28 June 2017

Namibia: New Cross Border Charges since 01 May 2017!

The Road Fund Administration (FRA) of Namibia, which manages the Road Users Charging System and the Road Fund in Namibia, increased all Road User Charges in the country by 7% on 01 May 2017. The Cross Border Charges (or Entry Fees), which are payable by all foreign registered vehicles when entering Namibia, was therefore also increased. Namibia's Tourism Board has set up an infographic displaying all new Cross Border Charges.


RFA Footprint Map

Road Fund Administration

For more detailed information, see RFA's website! >>

Kruger National Park: Gate quotas in force during the the July 2017 school holidays!

South African National Parks (SANParks) will enforce daily quotas for day visitors at the entrance gates to Kruger National Park over the coming school holidays (01 July 2017 - 23 July 2017). Through the day visitor quota for Kruger National Park SANParks aims to better manage the expected volumes of visitors, as well as to improve the visitors' expectations. SANParks has introduced three time slots, of which day visitos can choose from. It is advised to book a time slot prior to arrival, as pre-booked day visitors will get preference over non-booked day visitors at Kruger National Park's entrance gates.
  • Time slot 1: 06.00 to 08:00
  • Time slot 2: 08:00 to 10:00
  • Time slot 3: 10:00 onwards
Pre-booked day visitors must ensure that they arrive within the time slots, as per their reservation. Arriving outside the booked time slot, will be regarded as non-booked and therefore not preferential. These bookings can be changed through SANParks Reservations offices.

Kruger National Park IMPALA

Visitors should also take note of the following important information:

  • Day Visitor bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R38 per adult and R19 per child. 
  • Day Visitors who have pre-booked will still be required to pay Conservation Fees or use a valid Wild Card to enter Kruger National Park. The Conservation Fee for SA residents is R76 per adult and R38 per child between ages 2 - 11 and for international guests it is R304 per adult and R152 per child.
  • Guests planning to use Wild Cards are requested to ensure membership is valid before arrival and this can best be done online at www.sanparks.org/wild
  • The number and profile of persons (adults and children) on the reservation and actual persons arriving should correspond.
  • All guests (drivers and passengers) may be required to identify themselves upon admission (SA driver’s license, identity document or passport).
  • Due to existing contractual arrangements with Open Safari Vehicles (OSVs), they are regarded as booked for all Day Visitor admissions.
  • Gate Quotas will be applied and un-booked guests could be denied entry.

The 2017 Men's World Surfing Leagues' Championship Tour returns to Jeffreys Bay in July 2017!

The 2017 Men's World Surfing Leagues' Championship Tour will once again return to Jeffreys Bay in July 2017. The Corona Open J-Bay will take place at Supertubes in South Africa's surfing capital from 12 July 2017 - 23 July 2017. Like in the previous years, the 6th stop on the World Surfing Leagues' Championship Tour forms part of the famous JBay Winterfest.
The Jbay Winterfest (12 July 2017 - 23 July 2017) is an annual sports and lifestyle festival in Jeffreys Bay.  Besides the World Surfing Leagues' Championship Tour, the event also hosts a music festival, the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic (22 July 2017), the Cold Water Classic (16 July 2017), Jbay Loggers Classic 2017 (21 & 23 July 2017), the Fishing Skins Competition (22 July 2017), the JBU Supertrial (01 June 2017 - 11 June 2017), the Oakley X-Over Challenge (20-21 July 2017), the Endurade Jbay XTrail Run (21 July 2017 - 23 July 2017), the Funduro (22 July 2017) and the Kite Festival (21 July 2017 - 22 July 2017).

27 June 2017

Cape Town: Signal Hill picnic site to close for maintenance work!

The picnic site on Cape Town's famous Signal Hill will be closed between 17 July 2017 and 26 July 2017 for maintenance work.



Signal Hill is the Northern-most tip of the terrestrial area of the Table Mountain National Park and offers excellent views of
Cape Town and the harbour. It is from here that the noon day gun marks 12:00 in Cape Town.

