Reunion and Seychelles Tourism move closer

35 KEY TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS FROM REUNION VISIT SEYCHELLES

(Posted 25th April 2017)

A group of 35 trade decision makers from Reunion Island met local partners at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel during a ‘meet and exchange’ programme hosted by the Seychelles Tourism Board.

The aim of the workshop was to give local groups the chance to develop and widen their proposals offered to the Reunion clientele and vice-versa. The workshop targeted small tourism properties on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Addressing those present at the workshop, STB’s Chief Executive Sherin Francis said this was a great chance to boost travel between the Seychelles and the Reunion Island by further developing the relationship and encourage discussions between partners of the two Vanilla Islands.

As the saying goes: seeing is believing and I am convinced that by the time you return home you will have enriched your knowledge of our islands considerably‘ Mrs Francis said before adding: ‘Today, those of you who have travelled here are in a great position not only to visit the destination that you are selling but also to interact with tourism players on the ground here and to acquire a feel for Seychelles which will serve you well as you continue to sell vacations in the future‘.

The event set pace for a better understanding of facilities being offered from Seychelles and Reunion; hence liaising both markets to the most profitable of services in regards to their usual demands when travelling to Seychelles and Reunion Island.

STB’s director for Europe Bernadette Willemin presented statistics and gave an overview on the importance of the Reunion market to Seychelles. Reunion is one of the main contributors of tourism arrivals from Eastern Africa to the Seychelles and Ms Willemin mentioned that ‘From January to February 2017 we recorded a total of 1,178 arrivals from Reunion compared to only 933 during the same period in 2016, representing an increase of 26%‘.

Ms Willemin then added that ‘Seychelles welcomed 5980 visitors in total from Reunion in 2016, hence this year already setting pace to greater success from this region‘.

Also present at the event was STB’s senior marketing executive based Reunion Bernadette Honore and Daphnee Zahary, Marketing Executive at STB responsible for the market.

The workshop was jointly organized between Seychelles Tourism Board, Destination Management Companies, 7 degrees South, Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel and Seychelles European reservation as well as Hotel partners Allamanda Beach Resort & Spa and Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino. Travel agents and Tour operators from Reunion, Thomas Cook, Bourbon Voyages, Tropic Voyages, Muta Voyages, Welcomes Vacances , Yes We Can Travel, Austral Voyages and partner airline Air Austral were present to network with over 30 small tourism properties in Seychelles.

More information about the two Vanilla Island members can be accessed via www.seychelles.travel and www.reunion.fr

Wildlife Direct condemns escalating violence in Laikipia

MORE KENYANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST LAIKIPIA VIOLENCE

(Posted 25th April 2017)

Following the death of Tristan Voorspruy of Sosian and repeated aggression against tourist lodges in the wider Laikipia area – the luxurious Mukatan Retreat of Kuki Gallman was burned down not much later as one of several which faced the same fate incidentally costing hundreds of Kenyans their jobs as a result – was Kuki Gallman shot and seriously wounded on her conservancy during yet another aggressive invasion of private property.

Kuki’s daughter, when the lodge was looted and burned down, was at the time also shot at but not hit, showing that murder and attempted murder are now the order of the day as these criminals use any pretext to raid, rob, loot and burn. Over 30 other Kenyans have also lost their lives since the invasions began several months ago and the Kenyan government still has not decisively defeated these hordes of bandits.

Meanwhile is racism rearing its ugly head in media comments, with one regular vile contributor under the disguise ‘SocksDontHaveToMatch‘ openly demanding for ethnic cleansing and otherwise to shoot his targets with arrows. Authorities are yet to identify him and dozens of others of his ilk and bring them to justice.

Now has Wildlife Direct once again spoken out against the violence and released the following press statement, repeated herebelow in full:

WildlifeDirect has called for the national security apparatus to accelerate efforts to achieve rule of law in Laikipia County where many lives have been lost, people injured and millions of dollars lost due to property damage. The targeting of foreign born owners and managers of conservancies have hit both local and international headlines, but even more disturbing are the numbers of unreported killings of Kenyan small scale farmers and herders. In addition there has been a slaughter of endangered wildlife including grevy’s zebras, elephants, lions and giraffes.

