19 November 2019

South Africa Airways strike update!

According to South African Airways' latest press release, all flights to the airline's eight international destinations are now operating as usual and on an ongoing basis. Regional fligths to six destinations on the African continent, namely Accra, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo, Windhoek and Harare, are resuming today.
South African Airways is continuing to work with its partner airline Mango to re-book all customers travelling on domestic routes and is focussing on gradually ramping up its regional and domestic services. We'll keep you posted!


eSwatini Tourism released eight new official tourism videos!

eSwatini Tourism has released a number of videos about eSwatini, previously known as Swaziland and one of Lonely Planet's top countries for travel in 2020. All eight videos are focussing on different topics of tourists interests - from culture to scenery, wildlife and activities as well as regional highlights. Switch the video to full screen, put your headphones on, lean back and enjoy about 13 minutes about the Kingdom of eSwatini. Kudos eSwatini Tourism.

Africa's longest beachfront promenade has been opened in Durban!

Africa's longest beachfront promenade was officially opened on 16 November 2019 in Durban. The already existing promenade was extended by 750 m so that it now stretches across 8 km from the Umgeni River mouth at Blue Lagoon to the Durban harbour entrance, adjacent to the multi-billion-rand Point Waterfront urban renewal development. The promenade extension is wheelchair friendly and boasts a first aid room, undercover parking bays and a lifeguard tower, all located between the harbor mouth and uShaka Marine World. It welcomes skaters and people who cycle to work. With the ocean on one side and the city on the other, the newly constructed state of the art promenade is an open stretch for pedestrians surrounded by trees and grass, providing a serene way to experience the best that Durban has to offer.

18 November 2019

South African Airways: Domestic flights remain canceled, while six regional flights will be reinstated!

South Africa's flag carrier airline, South African Airways, has announced its intention to resume flights to Accra, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo, Windhoek and Harare, with effect from 19 November 2019. The airline will seek to rebook customers travelling on other regional routes (points on the African Continent) wherever possible.
South African Airways has extended its cancelled domestic flights for 19 November 2019 and 20 November 2019. The airline continues to work with its partner airlines, Mango and Airlink, to rebook all customers travelling on domestic services.
South African Airways' international flights are fully operational and customers are able to travel as booked.
Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airport unless they are in possession of a rebooked itinerary. Customers seeking a refund or wishing to rebook their travel on a future service operated by South African Airways have until 30 November 2019 to finalise their arrangements.


South Africa's best restaurants 2019!

South Africa's leading restaurant guide, Eat Out, has announced the winners of the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards at GrandWest in Cape Town on 17 November 2019. According to Eat Out, "La Colombe" in Constantia is South Africa's best restaurant of the year. The "The Test Kitchen" in Woodstock was named second best restaurant in South Africa, followed by last year's winner "The Restaurant at Waterkloof" in Somerset West and "Wolfgat", which was named "Restaurant of the Year" at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards 2019.


The Top 20 restaurants:
  1. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
  2. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
  3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
  4. Wolfgat (Paternoster, West Coast)
  5. FYN Restaurant (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  6. La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)
  7. Eike (Stellenbosch)
  8. Salsify (Camps Bay, Cape Town)
  9. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
  10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)
  11. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)
  12. Overture (Stellenbosch)
  13. LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate (Cowies Hill, Durban)
  14. Chefs Warehouse at Maison (Franschhoek)
  15. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)
  16. Le Coin Français (Franschhoek)
  17. La Tête (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  18. The Shortmarket Club (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  19. Tjing Tjing Momiji (City Bowl, Cape Town)
  20. Rust en Vrede (Stellenbosch)
In addition to the announcement of the Top 10, stellar restaurants and individuals on the South African scene also received special awards. They are:
  • Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Bertus Basson, Eike and Overture (Stellenbosch)
  • Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year: Jewell’s Restaurant (Paarl)
  • Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star: Katlego Mlambo, The Marabi Club (Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg)
  • Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef: Ivor Jones, Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia
    (Constantia, Cape Town)
  • Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)
  • Eat Out Nespresso Innovation Award: The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
  • Eat Out Service Excellence: The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
  • Eat Out Wine Service Award: Joseph Dhafana, La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
  • Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Jennifer Hugé
  • Eat Out Bridget McCarney Game Changer Award: SA POC at the Table
  • Eat Out Irna van Zyl Food Media Icon: Dorah Sitole
  • Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Annette Kesler
  • Eat Out Style Award: FYN Restaurant (City Bowl, Cape Town)