26 June 2017

Kenya Airways & KLM expanded their codeshare agreement!

According to aviation specialists routesonline, KLM and Kenya Airways, both members of Skyteam, have again expanded their codeshare agreement. Under the revised agreement, Kenya Airways places its "KQ" code on KLM flights in Europe, Russia and Israel as well as on selcted routes in East Africa.

Kenya Airways flights operated by KLM (as of June 2017):

23 June 2017

iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Road works and closures!

South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu Natal, is continuing with routine road maintenance and repairs throughout the Park.


Eastern Shores:

Certain sections of the tar road between Bhangazi Gate and Cape Vidal resort will be re-tarred during the course of next few weeks. This work will be done in half widths with two affected sections of 2km long each. Flagmen will utilise the Stop-Go system to maintain access for tourist traffic. Please allow up to 30 minutes extra for travel between Cape Vidal and the Bhangazi Gate, in particular before gate closing at 18:00 sharp.

21 June 2017

Skytrax World Airline Awards: Africa's Best Airlines 2017!

Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has been named Best Airline in Africa in the 2017 edition of the Skytrax World Airline Awards. South African Airways, Africa's best airline for the previous 14 years (!), gained the second highest passenger satisfaction ratings on the continent. Air Mauritius was named third best airline in Africa, followed by Air Seychelles and Kenya's flag carrier Kenya Airways. Fastjet, the pan-Africa low-cost carrier, was named eigth best airline in Africa, followed by Kulula, the low-cost airline subsidiary of British Airways franchise Comair in South Africa, and budget carrier Mango, also from South Africa.

The Best Airlines in Africa 2017:

  1. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
  2. South African Airways (South Africa)
  3. Air Mauritius (Mauritius)
  4. Air Seychelles (Seychelles)
  5. Kenya Airways (Kenya)
  6. Royal Air Maroc (Marocco)
  7. TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola)
  8. Fastjet (pan-African)
  9. Kulula (South Africa)
  10. Mango (South Africa)
Fastjet was named best Low-Cost Airline in Africa 2017, followed by Kulula and Mango from South Africa, as well as Jambojet and fly540 from Kenya.

Best Low-Cost Airlines in Africa 2017:

  1. fastjet (pan-African)
  2. Kulula (South Africa)
  3. Mango (South Africa)
  4. Jambojet (Kenya)
  5. fly540 (Kenya)
South African Airways was given the award for Best Airline Staff in Africa 2017, followed by Africa's Most Improved Airline 2017, Ethiopian Airlines (global ranking #5).

Best Airline Staff in Africa 2017:

  1. South African Airways (South Africa)
  2. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
  3. Air Seychelles (Seychelles)
  4. Royal Air Maroc (Marocco)
  5. Kenya Airways (Kenya)
  6. Air Austral (Réunion)
  7. Air Mauritius (Mauritius)
  8. Kulula (South Africa)
  9. Mango (South Africa)
  10. TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola)
World's Most Improved Airlines 2017:
  1. Saudi Arabian Airlines
  2. Iberia
  3. Hainan Airlines
  4. Ryanair
  5. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
  6. Philippine Airlines
  7. Fiji Airways
  8. Lufthansa
  9. China Airlines
  10. Hong Kong Airlines
The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017 are based on customer responses to a survey which is run over a period of 10 months (August 2016 - May 2017). 19.87 million customer surveys were completed during that period. The survey, which covered over 325 airlines, measures passenger satisfaction across 41 key performance indicators of airline front-line product and service - including check-in, boarding, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, inflight entertainment and staff service.

20 June 2017

Fastjet launched a fifth seasonal flight between Harare <> Victoria Falls!

Due to strong demand, Fastjet has introduced a fifth seasonal flight between Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare and Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Victoria Falls. The airline will operate the additional flight every Monday between 17 July 2017 and 11 September 2017. 

19 June 2017

Fastjet to increase flights between Johannesburg <> Harare!

Fastjet is set to increase the number of daily return flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare from two to three flights. The additional daily service will be introduced on 01 July 2017. 

