Changes in Travel to and from South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs is introducing a number of changes that will make it easier for people to travel to and from South Africa.

Presenting the Home Affairs budget vote on Wednesday (10 July), deputy minister Njabulo Bheka Nzuza said that the changes would also include improvements to the department’s security systems.

Chief among these is an upgrade to the Advanced Passenger Processing System.

This system allows us to see and target undesirable visitors before they even board a flight from their destination and us capacity to stop undesirable visitors for purposes of national security, Nzuza said.

“We are now going further by establishing the National Targeting Centre that will do risk assessments on visitors after they have boarded flights as a secondary control system.

“This is critical to ensure that undesirable and risky visitors are kept at bay, to create a secure environment for the country.”


E-gates

Nzuza said that in addition to profiling trusted travellers, the National Targeting Centre will also tie into the new e-gates system.

“These (trusted) travellers will be registered in our e-gates systems which will open for them automatically as they present themselves at our airports of entry,” he said.

He added that the new e-gates are  ‘world-class systems’ that are linked with international policing and security.

“We are moving forward with our e-gates system in partnership with ACSA. This system will work by registering individuals as trusted travelers. Thus South Africans who are bona fide citizens who are not flagged on the stop risk engines will now be part of our trusted travellers which will drastically ease traffic for citizens giving us more capacity to speedily handle visitors.”

“As a result of this technology, our airports will now rank higher within the international community making it a desirable destination for doing business,” he said.


New e-visas

Nzuza also announced that the country’s new eVisa system will launch in November 2019.

This ‘virtual visa’ system will allow tourists and visitors to apply for their South Arican visas online. These applications will then be sent to a central adjudication for approval whilst the visitors sit in the comfort of their own home, he said..

Nzuza added that this system will combat visa fraud and  will open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of our visa systems.

Ahead of this, seven new countries have been added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa, said Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

These countries include:

  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Cuba
  • Ghana
  • Sao Tome and Principe

“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation,” he said.

“Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.”

Read more here…

Air Seychelles flights: Johannesburg – Seychelles – Mauritius

Air Seychelles now flies daily from Johannesburg to the Seychelles. The flying time is 4 hours 55 mins and the aircraft is an Airbus A320 with business class and economy class.

Air Mauritius will also start flying twice a week between Mauritius and the Seychelles from 2 July with Airbus A319 aircraft. There is a business and economy class.

Air Seychelles flies between Mauritius to Seychelles 5 days a week with Airbus A320 with business and economy class. The flying time is 2 hours 40mins.

To find out more about a Seychelles Holiday, click here…

The Top 10 Things to do on Holiday in Mauritius with Kids

It is easy to run out of adjectives when trying to describe the natural beauty of the small tropical Indian Ocean island paradise of Mauritius. Being of a volcanic origin, Mauritius is founded upon volcanoes which are either extinct or dormant for many years. They have given birth to magnificent craters, rugged canyons, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, valleys and caves where the geological wealth is still protected. With these unspoiled geological features, families are pampered by an enormous list of exciting, fun and family-friendly activities.

1. A semi-submarine tour

If you and your children are excited to explore the world under the surface of the ocean, then we recommend you to go on a submarine tour. This vessel features a glass-bottomed surface, which resembles a surfaced submarine. Passengers descend to seats below the waterline, where big glass windows on its bottom and sides enable an extraordinary underwater view, arousing the illusion of sailing in a submarine. This is a great way for kids to discover the beautiful aquatic underwater life of Mauritius without getting wet. Kids get to explore the rich coral reefs and spot moraines, crabs, stingrays, clownfish, parrotfish, lionfish, seasponges and dolphins. Under parental supervision, some of the local boat operators will even allow young kids to don life jackets and have a go at snorkeling amongst the fish.

2. Take a family sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise

Spinner and bottle nose dolphins swim in packs around the island, and early morning and sunset is the best time to spot them playing. Set sail on a sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise and admire the stunning coastline of Mauritius from a boat as you take in the beauty across the ocean. Enjoy a swim followed by a glass of bubbly while the kids count the dolphins

3. Soak up the sun, crystal white sand and clear blue waters

From Flic-en-Flac in the west to Bellemare’s sugar-white coves to Morne Brabant’s surfing legends in the South, there isn’t a single stretch of coast on Mauritius without a beach to brag about. While most of the hotels offer a host of water sports that are included in their Mauritius holiday packages, such as waterskiing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, catamaran sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and snorkeling, scuba diving is also available, but at an extra cost.

4. Swim with the dolphin’s tour

An once-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming with dolphins offers a rewarding, educational, therapeutic and amazing experience for everyone, including young kids. The dolphin tour includes a tasty continental breakfast and 2.5 hours at sea swimming with dolphins in their natural surroundings. Please note that young children up to four years of age are free.

5. Experience the magical Tamarind Waterfalls

Tamarind Waterfalls is one of the best things to see in Mauritius. The waterfalls comprise of a series of seven cascades of waterfalls and natural crystal clear pools that are famous for a variety of activities, such as hiking, canyoneering, cliff jumping, bird-watching and swimming.

6. The La Vanille Crocodile Park

Living up to its name, La Vanille Crocodile Park is home to some of the most misunderstood creatures around in the world. While crocodiles, giant tortoises and butterflies are the showstoppers of this park, it is also home to a huge jungle adventure playground for kids that will keep them entertained for hours while you enjoy a spot of lunch and shopping.