15 November 2019

South African Airways reintroduces international flights from 18 November 2019 and extends cancellations of domestic and regional flights

South Africa's flag carrier airline, South African Airways, has announced that it is aiming to operate all international flights, departing from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, with effect from 17 November 2019. Departures from South African Airways' international stations, including London, New York, Washington, Munich, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, are expected to operate from 18 November 2019. The first departure from São Paulo is expected to operate on 17 November 2019, while the first departure from Perth is expected to operate on 19 November 2019. The airline's domestic and regional flights scheduled for 17 November 2018 and 18 November 2019 will remain cancelled. South African Airways is working with Mango to to re-accommodate as many customers as possible travelling on domestic services and with Airlink on regional services.
The extension of cancellations is a result of ongoing industrial action by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

Fastjet to launch flights between Bulawayo <> Johannesburg!

Low-cost carrier Fastjet (Zimbabwe) is set to introduce scheduled direct fligths between Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) in Bulawayo and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Effective 05 December 2019, the airline will operate 22 flights per week including double daily frequencies from Mondays to Fridays with a single flight operation on Sunday.

14 November 2019

Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park: All roads in the Mbhuzane Section have been closed until further notice! [update]

update (15 November 2019): Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife just announced that all gravel roads (!) in the Mbhuzane Section of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park remain closed until further notice for sedans with a low ground clearance. This is with the exception of the road from Mpila to Cengeni via point 28 (Mantiyane) and 24 (Msasaneni).

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wildlife conservation areas and biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, has announced that all roads in the Mbhuzane Section of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park have been closed until further notice. The roads have been very badly damaged in places due to hevy rain received on 13 November 2019 This is with the exception of the road from Mpila to Cengeni via point 28 (Mantiyane) and 24 (Msasaneni). Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife advises drivers to take extreme caution when traveling this route and recommends not to use sedan vehicles with a low ground clearance.



Namibia: Windhoek has renamed 13 streets!

The City of Windhoek has renamed 13 streets in Windhoek to honour of Namibians who played an important role in the development of Namibia before and after independence. The 13 Namibians who are honoured are Shikongo Gabriel Nuunyango, Matheus Kristof Shikongo, Mburumba Kerina, Tsukhoe //Gowases, Johannes Karuaihe, Paulus //Gowaseb, Ivako Kapuuo, Bartholomew Karuaera, Mika Kaiyamo, Erwin Tjirimuje, Simeon Lineekela Kambo Shixungileni, Festus Lazarus and Deon Heunis de Wet.

The affected streets are as follows:

  • Penning Street (Katutura) now Shikongo Nuunyango Street
  • Lazarus Street (Katutura) now Festus Lazarus Street
  • Bahnhof Street (Windhoek) now Mburumba Kerina Street
  • Ranonkel, Begonia and Rooivalk Streets (Khomasdal) now Tsukhoe //Gowases Street
  • Dan Close (Elisenheim) now Deon Heunis Close
  • Lüderitz Street (Windhoek) now Judge JP Karuaihe Street
  • Julius Nyerere (Okuryangava) now Rev Paulus //Gowaseb Street
  • Eneas Nanyemba (Katutura – Freedom Square), now Ivako Kapuuo Street
  • Ceaser Street (Wanaheda) now Rev. BG Karuaera Street
  • Dorp Street (Katutura) now Ev Mika Kaiyamo Street
  • Lucifer and Legioen Streets (Katutura) now Rev. Erwin Tjirimuje Street
  • Bismarck Street (Windhoek) now Simeon Shixungileni Street

South African Airways cancels most flights on 15 & 16 November 2019 ahead of strike!

