TRANS AFRICA SAFARIS PARTNERS WITH FROST ATTORNEYS FOR CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY
Lesley Botha and Jennifer Paterson are Rotarians with Kirstenbosch Rotary Club and through Rotary were introduced to John Muir of Frost Attorneys. John has been involved with Eldene Primary School in Elsie River, Cape Town for the past four years and formed the Kidz Club to help these pupils. Many of these children come from impoverished and/or abusive backgrounds and are facilitated every alternate Saturday by the Cape Town Church of Christ.
Approximately 200 leaners from the school are supported through this psychosocial intervention. Interventions are required for children who are made vulnerable at an early age as a result of various social factors.
John comments “a successful transition into adulthood depends heavily on these types of interventions as well as consistent support through all key developmental stages. Services offered to the children also include nutritional support. Key to this is ensuring that nutritional support programmes continue during the holidays when the school is closed.”
John adds that it has been said “IT IS EASIER TO RAISE STRONG CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR BROKEN MEN.” Sage words indeed …!
Through John, Trans Africa Safaris, organized a snake show for the children and gave each of the 200 children a Christmas hamper comprising various sweets, chocolates, drinks and a toy. TAS is not sending Christmas cards this year and decided to support this school in lieu of cards.
We recently hosted a fantastic group of agents on an educational trip of Cape Town, the Winelands, Victoria Falls and Botswana. The group comprised mostly American agents, with one Canadian and one American-Australian.
We were graciously hosted by One&Only Cape Town, Belmond Mount Nelson, Royal Livingstone, Great Plains’ Duba Expeditions and Belmond Eagle Island – wonderful partners, each and every one of them!
A great time was had by all with many exceptional experiences – lovely wines and cuisine in Franschhoek, shopping in Cape Town, a delightful Zambezi River cruise, a lion hunt, boating & canoeing in the Okavango Delta, a helicopter flight, a bush dinner and a milestone birthday on safari to boot!!
We have no doubt that our group of ladies all returned home with a stockpile of life-time memories and we look forward to showing many more our agents and their clients our magnificent destination. As has often been said before, “You may leave Africa, but Africa never leaves you ….”!
If you would like to be considered for future educational trips, please do let us know.
All the very best for the last few weeks of 2016!!
Trans Africa Safaris has been an ardent supporter of Uthando for the past 8 or so years and we really embrace all the wonderful work that the organization does for impoverished communities.
Uthando (Love) South Africa is a unique and innovative Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company whose aim is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for community development projects in South Africa.
Recently, the founder, James Fernie, sent out this notification on the Cape Town Opera Outreach Programme.
Uthando is constantly striving to offer truly inspiring, authentic and meaningful experiences while doing good, showcasing remarkable stories and helping to raise money for innovative community projects.
We shine a light on beautiful people, doing incredible things while helping them!
Cape Town Opera Outreach
If you think that opera is elitist, with no possible relevance to impoverished communities in South Africa, Cape Town Opera (CTO) would like to invite you to think again.
As a company operating in a developing country, Cape Town Opera (CTO) embraces its social responsibilities. With two full-time staff and 10 contract workers, CTO’s Education and Outreach department maintains an energetic program of projects that annually benefits over 4, 000 learners primarily in rural/township communities across eight South African provinces.
As Africa’s premier opera company, CTO is committed to ensuring that young learners from low-income backgrounds experience the magic of opera. CTO works directly with 160 primary school learners based in Vredenburg, Retreat and Nyanga and six school teachers/administrators from schools in these communities.
These communities are rife with social problems such as teenage pregnancy, boredom, unemployment, alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV infection, and school dropout. CTO uses music and singing as a palliative to sustain hope and joy in the face of adversity.
In response to the lack of resources in township primary schools, Cape Town Opera has created Opera is My First Language, a mobile teaching resource that provides weekly in-depth music instruction to 160 young learners throughout the year.
Hailed as a cornerstone of a complete education curriculum, sadly the time spent on music instruction has unfortunately steadily decreased in public schools over the past twenty years, especially among schools that serve children of low socio-economic backgrounds. With severely overtaxed resources in township primary schools, efforts are focused on teaching basic reading, writing and mathematics skills and music has become a marginalized subject which is either taught poorly, or not at all.
For six months, the students of St. Mary’s School in Retreat have been preparing to perform an opera adaptation of the Fairy Tale, Hansel and Gretel. During two hour classes, they have been learning music notation, how to read a music score, and participating in dance and drawing classes related to Hansel and Gretel. In addition, they have been studying a written script of the play, to help with literacy.
