31 October 2016

Kruger National Park Calendar - December

Weather:
  • height of summer
  • very hot & humid days
  • warm nights
  • often spectacular lightning storms
Temperatures:

Landscape:
  • vigorous plat growth everywhere in the park
  • tree canopy very thick
  • fig trees in fruit
  • mopane tree in flower
Animal Activity:
  • height of the impala breeding season
  • predators out to get their young
  • most resident non-raptor birds breeding
  • animal activity all over the park

28 October 2016

Cape Town: Cableway’s half-price Sunset Special returns!

Cape Town's Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will again introduce the annual Sunset Special. From 01 November to 18 December 2016, and from 04 January until 28 February 2017, return tickets for the Cableway are half price after 18:00 (06:00pm). Tickets are available online from 01 November 2016 (to be used only from 18:00 (06:00pm) on the day of your visit) and from the Ticket Office at the Lower Cableway Station from 18:00 (06:00pm), at R127.50 per adult and R62.50 per child.


Please note that it is not advisable to use the Cableway's free park-and-ride MyCiTi bus service for the Sunset Special as the service runs only until 19:00 (07:00pm) only.

26 October 2016

iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Road works and closures!

update (19 December 2016): One of the Eastern Shores section’s most beautiful and rewarding game drive loops – the 18km Grassland Loop – is once again open to tourist traffic after the completion of the Bhangazi Berm bridge.

update (15 December 2016): All of the recently rehabilitated roads within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park are open to traffic as of the evening of 15 December 2016 with the exception of the kuMfazana Hide road on the Eastern Shores.

update (25 November 2016): The management of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu Natal has released an update regarding the road works and closures in the park:

Eastern Shores:
  • Dune Loop is open
  • KuMfazana Hide access road remains closed
  • Mission Rocks Road is closed in its entirety
  • Vlei Loop is closed
Tourist and other work will be continuing on Grasslands Loop and Pan Loop but the roads will be open and traffic will be controlled with flag people when necessary. The Bhangazi Culvert and Berm are not open to the public. Barricades have been placed before the culvert on the Grasslands Loop side and on the Cape Vidal side.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: From Monday 28 November until approximately 15 December the Cape Vidal ‘pass’ immediately before the Cape Vidal resort will be completely CLOSED daily to traffic between the hours of 10h30 and 14h30 as re-tarring commences. Visitors and staff are urged to plan their access and exits to outside of these hours.

Western Shores:

  • All roads are now open on the Western Shores
uMkhuze:

Infrastructure improvements within the uMkhuze Section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park encompass both the rehabilitation of the road works as well as upgrades of the park facilities encompassing but not limited to the eMshophi gate, a number of the hides as well as staff housing. These works will require the closure of some of the tourist roads and points of interest within the park.

Road Closures and Traffic Control:


The road works in uMkhuze are essentially complete, with only minor drainage and finishing works being attended to. The park facility upgrades continue to require traffic control measures. The following roads are closed/under construction at uMkhuze from the 25th October to the 2nd December 2016. Road labels are as per the attached Map. Only the roads that are or will be closed to traffic are listed below:

  • eMshophi Gate: Construction of the new eMshophi Gate House has commenced. The new gate house is situated approximately 1km before the existing boom gate into the Park. Traffic control in the form of stop and go’s as well as diversions around the construction works are in place.
Tourist and other traffic will be accommodated on all roads where possible. Please see the schedule below showing the anticipated closure dates of a number of the Park’s points of interest.

