29 July 2022

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Border posts re-open!

The South African National Parks (SANParks) Park Management of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has announced that the Twee Rivieren border post (South Africa <> Botswana) and the Mata Mata border post (South Africa <> Namibia) will re-open on 01 August 2022. Twe Rivieren border post will open daily from 07:30 - 16:00, while Mata Mata border post will open at 08:00 and close at 16:30. The following regulations apply:

  • Guest must overnight a minimum of 2 nights anywhere in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park when entering from one country and exiting into another country.
  • Guests entering at Twee Rivieren must clear Customs and Immigration at Twee Rivieren before proceeding to Mata Mata.
  • When entering at Mata Mata, South African Customs and Immigration must be cleared at Twee Rivieren.
  • Day visitors from Mata Mata must show their passports to the Namibian Customs officials.

Kruger National Park Calendar - September!


  • it is spring time in the park
  • fresh mornings & warm to hot days
  • it can get pretty cold at night
  • occasional showers
  • pretty unpredictable weather patterns



  • first green shoots
  • spring flush depending on rain
  • new mopane growth with red-tinged leaves
  • good spring indicator: purple flowers of tree wisteria

Animal Activity:

  • game still concentrated around watering holes etc.
  • migrant birds begin arriving
  • elephants are coming south from their winter feeding grounds in the north

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Airlink launches flights between Cape Town <> Maputo!

South African privately-owned regional carrier Airlink is set to launch the first direct flights between Cape Town and Maputo in Mozambique. Effective 31 August 2022, the airline will operate three weekly return flights from Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Maputo International Airport (MPM) in Maputo. Airlink will use its 37-seat Embraer 135 regional jets on the new route. Tickets are already on sale.

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28 July 2022

United Airlines to become first airline to fly nonstop between Washington D.C. <> Cape Town!

United Airlines, one of the major American airlines, is set to become the first airline to provide nonstop roundtrip service between Washington D.C. and Cape Town in South Africa. The U.S. Department of Transportation granted the airline three weekly direct flights between Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington D.C. and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, which will commence on 17 (18?) November 2022 (subject to approval by the South Africa Government). Tickets are already on sale. United Airlines' new flights will connect Cape Town to 55 U.S. cities, representing more than 92% of the U.S. travel demand. The new flights will also allow customers to connect in Cape Town to other points in South Africa, and to other countries in the southern region of the African continent with United Airlines' South African based partner Airlink and their Cape Town hub. 

United Airlines will fly a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the new route between Washington D.C. and Cape Town, which features 48 lie-flat business class seats, 21 United Premium Plus® seats and 188 economy seats.
United Airlines started seasonal service from New York/Newark to Cape Townin 2019 and expanded to year-round service in 2022. United Airlines has more flights to South Africa than any other North American airline.

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26 July 2022

Botswana to re-open 16 land border post!

The Government of Botswana has announced the re-opening of 14 land border posts between Botswana and South Africa, two border post between Botswana and Zimbabwe and one border post between Botswana and Namibia. All 16 border posts are set to resume operations from 01 August 2022. The border posts were temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The following border posts are set to re-open: 

Botswana - South Africa:

  • Bray Border post 08:00 – 16:00
  • Makopong Border post 07:30 – 16:30
  • McCarthys’ Rust Border post 06:00 – 18:00
  • Middlepits Border post 06:00 – 18:00
  • Parr’s Halt Border post 06:00 – 18:00
  • Phitshane Molopo Border post 07:00 – 18:00
  • Plaatjan Border post 06:00 – 18:00
  • Pont Drift Border post 08:00 – 16:00
  • Ramotswa Border post 07:00 – 19:00
  • Sikwane Border post 06:00 – 19:00
  • Tshidilamolomo Border post 06:00 – 16:00
  • Two Rivers Border post 07:00 – 16:00
  • Zanzibar Border post 07:30 – 18:00

 Botswana - Zimbabwe:

  • Pandamatenga Border post 07:00 – 16:30
  • Mabolwe Border post 07:30 – 16:30

Botswana - Namibia:

  • Dobe Border post 07:30 – 16:30

21 July 2022

Air Mauritius resumes flights to Cape Town!

