31 May 2023

Study: The "Most Beautiful Vineyard in the World" is located in South Africa!

UK-based international specialist tour operator CV Villas recently conducted a study to discover where the world's best holiday destinations for wine lovers are. The study revealed that the best holiday location for wine lovers is France’s Champagne region and that the most beautiful vineyard in the world is actually located in the Western Cape in South Africa. Based on the number of associated hashtags on Instagram, the Boschendal Estate in Franschhoek is the world’s most beautiful vineyard. Founded in 1685, the wine estate is one of the oldes in South Africa. Set in the Drakenstein Valley surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes, lush gardens and vines, Boschendal's original farmstead complex is now a national monument with a rich and intriguing history of more than 300 years.

The Tokara Winery (#19) in Stellenbosch, Waterkloof (#20) in Sommerset West and the Spier Wine Farm (#30) in Stellenbosch also made it to the list of the 30 most beautiful vineyards in the world! Congratulations!

To reveal the world’s most beautiful vineyards, CV Villas sourced a thorough list of 200 wineries from reputable sources and analysed the number of associated hashtags each one currently has on live Instagram posts. The number of hashtags was then sorted from highest to lowest. Those with the most hashtags were named the most beautiful. 

Cape Town: Lion's Head footpath closes temporarily! [update]

update (02 June 2023): The maintenance team has successfully installed a new ladder at Lion's Head. The chains and the second ladder will be replaced before the end of June 2023. The footpath reopens today, 02 June 2023. 

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Lion's Head footpath in Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park will be closed for ladder maintenance from 01 - 02 June 2023. Kindly note that no access will be permitted to the visitors to the top of Lion's Head however, the contour footpath will remain open. 

Lion's Head is a mountain between Table Mountain and Signal Hill in Cape Town. It peaks at 669 metres above sea level. Lion's Head is known for its views of both the city and the Atlantic Seaboard, and the hour-long walk to the top is particularly popular during full moon.

30 May 2023

Kruger National Park Calendar - July!


  • warm to cool days
  • cold nights & chilly mornings
  • occasional winds
  • occasional patches of hot weather
  • almost no rain



  • water becomes scarce throughout the park
  • bush is very dry; almost no leaf cover
  • strange-smelling "potato bush" begins flowering

Animal Activity:

  • game increasingly concentrated around water
  • game spotting usually very good in the South of the park
  • north of the park dominated by elephants
  • resident raptors breeding
  • many weaker aninmals taken by predators

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25 May 2023

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Park shops with changed opening hours due to stocktaking!

The Regional Communications Manager: Arid Parks at South African National Parks (SANParks), Genevieve Maasdorp, announced in the SANParks - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park facebook group that stocktaking needs to be performed at all shops in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The operating hours of the shops at Nossob Rest Camp, Mata-Mata Rest Camp and Twee Rivieren Rest Camp will therefore change between 29 May 2023 and 31 May 2023 as follows:

  • Nossob Rest Camp: Shop will be open from 07:30 - 09:00 and again from 15:00 - 18:15 on 29 May 2023
  • Mata-Mata Rest Camp: Shop will be open from 07:30 - 09:00 and again from 15:00 - 18:15 on 30 May 2023
  • Twee Rivieren Rest Camp: Shop will be open from 15:00 - 18:15 on 31 May 2023

23 May 2023

Ranking: South Africa is one of the most gay-friendly travel destinations worldwide!

According to a recent study by MyDatingAdviser.com, an online dating advice platform, South Africa is one of the most gay-friendly travel destinations worldwide. The country got ranked 11th with a LGBTQ+ travel index score of 86.2 out of 100 points. In order to determine the most gay-friendly destinations, MyDatingAdviser.com compared 34 countries around the globe and took into account the following eight factors: society acceptance towards homosexuality, sexual activity rights, civil union rights, marriage rights, adoption rights, military service rights, anti-discimination and gender identity laws.
The most gay-friendly destination in the world is Sweden, followed by the Netherlands, Spain, France and the UK. No other African country besides South Africa made it to the Top 20 gay-friendly destinations worldwide.

