Archive for April, 2015

5th Seychelles Carnival was the biggest ever event organized on the archipelago

Success breeds success and the juggernaut the Seychelles’ marketing machinery has become is today a textbook example of how to do things right and make heads turn and spotlights be trained on the little paradise deep in the Indian Ocean. The marketing miracle from the Indian Ocean is largely attributed to Alain St. Ange, who joined the Seychelles Tourism Board in 2008 as Director of Tourism Marketing, attached to the parastatal by the private sector, and then rose to the position of CEO before being appointed Minister for Tourism and Culture.He today works with a dedicated team of young professionals who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their country shines and keeps shining as the just ended Carnaval de Carnivals, the Carnival International de Victoria amply proved.

For decades the Seychelles has seen activities and events being organized but never before has one event captured the imagination of the people of Seychelles and earned their support. The launch of the Carnaval International de Victoria five years ago has captivated Seychelles and public support for this event has grown annually making it today the biggest event ever organized in Seychelles.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its Tourism Board has managed to stage an event that clearly appeals to the Seychellois Community and they have continued to show their support for the three days of the carnival events by being out and about in Victoria" said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.

At the 2015 edition of the island’s carnival Minister Alain St.Ange, accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board, Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism and Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture led the first part of the carnival procession themselves. As the main organizers of the event that has captured the Seychelles they were seen at the front of the parade waving to the large crowd who had gathered alongside the carnival route.

"We all feel good at the Ministry and at the Tourism Board because we have managed to stage an event that the Seychellois want, that they appreciate and that they support with their heart. The opening ceremony is popular, the carnival parade continues to see the Seychellois gather in Victoria to such a degree that it is now over flowing with people and the carnival closing ceremony is today recognized as the only event that manages to fill to capacity ‘Freedom Square’ in the centre of Victoria. The text messages, emails and letters we continue to receive year after year shows clearly that what we are doing is appreciated. It shows that our efforts are being well received by the people of Seychelles" Minister St.Ange said.

The carnival in Seychelles has grown to become listed as a world classed event on the calendar of events of the Community of Nations. The Press Community continues to be supportive of this carnival that brings to life the concept of the ‘Melting Pot of Cultures’ and they have now baptized the event as the Carnival of Carnivals.

Kitty J. Pope from the U.S.A. is often quoted because of a document she published following the fourth edition of the Seychelles carnival. Kitty J. Pope wrote:- "It was over four years ago that the Honorable Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange came up with the idea of organizing a huge carnival where nations from around the world could parade their cultures. With many countries already having their own unique carnivals, St.Ange envisioned an international carnival that would bring nations together in one setting to not only showcase their cultures, but also to help promote an understanding of multiculturalism. He went on to launch the Seychelles International Carnival where communities of nations get the opportunity to network and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. The first of its kind, the carnival, which has grown every year, has come to be known as the “Carnival of Carnivals.”

St.Ange says that the carnival is a unique world event for bringing nations together where different cultures are respected as well as celebrated. “Even in the General Assembly of the United Nations when some world leaders stand to deliver their address, some delegates walk out, but here respect for everyone is and will remain the key to ties of friendship and togetherness,” he explains.

Supporting St.Ange’s view of the carnival, Canadian journalist Carol Perehudoff said that she has come to believe that the "Carnaval International de Victoria" could help to change the world because it’s a celebration of every culture together. “The Seychelles Carnival is a brilliant tourism idea that helps bring us to a point where we can live in harmony beyond colour of skin, to live in peace with each other,” said Perehudoff, after her first visit for Seychelles Fourth International Carnival.

Through this "Carnival of Carnivals," St.Ange has no doubt embarked on a global multicultural movement where people can capture the spirit of internationalism to gain a better understanding and appreciation of another country’s culture. Seychelles Carnival has captured the interest of leaders, tourism officials and travelers alike from the world over. As word spreads near and far among VIPs, media sources and curious tourists, the carnival has continued to get more popular each year. So just what is it about St.Ange that has allowed him to be able to successfully devise such an ingenious way to propel people and nations to come together under one accord.