Air Mauritius, the flag carrier of Mauritius, is set to resume direct flights to Cape Town in South Africa. Effective 16 November 2022, the airline will operate two weekly flights between Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius, the main island of Republic of Mauritius, and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. Flights will be operated on Wednesdays and Sundays on board a new generation Airbus A350/A330neo aircraft.
Air Mauritius currently operates one daily flight between Mauritius and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg with additional capacity in June, July and October.

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20 July 2022

This restaurant in Cape Town is one of "The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022"!

Cape Town restaurant FYN has been named one of "The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022" and "The Best Restaurant in Africa 2022". The restaurant, which has secured the 37th spot in the 2022 list, celebrates Japanese cooking technique while using local fish, poultry and meat from the best farms and fisheries in and around Cape Town. FYN was launched in 2018 by South African chef and restaurateur Peter Tempelhoff, who is supported by French general manager Jennifer Hugé and head chef Ashley Moss. The restaurant is located on the fifth floor of a 19th-century silk factory on 37 Parliament Street in Cape Town. Two other South African restaurants were also awarded: La Colombe in Constantia came in at number 56 in the top 100 and last year's "Best Restaurant in Africa, Wolfgat in Paternoster, at number 90. Congratulations!

South African Airways & Kenya Airways have signed a codeshare agreement!

South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya's flag carrier Kenya Airways have signed a codeshare agreement. Under the agreement, passengers travelling out of South Africa with South African Airways will have more options to fly to African destinations including Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Mombasa, and Kisumu while passengers travelling with Kenya Airways will have more choices for travel into Southern Africa including Cape Town, Durban, and Harare. The growth of the partnership will see the addition of Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Juba (South Sudan), Douala (Cameroon), Lusaka as well as Ghana and Nigeria subject to government approval as the airlines seek to offer more options for travelers within Africa.
Kenya Airways and South African Airways are also exploring ways to enhance co-operation on their respective frequent flyer programs, including reciprocal earning and redemption opportunities and popular benefits such as lounge access, and will be announcing the details in due course. We'll keep you posted!

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18 July 2022

Covid-19: eSwatini eases restrictions under Adjusted Risk Level 0!

The Prime Minister of eSwatini, Cleopas Sipho Dlamini, earlier today (18 July 2022) announced new eased Covid-19 restrictions under Adjusted Risk Level 0 which come into effect immediately. According to the Prime Minister, Adjusted Risk Level 0 means eSwatini is shifting from the acute emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic to allow for long term sustainable integrated approach to Covid-19.

  • Visitors intending to visit eSwatini and returning residents of eSwatini are required to be fully vaccinated. For fully vaccinated persons entering the country, a negative PCR test result is not required. For those who are not fully vaccinated, a negative PCR test is required.
  • The wearing of face masks in eSwatini is no longer mandatory in all settings. However, individuals are free to wear face masks based on their assessment of perceived risk of acquiring Covid-19 in any given situation. A person exhibiting flu-like symptoms should take the responsibility to wear a face mask.
  • Hand-washing and sanitisation is encouraged at all times in all public spaces as a good health and hygiene practice.
  • Testing for Covid-19 remains available in eSwatini and is encouraged for all persons experiencing flu-like symptoms. If tested positive for the Covid-19, a person should wear face masks at all times if they need to go to public areas.

15 July 2022

Covid-19: Namibia removes (almost) all restrictions! [update #1]

update (19 July 2022): Tourists not vaccinated against Covid-19 can still enter Namibia if they provide a negative PCR test. See the excerpt of the Government Notice No. 211 below.

click to enlarge

Namibia's President Dr. Hage G. Geingob announced on the occasion of the 45th Covid-19 briefing on the national response measures on 15 July 2022 that Namibia is now at a stage where it can lower the scale of investment in the fight against Covid-19. The Government of Namibia therefore decided to remove all restrictions imposed on account of Covid-19. The control of the Coronavirus disease in Namibia will now be carried out in the same way as was for Hepatitis E. However, foreign travellers are still required to present vaccination certificates against Covid-19 at Namibia's border posts similar to the requirement for travellers to produce certificates of vaccination against Yellow Fever in some other countries.

