25 November 2022

South Africa: SARS introduces the new South African Traveller Declaration System at King Shaka International Airport in Durban!

The website for the new South African Traveller Declaration System has now gone live. The new online system comes into effect at King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban on 29 November 2020 and it is planned that it will be progressively introduced at all international airports in South Africa during 2023. The South African Traveller Declaration System may be used on a voluntary basis during the pilot phase until further notice. Travellers will still be allowed in South Africa without electronic online declaration. However, the original method of the declaration must then be followed.

The new South African Traveller Declaration System allows travellers, including South African citizens and residents, leaving or entering South Africa by air to complete and submit an online traveller declaration and receive electronic confirmation thereof before they travel. Travellers who are travelling with children or infants will also need to complete a declaration for them.

22 November 2022

Eat Out names South Africa's best restaurants 2022!

South Africa's leading restaurant guide, Eat Out, has named the winners of the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022. After a two year interruption, the restaurant awards are back with a dynamic new star rating system. Restaurants were assessed on several factors, including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. In addition to the Eat Out stars, there are 12 Special Awards that were handed out. These awards applaud individual restaurants, chefs and food personalities who are pushing the industry forward in a meaningful and innovative way.

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 1-star restaurants (70 - 80 points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 2-star restaurants (80 - 90 points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 3-star restaurants (90+ points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: Special Awards

  • Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant of The Year  – The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate (Pinetown, Durban)
  • Eat Out Woolworths Financial Services Chef of The Year  – John Norris-Rogers of PIER Restaurant (V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
  • Eat Out WCellar Wine Service Award  – Victor Okolo from Salsify at the Roundhouse (Camps Bay).
  • Eat Out Naked Malt Rising Star Award  – Mmabatho Molefe from Emazulwini (V&A Waterfront, Cape Town) .
  • Eat Out Woolworths Financial Services Service Excellence Award – Forti Grill & Bar (Menlyn, Pretoria) .
  • Eat Out Valpré Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award  – Rudi Liebenberg.
  • Eat Out Woolworths Lockdown Innovation Award – Liam Tomlin.
  • Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award  – FABER at Avondale (Paarl).
  • Eat Out VISI Style Award – Zioux (Sandton, Johannesburg).
  • Eat Out Stella Artois Best Destination Restaurant Award  – Nevermind (Cape St Francis).
  • Eat Out Woolworths Icon Award – La Madeleine (Pretoria).
  • Eat Out Retail Capital Best New Restaurant Award – Dusk (Stellenbosch).

Method:

According to Eat Out, the restaurants rated for the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022 were selected based on several factors, including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. Based on their collective experience and expertise, the Eat Out team and the Awards chief judge then selected the 300 restaurants to be reviewed.
From the Top 300 list, over 80 restaurants were visited by the panel of six expert judges and rated on Eat Out’s new online rating tool that comprises a comprehensive scorecard. Restaurants are judged in a number of categories, including:

  • Menu composition: 15 points
  • Presentation: 10 points
  • Taste and technique: 30 points
  • Beverages: 20 points
  • Service: 20 points
  • Ambience: 5 points

Five to 10 factors are rated within these categories before the entire rating is rolled up into the total score out of 100.

21 November 2022

Kenya Airways to introduce a new direct service between Nairobi <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier of Kenya, Kenya Airways, is set to introduce a new service to South Africa. Effective 10 December 2022, the airline will operate four daily direct flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Flights are open for bookings!

South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways, in November 2021 signed a Strategic Partnership Framework, which is seen as a key milestone towards co-starting a Pan African Airline Group by 2023. In July 2022, South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya Airways signed a codeshare agreement.

online flight booking on TravelComments.com >> 

Addo Elephant National Park: Update on the access road to the Woody Cape section!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has released an update on the access road to the Woody Cape section in the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. According to the update, it is advisable that only high ground clearance vehicles drive the Woody Cape access road from the R72 during or immediately after rainy days. Regular vehicles may take it on, albeit at a slow, careful pace, looking out for potholes, on non-rainy days. Please note that this is a District road, and as such falls out of SANParks’ jurisdiction. Additionally, access to the Umsintsi Cottage, a double story cottage accommodates two people and overlooks the Alexandria Forest in the Woody Cape section of Addo Elephant National Park, on the two-track road is only possible with a high ground clearance vehicle.
SANParks further announced that the reception office of the Woody Cape section closes 15:00 daily and that hikers will no longer be accommodated after that time.

17 November 2022

North West Province: Wolwespruit Nature Reserve and Boskop Dam Nature Reserve are temporarily closed!

The North West Parks Board (NWPB), the governmental organisation responsible for the management of protected areas and public nature reserves in South Africa's North West Province, has announced that the Wolwespruit Nature Reserve and Boskop Dam Nature Reserve are temporarily closed due to recent heavy rains. 


The Wolwespruit Nature Reserve lies on the Vaal River about 130 kilometres upstream from the Bloemhof Dam and 22 km south of Leeudoringstad. Boskop Dam Nature Reserve is located in the Mooi River valley 20 km north of Potchefstroom.

Addo Elephant National Park: Visitors travelling from Gqeberha are advised to avoid the R335 via Motherwell route!

South African National Parks (SANParks) is urging travellers planning to visit Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape to avoid the R335 via Motherwell route from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) due to safety concerns. Instead, SANParks suggests to make use of the N2 via Colchester and either enter Addo Elephant National Park at Camp Matyholweni near Colchester, or via Paterson to the National Park's Main Camp.

Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the malaria-free Sundays River valley in the Eastern Cape, just over an hour's drive from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

Cape Town is South Africa' first Ramsar Wetland City!

Cape Town is South Africa’s first city, and one of only 43 around the world, to be accredited as a Ramsar Wetland City. The announcement was made at the 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 05 to 13 November 2022
The Wetland City Accreditation program provides international recognition for cities that uphold a solid and favourable relationship with wetlands through creating public awareness on wetland benefits, incorporating wetland protection into municipal planning and decision-making, and promoting wetland benefits for local people.

"We are truly honoured to be bestowed with this new status, and are committed to keep on carrying out the responsibilities this requires in protecting our precious wetlands. The preservation of our natural assets is a key priority for the City, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because our natural environment protects us from natural disasters and ensure our future resilience to climate change", said Lorraine Gerrans, the City of Cape Town's Director: Environmental Management.
Cape Town is home to over 11 000 hectares of wetlands which provide essential services such as disaster risk reduction and contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The city is recognised as a global hotspot of biodiversity and thus has a corresponding number of rare and threatened wetlands supporting many endemic fauna and flora species. These wetlands include the Rietvlei and Milnerton Lagoon (part of the Table Bay Nature Reserve), the Zandvlei Estuary, Edith Stephens Wetlands, False Bay Nature Reserve (a wetland of international importance), the Noordhoek wetlands and many others.