30 November 2022

Kruger National Park Calendar - January!


  • height of summer
  • very hot & humid days
  • warm nights
  • often spectacular lightning storms



  • vigorous plat growth everywhere in the park
  • tree canopy very thick
  • fig trees in fruit
  • mopane tree in flower

Animal Activity:

  • height of the impala breeding season
  • predators out to get their young
  • most resident non-raptor birds breeding
  • animal activity all over the park

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Garden Route: Several beaches in Mossel Bay closed due to possible oil spill! [update #4]

update (02 December 2022): According to a posting by the Mossel Bay Municipality on facebook, most beaches in and around Mossel Bay will be cleaned by the end of this weekend, dependent on the 3.5m swells expected last night (01 December 2022).

update (01 December 2022): The Mossel Bay Municipality has released an update on the beach clean-up. The current status according to the colour or flag system (Green being a cleared beach, orange containing contaminants and red highly contaminated) is as follows:

Blue Flag beaches:

  • Santos - Green
  • De Bakke - Green
  • Hartenbos Platform - Green
  • Klein Brak - Green  
  • Glentana - Green

Rest of the beaches moving from west to east (excluding the Blue Flag beaches):

  • Kanon - Orange
  • Fransmanshoek - Orange
  • Vleesbaai - Orange
  • Boggomsbaai - Orange
  • Danabaai - Red
  • Point - Green
  • Diaz - Green
  • Twee Kuilen - Orange
  • Bayview - Orange
  • Hartenbos Main - Orange
  • Hartenbos rivermouth - Orange
  • Reebok - Red
  • Tergniet - Red
  • Suiderkruis - Orange
  • Herham - Orange
  • Outeniquastrand - Orange

Clean-up teams working their way from Diaz to Hartenbos and from Glentana to Hartenbos.

update (01 December 2022):  Four out of the five Blue Flag beaches in Mossel Bay have been declared green since yesterday (30 November 2022). Queries regarding Dana Bay and Diaz Beach have been received. Environmental Management teams from the Mossel Bay Municipality confirmed last night that these beaches were still classified as orange (Green being a cleared beach, orange containing contaminants and red highly contaminated). Clean-up activities will recommence at 08:00 today.

update (30 November 2022): The Mossel Bay Municipality has released an update on the beach closures in Mossel Bay due to contaminants resembling tarlike balls or oil pellets being found. A flag system has been put into place indicating the state of the beaches being green, orange and red. Green being a cleared beach, orange containing contaminants and red highly contaminated. On 30 December 2022 the following areas have been declared green and open to the public:

  • Point
  • Santos
  • De Bakke
  • Hartenbos Platform
  • Glentana

Mossel Bay boasts five Blue Flag beaches. Tomorrow, 01 December 2022 as the Blue Flag season starts, the flags will be hoisted at Santos, De Bakke, Hartenbos Platform and Glentana. Cleaning operations will continue. Washing stations have been supplied at beaches to assist beach goers in cleaning.  

The Mossel Bay Municipality announed on 29 November 2022 that several beaches along the Garden Route in Mossel Bay have been closed to the public. The Blue Flags will not be raised at any of the Blue Flag beaches in Mossel Bay until the beaches are safe againfor public use. The Municipality was being notified on 28 November 2022 of an oil or hydrocarbon substance sticking to beach-goers’ feet who were walking between Hartenbos and Bayview beaches. Additional reports of the hydrocarbon substance were also received regarding Santos beach, similar to that seen at Hartenbos beach. Another report was received from the Stranded Marine Animals Rescue Team (SMART) regarding an oil spill in Kanon. 

Clean-up teams have been deployed and are working to isolate the oil spill and clear beaches so they can be re-opened in time for the coming holidays. A ask team has been deployed to establish the source of the pollution and to assist with effective clean-up efforts.

The following beaches are closed till further noticed for public safety:

  • Hartenbos
  • Diaz
  • Santos
  • Kanon
  • Danabaai
  • Klein Brak
  • Suiderkruis
  • Souweisa

Glentana main beach is clear. Therefore, the Blue Flag will be raised on 01 December 2022 should it remain clear of any contaminants.