For one thing, he has been dubbed a master marketer and promoter by Creole International Magazine, published in the UK, as he was able to turn around visitation numbers to substantially increase tourism arrivals in Seychelles. Implementing and forging forth the tourism portfolio set forth by President James Michel, St.Ange’s tourism approach and marketing methods have proven to be extremely effective, garnering him invitations from a host of countries and organizations that want to learn about the “Seychelles Tourism Brand” as a guide for replication".

Is SA Seeking to Downlist Lions in Order to Trade Lion Bones?

More news from the Conservation Action Trust

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Conservation Action Trust
Wildlife in Crisis Conference

18th, 19th and 20th May 2015
Venue: Kramer Law Building, LECTURE THEATRE 1, UCT , Middle Campus

View conference details here

Mark your diary for the upcoming Aviation Africa Summit in Dubai from 10th to 11th May

Delegates to the Aviation Africa 2015 Summit and exhibition taking place on 10-11 May in Dubai, could have the time of their lives thanks to a new sponsorship deal

Organisers of the event, which brings together the aviation industry from the Middle East and the fast developing African market, have secured a sponsorship deal with luxury Swiss watch brand and aviation chronograph specialists, Breitling. One of the last remaining, independent family owned and COSC certified brands, Breitling will be giving two attending delegates the opportunity to win a model from their Aerospace collection over the two days of the conference.



Taking place at Le Meridien Hotel and Conference Centre in Dubai, Aviation Africa 2015 ( will be attracting attendees from Africa and the Middle East with two days of panel sessions discussing the growth potential for the aviation industry in Africa. Participants will debate the opportunities, issues and lessons learnt to find real solutions and progress for this important growth market. All attendees will be able to enter the prize draw each day to win one of the two Breitling Aerospace chronographs.

Aed Adwan, Breitling Middle East, said, “Breitling’s heritage lies firmly in aviation and providing the most precise and highly functional chronographs to aviation professionals and enthusiasts. In 1952, Breitling launched its legendary Navitimer wrist chronograph featuring a circular slide rule serving to perform all navigation-related calculations. A cult object for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it has been continuously manufactured for almost 60 years – making it the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production. We continue to introduce collections of the most stylish, innovative and functional watches in the world while breaking ground across the exciting world of aviation.”

High level industry guests include CEOs and Senior Executives from airlines including Rwandair, Air Arabia, South African Airways, Daallo Airlines, Jubba Airways, ECAir, Emirates Airline, flydubai, Arik Air, Astral and many more including Aviation Associations AFRAA – African Airlines Association and AfBAA – African Business Aviation Association.

The associated exhibition will feature up to 40 companies showcasing the latest technologies and services to help develop and invest in the future of the industry in Africa. Gold Sponsors for the event are Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and UAS International Trip Support. The Official Airline is Ethiopian Airlines.

AVIATION AFRICA 2015 will provide connectivity – it’s about people doing business, products moving to new markets, investment and new opportunities being discussed and discovered. An exciting new event in a growing Middle East and African region.

AVIATION AFRICA 2015 ( aims to bring together government and civil aviation authorities; senior airline management; business aviation operators and specialists; financial and industry consultants and leasing companies; airport management and service company management and leaders from maintenance, training and flight support.

The summit and exhibition takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, The event is designed to be a meeting place for African aviation business and Middle East business.

Will the call ‘Skal to All’ become louder again in Kampala ?


(Posted 30th April 2015)

After returning only a few weeks ago to Uganda, having done a two years successful stint as General Manager of the Enashipai Resort & Spa in Naivasha, is James Rattos clearly set to get stuck in with a gusto. Now managing the Le Petit Village Hotel and several associated restaurants has he also vowed to return the Skal Chapter of Kampala to its former glory days and it was no surprise that last night he was elected unopposed to return to the presidential role.

Since his departure for Kenya had Skal in Uganda lingered along, unlike under some former presidents when attendances were high, speakers spiced up the functions and raffle prizes galore waited to be won.

No doubt will James bring all that back and then some more so that members will once again take pride to attend and participate in club affairs.

When exchanging mails after his election was James confident that his committee will provide the added support to accomplish this task and already has the buzz returned with members looking forward to the next function in May. Meanwhile is another former Skal president from Kampala heading to Nairobi where Kainembabazi Sabiti will take charge from next Monday of Corporate Communications and Branding for Amadeus.

