30 September 2015

Kruger National Park Calendar - November

Weather:
  • early summer
  • very hot days and warm evenings
  • rain - rainfall usually double that of October
Temperatures:


 Landscape:
  • lush vegetation
  • many trees in flower
  • new pans appear in drier areas
  • river levels start rising
 Animal Activity:
  • breeding season underway for most animals
  • plains animals very aggressive in protecting their young as predator activity increases
  • explosion in insect activity after the first good rains

Video: Rise Above Cape Town!

The team behind Two Wheels Across, a full service production house based in the UAE, recently spent 6 weeks in Cape Town to film an aerial portrait of the Mother City. Sit back, put your headphones on, switch to full screen and enjoy the beauty of Cape Town summed up in a 2:37 minute video! Kudos Two Wheels Across!

25 September 2015

British Airways to reduce flights between London <> Cape Town!

The flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, British Airways, will reduce its weekly service between London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town by two flights during the South African winter season (from 27 March 2016) due to commercial reason.
The airline will cancel its flight BA045 between London <> Cape Town on Thursdays and Saturdays, while the return flight between Cape Town <> London (BA044) will be cancelled on Fridays and Sundays. Affected customers will be re-accommodated onto flights BA059 and BA058 on the same day.

MRI Botswana opens a new state of the art polyclinic in Kazungula/Kasane!

MRI Botswana, an emergency medical transportation company in Botswana, has opened a new state of the art medical facility in Kazungula's Borogo Junction Mall on 22 September 2015. The services of the clinic, which is running under the newly established brand name Prime Health, are ranging from a GP Practice (Prime Health Medical), a Pharmacy (Prime Health) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). All services are offered by a team of qualified paramedics supported by EMS-trained doctors and nurses. Kazungula is located in the far north of Botswana, about 10 km east of Kasane.

MRI POLYCLINIC LAUNCHES IN KAZUNGULA IN STYLE!!!!!!On Tuesday 22nd September, MRI Botswana launched its state of the...
Posted by MRI Botswana Limited on Thursday, 24 September 2015

24 September 2015

Mozambique: Peace Parks Foundation to develop Zinave National Park!

The Peace Parks Foundation and the Mozambican Minister of Land, Environmental  and Rural Development, Mr Celso Correia, have signed a co-management agreement in order to develop Zinave National Park in Mozambique over the next five years. Zinave National Park will be developed as an integral component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), the larger area surrounding the core transfrontier park.

The main developments in Zinave National Park will be:
  • Establishing a project implementation unit
  • Developing an extensive livelihood improvement strategy for the surrounding communities
  • Appointing community liaison officers to oversee the development of the conservancies between the three National Parks (Limpopo National Park, Banhine National Park, Zinave National Park) in Mozambique
  • Re-stocking the park with wildlife
  • Employing and training additional field rangers, providing them with the necessary equipment, building additional ranger accommodation, purchasing vehicles to deploy staff and covering operational costs for rations, fuel and equipment
  • Establishing an efficient anti-poaching unit
  • Fencing and key infrastructure upgrades
  • Preparing and implementing a biodiversity economy strategy for Zinave National Park and the community conservancies that will provide ecotourism and wildlife opportunities
Zinave National Park, situated in the district of Mambone near the Save river in Mozambique's province Inhambane, created by decree on 26 June 1973 and currently covers 4,000km². The Park has very diverse tree species, inlcuding the Acacia nigrescens-dominated plant community, as well as dry Terminalia woodland in a scenic landscape. It boasts massive trees and has a very high carrying capacity for wildlife.

23 September 2015

Recipes from Southern Africa: Chakalaka

Chakalaka is one of the most uniquely South African dishes. The usually spicy vegetable relish is popular all over South Africa and comes in many variations (see Jodi-Ann Pearton's version or KitchenCOZA's version) depending on region and, of course, family traditions. Most Chakalaka versions include onions, garlic, chillies, curry (power or paste), tomatoes and beans. It is traditionally served with meat, pap, bread or stews. Capetonian chef Funi presents his version in the video below. Enjoy! Kudos Funi! To get the recipe for Funi's Chakalaka click here!


21 September 2015

Video: "This is Namibia"!

travelnewsnamibia.com, the latest addition to the Venture Publications pool of products aimed at promoting Namibia to the world, has produced its very own image film of Namibia. "This is Namibia" highlights all of Namibia's beauty - the open spaces, the undiscovered landscapes, the unspoiled nature, the friendly welcoming people, the abundance of wildlife, the mesmerising scenery - in just 140 seconds! Enjoy the video, experience Namibia! Kudos travelnewsnamibia.com!

