South Africa News
OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg has taken steps to reduce congestion for international passengers departing through its main Terminal A as well as international passengers in transit who remain airside.

A new passenger link has been constructed for international passengers, with the objective of effectively managing peak periods at Terminal A, reducing congestion and queuing time and enhancing passengers’ experience.

The construction of the passenger link took 12 weeks, with most of the work taking place after hours to avoid inconveniencing passengers. The link conforms to global security requirements and was built at a cost of around R2.5 million (€162 000).

It has increased passenger processing capacity from 200 to 700 people per hour.

Space for the passenger link was made by moving the existing transit security screening area to the upper level. This enabled Ortia to create an additional security point, as well as address various compliance-related issues with traffic to and from the transit hotel.

Passengers checking in at Terminal A will experience shorter queues at the terminal security and emigration processing points. Congestion has grown at these points due to growth in international passengers.

After checking in, passengers can either turn left to the old security checkpoint or right to the new modernised and enlarged facility that has been upgraded to handle more than double its previous capacity of 300 an hour.

Queueing times for both options will be added in the near future.

Twenty-one million passengers passed through Ortia this year alone, according to Airport Spokesperson, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler. She says the passenger link is one of the many elements of the airport’s Ambience Programme, which aims to enhance travellers’ experience.

Another addition to be implemented at Terminal A is the use of ‘Smart Security’, with a pilot test last year. Smart security will also help to ease congestion and is less intrusive as no human contact is made during the process.

It was mentioned during a media briefing on September 1 that Ortia was 65 years old this year, and with the ageing infrastructure, updates were needed to handle the increase in capacity. The airport has two runways that operate 24 hours a day, and with airlines using larger aircraft, there has been a massive increase in traffic at the airport.

The passage will be referred to as the airport’s passenger link for international passengers.

Source: TU


Published in News
Cape Town International Airport will receive a major upgrade in an effort to transform the tourism sector, one of the important economic growth drivers.

“Airlift is an important driver of the economic policy,” said James Vos, the Democratic Alliance shadow minister of tourism. Vos was addressing delegates at the second THINC Africa conference, taking place in Cape Town.

According to a statement, the upgrade includes an extra long runway able to accommodate large planes such as the A380, after environmental approval was received to proceed with the new developments.

Vos said that alleviating the current constraints at Cape Town International would unlock more opportunities and more direct flights to the Western Cape. Upgrades to OR Tambo International were vital too as it is the gateway to Africa.

“We also need to look at upgrading rail and roads if we want to grow domestic tourism. Affordability is an issue and flying is very expensive in South Africa. We also need to streamline aviation taxes to make flying more accessible to more people. Currently we pay VAT, airport tax and a fuel levy on a single airfare,” he said.

Vos reiterated the worlds of head of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, who said earlier that the tourism body wanted to increase domestic tourism by an extra one million people within five years.

He further said that transformation of the tourism sector was vital to South Africa’s future. “We have to break down the barriers. Tourism must be inclusive and we should be developing tourism entrepreneurs from the ground up, so small businesses can become big business.”

The role of the tourism accommodation grading council was under review too, he said, and it could become a “perfect tool for transformation in terms of accommodation and would give more product owners an incentive to join”.

Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS in South Africa, hosts of the THINC Africa conference, pointed out that on a recent road trip with his family, during the July holidays, a number of establishments in smaller towns and rural areas were closed.“For four nights in a row, we were the only people in the hotels on our route,” Smith said.

Vos agreed that destinations had to be available all year round. “We are looking at ways to fill these gaps,” he said.

Source: IOL Travel
Published in News
Monday, 04 September 2017 13:40

New start for the Cape Town Cycle Tour

The start for the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour will move from its traditional position on Hertzog Boulevard to the historic Grand Parade Precinct. 

“The City effectively enticed us back to our ‘routes” – David Bellairs

 “Our participants’ safety will always come first,” says David Bellairs, a Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. “2017 was a year of incredible learnings. We believe now – as we did then – that the right decision was made on the day.

 Nothing could have prepared the team for the challenges thrown at us in the lead up to the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour and nobody was more disappointed at the cancellation than the team who had spent the entire year preparing for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour.  After the issues we had with wind at this year’s start, we immediately reviewed and re-assessed our options for 2018.”  

