Monday, July 27, 2009
Initially only running once a week, with plans to increase the service to thrice weekly, The service begins on July 9 leaving Park Station on a Thursday evening and arriving mid-morning on Friday in Hoedspruit where you will be met and with in 20 minutes you will be in a private game reserve. It returns on the Sunday evening, arriving back in Johannesburg on the Monday morning.
The Premier Classe train can cater for up to 76 passengers. Facilities include two dining cars seating up to 38 each, a lounge car offering the ultimate after-meal venue with complimentary tea and coffee, or beverages from a cash bar.
The cabins are spacious, with a selection accommodating from one to four guests. An internal telephone is available in the rooms should guests want to order refreshments. The train will be fitted with spa and wellness facilities.
Inbound international tourists, who arrive at OR Tambo International in the afternoon, can head off immediately on their journey, saving a night's accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria and getting their holiday experience under way.
The new route will allow travelers to enjoy the convenience of a direct flight between two of Africa’s most sought after destinations, and will save our guests a night's accommodation in Johannesburg as you will not need to get the early morning flight from Johannesburg to Livingstone. Travellers will be able to enjoy a game drive and breakfast at the bush lodge before travelling to Livingstone and on the same day enjoy an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi. After your stay at Victoria Falls you can return diractly back to Johannesburg.
Or you can visit the falls in the morning and be in a luxury lodge in the Kruger in time for diner.
The flight will depart Nelspruit at 11h55 and arrive in Livingstone at 13h50. The return flight will depart Livingstone at 14h20 and arrive in Nelspruit at 16h45.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The world will be buzzing this Saturday: it's the birthday of the world's favourite person – Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July.
The great man, looking frail and white-haired these days, has watched and grieved at the deaths of his closest comrades, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, but still he survives. And he still lives in Houghton with his wife, Graca Machel.
Many would agree that besides his humanity and humility, one of his greatest assets is something very simple - his inimitable smile. Madiba is a global citizen, with the freedom of over 50 cities, including Johannesburg, in addition to dozens of awards and honours.
While the world celebrates his birthday on Saturday, he will spend the day quietly at home with his family.
National celebrations will take place in Mary Fitzgerald Square, in Newtown, under the theme "Working together for the common good of our nation". There'll be a programme of speeches, music and dance, starting at 9am.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Initially only running once a week, with plans to increase the service to thrice weekly. Departing from Johannesburg Park Station, the Premier Classe service can cater for up to 76 passengers. Facilities include two dining cars seating up to 38 each, a lounge car offering the ultimate after-meal venue with complimentary tea and coffee, or beverages from a cash bar.
The cabins are spacious, with a selection accommodating from one to four guests. An internal telephone is available in the rooms should guests want to order refreshments.
For inbound international tourists who arrive at OR Tambo International in the afternoon, guests can head off immediately on their journey, saving a night’s accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria and getting their holiday experience under way immediately.
The train will be fitted with spa and wellness facilities run by Amani African Spas, which also operates spas at a variety of game lodges in the area, including Thornybush Game Lodge. Treatments range from full body massages, facials and body treatments to manicures and pedicures.
Other routes being run by Premier Classe include the Johannesburg-Cape Town, Johannesburg-Durban and Cape Town-Port Elizabeth.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Following an enthusiastic response from research conducted at the Travel Indaba amongst the trade, Airlink has pleasure in confirming that it will begin operating a new route from Kruger to Livingstone as from 17 August. Airlink’s service will operate directly from Nelspruit Kruger to Livingstone. Initially Airlink will operate this service on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, with the intention to grow frequency to correspond with demand.
The new route will allow travellers to enjoy the convenience of a direct flight between two of Africa’s most sought after destinations. This will avoid the current need for Kruger travellers to stay overnight or connect in Johannesburg prior to flying to Livingstone. The opportunity is then for travellers to enjoy a game drive and breakfast at their bush lodge before travelling to Livingstone and enjoying, on the same day, an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. The return travellers, Livingstone/Kruger, can enjoy a walk to the falls in the morning, breakfast and midmorning activities before travelling to Kruger to enjoy dinner and first night in the bush. Travellers will be able to get to bed early in order to be ready for an early game drive the next day.
Friday, March 20, 2009
“While a few years ago a tourist might have asked you whether there are lions in the streets in South Africa, now you can type this question into YouTube and get a video tour of the suburbs of Johannesburg, showing that we do indeed have paved roads and traffic lights,” says Pierre van der Hoven, ceo and co-founder of Southern Africa Direct, a television channel promoting the continent to the international market.
The Southern Africa Direct television channel broadcasts 24/7 to more than nine million Sky subscribers in the UK. It goes live on the web at www.southernafricadirect.com and is complemented by an on-demand video library. The channel aims to provide engaging, informative and entertaining content about lifestyle, culture, travel and commerce.
“We’ve all heard the saying ‘content is king’. We firmly believe that while there is a place for so-called user-generated content, the likes of which we are seeing on YouTube, as the fad wears off people will return to seek out professional, high-quality content. We want to provide them with the largest choice of such content on Africa,” he adds.
The number of people watching video online increased by 45% in 2008 and with broadband speed becoming faster, the upward curve is set to continue. Van der Hoven believes this trend holds immense potential for Africa to market itself as a tourism destination internationally.
"It’s the least frightening place on earth, yet everyone speaks of how many times they’ve been killed that day.