18 September 2015

East Africa: New road between Uganda and Rwanda!

Great news for all travellers planning to visit Uganda and Rwanda by car. A new roadlink from Uganda (Kabale) via Gatuna into Rwanda has been officially opened to traffic. The newly-upgraded section of the road is about 80km long and eases road transport from the tourism hub of Kabale into Rwanda. Costruction of a second axis to and from Ugandan border post of Mirama Hill, where only recently a one stop centre, housing customs of both Uganda and Rwanda, immigration, and security officials, has been inaugurated, is also underway.


16 September 2015

15 September 2015

New museum to open in Cape Town!

A new museum was launched in Cape Town on 01 September 2015. The Cape Town Museum, which is located in the old Standard Bank building in Adderley Street, is a state of the art heritage institution that will provide innovative ways for local residents and tourists to interact with the collection. The museum will be hosting permanent exhibitions on the history and development of Cape Town from the earliest times as well as exhibitions on contemporary Cape Town and on the Cape Town of the future. The official opening of the Cape Town Museum will be announced in the near future. We'll keep you posted!


14 September 2015

flyafrica (Namibia) to resume flighs between Windhoek <> Johannesburg!

flyafrica.com (Namibia) resumes its service between Windhoek and Johannesburg today (14 September 2015). The airline now operates flights between Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and Lanseria International Airport (HLA) in Johannesburg. A decision by Namibia's High Court required flyafrica.com (Namibia) to move operations from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to the privately owned international airport that is situated north of Randburg and Sandton to the north west of Johannesburg. flyafrica.com (Namibia) will initially operate three weekly flights between the two destinations on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the airline committing to daily flights before November 2015.
To avoid any disruption to their passengers, flyafrica.com (Namibia) is offering a unique Sandton connection bus service. Passengers will be able to board a bus at the Sandton Gautrain station and go direct to Lanseria International Airport (HLA).

10 September 2015

South Africa: Homo Naledi to be on limited display at the Maropeng Visitor Centre!

A new human species, named homo naledi, has been revealed at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng on 10 September 2015. Consisting of more than 1,550 numbered fossil elements, the discovery is the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the African continent. A selection of the newly discovered homo naledi fossils will be on display at Maropeng, the official visitors' centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, until 11 October 2015 18 October 2015. Tickets to Maropeng will be discounted by 25% during that time.



The Maropeng Visitor Centre, located about 60km from Johannesburg, is open daily from 09:00 until 17:00. It can be found just off the R563 Hekpoort Road in Sterkfontein.
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09 September 2015

Video: Tasting Zimbabwe treats!

Barry Lewis, a Brit running the cooking web show "My Virgin Kitchen" on youtube.com, recently did a show fully dedicated to treats from Zimbabwe. All the treats were send to him by his friend Rob, who seems originally from Zimbabwe and recently spend a holiday there. Besides dried Mopane worms (see video #2 in the playlist) and Chakalaka from Rhodes, Barry tastes Marie bisquits from Lobels, Korn Kurls from Willards, a bis-kit bar, Apricots from Baxtons and a few more typical Zimbabwean treats. Enjoy!


07 September 2015

Namibia: High Court grounds FlyAfrica (Namibia) operations

Namibia's High Court in Windhoek on Friday (04 Sept 2015) ruled that flyafrica.com (Namibia) has not been licensed to operate in the country. The court ruled that the low budget carrier does not have the valid licence to fly passengers between Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dear Supporters,We are aware of the decisions made in the High Court on Friday. Air Namibia has again used dirty...
Posted by flyafrica.com on Sunday, 6 September 2015

04 September 2015

Zimbabwe: Elephant numbers in the Zambezi Valley drop by 75%!

According to the latest findings of the Africa-wide Great Elephant Census, which surveyed all major elephant populations in Africa in 2014, Zimbabwe's elephants in the Zambezi Valley have declined dramatically. There has been a 75% decline in the numbers of elephants in the Zambezi Valley south of Lake Kariba (Sebungwe area) since 2001 and a a 40% decline in elephant numbers in the Middle Zambezi Valley, near Mana Pools. The numbers of elephants in the Sebungwe area decreased from 14,000 (2001) to 3,500 (2014) while elephant numbers in the Middle Zambezi Valley, including Mana Pools, decreased from 18,000 (2001) to 11,500 (2014).


