13 November 2018

Air Namibia reintroduced non-stop flights between Walvis Bay <> Johannesburg!

Namibia's flag carrier, Air Namibia, has reintroduced daily non-stop flights between Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB) in Walvis Bay and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. The route is serviced by an Embraer ERJ135, offering 37 seats in economy. Due to scheduled maintenance, the non-stop service between Walvis Bay and Johannesburg was rerouted via Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek earlier this year.

Singapore Airlines to increase flights between Singapore <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier airline of Singapore, Singapore Airlines, is set to introduce additional flights to its Singapore <> Johannesburg service. Effective 31 March 2019, the airline will operate ten weekly flights instead of the current seven weekly flights between Changi Airport (SIN) in Singapore and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. The airline operates an Airbus A350-900 aircraft between the two destinations.

12 November 2018

Namibia to upgrade Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek!

The chairman of the board of directors of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), Dr. Leake S. Hangala, announced in a recent statement (07 November 2018) that Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek is getting a major upgrade. The project, which is expected to start in March 2019 and complete in November 2019, will include the revamp and modernizing of the check-in and departure halls, security screening point, arrivals hall and the luggage handling areas as well as the introduction of latest advance technologies and software systems related to self-check ins and screening for both passengers and luggage. Installation of a CCTV and intrusion detection system at Hosea Kutako International Airport has already commenced. According to Dr. Hangala, the upgrade work will have minimal effect on the current airport operations, which will continue as usual. The upgrading of Namibia's main airport is expected to cost at least N$ 245 Million.

Mpumalanga: Graskop Gorge lift to temporarily close for maintenance!

The Graskop Gorge lift in Mpumalanga, a viewing lift that takes visitors 51 metres down the face of the Graskop Gorge and into the forest below, will be shut down for routine maintenance on 26 November 2018 and 27 November 2018. The lift will be operational again from 28 November 2018. The cliff-top restaurant and the shops will remain open during the maintenance. The Graskop Gorge lift, which is operated by the Graskop Gorge Lift Company, is located just outside of Graskop on the R533 towards Hazyview along the famous Panorama Route (on the opposite side of the gorge to the Big Swing). 

09 November 2018

Namibia bans plastic bags in game parks or nature reserves!

According to the online edition of the "Namibian Sun", a daily tabloid newspaper in Namibia, plastic bags are banned in Namibia's protected areas, such as National Parks, with immediate effect. If found in possession of plasic bags, visitors will be finded N$500. The amendment to the regulation relating to the Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1974 (4 of 1875) to restrict the use of plastic bags in national parks was alreay approved and gazetted in 2017 (Government Gazette 6285, 13 April 2018, p. 3, 4). Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) is putting in place the necessary systems to enforce the ban of plasic bags.

Namibia, Etosha National Park, watering hole, water hole

  • (1) No person shall enter a game park or nature reserve with a plastic bag.
  • (2) Notwithstanding  subregulation (1), a person may enter a game park or nature reserve with a plastic bag -
    • (a) designed to be used for the disposal of waste;
    • (b) designed for agricultural purposes;
    • (c) used for sampling or analysis;
    • (d) that constitutes, or forms an integral part of, the packaging in which goodsare sealed prior to sale in the local market or for export; or
    • (e) that is a transparent resealable bag.
  • (3) A person who contravenes subregulation (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$500 or to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.



Air Tanzania to launch flights between Dar es Salaam <> Guangzhou!

Tanzania's national airline, Air Tanzania, is set to launch scheduled flights between Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) in Guangzhou via Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2019. The airline will operate three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on board a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Guangzhou is China's third largest city, after Beijing and Shanghai.

08 November 2018

Kruger National Park: Shortage of unleaded fuel in Shingwedzi Rest Camp!

South African National Parks (SANParks) just informed travellers visiting Kruger National Park that Shingwedzi Rest Camp is set to experience a shortage unleaded fuel. This is due to construction work at the filling station in the Rest Camp, that will take place from 09 November 2018 until 16 November 2018. Shingwedzi Rest Camp is situated in the northern part of Kruger National Park and set on the banks of the Shingwedzi River.

Leaded fuel, unleaded fuel and diesel are usually available at all major camps in Kruger National Park. All fuel stations accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage cards, any VISA/MasterCard cards or cash as a form of payment.

07 November 2018

Zambia: Proflight Zambia to launch direct flights between Livingstone <> Kalabo (Liuwa Plain National Park)!

