Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat is ideally situated 270 kilometres from Cape Town. Bushmans Kloof is nestled between the foothills of the striking Cederberg Mountains and the edge the Great Karoo plains, making this reserve a mecca of fauna and flora, including a few endangered species. So be on the lookout for Cape mountain zebra and bontebok while relaxing on the deck or at the spa!
Corporate life can be overwhelming, so packing everyone into a conference room isn’t always the answer for a team-building event. Eugene Yiga highlights six perfect South African off-the-beaten-track destinations for your next company team building retreat. / Eugene Yiga
Of course, you are there to inspire change, create new vision, enhance company values and get to know your fellow teammates better! What better way to do it than with strategy sessions and workshops but it’s always fun to mix business with pleasure. Bushmans Kloof has some fantastic ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Cultivate trust, teamwork and competition with their Amazing Race game where teams follow instructions to various locations on the reserve and complete various challenges – best you touch up on some archery! Feeling a little green? Invest in the future and help plant some endangered Clanwilliam Cedar Trees, which only occur in the Cederberg Mountains – your company gets to put a plaque on your trees, which is pretty cool!
Get involved in the Fish Relocation Conservation Project where you help Bushmans Kloof’s yellowfish, redfin and sawfin fry (juveniles) in their perfect nursery – you get to catch and remove alien fish from the dams and restock them with yellowfish. You can also go on a heart-warming visit to Elizabethfontein Primary School, enjoy an activity with executive Chef Floris Smith or if you have something else in mind then chat to Bushmans Kloof and they will work with you. Conference attendees can also enjoy various activities on their own, such as mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, and much more.
The Nitty Gritty
Included in the accommodation rate is the complimentary use of the Conference Room, conference equipment, Wi-Fi and breakaway refreshments. It also includes all meals and lodge activities, such as daily nature drives and guided rock art excursions. (Spa treatments can be booked at an additional cost.)
Granny Mouse Hotel & Spa
Situated at the foothills of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, a world heritage site in the Midlands, is Granny Mouse Hotel & Spa. Not only does the elegant hotel have two restaurants – a casual bistro and a fine dining restaurant hidden in the eaves overhead – but it also has perfect facilities for a corporate retreat.
The area is home to an abundance of wildlife and bird species. If you need time away from your colleagues, you can take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank towards the waterfall, go bass fishing on a stretch of pristine water or just laze under a willow tree. There are also nearby activities like day tours of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg (where you can see some ancient rock art), Karkloof Canopy Tours, hot-air ballooning and more.
Working in conjunction with Beach and Bush Team Building (www.teambuilding.co.za) allows companies to choose from a range of activities.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve
A two-and-a-half hour drive from Durban International Airport brings you to Bonamanzi Game Reserve in the heart of Zululand. This privately-owned game reserve, which spans over 4000 hectares, is an ideal place to host a relaxing but productive teambuilding activity or corporate retreat.
If you’re able to arrive early and complete all your work in the morning, the rest of the afternoon is set up for a long but well-deserved break. At 12:30pm, there’s an informative crocodile feeding show that lets delegates participate if they want (safely, of course). This is followed by an al fresco lunch, on the viewing deck overlooking the Lalapanzi Dam, where guests can feed the turtles or just watch some of the birdlife.
Speaking of birds, there’s a guided boat cruise on the Hluhluwe River after lunch, during which visitors can learn more about the birdlife in the area – there are more than 400 species – and compete in quizzes for the chance to win a prize for the most knowledgeable team. Enjoy a twilight game drive in custom-built open vehicles through the Big 4 Game Reserve and a stop for sundowners in the Fever Tree Forest. End the day with a Bush Braai under the stars alongside the Dinizulu Dam. This includes interactive Zulu dancing.
Shangri-La Country Hotel and Spa
Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa offers a peaceful venue for conferences, business indabas, team-building events and workshops. With a choice of three charming air-conditioned venues, the venue can seat up to 250 delegates. Making it ideal for a range of companies, not to mention an ideal place to foster creative and productive events.
The team-building sessions feature group volleyball contests, tennis, outdoor giant chess, action-cricket, putt-putt play-offs, potjiekos competitions, treasure hunts, and more. There’s also a new labyrinth that is the perfect option for alternate team-building exercises. And let’s not forget about the onsite spa and its variety of treatments!
Guided walks to the majestic 350-year-old wild fig tree, situated on the outskirts of this earthly paradise, make for an exhilarating outing. Another unique aspect is the hotel’s fenced game breeding programme. Guests are spoilt with views of springbok, impala, nyala and rare breeds of antelope. Shangri-La’s theme evenings – encompassing creative Chinese, Mauritian, Out-of-Africa and traditional barbeque menus – are especially popular with conference delegates.
Olifants River Lodge
Whether you want to rough it up by camping out or go for something more luxurious like a villa that lets you sleep inside, Olifants River Lodge caters to your needs. And just as diverse as the accommodation are the options for your next corporate or team building retreat.
The venue has nine multi-purpose conference rooms of different sizes, with the main one hosting up to 650 delegates. They also use a professional team building company called Nostophobic Adventures (www.nostophobic.co.za) to tailor a specific package of activities that suits your company while taking advantage of the property’s mountains, river and large grounds.
On your own, you could enjoy bird watching (there are over 1 000 species), horseback riding or hiking trails. And with your team, you could try raft building, volleyball, paintball, archery, an obstacle course, adventure racing, Olympics and a “create-a-cocktail” activity. After all your hard work, a break is just what you need. And, since the venue has an indoor pool that’s heated to 35oC all year round, there’s no excuse not to relax.
Looking for the Ultimate Team Building Experience?
If you need help putting together a customised team building retreat or corporate getaway, these companies can help:
Adventure Works specialises in providing the right adventure for the profile of each corporate group, whether you are after an adrenalin-pumping powerboat ride, a fun discovery tour through the winelands, relaxing beach activities, a sophisticated Harley Davidson transfer or something else. www.adventureworks.co.za
Dream Team Catalyst offers structured interventions that address specific needs and achieve measurable outcomes as well as high-energy events that will delight and astound even the most jaded participants. www.dreamteam.co.za
TBAE Team Building and Events specialises in interactive team-building exercises and activities, with programmes designed to promote team spirit and a participative culture. They can also arrange and coordinate transport, accommodation, promotional items, venue hire and any other requirement you might need for your team-building event. www.tbae.co.za
Beach and Bush Adventure Expeditioners provides ethical, customer focused, best value corporate team building, activities and event logistics to companies, agents, government departments, and venues. www.teambuilding.co.za
Enigma Adventures is a well-respected team building company in the team building industry that is known for its excellent service, warm-heartedness, and always looking after the client’s interests and needs. www.enigmadvent.co.za