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Memorial Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

A moment of silence to remember Mr Nelson Mandela. An incredible inspiring person to the world passed away on the 5th of December 2013. May he find peace and may his legacy be carried on forever. Rest in Peace, Madiba.

 

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Lonely Planet

Cape Town has officially been named 3rd on the Lonely Planet list of the 10 Best Cities to Visit in 2014! According to the article Cape Town is destined to get even prettier as it takes on the title of World Design Capital for 12 inspirational months.

(South Africa) - Table Mountain - The Landmark of Cape Town 2

 


Hermanus

It’s whale season in South Africa! A must do is a weekend trip to Hermanus. 4Exchange arranged this for me and some other students. Hermanus has the status of being the best land-based whale watching destination in the world.

If you drive to Hermanus you should definitely take the touristic route. Sure, it isn’t the fasters route, but it is absolutely the most beautiful. You will find a lot of curves, an amazing view on the ocean, high  mountains and colourful flowers during this route.

After 1 hour drive you arrive at Betty’s Bay. There is a small sign along the road with a penguin on it. Make sure you stop, because you can see here a large African penguin colony. After this just continue your route to Hermanus.

When we arrived at Hermanus we went to check in at our accommodation: Hermanus Esplanade. After checking in we climbed the rocks and had a lovely view over the sea. In the evening we had a typical South African braai with a large group of students. If you feel like, you can explore the nightlife at Hermanus. We went to 2 pubs: Shimmies and Barneys. Because Hermanus is a small village, I guess these are the only pubs in town. Luckily for us, it were nice pubs and we had a lovely time!

Except watching wales there are many other activities that take place at Hermanus. You could go quad biking, shark cage diving, horse riding, zip lining, wine tasting and there’s  a lot more! Are you in a less active mood? Just enjoy  the amazing view!

I went quad biking for the first time in my life. It was so much fun! Halfway the route we stopped to make some pictures of the stunning views.

On Sunday we went back and again took the touristic route. We saw some Baboons sitting next to the road. I believe that´s really impressive! In the Netherlands you can only see them in a zoo. We stopped at Gordon´s Bay to grab some lunch. To make a long story short, it was a fantastic weekend and I highly recommend to go to Hermanus during whale season!

Francien 

 


Football Match: Ajax Cape Town – Mamelodi Sundowns

What an amazing football match yesterday! Ajax Cape Town 2 – 2 Mamelodi Sundowns. Lovely people, great atmosphere, beautiful stadium and lots of fun.

Francien

 


Kurus English & Coffeebeans Routes make Cape Town World Design Capital their own!

Cape Town was recently elected the World Design Capital for 2014. The vision of the World Design Capital project is to promote and encourage the use of design to further the social, financial and cultural development and growth of the world’s cities. Cape Town’s winning bid slogan was “Live Design, Transform Life” and it focuses on socially responsive design.

Kurus English, in conjuction with Coffeebeans Routes have developed a Language Excursion week which explores this project further.

We want to give our students the opportunity to converse and interact with people who are creating change and who are behind the scenes of something potentially life changing for a lot of people”  says Director of Kurus English, Johannes Kraus.”

On Language Excursions students are immersed in diverse cultures of Cape Town and are able to  meet and communicate with relevant people in the city and its environment.  Because Language Excursions are a powerful language-learning support , students will be able to have real-life language practice and language discovery.  The World Design Capital theme opens up yet another unique and inspired way to experience an authentic Cape Town.

As a result of Apartheid, Cape Town had been physically, socially, financially, culturally and emotionally divided for many years. From 2012 to 2014, Cape Town, is going to be undertaking the process of redesigning itself with a strong focus on changing the segregated structures of the city, which divided people and cultures from each other, to break down social boundaries and encourage unity among its’ people. As South Africa’s oldest city and having just hosted the first World Cup on African soil, Cape Town now has first rate infrastructure and a sophisticated way of life. These Language Excursions will help students to expose how rich in heritage, innovation, diversity and creative talent Cape Town really is for themselves.

