29 March 2019

Kruger National Park Calendar - May!

Weather:
  • autumn
  • warm to hot days
  • warm to rather cold evenings
  • occasional rain only
Temperatures:

Landscape:
  • the bush starts drying out
  • landscape changes from green to yellow, orange and brown
  • the waterholes in the mopaneveld are drying out first
  • the baobab trees are dropping their last pods
Animal Activity:
  • Elephants begin migration into northern Kruger
  • game seeking for warmer areas
  • impala rut continues
  • wild dog breeding season

Kulula & Delta Air Lines have signed an interline agreement!

South African low-cost airline Kulula and major American airline Delta Air Lines have signed an interline agreement*. Under the agreement, travellers flying on Delta Air Lines' nonstop route between Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, USA, and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg will benefit from kulula-operated flights within South Africa. Routes included in the new interline agreement are Johannesburg <> Cape Town, Johannesburg <> Durban, Johannesburg <> East London and Johannesburg <> George.
 

*An interline agreement allows passengers to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again. 

28 March 2019

Survey: Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town named Best Airport in Africa!

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town was named Best Airport in Africa for the fourth consecutive year at the 2019 SKYTRAX World Airport Awards™. Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) came in second in the continental category, followed by OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. East London Airport (ELS) in East London was voted 6th best airport in Africa 2019, Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth was named 7th and Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN) in Bloomfontein 9th best Airport in Africa 2019. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) won the award for Best Regional Airport in Africa 2019 (5th in global ranking!). East London Airport (ELS) came in 3rd in this category, followed by Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) and Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN). Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Rwanda's capital Kigali was voted 5th Best Regional Airport in Africa and Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) was voted 6th best African regional airport. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) was also awarded for having the Best Airport Staff in Africa in 2019. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) came in second, OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) was ranked 5th best in this category, followed by Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ), Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe and Kigali International Airport (KGL).

Best Airports in Africa 2019:
  1. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, South Africa
  2. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, South Africa
  3. OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa
  4. Mauritius
  5. Marrakech
  6. East London Airport (ELS) in East London, South Africa
  7. Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  8. Seychelles
  9. Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN) in Bloomfontein, South Africa
  10. Cairo
Best Regional Airports in Africa 2019:
  1. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, South Africa
  2. Marrakech
  3. East London Airport (ELS) in East London, South Africa
  4. Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  5. Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN) in Bloomfontein, South Africa
  6. Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali, Rwanda
  7. Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, Namibia
  8. Dakar
  9. Hurghada
  10. Luxor
Best Airport Staff in Africa 2019:
  1. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, South Africa
  2. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Mauritius
  4. Seychelles
  5. OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa
  6. Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, Namibia
  7. Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  8. Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe, Uganda
  9. Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali, Rwanda
  10. La Réunion
Best Airport Hotels in Africa 2019:
  1. InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. Le Méridien Cairo Airport in Cairo, Egypt
  3. Radisson Blu Addis Ababa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  4. Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport in Nairobi, Kenya
  5. Novotel Cairo Airport in Cairo, Egypt
The 2019 Skytrax World Airports Awards are a measurement of customer satisfaction across over 550 airports globally. The awards are administered independently and based on surveys of passenger opinion. They are regarded as a quality benchmark for the world airport industry.

27 March 2019

South African Tourism released nine videos about South Africa's nine provinces!

South African Tourism has released nine two-minute video about the nine provinces of South Africa on Youtube. Each video portrays one of the provinces and highlights the major tourist attractions and main characteristics of the provinces. Unfortunately, South African Tourism did not provide any further information about the videos. Anyway, switch the videos to full screen, put your headphones on, sit back and enjoy the beauty of South Africa


Rwandair to temporarily increase flights between Kigali - Harare - Cape Town!

Rwanda's flag carrier airline, Rwandair, will temporarily increase flights between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare. An additional 5th weekly service will be operated from 06 July 2019 to 28 September 2019 onboard a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 
From its main base at Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Rwanda's capital Kigali, Rwandair operates domestic and international services to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

26 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Gonarezhou National Park to reintroduce black rhinos in 2020!

The Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe is set to reintroduce over 20 black rhinos into its 500 000 hectares of remote and rugged bush country in 2020. The rhino population in what is now the country's second largest National Park got wiped out two times. The original population of black rhinos in the area was killed sometime between the 1930s and 1940s. Between 1969 and 1977 - Gonarezhou National Park was declared a National Park in 1975 - a total of 77 black rhinos got reintroduced into the area. The population grew to 140 animals before the civil war in neighbouring Mozambique resulted in the closure of Gonarezhou National Park to the public. During the closure, poachers wiped out the entire rhino population in Gonarezhou National Park for the second time. The last rhino in Gonarezhou National Park was killed in 1994.


 
Gonarezhou National Park is located in south-eastern Zimbabwe and is managed by the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, an innovative new model for protected area management drawn up between the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA), and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).

Agulhas National Park: The "Iconic Map of Africa Monument" to be launched today! [update]

South Africa's Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, will launch the "Iconic Map of Africa Monument"/ "Southernmost Tip Monument" in Agulhas National Park in the country's Western Cape Province today (26 March 2019). The new monument pays homage to the African continent and boasts a circumference of 30 metres. It is one of the infrastructure features commissioned and developed at the Agulhas National Park by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with South African National Parks (SANParks), to enhance visitor experience and boost the local tourism economy. 


Agulhas National Park is located in the southern Overberg region in the Western Cape. The National Park stretches along the coast line between the towns of Gansbaai and Struisbaai, and includes the geographic southern tip of the African continent and the beginning of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at Cape Agulhas.

25 March 2019

Emirates to temporarily increase flights between Dubai <> Durban!

The largest airline in the Middle East, Emirates, will temporarily increase the number of flights between Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai and King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban. Effective from 14 June 2019 to 04 August 2019, the airline will introduce four additional flights a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The flights will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class cabin configuration, offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg): New rules for checking in bags of irregular shape and size!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has introduced new rules for checking in bags of irregular shape and size at OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg on 25 March 2019. The new rules are aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in the baggage handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines. The new rules have been agreed to after extensive consultations with the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and other bodies representing airlines. 

The new baggage rules are:

  1. Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters.
  2. This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted on the check-in system.
  3. Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed at check-in counters.
  4. Bags with longs straps will not be allowed at check-in counters.


Passengers trying to check in bags that do not conform to these rules will be offered the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport approved baggage wrapping stations. 
Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai recently instituted the same kind of baggage rules that will now be applied at OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg.

Kruger National Park: The Mooiplaas Picnic Site is partially closed! [update]

update (11 April 2019): The temporary closure of the Mooiplaas Picnic Site in Kruger National Park is extended until further notice. This is due to renovations. We'll keep you posted!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Mooiplaas Picnic Site, located about 5 km south of the Mopani Rest Camp on the H1-6 in Kruger National Park's Nxanatseni Region (between Olifants River and Limpopo River), is partially closed due to renovations. The ablutions and the Lapa overlooking the Tsendze River are still open. The renovations will continue in phases until 16 April 2019.

22 March 2019

Southern Africa: Rainfall outlook (March - May 2019)!

According to the mid-season review and update of the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (December 2018)*, the northern half of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Tanzania, Malawi, the bulk of Zambia, Northern Mozambique, Eastern Zimbabwe, Northernmost Namibia, Northernmost Botswana, Northern Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles are likely to experience increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall between March and May 2019. The Southern half of the SADC, including the bulk of Namibia, the bulk of Botswana, the Southern half of Zimbabwe, Southern Mozambique, Eswatini (Swaziland) Lesotho and the Southernmost part of Madagascar are likely to experience increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall between March and May 2019.

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Kruger National Park: Malelane Gate closed for the day for travellers without reservations!

South African National Parks (SANParks) just announced on Facebook that Kruger National Park's Malelane Gate is temporarily closed for the day (22 March 2019). Only visitors with reservations can use the gate to enter the National Park. SANParks advises everyone else to use alternative gates, such as Crocodile Bridge Gate or Numbi Gate. SANParks does not name any reasons why Malelane Gate is closed for the day. 


Rwandair to launch flights to China!

