Go Touch Down Tours Now Available in Europe

Chain Bridge

More properties, new countries and future expansion – that’s what’s going on here at Go Touch Down Travel and Tours. In addition to the quaint and historic St. Luke’s Heritage Hotel in Split, Croatia, The Touch Down group has recently acquired the Budapest Eye Luxury Suites in Budapest, Hungary, the Sense Suites in Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, and will soon close on its second property in Split. The Group is actively scouting out other prominent locations to procure next year, enhancing an already impressive product portfolio.

Best Seasons for Weather and Wildlife Viewing at Songimvelo

Eland, Zebr, and Wildebeast at Songimvelo  

Songimvelo Game Reserve is one of the most diverse and aesthetically pleasing wilderness areas in South Africa.  With its incredible mountain range and volcanic rocks, hidden valleys, cascading waterfalls and grassy savannas, it supports an amazing variety of plant and animal life. This is where guests of Humala River Lodge will experience several their first game drives and bush walks while on the safari portion of our Adventure and Safari Tour. The most common question we hear from our travelers planning their journey is, when is the best time to go?

We chatted with Humala’s resident General Manager, Wessel Roodt, to gain his insights.

The Marine Big 5

Dolphins in False Bay - Photo by: Jan Fleischmann

Many people go to South Africa in search of the Big 5… the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. But have you heard of The Marine Big 5? They are just as intriguing. Mighty whales, toothy sharks and playful seals, penguins and dolphins that live in the country’s coastal waters make up this captivating bunch.

National Heritage Day / National Braai Day: Fire, Chops, and Chums

South Africa is called the Rainbow Nation for its rich diversity of ancestry, cuisine, landscape and even languages. To help South Africans celebrate their heritage, September 24th is set aside annually to recognize all aspects of South African culture, including creative expression, historical inheritance, language, food, and the land in which they live.

National Heritage Day

National Heritage Day

The Parliament of South Africa allocated September 24th as National Heritage Day after the 1994 democratic election. An official public holiday, National Heritage Day was first celebrated throughout the country in 1995. In Kwazulu-Natal, the date was already known as Shaka Day in commemoration of Shaka Zulu, the legendary Zulu King who united the various Zulu clans.

Top 10 Surprising Facts about South Africa


Did you know?

1. South Africa has 11 official languages. English is understood and spoken by most of the people in the country.

2. South Africa’s drinking water is rated the third safest in the world.

3. South Africa is the only country in the entire world that has voluntarily abandoned its nuclear weapons program.

In Touch: Interview with Lisa Codianne Fowler

Lisa at Yacht ClubMeet Lisa, our Communications Manager, based in our Corporate Headquarters in Sarasota, Florida. A voice-over artist and award-winning travel writer, Lisa has written, narrated and produced some of the Go Touch Down video’s you may have seen. She maintains our website, generates internal and external newsletters and correspondence, and works closely with our COO to create sales and marketing materials across multiple platforms.

Q: Where did you travel to last?

Lisa: This past May my husband and I went on a cruise from Italy to Croatia and through the Greek Islands. I had the opportunity to explore two of the cities on our new Go Touch Down Croatia tour – Split, and Dubrovnik. They were truly magical – our clients are in for a treat!

How “Suite” It Is

One-Bedroom Suite at Best Western

Best Western Cape Suites Hotel

When touring Cape Town with us, you’ll be staying at one of two comfortable and conveniently located properties: Inverness Apartments, which we featured in a previous issue, or Best Western Suites Hotel. Best Western has 13 types of hotels in its brand portfolio from its Premium Collections right down to its Legacy brand, with which you are likely familiar. The Cape Suites is in a class by itself, with its spacious and stylish rooms and thoughtful amenities.

IN TOUCH: Interview with Lucia Barnard

Lucia BarnardMeet Lucia Barnard, African Travel Specialist based in Sarasota.  Lucia was born in South Africa and moved with her husband and two kids to the USA in 2009. After living in Atlanta for a year, they settled in Sarasota, Florida. This well-traveled and energetic Travel Professional has been in the Travel Industry since 1992.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the must-sees on a first-time South African Tour?

Lucia: Nothing beats the African bush surrounded by an African sunset; however the Cape Town experience is filled with everything I want in a vacation… amazing food, culture, shopping, and exploring eco wildlife is a must-do.

New Tents at Humala

Tent from outside


Charles Lindbergh once wrote that “real freedom lies in wildness, not civilization.” At Humala, you get to have both… in more modern terms, it’s known as glamping. Joining the 10 luxury thatched-roof safari cabins are five new permanent canvas tents, giving guests even more of a one-with-nature experience.

Though seemingly remote on the reserve and set in a real-life enchanted forest, the tents are actually within walking distance from the main building that houses the restaurant, bar, and lounge, affording easy access to food, drink, and camaraderie.

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Retirement


Were you born between 1946 and 1964? If the answer is yes, then you are part of the 10,000 baby boomers a day who will reach retirement age over the next ten years. You, according to Certified Wealth Strategist David Kennon, can spend more in your retirement and go live all the dreams you put on the shelf. Go forth into retirement bliss, he says. Take the cruise, go on a safari, travel with your grandkids, and do any other thing your heart desires.

David meets about 30 – 50 baby boomers in his office every month through his Social Security Outreach classes. Over the years, he has noted a startling pattern: very few boomers are spending their retirement savings. They suffer from what he calls “spendophobia,” doggedly holding onto their money for fear of not having enough for and throughout retirement.