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Great news : South Africa open its borders from 1 Oct ! Welcome back


South Africa will open its borders for international flights on October 1, announced President Cyril Ramaphosa in his latest address to the nation earlier this evening, Wednesday, September 16.
This comes as the country moves to national lockdown alert level 1 at midnight on Sunday, September 20, on the back of the daily rate of infections continuing to slow down to fewer than 2 000 per day. At peak, the number of infections was up to 10 000 to 15 000 per day. The recovery rate is currently at 89%.
The opening of borders will be based on certain restrictions and those countries with high infection rates may be prevented from entering South Africa. Ramaphosa said a list of the countries that fell into the high-risk category would be published over the next few days.

International travellers will also be required to present a COVID-19-free certificate that is dated no later than 72 hours within their date of arrival.
Those who do not have a certificate will face a mandatory quarantine period at their own cost.

In reaction to the news, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa – who has been lobbying for borders to open to enable the survival of a sector on its knees – said in a Facebook post: “Let’s go to work and welcome our international guests. The fight has been long and it’s not close to be finished. Aluta continua.”
He added that tourism could be South Africa’s economic lifeline. “Every day we have been closed to international travel we have lost R336m (¤17.4m) of spend and the government has lost vital tax revenue. Opening up our tourism sector will have a direct and immediately positive impact on Government’s coffers at a time when it most needs it.”
Enabling environment for tourism
Government’s decision to reopen to international travel and tourism gave the industry an opportunity to get back on its feet, said David Frost, CEO of SATSA, the voice of inbound international tourism.
According to him, the sector cannot grow to its full potential and contribute more meaningfully to South Africa’s economy unless several interventions are introduced swiftly to improve the competitiveness of the country as a tourism destination and drive demand.
Some of those interventions include the removal of quarantine requirements for visitors and improved visa access.
“Now more than ever comes the opportunity for the public and private sector to collaborate in word and deed and to leverage South Africa’s competitive advantage as a global tourism player. This is the industry that has been earmarked as a catalyst for inclusive economic growth. As such, tourism should be prioritised if it is going to make the contribution it has the potential to make to pull the South African economy out of these stormy waters,” said Frost.
Reopening safely
Under the TBCSA, the entire value chain of tourism has devised and rolled out stringent health and hygiene safety programmes and protocols under the banner, Travel Safe – Eat Safe, said Lee Zama, CEO of Fedhasa, the national trade association for the hospitality industry, which includes the accommodation and catering sectors.
“These protocols have been based on international best practice and endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council. Our industry is ready to receive guests. We have protocols in place to mitigate any risk associated with COVID-19 and have developed a Travel Safe-Eat Safe mobile app to ensure that the information of guests and participating establishments are logged electronically. South Africa is Travel Ready,” she said,
Details on the new regulations around level 1 will be published shortly.

Namibia reopens its borders on September 1 - Flights resume from Europe


With Namibian borders opening on September 1, the Lufthansa Group has announced that – subject to all necessary government approvals being granted – Eurowings will once again serve Windhoek with three weekly flights from Frankfurt.

“These plans form part of reviving the local tourism and commercial sector in Namibia,” said Dr André Schulz, GM: Southern Africa & East Africa for the Lufthansa Group, which operates the low-cost carrier, Eurowings.

On September 19, the first Eurowings flight will depart Frankfurt at 20h00 and arrive in Windhoek at 06h20 the next day. Thereafter, flights will depart Frankfurt for Windhoek at 20h00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The return flight will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing Windhoek at 08h20 and arriving in Frankfurt at 18h50.

Schulz said Namibia remained an important part of the Lufthansa Group’s Africa network. “Even throughout this unprecedented crisis, we were able to successfully operate several repatriation flights to and from Windhoek. Our commitment remains to offer regular commercial services that link Namibians to Germany, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Coronavirus : no risk in South africa


GOOD NEWS FOR TRAVELLERS : To date, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in South Africa
As of 21 February 2020, there are no reported or suspected cases of Coronavirus in South Africa, the NICD has confirmed.
Egypt announced its first Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case on 14 February, making it Africa’s first documented infection.
According to the NICD this is not unexpected, and South Africa remains vigilant for cases of COVID-19. As of 15 February, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has tested 82 individuals for COVID-19. Results are all negative.
There is no impact on visitors to South Africa and no travel or trade advisories or restrictions have been put in place for travelling to South Africa, except those imposed on Chinese citizens by the Chinese government.

Airports and airlines
South African health authorities and hospitals are on high alert and temperature screening remains in place at most international airports in South Africa. This is a routine precaution that was instituted at airports in 2010.
Any passenger found to be ill or exhibiting fever symptoms on arrival will be reviewed at airport clinics. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirms that South African hospitals are prepared to deal with any Corona-related problems and laboratories have facilities in place to test for the respiratory disease.
On 6 February, OR Tambo Port Health Services has implemented additional screening measures.
As part of the additional screening measures, Port Health officials will conduct thermal screening onboard the flights. Passengers will be asked to remain seated until they are advised by Port Health officials that they can disembark.
Based on the information available, additional screening measures will be concentrated on the following flights:
* Cathay Pacific
* Singapore Airlines
* Hong Kong
* Emirates
* Etihad
* Qatar
For all other international flights, Port Health officials will liaise with cabin crew to ascertain whether there are health risks onboard.

