28 February 2022

Namibia: Update on the road conditions in the Kunene Region & the Kharas Region! [update]

update (14 March 2022): Namibia's Roads Authority (RA) has announced that the road between Aus and Rosh Pinah has been cleared and it is passable to all vehicles.

Namibia's Roads Authority (RA), whose core business is to construct and maintain the country's road sector, has released an update on the road conditions in the Kunene Region in north-western Namibia and the Kharas Region in southern Namibia. Both Regions were affected by recent heavy rains. The RA monitors all the affected roads; maintenance teams are on standby to ensure that damaged roads are repaired, where possible, within a reasonable time period.

Kunene Region:

  • MR76 ((Uis <> Khorixas)
    The RA has commenced with repair works on the Ugab bridge. Currently, the Ugab River and the road is passable with 4x4 Vehicles only.
  • DR 2612 Twyfelfontein area
    Road damages/wash-aways have been repaired. The road on the southern side of the Aba-Huab river is passable by all vehicles, whilst the road on the northern side of the Aba-Huab River is only passable with 4x4 vehicles. The section between the Aba-Huab River and the Twyfelfontein turn off has been repaired and is now accessible with all vehicles.  
  • MR128 (Palmwag <> Sesfontein)
    The Skelm River is flooding, thus no vehicles can pass through. The Skelm River Bridge has been closed, however repair works have commenced. The rest of the road is passable with all vehicles.
  • MR126
    Road damages/wash-aways between Khorixas and Palmwag were repaired and the road is now passable with all vehicles. However, due to restricted river crossings, the road between Kamanjab and Palmwag is only passable with 4x4 vehicles. The section at Langasem Pass will be repaired in due course.
  • DR2302 (Terrace Bay area)
    Repair works are in progress and the road is passable with 4x4 vehicles only.
  • DR 2628
    The road is closed at Unib River to all traffic.

Kharas Region:

  • DR212 (Aussenkehr <> Rosh Pinah)
    The road is still closed to all traffic.
  • MR118 (Rosh Pinah <> Oranjemund)
    The road is open to traffic and the RA is currently attending to the road shoulders. However, the public is kindly requested to strictly adhere to the erected road signs on this road at all times.  
  • DR 463 (turn off at TR/1 from Keetmanshoop towards L├╝deritz)
    The road is open to traffic, however, the public is kindly requested to drive with caution as road repairs are being carried out on the road.  
  • TR 4/1 (Keetmanshoop to Goageb)
    Road damages/wash aways were repaired and the road is open to traffic.

Kruger National Park Calendar - April!

Weather:

  • seasonal shift towards autumn
  • drop in daytime temperatures with cool evenings
  • occasional late summer rains

Temperatures:


Landscape:

  • vegetation dense > thick tree canopies
  • many trees are bearing seeds/fruits
  • pods are out on mopaneveld

Animal Activity:

  • game dispersed throughout the park
  • game spotting generally difficult
  • Warthog, Impala & Wildebeest rutting season
  • most migrant birds depart

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25 February 2022

TAZARA to resume cross-border passenger train operations between Tanzania and Zambia!

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has announced that cross-border passenger train operations between Tanzania and Zambia on board the Mukuba Passenger Train and Kilimanjaro Passenger Train, which were suspended at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, will resume in July 2022. TAZARA further announced that the repair work of the Chambeshi Railway Bridge in Zambia will finally start in March 2022. The repairs are expected to be completed in four months' time, so that train operations across the Chambeshi Railway Bridge can resume in July 2022. We'll keep you posted!

Photo by katsuma tanaka on Unsplash


24 February 2022

Botswana increases entrance fees to its National Parks and Game Reserves!

Following the amendment of the National Parks and Reserves Regulations, Botswana's Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has announced that entrance fees to the country's National Parks and Game Reserves are set to increase. Effective 01 April 2022, the entrance fee for "Category A Parks" (Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve) will be BWP30/person for citizens of Botswana, BWP205/person for residents of Botswana and nationals of SADC member states and BWP270/person for non-residents. The new entrance fee for "Category B Parks" (all other National Parks and Game Reserves in Botswana) will be BWP20/person for citizens, BWP145/person for residents/nationals of SADC member states and BWP190/person for non-residents.


Airlink to launch flights between Durban <> Harare!

South African privately-owned regional carrier Airlink is set to launch scheduled direct services between King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare, Zimbabwe. Effective 05 April 2022, the airline will operate three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on board an Embraer ERJ135 Regional Jet. Flights from Durban depart at 10:30, landing at 12:40 in Harare. The return service leaves from Harare at 13:20, touching down in Durban at 15:35. Travel time is approximately 2hrs 10 min. 

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23 February 2022

South Africa: New toll road tariffs from March 2022!

The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), a South African parastatal responsible for the management, maintenance and development of South Africa's proclaimed National Road network which includes many (not all!) National ("N") and some Provincial and Regional ("R") route segments, has announced toll increases for the country's major highways effective from 01 March 2022. The tariffs are adjusted annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as obtained from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Toll monies are applied to maintain, operate and improve toll roads in South Africa, as well as to service debt incurred to implement a toll road project.

