30 December 2021

Kruger National Park Calendar - February!


  • much the same as January
  • traditionally flood season
  • heavy rains can cause rivers to suddenly burst their banks



  • plants at their most nutrtious
  • large vleis (shallow seasonal or intermittent lakes) on the basalt plain
  • many aloes in flower

Animal Activity:

  • large herds of grazers spread across the Eastern Grasslands
  • many nursery herds (protected by matriachs or alpha males)
  • breading season for Waterbucks
  • loads of bird activity around the flowering aloes

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15 December 2021

Festive season 2021/22: Kruger National Park to enforce daily gate quotas!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that daily quotas will once again apply at the entrance gates of Kruger National Park from 15 December 2021 until 11 January 2022. Three time slots have been introduced, of which day visitos can choose from. Visitors are urged to make pre-bookings for their visits prior to their arrival and there are three time slots which they can choose from as follows:

  • Time slot 1: 05:30 to 07:30
  • Time slot 2: 07:30 to 09:30
  • Time slot 3: 09:30 onwards

Pre-booked day visitors will get preference over non-booked day visitors at the gate but must ensure that they arrive within their booked time slots. Arriving outside the booked time slot, will be regarded as non-booked and therefore will not receive preference and could be turned away.
It is also important to continue to obey the current COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks in public, social distancing adherence and sanitising our hands as screening will continue to be done at entrance gates. The management of Kruger National Park has made plans for increased visibility of both traffic officials and visitor management personnel to monitor speeding, after-hours travelling and general behaviour on the roads.

Visitors should also take note of the following important information:

  • Day Visitor pre-bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R48 per adult and R24 per child.
  • Day Visitors who have pre-booked will still be required to pay Conservation Fees or use a valid Wild Card to enter Kruger National Park. The Conservation Fee for SA residents as well as Zimbabwe and Mocambique nationals (passport required to prove this) is R110 per adult and R55 per child (between ages 2 - 11). For nationals of Eswatini and other SADC countries, the conservation fees are R220 per adult and R110 per child. For all other guests, the standard conservation fees of R440 for adults and R220 for children applies.
  • Guests planning to use Wild Cards are requested to ensure the membership is valid before arrival and this can best be done online at https://www.sanparks.org/wild_new/. Guests using Wild Card need to also produce their ID and valid Wild Card Membership Confirmation Letter.
  • The number and profile of persons (adults and children) on the reservation and actual persons arriving should correspond.
  • All guests (drivers and passengers) will be required to identify themselves upon admission (by producing a South African driver's license, identity document or passport); please ensure you are in possession of one of these documents and have them ready.
  • Gate Quotas will be strictly applied and guests without pre-bookings could be denied entry if quotas are full.
  • Alcohol consumption by Day Visitors is strictly prohibited at all leisure sites such as Swimming Pools and Picnic Spots in Kruger National Park.
  • Visitors are urged to help keep Kruger National Park clean by disposing of their litter at designated areas, not alighting from vehicles on undesignated areas, not speed, and adhering to all rules and regulations as stipulated on the gate permit.
  • Visitors are urged to be courteous and cooperative at sightings to avoid inconveniencing other road users.
  • Visitors are advised to plan their trip carefully, allowing sufficient time to enjoy the bush and to get to their destination.
  • Gate operating hours are from 05:30 to 18:30 in December and January.

14 December 2021

Omicron variant: UK removes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe etc. from the travel red list!

According to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, the Government of the United Kingdom is set to remove all eleven countries from the travel red list as of 15 December 2021 at 04:00. The list, which was reintroduced in late November 2021 as a precaution after the emergence of the Omicron variant, currently includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho, Angola as well as Nigeria. The UK Government has announced that because the spread of Omicron has been so wide, there is no need for any countries to be included on the red list at the moment.

Omicron variant: Namibia amends Public Health Regulations!