Garden Route: Knysna forest not affected by the fire!

The iconic Knysna forest, South Africa's largest portion of Southern Afrotemperate Forests, was not affected by the recent fire that devasted the town of Knysna and it's surroundings in early June 2017. The forest, which is spanning across some 60,500 hectares of land, from George to Tsitsikamma in the East, is accessible from Goudveld to Diepwalle.
The Knysna forest is home to over 22 species of amphibians, 24 reptile species, 305 species of birds and some 42% of South Africa’s 290 mammal species. At least 7.1% of the Park’s mammals are listed as endangered (EN) and 14% as vulnerable (VU). Some of the trees in the forest, like the King Edward Big tree in Diepwalle, the Dalene Matthee Memorial and the Hoekwil Big tree are 600 years old. The famous Tsitsikamma Big tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old.

16 June 2017

Garden Route declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve!

South Africa's Garden Route has been declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by the members of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) Council at a meeting in Paris on 14 June 2017. The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) is located within the Cape Floristic biodiversity hotspot region along the southern coast of South Africa. It has a total area of 698,363 ha (212,375 ha core, 288,032 ha buffer, 197,956 ha transition) and a population of 450,624 people. The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve includes the Tsitsikamma, Goukamma and Robberg Marine protected areas, Wilderness Lake Ramsar site, Garden Route National Park and two components of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage site: the Nelson Bay Cave and the Langkloof Valley, this latter being critically endangered.
The municipalities included in the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) are the Eden District Municipality and Sarah Baartman District Municipality as well as the local municipalities of George, Knysna, Bitou, Kouga and Koukamma.
The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) is the ninth such reserve to be declared in
South Africa.

Tanzania: Precision Air to launch scheduled flights to the Serengeti National Park!

Tanzanian airline Precision Air is set to introduce scheduled flights to the Seronera air strip in the Serengeti National Park on 01 October 2017. The airline will operate four flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between between Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, the Seronera air strip and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) on Zanzibar. Precision Air will be the only IATA member airline to operate scheduled flights to the Serengeti National Park.


flydubai to introduce flights between Dubai <> Kilimanjaro!

Low-cost airline flydubai from Dubai is set to introduce scheduled flights between Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai and Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), an international airport in northern Tanzania that serves the cities of Arusha and Moshi, on 29 October 2017. Kilimanjaro International Airport will be served with six flights a week three of which are via a stop in Tanzania's capital, Dar es Salaam. In addition, flydubai will increase direct flights to Zanzibar from three to eight flights a week.

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the major gateway to the Kilimanjaro region, a main international tourism destination that includes Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. flydubai will be the first airline to provide direct air links between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the
Kilimanjaro region.

15 June 2017

Rwandair to introduce flights to Brussels!

The flag carrier of Rwanda, Rwandair, is set to introduce three flights per week between Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Kigali and Brussels Airport (BRU) in Brussels in July 2017. The flights from Kigali to the capital of Belgium will be non-stop, while the return flights will be via London. The new route will be operated on board an Airbus A330 in a triple class cabin and equipped with inflight connectivity.
The launch of flights to
Brussels comes after the airline’s successful entry into the London market last month (May). The new route takes RwandAir’s network to twenty-three destinations.

14 June 2017

Foodie itinerary: 48 hours in Cape Town! (video)

Foodies out there, this one is for you. South Africa's leading restaurant guide, Eat Out, has set up 48-hour itinerary that leads you to six meals at six of Cape Town's best eateries! Enjoy & kudos Eat Out



1 City - 48 hours - 6 meals
  • Saturday, 09:00 -  Neighbourgoods Market, 373 Albert Rd, Woodstock
  • Saturday, 13:30 -  Fish on the Rocks, 1 Harbour Rd, Hout Bay
  • Saturday: 17:45 - The Silo Rooftop Bar, Silo Square, V & A Waterfront
  • Sunday, 08:00 - Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg Estate, Steenberg Rd, Tokai
  • Sunday, 12:30 - The Pot Luck Club, 373-375 Albert Rd, The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock
  • Sunday, 18:00 - Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia, 1043 Constantia Main Rd, Glen Alpine, Constantia

Victoria Falls: The Zimbabwe/Zambia border to temporarily close due to the Victoria Falls Marathon!

