30 September 2009

Organised tours in Angola

The British Foreign & Commonwealth (FCO) office just updated its travel advice for Angola. The Southern African country will hold the 2010 African Cup of Nations (CAN) and therefore the FCO is advising against independent travel to Angola.
"If you plan to visit Angola for the CAN, you should do so in the company of persons or organisation experienced in local conditions, as conditions can be difficult and dangerous. Transport and accommodation are extremely limited, so make arrangements in advance. There will be exceptional demand for accommodation during the CAN period." (src.: FCO)

Angolan Southern Explorer
Duration: 15 days
Persons: min (6) max (12)
Accommodation: Mixed
Activities: 4x4 Driving, Desert Tours, Fishing, Game Drives, Rock Paintings, Cultural Tours

With an emphasis on a cultural experience our Angolan Southern Explorer builds on the success of previous tours in the south of the country with plenty of opportunity to meet remote tribal people, totally untouched by the outside world and whose way of life has remain unchanged for centuries. Previous clients have already described the trip as being amongst there greatest travel experiences anywhere.
Although this is very much a trip for the pioneering traveller, you will be rewarded with many fascinating encounters with the local people who have no concept of tourism. Much of the journey will be off road and the distances will be long. Due to the remoteness of the area we have no alternative but to camp.

Angolan Coastal Explorer
Country: Angola
Duration: 13 days
Persons: min (6) max (12)
Accommodation: Mixed
Activities: 4x4 Driving, Cultural Tours, Desert Tours, Game Viewing, Quad Biking

The Coastal Explorer is the latest edition to our growing programme of Angolan tours. Hugging the stunning coastline our journey south from the vibrant capital, Luanda is based on stays at comfortable lodges and hotels, as well as some camping before reaching our final destination, the pleasant city of Lubango. Travellers will have the chance to discover deserted beaches, charming colonial towns, national parks and a desert landscape, best explored by quad bike that is even more spectacular than Namibia’s famous Skeleton Coast.

Angolan Beach Adventure
Country: Angola
Duration: 9 days
Persons: min (2)
Accommodation: Mixed
Activities: 4x4 Driving, Cultural Tours, Desert Tours

Our Beach Adventure is an opportunity to explore Angola, Southern Africa's final frontier. A spectacular land of stunning natural wonders and a people of broad smiles and big hearts.
The Angola Beach Adventure is ideal for those not wishing to travel overland, yet want to get a feel for the country, possibly with the view to going back and doing something a little more challenging next time. Although based at the comfortable Flamingo Lodge, on the country’s Atlantic coast, this is still a pioneering trip of adventure and discovery. Even getting to Flamingo is an adventure in itself. Our drive from Lubango, at 1,300m, is via the breathtaking Lebba Pass down to the Atlantic coast, before a 40km drive along a deserted beach before reaching the lodge. Once at Flamingo we take in some incredible desert scenery and a visit to a nearby sandstone canyon. Excellent sea fishing is also available and trips can be arranged locally.
Flamingo Lodge is situated in a scenic setting against low cliffs on the beach near the mouth of the dry Rio dos Flamingo. This area of coast is at the northern extent of the Namib Desert and is practically devoid of other tourist activity. Flamingo Lodge consists of seven rustic bungalows with comfortable beds, showers and flushing toilets.

Angola - Northern Explorer
Country: Angola
Duration: 10 days
Persons: min (6) max (12)
Accommodation: Hotel
Game Parks: Kissama NP (Angola)

Our Northern Explorer samples the very best of Angola; from the vibrant capital Luanda to remote waterfalls, stunning landscapes scattered with coffee plantations, a fabulous coastal drive as well as a stop at Kissama Game Park. Although still pioneering and including a lot of travel over some of the worst roads in Africa, this tour will appeal to those looking for a slightly softer adventure. Being a hotel based trip; with no camping this is the perfect way to discover a hidden and most remarkable corner of Angola.

29 September 2009

Namibia: Kulala & NamibRand Nature Reserves - fence has been dropped!

The boundary fence between the Kulala Nature Reserve (37 000ha), owned by Wilderness Safaris, to the NamibRand Nature Reserve (172 200ha) in Namibia has been dropped in a bid to better manage environmental concerns.

View Larger Map

The agreement of the two organisations is focusing on natural resource management and unrestricted wildlife movements between the reserves. Both organisations have agreed to work together in the interest of conservation. In the future, wildlife management and research within this area will be undertaken cooperatively. The land is currently being rehabilitated.

Namibia - experience it yourself!

Namibia is currently one of the fastest growing tourist market in Southern Africa. South Africa's neighbor is a holiday paradise - vast landscapes, mountains, the desert (the Namib is acutally the second oldest desert in the world), the desert meeting the Atlantic Ocean, Etosha National Park and so much more!

7 Day Taste of Namibia
Duration: 7 Days
Location: Namibia
Start: Windhoek
End: Windhoek
Visits: Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Animal Conservation Project

Day 1 Amani Lodge
You are collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to Amani Lodge where you will stay overnight in beautiful thatch bungalows with en-suite facilities. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to join the afternoon feeding tour of the large predators that are unable to be re-located back into the wild, learn more about these fascinating animals and photographic opportunities are excellent. You can then enjoy a champagne sundowner before returning to the lodge for dinner. Your stay here supports the project and helps with the costs of keeping these majestic animals alive. Overnight twin share bungalows with en-suite facilities - (DBB + feeding game drive & champagne sundowner)
Day 2 Lodge, outside Etosha National Park
After breakfast you are transferred to Chameleon Guesthouse in Windhoek where we depart at 12h00 in winter (13h00 in summer) for the mighty Etosha National Park. We stop briefly at Otjiwarongo then arrive at our lodge outside the National Park just before sunset. Dinner is prepared by your guide and an early night is recommended. (BD)
Day 3 Lodge, outside Etosha National Park
We depart from our lodge at sunrise to be the first at the gate to the park and game drive 'til mid morning when we will stop for a light breakfast. We visit many waterholes and drive half way across the park in our quest to find the big 4 as well as all the plains game arriving at Halali for a rest during the hottest part of the day. Here your guide will prepare you a delicious lunch whilst you have a dip in the pool or relax by the camp waterhole. Continuing after lunch you will visit the mighty Etosha Pan and have the experience of walking on the pan to feel the immenseness of this 4500 sq km saltpan (seasonal). We will then continue back to Okaukuejo calling into some well-known waterholes and leave the park prior to sunset. Dinner is prepared by your guide and another early night is recommended. (BLD)
Day 4 Chameleon Lodge
Early morning game drive inside the park looking for predators as well as plains game and the many bird species found inside this incredible world-renowned park. Your guide will game drive to the park and you will return to Windhoek with a light lunch served en-route. Arrive in Windhoek late afternoon where you will be dropped at Chameleon Guesthouse, overnight en-suite rooms on a twin share basis. (BL)
Day 5 Lodge, near Sesriem
Leisurely morning where you can relax by the pool or wander into town for some last minute shopping before departure from Chameleon Guesthouse and Backpackers at 12h00 noon (13h00 in Summer). Driving via Rehoboth and Naukluft we arrive at our camp late afternoon and have a chance to relax and enjoy the views before taking a short walk for sunset looking over the Naukluft mountain range. Overnight in twin rooms/permanent tents with en-suite bathroom facilities. Pool and bar available. Dinner prepared by your guide. (BD)
Day 6 Lodge, near Sesriem
Dawn departure from camp/lodge to arrive at the park gate for sunrise. We drive down an ancient river bed surrounded by towering dunes to the 2x4 parking (around 55kms) and take a 4x4 shuttle into the Sossusvlei area to appreciate the beauty of this place in early morning light and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the region. We explore this unique area on foot before heading into Dead Vlei with its large expanse of bleached cracked clay and skeletal camel thorn trees, contrasting with a backdrop of huge dunes with their ever-changing colours. We can either walk or take the 4x4 shuttle back to our vehicle. As we drive back to our accommodation we will stop at the famous Dune 45 and climb this dune if we wish or just wander around the base. We return to Sesriem and visit the nearby Sesriem Canyon, one of the few permanent water sources before arriving back at our lodge late afternoon to watch the sunset over this spectacular desert. Overnight in twin share rooms/ permanent tents with en-suite bathrooms. Dinner prepared by your guide. (BLD)
Day 7 Windhoek
After a leisurely breakfast we return to Windhoek via Bullsport and Rehoboth. We arrive prior to lunchtime where you will be dropped at your accommodation of choice or transferred directly to the International Airport for your onward flight. (B)
Accommodation Provided:
- Tented Camp

28 September 2009

Tour guide plunges into Victoria Falls

A Zimbabwean tour guide working for a South African safari company has plunged at the Victoria Falls. The guide who was, according State media in Zimbabwe, working for Sunway Safaris, was trying to save a tourist who was about to fall into the gorges at a spot called "The Devil’s Pool". His body is not yet recovered; with a 90 metre drop, authorities said there was little chance of finding him alive.

Hostelbookers claims to out-price rivals - Travolution.co.uk

HostelBookers has launched a campaign claiming it offers prices an average 5% cheaper than rivals, following research into the budget accommodation market. Read more on Hostelbookers claims to out-price rivals - Travolution.co.uk. (Posted using ShareThis)

25 September 2009

GAP Adventures: Antarctica Cruise Sale: 2 for the price of 1!

GAP Adventure's expedition tours are over 90% sold out for the season but they have one very special offer for their first departure. Travel on the October 31st departure of their Grand Voyage to Antarctica and they'll offer you 2-for-1 savings! That's right, one person goes to Antarctica for free!
This 24-day tour is the mother of all Antarctica tours and covers all the highlights you'd want to see. Quote promo code GV241 at the time of booking to redeem this offer.

If you like their Grand Voyage to Antarctica tour you may also like their regularly priced Antarctic Classic and Beyond the Antarctic Circle tours. Departures of these tours are almost sold out so be sure book your space now.

Grand Voyage to Antarctica (XVGVSX)
Country: Antarctica
Duration: 24 days
Next Departure: Sat, Oct. 31, 2009
Style: Expedition
Service Level: None
Tour price: € 9100 EUR - currency converter

Grand Voyage to Antarctica Package (XPGVSX)
Country: Antarctica
Duration: 27 days
Next departure: Fri, Oct. 30, 2009
Style: Expedition
Service Level: None
Tour price: € 11270 EUR
- currency converter

Terms & Conditions:
2 for the price of 1 or 50% off single travellers when booking trip codes XVGVSX or XPGVSX only. Promo must be redeemed by October 25th, 2009. Promotion applicable to new bookings only, cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions and does not apply to optional extras such as 'my own room', single supplements, local payments and applicable in-country fees.

GAP Adventures: Last Minute Offers in Southern Africa

South Africa Sojourn
Johannesburg to Cape Town
Tour price: €1376pp (safe 20%) - currency converter
Local Paymennt: 600 USD
Next Available Departure: Tue, Nov. 17, 2009

Mpumalanga, Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Kruger National Park, Milwane Game Reserve, Drakensberg Mountains, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, Wild Coast.
This journey through South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland takes in the best of what the region has to offer - wildlife, culture, and adventure. This is an ideal trip for those looking to have some fantastic wildlife experiences in world famous parks, enjoy the beaches and feel the latin buzz of Mozambique, participate in some great outdoor and cultural activities, and explore one of the world's more cosmopolitan cities, Cape Town!

Southern Africa Wildlife Express
Livingstone (Victoria Falls) to Johannesburg
Tour price: €952pp (safe 20%)
- currency converter
Local Payment: 300 USD
Next Available Departure: Sun, Nov. 8, 2009

Livingstone, Ntwetwe Pan, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Mokolodi Game Reserve, Serowe, Waterberg, Pretoria.
A 10-day journey through South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia for the true nature enthusiast. Abundant wildlife and spectacular landscapes will make this an adventure you'll never forget.

Movie recommendation pt. 3: "The Constant Gardener" (2005)

The movie "The Constant Gardener" is based on a 2001 book by well-known author John le Carré. It tells the story of Justin Quayle, a British diplomat in Nairobi, Kenya, whose activist wife Tessa is murdered. Believing that there is more behind the murder, he seeks to uncover the truth behind her death. He finds an international conspiracy of corrupt bureaucracy and pharmaceutical money. Tessa uncovered a corporate scandal in which a large pharmaceutical company working under the cover of AIDS tests and treatments is testing a tuberculosis drug that has severe side effects.

get the dvd on amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | amazon.de >>
get the book on amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | amazon.de >>

Barclay Bank's ATM in Victoria Falls working again!

I just got a mail via facebook from the Backpacker's Bazaar team in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, saying that Barclays Bank in Victoria Falls town has activated their cash machine. You can now withdrawal US$ at the machine (max. is 400US$/day). The ATM is currently only accepting VISA cards, but the MASTERCARD network is going to be activated in the next couple of weeks. Backpacker's Bazaar still advices people to bring with them cash as this is still in the early stages as a back up.

24 September 2009

Aldous Huxley: Your true traveler finds ...

“Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty-his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” – Aldous Huxley

Into the Light - One woman on a journey to bring AIDS out of the Darkness

“When you ask people, do you think Tanzanians know what they should know about AIDS everyone will say ‘yeah, they know,’ but if they know then why is the problem still there?”
So asks Tanzanian sociologist Mama Lyimo (pronounced “Lee-Mo”) about the horrific and emotional toll of the HIV/AIDS death rate in her East African country.
A woman of immense heart and strong will, Lyimo wants to know why hundreds of thousands of her countrymen and women are dying each year, leaving behind children with no one to care for them, no one to comfort them, no one to teach them.

Setting out on a 40-day journey across Tanzania to see for herself why the pandemic continues to thrive, Lyimo is compelled to find out the answer as she listens to people’s stories, all the while giving a passionate and unrelenting face to the African fight against AIDS. When she befriends an illuminating AIDS orphan named Suzy, Lyimo’s personal journey becomes more urgent and
intimate than she could have ever imagined.
Director Peter Glenn worked with Mama Lyimo for two years before filming began on “Into the Light”. Frustrated that millions of dollars and work hours had amounted to few successes in the fight against AIDS, Lyimo called Peter to task.
“The problem is we’re always fighting AIDS from the top down. We need to go to talk with people at the grassroots and make a documentary about what they think needs to be done most to fight AIDS. The only way we are going to find new solutions is by understanding the lives of those affected by the disease.”
Shot on location across the stunningly beautiful landscape of Tanzania, the musical score for “Into the Light” is by “Tsotsi” and “Rendition” composer Paul Hepker who is accompanied by the soulful voice of acclaimed East African artist Ayub Ogada (“The Constant Gardner”).
One woman’s commanding proclamation on the state of the human condition, “Into The Light” is both devastating and inspiring: from a caring heart to the driven action of a woman on a mission, “Into The Light” strikes a note of hope amidst a sea of pain.

Into The Light (USA, 2007)
In Swahili and English
Running Time: 72 minutes
Publicity Contacts:
Peter Glenn - peter@ndugufilms.com
Joseph Szopa - joe@ndugufilms.com

MASSIVEGOOD initiative - airline tickets to raise cash for AIDS fight

The Millennium Foundation for Innovative Finance for Health today announced MASSIVEGOOD, a new, innovative travel-related fundraising initiative that will help finance health care for the world's poor. During a high level meeting at the United Nations, leading representatives of the global travel and tourism industry joined, for the first time ever, to declare their support for this program.
The initiative will allow travelers to give a small $2 'micro-contribution' every time they purchase travel services which will go towards fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries through a WHO-hosted organization, UNITAID.(via prnewswire)

23 September 2009

South Africa: National Braai Day at the 24 Sept 2009 (Heritage Day)

KLM: Greater comfort in Economy Class... not for free though!

With effect from December 2009, passengers travelling in Economy Class on all intercontinental flights operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines can choose seats offering greater comfort.
The new Economy Comfort zone offers up to 10cm more legroom and back supports that can recline twice as far. Economy Comfort passengers can also disembark quicker after landing because their seating zone is located at the front of Economy Class.
Depending on the distances involved, the price of the new zone will amount to between €80 and €150 for a single leg of the journey. Flying Blue Platinum members and passengers travelling on a full-flex Economy Class ticket can book Economy Comfort seats without a surcharge. Flying Blue Gold members will be offered a 50% discount and Flying Blue Silver members 25%. The service in Economy Comfort will be the same as that in Economy Class.
Economy Comfort seats can be booked from the end of November on klm's websites or at the airport using the self-service check-in or transfer kiosks.

22 September 2009

Lonely Planet: new editions of Southern Africa travel guides

South Africa, Lesotho, & Swaziland Travel Guide
8th Edition / August 2009
ISBN: 9781741048902
684 pp / 28 pp colour / 131 maps
Next edition due: August 2012

What's your pleasure in South Africa? Hiking and biking over open plains? Watching a spectacular desert sunset? Checking out the wildlife or living it up in cities bursting with culinary, cultural and vineyard delights? If you answered 'all of the above', this guidebook's for you.
get the book on amazon.com | amazon.co.uk | amazon.de |
direct from Lonely Planet Shop

Cape Town City Guide
6th Edition / August 2009
ISBN: 9781741048919
260 pp / 12 pp colour / 25 maps
Next edition due: August 2012

Nestled at Africa's southern tip, Cape Town offers an enticing taste of an entire continent. Somewhere between the good looks of this cosmopolitan city and the realities of its surrounding suburbs, you'll find the true Cape Town.
get the book on amazon.com | amazon.co.uk | amazon.de |
direct from Lonely Planet Shop

21 September 2009

Hostelworld: 1,000 FREE Travelnroam mobile SIMs up for grabs!

Hostelworld.com along with our their Travel Store partner Travelnroam has joined forces to bring you a VERY limited giveaway!
From 00.01 GMT on Tuesday 22nd September (that's one minute past midnight Greenwich Mean Time in case you were wondering), 1,000 lucky bookers will receive a FREE Travelnroam mobile SIM card worth €15 preloaded with €5 free calling credit.
To be in with a chance to get a hold of one of these 1,000 SIMs all you have to do is make a booking on Hostelworld.com from 00.01 GMT this coming Tuesday September 22nd. But be sure to book early as they'll be snapped up in no time!
Travelnroam is the only SIM you need for your mobile phone when you are travelling. With coverage in 203 countries, you can enjoy rates as much as 80% lower than roaming with a traditional mobile phone carrier. Travelnroam is simply the only way to roam!
This special offer starts at 00.01GMT on Tuesday 22nd September until stocks last. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pretoriuskop Restcamp, Kruger National Park

Bestseller: Two Day Package (Funky Safaris)
incl. one free night at Funky Monkey Backpackers
Departure: daily
Depart from: Nelspruit
End in: Nelspruit
Transfers to and from Kruger
Conservation & entry fees
Qualified guides
Accommodation in our tented camp in Kruger (see the video)
Two Days of Game Drives in Open Safari Game Viewing Vehicles

Price per Person: R3150.00 sharing

You'll wake up really early in the morning, before sunrise, brush your teeth, take a moment to chill, and then suddenly WHABAM!! you'll see our friendly driver appear as if miraculously, to scoop you up and safely transport you to your African dream. As your eyes slowly start adjusting to the break of dawn, you'll catch your first glimpse of Africa's jewel, "The Kruger National Park". Once there, you'll hop onto our OPEN SAFARI VEHICLES and adventure truly begins. You'll be in the bush for most of the day; we'll feed you a spectacular, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, our guides will give you loads of valuable information about our wildlife and the area. You get to sit back and enjoy discovering the Kruger, learning about conservation, animal nature and all the while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the African Bushveld. The evening is spend round the camp fire enjoying a traditional African meal under the stars.
It is day two now, and you don't have a bus to catch... YAY!. You've woken up before sunrise and the game drives begin! What to do after breakfast? You are on a safari, remember? Back into the bush with you, you couldn't possibly have seen it all in one day, there is a whole world to explore, more lions, more ellies, baby rhinos, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE! More great food, another whole day in the wild, exactly what you need, your dream... a reality.
On the morning of the third day you set off on your final game drive before breakfast and being transferred back to Nelspruit or the airport in time for all major bus services.
What to bring along: Cameras, sunscreen, jacket for early mornings and evenings, swimsuit, insect repellent and a torch.

and another new airline in Zimbabwe...

According to "The Zimbabwe Guardian" a third new Zimbabwean airline is about the lauch a countrywide and international service. The carrier known as VicFalls Airways will have a maiden flight in November. The main hub for the airline will be Harare International Airport and will be used for flights to both African and non-African cities.
The current proposed routes are:
  • Harare - Johannesburg
  • Harare - Bulawayo - Victoria Falls
  • Harare - Blantyre
  • Harare - Lusaka
  • Harare - Maputo
Flights to Dubai and United Kingdom are also being considered.

19 September 2009

WHISKEY, WHALES & JAZZ Festival in Plettenberg Bay, 18 - 26 Sept 2009

Victoria Rowe of www.starlingbackpackers.co.za

It's the WHISKEY, WHALES & JAZZ Festival in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, which is a annual event, and it begins today with some of the country’s greatest jazz talents who will be performing at various funky venues until next Saturday.
The festival includes a week-long celebration featuring whisky tastings, whale safaris, jazz performances and sporting opportunities.
The festival kicks off with a welcoming of the whales ceremony on Plettenberg Bay’s Central Beach and a concert at The Whitehouse featuring Offshore, Ben Badenhorst, Haydn Gardner and Xolani Faku.
The sports events this weekend include the Whisky, Whales and Jazz Golf Day at Goose Valley and the Robberg Express multi- sport event. This comprises a 40km mountain bike race through the Harkerville forest, a 10km trail run over the Robberg Peninsula and a 10km ocean paddle in the bay.
There is also the Robberg Raggie, which features half-distances in each discipline.
Jazz artists will appear at various venues, including fu.shi fusion cuisine, Gilly’s Grill, Surf Cafe and Bramon Wine Estate during the week, while the annual Heritage Day concert will take place at Simunye in KwaNokuthula on Thursday.
With more community involvement this year, the Inspiring Afrika! Initiative, which will see various activities in the townships of Plett, including the Nama Festival in Kranshoek on Thursday.
Local artists, crafters and performers will also get a chance to display the region’s talent during the week-long festival.
This year’s event would include a wider variety of popular music in English, Afrikaans and African languages.
We want to make the festival even more inclusive and appealing to both local residents and visitors, and have included a greater entertainment variety.
Children will be entertained by Lunchbox Theatre’s The Whale Show, while Bitou Tourism will sponsor shows at various primary schools.
The festival will end on a high note with a street party in Plettenberg Bay next Saturday.

18 September 2009

Cape Town's Longstreet on a lazy afternoon

The video was filmed from the upper balcony at Longstreet Backpackers on Longstreet in Cape Town. The background song "Atmosphere" is played by South Africa's virtual busker Tristan Waterkeyn. You can download the song and the whole album "Hay Day" for free on his website! Click here for more info!

Tourism news from Southern Africa

Emirates launches direct Durban flights
As from 01 Oct. 2009 Emirates Airlines will connect Durban on South Africa's east coast with Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on a daily basis. This is making Durban the third airport in South Africa, beside Johannesburg & Cape Town, to which Emirates is daily flying to. Emirates will also launch the Durban route with an introductory fare of R4 595 (only SA) for passengers travelling to Dubai. The fare is valid from the route’s first flight on October 1, until October 31.

OLYMPIC Airlines to terminate intercontinental services on 28 Sept 2009
OLYMPIC Airlines has confirmed that they will stop all intercontinental flights, including South Africa on 28 Sept 2009.
Contact your nearest Olympic Airlines office for refunds or the re-protection of partially unused tickets etc.

Road upgrades at Cape Town International Airport
Due to road upgrades at Cape Town International Airport that will take place from September 16 for six weeks, major delays getting in and out of the airport may occur. There will be a network road upgrade and it will impact the car rental companies and operations. Click here to get a directional map of the airport.

Maropeng unveils fossil exhibition
Maropeng launched a new fossil display today, September 2, 2009, entitled Evolution: digging for an understanding. The display illustrates and explains the theory of evolution which was made famous by Charles Darwin.. In particular, Charles Darwin provided a mechanism for evolution, namely natural selection.
“The display tells a story,” says Lindsay Marshall, the exhibition curator at Maropeng. The exhibition aims to provide clear and understandable information to help educate and inform the public on evolution.

/Ai /Ais is open for visitors!
One of Namibia’s best-known tourist destinations is operational again after almost two years of extensive redevelopment and renovations. In future /Ai /Ais will be marketed as the /Ai /Ais Hot Springs Spa, part of Namibia Wildlife Resorts’ portfolio of facilities located inside national parks.
/Ai /Ais is situated in the /Ai /Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Namibia’s first park crossing international borders. The park straddles the Orange River, which forms the border between Namibia and its southern neighbour, South Africa. The resort is also the end destination of the world-famous Fish River Hike.

  • 36 double rooms in the main building
  • seven newly constructed luxury self-catering chalets with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a central courtyard with a Jacuzzi
  • camping site with new and adequate ablution facilities to accommodate the large number of campers
N$30 million was spent to renovate, upgrade, partly reconstruct and add new facilities to the forty-year-old infrastructure.

17 September 2009

New South African movie: Disgrace (2008)

Disgrace is a 2008 film based on the 2003 Nobel Prize winning novel by South African author J.M . Coetzee. The film got released in South Africa at the 14 Aug 09 (Cinema Nouveau), in the US at the 11 Sept 09 and will get released in Germany at the 17 Sept 09 and in the UK at the 4 Dec 09.

David Lurie (John Malkovich) is an edgy 52 year old divorced white professor in post-apartheid South Africa who gets involved with a student and is fired. After moving to the Eastern Cape to stay with his daughter, he becomes wrapped up in racial politics.

16 September 2009

White Water Rafting in Swaziland

White-water rafting was introduced to Swaziland in 1991 and is renowned as the best white-water in Southern Africa, south of the Zambesi. Operated by Swazi Trails the standard format is a half or full day guided river trip. The Great Usutu River offers a variety of Grade II to Grade IV white-water rapids. Trips are undertaken in 2-man, inflatable "croc" rafts and guided by local river guides in kayaks. Rafting in various formats is available 365 days a year. Departures are guaranteed for a minimum of two persons.
The Great Usutu is Swaziland's largest river. It flows from the South African highveld through central Swaziland and exits the Kingdom near Big Bend. Thereafter it winds past Nduma in KwaZulu-Natal and up to the Bay of Maputo in Mozambique. The Swazi Trails rafting stretch runs from a location between the villages of Sidvokodvo and Siphofaneni, which is known as the Bulungapoort. Although the river changes dramatically from full to low water levels, there is always a selection of Grade 2 to 4 rapids to be attempted. At certain medium and high water levels some stretches become Grade 5 in difficulty, with optional or compulsory portages at the river guide's discretion.
The river is wide and at lower water levels it winds its way between numerous islands and sandbanks, which are otherwise covered during the full water season. The location is scenic with tall mountains and forested riverbanks, interspersed occasionally by rural Swazi homesteads.
This booking option that you are currently browsing is for a full day White Water Rafting trip - generally available November through to May annually.
If you prefer a half day river rafting trip, which is available all year round then try - White Water Rafting Half Day.
If you would still like a full day of adventure, but are planning to visit in the winter season June to October, then try our great value White Water Rafting Abseiling Tubing Combo.
Pickup info: Trips depart Swazi Trails office between 08h30 and 09h00 daily. Swazi Trails are situated within the Mantenga Craft Centre in the Ezulwini Valley. There is safe parking for vehicles. A hotel or lodge pick-up in the Ezulwini, Mbabane and Manzini areas can be arranged at an additional charge. Free pick-ups are often provided when logistically possible, especially for larger groups or for participants accommodated in the direction of the tour departure. If unsure just ask as a special request when booking.

aviation news from Southern Africa

7 times a week to Perth, Australia
South African Airways (SAA) has increased its number of flights from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport to the Western Australian city of Perth from five to seven flights per week. In addition to that, SAA has another six codeshare flights (with Quantas) to Sydney.

From Brussels to South Africa
Brussels Airlines recently joined the "Star Alliance" network so that their passengers can now fly via Frankfurt to the Lufthansa destinations Accra (Ghana), Khartoum (Sudan), Johannesburg and, in winter, Cape Town (both South Africa), under a Brussels Airlines flight number (codesharing).

Federal Air is extending their flight network to Zimbabwe
South African airline Federal Air has announced that from 01 October 2009 the company will offer flights with in Zimbabwe, including a shuttle service from Harare to Kariba and surrounding areas.