What the World Design Capital hopes to achieve is functionality of the city through design, for all its inhabitants. The idea that everyone has access to functional transport systems, has the option to live near to where they work and that the man on the street is able to take his family to a “green space” within a few blocks of his house. Cape Town, as World Design Capital, now has the opportunity to gear itself up to produce the type of innovative reflection, entrepreneurial know-how and successful execution that will, at last, transcend boundaries and reconnect Cape Town in both outward appearance and character, for the benefit of all citizens.

The Language Excursions we have developed, move students through a process of  learning, discovering and understanding” says Kraus.

All of this makes Cape Town an interesting and dynamic place for ELT students to visit.  Cape Town is changing and its residents are motivated and ready for the change. Kurus English, in conjunction with Coffeebeans Routes are, in turn, already excited to implement a new theme of Language Excursions directed at exposing the ins and outs of the World Design Capital project and the unique effect it is to have on both the city of Cape Town as well as on people who call it home.


Market Analysis: South Africa

According to Study Travel Magazine published by Hot House Media:

“There were some encouraging growth figures recorded by South Africa’s ELT industry in 2011 3

and future forecasts for 2012 look good.”

The article then goes on to explain itself and quote Directors of schools in the ELT industry.


“It was well documented that those working in the English language teaching industry in South Africa were disappointed with mediocre impact the football World Cup had on business in 2010 (see LTM, March 2011, page 53), and some were still lamenting its effects in 2011. “We really thought it would generate a lot more income in 2011,” says Chris Roberts at EC Cape Town. And he surmises that the dip in the world economy and the high cost of air travel during the footballing event may have deterred price-sensitive students from travelling to the country for study purposes in 2011.

According to the latest Global Market Report the average cost of tuition per month in South Africa was US$628, compared with US$1,674 in the UK (see STM, December 2011, page 24), making it the most competitively priced ELT destination. This, says Cooper, has not gone unnoticed by student clients. “A Russian couple, who recently joined our school, said they’d done Internet research on the cost of language schools in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and selected South Africa as the most cost-effective.”

Johannes Kraus, Director at Kurus English in Cape Town, observes that while the high cost of living in the aftermath of the World Cup had a negative impact on student intake, he is confident of the international event’s more long-term effects. “I still see a lot of potential for South Africa in the upcoming years. The World Cup hasn’t unfolded its full marketing potential yet. I believe this huge marketing effect is still to come in 2013 and 2014,” he observes.

While Wits Language School is planning to develop additional courses in English for academic purposes and Medical English, EF is looking to attract a slightly older demographic, namely those over the age of 25, by offering more exam or business type programmes, explains the school’s Anka Stenten. Kurus English is also making a play for the older language learner. “We launched a special 50 plus course to address this more and more popular age group,” enthuses Kraus. ”

Read the full article at Hot House Media: http://www.hothousemedia.com/ltm/ltmbackissues/feb12web/feb12marketanalysis.htm


A Kurus English Teacher cycles for Charity

One of our teachers has entered the gruelling Cape Argus Cycle Tour this year.  The race is 110km long and is infamous for its steep hills and gusting wind.  Jess is doing this to raise funds to send a child to school for year through the charity Afrika Tikkun who provide education, health and social services to children, youth and their families in poor communities.

Here she appears in the newspaper promoting her cause.

Kurus English is behind you the whole way!!  Ride like the wind!!


Tripadvisor names CT best holiday destination IN THE WORLD!!

Tripadvisor has named The South African city of Cape Town as the best destination in the world, beating Australia’s Sydney into the second spot, with Machu Picchu coming in third, Paris in fourth and Rio de Janeiro in fifth, while London picked up eighth position.

Table Mountain and Robben Island were named as Cape Town highlights in the awards, based on millions of user reviews.

The city has seen a massive boost in tourism numbers over the last couple of months, with The V&A Waterfront seeing more than three million visitors during December, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway attracting more than 100,000 visitors throughout the past month, and the City Sightseeing Bus running at full capacity during December.

http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/01/23/tripadvisor-reveals-the-worlds-best-holiday-destination/


Kurus head to the cricket…

The Kurus Team headed to the One Day International Cricket Match between South Africa and Sri Lanka.  They were among a crowd of 13 000 people who attended and had the good fortune to watch South Africa beat Sri Lanka by a record breaking 258 runs!! 


