23 February 2024

Durban: Only 12 beaches are currently open for swimming!

The eThekwini Municipality, the local government body responsible for governing and managing Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, has released updated lists of beaches that are currently (as of 22 February 2024) open and safe for swimming, closed for swimming and of swimming pools that are currently open to the public. According to the lists, 12 beaches in Durban are currently open for swimming, while swimming at eleven beaches, namely Battery Beach, Country Club, eThekwini Beach, Laguna Beach, mDloti Beach, Toti Main Beach, Reunion, uMgababa, Warner Beach, Winkelelespruit and Pipeline Beach, is prohibited due to water quality. 32 swimming pools in Durban are currently open to the public.

The following beaches are open for swimming:
- operating hours 06:00 - 18:30 -    

  1. uShaka
  2. Addington
  3. Point Beach
  4. North Beach
  5. Bay of Plenty
  6. Wedge
  7. South Beach
  8. uMhlanga Main Beach
  9. Bronze Beach
  10. Westbrook
  11. Brighton
  12. Anstey's Beach 

Beach(es) closed for swimming: 

  1. Battery Beach
  2. Country Club
  3. eThekwini Beach
  4. Laguna Beach
  5. mDloti Beach
  6. Toti Main Beac
  7. Reunion
  8. uMgababa
  9. Warner Beach
  10. Winkelelespruit
  11. Pipeline Beach

Recreational activities other than swimming at beaches closed for swimming are allowed!

 

20 February 2024

Ethiopian Airlines introduces a new triangular route connecting Ethiopia, Zambia and Botswana!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia and Africa's largest airline in terms of passengers carried, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to introduce a new triangular route connecting Addis Ababa with two destinations in Zambia and Botswana. Effective 10 June 2024, the airline will operate three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport (NDL) in NdolaZambia, and Maun Airport (MUB) in Maun, Botswana. Ethiopian Airlines will use a 160-seat Boeing 737 MAX on the new route. Flights will depart Addis Ababa at 08:30 and arrive in Maun at 12:40. The connecting flight will depart at 13:30 and will arrive in Zambia's commercial capital at 15:30. The final leg of the triangular route will start in Ndola at 16:20 and arrive in Addis Ababa at 21:25.
Ndola is Zambia's ommercial capital city. The capital of Copperbelt Province lies just 10 kilometres from the border with DR Congo and about 320 kilometres north of Lusaka. Maun is Botswana's tourism capital. The city lies on the southern fringes of the Okavango Delta and is known as the gateway to the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site

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19 February 2024

Durban: Five beaches are currently closed due to water quality!

The eThekwini Municipality, the local government body responsible for governing and managing Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, has released updated lists of beaches that are currently (as of 16 February 2024) open and safe for swimming, closed for swimming and of swimming pools that are currently open to the public. According to the lists, 18 beaches in Durban are currently open for swimming, while swimming at five beaches, namely Country Club, eThekwini Beach, Laguna Beach, Toti Main Beach and Reunion , is prohibited due to water quality. 32 swimming pools in Durban are currently open to the public.

The following beaches are open for swimming:
- operating hours 06:00 - 18:30 -   

  1. uShaka
  2. Addington
  3. Point Beach
  4. North Beach
  5. Bay of Plenty
  6. Wedge
  7. Battery Beach
  8. South Beach
  9. uMgababa
  10. uMhlanga Main Beach
  11. Bronze Beach
  12. mDloti Main
  13. Westbrook
  14. Brighton
  15. Pipeline Beach
  16. Anstey's Beach
  17. Warner Beach
  18. Winkelespruit 

Beach(es) closed for swimming:

  1. Country Club
  2. eThekwini Beach
  3. Laguna Beach
  4. Toti Main Beach
  5. Reunion

Recreational activities other than swimming at beaches closed for swimming are allowed!

 

16 February 2024

Namibia: FlyNamibia to resume flights between Windhoek <> Walvis Bay!

Namibian domestic and regional carrier FlyNamibia has announced that it will resume flights to Walvis Bay, second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. The airline will operate four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB) in Walvis Bay. Flights are open for booking and will commence on 01 April 2024. FlyNamibia suspended flights between Eros Airport (ERS) in Windhoek and Walvis Bay in August 2023 due to a lack of demand. 