No 396 Wildlife Trade News: 30th April

The daily dose of bad news from around
the world about poaching, wildlife and
environmental crimes …

in the spotlight today ……………………

UAE destroys more than 10 tonnes of seized ivory

International Fund for Animal Welfare expresses strong support to the UAE’s move. The UAE became the first country in the Middle East to publicly crush confiscated raw and carved ivory. Over the past 24 months, countries such as the US, China, France, Belgium, among others, have crushed ivories confiscated in their ports of entry.

CITES Secretary-General’s remarks to the first destruction of confiscated elephant ivory in the United Arab Emirates. (NA comment: Speech after speech ….and it all falls on deaf ears in Malaysia, as just one example, where the government still refuses to destroy its mountain of ivory or permit an independent inventory of it ….assuming the ivory has not ‘disappeared’ in the meantime. )

“The objective of CITES is to ensure that wild fauna and flora is not unsustainably exploited through international trade.” says John Scanlon, CITES

So: How do you feel CITES is doing up to now?

For example: Have things got better or worse in the past 10 years? Have more countries broken the convention and not been sanctioned?

Have more species been exploited unsustainably?

Are there more elephants now, or less?

Are there more rhinos, or less?

Can you name a single traded species whose population is greater now than 10 years ago?

We all know countries which are breaking the convention with relentless frequency, without being punished by CITES. Why?

Are these not unreasonable measures by which to judge the effectiveness, or not, of CITES and its leadership?

If you were appraising CITES out of 10, what marks would you give its officials in general? 10 being top marks.

No 396 Wildlife Trade News: 30th April

Congo-Brazzaville president burns five tonnes of ivory in fight against poachers. Denis Sassou Nguesso sets pile of elephant tusks ablaze as conservationists urge Africans to ‘get angrier’ about impact of poaching

Leaked statistics confirm scale of Tanzania’s elephant crisis EXTRACT: Whether Tanzania’s judiciary has the capacity to implement such penalties is highly unlikely. EIA’s detailed analysis of court proceedings connected to major ivory seizures linked to Tanzania since 2009 found that out of 13 cases involving 26.5 tonnes of ivory, just one person has been convicted.

The international donor community, rightly concerned by the shocking decline in Tanzania’s elephant population caused by rampant poaching, is lining up to fund a range of anti-poaching and elephant conservation projects in the country. In return, it should demand basic openness and transparency from the Tanzanian Government.

Thought for the day: "Change happens when the pain of staying the same

is greater than the pain of change."

Kenya: Punish Port Officials for Thai Ivory – Judge. EXTRACT: A High Court judge has blamed corruption and lack of commitment by Customs officials at the Mombasa port following the seizure of three tonnes of Kenyan ivory in Thailand.

Ebola Empties Villages, Bushmeat Empties Forests

Africa’s palm oil industry: new frontier or age old issue? Part 2

Pangolin Prison. SUMATRA

Kruger tourists help catch rhino poachers

Fined $14,900 over 5 tortoises. MALAYSIA (NA comment: Pathetic fines – just what you expect in Malaysia for wildlife crimes. The government there is pro-wildlife traders – always has been, probably because CITES turns a blind eye. ) Background to the case: Wildlife traders charged following TV expose on illegal wildlife trade

Land redistribution in Zimbabwe threatens wildlife and human populations

Slow lorises, pangolins, wild meat and crocodile lizards feature in latest TRAFFIC Bulletin

Decline in tiger parts trade in Singapore: ACRES

Wildlife sniffer dog brigade to be strengthened. INDIA

Three rhino poachers killed in Kaziranga

Farmers work with conservationists to protect predators. NAMIBIA

Forest Department relents, agrees to shift elephant. INDIA

Infrastructure Indonesia: Groundbreaking Trans-Sumatra Toll Road

Food Companies Scramble to Cut Palm Oil From Supply Chains

Python proliferation in Florida threatens delicate ecosystem

Sabah gets WWF award for creating nation’s largest marine park

Sanders auction to be delayed

Zambia’s forest ecosystems contribute $1.3 Billion to national economy

Zambia losing 300,000 hectares

Kenya: Govt, Tanzania Sign Pact on Forests

Help on the way for ‘green investment’ in Indonesia

Pictures of an erupting volcano anyone? Read on where to get thos snapshots


(Posted 30th April 2015)

The administration of Reunion Island has given advance notice that another eruption of the famous Piton de la Fournaisse may be imminent and if so will visitors to the island be able to enjoy a unique spectacle, that of an eruption volcano but from the safe distance and with nothing to worry about except getting the camera settings right.

