30 August 2019

Zimbabwe: National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has doubled its inter-city passenger train fares!

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has doubled its inter-city passenger train fares for all three classes due to rising operational expenses. The company operates daily passenger train services between Bulawayo <> Victoria Falls, Bulawayo <> Harare and Mutare <> Harare as well as weekly passenger train services between Bulawayo <> Chiredzi and Bulawayo <> Chikwalakwala. 

Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, travel, tourism,

Tickets in economy class on the Bulawayo <> Victoria Falls and Bulawayo <> Harare routes have been increased from $20 to $40, in second class from $25 to $50 and in sleeper class from $30 to $60. The fares for tickets Mutare <> Harare return route increased to $25 from $12 in economy class, to $30 from $15 in standard class and to $40 from $20 in sleeper class. The new fares for the Bulawayo <> Chiredzi and Bulawayo <> Chikwalakwala routes have not been made public so far. The fares for NRZ's intra-city commuter train services remain unchanged at $1 for a return ticket.

Kruger National Park Calendar - October!

Weather:
  • daytime temperatures soar
  • first hard rains
  • it can get extremely hot & humid if the rains are late
Temperatures:
Cape Buffalo, Dagga Boy, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Landscape:
  • Grassland beginns turning green
  • many trees in flower
  • lush vegetation
  • river levels start rising
Animal Activity:
  • breeding season begins for many antelopes
  • game begins dispersing through the Park
  • most of the northern migrant raptors arrive

South Africa: ACSA has grounded all SA Express flights! [update]

update (30 August 2019): SA Express announced on Facebook, that all operations have resumed as of 14:40 today with the flight to Lubumbashi International Airport (FBM) in Lubumbashi (DR Congo).

Due to non-payment of airport fees accrued over a period of time Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has suspended South African airline SA Express from landing and taking off from its nine airports in South Africa. According to the airport management company, the decision to suspend the state-owned airline is necessary to ensure fairness to all airlines. 
In the meantime, SA Express announced in a press release that the airline is working hard, together with its key stakeholders, to ensure a speedy resolution of the challenges that have affected its operations. We'll keep you posted!

29 August 2019

Delta Air Lines & Kenya Airways to expand their codeshare agreement!

American airline Delta Air Lines and Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, are set to expand their codeshare partnership in Southern Africa and East Africa by four additional routes via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. Effective 01 September 2019, Delta Air Lines will place its code (DL) on return flights operated by Kenya Airways to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe (Uganda), Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka (Zambia) and Maputo International Airport (MPM) in Maputo (Mozambique).

South African National Parks to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Agulhas National Park in September 2019!

South African National Parks (SANParks) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Agulhas National Park in South Africa's Western Cape in September 2019. On 14 September 1998, SANParks purchased four hectares of land at the Southernmost tip of the African continent to establish a National Park. A year later, on 23 September 1999, the property was offically declared a National Park in Government Gazette GN1135. Today the park stretches over 21,971ha of land and is home to approximately 2,000 native plant species and a wetland that provides refuge to birds and amphibians. The celebrate the anniversary, the following festivities will take place throughout September 2019:
  • 01 - 30 September 2019: Lowland fynbos display at the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
  • 07 September 2019: Agulhas Birding Day
  • 08 - 15 September2016: SA National Parks Week
  • 14 September 2019: Coastal Clean-Up
  • 21 September 2019: Birthday Bash Relay Race & Basaar


Agulhas National Park stretches along the coastal plain between the towns of Gansbaai and Struisbaai in South Africa's Western Cape. It can be accessed via the N2 highway, which runs from Cape Town along the east coast via the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth. Coming from the west (Cape Town > Port Elizabeth) travellers must turn off at Caledon and pass through Bredasdorp; from the east (Port Elizabeth > Cape Town), travellers must leave the N2 near Swellendam and pass through Bredasdorp to get to Agulhas National Park.

28 August 2019

Five locations in Southern & East Africa are among the "World's Greatest Places 2019"!

The famous Time Magazine, an American weekly news magazine and news website, has released its second annual list of the "World's Greatest Places". Based on key factors, such as quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence, the list showcases a variety of categories such as museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Five of these 100 greatest places of the year are located in Southern Africa and East Africa, namely Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Leopard Hill in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy (Kenya), the Omaanda Lodge in Windhoek East (Namibia), the Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in the De Hoop Nature Reserve (South Africa) and the restaurant Wolfgat in Paternoster (South Africa). Congratulations!