Points of interest:

  • KuMalibala Hide: kuMalibala Hide is currently closed to the public.
  • KuMahlala Hide: kuMahlala Hide is currently open to the public.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The kuMasinga Hide is currently closed to the public for cement work on the walkways to enable disabled access.
---

update (11 November 2016): The management of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu Natal has released an update regarding the road works and closures in the park (as of 04 November 2016):

Eastern Shores:
  • Mission Rocks Road is closed in its entirety.
  • Tourist and other Work will be continuing on Grasslands Loop and Pan Loop but the roads will be open and traffic will be controlled with flag people when necessary. The Bhangazi Culvert and Berm are not open to the public. Barricades have been placed before the culvert on the Grasslands Loop side and on the Cape Vidal side.
Western Shores:
  • uMphathe Loop: Final testing of the gravel surface at uMphathe Loop is underway.
Road Closures and Traffic Control:
  • KuMalibala Hide Road: This road has been closed to the public by the Park management
  • eMshopi Gate: Construction of the new eMshopi Gate House has commenced. The new gate house is situated approximately 1km before the existing boom gate into the Park. Traffic control in the form of stop and go’s as well as diversions around the construction works are in place.
Points of interest:
  • KuMahlala Hide: kuMahlala Hide is currently open to the public.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The kuMasinga Hide is currently open to the public, but is expected to be closed towards the end of next week (dependant on progress of the works at the KuMalibala hide). The KuMasinga hide is anticipated to be closed for 4 weeks as concrete walkways are being laid to enable disabled access. It is planned to reopen by the start of the December school holiday period.
---

South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu Natal, is currently busy with routine road maintenance and repairs.

Eastern Shores:
  • The Dune Loop is open
  • The kuMfazana Hide access road remains closed
  • Mission Rocks Road is closed from kuMziki Picnic Site to the beach
  • Vlei Loop is open
  • Pan Loop is open
  • Grassland Loop: Please note that the Bhangazi Culvert and Berm are not open to the public. Barricades have been placed before the culvert on the Grassland Loop side and on the Cape Vidal side
Western Shores:
  • uMphathe Loop is closed
  • uMdoni Loop is open (the uMthoma Aerial Boardwalk access route)
uMkhuze:

Infrastructure improvements within the uMkhuze Section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park encompass both the rehabilitation of the road works (expected to be completed at the end of November 2016) as well as upgrades of the park facilities encompassing but not limited to the eMshophi gate, a number of the hides as well as staff housing. These works will require the closure of some of the tourist roads and points of interest within the park.

Road Closures and Traffic Control:

The following roads are closed/under construction at uMkhuze from the 21 October to the 28 October 2016:
  • KuMasinga Hide: Kumasinga Road 5 and Kumasinga Road 3 are both closed to the Public and will remain closed until Mid-November 2016. KuMasinga Roads 1, 2, 4 and 6 remain open
  • KuMahlala Hide: Both Roads A and C remain closed to accommodate the construction of splashthroughs. The kuMahlala hide will remain accessible via road B (Road labels as per the attached Map). Road Section A is anticipated to be closed until mid-November, whilst Road C is will be closed to the end of November
  • KuMalibala Hide Road: Closed
  • Enxwala Vista Point Road: This road is closed as construction continues on the low level crossings situated on this road.
  • eMshophi Gate: Construction of the new eMshophi Gate complex has commenced. The new gate house is situated approximately 1km before the existing boom gate into the Park. Traffic control in the form of stop and go’s as well as diversions around the construction works will be in place from Monday 17/10/2016
Tourist and other traffic will be accommodated on all roads where possible. Please see the schedule below showing the anticipated closure dates of a number of the Park’s points of interest.

Points of interest:

These points of interest in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park are currently closed or are anticipated to be closed in the near future:
  • Enxwala Vista Point: Not accessible due to road works
  • KuMalibala Hide: kuMalibala Hide is currently closed to the public
  • KuMahlala Hide: kuMahlala Hide is currently closed to the public. While subject to confirmation this Hide is expected to be reopened to the public towards the end of November 2016
  • KuMasinga Hide: kuMasinga Hide is currently open to the public. While subject to confirmation this Hide is programmed to be closed to the public towards the end of November 2016



The iSimangaliso Wetland Park covers 332 000 hectares and contains of three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, most of South Africa's remaining swamp forests, Africa's largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old vegetated coastal dunes – among the highest in the world. The Park is is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal, about 275 km north of Durban. It is South Africa's third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline, from the border to Mozambique in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary.

25 October 2016

Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel": Namibia named second best value destination for 2017!

