I smiled and answered in English: “I apologise sir, but I don’t speak Russian.”
Perplexed, he peered over the top of his thick-rimmed glasses, “You are the Middle East Bureau Chief for Russia Today, are you not?” he asked in English.
“And you don’t speak Russian?” he asked in bewilderment.
I nodded again, thinking it best not to profess to the eight words of Russian I knew quite well, thanks to the various Russian cameramen I’d worked with over the years. Non of these words should be uttered in… Read More
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation officially announced that South Africans who wish to travel to Russia for leisure proposes would no longer be required to apply for a visa from the 1st of April, 2017. This followed discussions between the Department of Home Affairs and Russia that commenced last year.
Prior to this, the process of applying for a visa required that a request for an invitation be sent in Russian, which the traveller would need to present in person at the Russian embassy when applying for one.
The scrapping of the visa requirement has made travel easier… Read More
It’s dusk in Istanbul. Men and women line the bridges and drop fishing lines into the waters of the Golden Horn. Small makeshift cookers serve grilled fish to passers-by and mobile stalls sell deep-fried, sticky-sweet lokma(doughnuts) to those heading home from the mosque.
In the rooftop bar where we’re seated, the north wind is threatening to whip the rows of bottles over the glass wall. From the top floor of the Marmara Pera Hotel in the “new city”, the sun’s sinking beyond the edge of the city, while a dark blue sky grows in the east. Strings of lights,… Read More
On Monday, the Russian Embassy to South Africa advised Russian nationals that while an agreement between South Africa and Russia of visa-free travel of up to 90 days may be on the cards, it’s not yet official and the procedure could take another month.
The signing of a protocol between SA and Russia on the mutual abolition of visas for travellers with regular international passports “through an exchange of notes” was signed on 18 January on the instruction of Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. The procedure is expected to be concluded some time in February 2017.
With the decrease in inbound tourist traffic since 2014 attributed to increasingly restrictive visa regulations, the Department of Home Affairs announced in February 2016 that it would ease some of the requirements. This has been widely welcomed by local stakeholders as a step towards boosting tourism.
In February, Stats SA found that in 2015, international arrivals dropped by 6,8%. Currently, the visa system requires travellers from non-exempt countries to submit their biometric information in person at dedicated centres. Because there are relatively few of these centres, it has become more difficult for some visitors to apply for visas…. Read More
On The Go Toursreveals its 2016’s top-ten iconic travel experiences, so if you’re looking for inspiration for your travels in the new year, look no further!
1. The Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan
Springtime in Japan means the arrival of “sakura” (cherry blossom) the national flower and a symbol of hope and renewal, and April is the month to experience the incredible nature beauty in places like Kyoto.
2. Undiscovered Burma
There are very few “non-touristy” destinations left in the world and the beautiful… Read More