Archive for July, 2015

Rhino News from across Africa

Welcome to Save the Rhino’s July RhiNEWS, bringing you rhino news and updates from around the globe.
save_the_rhino.jpg header_top.jpg facebook.jpg twitter.jpg
RhiNEWS_Title_left.jpg JULY 2015
Today (31 July) is World Ranger Day! This important day gives us an opportunity to be thankful for the bravery and dedication of those on the front-line risking their lives to preserve the natural world. We also honour and remember the park rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Read on for the month’s top rhino news…..


World Ranger Day 2015

97852592-4722-4f4b-8a9a-f8ed354bf69a.jpgSave the Rhino recognises the importance of well-equipped, highly trained and motivated ranger teams in combating rhino poaching and protecting other wildlife. Many of our grants are focused on providing support for the ranger teams, including equipment, accommodation and training.

During June, with thanks to fantastic support by US Fish & Wildlife Service and many other donors, Save the Rhino sent out £360,204 worth of grants to the field programmes we support. This included:
– $58,708 to Borana Conservancy in Kenya, to help pay for new ranger accommodation and ablution blocks
– $50,000 to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa, for repairs to field accommodation for the rangers
– £35,163 to uMkhuze Game Reserve, South Africa to help pay for water installation in some of the more remote ranger outposts

You can support rangers by donating to our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal.


Namibian rhino update

58bc8a0a-0440-4186-8b9a-75c72ac1671c.jpgIn June, five people were arrested in Namibia’s Kunene region after being found with fresh rhino horns and a rifle.
Investigation began after staff from Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) reported suspicious tracks, which was followed by swift coordinated action with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Namibian Police Force leading to the arrest of the suspects.

The poaching victim was a 13-year-old black rhino cow who had a young calf. The calf died shortly after the incident, most likely due to the stress of losing its mother, being relocated and the cold night.

Our current Michael Hearn intern, Aron, has recently returned from a month assisting Save the Rhino Trust. Check out his blog to read about his experiences.


Death of Northern white rhino leaves only four individuals alive

c616e70e-133e-4fd7-b397-83c18077ca20.jpgOnly four Northern white rhinos remain on earth after a 31-year-old female named Nabiré died at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic on Monday 27 July, zookeepers said.

According to the zoo, Nabiré died from from complications arising from a ruptured pathological cyst, which was untreatable.

Three of the remaining Northern white rhinos live in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, with one other female in San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Read more on this story.


Drones and rhino conservation

8188e87d-0384-426f-aa5e-20b7954d81c5.jpgOver the past few years, there has been an increasing amount of discussion over the role of new technologies in protecting wildlife, particularly drones.

We are often asked about the use of drones in rhino conservation, so we’ve put together an article on our‘Thorny issues’ page to explore some of the key questions: What are they used for? How effective are they? How much do they cost? And ultimately do they help protect wildlife?

Read The use of drones in rhino conservation


Mozambique burns huge rhino horn seizure

1dc5603e-6713-4e5b-a18b-21e502e2bc29.jpgEarlier this month Mozambique undertook a controversial move to burn rhino horns and ivory seized during a big bust by Mozambican authorities in May 2015.

Although the burn sends out a strong signal of Mozambique’s commitment to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, there are concerns that vital evidence related to the poaching cases and stockroom thefts has now been destroyed.

Read the full story.

We would love to hear your thoughts on all our stories and the work that we do, please comment on our website, facebook or twitter pages! Or why not get involved and become a member or help fundraisefor one of our programmes

Photo credits: SRI, Dirk Swart, Steve & Ann Toon, Norbert Guthier, Mark Carwardine, Renaud Fulconis

Events2013 - 2014World Rhino Day

Save the Date! World Rhino Day is on its way. This year will see the return of our ‘Nail it for Rhinos’ campaign plus lots more activities.
We’d love to hear your ideas for getting involved this year, please contactemma

ongoing eventsTrek the Himalayas

You could be part of a team heading out to the Himalayas this year, raising money for rhinos along the way. On 17 October 2015 Discover Adventure leads this exciting trek. Find out more.