People, wildlife and cattle have been caught in the crossfire and the polarized commentary on social media may be emboldening the criminals.

The latest shooting of conservationist Kuki Gallmann comes after the shooting of OCPD, Rumuruti on February 7 and the killing of one of the directors of Sosian Ranch, Tristan Voorspuy on March 5. This is compounded by documented incidences of armed violence, threats, intimidation, stock theft, vandalism, poaching, human wildlife conflict and illegal grazing.

Laikipia is world famous for it’s wildlife spectacles, and is one of the few conservation areas in Kenya that has seen an increase in endangered wildlife numbers in recent years. The fallout of this politically motivated chaos could lead to significant loss of endangered species. Hard won conservation success will be undone leading to further loss of life, property, loss of tourism revenues, jobs and livelihoods.

We call on the government through the National Security Council, Ministry of Interior and Coordination and the National Police Service to afford protection of the right to security, of every person in without exception. The citizens of this country who comes with all colors and creed have legitimate expectations from the Legitimate State in protecting their lives and property as set in Bill of rights as set out in Chapter 4 of our Constitution.

Drought has now been declared a National Disaster but no efforts are being applied to alleviate that disaster hence losing more than 50 lives in the last 6 months.

Disarming the militias and destocking the herders’ livestock through Disaster Management Fund will go along way in easing the pressure for water and pasture in the short term.

“In a civilized society like ours, with the most progressive constitution in the world, this is an open shut case for Class suit for Negligence on the part of the State for Compensation for loss of lives and property. The state has been caught sleeping on the job hence, Article 23(3)(e) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 should be invoked as matters of urgency by herders, small scale farmers and Conservancy owners,” Edward Muriu, Board member of WildlifeDirect and a Constitutional Lawyer said.

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Mountain Dispatches January to March 2017

Mount Kenya Trust Quarterly Update

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:MOUNTAIN DISPATCHES
News from the Mount Kenya Trust
January to March 2017
Dear Friends,

Despite difficult drought times for Mt Kenya and the region as a whole, we have been able to continue our work effectively and hold two very successful events in February and March. The Fly540 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge and the Trust’s 2nd Three Peaks Climb were a great hit with participants and collectively raised over 7.5 million KSh for the Trust’s projects and operations.

The first detailed survey of the Imenti Forest has been carried out by our teams with the help of KWS as part of a larger project focusing on the Upper and Lower Imenti Forests. We also have set up a new team for the larger Imenti area, held a First Aid training course and run several ‘off base’ camping patrols in illegal activity hot spots.

Training for newly recruited community health workers was carried out in February by the Trust and the Ministry of Heath as we geographically expand our Community Health Project. Two weeks full weeks of education outreaches were led by our Field Co-ordinator Humphrey Munene in this first quarter, with participation from KWS and our Senior Community Wildlife Officer.

All this was achieved alongside continuous fire fighting support with a number of stakeholders for the entire quarter. As well as supporting the teams with vehicle fuel and rations for the men on the ground, we purchased nearly 200,000 KSh worth of equipment to assist them.

Thank you for your support, we keep going because of each of you – the donor organisations, our local supporters, event sponsors and or course our intrepid event participants.

It takes a whole community to keep us working and we are grateful to all of you.

Susie Weeks
Executive Officer

Wildfires

We simply cannot let our forest burn.

Fires all over the western side of the mountain have been a constant battle. High winds and dry vegetation mean even a small fire spreads quickly and fiercely. Black charcoaled moorlands and forest is becoming a regular occurrence in the Reserve and Park. Ancient trees that have taken centuries to grow can burn down in hours.