In recent days was the Piton de la Fournaise subject to close observation and over the past 24 hours has the OVPF recorded not only an increase in the number of earthquakes but also of increasing intensity and a persistent deformation at the summit of the volcano. According to the prefecture of La Réunion is therefore an eruption likely to take place in the near future.

Under these circumstances has the Prefect of Reunion therefore decided to implement the alert phase 1 which suggests a probable eruption from April 29th, 2015 starting at 6pm. Public access to the upper part of the enclosure of the Piton de la Fournaise, either from the path of Pas de Bellecombe or from any other path, and the helicopter landing on the rim of the crater are now prohibited until further notice. The National Gendarmerie and the National Forestry Office (ONF) are the responsible organs to ensure the implementation of these security measures on the site.

This volcano, which appears on the list of the most active in the world, is one of the most studied and monitored by the international scientific community and the volcano observatory of Reunion. In Reunion, walk on the slopes of this sulphurous fire-breathing ‘dragon’ is an essential activity for visitors. Adventurers in search of intenseadrenalin raising adventures should do not hesitate to consult the specialist tour operator on the island for suggestions on the volcanictheme. Those on the island at the right time may be lucky enough to watch the fountains and glowing lava flowing down the slopes of this basaltic volcano as it spits fire and flame. And should it even happens that the lava rivers meet the Indian Ocean, after crossing the road this is considered the ultimate spectacle one can think of when visiting Reunion as the waters of the Indian Ocean are caused to boil and evaporate from the intense heat when the two elements meet.

For added information about the island simply click on

Coalition of the Willing countries push ahead with joint tourism promotion activities


(Posted 30th of April 2015)

Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, the three countries that are part of the East African Community and whose three members constitute the Northern Corridor Integration Projects initiative are revving up their joint tourism marketing programmes to attract more international leisure and business visitors.

The focus will be on continuing to position the East African region as a single tourism destination, drawing on the depth and diversity of the attractions within the region and offering an estimated 141 million people as an attractive market for investment.

Joint tourism marketing brings together the government and private sector agencies in charge of tourism marketing including Rwanda Development Board’s Department of Tourism and Conservation, Kenya Tourism Board and Uganda Tourism Board under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Initiative.

Speaking during a press briefing in Kigali after a joint consultative meeting earlier in the week did Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Head of the Tourism and Conservation Department at the Rwanda Development Board say that the partner states collectively considered issues like security, infrastructure and ease of access as central to ensuring domestic, regional and international visitors’ confidence in their personal safety and comfort when touring East Africa.

We have pledged to continuously and actively promote the Northern Corridor states as a joint destination. Security, ease of access and tourist confidence remain a top priority for this destination. As you know, we introduced the East Africa Tourism Visa last year and this already has had an impact. In addition to organizing joint events at fairs, we have organized travel trade and travel media trips for the groups to familiarize them with the offering‘ did Amb. Karitanyi say in a media release.

Fiona Ngesa, Assistant Regional Marketing Manager at the Kenya Tourism Board indicated that the region remains a very safe destination for every tourist and that Kenya was addressing the security situation. ‘We want to reassure our domestic, regional and international visitors that they will be safe and secure. We are open for business & we therefore encourage all to come & sample the diversity of our tourism products‘.

Since the launch of the common tourist Visa for the three countries and the Visa free travel for expatriates living in the three countries, besides allowing locals to travel with their ID instead of passports, have visitor numbers risen steadily while also positively impacting on the trade volumes between the three countries. Notably has Tanzania opted to stay outside this framework, as has incidentally problem ridden Burundi although the visible success of the cooperation among the other three countries of the EAC, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda has the private sector of the two, aka Coalition of the Unwilling, began to apply pressure on their government to join the various schemes in order to increase visitor numbers.

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