Need help with Surprise in South Africa

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Oct 9th, 2005, 09:14 AM
  #1
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Need help with Surprise in South Africa

My husband is celebrating his birthday when we are in South Africa. We will be in Cape Town and on safari in Royal Malewane. Can anyone this of something AMAZING for me to surprise him with? He definitely would not like any shark diving. I thought about hot air ballooning but I am not sure if that would interest him.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Where will you be on his birthday?
What sort of surprises are you looking for?
Activity? Special gift, dinner? etc.

I have many ideas that I could suggest, please let me know a bit more about the two of you and I'll be happy to offer suggestions.

OH and also the time of year you'll be in SA
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Oct 10th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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How old is he?

I would have thought that both shark diving and hot air ballooning would be incredible -- I have only done the former (twice) -- so what are his general interests.

You could probably arrange a picnic on the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

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Oct 10th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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I can remember a discussion, possibly on this forum, about helicopter flights over CT. But other than the suggestion, and the obvious guess that it's probably relatively expensive, I'm afraid I have no info other than that I think it can be done.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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I don't know if this was it, but with a belated simple search I found a post from GovernorPhil in June, subject "Cape Town Two Oceans Helicopter Tour", and asking "Has anyone done this tour, which is operated by Civair? The rate for 2 people for a half hour flight is R2700 . . .".

But no replies. And as I expected, pricey!
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Oct 10th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I did a helicopter flight over and around Table Top several years ago. A friend of mine was the pilot-Kiwi. Gave a real thrilling experience. Even better, it was a freebee, compliments of the fact he was then dating a girl I introduced him to.
Excellent choice for your husbands bd.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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We will be in South Africa in January. My hubby is 35. On his actual b-day we will be in Amsterdam. But that is ok. We can do something special a few days later. I think I helicopter ride would be cool, but you always hear about tourists dying in them. I would spend $500 for both of us (but not per person).
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Oct 10th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Ok...some more info....

I would prefer to give him an experience rather than a tangible gift. He loves music. He also likes to hike even though that is tortuous for me. We love amazing food.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 01:13 AM
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I'd say you have a greater chance of being run over crossing Adderley Street than dying in a helicopter crash! But in case you're interested, the applicable web page is www.civair.co.za/helicopters_capetown.aspx.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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Music...
If he enjoys classical you might consider a champagne picnic at Kirstenbosch gardens accompanied by the local orchestra. The picnic can be arranged, the orchestra plays on Sunday afternoons, I'll check and revert. You could even do the afternoon chopper flip landing at K'bosch and take a limo back to the hotel after!

BTW: Kirstenbosch, while only a botanical garden is the most beautiful place nestled below the craggy face of table mountain with some huge rolling green lawns punctuated with scents and colours of the unique fynbos of the Cape.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Dr.Andrea,

If you want to surprise your husnband with good food, music and a real African birthday then I have got the perfect idea for you as I have gone through the following surprise with so many of my guests in the past and it has always been a raving success.

What I do is I take make visitors to the Africa Cafe on the party evening. The meal at the Africa Cafe is absolutely fantastic, very African, brand new in flavours and tastes and the decor of the building is so very African and unique to our continent. The whole setting at the Africa Cafe is special and unique.

Go to http://www.africacafe.co.za/
to see more.

What I do for the surprise party is I pre-arrange all for the evening and this is what I do:

I order a wonderful chocolate cake from a popular local bakery in Cape Town made in the shape of Africa with the name of the birthday party as well as wishes on the cake.

I secretly ensure that this cake is at the Africa Cafe on the night of the celebration.

At the Africa Cafe one eats your meal and then at a certain part of the evening the staff at the cafe come around to all the rooms in the cafe and sing and dance in thanks to their visitors for the night. This is a goosebumps type event and is very special.

What I arrange is that when it comes to having dessert the staff come back into the room with the cake as their presentation and they very rousingly sing happy birthday in English as well as in Xhosa for my special visitor who is caught totally unawares. It is a very, very emotional event and an expereince that no-one ever forgets.

Afterwards we enjoy the cake as dessert and whatever is left over (generally 80% of the cake) we leave as a gratuity for the staff. As the staff know this formula we always have a fantastic choral response from them when they present the cake to the birthday vistor.

To see more of this please go to http://www.ilovecapetown.com/Tours/Gorin/Gorin.htm where you will see all of the above in the photographs of when I celebrated Howard and Sharon Gorin's 40th anniversary with them. I have done this surprise event for 4 of my past guests and it has always worked.

