22 July 2021

Six destinations in Southern & East Africa made it to list of the "World's Greatest Places 2021"!

The famous Time Magazine, an American weekly news magazine and news website, has released its third annual list of the "World's Greatest Places". To compile this list, the magazine solicited nominations of places - including countries, regions, cities and towns - from its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences. Six destinations in Southern Africa and East Africa have been selected by Time Magazine to be featured on the list of the "World's Greatest Places 2021". These are the Bazaruto Archipelago and the Chimanimani National Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Botswana's Okavango Delta as well as Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Congratulations!


16 July 2021

Covid-19: Namibia extends the current Public Health Regulations until 31 July 2021!

Namibia's President, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, announced on the occasion of the 31st Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 31 July 2021 that the existing Public Health Regulations (as of 30 June 2021) remain in force. The Cabinet has assessed the impact of the current measures and has resolved, based on key indicators, to maintain and extend the current Public Health Regulations for a period of sixteen days until 31 July 2021.
This hopefully also means that the tourism guidelines, released by Namibia's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism on 01 July 2021, also remain in place. According to the guidlines, there are no travel restrictions applicable to international tourists once they comply with the provisions outlined in the appended protocols. We'll keep you posted!

15 July 2021

Cape Town: Boulders Beach named one of the world's most beautiful beaches!

UK-based financial website Money.co.uk has recently released a list of the world’s most beautiful beaches, according to Instagram. To rank the beaches, the website analysed over 26 million Instagram hashtags associated with the world’s most popular beaches and calculated how many pictures were shared per metre of the beach length. The beach with the most Instagram posts per metre has been crowned the most beautiful beach in the world. According to the ranking, Boulders Beach (420 metres, 323 pictures per metre) in Simon's Town, Cape Town, is the world's 9th most beautiful beach in the world.

Photo by Jack Young on Unsplash

Meanwhile Big 7 Travel, an international travel website, recently revealed a list of the 50 world’s most beautiful beaches in 2021, based on aggregated scores from previous media results, official Blue Flag locations and contributions from the Big 7 Travel editorial team. According to Big 7 Travel, Boulders Beach is the 12th best beach in the world right now.

Money.co.uk 20 best beaches in the world:

  1. Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia; 4,227 photos per meter
  2. Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia; 1,776 photos per meter
  3. Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand; 587 photos per meter
  4. Tropea Beach in Calabria, Italy; 423 photos per meter
  5. Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece; 403 photos per meter
  6. Hanauma Bay in Oahu, Hawaii, USA; 345 photos per meter
  7. Tenby North Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales; 343 photos per meter
  8. Praia do Camilo in Lagos, Portugal; 325 photos per meter
  9. Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa; 323 photos per meter
  10. Blue Point Beach in Ungasan, Bali, Indonesia; 287 photos per meter
  11. Cala Saona in Formentera, Spain; 282 photos per meter
  12. Margate Beach in Kent, England, U.K.; 265 photos per meter
  13. Cala Goloritzè in Baunei, Sardinia, Italy; 248 photos per meter
  14. Freedom Beach in Phuket, Thailand; 247 photos per meter
  15. Cala Gat in Cala Ratjada, Spain; 246 photos per meter
  16. Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, Canada; 246 photos per meter
  17. Lanikai Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, USA; 246 photos per meter
  18. Bal Harbour Beach in Miami, Florida, USA; 239 photos per meter
  19. Durdle Door in Dorset, England, U.K.; 232 photos per meter
  20. Sitges Beach in Barcelona, Spain; 175 photos per meter

Big 7 Travel's 20 (out of 50) best beaches in the world 2021:

  1. Vaeroy Beach – Norway
  2. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  3. Fig Tree Bay – Protaras, Cyprus
  4. Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos
  5. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  6. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
  7. Source d’Argent – Seychelles
  8. Playa Ruinas – Quintana Roo, Mexico
  9. Kanuhura Maldives – Lhaviyani Atoll Maldives
  10. Pig Beach – Bahamas
  11. Keem Bay – Mayo, Ireland
  12. Boulders BeachCape Town, South Africa
  13. Cala Saona – Formentera, Spain
  14. Seagrass Bay – Laucala Island, Fiji
  15. Tunnels Beach – Kauai, Hawaii
  16. Matira Beach -Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  17. Horseshoe Bay – Bermuda
  18. Zlatni rat (Golden Horn Beach) – Brac, Croatia
  19. Playa del Amor (Hidden Beach) – Mexico
  20. Maho Beach – St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

14 July 2021

Malawi: Malawi Airlines to resume flights between Lilongwe <> Nairobi!

