Sunday, November 22, 2009

World Class Cape Town beaches

7 of Cape Town's beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status this year, with Big Bay Beach in Blouberg attaining this prestigious status for the first time. Blue Flag status means that beaches meet 33 criteria, spread across four areas: environmental education and information; water quality; environmental management and safety and services. The Blue Flag programme is a voluntary international campaign and award scheme that guarantees tourists that the beaches they are visiting are clean and adhere to international safety standards

Blue Flag is a prestigious, international award scheme which acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina they are visiting is one of the best in the world.
It is awarded to coastal destinations which have achieved the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. Over the years it has acted as an incentive to many beach managers to improve the quality of the coast and their hard work has led to a revival of the coastline and beaches around the world. Only beaches that are selected by the respective municipalities are submitted for grading.

A total of 29 South African beaches have been given Blue Flag status this year, which is good news for tourism as it increases the country's desirability and reputation as a world-class destination, said Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk. He added that apart from Morocco, South Africa is the only African country which implements the Blue Flag programme, reinforcing the status of our country in the International Tourism market.

Cape Town's Blue Flag beaches, all of which are in easy reach of our conveniently located affordable self catering accommodation are:

• Big Bay beach, Bloubergstrand ; known for its spectacular views of Table mountain across the bay
• Clifton Fourth Beach ; the place where beautiful people go to be seen, and to see
• Camps Bay ; popular family beach and the “in “ place to be seen
• Muizenberg ; with its shallow slope and long rolling waves, an deal beach for surfers as well as bathers
• Strandfontein Beach ; so long that it is seldom crowded, good surfing and bathing as well as angling
• Mnandi Beach ; An enclosed landscaped water park, playground, picnic sites, long sandy beaches good for walking and fishing. Mainly frequented by members of the formerly disadvantaged community
• Bikini Beach, Gordon's Bay ; this small beach nestling under the mountains is beautifully sheltered from the wind and ideal for a relaxed day in the sun

South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to have blue flag beaches, which signifies a high level of water quality, facilities, cleanliness and safety. Cape Town has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the country.

Three other Western Cape beaches won Blue Flag status: Grotto Beach at Hermanus, Hawston beach, and Lappiesbaai at Stilbaai.

Durban , popular holiday destination for South Africans from up country , has lost out. The eThekwini Municipality had six beaches on the programme, but these lost their status after unacceptably high sewage-related pollution was detected at five of the city's Blue Flag beaches.

The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which has its head office in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) has been authorised to run the Blue Flag programme in South Africa.

photo :courtesy of Tourism South Africa
Barefoot in the Sand is the Blog of affordable Cape Town self catering holiday accommodation for the information of visitors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google Streetview adds our favourite places

Google and South African Tourism are on a search for the top three tourist locations in South Africa this summer, to bring images of South Africa’s best rated attractions to the public using Google’s Street View application, which was launched in South Africa on September 1 this year. Google Street View is an extension of the very popular Google Maps, which will allow users to ‘go down to street level’ and see what it looks like at a particular spot on a map. This is great news for tourists and visitors and even armchair tourists, who will now be able to do a “virtual tour” of Cape Town and other great cities through the Google website This comprises a series of panoramic, interactive placed on the exact spot from which they were taken. These images become extremely informative and powerful because Google has created the ability to generate hundreds of thousands of them, each +- 10 m from the next. Strung together, the panoramic images allow you to take a virtual walk or drive down a street in New York, London, and soon, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Because some of the best places to visit are not always accessible by car, the Street View images will be collected using the Google Trike, which comprises three bicycle wheels and a mounted camera. It weighs about 110 kg and comes with a very fit cyclist, who will be hard to miss in his branded apparel. A shortlist of 20 locations has been drawn up for the public to choose from. Now it’s up to you to vote for the places you would most like to be rated as the most popular. This is great news by the always innovative Google to publicize our beautiful country ahead of the 2010 World Cup
This is the chance Capetonians have been waiting for to show the whole country the beauty of places that one can visit from our affordable holiday accommodation, including Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach, Chapman’s Peak , Franschhoek Winelands, and more of Cape Town’s top 100 attractions. The Trike will be available for a short time during the summer. Once it has finished its journey, the images it takes will be made available on Google Maps’ Street View.
Google South Africa head Stephen Newton stated
“We want it to be a really fun, new aspect of the website. Users will be able to virtually tour historical monuments or scenic locations before visiting– or check out which side of a football stadium they need to be on before leaving the house.”
The Google website states :
We're working hard to bring Street View to South Africa, so we've created the Google Trike to go to the amazing tourist spots that can't be reached by cars. We want you to tell us your favourite 3 places that you think the Trikes should visit first. So get voting now!
For more information on this initiative and to cast your vote, visit the website and cast your vote
Chose from the list of :

Newlands Cricket Stadium
Kruger National Park
Blyde River Canyon
Cathedral Peak
Addo Elephant Park
Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach
St Lucia/iSimangaliso Wetlands
Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves
Mandela House, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Soweto highlights
Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift and the Valley of the Zulu Kings
Bloemfontein Houses of Parliament
Franschhoek Winelands
Apartheid Museum
Big Hole, Kimberley
Tsitsikamma National Park
Chapman’s Peak and Cape coastal panoramas
Constitution Hill
Golf course highlights
Durban Waterfront

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cape Classic Car show

The Cape Classic Car Show will be the biggest and most diverse Classic motor show ever to have been staged in Cape Town, will be held on 15 November 2009 at the Jan Burger Sports complex, De Grendel Road, Parow, Cape Town-home of the multi motor clubhouse.

Some 1000 vehicles will be exhibited by no fewer than 40 motor clubs, and will include street rods, racing cars, vintage motorcycles, military vehicles, radio controlled models and a model car show display.
Take this opportunity to meet Western province motor racing legends including Peter Gough, Koos Swanepoel, Bill Jennings and Deon Joubert. There will be an opportunity to be photographed with these greats from the past.The Cape 4x4 Club has laid out a course especially for this show and for displaying the capabilities of their vehicles.
The Franschhoek Motor Museum will be showing some of the rarest and finest classic cars in South Africa. See restored classics that you loved in days gone bay from the Marque clubs including MG, Triumph, Alfa-Romeo, Borgward, GSM, Morris Minor, Jaguar, Sunbeam, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and many more. Stalwarts of the Early Ford Car Club and Crankhandle Club will boast a turnout of some 100 cars of yesteryear, plus many more vehicles coming from as far afield as George, Gauteng and the West Coast. The Morris Minor club will have the Cape Artillery Pipe band to lead their cars on to the display. In keeping with the theme, expect some live good old rock ‘n roll music to keep spectator toes tapping.
The family has not been overlooked as there will be exhibitions of radio controlled cars and aircraft; German Shepherd dog trainers putting the animals through their paces; exhibits of model cars and other collectibles.
For more information phone Ian little, Classic car show coordinator on 083 440 1310A location map of the venue is available on the website of our Cape Town Triumph Sports Car club- see link above.

If you are a visitor from out of Town, and require affordable accommodation please let us help you at Horizon Holiday Cottages :
Website or enquire
Entrance is R 30 per adult, and proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Hout Bay, and the clubhouse.