Forgot to mention that in June I had a fantastic opportunity to work on a project for SA Tourism which involved being part of a film crew assigned to an American couple from New York. They were one of four couples recruited for the campaign. Each couple had a 10 day itinerary that took them to various cities/towns/provinces. The aim of the campaign was to record the couple’s experiences in a ‘real’ way and to get first hand impressions from them at the end of each day. Of course these couples were treated 5 star all the way from the moment they left their respective countries, business class flights, 5 star hotels and restaurants – so in fact it is ‘real’ for a certain income group only. I felt really lucky to be able to experience some of the things that the couple’s were experiencing. It was my first job of this kind and took some getting used to to working with a film crew.
The first few days were based in and around JHB. Below are some of the experiences that stand out for me – Umoja at the Victory theatre, visit to Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind, Roots restaurant at the Forum Homini Hotel situated on a stunning game farm just outside Johannesburg. High Tea at the Westcliff Hotel was also great.
From Johannesburg we travelled by car to Limpopo to Entabeni part of the Legends Golf and Safari resorts. It was here that we had our only adrenaline rush activity. This was to be experienced in a helicopter operated by a ‘cowboy’ pilot who takes you to the top of a mountain where you tee off for the ‘extreme 19th hole‘!
The following day we departed for Hoedspruit to probably one of the nicest accommodations that we had during the trip – Kampama Private Game reserve actually situated just outside of Hoedspruit in the lowveld region. This was my first time to the lowveld area which is mostly flat in contrast to the more hilly grassy highveld region. The crew had rooms at the 5 star Kampama River Lodge with rates of about ZAR1950 per person sharing and the guest couple stayed at Camp Jabulani a private luxury safari lodge within the Kampama Game Reserve with rates of about ZAR8000 per person sharing. The highlight of staying at Kampama was the game drives. My first game drive. One of the film camera guys and myself were in a game drive car with our own ranger basically tracking down animals in the reserve for about 5 or 6 hours to film and photograph.
We flew out from the tiny airport of Hoedspruit all the way to Cape Town. The new international airport in CPT is quite an upgrade from what it
used to be. The accommodation was at the Sun International Waterfront hotel. The French Rugby team and many many Mexican soccer fans were also staying at the hotel. There was quite a great vibe.
Highlights of our stay in the western cape were visiting the beautiful Vergelegen winery in Somerset West, spending an evening at the Lanzerac hotel & spa in Stellenbosch, having dinner in Franschoek at Reuben’s and photographing chef Reuben himself in his kitchen.
Not to forget being at the FIFA FAN Park for the opening match between Bafana Bafana and Mexico!!! What an awesome feeling when Bafana Bafana scored their first goal – wow!