Archive for November, 2013

Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally ends with Kenyan win

KENYA AIRWAYS EAST AFRICAN SAFARI CLASSIC RALLY ENDS WITH KENYAN WIN

(Posted 30th November 2013)

 

(Kenya’s winning team of Ian Duncan and Amaar Slatch on the ramp popping the champagne corks)

The 2013 Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally ended yesterday at the Sarova Whitesands Resort & Spa and it was once again a Kenyan win as Ian Duncan, also winner of the 2009 edition of the rally, pipped Stig Blomquist by just over 3 minutes to the finishing line after the lead had changed twice over the past days.

Ian drove a Ford Capri, leaving the fancied Porsche 911’s of Stig Blomquist and third placed team Gerald Marcy and Stephan Prevot from Belgian ‘easting dust’.

54 of the 60 starters made it to the finish, bringing home their Porsches, Datsuns and Fords of various makes and one sole Corvette, though with a large gap between the leader and the final finisher.

The event is run every two years and continues to excite large crowds along the route which this year again covered both Kenya and Tanzania to the delight of motor sport fans who turned out in their tens of thousands along the course to see the classic cars of yesteryear one more time. Kenya Airways has already indicated continued sponsorship of the event, which showcases Kenya as a key rallying destination and has this year helped to promote the Kenya coast where the event started and ended at the Sarova Whitesands Resort & Spa.

The next edition is set for November 2015 and details can be obtained nearer to the time once again via the Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/EastAfricanSafari or the organization’s direct webpage via www.eastafricansafarirally.com.

Full results are now available via http://www.eastafricansafarirally.com/images/bulletins/2013-day9-overall-final.pdf

Kenya Airways adds capacity on domestic, regional and African routes

KENYA AIRWAYS INCREASES FLIGHTS TO KEY DESTINATIONS ACROSS AFRICA

(Posted 30th November 2013)

Kenya Airways has confirmed the addition of 11 more flights on the route between Nairobi and Mombasa in response to requests by the coast hospitality industry which had asked for more seats and more flights into Kenya’s second city, in order to boost occupancies in their resorts.

The airline also added on more weekly flight to Malindi, making it a total of 8 per week, in this case responding to risen demand by the market.

Flights to Kilimanjaro, in code share with partner airline Precision Air, were increased from the current 5 to daily flights, again boosting capacity on this important route for regional tourism and trade.

Juba, South Sudan’s capital, has seen flights go from double daily to now 19 per week, here in particular reflecting increased demand for seats from Juba to Nairobi and then on to Mombasa, presently the key entry and exit point for imports and exports of Africa’s youngest nation.

The Seychelles will be happy to hear that the fourth flight has now been made permanent, having initially been added to cater for additional traffic in August, September and October, and the use of the Embraer E190 on the route has certainly added greater flexibility for Kenya Airways to operate the route with good load factors and positive financial returns.

The island of Madagascar, soon to hold its presidential runoff elections after which the African Union is expected to lift all remaining sanctions, has seen an increase from three to five flights per week while flights to Accra will now be operated by Boeing B767 wide body equipment, upped from the current use of a Boeing B737NG. The flights to Accra will, subject to regulatory approvals, be routed either via Freetown / Sierra Leone or Monrovia / Liberia as a stopping point enroute.

The decision by Kenya Airways suggests that demand has grown steadily for seats on routes from Nairobi into the airline’s Africa network, where Kenya Airways serves as key link for their SkyTeam alliance members, which are feeding their traffic into Nairobi where KQ then takes over. Visit www.kenya-airways.com for more details on the latest schedule changes, for information on fares and for on line bookings.

Lusaka is next for FastJet

FASTJET ANNOUNCES LAUNCH DATE FOR LUSAKA FLIGHTS

(Posted 30th November 2013)

FastJet yesterday announced the launch date for their second international destination out of their base in Dar es Salaam. It will be Lusaka / Zambia and flights are due to commence on February 01st 2014, subject to all regulatory approvals, this pointed out as a result of the South African civil aviation body only recently pulling a fast one on FastJet, pun intended, when they halted the inaugural flight just hours before takeoff over sudden requests for additional documentation, in airline lingo and reading between the lines a message that they had bowed to pressure from a third party at the time to keep FastJet off the route for a bit longer.