Table Mountain voted one of the “7 Natural Wonders of the World”


The New7Wonders of Nature are:

1. Amazon

2. Halong Bay

3. Iguazu Falls

4. Jeju Island

5. Komodo

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River

7. Table Mountain

…according to The Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille

“It is because Cape Town is a symbol. It is a symbol of permanence in a world that is full of change. It is a symbol of the heritage that we are privileged to have. And it is a symbol that reminds us that we are privileged enough to live in an incredible country with incredible assets, giving us hope for the future.

It is a symbol for South Africa and now, the entire world.

For us Capetonians, it is a symbol of home.

The mountain reminds us of the time it has taken to build the society we have today in its shadow.

It has seen the pain we have endured through that history. But it has also seen our triumphs.

It has been a witness to our lives and our history.

Because of that, it is a part of ourselves and we are proud to share it with the world.

I want to thank everyone who voted. The odds seemed stacked against us but we managed to beat them, as we have so many times in the past.

This whole experience has reminded us that we can all come together for something greater than ourselves and be united in our diversity.

It reminds us of who we really are. “


Cape Town World Tourism Day – Linking Cultures

Kurus English students are presented with opportunities relating to the social and cultural world which broaden their horizons and assist them in gaining new perspectives. In this way, Cape Town partners our language learning approach and provides the cultural base for language learning opportunities. Students are guided and supported to gain knowledge through language about what cultural diversity means.

Check out this article about World Tourism Day. This year’s theme was Linking Cultures, something that Kurus English has been more than a part of, since the very beginning.

http://www.capetown.travel/blog/entry/world_tourism_day_cape_town_celebrations_photos/

Not only are we a Cape Town of mountains, sea and fynbos, we are also a creative, innovative, design-driven city full of diverse, fascinating people. Cape Town’s real beauty can be found within the many complex, interesting layers of our city, her cultures, her people and the stories that shaped and continue to shape us.

- Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Toursim

Jess


Cape Town comes out tops on Traveller’s Choice

Yes indeed. Cape Town has climbed right to the top beating cities like London, Sydney and New York in this year’s TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Destination Awards! TripAdvisor is the worlds largest travel site, and the awards are based on opinions or views posted by millions of TripAdvisor Travellers.

Top five cities are now Cape Town followed by Paris, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome. It is not lie that our city is world class, this just drove our point right across… Globally :)

To see for yourself, visit www.tripadvisor.com


(Simnikiwe)


Table Mountain

The first thing you see when you arrive in Cape Town is the Table Mountain. But this sight cannot merely be  one to be watched from a afar, because for the active among us, you can hike up to the top of the mountain. There are several trails from which you can choose.

Depending on if you are a big fan of hiking, you can choose any of the trails on a basis of difficulty. Make sure you are fit, because the climb takes a while, and it might be more fun if you don’t have to stop every ten minutes to have a breather. But no matter how hard the hike up is, it will all be worth it once you are on the top. If you hike up near sunset, you will have a beautiful view of the sun setting over the sea.

This doesn’t mean that you should only hike up at dusk. During the day it is great to hike up the mountain and spend several hours exploring the top of the table or even having a picknic up there!

For the less active  among us, there is a the cable car to take you to the top. The ascent takes about 15 minutes, and you are reworded with a spectacular view of Cape Town on your way.

This is a must see, no matter how limited a time you may have in Cape Town!


A tour through the wine lands

About an hour’s drive from Cape Town lies the town of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and is known for its many wine farms. Everywhere you look you see rows and rows of vines, heavy with grapes, for sole purpose of making wine and for fruit export.

The best part of these wine farms is that you can taste all the different wines that one made; in some farms you can even take a wine cellar tour. The people are friendly and very willing to help you taste and select the wines you desire. Some farms even offer to ship the wines you like best back to your home country to be delivered to your door.

