Archive for July, 2014

Two new Twin Otter DHC 6-400 arrive in Mahe


HM gets 2 Twin Otters

James Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles, today welcomed Air Seychelles’ two new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft at a special ceremony at Seychelles International Airport.

The aircraft, recently delivered from Canada’s Viking Air Limited, will operate between Seychelles International Airport and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate.

Greeted by a traditional water cannon salute, the two aircraft, named ‘Isle of Bird’ and ‘Isle of La Digue’ respectively, arrived in sequence this afternoon in front of the Air Seychelles VIP lounge.

President Michel cut a ceremonial ribbon to welcome the Twin Otters to their new home, and was accompanied by Danny Faure, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Joël Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Air Seychelles Board Chairman and Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles.

Honouring tradition and representing the country’s interfaith committee, the two aircraft were then blessed by Roman Catholic Priest David Alcindor and Anglican Priest Danny Elizabeth.

Cabinet ministers, government officials, diplomats, members of the National Assembly, representatives of tourism bodies, media and Air Seychelles staff were also present, including Captain Sandy Benoiton, Air Seychelles Chief Pilot for Domestic Services, and Captain Eddy Cesar.

Both pilots were part of the ferry crews that flew the aircraft from Victoria, British Columbia, and Farnborough, United Kingdom to Seychelles.

President Michel conveyed his thanks and appreciation to the Air Seychelles Board, management team and staff of the airline for successfully charting a new route for Air Seychelles, one which has turned the island carrier into one of the world’s aviation turnaround success stories.

He said: “Today is a proud milestone in the history of Air Seychelles and on behalf of the people of Seychelles, I feel particularly proud of the Seychellois crew members and staff who have worked so hard and come so far to create a new and revitalised Air Seychelles. These two aircraft will no doubt brighten our skies as well as enhance our domestic services.”

Minister Morgan said: “This is an incredible day, not just for Air Seychelles, but for the Seychelles. Our investment in new aircraft is a result of the success of our turnaround program and of our strong and rewarding partnership with Etihad Airways. Our new Twin Otters will secure the future of inter-island air services and boost Seychelles tourism.”

Manoj Papa said: “The Twin Otters have renewed our domestic fleet and their early delivery is a clear demonstration that we are on the right track with our business. We intend to grow our domestic operations further, and we have the right tools now in place to better serve the growing demand for more access to and from the various islands that make up this beautiful archipelago.

“Our customers will experience better onboard comfort, pilots will fly new technology, and Air Seychelles will remain the vital link that connects businesses, families, friends and visitors with the very best of what Seychelles has to offer.”

The multi-million dollar fleet announcement for the purchase of three 19-seat DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft was made last October in a deal between the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles and Viking Air Limited. One remaining Twin Otter is scheduled for delivery in mid-2015.

The Twin Otter flight path to Seychelles included stops at Churchill (Canada), Iqaluit (Canada), Reykjavik (Iceland), Malmo (Sweden), Nis (Serbia), Aswan (Egypt) with a final stop in Nairobi (Kenya).

Isle of La Digue also made a stop at the Farnborough Airshow (United Kingdom) and the total ferry flight distance was 9,175 nautical miles (17,000 km) per aircraft, the longest sector being from Aswan to Nairobi (distance 1,528 nautical miles).

Ethiopia turns her attention to tourism as a major future economic sector


(Posted 31st July 2014)

The presentation of a first complete draft of a new sustainable tourism policy for Ethiopia is now just weeks away and stakeholders are meeting in Addis Ababa since yesterday for a broad consultative workshop.

Two regional workshops were held earlier towards the same end in Mekele and Dire Dawa to allow for greater participation in particular from areas where coming to the national workshop in the capital city of Addis Ababa would pose a logistical challenge.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism has taken the lead and is supported by IGAD and other international development partners including the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa.

The launch of a National Tourism Transformation Council, chaired by none other than the Prime Minister, shows that Ethiopia has at last caught on to the fact that tourism can become a major source of foreign investment, foreign exchange earnings and employment creation. Historical monuments and sites, culture and cuisine all hold attractions to foreign visitors keen to explore a country which roots are going back into biblical days and with the launch, soon, of the new tourism policy and an apparent change of direction by the powers that be in Ethiopia, this is opening up one of the last great frontiers and making it more widely available for tourists to come and visit and not just use Ethiopian Airlines to fly via Addis to other destinations on the continent for a holiday.

Compared to the size of the country, the size of the Ethiopian economy and the range of attractions, including national parks, tourism until now has been a rather neglected sector, apart from conferences being held in Addis courtesy of this being the seat of the African Union. There is now an urgent need to take tourism to the places across the country which travelers are keen to visit but lack infrastructure and comfortable accommodation so far to cater for larger numbers.

Ethiopia is a member of IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and also of COMESA, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa, the continent’s largest trade bloc and has expressed interest in joining the East African Community in coming years.

After Frankfurt and Munich was Berlin next on Reunion Tourism’s German road tour


(Posted 31st July 2014)

After organizing treasure hunts in Frankfurt and Munich earlier in July has Reunion’s tourism office now come to Berlin, the German capital, where a major campaign took place over a three day period.