7. Casela Nature Park Segway Tour

The Mauritians certainly know how to get a child’s draw to drop, and the Casela Nature Park Segway tour does not disappoint. The 4500-hectare reserve is a guaranteed fun-packed opportunity for children of five and above. The Kids Animal Adventure Package at Casela includes activities such as interacting with lions, lorikeet feeding, pony rides, giraffe feeding, camel rides, tortoise feeding, and tilapia fishing. Teens will relish at exploring the longest zip-line (400m) in the Indian Ocean, which is also explored by Segway and quad bikes. There is also a 4D cinema for young kids that explain the history and natural science of the island with gigantic 3D maps.

8. Visit the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island

A must for parents of young children, the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island is counted amongst one of the most popular places to visit in Mauritius for young kids. Offering a unique animal experience, hundreds of turtles of varying ages and different species roam about the park.

9. The Polaris Fun Drive Adventure

No matter how gorgeous the white sand beaches in Mauritius are, after a day or two, you’re going to want to take a break and go on an exciting adventure with your children. The Polaris Fun Drive is a safe experience recommended for kids of seven years and over. Taking place under the strictest supervision on the exclusive circuits for kids, this activity is safe and exciting.

10. Curious Corner of Chamarel

The Curious Corner of Chamarel is a house of illusion and mystery sure to awaken anyone’s curiosity. Visit the interactive Exhibit Centre, get lost in a maze and experience a world of mind-bending fun, browse the many interesting goodies in the Puzzles & Things Shop, and enjoy the many unique gourmet delights (pyramid pizzas, donut burgers to name a couple) at the C3 Café & Bar, set in a beautiful tropical garden opposite the iconic Seven Coloured Earths.

11. Get in a car and explore the island with the kids

Only 45km in width and 65km in length, the island is renowned for its hospitality, clear seas, water sports and seafood. And while nobody will begrudge you laying on a pool-recliner on the beach with a tall coconut rum all day, there’s so much more to see. An exciting fun thing to do as a family in Mauritius is to rent a car and explore the island together. Some of the must-visit tourist places of the city are Citadel Fort (Fort Adelaide), La Place D’Armes, Port Louis Theatre, Catholic Church (Marie Reine de la Paix), Jummah Mosque, Apravasi Ghat (World Heritage Site), Le Pouce Mountain, Natural History Museum, Blue Penny Museum, Photography Museum, Le Caudan Waterfront, Central Market and the Baie Du Tombeau Beach.

When to Visit Mauritius with Kids

Mauritius is one of the most kid-friendly travel destinations on the planet – the gorgeous weather means many outdoor activities and adventures await families. Fortunately, Mauritius is a year-round holiday hot spot, which means the June school holidays is going to be perfect. For the best all-inclusive June school holiday specials, book with Mauritius.co.za.

Getting Married in Mauritius

Getting Married in Mauritius – Things to know

Weddings & Honeymoons

Mauritius consistently ranks as one of the world’s top wedding and honeymoon destinations, thanks to its picture-perfect venues and superb luxury. Couples can marry anywhere in Mauritius – be it aboard a catamaran, on a submarine underwater or even saying ‘I do’ on a zipline over the forest.

Most hotels offer extensive wedding and honeymoon packages and have their own experienced wedding coordinator, who will organise every last detail of the wedding of your dreams. Villas are also increasingly popular with multi-generational wedding parties and honeymooners. Mauritius is home to some of the best wedding photographers, who will be with you from the initial consultation until the moment you leave for your honeymoon.

Honeymoon in Mauritius

A Mauritian honeymoon marks a unique beginning to wedded life. We want to make your honeymoon truly unforgettable. Think romantic walks on the beach, private dinners with blissful views over the ocean, adventurous climbs across rugged mountains – paradise.

Our hotels and resorts specialise in honeymoons and offer up to 25% discounts on their rooms and suites for honeymooning couples. Other added extras include free spa or beauty treatments, fruit baskets, excursions champagne, or private candle-lit dinners for two on the beach.

What’s required?

Civil Weddings:

Copies of the following documents are required:

The first six pages of both passports.
Birth certificates.
Decree Absolute if either party is divorced.
Proof of change of name, if applicable.
Death certificate in case of widow/ widower.
Letter of parental consent in the form of an affidavit, if either the bride or groom is under the age of 18.
Mauritian doctor certificate of non-pregnancy if the bride-to-be has been divorced in the last ten months.
Registration from the registrar of births, deaths and marriages (see below).

These materials must be sent four weeks prior to the wedding to:

Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
6th floor, Emmanuel Anquetil Building
Port Louis
Tel: +230 201 1727
Fax: +230 211 2420

Religious Weddings

Original documentation must be produced on the wedding day.

Documents not in English must be translated into English and duly stamped.

Religious wedding ceremonies can only take place between Monday and Friday, and subject to the availability of the registrar. Ceremonies of this kind cannot take place on public holidays.

Couples need to be on the island for three working days prior to the ceremony. Note that most hotels require a minimum stay of seven nights.

Before the big day, a visit to Port Louis will be arranged to sign affidavits.

Documents required:

Birth certificates.
Passports.
Christening certificates (for Christians).
Morality certificates from each respective Parish priest, specifying that both parties are free to marry.
Specification of religion. If parties are of different religions, the case must go to the Bishop.

Catholics wishing to get married in Mauritius should contact the:

Port Louis Dioceses
Tel: +230 208 3068
Fax: +230 208 6607