KwaZulu-Natal conference venues

THE PROVINCE

The garden province of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal is a subtropical region of lush and well-watered valleys, washed by the warm Indian Ocean.

One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, the province stretches from mountains to the ocean, from Port Edward in the south to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique in the north.

SELECTED CONFERENCE & EXPO VENUES

International Convention Centre, Durban

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Voted “Africa’s Leading Conference Centre” by World Travel Awards, Durban’s International Convention Centre has played host to many big world conferences. It is located near Durban’s beachfront and is just 15 minutes from the Durban International Airport. Many top hotels are within easy reach.

The impressively stylish convention centre can be divided up into 11 venues of various sizes, the largest being the Plenary Hall, capable of hosting 1 644 delegates theatre-style.

The ICC venues are very flexible and adaptable, and hi-tech equipment is supplied.

The Business Centre provides faxing, photocopying, secretarial, postal and counter services and telephones, while international visitors are able to cash travellers’ cheques at the Bureau de Change.

Catering, including kosher meals, is provided, and the centre also meets international standards for disabled delegates.

Alpine Heath Resort & Conference Centre

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Located in the stunning Northern Drakensberg, the Alpine Heath Resort and Conference Centre is midway between Johannesburg and Durban, a drive of between three and three-and-a-half hours from the two cities.

It has 100 chalets and three conference rooms, as well as three breakaway rooms and a business centre.

The largest conference venue is able to accommodate up to 380 people.

Standard equipment is supplied, while video data conferencing is available.

There are numerous activities for recreation including a gym, sauna and steam bath, fly-fishing, mountain biking, golf, hiking, swimming, tennis, squash and putt-putt.

Amorello Bush Golf Lodge

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Located 300 kilometres north of Durban, Amorello Bush Golf Lodge lies adjecent to the Phinda and Manywama Game Reserves, and only 15 minutes from the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi and False Bay Game Reserves. It offers an unusual and relaxing mix of wildlife and golf.

Amorello is also a fine venue for weddings and conferences. The Oasis Functions Room, depending on the room configuration, is able to accommodate from 10 to 120 people.

The Oasis deck looks out over a dam and golf course and makes a great spot to take some time out between working sessions. Equipment is supplied and food is wholesome and tasty.

Beverly Hills Hotel

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Set right against the beach at Umhlanga Rocks, Southern Sun’s Beverley Hills Hotel is just a 20-minute drive from Durban.

It contains 84 rooms and six suites, as well as two conference rooms able to host up to 90 people.

Equipment is supplied along with support services such as a florist, photographer, chauffeurs, guides, translators and a courier service.

Cathedral Peak Hotel

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Located in the Drakensberg Mountains and part of a World Heritage Site, the Cathedral Peak Hotel is able to accommodate up 250 people in 94 rooms.

It provides a tranquil, beautiful setting and has conference co-ordinators to assist with the organisation of successful conferences.

Equipment including Internet, e-mail and printing facilities is provided.

Catering is also available, and there are more than enough activities to keep delegates entertained when not working, including golf, tennis, squash, horse riding, trout fishing, bowls, badminton, table tennis and outdoor chess.

The Peak Performance Vitality Centre offers massages and other treatments to really pamper delegates.

Champagne Sports Resort

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A two-hour drive from Durban and three hours from Johannesburg, the Champagne Sports Resort lies in the stunning Drakensberg and has five conference venues able to host from 18 up to 550 people.

It also offers a number of indoor and outdoor breakaway areas. The latest up-to-date equipment is supplied, and accommodation for up to 172 people is available.

Team-building exercises can be arranged with the sports co-ordinator, and for golf lovers the resort boasts a championship golf course also inhabited by blesbok and impala.

Granny Mouse Country House

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The picturesque Natal Midlands is home to Granny Mouse, made up of 16 thatched cottages.

The setting, 52 acres of stunning countryside overlooking the Lions River, is tranquil and ideal for conferences.

