23 September 2016

Johannesburg & Cape Town are the most-visited cities in Sub-Saharan Africa!

According to the Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016, Johannesburg and Cape Town are the most-visited (by overnight international visitors) cities in Sub-Saharan Africa with 3.60 million (+6.2% compared to 2015) visitors and 1.37 million (+6.2% compared to 2015) visitors respectively. While in Johannesburg, visitors spend a total of US$1.7 billions; while in Cape Town, visitors spend US$1.0 billion.
Cape Town is also the fastest-growing destination city by international overnight visitors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CAGR 2009 & 2016 = +2.9%), followed by Johannesburg (CAGR 2009 & 2016 = +2.3%).
In terms of purpose of visit (business, leisure plus other purposes) and expenditure breakdown by category (accommodation, food & beverage, shopping, local transport, local services, misc.), Cape Town is also ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Johannesburg.

The peak months for visiting Cape Town are, according to the Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016, November to February, while most of the overnight international visitors are visiting Johannesburg in August and between October and December.

The Mastercard Global Cities Destination Index 2016 also provides statistics regarding Johannesburg's top five feeder cities. London in the UK is Joburg's most important feeder city, feeding 373,000 visitors who spend 285,000 million there. Harare (Zimbabwe) is the second most important, feeding 294,000 visitors with US$106 million in spending followed by Frankfurt (Germany) with 233,000 visitors and US$84 million spending. Maputo (Mozambique) is ranked fourth with 185.000 visitors (spending: US$41 million) and Paris (France) fifth with 163,000 visitors (spending: US$155 million).

22 September 2016

Kruger National Park: The new & completely transformed Tshokwane Trading Post & Picnic Site to open in October 2016!

The new and completely transformed Tshokwane Trading Post & Picnic Site in in the Kruger National Park, situated just an hour away from the Skukuza Rest Camp and and the Satara Rest Camp, will open on 01 October 2016. The transformed spot now offers comfortable stoep-style seating under the dappled light of a new structure, while the rest of the site is dominated by a huge sausage tree.
Visitors can prepare their own food on a gas skottel (which can be hired from the Tshokwane Trading Post, together with essentials like bacon, eggs and fresh bread), or opt for an authentic wood fire meal grilled at the base of a large stone chimney – a one-of-a-kind braai monument. Alternatively, visitors can order from the Tshokwane Trading Post and take the food with them as delicious padkos for their journey through Kruger National Park. Tshokwane Trading Post offers traditional "bush breakfast" (eggs, boerewors and coal-toasted “potbread”), boerie rolls, kudu wors rolls, homemade pies, delectable frikkadels or braaied lamb chops with South African staples like stywepap (stiff maize meal porridge) and tamatie smoer. Freshly prepared salads and traditional treats like homemade milk tart, a fire grilled Rolo-filled marshmallow sandwich or pineapple skewers dusted with cinnamon, pepper & brown sugar are also on offer. An array of unique souvenirs, Tshokwane branded clothing, picnic goodies and much more is also available from the Tshokwane Trading Post.

20 September 2016

Western Cape: Free access to all CapeNature reserves (19 - 25 September 2016)

CapeNature, the governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wilderness areas and public nature reserves in the Western Cape, provides free access to day visitors to all of their 25 reserves during the CapeNature Access Week from 19 - 25 September 2016. That means the standard conservation fee that day visitors usually pay will be waived for those days!

The following Terms & Conditions apply:
  • The conservation fee will be free at the entrance to any CapeNature reserve that is open to the public
  • Free day access will only apply at the reserve gate, no free access fee will apply when booking through the call centre and it excludes accommodation bookings
  • No prior bookings
  • Free access fee pertains to general access (conservation fee) and to all day activities (hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, horse riding). The waiver does NOT apply to concessions (including canopy tours, bouldering etc) or multi-day hikes
  • Access to Protected Areas during the CapeNature Access Week will be conducted during regular reserve hours and applies to entries at CapeNature reserve gates only

19 September 2016

Fair Trade Tourism certifies the Naara Eco Lodge in Mozambique!

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT), a South African NGO that encourages and monitors fair and responsible practises in tourism establishments and activities, has added the Naara Eco Lodge in Mozambique to the family of FTT-certified businesses. The Lodge, located  located on the Nhambavale Lake in the village of Chidenguele, some 260km north of the capital of Maputo, offers 10 Luxury Safari Tents which are surrounded by the African indigenous bush and overlook the calm waters of the Nhambavale Lake as well as and the Natura Wellness Centre – a luxurious spa in a secluded forest alongside the dunes.
Naara Eco Lodge prides itself on its involvement in the local Inhandime community and the initiatives it is undertaking, such as the installation of a deep well water system to provide villagers with access to clean water; the establishment of a community trading store and job creation programmes aimed at recruiting local staff and tourism guides. The Lodge also procures all of the produce used in creating its vibrant menus locally, lowering its carbon footprint while at the same time increasing entrepreneurial opportunities in the community. Naara Eco Lodge is solar powered and has an efficient waste management system.

15 September 2016

South Africa: Free entry to all Iziko museums in Cape Town during in_Herit Festival 2016!

Iziko Museums of South Africa is offering free entry to all Iziko Museums during the annual in_Herit Festival, which will take place from 19 - 25 September 2016 in Cape Town. The festival highlights and celebrates South Africa's heritage; it includes talks, performances, lectures, exhibition openings and behind-the-scenes tours.

Iziko Museums of South Africa is a public entity and non-profit organisation that operates eleven national museums and three collection specific libraries* in Cape Town.

*Bo-Kaap Museum, Groot Constantia Manor House, Koopmans-De Wet House, Maritime Centre, Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House, Planetarium, Rust en vreugd, SAS Sommerset, Slave Lodge, Social History Centre, South African Museum, South African National Gallery, Bertram House, William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope

14 September 2016

South Africa: ACSA has upgraded the free WiFi offerings at its airports!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has upgraded its free WiFi service at its nine airports* in South Africa. Passengers in the boarding areas of the airports now have either 4 hours of WiFi connection or 1 gigbyte of data available at no charge. When the complimentary four hours have lapsed or the one gigabyte of data is reached, users continue to use the WiFi service on a pay as you go basis. Purchased access can be used at any Airports@vast Hotspots throughout South Africa.

How you use the free WiFi at ACSA's airports in South Africa:
  1. Search for the Airports@vast-network with your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  2. Select Airports@vast from your device's WiFi search list
  3. Open the web browser on your device
  4. The web browser will be redirected to the Airports@vast-login page
  5. Select complimentary access
  6. Register with a valid email address
  7. When registration is complete users can surf the web
*OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town, King Shaka International Airport in Durban, Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein, Upington Airport in Upington, Port Elizabeth International Airport in Port Elizabeth, East London Airport in East London, George Airport in George and Kimberley Airport in Kimberley.

13 September 2016

TAAG Angola to launch flights between Luanda <> Maputo!

The state-owned national airline of Angola, TAAG Angola Airlines, is set to introduce nonstop flights between Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD) in Luanda and Maputo International Airport (MPM) in Maputo, Mozambique on 02 November 2016. The airline will operate two flights per week on Wednesdays and Fridays on board a Boeing 737-700 between the two cities.