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
How does one measure the greatness of a place—in miles covered, dollars spent, or visitors captivated? Such metrics can play a part, but also important is something that many travelers aspire to experience: the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary. To compile our second annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, this week's International cover, TIME solicited nominations across a variety of categories—including #museums, parks, restaurants, and #hotels—from our editors and correspondents around the world as well as industry experts. Then we evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, sustainability, #innovation and influence. The result: 100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now, from #America’s hottest hometown pizzeria to a #Tokyo museum bringing digital #art to life. See the full list at the link in bio. Illustration by @petergreenwooduk for TIME
Ein Beitrag geteilt von TIME (@time) am

27 August 2019

Limpopo: Eight days of free entry into eight Limpopo Wildlife Resorts in September 2019!

Not only South African National Parks (SANParks), CapeNature and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) are offering free entry into National Parks and Nature Reserves in September 2019, but also Limpopo Wildlife Resorts. Between 08 September 2019 - 15 September 2019 ("Mahala Week"), Limpopo Wildlfe Reserves will offer free entry into eight of its resorts in Limpopo. The free access into the selected resorts is strictly for day visitors only and does not include accommodation and other tourism activities on offer at those reserves for the selected period.


The following impopo Wildlife Resorts will be open during the "Mahala Week" in
Limpopo:
  • Lekgalameetsi Nature Reserve
  • Doorndraai Dam Resort
  • Nwanedi Resort
  • Singo Safari Lodge
  • Nylsvley Birding Lodge
  • Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve
  • Rust de Winter Dam Resort
  • Mokolo Dam

Mpumalanga: Five days of free entry into nine provincial Nature Reserves in September 2019!

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) will open some of its Nature Reserves as part of the Mpumalanga Parks Week from 09 – 13 September 2019. A total of nine provincial Nature Reserves throughout Mpumalanga will be open to the public during that week, also known as "Mahala Week". The free access into the selected Nature Reserves is strictly for day visitors only and does not include accommodation and other tourism activities on offer at those reserves for the selected period. In order to be allowed free access, visitors will be required to present their South African Identity documents or valid South African driver's licence.



The following
MTPA Nature Reserves will be open during the "Mahala Week" in Mpumalanga:
  • Manyeleti Nature Reserve
  • Andover Nature Reserve
  • Songimvelo Nature Reserve
  • Kromdraai Camp (Songimvelo Nature Reserve)
  • Nooitgedacth Dam Nature Reserve 
  • Loskop Dam Nature Reserve
  • Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve
  • S.S Skosana Nature Reserve
  • Blyde River Canyon (Free entry only applicable on 12 September 2019)

South Africa: The first edition of "Museum Night Johannesburg" to take place in September 2019!

The very first edition of "Museum Night in Johannesburg" is set to take place in Johannesburg in September 2019. On Thursday, 19 September 2019, six museums from all over the city will be open from 17:00 until 22:00, offering free admission to the public. Each museum has a primary programme of current exhibitions, supported by a secondary programme of workshops, performances, talks and other activities. The programme of the "Museum Night in Johannesburg" is spread out, so it is recommended to focus on just one or two sites, and make use of public or private transport to get around.



The participating museums include:
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Constitution Hill
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery
  • Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre
  • WITS Art Museum
  • The Origins Centre (WITS)

South Africa: Intercape to launch a new coach route between Durban <> Maputo (Mozambique)!

The largest intercity passenger transport service operating in Southern Africa, Intercape, is set to launch a new coach route between Durban in South Africa and Maputo in Mozambique. Effective 06 September 2019, the bus company will operate the new route on board a 60-seater luxury bus on Tuesdays, Thursdays as well as Sundays (Durban > Maputo) and on Fridays, Mondays and Wednesdays (Maputo > Durban). The total travel time between the two destinations will be 9.5 hrs. Popular stops along the way include Richards Bay, Hluhluwe, Kosi Bay and Ponta do Ouro. A 20 minute refreshment stop will be made at the Hluhluwe PetroPort in Hluhluwe (both directions).