Some surrounding towns, such as Franschhoek and Paarl have fewer wine farms, but not of lesser quality. Some of these farms also have cheese or chocolate tasting. There is a lot of variety, but with one unifying factor: Everything is delicious.

It is well worth the time and the effort, to not only taste all the delicious wines South Africa offers, but also to enjoy the view some farms have. These are magnificent. You can either take a guided tour, and visit three or four farms, or you can drive to a farm with your own transportation and make a nice day out of it, including a long lunch at one of the farms.


Whale Watching

If you are in Cape Town from July to December definitely take the opportunity to go Whale watching.

From mid July the whales are coming back from the cold Antarctic and stay in the area until around December to mate, calve and breed in the warmer water around South Africa.

False bay is the best place to watch the whales in Cape Town. This beach streches around 35 kilometers. Also Hout Bay and Table bay are great beaches to watch these fantastic animals. Take a tour with one of the many operators and take a closer look at the whales on the sea.


Lion’s head

Hiking up Lion’s head is a different experience from hiking up Table Mountain. Some people think it is easier to hike up Lion’s head and some people find Table Mountain a much easier experience. While Table Mountain is higher in altitude it is mostly high steps along the trail. A bit like a really long stairway.

When hiking up Lion’s head, you start by walking up Signal Hill, which is a steep slope, but the road is well paved and no real difficulties such as rocks and so on. But the higher you climb the more difficult it is going to become. The surface will be more rocky, and sometimes there will be some obstacles, and the only way to climb further, is by using a rope ladder or pins in the wall. This makes Lion’s head a more varied walk.

The best time to hike up Lion’s head is just before sunset, you may choose to have a picknic at the summit and watch the sun set over the sea. And even then you could spend several hours up there enjoying the many lights of Cape Town. Make sure though that for the hike down you have a torch with you, because those steps could be tricky in the dark.

Lion’s head is also used for many other activities, such as abseiling and paragliding. If you engage in these activities during the day you will see a beautiful view of the beaches and the city.


The Cape Town Museums

Thanks to the extensive history of South Africa and of Cape Town, the city has a lot of museums to offer where you can experience the history thorough, first-hand, documentation and objects.

There are museums about the different neighbourhoods in Cape Town, which have their own history to tell. Examples of these are the District Six museum, which is about the apartheid era, of forced removals, in South Africa, and the Bo-Kaap museum, which has a rich history being the first Muslim district in Cape Town.
The Slave Lodge tells you a great deal about the slavery in South Africa. The Slave Lodge was a place where slaves slept, worked and lived during the time of slavery. You can feel the history by just walking into the place.

There are also other museums to be visited in Cape Town, such as the National History museum, which is about the evolution of the people, animals and the country of South Africa. Connected to this museum is also the planetarium where you can view the stars on a cloudless sky.

All these museums fall under the Iziko Museums in Cape Town and are definitely worth a visit.


The Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope is the most southern point of the Cape Peninsula. Before the Dutch colonised South Africa, Cape point was a stop-over for the VOC ships heading east to Asia. The ships visited the settlement for fresh water, fruit and vegetables for the drew so that they could continue the rest of the journey. Gradually more people started living in the settlement, not only colonists, but also slaves, VOC workers, and many more and out of this settlement Cape Town developed.

Nowadays the most southern point of the Cape Peninsula is part of the Table Mountain National Park nature reserve. There you will find the original lighthouse which you can visit. You can climb up, or take the ‘Funicular’ cableway, which bears the name the Flying Dutchman. You have a beautiful view up there, of the waves crashing onto the cliffs and you can even see a Portugese ship, that was shipwrecked in 1911.

And don’t forget to have your picture taken under the sign of Cape the Good Hope.


The Beaches around Cape Town

Cape Town is surrounded by two oceans. The Indian ocean and the Atlantic ocean. This gives the city and it’s suburbs plenty of beaches to choose from.