The flag carrier of Rwanda, Rwandair, will extend its service between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai (India) to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) in Guangzhou (China). Effective 18 June 2019, the airline will operate four weekly frequencies on board an A330-200 aircraft. Although Rwandair has 5th freedom traffic rights on the Mumbai <> Guangzhou sector, reservation is currently not available.

20 March 2019

Air Namibia postpones additional domestic flights & terminates regional route!

According to a press release by Air Namibia, the airline has postponed the launch of additional frequencies on some of its domestic and regional routes, which were due to start on 31 March 2019. The airline names the need to ensure operational readiness from the perspective of aircraft availability as one of the main reasons for the postponement. Air Namibia also announced the termination of one domestic route and one regional route. The following flights are affected:
  • Windhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek – Ondangwa Airport (OND), Ondangwa – Windhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek:
    • The number of flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays will remain on two per day.
  • Windhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek – Katima Mulilo Airport (MPA), Katima MuliloWindhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek:
    • The number of flights will remain on four per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays).
  • Windhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek – Rundu Airport (NDU), RunduWindhoek Eros Airport (ERS), Windhoek:
    • The number of flights will remain on three per week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
  • Ondangwa Airport (OND), Ondangwa – Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB), Walvis BayOndangwa Airport (OND), Ondangwa:
    • Effective 31 March 2019, the direct service will be terminated.
  • Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB), Walvis Bay - OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg:
    • Effective 31 March 2019, the direct service will be terminated.

Ethiopian Airlines to launch direct flights between Addis Ababa <> Istanbul!

Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to start scheduled direct services between Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) in Istanbul, Turkey. Effective 01 April 2019, the airline will operate three weekly return flights to Turkey. Istanbul marks Ethiopian Airlines' 19th destination in Europe. The airline is currently serving a total of 119 international destinations across five continents.

Survey: King Shaka International Airport in Durban named best airport in Africa!

Airports Council International (ACI), the only global trade representative of the world's airport authorities, has announced the winners of the prestigious 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban has been named "Best Airport in Africa" (between 5 and 15 million passengers) followed by Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) in Casablanca, Marocco. Kimberley Airport (KIM) in Kimberley scooped the award for "Best Airport in Africa" (under 2 million passengers per year), followed by Port Elizabeth National Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth and Upington Airport (UTN) in Upington.
The annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards are based on the globally-established Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme, which measures passengers' satisfaction across 34 key performance indicators. Three quarters of the world's 100 busiest airports are part of the ASQ programme which means that, in 2018, more than half of the world’s 8.3 billion travellers passed through an ASQ airport

19 March 2019

Kenya Airways & Alitalia have signed a codeshare agreement!

The flag carrier of Italy, Alitalia, and Kenya's national airline, Kenya Airways, have signed a broad codeshare agreement. Under the agreement, Alitalia will apply its "AZ" flight code on many services operated by Kenya Airways beyond Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya, as well as to a further 19 African destinations, such as: Abidjan (Ivory Coast); Accra (Ghana); Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Antananarivo (Madagascar); Brazzaville (Congo); Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar (Tanzania); Douala (Cameroon); Johannesburg (South Africa); Kigali (Rwanda); Khartoum (Sudan); Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo); Lagos (Nigeria); Maputo and Nampula (Mozambique); Moroni-Hahaya (Comoros); Seychelles. Alitalia is also widening its network in Africa, where the Italian airline now operates direct services to Johannesburg, Casablanca, Algier, Tunis and Cairo, by placing its "AZ" flight code on Kenya Airways' new service between Rome and Nairobi.
In return, Kenya Airways will expand its offer to Italy and Europe by placing its "KQ" flight code on Alitalia's services from
Rome to 16 Italian domestic destinations (Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Milan Malpensa, Naples, Palermo, Pisa, Reggio Calabria, Turin, Trieste, Venice and Verona) and to 9 international destinations (Athens, Barcelona, Casablanca, Geneva, Larnaca, Madrid, Malaga, Malta and Valencia).
The new codeshare flights are available for from 14 March 2019, for travels from 12 June 2019 when Kenya Airways will inaugurate its four-weekly service between
Nairobi and Rome.