We are lucky that a strong partnership between Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark and ourselves exists, who rally every time a smoke plume appears with manpower, rations and aerial surveillance. More focus is required on the causes of the fires, not just the symptoms. There are harsh penalties for deliberately or accidental fires within the National Park and individuals need to be held accountable. A fire management meeting will be held to assess the situation of fire breaks, firefighting equipment, and government law enforcement.

We are most grateful to those of you who sent donations via mpesa to help with fire fighting rations and fuel this quarter.

Above: Fires burn fiercely in dry conditions on Mount Kenya’s moorlands and forest.
Three Peaks Fundraising Climb

African Ascents did another superb job guiding the 11 climbers to Lenana and Nelion. Due to icy conditions, the attempt to summit Batian was abandoned. The climb was a huge success and raised over 1 million KSh for the Horse Patrol Team. Big hand to Gwili Gibbon, Jamie Manual and Julian Wright for organising the participants, training and final climb. Special thanks to Elephant Co-operation for your surprise donation which gave sponsorship efforts from the team a massive boost!

A finale fundraiser was also held at One Stop Nanyuki with a raffle, auction, carboot sale and great evening entertainment featuring the ‘The Itch’. The event drew a great crowd from the local community – all in support of the Trust. We are indebted to One Stop Nanyuki for hosting the event. Huge thanks to all the local businesses and supporters that donated prizes for the raffle and auction and everyone who came along!

Join us next year – dates set for Aberdares training weekend on the 22nd to 25th February 2018 and the Three Peak Attempt on the 5th to 7th March 2018. Please contact bsummers if you are interested in putting your name down.

From top left moving lockwise: The climbers ascend from the peaks, camping on the moorlands, a snowy few days at the top, with the horse patrol team at Solo camp.
Ranger First Aid

A two day first aid course was held for the MKT rangers by St John’s Ambulance. The teams were taught how to recognise life-threatening situations and offer vital assistance before more help arrives. Topics covered included CPR, broken bones, burns, soft tissue injury, seizures, head injuries and bleeding.

Thank you to the Thin Green Line Foundation for providing the funding for this vital training.

Left: Learning how to apply bandages Right: Seeing to an unconscious patient.
The FLY540 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge

"Where else can you mountain bike through herds of elephants?!"

Close to 250 people from as far afield as Colorado, USA, and as near as Timau, Meru County, took part in the event’s series of mountain bike races and rides. Over 6.1 million was raised for the Mount Kenya Trust’s social and environmental projects.

David Kamau, 44, from Kikuyu, surged to the front during Friday’s Hardcore event for professional and serious amateur riders, and held the lead throughout most of the 90km race to finish three minutes ahead of the 2016 champion, David Kinjah his Safari Simbaz teammate.

Among the 245 other adult participants, this year were riders from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Britain, including a team from Leadville in Colorado, USA. Rebecca Katz, who came second overall in the women’s Roller Coaster Classic, praised the event, saying:

"It’s really important to make people aware of the fact that Mount Kenya is a water tower for all Kenyans," said Don Smith, Chief Executive of Fly540, which has been the 10to4’s title sponsor since 2013.

"The 10to4 is a lifeline for everyone and the Mount Kenya Trust helps to protect it for our future generations."

On Sunday, the Rift Valley Adventures sponsored the children’s ‘Mini 10to4’. David Kinjah and his team helped to mark the course and support the children over the trickiest bits of the course.

Huge thanks to all the sponsors, hosts and partners and our overall event organiser Adele Wilson for making this year’s 10to4 a truly exceptional weekend. We can’t mention all the volunteers and wonderful people who assist us at every stage of the event but you know who you are. Many many thanks!

Below left: Triumphant Safari Simbaz the over all winning team once again racing for Fly540; Below right: women’s champion the winner of the two day Extreme: Michele Glauser crossing the finish line; Bottom: The start of one of the Rift Valley Adventures ‘Mini 10to4’ races for children.
Going the Extra Mile

Olivia Horwood raised over 430,000 KSh for the Trust in memory of her brother Jasper, winning the Jasper Horwood Trophy at the 10to4 this year. She more than doubled her initial target and has made a huge contribution to the work of the Trust. Thank you Olly for this huge effort in honour of Jasper.