Namibia's Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced on the occasion of the 38th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 14 December 2021 that the current Covid-19 public health measures have been reviewed and amended in light of the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant of the corona virus in Namibia. The following regulations will come into force from 16 December 2021 to 15 January 2022*:

  • Public gatherings in Namibia are adjusted to not more than 200 persons per event.
  • No curfew will be introduced in Namibia.
  • The measures related to the sale of liqour are retained without change.
  • The measures related to business operations are retained without change.
  • The measures related to public transport are retained without change. However, the Ministry of Health and Social Services will avail one million disposable face masks to the Ministry of Works and Transport for distribution to travellers in public transport vehicles during the festive season.
  • PCR test results upon entry into Namibia:
    • Validity of PCR Covid-19 rest results is reduced to 72 hours from time of hte collection of the specimen to the time the individual arrives in Namibia.
    • Travellers (Namibians or Non-Namibians) who arrive with PCR test results that are older than 72 hours and are not in possession of a de-isolation certificate, will be subjected to a PCR test at own cost at the Port of Entry and will be quarantined at own cost. Such traveller will be released from quarantine if the PCR test results are negative.
    • Namibians arriving with positive PCR results, where such traveller has not completed isolation or does not present a de-isolation certificate, such traveller will be subjected to quarantine at own cost or to supervised home quarantine provided that the traveller has obtained approval for such supervised home quarantine.
    • Random Covid-19 PCR testing will be conducted on persons permitted entry into Namibia at Points of Entry.
    • Genome sequencing will be carried out on samples that tested positive for Covid-19.
    • Namibian citizens and permit holders may enter the country with or without 72-hour PCR test. Those who arrive in Namibia without a negative PCR test result will be subjected to quarantine at own cost or to supervised home quarantine provided that the travellers has obtained appoval for such supervised home quarantine.

*Should the epidemiological profile worsen, the measures may be reviewed at an earlier date.

South Africa to launch new eVisa system in March 2022!

South Africa's Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, has announced during the presentation of his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 11 November 2021 that South Africa will officially launch its new eVisa system in March 2022 to promote tourism. The now completed system, which allows eligible citizens short-term visits of 90 days or less for tourism or business purposes in South Africa, will be rolled out to 15 countries. The list of countries which could receive eVisas, subject to approval, includes:

  1. Cameroon
  2. China
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Egypt
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Kenya
  7. India
  8. Iran
  9. Mexico
  10. Nigeria
  11. Philippines
  12. Pakistan
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Uganda
  15. ?

13 December 2021

Festive Season 2021/22: Extended operational hours at South Africa's five land border crossings!

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) extends operational hours at some of the busiest Ports of Entry (POE) by between two and seven hours, making some of them to operate for 24 hours. This is to enable a continuous processing of truck drivers. Other travellers will be processed during the hours that fall outside the curfew. The Ports of Entry (POE) that have been approved to operate for extended hours during this Festive Season are:

  • Mpumalanga
    • Lebombo (South Africa - Mozambique)
      • current hours of 06:00 – 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 09 December 2021 - 10 January 2022
    • Oshoek (South Africa - eSwatini)
      • current hours of 07:00 - 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 10 December 2021 - 31 January 2022
  • KwaZulu-Natal
    • Kosi Bay (South Africa - Mozambique)
      • current hours of 08:00 - 17:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 18:00 from 15 December 2021 - 10 January 2022
  • Free State
    • Caledonspoort (South Africa - Lesotho)
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 15 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 23 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 24 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 02 January 2022
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 03 January 2022
  • Van Rooyenshek (South Africa - Lesotho)
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 15 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 17 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 23 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 24 December 2021
      • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 02 January 2022

Cape Town to close certain streets in the CBD for vehicles and opens them for pedestrians and diners only!

Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has announced that Cape Town will close certain streets to vehicles and open them for pedestrians and diners only, so allowing restaurants to use the street space for more safe, outdoor seating. On 18 December 2021, street closures will be in effect in Bree Street between Hout Street and Wale Street from 14:00 to 23:00. Twenty eateries will take part in this safe, unique dining experience, and live music entertainment will be announced. In the weeks thereafter, this safer dining innovation will expand to other streets too including Harrington Street and Long Street. Details of all road closures and participating streets in Cape Town will be announced. We'll keep you posted!