29 November 2022

Durban: Thirteen beaches are currently open for swimming [update]

update (05 December 2022): According to The eThekwini Municipality, the following public swimming pools in Durban are currently (02 December 2022) open:
Rainham, Durban North, Pipeline, Tiger Rocks, Anstey's, Westville,  Kings Park complex both indoor and outdoor, Stanmore, Umlazi D, L.T King, Bayview, Arena Park , Alex Bulley, Lamontville, Lahee Park, Ntuzuma, Sutton Park, South Beach Paddling, Tesoriere, Mariannridge, Tills Crescent, Croftdene, Bellair and Umgababa.
The eThekwini Municipality, the local government body responsible for governing and managing Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, has announced the re-opening of additional three beaches in Durban following improvements in water quality. The decision to open the beaches was taken after experts conducted water tests which confirmed that beach water quality had improved to an acceptable standard. The three beaches are Country Club beach, Winkelespruit beach and Anstey's beach.
In addition to the above beaches, the following beaches are currently open for swimming:
  1. Point
  2. uShaka
  3. Wedge
  4. North
  5. Battery
  6. Bay of Plenty
  7. Pipeline
  8. Toti Main
  9. Warner
  10. Umgababa
The following beaches are closed until further notice:
  1. Addington
  2. Brighton
  3. Reunion
  4. South
  5. Westbrook
  6. Umhlanga
  7. Thekwini
Water quality at Umdloti, Laguna and Bronze beaches is at an acceptable standard but these beaches will remain closed as per directive from the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environemntal Affairs.
In addition to beaches, 21 swimming pools in Durban are open. They are: Rainham, Durban North, Pipeline paddling, Tiger Rocks,  Anstey’s, Westville, Kings Park indoor,  Kings Park Outdoor, Stanmore,  Umlazi D,  L.T King, Bayview, Arena Park, Alex Bulley, Lamontville, Lahee Park, Ntuzuma, Sutton Park, South Beach Paddling, Tesoriere and Umgababa.

28 November 2022

South African Airways returns to Windhoek, Namibia!

South African Airways (SAA) is set to resume flights to Windhoek in Namibia before the start of the festive season 2022/23. The airline has announced that it will launch two daily direct fligths between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek from 08 December 2022. South African Airways (SAA) will operate a morning/mid-day flight and an afternoon/early evening flight between the two destinations.

Cape Town: MyCiTi Airport Service suspended as from 01 December 2022!

The City of Cape Town has announced that the MyCiTi Airport Service (A01 Airport <> Civic Centre route) will be suspended as from 01 December 2022. According to the City, the low number of passengers making use of the service between the MyCiTi Airport bus station right outside the main Airport terminal of Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and the Civic Centre in Cape Town's city centre as well as the 50,5% increase in the diesel price from 05 January 2022 to 02 November 2022 have necessitated the suspension. The buses operating on this route will instead be redeployed to the popular routes that connect Atlantis with Table View, Century City and the Cape Town CBD. The City of Cape Town will investigate more cost effective and innovative solutions to resume the MyCiTi Airport Service in the future. We'll keep you posted!

MyCiTi is Cape Town's version of bus rapid transit (BRT), a form of public transport service pioneered in South America and widely adopted in cities across the world.  

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Namibia: New rhino poaching figures!

According to the spokesperson of the Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Romeo Muyunda, Namibia has lost at least 63 rhinos to poaching, of which 41 are black rhinos and 22 are white rhinos, since the beginning of 2022. This year’s poaching cases include 26 rhinos poached in the Etosha National Park, 22 rhino on private farms and 15 rhinos on custodianship farms. Namibia recorded 44 (43?) rhinos poached in 2021, 42 in 2020, 57 in 2019, 83 in 2018, and 55 in 2017.

Romeo Muyunda further revealed that 106 suspects have been arrested since January 2022 in Namibia, of which 44 are linked to crimes related to rhino poaching and 62 to crimes related to elephant poaching. Out of 106 suspects, 93 are Namibians, eight are from Angola and five from Zambia.

Namibia is home to a third of the entire remaining population of back rhino on the planet and the second largest white rhino population in the world after South Africa. The country also has the largest population of free-roaming black rhinos as well as the largest population of black rhinos in protected areas.

25 November 2022

South Africa: SARS introduces the new South African Traveller Declaration System at King Shaka International Airport in Durban!

The website for the new South African Traveller Declaration System has now gone live. The new online system comes into effect at King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban on 29 November 2020 and it is planned that it will be progressively introduced at all international airports in South Africa during 2023. The South African Traveller Declaration System may be used on a voluntary basis during the pilot phase until further notice. Travellers will still be allowed in South Africa without electronic online declaration. However, the original method of the declaration must then be followed.

