Hot off the press … the latest news from the Land of a Thousand Hills …
Hot off the press … the latest news from the Land of a Thousand Hills …
Lilian Gaitho, PR Manager of Jovago.com, has made several ‘entries’ into my blog of late as a guest writer.Here is her latest feature on surfiing with her top six tips of where and how.
Tomorrow will come the first of her feature articles about a stress free holiday in Kenya, and how to plan for it and go about it – serialized over the month of November to give every one who wants to #TembeaKenya can absorb her lessons and have some stress free fun in the Mombasa sun.
Planning a Surf Holiday? 6 Pointers for an Incredible Adventure in Africa
Whether a Pro or a Johnny-come-lately learning to wet your toes, surfing currents and breaking waves is bound to cause you a super adrenaline swell! As is similar to any other kind of expedition, the destination of your exploration or recreation goes beyond the fun in the activity. It’s a dreamy web of inviting accommodation, hospitable people, top-notch service, entertaining nightlife, outstanding culinary, accessibility to needful supplies and of course that extra edge that makes the whole experience stand out. For surfers, these aspects will come in handy especially when the oceans go flat or the waters decide to spill a storm. Whether enjoying globally-reclaimed consistence at Anchor Point – Morocco, daring the raging waves of Dungeons-Cape town, or exploring the Swahili Beaches along the East African coastline, Jovago.com lists down lead pointers to help you put together a hitch-free surf holiday.
1. Pick the Best Surfing Season
While ardent surfers will have finger-tip insights on the best season for respective surf spots, newbies and thrill-seekers will need a due diligence research on best timing! You seriously would not want your surf holiday to end up as a fishing trip or a snorkeling expedition despite the adventure there in. Ask around by posing questions in related online forums, join a surf community network in your planned destination, call your host surf camp or hotel and find out all you can on catching the best wave, then align your travel dates to the advice. Remember too that different spots will have different timings albeit being in similar geographical area. While Kenya may not be put in the same rank as Mozambique, it’s good to note that you can catch a swell-worth-writing-home-about during the North East Monsoon (December-March), popular with wind surfers. In contrast, you will have to wait for the mid-year stretch (June-September) to hit Tanzania before you can think Surfing. On the luckier side, South Africa has plenty of swell given that its coastline forms the royal rendezvous of South Atlantic’s Indian Ocean’s (SW) Agulhas current. With a Coastal stretch of about 3000 km, surfers can sleep, dream, drift off and still catch the right wave all year round.
2. Ferrying the Tools of your Leisure : Airline Policy
The British Surfing Community is up in arms against an impending ban on surf boards aboard British Airways. Six days into the anti-ban campaign, their Facebook page had already ganged more than 2000 followers. Just six days after it was set up, a campaign against the ban on the social networking website had attracted hundreds to thousands of signatures on an anti-ban petition! Suffice is to say, the question on any Airline’s Surfboard policy should top the list of issues-to deal with while planning a Surf trip. Details to find out include whether the board can be charged as hand luggage or you will need to pay for it separately. Find out too if the surfboards (in case of more than one) attract a per-piece charge or as collective weight, and so what is the luggage allowance policy? You can then decide on the best way to pack your tools. Do check if there’s need to notify the airline of your “special luggage” ahead of your boarding time and if there are any specific guidelines to how you should pack to ensure safety.
3. Laying out your Surf Safari
Goes without saying, it completely makes no sense to pick the long, gigantic and rocket-fast barrels of Jeffrey’s Bay (South Africa) or Killer Point (Taghazout-Morocco) on your second day of training; avoid tempting the angel of death. When choosing beginner locations, go for beach breaks which attract less violent waves thus ideal for learning. Master White waters before you jump into anything darker and liaise with the lifeguard to watch just in case the waters throw a surprise wave party on you. Practice prudence and create rapports with the resident surfers and get a crash-course on local hazards and the herbs you can apply to soothe a beetle sting. With your Lifeguard-friend on watch, drift a hundred meters away from the crowds and allow yourself enough space to learn. There are also plenty of safe havens in the Kenyan Coast like Diani and shorelines of Lake Malawi (Malawi), and Lake Kivu (Rwanda)
4. Surf Camps and Choosing Where to Stay
For beginners, a surf camp is a good idea as you will be well-found in the company of dyed-in-the-wool trainers and then, a few other greenhorns sharing in your nervousness! Talk of consolation in numbers. For seasoned surfers, take some time to study your location and its accessibility. Some surf spots are only accessible on jet-ski, 4WD or a boat. Make sure you do not lose too much surf time while trying to access that fabled, formidable wave! For instance, while you will need a boat to access the Zanzibar North Reefs, Oyster Bay Break is right outside the Dar es Salaam; Sea Cliff Hotel will make for a great stay for those hell-bent on catching every last wave.
