10 August 2017

Namibia plans to prosecute people posting trophy hunting photos on social media!

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China, Namibia will start to prosecute people posting trophy hunting photos on social media once the new Protection Areas and Wildlife Management Bill passes into law. The news agency quotes Namibia's Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta saying at a press conference on 09 August 2017 "that people who kill wildlife, whether with a permit or not, and post photos on social media and boast will face the wrath of the law [...]". We'll keep you posted!

Namibia, Etosha National Park, Gemsbok, Impala, Zebra

09 August 2017

Fastjet temporarily suspended flights between Johannesburg <> Dar es Salaam!

Low cost-carrier Fastjet has temporarily suspended its service between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam. According to tweets on twitter, the airline suspended the route due to operational changes and can't give a specific date as to when the service will resume. Thx Dr. Wolfgang H Thome @whthome!


South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in July 2017!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in July 2017.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2017 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 93.59% (June 97.91%)
  2. CemAir - 90.30% (June 88.86%)
  3. British Airways Domestic - 88.41% (June 90.76%)
  4. Airlink - 86.40% (June 88.58%)
  5. Kulula.com - 85.15% (June 91.79%)
  6. South African Airways - 80.83% (June 90.43%)
  7. Mango - 79.87% (June 88.56%)
  8. SA Express - 54.29% (June 65.51%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (June --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2017 (airport target 90%)
  1. CemAir - 98.11% (June 93.48%)
  2. FlySafair - 93.42% (June 95.87%)
  3. British Airways Domestic - 87.92% (June 89.31%)
  4. Airlink - 87.73% (June 88.13%)
  5. Kulula.com - 81.55% (June 88.34%)
  6. Mango - 80.38% (June 90.00%) 
  7. South African Airways - 80.29% (June 90.44%) 
  8. SA Express - 71.12% (June 82.30% 
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (June --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance July 2017 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 96.27% (June 99.24%) 
  2. Airlink - 93.75% (June 94.12%)
  3. Kulula.com - 87.61% (June 93.26%)
  4. Mango - 87.05% (June 94.26%) 
  5. British Airways Domestic - 86.16% (June 93.00%) 
  6. South African Airways - 84.26% (June 93.23%)
  7. SA Express - 69.40% (June 75.62%)

08 August 2017

Namibia abolishes the concept of "daylight saving time" during winter!

update (09 Aug 2017): Namibia's current time is UTC+1. The time will change back to summer time (UTC+2) on 3 September 2017.

According to the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the National Assembly of Namibia has passed the new Namibia Time Bill and repealed the 1994 Namibia Time Act. This results in the abolution of daylight saving time (winter time) in Namibia and introduction of a countrywide year-round single standard time (UTC+2; South African Standard Time (SAST)). Until now, Namibia (except for the Zambezi Region) switched from UTC+2 to UTC+1 on the first Sunday of April and back to UTC+2 on the first Sunday on September.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park: uMkhuze section to close during the annual iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day!

The uMkhuze section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal will be closed to the public from the evening of 16 August 2017 to the morning of 18 August 2017 due to the annual iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day mountain biking event that takes place in the Park as well as in the surrounding conservation and adjacent community areas from 17 August to the 20 August 2017. The ride starts in the Park's uMkhuze section on 17 August 2017 and then proceeds via the Phinda Private Game Reserve, the False Bay section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, several private reserves and community lands to reach the Park's Western Shores on 19 August 2017 and the Park's Eastern Shores on 20 August 2017. The end point of the iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day is at the Sugarloaf campsite in the seaside resort of St Lucia.

07 August 2017

Air Mauritius to suspend flights to Maputo!

The flag carrier airline of Mauritius, Air Mauritius, is set to suspend its service to Maputo. The airline currently operates flights to Mozambique's capital as part of its service between Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on Mauritius and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR). Effective 09 August 2017, Air Mauritius will replace the Mauritius > Maputo > Durban > Mauritius route with a direct Mauritius <> Durban route.

04 August 2017

Video: South Africa's West Coast National Park in 4K!

After watching this great film (in 4K!) about the West Coast National Park in South Africa's Western Cape by South African wildlife documentary film maker Robert Wedderburn, you will most definitely put the National Park on your ultimate bucket list of places to visit. West Coast National Park, located only 120km north of Cape Town and just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha, is best known for the colourful flower season annually between August and September and for its abundant bird life. Kudos Robert!

Kulula: New check-in times for local flights!

South African low-cost carrier Kulula has changed its check-in times. The flight check-in now closes 45 minutes (!) prior to departure. The airline recommends to make use of the online check-in on Kulula.com or the self-service kiosks at the airport and to hand bags in at the drop-off counters.
  • Check-in opens 90 mins before your flight and closes 45 minutes before take-off for local flights. For British Airways (operated by Comair) local and international flights, check-in closes 45 minutes prior to departure.
  • For international flights check-in opens 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure and closes 60 minutes before take-off. For British Airways (operated by Comair) flights, check-in closes 45 minutes prior to departure.

03 August 2017

Cape Town: The Flying Dutchman Funicular at Cape Point to close for upgrades!

The Flying Dutchman Funicular, located at Cape Point near the Cape of Good Hope, will be closed for upgrades from 07 - 20 August 2017. During this time, a shuttle will take visitors to and from the top station if they prefer not to hike. The Cape Point Winter special* is suspended during this time.

