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
The Airport manager Yatich Kangugo said 29 chartered aircraft plied the route last year when the airport handled 1.4 million passengers.
The latest addition is Yes Airways of Poland, which made a maiden flight from Warsaw to Mombasa with more than 200 passengers.
Finair from Finland and Novair from Sweden are expected to make inaugural flights to Mombasa between next month and December.
Alitalia from Italy is also expected to make a comeback by year end, followed early next year by Transavia from Russia and 1time airline from South Africa.
“The entry of new airlines from South Africa, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Russia indicates that the number of passenger traffic is on a high,” said Kangugo.
He said the flights could increase the arrivals by 100,000. The airport has a capacity of 2.5 million passenger traffic per year.
Uganda’s skies have continued to attract attention of international airlines as they seek to tap into the country’s growing passenger traffic.
Mr. Karim Makhlouf, the Gulf Air chief commercial officer, said during a news conference in Kampala that the re-launch is part of the airline’s strategy to expand to diverse and niche locations beyond Middle East and Bahrain in a bid to spur investment, trade and leisure travel between the two countries.
The re-launch of the airline’s flights to Entebbe, will give Ugandan travelers another alternative airline to the Middle East, Europe and Asian destinations with Ugandans currently using Emirates, Kenya Airways, British Airways and KLM to fly to these destinations.
Gulf Air suspended services to Entebbe eight years ago, saying it was undergoing restructuring to enhance the efficiency and attractiveness of its operations but has now come back after realising that Uganda is a growing market with a lot of potential.
Qatar Airways, a Doha-based airline is expected to commence daily flights between Doha and Entebbe in November.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar, Qatar Airways, is set to begin daily flights to Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport from November 2.
Entebbe will be the airline’s 16th route within Africa, joining its ever-growing global network spanning over 100 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to be reinforcing our presence in Africa with the latest addition of scheduled flights to Uganda, allowing us to further serve the African public.
The launch of Qatar Airways in Uganda will give business people and tourists direct flights to Doha and beyond.
With this exposure, Uganda will be able to attract more tourists for Uganda safaris offering activities like white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking at the source of River Nile, wildlife safaris in the national parks, gorilla tracking, chimp safaris, mountain climbing safaris and so much more.
The Fair is currently rated the continent’s second largest tourism showcase, after the Indaba held in Durban, South Africa.
Previous editions were a resounding success with the world converging in Zimbabwe in the form of high- calibre international buyers as well as exhibitors, hence achieving its main purpose of providing a platform, “Where the world meets Africa“.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr. Karikoga Kaseke said he was confident that this edition would surpass the previous ones in terms of both the business generated and attendance.
“This year’s edition has registered over 650 exhibitors and over 200 trade buyers and media. It is my sincere hope that the local industry will take the opportunity and afford our visitors an opportunity to sample the Zimbabwean hospitality,” he said.
According to Mr. Kaseke, the success of this year’s fair has been made possible by the support from the Government of Zimbabwe, local media, the local tourism players, with special mention going to the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
Tourist arrivals into Zimbabwe are expected to hit the 2.5 million mark this year due to increased confidence with arrivals peaking to the 1996 levels last year. According to Tourism and Hospitality Industry secretary Dr Silvester Maunganidze, Zimbabwe received over 2.3 million visitors, equalling the 1996 figures.
The arrivals would increase this year as more countries lifted travel warnings to Zimbabwe. We expect an increase in tourist arrivals because of the various strategies that we have undertaken as a ministry to tell the true Zimbabwean story and also portraying Zimbabwe as a must-go tourist destination,” Dr Maunganidze said.
He said the Buy Zimbabwe campaign and the stable environment had played a huge part in rebuilding tourists’ confidence in Zimbabwe. Dr Maunganidze said Zimbabwe was now the second biggest tourist destination in the region after South Africa.
“We are now second only to South Africa in tourist arrivals and we believe the sector will continue to grow and contribute to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery,” he said.