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Passport validity requirements for international travellers in Southern Africa!

In order to give you an overview on the passport validity requirements for international travellers in Southern Africa, we compared the information the UK, the US and Germany are providing regarding the validity and the number of blank pages a passport needs to have when entering Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Angola:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive in Angola and have at least 2 blank pages.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least the planned duration of stay and must have one blank page.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the day of departure.

Botswana:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive and at least 3 blank pages. Dual nationals must enter Botswana on the same passport they used to exit the previous country.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month and must have three or more unused pages; one blank page per entry.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry and should have at least four blank pages.

eSwatini:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport should be valid for 3 months from the date you arrive and have at least 2 blank pages. If you intend to visit South Africa before or after travelling to Eswatini, you’ll need to have an additional 2 blank pages to enter and leave South Africa.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month and must have 2 blank pages per entry.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry and have at least two to three free pages.

Lesotho:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 90 days after the date you arrive. You need at least 4 blank pages for passport stamping. Lesotho border control need to stamp your passport and so do South African border control on your way to and from Lesotho.   
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid at time of entry; 3 months of remaining validity suggested. It must have one blank page per entry stamp.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry and have two blank pages for entry/exit stamps.

Malawi:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an "expiry date" at least 6 months after the day you arrive in Malawi.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month and must have one blank page for entry stamp.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

Mozambique:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive. You need at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month from entry into Mozambique and must have 2 blank pages for visa and entry/exit stamps.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

Namibia:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive. It must also have at least one blank page. If you’re travelling to South Africa, you will need an additional 2 blank pages.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month and must have three blank pages.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", when entering Namibia your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the trip and must contain at least two free pages. Your passport must also be in good condition - it should neither be damaged nor difficult to read.

South Africa:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice",  your passport should:
      • be valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended date of exit from South Africa
      • have 2 blank pages
    • If you hold South African citizenship, you must use your South African passport to enter and exit the country. It is illegal for a South African citizen aged 18 or over to enter or leave the country on a foreign passport.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid 30 days beyond your intended date of exit from South Africa and is must have 2 consecutive empty visa pages per entry (not including endorsement pages).
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt",  your passport must be valid for at least 30 days beyond the date of exit from South Africa and have at least two blank pages for visa stamps.

Zambia:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive. It must have at least 2 blank pages for entry stamping.  
    • Zambia recognises dual nationality. However, to avoid delays at the airport you should leave Zambia on the same passport you used to enter.
  • According to the US Department of State, your passport must be valid for at least 6 month and must have three blank pages per entry for Zambia.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt", your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive.

Zimbabwe:

  • According to the UK "Foreign travel advice", your passport must:
      • be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival
      • have 3 blank pages, in case you need to enter Zimbabwe and exit through one of the neighbouring countries or if you need to leave at short notice
  • The US Department of State is recommending a passport validity of 6 month and two blank pages.
  • According to the German "Auswärtiges Amt",  your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay.
    • If you are entering Zimbabwe on a transit flight and/or your return flight is via South Africa, both the South African and Zimbabwean immigration authorities require you to have at least six blank pages in your passport. Zimbabwe and South Africa each require two consecutive blank pages in each passport for entry and exit. In addition, both countries require two additional blank pages.
      • The Ausweärtige Amt also advises that for transit flights via South Africa and return flights via South Africa your passport must have at least six blank pages. If you are entering Zimbabwe without a transit flight, your passport must have at least four blank pages.

sources (as of 16 February 2024):

  • UK "Foreign travel advice" https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
  • US Department of State https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html
  • Auswärtiges Amt https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise

15 February 2024

South Africa: Airlink resumes its popular “bush & beach” service!

South African regional and domestic airline Airlink is set to resume its peak season “bush & beach” service linking Mbombela’s (formerly Nelspruit) Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) with Vilankulo Airport (VNX) in Vilanculos (or Vilankulo) in Mozambique’s Inhambane Province famous and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Back by popular demand, the direct service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 01 July 2024 and run until 05 January 2025. The seasonal route will augment Airlink’s year-round daily direct service between Johannesburg and Vilanculos. Flights on the route will be operated by modern and reliable Embraer Regional Jets.

Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) is located about 30km north east of Mbombela in Mpumalanga. The airport known as the major gateway for tourists traveling (by air) to Kruger National Park and neighbouring private game lodges as well as spectacular vistas such as God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck, the Three Rondavels and several waterfalls.
Vilanculos (or Vilankulo) is a popular beach holiday destination and gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. It is renowned for its spectacular beaches, marine life, restaurants, a variety of accommodation options as well as markets for fresh produce, arts and crafts.

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Southern Africa: Consensus outlook for the February to June 2024 rainfall season!

The Southern African Development Communtiy (SADC)* has released the official statement from the Twenty-Eighth Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-28), which took place in Maputo (Mozambique) from 29 to 31 January 2024 to present a consensus outlook for the February to June 2024 rainfall season over the SADC region. This period is covering the transition from summer wet season to winter dry season over most of the region, “long rains" season in regions characterised by bi-modal rainfall (northern part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and eastern part of Tanzania) and transition from summer dry season to winter wet season in the south-western tip of Africa. According to the outlook, most member states in the northern half and the southeastern parts of the SADC region are likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period from February to June 2024, except for central parts of the region and south-western parts where normal to below-normal and below-normal rainfall are expected. Above normal rainfall is expected over the north-eastern parts of the SADC region during the March 2024 to May 2024 period. The north-western and south-eastern parts of the region are expected to receive normal to below-normal rainfall during the April 2024 to June 2024 rainfall season. During this period, the central parts of the SADC region are expected to receive normal to above-normal rainfall. Below normal rainfall conditions are expected to persist over the western regions of the SADC region, mostly in BotswanaNamibia, southern Angola and south-western South Africa throughout the forecast period.

February - April 2024

  • Northern half of Angola, DRC, northern Zambia, northern Malawi, Tanzaniaand northern Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Southern half of Angola, northern fringes of Namibia, north-eastern Botswana, southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Malawi, and most of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Most of central Namibia and most of western Botswana and northwestern fringes of South Africa
    • Increased chances of below normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Southern fringes of Botswana, extreme southern parts of Zimbabwe, most of South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini and southern fringes of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Southern Namibia and south-western South Africa
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall
  • Comoros
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • North and central Madagascar
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Southern Madagascar
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Mauritius
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall

March to May 2024

  • Western half of DRC and northern half of Angola
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Eastern half of DRC, western half of Tanzania, northern Zambia, and north-eastern fringes of Angola
    • Increased chances of above normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Eastern Tanzania, eastern Malawi, and northern Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Most of southern half of Angola, northern Namibia, central and southern parts of Zambia, south-eastern fringes of DRC, south-western Malawi, northern Botswana, the bulk of Zimbabwe, extreme north-eastern fringes of South Africa and central and southern parts of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall
  • Central and southern parts of Namibia, western Botswana, and western South Africa
    • Increased chances of below normal rainfall
  • Southern fringes of Botswana, extreme southern tip of Zimbabwe, most of South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, and southern fringes of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Comoros
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Madagascar
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Mauritius
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall

April to June 2024

  • North-western tip of Namibia, most of Angola, DRC, northern tip of Zambia and western tip of Tanzania
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Southern tip of Angola, most of Namibia, western fringes of Botswana and western parts of South Africa
    • Increased chances of below normal rainfall
  • South-eastern Angola, southern tip of DRC, extreme north-eastern part of Namibia extreme western tip of Zimbabwe, most of Botswana, most of Zambia, northern Malawi, most of Tanzania, most of South Africa, Lesotho, most of Eswatini, northern and southern tips of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Northern Eswatini, north-eastern South Africa, eastern part of Botswana, most of Zimbabwe, southern fringes of Zambia, southern Malawi, most of Mozambique
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall
  • Comoros
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Madagascar
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of below-normal rainfall (High Confidence)
  • Mauritius
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    • Normal rainfall with increased chances of above-normal rainfall

* Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe