17 October 2017

Cape Town: Expect roadworks on Chapman's Peak Drive until December 2017!

According to a media release by Western Cape government's Department of Transport and Public Works, sections of the Chapman's Peak Drive in Cape Town will be closed from 23 October 2017 until 01 December 2017 for the re-surfacing of the roadway.
  • The reseal of the road from the Hout Bay end of the concession to Lookout Point will be tackled in half-widths, with stop/go construction. Delays of between 10 to 20 minutes will be experienced by travellers on the drive whilst this section of the road is re-surfaced.
  • The narrow pass section of Chapman's Peak Drive from Lookout Point to the Noordhoek end of the pass will be closed entirely to traffic from 09:30 to 16:00 every day – i.e.: Chapman's Peak Drive will be closed to traffic (This section of the pass will be tackled towards the end of the construction period – from mid to the end of November).
Resurfaced sections will be reopened once they have been swept and all loose stones removed.

Chapman's Peak Drive is a scenic 9km route between Noordhoek and Hout Bay along the western flank of the Chapman's Peak, a mountain on the western side of the Cape Peninsula, located about 15 kilometres south of Cape Town

13 October 2017

Fastjet set to launch domestic flights in Mozambique!

Pan-African low cost-carrier Fastjet is set to launch domestic flights in Mozambique on 03 November 2017. The airline is the first low-cost carrier to enter the country's domestic aviation market. Fastjet will initially operate an Embraer ERJ145 aircraft on the following routes in Mozambique:

12 October 2017

Botswana: Temporary closure of Gaborone Game Reserve!

Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks just informed the public that the popular Gaborone Game Reserve in Gaborone will be closed to the public between 16 - 27 October 2017. This is due to the fact that the facility will be used for interviews during the said period. The Gaborone Game Reserve will be open again from 28 October 2017 for business and leisure.

The Gaborone Game Reserve is located on the western side of
Gaborone about 1km east of the Broadhurst Mall. It covers an area of only 5km², but is third busiest game reserve in Botswana. Gaborone Game Reserve is home to wildebeest, elands, gemsboks, kudus, ostriches and warthogs as well as to a particularly plentiful birdlife. All roads in the reserve are accessible by two-wheel drives (2WD).

Cape Town: De Waal Drive renamed Philip Kgosana Drive!

Cape Town's De Waal Drive, which forms part of the M3 road that connects the upper part of the City Bowl to the Southern Suburbs, will officically become Philip Kgosana Drive today (12 October 2017). Philip Kgosana (1936 – 20 April 2017) was a former regional secretary of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in South Africa's Western Cape. He led a march of approximately 30 000 protestors opposing South Africa's pass laws from Langa and Nyanga along De Waal Drive on 30 March 1960. The march is known to be one of the largest anti-apartheid demonstrations to take place in Cape Town.

11 October 2017

Kruger National Park: Orpen Gate currently inaccessible!

South African National Parks' (SANParks) Wild Card Magazine just posted on Facebook that Kruger National Park's Orpen Gate is currently inaccessible (11 October 2017) due to to protests taking place on the R531 in front of the Southern Wildlife College. Travellers planing to enter or exit Kruger National Park through Orpen Gate are advised to use alternative gates such as Paul Kruger Gate or Phalaborwa Gate until further notice.

South Africa: Kruger National Park encourages the public take precautions against malaria!

Due to reported cases of malaria in South Africa's Mpumalanga Province recently, in particular in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality of which the southern part of Kruger National Park (KNP) falls under, South African National Parks (SANParks) would like to caution visitors coming to Kruger National Park to take the necessary precautionary measures against malaria.
Visitors to Kruger National Park are advised to take prophylaxes in consultation with doctors, use repellants on the skin, wear long sleeve clothes if they happen to go outside of their units, keep the window gauzes and doors closed at all times and check that these are not broken, as well as to ensure that air conditioners in the chalets are fully functional.
SANParks request visitors who contract malaria after having visited Kruger National Park to assist them by immediately reporting to their local doctors at Skukuza Rest Camp (Tel +27 13 735 5638) as this can assist in recording and identifying all the affected areas in need of attention”.

South Africa, Kruger National Park, weaver birds

Kruger National Park is known to be one of the malaria endemic areas in South Africa. The mosquito-borne infectious disease can be contracted at any time of the year, but usually the malaria season is October to April, with March and April being the highest risk period.

10 October 2017

New promotional film: "Imagine Reality: Malawi"!

The Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium (malawitourism.com), which represents travel companies, hotels, lodges, safaris and car hire companies in Malawi, has published Malawi's latest promotional film on youtube. The video was produced for (and by?) Malawi's Department of Tourism or rather Malawi Tourism (visitmalawi.mw).

Zambia: Proflight Zambia increases capacity on Lilongwe (Malawi) route!

Proflight Zambia, the operator of the largest fleet of aircraft in Zambia, has increased the capacity on its flights between Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka with the introduction of a larger aircraft on the route. The airline, which flies daily direct from Lilongwe to Lusaka, has upgraded its aircraft on the one-hour-30-minute flight to a 29-seat British Aerospace Jetstream 41 aircraft, from the previous 18-seater British Aerospace Jetstream 32. 

Proflight Zambia's 29-seat Jetstream 41 aircraft at
Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

Proflight Zambia's Lilongwe service was launched in June 2013 as the airline's first international route with a three-times-a-week schedule, and has grown steadily since then. Going forward, the airline would consider operating its 50-seat Bombardier CRJ Jet on the route if demand continued to grow over the coming years.

09 October 2017

South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal released new rhino poaching figures!

According to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlfe* spokesman Musa Mntambo, at least 193 rhinos have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal between 01 January 2017 and 29 September 2017. Although Ezemvelo KZN Wildlfe does no longer provide a breakdown per protected area, conservation sources assume that the vast majority of rhino killings are taking place in KwaZulu-Natal's flagship Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.  
KwaZulu-Natal lost 162 rhinos to illegal poaching in 2016‚ 116 animals during 2015 and just 18 in 2008. 

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, rhino, rhino poaching

*Ezemvelo KZN Wildlfe is the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wildlife conservation areas and biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal.

06 October 2017

Zambia/Zimbabwe: KAZA univisa stickers available again from next week!

update (10 Oct 2017): Various sources from Victoria Falls and Livingstone have confirmed that the KAZA univisa is available again at border posts in Zimbabwe and Zambia!

Zambia and Zimbabwe ran out of KAZA visa stickers in August (Zambia) and September (Zimbabwe), so that no KAZA univisa were available at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, Victoria Falls Border Post, Kazungula Border Post, Harare International Airport in Harare and Victoria Falls International Airport in Victoria Falls. It has now been reported that KAZA univisa stickers will be available again in Zambia and Zimbabwe from next week. The stickers will be dispatched within the next few days, and issuance should resume next week. We'll keep you posted!

Zimbabwe, Zambia, Victoria Falls

05 October 2017

South Africa's Blue Flag beaches 2017/18!

A total of 44 beaches in South Africa, along with eleven sustainable tourism boats and seven marinas have been awarded Full Blue Flag status by the 2017/18 International Blue Flag Jury. The jury results include 45 Blue Flag sites in the Western Cape, nine sites in KwaZulu-Natal and eight sites in the Eastern Cape.
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.
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.

South Africa, beach

Western Cape Blue Flag beaches:

Cape Town - Silwerstroomstrand  
Cape Town - Clifton 4th  
Cape Town - Camps Bay  
Cape Town - Llandudno  
Cape Town - Muizenberg  
Cape Town - Strandfontein  
Cape Town - Mnandi
Cape Town - Bikini
Cape Town - Melkbosstrand
Cape Town - Fishhoek  
Kleinmond (Overstrand Municipality) - Kleinmond  
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Hawston  
Hermanus (Overstrand Municipality) - Grotto
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Lappiesbaai  
Stillbaai (Hessequa Municipality) - Preekstoel
Witsand (Hessequa Municipality) - Witsand  
Mossel Bay - De Bakke  
Mossel Bay - Hartenbos  
Mossel Bay - Klein Brak
Knysna - Buffalo Bay
Knysna - Brenton-on-Sea
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Robberg 5
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - Keurboomstrand
Keurboomstrand (Bitou Municipality) - The Dunes
Natures Valley (Bitou Municipality) - Nature's Valley
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Lookout 
Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) - Singing Kettle
Cape Agulhas (Cape Agulhas Municipality) - Struisbaai

Western Cape Blue Flag marinas:

Knysna - Thesen Islands
Knysna - Thesen Islands  
Cape Town - False Bay Yacht Club
Cape Town - The Water Club
Gordon's Bay - Harbour Island  
Saldanha - Yachtport SA

Western Cape Blue Flag boats:

Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Robberg Express
Plettenberg Bay (Offshore Adventures) - Oceanic Express
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Whale Whisperer  
Gansbaai (Dyer Island Cruises) - Dream Catcher
Gansbaai (Marine Dynamics) - Slashfin
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Oyser Catcher  
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Sousa
Knysna (Ocean Odyssey) - Dolphin II
Kleinbaai (Great White Shark Tours) - Apex Predator 
Hermanus (Southern Right Charters) - Miroshca
Van Dyks Bay (White Shark Ventures) - Megalodon

Eastern Cape Blue Flag beaches:

Jeffrey's Bay (Kouga Municipality) - Dolphin
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Humewood
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - King's
Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Municipality) - Hobie
Hamburg (Amatole Municipality) - Hamburg  
Kenton-on-Sea (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kariega
Port Alfred (Ndlambe Municipality) - Kelly's

Eastern Cape Blue Flag Marina: 

St Francis Bay (Sarah Baartman District Municipality) - Cape St Francis 

KwaZulu Natal Blue Flag beaches:

Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Marina  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Trafalgar  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Lucien
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Southport
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Umzumbe
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Ramsgate  
Hibiscus Coast (Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) - Hiberdene
Durban (Ethekwini Municipality) - Westbrook
Durban (Ethekwini Municipality) - Ushaka   

An additional 22 beaches across South Africa will participate on the Blue Flag Pilot Programme. This is an important developmental stage for potential Blue Flag sites, during which WESSA works with beach managers and Tourism Blue Flag Beach Stewards towards the longer-term goal of achieving full Blue Flag status.