The flag carrier airline of Malawi, Malawi Airlines, has announced the resumption of flights between Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya. Effective 04 August 2021, the airline will operate two weekly frequencies on Wednesdays and Fridays (LLW > NBO) as well as on Thursdays and Saturdays (NBO > LLW). Flights will depart Lilongwe at 16:45 and arrive in Nairobi at 20:00, while the return flights will depart Nairobi on the following day at 06:15 and arrive in Lilongwe at 07:30. 

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Covid-19: The Lufthansa Group temporarily reduces flights between Frankfurt <> Windhoek!

The Lufthansa Group has adapted its schedule for flights between Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Frankfurt, Germany, and Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Namibia's capital Windhoek. As a result of Namibia being classified a Covid-19 variant area of concern by Germany's Robert Koch Institut (RKI), the Lufthansa Group has reduced its flight schedule from five flights per week between Frankfurt and Windhoek to three weekly flights between the two cities. The reduction became effective from 13 July 2021. Along with these changes, due to operational reasons the airline has also adapted the departure schedule from Windhoek. Effective 15 July 2021, all flights departing from Windhoek will incur a 12hrs:15min delay. There will be no time change for departures from Frankfurt.

For those passengers holding confirmed tickets on these flights which are affected by the schedule changes, the Lufthansa Group will offer a rebooking at no additional charge.

South Africa: Emirates further extends route suspension! [update]

update (18 July 2021): Emirates’ flights to and from South Africa will remain suspended until 31 July 2021.

According to Emirates' travel update, the airline has further extended its South Africa route suspension. In line with government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa into the United Arab Emirates (UAE), flights to South Africa remain suspended until 21 July 2021. Daily passenger flights to OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg will operate as EK763, however, outbound passenger services on EK 764 remain suspended. Customers who have been to or connected through South Africa in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai

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13 July 2021

Covid-19: Comair extends the temporary suspension of all Kulula and British Airways flights in South Africa!

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa will remain on an adjusted level 4 lockdown for at least the next two weeks, South African airline Comair, which operates the low-cost kulula brand and a local franchise of British Airways, has announced that it will extend the suspension of services until 31 August 2021. The airline, which temporarily suspended operations on 05 July 2021, initially planned to resume flights from 30 July 2021. Given the uncertainty of the expected length of the recently adjusted level 4 lockdown in South Africa, restriction of travel in and out of Gauteng coupled with the rampant transmissibility of the Covid-19 "Delta" variant, the airline now decided to extend the suspension of services by one month and plans to resume scheduled operations on 01 September 2021.
According to Comair tickets for travel with kulula for the period 28 June 2021 to 31 August 2021 will remain valid for 12 months until 31 August 2022. No change of booking fee or fare difference will be charged. British Airways' "Book with Confidence" policy also applies to customers holding a valid ticket for flights with British Airways operated by Comair. We'll keep you posted!

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South Africa: US airline Delta Air Lines now offering flights to Cape Town via Nairobi!

Major US airline Delta Air Lines and Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, have expanded their codeshare agreement, increasing the choice of destinations offered by Delta Air Lines in Africa and extending Kenya Airways’ reach in North America via John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City. Through the enhanced agreement Delta-marketed codeshare flights are available on Kenya Airways’ services from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town (South Africa), RG Mugabe International Airport (HRE) Harare (Zimbabwe) and Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali (Rwanda). It also enables Delta customers flying nonstop on the airline’s services from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Accra (Ghana) to connect with Delta-marketed codeshare flights to Monrovia (Liberia) and Freetown (Sierra Leone) operated by Kenya Airways.
From John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Kenya Airways has placed its code on Delta Air Lines'  services to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, next to the border of Washington, D.C., as well as to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in  Indianapolis, Indiana. Other destinations within the codeshare include Chicago in Illinois, Denver in Colorado, Orlando in Florida, Miami in Florida, Raleigh in North Carolina, Phoenix in Arizona and Charlotte in North Carolina.

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12 July 2021

Zimbabwe: Covid-19 guidelines for travellers!