The famous Victoria Falls Marathon, an AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races) registered event, is taking place in Victoria Falls on 18 June 2017. Due to the routing of the race, the Zimbabwe/Zambia boarder will be temporarily closed from 22:00 on 17 June 2017 through until 08:30 on the 18 June 2017. Please note that the border will only be open for the normal flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic after 08:30. All guests participating in the Victoria Falls Marathon will need to stay in Zimbabwe on the night of the 17 June 2017 .



The Victoria Falls Marathon race route starts in the car park outside the banks/Ilala Lodge entrance in
Victoria Falls, then crosses over the Vic Falls Bridge into Zambia. The route continues through the Lower Zambezi National Park and ends at the Victoria Falls primary school in Victoria Falls. The full Marathon is a "double loop".

13 June 2017

Cape Town: Chapman's Peak Drive is currently closed to traffic!

update (20 June 2017): Chapman's Peak Drive has been closed for at least three to four weeks after approximately 15m³ of rock came down on the Noordhoek end, causing significant damage to two catch fences and the road surface. Visitors should use Ou Kaapse Weg as an alternative.

update (15 June 2017): Chapman's Peak Drive will be closed for a few weeks!

Cape Town's famous Chapman's Peak Drive has been closed to traffic due to rock fall. We'll keep you posted!



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.

Knysna: The Pick n Pay 2017 Knysna Oyster Festival is going ahead as planned!

The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival in Knysna, one of South Africa's most popular festivals, is going ahead as planned. Although the town of Knysna suffered extensive damage in this week's devastating fires, plans for the festival are continuing. The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival will take place from 07 - 16 July 2017.

Sporting events

  • Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour
  • Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon
  • BIG5 Challenge (MTB)
  • Europcar Knysna Classic (golf)
  • Oyster Rapid Chess Tournament
  • Knysna Oyster Festival Motorsport Gymkhana
Food offerings
  • Pick n Pay Seafood Wednesday
  • Pick n Pay SASSI Fish Braai, Oyster Shucking and Eating Competitions
  • Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna
  • Local establishments have a variety of specials on for the duration of the festival
For the kids
  • BIG5 Junior Challenge (MTB)
  • Simola Little Phantom Kids Adventure Run
  • Spur Rotary Knysna Children’s Cycle Tour
  • Fun Fair
  • Momentum Health Kiddies Area
Tourist attractions
  • Take a tour through the Knysna Heads
  • Garden Route National Park
  • Thesens Wharf and explore a South African Navy ship
  • Featherbed Nature Reserve

12 June 2017

South Africa: Malaria update!

According to the latest malaria update by South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the transmission of malaria in endemic areas in South Africa has extended into late May 2017 and early June 2017; however, the number of cases has decreased significantly in the past two weeks.

Malaria Risk Map
via http://www.nicd.ac.za/index.php/malaria-alert-03-may-2017/

Malaria in South Africa is endemic in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Residents and travellers are encouraged to take necessary precautions, and keep a high index of awareness of malaria symptoms.

09 June 2017

Cape Nature: Several nature reserves & facilities currently closed!

update (12 June 2017): The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve has been closed until further notice due to adverse weather conditions, damage to tracks and accommodation infrastructure.

Cape Nature, a public institution with the responsibility for biodiversity conservation in South Africa's Western Cape, has released an update on the current situation in its nature reserves/wilderness areas after the extreme weather and fires in the region.
  • Robberg Nature Reserve - currently closed until further notice
  • Goukamma Nature Reserve - currently closed until further notice
  • Anysberg Nature Reserve – Anys River is flowing, but entry is still possible for visitors
  • Cederberg Wilderness Area - Algeria campsite is currently closed
  • Cederberg Wilderness Area – no hiking on reserve
  • Limietberg Nature Reserve - Tweede Tol campsite is closed till 12 June 2017
  • Limietberg Nature Reserve – no hiking on reserve
  • Swartberg Nature Reserve – there is snowfall on the mountains, but as of now the Swartberg Pass is accessible from the Oudtshoorn side. In case snowfall continues, the pass will be closed.
  • Hottentots Holland Nature Reserveclosed for the weekend
All other Cape Nature reserves are operational and are receiving visitors.

