Newsletter from East Africa May 2006

Newsletter from East Africa May 2006




Kenya and Eco-tourism

This year Kenya Wildlife Service has been actively involved in the sensitization of communities coexisting with wildlife to get involved in its management so as to utilize their heritage sustainable. The organization has realized that, without actively participating with the community, it has affected direct benefits from wildlife-based tourism, for eco-tourism to succeed; emphasis has to be on the rights of communities coexisting with wildlife. In Kenya’s Coast Province’s Arabuko-Sokoke Forest save, for example, KWS realized that while it is her duty to preserve the scarce plant species there, the community’s interests in harvesting certain medicinal species had to be recognized. KWS allows limited and controlled harvesting by the community of these scarce plants and trees in situ.

Ntungano-Rukungiri road in Uganda completed

A brand new road connecting the two townships has recently been opened, cutting traveling times from before four hours to less than 45 minutes. The road, branching off from the main Kampala – Kabale highway, also allows easier access to the main gorilla national park of Bwindi and the Southern Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The road is due for further extension to the Congo border at Ishasha and will then form part of the Trans Africa Highways system, connecting the coastal shelter city of Mombasa with the East and Central African hinterland.

The Ark, Kenya

Set in the heart of the Aberdare National Park, this rare game lodge overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick which attracts a large number of wildlife – elephant, rhino, leopard, bushbuck and sometimes an elusive bongo or giant forest hog. Resembling and named after Noah’s Ark, The Ark comprises three decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide superb vantage points for game viewing. A ground level bunker provides excellent photographic opportunities and takes you closer than you would believe possible to the animals. The Ark has 60 ‘cabin-styled’ rooms, comprising 6 single, 37 twin, 10 double and 7 triple-bedded cabins. All rooms have private bathrooms with shower; all are comfortably furnished and enjoy a view of the forest waterhole. The Ark has four game viewing areas from which to observe the ever-present wildlife.

Community Tourism in Uganda

The Uganda Community Tourism Association has now produced a sample home-stay product to assist Ugandans in areas conducive to tourism developments meet the expectations of possible guests. Enquiries for home-stay visits have grown severely over the past 2 years and the introduction of guidelines and standards will assist in a proper product development to the assistance of visitors in addition as the hosts

Uganda tourism figures slump unexpected by 9%

Uganda’s overall tourism arrivals fell by 8.7 percent last year due to a sharp reduction in visitors from Kenya and Tanzania but tourism officials are upbeat the 2006 prospects indicate the country will pull in more visitors. Statistics released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics last month show 467,700 visitors arrived during 2005 compared to 512,378 in 2004. The Uganda gifted by character campaign launched on CNN last year and the high profile visits from actors and travel journalists are expected to bring in more numbers this year.

Mara Siria Luxury Tented Camp

Mara Siria is a specially designed luxury tented bush camp for those travellers who want to experience a true wildlife safari off the beaten track. Mara Siria Camp reverts to the original spirit and to the true meaning of “Safari” by offering individual sets and private air. The camp’s location on top of the Siria Escarpment offers an absolute rare and dramatically view into the plains of the Maasai Mara Triangle and at the Mara River. Eight expansive luxury tents – each with en-suite bathroom and an own private veranda – are generously spread across the Siria Escarpment line to ensure guests an optimum of privacy and recreation.

Railway concessionaire takes over on July 1st

The Rift Valley Railway Consortium, which has taken over the concession to run both Kenya and Uganda Railways, will formally take over management of the two former parastatals on July 01st this year but has already moved manpower into the two corporations to allow for a smooth change. It was also learned that the hypothesizedv extension of the Uganda Railway into South Sudan has made progress and substantive announcements are expected soon in this regard.

Glaciers disappearing in Africa

The glaciers in the African Ruwenzori-enormous at the border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo will have disappeared in the next 20 years. This is according to scientists from Great Britain and Uganda. This method the tropical belt will be free of ice, since it is expected that also Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya we lose all their ice cover. Global warming is responsible for it.

