28 February 2014

Kruger National Park Calendar - April

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


  • Vegetation dense > thick tree canopies
  • many trees are bearing seeds/fruits
  • pods are out on mopaneveld
Animal Activity:

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

Namibia Tourism Board: Promo films about Namibia's regions

The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) has not only released a promo film about the Khomas Region, but also about the Omaheke Region and the Otjozondjupa Region. If you are currently planning to visit Namibia, the videos will definitley give you a first glimpse on what to expect in the country and it's regions. We will add more of the promo films to the playlist below as soon as the NTB releases more. Enjoy & kudos Namibia Tourism Board!

  1. Khomas Region (15:31 min)
  2. Omaheke Region (15:40 min)
  3. Otjozondjupa Region  (16:22 min)

Kenya Airways: More flights to Tanzania

Kenya's flag carrier, Kenya Airways, is set to introduce more flights to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro. From 30 March 2014 the airline will introduce a 5th daily service between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and will operate daily instead 5 weekly flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

27 February 2014

Namibia Tourism Board: New promo film about the Khomas Region (15min)

The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) has released a new promo film about the country's Khomas Region. Divided into seven chapters, such as Community, Adventure, Safari, Fauna & Flora, Landscapes & Contrasts, Conservation and Cuisine, the film takes us on a trip through the region and highlights the top tourist attractions. Enjoy! Kudos NTB!

The Khomas Region, located in central Namibia, occupies only about 4.5% of the total land area of Namibia, but is the country's most densely populated region. The region contains the capital city of Windhoek and provides therefor a very good transportation infrastructure.

Zambia: Credit card now accepted for visa fees

According to the African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA), the Ministry of Finance and National Planning of Zambia announced that with immediate effect all payments for visa and other fees at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola can be done with certain bankcards/credit cards. Until now, all payments had to be in cash (US$ only).

The following bank cards will be accepted:
  • VISA
  • MasterCard
  • Maestro
  • American Express
Types of visa and the applicable fees:
  • Single Entry - US$50
  • Double Entry - US$80
  • Multiple Entry - US$80
  • Transit - US$50
  • Day Tripper - US$20

26 February 2014

South Africa: 146 rhinos killed by poachers so far in 2014

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa has lost 146 rhinos to illegal poaching since the beginning of 2014. Of the rhinos poached, 95 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, 14 in Limpopo and in the North West respectively, 10 in KwaZulu Natal, 6 in Mpumalanga, 4 in the Free State and 3 in the Eastern Cape.
Since the beginning of 2014, 44 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa.

Latest rhino poaching figures (as of 26 February 2014):  
  • Kruger National Park (SANParks) - 95 rhinos poached
  • Marakele National Park (SANParks) - 0 rhino poached
  • Gauteng -  0 rhino poached
  • Limpopo - 14 rhino poached
  • Mpumalanga - 6 rhino poached
  • North-West Province - 14 rhino poached
  • Eastern Cape - 3 rhino poached
  • Free State - 4 rhino poached
  • KwaZulu Natal - 10 rhinos poached
  • Western Cape - 0 rhino poached
  • Northern Cape - 0 rhino poached

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is urging members of the public to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Swaziland: Dates of the Bushfire festival 2014 announced!

The 8th edition of Swaziland's biggest collaboration of artists from across the world, the Bushfire festival, will take place from 30 May - 01 June 2014 at the House on Fire in the Malkerns Valley. The three day entertainment experience brings in the tradition and beauty of Swaziland's handicrafts combines it with live music, theatre, poetry, film, circus, dance and visual arts. So far live acts from 8 countries, including the 70’s inspired Bogota based Colombian Salsa artists La 33, Mokoomba from Zimbabwe, Under Kontrol from France, Slovenian legends Red Five Point Star and the Imperial Tiger Orchestra from Switzerland, have been confirmed!
The Bushfire festival was named one the world's top music festivals by MTV and one of the Africa's best art events 2014 by Culture Trip.

Bushfire has a well-deserved reputation for its visionary approach developing the arts whilst promoting social responsibility. 100% of profits made through the festival are donated to two charities in Swaziland: Young Heroes, a child sponsorship programme assisting Swazi orphans, and Gone Rural boMake, a charity that assists rural Swazi women and the communities with information and infrastructure development, addressing health, education and social concerns.

Condor increases flights to Cape Town

update (23 Sept 2014): Condor  will operate its third weekly flight between Fankfurt (Germany) and Cape Town on Thursdays from 06 November 2014.

German airline Condor (Condor Flugdienst) will introduce a third weekly flight between Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Fankfurt, Germany, and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town, South Africa, during the Nothern Winter Season 2014/15 (from 26 Oct 2014). The airline will operate a Boeing 767 on the route.
Condor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook, one of the world’s largest tour operators. The airline is currently flying over six million passengers to around 75 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

Jeffreys Bay returns to ASP World Championship Tour!

