20 July 2018

Cape Town's "Unfinished Bridge" to remain unfinished!

The project to finish Cape Town's "Unfinished Bridge", which was initiated by the City of Cape Town in 2016, has been shelved due to legal concerns and a controversy over alleged tender irregularities. The bridge will remain as is for now.

Cape Town, South Africa, unfinished bridge, Foreshore Freeway Bridge

The Foreshore Freeway Bridge, also known as  Cape Town's "Unfinished Bridge", was build in the 1970s, but got never completed. It actually stands in its unfinished state since construction officially ended in 1977.

18 July 2018

South Africa's most visited tourist attractions in 2017!

According to South Africa Tourism's 2017 Annual Tourism Report, the top five of South Africa's Top 20 most-visited attractions or landmarks are located in and around Cape Town. The V&A Waterfront was the country's most-visited attraction or landmark with 1 162 000 tourists in 2017, followed by Cape Town's Central City with 1 080 000 tourists, Cape Point on the Cape Peninsula with 943 000 tourists, Table Mountain Cableway with 799 000 tourists and the suburb of Camp's Bay with 779 000 tourists.

Cape Town, V&A Waterfront, South Africa

The To 20 most-visited attractions or landmarks in South Africa 2017:
  1. V&A Waterfront - 1 162 000 tourists
  2. Cape Town Central City - 1 080 000 tourists
  3. Cape Point - 943 000 tourists
  4. Table Mountain Cableway - 799 000 tourists
  5. Camp's Bay - 779 000 visitors
  6. The Winelands - 730 000 visitors
  7. Sandton City / Mandela Square - 688 000 tourists
  8. Table Mountain  - 494 000 tourists
    (not cableway)

  9. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - 490 000 tourists
  10. The Garden Route - 478 000 tourists
  11. Clifton Beach - 418 000 tourists
  12. Kruger National Park - 391 000 tourists
    (via Skukuza, Numbi, Malelane, Crocodile Bridge)

  13. Robben Island - 331 000 tourists
  14. Apartheid Museum - 301 000 tourists
  15. Tsitsikamma National Park - 296 000 tourists
  16. Mandela House (Soweto) - 234 000 tourists
  17. Eastgate Mall (Johannesburg) - 219 000 tourists
  18. Tour of Soweto - 217 000 tourists
  19. Addo Elephant National Park - 217 000 tourists
  20. Blyde River Canyon / God's Window - 194 000 tourists

Kenya: New Madaraka Express train schedule from August 2018!

Kenya Railways (KR), the national railway of Kenya, has revised the schedule of the Madaraka Express. The revision of the old timetable and the introduction of the new schedule aims to improve the performance of the service, which operates between Kenya's capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa. The new schedule will be effective from 01 August 2018. Under the new schedule, the Inter-County train will leave Nairobi Terminus in Nairobi at 08:20 and arrive at Mombasa Terminus in Mombasa at 14:18 while the Express train will leave Nairobi at 14:35 to reach Mombasa at 19:18. The Inter-County train from Mombasa to Nairobi will leave at 08:00 to arrive in Nairobi at 13:42 while the Express train will leave at 15:15 to reach Nairobi at 20:14.
The changes of the schedule will not affect ticket prices, which were recently adjusted from Sh700 (approx. GBP5.50; €6.00; USD7.00; ZAR92.00) to Sh1000 (approx. GBP7.50; €8.50; USD10.00; ZAR130.00) in economy class from
Nairobi <> Mombasa. One-way tickets for passengers in first class (Nairobi <> Mombasa) are Sh3000 (approx. GBP22.50; €25.50; USD30.00; ZAR400.00).

Skytrax World Airline Awards: Africa's Best Airlines 2018!

Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has been named Best Airline in Africa in the 2018 edition of the Skytrax World Airline Awards. South African Airways, the national carrier of South Africa, gained the second highest passenger satisfaction ratings on the continent. Air Mauritius was named third best airline in Africa, followed by Air Seychelles and Kenya's flag carrier Kenya Airways. South African budget carrier Mango was named eigth best airline in Africa, followed by pan-African low-cost carrier Fastjet and Kulula, the low-cost airline subsidiary of British Airways franchise Comair in South Africa.

