31 January 2022

Namibia: Rosh Pinah to Oranjemund road temporarily closed! [update]

update (01 February 2022): The Roads Authority (RA) is pleased to announce that MR118 (Rosh Pinah <> Oranjemund) has been re-opened for public use on 01 February 2022.

Namibia's Road Authority (RA), whose core business is to construct and maintain the country's road sector, has informed the public that the MR118 (Rosh Pinah <> Oranjemund) has been closed, with immediate effect, until further notice. This is a precautionary measure due to the rising water levels of the Orange River. Access on this route will be provided to emergency services vehicles only. The RA advises road users to use the Oranjemund <> Luderitz route in the interim. However, this road will be open to the public between 06:00 and 15:00 only. We'll keep you posted!

28 January 2022

South Africa: Seasonal rainfall & temperature outlook (January - May 2022)!

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the Seasonal Climate Watch for the period January to May 2022. According to the multi-model rainfall forecast, the larger part of South Africa is expected to experience mostly above-normal rainfall during the late-summer (January to March) through to the mid-autumn (March - May) season. Mostly above-normal minimum temperatures are expected across South Africa during late-summer and early-autumn (February to April), except for the south-western parts of the country during mid-autumn when below-normal minimum temperatures are expected. Mostly below-normal maximum temperatures are expected across South Africa during late-summer and early-autumn, except for the north-eastern parts of the country during mid-autumn when above-normal maximum temperatures are expected.

27 January 2022

Fastjet (Zimbabwe) to launch flights between Victoria Falls <> Maun!

Low-cost carrier Fastjet (Zimbabwe) is set to launch scheduled passenger flights between Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls and Maun International Airport (MUB) in Maun, Botswana. Effective 30 June 2022, the airline will operate four weekly direct flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays using an Embraer ERJ145 aircraft. The new Maun service sees Fastjet (Zimbabwe) operating scheduled flights into Botswana for the first time and bringing to three the international destinations that fastjet has connected Victoria Falls to, after OR Tambo International Airprt (JNB) in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP), located 27 km north east of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga (South Africa).

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Emirates to resume flights to five African countries!

The largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the flag carrier of the Emirate of Dubai, Emirates, is set to restart passenger operations between Dubai and South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia starting from 29 January 2022. Flights between Dubai and South Africa will operate as a daily flight to and from Johannesburg, effective 29 January 2022, and double daily services from 01 February 2022. Flights to and from Cape Town and Durban will operate daily from 01 February 2022. Emirates will restart its service between Dubai and Harare in Zimbabwe with six weekly flights linked to its Lusaka in Zambia service from 30 January 2022.

  • Kenya: Emirates will operate 10 weekly flights to Nairobi from 29 January 2022.  
  • Tanzania: Emirates will operate to Dar es Salaam with five flights a week from 30 January 2022.  
  • Ethiopia: Emirates flights to Addis Ababa will operate daily from 30 January 2022. 

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South Africa: SANParks closes three viewing decks due to high waters in Augrabies National Park but remains open!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Augrabies Falls National Park in South Africa's Northern Cape will remain open to the public despite the high water levels of the Orange River. According to SANParks, the river's water flow has increased at Augrabies Falls National Park to more than 3,000 cubic metres per second. It is expected that the Orange River will remain at this flow until the weekend and then slowly decline over the next two weeks. Due to these high levels, SANParks' management has temporarily closed three of the seven viewing decks at the Augrabies Falls as a safety precaution and to ensure all guests enjoy the waterfall with peace of mind. The remaining four viewing points are open and are still offering a close-up experience of the 56 meter high main falls that cascade into the granite abyss of the Orange River Gorge. Augrabies Falls National Park's restaurant and shop are both still open for customers.

Covid-19: United Arab Emirates resumes entry for travellers from 12 African countries!

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced the resumption of all inbound flights for national and international carriers and transit passengers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and the Republic of Congo in addition to updating the entry measures for travellers coming in from Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda, from 29 January 2022, effective 14.30, while adhereing to all relevant precautionary measures in place.
Travellers from the above mentioned countries intending to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) need to have a negative Covid-19 test obtained within 48 hours from the approved labs in their respective countries of departure and a Rapid-PCR test at the airports of departure in addition to undertaking PCR test upon arrival while adhering to all relevant precautionary and preventative measures. Those suffering Covid-19 symptoms are advised not to travel.

