Archive for September, 2014

Complete Refurbishment at Elephant Pepper Camp

And to end today’s news broadcast, here is good newsfrom Stefano & Liz Cheli who will tell you all about what has been happening
at their award winning Elephant Pepper Camp.


EPC - Honeymoon Suite / Family Tent
Extensive refurbishments were carried out at Elephant Pepper Camp early this year, and the results are impressive – if we may say so.
The new-look Elephant Pepper Camp is already so popular that for 2015 we have brought forward our summer opening date by 10 days, from 15th June to 5th June, to accommodate demand for bookings.

Brand New Tents

All the bedroom tents have been completely replaced and the new ones are larger, tan in colour and have more spacious bathroom areas.

Last year, we added new tent furniture in the style of Indian Raj campaign, with lots of wood and brass, and altogether, the tents now have a classic, very elegant feel.

EPC - Luxury Safari Tent

We are happy to announce that we have installed running water throughout the camp, including the showers – providing more comfort for your clients!

EPC - bathroom
New second Honeymoon / Family Suite

We have extended the camp with the addition of a second Honeymoon / Family Suite – and the two Suites have a new layout – spacious, two-room units that can easily fit 2 extra beds for children, and with 1 en-suite bathroom.

With a total of 10 tents, the room configuration at Elephant Pepper Camp is now 8 Luxury Safari Tents and 2 Honeymoon / Family Suites.

EPC - Honeymoon Suite / Family Tent
New Library / Private Dining Tent
The main area has been expanded with the addition of a charming library and lounge tent that looks out to the open plains where game frequently ambles by. The library is already popular for private dining!
EPC - New Library / Private Dining Tent
Elephant Pepper Camp is not only in the best wildlife location, it is now the most elegant tented camp in the Masai Mara. It always had, and still has, the best food!

We look forward to having you stay.

Best wishes,

Stefano & Liz Cheli

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Cheli & Peacock Safaris | P.O. Box 743 Uhuru Gardens | Nairobi | 00517 | Kenya

Reunion, special in every way


(Posted 30th September 2014)

Last Friday did fourty two hotels, resorts and service providers receive Reunion’s coveted quality label QTIR, which was developed and enhanced over the years to give qualified businesses in the tourism industry a seal of approval visible for tourist visitors.

Strengthening quality is at the very core of Reunion Tourism’s endeavours to position the island as one of the world’s great exotic destinations, to raise demand and to ensure that visitors leave in the knowledge they have received value for money and are happy with their vacation time.

The quality label, established in 1996, some 18 years ago, was back then created as Reunion Quality Tourism, RQT a tailormade solution to award best practice and services, and by doing so encourage others to emulate the market leaders. This made way last year when the scheme rebranded to QTIR and overall are now 113 hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses providing essential services for the tourism industry recognized to belong to this elite group. ‘Members’ are subject to renewal audits at regular intervals to be re-certified while new companies, meeting the extensive criteria, are admitted to the scheme at intervals.

Last Friday it was IRT’s President Patrick Serveaux who presided over the award ceremony, held at Lodge Roche Tamarin and handing over the certificates and plaques for display to those who made the cut.

The full list of QTIR members can be accessed via the island’s main portal

Meanwhile will Reunion join the rest of the maritime world when across the island the ‘World Maritime Day’ is being observed. As the whale watching season draws to a close this year has Reunion Tourism emphasized the responsible practices in use for ocean excursions by boat, an activity most visitors to the island favour, to see whales and dolphins, often in close vicinity of each other. In line with the guidelines of the International Maritime Organization’s recommendations are regulations in place to ensure that whales and dolphins, both mammals and not fish, are safe and suffer minimal disturbance when they are being observed.

Among these guidelines are requirements which must be met, such as that

· the launch of swimmers with marine mammals in the presence of more than three boats, is tantamount to deliberate disturbance;

· speed boats must be adapted to the approach and departure when in an area where marine mammals are seen

The regulations, or charter in place, goes as far as certifying companies and guides, as reported here before, which meet all the various criteria vis a vis responsible ocean activities when near whales and dolphins.

Along the principles of this charter did Reunion add the Label Observation Certified Manager of Cetaceans in Reunion (O²CR). The aim of the label is to provide a sustainable framework of this activity, which does not affect cetaceans. The label also aims to help educate the general public about the safeguards taken for the marine environment.

Reunion Island is part of the thirty-four hot spots of global biodiversity.

Created in 2007, the Marine Nature Reserve of Reunion seeks to reconcile human activities, over seventy uses in total, and the preservation of coral reefs, to preserve the remarkable biodiversity as truly natural heritage of which the island can be proud of. The reserve extends over 40 km of coastline, including 20 km of coral reef, from Cap La Houssaye in Saint Paul to the Roche aux Oiseaux at Etang-Salé. This protected ecosystem is home to some of the most biologically rich waters around the island, an eco diversity hotspot of global importance, with more than 3,500 species on record..

Plans are underway to create a whale watching route and an eco-tourism circuit between the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, which when coming to fruition are expected to boost whale watching and disseminate good practice of responsible tourism in the Indian Ocean.

Kampala’s culture scene grows from strength to strength


(Posted 30th September 2014)

Music gourmets in Kampala will no doubt look forward to a night out at the Kampala Serena, where courtesy of Brussels Airlines Alexander Gurning will perform a classical piano concert.

The proceeds of the night will largely go to support the Kampala Music School, where children and adults can learn to play, and eventually master instruments of their choice.

Classical concerts and chamber music performances are relatively rare in Uganda and as there is no philharmonic orchestra, apart from some one off private initiatives, aficionados of classical music will have a rare chance to listen to an accomplished artist.

The performance will take place on Wednesday evening at the hotel’s Katonga Room, starting from 19.00 hrs – late comers will have to wait until the interval to be admitted – and the cost is 50.000 Uganda Shillings, the equivalent of less than 20 US Dollars.

This, as are other events and performances of foreign performers and music groups, is all part of adding greater ‘oomph’ to Uganda’s capital city’s cultural scene, which has in recent years undergone a revival and renaissance once again befitting the overall standing of Uganda in the wider Eastern African region. Visitors to the city can get their ticket through the Kampala Serena Hotel’s front office or else click on

From Joan to Jennifer – Change of Guard at the Sheraton’s sales office


(On the left Joan Kasozi and on the right Jenifer Musiime, Sheraton Kampala’s new Director of Sales & Marketing)

The handover is complete and tomorrow (by the time you read this it will be today of course) is going to be the last day of a very familiar face at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, when long serving Joan Kasozi, outgoing Sales Manager, will leave the building for the last time as a member of the staff. She has over the past decade become a close friend and an invaluable source of information about the hospitality industry in Uganda in general and events and news from the Sheraton in particular.

Asked to give an account of her time at the hotel as her last day at the Sheraton is about to dawn, she gave an emotional account of her years and what she expects from the future, her future beyond the Sheraton walls.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As I come to my last day at the Sheraton, I am filled with mixed emotions at leaving. This is where I have been for between 10 to 12 hours every day for the last 10 years, a place that has nurtured me for so long and where I have made many meaningful friends and acquaintances. I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to cry at all the “good-byes” but have ended up sobbing for the better part of today!

Tomorrow I walk away from the Sheraton with a great sense of pride and even satisfaction that I have given my all to upholding Sheraton’s core values of a ‘Warm Connecting Community’ through serving people from different walks of life, and each time, ensuring that we met and exceed their expectations.

I have decided to pursue my other passion aside from Hospitality and Tourism – Agro & Aqua-culture which I am embarking on at a reasonably large scale. In addition, I have been asked by my brother, Dr. Anthony Kasozi to help him coordinate the building and setting up of an Integrity Retreat Centre just outside Mukono that he and a few other colleagues of his in the Diaspora are putting together. This will focus and cater for Top End Managerial Retreats from around the world – with already a number of bookings lining up even before we have even started! So really, I am not quite divorcing myself from the Hospitality industry.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for all your up-lifting support, ideas and advice and for constantly endeavoring to ensure that the Sheraton shines in this adverse business climate. I am positive that we shall be in constant touch and will be able to catch the odd cup of coffee and catch up on the happenings.

Come tomorrow it will be Jennifer Musiime Bamaturaki, who will as newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing lead the hotel’s sales team. Coming from Air Uganda, where she was Head of Sales and Marketing and responsible for the commercial side of things, she brings with her a wide range of contacts and of course the pre-requisite experience in the service industry needed to take over the mantle from Joan.

All the best to Joan in her future endeavours and all the best to Jennifer to meet and master the challenges ahead.

Derek Houston visit to Uganda 04 -06 October

Derek Houston of Houston Marketing is once again returning to Uganda and
will be in country from the 04th until the 07th of October.
He has invited the Ugandan’ tourism fraternity to take advantage of his and his
colleagues presence to update them on a series of events, trade fairs and roadshows planned for later this year and early next year.

Dear Uganda Tourism Colleagues

I am looking forward to my Visit to Kampala this Saturday 04 -Tuesday 07th October and introduce you to my colleague Penny Snodgrass, the Sales Manager of World Travel Market Africa and IBTM Africa.

Ø Though we are virtually fully booked for our Spotlight on Africa & Indian Ocean Islands workshop in Central/Eastern Europe covering Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland we do still have one table available for a Uganda hotel group or Safari Lodge or Uganda tour operator.

The dates are Budapest Tuesday 25 November Prague Wednesday 26 November, Warsaw Thursday 27 November

For more details on the workshops and some interesting market information on Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland click here

Ø World Travel Market Africa 2014 was a great success with over 3000 Trade visitors. The most talked about feature of WTM Africa 2014 was the amazing Hosted Buyer appointment programme resulting in 5353 pre-scheduled appointments with Exhibitors. W also received great comments on how professional our speed networking sessions were.

I hope you will decide to exhibit at the next WTM Africa which takes place between 15-17 April 2015 in Cape Town again. Already I have received a number of bookings from East African companies. Penny Snodgrass will gladly give you all the info on costs etc

For more information on WTM Africa visit

Ø EIBTM Barcelona 18-20 November . Our flagship event is specifically targeting the Meetings, Conferences and Incentive travel markets. Over 4000 Hosted Buyers from 62 countries worldwide will attend this exhibition and trade fair.

Ø This year we have the biggest ever participation from Africa – South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe,Seychelles and Mauritius are all exhibiting. At EIBTM 2013 each African exhibitor had on average of 22 pre-scheduled appointments.

Currently we can offer a very cost effective “walk on” booth on the Africa pavilion – click here for further details.

Ø IBTM Africa 13-15 April in Cape Town

The event is restricted to 60 exhibitors and Reed will host 60 international top level MICE planners. All Hosted Buyers will have proven inbound business into Africa and are strictly qualified based on budget, type and number of events and decision making ability. As an exhibitor, you can look forward to meeting Hosted Buyers from UK, Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The Pre-scheduled Appointment (PSA) Programme provides Hosted Buyers and exhibitors a diary of up to 36 table top appointments.

If you click on this link you can watch the video highlights for IBTM Africa 2014. or visit

If you would like to set up an appointment just call me on my cell phone +27824640901.

We are also available to meet on Sunday as we are staying at Lake Victoria Serena on 04-05 October

Regards Derek Houston
Tel:0027 12 665 0896 / 665 1191
Cell:0027 (0)82 464 0901 Fax 0027 12 665 1677

Kenya Tourism takes their fight for tourists to France


(Posted 30th September 2014)

Top Resa, France’s premier tourism trade show, which ended in Paris last week, saw a significant presence from the Kenya private sector and the tourism board, courting one of Europe’s biggest source markets for tourists travelling abroad.

With Kenya Airways now flying five times a week between Nairobi and Paris, using their state of the art B787-8 Dreamliner, nonstop connections between the two countries give French tourists easy access to Nairobi, the national parks and game reserves upcountry and the beaches north and south of Mombasa.

The Kenya Tourism Board made sure that enough time for B2B contacts was available for those promoting the country and held a cocktail function bringing together the French tourism industry’s who is who.

In a statement received from KTB did the organization leave no doubt that they will spare no effort to have French visitors return en masse to Kenya:

Start quote:

On the eve of the French trade fair IFTM Top Resa 2014, Kenya Tourism Board invited all major French tourism professionals featuring Kenya in Paris around a cocktail in September 22nd, 2014. It was the opportunity to discuss about Kenya and meet their expectations in terms of recovery of the destination on the French market.

More than 50 French tourism professionals – tour-operators, airlines, destination management companies and hoteliers – have participated to this B2B evening dedicated to Kenya organized on Monday September 22nd evening at the restaurant Le Zango, in Paris.

During this evening cocktail, the participants came to reaffirm their attachment and support to the destination, but also shared with the members of Kenya Tourism Board their expectations to recover the destination on the French market.


Mrs. Jacinta Nzioka, Marketing Director of the Kenya Tourism Board, and Mr. Daniel Karira, Regional Marketing Manager in charge of the French market, presented all major actions targeting B2B segment scheduled in the coming months.