Team "Over 60’s" made their own impact by raising over 800,000KSh winning the trophy for the team who raised the most sponsorship taking home the trophy for the team raising the most. The team was made up of Terry Davidson, Martin Dunford and the Trust’s Chairman Jeremy Block.

Going the extra mile to raise sponsorship for participation makes a BIG difference to the event’s total proceeds and therefore our project capacity. Many thanks to all of you who appealed to your networks for sponsorship!

Pictured left is Olivia with her friend Edith before they tackled their big race in February.

Elephant Density in the Imenti

With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and World Conservation Society, the first seasonal elephant density survey took place in Imenti forest Reserve last month.

Our rangers, alongside Kenya Wildlife Service, were taught how to identify on transects different vegetation, elephant dung decay rate and topography.

Once there is a clearer idea of how elephants are using the Upper and Lower Imenti, we can work on ways to help them navigate safely and less destructively through human settlements, PELIS areas and prevent human-wildlife conflict. Results to follow.

Thank you Hilde VanLeeuwe and Gwili Gibbon for your help and British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK). for the pictures.

The Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor

Maintenance of the Corridor has continued despite funding difficulties. Thanks to funds from the 10to4 event and Elephant Cooperation who made a generous contribution last year to keep our six man fencing team going. All the corridor partners including Kisima Farm, Marania Farm and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy give financial and in-kind support as part of their commitment to keeping the corridor viable.

Running Dry

With drought conditions declared in Kenya, it was deemed fit to start our education programme with the film titled ‘Running Dry’. The film shows Mount Kenya as a vital water tower for the entire country and highlights water pressures, cycles and threats due to deforestation, pollution and the abuse of water reserves or sources. Running Dry was produced by the African Environmental Film Foundation.

The schools were given Mount Kenya environmental booklets, kindly donated by Safarilink, comic books and a calendar to boost their knowledge on the ecology of Mount Kenya as well as to teach the community on how to handle human-elephant conflict. A total of 20 schools were reached and over 4000 students. The team were assisted by George Kamau, a KWS ranger, and Edwin Kinyanjui, one of our rangers from the Joint Wildlife Protection Team.

Pupils at the interactive education session in March.
Community Health

A three-day training, facilitated by MKT and CHASE Africa and conducted by the Ministry of Health, was held to train eight new community health worker’s (CHW’s) from North Imenti and Kirinyaga County.

Mobilisers are an efficient way to reach out to communities that border the National Reserve. Having a community member trained in health and family planning issues, they can provide round the clock health service to a huge number of people. This brings the total of MKT CHW’s to 16 individuals.

A range of topics was covered in the training including family planning, ante-natal and post-natal care, cervical, prostate and breast cancer, HIV&AIDS, sanitation, reporting, conservation and environmental issues.

We are currently reaching around 1000 women each month with family planning services (short and long term contraceptives) and 500 clients with basic health care such as HIV testing and counselling, diabetes testing and curative care.

Read more about CHASE Africa and their support for us and other Kenyan organisations in their latest newsletter.

From top left moving clockwise: New mobilisers are trained in Nanyuki, Delphin Mukira works on planning for a new CHSP project with partners Dandelion, a doctor provides medical service.
Open Wide!

Our Horse Patrol Team ponies had their teeth examined and cleaned once again thanks to North Kenya Vet Services and the team from Equine Dental Services from the UK. They visit Kenya once a year and provide a free service just for the the Mount Kenya Trust ponies. Thank you guys!

Parting Shot: A very relaxed family of elephants move through the middle section of the Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor towards the mountain in February.
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Thank you for your support in 2017!