 “We needed to be responsive in respect of this year’s challenges and look to mitigate the wind risk.  We realise that there are very few areas in Cape Town that are immune to the Cape Doctor, but believe with this move that at least participants will not again be subjected to the sort of wind vortices created by the tunnels at the base of the civic center, these being exacerbated by the extraordinarily strong winds prevailing on the morning of this year’s event.

 An extensive amount of work has gone into understanding and looking into risk mitigation procedures and we are in the process of revising our wind guidelines as they relate to the start, route and finish precinct. This is being done in conjunction with Disaster Management Services, City of Cape Town, Pedal Power Association and experts in the meteorological field.”  

 Bellairs continues: “We are very grateful for the upgrades and rejuvenation that the City of Cape Town has already undertaken, and has planned for the Grand Parade Precinct.

 Following discussions with all stakeholders and particularly our partners at The City of Cape Town, we have made the decision to move the start to the Grand Parade Precinct.

 The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an iconic event – and the Grand Parade, overlooked by City Hall with the backdrop of Table Mountain, is a globally iconic event venue. The City effectively enticed us back to our ‘routes’:  in 1978, 525 cyclists set off from the roads outside the castle on the first ever Cycle Tour (then called The Argus Tour). 

 City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said, “The City of Cape Town is proud to host next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, which has become one of the highlights on the city’s events calendar. This prestigious race is the world's largest individually timed cycle tour, and takes participants along some of Cape Town’s most picturesque and scenic routes.

 While the start of the race changes in 2018, we look forward to welcoming organisers and cyclists to an exciting event. Our support of the Cape Town Cycle Tour forms part of our strategy to attract even more events to the city. We hope our visitors and resident cyclists enjoy the race and natural beauty of the Cape.

The City of Cape Town remains committed to doing all we can to promote cycling and to ensure a safe environment for cyclists on our roads.”

Bellairs continues “The Grand Parade Start Precinct will broaden the scope for expansion and improving the overall Cycle Tour experience for participants. A more consolidated precinct will enable us to create a more welcoming environment at the start with the possible inclusion of a breakfast hospitality zone and a more expansive offering of services. Space constraints in Hertzog Boulevard mitigated against such improvements. The move will also free up the central MyCiti bus station located at the Civic Centre.”

 On Sunday, 11 March 2018, riders will gather on the historic Grand Parade and line up in Castle Street alongside the Castle of Good Hope and will follow the usual route around the Peninsula to the finish.

Changes are also in the pipeline for the race village at Green Point, which will see a substantial new offering to both corporate and general entrants.  

Entries Open

David Bellairs confirmed that every rider who entered and registered for the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour by collecting their number/race pack at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo, will receive a preferential entry prior to general entries opening. Entry fees for these riders will remain fixed at 2017 rates.  

General and international entry applications to the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour will open on 20 September 2017. Corporate entries will be made available via a corporate hospitality package.  This information will be available in more detail from the end of September 2017.

For more information on the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour, please visit  or follow on Facebook , Twitter (@CTCycleTour) and on Instagram (@ctcycletour).

Published in News
Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:25

PICS: SANParks 2017 photography finalists



SANParks 2017 photography finalists capture SA's fauna & flora beautifully...


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Black shouldered kites in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park by Chris Everett.

The annual SANParks Photo Competition is undoubtedly a platform that aims to showcase SA"s amazing beauty.  Take a look at this year's DSLR: Fauna & Flora finalists and click through to vote.  Voting closing on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Winners will be announced on 18 September 2017.  
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Lions in the Kruger National Park by Erich Thom

The annual SANParks Photo Competition is undoubtedly a platform that aims to showcase SA"s amazing beauty.  Take a look at this year's DSLR: Fauna & Flora finalists and click through to vote.  Voting closing on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Winners will be announced on 18 September 2017.

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Leopard in the Kruger National Park by Marc de Chalain

The annual SANParks Photo Competition is undoubtedly a platform that aims to showcase SA"s amazing beauty.  Take a look at this year's DSLR: Fauna & Flora finalists and click through to vote.  Voting closing on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Winners will be announced on 18 September 2017. 

