Etihad Airways, the second-largest airline in the United Arab Emirates after Emirates, has announced the return to South Africa. The airline will start flights between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in Abu Dhabi and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg as well as between Abu Dhabi and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town from 25 November 2021. Both destinations will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The route will be serviced by Etihad Airways' flagship and most-sustainable aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with 28 Business Studios, 78 Economy Space seats and 184 Economy seats.
Welcome to the official blog of TravelComments.com - travelling Southern Africa!
30 September 2021
South African Airways and Emirates are set to reactivate long-standing partnership!
South Africa's national airline, South African Airways (SAA), and the largest airline of the United Arab Emirates, Emirates, are set to reactivate its long-standing partnership which started in 1997. The two airlines are working towards increasing alignment across products, services and reactivation of synergies between loyalty programmes, and will be initially kicking off with a reciprocal commercial arrangement. The agreement includes South African Airways-coded and Emirates-operated routes between South Africa and Dubai on a single ticket, enabling travellers to seamlessly check-in their bags to their final destinations from 01 October 2021. Emirates will also place South African Airways' SAA code on major trunk routes between South Africa and Dubai.
In the coming months, plans are underway to expand cooperation and solidify the partnership even further on more domestic and regional points in Africa as South African Airways expands its operations, while Emirates will also reciprocally add more options for South African Airways customers to connect to select destinations within its network on one itinerary. We'll keep you posted!
Kruger National Park Calendar - November!
- early summer
- very hot days and warm evenings
- rain - rainfall usually double that of October
- between 16°C - 32°C (Fahrenheit: e.g. 28°C = [(28x9)]/5 + 32 = 82.4°F)
- visit our webcam page for live footage from Kruger National Park!
- lush vegetation
- many trees in flower
- new pans appear in drier areas
- river levels start rising
- breeding season underway for most animals
- plains animals very aggressive in protecting their young as predator activity increases
- explosion in insect activity after the first good rains
29 September 2021
South Africa: Airlink and United Airlines (USA) announce codeshare and loyalty program agreement!
South African privately-owned regional carrier Airlink and United Airlines, one of the major American airlines, have announced a codeshare agreement that will offer customers more connections between the U.S. and Southern Africa than any other airline partnership. According to the two airlines, the new agreement, which is subject to government approval, will offer one stop connections from the U.S. to 45 destinations in Southern Africa and East Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Tanzania, Uganda and the DR Congo. Additionally, United Airlines will be the first airline to combine its loyalty program with Airlink, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles when they travel on Airlink’s flights. The airlines expect full implementation of the codeshare agreement to come into effect in the coming months.
Earlier this year, United Airlines launched a new service between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in the New York metropolitan area and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and between Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington, D.C. and Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra, Ghana, which is expected to operate daily this December and January. The airline’s popular service between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town will also resume on 01 December 2021.
28 September 2021
South African Airways & Kenya Airways have signed a memorandum of co-operation!
South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways, and the national airline of Kenya, Kenya Airways, have signed a memorandum of co-operation with a longer-term view to co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group that in time will enhance mutual growth potential by taking advantage of strengths of the two airlines’ busy hubs.
According to South African Airways' Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo, the memorandum will help improve customer experience by offering a wider range of choices and destinations. It will also harness internal resources and capacities leading to sustainable and cost-effective growth. This includes shared services in the areas of route networks, fleet, and capacity deployment; exploring economic, technical as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul opportunities to achieve economies of scale. The collaboration between South African Airways and Kenya Airways will also assist both airlines in the current and post-pandemic business and travel environment. This involves, joint recovery strategies and other cost containment strategies that will aid recovery of both carriers in an increasing competitive African airline environment.
In a next step, South African Airways and Kenya Airways will set up a joint working group to further discuss the memorandum and to put in place systems to achieve their joint stated objectives. We'll keep you posted!
South Africa: FlySafair set to launch flights to Mauritius!