26 August 2019

Malawi: The main runway at Chileka International Airport (Blantyre) will remain closed until late October 2019! [update]

update (14 November 2019): According to the Nyasa Times, major airlines are expected to return to Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre after 30 November 2019.

update (12 November 2019): According to Malawian radio station Capital FM,  the main runway at Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre is set to reopen in the first week of December 2019. We'll keep you posted! 

update (31 October 2019): The flag carrier airline of Malawi, Malawi Airlines, has introduced a new flight time table effective from 01 until 30 November 2019 due to the extension of maintenance and rehabilitation works being carried out at the main runway at Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre. We'll keep you posted!



The main runway at Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre, Malawi, will remain closed for an extended period until 31 October 2019 for maintenance and rehabilitation. The runway was originally closed on 24 April 2019 and was intended to re-open at the end of July 2019.South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has therefore made alternative travel arrangements to ensure continued operations to and from Blantyre and to mitigate further impact of the runway closure on its customers and passengers. Customers of South African Airways will travel between Johannesburg and Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe on board an aircraft operated by South African Airways, and then between Lilongwe and Blantyre on an Ethiopian Airlines flight, from 31 August 2019 to 31 October 2019. Ethiopian Airlines is South African Airways' partner airline in that market and there is an interline agreement to seamlessly facilitate customer transfers between the two airlines.

23 August 2019

Cape Town: Keizersgracht to get its old name back! [update]

update (24 September 2019): Keizersgracht Street in Cape Town's CBD has officially been renamed back to Hanover Street

The City of Cape Town has approved the renaming of Keizersgracht in Cape Town's CBD to its old name, Hanover Street. The street was the heart of District Six before the area was demolished and divided up between the suburbs of Walmer Estate, Zonnebloem and Lower Vrede. The name change was requested by the District Six Working Committee, an advocacy group of former residents who are land claimants and are still waiting to be moved back to the area, in June 2019. It is not yet clear when the formal renaming ceremony will be held, but the District Six Working Committee already started planning an event for South Africa's Heritage Day on 24 September 2019.

22 August 2019

Kruger National Park: SANParks commenced an aerial census of the rhino and elephant populations!

South African National Parks (SANParks) commenced an aerial census of the rhino and elephant populations in Kruger National Park on 17 August 2019. The census is being conducted by SANParks staff using helicopters and recording any sightings of black rhino, white rhino and elephants. This will cause some noise and possible disturbance at viewing areas in Kruger National Park for the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted!

Kruger National Park, elephant, South Africa, safari

20 August 2019

South Africa's vehicle hijacking & theft hotspots!

Tracker, South Africa's most popular Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) company, has released its vehicle crime statistics for the year July 2018 to June 2019. The "Vehicle Crime Index" - from Tracker's 1.1 million installed vehicle base - covers vehicle theft and hijacking, and provides insight into the time of day and day of the week when vehicle crime is most likely to occur in South Africa.
According to the
"Vehicle Crime Index", most activations (Tracker initiated recovery action) for vehicle hijackings take place on Fridays between 11:00 and 13:00 and between 20:00 to 23:00, while most activations for vehicle  theft occur Saturdays between 12:00 to 14:00.

Hijacking hotspots in Gauteng:

  • Kensington (Johannesburg)
  • Arcadia (Pretoria)
  • Eldorado Park (Johannesburg)
Theft hotspots in Gauteng:
  • Pretoria CBD
  • Arcadia (Pretoria)
  • Sunnyside (Pretoria)
Hijacking hotspots in KwaZulu-Natal:
  • Sydenham (Durban)
  • Imbali (Pietermaritzburg)
  • Avoca Hills (Durban)
Theft hotspots in KwaZulu-Natal:
  • Glenwood (Durban)
  • Morningside (Durban)
  • Musgrave (Durban)
Hijacking hotspots in the Western Cape:
  • Philippi (Cape Town)
  • Khayelitsha (Cape Town)
  • Maitland (Cape Town)
Theft hotspots in the Western Cape:
  • Philippi (Cape Town)
  • Claremont (Cape Town)
  • Dunoon (Cape Town)

Tanzania: Kilimanjaro International Airport introduced new time-consuming visa processing rules

The government of Tanzania has introduced new visa processing rules at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which serves the cities of Arusha and Moshi in the north of the East African country. International travellers entitled to get their visa on arrival now need to complete the following process:
  • Queue for a Government Control Number
  • Pay for the Government Control Number at a bank
  • Queue for Immigration to check and issue the visa
The changes at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) mean that the visa on arrival process can take in excess of two hours. Travellers planning to visit Tanzania can also apply for their visa online. The process usually takes two to three weeks.

