CONSTANCE LEMURIA / PRASLIN ISLAND BAGS THREE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
In a remarkable show of sustained quality was the Constance Lemuria Resort on Praslin Island / Seychelles, once again voted the Best Indian Ocean Golf Resort for the fourth consecutive year. Not ending there however the Lemuria also won for the second year running the Seychelles Best Spa Resort award, a hotly contested honour this year in view of increased competition and pulling up of socks by other contenders during the past 12 months. The Lemuria then bagged a third award when they captured the Seychelles Leading Resort, leaving others more than slightly disappointed for trailing in their wake. The World Travel Awards are often called the tourism industrys Oscars and the award ceremony this year was held at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, giving Egypts somewhat ailing tourism industry a shot in the arm.
The Constance Lemuria, the archipelagos only golfing resort, has in recent years established itself as a favourite, not just in golfing circles but also the more regular holiday crowds and comments on TripAdvisor are entirely self explanatory and by the look of it also entirely true.
Constance Hotels last year opened a second property in the Seychelles, on the island of Mahe known as the Constance Ephelia Resort, and it is understood that there is growing internal competition between the two resorts when it comes to capturing global recognition through travel awards. Congrats to the Lemurias management and staff and better luck next year to all the others across the archipelago.
Constance Hotels operates properties from Mauritius to the Maledives, from Seychelles to Madagascar and more details can be found via www.lemuriaresort.com or the groups main website www.constancehotels.com
Archive for September 26th, 2011
CONSTANCE LEMURIA / PRASLIN ISLAND BAGS THREE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
KHARTOUMS DIRTY TRICK CAMPAIGN EXPOSED
The rise of commodity prices in South Sudan, while partly influenced by the economic situation around the world and more immediately in the wider region, has to an extent been worsened by reported economic strangulation by the regime in Khartoum, the Souths former slave masters.
They have been making the shipment of goods from the North to the South difficult claimed a regular source in Juba. We dont understand the rationale behind it. We here have always bought goods from Khartoum and it keeps people there in work when they produce and ship to us. If they continue like this we just have to buy more from Uganda and Kenya. And this is apart from the other issues we have with the North. By independence we were supposed to have all aspects of our separation covered. Oil fields, waters of the Nile, national debt of the then united Sudan, Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and so on. Khartoum is now waging a war again, they occupied Abyei and are trying to start ethnic cleansing again, the same in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Our brothers and sisters are being bombed from the air, shelled from the ground, women are raped, homesteads and villages razed and people driven off their ancestral lands by force. It is the same tactics again like they used against us during the civil war, what they were doing in Darfur. How can we peacefully coexist with a belligerent neighbour with no respect for human rights and ready to commit more crimes against humanity. If they do not reform we will use the UN where we are now a member, we will use the EAC we intend to join, we shall use Nile Basin Commission we intend to join, we shall use IGAD we intend to join to show our friends in the region what exactly Bashirs regime is doing and have them disciplined like it happened to other errant members in IGAD. We will also protect our border region better and we have to really control access from the North. These sentiments were echoed in other exchanges with sources in the South Sudan who accused Khartoum of economic sabotage and military aggression against those left behind in the North who want to join us in freedom.
Meanwhile has South Sudans president Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit given his first address to the UN General Assembly in New York last week, again highlighting cooperation and peaceful coexistence with the North as a goal of his government while also reminding the world of the many outstanding issues to conclude the separation agreements as well as the plight of the people inside the North still yearning for freedom and kept in continued slavery by the regime. Watch this space.
SENATE ELECTIONS IN RWANDA YET LIFE CONTINUES AS NORMAL
Today will see the scheduled elections across Rwanda take place for the Senate, the upper chamber of the countrys parliamentary system of governance.
The campaign for senatorial seats was generally calm and apart from meeting members of the electoral college and canvassing their votes hardly noticed by visitors to the country, who came as tourists or to exploit business opportunities in trade or investments.
Yes we have Senate elections on Monday said a regular source in Kigali before continuing and life goes on as normal here. You see, here in Rwanda our people, our politicians are disciplined, there is no problem like you would expect in other African countries when elections are due. Like you wrote about Seychelles elections being so calm and orderly, here in Rwanda that same thing happens. We have over 50 candidates for the 12 seats up for grab on Monday and they have all conducted themselves very well. This is why our tourist flow continues without disruption, why we host conferences and groups of investors at the same time; even during general elections we saw the same trend. Rwanda is a peaceful and disciplined country now and our visitors need not worry about us having an election here. In fact they dont worry as our arrival statistics clearly show, there has been no hesitation by anyone wanting to come to Rwanda for a visit.