The Best Airlines in Africa 2018:
  1. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
  2. South African Airways (South Africa)
  3. Air Mauritius (Mauritius)
  4. Air Seychelles (Seychelles)
  5. Kenya Airways (Kenya)
  6. Royal Air Maroc (Marocco)
  7. Mango (South Africa)
  8. Fastjet (pan-African)
  9. Kulula (South Africa)
  10. TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola)
South Africa, Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth International Airport, aviation, flights

South African carrier Mango was named Best Low-Cost Airlines in Africa 2018, followed by pan-African low-cost carrier Fastjet and Kulula, the low-cost airline subsidiary of British Airways franchise Comair in South Africa.
  1. Mango (South Africa)
  2. Fastjet (pan-African)
  3. Kulula (South Africa)
  4. Jambojet (Kenya)
  5. fly540 (Kenya)
Namibia's flag carrier Air Namibia was awarded second Best Regional Airline in Africa 2018, followed by Rwandair, the flag carrier of Rwanda. Air Botswana, the national airline of Botswana, came in sixth in the regional ranking.
  1. Royal Air Maroc (Marocco)
  2. Air Namibia (Namibia)
  3. RwandAir (Rwanda)
  4. Tunisair (Tunisia)
  5. Sénégal Airlines (Senegal)
  6. Air Botswana (Botswana)
  7. Air Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  8. Air Burkina (Burkina Faso)
  9. Afriqiyah Airways (Libya)
  10. ASKY Airlines (West Africa)
South African Airways was given the award for Best Airline Staff in Africa 2018, followed by Ethiopia's national airline Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways, the flag carrier of Kenya.
  1. South African Airways (South Africa)
  2. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
  3. Kenya Airways (Kenya)
  4. Air Mauritius (Mauritius)
  5. Mango (South Africa)
  6. Air Seychelles (Seychelles)
  7. Royal Air Maroc (Marocco)
  8. Fastjet (pan-African)
  9. RwandAir (Rwanda)
  10. Kulula (South Africa)
The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018 are based on customer responses to an online survey which was operated from August 2017 to May 2018. Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the survey with 20.36 million eligible entries counted in the results. All survey entries were screened to identify IP and user information, with duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted. 335 airlines are featured in the survey results.

online flight booking on TravelComments.com >>

17 July 2018

Namibia: Tsau//Khaeb National Park to get a facelift!

The Tsau//Khaeb National Park, formerly known as Sperrgebiet National Park, in Namibia is set to get a facelift. The country's Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) officially launched the construction of staff houses, offices and park entry gates on 12 July 2018. The facelift will furthermore include the refurbishment of the historic old post office building in Lüderitz as MET's local office, construction of a new office in Aus as well as the extension to the existing offices in Rosh Pinah and Oranjemund. The new entry gates will be constructed at the Lüderitz Peninsula in Lüderitz, in Kolmanskop, Rotkop, Garub, Aus, Obib, Sendelingsdrift and Swartkop. 

Tsau//Khaeb National Park, which covers an area of 22.000km², was proclaimed a National Park (Sperrgebiet National Park) in 2008. The Park is home to Brown Hyaena, Oryx, Springbok, Cape Fur Seal, Grey Rhebock, Heaviside's Dolphin, Southern Right Whale as well as to almost 60 wetland bird species along the Orange River, 120 terrestrial bird species, 100 reptile species, 16 frog species and 1050 plant species. Probably 90% or more of the invertebrates found in Tsau//Khaeb National Park have not been described by science.

16 July 2018

Rwanda's newest National Park to open for visitors in 2019!

Rwanda is set to open it's fourth National Park, the Gishwati-Mukura National Park, to visitors in 2019. The National Park is located in the Ngororero district and the Rutsiro district in the north-west of Rwanda and is known for a wide range of flora and fauna, including Chimpanzees, L'Hoest's monkeys, blue monkeys, golden monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys and various species of mammals among others. The 355 hectares Gishwati-Mukura National Park was declared a National Park in 2016.

Brandberg Heritage Site (Namibia): No tours due to reported cases of lions in the area!

The National Heritage Council of Namibia just informed the public that it is currently not conducting any tours at the Brandberg Heritage Site ("White Lady Hike") until further notice due to reported cases of lions in the area. The service at the site is therefore put on hold until the Hertiage Council finds a win-win solution to the above mentioned problem. We'll keep you posted!

The Brandberg Heritage site is situated about 30km north west of the small town of Uis, close to the road from Khorixas to Hentie's Bay.

12 July 2018

Malawi: A new road eases travel to/from Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi!

Nkhata Bay, located on the shores of Lake Malawi in Malawi, has become more and more popular with travellers over the recent years. Travelling to and from town is set to become easier now due to a new road that connects Mzuzu City and Nkhata Bay. The 46km road, which was named after after President Arthur Peter Mutharika, links the court house roundabout in Mzuzu City with the Nkhata Bay Jetty in Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi. The road ("APM Highway") forms part of the M05 road which connects Mzuzu City via Nkhata Bay, Dwangwa, Nkkhotakota and Salima with the junction of the M01 road at Balaka Market.