Namibia has been named 2nd in the "Best Value" category in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017 list. The publication describes the country as follows:
Namibia's dollar, pegged to the South African rand, has been depreciating in value against many currencies for a few years, making now an opportune time to experience this amazing country. And what experiences are on offer: desert- wildlife spotting in Etosha National Park, the incredible wilderness hike through Fish River Canyon and sand surfing at the mighty Sossusvlei Dunes. Avoid South African and European school-holiday times, especially late December and January, for the best-priced flights, which generally connect through Johannesburg, or look for seasonal charter flights from Frankfurt (Germany) operated by Condor. The great blue sky, contrasted with the clear starry nights that remain the longest in the memories of many visitors to Namibia, won’t cost you a dime. [src.]

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel is produced annually as a guide to the top destinations, trends and experiences for the upcoming year. The Top 10 lists in Best in Travel were compiled by teams of experts, who took into account special events going on next year, recent developments in each country/region/city, and new things for travellers to see or do.

Lonely Planet's Best Value Destinations 2017:
  1. Nepal
  2. Namibia
  3. Porto, Portugal
  4. Venice, Italy
  5. Debrecen, Hungary
  6. Belize
  7. Morocco
  8. Russia
  9. Bellarine Peninsula, Australia
  10. Michigan's Upper Peninsula, USA 

Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel": Cape Town named second best city for 2017!

Cape Town in South Africa has been named 2nd in the "Top Cities" category in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017 list. The publication describes the Mother City as follows:
Cape Town's deceptively laid-back folk have been working hard to add cultural and culinary cred to the Mother City's famous natural charms, cementing its reputation as an African city with a global outlook. Local gastronomy is as impressive as Table Mountain’s flat-topped mass, with historic wine estates in every direction, hip markets selling the fruits of the Cape's fertile terrain, and inventive restaurants winning global plaudits. The art and design scene will be given a boost in September by the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), the world's largest museum of contemporary African art and a post-industrial architectural marvel occupying a century-old grain silo.[src.]

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel is produced annually as a guide to the top destinations, trends and experiences for the upcoming year. The Top 10 lists in Best in Travel were compiled by teams of experts, who took into account special events going on next year, recent developments in each country/region/city, and new things for travellers to see or do.

Lonely Planet's Top 10 Cities 2017:
  1. Bordeaux, France
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Los Angeles, USA
  4. Merida, Mexico
  5. Ohrid, Macedonia
  6. Pistoia, Italy
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Lisbon, Portugal
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Portland, Oregon

Kenya Airways to increase flights between Nairobi <> Cape Town via Livingstone!

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, is set to increase the number of flights between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town via Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone (Zambia). Effective 21 November 2016, the airline will operate four weekly flights instead of the current three weekly flights on the route. To meet the expected demand, Kenya Airways will increase the flight frequencies around Christmas 2016 to five (as of 19 Dec 2016) and eventually to six (as of 26 Dec 2016) times per week. From 09 January 2016 the schedule will return to four times a week.


24 October 2016

Air Botswana and Qatar Airways sign codeshare agreement!

The flag carrier of Botswana, Air Botswana, and the flag carrier of Qatar, Qatar Airways, have signed a codeshare agreement. Under the new partnership, Air Botswana provides passengers of Qatar Airways with connections to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) in Gaborone, Francistown Airport (FRW) in Francistown and Maun Airport (MUB) in Maun via Qatar Airways' South Africa gateway at OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. These three routes are now part of Qatar Airways' flight network, which has over 150 destinations.

Botswana imposed new entry requirements for minors!

The Government of Botswana has imposed new entry requirements. All minors under the age of 18 transiting through Botswana's ports of entry are now required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to the standard requirement of a valid passport. The new requirement came into effect on 01 October 2016.

Cape Town: Shark Spotters has launched a new app!

