the most well known is the Cullinan Diamond now part of the British Royal Family Crown Jewels.

    Home to General Jan Smuts for over 40 years, Doornkloof in Irene, southeast of Pretoria, is a unique museum that reveals much about the life and the spirit of this great statesman.

    Beekeeping Visit (TBA) pm.

    Friday Dec 03: Travel to Kwa Zulu (Day 3) 2 nights Hluhluwe Game Reserve

    Saturday Dec 04: In the game reserve. (Day 4) 2 nights Hluhluwe

    The region of northern Kwa Zulu Natal an area of great ecological diversity such as the vast Greater St Lucia Wetland Park which teems with wildlife such great numbers of hippo, crocodile, antelope and prolific birdlife. The Hlulhuwe-Umfolozi game reserve is also in this area and is world renowned for its preservation of the white and black rhino.
    Sunday Dec 05: St Lucia boat trip. (Day 5) 2 nights Durban
    Continue to Durban on the North Coast road passing through some popular holiday destinations for South Africa such as Ballito, Umhlanga Rocks. Zinkwazi Beach, Chakas Rock. Visit Natal Sharks Board.

    Monday Dec 06: Optional day tours. (Day 6) 2 nights Durban
    Battlefields Tour. Some of the fiercest battles between the Voortrekkers and the Zulu nation, the Zulu nation and the British army, and the British army and the Boers took place in this area. Battlefield routes to include on ones itinerary are those in Estcourt, Ladysmith, Newcastle, Eshowe, Ulundi, Vryheid and Volksrust. Routes cover battlefields, memorials, forts and other historical reminders.

    Shakaland Zulu Experience Tour -
    Or Beekeeping Visit (TBA)

    Tuesday Dec 07 (Day 7) 1 night accommodation Holiday Inn Garden Court East London *** b&b

    Early morning departure through Eastern Cape to East London
    1 night accommodation HIGC East London

    Early morning transfer through Eastern Cape to East London. Set at the mouth of the Buffalo River, East London is South Africa’s only major river port. The town is most well known for the discovery of the ‘living fossil’ fish, the coelacanth.


    Wednesday Dec 08 (Day 8) 1 night accommodation Knysna River Club *** b&b

    Travel inland via King Williams Town – Fort Beaufort – Adelaide to Drennan.
    This route is steeped in early Settler history and Xhosa culture and is also home to Fort Hare where many great African leaders studied including Neslon Mandela.


    Thursday Dec 09 (Day 9) 3 nights accommodation Santos Beach Hotel *** b&b

    Morning visit Knysna Oyster Factory for a glass of South African Sparkling Wine and some local oysters.

    Afternoon cruise on the John Benn Ferry.


    Friday Dec 10 (Day 10) 3 nights accommodation Santos Beach Hotel *** b&b

    Day at leisure – NB the coach will not be in service on this day
    Mossel Bay is a very popular holiday destination for many South African and international tourists. Many great walking tours, deep-sea fishing, shark diving, and great seafood restaurants will be waiting to be explored.

    Saturday Dec 11 (Day 11) 3 nights accommodation Santos Beach Hotel *** b&b

    Travel over Outeniqua Mountain Pass into the Klein Karoo. Morning tour of Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm, Cango Wildlife Ranch. - Return to Mossel Bay


    Sunday Dec 12 (Day 12) 2 nights accommodation the Protea Breakwater Lodge *** b&b in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

    Continue on the N2 highway passing through some of the oldest towns in South Africa – the town of Swellendam is the third oldest in the country and has many excellent examples of both Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture dating back to the early 1800’s. Enter into Cape Town City over the Hottentots Hollands Sir Lowrys Pass. The pass has some magnificent viewing spots across False Bay and the Cape Point.

