Afriski celebrates its 20th anniversary with a rebrand

Afriski celebrates its 20th anniversary with a rebrand

One of only two ski and mountain resorts in Southern Africa, Afriski Mountain Resort celebrates 20 years of mountain adventure in the beautiful country of Lesotho.

Established in 2000, Afriski initially focused on developing a snow destination in Southern Africa, deep in the remote areas of the country. A perfect location in the Maluti Mountains which formed the right shaped ‘bowl’ for the perfect slope situated at 3222 metres above sea level. This did not come without its challenges. We had a temperamental lift system, no electricity, limited lances to make snow that relied on generators and if one needed cell signal your best bet was to venture to the top of Mahlasela Pass. 


Bringing us to 2020, Afriski now boasts multiple slopes, world-class snowmaking equipment and facilities, a wide range of summer activities and a destination that welcomes over 15 000 people a year. 

Re-positioning the resort into an all-year-round mountain destination, called for a brand audit and the decision to re-design the Afriski Mountain Resort brand. The re-branding exercise ties in with the businesses’ 20-year anniversary and “aims to shed light on the evolving worldwide trend of expanding the mountain experience way beyond just snow,” explains Director Peter Peyper. 


Afriski now boasts a full range of ways to play in the mountains, with activities that include mountain biking, trail running, hiking, fly fishing and enduro biking. Another area growing in popularity is high altitude training and a new activity called the Zipsail. This activity combines a shorter 600m zip line with an abseil of 70m, from a suspension station located on the cable in the air, above the resort.

Afriski is a Southern African treasure, so it was important for us to build on the existing energy and enthusiasm of the brand and repackage it for a market that appreciates responsible, proudly African businesses. We looked to the local Basotho culture for inspiration and the result is a colourful representation of the vibrant people and breathtaking landscape of this impressive Mountain Kingdom. The brand now enjoys a warmer and more inclusive colour palette applied generously together with strong, bold type and vibrant, rhythmic lines that mimic the easy roll of the mountains. This new brand looks and feels just like a holiday. 

Amendment to tourism regulations gazetted

Amendment to tourism regulations gazetted

The Department of Tourism, Forestry and Fisheries has announced that it will be gazetting amended regulations aimed at relaxing some of the Alert Level 3 restrictions imposed on the sector.

It has been confirmed that these amendments have now been gazetted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs.

Therefore, intra-provincial accommodation for leisure purposes is now permitted under Alert level 3.

Similarly, the curfew prohibiting the movement of persons, except for work purposes, has now been amended to between 22:00 and 04:00.

In terms of the media statement, the current curfew prohibiting the movement of persons between the hours of 21:00 and 4:00, except for work purposes, will be amended to 22:00 and 4:00 in order to allow restaurants to serve dinner to its patrons.

Furthermore, intra-provincial accommodation for leisure purposes will now be permitted subject to a limitation of 2 people per room with the exception of a nuclear family (parents and their children).

People are still not permitted to travel across provinces for leisure purposes.

Tour operators will be permitted to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles subject to social distancing measures.

SA Tourism supports measures to combat Covid-19 Pandemic

SA Tourism supports measures to combat Covid-19 Pandemic

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Address to the nation yesterday, 15 March 2020, on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has confirmed that the tourism industry will play its role in effecting these measures.

The first measure is to postpone Africa’s Travel INDABA, which was scheduled to take place from 12 to 14 May 2020. This step supports Cabinet’s decision to encourage social distancing by prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism says, “We are in full support of the Minister’s decision and are duty bound to protect our nation and industry.”

South African Tourism, through its National Convention Bureau (NCB), will be contacting participating exhibitors about the postponement. Further, the organisation will consult with the broader industry on workable future dates for INDABA. 

The newly instituted travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including the cancellation of visas, will have a profound impact on the tourism sector. South African Tourism in conjunction with tourism industry stakeholders will collectively explore measures to ensure the sector’s recovery and to protect the sustainability and attractiveness of travel and tourism going forward.

