31 May 2019

Kruger National Park Calendar - July!

  • warm to cool days
  • cold nights & chilly mornings
  • occasional winds
  • occasional patches of hot weather
  • almost no rain
Kruger National Park, South Africa, safari, giraffe

  • Water becomes scarce throughout the park
  • bush is very dry; almost no leaf cover
  • strange-smelling "potato bush" begins flowering
Animal Activity:
  • Game increasingly concentrated around water
  • game spotting usually very good in the South of the park
  • north of the park dominated by elephants
  • resident raptors breeding
  • many weaker aninmals taken by predators

South African Airways and Alaska Airlines launched a new interline agreement!

South Africa's national carrier, South African Airways, and the fifth largest airline in the United States of America, Alaska Airlines, established a new interline partnership. With immediate effect, travellers can travel on one single electronic ticket and through interline baggage transfer upon check-in with either South African Airways or Alaska Airlines in the U.S. or Africa. Travellers can enjoy connections via John F. Kennedy International Airport (SFO) in New York and Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington D.C., between Alaska Airlines’ North American network and over 75 destinations in Africa served by South African Airways and its regional partners.

28 May 2019

Namibia: The City of Windhoek has renamed Lazarett Street!

The City of Windhoek has renamed Lazarett Street in Windhoek after Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Julius K. Nyerere Street) in honour of his contributions to a united and decolonised Africa. Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a Tanzanian anti-colonial activist, politician, and political theorist. The renaming ceremony, which was attended by Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and his counterpart Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, took place on 27 May 2019.

27 May 2019

Image film: "Connected by trail" - trail running in 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, has teamed up with local top trail-runners Meg Mackenzie, Ryan Sandes, Stu McConnachie and Nic Rupanga to show the world just how epic – and diverse - the trails in the Western Cape really are. "Connected by trail" explores not only the trails themselves, but the trail running community that has transformed the sport from a niche pastime to a mainstream activity. Kudos! Enjoy!

Limpopo: Popular "Sunland Baobab" site has been closed to the public!

The owner of the "Sunland Baobab", an enormous baobab on the "Sunland Farm" in Modjadjiskloof in South Africa's Limpopo Province, has announced the full closure of the previously popuar tourist spot. 

Half of the baobab collapsed in 2017, so that the famous "Baobab Tree Bar" inside the hollowed out tree, was destroyed. Although there is still a branch attached to the root, the famous baobab is not the same as what people usually came to see and experience.
According to Heather van Heerden, former owner ofthe
"Sunland Baobab", the land has since been leased to other people who could possibly use it for farming.

24 May 2019

Air Namibia suspended its service to Lagos & Accra!

Namibia's flag carrier, Air Namibia, has suspended its service between Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra, Ghana, via Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos, Nigeria, effective today, 24 May 2019. The airline launched the route at the end of June 2018. According to a statement by Air Namibia, the load factor performance of the route dropped from average 55% attained during June 2018 to January 2019, to between 35% and 38% during February to April 2019. Affected passengers will be assisted by accommodating them on flights operated by Air Namibia's partner airlines at the airline's cost, or they will be refunded if they opt not to fly anymore.

Uganda: Kampala bans donations to street children!

Uganda's capital Kampala has made it illegal to offer money, food or a donation to street children. Violators of this new law could face a fine of Shs41,350 (about GBP8.65 | €9.80 | $11.00 | ZAR160.00) or up to six months in jail. According to the city's lord mayor, Erias Lukwago, the new law aims to curb the commercial and sexual exploitation of children and also penalises traffickers, agents and parents of the children found begging or selling items on the street.

23 May 2019

Botswana lifts ban on hunting! [update]

update (24 May 2019): The Government of Botswana has released more details regarding the hunting suspension.
  • Hunting will be allowed on a small, strictly controlled basis, with fewer than 400 elephant licenses to be granted annually, as has been approved by CITES.
  • Priority will be given to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Trusts in allocation of hunting quotas (over 50% of quota to be given to CBOs and Trusts).
  • Hunting will be re-instated only in designated Concession Hunting Areas (CHAs.)
  • There will be equitable distribution of citizen hunting quota.
  • Citizen hunting license shall not be transferable.
  • An effective hunting quota allocation system shall be developed based on science.
  • Animals to be included in the hunting quota shall be those currently reflected in Schedule 7 of the Wildlife and National Parks Act of 1992.
  • Special game license will not be re-instated due to existence of other government social safety nets to cover for such. [src.]

The Government of Botswana has lifted its ban on hunting. According to a statement on Facebook by the country's Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, the decision to lift the hunting suspension follows extensive consultations with all stakeholders, including local authorities, affected communities, NGO's, tourism businesses, conservationists, researchers and other stakeholders. 

elephant, desert, botswana

The Government of Botswana established a Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban Social Dialogue in June 2018, through which the suspension of hunting in Botswana was reviewed. Some of the findings of the Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban and Social Dialogue were as follows:
  1. The number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing;
  2. Predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they kill livestock in large numbers;
  3. There is a negative impact of the hunting suspension on livelihoods, particularly for community based organisations that were previously benefiting from consumptive utilisation;
  4. The lack of capacity within the Department of Wildlife and National Parks leads to long response time to problem animal control reports; and
  5. The general consensus from those consulted was that the hunting ban should be lifted.
On the basis of these issues, the Government of Botswana has reflected and assessed the recommendations, and lifted the suspension. Hunting of wildlife in in all controlled hunting areas in Botswana was banned with effect from January 2014. We'll keep you posted!