FastJet will use their Airbus A319 for their next destination and has proposed to fly initially twice a week, joining Zambia’s Pro-Flight on the route. Cost for the ticket was given as approximately US Dollars 75, one way, and in typical FastJet style subject to all regulatory fees and taxes. This position of advertising only a fragment figure of what a traveller has to pay continues to baffle both consumer advocate groups and aviation observers, why the airline cannot, as it by the way has to under local law in South Africa, show the full cost of the ticket a client has to pay, always with the rider of course of extra charges for checked in baggage.

Watch this space for news updates nearer to the time of the inaugural flight, and to learn of any other new destinations FastJet may intend to launch until then.

The latest Porini News

Porini / Gamewatchers’ newsletter is always worth a read and in view of the feedback from regular followers on my blog, after posting the first few editions, I am happy to bring you yet another edition, so that more of you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Kenya and some of the action in the parks.

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Gamewatchers Safaris November 2013
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Dear Dr. Wolfgang,

Greetings Porini Enthusiast!

GLORIFIED SUNSETS! ENCHANTING LITTLE SOUNDS!! ITCHY EARS!!! CALM CATS!!!! FRESH COFFEE!!!!! RETURN OF THE WILDEBEESTS?!!!!!! Wow! Have I just run a marathon or what! I feel like I am running along a moving window to capture all these moments all at one go!… "Slow down" says the voice in my head…"You can do ALL of this at nicer pace…go to the bush…" Don’t wait for tomorrow, get in touch with your agent and book your safari quick quick quick! Take advantage of these low season rates and get a high season experience with the surprising presence of the Wildebeests! Read on for more details!

This month’s edition of "in the wilds" takes you on a journey through days in the life of our various staff. Let’s begin with our Commercial Director, Dr Mohanjeet Brar (pictured in the center) part of the team accepting the award for the Naboisho Conservancy, at the World Travel Market held in London, 4 – 7th November 2013. The Conservancy was Highly Commended for "Best Destination for Responsible Tourism".

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Represented from Left to Right: Sean Anderson, Dr Mohanjeet Brar, Justin Francis

Let the journey begin…

With best wishes,

Aleema

Aleema Noormohamed
Marketing Executive

Porini Safari Camps

Project Lazarus

We support the St Lazarus Community School in Kibera which provides nutrition & education for disadvantaged children.We have just made a donation that covered sports equipment and stationary.

This month we delivered materials from some recent guests, Chialing Ku, Robert and Louise Dixson, Leigh Thompson, Penny Bosworth. All had come to Kenya for a safari with us and very kindly donated to the school.

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Our Reservations Agent and Conservation Manager, Angela and Chantal, went to the school for the donations

St. Lazarus Community School was formed in 1996 when a group of people from the Silanga village of the Kibera slums and Rachel Lomosi, who is now the Executive Director, wanted to help the numerous disadvantaged children in their community have a place to receive an education, shelter and healthcare. The only place that was available was a couple of small rooms located in a dangerous area, just a few feet away from the main railway line.

St. Lazarus has since grown and through generous donations we’ve now been able to purchase another ‘mud’ building inside the slum. We are in the processes of renovating it so that the children can have a better learning environment and not be as crowded in the classrooms. In addition to education, the children are provided with breakfast and lunch at the school. And due to a generous donation from British Telecom’s top trainee technicians we have been able to add meat & fruit to the children’s diet. Unfortunately for many of the kids this is the only food they get all day.

We take donations for the school which goes towards the feeding program, the building renovations and teacher salaries. We plan to open a new classroom and to take in 20 more children once we have the funds to do so. (100% of your donation goes to the school without any kind of deduction).

Have you thought about making melodies with your hands? Watch these kids to see how it is done!

Making Melodies with St Lazarus kids
Making Melodies with St Lazarus kids
New Partners! – A breath of Fresh Coffee at the CaféUbuntu!

We have joined forces with Comfort The Children (CTC) International who are a non-profit organization that work alongside Kenyan communities to provide resources that create sustainable change. CTC builds relationships and programs that empower residents to help themselves.