Shark Spotters, the primary shark safety programme used in Cape Town, has launched an innovative app to assist swimmers and surfers to be more shark smart at Cape Town's beaches. The app provides water users with all the latest shark safety information at the city's beaches, including which flag is currently flying and why. The flags fly for various reasons, including:
  • poor spotting conditions due to cloud cover
  • shark sightings
  • an indication of water temperature
  • the lunar phase
  • an indication of whether the shark exclusion barrier in Fish Hoek has been deployed or not
screenshot

The app is updated by the Shark Spotters on duty in real time so users can be assured that they always have the most current information at their fingertips to help them make a personal assessment about shark risks when entering the water.

The Shark Spotters app also provides information regarding:
  • weather conditions
  • marine animal activity in the area (such as whales, seals, dolphins, sunfish etc.)
  • the details of amenities on the beaches
  • short surf videos of isolated surf spots covered by the programme that do not have live web-cams in operation
  • safety tips to reduce the risk of encountering a shark
  • information about shark activity in Cape Town
The Shark Spotters app is available on iOS and Android platforms and is free to download. 
    

21 October 2016

Survey: The best & worst airports in Africa 2016!

Every year SleepingInAirports conducts an annual survey asking travellers to rate their airport experiences. Based on experiences regarding factors like comfort (rest zones, gate seating), services, facilites, things to do, food options, immigration/security, customer service and clealiness, the websites ranks the world's and the world's continents best and worst airports. [more]
The best airport in Africa 2016 is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, followed by Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Port Louis) International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius. Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) came in on 4th rank, King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban on 6th rank and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi was named 8th best airport in Africa 2016.

SleepingInAirports' 10 best airports in Africa 2016:
  1. Cape Town International Airport (CPT), in Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali, Rwanda
  3. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Port Louis) International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius
  4. O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (JNB), South Africa
  5. Houari Boumediene International Airport (ALG) in Algiers, Algeria
  6. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, South Africa
  7. Rabat-Sale International Airport (RBA) in Rabat, Morocco
  8. Angads International Airport (OUD) in Oujda, Morocco
  9. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya
  10. Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Cairo, Egypt (CAI)

SleepingInAirports' 10 worst airports in Africa 2016:
  1. Juba International Airport (JUB) in Juba, South Sudan
  2. Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  3. Nouakchott International Airport (NKC) in Nouakchott, Mauritania
  4. Douala International Airport (DLA) in Douala, Cameroon
  5. N'Djamena International Airport (NDJ) in N'Djamena, Chad
  6. Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  7. Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) on Zanzibar, Tanzania
  8. Lomé–Tokoin Airport (LFW) in Lomè, Togo
  9. Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos, Nigeria
  10. Menara Airport (RAK) in Marrakesh, Morocco

SA Express to resume flights on three major routes!

South African carrier, SA Express, will resume flights between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, between Johannesburg and East London as well as its services between Durban and Cape Town on reduced frequencies on 01 November 2016. Earlier this month, the airline announced plans to suspend services on these three routes, effective 15 October 2016.

20 October 2016

Johannesburg: Free shuttle to/from Liliesleaf & the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market!

Great news for travellers in Johannesburg - Sandton to be precise - planning to visit Liliesleaf and/or the famous Bryanston Organic & Natural Market. A free shuttle bus service between selected hotels in Sandton, the museum and Johannesburg's oldest outdoor market has recently been introduced. The bus leaves from Sandton at 09:00, 10:00 and 13:00 every Thursday and Sunday and returns from the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market at 12:15 and 15:00.

Liliesleaf
Once the headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) at that time, Liliesleaf is today an interactive museum that honours the lifes of South Africa's liberation struggle activists during the Apartheid era. [more]

Bryanston Organic & Natural Market
Established in 1976, the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market is Johannesburg's oldest outdoor market. Apart from organic fruits and vegetables, the market has over 140 stalls that are offering everything from delicious deli foods to crafts, gifts, jewellery and clothing made from only natural materials. The Market also has four different eateries, offers live music and lots of kids activities. The Bryanston Organic & Natural Market is open between 09:00 and 15:00 every Thursday and Saturday.


The shuttle's pick up points in Sandton include:

CNN's "Culinary Journeys" explores the cuisine of South Africa! (video)

In the October 2016 edition of Culinary Journeys, the CNN TV series explores South Africa's cuisine (it is actually more the cuisine of the Western Cape) together with one of the country's most famous celebrity chefs, Reuben Riffel. Enjoy!