The new South African Traveller Declaration System allows travellers, including South African citizens and residents, leaving or entering South Africa by air to complete and submit an online traveller declaration and receive electronic confirmation thereof before they travel. Travellers who are travelling with children or infants will also need to complete a declaration for them.

22 November 2022

Eat Out names South Africa's best restaurants 2022!

South Africa's leading restaurant guide, Eat Out, has named the winners of the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022. After a two year interruption, the restaurant awards are back with a dynamic new star rating system. Restaurants were assessed on several factors, including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. In addition to the Eat Out stars, there are 12 Special Awards that were handed out. These awards applaud individual restaurants, chefs and food personalities who are pushing the industry forward in a meaningful and innovative way.

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 1-star restaurants (70 - 80 points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 2-star restaurants (80 - 90 points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: 3-star restaurants (90+ points)

Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022: Special Awards

  • Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant of The Year  – The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate (Pinetown, Durban)
  • Eat Out Woolworths Financial Services Chef of The Year  – John Norris-Rogers of PIER Restaurant (V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
  • Eat Out WCellar Wine Service Award  – Victor Okolo from Salsify at the Roundhouse (Camps Bay).
  • Eat Out Naked Malt Rising Star Award  – Mmabatho Molefe from Emazulwini (V&A Waterfront, Cape Town) .
  • Eat Out Woolworths Financial Services Service Excellence Award – Forti Grill & Bar (Menlyn, Pretoria) .
  • Eat Out Valpré Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award  – Rudi Liebenberg.
  • Eat Out Woolworths Lockdown Innovation Award – Liam Tomlin.
  • Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award  – FABER at Avondale (Paarl).
  • Eat Out VISI Style Award – Zioux (Sandton, Johannesburg).
  • Eat Out Stella Artois Best Destination Restaurant Award  – Nevermind (Cape St Francis).
  • Eat Out Woolworths Icon Award – La Madeleine (Pretoria).
  • Eat Out Retail Capital Best New Restaurant Award – Dusk (Stellenbosch).


According to Eat Out, the restaurants rated for the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards 2022 were selected based on several factors, including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. Based on their collective experience and expertise, the Eat Out team and the Awards chief judge then selected the 300 restaurants to be reviewed.
From the Top 300 list, over 80 restaurants were visited by the panel of six expert judges and rated on Eat Out’s new online rating tool that comprises a comprehensive scorecard. Restaurants are judged in a number of categories, including:

  • Menu composition: 15 points
  • Presentation: 10 points
  • Taste and technique: 30 points
  • Beverages: 20 points
  • Service: 20 points
  • Ambience: 5 points

Five to 10 factors are rated within these categories before the entire rating is rolled up into the total score out of 100.

21 November 2022

Kenya Airways to introduce a new direct service between Nairobi <> Johannesburg!

The flag carrier of Kenya, Kenya Airways, is set to introduce a new service to South Africa. Effective 10 December 2022, the airline will operate four daily direct flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Flights are open for bookings!

South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways, in November 2021 signed a Strategic Partnership Framework, which is seen as a key milestone towards co-starting a Pan African Airline Group by 2023. In July 2022, South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya Airways signed a codeshare agreement.

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Addo Elephant National Park: Update on the access road to the Woody Cape section!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has released an update on the access road to the Woody Cape section in the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. According to the update, it is advisable that only high ground clearance vehicles drive the Woody Cape access road from the R72 during or immediately after rainy days. Regular vehicles may take it on, albeit at a slow, careful pace, looking out for potholes, on non-rainy days. Please note that this is a District road, and as such falls out of SANParks’ jurisdiction. Additionally, access to the Umsintsi Cottage, a double story cottage accommodates two people and overlooks the Alexandria Forest in the Woody Cape section of Addo Elephant National Park, on the two-track road is only possible with a high ground clearance vehicle.
SANParks further announced that the reception office of the Woody Cape section closes 15:00 daily and that hikers will no longer be accommodated after that time.

17 November 2022

North West Province: Wolwespruit Nature Reserve and Boskop Dam Nature Reserve are temporarily closed!

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 that the Wolwespruit Nature Reserve and Boskop Dam Nature Reserve are temporarily closed due to recent heavy rains. 