South African low-cost airline FlySafair has announced the launch of scheduled direct flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius, the main island of Republic of Mauritius. Effective 11 December 2021, FlySafair will operate two weekly flights to Mauritius – on Tuesday and Saturday – using a Boeing 737-800. Flights will depart Johannesburg at 09:00 and arrive in Mauritius at 15:15, while the return flight will depart Mauritius at 16:15 and arrive in Johannesburg at 18:45.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park: New "Godumodumo Dinosaur Centre" is almost complete!
South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the construction of the Godumodumo Dinosaur Centre in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is at its tail-end phase. The launch of the state-of-the-art interpretive centre is expected towards the end of this financial year. The Godumodumo Dinosaur Centre is a legacy project that was funded by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) through its Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund in 2018. It will serve as an iconic tourist attraction modelled on the narrative interpretation of the paleontological, archaeological and geological evidence found at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in north eastern Free State in South Africa.
The National Park covers an area of 340 km² and is known for its
dramatic golden, ochre, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs.
The Free State's only national park is home to mongooses, eland, zebras, and over 100 bird species.
24 September 2021
Covid-19: Mozambique further eases some of the preventive measures!
Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi announced in an address to the nation on 23 September 2021 a further easing of several preventive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country. The adjusted measures will be in force for 30 days. According to the President, the following restrictions in Mozambique' are getting relaxed with effect from today (24 September 2021):
- Beaches and public swimming pools are open again daily until 17:00. Games and the consumption of alcohol remain banned.
- Theaters, cinemas, museums, and gyms in Mozambique are allowed to reopen, but are are restricted to operating at no more than 30% of their capacity.
- Religious services and conferences are allowed to resume if the number of participants varies from 50 to 100 people in indoor and open spaces.
- Pre-school education throughout Mozambique is authorised to resume
- Sports training for provincial championships is allowed to resume. The admission of audiences at national championship games has also been authorized.
23 September 2021
Eswatini: Current entry guidelines as of 20 September 2021!
According to an announcement issued by Eswatini's Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati, on 20 September 2021, the country currently has seven ports of entry - five land border posts from South Africa, one land border post from Mozambique as well as Eswatini's only international airport, King Mswati III International Airport (SHO). Travellers planning to enter Eswatini are required to have a validated negative Covid-19 test issued at most 72 hours before arrival. This allows visitors 14 days multiple entry into the country.
The following border posts from South Africa are currently open:
- Ngwenya / Oshoek
- Matsamo / Jeppes Reef
- Lavumisa / Golela
The following border post from Mozambique is currently open:
- Lomahasha / Namaacha
Lüderitz: The "Shark Island campsite" set to re-open after renovation! [update]
update (23 June 2022): The facelift of the Shark Island Lighthouse has been finished. The renovations included flooring, painting, carpentry and bathroom remodelling. [src.]
Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), the state-owned enterprise mandated to run the tourism facilities within the protected areas of Namibia, has announced that the Shark Island campsite in Lüderitz is set to re-open. The renovation of the campsite, which was initially planned to take place in the 2019/2020 financial year and than had to be postponed due to coronavirus pandemic, commenced in April 2021 and is set to conclude on 08 October 2021. The restoration, which cost a total of N$ 3,163,859.47, saw all the ablutions blocks, the field kitchen and the Lighthouse undergoing renovations. The Shark Island campsite will officially re-open on 01 November 2021.
The Shark Island campsite is situated on the Shark Peninsula in the coastal town of Lüderitz in southwest Namibia. The campsite overlooks the Lüderitz Bay, the town of Lüderitz and the harbour. Visitors can spot the seals and pelicans that frequent the rocky areas around the campsite.
22 September 2021
Namibia: FlyWestair to launch flights between Windhoek <> Cape Town!