CTC’s initiatives focus on education, environment, economy, health and community development that directly impact the community as a whole. Our Marketing Executive and Conservation and Social Responsibility Manager recently made a trip to the CTC headquarters based in Maai Mahiu, and later stopped at their brand new café, Café Ubuntu.

Café Ubuntu is just what Maai Mahiu needed! The first ever of its kind in that area, the caféwill serve as a resource and information center for the Rift Valley, and will be self sustaining by creating a number of job. It is an entity on its own with modern bathroom facilities, and a great coffee time menu, that is on order basis at the moment. Let us not forget the most nourishing and mouth watering pizza that was served hot and straight from the oven!

With a high ceiling which gives the café a feel of being larger than life, the beverage menu painted on the wall and the little farm in the café’s backyard, Café Ubuntu is a must stop for anyone heading out to the Maasai Mara, or for anyone looking to have a coffee in a complete unconventional setting! This, is a breath of FRESH COFFEE!

Read more on the café

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Featured Article – On Safari: The Wonders Of Kenya


by Tahir Shah

Wake up just after dawn at a tented encampment near the chill shadowed slopes of Kilimanjaro, and it’s impossible not to feel reborn. The air is cool, filled with the clatter of white-bellied ‘go-away’ birds, the ground moist with fresh dew. There’s a scent of raw nature, and a sense that time has been wound back centuries.

All around the tents are the smooth round footprints of an elephant herd. A Masai warrior bends down to examine them. His name is Jackson, and he works as a guide at the exclusive Porini Camp, located in the bewitching wilderness of Amboseli.

‘A big tusker’s been here,’ Jackson says surely, his finger slowly circling the enormous footprint. ‘He led the others through in the dead of night. By now they will be across the border, in Tanzania.’

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For the full story, please click here.

Action in Porini
Elephant Ear Itch

"Have you ever tried standing between trees to scratch your ears?" "Chilling like a cat"

What are we up to – Let’s see what Big John has been up to!
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The wildebeests have done a surprising U-Turn back to Kenya! If you haven’t seen the migration yet, now is the time! Big John reports from the Maasai Mara.

In This IssueSt Lazarus School Conservancy News – Cafe Ubuntu Featured Article – On Safari: The Wonders of Kenya Action in Porini What are we up to – Returning Wildebeests World Travel Awards Winners "Kenya’s Leading Safari Camp Brand""Africa’s Leading Tented Safari Camp" Quick LinksPorini Safari Camps Planning Your Safari Special Offers

Ethiopian and Singapore Airlines announce new code share deal

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES EXPANDS CODES SHARE PARTNERSHIP WITH SINGAPORE AIRLINES

(Posted 30th November 2013)

Shortly after commencing their flights from Addis Ababa to Singapore has Ethiopian Airlines now announced a closer cooperation with Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines for the benefit of the passengers of both airlines.

Ethiopian, from 03rd December onwards, will put their ET flight code on SIA flights to Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane while in turn, always subject to regulatory approvals, SIA will add their code to Ethiopian operated flights from Addis Ababa to Entebbe, Kigali, Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro in East Africa and Point Noire (Congo Brazzaville) and Accra / Ghana in West Africa. It is expected that subject to the commercial success of this close cooperation more code share destinations will be announced in 2014.

This latest development has again underscored the growing importance of airline alliances, where Star is clearly leading in Africa with three members, Ethiopian, South African and Egypt Air, while SkyTeam, through their partnership with Kenya Airways, is a very respectable second. Beaten into a distant third place in Africa is oneworld which has no African partner and therefore now largely depends on British Airways flights into the continent – with two key destinations dumped from the network, namely Dar es Salaam and Lusaka – and the flights by Qatar Airways from Doha, after the Gulf carrier joined the alliance on 31st October.

Visit www.singaporeair.com and www.flyethiopian.com for more information on the flight schedules, fares and for direct bookings.

Seychelles tourism holds annual marketing conference

SEYCHELLES TOURISM BOARD’S ROLE REDEFINED

(Posted 29th November 2013)

The just concluded annual marketing conference of the Seychelles Tourism Board, held at the Le Meridien Barbarons, this year discussed not only the way forward for the year 2014 and beyond but also took stock on the various distribution of functions, aimed at making STB an even more effective marketing force.