Featured ProgrammeFeatured programmeNorth Luangwa Conservation Programme, Zambia
The North Luangwa Conservation Programmeworks to protect an important black rhino population and many other wildlife species.

In June, Save the Rhino sent £2,000 to the programme, thanks to a donation from Peter Lawrence, which Project Director Ed Sayer will put towards the cost of VHF transmitters, to be implanted in the rhinos’ horns in this year’s rhino operations.

We also sent several grants towards the running costs of the environmental education programme Lolesha Luangwa.



Animal Friends Pet Insurance
Thank you to Animal Friends Pet Insurance for generously donating £5,000 to Save the Rhino. Thanks to all your votes we won second prize in Animal Friends Pet Insurance’s Facebook competition. Read more about Animal Friends Pet Insurance and their support for international animal charitiesonline.
Thank you to 23red, the integrated creative communications agency, for providing pro bono support for our ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ campaign. Congratulations to 23red for winning Gold for the small budget campaign award for our campaign at the IPM Awards! You can find out more about 23red online



Cerf Island, Seychelles … a review by tourism minister Alain St. Ange …

Experiencing the Seychelles brand on Cerf island

In less than 10 minutes, one can reach Cerf island by boat. The fresh breeze from the ocean and the smell of the lush greenery blending with the tranquility of the island, give visitors the perfect welcome. A refreshing homemade juice upon arrival makes you feel at home though away from home.
L’habitation hotel is a small tourism establishment nested on the coast of the island, providing a picture-perfect view of Mahe.
With 12 rooms, including two junior suites-Villa Hibiscus and Villa Frangipane- L’habitation is the ideal getaway place for a weekend.
Owned by Delta Horner, the establishment gives its visitors the best island-life experience one can get.
Savouring the local cuisine in an open restaurant, enjoying the colours of the sun’s rays as they brush against the horizon, while relaxing in the pool or simply walking on the beach letting the powder soft sand massage your feet ̶ this is what we call a stress-free holiday in paradise.
The hotel welcomes day trippers, tourists as well as Seychellois to its restaurant which boasts a simple but neat décor. Serving the local delicacies is what L’habitation prefers.
L’ habitation also caters for events such as weddings, birthdays and christenings. What better place to celebrate such auspicious occasions with your loved ones.
Not only does L’habitation promotes the Seychelles’ way and brand, but it also adds its part in contributing towards sustainable development within the tourism industry by using solar energy.
Fairy Tern struts its simplicity and elegance not far from L’habitation, overlooking the Ste Anne marine park. The two self-catering apartments belonging to Kevin Horner is well-placed in the midst of a beautiful garden.
Well-equipped and spacious, the two apartments offer tranquillity and a relaxing atmosphere for its clients. The apartment on the upper floor offers a nice view of Mahe island.
Tropical Sanctuary, which is only a few minutes’ walk from Fairy Tern adds to the charm of this peaceful island. This six-room establishment is equipped with all the necessities and is managed by Rita Panayi.
Set in a pristine environment and overlooking the turquoise sea of the Ste Anne marine park, this hotel is indeed a sanctuary in the tropics.
Further down, before reaching the Cerf Island Resort, tucked in a tropical garden is the Villa de Cerf owned by Charlie Marzocchi and his wife. Villa de Cerf is all about providing privacy and luxurious island retreat. The place is ideal for honeymooners and it is the perfect getaway for couples and families.
South Point Villas, is the just perfect for a holiday-by-the-sea experience, giving spectacular view of the vast turquoise ocean. Ile Caché is just only a few meters away and while relaxing under the spacious veranda of one of the villas overlooking the island, one can truly feel the essence of paradise.
Cerf Island Resort is the largest hotel on Cerf island having 24 villas altogether. Le Spa Latanier of the resort is the main attraction there as it is situated further up and it is well-tucked in the unspoiled natural environment of the island. Having a shower under the stars, enjoying a swing while the light waves brush against your feet, listening to the birds as they make their way around, or simply relaxing in the luxurious villas are what a holiday at Cerf Island Resort is all about and much more.
Being one of Seychelles’ most enchanted islands, Cerf island is renowned for its tranquillity and pristine natural beauty. A holiday on the island is a must.

