Travel News for Africa
- Ecology Activists Oppose plan to build Railway through Serengeti National Park
- Finnair Resumes Direct Flights to Mombasa
- Tanzania Tour Operators urge Govt to Form Tourist Police Unit
- Poachers kill 23 Rhinos in Zimbabwe
- Rwanda Launches new Tourism Trail
- Turkish Television Travel Show Crew visit Uganda
- African Tourists to Rwanda Increase
- 200 people to climb Kilimanjaro to mark Tanzania Independence
- Air France to Fly Direct to Cape Town South Africa
- Zambia Tourism Board Targets One Million Tourists
Qatar Airways is set to help African Tourism through additional flights which will make Africa more accessible to international tourism. Qatar Airways has extended its East African network with 12 additional flights across two African capital cities of Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
The daily Doha – Nairobi flights have increased to 12 flights-a-week. From January 3, an additional two flights will take capacity up to double daily. The expansion comes after five successful years of operations to Kenya’s capital city.
The Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, currently served daily, will receive an additional four flights a week from January 2. An additional flight from February 14 will take frequency up to 12 weekly services.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to introduce additional capacity to Africa and offer the travelling public greater options for air travel to and from the region.
“As part of our growth strategy, we continue to step up frequency on existing routes, which is a strong lever to facilitate growth in the business and tourism sectors.
“We have been serving Nairobi since November 2005 and this has proved one of our biggest success stories in Africa, so we are extremely pleased to be offering our passengers even more choice with additional frequency going up to double daily,” he added.
“Similarly, the Dar es Salaam route has performed exceptionally well, almost four years old, having launched in January 2007.”
Zimbabweans based outside the country have descended on Victoria Falls for the festive season making hotels and lodges fully booked.
The Diasporans are taking over from traditional tourists from Europe, the Americas and the Far East who at this time of the year tend to take a break to relax with their families during the festive season.
The Diasporans are enjoying life in the resort town with South Africans and other tourists from the region. The resort town is a hive of tourist activities with tourists enjoying their visit.
Traffic on the roads in town has also increased and parking space is now a problem since a majority of the domestic tourists bring in their own vehicles.
Adventures like sunset cruises and game drives are the main activities the tourists are venturing in resulting in to guides also enjoying brisk business. Tour operators say it is the norm that their business peaks at this time of the year.
Domestic tourism is in a way on the increase, thanks mostly to the people in the diaspora. When they come for the Christmas holidays, they bring in their families and that is good for the sector.
Packages to attract more domestic tourists to the resort town are being put in place. However, tour operators should put in more affordable products to encourage domestic tourism because it keeps the industry afloat when there is a decrease in arrivals from the usual tourists who normally take a break this time of the year.
The Mt Meru Hotel reopens tomorrow after nearly five years of closure. This is a positive development that adds to the chain of tourist accommodation in Arusha.
The national parks and game reserves that make up Tanzania’s northern circuit are the most popular and accessible attractions in the country. All the big names of mainstream Tanzanian safaris are located in the north, from the plains of the Serengeti to the lofty peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Most safaris to the northern circuit begin in Arusha.
Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park are little more than three hours away. The most visited part of the northern circuit is the Ngorongoro Crater, where wildlife graze and hunt in one of the largest volcanic craters in the world.
Since 2006 big hotels as Kibo Palace, The East African, Naura Springs, Silver Palm, Corridor Springs, African Tulip and Snow Crest have been opened.
The opening of Mt Meru hotel will also increase employment in Arusha. Hotel officials say more than 270 people are set to be employed in various departments of the hotel.
With a glossy new look and added facilities, the refurbished Mt Meru hotel which has been taken over by a South African-registered enterprise is expected to reclaim its past glory of hosting major events in the region.
President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to grace its reopening that will be followed by a bash party.
Mt Meru Hotel was first opened in 1977 at the climax of 10 years of Arusha Declaration. In its heyday, it frequently played host to the EA region’s elite including heads of states who held their meetings there.
The hotel has several conference halls and meeting rooms that can hold between 200 to 500 people depending on the nature of the function. A golf course on the southern terraces lies within 15 acres of the hotel land.
A census that was conducted in the Virunga Massif between March and April, this year has shown a 26.3 percent increase of the mountain gorillas over the last seven years, with a 3.7 percent annual growth rate.
The census indicates a total of 480 mountain gorillas in 36 groups along with 14 solitary silverback males in the virunga massif. Of the 480 gorillas, 352, representing 73 percent, are habituated. The last census conducted in the massif was in 2003, when the population was estimated at 380 gorillas.
The Virunga Massif covers the three neighbouring national parks spanning the Virunga volcanoes that cut across three countries. The parks are Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Parc National des Virunga in DR Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Uganda. Mountain gorillas also exist in the Bwindi impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in the Virunga Massif and Bwindi forest attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world annually. Eight gorilla permits are available per group everyday.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, the head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board, Rica Rwigamba, said that the increase in the mountain gorilla numbers was a sign that the region is now reaping from the conservation efforts sowed on a daily basis.
Rwigamba acknowledged the selfless efforts by the rangers to ensure the safety of the wild life and their habitat.
She also affirmed the renewed commitment by all the stakeholders to ensure the dream of scrapping the mountain gorillas off the world endangered species list.
Authorities say that the census was conducted to provide a benchmark from which to asses the status of the population as a whole, as well as their health levels.
The synthesis of the findings is expected to produce one of the most comprehensive health screenings of any wild ape and will be useful in making comparisons between populations and groups.
The complete results are expected between April and May 2011. During the census, six teams comprised of 72 people from the three countries systematically walked over 1, 000 kilometers throughout the entire range and meticulously documented fresh signs of mountain gorilla groups.
Currently, along with the 302 mountain gorillas counted in 2006 in Bwindi Park and four orphaned gorillas in a sanctuary in DRC, the total known world mountain gorillas’ population is 786.
Mountain gorillas, which have fallen prey to conflict and poaching over the years, were famously brought to the world’s attention by the late Dian Fossey and are one the region’s main tourist attractions.
Africa Safari News.
Pierre du Preez told the press that the ministry has put in place many security measures to protect rhinos. “More developments will be put in place, probably before Christmas,” said Du Preez.
In August this year, the South African Wildlife Service said poaching of rhino in that country was escalating at an unprecedented rate and more than 150 rhinos had been poached in South Africa, many of them in private game reserves.
Worldwide poaching of rhinoceros for their horns is at a 15-year high and all five rhino species in Africa and Asia have been severely affected.
Elephant poaching in Africa is also on the rise.
Although the Namibian rhino and elephant populations have not yet been exposed to this new wave of poaching, Government is actively bolstering its security and deepening its intelligence network.