13 July 2022

Covid-19: Namibia and South Africa have re-opened three border posts! [CANCELED]

update [14 July 2022]: The media release regarding the re-openening of the three border posts by Namibia's Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security by has been canceled! All three border posts are still closed.

Namibia's Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security has announced that South Africa and Namibia have re-opened the following border posts on 10 July 2022: Velloorsdrift/Onseepkans Border Post, Klein Menasse/Rietfontein Border Post and Sendelingsdrift Border Post. Due to the water levels of the Orange River at Sendelingsdrift, the border post - a pontoon ferry carries the traffic between the two countries - is currently still closed.
The opening of the three border posts is guided by the relaxation of health protocols governing the management of Covid-19 in South Africa.
The Velloorsdrift/Onseepkans Border Post, Klein Menasse/Rietfontein Border Post and Sendelingsdrift Border Post have been closed since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Five destinations in Southern & East Africa made it to list of the "World's 100 Greatest Places 2022"!

The Time Magazine, an American weekly news magazine and news website, has released its fourth annual list of the "World's 100 Greatest Places". To compile this list, the magazine solicited nominations of places from its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences. Five destinations in Southern Africa and East Africa have been selected by the Time Magazine to be featured on the list of the "World's Greatest Places 2022". These are Franschhoek in South Africa, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, Nairobi in Kenya and Kigali in Rwanda. Congratulations!

12 July 2022

Airlink to launch flights between Johannesburg <> Victoria Falls!

South African privately-owned regional carrier Airlink is set to introduce a new direct service to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The airline will launch daily direct return flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls from 15 August 2022. Airlink’s flights will be on board a modern 98-seat Embraer E-190 jetliner and are scheduled to conveniently connect with its other services to and from its Johannesburg main base as well as to long-haul flights provided by Airlink’s global partner airlines.
The new Johannesburg <> Victoria Falls route will be Airlink's second to Victoria Falls, which the airline already serves from Cape Town. In addition, Airlink provides direct flights connecting Harare with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and between Bulawayo and Johannesburg

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

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the Seasonal Climate Watch for the period May 2022 to September 2022. According to the multi-model rainfall forecast, most parts of South Africa except for the central and eastern coastal areas in early winter (May, June, July) and the eastern coastal areas during mid-and late-winter (June, July, August and July, August, September) experience below-normal rainfall. Both maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be above-normal for most of South Africa, except for parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape where below-normal temperatures are expected.

11 July 2022

Zambia: African Parks takes over the management of Kafue National Park!

The Government of Zambia and African Parks, a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities, have signed a 20 million dollar agreement for the effective management and protection of Kafue National Park. The agreement follows the successful conclusion of a 16-month Priority Support Plan (PSP), initiated in February 2021 by Zambia's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and African Parks, to provide technical and financial support for the National Park.
According to African Parks, a total of US$3.6 million was invested into Kafue National Park's infrastructure and operations since the PSP was implemented, including:

  • the construction of a new law enforcement centre
  • rehabilitation of existing infrastructure at Chunga and Ngoma
  • grading of 2000 km of roads
  • aerial support to law enforcement operations with both helicopter and fixed wing
  • completion of an aerial census for the entire landscape
  • the creation of 150 permanent jobs
  • US$800 000 in law enforcement salaries, which were reimbursed to the Government of Zambia

The new agreement between the Government of Zambia and African Parks provides a full mandate to implement a holistic management plan for Kafue National Park, including a continuation of the work set out in the PSP. Priorities for 2022 include:

  • further upgrades of roads to improve visitor access
  • development of community facilities and projects
  • an upgraded communications network
  • operationalisation of the state-of-the-art law enforcement centre.