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26 January 2022

Israel: El Al to resume flights to South Africa!

El Al, the flag carrier of Israel, is set to resume scheduled passenger flights to South Africa. The airline will operate one weekly flight between Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg from 14 February 2022. The overnight flight will depart Tel Aviv on Mondays while the return flight will depart Johannesburg on Tuesdays. Effective 10 June 2022, El Al will add another service on Fridays. Flights will be operated on board the airline's advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

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24 January 2022

Namibia & Angola to re-open common border posts!

The Governments of Namibia and Angola held a bilateral meeting on 21 January to discuss the re-opening of its common borders. According to a joint communique issued by Namibia's Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Dr. Albert Kawana, and Angola's Minister of State and Head of the Military House of the President of the Republc, Francisco Pereira Furtado, the Oshikango-Santa Clara Border Post and the Katwitwi Border Post will re-open on 01 February 2022. The remaining border posts are set to re-open on 15 February 2022.
Travellers intending to visit Angola must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test and a vaccination certificate with two doses. Those with one dose will be subjected to a 7-day quarantine at own cost.

Namibia: Inbound travellers are required to use the "Trusted Travel System" [update] >>

21 January 2022

Five destinations in South Africa among the "Leading Places: The 100 Most Loved Destinations in the World"!

According to the findings of the global Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI), a travel data intelligence solution created by the destination marketing agency Destination Think, five destinations in South Africa are among the "Leading Places: The 100 Most Loved Destinations in the World" in 2021, with Knysna ranking in the Top 20 at #19, Stellenbosch #23, Hermanus #41, Cape Town #54 (all in the Western Cape) and Pretoria #73 (Gauteng).

Leading Places: The 100 Most Loved Destinations in the World

19. Knysna - Tourism Sentiment Score® 30.23
23. Stellenbosch - Tourism Sentiment Score® 29.31
41. Hermanus - Tourism Sentiment Score® 27.65
54. Cape Town - Tourism Sentiment Score® 26.44
73. Pretoria - Tourism Sentiment Score® 24.77

The Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI) tracked the sentiment of travellers online across a staggering 1.6 billion online conversations and content pieces publicly available about 21,330 global destinations to determine how people felt about destinations around the world. The Tourism Sentiment Score® is a measure of a destination’s ability to generate positive word of mouth about its tourism offering. It is an aggregate score that focuses solely on online conversations and content that reference or affect a potential traveller’s perceptions of a destination’s tourism offering.

Emirates to resume passenger operations to Lusaka!

The largest airline of the United Arab Emirates and the flag carrier of the Emirate of Dubai, Emirates, is set to resume its passenger services between Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka, Zambia. The first flight will leave Dubai on 22 January 2022, and the return flight from Lusaka to Dubai will operate on 23 January 2022. Emirates will operate six weekly flights between the two destinations and onwards to over 120 global destinations on the airline’s network.

All passengers travelling from Lusaka with Dubai as their final destination require a 48 hour PCR test. Passengers must present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility. Upon arrival in Dubai, passengers will undergo an additional Covid-19 PCR test and remain in self quarantine until the results of the test are received. Passengers travelling from Lusaka and transiting in Dubai are required to follow the rules and requirements of their final destination.

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19 January 2022

South Africa: South African Airways to restart flights to Durban!

South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it will resume flights to Durban. The airline, which took to the skies again in September 2021, is planning to operate a three times daily return service between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban from 04 March 2022. According to SAA's interim chief executive officer Thomas Kgokolo, the airline's customers and partners had been asking for the resumption since operations resumed last year. He said that they had been waiting for the data to guide them before they could decide on adding this important route back to the SAA network.

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18 January 2022

Namibia: FlyNamibia to increase flights between Windhoek <> Cape Town!

Namibian privately-owned airline FlyNamibia, previously known as FlyWestair, is set to increase flights to Cape Town in South Africa. The airline, which is currently operating three weekly flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, is planning to add another three weekly frequencies on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to its Cape Town schedule. The additional flights will be introduced from 01 March 2022. 

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Mack Air to launch "The Hwange Circuit" air service in Zimbabwe in April 2022!

Mack Air, the first private commercial operator in Botswana to be granted an International Scheduled Service License, and Zimbabwean private charter company Central Air Transport Services (CATS) are set to launch a new air service between Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls and airstrips in the Hwange and surrounding areas. "The Hwange Circuit" will be launched in April 2022 and will be connecting the following destinations: Victoria Falls International Airport (VAF), Robin's Camp, Sinamatella, Hwange National Park Airport (HWN), Giraffe Springs, Hwange National Park, Umtshibi, Manga, Linkwasha, Jozibanini and Bomani.