Cape Town: Cape Point's "Flying Dutchman Funicular" is currently non-operational! [update]

update (06 September 2019): The Flying Dutchman Funicular is back in operation!

update (04 September 2019): The Flying Dutchman Funicular remains non-operational until further notice. Shuttles will continue to run.  

The Flying Dutchman Funicular, located at Cape Point near the Cape of Good Hope, is currently non-operational until further notice. A shuttle service has been made available.
The Flying Dutchman Funicular, also known as Cape Point Furnicular, runs between the Cape Point parking area and the viewing point below the lighthouse. The track is 585m long, and rises 87m from the lower station (at 127m  m a.s.l) to the upper station (at 214m m a.s.l). The Flying Dutchman Funicular was the first commercial funicular of its kind in Africa.

19 August 2019

Johannesburg: Liliesleaf Farm has become a cashless site!

Liliesleaf Farm in Johannesburg's suburb of Rivonia, an award-winning museum which offers visitors an engaging insight into a significant part of South Africa's liberation struggle and one of the country's leading heritage sites, has become a cashless site from the 01 July 2019 and no longer accepts cash as a mode of payment. According to Liliesleaf Farm, all forms of card payments and debit cards are accepted. Liliesleaf Farm is open from Mondays to Fridays from 08:30 until 17:00 and on Satudays, Sundays and public holidays from 09:00 until 16:00. The entrance fee for adults is R110/person.

15 August 2019

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe): ZimParks hikes National Park entrance fees!

The Zimbabwe and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has increased the entrance fees into the Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park in the area of the world-famous Victoria Falls with effect from 11 August 2019. The new entrance fee for locals (both land and river usage) is RTGS$* 30.00/person (from RTGS$ 7.00/person) for the Victoria Falls National Park and RTGS$ 20.00/person (from RTGS$ 5.00/person) for the Zambezi National Park. Regional and international tourists pay US$30.00 and US$20.00 respectively. Conservation fees (both land and river usage) for all gorge activities (including highwire activities) are as stipulated for Zambezi National Park.

*RTGS$ = Real Time Gross Settlement Dollar

Kenya Airways introduces two additional weekly fligths between Nairobi <> Cape Town!

The flag carrier of Kenya, Kenya Airways, will introduce two additional direct flights between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. The additional service will commence from 27 October 2019 on board a Boeing 737-800. This expansion is in addition to Kenya Airways' flights already operating via Livingstone in Zambia (four times a week), and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (three times a week), bringing the total to 12 weekly flights added to the Cape Town network.

South Africa: Travellers from four new countries have been granted visa-free status! [update]

update (08 October 2019): According to an article on businesstech.co.za, South Africa's government recently also waived visas for travellers from Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.

South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced that nationals from four of the seven countries he granted visa-free status during his Budget Vote speech in July 2019 are now able to travel to South Africa without visas. Effective today (15 August 2019), travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits. Visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba and Principe and Sao Tome will be implemented after negotiations with these countries have been concluded. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is scheduled to complete these negotiations by the end of August 2019 and the implementation will follow soon thereafter. We'll keep you posted!

14 August 2019

Kruger National Park: Temporary closure of Shingwedzi Rest Camp in September 2019!

Shingwedzi Rest Camp, located in the northern part of Kruger National Park, is hosting the 25th edition of the "Baroque in the Bush" concert event from 16 to 25 September 2019. The rest camp is fully booked during that period and inaccessible to other guests except for the performing artists and the concert-goers. However, the filling station, shop, restrooms and the restaurant for take-aways will operate as usual at Shingwedzi Rest Camp and are open to the public.

South Africa/eSwatini: Oshoek/Ngwenya border post to extend operating hours!

According to a join statement by South Africa's and eSwatini's Ministers of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Her Royal Highness Princess Lindiwe, the Oshoek/Ngwenya border post will change operating hours. Once South Africa's Department of Home Affairs has concluded consultations with the country's Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on the extension the operating hours, the border post will open gates at 06:00 instead of the current 07:00. eSwatini's Ministry of Home Affairs is already prepared to extend the operating hours by one hour. Both countrys also agreed to make the the border post operational 24 hrs a day in near future.