Great news for Jeffreys Bay. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has announced that the town returns to the elite Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour schedule for the 2014 season. The JBay Open, which will serve as the sixth of 11 stops on the 2014 WCT schedule, will take place from 10 - 20 July 2014 at Supertubes. There has been no WCT event in Jeffreys Bay since 2011, when Billabong withdrew their sponsorship of the now defunct JBay Pro. The JBay Open 2014 will be the major draw card of the JBay WinterFest, which also takes place from 10 - 20 July 2014. Jeffreys Bay will be on the WCT schedule in 2015 and 2016.

2014 ASP World Championship Tour:

  • Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast:  01 – 12 March 2014
  • Margaret River Pro: 02 – 13 April 2014
  • Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 16 – 27 April 2014
  • Billabong Rio Pro: 07 – 18 May 2014
  • Fiji Pro: 01 – 13 June 2014
  • JBay Open: 10 – 20 July 2014
  • Billabong Pro Tahiti: 15 – 26 August 2014
  • Hurley Pro at Trestles: 09 – 20 September 2014
  • Quiksilver Pro France: 25 – October 6 September 2014
  • Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 12 – 23 October 2014
  • Billabong Pipeline Masters: 08 – 20 December 2014

25 February 2014

Edelweiss Air continues Cape Town service; cancels Kilimanjaro & Mombasa

Swiss airline Edelweiss Air has announced that it will continue to offer two weekly direct flights between Zürich and Cape Town (Monday and Friday) in the 2014/15 (European) winter season. Due to the, according to the airline, strong decline in demand for flights to East Africa, the route Zürich - Kilimanjaro - Mombasa will no longer be included in the Edelweiss Air's 2014/15 winter timetable.
Edelweiss Air's 2014/15 winter timetable is now available for booking. Edelweiss Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss International Airlines and, through them, of Lufthansa. It operates mainly out of Zürich Airport in Zürich, Swizerland.

24 February 2014

East African Single Tourist Visa info roundup!

update (23 December 2014): Foreign residents from Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda nolonger have to pay the $100 fee for the East African Single Tourist Visa that is valid for 90 days effective 15 December 2014.

The Heads of State of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda launched the East African Single Tourist Visa during the 4th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Summit (20 Feb 2014, Kampala). The new joint visa will allow travel between the three countries with the same multiple entry visa
  • the  East African Single Tourist Visa will be issued:
  • travellers applying for the  East African Single Tourist Visa must have an official and genuine international passport, valid for not less than 6 months from the time of visa application.
  • Typical Requirements for the application (the application process currently varies by country, but the following items will typically be required)
    • One clear coloured passport size photo with white background recently taken without eye glasses, caps or scarfs
    • A completed application form
    • Visa application letter addressed to the issuing authority of the country of application/country of first entry point. The letter should contain a formal request for the visa and include the expected length of stay and preliminary itinerary.
  • the East African Single Tourist Visa costs USD100/person
  • the East African Single Tourist Visa is a multiple-entry visa
  • the East African Single Tourist Visa is valid for max 90 days and cannot be extened
  • update (30 June 2014): Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have agreed to start issuing foreigners in possession of valid work or resident permit in any of the three states an East African Single Tourist Visa for six months. This implies that the East African Single Tourist Visa, which costs $100 and is valid for 90 days for a foreigner, will still cost the same but be extended for six months.
  • the East African Single Tourist Visa allowes travellers to move out of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and return without having to pay for another visa (within 90 days).
  • the East African Single Tourist Visa is  machine readable. The software for personalisation of the visa stickers enables Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to share the fees, tourist information and tourism data.
  • Rwanda has been tasked with the duty of setting up the  East African Single Tourist Visa and implementing it for the first one year. This will be on rotational basis each following year.
  • visa for Kenya or Uganda or Rwanda only remain available at USD50/Person
  • ... we'll keep you posted!

21 February 2014

South African Airways & Qantas cancel codeshare agreement

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), just announced that it has acctepted Qantas' decision to conclude their long standing codeshare agreement effective 31 May 2014. South African Airways' codeshare flights on Qantas' Sydney <> Johannesburg operation will be closed off for sale on 21 February 2014; no further bookings will be made for travel after 01 June 2014. The two airlines have shared routes since 2000 when South African Airways stopped flying to Sydney from Johannesburg. Under the agreement, South African Airways shared its route to Perth with Qantas while Qantas shared its Sydney route with South African Airways. SAA customers will continue to have the opportunity to travel between Johannesburg and Sydney, through the airline's gateway in Perth.
SAA ticketed code share passengers on Qantas flights will be accommodated onto the Qantas flight number QF064 and QF063 and transported to their final destination. All SAA unticketed code share passengers who had booked SA7700 and SA7701 on Johannesburg - Sydney - Johannesburg will be re-accommodated on South African Airways' Perth operations. Please contact South African Airways' call centre for further information.