More news from Kenya and about Kenya …

Travel News Kenya

August – September 2015


This month’s edition is a bit of a bumper issue. With the new regime of publishing every two-months, articles have been building up to such an extent that, if the stories were not told – and left on the shelf, it would not have the desired effect of promoting tourism to this magical country.

Saving The Most Photographed House In Africa by Kari Mutu is our feature story. I remember receiving an e-mail from Alan Donovan the driving force behind the African Heritage House over a year ago appealing for help to stop the new railway from going right through his house. I’m sure a lot of people did what they could, but no one was more surprised than Alan when the Government declared it a national heritage site, as well it should be, and told the railway to make another plan. Which unfortunetely has caused a controversey as it is now been diverted to land on the park’s boundary, sadly inside the park.

Also included with this story is that of Alan’s erstwhile partner and passionate collector of African arts and crafts – Joseph Murumbi. I’m reviewing his biography as I speak, what a wonderful story – but I’ll save all that for the next edition.

The Scott’s Jonathan and Angie spin a wonderful tale around Lake Elmentaita, with as to be expected brilliant images. The misspelling of the lakes name and the lengths that Serena Hotels & Lodges, who were about to open a lodge there, went to correct it is perhaps a story unto itself. Elmentaita not Elementeita……..

The ever effervescent Lauren Giannini writes about the revival of an old Kenyan chestnut – the Turkana Bus. It’s gone a bit upmarket, but still an adventure – only for the intrepid traveller. Desert Rose Lodge on Mt. Nyiru is on my bucket-list of places to visit here in Kenya – it features in her story as a way-point on the way to Turkana.

We welcome Simon Thomsett to TN, with the first of a series of articles on the raptors of Kenya. The first instalment African Eagles is enlightening and the images are something else. While I was editing this month’s edition at home last weekend, I happened to look out the window. There on a fence post was a large raptor that I had never seen before. I quickly looked at Simon’s images and there it was a black-chested eagle (see page 33).


Tony Clegg-Butt


Travel News

Click on the cover
to view the latest issue!

No 472 Wildlife Trade News: 31st July 2015

More bad news … but on the upside, Malaysia jailed the Orang Utang killer
and Zimbabwe is about to do the same
with two of the Cecil killers … while THE
DENTIST is now a wanted man …

in the spotlight today ……………………

Orang-utan slayer imprisoned at break-neck speed

July 30, 2015 Sabah/Malaysia

Is it a coincidence this case was wrapped up days, hours even, before a major conference on great apes was to be held in Sabah?

No 472 Wildlife Trade News: 31st July 2015

INDONESIA: Kebun Binatang Bengkulu Bisa Disebut Kebun Binatang Terburuk di Dunia

photo: IFOTA

INDONESIA: Pecinta Satwa Minta Kebun Binatang Bengkulu Ditutup

photo: IFOTA

INDONESIA: Pecinta Satwa Minta Kebun Binatang Bengkulu Ditutup

INDONESIA: Diberitakan, Kebun Binatang Terburuk di Dunia Ada di Bengkulu

INDONESIA: Kebun Binatang Terburuk Dunia Ada di Sini, Begini Nasibnya

INDONESIA: Media Malaysia Sebut Kebun Binatang Taman Remaja Terburuk di Dunia

INDONESIA: Kebun Binatang Bengkulu Disebut Terburuk di Dunia

INDONESIA: Not just any Wilmar suppliers caught violating no-deforestation policy. Two subsidiaries of Ganda Group, owned by Wilmar founder’s little brother, presided over rainforest destruction for palm oil in Indonesia.

INDONESIA: ‘Now there’s a glimmer of light in his sad dark eyes’: Dying baby orangutan who was snatched from his mother in the Borneo rainforest and kept alone in a dark cage is rescued

Read more:

MALAYSIA/SARAWAK MACC’s crackdown on illegal logging creates backlash – extract: It also highlights just how reliant the Sarawak’s timber business is on illegal logging.

