30 December 2018

Kruger National Park Calendar - February

  • much the same as January
  • traditionally flood season
  • heavy rains can cause rivers to suddenly burst their banks
rhino, rhinoceros, safari, Kruger National Park, South Africa, wildlife

  • plants at their most nutrtious
  • large vleis (shallow seasonal or intermittent lakes) on the basalt plain
  • many aloes in flower
Animal Activity
  • large herds of grazers spread across the Eastern Grasslands
  • many nursery herds (protected by matriachs or alpha males)
  • breading season for Waterbucks
  • loads of bird activity around the flowering aloes

27 December 2018

RwandAir to launch direct flights between Kigali <> Addis Ababa!

Rwanda's flag carrier, RwandAir, is set to launch scheduled direct flights between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa in April 2019. The airline will operate five flights per week on board a Bombardier CRJ-900NG aircraft between the two destinations. Addis Ababa will be Rwandair's 27th destination in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

20 December 2018

South Africa: Spring tide alert for the Christmas weekend!

South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is urging anglers fishing along South Africa's coastline, bathers, beach walkers and coastal hikers to be cautious as the full moon spring tide effect has now started taking effect leading towards the full moon peak at 15:00 on 22 December 2018. This spring tide alert applies from 20 December 2018 to 26 December 2018 when the full moon spring tide will bring a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide. The spring high tides which peak every afternoon during this coming week indicates that some beaches will have very little place for beach goers as the high tide rises.

beach, South Africa, small aircraft

Botswana: Diversion of traffic between the border post, Kazungula and the landing bay on the Zambezi river!

According to the official facebook page of the Government of Botswana, the road from the Botswana border post "Kazungula Ferry" to the pontoon landing bay of the actual Kazungula Ferry on the Zambezi river will be closed on 23 December 2018. This is to facilitate the ongoing construction of the Kazungula Bridge access ramp. Therefore, as from 24 December 2018, all traffic will be required to use the detour road. The public is urged to adhere to the installed signage and to fully cooperate with the flag persons situated along the detour to ensure safe and efficient flow. The detour will be in use until the Kazungula Bridge is completed and opened to traffic. The Kazungula Bridge is a road and rail bridge under construction over the Zambezi river between the countries of Zambia and Botswana at the town of Kazungula. The bridge will replace the existing ferry.

19 December 2018

West Coast National Park: Kraalbaai Precinct upgrade to commence in January 2019!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has received an environmental authorisation to proceed with the upgrade of the public and park facilities at Kraalbaai beach in the West Coast National Park. SANParks will be erecting new ablutions, an office and resurfacing the car park at the location. The upgrade will commence on 21 January 2019 and should take approximately 11 months to complete. The management of the West Coast National Park request that all visitors to the area please heed to visitor advisory signage and park at the Preekstoel parking area to visit Kraalbaai beach.

18 December 2018

South Africa: Cemair to restore service as soon as possible! [update]

update (19 December 2018): CemAir flights will be resumed on 20 December 2018. All bookings will be valid for travel.

update (19 December 2018): The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has released a media statement regarding South African carrier CemAir. According to the statement, the airline, which was grounded by SACAA on 14 December 2018, will finally comply with its operating certificates conditions. Following an order of the High Court, CemAir's Air Operator Certificates (AOC) are temporarily lifted with conditions. 

South African regional carrier Cemair just announed on Facebook and its website that its urgent application in South Africa's High Court to overturn the suspension of its Air Operator Certificates (AOC) by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has been successful. In the coming hours, the airline will announce plans to restore service as soon as possible. We'll keep you posted!

Botswana: Seasonal Rainfall and Temperature Outlook Update for the January to April 2019 rainfall season

Botswana's Department of Meteorological Services (DMS) has released the National Seasonal Rainfall and Temperature Outlook Update for Botswana for the January to April 2019 rainfall season. According to the outlook, the month from January to March 2019 will generally be a normal to below rainfall season, while some parts across central Botswana are expected to receive normal to above rains during the month from February to April 2019. Most parts of the country are expected to be relatively hot as above normal temperatures are anticipated.

South African Airways and Emirates expand commercial relationship!