South Africa: Airlink to suspend its service between Pietermaritzburg <> Cape Town!

South African regional carrier Airlink will suspend its daily service between Pietermaritzburg Airport (PZB) in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town from 01 October 2018. According to the airline, the route has not become profitable since it was launched in February 2017. Airlink currently operates daily return flights on the route, using 37-seat Embraer ERJ135LR regional jets to deliver an effective full-service value proposition offering on the route. Customers holding confirmed tickets for travel after the 29 September 2018 will be offered a full refund. Please contact Airlink for more information.

Air Botswana and LAM - Mozambique Airlines sign agreement to cooperate!

The flag carrier of Botswana, Air Botswana, and the national airline of Mozambique, LAM - Mozambique Airlines, have signed a Special Prorate Agreement (SPA). The agreement extends Air Botswana's route network from Gaborone, Maun and Francistown by providing connections in Johannesburg in South Africa to seven of LAM's destinations in Mozambique. These include Maputo, Beira, Vilanculos, Pemba, Nampula and Inhambane. The SPA similarly allows for the same reciprocal arrangement for passengers traveling from Mozambique with LAM, who will be able to book and purchase tickets via Johannesburg onwards on Air Botswana's flights to Gaborone, Maun and Francistown. The SPA also allows for through check-in of baggage.

Zimbabwe: Fastjet to launch daily flights between Harare <> Bulawayo!

Pan-African low cost-carrier Fastjet will is set to launch daily flights between Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) in Bulawayo from 20 July 2018. Ticket sales are already open for booking. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe and the nearest large city to Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park and Victoria Falls.
With the addition of the
Harare <> Bulawayo route, Fastjet's network in Zimbabwe now totals 4 destinations with more than 100 weekly flights.

11 July 2018

Eswatini/Swaziland: The dates of the Reed Dance 2018 have been announced!

Eswatini Tourism, formerly Swaziland Tourism, has confirmed the dates of the 2018 Reed Dance. The biggest cultural event in Eswatini/Swaziland is set to start on 28 August 2018, with the main day (Day 7) set to take place on 03 September 2018. It will be on this day when the main ceremony occurs, with the dancing attended by King King Mswati III. 03 September 2018 will be a public holiday in Eswatini/Swaziland.

Swaziland, Eswatini, Reed Dance, Africa

The Reed Dance ceremony, also known as "umhlanga", is a centuries old tradition where the Eswatini's/Swaziland's unmarried and childless females present their newly cut reed to the Queen Mother to protect her residence. The highlight of the event is the reed-giving ceremony. Tens of thousands of maidens from Eswatini/Swaziland, led by Swazi princesses, gather at the Queen Mother's royal village, the Ludzidzini Royal Residence in Lobamba, dressed in traditional attire; bright short beaded skirts with colourful sashes revealing their bare breasts to dance and sing and celebrate the unification of the Kingdom’s women. King Mswati lll, who sometimes makes use of the occasion to publicly court a prospective fiancée, joins the celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens.

10 July 2018

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in June 2018!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in June 2018.
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 (JNB), Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2018 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 96.40% (May 97.73%) 
  2. Mango - 90.35% (May 86.38%)
  3. South African Airways - 87.46% (May 89.57%)
  4. Airlink - 83.51% (May 89.28%)
  5. Kulula.com - 81.63% (May 78.46%)
  6. British Airways Domestic - 80.78% (May 82.69%)
  7. CemAir - 72.18% (May 78.71%)
  8. SA Express - --.-- (May 64.43%) 
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (May --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2018 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.98% (May 95.85%) 
  2. South African Airways - 92.67% (May 93.60%)   
  3. Mango - 89.32% (May 90.07%)
  4. Airlink - 85.00% (May 91.78%)
  5. British Airways Domestic - 78.18% (May 86.27%)
  6. Kulula.com - 71.33% (May 85.85%)  
  7. CemAir - 66.67% (May 81.73%) 
  8. SA Express - --.-- (May 58.19%)   
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (May --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2018 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 95.43% (May 97.13%)
  2. Airlink - 94.84% (May 87.06%)
  3. Mango - 92.57% (May 92.72%)
  4. South African Airways - 90.70% (May 95.00%)  
  5. British Airways Domestic - 83.18% (May 85.86%)
  6. Kulula.com - 79.55% (May 84.79%)
  7. SA Express - --.-- (May 47.22%)