Quality over quantityThey may be overshadowed by their neighbours but Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga have plenty to offer when it comes to business tourism, conferences and events. With the lush mountainous Waterberg, the rich heritage of the Pilanesberg and the famous Kruger National Park, what’s not to love about these three diverse provinces? Besides their natural beauty, business tourism opportunities and the number of conference venues have increased phenomenally over the past couple of years. Shikwaru Lodge in Mokopane, Limpopo, offers an incomparable outdoor experience. The 1 200ha farm is malaria-free and lies in the summer rainfall zone, resulting in wet summers and cool dry winters – the perfect balance. There a six different accommodation venues to choose from within Shikwaru Lodge, each offering something different. Rafiki Lodge is located next to the main restaurant, African Pot. Chef Conrad is a miracle worker in the kitchen and prepares and serves delectable delights daily. The design and feel draws on African tones, with wood and stone throughout the lodge. There are three units, each with two bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and a private kitchen. Team building and conferencing go hand in hand, and at Shikwaru Lodge there’s no shortage of fun activities. The ropes course, archery and driving range are a hit with both informal and corporate groups. For something special, the lodge can organise a private bush dinner under the clear African sky for you and your team. Their newly refurbished, air-conditioned conference facility provides state-of-the-art sound and multimedia equipment and is the ideal venue for corporate functions. The venue can accommodate 200 people and more (depending on the configuration); for more intimate meetings, the boardroom can seat up to 16 people. Situated in the Waterberg is ATKV Klein-Kariba, one of the seven ATKV resorts around the country. Just outside Bela-Bela, along the Bushveld tourist route and just 90 minutes from Johannesburg, Klein-Kariba is the perfect corporate and team building getaway. The resort has five spacious, well-equipped conference venues that can accommodate from 20 to 700 people. The Leadership and Adventure Centre, located next to the resort, is great for groups and students, and offers them the opportunity to make use of ATKV Klein-Kariba’s facilities at a discounted rate. There are 177 self-catering units, which are serviced for conference clients. Some of the heart-racing activities on offer include abseiling, kayaking, quad biking, go kart challenges and super-tubing.
The simply stunning Protea Hotel Ranch Resort is located in a 1 000 ha malaria-free nature conservancy 25 km south of Polokwane and two hours north of Pretoria. One of Limpopo’s most highly acclaimed hotels, it is well known for a very special offering: the ‘Walk with Lions’ experience. Guests are given the opportunity to encounter free-roaming African lions in their natural habitat for up to an hour and a half – – an incredibly memorable experience.The 150 deluxe rooms and self-catering accommodation feature modern conveniences, and both the presidential and executive suites have their own courtyard and spa pool. Known as one of the most popular conference venues in Limpopo, it’s easy to see why. With the four-star superior range of business facilities, well-appointed venues and personal attentive service, you can be assured your meeting, conference or function will exceed expectations. There are 13 conference venues that can hold up to 1 300 people in total. Its own back-up generator system ensures uninterrupted power supply during your event. Wireless connectivity is available throughout the resort and various other secretarial services are available, including e-mail, typing and word processing, fax and photocopying. From Limpopo to the North West. The four-star Kedar Country Lodge, Conference Centre & Spa near Rustenburg is located in a private game reserve inhabited by many species of flora and fauna. Offering seven versatile conference venues, Kedar promises a peaceful setting for business meetings, training and team building activities. The Boekenhout, Molotlegi and Kukama conference rooms cater for groups of up 150 each and the traditional Lekgotla (chief’s meeting room) provides boardroom facilities for up to 30 people. The Paul Kruger Country House Museum encompasses a collection of heritage buildings, offering a fascinating insight into South African history, and the 1872 Restaurant provides the perfect meal break away for groups conferencing at Kedar. Mpumalanga is an exquisite province with venues that match its beauty. Jock Safari Lodge is nestled where the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers meet in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park. The lodge offers 6 000 ha of exclusive traversing rights in an area of the park celebrated for its big five game viewing. As a staff incentive prize, you can’t do better than Jock. The lodge has 12 luxury suites that offer guests an opportunity to experience the gracious style of old world elegance surrounded by the unspoilt wilderness. Each suite has a private ‘sala’ (outdoor lounge) overlooking the river, and bathrooms and outdoor showers that share the same magnificent view. Facilities include the ultimate indulgence: a relaxation retreat with hydro bath, steam room and sauna. Also on site are a gift boutique, indoor and outdoor dining facilities, a library with TV and DVD player, a pool with deck and Internet access. So, why not travel a little further to your incentive, team building or conference destination? As you can see, you’re certainly missing out.