Have you heard that African countries are becoming increasingly open to each other? Did you know that Ethiopian Airlines has launched regular domestic flights in Mozambique? And that Protea Hotels by Marriott opened its second hotel in Ghana?
Sit back, grab a cup of tea and read the most exciting African Travel News for this month, from tourism news to visa developments and hotel openings.
Africa opens its borders for Africans
Findings in the third edition of the Africa Visa Openness Index Report 2018, published by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Union Commission (AUC), show that on average African countries are becoming more open to each other.
Benin made the most progress in opening up its borders to African travellers, moving from 27th place in the 2017 edition, to share the top spot with Seychelles, in the 2018 Visa Openness report. Zimbabwe also broke into the top 20 with the introduction of a visa-on-arrival policy for SADC members.
Ghana ranked seventh recording 17 countries no visa, 35 countries visas on arrival and one country visa required. Comoros, Madagascar and Somalia were ranked 14th and jointly issuing 53 countries visas on arrival. Djibouti, also issues visa on arrival to 53 countries.
South Africa occupied the 34th ranking translating into 15 countries no visas and 38 visa required. Ethiopia ranked 50th with two countries enjoying no visas, a country for visa on arrival as well as 50 countries requiring visas.
Johannesburg is still Africa’s most popular city
Johannesburg has once again emerged as the most popular destination city in Africa for the fifth consecutive year, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index.
According to the survey results released on 4 December, Johannesburg attracted 4.05 million international overnight visitors in 2017. Close on its heels, Marrakech in Morocco is the second most popular African destination city, welcoming 3.93 million international overnight visitors last year.
Polokwane came in at third with 1.88 million, beating Cape Town which attracted 1.73 million visitors, and Djerba in Tunisia with 1.65 million rounded out the top five African cities ranked in the Index.
Ethiopian Airlines launches regular domestic flights in Mozambique
Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines has launched regular domestic flights in Mozambique under a strategy to operate in other African markets, the company’s chief executive said on Saturday.
Tewolde Gebremariam said Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines will connect eight domestic destinations in Mozambique: Maputo, Nampula, Tete, Pemba, Beira, Nacala, Quelimane and Chimoio.
“The start of the activity, which is under a partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, will promote air connections in Mozambique, thereby increasing the share of African airlines in the mainland market,” said Gebremariam during the inaugural flight that departed from Nacala to Maputo.
RwandAir to increase capacity between Kigali-Harare and Cape Town
wandAir has announced that between 28 November 2018 and 14 January 2019, it will be introducing the Airbus A330-200 on the Kigali – Cape Town route to support an additional 88 seats per flight. This is in response to the popular demand for the direct service from Kigali via Harare to Cape Town.
Operating every second day of the week, the increase in capacity – which includes the introduction of 20 premium economy seats – takes the total passengers per flight from 151 to 239.
Protea Hotels by Marriott to open its second hotel in Ghana
Protea Hotels by Marriott, part of Marriott International, Inc, announced the signing of Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra, Kotoka Airport, the brand’s second hotel in Ghana and the first Protea Hotel by Marriott in the capital city of Accra.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kokota Airport will be a 17-story, 200-room hotel offering a restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge, small conference and meeting facilities, an aircrew lounge, a gymnasium and a roof-top pool bar and lounge with uninterrupted views of the city. With its strategic location and the range of facilities, it will offer, the hotel will be ideal for business and leisure travellers, as well as airline crew and the local community.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport is expected to open by end of 2019.
Africa’s longest suspension bridge has opened
The longest suspension bridge in Africa was officially opened last month, offering a direct road link between KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique.
The much-anticipated opening follows four years of construction undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The bridge from Maputo to Catembe in southern Mozambique is now officially the longest suspension bridge in Africa, surpassing the record previously held by Matadi Bridge in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Maputo-Catembe Bridge is guaranteed to cut travel time between Maputo in Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from six hours to 90 minutes.