The Caversham Room is able to accommodate up to 120 people, and the staff will help plan conferences down to the fine details.

Olive Convention Centre

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The Olive Convention Centre is located in central Durban, close to many hotels and tourist attractions. It features six venues, ranging in size from the Main Auditorium, which is capable of hosting up to 1 500 delegates to The Boardroom, which can host a couple of dozen delegates.

They’re able to host a wide variety of events, ranging from weddings to music shows, to product launches, to press conferences, to gala and themed events, to graduation functions, among others.

Packages include kitchen, parking, mints, bottled water, notepads and pens. The equipment includes CD players, projectors, cordless microphones, and an on-site technician.

Tsogo Sun Elangeni

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Located on Durban’s popular beachfront, the Southern Sun Elangeni is about a 20-minute drive from Durban International Airport.

It boasts 449 bedrooms and 10 conference venues able to host groups ranging in size from 18 to 600 delegates.

It supplies standard equipment and also has an International Business Centre.

For recreation, there is a fitness centre with two swimming pools, a sauna, gym and massage.The beach is merely a walk across the road away, and the dolphinarium, aquarium and snake-park are all within walking distance.

There are many shops nearby and for those who like to be active golf, bowls, squash, ice-skating, fishing, deep-sea fishing, tennis, squash and windsurfing facilities are all nearby.

Imbizo Conference Centre

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Located about two hours’ drive from Durban on the Kwazulu-Natal North Coast, the Imbizo Conference Centre is able to host up to 1 500 delegates in the Main multi-functional hall.

The Auditorium can accommodate 100 people, while the Boardroom is for more intimate conferences. Breakaway rooms are also available.

Standard equipment is supplied, as is catering, including halaal, kosher and vegetarian if required.

For leisure time, the Imbizo Conference Centre is situated near a number of game reserves, offering delegates the chance to view the Big Five.

Jozini Tiger Lodge

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Opened in March 2010, the Jozini Tiger Lodge is located along the beautiful banks of the Jozini Dam in the heart of Zululand.

It is a getaway venue that offers many of the treats of the wild, including game viewing nearby (with a good number of game reserves within short distance), cruises on the dam, and fishing. The dam features the Tiger Fish, one of the most exciting fresh water game fish. In addition, the Jozini Tiger Lodge also features a Wellness Centre.

There are six venues for conferences able to host from 12 to 350 delegates.

Rawdons Hotel

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Located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, near Nottingham Road, the Rawdons Hotel is a peaceful getaway destination with a warm, rustic ambience.

There are seven stocked dams for fly fishing on the 200 ha estate, as well as the Nottingham Road Brewery with its tempting Pickled Pig Porter, Whistling Weasel Pale Ale, Tiddly Toad Lager, and Pye-Eyed Possum Pilsner.

It’s a favoured venue for weddings and each bedroom is individually decorated.

Conference facilities are available for up to 100 people.

Tala Private Game Reserve

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Just 45 minutes from Durban, and only minutes from Pietermaritzburg, is the 5 000 acre Tala Private Game Reserve.

A favoured choice for weddings and conferences, Tala offers venues that are flexible in design and a setting that is both stunning and peaceful.

Delegates would be well advised to make time for game viewing, either from an open Land Rover accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, from their vehicles, or on foot.

In summer, the rock pool is an ideal place to cool down, while bass fishing is available in one of the dams.

The Royal Hotel Durban

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The Royal is located in Durban’s CBD and is easily accessed from Durban International Airport with shuttles available.

It has 213 bedrooms and 13 conference rooms. The largest room is able to host up to 500 people. There is a fully equipped computer training room too.

Standard equipment is supplied plus video conferencing, a translation facility and a fully equipped business centre.

The hotel also has a health centre, while other leisure time activities include harbour cruises, night horse-racing and deep-sea fishing.

SAinfo reporter

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