20 August 2014

Swaziland: Airlink to operate flights at the new King Mswati III International Airport

South African carrier Airlink has announced that all of the airline's flights to and from Swaziland will, from Tuesday 30 September 2014, operate at Sikhuphe/King Mswati III International Airport (IATA: SHO). Matsapha International Airport (IATA: MTS), which is located close to the city of Manzini in Swaziland, will close to all civilian flights including all regional and international air traffic on 29 September 2014. The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) will be providing a shuttle bus service for passengers wishing to travel between King Mswati III International Airport and Matsapha International Airport. Passengers already booked on Airlink's services to Matsapha International Airport will be re-accommodated on the SHO schedule. Airlink will operate three return flights daily between Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport.
King Mswati III International Airport, which was inaugurated on 07 March 2014 without having a license to operate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is located 70km from Mbabane. The airport incorporates a 7,000m² passenger terminal designed to handle and process 300 passengers per hour.

TAZARA re-organises its passenger train operations, introduces new timetable

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has announced some big news. The railway in East Africa linking Tanzania with Zambia has re-organised its passenger train operations and introduced new timetables. With effect from 26 August 2014, the inter-state cross-border passenger trains between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia will no longer run through across the borders. Instead, the passenger trains will operate as local trains within the respective borders of Tanzania and Zambia, intersecting and both u-turning at the Tanzania/Zambia border station of Nakonde. Passengers who intend to cross the border and travel by train all the way through to the other country will be required to swap trains at Nakonde in order to proceed to Dar es Salaam or New Kapiri Mposhi, respectively.
According to TAZARA, the new timetables for the Tanzanian and Zambian operated trains have been designed in such a way as to allow for the interfacing of the trains at Nakonde station so that any passengers that are crossing into the other country have sufficient time to swap the trains and proceed with their journey with minimum inconvenience.

18 August 2014

Egyptair to stop flights between Cairo <> Harare

According to Zimbabwean news website bulawayo24.com, Egyptair will stop operating flights between Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Cairo, Egypt, and Harare International Airport (HRO) in Harare, Zimbabwe on 24 September 2014. The national carrier of Egypt only returned to Zimbabwe after a nine year absence in June 2013.
This comes about three weeks after the flag carrier of the Netherlands, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, announced that it will be discontinuing flights to Harare from 28 October 2014.

15 August 2014

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in July 2014

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, and Durban's King Shaka International Airport in July 2014.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2014 (airport target 85%)
  1. Airlink - 91.52% (June 93.11%)
  2. British Airways Domestic - 88.28% (June 92.02%)
  3. South African Airways - 86.48% (June 90.23%)
  4. Mango - 86.31% (June 89.16%) 
  5. SA Express - 85.52% (June 84.14%)
  6. Kulula.com - 83.65% (June 90.91%)
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2014 (airport target 87%)
  1. SA Express - 94.12% (June 96.12%)
  2. Airlink - 87.89% (June 93.93%)
  3. Mango - 85.68% (June 88.06%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 85.61% (June 92.70%)
  5. Kulula.com - 81.57% (June 88.06%)
  6. South African Airways - 79.88% (June 91.83%)
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2014 (airport target 89%)
  1. SA Express - 95.32% (June 91.65%)
  2. Mango - 90.76% (June 92.11%)
  3. British Airways Domestic - 89.12% (June 90.95%)
  4. Kulula.com - 89.08% (June 93.05%)
  5. South African Airways - 88.73% (June 94.93%)
  6. Airlink - 88.73% (June 92.55%)

14 August 2014

Download: Free posters of the snakes of Southern Africa

Herpetologist Johan Marais, author of "A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa" (available in South Africa via kalahari.net), has completely updated his 15 "Dangerous/Harmless Snakes" posters for all South African provinces as well as for Bostwana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The posters are available as free downloads in high resolution and are designed to be printed in A3 (A4). Kudos & many thanks, Johan!

Click here to download it (pdf, 2.6mb, A3) for free!

13 August 2014

Flysafair adds George to its network

FlySafair, one of South Africa's newest domestic low cost carriers, has added a new route to its network. Starting from mid-October 2014 the airline will be offering flights between Cape Town and George. FlySafair previously opened bookings for routes between Cape Town <> Johannesburg and Cape Town <> Port Elizabeth.
FlySafair will charge passengers a base rate which secures a seat on the flight, and allows travellers two pieces of free carry-on luggage (one bag and one personal item) weighing no more than 7kg in total. The airline operates Boeing 737-400's with a seating capacity of 165 passengers per aircraft.

12 August 2014

South Africa: Status of the rhino population in the Kruger National Park

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa is home to 82% of Africa's rhino, 93% of Africa's white rhino and 39% of Africa's black rhino. As of 2012, South Africa's rhino population was estimated at 21 000. Based on the latest population survey (2013) in the Kruger National Park, about 8 400 and 9 600 white rhinos are presently living in the National Park. Poaching, natural deaths and the translocation of rhino from the Kruger National Park presently match that of rhino births. This means that the rhino population in the Kruger National Park has stabilised.