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Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa


See The Cape - South Africa

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$10

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I want to provide travellers with a unique and unforgettable, great value-for-money experience at a very affordable rate.

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$10 of $500,000 target


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Project Location

Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa

Cape Town lies on the southern end of the African continent and is accessed by numerous international airlines multiple times a day, and received 84 493 international visitors in December 2016 alone! Over 75% of these visitors were from the UK, USA, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Italy, Spain, Australia and India. As South Africa's oldest established region it is rich in cultural history, as well as unique plant and wildlife (The Cape floral region has over 9000 plant species, 70% of which are found nowhere else on earth) and the scenery in the region is breath-taking with towering mountain ranges running right into the ocean, deep blue seas and an excellent Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summers, cool, wet winters). The Western Cape has one of the highest concentrations of international award-winning wine farms in the world. There are many unique bird and animals species, several whale species are common in the summer months and it is one of the Great White shark hotspots due to the mixing of the cold and warm ocean currents from the east and west of Africa.

The Cape holds two of South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites - Robben Island, the former political prison of the old regime and where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for over two decades, and the Cape Floral Region.
Cape Town and the surrounding areas are well-developed for both international and domestic tourism, with world-class infrastructure, communications, transport networks, healthcare providers and many natural attractions that cannot be seen elsewhere, however there is a large gap in the market for one-stop package tours focusing on the Western Cape, although accommodation of all sorts can be found, and tour operators offer a variety of itineraries, the fact that these are provided by different companies can make a decent stay in the region quite expensive. I wish to set up a package tours company that provides both high quality accommodation as well as comfortable transport to the many attractions that there are in the region, of which I have extensive personal experience.
I would also like to offer specialised packages at suitable times of the year, for example people with a strong interest in plants would be accommodated on a tour focusing on the extremely varied specific protected plant sites in the region, birders would be taken to the many birding hotspots , wine connoisseurs would be accommodated on a tour focusing on numerous of the international award-winning cellars.


My plan for the standard itinerary would be as follows;

Day 1 – Arrival in Cape Town and transport to guest house (one guest house for duration of stay +- 140km from Cape Town in the winelands). Pick up from Cape Town International Airport/Other.
Day 2 – Table Mountain Cableway and Cape Town City tour (Historical Park, South African National Museum, Castle of Good Hope, Waterfront and optional Robben Island Ferry/ Two Oceans Aquarium.
Day 3 – Travel to Historic Franschhoek (settled in 1688 by French immigrants) for wine tasting (3 farms),a visit to the Huguenot Museum a visit to the Motor Museum (Private Collection of pristine vehicles ranging in age from more than a century to brand new ultra-exotic vehicles + lunch ) – optional extra Crocodile Farm.
Day 4 – Free day/Optional Bird watching tour in Cape Peninsula to two very good wetlands/birding hotspots.
Day 5 – Travel to southern coast for either Shark cage diving or Whale Watching (seasonal) + lunch.
Day 6 – Travel inland to a Big 5 game reserve for a guided game drive to get up close to Africa's biggest wildlife + lunch.
Day 7 – Travel to the West Coast Fossil Park and West Coast national Park (birds/game/ seasonal wild flowers) + lunch
Day 8 – Cape Peninsula – Atlantic Seaboard + Chapman’s Peak Drive (coastal mountain pass) – Wine farm (tasting and Lunch) + Cape Point Ostrich Farm + Boulders Beach African penguin colony.
Day 9 – Travel locally in Wine Valley to visit 4 wine farms and brandy distillery + lunch.
Day 10 – Travel to Agulhas (southern-most point in Africa) for lunch + historic Swellendam + Bontebok National Park (Game/Birds/Flora).
Day 11 – Free day/catch up day for unforeseen inclement weather.
Day 12 – Departure (transport to Cape Town Airport/other).

Other activities can be accommodated on "free days" such as sightseeing/skydiving/rock climbing/hiking/museum or other historical tours or just taking a day to laze by the pool.