Information received from Mahe speaks of the new set up, likely to be reinforced by the planned move of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture into new purpose built premises where the Ministry will share the building with STB, which would move from their present offices in Bel Ombre, to give a clearer understanding of the functions carried by the various government bodies.

It is understood that the Ministry will give policy guidelines to the sector, both private and public, provide regulations and set standards for tourism businesses and issue relevant licenses among other functions like international relations within the government’s regular framework.

With STB now fully concentrating on their marketing function, a new department will apparently be created to address the organization and running of events, very likely then also situated in the same joint premises which should be ready by the second quarter of next year.

Minister Alain St. Ange, when delivering the key note address, confirmed that the Seychelles were on course for a new arrival record with approximately 228.000 visitors at the end of December, well ahead of the forecast increase which at the beginning of 2013 was cautiously given as between 3 and 4 percent. Minister St. Ange also confirmed that while Europe remained the archipelago’s largest market, Asia was catching up fast and with visitor numbers from China alone growing this year by a remarkable 74 percent, Asia overall was up by 21 percent compared with 2013. South Africa, now connected with the Seychelles three times a week with the Air Seychelles Airbus A330, has emerged as the islands’ third largest single market while the Gulf region too has registered a growth of 11 percent year on year.

The Seychelles Tourism Board will in upcoming activities pay special attention to reclaiming the lucrative cruise business by attracting cruise lines to come back to call on Port Victoria, as part of either global itineraries or else as part of the Vanilla Island Organization’s focus to have cruiselines begin to offer a regional cruise itinerary.

The private sector also expressed satisfaction over the announcement that a dedicated senior marketing position for small and medium sized Seychellois owned businesses has been created, tasked to vigorously promote such niches as Seychelles Secrets and budget accommodation facilities, which play an increasing role in helping to fill the added seats now available by airlines flying into Mahe.

Last but not least was it revealed that a new proactive website was in the making due to be launched sometime in 2014, as was a new destination documentary being finalized to showcase the Seychelles islands from their best side and to stay ahead of the regional and global competition. As the saying goes: Seychelles, truly Another World. Watch this space for regular news updates from the Seychelles islands.

(Minister Alain St. Ange seen here with the entire team from STB and key individuals from STA and the Ministry’s tourism department)

FastJet Tanzania turns 1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FASTJET

(Posted 29th November 2013)

Tanzania’s low cost airline FastJet is today reaching their first anniversary since taking to the skies a year ago with a flight from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.

During the past 12 months has the airline carried around 355.000 passengers, an impressive number by any standards for an upstart airline, especially in Africa. Since then has FastJet added more destinations, on the domestic routes to Zanzibar and to Mbeya, where after only a few weeks of operations the sign are that FastJet will go from 3 flights a week to daily flights, while Johannesburg turned out to be FastJet’s first international destination instead the much awaited flights to Nairobi. FastJet faced huge hurdles put in their way for the flights to South Africa when the South African civil aviation body allegedly succumbed to pressure by home boys SAA to keep FastJet off the route a little longer with surprise last moment demands for more documentation one the very eve of the inaugural flight. SAA according to sources in Dar es Salaam is already facing the music over such what has been considered and mentioned repeatedly ‘foul play’ and is suffering from having to offer lower fares and flying with lower occupancies on their daily flights.

For today has FastJet announced the special sale of 1.000 seats on their entire network at the cost of the lowest fare, normally only obtainable weeks in advance, being 160.000 Tanzania Shillings to Johannesburg and 32.000 Tanzania Shillings for domestic flights to give travellers the opportunity to sample what it is like over the skies of Tanzania and down to South Africa.

One issue continues to dog the airline however, which is the fact that they continue to refuse to outright advertise the final cost of a ticket, to which in addition fees for checked baggage have to be paid on check in. This issue has remained a thorn in the side of consumer protection bodies as well as others promoting honest advertising, citing the way European regulators have imposed rules to only show the final cost one has to pay and do away with the early days of false advertising by LCC’s showing 1 Pound or 1 Euro fares to which then a huge amount of money had to be added for regulatory charges, taxes and fees.

That notwithstanding however, today it is Happy Birthday to FastJet in Tanzania and happy landings for the next twelve months and beyond.

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