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the tourism governing body in Zimbabwe, has released the current Zimbabwe Tourism Covid 19 Guidelines as at 07 July 2021. All travellers in Zimbabwe are subject to the following conditions:

  1. On arrival, passengers are required to complete Health Questionnaires detailling where they have travelled to and providing personal details for Covid-19 tracking purposes.
  2. Upon arrival, all travellers are required to present a negative PCR Covid-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.
  3. Travellers with fake Covid-19 documents will attract custodial sentences.
  4. Travellers coming from high-risk areas of the Covid-19 Alpha and Delta variants shall be quarantined at their own expenses with PCR tests conducted on days 1, 3, 5 and 10.
  5. Those departed back to Zimbabwe will be subject to self-quarantine or will be quarantined in identified places.
  6. Upon clearance to enter into Zimbabwe, tourists are expected to follow Covid-19 guideles at hospitality and recreation facilities.
  7. Domestic tourists are not required to present Covid-19 certificates but are expected to follow Covid-19 guidelies at hospitality and recreation facilities.
  8. A dedicated national toll-free "2023" helpline and call centre is available for information about Covid-19 to travellers.
  9. On departure tourists can obtain Covid-19 certificates from the approved laboratories.

The following restrictions remain in place to prevent the spreat of Covid-19:

  1. Wearing of masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizinh must be observed all times with in public places.
  2. Restaurants may only serve customers on a takeaway basis and may not provide seating for waiting customers.
  3. Bars attached to hotels and lodges must close by 22:00.
  4. Business operating time is the period between 08:00 and 15:30.
  5. Curfew is between 18:30 and 06:00.
  6. International airports are open to all travellers but land borders remain closed for visitors except commercial traffic, diplomats and returning residents.
These Covid-19 guidelines are subject to change depending on the Statutory Instruments issued at a given time period.

Ranking: Cape Town cinema named one of the world's most beautiful!

Time Out, a global media outlet that inspires and enables people to explore and enjoy the best of the city, has recently released a list of the 50 most glamorous, architecturally eye-popping, Insta-friendly and just plain drop-dead-gorgeous cinemas on the planet. Cape Town's Labia Theatre, the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa, has been recognised on list. The cinema at 68 Orange Street in the Gardens has been named the 14th most beautiful cinema in the world. Congratulations!

The Labia Theatre consists of four screens, a 176 seater, a 95, 67 seater, and an intimate 66 seater. It further offers a coffee bar, outside terrace and a liquor licence. Patrolled parking is also provided.
The Labia Theatre, which was originally an Italian embassy ballroom, was opened by Princess Labia in May 1949 as a theatre for the staging of live performances. For the past twenty-nine years, it has been operating as a cinema on the alternative circuit appealing mainly to the more discerning viewer who enjoys its quality product and the charm of its old-world ambience.

Covid-19: South Africa extends adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown for another 14 days! [update]

update (12 July 2021): South Africa's Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has published a government gazette that introduces new restrictions for South Africa's adjusted level 4 lockdown. Please note that interprovincial travel for leisure to and from Gauteng remains prohibited.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on 11 July 2021 that the country's Cabinet after consultation with the provinces has decided to maintain South Africa at Adjusted Alert Level 4 for another 14 days. This is due to the fact that with the fast-spreading Delta variant, South Africa is experiencing a third wave of Covd-19 infections that is more severe than the first and second waves. According to the President, the country has consistently recorded an average of nearly 20,000 daily new cases for the last two weeks.
The following measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa remain in place until 25 July 2021:

  • All social, political, religious and other gatherings remain prohibited.
  • A curfew remains in place from 21:00 until 04:00, and only those with permission to do so may leave their homes during this time.
  • The sale of alcohol remains prohibited.
  • Schools remain closed until the 26th of July.
  • It remains mandatory to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are in public.

Adjustments to the Alert Level 4 regulations:

  • Restaurants and eateries are allowed to operate while observing strict health protocols. Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or, for smaller venues, more than 50 per cent of their normal capacity.
  • Certain other venues, such as gyms and fitness centres, may also open and activities such as agricultural livestock and game auctions are allowed, subject to the conditions outlined in regulations.

09 July 2021

South Africa: Cape Town to host the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in 2022!