The Wolwespruit Nature Reserve lies on the Vaal River about 130 kilometres upstream from the Bloemhof Dam and 22 km south of Leeudoringstad. Boskop Dam Nature Reserve is located in the Mooi River valley 20 km north of Potchefstroom.

Addo Elephant National Park: Visitors travelling from Gqeberha are advised to avoid the R335 via Motherwell route!

South African National Parks (SANParks) is urging travellers planning to visit Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape to avoid the R335 via Motherwell route from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) due to safety concerns. Instead, SANParks suggests to make use of the N2 via Colchester and either enter Addo Elephant National Park at Camp Matyholweni near Colchester, or via Paterson to the National Park's Main Camp.

Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the malaria-free Sundays River valley in the Eastern Cape, just over an hour's drive from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

Cape Town is South Africa' first Ramsar Wetland City!

Cape Town is South Africa’s first city, and one of only 43 around the world, to be accredited as a Ramsar Wetland City. The announcement was made at the 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 05 to 13 November 2022
The Wetland City Accreditation program provides international recognition for cities that uphold a solid and favourable relationship with wetlands through creating public awareness on wetland benefits, incorporating wetland protection into municipal planning and decision-making, and promoting wetland benefits for local people.

"We are truly honoured to be bestowed with this new status, and are committed to keep on carrying out the responsibilities this requires in protecting our precious wetlands. The preservation of our natural assets is a key priority for the City, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because our natural environment protects us from natural disasters and ensure our future resilience to climate change", said Lorraine Gerrans, the City of Cape Town's Director: Environmental Management.
Cape Town is home to over 11 000 hectares of wetlands which provide essential services such as disaster risk reduction and contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The city is recognised as a global hotspot of biodiversity and thus has a corresponding number of rare and threatened wetlands supporting many endemic fauna and flora species. These wetlands include the Rietvlei and Milnerton Lagoon (part of the Table Bay Nature Reserve), the Zandvlei Estuary, Edith Stephens Wetlands, False Bay Nature Reserve (a wetland of international importance), the Noordhoek wetlands and many others.

16 November 2022

Best in Travel 2023: Lonely Planet selects South Africa & Zambia as top travel destinations for 2023!

Global travel and tourism book publisher Lonely Planet has unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023. The new edition of the annual ranking is in a slightly different format than it has been in the past years. Rather than a simple list, this year's list centers expert local perspectives at the heart of each destination, and is sorted by the type of trip best had there: eat, journey, connect, learn and unwind.

According to Lonely Planet, South Africa and Zambia are among the countries travellers should not miss in 2023. South Africa is featured in the eat category, while Zambia is on Lonely Planet's journey list. Congratulations!

South Africa
Complementing its internationally known (and loved) vineyards, South Africa's new generation of chefs is propelling the country’s culinary scene forward making it a destination to visit not just for wine, but food as well. src.
With memorable activities like swimming on the ledge of a mighty waterfall to a walking safaris, it’s surprising Zambia is less visited than other spots on the continent of Africa. We recommend making it top of mind if you are considering a journey that involves spotting wildlife. src.
Each year, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet's vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by its panel of travel experts to just 30 destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, 'wow' factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainability, community and diversity.

Durban: Fourteen beaches are currently open for swimming! [update]

update (21 November 2022): In addition to the swimming pools that are open, the eThekwini Municipality has re-opened twelve more pools from Saturday (19 November 2022).
The re-opened pools are: Stanmore, Umlazi D, L.T King, Bayview, Arena Park , Alex Bulley, Lamontville, Lahee Park, Ntuzuma, Sutton Park, South Beach Paddling and Tesoriere.
The following swimming pools are already open: Rainham, Durban North, Pipeline, Tiger Rocks, Anstey's, Westville,  and Kings Park complex both indoor and outdoor.

The eThekwini Municipality, the local government body responsible for governing and managing Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, has released lists of beaches that are currently (as of 15 November 2022) open for swimming, closed for swimming and of swimming pools that are currently open to the public. According to the lists, fourteen beaches in Durban are currently open for swimming, while swimming at eight beaches is probibted due to water quality. Seven swimming pools in Durban are open to the public.

The following beaches are open for swimming:
- operating hours 06:00 - 18:30 -

  1. Point
  2. uShaka
  3. South
  4. Wedge
  5. North
  6. Bay of Plenty
  7. Battery
  8. Country Club
  9. Brighton
  10. Reunion
  11. Pipeline
  12. Toti Main
  13. Warner
  14. uMgababa

The following beaches are closed for swimming:

  1. Westbrook
  2. Bronze
  3. Laguna
  4. Thekwini
  5. uMhlanga
  6. uMdloti
  7. Winkelespruit
  8. Anstey's

Recreational activities other than swimming at beaches closed for swimming are allowed!