South Africa:

  • LGBTQ+ Travel Index Score: 86.2
  • Society Acceptance: 54%
  • Sexual Activity Rights: Male legal since 1998. Female always legal. + UN decl. sign.
  • Civil Union Rights: Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; same-sex marriage since 2006.
  • Marriage Rights: Legal since 2006.
  • Adoption Rights: Legal since 2002.
  • Military Service Rights: Since 1998.
  • Anti-Discrimination Laws: Constitution bans all anti-gay discrimination.
  • Gender Identity Laws:  Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment.

17 May 2023

Zambia: Zambia Airways launches flights to South Africa!

The national airline of the Republic of Zambia, Zambia Airways, is set to launch scheduled flights to South Africa. The airline has announced that it will introduce direct flights between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. Effective 01 June 2023, Zambia Airways will operate five return flights per week (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat) to Johannesburg, using a Boeing 737-700 in a two-class configuration, business and economy class. Flights will become daily return flights from 01 July 2023.

Zambia Airways commenced operations on 01 December 2021. The airline currently connects Lusaka with the tourist heart of Zambia, Livingstone, Ndola in the Copperbelt Province, Solwezi in Zambia's North-Western Province as well as Harare in Zimbabwe.

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16 May 2023

Agulhas National Park: A new art sculpture has been unveiled at the Southernmost Tip of Africa!

A new art sculpture has been unveiled at the Southernmost Tip of Africa in the Agulhas National Park in South Africa's Western Cape. "The Lesser Spotted Cape Creature" is a €15 000 project which is funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the Metis Fund and supported by South African National Parks (SANParks). It was conceptualised to create a unique opportunity for the area’s youth to connect on, share and express their concerns about the climate crisis through art. 

“The sculpture is symbolic as it is located in the southernmost tip of Africa. As climate change intensifies, women and men, species are progressively migrating to the poles in search of cooler climates. The location of the sculpture is symbolic, as the Agulhas National Park will eventually become the place where all species meet and are unable to go further. We hope that the sculpture will continue to serve as a reminder for us all, including tourists, to take action to tackle climate change." (Audrey Rojkoff, AFD Regional Director for Southern Africa and Country Director for South Africa)
Guided by artist Hannelie Coetzee, a three-day immersive workshop was conducted to inspire young people to become environmental leaders and to promote sustainable development in the region, through the Overberg Eco-Rangers programme, a SANParks youth outreach initiative. The sculpture was then created by Coetzee and symbolizes the intersection between art and science.

15 May 2023

South Africa: Seasonal rainfall & temperature outlook (May - September 2023)!

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the Seasonal Climate Watch for the period May 2023 to September 2023. According to the seasonal outlook, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a neutral state. Forecasts indicate that it will likely remain in a neutral state during winter, with predictions indicating a higher probability to switch to an El Niño state during late-spring (July - September). However, the impact of ENSO is limited for the coming seasons until the next summer season which may be impacted by an l Niño state if early predictions are correct.

The multi-model rainfall forecast indicates above-normal rainfall for most of South Africa during early winter. Of importance for the next two seasons, mid-winter (June -August) and late-winter (July - September), there is below-normal rainfall expected for the south-western part of the country and above-normal rainfall for the southern coastal areas of South Africa. As most of the rainfall during winter is expected in South Africa's far south-west, the below-normal rainfall conditions in those areas are expected to have a significant impact.
Minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to be mostly above-normal in the whole of South Africa for the forecast period (May 2023 to September 2023).

South African National Parks: Karoo National Park goes cash free!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that Karoo National Park in South Africa's Western Cape will be going cash free. It is one of a handful of National Parks in the country which is implementing this approach during a second phase after the initial roll-out to others in September 2021. Effective 01 June 2023,  cash will no longer be accepted as a method of payment in Karoo National Park. Instead, visitors are urged to make use of the speed point payment systems. All trade and tourism activities, such as entrance/conservation fees, activity fees and accommodation fees, will be cash free and therefore cash will not be accepted. However, the independently owned and run shop and restaurant in the Karoo National Park  will continue to take cash as a form of payment.

Angola: TAAG increases flights between Luanda <> São Paulo!

The state-owned flag carrier of Angola, TAAG Angola Airlines, is set to introduce an additional frequency to its schedule between Angola and Brazil. The airline, which recently signed a codeshare agreement with Brazilian low-cost airline GOL Linhas Aéreas, will increase its flights between Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD) in Luanda and São Paulo/Guarulhos – Governor André Franco Montoro International Airport (GRU) in São Paulo from currently five weekly operations to six from 02 August 2023. The new frequency will be added on Wednesdays.

