TREETOPS SET TO LIGHT QUEENS BEACON
Known as THE place where a princess climbed up into a tree lookout one evening and came down as a queen the next morning, the world famous Treetops in the Aberdare National Park outside Nyeri, will be the place to be tonight in Kenya for all those fond of the monarchy. At 10.30 pm tonight, which is 08.30 pm in the UK, a beacon will be lit outside the present location of Treetops since those days in 1952 shifted and enlarged several times to give recognition and pay tribute to the 60 years Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Extensively refurbished earlier in the year and hence missing the actual anniversary on February 05th to the deep upset of many who had wanted to do pilgrimage, tonight at least, when the celebrations in London reach their climax, the lodge will be fully booked with representatives of both the Kenyan government and from the British High Commission present on site, to toast to many more years for the Queen to serve as the UKs monarch.
The guests will also be asked to plant trees as both the Treetop owners, Aberdare Hotels led by old friend James Waibochi as chairman of the board, as well as Kenya Wildlife Service have targeted over 125 hectares of adjoining forest for further replanting with indigenous trees to create additional tree cover in the wider area.
Kenya has clearly a special place with the British Royals as several members of the family have in the past visited the country and its wilderness areas, most notably the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Prince William chose a Kenyan safari with his then girlfriend to propose to her and set the stage for the Royal wedding last year.
This will be good publicity for Kenya in the UK and hopefully overshadow some of the negative press we got more recently, when the son of a British aristocrat, who spent much time with his mother at Diani every year, has died while in police custody. For now we hope that the Kenya connection the Royal Family has with us and which has been very friendly and resulting in many visits over the past decades, will rub off on us and give tourism to Kenya a much needed boost from the UK. From my side I am happy to see Britain celebrate a rare Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth and I am sure all people in Kenya tourism extend their good wishes. And in a few weeks our athletes will go to the London Olympics and I hope that our team does us proud there and comes home with a record haul of medals, because the too helps us to promote said a regular source from Nairobi with clearly UK connections of her own.
But for tonight, at least for those not on the guest list in the UK, Treetops is the place to be to be part of the celebrations and commemorations, and if not tonight, remember, Treetops is now open again and has a fresh new sparkle in it, ready to host guests every night. Watch this space.
Archive for June 5th, 2012
TREETOPS SET TO LIGHT QUEENS BEACON
KWITA IZINA 2012 PROGRAMME OUT
A cycling race from 09th to the 10th of June will kick off the formal start of Kwita Izina 2012 activities this year, when a large number of cyclists from Rwanda, the wider region and from overseas will set out from the Rwandan capital Kigali and ride their way across the country to Ruhengeri / Musanze, where the main festivities will take place again. The riders will be carrying the Kwita Izina spirit with them as they cross the hills and valleys enroute to the volcanic mountains which domineer the skyline from Musanze and their efforts will be a reminder for communities along the way to even more keenly anticipate the naming of the gorilla babies due on Saturday 16th of June. Following the race will community centred activities take place, titled Igitaramo during which water, sanitation and social amenities projects will be formally handed over to the beneficiaries by the Rwanda Development Boards Tourism and Conservation Department on the 15th of June.
Preceding this will be a dedicated sustainability exhibition between June 12th and 13th in Kigali, where a range of products will be shown, known to use less electricity, reduce the volume of charcoal used for cooking and embrace solar technology as a means to tap into renewable sources of energy.
The naming of the young born gorillas will take place on the showground just outside the national park head quarters on Saturday 16th of June and a gala dinner that night for invited guests, donors, development partners and the conservation fraternity will this year celebrate the achievements of 2011/12, during which Rwanda again has made great strides in protecting the habitat of the rare primates, supported by an unshakable political will, turning the lipservice common elsewhere in the region into concrete measures and reality.
Notably has a follow on event been scheduled for media representatives known to be in support of Rwandas way of life when a select group of journalists will have the opportunity to witness the formal closure of the Gacaca Court system during a ceremony in parliament on Monday 18th June. The Gacaca Court system is a truly unique way of having administered justice following the genocide of 1994 which cost the country up to a million innocent lives. Here the spirit of reconciliation was amply demonstrated, concentrating to bring the key figures that promoted hatred and incited, finances and facilitated mobs turned killers to justice and re-integrating those who were misled into criminal acts into society as productive members, following a community based trial and rehabilitation education. Rwandas capital Kigali is connected by RwandAir from the entire region and the national airline is the official carrier for the Kwita Izina Festival 2012. Watch this space.
GULF AIR READY FOR THE SUMMER RUSH
The daily flights between Nairobi and Bahrain, with onward connections into the Gulf Air network to Europe, the Middle East and beyond, 50 cities in 31 countries to be precise, are reportedly in great demand for the peak summer season, when expatriates from Eastern Africa are commencing their home leave and seek convenient connections at fair fares to their final destination.
Undergoing restructuring the airline enjoys the full backing of the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and has invested substantially in a revamped Falcon Gold Lounge at its hub in Bahrain, with the latest features available to premium class passengers, already pampered by the presence of a dedicated sous chef on board in business class. For the first time are in this lounge available private sleeping rooms, a cigar lounge and shower rooms with hotel-style towels and luxury brand toiletries and amenities, besides a fully equipped modern business centre and a family lounge area with a Sky Nanny in attendance and a gaming room equipped with Xbox and PlayStation units. A similar lounge is also available in London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 and in Dubai Airport, making travel for passengers in the front cabin more enjoyable while in transit and waiting for their onward flights.
CEO Samer Majali said according to a press statement availed to this correspondent overnight: I would like to thank the Bahrain leadership and the government for their continuous support and of course, our customers for choosing to fly with us as always. Though we have been going through some tough times, due to combinations of several unprecedented regional and economic factors and closure of some profitable routes due to the security situation and travel bans by several countries, we have been working hard to serve our customers with continuous improvement to our quality of service and products. This has reflected in the encouraging bookings we are witnessing on several sectors on our network for the summer season. We remain committed to providing the highest levels of customer service.
Gulf Air flies daily out of Nairobi using a state of the art A320 Airbus, connecting with wide bodied aircraft such as the A330 and A340 to Europe and their Asian destinations. Watch this space.