Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrating Nelson Mandela

Dear Travel Partner,

This week marks the passing of an era for South Africa. There is no one that has touched so many South Africans from all walks of life, and indeed across the world. This week will be a reminder to us all of humility, compassion and a belief in humanity, and a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and what he did for our country.

There are memorial services and remembrances happening throughout the country this week, with the National Memorial Service taking place tomorrow (10 December) in Soweto, to be attended by many of the World’s Leaders.

Madiba’s funeral will take place in his home town of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape on Sunday 15 December

Monday 16 December is already a designated holiday (fittingly – Reconciliation Day).

The New Frontiers office will not be closing aside from the designated holiday, although we will have a reduced staff contingent tomorrow for the Memorial Service and would ask your patience on quotes and turnaround times.

From a practical point of view, there should be minimal disruption to travellers. Hotels in Johannesburg and Pretoria have been put on stop sell for the next week to accommodate dignitaries and there may be some delays in coming through Immigration and disembarking planes at OR Tambo airport as heightened security measures have been put in place for the estimated 85 World Leaders arriving. Pretoria should be avoided over the next week given the number of South Africans who will be travelling to the city to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela, who will be lying in state at the Union Buildings. Those clients who have transfers arranged for the Rovos Rail and Blue Train will be contacted to arrange for earlier pick-ups.

The national road in and around Umtata in the Eastern Cape has been closed until next week Monday to accommodate funeral arrangements. As this is not a route utilised by our clients, no disruption is expected to clients currently on the ground.

We expect many institutions and shops to be closed on 15 December, the day of the funeral. There are two websites that are being updated with arrangements and information relating to the next week.

We would like to thank all of you for your kind messages of support to all South Africans. It is heartening to know that a fellow South African meant so much to so many people the world over.

Kind regards,

Craig and the New Frontiers team

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