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), and the world's largest international airline, Emirates, are expanding their commercial relationship. The two airlines have signed an enhanced commercial partnership agreement, which will see the relationship between the two carriers grow and will strengthen their already successful codeshare agreement signed in 1997. SAA and Emirates will work towards bringing more synergies in their respective route network, customer touch points, cargo services and flight schedules to enable seamless connectivity and enhance passenger flows. Connectivity will be improved by adjusting connecting times through Johannesburg, with a special focus on popular regional markets. Included in the new agreement are plans to enhance the frequent flyer programs, SAA's "Voyager" and Emirates' "Skywards" programme. The two airlines will separately work on other areas of bilateral cooperation and an exchange of best practices across multiple airline functions.

17 December 2018

Zambia: Proflight Zambia puts its flights to Kasama on hold!

Zambian airline Proflight Zambia puts its flights to Kasama Airport (KAA) in Kasama, located in Zambia's Northern Province, on hold pending modifications to the larger aircraft it plans to deploy on the route. The airline had assigned a larger 29-seat Jetstream 41 aircraft to its Kasama routes from 01 January 2019 in the expectation that the Kasama Airport's runway would be tarred, but delays to that process mean the landing strip remains gravelled and unsuitable for that aircraft. Proflight Zambia expects its flights from Lusaka and Ndola to Kasama to be suspended for January until April 2019.

Fastjet suspended all domestic flights in Tanzania! [update]

update (19 December 2018): The following flights operated by fastjet Airlines Ltd (Tanzania) have been placed on hold pending the airline providing the necessary assurances to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).
· Dar es Salaam to Mwanza
· Mwanza to Dar es Salaam
· Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro
· Kilimanjaro to Dar es Salaam
· Dar es Salaam to Mbeya
· Mbeya to Dar es Salaam
· Dar es Salaam to Harare
· Harare to Dar es Salaam
· Lusaka to Dar es Salaam
· Dar es Salaam to Lusaka

The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has revoked fastjet's qualification of operate flights in Tanzania due to the frequent cancellation of flights. This only affects flights operated by fastjet Tanzania, which has officially suspended all flights within the Tanzanian network with immediate effect. All flights to and from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique remain unaffected as these are conducted by other airlines part of Fastjet. Fastjet Plc is a British/South African-based holding company for a group of lowcost carriers that operate in Africa.

14 December 2018

Air Botswana: Service disruptions due to shortage of aircraft!

Botswana's flag carrier, Air Botswana, has informed the public that it is likely to experience service disruptions due to shortage of aircraft. The airline has to revert to a 2-aircraft operation and will therefor most likely be forced to re-schedule some flights during the holiday travel period. According to a press release, the Air Botswana is already taking steps to minimize the impact of these disruptions and will communicate timeously and frequently about the status of affected fligths. The airline advises its customers to contact the nearest Air Botswana office for more information and further assistance. We'll keep you posted in case more information become available. 

South Africa: The South African Civil Aviation Authority has grounded CemAir! [update]

update (14 December 2018): Cemair regrets the indefinite suspension and rejects the reasons offered by the SACAA for their decision. According to a statement on facebook, the airline can currently not offer alternative solutions to their custoners and advises its customers to book an alternative journey to their destinations. Cemair will advise at the soonest possible time about a refund process for bookings with the airline. 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has grounded South African regional carrier CemAir by suspending two of the airline's Air Operator Certificates (AOC). As a result Cemair can no longer operate as an airline or air operator or fly any of its 21 aircraft in South Africa. SACAA said in an official statement, that “These myriad of identified non-compliances bring to the fore the fact that the actions and conduct of this operator pose a serious and immediate threat to safety". We'll keep you posted!

13 December 2018

South Africa: FlySafair & Air France-KLM have signed an interline agreement!

South African regional carrier FlySafair and Air France-KLM have signed an interline agreement. The new cooperation, which took effect on 11 December 2018, enables travellers to book just one ticket with two flight segments for intercontinental flights between Europa and South Africa with Air France-KLM and domestic (connecting) flights within South Africa with FlySafair. The interline agreement also includes baggage transfer at the connecting airport.
Air France-KLM currently operates flights between Paris (Air France & Joon) and Cape Town, between Amsterdam (KLM) and
Cape Town, between Paris (Air France) and Johannesburg as well as between Amsterdam (KLM) and Johannesburg. FlySafair's domestic network in South Africa includes Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, George, East London and Durban.

12 December 2018

Kenya introduced new currency coins!

