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We recently spent a weekend at the Montagu Country Hotel, and will do a full write-up on it, but in the meantime want to recommend it to you. It's got a wonderful mixture of plushness and history, with a touch of rustic. Montagu is of course home to probably the best hot springs in the Western Cape.

Cruise news: It's nearly cruise season again! We are within 70 days of cruise season starting (the first being the 22 Oct Sinfonia cruise from Italy to South Africa).


On the 16th (today), 17th and 18th August SAA is running a 72 hour sale. Click here to make a booking for the sale, on the following routes:


* Outbound Travel Dates

Johannesburg to Buenos Aires

02Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to Sao Paulo

02Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to London

02Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to Munich

02Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to Frankfurt

04Oct to 14Nov '11

Johannesburg to Perth

24Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to Sydney

24Oct to 30Nov '11

Johannesburg to New York

04Oct to 29Nov '11

Johannesburg to Washington

03Oct to 30Nov '11

*Due to seasonal trends on international routes, outbound travel dates are provided per destination where these specials are available (availability as per time of distribution). 

Terms and conditions apply.

SAA plane in Johannesburg



Air Namibia is increasing its frequencies between Windhoek and Johannesburg, as well as between Windhoek and Cape Town, from 2 flights a day to 3. 

Dinesh wrote to say he was "looking for the buy 2 get 2 free special from Durban to Portuguese Island looking for a date after 19 November but before Christmas".

OUR REPLY: "Hi Dinesh
There are two cruises in the timeline you have specified which still have outside cabins available. SI013 from 16 to 19 Dec 2011 and SI014 from 19 to 22 Dec 2011. At the moment they both have outside 4 berth cabins available. The price is R15,820, inclusive of taxes, insurance and service charges. Prices are subject to cabin availability and fluctuations."

"High on the list of tourist sights (in Zanzibar) are the houses built in the years of the great Omani sultan, Sultan Said bin Sultan and his son, Sultan Barghash. The Omanis had been involved with Zanzibar since the 1600s and the ties with Islam go back to the earliest days of the faith. Sultan Said would be the last sultan to rule both countries. He established the clove plantations on Zanzibar that brought both great wealth and slavery to the island." Noseweek

The Purple shall rule! Jeanette had a disappointing experience on the Premier Classe train: "Dear Sir It is with disappointment that I communicate my experience on your Premier Classe Train. Having invited a guest to join me, so that I could show him how we had developed into a 1st World Country; I was sorely disappointed with the following: The train · The train was delayed by 2 hours. · The outside of the train was dirty and not all windows were clean. · The ablution facilities were not all intact- toilet seat came off. · Doors between carriages did not close automatically- as a result there was a draft through the train. · The heaters only worked at night. Meals · The meals were not of a standard expected for Premier Classe or the price. · Not all soft drinks were available. · Not all wines were available in fact only 2 red wines and 1 white wine. · Crockery did not match- my guest and I received 2 different plates, one patterned and one plain. · The soup seemed to be packet soup and still contained lumps. · The linen was not put on the correct way, the seams were on view. · The Menu displayed was not the food we were given. · High Tea consisted of that , only tea, sorry we were told no cake. Why then call it High Tea? I estimate that the meals we were given could not have cost more than Breakfast R50.00pp, Lunch R80.00pp, Supper R120.00pp per person, tea and coffee x2 R40.00add on the Accommodation for the night R350.00 which gives a total of R680.00. Having paid R2 200.00. There is a shortfall of at least R1000.00 after deduction of salaries, consumables and cost of running the train. My guest was also not impressed and did not experience our *South African* Cuisine. Advert does not compare with Experience."

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The Bottom Line: Mogato wonders when will we be starting giving free investment advice: " When will you be able to help us? and can we correspond through email or do you have to on the site?"

Our reply: " Hi Mogato! Glad you stopped by! We will be starting sending the newsletter next week, and you're welcome to mention topics you'd like us to cover. We'll be giving investment advice once we have our Financial Services Provider Licence - the timeline is mostly out of our hands - depends on how long the regulator approval process takes - we estimate it'll take 3 months. The investment advice will be for free on the website, as we can make our money from putting ads on the site. If you want to correspond via email, we'll have to charge for that advice."