The following swimming pools are open to the public:
- operating hours 09:00 - 17:00 -

  1. Rainham
  2. Durban North
  3. Pipeline Paddling Pools
  4. Tiger Rocks
  5. Anstey's
  6. Westville
  7. Kings Park Indoor & Kings Park Outdoor

15 November 2022

Kruger National Park: Letaba Rest Camp is buzzing with cicadas!

South African National Parks (SANParks) is informing visitors of Kruger National Park that the Letaba Rest Camp is currently buzzing with cicadas and of their noise which can be amplified by multitudes of insects into an overpowering hum. According to Kruger National Park spokesperson, Isaac Phaahla, the abundance at Letaba Rest Camp this year was compounded by the late rains which the camp received, followed by the warm weather so their breeding was higher than normal. Although harmless, the insects are attracted to light. SANParks advises guests to keep their unit doors closed in the evenings as well as keeping the veranda light off where possible.

The Letaba Rest Camp is situated on a sweeping bend of the Letaba River, midway between the southern and northern boundaries of Kruger National Park.

14 November 2022

UK: British Airways to increase flights between London <> Cape Town!

The flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, British Airways, is set to increase flights between Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. Effective 20 November 2022, the airline will operate two daily return flights to Cape Town instead of the currently daily service. Flights will be onboard the airline's Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 jets.
Starting 13 December 2022, British Airways will also resume its thrice-weekly flights from Gatwick Airport (LGW) in London  to Cape Town. Flights will take off on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Both services will run until 25 March 2023.

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Namibia introduces entry fees for Dune 7 in the Dorob National Park!

The Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has announced that it is currently upgrading recreational facilites and the infrastructure at Dune 7 in the Dorob National Park in Namibia's Erongo Region. The exisiting ablution facilities and braai facilites are getting renovated, while two new ablution facilities and five new braai facilites are getting contructed. A cable fence around the recreational area is getting erected and an entrance gate and reception office is getting constructed. The upgrade of the facilites and infrastructure at Dune 7 will enable the Ministry to implement and charge park entry fees (as approved and gazetted in 2021). The envisaged entrance fee will assist in ensuring that the standards of the facilities at Dune 7 is maintained. In accordance with the approved park entry fees, the fee structure will be as follows from 01 December 2022:

  • No charge for Namibians under the age of 16 years
  • No charge for children under the age of 8 years for all nationals
  • Namibias over the age of 16 years will be charged N$50
  • Visitors from SADC countries over the age of 8 years and not exceeding 16 years will be charged N$50
  • Visitors from other countries over the age of 8 years and not exceeding 16 years will be charged N$100
  • Visitors from SADC countries over the age of 16 years will be charged N$100
  • Visitores from other countries over the age of 16 years will be charged N$150

In a long term, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism will offer the recreational area at Dune 7 as a tourism concession in accordance with the Tourism Development Plan for Dorob National Park.

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

Dune 7 is the highest dune in Namibia with a height of over 380 meters. The dune is located in the Dorob National Park, which forms the link between the Skeleton Coast National Park in the north and the Namib Naukluft Park in the south along the Namibian Atlantic coast.

12 November 2022

South Africa: South African Airways resumes flights to Victoria Falls!

South African Airways (SAA) has announced the resumption of flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The airline will operate six weekly flights, except for Saturdays, from 14 December 2022. With effect from 01 December, SAA will add three weekly flights between Johannesburg and RG Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare, Zimbabwe. Effective 15 December 2022, South African Airways will operate daily flights between Johannesburg and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius, the main island of Republic of Mauritius.
According to South African Airways, more routes will be added to its network in the coming weeks. We'll keep you posted!

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South Africa: iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal to increase gate & activity permit fees!

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority has announced the annual price increase of gate tariffs and activity permits. Effective 01 December 2022, the entry tariffs for iSimangaliso Wetland Park will increase by approximately 8%. New fees for international visitors will also be introduced as of 01 December 2022. Based on prevailing market conditions, fees for activity permits will also be increased as of 01 December 2022. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the slow growth of South Africa's domestic and global economy particularly after and the ban on international travel due to the lockdown, iSimangaliso Wetland Park has not increased its tariffs since 2020.