Namibian privately-owned passenger airline FlyWestair is set to launch scheduled direct flights to Cape Town in South Africa. Effective from 01 October 2021, the airline will operate three weekly flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between Hosea Kutaku International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. Flights will depart Windhoek at 08:30 and arrive in Cape Town at 10:30, while the return flight will depart Cape Town at 11:30 and arrive in Windhoek at 13:30.
Cape Town: Free entry to selected Iziko museums during in_herit festival 2021!
Iziko Museums of South Africa is currently hosting the in_herit Festival 2021 - a dynamic cultural programme and Heritage Day celebration which is taking place from 20 - 26 September. As part of the festival, Iziko Museums is offering free entry to selected Iziko Museums in Cape Town. This includes the Bo-Kaap Museum (free entry throughout the in_herit Festival 2021), the Koopmans de Wet House (free entry throughout the in_herit Festival 2021), the William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope (free on Heritage Day only) as well as the Groot Constantia Manor House (free on Heritage Day only). The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is offering half-price shows on Heritage Day.
|click to enlarge|
Iziko Museums of South Africa operates 11 national museums in Cape Town as well as collection-specific libraries, a world-class Social History Archive and the most advanced digital Planetarium and Digital Dome on the African Continent.
21 September 2021
Covid-19: Lesotho has relaxed lockdown measures
The Government of Lesotho has announced on 17 September 2021 that the country moves from a strict purple colour code to a more relaxed purple colour code. The adjustments were implemented effective from 18 September 2021. According to Lesotho's Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro, the Government opted for this change owing to the decreased Covid-19 infection rate from 9% to 5%. Under the more relaxed purple colour code, the country's borders are open for everyone intending to visit Lesotho*. The nationwide curfew is now from 23:00 to 04:00. Sports activities are allowed without spectators, while gymnasiums can operate with 15% capacity indoors or 50% outside. Social gaterings, such as funerals or for entertainment (?), are allowed again without any restrictions. However, Covid-19 regulations need to be observed. Initiation schools, night clubs, public parks and protests in Lesotho are still prohibited. Liquor stores are allowed to sell takeaways from Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 20:00 while restaurants and fast food stalls are allowed to operate open from 06:00 to 21:00.
* Travellers must have a negative Covid-19 test issued at most 72 hours before arrival in Lesotho.
God’s Window Skywalk: First skywalk of its kind in South Africa to open in Mpumalanga!
The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) held an official sod-turning ceremony on 17 September 2021 to officially announce the start of the construction of the God's Window Skywalk in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga. The new attraction is located within the proximity of the famous Graskop Gorge. The God's Window Skywalk, which is dubbed as the first skywalk of its kind in South Africa, involves the development of a cantilevered glass walkway suspended off the edge of the cliff, to give visitors a 360-degree panoramic view. The walkway will protrude about 12 metres out from the cliff and will be about 5 metres wide. It will offer visitors a panoramic view of the Lowveld more than 900 metres down into a lush indigenous forest-clad ravine. With such a drop, the God’s Window Skywalk will be higher than the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which stands at between 150 metres and 280 metres, and the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China, which is 260 metres at its highest point.
According to the MTPA, the God's Window Skywalk in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga will have a number of activities on-site - the skywalk, a sky bridge, a sky swing, a zero-gravity room as well as a conference and meeting facility. The plan is for a significant part of the activities to be run by local unemployed youths from the area.
20 September 2021
Karoo National Park: The Pienaars Pass 4x4 eco-trail has been re-opened!
South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Pienaars Pass 4x4 eco-trail in the Karoo National Park has been re-opened after the completion of necessary maintenance. The 6km eco-trail, which was closed since the heavy rains in late 2020, takes visitors to the middle plateau of the National Park. A full 4x4 vehicle with low range is needed to complete the trail. It is not recommended for beginners.
The Pienaars Pass 4x4 eco-trail, which was the first of its kind established in SANParks, is one of four 4x4 trails in the Karoo National Park. The eco-trail is accessible after checking in at the National Park's reception and paying a R318.50 per vehicle fee.