    Beekeeping Visit en route to Cape Town

    John Moodie in Heidelberg and Hans Kiesling in Kleinmond

    Cape Town is situated between Table Mountain and the bay known as Table Bay. It is the seat of government in the country and also the oldest city in South Africa, founded originally for the plantation of vegetables to be supplied to shipping lines travelling to the East. Today, the city has every modern feature with skyscrapers, freeways dominating the landscape, yet also remains steeped in history with gracious old buildings, cobbled streets and many old monuments, for example the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia Manor and Winery, the Bo-Kaap Malay Quarter.
    One of the major attractions of modern day Cape Town is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Development which is centred around the working Victoria & Alfred Harbour. It is an entertainment, cultural and shopping hub with live daily shows, stylish boutiques, fine dining and five star hotels all within walking distance of each other.


    Monday Dec 13 (Day 13) 2 nights accommodation the Protea Breakwater Lodge *** b&b in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

    Full day Cape Peninsula tour Begin your journey to the Cape Point along the Atlantic seaboard passing through Seapoint, the Clifton and Camps Bay beaches to the fishing port Hout Bay. Stop for a browse through the Mariners Wharf or take an optional ferry trip to Seal Island. Continue through the Chapmans Peak Drive (if open) and Ou Kaapse Weg down to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Here you stop to view the mythical meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. For a better view visitors may take the vehicular to the lighthouse.

    After lunch continue along the Indian Ocean side stopping at Boulders Beach to visit the only breeding colony of African Penguin – despite their falling numbers elsewhere they are thriving on this area. Continue to the historical South African Naval base of Simons Town, which also has some interesting examples of Victorian architecture. Optional short tour of the naval base to view the South African navy ships. Return to Cape Town with an unforgettable visit to the top of Table Mountain.

    Return to the hotel early evening.
    Tuesday Dec 14 (Day 14)

    Morning at leisure until transfer to Cape Town International Airport
    Connect on outbound flight


    Information about South Africa.

    In South Africa, one finds the world's strangest and most dramatic landscapes, a unique wealth of animal and plant life, a treasure of gold, diamonds and other minerals, and a kaleidoscope of fascinating cultures. Nature's tools of creation, the wind, sun, ice and rain, have worked a special magic. There are extremes of deserts, savannas, snow-covered mountains, grasslands, high forests and tropical mangrove swamps. Within these climatic zones, earth's most diverse plant population flourishes. South Africa is also the home of big game, and hosts birds as varied as the vast range of habitats and foods that nature has prepared for them.

    It is the variety of South Africa's fascinating and diverse peoples that is its greatest asset. South Africa is often called the cradle of civilization, for this is where archaeologists discovered 2,5 million-year-old fossils of our earliest ancestors, as well as 100 000-year-old remains of modern man.

    Although South Africans come from many cultural traditions, they belong to one nation, a dynamic blend of age-old customs and modern ways, building a new South African society to create a better life for all.

    The people
    On the night of 9 October 1996 there were 40,58 million people in South Africa (Census '96). Of these, 76,7% classified themselves as African; 10,9% as white; 8,9% as coloured; and 2,6% as Indian/Asian. According to Statistics South Africa, the country's population estimates in the year 2000 stood at 43 686 million, of which some 22, 7 million were women. The second democratic census was held in October 2001.

    The South African population consists of the following groups: the Nguni people (including the Zulu, Xhosa and Swazi), who account for two-thirds of the population; the Sotho-Tswana people, who include the Southern, Northern and Western Sotho (Tswana); the Tsonga; the Venda; Afrikaners; English; coloureds; Indians, and people who have immigrated to South Africa from the rest of Africa, Europe and Asia and who maintain a strong cultural identity. A few members of the Khoi and the San also live in South Africa.

    The South African Constitution, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996), states that everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of his or her choice, but no one may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights. Each person also has the right to instruction in the language of his or her choice where this is reasonably practicable.

    Official languages
    To cater for South Africa's diverse peoples, the Constitution provides for 11 official languages, namely: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga.

    Recognising the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages, the Constitution expects the Government to take positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages. According to the Census '96 figures, isiZulu is the mother tongue of 22,9% of the population, followed by isiXhosa (17,9%), Afrikaans (14,4%), Sepedi (9,2%) and English (8,6%).