“We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for our industry as the repercussions of the virus reverberate through the entire value chain. We should use this opportunity to collaborate to find solutions beyond the current crisis, which will have long-term benefits for our country as a travel destination of choice”, says Ntshona.

Stakeholders are encouraged to visit for regular updates.

For media enquiries, please contact: Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism         

Tel: +27 11 895-3046 or 082 553 9595       



Stars of Sandstone 2019

Stars of Sandstone 2019

Sandstone Estates is a large commercial agricultural enterprise covering over 7,000 hectares, located on the border with Lesotho in South Africa’s Eastern Free State province, close to the Maluti Mountains and a mere 55 minute drive from Clarens. It is a hub of transport preservation.

The farm was built up by the Wille family from the 1830s, who were originally German missionaries. Today it is part of an international agri-business that produces wheat, soya beans, maize and sunflowers. It has been 100% organic since 2005. Like many farms in South Africa, it had no narrow gauge railway to transport produce direct from the fields to the main shipping ports.

As steam enthusiasts, in the mid-1990s, the Sandstone owners were approached by Alan Clarke of Transnet Heritage Foundation, who realised the foundation did not have the resources to rescue the collapsing Midmar Museum in KwaZulu-Natal. The collection formed the basis of what became the Sandstone Heritage Trust. Today, the trust’s main collection is still based around the railway transport of Southern Africa, but also covers an extensive global road transport and military vehicle collection.

The “Stars of Sandstone” 10-day event held in March, April or May attracts thousands of visitors, 70% of whom are from overseas. This year the event is to be held from the 4th – 14th April 2019.

Bookings can be done via the Stars of Sandstone website – Visitors to Stars 2019 are welcome to bring a genuine classic or vintage vehicle which will allow them to follow the trains on the farm roads. For any enquiries, please contact Dave Richardson directly on

“Whether you have booked or are still deciding about it, Stars of Sandstone 2019 is not to be missed. Have a look at their newly released videos of what this event holds in store. You should not miss it! You also have the opportunity to travel in style to the show on the iconic Blue Train, check out the details below.

A very exciting feature for Stars of Sandstone 2019 will be the arrival of a special charter of The Blue Train at the event. The Blue Train will be departing Pretoria on 3rd April at 09h00 and will be spending 2 nights at Sandstone Estates, departing on 5th April at 18h00 for arrival in Pretoria on the 6th April at 10h00. Early booking is essential and you could be one of only 52 passengers to share in the experience.

This is one of the great luxury trains of the world and has the advantage of providing its passengers with a comfortable environment, excellent food, and of course the ability to hop on and off a 2ft Narrow Gauge Railway which would be operating on an adjacent siding. Many years ago when we planned our railway, we specifically created a siding next to the Main Line Vailima siding on the National Railway Network Branch line between Bethlehem and Bloemfontein. That is where this special train will be staged. The siding is being extended by Transnet, for which we thank them, because this type of excursion would not have been on the agenda of passenger trains running between the two centres in the past. In fact, there was not even a railway station at Vailima, it was purely a commercial siding where wheat and maize FZ trucks were dropped off and collected on a regular basis. Indeed, in Sandstone’s early days, we used to load up to 1,000t of grain a day on the siding.

Most luxury trains are enjoyed for what they are, namely a trip on a train, but ours has the added advantage of spending 2 days at a world class event where there are any number of additional things to do. When the passengers have had enough, they can go back to the Blue Train, relax, sit in the lounge and watch the trains go by. They can on a whim jump off and join a passenger train about to embark for the mountains or returning to the main complex which will be a hive of activity.

There are only 52 berths on this train, so we do commend it to everyone who is considering coming down to Stars of Sandstone 2019 but who may be concerned about the lack of 5-star accommodation opportunities in the area.

We believe it will be very attractive to our international visitors, particularly those who have time constraints.

Due to the various configurations that exist, we will quote every one of our guests upon request.”

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