PORINI CAMPS ECOFRIENDLY OPERATIONS REWARDED
The Ol Kinyei Conservancy, adjoining the Masai Mara Game Reserve, has received recognition from the Eco Tourism Society of Kenya when recently awarded the rating as best community conservancy in Kenya. Established in 2005 the conservancy has now grown to over 16.000 acres and is home to the Porini Mara Camp, itself holding many accolades for quality.
Alongside the award for the Ol Kinyei Conservancy also came the announcement that the Porini Amboseli Camp was named at Kenyas top eco rated facility, an affirmation of the hard work of past years to reduce the carbon footprint of their camps and make them of minimal impact on the neighbouring ecosystems.
Said Jake Grieves Cook, former chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation and past chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, who is the main shareholder in Porini Camps and Gamewatcher Safaris: The Porini Camps strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, and we are proud of the team at Porini Amboseli Camp. Our conservancies in the Masai Mara are making strides as wildlife numbers are increasing and local communities are benefiting significantly. He then went on to point out that the Ol Kinyei Conservancy was established by Gamewatchers Safaris six years ago and is comprised of many small plots of land leased from individual private landowners. These landowners, most of which are Maasai, have voluntarily vacated their plots to help form the conservancy. Today, Ol Kinyei is 16,000 acres and is exclusive to guests staying at Porini Mara Camp ( www.porini.com/kenya.html?sub=mara-porini-camp) and at a handful of mobile camps. There are no more than 5 vehicles within the entire conservancy at any time.
Congratulations to the entire team at Porini and Gamewatchers and even greater success in the New Year.
ABERDARE COUNTRY CLUB REFURBISHMENT ON COURSE
While in Kenya on a fact finding mission to ascertain the state of the tourism industry at the end of what will become the best ever performing year for Kenya Tourism, information was also obtained on the ongoing progress of renovations and the upgrading of one of this correspondents all time favourites, the Aberdare Country Club. First reported here some months ago, when Marasa Kenya launched their modernization and upgrade programme for their three Kenyan properties, the work is ongoing now and expected to be finalized by Easter 2012.
The Aberdare Country Clubs 9 hole golf course too is undergoing work to improve the standards of playing and the introduction of golf carts will make it easier to cover the at times significant elevation differences from one hole to the next. Horse riding too is being re-introduced with new stables under construction, giving clients wider options of what to do during an extended stay at the Aberdare Country Club.
The owners did mention that it was their absolute desire to enhance the flair of the former colonial country side residence while retaining the distinct feel visitors immediately have when driving up to the main building, something which helped make the club a success with visitors from overseas and from within Kenya and the wider region.
An advance peep into what the new rooms are likely to be transformed to was also obtained while in Kenya, promising comfort and style for the new look Aberdare Country Club when work has been completed.
Sister properties The Ark and the Mara Leisure Camp too are undergoing a similar transformation and as and when nearing completion, expect updates and more pictures from on site right here. Watch this space.
MEDIA INTEREST IN SEYCHELLES CARNIVAL FESTIVAL SHARPLY UP
Following the phenomenal media success which accompanied the inaugural carnival festival earlier this year in Victoria on the main island of Mahe, has the Seychelles Tourism Board now confirmed that requests from the international media to be accredited and cover the event in 2012 are pouring in.
The festival is now jointly hosted by the Seychelles and the French island of La Reunion, following the high profile signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, adding yet more interest in the already well publicized event. Radio stations from both South Africa and from the United Arab Emirates are set to report with live broadcasts from the archipelago.
Emirates, which has once more been confirmed as a official sponsor of the event, will time special features on the Carnaval International de Victoria in their inflight magazine during the run up to the festival, giving the second edition of what has become an instant carnival success story yet greater exposure.
The co-hosting of the carnival by both La Reunion and the Seychelles is also expected to rub off on the French island and result in more tourists visiting that vanilla island too, sharing the media focus equally to bring maximum benefits to the two partners. Expect announcements soon on the complete list of participants from the worlds leading carnival nations as well those now aspiring to become carnivalists in their own rights, when Seychelles Tourism and La Reunion Tourism will announce the planned highlights of the 3 day festival. Watch this space.
AIR MAURITIUS LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE PAYMENT PLATFORM
It was learned from a regular source that Air Mauritius has now launched a brand new e-payment facility for bookings made through their website, when they very recently commissioned their new Wirecard payment platform. The new payment system also expands payment options which were previously only possible by using Visa or Mastercard, now also allowing American Express, Diners Club, Visa Electron, Discover JCB and Carte Bleue, besides permitting multiple currency options.
The new platform is in compliance with global industry guidelines in regard of payment and data security as agreed worldwide by the data security standards developed within the credit and debit card industry. Wirecard presently works with over 12.000 customers worldwide providing secure payment options for their businesses and Air Mauritius, seeing a significant increase in e-commerce activities in the recent past, is the latest major client the company has signed up with.