The tour would cover 11 days (+11 nights) and include all accommodation, 3 meals a day, all transport, all entrance/activity fees/gratuities, excluding flights to and from Cape Town, visas (if applicable), alcoholic beverages (other than at wine-tastings) and personal items/souvenirs. Being able to cater to both the accommodation and transport needs will enable travellers to afford to see this amazing part of the world without breaking the bank, which I feel is important as people want to experience so much on our planet, but these trips are often financially out of reach of the average person. My plan puts the experience and holiday of a lifetime within reach, enabling travellers to stay in high-quality accommodation, get the full benefit of a guide with extensive knowledge of the region and comfortable safe transportation at a cost that is a lot less than they would otherwise have to fork out.

I plan to be based in the town of Robertson, roughly 140km from Cape Town city centre. Robertson is in the heart of the award-winning wine producing region of Southern Africa as well as being central to the bulk of the Western Cape, serviced in all directions with a good transport network. By basing myself here, I can be within equal reach of all of the major attractions in the Western Cape, which means that travel time to activities and points of interest will not cut into the actual time spent on enjoying these. Unlike other tour operators that rely on external accommodation providers and do multi-day, place-to-place tours, the traveller stays in one place, and does not need to pack and unpack their luggage on a daily basis as they stay in one place for the duration of the tour package, this also adds the benefit that there are no luggage restrictions as there would be when visitors need to transport all their luggage with them for the duration of the tour, and they do not need to bring clothing for the whole tour as laundry facilities are provided, which allows them to pack lighter coming in, and leave precious weight and space to take souvenirs – or a few bottles of really great wine - back home. Tour groups will be limited to 6-8 visitors, which would allow for a personalised travel experience, and my attention to detail will result in a positively unforgettable experience. Another unique aspect of my plan is that being based in a central place with day tours in different directions, should inclement weather be experienced in one part of the Cape, the tour itinerary is flexible enough to swap days around to maximise the enjoyment of activities spent outdoors and there are two “free days” within the itinerary to accommodate this further. Unlike tours travelling from place to place, where the itinerary has to be fixed and adhered to in order to meet various departure times and dates the visitor is not restricted and has a lot more freedom to manage their experience to their full advantage.

I will be running this project with my partner, Sunette, who is not only very beautiful, but a fantastic cook! Whilst we will both be playing a very active role in the business, she will manage the accommodation and hospitality side of things, and I will do more of the package activities, but we will be crossing over a bit from time to time. We really hope you will find the project alluring enough to want to join us for a couple of weeks as your hosts and spoil you with adventure whilst at the same time changing the way you see Africa forever.

I am passionate about travel, and have extensive experience in international travel having been doing it myself full time for the past 14 years. I have travelled extensively across the African continent, spent a significant amount of time in China and been to parts of the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Discussing travel with many of the people I have met during this time, I have a very good idea of what it is that travellers want, as well as come to the realisation that tour providers often focus purely on the major “demand” activities that THEY think travellers will enjoy, whereas I believe that the client often isn’t given much of a choice in what they get shown. My proposed itinerary is incredibly varied, planned to showcase some of the very best that South Africa has to offer, and includes a lot of things that tourists ordinarily wouldn’t get exposed to as well as some of the ones that are “must-see” places to visit. The great thing about the Western Cape is that there really isn’t a lot in the rest of South Africa that you cannot see there if you have someone that knows where to find it all. I have an extensive knowledge of African wildlife and plant life, and a strong interest in the political and natural history of which South Africa is very rich. My clients also have the added benefit of having a fully qualified, internationally accredited and extensively equipped advanced life support paramedic with them at all times, because realistically we all know that life sometimes has a way of trying to ruin our fun.

South Africa was barely inhabited by nomadic indigenous people in the middle 1600’s when the first documented visits by non-Africans occurred, at the time the Dutch settled Cape Town as a watering and feeding station for their ships en route to Asia. Over time and with plenty of political strife the country developed inland north and eastwards. The discovery of massive mineral deposits of all sorts lead to South Africa becoming Africa’s strongest economy for the better part of the last two centuries. South Africa has great scenery, great wildlife, and fantastic people, and a million and a half international visitors a month can’t be wrong! The Western Cape has seen investment in tourism grow exponentially with many of the world’s top investors putting money into purchasing commercial and private property in the region.

