News

 

The lack of water in Cape Town is making world headlines and tourists are wondering whether they should visit or not – February 2018

By Chris Suchet-Pearson

 

Tourists should absolutely still visit the amazing city of Cape Town and its stunning surrounds. When a place is experiencing challenges such as these the impact of tourists staying away would make things so much worse. So please do still include Cape Town in your travel plans for South Africa and know that water usage for tourists’ personal hygiene and consumption has been factored into the City’s water consumption plans.

Hout Bay sunset, Cape Town, South Africa

Hout Bay sunset, Cape Town, South Africa

As a responsible tourist you are asked to recognise that the significant drought Cape Town is experiencing will have an impact on water usage and all tourists are asked to be mindful of their water use and rethink their water usage behaviours.

Your hosts in Cape Town will let you know what water saving initiatives are in place when you visit but responsible water consumption may include the following:

  • Keep showers to under 2 minutes in length
  • Do not use baths
  • Collect grey water and reuse grey water in your toilet cistern
  • “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” (i.e. only flush your toilet when necessary)
  • Hang up your bath towels and re-use them for a few days instead of having house-keeping wash them daily. 
  • Be aware that some hotel swimming pools have been converted to ocean water
  • Be aware that many hotels, restaurants etc have implemented water saving plans and be respectful of their efforts.

Not all areas around Cape Town have been affected by the drought, including the Garden Route.

View from Table Mountain, Cape Town

View from Table Mountain, Cape Town

Malaria Update – June 2017

By Chris Suchet-Pearson
May 31, 2017

Watch out for these critters!

Due to heavy rainfall across northern South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana earlier this year there has been an increase in malaria cases reported. For example in Limpopo province, normally a low-risk malaria area, there have been over 450 reported cases in 2017.

We would like to remind travellers to take the necessary medical precaution against malaria when travelling to the Greater Kruger National Park Area, Northern KwaZulu Natal and neighbouring countries, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

In addition, try to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, which are most active at dusk, by:

  • using insect repellent
  • wearing loose long-sleeved clothing and long trousers
  • keeping your exposed skin, especially arms and legs, covered
  • using a mosquito net to sleep under.

 

April 2017 Update – Water Levels in Moremi
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
April 27, 2017

Crossing Third Bridge

Water Levels in Moremi (April 2017 Update)

There has been an unusually high level of water in and around the Moremi Game Reserve and so the current advice for self-drive travellers is as follows:

  • There is significant water on the road between South Gate and Third Bridge and Xakanaxa and Third Bridge. There is a risk that this water will remain for the season!
  • South Gate to Xakanaxa is easily accessible.
  • South Gate to Khwai (North Gate) is easily accessible.
  • There are deep water crossings between Khwai Guest House (in Khwai Village) and the white concrete bridge – hindering progress to Savuti however there is an accessible route from Khwai North Gate towards Sankuyo Village to the east and then north to Mababe Village and Savuti.
  • There is a deep water crossing on the main road just south of Mababe Village but there is a short detour around it.
  • North of Khwai Village the main gravel road is dry to Savuti.

In other reserves in Botswana:

  • Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan and Central Kalahari Game Reserve are dry and easy to navigate by road.
  • The Makgadikgadi area around Njuca Hills is accessible but further south towards the pans it’s still very wet (but shallow) roads are expected to dry out in the next couple of months.

More direct daily flights between Cape Town and Victoria Falls on the way!
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
March 23, 2017
More direct daily flights between Cape Town and Victoria Falls on the way!

Hot on the heels of Kenya Airways launching thrice-weekly direct flights between Cape Town and Victoria Falls, South Africa Airways subsidiary Airlink have followed suit. From 2 July 2017 Airlink will commence daily services, except Saturdays, between these two iconic tourist destinations.

The flight departs from Cape Town International at 08h30 arriving at Victoria Falls International at 11h15. The early arrival in Victoria Falls allows travellers the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon activity, or the ability to travel comfortably onwards to destinations such as Hwange National Park. The return flight departs Victoria Falls International at 11h45 arriving at Cape Town International at 14h40, again allowing travellers to avoid peak traffic on arrival in Cape Town and to check-in to their accommodation with ample opportunity to enjoy the rest of their afternoon at leisure.