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14 January 2022

Namibia: Inbound travellers are required to use the "Trusted Travel System" from 15 January 2022! [update]

update (24 January 2022): According to a "Public Notice" (No: 1/2022) by Namibia's Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the Trusted Travel System (TTS) is currently only used to upload and verify Covid-19 test results. The MoHSS is working on the TTS "vacine module" which will enable travellers to upload their Covid-19 vaccination certificates for validation and verification at the country's Points of Entry. Pesons permitted to enter Namibia with vaccination certificates are therefore advised to carry hard copies of their vaccination certificate and not upload them on the TTS. The "Public Notice" further states that persons with domicile status who have been fully vaccinated (valid and authentic vaccination certificate required) can enter Namibia without presenting a negative PCR test.

As of 15 January 2022, all travellers entering Namibia through its thirteen main Ports of Entry are required to have their Covid-19 test results uploaded on the Trusted Travel System (TTS). Once the test results are uploaded on the system, a code will be generated which will then be used at the Port of Entry to verify the Covid-19 test results (see below). The "Trusted Travel System" plattform will used at the following Ports of Entry:

  1. Oshikango Border Post
  2. Walvis Bay International Airport, Walvis Bay
  3. Walvis Bay Harbor
  4. Omahenene Border Post
  5. Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek
  6. Muhembo Border Post
  7. Katima Mulilo Border Post
  8. Ngoma Border Post
  9. Lüderitz Harbour, Lüderitz
  10. Ariamsvlei Border Post
  11. Noordoewer Border Post
  12. Trans-Kalahari Border Post
  13. Impalila Island Border Post

Please note that the use of the Trusted Travel System (TTS) for those leaving Namibia will depend on the requirements of the destination being travelled to.

The Trusted Travel System (TT) was introduced by the African Union Council (AUC) and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa-CDC) to support the African Union (AU) member states to harmonize and enhance their current health screening and verification systems. It offers an online digital platform for the verification and authentication of Covid-19 test results based on a collaborative effort across a network of participating Covid-19 testing laboratories and Port Health authorities. The TT platform allows for the detection of counterfeit test results and also enhances cross-border collaboration and confidence in Covid-19 results origination from other countries. Furthermore it provides updated information on entry requirements and travel restrictions for participating member states.

South Africa: Flysafair to launch flights to Mauritius in March 2022!

South African low-cost airline FlySafair had to temporarily cancel its plans to launch scheduled flights to Mauritius on 11 December 2021 due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus in South Africa. According to the flight schedule on the airline's website, the new launch date for flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius is now the 08 March 2022. Flysafair is planning to operate two weekly return flights to the island on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

South Africa: Kruger National Park is one of the most popular National Parks on TikTok!

South Africa's Kruger National Park is one of the most popular National Park on TikTok, a video-focused international social networking service. This is according to a study by US-based travel specialist ParkSleepFly, which gathered a list of all of the National Parks around the world and then ranked these according to the number of views posts tagged with the name of the National Parks had garnered on TikTok (as of 19 November 2021). Kruger National Park is ranked 9th on the list with 98,700,000 views. The most popular National Park on TikTok is Yellowstone National Park, followed by Denali National Park and Yosemite National Park. All three National Parks are located in the US. Serengeti National Park is the only other African National Park that made it to the list of the 51 most popular National Parks on TikTok. The National Park in Tanzania is ranked 16th with 73,900,000 views.

Top 10 most popular National Parks on TikTok:

  1. Yellowstone National Park, USA: 630,300,000 views
  2. Denali National Park, USA: 291,500,000 views
  3. Yosemite National Park, USA: 279,800,000 views
  4. Grand Canyon National Park, USA: 249,200,000 views
  5. Göreme National Park, Turkey: 122,900,000 views
  6. Joshua Tree National Park, USA: 120,800,000 views
  7. Glacier National Park, USA: 115,000,000 views
  8. Lake District National Park, UK: 105,900,000 views
  9. Kruger National Park, South Africa: 98,700,000 views
  10. Redwood National Park, USA: 95,200,000 views

13 January 2022

Covid-19: Namibia amends the current Public Health Regulations! [update]

update (24 January 2022): According to a "Public Notice" (No: 1/2022) by Namibia's Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), persons with domicile status who have been fully vaccinated (valid and authentic vaccination certificate required) can enter Namibia without presenting a negative PCR test.