In South Africa you can have almost all of the first-world conveniences combined with the truly African experience, it is easy to get to, easy to get into and the exchange rate means that a phenomenally good holiday experience can be had at a very affordable cost allowing everyone to explore a stunning part of the world’s most exciting continent.

Note: Some activities I will not directly be a part of, but will arrange with a third party operator who specialises in those activities to present them to my own clients. I will not add any surcharge to arranging the activities, the client will pay what the operator charges, no more, although group bookings may attract a discount which can then be passed on to the client. Obviously insurance coverage and other requirements will be in place as we will only deal with other tourism registered operators. Some age limits may apply for certain activities, for example visitors would need to be over the age of 9 years to take part in Shark Cage Diving (operator dependant), and the legal drinking age in South Africa is 18 years, where activities such as wine tasting take place, people under the age of 18, or people who do not drink alcohol are accommodated with alternative refreshments. Not all activities are mandatory, when booking a tour, clients can opt out or in to partake in the more adventurous activities (I realise not everyone wants to go through life hooked on adrenaline!) and the price of the package will be adjusted accordingly. I have included two days of wine tours specifically because these are generally limited by the majority of tour operators to the areas and wineries that they feel are more commercially favourable. The tours differ in the completely different growing conditions of the vines, and the areas in which the farms are situated, which give the biggest variety of award-winning wines for visitors to sample guaranteeing something for everybody’s palate with over 150 individual wines, 12 Method Cap Classique “Champagnes” and several Brandies as well as tours of different wine making methods, very different and attractive cellars visited and a range of fine foods to sample.

Getting down to the dirty… I am looking at crowd funding as a way to raise capital for my project, as I am unable to unlock the more traditional forms of funding through financial institutions due to the worldwide financial events over the last decade, and their unwillingness to accept risk that comes with new ventures, despite a solid and sound business plan being in place. Whilst I would like to raise all the capital I require at one time as this would honestly be most convenient and allow me to proceed faster in getting set up, even if I raise a large percentage, I can then use this as additional motivation in applying through more formal financial streams for the balance I require.

I am looking for $660 000.00 and whilst I realise that this seems an extremely high amount, for this project to operate successfully as a whole all the parts need to be in place. A cost breakdown of the required amount is as follows:

  • Operating premises $555 000 – My plan is to purchase a large property on the outskirts of town with existing infrastructure for guest-house accommodation already in place. There are several of these available for varying prices. I will also need some funding to retrofit the guest house to conform with “green construction” wherever possible (Solar water heaters, water recycling systems) and a food garden for both the guest kitchen and staff use as I am passionate about the environment as well.
  • Multi-Purpose Vehicle - $70 000.00 – A comfortable multi-passenger vehicle where clients can be transported in comfort and at a high-safety standard, price includes all applicable licensing, insurances and registration as a commercial passenger transport vehicle meeting international safety standards.
  • Business Licensing/Registration/Insurances $15 000.00 – In order to operate a tourism business legally in South Africa there are various mandatory requirements to protect both the interests of the business, the clientele and the industry as a whole, these include liability/accidental incident coverage, registration with tourism authorities (tour operators can only register if they are compliant with all relevant legislation), health department registration (any commercial accommodation/kitchen is required to be inspected annually and will be registered if it is compliant with international safety and hygiene standards), businesses also need to be registered with the revenue service for tax reasons.
  • Purchase of some additional furnishings $20 000.00 – At the moment I do own a large number of the items required to run a commercial kitchen, perform business functions and accommodate guests but there will be some additional items required.

Once all this is in place I am open for business and ready to start sharing the beauty that is South Africa with the rest of the adventurous people in the world! I am hoping at the latest that everything will be in place by October 2017, though this may be ambitious, it is definitely an achievable objective.

Rewards: I will be straight up, I don’t think offering something like a postcard is really worth someone’s time and effort in making a donation to such a project. I prefer to give real value whenever I can, so reward options are going to be limited to what I feel people can really get something decent in return for their faith in my business proposal. When I get my project running, I will credit to anyone making a donation who wishes to make use of my tour services the value equal to the donation they have made irrespective of the amount should they wish to visit the Western Cape (which I hope everyone will want to!). Please go over to the rewards page and hopefully find something that appeals to you. Feel free to contact me anytime for any further questions you may have.

