Monthly Archives: July 2013

Turbine Art Fair

For their 10th anniversary, The Forum Company organizes an art project called the Turbine Art Fair dedicated to artists, collectors, hobbyists, or even just people interested by Art.

This event will take place for the first time at The Forum Company, a place which belongs to the architectural history of Johannesburg, located in the cultural district of Newtown during the last weekend of July 2013.

Newton is a district of Johannesbourg which has been entirely renovated over the last years in order to turn it into a stronghold in the cultural life of the city.

turbine art fair johannesbourg 2013

Why did they decide to set up this event ? The organizers, persuaded that no only we cannot live without art but also anyone can start their own art collections, decided to create the original concept of The Forum Company.

This is a popular place for lovers of South African art and a platform for new and aspiring artists who want to exhibit their work.

Each artist can stand his own chance to present their work. In this regard, we have examples of artist who benefit of this event like Chloe Reid who recently graduated from the Michaelis School of Art. You can also find original printed works from renowned artists through different art galleries as AOP Gallery, David Krut Projects Gallery which exhibit some of these works.

It’s also an opportunity to discover the pearls still unknown to the public and especially to highlight the South African artistic wealth.

A series of free conferences will also be held during the weekend to introduce art lovers or to know how to start a collection. Conferences which are aimed to allow prospective buyers to understand the art and many other animations should offer a load of surprises around Art.

Turbine Art Fair can be seen as a great opportunity for those who make their first steps in the collection of South African art and a key space for new and aspiring artists to exhibit their work.

Amélie Fages

Where: forum, turbine hall when: July 25 to 28, 2013
Contact: /
For more information on this subject:

Nelson Mandela’s life and times

On the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, here is a visual portraying the Activist and Politician Nelson Mandela’s life and achievements.

Every year on 18 July — the day Nelson Mandela was born —  the United Nations joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

Why 67 minutes ? Because for 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa

Nelson Mandela: Before Prisoner, Beyond President


This amazing infography has been designed by which is an online platform to find the best Master’s program in Social Work. A platform which strives towards providing expert reviews and rankings of MSW programs to students and also helps the students in finding scholarship opportunities, choosing a career in social work, the available job prospects in the field, and much more.

Edito 047 – Lets talk about us!


There’s a subject that we haven’t tackled yet over these past 6 years. A theme on which we are, however, constantly consulted. A recurring topic that aims to reassure, to prove, to demonstrate.

Us !

Beyond a simple over-boasted presentation page on an equally ordinary website, our profession requires that we constantly provide evidence of credibility, of seriousness of our team, of our structure, of our ability to organize from the most intimate honeymoon to the most prestigious event for our corporate and governmental clients.

Who are you? What have you accomplished? For whom do you work?

In order to answer these questions without using a long list of figures and superlatives as unpalatable as they can be pretentious, this month we have decided to open up our doors.

“Open Doors” could definitely be the title of this 47th newsletter. A slice of our company’s daily life with its actors. A spotlight on ourselves to present you those who work for YOU.

Cécile & Charline


How and since when do you know Charline ?

Since 2008, when we both arrived together in South Africa. But technically, we should have known each other from 2002 as we went to the same University with one year difference.

Can you describe Charline’s job for us ?

Charline is the Sales & Quality Manager. She is in charge of the tenders. No programs and budgets from the team will be sent without being checked by her “piercing eye”.

Can you give us one or two character traits that makes you think she’s good in what she does ?

Charline is very well organized and perfectionist. Furthermore she loves people and you can really feel it!

Tell us one anecdote or memory from the field about Charline that still makes you smile today…

Charline is always ready to get up 2 hours before the group to make sure that she had breakfast and she carries dry fruits & nuts with her at all time.


How and since when do you know Cécile ?

Since 2008, when we both arrived together in South Africa.

Can you describe Cécile’s job for us ?

Cécile is the Operations Manager. She is managing the op team and goes on the field as well. She is in control of the files as soon as they are confirmed and make sure everything is going smoothly and perfectly on site!!

Can you give us one or two character traits that makes you think she’s good in what she does ?

Cécile is perfectionist. Precise, attentive, meticulous to all the details – nothing is left behind!

Tell us one anecdote or memory from the field about Cécile that still makes you smile today…

For Cécile, an operation will/can only be finished and accomplished once she lights the “victory’s cigarette” after everyone left and before going back home.