Namibia's Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced on the occasion of the 39th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 13 January 2022 that the current Covid-19 public health measures have been reviewed and amended in light of the current Covid-19 situation in Namibia. The following regulations related to travel and tourism will come into force from 16 January 2022 to 15 February 2022*:

  • Gatherings:
    • The number of attendees at public gatherings will remain unchanged at not more than 200 persons per event.
  • Curfew:
    • The current epidemiological environment does not warrant the re-introduction of a curfew.
  • Restrictions related to liquor:
    • The measures related to the sale of liqour are retained without change.
  • Business operations:
    • Business owners shall continue to operate in line with the provisions of their business licenses. Business owners of restaurants, bars, kapanas, hair saloons and others mus enforce the compliance with Covid-19 protocols by employees such as the strict wearing of masks. It is also the duty of the clients to demand the wearing of masks by waitresses, hairdressers and other service providers. The wearing of masks by all in public space remains a mandatory requirement in Namibia.
  • Public transport:
    • Measures related to public transport remain unchanged.
  • Requirements for entry in the country:
    • Fully vaccinated Namibians, permanent residents and truck drivers will no longer be required to present a negative PCR test result upon entry into Namibia. The above mentioned categories of people can enter the country at any time with a valid and authentic vaccination card.
    • For all other categories of travellers, including truck drivers who are not fully vaccinated, the validity of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result remains 72 hours from the time of the collection of the specimen to the time the individual presents her/hinself at the Point of Entry into Namibia.
    • Non-Namibians who arrive with PCR test results older than 72 hours and are not in possession of a de-isolation certificate, will be denied entry in the country. Namibians who arrive without a valid PCR test result or a de-isolation certificate will be subjected to a PCR test at own cost at the Point of Entry and will be quarantined at own cost. Such traveller will be released from quarantine of the PCR test results are negative.
    • Namibians and permanent residence permit holders who present positive PCR test results at Points of Entry may be allowed to proceed to the final destination and be subjected to isolation at own cost or to supervised home isolation provided that they have obtained approval for such supervised home isolation from the responsible officals at the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).
    • As of now, random testing of travellers arriving Namibia will not be implemented. The situation will however be closely monitored and this may be revisited if the need arises.

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

12 January 2022

Mozambique: Big cats are back in Zinave National Park!

A female and a male leopard have been introduced into Zinave National Park in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique. The two predators were initially introduced into the 18 600 ha sanctuary established within the National Park, but, as big cats do, they soon ventured further, exploring the surrounding habitat within the greater 408 000 ha protected area. The leopards, which were sourced from Karangani Game Reserve in south-western Mozambique, are the founder animals of what will hopefully become a significant leopard population for the region. The two leopards are being closely monitored by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the staff of Zinave National Park as they settle into the National Park. Tracking data seems to indicate (December 2020) that they are doing well and have already begun to establish new territories.

The extensive rewilding efforts in Zinave National Park, which was ravaged during the Mozambique civil war that ended in 1992 and subsequent poaching, form part of a larger restoration and development programme that has been accelerated under a 20-year co-management agreement signed in 2015 between Mozambique's National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) and the Peace Parks Foundation. About 2 300 mammals from 14 species,  including 200 elephants in 2018 and a clan of four spotted hyenas in 2020 (they have already produced two cubs!), have been since been introduced into Zinave National Park, with wildlife numbers now flourishing to around 6 500 animals.

A nomad male lion has also been seen in Zinave National Park. According to the Peace Parks Foundation, a camera trap recently (December 2022) captured the first known image of a male lion in the National Park for several (four?) decades. The photographed lion is a young adult male estimated at between 4 to 5 years of age, which has probably settled in the Zinave National Park along with his female companion.

Eswatini: The Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC) is at an advanced stage in preparing to launch scheduled regional air services!

According to the CEO of the Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC), Captain President Dhlamini, the company is at an advanced stage in preparing to launch scheduled regional air services in Southern Africa. RENAC, which is targeting the first half of 2022 to launch, will operate flights between Eswatini's King Mswati III International Airport (SHO) in Sikhuphe and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg in South Africa as well as Robert G. Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare in Zimbabwe. The airline will operate all flights on board its two newly acquired 50-seater Embraer ERJ 145, which were both previously operated by HOP!, a subsidiary of Air France. We'll keep you posted!

The Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC) was established in 1978 as Royal Swazi National Airlines. RENAC is wholly owned by the Government of Eswatini and offers air charter brokerage and airport ground-handling services, supplies jet fuel, and operates the Royal Eswatini Travel Agency (RETA).

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10 January 2022

Air Seychelles to resume operations between Seychelles <> South Africa!

The Government of the Republic of Seychelles has revised its advisory that restricted travel from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on 06 January 2022. The national airline of the island nation, Air Seychelles, is set to resume commercial passenger services between the Seychelles and South Africa on 11 January 2022. The airline will operate one weekly flight 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

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07 January 2022

Air Mauritius to resume passenger commercial flights from South Africa!

Air Mauritius, the flag carrier of Mauritius, suspended all passenger commercial flights from South Africa on 29 November 2021 due to the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in South Africa. Following the decision from the Government of Mauritius to lift the travel ban on South Africa from today (07 January 2022), the airline immediatly reacted and announced the resumption of its passenger commercial flights from Johannesburg in South Africa as from 09 January 2022. Air Mauritius is planning to operate five weekly flights for the month of January 2022 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays on board an Airbus A350-900/ A330-900neo aircraft. Daily passenger commercial operations to and from Johannesburg have been scheduled as from 01 February 2022.

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06 January 2022

Covid-19: France removes South Africa, Lesotho & eSwatini from the scarlet red list!

The Government of France yesterday (05 January 2022) announced that South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini are set to be removed from the scarlet red list through which citizens of the three countries were blocked from travelling to France following the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in South Africa. This means that all vaccinated travelers are now welcome to travel to France, provided they present the following documents:

  • proof of vaccination status
  • a sworn statement certifying the absence of Covid-19 symptoms and of any contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19
  • a negative PCR or antigen test taken less than 48 hours prior to departure (departure of first flight in case of connecting flights)

Unvaccinated travellers must present a compelling reason for travel and will have to quarantine for ten days.

Covid-19: South Africa has introduced changes to its Adjusted Alert Level 1 lockdown regulations!

South Africa implemented a five-level Covid-19 alert system in April 2020 to manage the gradual easing of the nationwide lockdown, which was introduced on 27 March 2020. This risk-adjusted approach is guided by several criteria, including the level of infections and rate of transmission, the capacity of health facilities, the extent of the implementation of public health interventions and the economic and social impact of continued restrictions. South Africa is currently on Adjusted Alert Level 1 (since 01 October 2022). As of 30 December 2021, the Cabinet of South Africa has decided to make the following changes to Adjusted Alert Level 1 with immediate effect:

  • The curfew has been lifted for now. There are therefore no restrictions on the hours of movement of people.
  • Gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and no more than 2 000 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used. All other restrictions remain in place.
  • Alcohol establishments that have licences to operate beyond 23:00 will revert back to full licence conditions.

05 January 2022

Mozambique has proclaimed the new Maputo National Park!

Mozambique’s Council for Ministers issued a decree on 07 December 2021 to formally merge the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Maputo Special Reserve and Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve into one conservation area — the new Maputo National Park. The proclamation of the 1 700 km² National Park follows two decades of intensive development and restoration activities led by Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) and the Peace Parks Foundation.
A core focus for Maputo National Park is the development of tourism infrastructure with the aim of generating sufficient revenue for the National Park to sustain itself. Three lodges, a network of exclusive camping sites and 4×4 trails are set to be fully operational by the end of 2022. As a main tourism attraction in southern Mozambique, Maputo National Park is set to contribute significantly to economic prospects of the region, its people and the protection of its natural heritage.

The Maputo National Park falls within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot, one of 36 hotspots that are regarded as being amongst the most biologically diverse and endangered ecoregions on earth.

04 January 2022

Namibia: Rosh Pinah <> Aussenkehr road closed until further notice!

Namibia's Road Authority (RA), whose core business is to construct and maintain the country's road sector, has announced that a section on the Rosh Pinah <> Aussenkehr road (DR212) will be closed from today, 04 January 2022, until further notice. This road is currently experiencing flooding and the water levels at that particular section (Fish River Crossing/Bridge) have exceeded the maximum height. The RA advises to make use of the Keetmanshoop <> Aus <> Rosh Pinah route until the water levels have subsided and road is deemed safe to motorists. We'll keep you posted!