28 September 2016

Namibia: Another six rhinos have been killed by poachers!

According to Colgar Sikopo, Director of Wildlife and National Parks at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia has lost another six rhinos to poachers since the last figures regarding the illegal killings of rhinos were released in early August 2016. A total of (at least) 43 rhinos have been killed by poachers so far in 2016.

Ein von Seb Hermanns (@travelcomments) gepostetes Foto am

Poachers have killed about 10% of Namibia's rhinos in recent years - one rhino was recorded poached in 2011, two in 2012, four in 2013, 24 in 2014 and 127 in 2015. Out of the 201 rhinos killed by poachers since 2011, 184 were black rhinos and 17 were white rhinos. 137 black rhinos and eleven whhite rhinos were killed in Etosha National Park, 40 black rhinos got slaughtered in conservancies and six white rhinos as well as seven black rhinos on private land.

OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg): Security delays possible due to potential industrial action!

According to a travel update by South African low cost-carrier FlySafair, the airline has been advised this morning (28 Sept 2016) of potential industrial action on the part of the ACSA Airport Security Teams at OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. It is expected that movement through the security gates in the Domestic Departures Terminal (!) will be slower due to long queues. Passengers are advised to arrive as early as possible!

27 September 2016

Table Mountain Cableway: Strike action to affect operating hours!

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) in Cape Town has received formal notification that staff members affiliated to the South African Commercial Catering Workers' Union (SACCAWU) will go on strike from 28 September 2016. This follows the parties being unable to reach a settlement on annual salary increases. TMACC has taken a strategic decision to implement some operational changes, to limit the impact on their visitors during the strike action:

  • Cableway operations will continue throughout the period of industrial action, albeit with a limited number of staff, which will restrict services
  • Operational hours will be reduced. The Cableway will operate from 08:30 to 16:30. Visitors affected by this will be able to obtain a refund in line with standard terms and conditions. Please check TMACC's website www.tablemountain.net for frequency of trips during this period
  • The following outlets will be operational during this period: 
    • Lower Cable Station – Kiosk and the Exit Shop
    • Upper Cable Station – Table Mountain CafĂ© and the Shop at the Top
  • The Top Station Kiosk, Visitors' Centre and Wi-Fi Lounge will be closed during the strike action

23 September 2016

Johannesburg & Cape Town are the most-visited cities in Sub-Saharan Africa!

According to the Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016, Johannesburg and Cape Town are the most-visited (by overnight international visitors) cities in Sub-Saharan Africa with 3.60 million (+6.2% compared to 2015) visitors and 1.37 million (+6.2% compared to 2015) visitors respectively. While in Johannesburg, visitors spend a total of US$1.7 billions; while in Cape Town, visitors spend US$1.0 billion.
Cape Town is also the fastest-growing destination city by international overnight visitors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CAGR 2009 & 2016 = +2.9%), followed by Johannesburg (CAGR 2009 & 2016 = +2.3%).
In terms of purpose of visit (business, leisure plus other purposes) and expenditure breakdown by category (accommodation, food & beverage, shopping, local transport, local services, misc.), Cape Town is also ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Johannesburg.

The peak months for visiting Cape Town are, according to the Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016, November to February, while most of the overnight international visitors are visiting Johannesburg in August and between October and December.

The Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016 also provides statistics regarding Johannesburg's top five feeder cities. London in the UK is Joburg's most important feeder city, feeding 373,000 visitors who spend 285,000 million there. Harare (Zimbabwe) is the second most important, feeding 294,000 visitors with US$106 million in spending followed by Frankfurt (Germany) with 233,000 visitors and US$84 million spending. Maputo (Mozambique) is ranked fourth with 185.000 visitors (spending: US$41 million) and Paris (France) fifth with 163,000 visitors (spending: US$155 million).

22 September 2016

Kruger National Park: The new & completely transformed Tshokwane Trading Post & Picnic Site to open in October 2016!

The new and completely transformed Tshokwane Trading Post & Picnic Site in in the Kruger National Park, situated just an hour away from the Skukuza Rest Camp and and the Satara Rest Camp, will open on 01 October 2016. The transformed spot now offers comfortable stoep-style seating under the dappled light of a new structure, while the rest of the site is dominated by a huge sausage tree.
Visitors can prepare their own food on a gas skottel (which can be hired from the Tshokwane Trading Post, together with essentials like bacon, eggs and fresh bread), or opt for an authentic wood fire meal grilled at the base of a large stone chimney – a one-of-a-kind braai monument. Alternatively, visitors can order from the Tshokwane Trading Post and take the food with them as delicious padkos for their journey through Kruger National Park. Tshokwane Trading Post offers traditional "bush breakfast" (eggs, boerewors and coal-toasted “potbread”), boerie rolls, kudu wors rolls, homemade pies, delectable frikkadels or braaied lamb chops with South African staples like stywepap (stiff maize meal porridge) and tamatie smoer. Freshly prepared salads and traditional treats like homemade milk tart, a fire grilled Rolo-filled marshmallow sandwich or pineapple skewers dusted with cinnamon, pepper & brown sugar are also on offer. An array of unique souvenirs, Tshokwane branded clothing, picnic goodies and much more is also available from the Tshokwane Trading Post.

20 September 2016

Western Cape: Free access to all CapeNature reserves (19 - 25 September 2016)

CapeNature, the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wilderness areas and public nature reserves in the Western Cape, provides free access to day visitors to all of their 25 reserves during the CapeNature Access Week from 19 - 25 September 2016. That means the standard conservation fee that day visitors usually pay will be waived for those days!

The following Terms & Conditions apply:
  • The conservation fee will be free at the entrance to any CapeNature reserve that is open to the public
  • Free day access will only apply at the reserve gate, no free access fee will apply when booking through the call centre and it excludes accommodation bookings
  • No prior bookings
  • Free access fee pertains to general access (conservation fee) and to all day activities (hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, horse riding). The waiver does NOT apply to concessions (including canopy tours, bouldering etc) or multi-day hikes
  • Access to Protected Areas during the CapeNature Access Week will be conducted during regular reserve hours and applies to entries at CapeNature reserve gates only

19 September 2016

Fair Trade Tourism certifies the Naara Eco Lodge in Mozambique!

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT), a South African NGO that encourages and monitors fair and responsible practises in tourism establishments and activities, has added the Naara Eco Lodge in Mozambique to the family of FTT-certified businesses. The Lodge, located  located on the Nhambavale Lake in the village of Chidenguele, some 260km north of the capital of Maputo, offers 10 Luxury Safari Tents which are surrounded by the African indigenous bush and overlook the calm waters of the Nhambavale Lake as well as and the Natura Wellness Centre – a luxurious spa in a secluded forest alongside the dunes.
Naara Eco Lodge prides itself on its involvement in the local Inhandime community and the initiatives it is undertaking, such as the installation of a deep well water system to provide villagers with access to clean water; the establishment of a community trading store and job creation programmes aimed at recruiting local staff and tourism guides. The Lodge also procures all of the produce used in creating its vibrant menus locally, lowering its carbon footprint while at the same time increasing entrepreneurial opportunities in the community. Naara Eco Lodge is solar powered and has an efficient waste management system.