30 October 2014

Hoedspruit (Limpopo): Blyde Bridge (R527) to close during November 2014

Travellers planning to visit Hoedspruit via the R527 should be aware that the Blyde Bridge, located on the border of the Ndlovumzi Nature Reserve towards Hoedspruit (just before the R531 goes south towards the Selati Game Reserve) will be closed during November 2014 due to repairs. Kruger2Canyon, a regional community newspaper, reports that the bridge crossing the Blyde River will close for 10+ days from 03 November 2014 and again for another 10+ days later in November 2014. According to the newspaper, the bridge will be open during night from 16:30 - 06:30am. We marked the Blyde Bridge (R527) on a Google Map for better orientation [link].

Hoedspruit, situated at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg, is mainly known for the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and the Kruger National Park (via Orpen Gate).

29 October 2014

Cape Town: One of Africa's longest zipline tours to open in November 2014

One of the longest zipline tours in Africa will open its doors in Cape Town 01 November 2014. Cape Town Ziplines, located in the Silvermist Mountain Lodge Estate within the Table Mountain National Park, offers 2.3 km of slides with some being as long as 500m and some as high as 155m. The duration of the zipline tour is approximately 2hrs30; Cape Town Ziplines is open 7 days a week with tours every hour from 9:00 till 17:00 in summer. Cape Town Ziplines is a division of SA Forest Adventures.

Silvermist Mountain Lodge Estate is situated on the forested Southern slopes of Table Mountain and within the Table Mountain National Park. The estate is accessible from all mayor transport routes including the Cape Town City Hop-on Hop-off Tour (Stop 21 Constantia Nek Wine Bus Tour Change Point, +- 300m from the stop down the Hout Bay Road on the left).

Download Getaway's "Guide to Off-Roading in Namibia" for free!

South African travel and outdoor publication Getaway Magazine published a 48-page booklet about off-roading in Namibia in its September 2014 issue. The "Getaway Guide to Off-Roading in Namibia" is now available as a free download (pdf) on the magazine's website. It provides an overview over some of the best 4x4 routes in Namibia, including advice on where to camp, road conditions and vehicle support. Kudos Getaway Magazine!

28 October 2014

South Africa: Lioness hunts down prey with GoPro camera mounted to its body (video)

South African animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson, also known as the "lion whisperer", posted a video to YouTube (via GoPro's youtube channel) offering a piggyback view of a lioness named Meg hunting down a water buck in the wild. The rare video was filmed by strapping a GoPro camera onto the animal’s back. Eish!

Kevin's "Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary" is located just an hour north east of Johannesburg and half an hour from Pretoria in the Welgedacht Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the Dinokeng Game Reserve. Since 01 Nov 2013 Kevin's Wildlife Sanctuary is open to the public. Tours include a welcome refreshment, sanctuary tour and a guided game drive with a Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) guide in the greater area of the Big Five Reserve, as well as a boma braai lunch at the end of the tour. For more information please visit Kevin's website!

Rwanda: New visa rules from 01 November 2014

Rwanda is set to introduce new visa rules effective 01 November 2014. According to the new regulations, nationals from Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States will have to pay a USD30 visa fee, valid for a period of 30 days. The visa fee can be paid upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point without prior application. According to Rwanda's Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, the country's border posts will have banking facilities that accept various currencies as well as effecting payments. Citizens of Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and from Mauritius remain exempted from having to pay a visa fee for stays up to 90 days under a tourist visa. Also available for tourists is the East African Single Tourist Visa at a cost of USD100. The joint visa covers Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and is valid for up to 90 days for foreign tourists.

27 October 2014

Garden Route: Gondwana Game Reserve introduced 800 new animals!

The Gondwana Game Reserve, located in the heart of the Garden Route about 25 minutes outside the coastal town of Mossel Bay, has recently introduced 800 new animals. The 11,000ha Big Five reserve received herds of Eland, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Waterbuck as well as two adult female elephants and their three young. A pod of hippo and a new female cheetah will be introduced in the near future. Gondwana Game Reserve's pride of lion also welcomed two new cubs which were recently seen on game drive for the first time since their mother was denning. These introductions have taken the wildlife population in the Gondwana Game Reserve to the highest density it has ever been.

24 October 2014

South Africa: 899 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2014

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 899 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2014. Of the rhinos poached, 581 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 109 in Limpopo, 74 in KwaZulu Natal, 57 in Mpumalanga, 53 in the North West, 14 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in the Free State, 3 in Gauteng, 2 in the Northern Cape and 1 in the Western Cape.
A total of 282 people have been arrested for rhino poaching-related offences in South Africa since January this year. 

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 24 October 2014):
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 581 rhinos poached
  • MAP (SANParks) - 1 rhino poached 
  • MNP (SANParks) - 0 rhino poached
  • Gauteng -  3 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 109 rhino poached
  • Mpumalanga - 57 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 53 rhino poached
  • Eastern Cape - 14 rhino poached
  • Free State - 4 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 74 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 1 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 2 rhino poached

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is urging members of the public to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.