Increase in activity permits effective 01 December 2022:

  • Deep Sea Charter Fishing Permits
    • R 2000.00/day
  • Scuba Diving Permit  
    • R 2000.00/day
  • Spear Fishing
    • R 1500.00/day
  • Eastern Shores / Cape Vidal Game Drives
    • R 1000.00/day
  • uMkhuze Game Drives
    • R 1000.00/day
  • Western Shores Game Drives
    • R 1000.00/day
  • Bike rides guided–False Bay
    • R 100.00/day
  • Snorkeling
    • R 600.00/day
  • Boat cruise - Kosi Bay
    • R 400.00/day

Increase in gate tariffs effective 01 December 2022:


Overnight Accommodation – A charge of R 12.00 applies per person per night.
Tour Operators – A daily permit is required to conduct tours within iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This permit can be purchased at the gates.
Community Conservation Levy – A levy of R 7.00 per person is payable. This levy goes towards our many social and conservation programmes. 

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It is South Africa's third-largest protected area, spanning about 280 km of coastline, from the the border with Mozambique in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary.

10 November 2022

South African National Parks (SANParks) beefs up security at Kruger National Park this festive season!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that it is increasing surveillance at Kruger National Park entry gates as part of the festive season 2022/23 anti-crime prevention. There will also be increased spot checks of vehicles inside Kruger National Park. SANParks will also implement vehicle number plate recognition, remote vehicle monitoring, radar surveillance as well as night flying with specialised infrared cameras.

“In addition to the normal ranger and security services patrols as well as the dedicated dog units with tracking hounds being deployed on poacher tracks, these will be enhanced during the festive season,” said Acting Kruger National Park Managing Executive, Dr Danny Govender.
The SANParks Environmental Investigative Unit (ECI), which has been successful in operations outside of Kruger National Park, will be joining hands with other law enforcement agencies in tackling criminals in adjoining villages. These operations will be targeted at those supplying rifles, ammunition,and recruiting poachers to commit crime. These are also the next level of poachers who transport and sell onward to their buyers. The operations are assisted by community members who often give good tip-offs to authorities which lead to arrests and convictions. In addition, ongoing collaboration with the Mozambican authorities will continue.
According to SANPArks, these measures are necessitated by the recent spike in poaching, especially snaring and poisoning, inside Kruger National Park which is indiscriminate and kills any animal that gets in contact with those elements.

eSwatini srcaps all Covid-19 entry requirements!

The Government of the Kingdom of eSwatini has announced that it has suspended all Covid-19 entry restrictions. Effective immediately, travellers intending to visit the country no longer require to produce a proof of full vaccination and a Covid-19 negative PCR test result at all ports of entry. According to Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku, the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions came after low numbers of infections with the coronavirus were observed over a period of time in eSwatini.

"Government wishes to highlight that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over in the country and around the world. Therefore, the Nation is urged to continue to be vigilant and to apply preventive measures to remain safe", said Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku.

Mpumalanga: Temporary closure of provincial nature reserves due to strike action!

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) has announced that its staff went on strike over wage demands at all its offices and 15 provincial nature reserves throughout Mpumalanga. In a press statement on Wednesday (09 November 2022), the provincial tourism authority said that its management is in discussions with the leadership of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) to resolve the dispute over the salary increments for the 2022/2023 financial year. According to the MTPA, both parties will continue to engage to reach a consensus and further ensure that operations at all offices and nature reserves in Mpumalanga can resume. We'll keep you posted!

South Africa: Lift to launch flights between Cape Town <> Durban!

South African airline Lift is set to launch its third domestic route in South Africa. Effective 25 November 2022, the airline will introduce scheduled flights between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban. Lift will operate two daily return flights from Cape Town to Durban - an early morning flight and one in the afternoon/early evening. The early morning flight will depart Cape Town at 06:00 and arrive in Durban at 08:05, while the return flight will depart Durban at 09:00 and arrive in Cape Town at 11:15. The afternoon flight will depart Cape Town at 15:00 and arrive in Durban at 17:05, while the return flight will depart Durban at 18:05 and arrive in Cape Town at 20:20. Flights are open for bookings!

Lift launched operations in South Africa on 10 December 2020. The airline is a joint venture between former Kulula.com CEO Gidon Novick, former Uber executive Jonathan Ayache, and aircraft leasing company Global Airways, a South African-based ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) specialist. 

