06 July 2015

South Africa: Cape floral heritage site expands!

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has approved the extension of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site. The approval was granted by the 39th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee taking place in Bonn, Germany (28 June - 08 July 2015). The extension almost doubles the size of the world heritage site from 553 000 hectares to 1 094 742 hectares and includes Table Mountain National Park, Agulhas complex, Langeberg complex, Anysberg Nature Reserve, Swartberg complex, Baviaanskloof complex and the Garden Route complex.

The extended Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site is one of the richest areas for plants when compared to any similar sized area in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent's flora with some 69% of the 9000 identified plant species being endemic to the area.

03 July 2015

Uganda: Kampala set to introduce city tour buses to boost urban tourism

Uganda's capital Kampala is set to get its first city tour buses to boost urban tourism. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has therefore signed a memorandum of understanding with Albrieux Africa Tours, which is supposed to get the product running by the end of 2015. The Kampala city tour itinerary will include stop overs at various locations, such as the Bahai Temple, the Old Kampala Mosque, the Namugongo Martyrs shrine, the Kasubi tombs, the Makerere University as well as the Uganda Museum. Tickets for the city bus tour will be available at the National Theatre, at Kabaka Anjagala Road, near Independence Monument and the Uganda Museum.

#TourBuses Kampala Capital City Authority - KCCA Visit Uganda (Tourism Uganda) Tourism Uganda Uganda Tourism Board The...
Posted by Visit Kampala on Sunday, 5 July 2015

Uganda has doubled visa fees!

According to Wolfgang H. Thome, one of the best informed East Africa specialists, Uganda has doubled its visa fees from USD50 per person to USD100 per person on 01 July 2015. Most offical Ugandan websites, including those of embassies and consulates, are still unaware of the change and are showing the (old) fee of USD50 per person, but tourist on arrival at Uganda's borders are told to pay USD100 for their visa.

02 July 2015

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in June 2015

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, and Durban's King Shaka International Airport in June 2015.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2015 (airport target 87%)
  1. South African Airways - 93.14% (May 93.72%)
  2. FlySafair - 92.32% (May 93.59%)
  3. Airlink - 90.69% (May 91.89%) 
  4. British Airways Domestic - 88.10% (May 80.33%) 
  5. Mango - 87.42% (May 83.56%)  
  6. Kulula.com - 86.57% (May 91.14%) 
  7. SA Express - 74.03% (May 74.52%)
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2015 (airport target 90%)
  1. Airlink - 94.28% (May 97.44%)
  2. FlySafair - 91.83% (May 94.05%) 
  3. South African Airways - 90.99% (May 94.03%) 
  4. Mango - 90.70% (May 90.25%)
  5. British Airways Domestic - 89.68% (May 80.51%) 
  6. Kulula.com - 84.20% (May 93.51%)
  7. SA Express - 82.52% (May 85.17%)    
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2015 (airport target 91%)
  1. South African Airways - 98.17% (May 97.20%) 
  2. Airlink - 92.33% (May 93.38%) 
  3. Mango - 92.01% (May 86.77%)   
  4. British Airways Domestic - 87.81% (May 79.64%)  
  5. Kulula.com - 86.95% (May 94.11%)
  6. SA Express - 86.63% (May 82.22%) 

01 July 2015

South Africa: Kruger National Park gate quotas in force during school holidays!

South African National Parks (SANParks) will stictly enforce gate quotas in Kruger National Park between 29 June - 17 July 2015 (school holidays). Day visitors are therefore advised to either arrive at the gate very early in the morning ("first come first served") or pre-book their entrance with SANParks' central reservations office in order to ensure that they gain access to the park in terms of their own plan and are not sent back at the gate. Day visitors who pre-book their visit are expected to pay a non-refundable deposit of R36 per adult and R18 per child to secure the space so that they can be counted in the number that makes a daily quota at that particular gate (booking lapses at 1300!).

In case the the gate quota has been reached, day visitors who did not pre-book with SANParks have the option to make use of the park and ride scheme available at Numbi Gate, Phabeni Gate and Paul Kruger Gate. The duration of such drives is 4 hours. The morning drives start at 07:00 and end at 11:00, while the afternoon drives start at 14:00 and end at 18:00 from each gate.
Kruger National Park has ten entrance gates: Pafuri Gate, Punda Maria Gate, Phalaborwa Gate, Giriyondo Gate, Orpen Gate, Paul Kruger Gate, Phabeni Gate, Numbi Gate, Malelane Gate and Crocodile Bridge Gate.

30 June 2015

Kruger National Park Calendar - August

  • cool mornings and cold evenings
  • temperatures & humidity rise during the day

Free poster download: "The Dangerous Snakes of Namaqualand"!

Herpetologist Johan Marais, author of "A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa" (available in South Africa via kalahari.net), has published a new poster about the dangerous snakes of the Namaqualand. The poster is available as a free download in high resolution and is designed to be printed in A3 (or A4). To download the poster click here (pdf, 7mb) or here (jpg, 100kb)! Kudos & many thanks, Johan!

Click here to download it (pdf, 7mb, A3) for free!

The Namaqualand, located along South Africa's west coast, stretches from beyond Garies in the south to the Orange River in the north and from Pofadder in the east to the Atlantic coastline in the west. This vast and varied region turns into a "rainbow country" after the annual winter rainfalls. Hard to belief in summer, but this region is home to the phenomenon of wild flower appearance, which is probably unique in the world. The flower season peaks between early August and late September and its delights depend on the winter rains (the official flower season runs every year from 01 August - 30 September), so some years are better than others. If there has been a steady flow of cold fronts during the winter, then it is likely to be a good flower season. However spring temperatures are also important. If it heats up too quickly then the early visitors have glorious sunshine but the flowers do not last very long.