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Latest News from A&K South Africa
SA Airlink Cape Town - Victoria Falls flights
SA Airlink has commenced the first flights on its new Cape Town-Victoria Falls route. The flight departs Cape Town International at 08:30 and arrives in Victoria Falls International at 11:15. The return flight departs Victoria Falls at 11:45 and arrives in Cape Town at 14:40. Flights operate daily, except Saturdays.
Safari Secret: Grootbos Nature Reserve
Grootbos Nature Reserve is a luxurious pristine paradise showcasing the splendour of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the incredible marine life of the southern tip of Africa. The reserve features 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness with more than 750 different plant species, delicate rare Fynbos and the largest Milkwood Forests in the world. This is one of the few places in the world where you can view such a wide range of marine wildlife including the Marine Big Five: Southern Right Whales, Great White Sharks, Bottlenose Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals and African Penguins, in their natural environment as they hunt, mate and play.
Activities: Horse Riding on the Reserve, Beach Horse Riding, Land and boat based Whale Watching (June- December), Boat-trips to Dyer Island to watch about 60.000 Cape Fur Seals, penguins, seabirds, the Great White Shark, dolphins, 4x4 Flower Safari, Beach Excursions, Quad biking, Bird Watching and Klipgat Cave tour.
How to get there: Grootbos Nature reserve is just two hours’ drive from Cape Town.
Where to stay: Grootbos Garden Lodge, Grootbos Forest Lodge or in one of the luxury private villas.
Safari Secret: Phinda Private Game Reserve
Set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the 23 000 hectares of Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities. Due to its coastal rainfall pattern, the reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems. This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino. The area is also a birder's paradise, with 436 bird species. Phinda is situated close to the popular breeding grounds of the highly endangered sea turtles and also offers spectacular coral reef diving in the easily accessible Indian Ocean.
Activities: Morning and afternoon game drives that lead into night drives, Black rhino tracking on foot, Indian ocean scuba safari, walking safaris, turtle nesting safaris (November to February), birding safaris and a Zulu village tour.
How to get there: Scheduled flights are available directly from Johannesburg to Phinda on some days of the week. Scheduled domestic flights are available from Johannesburg to Durban International Airport or Richards Bay Airport. Self-drive is possible from Johannesburg or Durban.
Where to stay: Phinda Forest Lodge, Phinda Vlei Lodge, Phinda Zuka Lodge, Phinda Mountain Lodge, Phinda Rock Lodge.
Zeitz MOCAA Museum - Cape Town
Looking to attend the event of the year in Cape Town? As a Founding Corporate Member of Zeitz MOCAA, A&K Southern Africa is selling tickets to the exclusive pre-opening weekend of the museum from 15 to 17 September 2017. In addition we are also able to arrange accommodation, private transfers and touring excursions while in Southern Africa. There are five levels of tickets available to the opening weekend of the Museum each with various benefits. On Friday,15 September 2017 is the Founders night with unveiling of the Zeitz MOCAA Atrium followed by the Founders Dinner. Saturday,16 September 2017 features the first views, exhibition openings, talks, performances and the Zeitz MOCAA Gala and Sunday, 17 September 2017 is the Farewell 'braai‘ on the Museum Plaza.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), located in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, is the first of its scale and kind on the African continent and designed by Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio’s in London, one of the world’s most prominent designers. Zeitz MOCAA will be the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art offering ground-breaking curatorial content and unique educational programming. The Museum will feature changing local exhibitions, blockbuster international touring exhibitions while an A-grade Climate control system ensures sensitive exhibitions from Rubens to Rembrandt can be hosted. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New flights in Southern Africa
Johannesburg - Vilanculos: Effective 13 April 2017, flight frequency between the two destinations will increase to a daily service. The new additional flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. The direct flight will depart Johannesburg at 11:30 and arrive in Vilanculos at 13:10.
Nelspruit - Vilanculos: Currently SA Airlink offers flights on Thursdays and Sundays. On 26 March 2017 additional flight days will be added on Tuesdays and Fridays. On 4 July 2017, additional flight days will be added on Mondays and Saturdays and on 7 August 2017 with the addition of a Wednesday flight day, the service will be daily. The flights will depart Nelspruit at 11:45 and arrive in Vilanculos at 12:55.
Cape Town - Maun: SA Airlink will increase flight frequency between Cape Town and Maun from 6 June 2017 offering a daily service. The additional flights will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The flights will depart Cape Town at 10:35 and arrive in Maun at 13:05.
Ellerman House Benguela Diamond Safari
Ellerman House, in partnership with Benguela Diamonds, offers guests an exclusive new opportunity to embark on a ‘diamond safari’ to the mineral-rich west coast of South Africa and pick out their own rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a piece of jewellery at the design studio in Stellenbosch. This unique trip, the first of its kind in South Africa, has been curated as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests get to follow the journey of an ocean diamond from its humble origin beneath the surface of the sea into a symbol of love and beauty. Guests are able to select a rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a piece of jewellery to cherish forever. It only takes three consecutive working days to get a diamond cut and polished and a piece of jewellery designed, made and certified.