04 October 2017

Supermarket prices in South Africa!

To give you an idea on the supermarket prices in South Africa, we have set up a list of what we think are the most typical items travellers usually buy. It hopefully helps planning your holidays in South Africa. Safe travels! [exchange rates in the daily news update]

South Africa, safari, cooking, potjie
  • bread - from R11.00/loaf (700g)
  • Rama Margarine - from R8.00/125g
  • eggs (large, free range) - from R22.00/6ea
  • mixed fruit jam - from R14.50/290g
  • peanut butter - from R20.00/250g
  • Nutella - from R30.00/180g
  • Bovril - from R25.00/125g
  • Marmite - from R25.00/125g
  • baked beans - from R8.50/can (410g)
  • bacon - from R19.00/200g
  • milk (full cream) - from R7.00/250ml
  • muesli - from R37.00 (750g)
  • porridge oats - from R19.00/kg
  • yoghurt (plain) - from R6.00/175g
  • cheese - from R18.00/125g (gouda/cheddar)
  • potatoes - from R13.00/kg
  • tomatoes - from R15.00/6ea
  • onions - from R10.00/kg
  • mushrooms - from R22.00/250g (white mushrooms)
  • cucumber - from R11.00 (english cucumber) 
  • lettuce - from R15.00 (baby gem lettuce)
  • avocado - from R16.00
  • pasta - from R10.00/500g (macaroni)
  • pasta sauce - from R31.00/405g
  • instant soup - from R11.50 (4ea)
  • biscuits - from R6.00/150g
  • rusks - from R29.00/500g
  • chewing gum - from 8.00/pack (Stimorol)
  • boerewors - from R72.00/kg
  • steak - from R137.00/kg (ribeye)
  • chakalaka - from R13.00/can (410g)
  • chutney - from R29.00/bottle (Mrs H.S.Ball's Hot Chutney, 470g)
  • hot sauce - from R21.00/bottle (750ml)
  • tomato sauce - from R18.00 (750ml)
  • potato chips - from R5.50/30g
  • bottled water (still) - from R4.30/500ml 
  • Coke - from R10.00/500ml
  • orange juice - from R20.00/1l
  • beer - from 10.00/330ml (Tafel Lager)
  • beer - from R11.00/330ml (Hansa)
  • beer - from R11.00/330ml (Castle Lager) 
  • beer - from R12.00/330ml (Amstel Lager)
  • beer - from R12.00/330ml (Windhoek Lager)
  • cider - from R13.00/330ml (Hunters Dry)
  • cider - from R14.00/330ml (Savanna Dry)
  • wine - from R30.00/750ml (White)
The list above is probably missing some items. Let us know what you think is missing & we will add it! 

02 October 2017

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in September 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 September 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 September 2017 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 94.86% (August 96.06%)
  2. British Airways Domestic - 90.09% (August 91.17%)
  3. Airlink - 89.21% (August 85.25%)
  4. South African Airways - 88.11% (August 87.66%)
  5. Kulula.com - 87.87% (August 87.54%)
  6. CemAir - 86.68% (August 91.21%)
  7. Mango - 83.11% (August 73.99%)
  8. SA Express - 70.16% (August 79.14%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (August --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) - 15 Min on Time Performance September 2017 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 95.31% (August 95.59%)
  2. British Airways Domestic - 91.93% (August 91.43%)
  3. South African Airways - 89.97% (August 91.84%)
  4. Mango - 89.91% (August 79.56%)
  5. Airlink - 89.45% (August 89.45%) 
  6. Kulula.com - 88.82% (August 84.49%)
  7. SA Express - 85.96% (August 85.11%)
  8. CemAir - 80.18% (August 75.86%) 
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (August --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance September 2017 (airport target 91%)
  1. CemAir - 100.00% (August --.--%)
  2. FlySafair - 98.45% (July 98.88%)
  3. South African Airways - 91.34% (July 92.35%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 90.80% (July 90.79%)
  5. Kulula.com - 90.76% (July 88.38%)
  6. Airlink - 90.08% (July 92.51%)
  7. Mango - 89.17% (July 80.43%)
  8. SA Express - 86.55% (July 90.60%)