30 April 2015

Kruger National Park Calendar - June

  • days usually warm, sometimes hot
  • generally wind free
  • cold evenings
  • rarely rain falls

  • most pans and vleis dry up
  • bush thins out
  • grasslands begin receding
  • umbrella acacia pods twirl out
Animal Activity:
  • large elephant populations in northern Kruger
  • animals concentrate around reliable water sources
  • predators very active around reliable water sources

29 April 2015

PRASA re-introduces passenger train service between Cape Town <> East London!

According to Bush Radio 89.5 fm, a community radio station from Cape Town, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will re-introduce its train service between Cape Town in the Western Cape and East London in the Eastern Cape on 03 May 2015. South Africa's long-distance passenger rail operator Shosholoza Meyl, a division of PRASA, will run a train from Cape Town to East London every Sunday (departure time: 10:25) and from East London to Cape Town every Tuesday (departure time: 14:22).

27 April 2015

Download: Free map of Swaziland!

Swaziland Tourism, in cooperation with Bradt Travel Guides, has published a brand new map of Swaziland. Key features of the map, which is available online as a free dowland (pdf), include all key roads (with an indication of surface type), inset maps (Ezulwini Valley, Lobamba & Malkerns, Mbabane, Manzini), all places of interest, all accommodation options, a context map showing its proximity to Johannesburg and Maputo (and advice on how to get to Swaziland), an overview of the country's attractions and an annotated listing of Places to See and Things to Do, as well as Swaziland at a Glance.

screenshot via thekingdomofswaziland.com
Swaziland Map Leaflet (A2)
Swaziland Country Map (A3)
Ezulwini Map
Mbabane Map
Manzini Map
Swaziland in Context

24 April 2015

Cape Town: Explore Robben Island from your desktop!

To commemorate South Africa's "Freedom Day" (27 April), Google has partnered with the Robben Island Museum and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to bring the story of Robben Island online. You can now explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site by clicking through Google Maps' Street View imagery of Robben Island as well as by following an audio-visual tour of the island hosted on Google Cultural Institute.

The audio-visual tour of Robben Island includes a visit to Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and activist Robert Sobukwe’s house. The imagery, audio-effects, video and virtual tour provide insights into the story of the island and some of its more famous prisoners.

22 April 2015

Cape Town: Concert Boulevard renamed Joe Marks Boulevard!

The City of Cape Town has renamed Concert Boulevard in Retreat after South African struggle activist Joe Marks (Joseph Johannes Marks (1936-2011)). Mayor Patricia de Lille unveiled Joe Marks Boulevard along with family members in honour of his contribution to building a free and democratic society earlier today (22 April 2015).

21 April 2015

Air Botswana to stop direct flights between Maun <> Cape Town!

Botswana's state-owned national flag carrier, Air Botswana, will no longer operate direct flights between Maun Airport (MUB) in Maun and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town from 04 May 2015. The service will instead be routed through Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) in Gaborone. The airline has therefor increased the flight frequency between Gaborone and Cape Town from two flights per week to four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (also effective from 04 May 2015).

20 April 2015

Cape Town: Robben Island Museum introduced "off-peak tour schedule"!

The Robben Island Museum has introduced its "off-peak tour schedule" a couple of days ago. Tours to Robben Island droped from four to three daily tours; they now run at 09:00 and 11:00, with the last ferry leaving the Nelson Mandela Gateway at 13:00. The 15:00 tour will return in peak season, which will recommence in September 2015.
The Robben Island Museum also announced that ticket prices will get increased from the current R280 for adults to R300 on 01 June 2015.

17 April 2015

Video: "Project 2'22" Cape Town Food Safari"!

Cape Town was recently voted third-best food city in the world at the Condè Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2014. Swiss filmmaker Stefan Rüegg's video "Project 2'22" Cape Town Food Safari" perfectly demonstrates why the Mother City is such a great foodie destination. Kudos Stefan!

15 April 2015

Cape Town voted third-best food city in the world!

According to the Condè Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2014, Cape Town is the third-best food city in the world. The description of Cape Town on Condé Nast Traveler's site reads, "In Cape Town, ‘local’ rules. The Mother city is smallish, casual but supremely stylish, and welcoming—words that describe its artisanal foods and restaurant scenes as much as its citizens." Condè Nast Traveler's travel writer, Maria Shollenbarger, also highlights the following foodie hot spots in her describtion of Cape Town:

The Top 20 Best Food Cities according to Condè Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2014:
  1. San Sebastián, Spain
  2. Paris, France
  3. Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Florence, Italy
  5. Rome, Italy
  6. Tokyo, Japan
  7. Hong Kong, China
  8. Singapore
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Quebec City, Canada
  11. Sydney, Australia
  12. Vancouver, Canada
  13. Montreal, Canada
  14. Lyon, France
  15. Bologna, Italy
  16. Kyoto, Japan
  17. Vienna, Austria
  18. Budapest, Hungary
  19. Madrid, Spain
  20. Melbourne, Australia

14 April 2015

Malawi: "Lake of Stars" festival is returning to the shores of Lake Malawi!