Namibia: The upgrade of Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) to be completed at the end of September 2021!
The Namibia Airports Company (NAC), the state-owned operator of eight of Namibia's largest airports, has announced that the N$250 (N$260?) million Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) Congestion Alleviation project practical completion date is set for the end of September 2021. The specialist equipment, such as the baggage handling and reclaim will be commissioned and operationalized towards the end of October 2021. The Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) Congestion Alleviation project commenced in September 2019 and was initially supposed to be completed by September/October 2020. According to Dan Kamati, Marketing officer of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), the delayed completion is mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) is the main international airport of Namibia. The airport is situated over the Khomas Mountains some 45 km east of Windhoek.
16 September 2021
Covid-19: Eswatini eases lockdown measures!
The Prime Minister of Eswatini, Cleopas Sipho Dlamini, today (16 September 2021) announced that Eswatini will move to "Adjusted Risk Level 2". Effective 17 September 2021, several eased Covid-19 restrictions will come into force. According to the Prime Minister, the new curfew in Eswatini will be from 21:00 to 04:00, shopping hours will be between 06:00 - 19:00 and restaurants will be allowed to operate until 20:00. The sale of alcohol will allowed from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00 for home consumption only. Night clubs, night vigils and memorial services in Eswatini remain prohibited. All other measures as captured in "Risk Level 2" remain the same.
North West Parks Board (NWPB) has announced the dates for the "Park Mahala Week 2021"! [update]
update (20 September 2021): According to a posting on NWPB's facebook page, Highveld National (Highveld Nature Reserve) and Molemane Eye Nature Reserve will not take part in this year's "Park Mahala Week".
The North West Parks Board (NWPB), the governmental organisation responsible for the management of protected areas and public nature reserves in South Africa's North West Province, has announced the dates for this year's "Park Mahala Week". From 17 October 2021 until 24 October 2021 the NWPB is offering free access to 14 of its 15 Parks and Reserves (except for Madikwe Game Reserve). In order to be allowed free access, visitors will be required to present a valid ID or passport.
The following 14 nature reserves will take part in NWPB's "Park Mahala Week":
- Barberspan Bird Sanctuary
- Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve
- Borakalalo National Park
- Boskop Dam Nature Reserve
- Botsalano Nature Reserve
Highveld Nature Reserve
- Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
- Mafikeng Nature Resreve
Molemane Eye Nature Reserve
- Molopo Game Reserve
- Pilanesberg National Park
- SA Lombard Nature Reserve
- Vaalkop Dame Nature Reserve
- Wolwespruit Nature Reserve
14 September 2021
Covid-19: Namibia extends reviewed Public Health Regulations until 15 October 2021!
Namibia's President, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, announced on the occasion of the 34th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 14 September 2021 that the current Covid-19 public health measures have been reviewed and the following regulations will come into force for a period of 30 days from 16 September 2021 until midnight, 15 October 2021.:
- Public gatherings as defined in the regulations have been adjusted to one hundred and fifty persons per event. The number of spectators at sporting events is permitted, up to 150 spectators per event.
- The curfew in Namibia will be extended to begin from 23:00 to 04:00 daily.
- Restrictions related to liquor were relaxed mid-way during the current dispensation, to facilitate increased business activity. The measures related to the sale of liquor remain as per amendment of 06 September 2021. This means:
- Where the seller is a holder of an off-sales license, sales may take place from 09:00 until 22:00, Monday to Friday and from 09:00 until 13:00 on Saturday.
- Where the seller is a holder of an on-consumption license (such as Bars, Shebeens, Casinos, Gambling and Betting Houses), the sale of alcohol may take place from 09:00 until 22:00, Monday to Saturday. No sale of alcohol on Sunday and public holidays.
- Where the seller is a holder of an on-consumption license (such as Hotels, Restaurants and Accommodation establishments), the sale of liquor served with meals, is permitted from 09:00 until 22:00, Sunday to Sunday.
