Tag Archive: South Africa

Yellow fever vaccinations are no longer required for travel between Zambia and South Africa, the South African Department of Health has announced today.

The requirement was lifted on Saturday with immediate effect. The decision was made at the World Health Assembly on Friday in Geneva.

The decision by SA’s health department comes after the World Health Organisation confirmed that Zambia had low yellow fever potential exposure status, which means travellers should not be required to carry a yellow fever vaccination certificate.


The world-famous Blue Train is set to stretch its rails to include scheduled trips to Durban from Pretoria and vice versa later this year.

According to The Blue Train‘s executive manager, Hanlie Kotze, the Durban route was due to clients’ requests and will allow guests to enjoy a ride through some of the region’s most picturesque landscapes while enjoying the legend that is The Blue Train..

The inaugural trip from Pretoria to Durban is scheduled to take place on 20 September 2013, with the return trip departing from Durban on 22 September 2013. This is a one night trip on the train combined with a 2 night extension at Zimbali Lodge.

Day One:

13h00:                    Register and check-in at the Pretoria Station Lounge

Boarding starts and butlers usher guests to their suites. Guests enjoy pre-departure snacks and drinks on The Blue Train in the Non-smoking Lounge Car.

15h00:                    The Blue Train departs Pretoria Station for Durban

Dinner on board over two sittings – Remember, dinner is an elegant affair and men are requested to wear a jacket and tie and ladies elegant evening wear.

Day Two:

06h30 – 09h30         Breakfast served (first-come-first-served basis).

10h00                     The Blue Train arrives at Durban Station

There is an additional trip planned for November 2013 and then approximately 4 departures in 2014. Alternatively, for groups, the Blue Train is available for charter purposes. The train can sleep a maximum of 82 passengers.

Our operations team paid a recent visit to Madikwe Private Game Reserve to get a good understanding of the area.  Madikwe is situated in the North Western Province, along the Botswana border. It is 750 km square (75,000 hectare) of reclaimed farmland, established in 1991. It is the country’s 5th largest game reserve and specialises in wild dog, but has all the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo). Madikwe encroaches on the Kalahari Desert, and is very dry. Access is by road; it is a four hour drive from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Sun City, or air, with Federal Air offering scheduled charters. Our team flew up with Federal Air departing from Johannesburg at 12h00 to Madikwe, with the return flight being at 13h30 every day. It is a mere one hour flight from Johannesburg. There are two airstrips. The Western Airstrip is basic and can accommodate maximum a 12-seater Caravan, the other being the Eastern Airstrip, which is tarred and has a building for arrivals, with toilet facilities. It can also take a maximum 12-seater Caravan.  There are over 20 lodges in the area, some are privately owned by corporates or for personal use only.

Madikwe map

Most of the group-friendly lodges are located in the East, with the furthest lodge being 35 minutes transfer from the airstrip. In fact combining Madikwe Safari Lodge (20 suites), Makanyane Safari Lodge (8 suites), Madikwe Hills Safari Lodge (10 suites), Mateya Safari Lodge (5 suites), Jamala Royal Safari Lodge (8 bedrooms), and Molori Safari Lodge (5 suites) one could get a total of 56 rooms in close proximity to each other.  Etali Game Lodge (8 rooms) and Jaci’s Camp (16 rooms) could be used for overflow.

This is a non-malaria area, a definite plus! The team were very impressed with the quality of the lodges, most of which are luxury 5* properties. More importantly the quality of the game viewing has improved considerably. Madikwe Game Reserve is without doubt establishing itself as a renowned safari region, to rival the Sabi Sands and other Kruger National Park lodges.

It is possible to do joint dinners if the group is spread over more than one lodge, but this is dependent on final numbers, lodges chosen and weather conditions

Powered by AD-ONE Digital.