And finally, one memory you both share…

The only time, we had the chance to work together on the field was when we were setting up an interactive drumming & gumboots session in the outside amphitheater of Company Gardens in Cape Town. The uncertain weather was playing with our nerves and we had to move inside, and back outside for eventually ending inside the Museum.

Moving 160 drums and 320 gumboots back and forth in less than 20 minutes is still a world record!!!

Tanja & Hervé


Where are you from / What is your background?

Well… I am German… thoroughly! I worked for more than 20 years for the same company. Which means that I am older than 27… and this is actually impossible :-).
But honestly, I used to work for a global business travel company. I started my apprenticeship there and finished by heading the MICE department for Germany. And I enjoyed (almost) every single second.
The good thing is: I have nothing to prove to myself anymore. Am just completely happy and satisfied with what I’ve achieved – and even happier with my decision being brave enough to move to Cape Town!
Lucky me – a sabbatical year made me realize: well…there are other systems which are worth looking at. And Cape Town is the right place for me at the moment! A beautiful city with non-stressed people – and fantastic food & wine!

How and Why did you arrive here in Cape Town?

How did I arrive here in Cape Town? By plane! And of course with Lufthansa… I am still a proud German.
And why Cape Town? Well, during the 2010 World Cup I worked in Port Elizabeth – and met so many wonderful people which I can luckily call my friends now! And they are probably the main reason why I fell in love with this country. Then started travelling… and wow… I never expected to discover such a beautiful country!
Mountains, the Atlantic & Indian Oceans, the breath-taking landscapes of the National Parks?!
A big plus: everybody speaks English. And last but not least: I’ve never eaten better than in South Africa! And I’ve traveled a lot around the world….and I ate a lot 😉
So it’s Cape Town now – because I found a job in a company where I enjoy working with the team! For my life I realized: a title and money is cool. But I am now gladly managing my life with less money but with so much more fun & happiness.

Describe your job for us and what do you like the most about it?

The idea was and still is to discover the German market for XO.
But good and bad at the same time: we have so much to do that just to run the daily business is quite a mission. An enjoyable mission – with great clients and projects!
What I like the most? Hmm… my colleagues. No doubt. And the fact that we all work very hard and sometimes too much – but we all love what we do.

What do you do to calm your stress down?

Luckily I am a very balanced person – and not really getting under stress. The more hectic it is – the better I am. Great – isn’t it? But maybe the only way to survive in the incentive business…
And then there are my spinning classes, a walk along the sea, a good glass of wine or just talking crap with friends and have a good laugh.


Where are you from / What is your background?

Born in Ivory Coast and raised in Paris by my West Indies mother, I can proudly say I am a French Afro-Caribbean. A diploma in advertising in the pocket, I joined the world of business tourism by chance. I then started my ascension and eventually started my own agency with my mentor at that time.

How and Why did you arrive here in Cape Town?

In my previous life as a Travel agent, I went with a client in Cape Town for an incentive trip, and it was love at first sight and guess who was my DMC ? Now here I am part of XO Events Family.

Describe your job for us and what do you like the most about it?

I am Sales & Marketing Manager; do I need to say more?
What I like the most about it? Actually for me it’s not a job, I am not even a salesman… I just share my experience & passion for Southern Africa: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, who can resist to this unique postal card?
To conclude I am a passionate and friendly client hunter.

What do you do to calm your stress down?

I must confess I am addicted, I tried everything even going to rehab but with no effect, the addiction is still there… legs shaking, lips whistling, happy face, body out of control… Salsa is in the air and, that’s my anti stress. Yes I am addicted to salsa… Is it bad doctor?

Travel Awards 2013, vote for us

XO Africa has been nominated for Africa’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator for the 20th Annual World Travel Awards. To be the winner, we need to get as many votes as we can.

How to vote for us ?

You just need to click on the following link and then select XO Africa to cast your vote :

And after share it as much as you can.

We definitely thank you for voting for us and supporting us.

The World Travel Awards are the most prestigious awards program in the travel industry worldwide.

In the Africa region, travel, tourism and hospitality companies from 31 countries will compete for the prestigious top accolades culminating in a glittering Gala Presentation Ceremony in Kenya fully endorsed by the Kenya Tourism Board.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Many Thanks from XO Team

XO Africa in figures.