- Burials of persons who succumbed to COVID-19 or whose deaths are COVID-19 related must continue to take place within a period of ten (10) days and all meals must continue to be served, on take away basis. The restriction on the number of persons attending public gatherings capped at 150 persons per gathering applies to mourners only, excluding essential workers.
Air Seychelles to re-instate flights to South Africa!
The national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles, has announced the resumption of its commercial passenger services between the Seychelles and South Africa, following the recent announcement made by Seychelles' Ministry of Health allowing travel between the two countries as from 13 September 2021. Effective from 24 September 2021, the airline will operate twice weekly flights between Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), located on the island of Mahé near the capital city of Victoria, and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Flights between the Seychelles and Johannesburg will take place on Fridays and Sundays, while the return flight from Johannesburg to the Seychelles will be on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.
All travellers to the Seychelles must present a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours prior to departure. The completed Health Travel Authorization approval at seychelles.govtas.com must also be presented upon check-in prior to departure from Johannesburg. All travellers to South Africa must produce a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours, must download the COVID Alert South Africa app in addition to completing the Entry Screening Traveller Health Questionnaire available at www.airports.co.za before departure from Seychelles. Travellers must also provide proof of accommodation, address in South Africa including their Covid-19 travel insurance.
13 September 2021
Covid-19: South Africa moves to "Adjusted Alert Level 2"!
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on 12 September 2021 that based on the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, which have been discussed at the National Coronavirus Command Council and with Premiers, mayors and traditional leaders in the President’s Coordinating Council, the Cabinet of South Africa has decided to move the country from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from 13 September 2021. This means that:
- The hours of curfew will now start at 23:00 and end at 04:00.
- Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 22:00. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
- Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
- This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Friday.
- Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 22:00.
- Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
These measures will be reviewed in two weeks time depending on the state of the pandemic in South Africa.
Several important measures remain in place:
- It remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that always covers their nose and mouth when in public spaces.
- It is a criminal offence not to do so, and the managers of shops and restaurants as well as drivers of taxis and buses have a responsibility to ensure that their customers wear masks, and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
- Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
10 September 2021
Air France to launch flights between Paris <> Maputo (Mozambique)!
The flag carrier of France, Air France, is set to launch a two-weekly service between Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris and Maputo International Airport (MPM) in Maputo, Mozambique, on 02 December 2021. The flight to Maputo will be a continuation of Air France's service between Paris and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa, on board a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft equipped with refurbished cabins. Flights will depart Paris at 23:35 on Sundays and Thursdays and arrive in Maputo at 14:20 on the following day, while the return flights will depart Maputo at 16:30 on Mondays and Fridays and arrive in Paris at 05:45 on the next day. Passengers will remain on board during the short stopover in Johannesburg.
Uganda: Uganda Airlines set to launch its first intercontinental route!
The flag carrier of Uganda, Uganda Airlines, is set to launch the first intercontinental route on the airline’s network. Effective 04 October 2021, Uganda Airlines introduces a three-weekly service between Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe and Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Flights will be operated on board an Airbus A330-800neo. Uganda Airlines recently successfully got the aircraft included on its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) fleet listing. The airline is planning to launch other international and long-haul routes such as London in the UK and Guangzhou in China in the near future. We'll keep you posted!
The wait is finally over 💃💃💃...— Uganda Airlines (@UG_Airlines) September 8, 2021
Fly the crane to #Dubai at affordable rates starting October 2021
To book Call +256200406400 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org#FlyUgandaAirlines pic.twitter.com/tfywM4z5dO
09 September 2021
Emirates to expand South Africa operations from October 2021!
The largest airline of the United Arab Emirates and the flag carrier of the Emirate of Dubai, Emirates, has announced that it will be expanding its operations in and out of South Africa. Effective from 31 October 2021, the airline will boost its schedule to a total of 28 weekly flights between Dubai and Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The ramp up of operations will see double daily flights to Johannesburg, including the introduction of an Airbus A380 on one of the daily flights, in addition to daily services to both Cape Town and Durban. From 01 January 2022, Emirates will serve Johannesburg with double daily Airbus A380 services.