US Navy presence on the Eastern African coast could threaten marine life

Sonar use by the American Navy could have partly caused deaths of hundreds of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Tanzania’s tourist archipelago of Zanzibar in May this year. Scientists are nevertheless contemplating the sudden cause of 400 dolphins on the East African Indian Ocean coast, but some have pointed a finger to the US Navy task-force unit that operates on the Eastern African coastal zone on its counter-terrorism mission.

Marine biologists in Tanzania said the dolphins which are probably not endemic in Zanzibar, could have been pushed to the area from thorough sea waters off the coast due to high frequencies of the US Navy submarines.

The tourist Zanzibar archipelago is famous for dolphins at its Kizimkazi area where thousands of tourists flock to dive and play among schools of dolphins.

Dolphin safaris make a big part of Zanzibar’s tourist activity and had put this East African Indian Ocean archipelago among competitive destination for beach and marine tourism. Over 115,000 tourists go to the archipelago each year with a purpose of visiting its high marine resources and enjoying the warm, soft sand tropical beaches.

Maulidi Celelbrations, Lamu

This years Maulidi Festival to mark the Birth of Prophet Mohammed was well attended and was termed as one of the most well attended and successful of this yearly event on the Island Town of Lamu. Kenya Airways was among the main sponsors of this years Festival with a sponsorship of the cross country and poetry categories. Participants of all ages participated in the celebration. Lamu was established as a Swahili trading outpost and settlement in the 14th Century; it is believed that the Island had been settled as early as the 7th Century. In Lamu the Maulidi Festival takes four days, starting on Tuesday till Friday. People recite one of four Maulids; Sharaful-Anam, Malid ya Dibei (ya Rama), Baranzanji, and Simt-Al Durar (string of pearls).

KTB’s marketing campaign spurs tourism industry in Kenya

The tourism sector expanded last year due to aggressive marketing by the Kenya Tourism Board and improved security at tourism sites. consequently, earnings of the sector rose by 27 per cent to Sh48.9 billion (USD 700 million) in 2005 from the Sh38.5 billion (USD 550 million) in 2004. t of the 1.5 million international arrivals, visitors on holiday increased by 20.1 per cent, while those on business decreased by 16.4 percent in 2005.

According to the Economic Survey 2006 that was released by the Government, the increased arrivals resulted in the number of bed occupancy rising marginally to 10.8 million in 2005 from 10 million the past year.

Europe led in bed occupancy with a total of 2,456,000 bed nights, inner its position as Kenya’s leading tourism source market. The UK, Germany and France are some of the leading countries from where Kenya supplies its tourists.

Hippo Point Private Estate and Wildlife Sanctuary at Lake Naivasha

Tower and Hippo Point House are two exclusive retreats at the heart of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by yellow acacia trees, between Lakes Naivasha and Oloidien and home to hippo, giraffe, antelope, buffalo and 300 bird species. Both retreats are uniquely luxurious. The Tower is a fabulous creation built as a personal folly, it lies on the shores of Lake Naivasha, towering amongst the acacia trees. Dodo’s tower is an icon, a personal tribute to the breathtaking beauty of the Rift Valley lakes. Peaceful, beautiful, luxurious, this is a place to go and to be at one with yourself and with character. Most antiques including the living room’s Gothic Revival table came from the English estate of Mary, Lady Delamere. Hippo Point House, the magnificent 1933 mock Tudor house remains a relic of “happy valley” set in a traditional English garden of scented roses and lush lawns. Refurbished to the highest standards, the house is furnished with beautiful antiques imported from the family’s European ancestral homes.

New Sport in Turtle Bay Beach Resort, Kenya

There is a new product for divers at Turtle Bay. Enriched air nitrox is the latest tool that supports one’s efforts to stay underwater. Especially in the 18 to 30 metre range, enriched air nitrox gives you more of what you got into diving for – time underwater. Enriched air does this by replacing some of the nitrogen in the air with oxygen. This method you absorb less nitrogen during a dive, which gives you longer no decompression limits. As a enriched air diver, you’ll be blowing bubble underwater instead of watching them come up.




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