Another win for the traveller to Southern Africa!

Good News for Travellers – More Flights Within Southern Africa
March 6, 2017
Spectacular lion sighting in the morning, spectacular waterfall in the afternoon anyone?

As holidays to Southern Africa get more popular and tourist numbers increase so Airlink, a subsidiary of South African Airways, have announced increased flight departures on selected major tourist routes for 2017.

From the end of March there will be daily departures in both directions on the Kruger Mpumalanga (Nelspruit) – Livingstone (Zambia) route, so now you can be out spotting the Big 5 in the morning and viewing the spectacular Victoria Falls – all in one day! Flights will depart Nelspruit at 11.35 to arrive in Livingstone at 13.10 with the return flight leaving Livingstone at 13.45 and arriving in Nelspruit at 15.25.

Another route that will benefit from increased departures is Kruger Mpumalanga – Cape Town which, from July will have 2 direct flights daily in each direction. The additional flight will depart Cape Town at 15.00 and arrive in Nelspruit at 17.15 with the return flight departing Nelspruit at 17.35, arriving in Cape Town at 20.00. So now you will be able to be gameviewing in the morning and sipping cocktails whilst watching the sunset over Table Mountain. How good does that sound?

South African Airways and Airlink offer flights between all major destinations in South Africa, southern Africa and East Africa. Please ask Travel Africa for details.

Kruger Under Canvas – a new tour on offer!
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
March 3, 2017

Camping in Fine Style in Kruger

Kruger Under Canvas – a new way to explore Kruger National Park

Travel Africa have a new type of tour on offer for it’s clients – Kruger Under Canvas, a mobile camping safari that combines all the features of a lodge stay (meals, private guide and safari vehicle) together with the affordability of staying in mobile safari tent in one of the South African National Parks operated restcamps within the famous Kruger National Park.

Everything is done for you on the tour, with your tents erected and serviced ready for your arrival, included meals cooked over an open fire and a guide and safari vehicle to take you in search of this park’s plentiful wildlife.
Your accommodation is in very spacious mobile safari tents (5.00m x 3.50m), each with its own veranda, comfortable stretcher beds, mattresses, all bed linen and towels. For ablutions you will utilise the shared bathrooms in the restcamp.
This is a great way to explore the various environments and habitats of Kruger in search of the Big 5 and more at an extremely affordable price.

For an itinerary and prices please see: https://www.travelafricayourway.com.au/5-days-kruger-guided-mobile-camping-tour/

Direct flights between Victoria Falls and Cape Town on the way!
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
February 24, 2017

Kenya Airways Embraer aircraft will fly on this new route

Kenya Airways Launches Direct Flights to Vic Falls

Kenya Airways will operate flights from Nairobi to Victoria Falls from 18 May. The service will be linked to the airline’s existing services to Cape Town.

The airline will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The flight will depart in Nairobi at 07h20, arriving in Victoria Falls at 09h30. It will depart Victoria Falls at 10h20 and arrive in Cape Town at 13h25. The return flight will take off from Cape Town at 14h15 and arrive in Victoria Falls at 17h10. It will depart at 18h00 and land in Nairobi at 22h00. Kenya Airways has fifth freedom rights on the route.

The route will be operated by an Embraer E190 configured with 12 seats in business class and 84 in economy.

Kenya Airways will be the only carrier offering direct services between Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Zimbabwe-Zambia Uni-Visa Relaunched
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
December 22, 2016

The Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe have re-launched the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Uni-Visa as of 21 December 2016.

The Uni-Visa will be valid for 30 days as long as clients remain in Zambia and Zimbabwe. During this time clients are able to cross over between the two countries as many times as they wish. It will also cover clients visiting Botswana for a day trip only, crossing via the Kazangula border post only (clients staying overnight in Botswana will be required to purchase a new visa on return to Zambia/Zimbabwe).