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has introduced a new generation of coins in Kenya on 11 December 2018. The new legal tender, which contains features that make it accessible to visually impaired people, is available in denominations of Sh1, Sh5, Sh10 and Sh20. While the notes currently in circulation have the images of Kenya's first President Jomo Kenyatta and his successor Daniel arap Moi, the new generation of coins bears the iamge of a giraffe (Sh1 coin), the image of a rhino (Sh5 coin), the image of a lion (Sh10 coin) and the image of an elephant (Sh20 coin). The old-generation coins will be phased-out gradually, with the new currency coins circulating alongside the existing ones.

11 December 2018

Air Botswana resumed flights between Gaborone <> Cape Town! [update]

update (28 February 2019): Air Botswana resumes flights between Gaborone <> Cape Town on 01 March 2019.

Botswana's flag carrier, Air Botswana, has resumed direct flights between Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) in Gaborone and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. The airline operates three weekly flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays onboard its new Embraer ERJ170 aircraft. Until February 2018, Air Botswana operated scheduled flights between Gaborone and Cape Town through a lease agreement with CemAir. The South Arican carrier was temporarily grounded by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) earlier the same month, so that Air Botswana had to suspend the service and did not renew the lease agreement.

Western Cape: De Mond Nature Reserve is currently closed due to fires! [update]

update (14 December 2018): The De Mond Nature Reserve has re-opened for day visitors following fires in the area. The overnight cottage will remain closed until further notice.

CapeNature's De Mond Nature Reserve in the Western Cape is currently closed due to fires in the area. The World Heritage Site is located at the mouth of the Heuningnes River. It lies about 26km south-east of Bredasdorp on the south-western Cape coast, between Arniston and Struisbaai. The reserves covers an area of 954 hectares and is a popular spot for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.

Cape Town: Safety tips for Table Mountain and the Cableway! (video)

A visit to the top of Table Mountain is one of the "MUST DO's" for travellers making a stop in Cape Town. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has collaborated with Table Mountain National Park on a video filled with tips on how to make the most of your visit to Table Mountain in a safe and happy manner. Enjoy!

10 December 2018

Festive season 2018/19: Kruger National Park to enforce daily gate quotas!

South African National Parks (SANParks) will enforce daily quotas for day visitors at the entrance gates to Kruger National Park over the coming festive season (13 December 2018 - 08 January 2019). Through the day visitor quota for Kruger National Park SANParks aims to better manage the expected volumes of visitors, as well as to improve the visitors' expectations. SANParks has introduced three time slots, of which day visitos can choose from. It is advised to book a time slot prior to arrival, as pre-booked day visitors will get preference over non-booked day visitors at Kruger National Park's entrance gates.
  • Time slot 1 - 05:30 to 07:30
  • Time slot 2 - 07:30 to 09:30
  • Time slot 3 - 09:30 onwards
Pre-booked day visitors must ensure that they arrive within the time slots, as per their reservation. Arriving outside the booked time slot, will be regarded as non-booked and therefore not preferential. These bookings can be changed through SANParks Reservations offices.

elephants, river, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Visitors should also take note of the following important information:
  • Day Visitor bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R43 per adult and R22 per child.
  • Day Visitors who have pre-booked will still be required to pay Conservation Fees or use a valid Wild Card to enter Kruger National Park. The Conservation Fee for South African residents as well as Zimbabwe and Mocambique nationals (passport required to prove this) is R93 per adult and R47 per child between ages 2 - 11. For nationals of Eswatini (previously Swaziland) and other SADC countries the conservation fees are R186 per adult and R93 per child. For all other guests the standard conservation fees of R372 for adults  and R186 for children applies.
  • Guests planning to use Wild Cards are requested to ensure membership is valid before arrival and this can best be done online at www.sanparks.org/wild
  • The number and profile of persons (adults and children) on the reservation and actual persons arriving should correspond.
  • All guests (drivers and passengers) may be required to identify themselves upon admission (South African drivers' license, identity document or passport).
  • Due to existing contractual arrangements with Open Safari Vehicles (OSVs), they are regarded as booked for all Day Visitor admissions.
  • Gate quotas will be applied and un-booked guests could be denied entry.

Telegraph Travel Awards 2018: Cape Town has just been named "greatest city on Earth" for the sixth year in a row!