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09 November 2022

South Africa's Blue Flag beaches, boats & marinas 2022/23!

A total of 51 beaches in South Africa, along with four marinas and two tourism boats and four marinas have been awarded full Blue Flag status by the 2022/23 International Blue Flag Jury. The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 33 beaches, both tourism boats and three of the four Blue Flag marinas. The Eastern Cape has been awarded one Blue Flag marina site, as well as nine Blue Flag beaches. KwaZulu-Natal has been awarded nine Blue Flag beaches.
The Blue Flag programme also allows for potential Blue Flag sites to participate in the Pilot Programme. Twenty pilot sites in South Africa were recognised this year for working towards meeting the minimum requirements for Blue Flag status. There were also three beaches who received certificates for being awarded Blue Flag for 10 consecutive years: Preekstoel Beach in Still Bay (Hessequa Municipality), De Bakke in Mossel Bay and Kings Beach in Nelson Mandela Bay. The Hessequa Municipality in the Western Cape received a special certificate for being the only municipality in South Africa in which all designated swimming beaches have Blue Flag status!

Photo by Quaid Lagan on Unsplash

Western Cape Blue Flag beaches:

  1. Cape Town - Silwerstroomstrand  
  2. Cape Town - Clifton 4th  
  3. Cape Town - Camps Bay  
  4. Cape Town - Llandudno  
  5. Cape Town - Muizenberg  
  6. Cape Town - Bikini
  7. Cape Town - Melkbosstrand
  8. Cape Town - Fishhoek  
  9. Kleinmond (Overstrand Municipality) - Kleinmond  
  10. Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Hawston  
  11. Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Grotto
  12. Hermanus (Overstand Municipality) - Onrus
  13. Pearly Beach (Overstrand Municipality) - Castle Beach
  14. Struisbaai (Cape Agulhas Municipality) - Struisbaai
  15. Still Bay (Hessequa Municipality) - Lappiesbaai   
  16. Still Bay (Hessequa Municipality) - Preekstoel
  17. Still Bay (Hessequa Municipality) - Stilbaai Wes
  18. Still Bay (Hessequa Municipality) - Jongensfontein
  19. Witsand (Hessequa Municipality) - Witsand  
  20. Gouritsmond (Hessequa Municipality) - Gouritsmond
  21. Mossel Bay - Santos  
  22. Mossel Bay - De Bakke
  23. Mossel Bay - Hartenbos   
  24. Mossel Bay - Klein Brak
  25. Mossel Bay - Glentana
  26. Wilderness (Garden Route District & George Municipality) - Wilderness
  27. Herold's Bay (Garden Route District Municipality) - Herold's Bay
  28. Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - The Waves
  29. Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - The Dunes  
  30. Natures Valley (Bitou Municipality) - Nature's Valley
  31. Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Lookout  
  32. Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Singing Kettle
  33. Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Robberg 5 

Western Cape Blue Flag marinas:

  1. Knysna - Thesen Islands (Home Owners)   
  2. Knysna - Thesen Islands (Thesen Harbour Town)   
  3. Cape Town - V&A Waterfront

Western Cape Blue Flag boats:

  1. Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Robberg Express
  2. Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Oceanic Express

Eastern Cape Blue Flag beaches:

  1. Jeffreys Bay (Kouga Municipality) - Dolphin
  2. Cape St Francis (Kouga Municipality) - Cape St Francis 
  3. Marina Martinique (Kouga Municipality) - Marina Martinique
  4. Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Humewood
  5. Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - King's
  6. Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Hobie
  7. Kenton-on-Sea (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kariega
  8. Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kelly's
  9. Kenton-on-Sea (Ndlambe Municipality) - Middle Kenton-on-Sea 

Eastern Cape Blue Flag Marina:

  1. Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Royal Alfred  

KwaZulu Natal Blue Flag beaches:

  1. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Marina  
  2. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Trafalgar
  3. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Southport
  4. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Umzumbe
  5. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Hiberdene
  6. Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Ramsgate
  7. Ballito (KwaDukuza Municipality) - Thompson's Bay
  8. Ballito (KwaDukuza Municipality) - Willard
  9. Blythedale Beach (KwaDukuza Municipality) - Blythedale Beach

Blue Flag is a certification issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards. The main criterias include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. Blue Flag is sought for beaches and marinas as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards. In South Africa, the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) in partnership with participating coastal municipalities.