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has revealed that Cape Town in South Africa will be one of the host cities of the all-electric 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. According to the provisional calender for the 2021/22 season, the Cape Town leg of the racing series is set to take place on 26 February 2022. Cape Town's Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, said in a press release that the City of Cape Town is looking forward to finalising internal processes in order to meet the relevant requirements for staging such an exciting event. The 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will feature three new locations, namely Cape Town, Vancouver and Seoul, as part of a record 16-race season spanning 12 cities across four continents.

Photo by Chris Kaeppeli on Unsplash

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is a single-seater motorsport championship for electric cars. It is somehow the electric equivalent of the Formula One World Championship. The racing series was conceived in 2011; the inaugural championship race was held in Beijing in September 2014. Since 2020, the series has FIA world championship status.

06 July 2021

Mozambique has tightened its Covid-19 preventive measures again!

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi announced in an address to the nation on 24 June 2021 that the country maintains most of the Covid-19 preventive measures for another 30 days. The (adjusted) measures announced by the President already came into effect on Saturday, 26 June 2021, at midnight. They include:

  • In the Greater Maputo area and all provincial capitals there is a curfew in place from 22:00 to 04:00 every night.  The curfew also applies in Manhiça, Chokwe, Maxixe, Gondola, Moatize, Mocuba, Nacala, Montepuez, Massinga and Guruè.
  • Commercial establishments in Mozambique will be open from 09:00. – 19:00 Monday – Saturday, and 09:00 – 18:00 on Sunday. Restaurants may remain open until 21:00 every day.
  • Business and work visas are now authorized.
  • Religious services, conferences, celebrations and meetings in Mozambique are limited 40% of the capacity of the venues, and may never exceed 40 people for indoor venues and 80 people for outdoor venues.
  • Private social events in Mozambique are prohibited throughout the country, except for wedding registrations which may have 20 attendees maximum.
  • Additional safety measures are to be immediately implemented in all public establishments in Mozambique.
  • Public and private sector establishments in Mozambique will be held responsible for non-compliance with safety measures.
  • The use of a clear plastic face shield does not replace the use of a facemask.
  • Restaurants, take-aways and home delivery services in Mozambique close at 20:00.
  • Recreational and leisure sports and games are prohibited.
  • The operation of theaters, cultural centers and auditoriums in Mozambique is prohibited.
  • Large gyms may open to 40% of capacity; small gyms are not authorized to operate.
  • Hotel swimming pools in Mozambique may open for the use of hotel guests only.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages by bottle stores, greengrocers or supermarkets in Mozambique is allowed between 09:00 and 15:00 from Monday to Saturday; no alcohol sales are permitted on Sundays or holidays. The sale of alcoholic beverages from stalls is prohibited.
  • Visiting beaches for leisure purposes in Mozambique is prohibited. Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.
  • Shopping centers are open from 09:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Saturday and from 09:00 to 15:00 on Sundays and holidays.
  • Public swimming pools in Mozambique may open to 30% capacity.

These measures are in addition to the prior measures already in place, some of which include:

  • All incoming travelers must present a negative test for COVID-19.
  • All persons displaying respiratory symptoms or fever must stay home.
  • Discos, bars and stalls selling alcoholic beverages will remain closed.
  • Teleworking is recommended, in particular for people at higher risk
    [src.]

Zimbabwe: Fastjet now offers double daily flights between Bulawayo <> Johannesburg!

Low-cost carrier Fastjet (Zimbabwe) has increased the number of flights between Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) in Bulawayo and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg in South Africa. The airline now offers a double daily flights on the route. Fastjet's morning flight departs Johannesburg at 07:30 and arrives in Bulawayo at 08:50, while the return flight departs Bulawayo at 09:25 and arrives in Johannesburg at 10:45. Die afternoon service departs Johannesburg at 16:15 and arrives in Bulawayo at 17:35, while the return flight departs Bulawayo at 18:10 and arrives in Johannesburg at 19:30.

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05 July 2021

South Africa: Emirates extends route suspension!

According to Emirates' travel update, the airline has changed plans and has extended its South Africa route suspension until 15 July 2021. This in line with government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Daily passenger flights to OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg will operate as EK763, however, outbound passenger services on EK 764 remain suspended. Customers who have been to or connected through South Africa in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai

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Eswatini: Eswatini Airlink & Airlink resume flights between South Africa <> Eswatini!