The IRT team led by Marie-Christin Strecker met 42 travel agents and tour operators, among them Chameleon Reisen, JT Touristik, SunTrips Reisen and Colibri Umweltrseisen, among others, to showcase the island’s range of attractions and provide information, aimed to produce greater sales and visitor numbers to Reunion from the Berlin region. Each participant in the seminars was at the end handed a certificate as a ‘Reunion Specialist’.

News about the FIFA World Cup winning team being invited to Reunion of course made for headlines in the German media and interest levels are high among many of the German fans to also see the famous French Indian Ocean island where their ‘Nationalmannschaft’ will be heading to just as soon as dates have been arranged.

While Reunion’s core market remains France have inroads been made into other European markets, among them Germany, and the exotic images of the island, the range of adventure activities and the quality of hotels and resorts has no doubt made it easier to sell Reunion as a dream destination. For more information click on

Serena Hotels Enewsletter: July 2014 Issue

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Introducing the Family Safari Package
Serena Hotels is happy to present to you its tailored safari product, Family Safari. In addition to Serena city hotels, safari camps and resorts, Serena Hotels also prides itself in its newest addition to the safari camps- Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp in Naivasha and the undiscovered Selous Serena Camp in Tanzania, both offering a perfect combination of business and leisure, as well as luxury travel, weddings and honeymoons. With this exclusive product, the group’s portfolio is ready for the high end market channels. Read more …..
Rwanda- Gorilla naming ceremony
Rwanda’s 10th Gorilla naming ceremony- popularly known as “Kwita Izina” was attended this year by thousands including international guests. The ceremony takes place at the foot of the Virunga Mountains in Kinigi, Musanze District in the Northern Province – Rwanda which is aptly described as the land of a thousand Hills. . . Read more ……
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Polana Serena Hotel
Did you know that Serena Hotel has a fiver star hotel in Maputo- Mozambique? Built in 1922 along sweepingly splendid lines, the magnificent Polana Serena Hotel has long been considered one of Africa’s finest hotels. Located on the leafy boulevards of one of Maputo’s most exclusive residential districts, the Polana Serena Hotel belongs to an elite class of world-famous hotels, which includes such timeless legends as; Raffles Hotel, Singapore; The Dorchester, London and The Ritz in Paris. Read more …..

Conservation News:

Serena is seeking to establish an alternative source of livelihood people that live around its areas of operation. Given Serena tree planting activities over the years, survival of the trees has been noted to be about 60%. The unaccounted 40% is attributed to either animal destruction or human activities. To curb this therefore, Serena Hotels is considering working with the members of the communities around its establishments to set up energy saving jikos. This project is a partnership which Nature Kenya, an organization that deals in conservation of the birdlife and ecosystem. Read more……
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Follow us on twitter @serenahotels, tweet us your photo and be sure to tag us and include in your message #MaraMigration #MaraSerena#whyIloveKenya. Like our Facebook page & post your best photo. Please make sure you add a caption including: #MaraMigration #MaraSerena #whyIloveKenya. Read more ……

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Visiting the Niassa Lion Project in Mozambique, Lion News, and More

Lion news from Ewaso Lions

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July, 2014

Special Report: Visiting the Niassa Lion Project in Mozambique

This month, members of the Ewaso Lions team traveled to Mozambique to visit the Niassa Lion Project, which is working with local people to conserve the region’s lion population while also improving livelihoods. Our time was full of invaluable experiences from tracking lions, to learning from their livestock breeding program, to joining anti-poaching patrols. Read on to see photos and discover what has bound our two teams together across these two African countries.

Continue reading »

0f9cbb86-e4b8-4b44-a774-6b395186bd9a.jpgCarnivores Thrive in Dry Season

The dry season has arrived in northern Kenya. Grass is gone, the Ewaso Nyiro River is low, people are struggle to graze their livestock. But the region’s large carnivores – lions, leopards, wild dogs, and others – are coping very well. View amazing photos of our recent encounters like this leopard.

Continue reading »

490216f1-1d64-4a5d-86f9-c8d18e1903cc.jpgBuilding a Network of Warriors for Conservation

Members of Warrior Watch visited warriors working with the Grevy’s Zebra Trust to the north in Laisamis. By sharing knowledge and experiences about working in conservation across different areas, these Samburu warriors are creating a large-scale network of pro-conservation communities.

Continue reading »

fe449ef5-db4a-4fc4-96d3-b0a6ab8dec2e.jpgLions Prey on Aardvark

Seeing an aardvark is a rare sighting. But, seeing lions kill and feed on an aardvark is even more unusual. We recently came across Nanai, Nabulu, and their 5 cubs feeding on an aardvark in Samburu and photographed the event.

See the photos »

14f26094-8691-40ef-8839-b2a5bf67bed6.jpgNew Guides Added to Lion Watch

Ewaso Lions trained 7 more safari guides to join our Lion Watch program, bringing the total number of trained Guides to 20. This unique partnership between conservation and tourism contributes to lion population data while also enhancing the safari experience for tourists. The 2-day training session covered ecology, conservation, identifying and aging lions, and data collection.