The standard Uni-Visa fee is USD$50 per person (paid in cash only) and is only available at:

  • Livingstone International Airport
  • Lusaka International Airport
  • Victoria Falls International Airport
  • Harare International Airport
  • The Victoria Falls land border between Zimbabwe and Zambia
  • Kazangula land border between Botswana and Zambia/Botswana and Zimbabwe

The Uni-Visa is only available for the citizens of 40 countries (including Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA, Canada and the majority of European Nations.

The visa was originally launched in November 2014, but then suspended in December 2015, so this is great news for visitors to Victoria Falls as it will now be easier to visit and do activities on both sides too!

New Zealand visitors to South Africa will now need a visa
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
December 22, 2016

Travelling to South Africa on a New Zealand passport?
If so, from 16 January 2107 you will require a visa to enter South Africa. This visa will need to be applied for in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington (or Canberra if living in Australia). The cost of this visa is in the order of ZAR425 per person.
NZ passport holders arriving into South Africa prior to 16 January 2017 will not require a visa. 
 
This is due to the New Zealand Government recently changing the visa conditions required for South African’s to visit New Zealand. South Africans now need to purchase a New Zealand visa, and so the same conditions have been applied in reverse.
For more information please read the original statement from the Office of Home Affairs in South Africa here.

Construction of New Victoria Falls Airport International Terminal Complete
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
November 25, 2016

Victoria Falls International Airport

Construction work at Victoria Falls International Airport is complete and the airport is now operational with a capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per annum, tripling its previous volume, and is capable of landing some of the world’s largest aircraft, the airport officially opened on Friday 18 November.

This is great news for future visitors to the spectacular Victoria Falls as some of the world’s major carriers (for example Qatar Airways and Etihad) are considering flying into the new hub – meaning access to Victoria Falls will get a whole lot easier!

The airport features a 4km runway, a state of the art control tower, which is one of the most advanced in Africa, and a fire station, equipped to respond to fire and medical emergencies.

Facilities at the international terminal include 14 check-in counters, 9 boarding gates, three baggage carousels, dozens of shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for 400 vehicles. The domestic terminal features six check-in counters, two passenger security screening facilities, one restaurant and three coffee shops, eight other shops and a business class lounge.

New Botswana Regulations – travelling with minors
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
October 27, 2016

Botswana has changed its regulations for travelling with minors in line with South Africa

Botswana has now introduced similar requirements for children travelling into and out of the country as South Africa.

The Botswana government advised that minors travelling through it’s country’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports effective from 1 October 2016.

In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be presented.

According to the official statement, the development aims to manage the movement of children across the country’s borders and has the “ultimate goal of tackling human trafficking which is a global challenge”.

Zimbabwe/Zambia Uni-Visa launched
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
November 28, 2014

The Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe have just launched the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Uni-Visa.

The Uni-Visa will be valid for 30 days as long as clients remain in Zambia and Zimbabwe. During this time clients are able to cross over between the two countries as many times as they wish. It will also cover clients visiting Botswana for a day trip only, crossing via the Kazangula border post only (clients staying overnight in Botswana will be required to purchase a new visa on return to Zambia/Zimbabwe).

The standard Uni-Visa fee is US$50 per person and is available at:

  • Livingstone International Airport
  • Lusaka International Airport
  • Victoria Falls International Airport
  • Harare International Airport
  • The Victoria Falls land border between Zimbabwe and Zambia
  • Kazangula land border between Botswana and Zambia/Botswana and Zimbabwe

After the initial trial period of 6 months is over, it is intended that the visa be rolled out to cover Angola, Botswana and Namibia with additional southern African countriies expected to join the initiative at a later stage.

Rwanda – new visa requirements
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
January 13, 2015

Australians visiting Rwanda no longer need to apply for an entry visa prior to their visit.

Visas can now be obtained at the point of entry.

A single entry visa valid for 15 days currently costs US$30.00.

New Botswana Regulations – travelling with minors
By Chris Suchet-Pearson
October 27, 2016

Botswana has changed its regulations for travelling with minors in line with South Africa

Botswana has now introduced similar requirements for children travelling into and out of the country as South Africa.

