30 November 2018

Tanzania launched an electronica visa application service!

Tanzania has launched an electronic visa application service for foreign nationals wishing to visit the East African country (including Zanzibar). The country provides single entry visa, multiple entry visa, transit visa and business visa. The introduction of the so-called "eVisa" aims at removing unneccessary bureaucracy and delays that foreign visitors to Tanzania had to deal with in the past. The Government of Tanzania also expects to boast the state revenue as all visa fees will be be paid by applicants electronically through it's e-payment system. As of today (30 November 2018) the website of the eVisa-service is only available in a mix of Englisch and Swahili.

Tanzania, eVisa, electronic visa, screenshot, Zanzibar
screenshot via https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/

Kruger National Park Calendar - January

Weather:
  • peak of rainy season
  • frequent thunder storms
  • hot days
  • warm nights
  • high humidity levels
Temperatures
Zebra, Kruger National Park, safari, wildlife, South Africa

Landscape:
  • many veld flowers in bloom
  • colourful landscape
  • marula tree in fruit
Animal Activity:
  • animals spread over wider areas
  • a lot predator activity in the south-eastern and central Kruger grasslands
  • many nursery herds having youngsters
  • a lot of elephant activity around marula trees

South Africa eases entry requirements for foreign visitors travelling with kids! [update]

update (06 December 2018): South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has released a further statement regarding the new entry requirements for foreign visitors travelling with kids. According to the statement, foreign families from visa-free countries are still urged to carry unabridged birth certificates for their minors because they may be requested in certain instances. Click here to read the full statement!

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has published an amendment to the country's Immigration Act. According to the amendment, which comes into effect on 01 December 2018, the requirement for foreign families from visa-free countries to produce an unabridged birth certificate for their minor children before being allowed access into South Africa has been reversed. Visitors from visa-required countries planning to visit South Africa with minor children still need to submit a birth certificate when they apply for a visa. Minor children who are not accompanied by both parents still need to comply with special documentary requirements. (see the Government Gazette below).

29 November 2018

Cape Town: Spring and Summer Months = Shark Time!

The City of Cape Town would like to remind beachgoers to adhere to the warnings that will be issued by the shark spotters on duty at eight beaches in Cape Town to ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable beach experience. The Shark Spotters will be on duty from 12 December 2018 to 07 January 2019 at the following beaches:
The shark exclusion net is already being deployed at Fish Hoek beach from 09:00 to 17:00 on a daily basis (weather permitting) as the presence of sharks along the False Bay coastline is more prevalent during warmer months.

Cape Town, shipwreck, Robben Island, South Africa

The Shark Spotters Information Centre at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg is open to the public from 08:00 until 18:00 seven days a week. The centre provides up-to-date information on sharks and marine ecology, basic first-aid, general public assistance and help with emergencies, and storage of valuables and lost property.
 
The shark spotters operating times will be as follows:

  • Muizenberg
    • Summer (October to April) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
  • St James/Kalk Bay
    • Summer (October to April) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Fish Hoek
    • Summer (October to April) Mon - Sun, 07:00 - 18:45
    • Winter (May to September) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
  • Caves, Kogel Bay
    • Summer (October to April) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 17:00
  • Nordhoek (The Hoek)
    • Summer (October to April) Mon - Sun, 08:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) N/A
  • Clovelly
    • Summer (October to April) Weekends, Public Holidays and School Holidays 10:00 - 17:00
    • Winter (May to September) N/A
  • Glencairn
    • Summer (October to April) Weekends, Public Holidays and School Holidays 10:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) N/A
  • Monwabisi
    • Summer (October to April) Weekends, Public Holidays and School Holidays 10:00 - 18:00
    • Winter (May to September) N/A
The City of Cape Town encourages the public to familiarise themselves with the following safety tips:
  • Use beaches where shark spotters are on duty
  • Take the time to speak to the shark spotters on the day you visit the beach
  • Use the shark spotters signs to familiarise yourself with the four-flag warning system and warning siren – the green flag indicates that spotting conditions are good; the red flag indicates that there is a high risk of in-shore shark activity; the black flag means spotting conditions are poor; and the white flag with the black shark indicates a shark has been spotted (a siren will sound and all should leave the water immediately)
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear-fishing is taking place
  • Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
  • Do not swim if you are bleeding
  • Do not swim near river mouths
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
  • Obey beach officials, lifeguards and shark spotters if told to leave the water
  • Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºC or higher) and during new moon, due to increased opportunities for feeding
  • If a shark has recently been sighted in an area where no shark spotters are present, consider using another beach for the day
  • First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguard or locals about the area
  • For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea, please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
  • Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
  • Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
The City of Cape Town also encourages visitors and residents of Cape Town to download the Shark Spotters mobile app to access the latest shark safety information, including what flag is flying at each beach, the latest shark sightings, net deployments, and much more. The app is available free of charge for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded by searching for "Shark Spotters" on the app store.

Cape Town to relax water restrictions from 01 December 2018!

The City of Cape Town is set to relax water restrictions in Cape Town from the current level 5 to level 3. As of 01 December 2018, the water usage target in the Mother City will be increased from 70 litres to 105 litres per person per day and the daily collective consumption target will increase by 150 million litres to 650 million litres to ensure that water conservation efforts remain in place. This decision to lower restrictions comes after a meeting between the South Africa's National Department of Water and Sanitation and the water users of the Western Cape Water Supply System, namely the agricultural sector, Western Cape Government, municipalities and the Cape Town metro regarding the water assessment for the year ahead. 


Frommer's: Zimbawbe is one of the "Best Places to Go 2019"!

According to Frommer's Best Places to Go in 2019, Zimbabwe is one of the 19 destinations that will "supply the most enriching journeys" in the coming year. This is the second nomination this year from internationally recognized publications after Lonely Planet named Zimbabwe third in the "Top Countries"-category of its "Best in Travel 2019". Congratulations!

Mother and Child Rocks, Matopos National Park, Rock formation, Zimbabwe

Frommer's is an American travel guide book publisher that has expaned over the years since it was founded in 1957 to include other media such as a radio show ("Fommer's Travel Show") and a website ("Frommers.com"). Frommer's was founded by Arthur B. Frommer, who is until today known to be one of America's foremost budget travel authorities.

Rwandair to temporarily increase capacity between Kigali - Harare - Cape Town!

In a response to the popular demand for the direct service from Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, Rwandair will be introducing an Airbus A330-200 to support an additional 88 seats per flight between 28 November 2018 and 14 January 2019. The increase in capacity takes the total passengers per flight from 151 to 239. Rwandair is currently operating a Boeing 737-800 on flights between Kigali, Harare and Cape Town.


28 November 2018

Festive Season 2018/19: Extended operational hours at South Africa's 11 busiest land border crossings

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is set to extend operational hours at the country's 11 busiest land border crossings to avoid delays over the festive season (05 December 2018 - 09 January 2019). During the festive season, high volumes of people are usually recorded at South Africa's borders with Mozambique, eSwatini (Swaziland) and Lesotho. The DHA implores all travellers leaving and entering South Africa to ensure that all their travel documents are in order to avoid unnecessary delays at the border crossings. These include passports, visas, health certificates, permits for specified goods, plants and animals and vehicles insurance and bank authorised cross-border documents for vehicles.

travel, Africa, sunset, landscape

Mpumalanga
  • Lebombo (South Africa - Mozambique)
    • current hours of 06:00 – 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 13 December 2018 - 08 January 2019
  • Mananga (South Africa - eSwatini)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 18:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 20:00 from 21 - 24 December 2018
  • Jeppe's Reef (South Africa - eSwatini)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 22:00 from 21 - 24 December 2018 & 06 January 2019
  • Oshoek (South Africa - eSwatini)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 21 - 24 December 2018
  • Mahamba (South Africa - eSwatini)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 00:00 on 21 December 2018 & 24 December 2018
Eastern Cape
  • Qacha's Nek (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 22:00 from 21 - 24 December 2018
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 20:00 on 25 December 2018
  • Tellebridge (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 05:00 - 23:00 on 14 December 2018 and from 21 - 24 December 2018
KwaZulu-Natal
  • Kosi Bay (South Africa - Mozambique)
    • current hours of 08:00 - 17:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 18:00 from 13 December 2018 - 09 January 2019
Free State
  • Van Rooyenshek (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 14 December 2018 & 22 December 2018
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 21 December 2018 & 24 December 2018
  • Caledonspoort (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 14 December 2018 & 01 January 2019
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 24 hours on 21 December 2018
  • Monontsha Pass (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 08:00 - 16:00 will be extended to 08:00 - 18:00 from 14 December 2018 - 15 December 2017 & from 01 - 03 January 2019
    • current hours of 08:00 - 16:00 will be extended to 08:00 - 17:00 from 28 December 2018 - 03 January 2019

26 November 2018

Cape Town: Cableway’s half-price Sunset Special returns!