A recent census in Mozambique revealed that the country has lost around 50% of its elephants between 2009 (20,000) and 2014 (10,300), while Tanzania even lost 60% in the same period from 109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014.

03 September 2015

Southern Africa: Rain season (October 2015 - March 2016) outlook

The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum has isuued the annual outlook for the 2015/2016 rainfall season (October - March) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The period, October to March, is the main rainfall season over most of southern Africa.  Owing to the differences and evolution patterns in the predominant rainfall-bearing systems, the rainy season over the region has been subdivided into four overlapping three-month periods. The countries covered by the outlook include all SADC member states (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

October - December 2015

  • Northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Northern Tanzania
    > Increased chances of above-normal to normal rainfall
  • Northern  Mozambique,  southern  Tanzania,  northern  Malawi, northernmost Zambia, bulk of DRC and north-western half of Angola
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Central Mozambique, southern Malawi, northern half of Zimbabwe, most of Zambia, southernmost  DRC, south-eastern half of Angola, bulk of Namibia, western half of Botswana, most of central and western parts of South Africa, western parts of Lesotho
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Extreme south-western Zambia, Caprivi area, south-easternmost Angola, south-western half of Zimbabwe, eastern half of Botswana, most of northern South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • South-westernmost Angola and western coastal areas of Namibia and South Africa
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Western Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Eastern Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southern Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Mauritius
    > Increased chances of normal to above -normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
November 2015 - January 2016
  • Bulk of DRC and northernmost Angola
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Northernmost Tanzania
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Northern Mozambique, bulk of Tanzania, northern Malawi, eastern Zambia and extreme south-east of DRC
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southern DRC, bulk of Angola, most of Namibia, western half of Botswana, most of central and western parts of South Africa
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Southern Zambia, extreme south of DRC, southern Malawi, northern half of Zimbabwe and central parts of Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Southern half of Zimbabwe, eastern half of Botswana, north and central South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and southern Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • South-westernmost Angola, western fringes of Namibia and South Africa
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Western of Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Eastern Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southernmost Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Mauritius
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
December 2015 - February 2016
  • DRC, Zambia, Malawi, bulk of Angola, most of Zimbabwe, greater part of Mozambique and western half of Tanzania
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Eastern half of Tanzania
    > Increased chances of above-normal to normal rainfall
  • South-western Angola, most of Namibia, western half of Botswana, most of central and western parts of South Africa and Lesotho
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Southern third of Zimbabwe, eastern half of Botswana, north and central South Africa, eastern Lesotho, Swaziland and southern Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • South-western fringe of Namibia and south-western South Africa
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Bulk of Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southernmost Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Mauritius
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
January 2016 - March 2016
  • Bulk of DRC and northernmost Angola
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Northernmost Tanzania
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Northern  Mozambique, bulk of Tanzania, northern Malawi, eastern Zambia, extreme south east of DRC
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southern DRC, bulk of Angola, most of Namibia, western half of Botswana, most of central and western parts of South Africa and western parts of Lesotho
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Extreme  south  of  DRC, southern Zambia, southern Malawi, northern half of Zimbabwe and central parts of Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Southern half of Zimbabwe, eastern half of Botswana, north and central South Africa, eastern Lesotho, Swaziland and southern Mozambique
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • South-westernmost Angola, western fringes of Namibia and South Africa
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Bulk of Madagascar
    > Increased chances of above-normal to normal rainfall
  • Southernmost Madagascar
    > Increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall
  • Mauritius
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall
  • Seychelles
    > Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall

02 September 2015

Durban to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games!

Durban in South Africa was awarded the rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly meeting in Auckland (New Zealand) on 02 September 2015. The coastal city was the only bidder for the multi-sports event after Edmonton (Canada) withdrew from contention in February 2015. The 2022 Commonwealth Games will begin on 18 July 2022 (Nelson Mandela's 104th birthday) and finish on 30 July 2022. Durban is the first African city to be awarded the four-yearly multi-sports event. Congrats Durban!


The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and has taken place every four years since then (except for 1942 & 1946 due to WWII). The Commonwealth Games was last held in 2014 in Glasgow (Scotland), with the Gold Coast (Australia) hosting the 2018 event.