Part 1: Cape Town's cuisine
Chef Reuben Riffel stops off at some of Cape Town's most lively food locations - working the grills at Mzoli's before picking up spices in the Bo Kaap. (via CNN)



Part 2: Heritage
Reuben Riffel travels beyond the city to visit a garden of indigenous herbs used by the native people of southwestern Africa. (via CNN)



Part 3: Braai
Reuben celebrates with a braai in the heart of the Cape Winelands: a true appreciation of friends, food and hospitality. (via CNN)



Culinary Journeys is a monthly TV series on CNN International. In each episode, a world-renowned chef invites CNN into their kitchen as they explore the foods that have shaped their careers.

19 October 2016

Kenya Airways to suspend direct flights between Nairobi <> Gaborone!

As part of its latest network restructuring, Kenya Airways, the flag carrier of Kenya, is set to suspend its direct service between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) in Gaborone in Botswana from 15 November 2016. The airline will continue to serve the capital of Botswana with its aviation partners via OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kenya Airways operates three flights per day between Nairobi and Johannesburg.

 

18 October 2016

SA Express to launch flights between Cape Town <> Mthatha!

South African carrier, SA Express, is set to launch direct flights between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Mthatha Airport (UTT) in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on 01 December 2016.

screenshot via flyexpress.aero

Fastjet to introduce an additional flight between Harare <> Johannesburg!

Due to popular demand, Fastjet Zimbabwe will introduce an additional flight - update: on Sundays - between Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg on 06 November 2016.



14 October 2016

Karoo National Park: Swimming pool at the Bulkraal Picnic Site is currently closed!

The swimming pool at the Bulkraal Picnic Site in the Karoo National Park in the Western Cape is closed for at least 14 days (as of 10 Oct 2016) due to urgent renovations. We'll keep you posted!

Card
The Bulkraal Picnic Site is located in the eastern part of the Karoo National Park. The facilities at the site include the currently closed swimming pool, as well as a braai area and ablution facilities (cold shower).

Nairobi: The Nairobi Arboretum has introduced entrance fees for the first time since 1907!

The Nairobi Arboretum, located along State House Road just about 3km from Nairobi's city centre, has introduced entrance fees for the first time since it was founded in 1907. According to Friends of Nairobi Arboretum (FONA), which manages the popular recreational park in conjunction with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the recent introduction of fees on 01 Sept 2016 will help to manage the park sustainably. Tickets are available at the Main Entrance to the Nairobi Arboretum and cost KShs.50 (GBP 0.40 | EUR 0.44 | USD 0.48 | ZAR 7.00) for adults and KShs20 (GBP 0.16 | EUR 0.18 | USD 0.20 | ZAR 3.00) for visitors below 18 years of age. The admission hours are Mondays to Sundays from 07:00 until 17:00 all year round including public holidays and weekends.



The Nairobi Arboretum, one Nairobi's few remaining green spaces, is a 30.4 hectares of wooded landscape. It is home to over 350 species of indigenous and exotic plants, to over 100 species of birds and a significant population of Sykes and Vervet monkeys. The Arboretum was founded by Mr. Batiscombe, then Deputy Conservator of Forests, in 1907. In 1932 it was gazetted as a National Reserve and in 1996 a title deed issued by Commissioner of Land designated the Nairobi Arboretum as a Public Owned Reserve.

12 October 2016

Cape Town: Spring and Summer Months = Shark Time!