Zambian airline Proflight Zambia is set to launch scheduled direct services between
Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone and Kalabo Airport (KLB) in Kalabo. Effective 02 January 2019, the airline will operate two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays between the two destinations. Kalabo is located in the Western Province of
Zambia and is the ideal base for the Liuwa Plain National Park.

Malaria: South African Malaria Risk Map November 2018

South Africa's National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has published a new and updated South African Malaria Risk Map (November 2018). In South Africa, malaria transmission occurs in the north-eastern part of the country, mainly in the low altitude (below 1 000m above sea-level) areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern part of  KwaZulu-Natal. Limited local transmission may occasionally occur in the North West Province and in the Northern Cape along the Molopo and Orange rivers. Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park are the only two National Parks in South Africa that are situated in malaria risk areas. The risk of malaria in both of these parks is usually low, even in the summer months. Malaria is distinctly seasonal in South Africa, with the highest risk being during the wet summer months (September to May).

South Africa, Malaria, Malaria Risk Map, Malaria Risk Map November 2018
Source: NICD; click on map to enlarge

06 November 2018

Chapman's Peak Drive: Temporary road closures for alien vegetation clearing

Cape Town's famous Chapman's Peak Drive will be closed to all traffic from 09:30 until 15:30 every Monday during November 2018 (07, 14, 21 and 28 November 2018 - weather permitting) for alien vegetation clearing. This is essential to protect the delicate eco-systems and prevent the alien plants from stealing ground water or destroying the natural fynbos. Should one need to travel between Noordhoek and Hout Bay between those times, kindly use Ou Kaapse Weg as an alternative route. 

Chapman's Peak Drive is a scenic 9km route between Noordhoek and Hout Bay along the western flank of the Chapman's Peak, a mountain on the western side of the Cape Peninsula, located about 15 kilometres south of Cape Town.

Garden Route: Tsitsikamma is open for business after the fires!

According to a public announcement by the Tsitsikamma Tourism Association on facebook, tourism in the Tsitsikamma area has been unaffected by the devasting fires that started on 23 October 2018 in Lottering and on 29 October 2018 in the area from Stormsriver to Clarkson. There has been no loss of life, nor damage to houses reported. Serious damage has been caused to plantations and fence lines. All tourism operations in the Tsitsikamma area, including accommodation establishments, tour operators, eateries and other related businesses, are continuing as normal, the roads are open, the Garden Route National Park is open and the Stormsriver Village is ready again to receive visitors.

West Coast National Park: Gate closure due to Langebaan Country Estate Cycle Challenge!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the gates of the West Coast National Park will be closed from 07:00 to 13:00 on 10 November 2018 due to a sporting event being held on this day. The National Park's internal road system should be used for emergencies only on 10 November 2018. The Langebaan Country Estate Cycle Challenge 2018, which partially winds through the West Coast National Park, is an annual cycling event that has been rated one of the highest scoring Pedal Power Association (PPA) fun rides in South Africa

The gate times will be as follows:

  • Saturday, 10 November 2018
    • West Coast Gate Road to Kraal Bay - closed from 07:00 until 13:00
    • Langebaan Gate to T-Junction - closed from 07:00 until 13:00

05 November 2018

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in October 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 October 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 October 2018 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 92.78% (September 90.12%)
  2. SA Express - 88.01% (September 88.77%)
  3. Airlink - 86.90% (September 83.92%)
  4. South African Airways - 80.97% (September 82.96%)
  5. Mango - 78.13% (September 77.05%)
  6. CemAir - 75.62% (September 77.39%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 74.49% (September 71.38%)
  8. Kulula.com - 62.44% (September 70.18%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (September --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2018 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 95.21% (September 91.76%)
  2. CemAir - 91.23% (September 82.46%)
  3. Airlink - 86.52% (September 80.96%)
  4. South African Airways - 86.35% (September 88.07%)
  5. Mango - 84.50% (September 80.21%)
  6. British Airways Domestic - 77.11% (September 70.17%)
  7. Kulula.com - 70.59% (September 65.84%)  
  8. SA Express - --.--% (September --.--%)   
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.--% (September --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2018 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 93:57% (September 96.31%)
  2. Airlink - 90.94% (September 92.50%)
  3. Mango - 83.76% (September 87.89%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 78.82% (September 73.58%)
  5. South African Airways - 77.25% (September 87.08%)
  6. Kulula.com - 68.30% (September 72.09%)
  7. SA Express - --.--% (September --.--%)