The Botswana government advised that minors travelling through it’s country’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports effective from 1 October 2016.

In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be presented.

According to the official statement, the development aims to manage the movement of children across the country’s borders and has the “ultimate goal of tackling human trafficking which is a global challenge”.

Skukuza Airport, Kruger National Park
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
November 21, 2014

See the new official website for the Skukuza Airport in the heart of Kruger National Park: www.skukuzaairport.com

Great images and videos give you an idea of what the airport is like and the site contains all the information you need for arranging your flights.

The airport is managed by the Skukuza Airport Management Company, in conjunction with SANParks, in terms of a 10 year Public Private Partnership agreement and Airlink operates the daily scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town to Skukuza Airport.

Finally – some good news for the rhino
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
October 19, 2014

The Guardian recently reported that a public information campaign in Vietnam has had some success with only 2.6% of people in Vietnam now buying and using rhino horn, a decrease of 38%.

This follows the very recent insane surge in rhino poaching – especially in South Africa where 1,004 rhinos were illegally poached in 2013.  A key reason for the poaching being the soaring price of rhino horn on the black market.

Let’s hope a decrease in demand and hence price may take the pressure off the black and white rhinos of southern Africa.

South African Regulations – travelling with minors – UPDATE
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
September 17, 2014

The South African Department of Home Affairs has delayed implementation of the requirement for children under the age of 18 to present an unabridged birth certificate until 01 June 2015. Where children are travelling with one parent, the written permission required under the new regulations is also be postponed until 01 June 2015.

Under the new regulations, parents travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate for each child. In the case where only one parent is travelling with the child or children, consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered is required. Alternatively, either a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or a death certificate of the other parent must be produced.

 

New Regulations effective 01 June 2015

The new regulations were expected to come into effect on 01 October 2014, but in a recent statement by the South African Department of Home Affairs, it was announced that the regulations will only come into effect on 01 June 2015.

Industry associations have spent the past two months actively lobbying for a postponement of the new regulations to allow time for them to be effectively communicated and systematically implemented.

The new South African immigration regulations concerning travelling with children are as follows:

Regulation 6: (12)

(a) Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.

(b) In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and-

(i) consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;

(ii) a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or

(iii) where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;

Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(c) Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce-

(i) a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;

(ii) an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;

(iii) copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and

(iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child, Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(d) Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer-

(i) proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of
the child;

(ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will be residing;

(iii) a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Cape Town – Windhoek – new flights commence
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
September 5, 2014

Airlink to commence Cape Town – Windhoek flights 6 October 2014

Airlink is re-introducing scheduled flights operating between Cape Town International and Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport from Monday 6 October 2014.

Airlink will offer a twice daily return services between Windhoek and Cape Town. These flights will operate Monday to Friday with a further morning service on Saturdays and an afternoon service on Sundays.  Flights operate on 37 seat Embraer 135 Regional Jet Aircraft.

The timing of the flights accommodate the self drive market visiting places such as Etosha National Park in northwestern Nambia and the Sossusvlei located in the southern part of the Namib desert.

Through Airlink’s alliance with SAA, consumers can enjoy convenient connections with SAA, their Star Alliance Partner airlines and other carriers throughout Southern Africa and the world.

Fly directly into Kruger National Park
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
June 2, 2014

The fabulous pool at Pretoriuskop Rest Camp, Kruger National Park

After a long break tourists can now fly directly from Johannesburg or Cape Town into the main camp of the iconic Kruger National Park – Skukuza. A range of flights offer tourists flexibility with their itineraries.

This new link enables Skukuza to act as a hub and gateway to this unique part of the world. Self-drive tourists can hire vehicles at Skukuza and access national park and private lodge accommodation with ease.

Visit www.flyairlink.com/skukuza/

New South African Regulations – travelling with minors
By Sandie Suchet-Pearson
May 14, 2014

The South African Department of Home Affairs has officially confirmed that from 01 October 2014, parents travelling with children will be required to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children, and applies to both foreigners and South Africans alike.

When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.

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