It is understood that the Senate members will not be elected in the form of a general elections but by councilors already representing their districts and other special interest groups and only 55 polling stations have been set up to cater for the casting of votes and counting the ballots to establish results. And why, you might ask, is this being reported here? Because it goes to show that Africa can be different, elections can be peaceful and orderly and the few bad apples on the continent should not spoil the image of the whole of Africa in world opinion.
MORE FLIGHTS PLANNED BETWEEN KIGALI AND NAIROBI
With the arrival of a second brand new B737-800 by the end of next month RwandAirs fleet will have grown to 7 aircraft comprising a Bombardier Dash 8, two CRJ200s, two B737-500s and their latest acquisitions being two B737-800s.
The new birds will be used to operated the presently 4 weekly frequencies between Kigali and Johannesburg and three flights between Kigali and Dubai, which route with full traffic rights via the Kenyan port city of Mombasa. RwandAir only recent upped their flights between Kigali and Johannesburg from three to four, before it was announced elsewhere that South African Airways was planning to return to the route with three flights of their own, which would offer daily connections between South Africa and Rwanda.
At the same time did RwandAir add a third flight between Kigali and Nairobi, and there is now talk of adding more frequencies in the future, a sound choice considering that traffic volumes have been growing in leaps and bounds and that the airline now has the right sized aircraft available to operate peak period flights with the larger Boeings while off peak departures can use the CRJ200, which offers 50 seats.
A second flights between Kigali and Entebbe is also subject to speculation amongst travel agents. RwandAir used to operate two daily departures before signing a code share agreement with Air Uganda, under which the latter was to operate early morning departures while RwandAir would continue with their evening flights. However, presently Air Ugandas departure time has moved into the mid day and beyond time frame, making the intended day trips to Kigali difficult to achieve for business travelers, and the grapevine is talking of RwandAir possibly considering restoring their own second flight to offer this opportunity. However, as a second flight would likely start off with a smaller turboprop, instead of the larger CRJ200 used on the route by both RwandAir and U7, this will pose an operational challenge as the single turboprop, a Bombardier Dash 8, is now serving the rapidly increasing domestic flight schedule as well as flying to Bujumbura and operating on off peak days to Entebbe. It is here where the added component of fleet expansion comes into play. The Dash 8 offers 37 seats and as traffic grows on domestic routes, partly fed by cross border travelers from Eastern Congo, there is very likely a need to add more turboprops but for sure larger turboprops to the fleet of RwandAir. Obvious choices here would be Bombardiers larger Q 400 or the even larger ATR 72s, several of which are already successfully flying in the region.
Whichever way the airline will eventually go, time will tell but one thing is certain, that the vision of RwandAir to connect landlocked Rwanda with her neighbours and to more distant destinations will continue to unfold, in the process making RwandAir after Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Precision Air the fourth largest airline in the wider Eastern African region, and what an achievement that would be, considering the state of RwandAir only a few years ago. Watch this space.
UWA COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY IN DISARRAY
The term of the commission has expired by end of August, the Minister has told the chairman to immediately wind up and submit his report and anything other than that is completely out of order now commented a ministry source on condition of strict anonymity when contacted over the weekend in regard of commission chair and retired Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihambas latest public outbursts, when he demanded the interdiction of the Acting Executive Director of UWA.
The spat has also brought division inside the commission to the forefront, as three commissioners are today quoted in the local media as having disowned their own habitually controversial chairman and one of his confidantes on the commission, saying they could not support any calls to suspend or sack or otherwise discipline UWAs current Acting ED Dr. Andrew Seguya.
This latest public disagreement is only one in a long series of at times unprecedented outbursts by Kanyeihamba towards witnesses, their alleged intimidation by him and what was perceived as publicly pre-judging witnesses statements and their alleged involvement over the use of PAMSU funds by the retired justice, often giving the impression of a personal vendetta and agenda rather than fulfilling the function of a commission chair.
The minister, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, was in Mombasa last week to attend a session of the East Africa Communitys ministerial council meeting on tourism and wildlife and will find yet more controversy on his desk upon his return to office this Monday. This has turned out to be a complete mess now said a regular tourism source when discussing the issue before adding considering it all came out of the former ministers bad decisions and from his injured pride, this is the prize to pay for keeping such characters in government and giving them responsibility. It destroyed the UWA which we knew and which worked quite well and left the organization in tatters. It ruined reputations beyond repair of people Kanyeihamba targeted during witness testimonies. Where is the report? He was given three month and could not finish, then he was given another three months and still has not finished? He complained of lack of funds, then that his offices were broken into, then wanted to go on safari to the parks, what is wrong with him and in between he went away for a couple of weeks? Let this report be submitted and then it can be challenged in a proper court where rules exist and are not made up like it seemed here. This commission has by the look of it done a very shoddy job. Watch this space as the final twists and turns of this long running saga now play out.