Emirates’ flight schedule expansion comes in response to a surge in customer demand to Dubai as tourist visas have opened up for all nationalities, in addition to the easing of restrictions across some destinations that now allow quarantine-free entry for South Africans.
Emirates further announced that it is set to revive its strategic partnership and cooperation with South African Airways (SAA) once the airline is resuming operations on 23 September 2021. The Emirates-SAA partnership dates back to 1997, and is Emirates’ first ever codeshare agreement with another carrier.
08 September 2021
Covid-19: Zimbabwe relaxes lockdown measures!
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced on 07 September 2021 that the Zimbabwe moves from an enhanced level four lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 to level two lockdown. The relaxation of the lockdown came into effect last night. Under the level two lockdown, intercity travel in Zimbabwe is allowed again. The nationwide curfew now runs from 22:00 to 05:30, while business hours are from 08:00 to 19:00. Public gatherings for up to 100 people are now be allowed subject to the observance of the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols relating to social distancing, sanitizing and masking. Bars and nightclubs remain closed, while restaurants and bars within hotels and lodges can open between 08:00 and 22:00. Travellers are still required to provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19, 48 hours before coming into Zimbabwe. Low risk sporting activities have been given permission to resume from 08:00 and 16:00 while high and medium risk sporting activities should seek approval from authorities. The current lockdown regime in Zimbabwe will be reviewed again in two weeks. We'll keep you posted!
07 September 2021
Covid-19: Namibia has ammended the current Public Health Regulations!
Namibia's Minister of Health and Public Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, has amended the Public Health Covid-19 General Regulations published under Government Notice No. 91 of 30 April 2021. According to the ammendments, persons intending to enter Namibia now need to present to an authorised person a SARS-CoV2 PCR test result from the country of departure, which is issued by a laboratory that is certified in the country of issue to issue SARS-CoV2 PCR test results and that is not older than seven days calculated from the date the sample for testing was taken. Dr. Shangula also amended the following regulations:
- Liquor stores are now permitted to sell alcohol for offsite consumption between 09:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Friday and between 09:00 and 13:00 on Saturdays.
- Holders of an on-consumption licence are allowed to sell liquor between 09:00 and 22:00 from Mondays to Saturdays.
- Shebeens are allowed to sell alcohol on site between 09:00 and 21:00 from Mondays to Saturdays.
- Accommodation establishments and restaurants are also allowed to sell liquor on Sundays and Public Holidays, but only to residing guests (accommodation establishments) and to its customers (restaurants) for on-site consumption until 22:00.
For more information see the embedded Government Notice No. 189 below.
South Africa: SANParks postpones the annual SA National Parks Week!
South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that it will be hosting the 16th annual SA National Parks Week in November 2021. According to SANParks' General Manager: Media, PR and Stakeholder Relations, Rey Thakhuli, SANParks is postponing the free access week which is traditionally held in September, to November due to concerns regarding the number of COVID-19 cases across South Africa. The SA National Parks Week is an annual week-long campaign that provides all South African citizens with the opportunity to visit national parks for free. The exact dates will be announced shortly. We'll keep you posted!
06 September 2021
Western Cape: CapeNature has announced the dates for the annual "Free Access Week"!
CapeNature, the public institution with the responsibility for biodiversity conservation in South Africa's Western Cape, has announced the dates for the annual "Free Access Week". Entrance will be waived for visitors to selected Nature Reserves from 13 September 2021 to 20 September 2021. Visitors will enjoy free day entry (excluding overnight stays) at Nature Reserves in the Western Cape ranging from the West Coast to the Winelands, Overberg, Garden Route and the Klein Karoo, as part of the annual promotion.