The Diamond Safari is exclusive to guests staying at Ellerman House and available from 1 September 2016. The tour is strictly dependent on prevailing weather conditions and available to a maximum of 6 guests. The trip includes road transfers, return air transfer on a private jet and all food and beverages including the Dom Pérignon Experience at Ellerman House. The rate excludes the cost of any diamonds purchased from Benguela Diamonds and the cost of designing and manufacturing a piece of jewellery.
A&K winners at the World Travel Awards 2016
We are very happy to announce that we took home not one but three awards at the World Travel Awards ceremony held on the 9th of April 2016 in Zanzibar. These include Africa's Leading Luxury Tour Operator, South Africa's Leading Luxury Tour Operator and Kenya's Leading Travel Management Company.
We would like to thank you for your continued support and for voting for us! A&K has become synonymous with personalised service, quality of the highest standards and these awards prove we are still pioneers of the quintessential African safari in both East and Southern Africa.
Yellow Fever vaccination certificate required for entry into South Africa
When planning your next holiday, please make sure that you have read all the health entry requirements for your intended destination. Due to the high incidents of yellow fever in other countries along with other infectious illnesses, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) South Africa has introduced a strict programme to control the importation of these diseases. Warnings have been issued to all border officials and foreign affairs missions to enforce stricter control.
A valid international yellow fever certificate is required for all passengers over the age of one, travelling from a yellow fever risk country or having been in transit exceeding twelve hours, through the airport of a country with risk of Yellow fever transmission.
Passengers who are unable to produce a valid international certificate of vaccination on arrival in South Africa will either be placed under quarantine surveillance until their certificate becomes valid or a period not more than six days or refused entry into South Africa. Please note that passengers in transit in Dakar and Accra (not leaving the aircraft), do not require a certificate. The yellow fever certificate becomes valid/offers protection 10 days after date of vaccination.
Please note the new regulations are valid with immediate effect. It is important that you check with a qualified health professional for the most current information concerning your travel itinerary and personal health history.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into South Africa when travelling to, via or from any of the below mentioned countries:
Central and South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela
Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Muritania, Nigeria, Niger, Panama, Senegal Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Togo and Uganda.
Travellers from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe will no longer be required to produce proof of the yellow fever certificate when coming to South Africa after they were included on the World Health Organization Low risk yellow fever countries list.
Bookings now open for The Silo, Cape Town
Bookings are now open for The Silo, scheduled to open on 1 March 2017. This unique hotel, situated in the heart of Cape Town and close to the V&A Waterfront is the latest edition to the Royal Portfolio. The Silo is being built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex and has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Principal of the London-based Heatherwick Studio. Heatherwick Studio was tasked with the transformation of the elevator house and the adjacent storage annex of 6 rows of 7 silos, while carefully retaining its cultural significance and creating a building that will be synonymous with the Cape Town skyline. Please click here for more information on The Silo or contact us to book this spectacular new property.
BA Comair and SAA amend closing time for departures
As from 1 March 2016, all domestic and regional British Airways flights operated by Comair will close 45 minutes prior to departure as opposed to the previous closing time of 30 minutes. The same will apply to all SAA flights as from 1 April 2016. Travelleres are advised to check their flight status prior to travelling, as the closing time of their flight may be earlier than previously published.
Zimbabwe relaxes visa requirements for 37 countries including China and SADC
Zimbabwe used a migration management system with a three-tier visa model classified into categories A, B and C. Category A refers to countries whose nationals are exempt from Visa requirements, while those in category B are able to obtain visas on arrival at the port of entry. Category C nationals are required to apply for visas prior to arrival in Zimbabwe. Please contact us for the full list.
Changes to Wilderness Air Zimbabwe circuit in 2016
Wilderness Safaris have changed their flying circuit in Zimbabwe, particularly in relation to third parties when booked in conjunction with Wilderness Safaris camps as follows:
Hwange as a destination will cover:
Linkwasha Airstrip will be used for Linkwasha Camp, Little Makalolo and Davison's Camp
Hwange National Park Airstrip will be used for The Hide, Somalisa Camp and Acacia, Camp Hwange, Ivory, Elephant's Eye, Hwange Safari Lodge
Kariba as a destination will cover:
Fothergill Airstrip will be used for Changa Camp
Bumi Hills Airstrip will be used for Bumi Hills, Musango and Rhino Lodge
Ruckomechi as a destination will cover:
Mana West Airstrip will be used for Ruckomechi Camp, Vundu Camp, Goliath Safaris, Natureways for the Canoe Trail, Zambezi Life Styles and Kanga Camp.
Hwange Inter-Camp transfers are no longer required. For circuit seats and rates to apply on the Hwange, Kariba and Ruckomechi routes, there must be at least one Wilderness Safaris property in the itinerary. All flying without a Wilderness Camp in the itinerary is treated as a sole use charter and booked and quoted accordingly.
Construction at the property in front of Ellerman House, Cape Town
The property in front of Ellerman House has been sold and construction on the property started on Monday, 11 January 2016.
What you need to know:
They are currently busy with excavation, and this is scheduled to last till 31 March 2016.
A 2.5-meter screen has been erected on top of the wall between the two properties. This has minimised the effect the building site has on the view from Ellerman House.