Batian Level Donors
The US Fish and Wildlife Service

Nelion Level Donors & Fundraising Events
CHASE Africa, Timaflor, Elephant Cooperation.
Fly540 10to4 Sponsors: Fly540

Lenana Level Donors
Hugh Sloane, Safaricom Marathon via Tusk Trust, International Tree Foundation. European Outdoor Conservation Association, Disney via the World Conservation Society, Thin Green Line Foundation

Coryndon Level Donors
Eden Wildlife Trust, The Woodcock Family, Tusk Trust
Fly 540 10to4 Sponsors: BATUK, Tropic Air

Point Piggot Level Donors & Event sponsors
International Elephant Foundation, The Rufford Foundation, BATUK.

Point Dutton Level Donors & Event Sponsors
Safarilink, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, Ol Donyo Farm, Steve Strong, Emily Marston, Bunson Travel.

Fly540 10to4Sponsors: Kisima Farm, Borana Conservancy, Highlands Water, Farwell, Ol Donyo Farm, The Born Free Foundation (Kenya), Rift Valley Adventures, Commercial Bank of Africa, Masscor, Cunningham Safaris, Bayer, Agventure, Equinox Flowers, Shimano, Dormans, Driftwood, Bikes & Outdoor Adventures, Huduma Services, Mpala Ranch, KFC, Carlson Wagonlit Browns Cheese, Karisia Walking Safaris, Saab, Rhino Ark, MatBronze, Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, Uhuru Flowers, AMREF, Laikipia Wilderness, Laikipa Wildlife Forum, Sky Health Center, Aga Khan Hospital, Gundua Foundation, Tambuzi, Savage Wilderness, Marania Farm, Raka Cheese, Mawingu, African Ascents, Sirai, Hamptons School, Ol Pejeta, Annabel Pope.

Thanks to the following people and organisations for their assistance for Fire Fighting rations so far this year: The Mountain Club of Kenya, Maggie and Tim Hobbs, Samchi Nanyuki, Rhino Ark, Sparky and Celia Behrens, Nicola and Morten Jensen, Kenneth Adcock, Lynne Mitchell.

Congratulaions to Beth Lewis, John Mugambi and Martin Waiganjo for climbing to Point Lenana in early March and raising over 80,000 Kenya Shillings for the Horse Patrol Team!

Thank you to everyone who is visiting our tree nursery and buying seedlings at Turaco Farm.

To all our friends and supporters who took part and / or contributed to the 3 peaks climb for the horse patrol team, many many thanks. Thanks to the following people and companies who supported the One Stop fundraiser:
Rutundu Lodge, Samatian Island, JS Hardware, Solio Lodge, Ragati Conservancy, Tamarind Village, The Well Hung Butcher, Jack Wright, Ali Allport, Le Rustique, Equinox Flowers, Coffee Shack, Cookswell Jikos, Soames Restaurant, Stefanie Sarges, Mountain Oil, Banana Box, Simply Sandra, One Stop Salon, Cinnabar Green, Moranis Restaurant, Delia’s Ice Cream, Wizzy, Tamarind Restaurant, Pomdoro Pizza, The Flower Shop, Carol’s Cafe, Jutsons, Dormans.

Our partners: We wouldn’t be able to keep up the good work without our most important supporting & operational partners. These include The Kenya Wildlife Service, The Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, Tropic Air, Borana Conservancy, African Ascents Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and One Stop.

Thank you to Nancy Balfour, Charlie Morison, Morten Jensen, Nicola Huxley and Hilde VanLeeuwe and Gwili Gibbon for your voluntary time and assistance.

At the 10to4 there were many many volunteers but we would like to particularly thank our patron Paul Sherwen, Don and Tracy White, Clare and Charlie Hewitt-Stubbs, Llwellyn Dyer, Buzz Robertson, Martin Dyer, Charlie Dyer, Olly Keeble, Will Dyer, Milan Shah, Tom Lawrence, Delulu Upson, Florence Hole, John Mugambi, Johnsone Parkenga and the team from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Photos: Mount Kenya Trust, Gwili Gibbon, Jamie Maunel, James Thorogood.
Donate to the cause via Tusk Trust

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates

TOURISM

Tourism trends in Africa: mobile is the game-changer Traveller 24
Travel into Africa for business and leisure is on the rise, with 39 million inbound trips expected annually in Africa by 2020…. Read more>>

Uber Central, Uber’s Multiple Vehicle Request Service, Is Now Available To All Businesses iAfrikan
Uber have announced the availability of Uber Central to all businesses to order multiple cars and request rides for their clients, guests or anyone else. It will now be available as a a dashboard within Uber for Business…. Read more>>

Atta – The African Travel and Tourism Association – News Summary

African Travel and Tourism Association’s News Updates …
… and while reading think about joining the association where
everything is about Africa

Weekly members news summary from Atta – The African Travel and Tourism Association
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Dear ATC Readers,

Please find below this week’s summary of the Atta members news featuring news from across the African continent and beyond.

Atta Members Weekly News Summary
24 April 2017

Nimali Tarangire Exclusively
Marketing Worldwide
Nimali Tarangire, a boutique lodge in a private concession, adjacent to Tarangire NP, has launched an exclusive use for 2017/2018. Read More
Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little Vumbura
Wilderness Safaris
After an extensive refurbishment and partial rebuild, Little Vumbura Camp has reopened in Wilderness Safaris’ private Vumbura Concession in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Read More


Laptops on airlines…are you covered?
J W Seagon and Co Insurance Brokers
Most of us will have seen the latest travel news relating to the carrying of laptops, tablets and larger mobile phones on certain flights. Read More


Kenya through the lens with Nat Geo Photographer Robin Moore
The Safari Collection
In March The Safari Collection were delighted to host National Geographic Photographer Robin Moore at Giraffe Manor, Solio Lodge and Sasaab for TSC’s first ever Cultural Photographic Safari experience.  Read More


New Website
The Italian Tourism Co
It is with great pleasure that I.T.C. Sudan announces the new website www.italtoursudan.comRead More


Kamageo to create Zambia campaign in the UK
Kamili
A major UK tourism initiative is being launched by the Zambia Marketing Group (ZMG) – a newly created entity whose membership includes many of the country’s leading tourism businesses.Read More


News from The Italian Tourism Co
The Italian Tourism Co
The 2016-17 tourist season is nearly over here in North Sudan as the temperature is rising above 40°  –  we would like to thank  all our partners for their continue support.Read More


Hemingways Watamu re-opening – an update
Far Horizons Marketing
The rebuilding works are progressing well and whilst it has been a huge project we are on course for a completion date in November 2017.  So what’s new? Read More


Nigerian gospel singer thrills her Seychellois audience

NIGERIA’S AWARD WINNING GOSPEL SINGER SINACH IS IN SEYCHELLES

(Posted 24th April 2017)

Sinach, born Osinachi Kalu is an award winning Nigerian Gospel Singer and songwriter. She has gained more and more recognition in Seychelles where she is performing during a two day stop. Sinach is reputed to have written to date well over 300 songs.

She flew into the islands with Ethiopian Airlines last Saturday together with Alain St.Ange, the island’s former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, and now the Seychelles Candidate for Secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) who was returning home after attending the UNWTO CAF Meeting of African Ministers in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

As they posed in the Ethiopian Airlines’ aircraft for a souvenir photo in the company of Anne Lafortune, the Principal Secretary for Tourism of Seychelles and Meseret Tekalign, the Seychelles Country Manager of Ethiopian Airlines. Alain St.Ange wished Sinach well and a great stay in Seychelles. The Nigerian Award Winning Gospel Singer and former Minister St.Ange also used the opportunity to discuss the friendly ties existing between Seychelles and Nigeria.

In her open air Gospel Concert in Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles, Sinach mentioned her meeting with Minister St.Ange and said publicly that she wished him well with the Seychelles bid for Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

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