So now how do you do it if you want to copy the expereince? It should be no problem for you to put into action as I would put you in touch with the baker as well as the Africa Cafe management. Between the three of you all could be taken care of as far as the making of the cake as well as the getting it to the cafe. You will probably only have to make one or two telephone calls - Thats it. Once this has been done simply leave it to the management of the cafe to do the rest and you will see all fall into place.

Fair warning the cake is a very special cake and the baker who makes it does not come cheaply so expect to pay about $65 for the cake. Believe me this is very expensive in local terms as the meal at the Africa Cafe on its own only costs $20 per person but you have to recognise that the cake is individually made and is a wonderful, if not the best, chocolate cake in Cape Town to eat. Needless to say I can put you in touch with other bakeries who will make a cake for you for lets say about R120 ($20) but this will not be in the shape of Africa. Anyway the cake (and possibly even the shape of the cake) is not the total surprise as the presentation is what makes the whole experience so special.

If you want more details just write to the board and I will give you all the info that you need to know.

OK so hows that for a real African type birthday surprise?

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:06 AM
  #12
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Mkhonzo- I think your idea is really great. I think hubby would love it too. The only thing is I think that we won't be in Cape Town on a Sunday.

Selen-That is a nice idea but I don't really think it is our style. But I really appreciate your thoughtful response.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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http://www.nbi.ac.za/frames/whatsonfram.htm
That is the link for activiities in Summer for Kirstenbosch, maybe a date there works for you.

You can ask the hotel to arrange a picnic etc. Another idea in the same vain would be to arrange a similar trip, but ending up in one of the vineyards in Franshoek. Access by helicopter would be quite stunning.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:50 AM
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Perhaps you could surprise him with a day of wine-tasting?

A couple of years ago my mother and I spent a memorable day wine tasting in the Cape winelands. We visited some of the region's great wineries (Vergelegen, Boschendal, Middelvlei, etc.) stopping off for a fabulous lunch on the patio of Lady Phillips restaurant in the grounds of the Vergelegen estate.

The whole thing was a private, guided tour booked with Vineyard Ventures (www.vineyardventures.co.za) which my brother had booked for us as a surprise.

Being a foodie/wine lover, it was a perfect day for me (and because we didn't have to drive, we glugged our way through a good few glasses of wine!). The scenery is glorious and many of the wineries are located in fabulous grounds.

Another bonus was that the guide was excellent, and a real wine expert. It felt as though we were spending the day with a knowledgeable friend rather than a tour guide.

(By the way, I have no affiliation with the tour company! Just wanted to share the memories )
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Oct 11th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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If I were in Cape Town here is what I would like for my own upcoming 35th birthday if I wasn't going to be doing the Tango in Buenos Aires as it now appears I will be doing (next March/April)

http://cybercapetown.com/CobraHire/

As far as if I were in Amsterdam on my 35th birthday, I had better not say what I would like!
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Oct 11th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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When I was in the Mara there was a birthday celebration with a chocolate cake, but before the cake an elephant dropping with a candle and a knife was brought to the person having a birthday. I donít know if itís a good idea Ö
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Oct 11th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Rocco -- great idea. If it were me, and I'm around the same age, I'd rent the Cobra and drive to Gansbaai to go shark diving (its great), and stop in the wine area on the way back for dinner. Long day, but that would be incredible.

Dr_Andrea, you may want to do some research on shark diving. I thought you were older, but since you guys are in your mid-30s, its worth looking into.

Its AMAZING and unique to the area.

Almost anything else that will be suggested can likely be repeated in similar fashion in most major cities.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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I think the shark diving would be great but my hubby is too chicken to try it. I don't think he would even consider it. I like the car idea. He probably would love it. However, we never been to CT so I don't know how I feel about him driving in a foreign place. Also, we own a porsche. Is that car better or would it be the same thing? We are already spending one day at a winery and winetasting is really not that exciting to us given that my family actually owns one on Long Island. These ideas are really great!! Keep them coming. I definitely like the picnic, table mountain, garden, helicopter ideas the best.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Its different than a Porsche, and much less commonly seen. I have seen very few in the New York area. Also, the roads aren't as congested, so it may be more fun to drive. BUT, driving is on the other side of the road, which is easy in an automatic transmission car, but I wouldn't try it in a manual car.

I'm off to South Africa next July, and I rented an automatic since I don't think I can shift with my left hand.

Robben Island is also very interesting, but its a former island prison, and not a place one would think of to celebrate a birthday, but maybe you could arrange a picnic on the island with a view of Cape Town.

Robben Island is a MUST SEE in any event, even if you just go for a couple of hours.

Michael
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Oct 11th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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We are totally going to Robben Island. I am actually very excited about it.

Maybe I should give more consideration to the shark diving?
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