It all began in 2006, XO Africa, the new kid on the block is born.

  • 45 collaborators to tailor make your trip 
  • 7 languages spoken to fully understand you
  • Fair Trade Tourism certification since 2012 to respect our environment .
  • More than 200 incentive operations (since 1st January 2007) from 10 to 2000 people to meet your requirements .
  • 3 offices in Cape Town, Jo’burg & Windhoek to assist you (in any case)
  • 40 Incentives groups per year to organise your event as scheduled (or not some time)
  • 7000 individual travellers per year to make their dream come true.

2013, the kid has grown up. What’s next ? XO is tackling new markets and design exclusive products. We’ll keep you in the loop.

Namib Sand Sea, World Heritage Site

The Namib Sand Sea has been declared as a natural World Heritage Site. This is the second UNESCO World Heritage site for Namibia.

The Namib Sand Sea area comprises a large part of the Namib Naukluft Park. It includes favourite tourist destinations such as Sossusvlei and Sandwich Harbour.

The inscribed area stretches from the Kuiseb River southwards to include approximately 66% of the Central Namib dune sea. The inscribed Sand Sea covers an area of 30,777 square kilometres with an additional 899,500 hectares designated as a buffer zone.

Namib Desert Namibia world heritage site

Namibia’s first world heritage site, Twyfelfontein, was inscribed in 2007 as a cultural site. The Namib Sand Sea is Namibia’s first natural World Heritage site.

The description according to the Unesco and which explains this classification :

‘’Namib Sand Sea is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. Covering an area of over three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares, the site is composed of two dune systems, an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one.

The desert dunes are formed by the transportation of materials thousands of kilometres from the hinterland, that are carried by river, ocean current and wind. It features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of exceptional beauty.

Fog is the primary source of water in the site, accounting for a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing variety of microhabitats and ecological niches.’’(

Cape Town to honor Nelson Mandela

Have you heard about the exhibition on Nelson Mandela which has just kicked off at Cape Town ?

Project of the city of Cape Town to honor Nelson Mandela and his role in the fight for the freedom, the Mayor declared year 2013 as that dedicated to tribute for all that he made for the country.

So yesterday I decided to go to see this tribute to the former president of South Africa. I strongly advise you to make it a tour because that was really interesting.

Everything is done to make the visit enjoyable. Whatever your age, if you are museum goer or not, the exhibition is truly accessible to all.


You will follow his footsteps in only thirty minutes because the exhibition focuses on the key moments of the history of Nelson Mandela thanks to a multimedia approach with photos, quotations, micro-explanations and videos. Furthermore, you will see pictures of Nelson Mandela taken with the most famous people around the world like politicians, singers, actors … But I will not mention any names, I prefer to let you discover it by yourself!

You can see also Nelson Mandela’s huge illustration plastered on the administrative center. Drawn on some paper of A3-size by Linsey Levendall and conceived then by Abie Collins and Alberic Vollmer de Dreamfuel Media, the concept is original because in the end 600 cut pieces are placed on windows separated.

So, if you have nearby or some spare time, go and have a look. You have until July 1, 2014 to learn more about Nelson Mandela. It takes place at the Civic Center in Cape Town, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, near the train station. And it’s free!

A hidden treasure amongst the savanna

No one can deny that there is a magical allure to the African bush. It could be the tranquillity of the land or the many treasures it is keeping.

Whatever this special ingredient is, Black Rhino Lodge in the Pilanesberg National Park has it by the truck load and will have you longing to stay forever.

Nestled at the foot of an ancient volcano and under the shade of an old Tamboti forest, the Black Rhino lodge welcomes guests to the beauty of wild Africa and the luxury and comfort of home. You will lose your heart to the accommodation.


Black Rhino Private Game Reserve is incorporated in the western side of the ‘Malaria Free’ Pilanesberg National Park. The landscape is an alluring combination of rolling hills, tumbled mountains, valleys, grassland plains and tamboti forests.

The 14 suites, 4 of which can house families, make you feel at home with warm, open spaces accented with classic furnishings and touches of the bushveld.

The lodge overlooks a watering hole, which means the wildlife is quite abundant in the area and a playground for the elephant..

This makes safaris here an absolute must. Each game drive is led by an experienced guide taking you through almost 58 000 hectares of unspoiled lands.