Kafue National Park, Zambia © Frank Weitzer and African Parks

Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia, covering an area of about 22,400 km². It is located in in the centre of western Zambia, only a two hours drive from Livingstone. Kafue National Park is home to over 55 different species of mammals including elephants, large predators and 21 species of antelope – the highest diversity of antelope in Africa. Kafue National Park is also designated by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area, with at least 515 bird species recorded. The National Park is named for the Kafue River.
Kafue National Park forms part of the world's largest transfrontier conservation area, the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). It is situated in the Kavango and Zambezi river basins where the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge. It spans an area of approximately 520 000 km² and includes 36 proclaimed protected areas such as national parks, game reserves, forest reserves, community conservancies and game/wildlife management areas.

The Government of Zambia first partnered with African Parks in 2003 in Liuwa Plain National Park and subsequently in 2008 in Bangweulu Wetlands. Kafue National Park is the 20th park to join African Parks’ portfolio.

08 July 2022

Ethiopian Airlines has increased flights to Victoria Falls!

The flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, has increased the frequency of flights to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The airline introduced at fith weekly service between Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls on 01 July 2022. Flights are now operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Ethiopian Airlines representative Menbere Worku told ZBC News*, "the reason for the increase of the frequency is there is increased demand and many countries have lifted travel restrictions". According to the ZBC, Ethiopian Airlines is also planning to launch flights to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) in Bulawayo from November 2022.

* Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is the state-controlled broadcaster in Zimbabwe

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07 July 2022

South Africa: Airlink to increase flights to St Helena! [update]

update (21 July 2022): Airlink has announced that it is preparing to increase the frequency of flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and St Helena Airport (HLE) on St Helena to a weekly service from 15 October 2022.  Flight Schedule with effect from 15 Oct 2022:

  • 4Z 131 Johannesburg 09:00 > 13:25 St Helena on Saturdays
    (the west-bound flight includes a 30min refuelling stop at Walvis Bay, Namibia)
  • 4Z 132 St Helena 14: 30 > 21:15 Johannesburg on Saturdays
    (the east-bound flight is non-stop)

The St Helena Government (SHG) has announced that Airlink is set to increase flights between South Africa and the island of St Helena. The South African regional carrier will operate weekly flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and St Helena Airport (HLE) on St Helena on Saturdays from 08 October 2022. The service will still include the monthly inter-Island service with Ascension Island and additional inter-Island flights during the peak period. Airlink flights with St Helena recommenced in March 2022. Since then the Island has seen eight flights operated fortnightly between Johannesburg and St Helena.  

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06 July 2022

Kruger National Park: Emergency arrangements for guests due protest action in Mbombela and surrounding areas! [update #7]

update (08 July 2022): According to "The Lowvelder", a local newspaper from Nelspruit, all reports indicate that everything is mostly back to normal (as at 08:00 this morning).

update (08 July 2022):  According to SANParks, the N4 at the Crocodile River Bridge between Kaapmuiden and Matsulu junction is currently blocked by a truck that has been placed across the road, blocking the whole E-W sides and set alight. (as at 20:26, 07 July 2022)

update (07 July 2022): According to SANParks, the N4 is cleared and open again.

update (07 July 2022): SANParks has released three recent updates regarding the situation outside the southern part of Kruger National Park.

  • N4 now closed with trucks at the KaNyamazane turn-off before the gorge.
  • The situation around Hazyview and Mkhuhlu is still volatile . Access to Paul Kruger Gate and Numbi Gate still blocked but Phabeni Gate, Open Gate, Crocodile Bridge Gate and Malelane are all accessible.
  • Hazyview to Kruger Gate road blocked by truck at Mhkuhlu mall.

update (07 July 2022): SANParks just released a road update on facebook. According to the post, the N4 is now open and it is quiet in the area. It seems the situation is stabilizing. N4 is clear from Mbombela (Nelspruit) to Malelane, including R40 and Mkhuhlu area. The Plaston road still has two trucks but the road can be accessed.

update (07 July 2022): According to local newspaper "Lowvelder", no closures have been reported in Mbombela (Nelspruit) thus far, but some outlying areas are reported as closed. According to a posting by a group member in Kruger National Park's official facebook group, the N4 between Mbombela (Nelspruit) towards Crocodile Bridge Gate is open with police everywhere. However there was an accident between two trucks 40 km before Malelane from Mbombela (Nelspruit). Heavy congested from Malelane's direction. 

update (06 July 2022): The road between Hazyview and Kruger National Park's Phabeni Gate is now open.

