28 April 2016

Air Zimbabwe to resume flights between Harare <> Dar es Salaam!

The flag carrier of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, will resume a scheduled service between Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare and Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Effective 14 May 2016 04 June 2016, the airline will initially operate two flights per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays on board an Airbus A320 between the two cities. Air Zimbabwe also plans to resume flights to China in the near future.

Fly Blue Crane to launch flights between Cape Town <> Windhoek!

update (25 July 2016): Fly Blue Crane's inaugural flight between Cape Town and Windhoek took place on 13 July 2016 and the return flight on 15 July 2016. Although the airline reiceved approval from the South African and Namibian authorities to launch services between the two cities, sales for the route have not yet opened and no launch date for scheduled operations has been announced.

South African airline Fly Blue Crane is set to introduce scheduled flights between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek. The airline will launch its inaugural return flights between the two cities on 13 May 2016 and 15 May 2016. Exact flight schedules on the route will be released soon.
Fly Blue Crane launched its inaugural flights from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg on 01 September 2015. The airline operates modern and fuel-efficient 50-seater Embraer Regional Jet 145 (ERJ) aircraft in a single class configuration.

25 April 2016

Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda): Paraa ferry to temporarily close for maintenance!

The Paraa Ferry in the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda will be grounded for 10 days effective 02 May 2016 at 9:30am for general maintenance work. During this time a technical team will attend to the entire ferry sections especially the ramps, pontoons, passenger decks and engines. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) plans to resume operations on 11 May 2016 with a crossing at 17.00, but it is advised to either check the organization's announcements on their website or else check the notices filed on their Facebook page.
Murchison Falls National Park is located in north western Uganda at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley about 300km by road northwest of the country's capital Kampala. The National Park spreads inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile and covers 3,480km². Murchison Falls National Park is the largest and oldest conservation area in Uganda, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds.

22 April 2016

Cape Town: Cableway opens WiFi-Lounge on top of Table Mountain!

Table Mountain's Cableway, Table Mountain Cableway, has opened a new WiFi-Lounge at the Upper Cable Station. The lounge is open to all visitors wanting to connect, share, post, tweet or simply take a seat and gaze out over Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean. The new WiFi service on top of Table Mountain is free of charge!

The WiFi-Lounge opens its doors daily as the first cable car comes up at 8.30am and closes with the last car's departure. Plug and USB points for recharging devices are located throughout the lounge, with seating options ranging from cork stools at high tables to chairs and even comfy sofas.


20 April 2016

Kenya Airways to launch flights between Nairobi <> Cape Town via Livingstone!

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, is set to launch flights between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town via Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone (Zambia) in July 2016. The airline will operate three flights a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays on board an Embraer E190 aircraft with a configuration of 12 business class seats and 84 economy seats between the three destinations. Kenya Airways will be the only carrier to offer a direct service between Livingstone and Cape Town.

19 April 2016

Cape Town named "Best City" in the 2015/16 Telegraph Travel Awards!

For the fourth consecutive year, Cape Town has scooped the Best City Award in the 2015/16 edition of one of Britain's most comprehensive, wide-ranging and reliable reader travel surveys, the annual Telegraph Travel Awards. More than 75,000 people took part in the survey and voted for their favourite travel destinations and companies. In the Best Country category, South Africa won third place.

The Telegraph lists the following reasons why Cape Town won the award:
  • the brooding Table Mountain is too recognisable
  • the beach resorts of Camps Bay too enticing
  • the history which swirls around the metropolis, reaching its dark zenith on Robben Island, too absorbing.
  • mid 20s Celsius as Europe is going through winter
  • just two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time
  • gateway to the Cape Winelands
  • gateway to the road-trip joys of the Garden Route

15 April 2016

Kruger National Park: Portion of S3 gravel road to temporarily close for maintenance!

South African National Parks (SANParks) just announced that the portion between the S1 (from the Phabeni Gate side) and S4 intersections along the S3 gravel road in Kruger National Park will temporarily close from 18 April 2016 until 15 June 2016 due to maintenance
Visitors to Kruger National Park can still use the portion of S3 from the Paul Kruger Gate side, and connect to S1 via S4.