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in August 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 August 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 August 2015 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.95% (July 96.38%)
  2. South African Airways - 90.79% (July 90.49%)
  3. Airlink - 89.65% (July 88.08%) 
  4. Mango - 88.59% (July 79.90%)
  5. Kulula.com - 83.94% (July 80.06%)
  6. SA Express - 79.70% (July 73.82%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 79.58% (July 80.85%) 
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance August 2015 (airport target 90%)
  1. Airlink - 94.86% (July 96.27%)
  2. FlySafair - 92.82% (July 96.15%)  
  3. South African Airways - 92.23% (July 91.80%)  
  4. SA Express - 90.03% (July 93.24%)
  5. Mango - 87.82% (July 90.30%)
  6. Kulula.com - 84.05% (July 82.47%) 
  7. British Airways Domestic - 83.28% (July 82.34%)
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance August 2015 (airport target 91%)
  1. South African Airways - 95.62% (July 93.91%) 
  2. Airlink - 92.33% (July 90.91%) 
  3. British Airways Domestic - 91.42% (July 78.28%)
  4. Mango - 90.91% (July 89.39%)   
  5. SA Express - 84.48% (July 84.89%)
  6. Kulula.com - 77.04% (July 88.46%)     

01 September 2015

Cape Town: Spring and Summer Months = Shark Time!

The City of Cape Town has issued a warning to all beach and ocean users to be wary of an increased in-shore shark activity over the spring and summer months. Typically, shark sightings start in late August, and continue through to April, with most sightings being reported in mid-summer.
  • White sharks are present in Cape Town waters all year around
  • Surfers are asked to be especially vigilant in the stretch between Sunrise and Macassar Beaches during the spring and summer months, as research has shown that the shark presence in these waters increases at this time of year.
  • The Shark Spotters Information Centre at Muizenberg Surfer's Corner is open to the public from 08:00 to 18:00 seven days a week.
  • The Shark Spotters Information Centre provides up-to-date information on sharks and marine ecology, basic first-aid, general public assistance and emergencies, storage of valuables and lost property.
  • The Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will again be deployed for the annual Fish Hoek Spring Splash on 6 September 2015.
  • The Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will be in full operation during the 2015/2016 summer season.
  • On days that the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net is deployed, the operating hours will be from 09:00 to 17:00 and may occasionally be extended to allow for lifesaving training or events.
  • The Shark Spotters will keep beach users informed about the deployment of the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net via Twitter and Facebook, and signage is displayed when the net is deployed.
  • Members of the public are encouraged to report any sightings of white sharks to the Shark Spotters
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The City urges members of the public to familiarise themselves with the following general shark safety tips:
  • Use beaches where Shark Spotters are on duty
  • Take the time to speak to the Shark Spotters on the day you visit the beach
  • Use the Shark Spotters signs to familiarise yourself with the four-flag warning system and warning siren
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
  • Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
  • Do not swim if you are bleeding
  • Do not swim near river mouths
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
  • Obey beach officials, lifeguards and Shark Spotters if told to leave the water
  • Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºC or higher), and during new moon, due to increased opportunities for feeding
  • If a shark has recently been sighted in an area where no Shark Spotters are present, consider using another beach for the day
  • First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
  • For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
  • Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
  • Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
Shark Spotters were present at the following beaches:
  • Muizenberg corner
    Summer (October-April) > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
  • St James/Kalk Bay
    Summer (October-April) > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
  • Fish Hoek
    Summer (October-April) > Mon - Sun: 07:00 - 18:45
    Winter > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
  • Caves, Kogel Bay
    Summer (October-April) > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 17:00
  • Noordhoek (The Hoek)
    Summer (October-April) >Mon - Sun: 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > N/A
  • Clovelly
    Summer (October-April) > Weekends, public holidays & school holidays, 10:00 - 17:00
    Winter > N/A
  • Glencairn
    Summer (October-April) > Weekends, public holidays & school holidays, 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > N/A
  • Monwabisi
    Summer (October-April) > Weekends, public holidays & school holidays, 08:00 - 18:00
    Winter > N/A
The  Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will be in operation during the 2015/2016 summer season according to the following schedule:
  • October 2015 > School holidays and weekends
  • November 2015 - March 2016 > The net will operate on a daily basis, depending on the weather. Weekends, public holidays and school holidays will be prioritised.
  • April 2016 > School holidays, public holidays and weekends
The  Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will not be deployed if weather conditions (wind and swell) are deemed to be unsuitable; this will be assessed on a daily basis. If weather conditions deteriorate over the course of a day when the net is already deployed, the net may be removed as a precautionary measure. Additionally, if there is a high presence of whales or other marine mammals in the area, the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will not be deployed.