Eswatini Airlink and its operating partner Airlink have announced the resumption of flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport (SHO), the only international airport in Eswatini, on 06 July 2021. The airline temporarily suspended operations to Eswatini on 30 June 2021 due to civil unrest in the country. Airlink's twice daily return flights between Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport comply with South African curfew regulations.

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Cape Town: Re-opening of burnt areas in the northern section of Table Mountain National Park!

South African National Park (SANParks) has announced that certain burnt areas in Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, which have been closed off to the public since April 2021 following a fire that started in the Rhodes Memorial area, have been re-opened. Permitted recreational activities in the re-opened areas can continue as before, including hiking and dog walking with visitors kindly requested to remain on demarcated footpaths and to be mindful of rules pertaining to keeping dogs under control. Re-opened park areas following the fires include:

  • Quarries
  • Devil's Peak
  • King's Blockhouse
  • Devil's Peak Lower Slopes
  • Rhodes Contour Path

Re-opened Entry points include:

  • Quarries
  • Devil's Peak footpaths and Peak
  • King's Blockhouse
  • Devil's Peak Lower Slopes
  • Dead Man's Tree
  • Contour Path at Round Table Newlands Ravine

The recovery of fynbos in the burnt areas of Table Mountain National Park had been closely monitored by a number of scientists, studying the return of plants and animals after the fire. According to Table Mountain National Park Park Manager Frans van Rooyen more work is currently in progress and SANParks has appointed a contractor that is currently cutting trees. The following areas remain closed until further notice as there are still dangerous trees that need to be cut:

  • Rhodes Memorial/Estate
  • Game Camp
  • Deer Park

03 July 2021

Covid-19: Comair temporarily suspends all Kulula and British Airways flights in South Africa!

South African airline Comair, which operates the low-cost kulula brand and a local franchise of British Airways, has announced the temporary suspension of services in South Africa. The airline will cancel all flights from 05 July 2021 and aims to recommence flights from 30 July 2021, subject to regulations being eased, and Covid-19 infection rates, particularly in Gauteng, being contained. According to Comair, the impact of the new regulations in South Africa and especially the the prohibition of all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng has led to the decision to temporarily suspend services.
The airline said kulula customers who had a valid ticket booked until 29 July 2021 will be able use their ticket within 12 months from first date of travel without any penalty. British Airways' "Book with Confidence" policy also applies to customers holding a valid ticket for flights with British Airways operated by Comair. We'll keep you posted!

02 July 2021

Western Cape: Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area and the Cederberg Wilderness Area have been temporarily closed! [update]

update (08 July 2021): According to CapeNature, selected camp sites in Cederberg Wilderness Area as well as Peerboom Cottage have been closed due to the recent rains. The expected re-opening date is 16 July 2021.

CapeNature, the public institution with the responsibility for biodiversity conservation in South Africa's Western Cape, has announced that the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area and the Cederberg Wilderness Area have been closed due to adverse weather conditions. The situation will be continually reassessed. CapeNature is planing to re-open the Cederberg Wilderness Area on 06 July 2021, while the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area is expected to welcome visitors again from 12 July 2021.

The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area lies about 120km north of Cape Town, in the Grootwinterhoek mountain range north of Tulbagh and east of Porterville. Featuring extraordinary rock formations and popular hiking routes, it forms part of the greater Groot Winterhoek conservation area comprising 30 608ha, of which 19 200ha was declared a wilderness area in 1985.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area was proclaimed as a Wilderness in 1973. The 66 811ha of mountainous terrain is located in the Cape Floral Region about 250km north of Cape Town. It stretches from the Middelberg Pass in Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam. The Cederberg has a range of hiking trails that vary in intensity, including routes to fascinating rock formations, like the Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch, or refreshing  waterfalls.

01 July 2021

South Africa extends validity period for temporary visas!

South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has extended the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 30 September 2021 for short-term visas, issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa. The validity period of longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years which expired during the lockdown has also been extended until 30 September 2021.
This means that visas or permits of holders who have not departed South Africa since the announcement of the National State of Disaster in March 2020, and arrived with a valid visitor’s visa between December 2019 and 14 March 2021, are deemed to be valid until the end of September 2021.
Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in South Africa under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.
The extension does not apply to people who entered South Africa from 15 March 2021. The normal validity period of visas of people admitted into the country from 15 March 2021 applies.
Holders of longer-term temporary visas, issued for 90 days up to three years, such as study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relatives’ visas, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the State of National Disaster are invited to renew their visas at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before 30 September 2021. Holders of a visa or permit must adhere to the terms and conditions of their visa and any activity not endorsed onto such visa or permits is prohibited.

