Ford Ranger bakkie with white frame.

Weekly Travel News Recap, 7 June: Southern African "univisa" set to expand, new BMW 1 Series, and more

Catch up on all the latest travel news with Drive South Africa.

Each week, our team scours the web for the most interesting, trending, and unusual travel news, conservation news, and motoring news stories. Here are this week’s biggest scoops.

Travel News

Colourful cabins in Muizenberg, Cape Town.

  • South Africa named sixth best honeymoon destination in the world once againBig 7 Travel has once again placed South Africa in its Top 10 World’s Best Honeymoon Destinations, citing appealing factors like the number of “adult only” and five-star hotels, the local cost of wine and a three-course meal, the availability of honeymoon packages, and the variety of sightseeing and activities on offer. Koh Chang in Thailand took first place on the list.


  • Concerns raised after Namibia removes 31 countries from visa-exempt listNamibia removed the countries, including Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA, for not offering reciprocal visa exemptions. The SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance has expressed concern, claiming that “a restrictive visa regime can negatively impact the entire tourism value chain”.


  • Southern African countries announce plans to expand “univisa”Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, all part of the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, are exploring the possibility of broadening the use of the univisa. The special common visa is currently used in Zambia and Zimbabwe and enables tourists to take day trips to Botswana through Kazangula. Botswana has pledged to fully adopt the visa.


  • South Africa crowned as the friendliest nation in the worldRelocation expert Remitly has released a study ranking the friendliest nations in the world, naming South Africa as the undisputed winner. The country scored particularly highly in the “agreeableness” metric and the company says locals are warm and welcoming, “making it easy for travellers and visitors alike to feel at ease around them”.


  • Tiffindell, South Africa’s only ski resort, is closed for goodThe resort has posted a message on its website saying that it has been closed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and is now for sale. According to Chris Stevens, the realtor acting on behalf of the resort, the ski season has now also been limited to just three months, making operations virtually impossible to sustain. However, it’s possible that any buyer would re-launch the resort under a new brand.


  • SAA to grow representation in EuropeSouth African Airways has signed an agreement with Discover the World to increase its presence in Europe, aiming to “optimise connectivity” and capitalise on European markets and their “significant contribution to tourism and business travel”.


  • Qantas set to re-establish Johannesburg-Perth route by 2025The Australian airline has signed a new deal with Perth Airport to enhance two terminals used by the carrier. As a result, Qantas will be able to re-introduce its Johannesburg-Perth route, which is currently serviced by South African Airways.

Conservation News

A game drive in Kruger National Park.


  • Short film Beyond the Bite documents shark attack victim’s quest to champion shark conservationReleased by WILDTRUST, the film features Caleb Swanepoel, an actor and para-athlete who lost his leg to a great white shark in 2015. The organisation says it’s “mind-blowing” how Swanepoel wants to “give back to the very species that took something from him” in a quest to change perceptions around the marine predators. The film was released as part of the Sharks Under Attack conservation campaign.


  • UN says financing is integral to South Africa’s mission to expand protected areasThe UN Development Programme says that as the world faces an “escalating crisis of biodiversity loss”, South Africa is struggling to “maintain the current conservation estate”. It’s increasingly encouraging private sector investment through offsetting and says we need an integrated approach to “address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change, and land degradation”.

Motoring News

The new BMW 1 Series in white.


  • New Haval Jolion set to be cheaper than previous modelAccording to reports, the new Jolion SUV range will start at a lower price than the previous model, while more premium models will also cost consumers slightly less than before. Haval will also launch the Jolion Pro, featuring upgrades like bigger wheels, dedicated drive and steering modes, and a panoramic sunroof.


  • Nissan pulls Qashqai SUV from South African marketThe manufacturer has ceased local sales of the SUV after 17 years on the market, citing “a continuous assessment of [its] vehicle line-up”. suggests that because the vehicle is manufactured in the UK, exchange rates have made it an uncompetitive offering in South Africa.


  • BMW unveils fourth-generation 1 SeriesThe German manufacturer has released details of the all-new 1 Series hatchback range, featuring “a dynamic design presence, a completely revised drive portfolio, and extensively improved chassis technology” alongside a fresh design and new engines.


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