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Lions in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park by Marc de Chalain

The annual SANParks Photo Competition is undoubtedly a platform that aims to showcase SA"s amazing beauty.  Take a look at this year's DSLR: Fauna & Flora finalists and click through to vote.  Voting closing on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Winners will be announced on 18 September 2017. 

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Cape Sand Snake in West Coast National Park by Tyrone Ping

The annual SANParks Photo Competition is undoubtedly a platform that aims to showcase SA"s amazing beauty.  Take a look at this year's DSLR: Fauna & Flora finalists and click through to vote.  Voting closing on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Winners will be announced on 18 September 2017.  

Click here to see all the categories

Source: Traveller24





Published in News
New to the Two Oceans Aquarium, and displayed for the first time - ever - the pink meanie (Drymonema sp.) is an extremely rare species of true jelly.

The pink meanie has only ever sighted a few times in conjunction with intense blooms of other jelly species, particularly moon jellies on which it feeds in the Northern Hemisphere.

The particular pink meanie at the Two Oceans Aquarium differs from pink meanies found in other parts of the world.

It is thought to be endemic, as this variety has only been observed around the southwestern coast of Africa, an unusual habitat for Drymonema - all other known species inhabit warm waters, such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Interestingly, although more thoroughly studied than our local species, the Mexican pink meanie (Drymonema larsoni), was only discovered in the year 2000. A Mediterranean relative known as the "Big Pink Jellyfish" (Drymonema dalmatinum) has been known to science since the 1800s, but when spotted in 2014 it had been almost 70 years since the last sighting.

Rarity of pink meanie

These jellies are incredibly rare, and this new South African species is no exception.

Due to its rarity, the South African species has not been classified and we know very little about it. The specimen on display at the Two Oceans Aquarium was actually collected accidentally, netted outside of the Aquarium while collecting box jellies and was added to our compass jelly holding tank over the weekend. Much to their surprise, on Monday morning all the compass jellies appeared to be sticking together - an odd occurence as they have adaptations to avoid becoming entangled.

On closer inspection, it was revealed that the compass jellies had all been ensnared by an unnoticed newcomer. With much excitement, the jelly handler realised that it was in fact a pink meanie - an animal he described as "the unicorn of jellies".

Published in News
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 16:52

uShaka scoops top tourism brand award

USHAKA Marine world’s diverse attractions, high standard of service excellence and contribution to the local economy resulted in it being voted the province’s top tourism brand and the second most popular overall brand during the KZN Top Business Awards 2017.

Speaking shortly after the awards ceremony, excited CEO, Stella Khumalo, thanked the staff at uShaka Marine World for their contribution.

“We believe that these awards are partly due to the offering provided and the fact that uShaka Marine World is home to the largest aquarium in Africa, the only place in South Africa where one can see dolphins, a one-of-a-kind venue with hundreds of things to do, and has also attracted over a million visitors each year, however, it is the hard work and dedication of the management and employees at uShaka that have not only kept guests returning for more but have also encouraged them to vote for it,” she said.

“We trust that our guests, staff and other stakeholders voted for us because, even after 13 years, uShaka Marine World continues to be a relevant part of the city’s tourism sector and a major draw card to Durban’s Golden Mile as well as an appealing destination in its own right,” she said.

Source: Berea Mail


Published in News
Did you know that Lalibela Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape now offers "soft" walking safaris for the whole family in the predator-free breeding section of their game reserve?  There are some epic things happening there on the conservation side - plus the "new look" Lentaba opens 1 August.  They also have a new camp and villa opening later this year.  Rates have been frozen for 2018.
Read the full story here.
#LalibelaSafari
Published in News
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 13:58

Send us your #DeskSelfie

Last chance to Enter!  Do you have one of our fabulous South Africa calendars sitting on your desk?  If so, please share your #DeskSelfie with us via email or on Twitter or Facebook with #WowSouthAfrica and the best, funniest or most creative one will win a lovely hamper packed with South African goodies…Read more on our website. Competition ends 30 April 2017.
Published in News
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 12:42

