15 April 2024

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Auchterlonie picnic spot get an upgrade!

The management of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has announced that the Auchterlonie picnic spot is set to get an upgrade. The ablution facilities at the picnic spot will get renovated between 22 April 2024 and 20 May 2024. During the upgrade, the facilities will not be available to guests.
The Auchterlonie picnic spot is located adjacent to the Auchterlonie museum in the the dry Auob riverbed about 35km north of Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

The Auchterlonie museum consists of a restored stone-and-thatch cottage that offers visitors insights into the cultural and natural history of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and its surroundings. It  features exhibits on various aspects of the park, including its wildlife, geology, and the cultural heritage of the indigenous people who have inhabited the area for centuries. The museum is named after Captain H.T. Auchterlonie, who was the park's first game ranger.

Zimbabwe introduces a new currency!

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has introduced a new gold-based currency, the ZiG (Zimbabwe Gold), which replaces the the Zimbabwean dollar (ZW$) as Zimbabwe's legal tender. It's the country's sixth attempt at creating a new currency since 2008. The ZiG is backed by foreign currencies, gold and precious minerals. The new ZiG banknotes come in eight denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 ZiG. The coins will come in two forms, Half ZiG and Quarter ZiG. The new ZiG banknotes and coins will begin circulating on 30 April 2024. The new ZiG currency will be operating alongside other currencies under a multi-currency system, which includes the (dominant) USD as well as Euro, Rand, Pound Sterling, Yen, etc..

South Africa’s National Parks are growing!

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa has announced that four of South Africa’s National Parks have increased in size. The expansion comes with a declaration on 02 February 2024 which incorporates an additional 20 206 hectares of land into Namaqua National Park, Mokala National Park, Karoo National Park and Agulhas National Park.
The largest of these expansions was for the Namaqua National Park in the Western Cape which has grown by 18 391 hectares. The size Mokala National Park in the Northern Cape was increased by 844 hectares, Karoo National Park in the Western Cape grew by 397 hectares and Agulhas National Park, also located in the Western Cape, was expanded by 574 hectares.
The expansion of the four National Parks was made possible through the work of the National Parks Trust of South Africa (NPTSA) and WWF South Africa. The NPTSA, which is managed by WWF South Africa, helps South African National Parks (SANParks) to acquire land to expand South Africa’s National Parks to meet conservation targets and create spaces where our country’s unique fauna and flora can thrive.

The expansion of Namaqua National Park covers an array of threatened veld types and will help to protect rare, threatened and endemic plant species, among them the iconic kokerboom (or quiver tree). In addition, it encompasses a 6km section of a 41km stretch of the Buffels River and the upper catchment of the Swartlintjies river system, both of which are important for the overall ecological functioning of the park.
Mokala National Park provides grazing for a range of rare antelope (such as sable and roan) and other species, including disease-free buffalo. Its expansion includes Northern Upper Karoo vegetation of which less than 1 percent is under formal protection.
Karoo National Park is home to Cape mountain zebras, 20 pairs of breeding Verreaux’s eagles, 864 species of plants and has the highest density of tortoises in the world (five species), while the Agulhas National Park encompasses the southernmost tip of the African continent and features threatened habitats of the Cape Floristic Region on the surrounding Agulhas plain.

12 April 2024

Garden Route National Park: Ebb and Flow Rest Camp reopens!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park has been reopened. The Rest Camp was temporarily closed due to flooding since 09 April 2024. The accommodation facilities have not been affected by the floods and accommodation and camping is available for bookings. SANParks further announced that the Tsitsikamma section and the Knysna section of the Garden Route National Park remain open to the public. However, the following hiking trails and facilities remain closed: Half Collared Kingfisher trail, Gallinule bird hide, Brown Hooded Kingfisher trail, Waterside boardwalk, Woodville Big Tree, Outeniqua Hiking trail and Canoe activity. We'll keep you posted!

South Africa: FlySafair increases flights between Johannesburg <> Bloemfontein!

South African regional low cost-carrier FlySafair is set to introduce an additional flight to its existing route between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Bram Fisher International Airport (BFN) in Bloemfontein. Currently the airline offers Friday and Sunday flights between the two cities. The new flight on Wednesday afternoons will depart Johannesburg at 14:30 and will arrive in Bloemfontein at 16:40. The return flight will depart Bloemfontein at 16:15 and will arrive in Johannesburg at 17:20.

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South African National Parks: Removal of bat houses in Kruger National Park!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that, following consultation with internal divisions such as tourism operations, scientific and conservation services, it has started a project to remove all bat houses in Kruger National Park. The operation aims to minimise the number of bats that roost inside the National Park's Rest Camps. According to SANParks, the removal of bat houses is starting at Lower Sabie Rest Camp, which is mainly affected by bat influx.
The bat houses provided alternative accommodation for bats and in most cases the bats move onto nearby structures when the bat houses fill up. This is a long-term process as it can be affected by weather conditions such as rainfall events.
Over the years, Lower Sabie Rest Camp has experienced an unpleasant odor of bat droppings and bat noise in some of its buildings including guest accommodation, which led to visitor complaints. SANParks hopes to delicately manage the situation to the satisfaction of both nature and the guests.
SANParks is aware that it is a complicated matter to keep bats out of buildings as they originate from the surrounding natural bush. However various other mechanisms will be explored after the bat houses removal to deter bats from taking up residence in the tourist accommodation units. We'll keep you posted!

also read: Kruger National Park: Project to minimise bat infestation at rest camps to be rolled out! >>

11 April 2024

Zambia: Proflight Zambia announces 2024 flight schedule to Kafue National Park!

Zambian scheduled airline Proflight Zambia has announced its annual scheduled flights to Kafue National Park, the oldest and largest of Zambia's National Parks. Effective 01 June 2024, the airline will connect Kenneth Kaunda International Airpot (LUN) in Lusaka and Chunga Airfield in the Kafue National Park, with a three-times-weekly service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to run until 31 October 2024.
Positioned near the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and African Parks Headquarters, Chunga Airfield is considered to be the central hub of the Kafue National Park and is centrally positioned to service both the North and the Southern parts of the National Park.
Proflight Zambia's service between Lusaka and Kafue National Park will be operated by ProCharterZambia's largest charter operator.

  • Lusaka 10:30 > 11:35 Chunga Airfield
  • Chunga Airflied 12:15 > 13:20 Lusaka

Kafue National Park is located in the centre of western Zambia. It covers a massive 22 400 km², which makes the National Park one of the largest reserves in the whole of Africa. Kafue National Park is home to 158 mammal species, of which 21 are antelope, 515 bird species, 70 reptile species, 58 species of fish and 36 amphibious species. The National Park is regarded as one of the best places in Africa to find leopard. 

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