South Africa's flag carrier airline, South African Airways, has has cancelled nearly all its domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for 15 November 2019 and 16 November 2019. The cancellations follow an announcement by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that their members will embark on industrial action starting in the morning hours of 15 November 2019. The two unions are unhappy with South African Airways' restructuring plans which it announced this week in a bid to keep it afloat. Only flights operated by South African Airways will be affected. All flights operated on partner airlines, including SA Express, Mango, SA Airlink and all codeshare partners, including flights operated by our Star Alliance partner airlines will not be affected.

13 November 2019

Cape Town Tourism releases "Love Cape Town - The Movie"!

Cape Town Tourism has released a new, ten minute promotional video about Cape Town. "Love Cape Town - The Movie" showcases (almost) everything the Mother City has to offer - from nature to adventure, delectable food, and accommodation to suit every traveller. Switch the video to full screen, put your headphones on, lean back, enjoy this great video and daydream yourself to Cape Town. Kudos Cape Town Tourism!


Malawi: African Parks reintroduced 17 black rhinos to Liwonde National Park!

African Parks, a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities, has re-introduced 17 endangered black rhinos into Liwonde National Park in Malawi. The animals were all succesfully released into the National Park on 12 Novmber 2019. The 17 rhinos were translocated from Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, into Liwonde National Park. Carried out in conjunction with World Wildlife Fund South Africa, Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, this is one of the largest international black rhino translocations to date.
African Parks is also moving two of
Liwonde National Park's existing rhinos to Majete Wildlife Reserve, and another rhino from Majete to Liwonde, to improve genetic diversity and create a healthy population of rhinos for Malawi.

Black rhino after release in plains of Liwonde National Park, Malawi
© African Parks/Kelsey Green

11 November 2019

Mpumalanga: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) to increase entry fees!

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) is set to implement an increase in the entry fees at its various nature reserves around Mpumalanga, effective from 01 December 2019. The annunal tariffs increase is based on 4.5% inflation rate for all product offerings. All tariffs will be charged in South African Rand (ZAR) and in other areas where applicable, it will be per person. These tariffs will continue to be increased annually according to the inflation rate. The MTPA is custodian of 15 protected areas spread across three district municipalities in Mpumalanga.

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Ehlanzeni District:
  • Andover Nature Reserve
  • Barberton Nature Reserve
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Mahushe Shongwe Nature Reserve        
  • Manyeleti Nature Reserve
  • Mthethomusha Nature Reserve
Gert Sibande District:
  • Nooitgedacth Dam Nature Reserve        
  • Songimvelo Nature Reserve
Nkangala District:
  • Loskop Dam Nature Reserve
  • Mabusa Nature Reserve
  • Mkhombo Nature Reserve
  • Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve
  • S.S Skosana Nature Reserve

South Africa relaxes travel requirements for child tourists!

South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has signed a waiver that allows foreign children to enter South Africa without carrying additional supporting documents such as birth certificates and consent letters. The waiver has been applicable since 8 November 2019 - after the Minister's signature. The Department of Home Affairs has communicated the changes to immigration officials at all ports of entry and to the airline and maritime industries. Foreign children who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry the supporting documents for inspection at a port of entry since these will be processed together with their visa applications. South African children are still required to provide supporting documents, in line with the requirements of the Children's Act. The same applies to unaccompanied foreign children.

Department of Home Affairs - UPDATED ADVISORY NOVEMBER 2019: NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDREN TRAVELLING THROUGH SOUTH AFRICAN PORTS OF ENTRY

The DHA is custodian, protector and verifier of the identity and status of citizens and other persons resident in South Africa. This makes it possible for people to realize their rights and access benefits and opportunities in both the public and private domains.