Tourist arrivals slumped to record lows due to bad publicity on Zimbabwe by the Western media after Government’s successful land reform programme. However, the arrivals have picked up since the formation of the inclusive Government in 2009.
At the weekend, the two neighbouring countries’ tour operators and tourists came together to commemorate the 106th anniversary in an event that was marked with fanfare.
To celebrate the historic structure that has been used to catapult economic development between the two countries and the south and north of the SADC region, the Victoria Falls Bridge Company (VFBC) invited tour agents from Livingstone and Victoria Falls and members of the public.
At the same time, the celebration came at a time when the tourism sector is commemorating the tourism month.
The bridge crosses the Zambezi River just behind the Victoria Falls and is built over the Second Gorge of the falls.
Today the Victoria Falls Bridge is the location for the popular adrenalin – 111 metres – bungee jump, bridge swing and slide.
The Association of British Tour Operators (ABTA) has moved to assure UK tourists that Kenya is a safe holiday destination in the wake of the attack on two Britons at Kiwayu Safari Village early on Sunday morning.
Amid mounting concern from tour operators that the intense publicity given to the shooting of David Tebbutt, 58, a finance director at the UK publishers Faber & Faber and the seizure of his deaf wife Judith, 56, is beginning to have a negative affect on tourist inquiries, ABTA has released a statement in an attempt to quell fears.
It said: “Kenya is generally a safe and hospitable country which attracts thousands of UK holidaymakers.”
Angie Sloan, the Kenya Tourist Board’s director for the UK and Ireland, said that while it was understandable that holidaymakers are worried following the news, Kiwayu was in a remote location far away from most tourist areas.
More than a million tourists visit Kenya every year, more of them from the UK. More 164,000 Britons visited in 2009 and the numbers have been rising steadily since. Tourism earned Kenya a record Sh74 billion in 2010.
KWS, the custodian of Kenya game parks, has introduced charges that will see the fees increase to $80 (Sh7,520) from a minimum of $60 (Sh5,640) on premium parks with immediate effect.
The Forestry and Wildlife minister Noah Wekesa also reviewed the fees structure by eliminating low and high season fees and introduced a flat rate charge in a bid to boost revenues.
Foreign visitors used to pay $60 (Sh5,640) during the low season at the premium parks (Amboseli and Lake Nakuru) and $75 (Sh7,050) during the peak seasons, which runs from January to March and July to October.
Dr Wekesa said the review is aimed at boosting KWS coffers to allow it meet its conservation obligations, arguing that the efforts are becoming expensive, causing the state-owned firm to run a huge deficit.
The increment will, however, only affect five top KWS parks, out of the 52 it manages and Kenyans will continue paying Sh500 at premium parks and Sh300 in others.
A group of four tourists who climbed the mountain recently reported seeing the dog at Uhuru peak.
The sighting of the dog on top of Africa‘s rooftop has puzzled animal scientists who wonder how the canine could have scaled its way up and had managed to survive.
The snow-capped tip of the mountain is freezing cold with temperatures of between minus 4 and 15 degrees centigrade. Its desert-like stony plains stand between 5,730 and 5,895 metres above sea level.
A vet doctor Wilfred Marealle said it was common for a dog to live in cold weather but it was uncommon for the animal to climb to such heights.
“A dog climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not something common. The dog might be rabid,” said Dr Marealle, cautioning people to stay away from it.
Two men who are suspected of running a baby mountain gorilla trafficking ring have been arrested in Goma, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kivu Nord province, conservation activists said.
The two have been charged with illegal trafficking of an endangered species, according to the Congolese ICCN conservation group.
Authorities believe the criminal outfit captures baby gorillas in the iconic Virunga National Park, which straddles DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and then smuggles the rare mammals into Rwanda to be sold.
“While we are pleased to have brought this group of traffickers to justice, we remain very worried by what appears to be a significant and growing demand for baby mountain gorillas” he added.
A sizable population of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla inhabits the Virunga massif, which includes three adjacent national parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park) and Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park). The other population inhabits Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Mountain gorillas, who 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 of the region’s main tourist attractions.