The promise of a National Shutdown in South Africa was realised by protesters in Mbombela (Nelspruit) and surrounding areas in Mpumalanga, after they blockaded the N4 and several other roads this morning (06 July 2022). Some of the entry roads into the southern part of Kruger National Park are affected, so that South African National Parks (SANParks) has made the following emergency arrangements for 06 July 2022.

  • Guests are allowed to leave the Kruger National Park exit gates on their own accord up to gate closing time.
  • After gate closing time guests will not be allowed to leave Kruger National Park's exit gates. Guests without bookings will be allowed to spend the night inside their vehicles either at the exit gate or at any of the rest camps in designated areas. They can use the ablution facilities at the gates or at the tourist camp.
  • SANParks will keep certain entry gates open after normal closing time for guests with bookings that may make their way to our entry gates. The gates that will be open until 20:00 on 06 July 2022 are:
  • Orpen Gate – for visitors with bookings at Orpen, Satara, Marula and Tamboti camps.
  • Kruger Gate – for visitors with bookings at any of the tourist facilities in Skukuza.
  • Phabeni Gate - for visitors with bookings at any of the tourist facilities in Skukuza or Pretoriuskop.
  • Malelane Gate - for visitors with bookings at Malelane Private camp and Berg & Dal.
  • Crocodile Bridge Gate - for visitors with bookings at Crocodile Bridge or Lower Sabie.
  • Escorts from the entry gates to the camps will be arranged at 18:00, 19:00 and 20:00 by Protection Services.
  • HSMs must arrange for the designated gates and camps reception offices to remain open until 21:00.

We'll keep you posted!

Study: Table Mountain in Cape Town named best viewpoint in Africa!

Remitly, an online remittance service based in the U.S., recently analysed over a million TripAdvisor reviews for landmarks, common tourist spots and viewing points in cities in over 260 countries around the world to find which view point gets the most positive comments from visitors. According to the study, Table Mountain in Cape Town tops the rankings as the best viewpoint in Africa with over 9,800 view-related mentions. The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway in Hartbeespoort in South Africa's North West Province got the second most view-related mentions in Africa, while The Valley of a Thousand Hills (#9) in KwaZulu-Natal also made it in the Top 10 in Africa. Over-all winner of the study is Top of the Rock in New York City with 42,555 view-related mentions, followed by the London Eye in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

04 July 2022

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Swimming pool at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp to close temporarily!

The Park Management of South African National Parks' (SANParks) Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa's Northern Cape has announced that the swimming pool at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp will be temporarily closed from 11 July 2022 until 31 August 2022 due to maintenance repairs. The swimming pools at Mata-Mata Rest Camp and Nossob Rest Camp will remain open.
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp is Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park's largest rest camp and administrative headquarters. It is situated on the banks of the Dry Nossob Riverbed.

01 July 2022

South Africa: This beach in Cape Town is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

Global travel website Big 7 Travel has released its annual list of "The 50 Best Beaches In The World". The list is currently in its fourth year, using aggregated scores from previous media results, official Blue Flag locations, social media popularity and contributions from the Big 7 Travel editorial team. According to Big 7 travel's list, Boulders Beach in Cape Town, is the world's ninth best beach.

Boulders Beach – South Africa
Boulders Beach is more famous for its inhabitants than its sandy stretches. A whole colony of as many as 3,000 African Penguins nest on the beach. The best time to see them is during the summertime. The cool, clear False Bay water and rock pools are an added bonus. [src.]

Big 7 Travel's Top 10 "Best Beaches In The World‘:

  1. Playa Conchal – Costa Rica
  2. Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, Australia
  3. Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos
  4. Siesta Beach – Florida, United States
  5. Punta Mosquito – Holbox, Mexico
  6. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  7. San Fruttuoso – Italy
  8. Pedn Vounder – Cornwall, England
  9. Boulders BeachSouth Africa
  10. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

For the complete list of the World’s Best Beaches, please see here.