08 November 2019

Uganda Airlines to launch a nonstop service between Entebbe <> Mombasa!

The flag carrier of Uganda, Uganda Airlines, is set to launch a new nonstop service between Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe, Uganda, and Moi International Airport (MBA) in Mombasa, Kenya. Effective 11 November 2019, the airline will operate three weekly return flights to Mombasa on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays on board a Bombardier CRJ900ER. The flight time between Entebbe and Mombasa is one hour and 50 minutes. Mombasa will be Uganda Airlines' seventh destination since the airline resumed operations in August 2019.

07 November 2019

Rossiya Airlines has launched a seasonal direct service between Moscow <> Zanzibar!

Russian airline Rossiya Airlines has launched a seasonal direct service between Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) in Moscow, Russia, and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania, on 27 October 2019. Flights from Moscow to Zanzibar are carried out every Saturday, while the return flights from Zanzibar to Moscow are carried out every Sunday. Rossiya Airlines operates the route on board a 552-seat Boeing 747-400.

South Africa: Annual entrance fee increase for Garden Route National Park!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced the 2019/2020 tariffs for Garden Route National Park. SANParks has adjusted the entrance fees - also known as conservation fees - for most of the gates to include CPI (Consumer Price Index) this year. The daily fee price change also took into account suggestions from cyclists. A day's pass for cycling the world-famous Harkerville mountain bike routes and Homtini mountain bike route costs R53. There is an introduction of monthly, seasonal and a family permit for cycling. There is also a 20% discount applicable to vessels that are kinder to the environment such as 4-stroke engines, provided there is proof thereof. Tariffs for canoes, rowing boats and electric boats also qualify for a discount. 30 day-permits cost R100 and annual permits R200. This applies to all visitors to Garden Route National Park with the exception of members of SANParks' Wild Card programme, who can enter without payment. The new rates are effective from 01 November 2019 to 31 October 2020.

Tsitsikamma section entrance gate fees:

  • South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)    
    • R62 per adult, per day
    • R31 per child, per day
  • SADC Nationals (with passport)
    • R124 per adult, per day
    • R62 per child, per day
  • Standard Conservation Fee    
    • R248 per adult, per day
    • R124 per child, per day
Nature's Valley section entrance gate fees:
  • South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)    
    • R56 per adult, per day
    • R28 per child, per day
  • SADC Nationals (with passport)    
    • R56 per adult, per day
    • R28 per child, per day
  • Standard Conservation Fee    
    • R112 per adult, per day
    • R56 per child, per day
Knysna section entrance gate fees:
  • South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)
    • R38 per adult, per day
    • R19 per child, per day
  • SADC Nationals (with passport)
    • R76 per adult, per day
    • R38 per child, per day
  • Standard Conservation Fee
    • R152 per adult, per day
    • R76 per child, per day
Wilderness section entrance gate fees:
  • South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)    
    • R46 per adult, per day
    • R23 per child, per day
  • SADC Nationals (with passport)    
    • R92 per adult, per day
    • R46 per child, per day
  • Standard Conservation Fee    
    • R152 per adult, per day
    • R76 per child, per day

06 November 2019

Cape Town: Robben Island to increase rates in June 2020!

The Robben Island Museum (RIM) on Cape Town's Robben Island, which is responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site, will increase its rates with effect from 01 June 2020. The RIM will apply a R50 increase on international tour prices and a R20 increase on local tour prices. Robben Island's standard tour comprises of a ferry return trip, transport on the Island, a guided Island tour and a guided Prison tour. 

Robben Island, Limestone Quarry, Cape Town, South Africa, Nelson Mandela

The new standard tariffs will be as follows:
  • R 600 (£32 | €37 | US$41) for non-South African adults
  • R 300 (£31 | €18 | US$20) for non-South African children aged two to 18 years.
  • R 400 (£21 | €25 | US$27) for South African adults
  • R 210 (£11 | €13 | US$14) for South African children aged two to 18 years.
Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, about 7km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand in Cape Town. South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.