As a non-profit company, Cape Town Opera relies on the generosity of patrons, corporates and Trusts and Foundations. As we receive no sustained government funding, we seek innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of the future of opera in South Africa.
In support of the above production, Uthando is running a VERY special tour on Friday, 28 October 2016. The focus of the tour will be visiting a school in the area of Retreat (Cape Town southern suburbs) to watch a 45-minute dress rehearsal of Hansel and Gretel, a production being staged as part of Cape Town Opera (CTO) Outreach Programme.
Clients will experience the joy of watching 70 children singing on stage, supported by 10 members of CTO, all wearing beautiful funky costumes designed by Cape Town Opera’s resident Set Designer, Michael Mitchell.
This is a rare opportunity to watch some of South Africa’s top opera singers singing on stage with children from underprivileged communities in one of these communities.
Besides visiting this project the tour will also include a visit to one of the beautiful Abalimi Bezekhaya vegetable gardens in Khayelitsha.
All funds raised will be of money will be donated to projects visited.
Today is World Wildlife Day, and we at Trans Africa Safaris, would like to salute and thank all the conservationists, anti-poaching bodies and supporters of our treasured African wildlife.
Around the world, there are a great many animals and plant species whose existence is under threat, but very close to hearts locally, we would in particular like to raise awareness around Rhino, Elephant, Lion and Pangolin whose numbers, in certain regions, are in great peril. Our fauna and flora are, without doubt, one Africa’s greatest assets and we are under no illusion that it will require a diligent and sustained effort to ensure these treasures are safeguarded for future generations.
On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly decided to pro
claim 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2016 under the theme “The future of wildlife is in our hands.” African and Asian elephants will be a main focus of the Day under the theme “The future of elephants is in our hands”. Countries around the world are encouraged to highlight species of wild animals and plants from their own countries, adapting the global theme to suit.
The world’s wildlife, whether charismatic or lesser known, is facing many challenges. The biggest threats to wildlife are habitat loss, as well as overgrazing, farming and development. Poaching and trafficking in wildlife driven by transnational organized crime groups pose the most immediate threat to many iconic species. Elephants, pangolins, rhinoceros, sharks, tigers and precious tree species are among the most critically poached and trafficked species across the world.
From March to end December, Trans Africa Safaris, ran an agent incentive where eligible agents had the chance to win a stunning holiday in South Africa. The draw was done earlier this week and the lucky agent is Laura Wallace of Herff Travel in San Antonio, TX.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Laura!
The prize for two includes:
Business class air on South African Airways
3 nights at the One&Only Cape Town,
2 nights at La Residence in Franschhoek
Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria
1 night at the Saxon in Johannesburg
3 nights at Singita Kruger National Park
Full day tours in Cape Town and transfers throughout
TRANS AFRICA SAFARIS A Family business putting its personal touch on tours and safaris around the continent
Trans Africa Safaris is one of Africa’s oldest tour companies. It was founded by two war veterans in 1918 following their return from the battlegrounds of the first world war.
What started out as a humble chauffeur service to drive the British gentry around Cape Town quickly evolved into an ever-expanding tour company providing travel arrangements throughout Southern & East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
The 97 years of experience Trans Africa Safaris picked up along the way means that it has its own history to tell, as well as the history of its continent. The late Brian Paterson bought the business in the 1980’s and Trans Africa has remained a family business ever since. Brian’s three daughters, Jennifer Beverley and Lesley, have been with the business for many years. Andre Botha, the company’s Sales and Marketing Director, is married to Lesley
“My father-in-law worked for Trans Africa in the fifties and he then went on to buy the business in the early eighties, says Andre. “I joined Trans Africa Safaris in 1994. Prior to that I worked for a leading wine and spirits company in Stellenbosch.”
This personal aspect of the company transfers into its business ethics. Providing a personalized and tailor-made holiday is Trans Africa’s number one priority.
“For us it is really all about the client experience,” explains Andre. “A lot of people say that they provide very personalized and customised authentic trips, but I think for us that is core.”
From the moment Trans Africa receives a tour request, the team sees about trying to collect as much information about the client and their needs as they can. This could be anything from finding out the reasons behind the holiday, such as a honeymoon, or tailoring the holiday to the clients’ specific interests.
“Whether they’re interested in wildlife, food or cultural experience, we always go the extra mile to make sure that we deliver exactly what they are looking for,” he says. ”Often we have files that are three inches thick for two people traveling. Personalized service and catering to the individual requires that we invest a lot of time in each trip to ensure a holiday of the highest order.