They are excavating and going down to street level, so the site will get lower and lower, and eventually not a lot will be seen from Ellerman House.
Ellerman House do not have control over this site, and cannot stop building at any time.
The height of the new property will not impact any views, and it will not be higher than the previous property's roof.
The new property will have a beautiful green roof that will be an extension of the Ellerman House garden.
Type of work taking place:
11 January - 31 March 2016: Excavation
1 - 30 April 2016: Building of new property starts
1 May 2016 - December 2016: Crane
Use of construction machines and tools: Excavator, Scaffolding, crane, tile grinding and all general building tools. We do not have a breakdown of when each of the above will be used.
Noise pollution - Intense, Dust Pollution - Medium, Smell interference - Little, Visual interference - Medium.
Johannesburg Graffiti Tour
The Johannesburg inner city is fast becoming a graffiti and street art destination. Top artists are arriving in Jozi to paint and the local and international travellers are coming to Johannesburg to experience the fantastic graffiti culture. The tours focus on the history of the graffiti movement internationally, as well as looking closely at the graffiti culture in Jozi, major players and top artists and shows you some of the amazing art that snakes its way across our city walls. There are three graffiti tours to choose from, each approximately two hours long.
Graffiti Tour: Book one of the walking tours which focus on graffiti. These tours focus on the history of the movement internationally as well as looking closely at the graffiti culture in Jozi, major players and top artists and shows you some of the amazing art that snakes its way across our city walls.Graffiti tours are perfect for locals, international travellers, adults and kids. Street art is also perfect for anyone interested in Inner City photography.
Graffiti Tour with a Top Graffiti Artist: Looking for an extra special tour, why not book a Graffiti Tour with a difference. On this unique experience we can organise a top Jozi graffiti artist to join the group and tell you more about their art and life as a graffiti writer.
Graffiti Workshops: This is the perfect opportunity for guests to try out some of their graffiti skills! Join the experts and learn all about graffiti and of course how it is done! Best of all, guests will have loads of time to give it a go and get creative with a spray can!
Walking Wild in the Sabi Sand
The Sabi Sand Reserve's finest lodges - Savanna and Dulini - are working together to offer their shared guests the opportunity to shun the traditional vehicle transfer, in favour of taking a wilder, more adventurous approach and walking through the game-rich Sabi Sand, between the two lodges. These adventurous walkers will experience the chance of getting up close to fauna, flora, birdlife and wildlife. Whilst the pace will be leisurely and guests do not need to be super fit, the experience will take approximately 6 hours including a light bush breakfast being served around the 8km point. Guests will be walking through this big game environment along with the safe guidance of specially trained rangers and trackers. Should guests wish to opt out and be transferred the remainder of the way, they may also do so.
Sanctuary Retreats adds new safari lodge in South Africa
An exclusive lodge, situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve, Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge is situated in one of South Africa's premier game-viewing destinations. The stylish main lodge is on the edge of a ravine overlooking a waterhole frequently visited by game and has a spacious lounge and dining area which opens out onto a wide wooden outdoor deck, with spectacular views. There is also a spa offering massage and aromatherapy, air conditioned gym and a swimming pool. As a guest you also have the option to sleep under the stars surrounded only by the African wilderness at the lodge's raised Star View Sleep-Out Hide. This is Sanctuary's first property in South Africa and ideal to twin with one of their Botswana lodges and camps - making for a superb safari combination offering a range of experiences and differing landscapes in one holiday.
Victoria Falls International Airport
The Victoria Falls Airport is going to be a massive game changer, not only for Zimbabwe, but for the Victoria Falls region; one of the seven natural wonders of the world situated in the middle of southern Africa. It is also the hub of several countries, surrounded by incredible wildlife parks and relatively few people. Visitor numbers were already growing, with an 8.7 per cent increase in airport arrivals in the first six months of this year compared to last year, but with the new airport tourism is expected to boom. Contact us for more information.
New laws when travelling with children
The tourism industry has been waiting with baited breath for news of the amended immigration regulations regarding travelling with children to South Africa. The impending changes in visa requirements came into effect on 1 June 2015. Parents or guardians moving into or out of the country with children under the age of 18 years must be able to present an official unabridged birth certificate (or certified copy thereof). Contact us for more information.
Cape Town's Camps Bay drive upgrade
Cape Town's Camps Bay Drive is currently closed to undergo a ZAR 20 million upgrade. Camps Bay Drive has not been refurbished for the past 30 years. This major upgrade will significantly improve the road condition and safety for road users and cannot be postponed any longer. The upgrade is expected to be concluded by the end of September.
Contact us for more information.
Airlink launch lodge-link flights
Airlink will launch a lodge-link system of scheduled flights, towards the middle of July 2015, that will feed from Skukuza Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to a number of luxury lodges within the Kruger Park Area. Guests travelling from anywhere in the world will now be able to fly into a number of luxury lodges in the Kruger on a single ticket. The tickets will be bookable through the Global Distribution System as each lodge will receive an International Air Transport Association designated code, which will be added to the GDS inventory and sold globally. Contact us for more information.
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