Covid-19: LIFT Airline temporarily suspends operations!

South African domestic airline LIFT has announced the temporary suspension of flights. The airline, which is currently only operating flights between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, will cancel all flights from 05 July 2021 - 31 July 2021 and will resume scheduled services again from 01 August 2021. All affected LIFT travellers will be provided with an alternative flight. According to the airline, the impact of the new regulations in South Africa and the third Covid-19 wave has has led to the decision to temporarily suspend services. We'll keep you posted!

LIFT is a joint venture between Gidon Novick, the former CEO of Kulula.com, former Uber executive Jonathan Ayache and Global Airways, a South African-based aircraft leasing company. The airline was established in October 2020 and commenced operations on 10 December 2020.

30 June 2021

Covid-19: Namibia introduces new mitigation measures for 14 days! [update]

update (06 July 2021): As part of the new tourist dispensation guidelines, there will be no travel restrictions applicable to international tourists once they comply with the provisions outlined in the appended protocols. See the "Tourism Guidelines applicable from 01 July to 15 July 2021" as issued by Namibia's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism:


update (05 July 2021):  According to Government Gazette No.7568 (Government Notice No. 138 Amendment of Public Health Covid-19 General Regulations: Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015), a person may not enter into or depart from one zone to another zone [see page 6 of Government Gazette No.7568], unless that person is a tourist entering a zone for tourism purposes and the person has presented a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result on entry into Namibia.

Namibia's President, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, announced on the occasion of the 30th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 30 June 2021 that the existing Public Health Regulations (as of 15 June 2021), which are set to expire today (30 June 2021), are getting adjusted. The adjustments will come into force at midnight today, Wednesday 30 June 2021, for a period of fourteen (14) days until 15 July 2021. The follwing measures are designed to curtail the further spread of Covid-19 after 30 June 2021:

  • No travel will be permitted between Namibia's regions, however travel within regions, will be permitted. Returning residents, essential service providers, emergency medical cases and transportation of human remains for burial purposes, will be permitted entry and exit into restricted regions, with the relevant permit.
  • Public Gatherings as defined in the Regulations will be maintained at ten (10) persons per event.
  • The Curfew shall remain in force, however will be brought forward to commence from 21:00 to 04:00, daily.
  • Education:
    • All public and private schools (pre-primary up to grade 9), including Early Childhood Development Centres are currently on a special Winter Holiday until 26 July 2021.
    • Face-to-Face classes for Grades 10, 11 and 12 will be suspended countrywide, as part of the Winter Holiday, from the 1st until 16 July 2021.
    • Face-to-Face classes for Higher Education Institutions including Vocational Education Training Providers are also suspended for the period.  All examinations for tertiary students will be undertaken online.
  • Restrictions related to liquor:
    • The sale of liquor in Namibia is restricted from 09:00 to 18:00, Mondays to Thursdays, on a take-away basis only, with exception of hospitality establishments such as guesthouses, hotels and similar establishments where residing guests may access on-site amenities.
    • No alcohol outlet will be permitted to operate on Fridays to Sundays.
  • All food establishments are to serve food on a take-way basis only, including restaurants, food vendors and kapana traders.
  • Hair Dressers, Tailors, Beauty Parlors will remain open, subject to strict adherence to Public Health Regulations. Not more than ten (10) persons will be permitted inside an establishment, at a time, and all persons must comply to the mandatory wearing of face masks and maintain physical distance of 1.5 meters or more.
  • Under the circumstances, Gambling Houses, Night Clubs, Gyms & Sports Clubs, public recreational spaces including playgrounds and swimming pools are all deemed to be high-risk and will not be permitted to operate.
  • All contact sports as defined in the Regulations, remain prohibited.  For non-contact sports, no spectators will be permitted at live events.
  • Passenger Restrictions:
    • All road and air public transport operators will not be permitted to travel between regions, including long-haul operators and aircraft;
    • Within regions, motorists may only load passengers to half the capacity of the motor vehicle.
    • A special dispensation for tourists will be put in place. Further details will follow.
  • Burials will be revised to take place within ten (10) days. 