Around Cape Town the Atlantic seaboard beaches streches all the way from V&A Waterfront along the north shore of Table Mountain all the way to Hout bay. The beaches are connected by Victoria Road. Clifton is the beach where people go to see and be seen. There are 4 different beaches, 1st to 4th and each are characterized by blue water with the beautiful, pristine white beaches. Next is Camp’s bay, where you can either lie on the beach, play beach volleyball or take a dip in the freezing water. Alternately you could walk or sit on the promanade, have a drink and look at all the people on the beach.
Llandudno is one of the most beautiful beaches of Cape Town, and located in exclusive neighbourhood. Next on the road is Sandy Bay, which thanks to its dunes is mostly protected for the strong winds. This is Cape Town’s nudist beach and is not as crowded as the beaches previously described. The last beach on the Atlantic Seaboard is Hout Bay, which is perfect for horseback riding and walks along the beach. With the mountain in the background you may just experience a superb sunset.

On the Indian Ocean side there are the False bay beaches. These beaches are more popular among the locals and are a bit warmer than the Atlantic Ocean beaches.
Muizenberg is a long beach and perfect for people learning to surf. Because the shallow waters extend quite far out here, this beach is perfect for paddling and learning the tricks of the trade. St James beach and Kalk Bay are both rather small beaches, but they offer a tidal pool that is great for children to play in. Fish Hoek beach is a  beach with calmer waters and is the perfect location for games, swimming and walks along the shoreline. During the season Fish Hoek beach is a great place for spotting whales, which can swim close into the bay. Glencairn beach is good for swimming and watching great white sharks. Just behind Simons Town you can find Boulders beach which is the self declared home of the African penguins. You have to pay to access the beach, but is a great beach for swimming, because the boulders on the beach protect you from the winds.

The many beaches of Cape Town provide you with the possibility to do whatever you want to do on the beach. Whether it is sun bathing, play beach volleyball, surf or go horseback riding, all is possible.


Two Oceans Aquarium

At V&A Waterfront you will find the Two Oceans Aquarium, where you will find a selection of the incredible diversity of marine life of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. In the underwater nature reserve you will find over 3000 living sea animals, ranging from sharks, turtles, penguins and a great range of fish.

The Aquarium is great for either a family day out or yYou can visit exhibits of marine life, there is a kid’s corner and if you want to, you can even take a dive with the sharks or help feed the fish and take a look at the animals up close.

You can spend an afternoon or even a whole day in the Aquarium looking at the variety of fish and sea mamals that inhabit the two oceans that surround Cape Town.


Kirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens cover of 528 hectares, with 36 hectares of cultivated garden. The gardens are a showcase of South African indigenous flora and is great to take a stroll around the grounds is soak in the beauty of nature.

A great variety of birds inhabit the garden and you get fantastic view over the entire grounds from the upper slopes. It is also a great place to spend the whole day while enjoying a picnic.

During the summer time Kirstenbosch is also the setting for a series of concerts that are held every Sunday. With the beautiful view and the music, it is the perfect close to the weekend.


Robben Island

If you are interested in the polical history of South Africa, Robben Island is the place to go. This is the prison where, during the apartheid era, political prisoners such as, Nelson Mandela, were held captive.

The trip starts from the V&A Waterfront where you will take a ferry, which during the apartheid era was also used to transport the prisoners to the Island. On the way you have a beautiful view of Table Mountain. The boat ride takes about 30/40 minutes and can get a bit rough, depending on how the ocean is feeling that day.

Once having arrived on the island everybody from the boat gets on a tour bus and you set of on an interesting tour of the island. You will only be taken to see round and about 20% of the island, because the other part is a nature reserve and the bus can not get there. You will see the different prisons, churches and even a school, where children still go to this day.

After the tour, you will be brought to the political prison, where you join a tour through the prison, guided by a former political prisoner. He starts with telling his story, about his conviction and the time he served, and then continues with the way life was during years of incarceration in the apartheid era. You will learn about what the policies were, how the guards treated prisoners and the way they fought against and resisted these policies.

It is definitely worth a visit Robben Island, because you will get a sense of the history of South Africa in a captivating way.


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