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12 May 2023

Cape Town: Upgrade of the Sea Point promenade and Granger Bay parking area!

The City of Cape Town has informed the public that the Sea Point promenade and Granger Bay parking area project will commence on 15 May 2023. The 12-month long project will bring about new and upgraded walkways, public art, coastal structures, a play park, parking area, lawn and coastal vegetation areas. The Granger Bay parking area will be upgraded and will be closed for public use for the duration of the construction period. Provisions for temporary traffic and pedestrian accommodation have been made and signage will be placed in affected areas.

The scheduled work for the Sea Point promenade and Granger Bay parking area project is as follows:

  • Upgrading of Granger Bay parking area
  • Construction of a rock revetment
  • New Fort Road play park
  • Additional walkways
  • Additional coastal vegetation and lawn planting
  • Installation of interpretive signage to give heritage information
  • Public art in the Sea Point Library

11 May 2023

South Africa: Cases of Malaria on the rise! [update]

update (16 May 2023): The provincial Department of Health in Limpopo is raising alarm over massive surge in malaria cases. According to Thilivhali Muavha, spokesperson for Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, the surge in the province is reported mainly in the malaria epidemic-prone areas of Vhembe (northern and eastern lowveld areas) and the eastern part of the Mopani region.

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on 10 May 2023 that it is currently seeing a significant increase in malaria cases in South Africa, particular in the endemic provinces and Gauteng. The disease is endemic in some parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The NICD is urging people with fever or "flu-like" illness, who reside in a malaria-risk area or have travelled to a malaria-risk area (irrespective of malaria season, transmission intensity or chemoprophylaxis use), in the past six weeks, to test using a blood smear microscopy or malaria rapid diagnostic test.

Source: NICD; click on map to enlarge

Malaria transmission in South Africa is usually seasonal, with malaria cases starting to rise in October, peaking in January and February, and waning towards May.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious and potentially life-threatening disease. It causes "flu-like" symptoms that typically include fever (>37.5 °C), headaches, sore throat, dizziness, cold shivers or hot sweats, joint or muscle pains, tiredness, and diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.

10 May 2023

South Africa: These two hiking trails in the Western Cape are among the 35 Best Hikes in the World (that anyone can do)

British travel adventure company Explore! recently named the 35 Best Hikes in the World (that anyone can do) and two hiking trails in South Africa's Western Cape made it to the list. The two hiking trails are the Robberg Hiking Trail (#27) along the Robberg peninsula in Plettenberg Bay (#27) and a hike to the Cecilia Waterfall via Cecilia Forest (#29) in Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park. Congratulations!

Photo by Sudarshan Bhat on Unsplash
The 35 Best Hikes in the World (that anyone can do) on Explore! list were evaluated according to their length (distance), elevation, duration, wether and instagrammability. The hiking trails in the ranking were taken from top trail recommendations from users on AllTrails, Komoot and authoritative travel blogs. The best trail in the world according to Explore!'s list was the Perito Moreno Glacier Trail in El Calafate, Santa Cruz (Argentina), followed by the Aoraki/Mount Cook Loop in Canterbury (New Zealand) and the Scenic Drive in the Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah (USA).

Zimbabwe has lifted all Covid-19 restrictive measures!

Zimbabwe has lifted all restrictive measures that it had put in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic with effected from 09 May 2023. Travellers are no longer required to produce Covid-19 vaccination certificates at ports of entry or at tourist resorts around the country. All border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have also been lifted. The same applies to the mandatory wearing of face masks indoors in Zimbabwe.
The decision to lift all Covid-19 measures by the Zimbabwean government follows a World Health Organization (WHO) announcement that Covid-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

09 May 2023

South Africa: South African Airways announces fleet expansion to relaunch international routes! [update]

update (12 May 2023): According to German online publication fvw | TravelTalk, South African Airways (SAA) is planning to resume flights between Johannesburg and Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Frankfurt, Germany, in autumn 2024!