Zambia: New parking management system at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone!

The Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) has introduced a "Pay on Exit Parking Management System" at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone. Effective today (13 December 2021), the new system will be operationalised. The ZACL has constructed and installed two entry and exit boom gates at the airport, which are utilised on the pay on exit basis. The operation hours of the parking facilites are daily from 05:00 to 19:00. Visa and cash payments are accepted.
The following parking tariffs are in place at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone:

  • 0 - 1 hrs > 6.00 ZMW
  • 1 - 2 hrs > 8.00 ZMW
  • 2 - 3 hrs > 10.00 ZMW
  • 3 - 4 hrs > 12.00 ZMW
  • 4 - 5 hrs > 15.00 ZMW
  • 5 - 6 hrs > 20.00 ZMW
  • 6 - 7 hrs > ?
  • 7 - 8 hrs > 25.00 ZMW
  • 8 - 12 hrs > 45.00 ZMW

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07 December 2021

Cape Town: Update on the Rhodes Memorial Section of Table Mountain National Park!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has released an update on the current situation in the Rhodes Memorial Section of Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town. The section was closed in April 2021 due to a devastating fire that destroyed more than 650 hectares of land.
According to Table Mountain National Park Park Manager, Mr. Frans van Rooyen, the appointed contractor has felled 230 trees inside the bid and 598 trees outside the bid totaling to 828 trees felled within the area. Only 50 trees left inside the bid are to be felled which is situated around the parking area, and the Rhodes memorial building. After and during the felling of these trees material is being stacked and logs processed. The felling operations commenced in the area on 16 August 2021 and was set to be completed by the end of November 2021, but due to unsteady weather conditions the remaining trees are expected to be completely felled by 14 December 2021 to get the site safe and accessible for the public if the weather permits.
However, the processing and stacking of material will continue on-site to get the site ready for the re-opening for vehicle access. The tree felling for the Game camp section will commence in January 2022 for a period of two months. Firewood can be collected by permit from December 2021 on Fridays and Mondays only until the site is cleaned up to control access.
Partial reopening of the area has been granted to users by the Table Mountain National Park management which allows hikers, runners, cyclists, etc. to make use of the area through the turnstile located at the main entrance. Vehicle access is not permitted at this stage as felling operations continue. SANParks urges users to be cautious when carrying out their activities in the area.

After the fire assessment at the Rhodes Tea Room has been finalized, the insurers appointed a Heritage Architect to oversee the construction work, and contractors were appointed to clean the damaged area and safeguard parts of the building to assess if some of the building material cannot be re-used. The possible re-building of the Rhodes Tea Room, however, is delayed as a result of discussions with the Department of Public Works who are the custodians of the land. The architect and technical department are busy drafting the bill of quantities and will offer guidance regarding the way forward. We'll keep you posted!

South Africa: South African Airways & CemAir have signed a co-operation agreement!

South African Airways (SAA) and South African domestic and regional carrier CemAir have signed a co-operation (interline) agreement. Through the agreement, passengers are allowed to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again. The new co-operation also adds more destinations to the route network of South African Airways (SAA) and CemAir. These additional routes are ones not currently serviced by South African Airways (SAA) and include Luanda (Angola), Durban, Hoedspruit, George, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Plettenberg Bay, Margate, Sishen and Gqeberha

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06 December 2021

Mozambique: The new Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport has been officially opened! [update]

update (09 December 2021): The new airport in Chongoene is named "Filipe Jacinto Nyusi Airport".

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi has officially opened the Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport in the country's southern province of Gaza. The countruction of the new airport, which was undertaken by the China Aviation International Construction and Investment Co., Ltd. (AVIC AIC), started in 2018 and was funded by the Chinese government at a cost of US$75 million. The Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport has an annual passenger capacity of 220,000, a runway of 1,800 metres, a 28-metre control tower and an apron large enough to harbour four Embraer 170 aircraft.
At the opening ceremony of the airport on 29 November 2021, President Filipe Nyusi said that "the airport is a landmark for the country’s infrastructure, and is expected to help develop tourism, industry, agriculture and logistics in Gaza, thus boosting the regional and national economy".
Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport is located 30 kilometres from Gaza's provincial capital Xai-Xai.