5. Packing for your Surf Trip
On top of your wet suit, ensure that you pack enough surf wax. Apart from guaranteeing that you will not be caught smack in the middle of The Season’s Big Wave waving a white cloth, it will earn you great friends with those unfortunate enough to have missed this post! In the spirit of The Honorary Colonel Lord Baden Powell, park an extra surf board, spare fin etc., and be Always Prepared; throw in a ding repair kit, from resin, sand paper, duct tape and the works. A surf trip is like space expedition-you’ll be safer ruling out any possibility of needful supplies. Just pack. Talking of space, it’s only prudent to pack a few aids to counter bugs and bites. Goes without saying, you cannot first aid a shark attack, surf safe!
6. Surf Etiquette
Top on the list should be the right of way; just like on the road, avoid precarious attempts to overtake. This simply means that the surfer closest to the wave has the right to enjoy that peak. As enthralling as it may appear, hold yourself and let go. However, an exception to the rules comes to play if two surfers are on the opposite sides of the peak-equal distance or not, you may both approach the wave and paddle each to their direction. On the same note, do not hog all the good waves just because you are better or are better placed than everyone else. This amounts to bullying, and may attract a few unpleasant comments from other surfers. While hogging, bullying, recklessly abandoning your board in the water and overtaking will happen in the waters, it’s important to respect the locals and the environment. Avoid trashing, clean up your picnic lunch sites, do not drop cigarette butts, wish well the residents and show some interest in their culture. For beginners, avoid competing with the Pros, watch and learn. A simple ‘hello’ goes a long way and could earn you top of the bill lessons from the connoisseurs.
Nairobi is positively ‘buzzing’ again – just check out the latest from this week’s edition of KenyaBuzz
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INTERNATIONAL BLOGGERS HELP REUNION TO BECOME MORE VISIBLE
(Posted 31st October 2014)
Cognizant of the fact that blogs, especially travel blogs, have become hugely influential media outlets, unheard of until a few years ago but leapfrogging the various development stages and now claiming to be at the very centre of how tech savvy travelers decide which destination to visit.
Reunion embraced the idea fullheartedly earlier in the year when bringing the first group of bloggers on to the island after launching a smashing hashtag campaign #GoToReunion which has become the arch-typical connected destination.
IRT, short for Ile de la Reunion Tourisme, continues its digital offensive. Having established a special relationship with the world on social networks, IRT has developed it a few months ago, in collaboration with the agency Destinate, a blog initially dedicated to the South African market, an initiative coupled with a trip blog which allowed nine professional travel bloggers to launch a digital marketing campaign to exploring the island.
The question has often been asked, who are those select nine?
Five South African travel specialists and online media bloggers, as well as four international bloggers of international repute from the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands had been selected to participate in this adventure.
Keith Jenkins (Netherlands)
Karsten Matthew (USA)
Priscilla Reis Magalhaes (Brazil)
Matty Brown (USA)
Meruschka Govendor (South Africa)
Kati Auld (South Africa)
Selene Brophy (South Africa)
Natalie Roos (South Africa)
Yann chew (South Africa)
The nine invited bloggers discovered Reunion Island, in the context of a blog trip around the themes of family, romance, adventure and sports, gastronomy and culture, nature and well-being. To think outside the box, they visited Reunion independently. This is a personal and authentic island experience they could share with a whole new community, including through the federated hashtag #GoToReunion.
Through the blog posts of articles, photos and videos were their respective followers able to keep tabs on the bloggers and equally discover the many attractions of the island. As the bloggers met with people and saw places so were their followers able to meet with the local population, activities, landscapes, gastronomy or anecdotes. Within just days had the blog received nearly 2.000 hits.
Half of the visitors came from South Africa but the blog has also received visits from people from La Reunion, France, the United States and the United Kingdom and many more who had learned of the campaign!