For the sixth consecutive year, Cape Town has scooped the Best City Award in the 2018 edition of one of Britain's most comprehensive, wide-ranging and reliable reader travel surveys, the annual Telegraph Travel Awards. Over 45,000 people took part in the survey and voted for their favourite travel destinations.

Cape Town, South Africa

Top 10 cities in the world as voted by the Telegraph Travel Readers (UK):

  1. Cape Town
  2. Tokyo
  3. Vancouver
  4. Seville
  5. Sydney
  6. New York
  7. Venice
  8. Florence
  9. Rome
  10. San Francisco
South Africa was voted second most favourite country in the world by the readers of the Telegraph, after the country was voted third in the previous four Telegraph Travel Awards.

07 December 2018

Alitalia to increase flights between Rome <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier of Italy, Alitalia, is set to increase the number of flights between Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) in Rome and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg during the Northern summer season 2019. Effective 01 April 2019, the airline will operate five weekly flights instead of the current four weekly flights. The new flight will be operated on Mondays (FCO > JNB) and on Tuesdays (JNB > FCO). Alitalia resumed flights between Rome and Johannesburg after a 17-year hiatus in April 2018.

Condé Nast Traveler: Namibia is one of "The 19 Best Places to Go in 2019"

According to the Condé Nast Traveler/Traveller, Namibia is one of "The 19 Best Places to Go in 2019". All 19 destinations on this year's list, including - just to name a few - Egypt, Japan, Puerto Rico and Singapore, are endorsed and vetted by editors from both Condé Nast Traveler U.S. and Condé Nast Traveller U.K.. Congratulations!

Namibia, Etosha National Park, sundowner, safari

Condé Nast Traveler
is a US-based luxury and lifestyle travel magazine published by Condé Nast, while Condé Nast Traveller is the entirely separate UK edition of the magazine.

Kenya Airways to reduce flights between Nairobi <> New York!

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, will reduce the number of flights between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York from the current seven to five a week effective 15 January 2019. The flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. According to a statement by Kenya Airways, the airline remains strongly committed to the New York route and will continue to offer non-stop services between Kenya and the USA. Kenya Airways launched its service between Nairobi and New York on 28 October 2018.

06 December 2018

Kruger National Park unveils activity vehicles for people with mobility challenge

The management of the Kruger National Park has introduced four 14-seater vehicles equipped with lifts for wheelchairs, which will be used to transport tourists with mobility challenges on game viewing activities. Lucy Nhlapo, the South African National Parks (SANParks) General Manager: Marula Region, officially unveiled the vehicles in the Skukuza Rest Camp on 04 December 2018 and said that it is part of the Kruger National Park's mission to ensure that people with mobility issues can also enjoy a wildlife experience.

Some of the places of interest which provide universal access in
Kruger National Park are:
  • The Rhino Museum at Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp
  • The Indigenous Nursery in Skukuza Rest Camp – which provides scent stimulation and sounds that enable visitors to enjoy nature through multiple senses
  • The accessible trail at Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp
  • The Elephant Interpretive Centre at Letaba Rest Camp

05 December 2018

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in November 2018!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in November 2018.
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 (JNB), Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance November 2018 (airport target 87%)

  1. FlySafair - 91.91% (October 92.78%)
  2. SA Express - 84.92% (October 88.01%)
  3. Airlink - 83.81% (October 86.90%)
  4. CemAir - 77.84% (October 75.62%)
  5. South African Airways - 76.34% (October 80.97%)
  6. Mango - 75.43% (October 78.13%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 71.45% (October 74.49%)
  8. Kulula.com - 59.05% (October 62.44%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (October --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2018 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.82% (October 95.21%)
  2. CemAir - 93.02% (October 91.23%)
  3. Airlink - 86.52% (October 86.52%)
  4. Mango - 80.50% (October 84.50%)
  5. South African Airways - 76.44% (October 86.35%)
  6. Kulula.com - 72.56% (October 70.59%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 71.56% (October 77.11%)
  8. SA Express - --.--% (October --.--%)   
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.--% (October --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2018 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.50% (November 93.57%)
  2. Airlink - 90.59% (November 90.94%)
  3. Mango - 81.06% (November 83.76%)
  4. South African Airways - 77.91% (November 77.25%)
  5. Kulula.com - 72.26% (November 68.30%)
  6. British Airways Domestic - 70.40% (November 78.82%)
  7. SA Express - --.--% (November --.--%)