Covid-19: Robben Island Museum suspends all tours until further notice! [update]

update (12 July 2021): In adhering to the adjusted alert level 4 regulations, Robben Island Museum (RIM) will continue to suspend all tours during the next 14 days.

The Robben Island Museum (RIM) on Cape Town's Robben Island has announced the temporary suspension of all tours until further notice. This is due to the adjusted alert level 4 regulations that South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 27 June 2021.
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. 

Kruger National Park Calendar - August!

Weather:

  • cool mornings and cold evenings
  • temperatures & humidity rise during the day

Temperatures:

  • between 12°C - 28°C (Fahrenheit: e.g. 28°C = [(28x9)]/5 + 32 = 82.4°F)
  • visit our webcam page for live footage from Kruger National Park!


Landscape:

  • bush extremely dry
  • landscape a yellow hue through flowering knobthorn, cassias and other
  • veld often overgrassed, especialy around watering holes etc.

Animal Activity:

  • game congrates around watering holes, rivers etc.
  • elephant numbers at their highest in northern Kruger
  • earliest summer migrant birds arrive
  • local raptors breeding
  • weakest animals die of thirst or from predators

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Covid-19: Zimbabwe imposes dusk to dawn curfew!

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has re-installed a strict level four lockdown with new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe on 29 June 2021. The measures are in effect for two weeks, after which they will be reviewed. Zimbabwe has seen its 7-day average infection rate increasing five times to 727 compared to two weeks ago. The key highlights of the enhanced Level 4 restriction are:

  • Intercity movement in Zimbabwe is prohibited, except for production and distribution of food and medicine
  • Travellers from countries with Alpha and Delta Covid-19 variants, are getting quarantined and tested on 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th day at their own expense
  • Travellers with fake Covid-19 documents attract custodial sentences
  • Commerce and industry are to open from 08:00 - 15:30 in compliance with the 18:30 - 06:00 general curfew hours
  • Companies are required to only have 40% of their workforce

According to the President, a Covid-19 vaccination blitz will be rolled out in Zimbabwe's border towns and cities, tobacco auction floors, GMB and Cottco depots, major construction sites and people’s markets.

Eswatini: Eswatini Airlink & Airlink temporarily suspend flights between South Africa <> Eswatini! [update]

update (01 July 2021):  Eswatini Airlink and its operating partner Airlink have suspended all flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport (SHO), the only international airport in Eswatini, up to and including 5 July 2021.

Eswatini Airlink and its operating partner Airlink have announceed the suspension of flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport (SHO), the only international airport in Eswatini, on 30 June 2021, due to civil unrest in the country. According to Eswatini Airlink General Manager, Joseph Dlamini, this is in the interest of the safety and security of the airline's customers and staff. Eswatini Airlink will continue to assess the situation and we will restore normal services as soon as it is safe to do so.

Flights cancelled on 30 June 2021 are:

  • 4Z 080 JohannesburgKing Mswati III International Airport (SHO)
  • 4Z 086 JohannesburgKing Mswati III International Airport (SHO)
  • 4Z 081 King Mswati III International Airport (SHO) - Johannesburg
  • 4Z 087 King Mswati III International Airport (SHO) - Johannesburg

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29 June 2021

South African National Parks introduces changes to its hospitality and tourism services for lockdown adjusted level four!

Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the South Africa moves to Adjusted Level Four from 28 June 2021, South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced key changes to its hospitality and tourism services in its various national parks. SANParks in complying with government regulations has therefor made the requisite amendments particularly for travellers to its national parks originating from Gauteng.

The rules for clients from Gauteng with exiting reservations are as follows:

  • There will not be a blanket cancellation of bookings for guests residing in Gauteng. Instead, those holding current reservations valid for the period 28 June to 11 July 2021 will be contacted directly via telephone and email to establish whether their bookings should be postponed or cancelled.
  • Guests are also encouraged to contact reservations on 012 428 9111 or 082 233 9111 or email reservations@sanparks.org if they are unsure about their current reservation.
  • Where cancellation is the only option, cancellation fees will not be charged and clients will be provided with the option to claim a full refund or for their deposit to be kept on credit-on-hold for use on future reservations.
  • Gauteng residents currently in occupation of SANParks accommodation facilities will be permitted to remain in the parks for the duration of their reserved stay as the regulations permit for persons who were outside the province when the regulations came into force, a once-off trip to return to their places of residence.
  • All gatherings at beaches and picnic sites within the national parks are prohibited.
  • The dining facilities and restaurants within the national parks will operate on the basis of off-site consumption and therefore no sit-down dining will be allowed.