Shuttle rates are:

  • R50 for adult return tickets
  • R40 for adult single tickets
  • R20 each for scholar/pensioner return tickets
  • R15 for scholar/pensioner single tickets

*Two children ride free on the funicular with every adult return ticket purchased for R65. One child eats free at the Two Oceans Restaurant with every adult main meal ordered.

South Africa: SANParks staff back at work!

South African National Parks (SANParks) management has confirmed that all their employees who were on strike and are members of Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) are back at their posts. HOSPERSA sent official correspondence to SANParks formally announcing the unconditional end of strike action by their members on Monday night (01 Aug 2017). 

South Africa, Kruger National Park, safari, Safari Open Vehicle, Kruger traffic

02 August 2017

Air Namibia & Ethiopian Airlines expanded their codeshare agreement!

According to aviation specialist Routes Online, Namibia's flag carrier, Air Namibia, and the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, have expanded their codeshare agreement. Since late-July 2017 (31 July 2017?) Ethiopan Airlines places its "ET"-code on the following routes operated by Air Namibia:

Airlink to increase flights between Cape Town <> Pretoria!

South African carrier Airlink will add new early morning and late afternoon flights to its daily Cape Town <> Pretoria service. The new flights will depart Mondays to Fridays from Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town at 06:45 and will arrive at Wonderboom Airport (PRY) in Pretoria at 09:00. The afternoon return flight will depart from Pretoria at 17:30 and arrive in Cape Town at 20:00.
Pretoria's Wonderboom Airport, situated in the northern Pretoria area, is only 15km from the Pretoria CBD and Arcadia, and 22km from Hatfield.

01 August 2017

Maun: Nhabe Museum to reopen!

The Nhabe Museum in Maun, Botswana, is set to reopen in August 2017. The upgrade of the community museum was funded by a much-needed 1-million pula cash injection from the European Union and included the construction of a new auditorium, new office(s) as well as five studios for locals artists. The Nhabe Museum is located on Sir Seretse Khama Street close to Maun International Airport.

Namibia: Oranjemund opens to the public!

The Namibian town of Oranjemund, located on the northern bank of the Orange River mouth at the border to South Africa, is set to become a "normal" open town. According to the town council, which was only proclaimed in 2011, the public will be able to visit the town of Oranjemund without acquiring an access permit to enter from 14 October 2017. As of now, access to and settlement in the town is restricted to employees of Namdeb and their relatives. 

Oranjemund has been a closed privately owned town since it was established in 1936 by the then Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM). The successor of CDM, Namdeb, owns almost all the infrastructure and property in the town and residents have been provided with free housing, water and electricity from the beginning till to date. This is going to change next month. Effective September 2017, residents of Oranjemund will have to pay for municipal services to support council development plans, as well as to normalise the operation of the town.

31 July 2017

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
baby elephant, Kruger National Park, South Africa, safari

  • 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

28 July 2017

Mozambique: Government sets US$50 price for tourist border visa

According to a statement from Mozambique's Interior Minister Basílio Monteiro, the price of the tourist border visa has been set by the Mozambican government at US$50 per person.
The government of
Mozambique approved new visa regulations on 21 February 2017, so that travellers from countries where Mozambique has an embassy or consulate are now eligible to get their entry visa at the port of entry. The new visa is valid for 30 days and allows travellers to leave and re-enter the country within the 30 day time frame.

26 July 2017

South Africa: SANParks strike update!

update (28 July 2017): South African National Park (SANParks) just confirmed that services at all their parks have not been affected by the strike action of some of their employees. All parks including Table Mountain National Park and Kruger National Park are open for business and there are no disruptions. Visitors should continue with their plans to visit the National Parks as contingency plans around the strike have been activated.

update (27 July 2017): The strike by the approximately 2000 workers affiliated to the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) is currently affecting Kruger National Park, Agulhas National Park, Mokala National Park, Namaqua National Park, Mapungubwe National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

update (26 July 2017): The strike by SANParks employees across South Africa is set to continue on Thursday. The employees are demanding a 7.7% pay hike across the board while SANParks has so far only offered 7.1%.

South African National Parks (SANParks) has confirmed that a number of employees who are members of the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) went on strike. The industrical action, which follows after efforts by the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) failed to resolve the salary dispute between the SANParks and the employees, is currently affecting SANParks Head Office in Pretoria, the Phalaborwa Gate and the Orpen Gate in Kruger National Park as well as Orpen Rest Camp, Berg en Dal Rest Camp and Shingwedzi Rest Camp (all in Kruger National Park). We'll keep you posted!

Rhino, Kruger National Park, safari, South Africa

South Africa: SA Airlink to operate scheduled flights to St Helena!

The Government of St Helena and South African carrier SA Airlink, a privately owned airline and a franchisee to South African Airways, have signed an agreement for the airline to provide scheduled commercial air services to St Helena. Following the necessary approvals, it is anticipated that the new service will commence in October 2017.

SA Airlink will operate its flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and St Helena's new Saint Helena Airport (HLE) via Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek. On both legs of the journey there will be an opportunity for a connection at Windhoek to a connecting flight to and from Cape Town; this gives flexibility to passengers to go to either destination. A proving flight will need to take place and more information will follow in due course.
The initial weekly service on a Saturday will be operated o board an Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft in a two class configuration. The flight time from
Johannesburg to St Helena will be approximately 06:15hrs including a half hour stop in Windhoek.
SA Airlink
will also operate a monthly charter service between
St Helena and Ascension Island.