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
Conservationists have opposed a plan by Uganda and Tanzania who have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese construction company to build a railway line passing through the Serengeti National Park to Kampala.
The conservationists say it is against international conservation treaties and it will affect seasonal migration of the wild beasts through the park.
The Serengeti is a continuation of the Greater Mara Ecosystem which is famous for its exceptional population of big cats, game, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest from the Serengeti every year from July to October, famously called the Great Migration.
The proposed railway route will start from Tanga port to Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria from where a new railway ferry route will then connect across the lake to a proposed new lake port in Uganda. The new port would then be connected by a rail link to Kampala and beyond.
Finnair has resumed direct flights from Finland to Mombasa with a stop over in United Arab Emirates.
The resumption of the airline after 11 years of its absence in Kenya is a major boost to the tourism sector. The flights bring tourists from Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.
This has been due to the improvement in Kenya safaris at an average of ten per cent growth from January – October with 31,000 arrivals being recorded.
The flight which is expected to be operating bi – weekly will add to the normal Western European countries tourist bag.
In a brief statement, Managing Director of Kenya Tourists Board [KTB] Murithi Ndegwa said the flight is the second airline after Novair from Norway which touched the coastal city of Mombasa last week.
“Next week we expect another maiden flight of Tui Nordic operating Stockholm/Copenhagen to Mombasa operated on behalf of Thomson Airways,” he said.
Ndegwa said the additional flights bring to a total of three airlines from the region within a span of one month.
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) has called upon the government to establish a special police unit for the tourism sector.
TATO executive secretary Mustapha Akunaay said while speaking after a stakeholders meeting in Arusha, “incidents of tourists being robbed or mugged tarnished the image of the country and can cost the sector dearly in the long run.”
Mr Akunaay said there was need to assure visitors of security. He said the tourist police unit would protect tourists on Tanzania safaris, tour facilities as well as contain crime near the sites popular with the visitors.
“Since the sector is much dependent on the foreign visitors, security of tourists and tourist facilities should be accorded higher priority,” he pointed out.
He also said TATO had hired a consultant to work on how security can be improved in the sector through establishment of a special police unit.
Many countries, including Kenya, have formed tourist police units to contain all types of crimes in their tourism sectors.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said, 23 black and white rhinos had been killed this year in Zimbabwe national parks and conservancies.
However, 37 rhino poachers and illegal dealers in horns were arrested under an operation by the authority to protect the endangered species.
Ms Washaya-Moyo said the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority endeavors to preserve the country’s wildlife heritage and has come up with a number of strategies to ensure protection of flagship species.
“This year, a total of 100 rhinos were immobilised for ear notching and horn implanting to facilitate individual identification and monitoring in the field and dehorned to create disinterest to poachers.” she said.
Rhinos remain a major target for poachers who sell their products in Asia and the Middle East where there is a lucrative market. The rhinos can be spotted during national park tours while on Zimbabwe safaris.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has launched a 227km tourist trail, the Congo Nile trail, a new tourism product that is intended to boost the sector.
The trail bridges the western Rwanda corridor passing through five districts with Rubavu as the starting point all the way to Rusizi. A tourist on foot will take 10 days to complete the trail while one who chooses cycling will make it in 6 days while one driving will cover it in a day.
The hike includes many delights for a tourist, such as coffee and tea routes with twelve coffee washing stations, three tea factories and natural beaches along the shores of L. Kivu.
“Tourism is Rwanda’s number one foreign exchange earner so we must capitalize on this by diversifying and bringing more products on the market for tourists,” said Rica Rwigamba, RDB’s head of tourism and conservation.