24 October 2014

South Africa: 899 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2014

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 899 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2014. Of the rhinos poached, 581 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 109 in Limpopo, 74 in KwaZulu Natal, 57 in Mpumalanga, 53 in the North West, 14 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in the Free State, 3 in Gauteng, 2 in the Northern Cape and 1 in the Western Cape.
A total of 282 people have been arrested for rhino poaching-related offences in South Africa since January this year. 

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 24 October 2014):
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 581 rhinos poached
  • MAP (SANParks) - 1 rhino poached 
  • MNP (SANParks) - 0 rhino poached
  • Gauteng -  3 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 109 rhino poached
  • Mpumalanga - 57 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 53 rhino poached
  • Eastern Cape - 14 rhino poached
  • Free State - 4 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 74 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 1 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 2 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.

23 October 2014

South Africa: The official Absa Cape Epic 2015 route video

The organisers of the Absa Cape Epic, routinely referred to as "the Tour de France of mountain biking", have just released the official 2015 route video. The race will last eight days (15 - 22 March 2015) and will cover 739km with 16 000m of climbing. It starts from the University of Cape Town in Cape Town with stops in Elgin, Worcester and Wellington before the race ends at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.

The Absa Cape Epic is an annual mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape. It has been accredited as horst categorie (beyond categorisation) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

22 October 2014

Lonely Planet ranked South Africa second in "Best Value Destination for 2015"!

Great news for the South African tourism industry. Lonely Planet ranked South Africa second in the "Best Value Destination for 2015" category in next year's editon of Best in Travel. Congratulations! The travel guide book publisher names the following reasons for selecting South Africa as the second best country to stretch your travel budget in 2015:
"Currency fluctuations mean that for certain travellers South Africa is more affordable than it has been for many years. Instead of just rejoicing in the undercooked rand, consider what South Africa offers value-seeking travellers at any time. How about fantastically accessible wildlife watching for all budgets, bargain public (and traveller-friendly) transport and free entry to many of the country’s museums? Most visitors will find something to please their budget, whether it’s a cheap-and cheerful Cape Town seaside cafe or an affordable safari campsite. Come in South Africa's shoulder seasons (March to May, September and October) for the best combination of low crowds and comfortable weather." [Read more]

Best in Travel is produced annually as a guide to the top destinations, trends and experiences for the upcoming year. Other countries on Lonely Planet's list of Best Value Destinations for 2015 include Tunisia (#1), Shanghai (#3), Samoa (#4), Bali (#5), Uruguay (#6), Portugal (#7), Taiwan (#8), Romania (#9) and Burkina Faso (#10).

Tanzania: Google Street View adds Gombe Stream National Park!

Google, in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and Tanzania National Parks, has send out a team carrying the Street View Trekker to collect thousands of 360 degree images in Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park. The images of the park are now availalbe on Google Street View.

Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Tanzania about 20 km north of Kigoma. The park is the smallest national park in Tanzania and only accessible by boat. Gombe Stream National Park is most famous as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her groundbreaking research into the lives of chimpanzees.

21 October 2014

Lonely Planet: Namibia one of Top 10 countries to visit in 2015!

Lonely Planet has just rankend Namibia second in this year's Best in Travel - Top 10 Countries category. Congratulations! Best in Travel is produced annually as a guide to the top destinations, trends and experiences for the upcoming year. Other countries on the list include Singapore (#1), Lithuania (#3), Nicaragua (#4), Ireland (#5), Republic of Congo (#6), Serbia (#7), Philippines (#8), St Lucia (#9) and Morocco (#10).

FlyAfrica.com to launch daily flights Johannesburg <> Windhoek!

FlyAfrica.com, a new low cost carrier in Southern Africa with plans to operate scheduled regional flights in Africa from various hubs, has announced that it will launch daily flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek on 02 Februrary 2014.
update (21 Oct 2014): FlyAfrica (or better Namibia flyafrica) also has plans to operate scheduled regional flights from Namibia to Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. We'll keep you posted!

Zimbabwe & Zambia to launch an uni-visa regime

update (23 Oct 2014): According to Tourism Update, the uni-visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia is still subject to cabinet approval. In a news update, Tourism Update quotes an official from the Zambia Department of Immigration saying that a "tentative" date had been set for November 28 but that it would definitely not be launched before then. We'll keep you posted!

The governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia will launch an uni-visa regime between the two countries at the World Travel Market (03-06 Novemer 2014) in London. The two countries expect that the implementation of the joint visa offers the opportunity to market shared national heritage (such as the Victoria Falls) and that it will boost tourist arrivals. We'll keep you posted!