    The land
    The Republic of South Africa occupies the southernmost part of the African continent, stretching latitudinally from 22? to 35? S and longitudinally from 17? to 33? E.

    Its surface area is 1 219 090 km2. It has common boundaries with the republics of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, while the Republic of Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland lie to the north-east. Completely enclosed by South African territory in the south-east is the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

    To the west, south and east, South Africa borders on the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Isolated, 1 920 km southeast of Cape Town in the Atlantic, lie Prince Edward and Marion islands, annexed by South Africa in 1947.

    The seas
    South Africa is surrounded by the ocean on three sides ? to the west, south and east ? and has a long coastline of about 3 000 km. This coastline is swept by two major ocean currents ? the warm south-flowing Mozambique-Agulhas Current and the cold Benguela. The former skirts the east and south coasts as far as Cape Agulhas, while the Benguela Current flows northwards along the west coast as far as southern Angola.

    The contrast in temperature between these two currents partly accounts for important differences in climate and vegetation between the east and west coasts of South Africa. It also causes big differences in marine life. The cold waters of the west coast are much richer in oxygen, nitrates, phosphates and plankton than those of the east coast. Consequently, the South African fishing industry is centred on the west coast.

    The coasts
    The coastline itself is an even, closed one with few bays or indentations naturally suitable for harbours. The only ideal natural harbour along the coastline is Saldanha Bay on the west coast. However, the area lacks fresh water and offers no natural lines of penetration to the interior.

    Most river mouths are unsuitable for use as harbours because large sand bars block entry for most of the year. These bars are formed by the action of waves and currents, and by the intermittent flow, heavy sediment load and steep gradients of most South African rivers. Only the largest rivers, such as the Orange and Limpopo, maintain narrow permanent channels through the bars. For much the same reasons, the country has no navigable rivers.

    Relief features
    The surface area of South Africa falls into two major physiographic features: the interior plateau, and the land between the plateau and the coast. Forming the boundary between these two areas is the Great Escarpment, the most prominent and continuous relief feature of the country. Its height above sea level varies from approximately 1 500 m in the dolerite-capped Roggeveld scarp in the south-west to a height of 3 482 m in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg.

    Inland from the Escarpment lies the interior plateau, which is the southern continuation of the great African plateau stretching north to the Sahara Desert.

    The plateau itself is characterized by wide plains with an average height of 1 200 m above sea level.

    Surmounting the plateau in places are a number of well-defined upland blocks. The dissected Lesotho plateau, which is more than 3 000 m above sea level, is the most prominent. In general, the Escarpment forms the highest parts of the plateau.

    Between the Great Escarpment and the coast lies an area which varies in width from 80 to 240 km in the east and south to a mere 60 to 80 km in the west. At least three major subdivisions can be recognized: the eastern plateau slopes, the Cape folded belt and adjacent regions, and the western plateau slopes.

    Climatic features
    The subtropical location, on either side of 30? S, accounts for the warm temperate conditions so typical of South Africa, making it a popular destination for foreign tourists.

    The country also falls squarely within the subtropical belt of high pressure, making it dry, with an abundance of sunshine.

    The wide expanses of ocean on three sides of South Africa have a moderating influence on its climate. More apparent, however, are the effects of the warm Agulhas and cold Benguela currents along the east and west coasts respectively. While Durban (east coast) and Port Nolloth (west coast) lie more or less on the same latitude, there is a difference of at least 6?C in their mean annual temperatures.

    Gale-force winds are frequent on the coasts, especially in the south-western and southern coastal areas.

    South Africa has an average annual rainfall of 464 mm, compared with a world average of 860 mm. About 20% of the country has a total annual rainfall of less than 200 mm, 48% between 200 and 600 mm, while only about 30% records more than 600 mm. In total, 65% of the country has an annual rainfall of less than 500 mm ? usually regarded as the absolute minimum for successful dry-land farming.

    In Cape Town, the capital city of the Western Cape, the average rainfall is highest in the winter months, while in the capital cities of the other eight provinces, the average rainfall is highest during summer.