Directly connected to social networks the blog provides a better ranking of the destination on the web, and thus contributes long term, to develop awareness of the destination on the South African market but also internationally. After the success of the operation, the IRT offers travel lovers to rediscover the great many attractions of the destination, thanks to a video made by bloggers during their visit. For more details click on http://blog.welcometoreunionisland.com/ or visit www.reunion.fr
DAR TO DUBAI – 19 TIMES A WEEK
(Posted 31st October 2014)
When earlier this week Emirates upped their daily flights from Dubai to Dar es Salaam to twelve a week, it followed hot on the heels of the inaugural flight by ‘cousins’ flydubai, which also just commenced daily flights from Dubai to Dar es Salaam with extensions to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.
These latest developments increase the combined flights by the two Dubai based airlines from seven per week to 19, a massive increase in seat capacity by any standards and a mighty incentive to fill those seats, both ways.
Tourism operators have already started to work out how they can tap into the flydubai destination markets to bring visitors to the beaches of Zanzibar or into the safari parks of the northern circuit. On the other hand have traders and their associations seen opportunities to expand their own businesses not just to Dubai and the rest of the Gulf, but considering the low fares even beyond, into the destinations offered by the airline.
Meanwhile has Emirates itself gone into overdrive to sell and market their own capacity increase, which includes, besides the seats, also added cargo space.
‘Dar es Salaam is an important destination in our east African network. In our last financial year we carried over 180 000 customers on the route and this second service is expected to further boost trade and tourism growth, and will also offer our customers more choice and convenience from Tanzania to Dubai and onward to Europe, the United States, India and the Fast East, as well as other destinations across Emirates extensive global network’ said Khalid Al Zarouni, Emirates Country Manager for Tanzania before adding ‘This second service also makes Dar es Salaam the second destination in East Africa, after Nairobi, to have more than a daily frequency’.
The new flight is operated with an Airbus A330-200 in a three class configuration with 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 183 in Economy Class. This adds a total of 2370 seats and up to 170 tons of cargo capacity a week on the route.
The new Emirates flight service operates on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. It departs Dubai as EK727 at 16.55hrs and arrives in Dar es Salaam at 21.50hrs. The return flight EK728 departs Dar es Salaam at 23.30hrs and arrives in the Dubai the next morning at 06.20hr offering excellent connectivity both ways.
With the options now wide open to cooperate and partner with either the full service, award winning Emirates or else go the way of a low cost carrier like flydubai, the Tanzanian tourism industry will have a perfect platform to go out and promote their services and put packages together which can help to attract more inbound traffic not just from existing markets by especially from new and emerging markets served by both airlines.
The daily dose of bad news about poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes and more
from around the world
in the spotlight today ……………………
Seized 50,000 Colombian Wildlife Specimens
Image: Birds recovered by Colombian National Police as part of INTERPOL’s 2012 Operation Cage (c) INTERPOL http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3216551&Itemid=1 (NA comment: Time and again we can see results coming from INTERPOL activities, while we see none from CITES. Both have legal powers – one uses them, one doesn’t. Both have limitations; INTERPOL focuses on what it can and must do, while, if you care to write to it (CITES Secretariat) if you ever do get a reply they will tell you what they cannot and will not do.
The illegal wildlife trade has exploded in scale and complexity in the past ten years, while CITES remains firmly glued to the past. It’s another six months before the main CITES annual meeting is held. During which time how many countries will breach the Convention and how often? How many animals will be killed while waiting for the CITES Standing Committee to get their act together? Do you agree there is a need for an interim meeting of the CITES Standing Committee to focus on the crisis now engulfing the world’s wildlife? We need action, now, from these bureaucrats, don’t we? If their jobs and livelihoods were threatened, do you think they would wait a year before taking action?