South Africa: Seasonal rainfall & temperature outlook (November 2019 to Februay 2020)!

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the seasonal forecast for the summer 2019/20 in South Africa. The SAWS seasonal prediction system indicates enhanced probabilities of below-normal rainfall over the far eastern parts of the country, while above-normal rainfall is predicted to be more likely for the western to central parts of South Africa (November 2019 - January 2020). Towards mid-summer (December 2019 - February 2020), predictions indicate an increased likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions. Likewise, higher than normal temperatures are expected this summer. 

South Africa, landscape, black and white

According to the SAWS other prediction centres, such as the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (USA) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (EU), prognose for this summer season 2019/20 even higher and more widespread probabilities of below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures over southern Africa compared to the SAWS forecast, in particular for the mid-summer period. [via]

Kenya: Kenya Airways and Safarilink have signed a one-way codeshare agreement!

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, and Safarilink, a Kenyan regional airline based based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, have signed a one-way codeshare agreement. The agreement allows passengers of Kenya Airways to combine their travel experience between respective international destinations and 18 destinations that Safarilink operates within Kenya and to Tanzania. The partnership will see Kenya Airways place its codeshare flight numbers on the Safarilink flights so that when customers from international destinations book online, they are able to book with connectivity to all Safarilink destinations.

05 November 2019

Zimbabwe: African Parks takes over management of Matusadonha National Park!

African Parks, a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities, and the Government of Zimbabwe have signed a 20-year agreement on 01 November 2019 for the management of the iconic Matusadonha National Park in in northern Zimbabwe. The organisation, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) is set to implement management strategies to secure the National Park and restore wildlife populations, unlocking its ecological, social and economic value enabling communities to derive long-term benefits. According to news reports, African Parks will invest US$8m in the next five years to revive Matusadonha National Park.



The 1,407km²
Matusadonha National Park is situated in the north-west of Zimbabwe on the southern shores of Lake Kariba. It was once a conservation stronghold for elephants, lions and black rhinos until rampant poaching decimated populations. Matusadonha National Park is the sixteenth park to fall under African Parks' management, and the first within Zimbabwe.

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in October 2019!

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, Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) and Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth in October 2019.
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 October 2019
  • Airlink - 95.67% (September 94.44%)
  • FlySafair - 95.43% (September 94.47%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 89.39% (September 89.24%)
  • South African Airways - 86.61% (September 87.11%)
  • Kulula.com - 75.80% (September 85.33%) 
  • SA Express - 66.39% (September 67.02%)
  • Mango - 66.02% (September 67.80%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (September --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2019
  • Airlink - 93.97% (September 96.00%
  • FlySafair - 92.82% (September 95.59%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 84.35% (September 89.20%)
  • South African Airways - 84.25% (September 88.68%)
  • SA Express - 76.98% (September 86.96%)
  • Mango - 73.17% (September 75.91%)
  • Kulula.com - 71.71% (September 89.67%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (September --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2019
  • FlySafair - 97.26% (September 95.23%)
  • Airlink - 96.41% (September 98.66%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 89.79% (September 92.32%)
  • South African Airways - 85.80% (September 88.32%)
  • Kulula.com - 80.65% (September 86.27%)
  • Mango - 78.55% (September 76.38%)
  • SA Express - 57.89% (September --.--%)
Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ), Port Elizabeth - 15 Min on Time Performance October 2019
  • Flysafair - 96.23% (September 97.12%)
  • Airlink - 98.70% (September 95.17%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 92.08% (September 92.61%)
  • Mango - 80.80% (September 78.75%)
  • South African Airways - 74.14% (September 83.93%)
  • SA Express - 51.67% (September --.--%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (September --.--%)