Touring a continent that has so much to offer means that there is a lot of variation in the wants and needs of each client. The history of the company and the knowledge it has accumulated helps the tours team produce the perfect tour every time.
“We don’t say that we have everything at our fingertips immediately, but we are very prepared, willing and able to spend a lot of time and effort on making sure that we put together a programme that is exactly what the client is looking for”, explains Andre. “We have had clients in the past that were rail enthusiasts. They wanted to visit all the different rail yards and experience different types of steam trains and experience all the local locomotives. We really will customize a programme to anything specific.
Making Africa a home away from home is another one of Trans Africa’s main ambitions. It provides luxury travel for all its clients to ensure they never miss their creature comforts.
“Today deluxe safaris lodges offer exceptionally spacious and luxurious accommodations, fine cuisine, a wonderful assortment of wines and expert guides,” says Andre. “Top-of-the-line offers include chalets with private plunge pools, spas & gyms, custom-designed jeeps and curio shops where one can indulge in some serious retail therapy.”
The company caters mostly to the higher end of the marker, but also offers mid-range priced trips—whether for families, honeymooners, individuals or small groups.
The company’s deluxe services have not gone unnoticed: it receives most of its business from travel agents that have been impressed by the company’s great reputation. In particular, the company has had a long-standing and prosperous relationship with Virtuoso, a US-based network of travel professionals.
“Virtuoso chose us as a preferred operator for South Africa in 1987”, he explains. “At that point in time, Virtuoso’s member agents and suppliers numbered only a few hundred. The organization has grown enormously since then and there are now more than 9,000 travel advisors in Virtuoso with annual sales in excess of US$14 Billion. A lot of our business comes from Virtuoso and we are certainly very proud of our long-standing relationship with them. They really do have great clients.”
Trans Africa Safaris is the preferred destination specialist for Signature Travel Network in South Africa and business from this group is starting to show impressive potential over the past few years.
Recently, the company has also entered agreements with American’ Express’ Crafted Journeys and Travel Leaders’ In-Country programmes to provide bespoke services in the region for their clients.
In tourism, the destination is your product, and Trans Africa supports many local charities to help improve and support this product. The company takes money from its profits and channels it into Save the Rhino, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, uThando, African Scholars Fund and the Southern African Wildlife College.
“We really try and work with organizations that are close to us from a business perspective, and those that are in our sphere of influence where we can make a difference,” explains Andre. “We try to choose organisations where we believe we can make a meaningful contribution and assist in uplifting the community.
One of these organizations is uThando, which uses tourism as a tool to support the various projects it is involved in.
“uThando is a non-profit organization based in Cape Town,” he says. “it is a wonderful group that helps many underprivileged and marginalised communities, providing support to the elderly and education to school children and special-needs children, as well as sporting, cultural and HIV/Aids programmes. For every client that travels with us, we make a donation to uThando in support of its various projects.”
Through the African Scholar Fund, Trans Africa supports two underprivileged children with their schooling needs, providing them with a platform of opportunity.
These funds go towards school supplies, books, uniforms, tuition fees and all other education costs. Andre and his team hope that their help with change the children’s lives.
“You get sent all of their school reports so that you can see how the pupils are doing,” Andre says. “there was one boy who I remember from about two years ago who did particularly well. He said that his ambition was to study medicine and since he left school he has told me that he is now studying at university. It is heart-warming to see.”
The community is not the only place that Trans Africa hopes to make a difference. It also aims to maintain and improve the environment of the countries in which it works. Eco-tourism is vital on a continent where beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife are the main assets.
“Our big wish is that we can conserve and properly manage our wildlife.” he explains. “If we lose any of these, our product will suffer. I hope that our generation can counter the threats and safeguard our natural assets for future generations.”
Sustainable tourism is vital to Africa’s development. Tourism has the potential to be the biggest industry on this continent, and, in countries where unemployment rates are high, this is a major boon. Without its fauna and flora to attract visitors, the African continent would be at a loss.
Fostering the notion of low-impact tourism and preservation of the natural products, Trans Africa plans to grow, yet to remain a boutique operator. Its emphasis will remain on creating trips that are enjoyable, educational and authentic, and on offering the finest services and accommodation available.
“We wouldn’t want to become so big that we lose the hands-on, personalized involvement that has become our hallmark.” Andre concludes. “Moving forward, we want to expand, but only if we can look after and maintain those ideals that are so important to us. We have to always ensure that we are providing a holiday that is authentic and uniquely memorable.”