Addo Elephant National Park: Zuurberg hiking trails will be closed on 31 May 2019!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Zuurberg walking trails in Addo Elephant National Park will be closed on Friday, 31 May 2019, due to the Great Zuurberg Trail Run taking place in that ("Zuurberg") section of the Park.

The Great Zuurberg Trail Run is a three-day stage race (31 May - 02 June 2019) that covers 60km. It takes runners through the untamed wild of Addo up to the Zuurberg mountains, and across remote sections of the
Addo Elephant National Park.

22 May 2019

Rwandair to launch direct flights between Kigali <> Tel Aviv!

Rwanda's flag carrier, Rwandair, is set to launch a new direct service between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Effective 25 June 2019, the airline will operate three weekly return fligths to Israel on board a Boeing 737-800.

/Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park: Hobas Lodge in Namibia set to re-open!

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), the state-owned enterprise mandated to run the tourism facilities within the protected areas of Namibia, has announced that the Hobas Lodge in the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is set to re-open on 01 June 2019. The lodge was closed in early February 2019 due to flash floods which resulted in a damaged sewerage system, broken trees and vast piles of sand around the restaurant, swimming pool and camping grounds.
The Hobas Lodge is situated at the northern end of the Fish River Canyon in the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and offers six en-suite rooms and 14 campsites. The lodge is widely known as the main starting point of the Fish River Canyon hiking trail

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, hiking, black and white

nb. Regarding the availability of water within the
Fish River Canyon, the NWR has in cooperation with Namibia Breweries Ltd. proactivley introduced measures to supply water at the 20km – 35km entrance from /Ai-/Ais and the cut of at 40km from Sulphur Springs. Namibia Breweries Ltd. assisting NWR by providing equipment such as tanks and portable water containers.

21 May 2019

South Africa: Airlink to introduce seasonal midweek flights between Cape Town <> St Helena!

South African regional carrier Airlink is set to launch a new connection between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and St. Helena Airport (HLE) on the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. The seasonal flight is scheduled weekly on a Tuesday and will operate from 03 December 2019 to 11 February 2020. The midweek flight will then revert to OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg with effect from 18 February 2020 through to 31 March 2020. Passengers are now able to make bookings up until late February 2020.
The normal Saturday flight will continue to operate from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. The monthly flight to Ascension Island on the second weekend of each month will also continue as normal, with an additional Ascension Island flight in both December 2019 and January 2020.

17 May 2019

Uganda: The "Kampala Official Tourist Guide 2019-2020" is out now!

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has released the new official tourist guide for Kampala 2019-2020. The guide book, which is available for free, is packed with usefull information about the city's tourist highlights - from travel and transport tips in and around Kampala, the coolest hang-out spots in Uganda's capital to shopping, sightseeing and accommodation options in the city. The "Kampala Official Tourist Guide 2019-2020" can be downloaded for free (pdf).



15 May 2019

International Museum Day 2019: Free entry at selected Iziko Museums of South Africa!

International Museum Day (IMD) takes place on 18 May 2018 and Iziko Museums of South Africa celebrates the day by offering free entry to most of its museums in Cape Town* and half-price entry to Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome shows. Iziko's programme of events on 18 My 2019 will run between 09:00 and 16:00. It will include a live insect and spider display, dance performances, and face painting activities – all in the Iziko South African Museum, an interactive "water is life" activity in the H2O Today exhibition space, also located at the Iziko South African Museum as well as a number of screenings at the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome.

*Free entry on 18 May applies to Iziko Museums,
Half-price entry to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
Excludes Free entry to Groot Constantia.

14 May 2019

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in April 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 April 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 April 2019
  • FlySafair - 86.76% (March 87.87%)
  • Airlink - 86.72% (March 86.86%)
  • South African Airways - 76.64% (March 79.19%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 74.46% (March 75.48%)
  • Kulula.com - 69.33% (March 70.33%)
  • SA Express - 66.57% (March 69.97%)
  • Mango - 64.94% (March 70.96%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (March --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance April 2019
  • Airlink - 92.42% (March 92.05%)
  • FlySafair - 92.35% (March 94.79%
  • SA Express - 90.26% (March 93.59%)
  • South African Airways - 84.27% (March 77.46%)
  • Kulula.com - 79.05% (March 80.66%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 78.35% (March 75.74%)
  • Mango - 70.97% (March 77.71%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (March --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance April  2019
  • FlySafair - 92.45% (March 92.48%)
  • Airlink - 88.21% (March 96.18%)
  • British Airways Domestic - 80.34% (March 75.51%)
  • Kulula.com - 78.94% (March 78.38%)
  • South African Airways - 75.90% (March 74.56%)
  • Mango - 73.23% (March 77.87%)
  • SA Express - 70.59% (March 60.20%)
Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ), Port Elizabeth - 15 Min on Time Performance April 2019
  • Mango - 92.31% (March 86.32%)
  • Airlink - 82.46% (March 91.10%)
  • FlySafair - 90.49% (March 90.49%)
  • SA Express - 78.11% (March 52.04%)
  • CemAir - --.--% (March --.--%)