28 January 2020

Namibia: FlyWestair to increase fligths on both local and regional routes!

Namibia's first private scheduled passenger airline, FlyWestair, is set to increase the number of weekly flights on both local and regional routes. Effective 17 February 2020, the airline will operate two additional weekday flights per week to Ondangwa, Oranjemund (Namibia) and Cape Town (South Africa). This will increase FlyWestair's flight frequency from 30 to 46 flights per week. According to the airline, these new flights are being added in response to market demand.
FlyWestair launched operations on 24 June 2019 with scheduled flights between Eros Airport (ERS) in Windhoek and Oranjemund Airport (OMD) in
Oranjemund in southern Namibia. Flights between Eros Airport (ERS) and Ondangwa Airport (OND) in Ondangwa were added in July 2019 and flights between Eros Airport (ERS) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town in October 2019.

24 January 2020

South Africa to introduce a zero tolerance drink-driving limit!

South Africa's Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, has announced that the country's strict new driving laws will be introduced in June 2020. The new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act will include a 0% legal blood-alcohol limit, meaning that drivers will not be allowed to drink alcohol and drive at all.
As of now, the blood alcohol content (BAC) in
South Africa must be less than 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres (0.05%) for normal drivers and less than 0.02 gram per 100 millilitres for professional drivers (0.02%).

23 January 2020

Eastern Cape: Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site is temporarily closed!

Eastern Cape Tourism has just announced that the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site in South Africa's Eastern Cape is temporarily closed due to flash floods in the area. No motorbikes, bicycles, 4x2's or 4x4's are allowed to enter the reserve till further notice.
The 270 000ha
Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site, located about 120 km west of Port Elizabeth, forms part of the Cape Floristic Region and is one or the Worlds 34 biodiversity hotspots. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004 and is one of the richest plant regions in the world - less that 0.5% of the surface area of Africa but home to nearly 20% of the continent's fauna and flora.

22 January 2020

Rwanda to suspend visa fees for citizens of member states of the Commonwealth, the Francophonie & the African Union!

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, announced in a speech about Rwanda's transformation over the past 25 years at the International School for Government at King’s College in London, that the East African country is "soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda" [src.]. Rwanda is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (53 member states) since 2009 and a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (54 full member states) since 1970. As a member of the United Nations since 1962, Rwanda is also a member of the African Union (55 member states) since it was founded in 2002. We'll keep you posted!

21 January 2020

Cape Town: The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has announced the dates of the 2020 annual maintenance shutdown!

Cape Town's Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has announced the dates of the 2020 annual maintenance shutdown. The Cableway will be closed for three weeks from Tuesday, 08 July to Sunday, 26 July 2020. For continued compliance with Swiss Governing Body for Cableways (Bundesamt für Verkehr, BAV) standards in terms of machinery specifications, maintenance requirements and procedures, extraordinary maintenance tasks require a shutdown and cannot be fitted into the Cableway's regular operating schedule. The scope of work, in accordance with the BAV standards, for this years maintenance shutdown will include:
  • Inspection, testing and replacement of loadbearing components in the cabins where necessary
  • Maintenance of high-use items in the cabins, such as door mechanisms
  • Complete service of braking systems situated in the Lower Station machine room
  • Servicing of the main drive motor and gearbox
  • Major service of the hydraulic systems at the lower and upper stations
  • Maintenance of the docking guides and platforms
  • Preparation of certain elements on the track ropes for the 2021 shutdown
  • Upgrades to the interior of the Upper Station building
  • Maintenance to the exterior of the Lower Station building
Visitors can still hike up Table Mountain at their own risk during maintenance shutdown, but cable cars and all facilities, including the Cableway's restrooms, eateries and shops will not be open.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is one of Cape Town's most popular tourist attractions with more than a million visitors using it to visit the top of Table Mountain. The Cableway offers visitors a variety of experiences, including meals with a view at the Table Mountain Cafe, free WiFi at the WiFi Lounge and free thirty-minute guided walking tours.

Kruger National Park: Sable Sleepover Hide closed until further notice!

South African National Parks (SANParks) just announced on Twitter that the Sable Sleepover Hide, situated approximately 10km from of Phalaborwa Gate in Kruger National Park, will be temporarily closed for overnight and day visitors until further notice. The closure is due to maintenance work that has to be conducted in that hide after the recent heavy rains. (also see: Kruger National Park: Roads closed due to rainfall! [update])
The Sable Sleepover Hide is a unique accommodation facility which overlooks the Sable Dam. A bird hide by day, it transforms into a primitive overnight dwelling by night, where a select few can experience the
Kruger National Park nightlife first hand.

South African Airways temporarily cancels selected domestic flights & international service to Munich!

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has canceled selected domestic flights between Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town (CPT) as well as between Johannesburg (JNB) and Durban (DBN). In addition, the airline has also canceled selected services beween Johannesburg (JNB) and Munich (MUC) in Germany and will be reviewing further possible flight schedule amendments over the coming days. According to a media release by South African Airways (SAA), the cancellations are in line with SAA's usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand. Furthermore, during the current process of business rescue, these cancellations represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash and optimise the airline's position ahead of any further capital investment.

The following domestic flights operated by SAA have been cancelled:

Johannesburg (JNB) - Cape Town (CPT)
SA303 | Depart 0530 - Arrive 0735 | Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January 2020
SA307 | Depart 0700 - Arrive 0905 |Dates: 21 January 2020
Cape Town (CPT) -
Johannesburg (JNB) 
SA316 | Depart 0820 - Arrive 1015 | Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January 2020
SA322 | Depart 0950 - Arrive 1145 | Dates: 21 January 2020
Johannesburg (JNB) - Durban (DBN)
SA527 | Depart 0630 - Arrive 0735 | Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January 2020
SA543 | Depart 0955 - Arrive 1100 | Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January 2020
SA571 | Depart 1655 - Arrive 1800 | Dates: 20 & 21 January 2020 

Durban (DBN) - Johannesburg (JNB)
SA534 | Depart 0805 - Arrive 0910 | Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January 2020
SA550 | Depart 1130 - Arrive 1235 | Dates: 20, 21, 22 & 23 January 2020
SA578 | Depart 1840 - Arrive 1945 | Dates: 20 & 21 January 2020

The following international flights have been cancelled:
Johannesburg (JNB)Munich (MUC)
SA264 | Depart 2115 - Arrive 0700 | Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January 2020

Munich (MUC) Johannesburg (JNB)
SA265 | Depart 2030 - Arrive 0820 | Dates: 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 January 2020

South African Airways (SAA) is working closely with its sister airline Mango to re-accommodate passengers on alternative domestic services operated by both airlines to minimise disruption. Passengers booked on flights between
Johannesburg (JNB) and Munich (MUC) will get re-accommodated on SAA's services between Johannesburg (JNB) and Frankfurt (FRA) as well as London Heathrow (LHR). Some passengers travelling to Munich (MUC), and others travelling via Munich (MUC) to other destinations, will be re-accommodated for some of their journey on partner airlines in the Star Alliance to minimise delays.