Entry of minors in South Africa - Good News


Following a change in South African regulations in November 2019, accompanied foreign minors can travel to South Africa with their valid passport only. The passport must be valid for more than four months from the date of travel and have at least two blank pages.

Foreign minors travelling unaccompanied must present the following documents:
copy of birth certificate;
letters of parental consent;
copy of passport(s)/identity document(s) of parents/legal guardian(s) ;
contact details of parents/legal guardian(s);
letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, indicating his/her address and contact details in South Africa where the child will reside;
copy of the valid identity document/passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa.

The Most Beautiful Country In The World


According to a recent report on - South Africa was listed as No 1 among the 20 most beautiful countries in the world.

This country sweeps international travel prizes and has travellers raving about its beauty so much that it has the highest repeat tourism of any long haul destination in the world! Considering how crazy people are about the place, it’s not surprising that South Africa takes the top spot in the beauty stakes.

Not only does the country have stupendous natural beauty, but it’s urban-amazing too. The town of Franschhoek has been named amongst the five loveliest in the world, and the metropolis of Cape Town is more often than not picked as the most beautiful city on earth by travel lists and tourists alike, because of both its unparalleled natural setting and gorgeous architecture.

This setting is on a coastline hailed as the most beautiful on earth. In fact the country has three of the world’s ten most beautiful coastal drives including Clarens Drive and Chapman’s Peak. These were number one and number two most beautiful coastal drives respectively.

South Africa also has an astonishing variety of marine life, with almost twice the number of marine species as the whole Mediterranean in a coastline only 2000 miles long. It’s the best place in the world to view whales from shore, and to swim with great white sharks. The world’s largest migration of Ocean life occurs here, and is one of the two largest migrations of any kind on earth.

With some of the finest national parks in the world, including the Kgalagadi, Isimangaliso, Hluhlue Imfolozi and Tsitsikamma, South Africa has been rated the finest wildlife destination on earth and is Africa’s most bio diverse. That’s much of where it leaps ahead of other countries in terms of beauty.

What’s better than a great sunset? A great sunset with giraffes or elephants in front! The Greater Kruger National Park and Limpopo Transfrontier Park has more species of large mammal than anywhere else in the world. Surrounding Cape Town is the world’s densest plant kingdom by species count. The King Protea flower is a gorgeous bloom the size of a dinner plate!

Surrounded by Cape Town is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain. When viewed from across Table Bay this world wonder provides one of the greatest views on Earth, and has been named one of the world’s greatest mountains.

Incredibly, two of the eleven mountains chosen for this honour are located entirely within South Africa, more than is claimed by any other country. The other is the Amphitheatre, a gigantic cliff regarded as one of the most impressive in the world. Its cliff face is around ten times the size of the main South Western face of Yosemite’s El Capitan and six times the size of the North Face of Switzerland’s Matterhorn!

The Amphitheatre is found in the Drakensberg, one of the world’s most beautiful and utterly distinctive mountain ranges. It has been named the third in the list of must see mountain ranges you’ve probably never heard of. Falling off its face is possibly the tallest waterfall on earth, though officially the second tallest, which is about twenty times the height of Niagara! ‘The Tugela Falls’ plunge over 3000 feet in 5 abrupt steps! This, together with the Augrabies falls, is one of two South African falls named in the Top 10 waterfalls in the world. In the North of the Drakensberg is one of the greatest and most beautiful canyons in the world, the subtropical Blyde River.

Other mountain ranges in the country include the best-exposed fold mountains in the world, The Swartberg or ‘Black Mountains’. Unlike their name suggests, these mountains display astonishing Technicolor sandstone cliffs folded in all directions through what geologists call anticlines and synclines. They house one of the most beautiful cave systems in the world, the Kango. Four of the ten oldest mountain ranges in the world are found in South Africa, including the breathtaking Waterberg and the stunning Makhonjwa range, the oldest in the world

This is a country of astounding age, and is the place where both the oldest fossils and the oldest gold have been found. Even the deserts in this country are astonishingly beautiful, from the powdered red sands of the Kalahari to the Karoo and Namaqualand. The latter is an incredible arid area larger than California that turns into the world’s largest garden each spring in a floral display unrivalled anywhere on earth. Thousands of species of flowers bloom and transform the landscape unimaginably. It, together with Technicolor city suburbs like the Bokaap, is part of why the country has been called the worlds most colourful.

Unsurpassed wildlife and mountains, whales and waterfalls, architecture and antiquity, the world’s most beautiful city, and the world’s most stunning Spring, plus a host of natural treasures make South Africa “The Most Beautiful Country In The World”, and a must-see traveller’s dream.