The famous, award-winning and simply awesome Lake of Stars festival will be returning to the shores of Lake Malawi in 2015. The arts & music festival will take place at the Sunbird Nkopola Lodge from 25 - 27 September 2015. The lodge is located right at Lake Malawi about 20 km north of the town of Mangochi in the southern region of Malawi
The Lake of Stars festival features artists from Malawi, Africa and the rest of the world and promotes tourism in Malawi, raises funds for charity and provides travellers and Malawians alike with the opportunity to enjoy incredible live music in an exotic and beautiful location. Alongside the main festival at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, free outreach activities will also take place in neighboring Chipoka Village for the local community.

13 April 2015

New drone video of Cape Town!

Dutch brothers Sander & Bas Mutsaards recently visited Cape Town to write a travel report for a Dutch online mag and to film a drone movie (DJI Phantom 2/Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal/GoPro Hero3+ Black/GoPro Hero4) of the Mother City. The short video is probably not as spectacular as the one Eric Cheng shot a while ago [link], but it defo has some great views on Table Mountain, the Bo Kaap, Stellenbosch, Camps Bay and, of course, Lion's Head. Kudos Sander & Bas!

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi): New Terminal 2 now operational!

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has recently opened the brandnew Terminal 2 (T2) at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi (Kenya). The new terminal is located right behind the airport's Air Traffic Control Tower. Kenya Airways has began to shift flight handling to the new terminal, while regional carrier Fly540 shifted their entire operation to T2. It is expected that over the coming days more and more airlines and flights will be moving to the new terminal.

Jambo, this is to notify all Kenya Airports Authority stakeholders that we have operationalised JKIA’s new Terminal 2....
Posted by Kenya Airports Authority on Tuesday, 14 April 2015

10 April 2015

Stony Point Eco Centre opened at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay!

South Africa's Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has officially launched the brandnew Stony Point Eco Centre at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay. The new facility, which includes a visitor information centre, a tearoom and a heritage site of whaling history, is an initiative solely owned by the members of the Mooiuitsig community. The Stony Point Eco Centre is poised to attract more domestic and international visitors.

Stony Point is one of only three mainland-based colonies of African penguins in Africa. It has become an important breeding site for the threatened species. Penguins can be seen daily; the best viewing is in early morning and early evening between the months of April and June.

08 April 2015

South Africa: "From the Frontline: Saving our Rhino" (video)

The film "From the Frontline: Saving our Rhino" was made by Black Bean Productions in support of the SANParks Honorary Rangers. This is a volunteer organisation working alongside South Africa National Parks (SANParks) to support conservation efforts in South Africa's national parks. Currently they are working tirelessly to raise funds to train and facilitate large counter poaching teams across South Africa to save our rhino.

Please help to win the war against poaching, make a donation and share this film. Every cent donated will reach the intended anti-poaching project. Please SHARE this film #rhino4ever!

Gauteng Tourism Authority: Four new promotional videos for Gauteng!

The Gauteng Tourism Authority has released four new promotional videos for Gauteng, the smallest but most populous province in South Africa. The videos feature Johannesburg, Pretoria, the West Rand and Ekhurleni. Enjoy!

Namibia: Daylight saving time resumes on 06 September 2015

Just a quick reminder: Daylight saving time ended in Namibia already on the first Sunday in April, which happend to be the 05 April 2015. Time changed from UTC+2 to UTC+1. The official time change took place at 02:00am (from 02:00am to 01:00am). Daylight saving time in Namibia will resume again on the first Sunday in September 2015 (06 Sept 2015).

07 April 2015

Cape Town: Camps Bay Drive closed for five months

update (02 Dec 2015): After nearly seven months of major roadworks along Camps Bay Drive in Cape Town, the road has been reopened on 30 Nov 2015. 

update (06 Oct 2015): Due to a number of unexpected challenges that have delayed the project, Cape Town's Camps Bay Drive will remain closed to general traffic until late in November 2015. The scenic route has been closed to traffic since 20 April 2015.  

The City of Cape Town will be undertaking major roadworks along Camps Bay Drive this winter to significantly improve the road condition and safety for road users. The road will therefor be closed for general traffic as from Monday 20 April 2015 until end of September 2015 if everything goes according to plan.
Stop-and-go control points will be in operation between Geneva Drive and Prima Avenue and Houghton Drive and Rontree Avenue to give access to residents who live in the vicinity of the roadworks. Commuters can make use of Geneva Drive as an alternative route to enter or exit Camps Bay. The City of Cape Town expects major delays and advises road users to take this into account when planning your journey.