Ethos adds Fairlawns to its Portfolio

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa is an exclusive 5-star oasis in Johannesburg - tucked away in the leafy suburb of Morningside Manor, but just 6kms from Sandton's business hub, exclusive shops and trendy restaurants. The hotel, surrounded by over 5 acres of park land and lush gardens, offers 41 suites including a family-friendly tree house, a stand-alone villa and its decadent new "Belle Epoque" Presidential Spa Apartment. It also boasts a superb a la carte restaurant, a brand new all-day bistro, a beautiful, recenly refurbished swimming pool and world-class Balinese Spa. They also have a funky new Champagne Room with Garden Atrium opening later this year.  Watch this space!  For the full release click here.
Published in News
When each of the ultra-luxury suites at Sabi Sabi has been completed, the finishing touch has been to give it a name which matches, or has relevance to, the lodge in which it has been built. Thus, the Amber Presidential Suite at Earth Lodge evokes the spirit of a lodge which reflects the mineral wealth of South Africa, and is a suite filled with beautiful amber beadwork. The Ivory Presidential Suite at Selati Camp reminds us that the camp is situated on an animal migratory path, a path that elephants follow day in and day out. The Mandleve Presidential Suite at Bush Lodge is in deference to the awe-inspiring great tusker of that name who spent much of his life wandering the bushveld of Sabi Sabi.

When the two magnificent Bush Lodge Villas were completed, the challenge was what to name them. What sprang to mind was the sleek, sultry, great cat for which Sabi Sabi safaris are famous - the beautiful, elusive leopard.

A highly territorial creature, the leopard is a "must see" for many guests. Two wonderful male leopards (Toms), have afforded visitors to our lodges spectacular sightings over the years.

Mahlatini (meaning "thick bush") wandered onto our reserve many years ago, and made the dense undergrowth around Bush Lodge a favoured part of his territory. A shy leopard at the onset, Mahlatini developed into an exceptionally large male - a really prize specimen. He was dominant in his prime years, but admitted defeat to a much younger Tom, Maxabeni, the ruler of the Sabi Sabi leopard empire - for now.

The sire of some of the most famous leopards in the Sabi Sand was a glorious male named "Tumbela". This leopard had a habit of digging warthogs out of their burrows, one of which eventually caused him serious injuries. Ironically he spent much of his recovery time resting inside a deserted warthog burrow. A prominent scar which left an indent on his right front paw made his spoor easily identifiable for our trackers.

Leopards are lords of the bushveld. They enjoy peace and quiet between the exciting moments of their days. They savour their meals and relax in solitude when the mood so takes them. Our two luxury villas at Bush Lodge have fittingly been named after the great Mahlatini and Tumbela, symbolising glamour, opulence and seclusion.

Each villa is extraordinarily expansive and feature two luxuriously appointed suites, each with an en-suite bathroom. The villas are sumptuously furnished, with a central lounge/library which extends through onto a huge reed-covered patio and private plunge pool. The master suite, with king size draped four-poster bed, leads into a dressing area featuring hide covered chairs and ottomans.

A little further and one steps into a unique, palatial, floor to ceiling glass walled bathroom. The two side-by-side his and her baths have sliding windows opening to the outdoors. Outside, the al-fresco shower is almost invisible, tucked away in an indigenous tree. The second bedroom is also beautiful, with twin draped beds and comfortable cushioned window box seating to relax and watch the great outdoors. This bedroom features a private en-suite bathroom, which includes a bath and rain shower.

The Mahlatini and Tumbela Villas are perfect getaway destinations for small families or couples travelling together. Children of all ages are well catered for at Bush Lodge and can enjoy the EleFun Centre, where activities are aimed at nurturing a deeper understanding and love for the surrounding bush. The exclusive use of a game drive vehicle, with a ranger and tracker team, is included in a booking at the exquisite Bush Lodge Villas.

Crafted around natural Leadwood sculptures, the idyllic suites combine a respect for the environment with all the luxuries of a world class, 5-Star destination.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
UK & Ireland Trade enquiries: natalie@amgltd.biz
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172 Email: res@sabisabi.com
www.sabisabi.com
Published in News
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