Groot Utrecht goes South Africa (3-8 October 2006)

After the success of the business trip to Lapland last year the “Groot Utrecht” group, comprising of directors and/or owners of companies located in the province of Utrecht, decided to organize a business trip to South Africa.

Below you will find a compilation of the many photos which were made during this trip. Thanks to Herman, Alderina, Dick, Laurent, Bart and Ernst for their contribution and Groot Utrecht and BCD Travel for making this trip possible.

 

 
 

Wednesday, October 4: arrival, winery, dinner with music & dance


Arrival at Cape Town after a 14 hour flight from Schiphol via London Heathrow

The Cape Town Table Mountain as seen from the wrong side

The luxury Steenberg hotel in Constantia, about half an hour from Cape Town

My hotel room. The bed looks very tempting but... the day has just begun!

In the afternoon of our first day we visited the Steenberg vineyard next door

Introduction at the Steenberg winery

Fermentation tanks where the conversion from sugar to alcohol takes place

After fermentation and filtering, the wine goes into oak barrels to mature ...

...in a humid environment, resulting in a rounder and fuller taste

And then it is time to taste the full range of Steenberg wines

The hotel buildings, dating back to 1682 have been declared a national monument

The coldwater (!) swimming pool

Music and dance during dinner at the hotel...

...performed by children of Jikeleza: a non-profit private initiative...

... to provide children from disadvantaged communities with creative activities

 
 

Thursday, October 5: Big-5 safari drive, cocktail at the Dutch consul


View of the townships where whole families live in no more than a shed

Transportation the South African way

After a 3.5 hour journey we arrived at the Inverdoorn game reserve...

...where we spotted a couple of cheetah's

The most dangerous animals on the African Continent were named the 'Big 5'...

...the elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard and the lion. That's a check in the box!

And off we go

Getting close: giraffes have eaten the leaves of these trees as high as they can get

 View from the front seat of the Jeep

This close encounter was really spectacular

Two giraffes guarding their baby giraffe

Yep, that's me blocking the view

I almost tripped over this turtle, having only eyes for the giraffes

A final close-up photo taken from behind a bush

Three gnu's (also known as black wildebeest) in the far distance

A couple of impalas, slender medium-sized antelopes

"Groot Utrecht" packed into two rather overcrowded Jeeps

Hang on, one more photo...

An Eland, the world's largest antelope

Grevy zebras

The rare white rhinoceros

Wake up! We've got vistors!

Water buffalo's

 

A tricky situation: a giraffe blocks our way...

...while two angry looking buffalo's close in from behind!

 birdy?

South African oryx (also knows as gemsbok)

An ostrich, the largest living bird on earth

And if you look closely you can see a couple of youngsters

Okay, we didn't spot the whole 'Big 5' but all the other animals -and for me especially the giraffes and zebras- still made it a memorable safari!
   

At the end of the day we were invited for a reception at Cecilia Ridge...

...the residence of the Dutch Consul General of South Africa
 

Friday, October 6: Golf, business meeting Convention Center, Beach volleyball


A championship 18-hole golf course surrounds the Steenberg hotel

 

The course is designed using the natural features and hazards

 

Business meeting with Dirk Elzinga (RAI Amsterdam) at the CTICC...

...the Cape Town International Convention Center

At the end of the second day we had a beachvolleyball clinic at Camps Bay beach

The nets are in place, the rules have been explained so it's time for a warming up

Four quickly assembled beachvolleyball teams played a death match...

...and the winning team had to play against the professionals

Mered (left) and Patricia (right) of the Dutch beachvolleyball team, ready for action

Patricia in action. Will they qualify for the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012?

Not surprisingly, they won the match...

...which left us to drink & eat away our defeat
 

Saturday, October 7: whale watching, departure


On the morning of our departure we went to Hout Baai...

...where a large catamaran was charted for whale watching

Yeah, yeah I know... These animals aren't whales but seals...

...locally known as Cape fur seals...

...still no whales to be seen...

...after more than an hour still nothing except some kind of dumped platform...

Ah! Just before we went back to harbor we spotted a whale close to the shore

And there's another one right inside the harbor area!

Tourist trap at the wharf of Hout Baai

 
   
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