Continue reading »



Copyright © 2014 Ewaso Lions
Kenya: PO Box 14996, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
USA: Wildlife Conservation Network, 209 Mississippi St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

All photos © Ewaso Lions. Lion Watch Guides by Tony Allport. Cubs by Clio Maggi.

Ewaso Lions · 209 Mississippi St · San Francisco, CA 94107 · USA


Quo Vadis Uganda aviation?


(Posted 31st July 2014)

They used our professional relationship to feed us information. On first sight it looked ok but when digging deeper we found a lot of inconsistencies in their stories. That is when we discovered that they had misused us to become their unwitting helpers to bring down Air Uganda. Now it is obvious what has happened and those responsible will now see us’ said a local journalist when discussing the story in the Observer yesterday.


In a turnaround of sorts have the Ugandan media started to lift the smokescreen and began to poke holes into the UCAA narratives and the Observer story reportedly had the UCAA top brass scramble to attempt damage control when the newspaper hit the market in stark contrast to the first Observer report, when the paper’s journalists allowed themselves to be misled. The media and the public are now demanding answers to questions asked here weeks ago, starting with the validity and legality of the regulations quoted by the UCAA in their letter to Air Uganda of 17th of June, when in fact the statutory instrument was only gazetted weeks later.

A graph shown in an earlier article about the shortfalls of the UCAA during their last audit in 2008 also now puts pressure on ICAO to release the results of the 2013 audit which triggered the knee jerk reaction by the management of the UCAA, an action which led straight into a dead end in a deep abyss for them. The Ugandan public now needs to know, urgently for that matter, how the audits of 2008 and 2013 compare and where the regulators have failed again, five years later, prompting them to take the entire industry down with them to cover up their failures.

Add to that the emerging conspiracy theories which are now sweeping the aviation corridors, that individuals within the UCAA were willing party to the schemes of phantasists who hope to drain state coffers of tens of millions of US Dollars to revive a national airline and provide a major feast until the money is spent and the Auditor General will issue another death certificate of a public enterprise.

As I mentioned before, contractual parties for ICAO are the member states, not individual businesses or airlines. It is the member states and their aviation departments which have to apply the regulations issued by ICAO and ensure that their national aviation sector complies with the national regulations, which have to reflect the international framework. ICAO does not audit airlines, though consultations and interaction in particular with global and regional aviation associations are taking place all the time’ reiterated a Montreal based source at ICAO on continued condition of anonymity.

Where does that leave our Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority now is the question. Already suffering the embarrassment of being subjected to a secondment of staff from other regulators in the region, which is suggesting the level of confidence or rather non-confidence in their ability to deal competently and impartially with the matters at hand, is pressure now growing on several fronts. There are increasing calls for the senior staff in Entebbe to resign or be fired and looming large now is the possibility of a law suit against the regulators by affected airlines, which according to information sourced could potentially include named staff to be co-respondents in an individual capacity, where malice and gross negligence by them are alleged. Demands are also emerging that a formal commission of enquiry be instituted where the regulators will have to testify under oath with the penalty of perjury if they would be found to mislead the commission.

Meanwhile will Ethiopian and RwandAir commence operations on 01st of August out of Entebbe under 5th freedom traffic rights, bringing relief to thousands of outraged passengers who were forced to undertake long detours to reach such destinations like Bujumbura, Juba, Mogadishu or Dar es Salaam and suffered increased fares on the routes. There is however also an element of resentment to have to travel with other airlines while their airline of choice, Air Uganda, remains grounded over what increasingly now looks as an entirely arbitrary act by a regulatory body which has spun entirely out of control, presided over by a board of directors which has remained notably silent and shown a complete disconnect from the industry, as has the UCAA itself. Quo Vadis Uganda aviation – keep watching this space for what will no doubt bring up more twists in the tail of this sorry saga.

Elephant poachers penetrate South African borders again

More news updates from the Conservation Action Trust

New posts from the Conservation Action Trust.
Conservation Action Trust
Elephant poachers penetrate South African borders again

Elephant poachers penetrate South African borders again

SA Breaking News | 30 July, 2014 | Cindy Tilney | Free to Republish

A second elephant has been butchered for its tusks by poachers in Parfuri, northern Kruger National Park, 10km in from the Mozambican and Zimbabwean borders. SANParks officials discovered the two day old carcass with its tusks hacked out yesterday morning…. Full Story →

Great apes face extinction – Goodall

News 24 | 30 July, 2014 | AFP |

Nairobi – The world’s great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned on Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man’s closest relatives are not wiped out. “If we don’t take action the great apes… Full Story →

93% of logging in Mozambique is illegal

Wildlife News | 23 July, 2014 | Paul Newman |

Insatiable Chinese demand for timber is driving a grossly unsustainable illegal logging and timber smuggling crisis which threatens to undermine Mozambique’s forest resources. Launching the new report First Class Crisis today, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) revealed that a staggering 93 per cent… Full Story →

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