The following CapeNature Nature Reserves are participating in the "Free Access Week" 2021:
- WEST COAST: Groot Winterhoek, Bird Island, Cederberg, Matjiesrivier, Rocherpan.
- WINELANDS: Limietberg, Hottentots Holland, Assegaaibosch (picnic only).
- OVERBERG: Kogelberg, De Mond, De Hoop, Marloth, Grootvadersbosch, Walker Bay.
- GARDEN ROUTE: Robberg, Keurbooms River, Goukamma, Geelkrans.
- KAROO: Swartberg, Gamkaberg, Anysberg.
Free access will not apply when booking through CapeNature's call centre or when making an online booking. This offer excludes accommodation bookings (normal rates and access fees apply with any accommodation booking). Free access will pertain to general access (conservation fee) and hiking, mountain biking and other day activities allowed. The waiver will not apply to the Whale Trail, select landowners, partners, or concessions (including canopy tours, bouldering, horse riding etc.). Zero-rated permits will be given to everyone accessing CapeNature Nature Reserves during this time, as per the usual standard procedure to ensure that all access numbers and activity numbers are recorded.
03 September 2021
KwaZulu-Natal: Free entry to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reserves for the first 200 visitors every Friday in September 2021!
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining more than 120 wildlife conservation areas and biodiversity in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province, is offering free entry to the first 200 South Africans to enter Ezemvelo's reserves on a Friday during the month of September 2021 ("first come, first served" basis). Additionally, Ezemvelo is offering 20% off unit accommodation and camping as well as a 10% discount on Ezemvelo game drives between 01 September 2021 - 30 September 2021.
02 September 2021
Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) has announced the dates for the "2021 Mahala Week"
Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) has announced the dates for the 2021 Mahala Week. From 06 September 2021 to 12 September 2021, South African visitors will get free entrance to eleven facilities managed by the LWR in Limpopo. The free access into the facilities does not include accommodation and other tourism activities on offer. Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) is offering free access to the following:
- Blouberg Nature Reserve
- Nwanedi Provincial Park
- Nylsvley Nature Reserve
- Lekgalameetse Provincial Park
- Doorndraai Dam Resort
- Rust de Winter Dam Resort
- Mokolo Dam Nature Reserve
- D'Nyala Nature Reserve
- Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve
- Makuya Nature Reserve
- Wolkberg Wilderness Area
It's that time of the year🕺, Free Access in the Provincial Nature Reserves. #NatureAwaitsYourVisit #LimpopoWildlifeResorts #MahalaWeek— Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (@LimpopoR) September 1, 2021
For more information
South Africa: SANParks to establish a new National Park in the Eastern Cape!
South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that work is underway to establish a high-altitude national park in the mountains of South Africa's Eastern Cape. The new National Park (North Eastern Cape Grasslands National Park ?) will be located close to the Lesotho border and the spectacular Naude's Nek pass - the country's highest lying road at over 2500m.
The new proposed National Park in the Eastern Cape is a collaboration between SANParks and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This will see a 30 000-hectare protected area that, once formally declared, will become South Africa's newest national park, significantly contributing towards the conservation of grasslands and water security. We'll keep you posted!
Johannesburg: National Heritage Site Liliesleaf has closed down! [update]
update (22 June 2022): South Africa's Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) has plans to take control of the historic Liliesleaf Farm, currently a private museum, and establish it as a cultural institution. This would enable the DAC to to exercise control over the national heritage site.
update (23 February 2022): The Liliesleaf board of trustees in Rivonia has confirmed that the iconic institution is bankrupt.
One of South Africa's foremost national heritage sites, Liliesleaf in Johannesburg's suburb of Rivonia, has announced its closure. According to the founder and CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust, Nicholas Wolpe, the museum has been forced to close its doors indefinitely until it is able to secure operational funding again. Liliesleaf already faced several years of a funding crisis, which then got compounded and exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liliesleaf served as the secret headquarters and nerve centre of the African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP), Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Congress Alliance between 1961 and 1963. It was turned into a museum in 2009 and declared a National Heritage Site in 2016.