The annual shark season in and around Cape Town has started and the City of Cape Town has therefore issued list of advises all beach and ocean users should be aware of. General shark safety tips include:
  • using beaches where shark spotters are on duty
  • taking the time to speak to the Shark Spotters on the day you visit the beach
  • using the Shark Spotters signs to familiarise yourself with the four-flag warning system and warning siren
  • not swimming, surfing or surf-skiing when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
  • not swimming, surfing or surf-skiing where trek-netting, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
  • not swimming in deep water beyond the breakers
  • not swimming if you are bleeding
  • not swimming near river mouths
  • not swimming, surfing or surf-skiing at night
  • not swimming, surfing or surf-skiing if there has been a whale stranding nearby
  • obeying beach officials, lifeguards and Shark Spotters if told to leave the water
  • being 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
  • considering using another beach if a shark has recently been sighted in a particular area where no Shark Spotters are present
  • asking the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area if you are a first-time user
  • paddling in groups, and staying close together (in a diamond formation) for those who are kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea
  • considering the use of a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
  • paying attention to any shark signage on beaches

Shark Spotters, the primary shark safety programme used in Cape Town, are present at the following beaches during summer (October 2016 - April 2017):
  • Muizenberg
    Monday - Sunday, 08:00 - 18:00
  • St James/Kalk Bay
    Monday - Sunday, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Fish Hoek
    Monday - Sunday, 07:00 - 18:45
  • Caves, Kogel Bay
    Monday - Sunday, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Noordhoek (The Hoek)
    Monday - Sunday, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Clovelly   
    Weekends, public holidays and school holidays, 10:00 - 17:00
  • Glencairn
    Weekends, public holidays and school holidays, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Monwabisi
    Weekends, public holidays and school holidays, 08:00 - 18:00
The Shark Spotters Information Centre, situated at Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg, is open to members of the public from 08:00 to 18:00 seven days a week. The 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 was deployed on 01 October 2016. It forms a complete barrier from the sea floor to the sea surface and prevents animals from entering the "exclusion zone" in the southern corner of Fish Hoek Bay. The net is deployed and retrieved daily to minimise the risk of entangling marine animals and has been specifically designed to have minimal environmental impact.

The exclusion net will be in operation during the following periods over the summer season:
  • October 2016
    Weekends, public holidays and school holidays (09:00 and 17:00)
  • November 2016 to March 2017
    Daily (weather permitting; 09:00 and 17:00)
  • April 2017
    Weekends, public holidays and school holidays (09:00 and 17:00)

11 October 2016

South Africa's Blue Flag beaches 2016/17!

A total of 45 beaches in South Africa, along with eight sustainable tourism boats and five marinas have been awarded Full Blue Flag status by the 2016 International Blue Flag Jury. The jury results include 41 Blue Flag sites in the Western Cape, 9 sites in KwaZulu-Natal and 8 sites in the Eastern Cape.
Blue Flag is a certification issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards. The main criterias include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. Blue Flag is sought for beaches and marinas as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
In South Africa, the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) in partnership with participating coastal municipalities.


Western Cape Beaches:
Cape Town - Silwerstroomstrand
Cape Town - Clifton 4th
Cape Town - Camps Bay
Cape Town - Llandudno
Cape Town - Muizenberg
Cape Town - Strandfontein
Cape Town - Mnandi
Cape Town - Bikini
Cape Town - Melkbosstrand
Cape Town - Fishhoek
Kleinmond (Overstrand Municipality) - Kleinmond
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Hawston
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Grotto
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Lappiesbaai
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Gouritzmond
Witsand (Hessequa Municipality) - Witsand
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Preekstoel
Mossel Bay - Santos
Mossel Bay - De Bakke
Mossel Bay - Hartenbos
Mossel Bay - Klein Brak
Wilderness (Eden District) - Wilderness
Knysna - Buffalo Bay
Knysna - Brenton-on-Sea
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Robberg 5
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Lookout
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - Keurboomstrand
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - The Dunes (pilot)
Natures Valley (Bitou Municipality) - Nature's Valley

Western Cape Marinas:
Knysna - Thesen Islands
Cape Town - False Bay Yacht Club
Cape Town - The Water Club
Saldanha - Yachtport SA

Western Cape Boats:
Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Robberg Express
Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Oceanic Express
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Whale Whisperer
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Dream Catcher
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Oyser Catcher
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Sousa
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Dolphin II
Gansbaai (Marine Dynamics) - Slashfin