No 251 Wildlife Trade News 30th October 2014
Bear bile extraction taking place in a Laotian bear farm, 2012 PHOTO © TRAFFIC http://annamiticus.com/2014/10/29/new-study-reveals-shocking-increase-of-bear-bile-extraction-farms-in-lao-pdr/
Oil palm explosion driving West Africa’s Ebola outbreak http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2612900/oil_palm_explosion_driving_west_africas_ebola_outbreak.html
AWF calls for tougher rules on lion hunting http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=249552
Books on Penan, logging for Adenan (Sarawak/Malaysia)
Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study http://theconversation.com/palm-oil-plantations-are-bad-for-wildlife-great-and-small-study-33632
$500,000 in illegal logs seized, loggers escape raid; Malaysia –
Seized stacks: Some of the illegally felled logs recovered by authorities in Lawas, Sarawak. – See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/500000-illegal-logs-seized-loggers-escape-raid#sthash.QVbcwfQR.dpuf
Namibia Poachers Kill First Rhino in Etosha Reserve, Sun Reports http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-10-30/namibia-poachers-kill-first-rhino-in-etosha-reserve-sun-reports
Mozambique: New Agreement On Fight Against Wildlife Crime http://allafrica.com/stories/201410300205.html
Why conflict over land is inevitable in Philippines, Indonesia http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/10/30/14/why-conflict-over-land-inevitable-philippines-indonesia
Environmental degradation triggers drought: Walhi (Indonesia) http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/96292/environmental-degradation-triggers-drought-walhi
Saving the Canadian Polar Bear http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-kangas/saving-the-canadian-polar_b_5946762.html
Air France A380 to land in Port Gentil: Gabon(NA comment: notable because of the nationality the airline anticipates taking more of to this region.).http://en.gabonews.com/en/economy/items/air-france-a380-to-land-in-port-gentil.html
An aerial file photo of the lush tropical forests in the Central Kalimantan province in Indonesia’s Borneo island. – See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/trees-borneo-among-worlds-most-productive-recycling-carbon#sthash.nfkLinan.dpuf
Poacher held near Orang National park (India) http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/poacher-held-near-orang-national-park-114102901270_1.html
Thailand tiger park reopens despite tourist mauling http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/11195694/Thailand-tiger-park-reopens-despite-tourist-mauling.html
Wildlife enforcers meet to identify solutions :Sabah/Malaysia (NA comment: It has taken years to happen and now we will wait to see if the Sabah wildlife authorities will ever walk their talk. So far they have been in denial there is even a problem, let alone an enormous one.) http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=92755
Sarawak Penans still hope for Peace Park http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sarawak-penans-still-hope-for-peace-park
Can we rely on voluntary industry action to drive deforestation out of supply chains?
Two held for killing leopard. India http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/two-held-for-killing-leopard-114102901143_1.html
Indian government plans to repeal hundreds of pre-independence laws
Legal relics of British rule face biggest clearout since India became independent in 1947 extract: In India, shooting an elephant carries a fine of just 500 rupees, or £5, according to a colonial law dating back to 1879. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/29/indian-government-repeal-pre-independence-laws
Hundreds of birds of prey are being shot or poisoned in UK RSPB calls on shooting industry to help stamp out problem as a report shows birds, including golden eagles, hen harriers and red kites were illegally killed last year http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/30/hundreds-of-birds-of-prey-being-shot-or-poisoned-in-uk-rspb
India: Forests and tigers vs coal mines http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2014/1662/09-india.html
Forest conservation work proves ineffective (India) http://www.ekantipur.com/2014/10/30/national/forest-conservation-work-proves-ineffective/396967.html
4 turtles might be listed as endangered (USA) http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2014/10/29/4-turtles-might-be-listed-as-endangered.html
Palani, a poacher, fell to a bullet: TN probe team (India) http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141030/nation-current-affairs/article/palani-poacher-fell-bullet-tn-probe-team
Tamil Nadu proves to be major link in chain for red sanders smuggling
Two months ago, the brother of a prominent politician was arrested while trying to smuggle red sander logs in his BMW. If one goes by the recent arrests, seizures and even a suicide, it looks like Chennai’s links with the red sander racket is getting bigger. (Photo: DC/File) http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141030/nation-crime/article/tamil-nadu-proves-be-major-link-chain-red-sanders-smuggling
Local communities rise to the forefront of global conservation practice (commentary)
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/1029-commentary-nelson-community-conservation.html#DZ6WIGUCP1TA8fPg.99
Illegal wildlife haul found in Lancashire (UK) http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/burnley-wildlife-seizure-014.html#cr
ASOS and M&S pledge to make deforestation unfashionable extract: More than 20 major fashion retailers, including Marks and Spencer, Levi Strauss and ASOS, have this week signed up to a new industry campaign that aims to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2378383/asos-and-m-s-pledge-to-make-deforestation-unfashionable
On the upside some good news from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy