31 July 2013

South African Airways & JetBlue (USA) entered into a bilateral codeshare agreement

(update 18 Dec 2013): South African Airways' codeshare partner JetBlue issued a press release on 16 Dec 2013, in which the airline announces the begin of the codeshare operations of the two airlines.

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways, and US airline JetBlue have entered into a bilateral codeshare agreement to seamlessly connect the carriers' networks via New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD). The partnership is an expansion of an interline agreement first inked in 2010 and will allow customers to purchase a single ticket combining South African Airways- and JetBlue-operated flights.
JetBlue Airways intends to place its "B6" code on South African Airways-operated flights between the US and both Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal, as well as on connecting flights to select destinations beyond Johannesburg, including Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Tickets will be available for sale as soon as authorities in the US and South Africa have approved the agreement between the two airines.
South African Airways has had a similar arrangement in place with JetBlue Airways since 2011, placing its "SA" code on JetBlue-operated flights from its US gateways to top destinations including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

Kenya Airways introduced new direct flights to Kigali (Rwanda) & Bujumbura (Burundi)

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, has introduced new direct flights from its Nairobi hub to Kigali in Rwanda and Bujumbura in Burundi. The twice daily direct flights, in the mornings and evenings, to each of the two East African cities are in addition to the existing round flight from Nairobi, passing through Kigali and Bujumbura and back every day. Within East Africa, apart from the capitals of Rwanda and Burundi, Kenya Airways also flies to Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Entebbe (Uganda).
  • Nairobi (NBO) 07:45 > Kigali (KGL)
  • Kigali (KGL) 09:05 > Nairobi (NBO)
  • Nairobi (NBO) 17:00 > Kigali (KGL)
  • Kigali (KGL) 18:20 > Nairobi (NBO)
  • Nairobi (NBO) 08:10 > Bujumbura (BJM)
  • Bujumbura (BJM) 09:40 > Nairobi (NBO)
  • Nairobi (NBO) 17:30 > Bujumbura (BJM)
  • Bujumbura (BJM) 19:00 > Nairobi (NBO)

Kruger National Park Calendar - September

  • it is spring time in the park
  • fresh mornings & warm to hot days
  • it can get pretty cold at night
  • occasional showers
  • pretty unpredictable weather patterns

  • first green shoots
  • spring flush depending on rain
  • new mopane growth with red-tinged leaves
  • good spring indicator: purple flowers of tree wisteria
Animal Activity:
  • Game still concentrated around watering holes etc.
  • migrant birds begin arriving
  • Elephants are coming south from their winter feeding grounds in the north

30 July 2013

Air Namibia & Kenya Airways sign codeshare agreement

update (30 July 2013): Kenya Airways has confirmed the codeshare agreement with Air Namibia. According to the press release, tickets already went on sale on 20 June 2013.

According to various news reports, the national airline of Namibia, Air Namibia, and Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, have signed a codeshare agreement. Under the codeshare agreement, Air Namibia will place its "SW" code on Kenya Airways flights from Lusaka (Zambia) and Johannesburg (South Africa) to Nairobi (Kenya), while Kenya Airways will place its "KQ" code on Air Namibia flights from Johannesburg (South Africa) and Lusaka (Zambia) to Windhoek (Namibia). We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more.

Fastjet to launch flights between Dar Es Salaam & Johannesburg in September 2013

update (31 July 2013): Fastjet's ticket fares for flights between Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Johannesburg (South Africa) are starting at US$100/€75/GBP65/R973.

Low-cost airline Fastjet announced that it will launch its first international route, between its main hub in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Johannesburg (South Africa), on 27 Sept 2013. The airlines's Facebook friends are getting first option to book flights on 31 July 2013. Seats will go on general release on 01 Aug 2013. Fastjet will initially operate three flights per week between the two destinations, using their Airbus A319 for the approx. 3.5 hour flight. In line with demand, the airline will increase the frequency. Fastjet expects to add further international destinations including Lusaka (Zambia) to its flying programme in the near future.

29 July 2013

Street Food from Uganda: Rolex (recipe)

Everyone who has been to Kampala, Uganda and/or East Africa has probably had a "Rolex". Not the watch, of course, but one of Uganda's most favourite street foods. In the video below, Ronnie and David show us how to make one of your own at home. Just make sure that you use a cutting board - not everyone has David's knife skills.

How to make a Rolex - Street Food in Uganda from Send a Cow on Vimeo.

  • 2 eggs
  • some cabbage
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 chapati (recipe >>)
  • cooking oil
  • salt to taste
  • chili to taste

Kudos to Send a Cow, a NGO from the UK that works hand in hand with poor families, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger following the "Pass it On" principle.

26 July 2013

Cape Town: Free Wi-Fi in the Company's Garden

Awesome news for travellers and all locals in Cape Town. From today (26 July 2013), everyone has access to free Wi-Fi in the Company’s Garden. Users are allocated 100MB of data per day. To access the service within the parameters, you will be directed to a URL where you can log in. The project, which is a test case for the provision of further free Wi-Fi services for the public across Cape Town's CBD, is a joint venture between the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Partnership, Iziko Museums and Wi-Fi specialists Connected Space.

25 July 2013

SANParks announced the dates for the 2013 South African National Parks Week

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the eighth annual South African National Parks Week will be from 9 to 13 September 2013. During the five days, South African day visitors will have free access to most of the 21 national parks in the country. The only excpetions (due to the seasonality of their product offering) are Namaqua National Park, the Boulders section of the Table Mountain National Park and Tankwa Karoo National Park. It should be noted that free access to parks does not in include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities.

The national parks, managed by SANParks, participating in the 2013 South African National Parks Week:

British Airways brings the Airbus A380 to South Africa

The flag carrier of the United Kingdom, British Airways, announced that it will bring the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, to South Africa. From 12 Feb 2013 the airline will initially operate three A380 services a week to Johannesburg. This will increase from 10 March 2014 to six flights per week. These flights will be part of British Airways' normal schedule to Johannesburg. Tickets are already on sale! Awesome!

British Airways’ A380s will accommodate 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class with 30 per cent more personal space and 60 per cent more personal stowage.

24 July 2013

South Africa: 514 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2013

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 514 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2013. Of the rhinos poached, 321 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 54 in Limpopo, 53 in North West, 43 in KwaZulu-Natal, 36 in Mpumalanga, 3 in Gauteng and 2 in the Eastern Cape.
The number of people arrested on rhino poaching-related charges countrywide totals 143.

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 24 July 2013):  
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 321 rhinos poached
  • Marakele National Park (SANParks)* - 2 rhinos poached
  • Gauteng - 3 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 54 rhinos poached
  • Mpumalanga - 36 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 53 rhinos poached
  • Eastern Cape - 2 rhino poached
  • Free State - 0 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 43 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 0 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 0 rhino poached

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is urging members of the public to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211. 

Condor to resume seasonal Frankfurt <> Cape Town service

German airline Condor (Condor Flugdienst) will resume its seasonal nonstop flights between Fankfurt (Germany) and Cape Town (South Africa) from 12 October 2013. The airline will operate two weekly flights between both destinations on board a Boeing 767-300.
Condor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook, one of the world’s largest tour operators. The airline is currently flying over six million passengers to around 75 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

Kenya: Amboseli National Park got extended by 16000 acres

The Amboseli National Park in Kenya is the country's second smallest national park covering an area of only about 398km², but the approx. 1400 elephants in the Amboseli ecosystem usually roam over an area of 5000km² across the Maasai community lands, sometimes conflicting with local people. The elephant’s most favourite route to travel, the journey they have made for millennia, is across the border with Tanzania and onto the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

After much discussion and on-going scientific research by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and its partners, the Olguluilui/Ololarashi Group Ranch (OOGR), a local Maasai community, the Kitenden Corridor Conservation Area (KCCA) land owners and the IFAW now signed a lease agreement, which adds about 16,000 acres of land called the "Kitenden Corridor" to the Amboseli National Park. The land covered by the agreement opens up a safe corridor for the elephants to make their way across the border. On the Tanzanian side of the border, a similar corridor already exists.

23 July 2013

Video: Coffee Bay timelapse

Ok, here comes another timelapse video shot in South Africa. This one was made in Coffee Bay, a small community at the Wild Coast located about 250 kilometres south of Durban and home to one of South Africa's most famous backpackers: The Coffee Shack! Sit back, switch the video to full screen and enjoy. Kudos to Stu from The Going Homeless Project for the video!

Coffee Bay - Timelapse experiments from publicitygeneration on Vimeo.

22 July 2013

Zambezi: Low water season to start in a couple of days (Zimbabwe & Zambia)

We just learned that the low water season at the mighty Zambezi River in Victoria Falls  (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) is expected to open on 24 or 25 July 2013. During low water season the rafting adventure begins just below the falls at rapid #1 and takes you on a 26 km journey over 19 rapids. The river is a pool drop river, which means you will have sections of relatively calm water in between the rapids; a great time to take in the scenery around you. The biggest rapids on the Zambezi River are officially defined as Grade 5 by the British Canoe Union.

Air Namibia to increase flights between Windhoek & Luanda (Angola)

Namibia's flag carrier, Air Namibia, recently announced that it will increase the number of flights between Windhoek and Angola's capital Luanda. From 01 August 2013 the airline will operate a 7th flight per week between the two destinations. Air Namibia will service the additional flight on Tuesdays on board an Airbus A319.

19 July 2013

South Africa: 488 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2013

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 488 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2013. Of the rhinos poached, 300 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 53 in North West, 52 in Limpopo, 43 in KwaZulu-Natal, 35 in Mpumalanga, 3 in Gauteng and 2 in the Eastern Cape.
The number of people arrested on rhino poaching-related charges countrywide totals 140. Of the 142 alleged poachers arrested, 62 have been caught in the Kruger National Park and 30 in KwaZulu-Natal. A total of 27 suspected poachers have been arrested in Limpopo, 11 in North West province, nine in Mpumalanga and three in Gauteng.  Five people have been charged with being couriers.

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 18 July 2013):  
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 300 rhinos poached
  • Marakele National Park (SANParks) - 0 rhino poached
  • Gauteng - 3 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 52 rhinos poached
  • Mpumalanga - 35 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 53 rhinos poached
  • Eastern Cape - 2 rhino poached
  • Free State - 0 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 43 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 0 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 0 rhino poached

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is urging members of the public to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

18 July 2013

Video: Marakele National Park timelapse

Marakele National Park, located in the Waterberg Biosphere in South Africa's Limpopo Province, covers about 670 square kilometres and is home to the Big Four (buffalo do not exist in the park) Big Five as well as sixteen species of antelopes. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the park. Marakele has two camp sites, namely Tlopi Tented Camp and Bontle Camping Site. Eight new tented units are currently constructed at Bontle Camping Site (scheduled to conclude on 30 September 2013). Vimeo user Peachy Cinema visited the park earlier this month and shot the timelapse video below. Enjoy!

Marakele National Park from Peachy Cinema on Vimeo.

17 July 2013

Video recap of the 2013 Wedge Classic bodyboarding contest in Plettenberg Bay (South Africa)

The annual Wedge Classic in Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa's biggest and longest standing bodyboarding contests. Since 18 years the event is taking place every July (2013: 03 - 05 July) at Plett's famous Wedge Beach. Check the video below for a great recap of the event! Enjoy and make sure that you'll be in Plettenberg Bay for the 2014 Wedge Classic! Kudos to Stuart Brink Films for the video.

Wedge Classic 2013 - Official film from Stuart Brink Films on Vimeo.

Tanzania not to enforce VAT on tourist services

Great news for travellers planning to visit Tanzania as well as for the Tanzanian tourism industry. After consultations with the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT), the government of Tanzania announced that it amended the current national budget and will not enforce the value added tax (VAT) on tourist services, such as accommodation, park fees, ground transportation, tour guiding, game driving and water safaris etc. According to the original national budget 2013/14, the government acutally planned to eliminate the VAT exemption on tourist services. The VAT in Tanzania is 18%. Uganda, now it is up to you!

16 July 2013

Nelson Mandela: Before Prisoner - Beyond President (Infographic)

update (06 Dec 2013): South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela passed away in the evening hours of 05 December 2013. Hamba kahle, tata Madiba!

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela turns 95 years on 18 July 2013. The date not only marks his birthday, but also an annual international day in honour of Madiba. Mandela Day, which was officially declared as such by the United Nations in November 2009, is not meant as a public holiday. The day is meant as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela and his values, through volunteering and community service.
Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.
The infographic below explores Nelson Mandela's legendary life and achievements from a visual perspective. Get well soon, Madiba!

Nelson Mandela: Before Prisoner, Beyond President
Source: BestMSWPrograms.com

South Africa National Park internships

update (18 Dec 2014): Positions in 2015 available from now!

These long term volunteer positions offer independent, ambitious volunteers the chance to work for one year in and around South Africa’s most famous national parks.
If you are seeking a change of direction or a long term, highly immersed experience in the field of conservation and environmental education these long term internship positions are for you. South African National Parks (SANParks) manages a system of 20 national parks that represent the indigenous flora, landscape and associated cultural heritage of the country. You will be placed with the ‘People and Conservation’ department according to priority projects and where your skills are most needed.

Interns play an integral part in the implementation of new policies and programmes developed by SANParks to integrate local communities into the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage sites within the parks. These national parks offer diverse adventure tourism opportunities such as game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and a chance to experience the history and culture of South Africa. The work carried out by interns is essential for the long term conservation of these areas which are both important to South Africa and the people who live alongside them. (via responsibletravel.com)

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in June 2013

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, and Durban's King Shaka International Airport in June 2013.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance June  2013 (airport target 85%)
  1. Airlink - 94.68% (May 94.18%) 
  2. Mango - 93.13% (May 91.48%) 
  3. British Airways Domestic - 92.18% (May 89.74%)  
  4. South African Airways - 91.00% (May 92.51%)  
  5. Kulula.com - 90.53% (May 88.55%) 
  6. SA Express - 87.45% (May 89.72%) 
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2013 (airport target 87%)
  1. Airlink - 95.25% (May 93.41%)
  2. Mango - 93.70% (May 92.55%) 
  3. British Airways Domestic - 92.13% (May 89.59%) 
  4. South African Airways - 90.91% (May 90.95%) 
  5. SA Express - 90.51% (May 90.01%)
  6. Kulula.com - 85.97% (May 82.55%)
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance June 2013 (airport target 89%)
  1. Airlink - 98.09% (May 92.78%)  
  2. South African Airways - 97.56% (May 95.97%)
  3. Mango - 95.86% (May 92.70%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 95.14% (May 92.79%)  
  5. SA Express - 94.24% (May 90.82%)
  6. Kulula.com - 90.63% (May 85.93%)