Project Gallery

The City of Cape Town with Table mountain in the background.

The City of Cape Town with Table mountain in the background.

Bain's Kloof (Pass) as viewed from Wellington.

Bain's Kloof (Pass) as viewed from Wellington.

A Common Buzzard hunts over the vineyards

A Common Buzzard hunts over the vineyards

A Cape Fur Seal entertains visitors to one of the natural harbours on the Cape Peninsula

A Cape Fur Seal entertains visitors to one of the natural harbours on the Cape Peninsula

Thatch-roofed Church in Franschhoek dating back to 1847

Thatch-roofed Church in Franschhoek dating back to 1847

The Franschhoek (French Corner) Valley as seen from Paarl.

The Franschhoek (French Corner) Valley as seen from Paarl.

A pair of male Ostrich scratching through the grassland.

A pair of male Ostrich scratching through the grassland.

Greater Flamingos are common birds in the coastal wetlands of the region.

Greater Flamingos are common birds in the coastal wetlands of the region.

Grey Squirells abound in the city centre.

Grey Squirells abound in the city centre.

Cape Mountain Zebra.

Cape Mountain Zebra.

Table Mountain and Cape Town City across Table Bay

Table Mountain and Cape Town City across Table Bay

African Penguin, the continent's only native penguin species. There are two colonies in the Western Cape.

African Penguin, the continent's only native penguin species. There are two colonies in the Western Cape.

Wildlfowers begin to blanket the countryside with colour in early spring.

Wildlfowers begin to blanket the countryside with colour in early spring.

Flowers of every shape, size and colour turn the fields into a palette.

Flowers of every shape, size and colour turn the fields into a palette.

Wine and Cheese pairing at Van Loveren Wine Estate.

Wine and Cheese pairing at Van Loveren Wine Estate.

The Breede (Wide) river runs through the Wine Valley.

The Breede (Wide) river runs through the Wine Valley.

Bon Courage Wine Estate.

Bon Courage Wine Estate.

Springfield Wine Estate.

Springfield Wine Estate.

Springfield Wine Estate.

Springfield Wine Estate.

Several million US Dollars worth of Ferraris on display at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.

Several million US Dollars worth of Ferraris on display at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.

Table Mountain complex from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Table Mountain complex from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Cape fold mountains, Beautiful ranges all over the Western Cape, each of them offering unique views and experiences.

Cape fold mountains, Beautiful ranges all over the Western Cape, each of them offering unique views and experiences.

Farmland in early Spring.

Farmland in early Spring.

Wildflowers at the Cape of Good Hope.

Wildflowers at the Cape of Good Hope.

Chapman's Peak drive, one of the planned scenic routes. towering cliffs above, azure sea below and plenty of places to snap some pictures.

Chapman's Peak drive, one of the planned scenic routes. towering cliffs above, azure sea below and plenty of places to snap some pictures.

FUND

$10 of $500,000 target


12 days to go

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TravelMaker

Mark Stanton
Company
Location
Randburg, South Africa

About

Hi, my name is Mark. I'm 38 and I am a fully qualified Paramedic, and I have been fortunate to have been able to travel full time throughout Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia for the last 14 years. I am looking for a change in life and since I am passionate about tourism and sharing amazing experiences with people I would like to go into tourism full time.

Company
Location
Randburg, South Africa
Position in team
Owner
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About

Hi, my name is Mark. I'm 38 and I am a fully qualified Paramedic, and I have been fortunate to have been able to travel full time throughout Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia for the last 14 years. I am looking for a change in life and since I am passionate about tourism and sharing amazing experiences with people I would like to go into tourism full time.

Team Members

Sunette

Co-owner

Sunette is a great hostess and fantastic cook! Together we will look after you and treat you to the experience of a lifetime.


Send message to Mark Stanton

1% Raised
wheel

$10

raised

of $500,000 target

by

1 funders


12 days to go

by funding you can earn one of the exciting rewards.

Flexible funding

This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal.

FUND
1% Raised
wheel

$10

raised

of $500,000 target

by

1 funders


Flexible funding

This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal.

FUND

12 days to go

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