    South Africa's rainfall is unreliable and unpredictable. Large fluctuations in the average annual figure are the rule rather than the exception in most areas of the country. Years when a below-average figure is recorded are more common than years with an above-average total. South Africa is periodically afflicted by drastic and prolonged droughts, which often end in severe floods.

    Temperature conditions in South Africa are characterized by three main features. Firstly, temperatures tend to be lower than in other regions at similar latitudes, for example Australia. This is due primarily to the greater elevation above sea level of the subcontinent.

    Secondly, despite a latitudinal span of 13 degrees, average annual temperatures are remarkably uniform throughout the country. Owing to the increase in the height of the plateau towards the northeast, there is hardly any increase in temperature from south to north as might be expected.

    The third feature is the striking contrast between temperatures on the east and west coasts. Temperatures above 32C are fairly common in summer, and frequently exceed 38C in the lower Orange River valley and the Mpumalanga Lowveld.

    Frost, humidity and fog
    Frost often occurs on the interior plateau during cold, clear winter nights, with ice forming on still pools and in water-pipes. The frost season is longest (from April to October) over the eastern and southern plateau areas bordering on the Escarpment. Frost decreases to the north, while the coast is virtually frost-free. Average annual relative humidity readings show that, in general, the air is driest over the western interior and over the plateau. Along the coast, the humidity is much higher and at times may rise to 85%. Low stratus clouds and fog frequently occur over the cool west coast, particularly during summer. The only other area that commonly experiences fog is the 'mist belt' along the eastern foothills of the Escarpment.

    South Africa is famous for its sunshine. Generally speaking, April and May are the most pleasant months. The rainy season over the summer-rainfall region has then ended, while it has not yet really started in the winter-rainfall area. The hot summer weather has abated, and the winds are lighter than during the rest of the year.

    In certain areas, however, notably the hot, humid KwaZulu-Natal coast, Mpumalanga and the Northern Province, June and July are the ideal holiday months.

    Religion: Religious groups in South Africa
    Almost 80% of South Africa's population adheres to the Christian faith. Other major religious groups are the Hindus, Muslims and Jews. A minority of South Africa's population does not belong to any of the major religions, but regard themselves as traditionalists or of no specific religious affiliation.

    Freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution, and official policy is one of noninterference in religious practices.

    March 2004


    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Bridgewater VT. USA


    Hi rob
    sounds like a great tour sorry I can't go maybe next time. Have a great time and take a lot of pictures.Would love to heaR ABOUT IT WHEN YOU GET BACK.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Frankfort, Kentucky


    I am not sure at this stage if there will be a next time. A trip like this takes so much time and effort, one thing I don’t know if my father will be up to any more of these tours. He really puts his heart and soul into entertaining international beekeepers in South Africa. My wife Stella is arranging a mission trip to Piet Retief, SA, a week after the beekeeping one– cost of her trip $1800.00 all included.

    We already have a fair number committed for the Beekeepers tour, and of course as the number increases so the price will be able to come down. Just yesterday afternoon I was offered Air Line ticket SA USA return for under $1000.00.

    Let me pass on a blunder that I made the other day at a beekeepers meeting in Lexington KY. I said that there would be side tours for the beekeepers wives – Oops big mistake. A sweet but very determined young lady stood to her feet and said – I AM THE BEEKEEPER. So yes, there will be plenty to do for the Non –Beekeepers.

    I should also mention that no visas or shots are needed to enter SA. My father and I will be with the tour group ALL the time. We will not go into any areas that we ourselves would not feel happy going into. As well as having a SATOUR registered tour guide with us at all time, this should give peace of mind.

    Travel broadens the mind.

    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Frankfort, Kentucky


    The SOUTH AFRICAN Cultural and Scenic Tour for Beekeepers PROGRAMME 2004

    Has been CANCLED

    Robin Mountain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Beverly, Mass



    Any Africa beekeeping tours planed for this fall or 2006? Or


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