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Namibia: Two streets in Windhoek have been renamed!

Two streets in Namibia's capital Windhoek have recently been renamed. The Otjomuise Road is now named after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936 - 2018) and the Monte Christo Road after Peter Eneas Nanyemba (1935 - 1983). The renaming ceremony took place on 03 December 2021. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician, and the second wife of Nelson Mandela. Peter Eneas Nanyemba was a commander of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) during the Namibian War of Independence. He also worked as a diplomat, representing SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organisation) in Botswana and Tanzania, before he was elected as the SWAPO's Secretary of Defence in 1970.

02 December 2021

Omicron variant: Zimbabwe introduced new mitigation measures!

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced in a televised address to the nation on 30 November 2021 the introduction of enhanced measures to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of the corona virus. With effect from 30 November 2021, all returning residents of Zimbabwe as well as all international visitors have ot undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing and quarantine at their own costs for days recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), even if they present a negative PCR test result from elsewhere. He further introduced new curfew hours - they now to run from 21:00 to 06:00. It is not allowed anymore to consume alcohol at bottle stores while night clubs and bars in Zimbabwe are open to vaccinated clients only. The new measures to contain the Omicron variant are set to be reviewed after 14 days. We'll keep you posted!

Omicron variant: Zambia strengthens surveillance at Points of Entry!

Zambia has adjusted its entry regulations for all international travel to minimise the risk of importation of the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of the corona virus. According the country's Ministry of Health, the updated guidelines are in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Africa Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC). The following guidelines apply to all international travel:

  • Screening for Covid-19 will continue at all of Zambia's Points of Entry including airports and land crossings.
    • Port Health officers observe all arriving passengers to detect those with obvious signs of illness and subject them to further evaluation including testing if indicated
    • All arriving passengers must undergo temperature screening
    • Port Health Officers collect and review health declaration forms completet by all passengers and verify contact details
  • All travellers entering Zambia are required to provide evidence of a negative SARS-COV-2 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for a sample collected within 72 hours of departure from the country of origin. Port Health Officers determine the authenticity and validity of SARS-COV-2 negative certificates.
  • All travellers from countries that have reported the Omicron variant are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival.
    • Returning citizens of Zambia or residents of Zambia or permit-holders are allowed to quarantine at home
    • Non-residents of Zambia are quarantined in designated centrers at their own cost.
  • Travellers departing from Zambia are getting screened and must meet all Covid-19 testing requirements of the country of destination and/or transit.

01 December 2021

Northern Cape: Restaurant Klein JAN wins La Liste's "World Hidden Gem 2022" award!

The 2022 La Liste selection of the world’s best 1000 restaurants has been announced in Paris on 29 November 2021 and a local South African restaurant has has been named one of the Restaurants worth going an extra mile for. Restaurant Klein JAN, owned South Africa’s very first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, is one of the seven international establishmehts to win the World Hidden Gem award. According to Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, the restaurant was inspired by a love of South Africa, heritage, and the concept of ‘home’. The menu at the restaurant is defined by local ingredients, culinary tradiations and sustainability and designed to tell the stories of the Northern Cape, past and present.
Restaurant Klein JAN was launched in 2021 is situated in South Africa’s largest private game reserve, Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve. It is open to day visitors for a lunch service on select dates each month. Guests staying at the Game Reserve's Motse camp and Tarkuni homestead are invited to experience one meal at Restaurant Klein JAN during their stay.

Each year, La Liste provides a ranking of the 1,000 best restaurants in the world. Its method is based on an algorithm integrating and weighting more than 970 sources, including opinions from the international, national and regional press, ratings and rankings from recognized guidebooks as well as customer satisfaction from review websites. The La Liste Awards recognise chefs, restaurants and regions that are making waves in the industry through excellent cuisine, innovation, sustainability and authenticity.