Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve
The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, will no longer be offering cub petting to the public, with immediate effect.
Under the new ownership of the Bothongo Group, the reserve is refocusing its efforts on animal welfare.
Chief operations officer of the reserve, Mike Fynn, said: “Breeding and rearing animals for the purpose of cub petting and interaction is not only undesirable from an animal welfare perspective, it’s also not a sustainable business model. From now on, we will focus on educating the public about wildlife and the importance of conservation. This is why, with immediate effect, we choose to put a stop to cub petting at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve and sincerely hope that other facilities will responsibly follow suit.”
Over the past few months, while under new stewardship, the reserve has initiated a three-year plan to upgrade all of its public facilities, habitats and wildlife enclosures, which will be remodeled around the welfare and wellbeing of its animals.
According to Mike, the reserve team will dedicate themselves to a new internal mantra of being a ‘nurture reserve’. In addition, he says they will commit to the following:
Strive to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and contented animal collection, working with local and international institutions and bodies ensuring that it plays its part in managing the long-term survival of endangered and threatened species.
Pledge not to sell or exchange any of its animal family, especially its lions, unless it is to a reputable accredited facility and/or licensed wildlife institution.
Breed animals only if this serves a conservation purpose
Table Mountain Cableway announces annual closing dates
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will close for annual maintenance to ensure the safety of visitors and smooth and efficient operations.
This year the cableway will close from July 7-26.
Travelers are encouraged to take note of these dates when planning a trip to Cape Town.
Pattaya bans booze on the beach
Pattaya is banning alcohol on its beaches, according to TravelMole.
From October 1, drinking alcohol on the beach is off limits.
Pattaya sanitation chief Wasinpat Chimtin has informed all beach vendors that they are no longer permitted to sell alcohol.
Thai Government and city officials are determined to clean up the resort's image and cultivate a more family-friendly atmosphere.
Vendors have been ordered to start selling Thai snacks and soft drinks instead and must wear special aprons which mark them out as officially licensed vendors.
Robben Island introduces new visitor requirements
Robben Island has implemented new requirements for those wishing to visit the island, according to Tourism Update.
All visitors must now provide relevant identification when purchasing a ticket.
This could be a passport, identity document, birth certificate, or driver’s licence.
Robben Island Museum said the move was part of an ongoing effort to provide guests with the best possible service.
Those visiting the island must ensure that they also have their tickets and identification on hand at all times to be checked before and after boarding the ferry.
United Arab Emirates
Smoking e-cigarettes in public not allowed
Travellers should be made aware that smoking e-cigarettes at entrances of shopping malls in Dubai is illegal, Khaleej Times claims.
Shopping centres and malls in Dubai have been directed to encourage their security personnel to report people caught smoking in banned areas to the police.
The Dubai Municipality has stressed its seriousness in implementing the ban on electronic cigarette smoking in public places and shopping malls.
Some shopping centres have been allowing electronic cigarette smoking at their entrances and this is considered illegal.
A decision in 2009 to ban smoking in public places also includes electronic cigarettes.
According to the federal anti-smoking law, any person found smoking in prohibited places can be fined up to Dh1,000.
Phuket beaches to ban smoking
Smoking will soon be banned on 20 popular Phuket beaches found to be constantly littered with large numbers of discarded cigarette butts, according to Travel Wire News.
Smoking will banned at the beaches from next month.
These beaches are among the best-known and include Mae Phim in Rayong; Laem Sing in Chanthaburi; Bang Saen, Pattaya and Tham Pang on Koh Si Chang in Chon Buri; Cha-am in Phetchaburi; Hua Hin and Khao Takiap in Prachuap Khiri Khan; Patong in Phuket; Bo Phut on Koh Samui in Surat Thani; Sai Ri in Chumphon; Chalatas in Songkhla; Tha Wa Sukri in Pattani; Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nai on Koh Yao in Phangnga; and Phra Ae and Khlong Dao on Koh Lanta in Krabi.
All other beaches were expected to be included into this ban in the future.
Those found flouting the ban could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.
Names changes are not possible once the ticket has been issued - please provide us with a copy of your passport when making a booking
Turkish Airlines will now assess baggage by number of pieces rather than their weight, although weight restrictions do apply. Speak to us for further details
Please be advised that effective 25 March 2019, new rules for checked baggage have been applied at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
The rules are as follows:
Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed to be checked in. This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted
Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed
Bags with longs straps will not be allowed
This move is aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in the baggage-handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips, as per IATA guidelines. These are the largest source of jams, and can shut down sections of the baggage-handling system thus delaying baggage delivery to aircraft and inconveniencing passengers and airlines.
Passengers who try to check in bags that do not conform to these rules will, however, have the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport-approved baggage wrapping stations.
Effective immediately, the electronics ban has been lifted for Emirates' flights from Dubai International Airport to the U.S.A.
All passengers can now carry all laptops, tablets and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures.
Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures, and protocols that meet the requirements of the US department of Homeland Security's new security guidelines for all US bound flights.
New Regulations - Minors Travelling
New South African passports for minors under the age of 18 are being issued containing the details of the parents as a standard feature. Children travelling on these new passports do not require any additional documentation when travelling abroad if accompanied by both parents.
South African children not travelling with both parents will still be required to produce additional documentation including consent letters, adoption orders, custody or guardianship papers and death certificates as applicable. Consent letters no longer have to be on a Department of Home Affairs template or be certified.
Children travelling on passports that do not contain the parents details will still be required to carry an unabridged birth certificate.
South Africa: Kruger Park
Kruger Park upgrades gate access systems
The Kruger National Park is implementing additional gate access control systems at its entrance gates in the southern part of the park, effective from September 1.
The new system will require all visitors who are 18 and older to produce a positive identity document for scanning to gain access. Non-South African visitors must produce passports. An SA driver’s licence will also be acceptable.
The system will assist with the monitoring of people’s movements who enter and exit the park, and ensure that information related to anyone entering the park is centrally recorded and monitored.
The system will apply to everybody including SANParks staff members, suppliers and other residents of the park.
Visitors will still have to go through their normal check-in and check-out at the gate reception before proceeding to the security scanning process.
Training for the security personnel on the upgraded system is under way to minimise the possible delays as soon as the new operation comes into play.
Paris gets nudist park
Paris will trial a dedicated nudist park over the next few weeks, according to Easy travel Report.
The creation of an area in the Bois de Vincennes park will allow nudists to roam free from today, August 31, until October 15, between 08h00 and 19h30 daily.
Signs will inform park users of what is occurring in the clearing near the park's bird reserve, spread over 7 300sqm.
Officials vow that no voyeurism or exhibitionism will be tolerated in order to assure the respect for those making the most of their natural state.
No more boarding calls at O R Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) for domestic flights
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) will no longer make announcements when customers are flying on domestic routes. Passengers will have to check their boarding passes and flight information display boards for boarding times.
Announcements will only be made about irregular operations, such as gate changes, flight time changes, systems failures and customer services issues such as lost minors.
Five (5) minutes prior to the commencement of boarding, the Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS) will display a message stating “Go to gate”. This will prompt customers to go directly to the gate as boarding will start soon.
SOUTH AFRICA: Mossel Bay over-ocean zipline opens
Mossel Bay has officially launched the world’s longest over-ocean zipline, Getaway reports.
The zipline is 1 100m long and travelers can now experience this activity as they glide over the ocean in the Southern Cape harbour town.
A ride costs R450.