02 April 2015

Supermarket prices in South Africa

To give you an idea on the supermarket prices in South Africa, we have set up a list of what we think are the most typical items travellers usually buy. It hopefully helps planning your holidays in South Africa. Safe travels! [exchange rates in the daily news update]

  • bread - from R6.99/loaf (700gr)
  • Rama Margarine - from R12.00/250gr
  • eggs (large, free range) - from R14.00/6ea
  • mixed fruit jam - from R12.00/450gr
  • peanut butter - from R16.00/250gr
  • Nutella - from R29.00/180 gr
  • Bovril - from R23.50/125gr
  • Marmite - from R23.50/125gr
  • baked beans - from R6.30/can (400gr)
  • bacon - from R25.00/200gr
  • milk - from R9.50/1l
  • muesli - from R29.50/750gr
  • yoghurt (plain) - from R6.50/175gr
  • cheese - from R27.00/200gr (sliced gouda/cheddar)
  • potatoes - from R5.00/kg
  • tomatoes (mini tomatoes) - from R11.00 (250gr)
  • onions - from R4.00/250g
  • mushrooms - from R19.00/250gr (white mushrooms)
  • cucumber - from 58.00 (english cucumber) 
  • lettuce - from R9.50 (crisp lettuce)
  • avocado - from R14.95 ea.
  • pasta - from R8.00/500gr (macaroni)
  • pasta sauce - from R10.00 (instant) 
  • instant soup - from R9.00 (Cup-A-Snack e.g. Chicken & Mushroom Noodle Soup)
  • biscuits - from R8.00/200gr
  • rusks - from R30.00/500gr
  • chewing gum - from 11.00/pack (Dentyne)
  • boerewors - from R60.00/1kg
  • steak - from R80.00/kg (T-bone)
  • chakalaka - from R10.00/can (400gr)
  • chutney - from R23.00/bottle (Mrs H.S.Ball's Hot Chutney 470gr)
  • hot sauce - from R13.00/bottle (125gr)
  • potato chips - from R4.50/30gr
  • bottled water (still) - from R4.00/500ml 
  • Coke - from R9.00/500ml
  • orange juice - from R8.00/350ml
  • beer - from R9.50/330 or 340ml (Black Label/Castle/Hansa)
  • beer - from R11.00/330ml (Windhoek Lager)
  • cider - from R12.00/330ml (Hunters Dry)
  • cider - from R13.00/330ml (Savanna Dry)
  • wine - from R25.00/750ml or R70.00/3l box (white)
The list above is probably missing some items. Let us know what you think is missing & we will add it!

SafariNow's Top 8 Road Trip Routes in South Africa & Beyond!

Africa's biggest travel booking network, SafariNow, recently compiled a list of the Top 8 Road Trip Routes in South Africa and Beyond.

01 April 2015

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in March 2015

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 March 2015.
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 March 2015 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 94.30% (February 96.80%)
  2. Airlink - 92.80% (February 93.81%)  
  3. South African Airways - 90.40% (February 93.09%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 87.10% (February 94.04%)
  5. Kulula.com - 82.51% (February 90.12%) 
  6. Mango - 82.47% (February 84.30%)
  7. SA Express - 77.99% (February 80.83%)
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance March 2015 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 97.51% (February 98.32%) 
  2. SA Express - 92.98% (February 92.32%)
  3. Airlink - 92.55% (February 95.86%) 
  4. British Airways Domestic - 91.78% (February 95.05%)
  5. South African Airways - 91.55% (February 95.12%)
  6. Kulula.com - 91.03% (February 94.11%)  
  7. Mango - 89.22% (February 91.16%)
 King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance March 2015 (airport target 91%)
  1. South African Airways - 94.08% (February 95.38%)
  2. Airlink - 94.04% (February 91.73%) 
  3. SA Express - 91.88% (February 89.10%)
  4. Kulula.com - 85.50% (February 90.48%) 
  5. British Airways Domestic - 84.19% (February 90.47%) 
  6. Mango - 83.31% (February 85.27%)  

New mobile phone app: "Madiba's journey"!

South African Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched the "Madiba-inspired tourist attractions" map, which encourages tourists from around the world and South Africa to travel the country and walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, in 2014. The map has now been developed into a GPS-enabled mobile phone app to further enhance visitors’ experiences in South Africa. The app uses location-based services and features tourist sites as well as general places of interest, including Mandela's post-presidential office at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, the Nelson Mandela Statue at Union Buildings in Pretoria, Nobel Square at the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison (all in Cape Town) and Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where Madbia was laid to rest.


The app "Madiba's journey" is now available for download in English from the Apple iTunes store (iOS devices) and the Google Play store (Android devices). It will soon be available in other languages, including Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Dutch, French, German, Italian, simple Mandarin and Portuguese.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi): Night-time closure for runway!

The runway at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi (Kenya) will be partially closed for rehabilitation between midnight and 06:00 a.m from 02 April 2015. The runway works, which will include resurfacing the full runway, upgrading the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and upgrading the runway capacity by construction of rapid exit taxiways and extending the parallel taxiway, is expected to take 12 month.
All passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) have been advised to contact their airlines to confirm their flight schedule in advance and to arrive at the airport four hours prior to departure.