Tanzania: Precision Air to launch flights to Pemba Island!

Tanzanian airline Precision Air is set to launch scheduled flights to Zanzibar's exotic Island of Pemba. Effective 24 May 2016, the airline will operate three flights per week between Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and Pemba Airport (PMA) on Pemba Island. The scheduled flights follow Zanzibar Airport Authority's (ZAA) upgrading of Pemba Airport to category four status that meets the international standards required for commercial flight operations.

14 April 2016

Air Zimbabwe to introduce a second Harare <> Johannesburg frequency!

Zimbabwe's flag carrier, Air Zimbabwe, is set to introduce a second freqency between Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg on 15 April 2016. The airline will operate the additional frequency every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

South Africa/Botswana: Ethiopian Airlines to change schedules and routings!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to make changes to its schedules and routings between Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town as well as between Addis Ababa and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. As of 01 July 2016, the airline will operate four flights a week from Addis Ababa via Johannesburg and four direct to Cape Town. Ethiopian Airlines currently operates nine flights a week to Cape Town, two of which are direct from Addis Ababa, four via Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) in Gaborone and three via Johannesburg. The airline will also change the aircraft on its Cape Town route from a Boeing 737 to a Boeing 787. The service between Addis Ababa and Gaborone will from 01 July 2016 operate as a separate direct flight.

12 April 2016

South Africa: Sylvester, the lion, will be relocated to Addo Elephant National Park!

update (30 May 2016): Sylvester was successfully relocated from Karoo National Park just outside Beaufort West to Addo Elephant National Park's Kuzuko contractual area about two hours outside Port Elizabeth.  He’ll be calling a boma within an existing 200ha enclosure (which houses two nearly two-year-old lionesses) home for the next few months. The hope is that over time, the three will bond and form their own pride, led by Sylvester.

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that Sylvester, the lion which escaped from Karoo National Park at the end of March 2016, will be relocated to Addo Elephant National Park. The young lion (3 years) will be moved into a boma within an existing 200ha enclosure in the Kuzuko contractual section of Addo for him to become bonded with the two (2) young females who are currently in the enclosure. The lions will then be released into Addo Elephant National Park to be free-ranging. The fence between the Kuzuko contractual section and the neighbouring Darlington section of the park is due to be dropped soon which will then provide the three lions with 60 000ha over which to roam.

11 April 2016

Latam to launch flights between São Paulo <> Johannesburg!

The Latam Airlines Group, formed through the association of LAN (Chile) and TAM (Brazil), has announced the launch of three weekly flights between São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (GRU) in São Paulo (Brazil) and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Latam will start its first service into Africa on 02 October 2016. Bookings will be open in May 2016.

08 April 2016

Video: A culinary journey through the Western Cape!

Discover Cape Town & Western Cape (Discoverctwc), which forms part of Wesgro (the official Tourism, Trade & Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town & Western Cape), just released a new image film on youtube. The short film is titled "Discover food & wine journey through CT & WC" and invites us to a culinary journey through Cape Town, the Cape West Coast, the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, Cape Overberg, the Cape Winelands and the Cape Karoo. Foodies, it is time to update your bucket lists! Enjoy!

