18 September 2014

FlyAfrica.com to launch fligths Harare <> Johannesburg

FlyAfrica.com, a new low cost carrier in Southern Africa with plans to operate scheduled regional flights in Africa from various hubs, has announced the introduction of its second route. From 01 November 2014 the airline will operate daily flights between Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare, Zimbabwe, and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa,. Tickets will be available from midday 22 September 2014.
FlyAfrica.com currently operates three flights per week between Victoria Falls International Airport in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg on Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays.

South Africa: Johannesburg to rename streets

The City of Johannesburg has announced that five streets in downtown Johannesburg as well as two streets in Alexandra and Orlando West will soon be named after well-known heroes of South Africa's struggle for liberation and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country's democratic transition. Dual signage containing both old and new names will be retained for a maximum of 12 months.

17 September 2014

Victoria Falls Airport (Zimbabwe): Cold bottle of water as a welcome gift!

From 18 September 2014, every traveller arriving at International Arrivals at Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, will get a cold bottle of water as a welcome gift. Hospitality assistants wearing t-shirts branded with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority's slogan "Zimbabwe A World of Wonders" will hand out the complimentary bottle of water to travellers and will also point visitors in the right direction, ensure they are in the correct line, assist the elderly, those with disabilities and young families, and carry spare pens for filling out forms. The initiative, which will from now on be in place every year over the three-month peak tourist season, is a joint venture between the tourism industry in Victoria Falls, the Department of Immigration, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

16 September 2014

South Africa: New regulations for travelling children postponed to 2015

South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has announced that the implementation of two new travel requlations, which require children to carry an unabridged birth certificate and a letter of permission from their parents or guardians in order to travel, has been postponed until 01 June 2015. The new regulations were initially set to come in effect on 01 July 2014, but due to widespread complaint the Department of Home Affairs granted a three-month reprieve and set 01 October 2014 as the new implementation date. The decision to delay the implementation again to 01 June 2015 followed talks between Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, South Africa's Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and stakeholders in the tourism and aviation industry, in which the tourism industry raised concerns that there was not enough time to contact missions abroad and travel operators to communicate the new requirements, as well as parents did not have much time to acquire the requested documents before their planned travels.
[...] Subsequent to our meeting with the Minister of Tourism last month, Mr. Derek Hanekom, we have also met with tourism and aviation industry stakeholders including representatives from the IATA, ASATA the South African Tourism Council, and announced the formation of a joint task team between the Department and the industry as a vehicle for on-going engagement.

We are enormously pleased with the establishment of the task team, and trust that its representatives will bring invaluable perspectives and information on the tourism and travel sector, and help us improve communication with their clients and the sector as a whole.

We have further continued to engage with the representatives of the film industry and soccer fraternity.

The different stakeholders have drawn our attention to the challenges relating to the new requirements for travelling children, which come into effect on October 1st, 2014, which were instituted to ensure the safety of children, in line with the Children’s Act of 2005 and our own international obligations.

In particular, the stakeholders have highlighted challenges regarding the requirement that all children entering or exiting South Africa be in possession of a passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate, and written permission from both parents or guardians of the child, authorizing that child’s travel.

While the requirement that all children possess a passport has been implemented successfully, challenges have been raised regarding the requirements for the Unabridged Birth Certificate and written permission.

Stakeholders have alerted us to two main challenges: firstly, of ensuring accurate and timely communication to missions abroad, travel operators, and prospective travellers around the world about the new requirements; and secondly, that parents and those authorized to travel with children have time to obtain the required documentation in time for their travel plans.

It was put to the Department, that while the new regulations are accepted as necessary and are fully supported, due to these challenges mentioned above, and particularly in light of the upcoming peak travel periods for families – that is, December / January for the festive season and April for Easter – a postponement would greatly assist travellers and the sectors as a whole.

The Department has taken this input into consideration, along with our obligation to ensure the safety of children entering and exiting the country.

Having taken all of this into account, we have granted a postponement of these two particular requirements – the Unabridged Birth Certificate and written permission to June 1st 2015. [...] via "Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba MP, in relation to the implementation of new immigration regulations on 16 September 2014 in Cape Town"  http://goo.gl/Sy6sZL

12 September 2014

The view at Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers in Cintsa (Eastern Cape)

If you are travelling through South Africa, along the Wild Coast to be precise, we highly recommend you to stop at Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers in Cintsa, located just a few km north of East London. Why? Well, just check out the view...

11 September 2014

South Africa: 769 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2014

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 769 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2014. Of the rhinos poached, 489 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 103 in Limpopo, 65 in KwaZulu Natal, 47 in the North West, 43 in Mpumalanga, 12 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in the Free State, 3 in Gauteng, 1 in the Western Cape and 1 in the Northern Cape.
A total of 227 people have been arrested for rhino poaching-related offences in South Africa since January this year. 

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 11 September 2014):
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 489 rhinos poached
  • MNP (Mapungubwe National Park?) - 1 rhino poached
  • Gauteng -  3 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 103 rhino poached
  • Mpumalanga - 43 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 47 rhino poached
  • Eastern Cape - 12 rhino poached
  • Free State - 4 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 65 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 1 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 1 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.