18 October 2018

Mpumalanga: Two new hiking trails in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve!

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) has officially opened two new hiking trails in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. Both trails are self-guided trails and traverse half of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve as well as privately owned land, from Paradise Camp (on the God’s Window loop road) to Bourke's Luck Potholes.
The Belvedere day walk is a 10km, five-hour walk which takes hikers in a circular route its start at
Bourke's Luck Potholes to the Belvedere Guest House and then back to Bourke's Luck Potholes.

The Waterval long trail/hike is a three-day trail. From the meeting point at
Bourke's Luck Potholes hikers will get transported to Paradise Camp, the starting point of the hike. From there, a 3km walk will bring the hikers to the first overnight stop at Waterval Hut. Day two takes the hikers from Waterval Hut to Clearstream (13.5km). On day three, the trail takes the hikers from Clearstream back to Bourke's Luck Potholes (13.6km).
Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) is currently devoleping a third trail, which will include the "Old Mill". For more info and booking, contact the MTPA.

17 October 2018

Ethiopian Airlines to increase flights between Addis Ababa <> Oslo!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to increase flights between Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and Oslo Airport (OSL) in Oslo, Norway. From 11 December 2018, the airline will operate six weekly return flights on board a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to Norway instead of the current five return flights per week. Ethiopian Airlines launched the route between Addis Ababa and Oslo in March 2017.

15 October 2018

Cape Town: MyCiTi bus drivers embark on strike!

Cape Town's MyCiTi bus service is currently disrupted due to an (illegal) strike by some bus drivers. As a result, only a few routes are currently operating. It is unclear for how long the strike will continue, and when the MyCiTi service will be able to resume normal operations. The City of Cape Town is monitoring the situation and will inform the public accordingly. We'll keep you posted!MyCiTi is Cape Town's bus rapid transit (BRT) service. Since its launch in May 2010 until August 2018, approximately 89,4 million passenger journeys were recorded on the MyCiTi service.

Mpumalanga: The Graskop Gorge lift is currently not operational!

The Graskop Gorge lift, a viewing lift that takes visitors 51 metres down the face of the Graskop Gorge and into the forest below, is temporarily closed since 12 October 2018. The lift, which is operated by the Graskop Gorge Lift Company, is located just outside of Graskop on the R533 towards Hazyview along Mpumalanga's famous Panorama Route (on the opposite side of the gorge to the Big Swing).

Botswana: Gaborone Game Reserve has been re-opened!

Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks has re-opened the Gaborone Game Reserve in Gaborone earlier today (15 October 2018). The Reserve was closed to the public since August 2018 due maintenance of sewerage lines by the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), a parastatal organisation wholly owned by the Government of Botswana.
The Gaborone Game Reserve is located on the western side of Gaborone about 1km east of the Broadhurst Mall. It covers an area of only 5km², but is third busiest game reserve in Botswana. Gaborone Game Reserve is home to wildebeest, elands, gemsboks, kudus, ostriches and warthogs as well as to a particularly plentiful birdlife. All roads in the reserve are accessible by two-wheel drives (2WD). 

South Africa's Blue Flag beaches, boats & marinas 2018/19!

A total of 46 beaches in South Africa, along with twelve sustainable tourism boats and eight marinas have been awarded Full Blue Flag status by the 2018/19 International Blue Flag Jury. The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 30 beaches, 12 boats and seven of the eight Blue Flag marinas. The Eastern Cape has been awarded one Blue Flag Marina site, and retained their seven beaches. KwaZulu-Natal has been awarded nine Blue Flag beaches.
Blue Flag is a certification issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards. The main criterias include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. Blue Flag is sought for beaches and marinas as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
South Africa, the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) in partnership with participating coastal municipalities.

South Africa, Blue Flag, Beach

Western Cape Blue Flag beaches:

Cape Town - Silwerstroomstrand  
Cape Town - Clifton 4th  
Cape Town - Camps Bay  
Cape Town - Llandudno  
Cape Town - Muizenberg  
Cape Town - Strandfontein  
Cape Town - Mnandi
Cape Town - Bikini
Cape Town - Melkbosstrand
Cape Town - Fishhoek  
Kleinmond (Overstrand Municipality) - Kleinmond  
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Hawston  
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Grotto
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Lappiesbaai  
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Preekstoel
Witsand (Hessequa Municipality) - Witsand 

Gouritsmond (Hessequa Municipality) - Gouritsmond
Mossel Bay - Santos
Mossel Bay - De Bakke  
Mossel Bay - Hartenbos  
Mossel Bay - Klein Brak
Knysna - Buffalo Bay
Knysna - Brenton-on-Sea
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Robberg 5
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - Keurboomstrand
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - The Dunes
Natures Valley (Bitou Municipality) - Nature's Valley
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Lookout 
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Singing Kettle
Cape Agulhas (Cape Agulhas Municipality) - Struisbaai 

Western Cape Blue Flag marinas:

Knysna - Thesen Islands (TIHOA)
Knysna - Thesen Islands (Thesen Harbour Town)
Cape Town - False Bay Yacht Club
Cape Town - The Water Club
Cape Town - V&A Waterfront
Gordon's Bay - Harbour Island  
Saldanha - Yachtport SA 

Western Cape Blue Flag boats:

Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Robberg Express
Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Oceanic Express
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Whale Whisperer  
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Dream Catcher
Gansbaai (Marine Dynamics) - Slashfin
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Oyser Catcher  
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Sousa
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Dolphin II
Kleinbaai (Great White Shark Tours) - Apex Predator
Van Dyks Bay (White Shark Ventures) - Megalodon II

Van Dyks Bay (White Shark Ventures) - Megalodon I

Eastern Cape Blue Flag beaches:

Jeffrey's Bay (Kouga Municipality) - Dolphin
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Humewood
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - King's
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Hobie
Hamburg (Amatole Municipality) - Hamburg  
Kenton-on-Sea (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kariega
Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kelly's 

Eastern Cape Blue Flag Marina: 

St Francis Bay (Sarah Baartman District Municipality) - Cape St Francis

KwaZulu Natal Blue Flag beaches:

Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Marina  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Trafalgar  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Lucien
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Southport
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Umzumbe
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Ramsgate  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Hiberdene
Durban (Ethekwini Municipality) - Westbrook

Durban (Ethekwini Municipality) - Ushaka    

12 October 2018

Fastjet to launch flights between Maputo <> Quelimane!

Fastjet (Mozambique) is set to launch scheduled flights between Maputo International Airport (MPM) in Maputo and Quelimane Airport (UEL) Quelimane, a coastal city in central Mozambique. Effective 29 October 2018, the airline will operate four weekly return flights on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with the intention of growing into daily frequencies. The new service replaces Fastjet's flights between Nampula Airport (APL) in Nampula and the Mozambican capital, which will end on 28 October 2018 due to lower than expected route performance.