Cape Town's Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will again introduce the annual Sunset Special. From 01 November 2018 to 19 December 2018, and from 03 January 2019 until 28 February 2019, return tickets for the Cableway are half price after 18:00. This excludes the festive season from 20 December 2018 until 02 January 2019. Tickets will be available for purchase online and from Cableway's ticket office at the Lower Cableway Station from 01 November 2018. This special is available to South Africans with valid South African IDs only. Please note that it is not advisable to use the free park-and-ride MyCiTi bus service for the Sunset Special as the service runs until 19:00 only.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The Kingdom of Eswatini released a new official tourism video!

Eswatini Tourism has released a second tourism video for the Kingdom of Eswatini (or eSwatini) within two month. The short video, which is also produced by Californian production company Backpacker Films, highlights the beauty and diversity of attractions the smallest country in Southern Africa, Eswatini (or eSwatini), formerly known as Swaziland, has to offer. Enjoy!



The Kingdom of Swaziland was renamed the Kingdom of Eswatini (or eSwatini) by King Mswati III at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the country's independence (and his 50th birthday) on 19 April 2018.

24 November 2018

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: No diesel at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp! [update]

update (30 November 2018): Diesel is available again at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Please note that a ratio has been implemented for Diesel at Nossob Rest Camp and Twee Rivieren Rest Camp to 40l per vehicle as Total did not deliver the full amount as was requested. We'll keep you posted!

According to a posting in the SANParks - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park facebook group by the Regional Communications Manager: Arid Parks at South African National Parks (SANParks), Genevieve Maasdorp, there is currently no diesel at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park due to delivery problems. South African National Parks (SANParks) is working on the situation and hopes to resolve it as soon as possible. We'll keep you posted!



The Twee Rivieren Rest Camp is situated on the banks of the Dry Nossob Riverbed. It has a reception, shop, fuel, restaurant, information centre and swimming pool. This is the only camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with 24 hrs electricity and cell phone reception.

22 November 2018

Zimbabwe: The Harare International Carnival has been postponed until further notice!

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) announced the postponement of the annual Harare International Carnival until further notice. The event, which was initially pencilled to take place in October 2018 and was already deferred to December 2018, celebrates the beauty of the Zimbabwean cultural diversity. In a press release the ZTA names competing events at this time of the year, careful consideration of the weather conditions in Zimbabwe that are usually characterised by rainfall and the current prevailing economic climate as main reasons for the postponement. We'll keep you posted!

20 November 2018

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: No more breakfast at Twee Rivieren Restaurant!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the restaurant at Twee Rivieren, the largest rest camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, will not be serving breakfast anymore from 01 December 2018. The restaurant will also change its operating times and will operate from 10:00 - 18:00 (take aways only) and from 18:00 - 21:30 (a la carte; last orders at 20:30).
The Twee Rivieren Rest Camp is situated on the banks of the Dry Nossob Riverbed. It has a reception, shop, fuel, restaurant, information centre and swimming pool. This is the only camp in the
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with 24 hrs electricity and cell phone reception.

19 November 2018

Eat Out names South Africa's best restaurants 2018!

South Africa's leading restaurant guide, Eat Out, has named the winners of the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. According to Eat Out, the "The Restaurant at Waterkloof" in Somerset West is South Africa's best restaurant of the year. The "The Test Kitchen" in Woodstock, the winner of the six previous Eat Out awards, was named second best restaurant in South Africa, followed by the "La Colombe" in Constantia and "Wolfgat" in Paternoster. Congrats everyone!
  1. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
  2. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
  3. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
  4. Wolfgat (Paternoster, West Coast)
  5. La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)
  6. Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)
  7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
  8. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)
  9. Jardine Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
  10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)
  11. Fermier Restaurant (Die Wilgers, Pretoria)
  12. Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
  13. Foliage (Franschhoek)
  14. Le Coin Français (Franschhoek)
  15. The Chefs’ Table (Umhlanga, Durban)
  16. Chefs Warehouse at Maison (Franschhoek)
  17. La Tête (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  18. Overture (Stellenbosch)
  19. The Shortmarket Club (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  20. The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock, Cape Town)

Cape Town: Lion's Head spiral hiking trail to temporarily close for maintenance!

