Weekend Wrap: US Travel alert for SA, Lewis Pugh's #ArcticDecade, The Forgotten Route explored

2017-07-30 19:37 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - It's been a weekend of alerts around safety, security and climate change. Here are the weekend's travel stories you might have missed but need to know about. 

US issues safety alert for SA due to OR Tambo crime wave

The release of 2016 stats show a positive increase in international tourists to South Africa, however crime in and around OR Tambo could jeopardise future growth. 

SA's department of safety and security has over the last few weeks attempted to address the crime wave, which includes follow home crimes taking place at OR Tambo International Airport. However, as a result the US is advising its citizens to be cautious about travel to South Africa. 

WATCH: Road access to OR Tambo to be limited in new safety plan

The US state department issued the advisory on Wednesday, 26 July saying, "The US Mission to South Africa advises US citizens to exercise caution when arranging ground transportation from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to hotels, guest houses, and residences." See the full story here

ALSO SEE: Weather Update: Coastal rain for parts of SA, fire dangers persist

Passengers travelling from and around Australia are being warned about lengthy security delays, after police disrupted the first alleged plot in Australia to bring down an airplane. They arrested four men in raids on Sydney homes, officials said Sunday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that security has been increased at Sydney Airport since Thursday because of the plot. The increased security measures also were extended to all major international and domestic terminals around Australia overnight.

'Major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot'

"I can report last night that there has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane," Turnbull told reporters. "The operation is continuing." See the full story here

PICS: Lewis Pugh’s #ArcticDecade campaign shows ‘runaway climate change'

Cape Town - If there is one thing endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh knows well, it’s ice - since he has been swimming in it for more than 15 years.

But what he is witnessing on his latest extreme campaign to draw attention to the effects of global warming on our oceans is more than alarming - Huge jumps in water temperature, fading and altogether-gone glaciers as well as destructive effects of pollution on the wildlife of the North Pole.

“I am deeply shocked by what I am witnessing. I’ve been swimming amongst ice for 15 years. It’s a substance I know well. I am not a climate scientist, but what I am seeing looks like runaway climate change in the Arctic.”

The #ArcticDecade campaign has launched with a voyage between three of the Arctic nations – Norway, Canada and Russia. Read the full story here.

(Photo: Kelvin Trautman)

(Photo: Kelvin Trautman)

South Africans love camping and we know this sort of camping gear would more than rock locally.

Campers and outdoor enthusiasts have embraced a fun, unique way to sleep under the stars on hybrid hammock-tents that are strung up between trees. Some of the portable treehouses were on display this week in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer show.

Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst with the market research firm NPD Group, says retailers report the so-called tree tents are generating growing demand from customers.

Powell says millennial campers are drawn to a type of tent that keeps them dry and off the ground and that can be used in many settings.

Most of them can be broken down and stored in bags like normal tents. They are designed to be used anywhere a person can find trees, boulders or rock crevices sturdy enough to anchor them. Also see: Camping made easy: 9 Popular SA camping spots to check out

This weekend we're featuring a number of icon rail trips to take in our newsletter - sign up here top travel tips and trends for South Africans sent directly to your inbox. 


The Forgotten Route allows you to following in the footsteps of the most intrepid colonial explorers, with a train ride into the wild west hinterland of the Western Cape. 

Mail Rail: Riding on London's underground postal trains

Few of the millions of people whose letters and packages were shuttled on a tiny train line deep under London ever suspected it existed. But now the public will get a chance to hop aboard the so-called Mail Rail that not even the brutal Nazi bombing of the Blitz could stop.

Moving at just 6.4 km per hour - the two-foot-wide train takes visitors along Mail Rail's tunnels, passing a "train graveyard" and two ghostly abandoned platforms along the way.

"It was only ever meant to be a railway for post," Adrian Steel, the Postal Museum's director, told Associated Free Press.

"This is the first time that people will be able to ride some of the tunnels, see some of the engineering and discover the story of the postal railway".

What to read next on Traveller24:

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