At the end of key meetings scheduled during the French trade fair IFTM Top Resa, a delegation of 5 French tour-operators will participate in the 4th edition of the trade fair in Kenya called Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE – Magical Kenya Travel Expo) from October 8th to 10th, 2014. A familiarization trip will also be organized before the fair to increase their knowledge on Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha.

As regards travel agents, Kenya Tourism Board will continue to organize training sessions so that they can easily sell the destination towards their clients. Kenya Tourism Board will also award some of the most active travel agents of the e-learning platform with a familiarization trip to Kenya.


To recreate demand from consumers and recover the situation, Kenya Tourism Board will mutualize its marketing budgets to implement a B2C campaign in various markets including France aiming at reassuring travelers that Kenya is a safe destination offering unparalleled product diversity.

This communication strategy will allow Kenya Tourism Board to benefit from a larger impact, while respecting specificities and expectations from each market.

End quote

The upcoming Magical Kenya Travel Expo, in short MKTE 2014, will kick off next week at the KICC in Nairobi between the 08th and 10th of October and besides the trade fair also offer valuable insights into Kenya’s recent tourism developments through a symposium where speakers from within Kenya, the region and beyond will address the challenges and opportunities which await travelers and investors who come to the country.

For added information about Kenya click on or visit

First two, now four and more to come – Fastjet flights from Dar to Entebbe double


(Posted 30th September 2014)

Effective yesterday has Fastjet increased the number of flights between Dar es Salaam and Entebbe from the initial two to now four per week to meet steadily rising demand for nonstop travel between Uganda and Tanzania. Until the launch of Fastjet services did Ugandans have to travel via Nairobi or Kigali to reach Dar es Salaam, after the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, trying to evade ICAO citation for significant safety concerns of its operations, decapitated the country’s aviation industry, leaving a glaring gap in flight connections to the detriment of the entire region.

The doubling of flights to Entebbe comes on the back of Fastjet releasing unaudited half year results, which in comparison with a year ago show some significant improvements.

Fleet utilization has since last year risen from 5.5 hours per day to 7.9 hours per day by the end of June, but more importantly, since the addition of flights to Harare and the increase in flights to Zambia, by the end of August reached 9.9 flight hours per day. The new route to Entebbe since September is bound to drive this figure into the double digit hour range for the three Airbus A319 presently on the fleet.

Revenues of the Tanzania operation, presently the only active part of the Fastjet network, nearly doubled during the period under review to 19 million US Dollars while passenger numbers from the half year ended in June 2013 to June 2014 rose by 41.5 percent, with notably revenues per passenger now standing at over 81 US Dollars.

Important for passengers is the 90 percent punctuality, meaning arrivals and departures are staying within 15 minutes of the published times, giving them a reliability few airlines in the region have accomplished so far.

A statement received from Fastjet, commenting on the half year results, shed further light on these figures and data: ‘We are delighted to have seen a steady increase in the number of passengers travelling on core Tanzanian routes, with revenue growth of 96% against the same period last year. Strong underlying traffic growth in the first half of 2014 continues to demonstrate that Fastjet’s low-cost airline model works in the African market. This growth in traffic underpins our belief that people across Africa are increasingly embracing the travel opportunities offered by Fastjet’s safe, reliable, and great value product, with a high percentage of first time flyers.

Additional services from our Tanzanian base in Dar es Salaam to Lusaka, Harare and Entebbe, linking these land-locked countries to the port of Dar es Salaam, have proven successful and are performing well. Although these routes are in their infancy, there is every indication that these will develop into valuable routes for the Fastjet Tanzania pan-African network. Prior to these routes being launched there were no direct air services linking Dar es Salaam with either Harare or Entebbe.

During the period, we added additional revenue streams to the business mix including car rentals, hotels and car parking and early indications suggest that these services are proving popular with our customers. Fastjet continues on its path of expansion, leveraging our first mover advantage to the benefit of our customers and shareholders’.

All eyes are now on the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to learn when Fastjet will not only be granted an Air Service License, a prerequisite to start the process towards attaining an Air Operator Certificate which permits the start of operations, but also about the long overdue decision to let Fastjet Tanzania fly into Nairobi. The long overdue approval for those flights have raised the spectrum that should Kenya not allow these flights, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority may resort to retaliatory measures over the perceived violation of reciprocity requirements under the existing BASA, short for Bilateral Air Services Agreement.

Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across the entire Eastern African region.

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