07 April 2016

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 R8.70/loaf (600g)
  • Rama Margarine - from R8.00/125g
  • eggs (large, free range) - from R17.60/6ea
  • mixed fruit jam - from R10.50/290g
  • peanut butter - from R16.00/250g
  • Nutella - from R34.00/180g
  • Bovril - from R23.50/125g
  • Marmite - from R25.00/125g
  • baked beans - from R7.00/can (410g)
  • bacon - from R26.00/200g
  • milk - from R12.00/1l
  • muesli - from R31.00/500g
  • porridge oats - from R17.00/500g
  • yoghurt (plain) - from R6.50/175g
  • cheese - from R--.--/200g (sliced gouda/cheddar)
  • potatoes - from R17.00/kg
  • tomatoes - from R12.50 (750g)
  • onions - from R8.00/kg
  • mushrooms - from R18.00/250g (white mushrooms)
  • cucumber - from R7.50 (local english cucumber) 
  • lettuce - from R11.50 (crisp lettuce)
  • avocado - from R18.00 (Avocado Bachelor)
  • pasta - from R14.00/500g (macaroni)
  • pasta sauce - from R24.00/405g
  • instant soup - from R10.00 (Cup-A-Snack e.g. Chicken & Mushroom Noodle Soup)
  • biscuits - from R8.00/200g
  • rusks - from R27.00/500g
  • chewing gum - from 11.30/pack (Dentyne)
  • boerewors - from R68.00/kg
  • steak - from R89.00/kg (T-bone)
  • chakalaka - from R13.00/can (410g)
  • chutney - from R23.50/bottle (Mrs H.S.Ball's Hot Chutney 470g)
  • hot sauce - from R17.00/bottle (250g)
  • potato chips - from R5.70/30g
  • bottled water (still) - from R4.00/500ml 
  • Coke - from R9.50/500ml
  • orange juice - from R9.50/500ml
  • beer - from R9.50/330ml (Hansa)
  • beer - from R10.00/330ml (Castle/Tafel Lager)
  • beer - from R12.00/330ml (Windhoek Lager)
  • cider - from R13.00/330ml (Hunters Dry)
  • cider - from R14.00/330ml (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!

Etihad Airways to temporarily increase fligths Abu Dhabi <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, will introduce three additional flights per week between Abu Dhabi's Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg during July 2016 to September 2016.

July 2016 (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays):
August - September 2016 (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays):

06 April 2016

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in March 2016!

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 2016.
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 2016 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 91.36% (February 94.13%)
  2. South African Airways - 88.37% (February 89.61%)
  3. British Airways Domestic - 85.52% (February 86.60%) 
  4. Mango - 85.52% (February 85.29%)
  5. Airlink - 84.62% (February 88.07%)
  6. Kulula.com - 80.86% (February 81.07%)
  7. CemAir80.07% (February 86.31%)
  8. Fly Blue Crane Aviation77.39% (February 88.46%)
  9. SA Express - 72.33% (February 79.92%)  
Cape Town International Airport - 15 Min on Time Performance March 2016 (airport target 90%)
  1. CemAir - 100.00% (February 91.67%)
  2. FlySafair - 94.09% (February 95.74%)  
  3. South African Airways - 90.80% (February 90.54%) 
  4. Airlink - 89.65% (February 93.06%)
  5. Mango - 89.14% (February 89.69%) 
  6. SA Express - 89.06% (February 90.81%)  
  7. British Airways Domestic - 88.61% (February 89.78%)
  8. Kulula.com - 86.62% (February 91.07%)  
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation70.34% (February 78.13%)
King Shaka International Airport, Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance March 2016 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 96.40% (February 98.08%)
  2. South African Airways - 94.01% (February 92.72%)
  3. Airlink - 93.64% (February 83.59%) 
  4. Mango - 90.05% (February 91.62%)  
  5. Kulula.com - 89.07% (February 88.10%) 
  6. British Airways Domestic - 86.91% (February 85.25%) 
  7. SA Express - 77.14% (February 85.35%)     

02 April 2016

Namibia: Time changes from UTC +2 to UTC +1!

Namibian time will change from UTC+2 to UTC+1 on 03 April 2016. The official time change takes place at 02:00am (from 02:00am to 01:00am). The time will change back to summer time on the first Sunday in September 2016 (4 September 2016). Time does not change in the Zambezi Region (until 2013 known as the Caprivi Region) in Namibia's north, as this area is not subject to summer and winter time changes.
  • Saturday, 02 April 2016 - Sunrise 07:00 (am) | Sunset 18:50 (pm)
  • Sunday, 03 April 2016 - Sunrise 06h00 (am) | Sunset 17:49 (pm)
    Sunrise and sunset times may vary from place to place depending on latitude and longitude.