15 September 2009

Election dates in Southern & Eastern Africa in 2009 & 2010

View Southern Africa in a larger map
Presidential Elections (1st round) - late 2009 / early 2010
holidays in Angola >>

National Assembly and local government - 16 Oct 2009
(President elected by each new parliament)
Botswana country guide >>

Local government - Apr 2010
Lesotho country guide >>

UPDATE: parliamentary elections on 20 March 2010 [src.: Reuters]
Constitutional referendum - Sep 2009
National Assembly - Mar 2010 (moved forward from 2012)
Presidential - Oct 2010 (moved forward from 2011)
Local government - Feb 2011 (moved forward from 2013)
Senate - Mar 2011 (indirect; moved forward from 2013)
holidays on Madagascar >>

Presidential, Assembly of the Republic & Provincial Assemblies - 28 Oct 2009
Mozambique country guide >>

Presidential, National Assembly & Local - 27 & 28 November 2009
Regional Councils - 2010
National Council - 2010 (by Regional Councils)
Namibia country guide >>

Presidential Elections (1st round) - Aug 2010
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United Republic of Tanzania:
Presidential, parliamentary and local government - October 2010
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Local Government - Feb/Mar 2010
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Tour of the day: Southern Africa Overland & Volunteering

Country: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia
Price: From £1495 (25 days) excluding flights
Departures: 5 Oct 2009 & 2 Nov 2009

The amazing things you'll be doing
If you're interested in humanitarian tours, this is an unparalleled opportunity to combine adventure travel on this tour of African countries with helping some of their most disadvantaged people.
During this 25-day humanitarian trip, you’ll visit Botswana, Namibia and finally Zambia, where you’ll help with AIDS sufferers and orphans in a mission village. Along the journey you’ll see numerous incredible landmarks and you'll also have a few days of leisure in Botswana to relax, safari and just soak up the atmosphere of the African bush. There are also stacks of optional activities in and around Victoria Falls, including bungee jumping, canoeing and elephant rides!

updates from Cape Town

District Six museum about to increase entrance fee
The worldfamous District Six museum in Cape Town is going to increase the entrance fee from R15 to R20 at the 02 Nov 2009.

The entrance fee for school children and South African pensioners will remain constant at R5; former District 6 residents and other people from areas of forced removals will continue to enter for free.

Greenmarket Square is getting a facelift
Cape Town's Greenmarket Square is turning 300 years old next year and therefore it will
undergo a major revamp.

View Cape Town Green Market Square in a larger map

According to the City of Cape Town among the improvements are a newly constructed market, the installation of additional CCTV cameras and pedestrian lights, paving the sidewalks and the addition of a stage for entertainment.

11 September 2009

A warthog chasing a lioness off...

Probably rarely to be seen - a warthog successfully chasing a lioness off... not bad, pumba! Respect ;-)

The Kruger National Park Calendar - September

  • fresh mornings, but warm to hot days
  • it can get quite chilly at night
  • occasional rain
  • weather increasingly unpredictable
  • rain fall in 09/2004 | 09/2005 | 09/2006 | 09/2007 | 09/2008 (all pdf)
  • between 12°C - 28°C (Fahrenheit: e.g. 30°C = [(30x9)]/5 + 32 = 86°F)
  • visit travelcomments.com/webcams_sa.htm and follow daily game drives via webcam to check the weather how the landscape is changing during the year
  • it is getting green in Kruger
  • spring flush depending on amount of rain
  • first flowers in bloom
Animal Activity:
  • Game still very concentrated around watering holes, dams etc.
  • migrant birds are arriving
  • elephants coming down to the South from their winter feeding grounds in the North
  • grazers & browsers enjoying the the new shoots and leafs

10 September 2009

1Time to launch flights to Livingstone, Zambia

South Africa's budget airline 1Time has announced that they will launch its flights from Johannesburg to Livingstone (Zambian side of the Victoria Falls) on 26 Nov 2009.
The flights will operate four times a week (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays) and from Feb 2010 five times a week (Saturdays). 1time will launch with airfares starting from R897 (incl. tax) oneway.

Rafting Full Day Low Water
The Zambezi River is classified as a high volume, pool-drop river, i.e., there is little exposed rock either in the rapids or the pools below the rapids. The distance between rapids varies from 100 m to 2 km. The gorge itself is approximately 400 feet deep at the put-in point and 750 feet at the take out point and drops about 400 feet over the 24 km covered in the trip.
During low water, guests can do a full or half day trip. At the end of a full day or a half day trip, there is a lift out of the gorge. The tour is inclusive of meals and drinks for the day.