08 June 2017

TAZARA: Cancellation of the new timetables!

We just got information from the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) that the new timetables for the TAZARA Railway, which were due to be implemented on 01 June 2017, have been shelved until further notice. This follows a review of the technical and operational challenges emanating from the operation of the Kilimanjaro Ordinary Train. TAZARA continues to review the situation with a view to finding long-term solutions to the challenges faced in the operation of the passenger trains.

The TAZARA Railway, operated by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), is a railroad in East Africa linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the town of New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia's Central Province.

Kenya set to introduce four-day transit visas!

Kenya will start issuing 96 hour (4 day) transit visas to foreign passengers from January 2018. The visa will allow those awaiting connecting flights at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi to exit the airport and visit the city or take short extensions to some of Kenya's national parks. The new 96 hour (4 day transit visa will only apply to passengers on Kenya Airways flights. Kenya currently issues 72 hour (3 day) visas to passengers on layovers.
Jacinta Nzioka is the  marketing director of Magical Kenya, Kenya's Tourism Board.

Magical Namibia! (drone video)

Amsterdam-based videographer Gosse Bouma recently visited Namibia. While travelling through the country, he shot "Magical Namibia" using a DJI Osmo X3 and a DJI Mavic Pro. Stunning! Kudos Gosse!
The sheer visual beauty of the country is a filmmakers dream, and I tried capturing some of it with my camera.

MAGICAL NAMIBIA from Gosse Bouma on Vimeo.

06 June 2017

Flysafair to launch two new routes in November 2017!

The most on-time airline in the world, South African low-cost carrier FlySafair, is set to launch new routes between Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) and East London Airport (ELS) in East London as well as Durban and Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. The first flights will depart 27 November 2017; tickets are already on sale.

SWISS & Lufthansa to introduce a sixth weekly service to Nairobi!

The national airline of Switzerland, SWISS, is set to introduce a sixth weekly flight between Zürich Airport (ZRH) in Zürich and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. Effective 06 July 2017, the airline will operate flights to Kenya's capital on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 
SWISS' parent company Lufthansa will also add a sixth service from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Frankfurt to Nairobi. The airline's traffic days will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

04 June 2017

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in May 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 May 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 May 2017 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 95.99% (April 94.73%) 
  2. British Airways Domestic - 90.94% (April 89.87%)
  3. Kulula.com - 89.95% (April 85.86%)
  4. Mango - 88.81% (April 81.30%)
  5. Airlink - 88.69% (April 88.48%)
  6. South African Airways - 88.09% (April 83.18%
  7. CemAir - 83.06% (April 82.46%)
  8. SA Express - 63.17% (April 65.84%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (April --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) - 15 Min on Time Performance May 2017 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 96.80% (April 96.74%)
  2. CemAir - 94.23% (April 92.31%)
  3. Airlink - 92.54% (April 90.54%)
  4. South African Airways - 92.35% (April 87.64%)
  5. British Airways Domestic - 92.34% (April 92.95%)
  6. Kulula.com - 92.16% (April 89.06%) 
  7. Mango - 90.49% (April 87.61%)
  8. SA Express - 85.03% (April 85.04%)  
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (April --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance May 2017 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 96.72% (April 95.77%) 
  2. Airlink - 94.96% (April 86.40%)
  3. Mango - 90.92% (April 83.49%)
  4. British Airways Domestic - 89.18% (April 91.02%)
  5. Kulula.com - 88.87% (April 86.76%)
  6. South African Airways - 87.48% (April 86.47%)  
  7. SA Express - 78.16% (April 84.35%)