The popular Lion's Head spiral hiking trail in Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park will be fully closed from 07 January 2019 until 15 February 2019 due to much needed maintenance. No access will be permitted to hikers or runners via the track entrance along Signal Hill Drive. This includes the restriction on access after sunset and before sunrise. Due to the maintenance in progress South African National Parks (SANParks) cannot guarantee the safe passage of visitors along the path way and hence the entire trail will be closed. Signal Hill will remain open to the public as a viewing point.


Botswana to introduce tourist visas on arrival! [update]

update (27 November 2018): According to Tourism Update, Botswana's plan to offer visas on arrival at all points of entry has been put on hold. We'll keep you posted!

Botswana is set to introduce tourist visa at point of entry on 24 November 2018. This announcement was made by the President of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, at the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) meeting held on 15 November 2018 at Fairgrounds Holdings Pavilion Hall in Gaborone. The country's Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs is currently busy to amend the immigration rules and procedures to accommodate the visa-on-arrival process in Botswana. We'll keep you posted!

13 November 2018

Air Namibia reintroduced non-stop flights between Walvis Bay <> Johannesburg!

Namibia's flag carrier, Air Namibia, has reintroduced daily non-stop flights between Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB) in Walvis Bay and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. The route is serviced by an Embraer ERJ135, offering 37 seats in economy. Due to scheduled maintenance, the non-stop service between Walvis Bay and Johannesburg was rerouted via Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek earlier this year.

Singapore Airlines to increase flights between Singapore <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier airline of Singapore, Singapore Airlines, is set to introduce additional flights to its Singapore <> Johannesburg service. Effective 31 March 2019 (until 25 October 2019), the airline will operate ten weekly flights instead of the current seven weekly flights between Changi Airport (SIN) in Singapore and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. The airline operates an Airbus A350-900 aircraft between the two destinations.

12 November 2018

Namibia to upgrade Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek!

The chairman of the board of directors of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), Dr. Leake S. Hangala, announced in a recent statement (07 November 2018) that Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek is getting a major upgrade. The project, which is expected to start in March 2019 and complete in November 2019, will include the revamp and modernizing of the check-in and departure halls, security screening point, arrivals hall and the luggage handling areas as well as the introduction of latest advance technologies and software systems related to self-check ins and screening for both passengers and luggage. Installation of a CCTV and intrusion detection system at Hosea Kutako International Airport has already commenced. According to Dr. Hangala, the upgrade work will have minimal effect on the current airport operations, which will continue as usual. The upgrading of Namibia's main airport is expected to cost at least N$ 245 Million.


Mpumalanga: Graskop Gorge lift to temporarily close for maintenance!

The Graskop Gorge lift in Mpumalanga, a viewing lift that takes visitors 51 metres down the face of the Graskop Gorge and into the forest below, will be shut down for routine maintenance on 26 November 2018 and 27 November 2018. The lift will be operational again from 28 November 2018. The cliff-top restaurant and the shops will remain open during the maintenance. The Graskop Gorge lift, which is operated by the Graskop Gorge Lift Company, is located just outside of Graskop on the R533 towards Hazyview along the famous Panorama Route (on the opposite side of the gorge to the Big Swing). 


09 November 2018

Namibia bans plastic bags in game parks or nature reserves!

Namibia has banned plastic bag in the county's protected areas, such as National Parks, with immediate effect. If found in possession of plasic bags, visitors will be finded N$500. The amendment to the regulation relating to the Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1974 (4 of 1875) to restrict the use of plastic bags in national parks was alreay approved and gazetted in 2017 (Government Gazette 6285, 13 April 2018, p. 3, 4). Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) is putting in place the necessary systems to enforce the ban of plasic bags.

Namibia, Etosha National Park, watering hole, water hole
  • (1) No person shall enter a game park or nature reserve with a plastic bag.
  • (2) Notwithstanding  subregulation (1), a person may enter a game park or nature reserve with a plastic bag -
    • (a) designed to be used for the disposal of waste;
    • (b) designed for agricultural purposes;
    • (c) used for sampling or analysis;
    • (d) that constitutes, or forms an integral part of, the packaging in which goodsare sealed prior to sale in the local market or for export; or
    • (e) that is a transparent resealable bag.
  • (3) A person who contravenes subregulation (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$500 or to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

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