Africa Safari Blog

Travel News for Africa

  • three men suspected of killing five elephants were shot dead  by Kenyan game rangers recently. four firearms recovered and five elephants killed in two separate incidents in Isiolo and Tsavo in the last one week,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement. four firearms recovered and five elephants killed in two separate incidents in Isiolo and Tsavo in the last one week,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a two separate incidents over the past week, four firearms were recovered and five elephants were killed in two separate incidents in Isiolo and Tsavo in the last one week,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement.wildlife authorities said.

    “Three suspected poachers have been killed, four firearms recovered and five elephants killed in two separate incidents in Isiolo and Tsavo in the last one week,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement.

    One poacher was killed overnight in what KWS described as a “fierce exchange of fire” on the edge of Meru National Park in central Kenya.

    The statement said a vast operation was under way to track down other suspects who may have been injured in the shoot-out.

    “The suspects had shot dead an elephant […] and were in the process of hacking off the tusks using axes when the KWS rangers ambushed them,” the statement said.

    Two other poachers among a group responsible for the deaths of four other elephants in the Tsavo region were killed during a shoot-out last Tuesday.

    One suspect was arrested and three others escaped.

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  • The search for Miss Tourism Zimbabwe beauty queen has begun with regional finals being held in different provinces across the country.

    This comes in the wake of an attack by the Model Industry Association of Zimbabwe (Miaz) that the tourism body has been “disregarding some of the most fundamental aspects of modeling” in holding the beauty pageant.

    A spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said regional searches for the beauties were currently underway, in a process that is expected to end in December.

    Acting public relations manager Nelly Nhauriranwa said regional searches began last week, adding that the process has been running quite smoothly. “The response has been quite overwhelming and everything is going according to plan.

    “People who have ZTA licences to conduct provincial preliminaries have really shown that they are prepared to make a difference in the beauty pageant and we are happy with that,” she said.

    She added that the crop of beauties they had been getting were of high standard, adding that most of them had even won regional accolades in similar competitions.

    “With the year almost coming to an end, preparations are now on course for the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2011.

    “We are leaving nothing to chance. We want it to be the best pageant ever,” she said.

    A new beauty queen will take over from reigning Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma who has already set her sights elsewhere.


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  • Rwanda is planning to build a new airport expected to be complete by 2015, Vincent Karega, Rwanda’s Infrastructure Minister told the press last week. The New Bugesera International Airport to be located south of Kigali City, in the sparsely populated Nyamata district, in Eastern Rwanda, may cost US$700 million, according to the minister.

    The multi million dollar project will be developed in phases. The first phase will cost about $450m and the second phase $250m. Phase one will start with a terminal and a bigger runway, and facilities for fueling and security among many basic requirements of a world class airport. Phase two will be building the second runway.

    The funding of the project will be through a Public-Private Partnerships (PPP’s) model. The government has already recruited PricewaterhouseCoopers as transaction advisor to mobilize the private capital to invest in the project. PricewaterhouseCoopers are still working out on the material and content. They will soon organize a roundtable on the Bugesera Airport. They are quite optimistic about attracting many investors and good contractors.

    With the technical and feasibility studies already completed, architectural design done, the minister is optimistic the airport should be ready by 2015. A British engineering company, TPS Consult, is working on a detailed design.

    “Construction only takes two years and the site is not a densely inhabited area so there will not be much time spent on compensating and relocating people. As soon as money is available work will start immediately,” the minister assured. He said $8.5m has already been spent on the feasibility studies, architectural designs and review by International Civil Aviation Organization.

    “As always, Government has taken the initiative to foot this bill in its totality so as to kick start the project,” Karega said. The construction comes at a time operators at Kigali International Airport are complaining about facilities that cannot handle the growing number of passengers and operators.

    In 2004, the airport served 135,189 passengers. In 2008, the airport served about 300 000 passengers but the number of passengers is projected to rise. Signs are already showing that during peak days the airport is overwhelmed both by the traffic and planes that land and take off.

    “During peak days, when there is in-coming traffic from SN Bruselles, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines at once and it becomes almost impossible to handle the traffic, to find parking of the aircrafts and refueling of airplanes,” Karega says.


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  • International cross-border mobile money transfer services have been introduced in a deal agreed between MTN, a multinational telecommunications company, and Western Union, a global money transfer service provider.

    The service will be first introduced in Uganda where MTN’s Mobile Money service boasts of over one million users, a statement from MTN headquarters in South Africa said.

    The two companies announced on Wednesday a commercial agreement to introduce international mobile money remittance services in countries, where MTN Group operates.

    They said in a statement, Uganda is one of the countries with the most successful mobile money transfer service in the world.

    The statement said when the new international remittance service is activated; MTN subscribers registered for MobileMoney will be able to receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions on their mobile accounts. In addition, MobileMoney users in certain countries will be able to send money directly from their mobile phones for payout at one of Western Union’s 386,000 agents in 200 countries.

    An MTN subscriber, who receives a Western Union Money Transfer transaction in his MobileMoney account, will be able to use the funds to pay bills, top-up airtime, send money domestically and internationally, or withdraw cash at MobileMoney Agents or any participating ATM.


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  • The CRDB Bank, Tanzania, recently extended its debit card services to Mikumi, Udzungwa and Ruaha national parks to enable their Visa Card holders to pay for services at the above parks.

    Similar services are provided by CRDB Bank in northern Tanzania covering the Serengeti, Ngorogoro crator, Tarangire, Manyara, and Kilimanjaro Mountain.

    The Bank is one of the 30-plus commercial banks that are struggling to reach a wide range of customers therefore the ease in transaction for them.

    The CRDB Business Card manager, Ms Jessica Nyachiro, said the bank had issued some 4,814 business debit cards to be used under the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) payment system.

    She said next year the bank will endeavour to include other national parks in south western and western Tanzania such as Rubondo, Mahale and Gombe national parks.

    This system is set to help  tour operators by reducing time spent at the park gates and also it reduces risks of carrying large sums of money during ground transfers of tourists to the national parks.

    Tanzania receives an average of 700,000 tourists every year with over 80 percent of them preferring their adventure safaris in the country’s Northern Zone attractions of Mt Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Manyara, Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater.


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  • British Airways recently introduced five flights daily between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam. The flights will be operated by Comair, and are set to start from November 2.

    “We look forward to include Dar es Salaam in our growing regional network,” said Stuart Cochrane, the Executive Manager for Network Development at Comair in Dar es Salaam.

    He said that Comair which operates local British Airways’ local flights in South Africa has big plans for Africa in the aviation industry.

    “The growth of the network is part of the ongoing commitment to the South African government’s airlift strategy aiming to improve access to and from South Africa for both business and tourism”, he said.

    However, Cochrane said Comair’s intention would be to grow this route to daily service as soon as possible.

    “The introduction of additional flights to Dar es Salaam will bring a much needed alternative service and competitive pricing to a market that is currently only serviced by one airline operator,” he said.

    He said that Tanzania is rapidly becoming a desirable business and tourism destination. “We are looking forward to developing this route as a successful addition to our network,” added Mr. Cochrane.


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