Every city needs a snappy one-word handle to pull in the tourists and the investors. So, when you think of Paris, you think of love; when you think of New York, you think of shopping; and when you think of London – despite the best efforts of new Labour to steer you in the direction of Darcus Howe – you think of beefeaters and Mrs Queen.Rome has its architecture. Sydney has its bridge. Venice has its sewage and Johannesburg has its crime. Yup, Jo’burg – the subject of this morning’s missive – is where you go if you want to be carjacked, shot, stabbed, killed and eaten.You could tell your mother you were going on a package holiday to Kabul, with a stopover in Haiti and Detroit, and she wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But tell her you’re going to Jo’burg and she’ll be absolutely convinced that you’ll come home with no wallet, no watch and no head.Jo’burg has a fearsome global reputation for being utterly terrifying, a lawless Wild West frontier town paralysed by corruption and disease. But I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the past three years and I can reveal that it’s all nonsense.If crime is so bad then how come, the other day, the front-page lead in the city’s main newspaper concerned the theft of a computer from one of the local schools? I’m not joking.The paper even ran a massive picture of the desk where the computer used to sit. It was the least interesting picture I’ve ever seen in a newspaper. But then it would be, because this was one of the least interesting crimes.“Pah,” said the armed guard who’d been charged with escorting me each day from my hotel to the Coca-Cola dome where I was performing a stage version of Top Gear.Quite why he was armed I have absolutely no idea, because all we passed was garden centres and shops selling tropical fish tanks. Now I’m sorry, but if it’s true that the streets are a war zone, and you run the risk of being shot every time you set foot outside your front door, then, yes, I can see you might risk a trip to the shops for some food. But a fish tank? An ornamental pot for your garden? It doesn’t ring true.Look Jo’burg up on Wikipedia and it tells you it’s now one of the most violent cities in the world . . . but it adds in brackets “citation needed”. That’s like saying Gordon Brown is a two-eyed British genius (citation needed).Honestly? Johannesburg is Milton Keynes with thunderstorms. You go out. You have a lovely ostrich. You drink some delicious wine and you walk back to your hotel, all warm and comfy. It’s the least frightening place on earth. So why does every single person there wrap themselves up in razor wire and fit their cars with flame-throwers and speak of how many times they’ve been killed that day? What are they trying to prove?Next year South Africa will play host to the football World Cup. The opening and closing matches will be played in Jo’burg, and no one’s going to go if they think they will be stabbed.The locals even seem to accept this, as at the new airport terminal only six passport booths have been set aside for non-South African residents.At first it’s baffling. Why ruin the reputation of your city and risk the success of the footballing World Cup to fuel a story that plainly isn’t true? There is no litter and no graffiti. I’ve sauntered through Soweto on a number of occasions now, swinging a Nikon round my head, with no effect. You stand more chance of being mugged in Monte Carlo.Time and again I was told I could buy an AK47 for 100 rand – about £7. But when I said, “Okay, let’s go and get one”, no one had the first idea where to start looking. And they were even more clueless when I asked about bullets.As I bought yet another agreeable carved doll from yet another agreeable black person, I wanted to ring up those idiots who compile surveys of the best and worst places to live and say: “Why do you keep banging on about Vancouver, you idiots? Jo’burg’s way better.”Instead, however, I sat down and tried to work out why the locals paint their city as the eighth circle of hell. And I think I have an answer. It’s because they want to save the lions in the Kruger National Park.I promise I am not making this up. Every night, people in Mozambique pack up their possessions and set off on foot through the Kruger for a new life in the quiet, bougainvillea-lined streets of Jo’burg. And very often these poor unfortunate souls are eaten by the big cats.That, you may imagine, is bad news for the families of those who’ve been devoured. But actually it’s even worse for Johnny Lion. You see, a great many people in Mozambique have Aids, and the fact is this: if you can catch HIV from someone’s blood or saliva during a bout of tender love-making, you can be assured you will catch it if you wolf the person down whole. Even if you are called Clarence and you have a mane.At present, it’s estimated that there are 2,000 lions in the Kruger National Park and studies suggest 90% have feline Aids. Some vets suggest the epidemic was started by lions eating the lungs of diseased buffalos. But there are growing claims from experts in the field that, actually, refugees are the biggest problem.That’s clearly the answer, then. Johannesburgians are telling the world they live in a shit-hole to save their lions. That’s the sort of people they are. And so, if you are thinking about going to the World Cup next year, don’t hesitate.The exchange rate’s good, the food is superb, the weather’s lovely and, thanks to some serious economic self-sacrifice, Kruger is still full of animals. The word, then, I’d choose to describe Jo’burg is “tranquil”."
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Margaret Copeland, Delta’s commercial manager for Southern Africa says: “Our schedule has been designed to maximise customers’ time by allowing for a full day’s work or play in both the US and Johannesburg.” She says travellers arriving in Atlanta can take advantage of convenient onward connections to around 180 destinations across the US as well as Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
ZAMBIA: Please bear in mind that at it’s lowest (around November and December) the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all. The lunar rainbow will not be visible from the Zambian side of the falls during this period.
Lunar Rainbow Dates for 2009:-
January - 10, 11, 12
February - 8, 9, 10
March - 10, 11, 12
April - 8, 9, 10
May - 8, 9, 10
June - 6, 7, 8
July - 6, 7, 8
August - 5, 6, 7
September - 3, 4, 5
October - 3, 4, 5
November - 1, 2 ,3
December a) 1, 2, 3 b) 30, 31 , and (01 Jan 2010)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
South African immigration officials - who are able to speak in several languages - will be stationed at several of the busiest airports around the world, including in the UK, India, Dubai and Hong Kong, where fans will be able to go through a free pre-screening and pre-clearance process.
This will be the first time that such a visa is used by a country hosting a major world event.
The immigration officials will also be equipped with hi-tech devices for scanning passports or travel documents. By electronically capturing information from the documents, officials will save time by not having to type in information.