The national carrier of South Africa, South African Airways (SAA), has announced in a statement issued on 05 May 2023 that it has been given the green light for a significant expansion of its fleet to pave the way for the relaunch international routes and increase seat capacity for its regional and domestic destinations. According to SAA's interim CEO, Professor John Lamola, the airline’s plan to lease six new aircraft has been approved by the South African Minister of Finance and the Minister of Public Enterprises. “The aircraft will be delivered before the end of this calendar year, and the planes include a wide-body aircraft as well as five narrow-body aircraft - all of them Airbus equipment,” Lamola said.
Lamola further stated that a Request for Proposals (RFP) is out for four Airbus A320 narrow-body aircraft. The other two - an Airbus A330 and Airbus A320 have already been secured from the lessor community on the same terms as the ones issued in the RFP. The four aircraft that SAA is ordering will all be deployed by September 2023.
South African Airways will announce the relaunch of its first international route since coming out of business rescue and since the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming few weeks. We'll keep you posted!

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08 May 2023

Mossel Bay: The St Blaize Hiking Trail has been reopened!

The Mossel Bay Municipality has announced that following repair work done to a section of the popular St Blaize Hiking Trail at the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse and cave, the trail has been declared save for use and has been reopened. Hikers can thus once again access the trail undeterred from the lighthouse and cave at The Point in Mossel Bay.

The St Blaize Hiking Trail is a popular 13.5 km hike between Mossel Bay and Dana Bay that follows the 30 meter contour along the cliffs westwards from the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse. The hike takes about six hours to complete and is moderately challenging. The St. Blaize Trail begins at the cave below the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse, and ends at Dana Bay (you can walk it in either direction), and is marked with the sign of the Oystercatcher. Parking is available at both the St. Blaize Cave in Mossel Bay and in Dana Bay.

04 May 2023

South Africa: Reserve Bank launches new banknotes and coins

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has unveiled South Africa’s upgraded banknotes and coin on 03 May 2023. The new denominations are available from today (04 May 2023) and will be introduced incrementally. The upgraded banknotes and coin series will co-circulate with the current series and retain the same value per denomination. The security upgrade is in line with international best practice to ensure we stay ahead of counterfeiters.

The upgraded banknotes continue to pay homage to South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, with his portrait featured on the front of all five denominations while the Big Five animals are depicted as a family. The new (fourth decimal) coin series is based on the theme of deep ecology, which celebrates the interconnectedness of humans and other living organisms as an integral part of the environment.

  • R5 depicts the southern right whale along with a school of galjoen - South Africa’s national fish.
  • R2 features the springbok family along with its habitat.
  • R1 depicts the king protea.
  • 50c depicts the Knysna turaco.
  • 20c shows the bitter aloe.
  • 10c depicts the Cape honey bee.

03 May 2023

Iziko Museums of South Africa: Free entry to selected museums on International Museum Day!

On Wednesday, 18 May 2023, Iziko Museums of South Africa will be joining the International Museum community in celebrating International Museum Day (IMD), with free entry to selected Iziko museums sites in Cape Town. The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Castle of Good Hope and Groot Constantia will not take part. The Old Town House (Michaelis Collection) and the Maritime Centre are currently closed to the public due to renovations.

Iziko Museums of South Africa operates 11 national museums in Cape Town as well as collection-specific libraries, a world-class Social History Archive and the most advanced digital Planetarium and Digital Dome on the African Continent.

The International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated by museums worldwide on 18 May. Instituted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1977, IMD provides museums with the opportunity to showcase the importance, value and significance of museums in society.

02 May 2023

Zambia: Proflight Zambia to launch flights between Lusaka <> Cape Town! [update]

update (02 May 2023): Proflight Zambia's new service between Lusaka and Cape Town starts on 01 July 2023.

Zambian airline Proflight Zambia is set to launch the first ever direct flights between Lusaka and Cape Town in South Africa. The airline will initially operate two weekly return flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays using its 50-seater Bombardier CRJ to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. On other days passengers can continue to Cape Town via Proflight Zambia’s three-times-a-day service between Lusaka and Johannesburg and then onwards with its partner airlines Safair, Cemair and South African Airways.
The service between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka and Cape Town is the airline's fourth South African route, adding to its Lusaka <> Johannesburg, Ndola <> Johannesburg and Lusaka <> Durban flights.

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