More information will be shared on the compliance with the regulations regarding occupancy levels once SANParks has finalised the necessary logistics. We'll keep you posted!

Cape Town: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) closes for 14 days! [update]

update (12 July 2021): The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, the world's largest museum of contemporary African art, has announced that it will be closed until 25 July 2021 due to the extension of the adjusted Level 4 lockdown to contain the impact of the third wave of Covid-19 infections nationally

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, the world's largest museum of contemporary African art, has announced that it is temporarily closing doors. According to the museum, this is "to ensure the health and safety of our staff and visitors, and in keeping with the government regulations for COVID-19 lockdown Level 4". The Zeitz MOCAA is set to reopen on 11 July 2021.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is located in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, on the banks of Table Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

28 June 2021

Covid-19: "Maropeng - The Cradle of Humankind" closes for 14 days! [update]

update (12 July 2021): Maropeng, the official visitor's centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, has announced that the Sterkfontein Caves, the Maropeng Boutique Hotel as well as the Visitor's Centre itself will be closed for another 14 days (from today) due to the extension of the adjusted Level 4 lockdown to contain the impact of the third wave of Covid-19 infections nationally and with particular regulations for Gauteng.

Maropeng, the official visitor's centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, has announced that the Sterkfontein Caves, the Maropeng Boutique Hotel as well as the Visitor's Centre itself will close for the next 14 days (from 28 June 2021). According to a facebook posting by Maropeng, the closure follows President Ramaphosa's announcement that South Africa goes into an adjusted Level 4 lockdown to contain the impact of the third wave of Covid-19 infections nationally and with particular regulations for Gauteng. Tickets that have already been booked will be refunded.
Maropeng is the official visitor's centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. It is located about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa. The site currently occupies 47,000 ha and contains a complex of limestone caves.

Covid-19: South Africa further tightens restrictions for 14 days! [update]

update (30 June 2021): South Africa's lockdown rules governing Alert Level 4 have been updated. According to an 8-page amendment from co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and other accommodation establishments are allowed again to use full capacity of the available rooms", as long as patrons keep social distance, and keep their masks on, when they are in shared spaces.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on 27 June 2021 that the country will tighten Covid-19 restrictions for 14 days (adjusted alert level 4). This is due to sharp rise of infections with the Delta variant of the corona virus in South Africa. As of 27 June 2021, the Delta variant has been detected in five of South Africa's provinces, namely the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. According to the President, the Delta variant is rapidly displacing the Beta variant, which has been dominant in the country until now.

The following measures (adjusted alert level 4) are in in place across South Africa from today, 28 June 2021 to 11 July 2021:

  • All gatherings – whether indoors or outdoors – are prohibited. These include religious, political, cultural and social gatherings.
  • Funerals and cremations are permitted, but attendance may not exceed 50 people and all social distancing and health protocols must be observed.
  • Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
  • Public spaces, such as beaches and parks, will remain open. However, no gatherings will be permitted.
  • A curfew will be in place from 21:00 to 04:00, and all non-essential establishments will need to close by 20:00.
  • The sale of alcohol both for on-site and off-site consumption is prohibited. South Africa's Ministerial Advisory Committee has advised that the limited restrictions previously imposed were not that effective and that a prohibition will ease the pressure that is placed on hospital services by alcohol-related emergency incidents.
  • Because of the burden of infections in Gauteng, travel in and out of the province for leisure purposes will be prohibited. This does not include work, business or commercial travel, transit through airports or for the transport of goods. If you are currently not in your place of residence, you will be allowed to return home to or from Gauteng.
  • Visits to old age homes, care facilities and other ‘congregant settings’ is restricted.
  • Restaurants and other eateries are only permitted to sell food for take-away or delivery. This is because it is not possible for patrons to wear masks while eating or drinking in these establishments.

The closure of schools and other educational institutions for the winter holidays will be brought forward. Schools will start closing from this Wednesday, 30 June 2021, and all schools will be expected to be closed by the end of the week, on Friday.
Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end by 30 June 2021, with limited access to the institutions. Residences will however remain open. The Ministers of Basic Education and Higher Education, Science and Innovation will provide further details on these arrangements.