11 December 2017

Botswana cancels the obligatory Tourism Development Levy (TDL)!

The government of Botswana has officially canceled the implementation of the Tourism Development Levy (TDL). The levy, which was initially scheduled for the 01 June 2017, was intended to sustain tourism facilities in Botswana. According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Conservation, Jimmy Opelo, the withdrawal is to enable the Ministry and Botswana Tourism Organisation to conduct further engagement with various stakeholders. He furthermore said that there is a possibility that a revised version of the Bill would be re-tabled for consideration in accordance with established procedure. [src.] We'll keep you posted!

08 December 2017

TAZARA: Passenger train services in Zambia remain suspended!

We just got information from the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) that freight trains are running again as planned in Zambia. The company has mobilized management staff to run freight trains, while the unionized employees of TAZARA in Zambia continue to stay away from work. However, passenger train operations in Zambia remain suspended until further notice. In the meantime, funds to pay the striking employees have been secured and TAZARA is optimistic that the situation will be fully resolved 11 December 2017. We'll keep you posted!

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.

Ethiopian Airlines to introduce a third daily direct service between Addis Ababa <> Johannesburg!

Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to introduce a third daily direct service between Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg in April 2018 due to strong demand from the South African market. The additional flight will be operated on board a Boeing 737 with 137 seats.

07 December 2017

South Africa: Operating hours extended at selected ports of entry during festive season 2017/18!

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will be extending operating hours at selected ports of entry to avoid delays over the festive season (06 December 2017 - 16 January 2018). During the festive season, high volumes of people are usually recorded at South Africa's borders with its neighbouring countries. 

Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa, landscape, elephants

Mpumalanga
  • Lebombo (South Africa - Mozambique)
    • current hours of 06:00 – 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 13 December 2017 - 08 January 2018
  • Mananga (South Africa - Swaziland)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 18:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 20:00 from 19 - 23 December 2017
  • Jeppe's Reef (South Africa - Swaziland)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 22:00 from 21 - 24 December 2017
  • Oshoek (South Africa - Swaziland)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 00:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 21 - 25 December 2017
  • Mahamba (South Africa - Swaziland)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 00:00 on 22 December 2017
Eastern Cape
  • Qacha's Nek (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 22:00 from 21 - 24 December 2017
  • Qacha's Nek (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 07:00 - 20:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 20:00 on 25 December 2017
  • Tellebridge (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 05:00 - 23:00 on 15 December 2018 and from 22 - 26 December 2017
KwaZulu-Natal
  • Kosi Bay (South Africa - Mozambique)
    • current hours of 08:00 - 17:00 will be extended to 07:00 - 18:00 from 15 December 2017 - 10 January 2018
Free State
  • Monontsha Pass (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 16:00 will be extended to 08:00 - 18:00 on 15 December 2017, from 22 - 23 December 2017 and from 01 - 03 January 2018
  • Caledonspoort (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 24 hours on 22 December 2017
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 23 December 2017
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 02 January 2018
  • Van Rooyenshek (South Africa - Lesotho)
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 06:00 - 00:00 on 15 December 2017
    • current hours of 06:00 - 22:00 will be extended to 24 hours from 22 - 23 December 2017

06 December 2017

Telegraph Travel Awards 2017: Cape Town has just been named "greatest city on Earth" for the fifth year in a row!

For the fifth consecutive year, Cape Town has scooped the Best City Award in the 2017 edition of one of Britain's most comprehensive, wide-ranging and reliable reader travel surveys, the annual Telegraph Travel Awards. Almost 90,000 people took part in the survey and voted for their favourite travel destinations and companies. 


2017 Telegraph Travel Awards - Top 10 Cities:
  1. Cape Town, South Africa (=)
  2. Vancouver, Canada (=)
  3. Tokyo, Japan (+2)
  4. Venice, Italy (-1)
  5. Sydney, Australia (-1)
  6. New York, USA (=)
  7. Seville, Spain (+2)
  8. Florence, Italy (+5)
  9. San Francisco, USA (-2)
  10. Rome, Italy (=)
btw - South Africa was voted third most favourite country in the world for the fourth consecutive year by the readers of the Telegraph! Congratulations!

05 December 2017

TAZARA: Suspension of train services in Zambia!

We just got information from the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) that all TAZARA Railway services between the Stations in New Kapiri Mposhi and Nakonde in Zambia have been suspended due to industrial action by TAZARA's unionized employees in Zambia who are demanding payment of their unpaid salaries for October and November 2017.
The suspension of services implies that the Mukuba Express Train that was due to run from
New Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam on 05 December 2017 will not do so. Similarly, the Kilimanjaro Ordinary Train that is currently running southbound from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi, will not proceed beyond Mbeya Station in Tanzania.
The suspension of services in
Zambia will remain in place until further notice.

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.

Festive season 2017/18: Kruger National Park to enforce daily gate quotas!

South African National Parks (SANParks) will enforce daily quotas for day visitors at the entrance gates to Kruger National Park over the coming festive season (07 December 2017 - 02 January 2018). 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 - 05:30 to 07:30
  • Time slot 2 - 07:90 to 09:30
  • Time slot 3 - 09:30 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, South Africa, elephant, black & white

Visitors should also take note of the following important information:
  • Day Visitor bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R40 per adult and R20 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 South African residents is R82 per adult and R41 per child between ages 2 - 11 and for international guests it is R328 per adult and R164 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 (South African drivers' 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.