Eastern Cape Beaches:
Jeffrey's Bay (Kouga Municipality) - Dolphin
Nelson Mandela Municipality/Port Elizabeth - Humewood
Nelson Mandela Municipality/Port Elizabeth - King's
Nelson Mandela Municipality/Port Elizabeth - Hobie
Hamburg (Amatole Municipality) - Hamburg
Kenton-on-Sea (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kariega
Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kelly's

Eastern Cape Marina:
Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Royal Alfred Marina

Kwazulu-Natal Beaches:
Hibiscus Coast - Marina
Hibiscus Coast - Trafalgar
Hibiscus Coast - Lucien
Hibiscus Coast - Southport
Hibiscus Coast - Umzumbe
Hibiscus Coast - Ramsgate
Hibiscus Coast - Hiberdene
Ethekwini/Durban - Westbrook
Ethekwini/Durban - Ushaka 

South Africa: SA Express to close three routes!

South African carrier, SA Express, will cancel its scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth and between Johannesburg and East London, as well as its services between Durban and Cape Town, effective 15 October 2016. Passengers affected by the suspended services will be accommodated on flights operated by South African Airways and Mango, a subsidiary of South African Airways.

06 October 2016

Kruger National Park: No leaded & unleaded fuel at Shingwedzi Rest Camp!

update (17 Oct 2016): Unleaded petrol available again at Shingwedzi Rest Camp in Kruger National Park. Leaded petrol is still not available. 

South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on 05 October 2016 that leaded and unleaded fuel is currently not available at Shingwedzi Rest Camp in Kruger National Park. Both fuel pumps are out of operation until further notice due to the decontamination of the tanks. The diesel fuel pumps are not affected by the decontamination, so that diesel is still available at the restcamp in the northern section of the Kruger National Park. We'll keep you posted!


Cape Town: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) will open in 2017!

The largest art museum to be built in Africa in more than 100 years, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, will open in September 2017. The museum, a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. When completed, the Zeitz MOCAA will have nine floors, with 6 000 m² dedicated to gallery spaces and 3 500 m² to site specific exhibition spaces.



During the grand opening weekend (22-25 September 2017), no entrance fee will be charged. The actual entrance fee to the Zeitz MOCAA is still beeing finalised, but it is already certain that visitors under the age of 18 will enter free all year round and that South Africans and visitors from the African continent will get free entry on Wednesday mornings. During the "Late Night Fridays", which will be held at least once a month, entry will be half price for all. The opening times will be daily from 10:00 to 18:00 every day except Tuesdays. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is located in the historic Grain Silos at Cape Town's famous V&A Waterfront.

05 October 2016

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in September 2016!

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 September 2016.
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 September 2016 (airport target 87%)
  1. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - 92.19% (August 92.68%)
  2. FlySafair - 91.93% (August 95.45%)  
  3. Airlink - 88.87% (August 91.17%)
  4. CemAir - 86.86% (August 88.29%)
  5. South African Airways - 86.39% (August 85.85%) 
  6. Mango - 85.23% (August 89.32%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 84.47% (August 83.47%)
  8. Kulula.com - 83.78% (August 89.33%)
  9. SA Express - 71.78% (August 75.96%)
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance September 2016 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 94.46% (August 96.80%) 
  2. Airlink - 90.96% (August 88.18%)
  3. Mango - 89.02% (August 90.19%)
  4. CemAir - 88.46% (August 100.00%)
  5. SA Express - 87.75% (August 82.78%)
  6. South African Airways - 87.57% (August 90.44%)
  7. Kulula.com - 87.21% (August 88.37%) 
  8. British Airways Domestic - 84.44% (August 88.13%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - 77.50% (August 63.16%)
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance September 2016 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 97.22% (August 99.10%)
  2. South African Airways - 93.30% (August 92.84%)
  3. Mango - 91.73% (August 94.98%) 
  4. Airlink - 90.81% (August 90.00%)
  5. Kulula.com - 89.27% (August 89.82%)  
  6. SA Express - 85.41% (August 80.88%) 
  7. British Airways Domestic - 84.26% (August 85.83%)