06 December 2023

Malawi: Malawi Airlines to commence daily flights to three new regional destinations!

The flag carrier airline of Malawi, Malawi Airlines, has announced that it will launch flights to three new regional destinations. According to the airline's social media, Malawi Airlines is set to commence daily flights to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka in Zambia, RG Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare in Zimbabwe and Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Flights to all three destinations, which will (presumably) be ex Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe, will be introduced from 19 December 2023.  

05 December 2023

South Africa: Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) reiterates hand baggage regulations at its airports!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), which owns and operates South Africa's nine principal airports, including O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, has announced that it reiterates hand baggage regulations at its airports as the festive season 2023/24 looms. These regulations aim to manage the carriage of hand baggage onto aircraft and identify passengers with non-compliant items before reaching the security checkpoint. Such passengers will be directed back to check-in counters to transfer their baggage to check-in baggage.
The hand baggage regulations are applicable to all flights operating at ACSA airports within South Africa, as well as regional and international flights departing from South Africa. They are considered essential, not only to uphold hand baggage policies but also to prioritise cabin and flight safety and are in alignment with global best practices.
According to the regulations, the hand baggage allowance is as follows:

  • Economy-class passengers: one bag plus one slimline laptop bag or handbag
  • First-class passengers: two bags plus a slimline laptop bag*
  • Bags may not exceed the total dimensions of 56cm x 36cm x 23cm
  • Weight limit per bag: 7kg
  • Passengers who exceed the hand luggage limit will be subject to the specific airline’s excess baggage rules.

Where an exception to the stated rules is granted by an airline to the passenger, the passenger will be accompanied to the security point by uniformed airline staff who shall confirm such exception to the security officer or official manning the hand baggage control point.

* Slimline laptop bag means that this bag is of a size and thickness specifically designed to carry a laptop and charger and does not include bags capable of carrying items such as documents, clothes, and other items.

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South Africa: Shosholoza Meyl long-distance mainline passenger train service resumes!

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has announced that the Shosholoza Meyl long-distance mainline passenger train service from Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town is set to resume. According to a statement by PRASA, the services, which were both suspended in 2021 due to operational and network infrastructure challenges, are set to resume just in time for the December 2023 holiday period. The service between Park Station in Johannesburg and Cape Town Station in Cape Town will resume on 06 December 2023 and will cost in Economy Class (Sitter) R430/pp one way and in Tourist Class (Sleeper) R690pp one way. The travel time will be between 30 - 34 hours. The service between Johannesburg and Durban Station in Durban will commence on 08 December 2023 and will cost in Economy Class (Sitter) R170pp one way and in Tourist Class (Sleeper) R360pp one way. The travel time will be 18 hours. Safe travels!

04 December 2023

Zambia: Proflight Zambia to resume flights to Kasama in the Northern Province!

Zambian scheduled airline Proflight Zambia is set to resume flights to Kasama in Zambia's Northern Province following completion of runway and terminal infrastructure upgrades at the city’s airport.
The service will operate twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday, directly from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka to Kasama Airport (KAA) in Kasama on Tuesday, departing at 08:00 and arriving at 09:30. Additionally, there will be a flight via Mansa on Thursday, departing from Lusaka at 08:00 and arriving in Kasama at 10:25. Direct flights from Kasama to Lusaka  on Thursday will depart at 10:50, arriving at 12:30, and flights via Mansa from Kasama to Lusaka on Tuesday will depart at 09:55, arriving in Lusaka at 12:20.
Proflight Zambia will commence scheduled flights on 19 March,2024, using its 29-seat twin-turbo prop Jetstream 41 aircraft. The airline previously operated the Kasama route using a 12-seat Caravan aircraft for six years until 2017 when the airport was closed for construction work.

Proflight Zambia
new service to Kasama is the only scheduled air access to the region and offers easy access for leisure travellers interested in exploring the Northern waterfalls, Shiwa Ng’andu, Kapishya Hot Springs, and Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in Africa as well as to the significant Mpulungu Port and the Kalambo Falls, the second-highest drop waterfall in Africa. 

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South Africa: Border authority ramps up festive season operations!

