21 September 2018

South Africa: New rhino and elephant poaching figures!

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), South Africa has lost at least 508 rhinos to illegal poaching between 01 January 2018 and 31 August 2018 (January - August 2017 = 691). Out of the 508 rhinos poached, at least 292 rhinos (2017: 332) got illegally killed by poachers in Kruger National Park. 163 rhinos were poached in KwaZulu-Natal between 01 January and 31 August 2017, while this year's number stands at "only" 83. The provincial and national breakdown for the period 01 January to 30 August 2018 is as follows:
Rhino, Rhinoceros, South Africa, Kruger National Park

A total of 13 wildlife traffickers (5 Chinese nationals and eight South Africans) were arrested between 01 January and 31 August 2018. More than 60,92kg of rhino horn was confiscated and linked to poaching crime scenes in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. For Kruger National Park, the number of arrests of alleged poachers stands at 162 for the period 01 January 2018 to 31 August 2018. A total of 145 weapons have been seized in rhino-related incidents both inside and outside Kruger National Park since the beginning of 2018; and a total of 83 rhino horn confiscated in the same period.

elephant, baby elephant, Kruger National Park, South Africa

A total of 58 elephants were poached in the Kruger National Park between 01 January and 31 August 2018.

LAM Mozambique Airlines to launch nonstop flights between Beira <> Johannesburg!

LAM Mozambique Airlines, the flag carrier of Mozambique, is set to launch nonstop flights between Beira Airport (BEW) in Beira and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Effective 30 September 2018, the airline will operate three weekly flights between the two destinations. The coastal city of Beira, one of the oldest of all and the second largest in the country, is situated on the Mozambique Channel (Indian Ocean) at the mouths of the Púngoè and Búzi rivers in Mozambique's central Sofala Province.

20 September 2018

Tanzania to introduce a new security fee for air travel!

The Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) will introduce a new security fee on all domestic and international flights in Tanzania. Starting on 01 October 2018, an additional TSh5 000 (GBP1.70 | €1.90 | $2.20 | ZAR32.20) will be incorporated in ticket prices for domestic flights and an additional US$5.00 (GBP3.80 | €4.30 | ZAR73.60) will be incorporated in ticket prices for international flights. According to TAA's director general Mr. Richard Mayongela, the fee is meant to help fund improvement of Tanzania's airports security.

19 September 2018

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve: Nyalazi Gate inaccessible on 20 September 2018!

update (21 September 2018): According to the Zululand Observer, Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve's Memorial Gate has been closed due protesters blocking the road leading to the gate! 

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wildlife conservation areas and biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, just informed the public on Facebook that it requests all travellers planning to visit Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on 20 September 2018 to enter through Memorial Gate or Cengeni Gate. The Game Reserve's Nyalazi Gate will be inaccessible due to a Community March that will take place on the R618.

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve has three entrance gates: Memorial Gate in the nortern section of the Game Reserve (via Hluhluwe), Cengeni Gate (via Ulundi) in the South Western section and Nyalazi Gate in the South East section (via Mthubathuba or St. Lucia).

Constitution Hill (Johannesburg): Free access on Heritage Day & World Tourism Day!

Johannesburg's Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa's journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort and is, today, home to the country's Constitutional Court. During September 2018, which is Heritage Month and Tourism Month in South Africa, Constitution Hill will be offering free entrance* on two days - on Sunday, 24 September 2018 (Heritage Day) and on Wednesday, 27 September 2018 (World Tourism Day).
The Constitution Hill precinct is located at 11 Kotze Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg near the western end of the suburb of Hillbrow. The opening hours are daily from 09:00 to 17:00, with the final tour departing from the Visitor Centre at 16:00. Tickets for adults cost between R65 (1hrs highlights tour) and R350 (3hrs time travel tour). If you are visiting Constitution Hill as part of your City Sightseeing red bus tour, your red bus ticket entitles you to a 25% discount off your Constitution Hill ticket price on the day of your red bus trip. Please note that the bus stop at Constitution Hill will be temporarily relocated to Kotze Street (next to the big wooden door at the Old Fort) between 15 - 26 September 2018.

*This offer applies to general admission for self-guided tours throughout the precinct.

17 September 2018

Kruger National Park: Temporary closure of Shingwedzi Rest Camp in September 2018!

The Shingwedzi Rest Camp, located in the northern part of the Kruger National Park, is hosting the 24th edition of the "Baroque in the Bush" concert event from 17 to 23 September 2018. The rest camp is fully booked during that period and inaccessible to other guests except for the performing artists and the concert-goers. However, the filling station, shop and the public ablutions will operate as usual at Shingwedzi Rest Camp and are open to the public.

Turkish Airlines to launch flights between Istanbul <> Lusaka!

The national flag carrier airline of Turkey, Turkish Airlines, will launch scheduled services between Atatürk Airport (IST) in Istanbul and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka in Zambia via Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on 13 December 2018. The airline will operate two weekly flights on Mondays and Thursdays (IST > DAR > LUN) as well as on Tuesdays and Fridays (LUN > DAR > IST). According to Turkish Airlines chief executive officer Bilal Eksi, the airline would gradually increase the frequency of weekly flights.