My Journey

A Royal Experience – An Educational into the Northwest

A Royal Experience was put together and hosted by Lekker Places and Travel Match and enjoyed by Travel Match members.  As the song says, “we had fun we had seasons in the sun…” 

Our first weekend was a short overnight with a start at the Silverstar Hotel and Casino.  Christel Roets took us through their conference centre so we could see a conference in action. A site inspection included the fabulous Presidential suite and for only R4000 per night it hosts 2 couples in sumptuous surroundings. Great venue for entertainment for guests even for hotels in the area who have conference guests.  This was followed by a great breakfast at the Vigor and Verve where our guests had a moment to get to know each other.

Upon arrival at Maropeng, the Tumulus Building is mysterious and strange, but in contrast to this first impression, it contains a wealth of knowledge accessible to all. The Tumulus, suggestive of an ancient underground burial mound, was purpose-built as a visitor centre to showcase the Cradle of Humankind and the unprecedented quantity of hominid fossils discovered at the fossil sites in this area.

Being part of the cradle of Humankind its easily part of a great Sunday drive in the area and not far from Krugersdrop. Perfect for the breakfast bit of a bike breakfast run!  Get your bike club to make it your next destination!

The interactive and informative exhibition inside the buildings showcases the progress that human

kind has made from our early beginnings to where we are today, and promotes a consciousness of preserving our natural heritage for future generations. It is a fun and educational visit for the entire group and our tour guide was knowledgeable and took the team through the venue sharing knowledge and understanding about fossils and the area in general. The site visit included the boutique hotel which is a great hotel to host a small conference. Its views of the Cradle are quite breathtaking and delegates are able to visit the visitors centre during or after the conference and enjoy the boat ride. Read more on their website about this experience. But before you do, check the video below for a peek at the boat ride! Its awesome!

And once we got far from the maddening crowd (Thomas Hardy knew that one day we would want to stay where silence mattered!), the traveling wilburies passed Rustenburg into Boshoek and almost in the Groot Marico to get to the Royal Marang.

Used by the British soccer team during the World Cup 2010, it is now still considered one of South Africa’s best wellness centers and used by Rugby Teams and is home to the Platinum Stars soccer team.  Its gorgeous gardens and well appointed rooms are surrounded by sweeping sports fields which could be the envy of the best sports fields in the world. Located just 120 km from Johannesburg and Pretoria on the Platinum Freeway, tucked away in the heart of the Royal Bafokeng Nation’s land, the Royal Marang Hotel offers 5-star luxury hotel accommodation on the outskirts of Rustenburg, flanked by the scenic Bojanala Region in the east, and endless savannahs that border the distant Magaliesberg mountain range.

The Royal Marang – A 5 Star Experience

The Royal Marang Hotel is ideally placed within close proximity to some of the region’s top entertainment resorts such as Sun City, which is a mere 30 km away, Big Five game reserves and a myriad of attractions which can be arranged during your stay. A great choice for a stopover when doing business in Johannesburg and you are traveling from Gaborone. An easy early morning breakfast and through the Tlokweng gate before business at 9am either way!  And definitely a great choice when wanting to enjoy the entertainment at Sun City but not the noise – stay far from the maddening crowd!

The next morning it was time to hit the road and make our way across the mountains (yup in typical South African fashion there were service delivery protests on the Rustenburg road to Greensleeves) so like our folk from years ago we trekked across the mountains on sand roads and taking short cuts to make it on time, we skidded in to a Medieval dining room from yesteryear. Personally it was a great journey for me and Keith as we had met here on a blind date in 2003 and have never been back since!  And what a shame we hadn’t.

It was gorgeous and well kept and the gardens were just breathtaking. After expecting to find a dusty dining room with old and worn out decor, we found quite the opposite. Andrew Gaylord our host, was welcoming and swooped on us with offers of cold beer and hot food. And what more could we ask for besides being seated at the king and queen table. Not only was the feast HUGE but the offer of picnics on a Sunday and a playcentre outside for the kids, but there was a honeymoon suit and a conference room that would be great and airy to use.

We were so impressed (and bear in mind, The Traveller has travelled to 60 cities across the globe and being in the top 1% of Trip Advisor is a hard nut to crack) that we booked Keith’s 60th for April at this very venue. Not far from Johannesburg or Pretoria and with a family (just kids mind you and ourselves) we are 20 including 8 grandchildren, the pricing is just right and affordable.
Sad as we were to leave and head on out, we had barely enough time to get to our cars and head for Woodlands Spa and Healing centre where our host, Tania Pheiffer awaited us with her staff of a hundred hands.  Definitely a must on your weekend calendar. Not only does Woodlands offer the best in healing hands but certainly the conference facilities for small groups alongside the soft sounds of the gentle waterfalls must not be dismissed from your calendar this year. Equipped with warm baths and steam rooms, the view out of the massage room was such that the team and I were not leaving in a hurry.

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The soft music and the patio area where you await your turn for treatment and the use of the healing room can only be described as the best in the land. Certainly in the Northwest. And not far from the maddening crowd either. Let Go, Relax, Heal is their motto and situated on the banks of the Crocodile river in the heart of rural Muldersdrift, Woodlands Spa is the perfect setting to escape the busy city life. WeE experienced a peaceful energy on the deck, overlooking the Crocodile River, relaxing after our spa treatments and enjoyed just sipping on an invigorating ‘out of this world’ organic coffee, contemplating our next visit.

And once again our participating partners, Thank you for participating. Our Travel Match travellers thoughts?

  • Travel Match Educationals

    More time at each establishment would be great!

  • What an ending to a great weekend. In the words of our travellers :
  • What can one say, expertly thought of to the last detail. Nothing less expected from our host Geniene!
  • Very good, entertaining and educational!!
  • Definitely a ROYAL experience of note! Thank you
  • My overall experience was absolutely phenomenal….. Thank you
  • Thank you to Geniene and Lekkerplaces for organising!


All participating venues and activities received:

  • Free advertising pre and post the event on the home page of SACommuter
  • All social media conducted during the event as well as the educational being posted before the event and this story which is posted onto SACommuters Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linked accounts
  • All participating travellers details for post event sales and communications. Pre event they are sent those details of the travellers  we selected to attend
  • All Photos in High and low res for use without copyright infringement on any further material used after the event
  • All reviews written by our travellers by way of Excel Spreadsheet (The surveys are conducted on line on a 0 – worst and 100 best rating
  • Social Media analysis of the use of #travelleronthemove and #travelmatch. All travellers are encouraged to use social media during the entire educational
  • Participating companies may also offer specials to those Travel Match Members who would like to return for further inspection. However all communication in this regard has to come through Travel Match and not directly to the client. Only sales related communication may go directly to the traveller.

If you would like to participate in our educationals going forward please contact

As a worldwide traveller with an eye for something different, I started Travel Match. This initiative matches the Corporate Buyer or Event co-ordinator/Marketing Manager to not only share experiences with each other during an educational but also opens up a world of different ideas. Venues and activities now have a chance to meet buyers on a social level before getting down to business. I design educationals around fun and intuitive thinking and the Travel Match members love them.

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