01 September 2021
Southern Africa: Rainfall season (October 2021 - March 2022) outlook!
According to the findings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-25), most member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)* are likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December 2021. The north-western part of Angola, the bulk of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), western and southern Madagascar, northern Malawi, northern Mozambique, the western fringes of Namibia and South Africa, the south-western part of the United Republic of Tanzania and north-eastern Zambia are likely to expect normal to below-normal rains.
The bulk of the SADC member states, except for the south-western fringes of Angola and the western fringes of Namibia and South Africa, are expected to have normal to above normal rainfall between January 2022 to March 2022.
The period from October to March is the main rainfall season over most of Southern Africa.
* Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Malawi: Malawi Airlines revises its flight schedule!
The flag carrier airline of Malawi, Malawi Airlines, has revised its schedule for flights to OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka, Robert G. Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare, Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam as well as between Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe and Chileka International Airport (BLZ) in Blantyre. Effective 06 September 2021, the airline will operate daily flights between Lilongwe and Johannesburg via Blantyre. This implicates a new daily service between Lilongwe and Blantyre. Also from 06 September 2021, Malawi Airlines will operate four weekly flights between Lilongwe and Lusaka, Harare and Dar es Salaam respectively.
South Africa: Kulula re-introduces flights between Johannesburg <> East London!
South African low-cost airline kulula has announced the re-introduction of its non-stop service between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and King Phalo Airport (formely known as East London Airport; ELS) in East London. Effective 04 September 2021, kulula will offer two weekly flights on Saturdays or Sundays. Flights will depart Johannesburg at 07:30 and arrive in East London at 09:00 while the return flights will depart East London at 09:40 and arrive in Johannesburg at 11:10.
Social Media: Kruger National Park is one of the most popular selfie spots worldwide!
The international car hire comparison website Enjoytravel.com recently revealed a list of the most popular places in the world to take a selfie according to TikTok and Instragram. South Africa's Kruger National Park (#krugernationalpark) made it to the Top 10 with a combined total of 96,734,291 hashtags on Instagram (734,291) and TikTok (96,000,000). Disneyland in Paris, France, is the world's numer one spot for selfies with a total of 6,128,408,478 hashtags on Instagram and TikTok, followed by Disney World in Orlando, Florida (6,014,657,716 hashtags), and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (1,505,198,505 hashtags).
The 10 Most Popular Selfie Spots in the World according to TikTok and Instragram:
- Disneyland - Paris, France - #disneyland
Instagram 28,408,478 - TikTok 6,100,000,000 - Total 6,128,408,478
- Disney World - Florida, USA - #disneyworld
Instagram 14,657,716 - TikTok 6,000,000,000 - Total 6,014,657,716
- Burj Khalifa - Dubai, UAE - #burjkhalifa
Instagram 5,198,505 - TikTok 1,500,000,000 - Total 1,505,198,505
- Eiffel Tower - Paris, France - #eiffeltower
Instagram 6,692,059 - TikTok 413,000,000 - Total 419,692,059
- Taj Mahal - Agra, India - #tajmahal
Instagram 1,747,464 - TikTok 346,300,000 - Total 348,047,464
- Grand Canyon - Arizona, USA - #grandcanyon
Instagram 3,980,404 - TikTok 219,900,000 - Total 223,880,404
- Machu Picchu - Peru - #machupicchu
Instagram 1,899,927 - TikTok 201,200,000 - Total 203,099,927
- London Bridge - London, England - #londonbridge
Instagram 1,268,402 - TikTok 118,300,000 - Total 119,568,402
- St Basil’s Cathedral - Moscow, Russia - #stbasilcathedral
Instagram 65,098 - TikTok 109,100,000 - Total 109,165,098
- Kruger National Park - South Africa - #krugernationalpark
Instagram734,291 - TikTok 96,000,000 - Total 96,734,291