According to the South African Border Management Authority (BMA), at least six million people will move through South Africa’s borders during the upcoming festive season. The BMA has therefor implemented a comprehensive plan including longer border post operating times and more boots on the ground for its festive season operations. It also engaged with South Africa’s six neighbouring countries on the “synchronisation of processes and other work modalities” including working hours.

The following working hours will now be operational at ports of entry:

  • Grobler’s Bridge to Botswana: 06:00 to midnight on 15, 16, 22 and 23 December 2023
  • Swartkopfontein to Botswana: 06:00 to 20:00 from 14 to 17 December 2023, 22 to 24 December 2023, 02 to 04 January 2024 as well as 13 and 15 January 2024
  • Kosi Bay to Mozambique: 06:00 to 18:00 from 14 December 2023 to 14 January 2024
  • Mahamba to eSwatini: 07:00 to midnight on 15, 23, 24 December 2023
  • Jeppes Reef to eSwatini: 07:00 to 22:00 from 22 December 2023 to 02 January 2024
  • Mananga to eSwatini: 07:00 to 20:00 from 18 to 23 December 2023
  • Sanipass to Lesotho: 06:00 to 2:00 on 15, 16 December 2023 as well as 21 to 24 December 2023
  • Caledonspoort to Lesotho:  06:00 to midnight on 15, 16 and 23 December 2023 and 02 January 2024. On 22 December 2023, the port will operate for 24 hours.
  • Van Rooyensgate to Lesotho: 06:00 to midnight on 15, 16 and 24 December 2023 as well as 08 January 2024. It will operate for 24 hours on 23 December 2023 and 02 January 2024
  • Monontsa Pass to Lesotho: 07:00 to 18:00 on 23 and 24 December 2023 as well as 02 and 03 January 2024
  • Peka Bridge to Lesotho: 08:00 to 18:00 on 23 and 24 December 2023 as well as 02 and 03 January 2024

BMA Commissioner Dr Michael Masiapato further announced that the Authority will be deploying about 380 additional personnel at the selected busiest ports of entry to assist with the delivery of services and provision of technical support during this festive season. There are also a number of senior members from the Border Technical Committee (BTC) who have been allocated individual ports for their visitation during the identified critical dates to provide support to the operational teams on the ground.

Durban: Swimming at five beaches is currently prohibited 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 02 December 2023) 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 uMhlanga Main, Toti Main, Anstey's Beach, Warner Beach and Pipeline, 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. Country Club
  10. Thekwini Beach
  11. Laguna Beach
  12. uMgababa
  13. Bronze Beach
  14. mDloti Beach
  15. Westbrook
  16. Reunion
  17. Brighton
  18. Winkelspruit 

Beaches closed for swimming:

  1. uMhlanga Main
  2. Toti Main
  3. Anstey's Beach
  4. Warner Beach
  5. Pipeline

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

01 December 2023

Zimbabwe: Peace Parks Foundation & ZimParks sign 20-Year agreement to co-manage the Greater Mana Pools Ecosystem!

The Peace Parks Foundation and the Zimbabwe Parks and the Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) have signed a Co-Management Agreement for the Greater Mana Pools Ecosystem in Zimbabwe. This 20-year agreement aims to unlock meaningful and critically needed cooperation to protect unique ecosystems, enable community development, and cultivate a robust, sustainable wildlife economy within Mana Pools and surrounds. It also represents a policy-level agreement, in addition to planning and implementation that will ultimately result in healthy people living in a healthy landscape.
As part of the agreement, the Greater Mana Pools Conservation Trust for management, capacity building and business development will be established. A dedicated Board of Trustees will take the lead in managing the natural resources within the Greater Mana Pools Ecosystem. This brings a diverse approach, allowing the area to be managed in a business-like manner that attracts investment, creates employment, drives development and, ultimately, sustainability.

-- click to enlarge --

The Greater Mana Pools Ecosystem occupies 9,636 km² of the total 18,515 km² Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area. Mana Pools National Park covers approximately 2,196 km² and is one of the world’s greatest natural splendours. Together with five safari areas and the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia it forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area was formally established in May 2023 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.