Download: SANRAL toll tariffs 2022 (pdf)

Germany: Condor resumes flights to South Africa! [update #2]

update (07 October 2022): Condor is operating flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town during the South African Summer season from 04 October 2022 to 23 April 2023, with two flights per week for the first month of operation, thereafter, increasing to three times per week from November 2022.

update (25 March 2022): Condor is set to restart direct flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town on 04 October 2022. Direct flights to Johannesburg will commence on 04 November 2022.

German charter airline Condor is set to launch a seasonal nonstop service to a new destination in South Africa during the winter 2022/23 season. Effective 01 November 2022, the airline will operate two weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays between Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Frankfurt and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Condor will also restart its service between Frankfurt and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town with  three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 01 November 2022. The service to Cape Town was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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18 February 2022

USA: Delta Air Lines to launch nonstop flights between Atlanta <> Cape Town!

According to Wesgro, the official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town & the Western Cape, major US airline Delta Air Lines is planning to launch a year-round three times weekly nonstop service between Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. The airline is planning to commence operations on 18 November 2022. The round trip from Atlanta to Cape Town will be the airline’s second destination in South Africa, after Johannesburg, which it already serves from Atlanta.
In addition, Delta Air Lines is still seeking South African government approval for the triangle route Atlanta > Johannesburg > Cape Town > Atlanta, after failing to win the approval of the South African government in 2020 and 2021. We'll keep you posted!

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17 February 2022

Namibia: Temporary road closures in the Kunene Region!

Namibia's Roads Authority (RA), whose core business is to construct and maintain the country's road sector, has informed the public that, due to the heavy rains that Namibia is experiencing countrywide, roads may be affected from flooding or wash-aways. The RA monitors all the affected roads; maintenance teams are on standby to ensure that damaged roads are repaired, where possible, within a reasonable time period. The follwing roads in the Kunene Region in north-western Namibia are currently affected:

  • MR 76 (Uis <> Khorixas)
    The Ugab Bridge and some sections on this road were severely damaged. Hence, the section form Ugab River to Khorixas has been closed, with immediate effect, until further notice.  Road users are kindly requested to use the alternative route via Omaruru.
  • MR126 from Khorixas
    The Langasem pass was washed out for approximately 7 kilometers. Road users should not attempt to cross the Unib and Huab rivers during this period. The road is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles. However, extra caution must be exercised.
  • D2612 Twyfelfontein area
    The Aba-Huab river is flooding had has effected the roads. Twyfelfontein has been cut off/cannot be accessed.
  • MR128 (Palmwag <> Sesfontein)
    The Hoanib river and Skelm river are flooding and vehicles cannot pass through. Sesfontein is been cut off/cannot be accessed.
    Please also take note that DR2628 (the link between MR 126 and D 2612) has been closed temporary to all traffic.

16 February 2022

Covid-19: Zimbabwe has re-opened all land borders! [update]

update (03 March 2022): Zimbabwe's land borders are still closed to non-essential travel. According to Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper "The Chronicle", the Attorney General's (AG) office is crafting a statutory instrument to operationalise the decision of Zimbabwe's Cabinet to open land borders for vaccinated ordinary travellers. The statutory instrument is expected to be gazetted in due course.

The Government of Zimbabwe has re-opened all land borders with immediate effect on 15 February 2022 as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country continue to decline. According to the Zimbabwe's Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, all persons entering Zimbabwe must have undergone a valid Covid-19 PCR test not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure for Zimbabwe, and be fully vaccinated. Those with a booster shot have an entry advantage.


15 February 2022

Covid-19: Namibia extends the current Public Health Regulations for another 30 days!

Namibia's Vice President Dr. Nangolo Mbumba announced on the occasion of the 40th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 14 February 2022 that the current Covid-19 public health measures have been reviewed and will be extended for a period of 30 days, from 16 February 2022 to 15 March 2022. According to the country's Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Kalumbi Shangula the number of attendees at public gatherings has been adjusted from 200 to 500 persons per event. The requirements for entry into Namibia have also been updated. Please see the excerpt below:

 

12 February 2022

Botswana: Proof of Covid-19 vaccination to be required for all arrivals! [update]

update (13 February 2022): Fully vaccinated means having taken two doses of a two dose vaccine regimen or single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. If one has taken any of the two and is overdue for booster shots, they are no longer regarded as fully vaccinated, until they have taken the booster shot.
When a person is not fully vaccinated, they will be required to present a 72 hour negative PCR Covid-19 test result and undergo Covid-19 vaccination at the port of entry, which will be facilitated by the ministry for free. After vaccination, they will be allowed into the country.
Alternatively, if one has no proof of being fully vaccinated and has no 72 hour negative PCR test result, they will be required to undergo PCR testing at ports of entry, at their own cost and where necessary quarantine at own cost, while waiting for results. If results are negative they will be allowed into the country. If results are positive, they will be allowed to isolate within the district of port of entry, at own cost.
If one has no proof of being fully vaccinated, is not willing to be vaccinated at the port of entry, has no 72 hour negative PCR test result and is not willing to be tested at own cost, they will not be allowed entry into Botswana, if they are foreigners.
 If they are citizens, they will be liable to a fine of P5 000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both. [src.]