The Oshoek/Ngwenya border post is currently the busiest port of entry between
South Africa and eSwatini and has also been identified for infrastructure upgrade as part of South Africa's One-Stop Border Posts programme.

13 August 2019

Namibia introduces a mandatory environmental levy on plastic bags! [update]

update (19 September 2019): The mandatory N$0,50 environmental levy on plastic bags will be introduced nationwide in October 2019!

Namibia introduces a mandatory N$0,50 environmental levy on plastic bags. According to the Government Gazette 6967 (02 August 2019), plastic materials like sacks and bags (including cones), carrier bags, flat bags (excluding immediate packings, zip-lock bags and household bags including refuse bags and refuse bin liners) will carry the new environmental levy fee. The funds generated through the plastic bag levy will be directed to Namibia's Environmental Investment Fund. The country plans to ban plastic bags completely by 2022.

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12 August 2019

Western Cape: CapeNature's "Free Access Week" is back in September 2019!

CapeNature, the public institution with the responsibility for biodiversity conservation in South Africa's Western Cape, offers free access to all CapeNature reserves open to the public from 23 - 29 September 2019. Free day access will only apply at reserve gates and will pertain to general access (conservation fee) and hiking, mountain biking and picnicking. The waiver will not (!) apply to the Whale Trail or concessions (including canopy tours, bouldering, horse riding etc). 


South Africa, whale watching, Garden Rotue, Western Cape

Zero (R0) rated permits need to be given to everyone accessing the reserve during this time, as per usual standard procedure to ensure that all access numbers and activity numbers are recorded. Access to protected areas during the CapeNature Access Week will be conducted during regular reserve hours and applies to entries at CapeNature reserve gates. No free access fee will apply when booking through the call centre/online bookings and excludes accommodation bookings (normal rates and access fees apply with any accommodation booking).

Ethiopian Airlines to launch flights to Beira in Mozambique! [update]

update (26 August 2019): From 03 September 2091, Ethiopian Airlines will initially operate flights to Beira via Ndola in Zambia. From 02 November 2019, the airline will switch the routing to Addis Ababa - Blantyre - Beira - Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to launch a new service to the city of Beira in central Mozambique via Blantyre in Malawi. Effective 03 September 2019 the airline will operate three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to Mozambique's fourth largest city. The commencement of this direct international flight to/from Beira and Addis Ababa will enable international passengers from Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia to enjoy seamless connections to/from Pemba, Nampula, Nacala and Tete with Ethiopian Mozambiqe Airline's domestic service.  Based in Maputo, Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines serves 8 domestic points in Mozambique including the capital Maputo, Nampula, Tete, Pemba, Beira, Nacala, Quelimane, Vilankulos and Chimoio.

09 August 2019

The 10 most dangerous roads in South Africa!

South Africa's Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has released a list of the country's most dangerous roads. The list is based on the number of fatalities that took place on National Routes (N), Provincial Routes (R) and Regional Routes (R) in all nine provinces in South Africa. A total of 254 people died on these roads in 2018 and the human behaviour accounts for nine out of ten fatal crashes that occurred on these roads. The Top Ten roads and areas with the highest number of deaths nationally are:
  • R71 Mankweng in Limpopo
  • R573 Umhlanga in Mpumalanga
  • N4 Nelspruit in Mpumalanga
  • N2 Libode in Eastern Cape
  • N1 Naboomspruit in Limpopo
  • N2 Umkhomazi in KwaZulu Natal
  • N2 Pongola in KwaZulu Natal
  • N2 Idutywa in Eastern Cape
  • R37 Mecklenburg
  • N3 Harrismith in the Free State
According to the RTMC the Top Ten roads have been prioritised for intensified law enforcement to make these roads safer.

08 August 2019

South African Airways to streamline service to Washington, D.C.!

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways, will adjust its service between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Dulles International Airport IAD) in Washington, D.C.. As of 05 September 2019, the airline will operate all flights to and from Washington, D.C. via Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra (Ghana). The routing via Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS) in Dakar (Senegal) will be terminated. South African Airways will also increase the service via Accra from the current five to seven weekly fligths. The flights will be operated on board a mix of Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. South African Airways' last flight via Dakar will be operated on 01 September 2019.