See more at:

Chinese man admits smuggling rhino horns

EVIDENCE … The two suitcases in which 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin were found at Hosea Kutako International Airport on 24 March last year became part of the evidence in the trial of four Chinese men in the Windhoek Regional Court yesterday. – See more at:

LOOK: Threatened wildlife species rescued in Palawan

Preventing Extinction: U.S. Must Protect African Elephants as "Endangered". EXTRACT:

This Is How Many Animals Were Killed in Zimbabwe in the Last 20 Years

Kenya: Elephant Poaching an International Scandal

Myanmar President Pardons Thousands of Prisoners – Including 155 Imprisoned Chinese Loggers
Read more:

Killers who murder endangered species must be turned into pariahs, writes wildlife conservationist DAMIAN ASPINALL

Justice for Cecil

AUSTRALIA: Serial abalone poacher jailed for two years, fined $180,000

Poacher killed in KZN game reserve

Singapore company to raise $68,500 to fly endangered rhino to "Noah’s Ark" – See more at:

World unites to fight wildlife crime as UN adopts historic resolution – See more at:

Britain will lead illegal wildlife trade fight after Cecil’s ‘barbaric’ killing, David Cameron vows. As the Prime Minister declares Britain will play a ‘leading role’, Foreign Office minister Grant Shapps denounces killing of Cecil the lion as ‘barbaric’

Senegal announces nationwide logging ban

Peru boasts green credentials, slashes deforestation protections

Rampant corruption in Tanzania keeps fruits of the many in hands of the few. Fears are growing that endemic graft in Tanzania will deny the majority of its people a fair share of the wealth generated by the country’s natural gas riches

‘Isn’t it nice to put four arrows into an animal charging like that?’: Shocking footage shows how Cecil the lion would have been killed by the bow hunting dentist
Read more:

Hunter who killed Cecil the lion faces threat of prosecution in US: Dentist may have broken bribery and poaching laws, says congresswoman as protests at his practice

Read more:

Safari clubs release statements on killing of Zimbabwe lion

Illegal fish trade pushes critically endangered vaquita to extinction

Romanian Ministry of Environment finds evidence of illegal activities at Holzindustrie Schweighofer

Lawyer’s effort to free lab chimps dealt setback by judge’s ruling

INDIA; Two more elephant tusks seized

INDIA: ‘It’s a constant battle in the wild’

INDIA: Cops arrest wanted poacher, seize gun, 20 crude bombs

In Kaziranga, villagers get help to end poaching

COSTA RICA: Protecting life in Ostional: The survival of 2 species

The Economist explains Why palm oil production is going green Read more at

Asian Opinions Tackling timber and wildlife trafficking

– See more at:

SABAH/MALAYSIA: TRAFFIC SOUTH-EAST ASIA: We appeal to you to say no to illegal wildlife trade. Don’t buy endangered and protected species. Tell friends who do, that the law will catch up with them eventually – like this suspect in Sabah, Malaysia who’s been charged for being in possession of a Clouded Leopard. When you stop buying, poaching and trafficking will end.

FREELAND ‏ This decade more than 1,000 rangers have been killed while working to defend wild animals from poaching.


British safari bosses selling death: Firms offer ‘menu’ of big game to be gunned down… for a price

Read more:

News from Africa for Africa and the world … Shamwari’s July edition awaits

Jambo! Welcome to another issue of our e-newsletter, Shamwari, for readers ofTravel Africa magazine.

Next edition of the mag

Are you planning your next trip to Africa? Why would you fall in love with Laikipia? Why should you tackle Africa’s third highest mountain? Why is Morocco a great place to go with the kids? Why should you pick Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve for your next safari? Be sure not to miss our next issue, out in October, because we’ll be answering all these questions, as well as bringing you our Essential Guide to Victoria Falls (pictured, in all its glory, above) and the region! For a full list of the features that will be in the next edition, take a sneaky peak here.

Tell us about your trip to the lake…

Have you been to Malawi recently? In anticipation of our feature in our Autumn Issue on the best places to stay along the lake, we’d like to hear your favourite lakeside spots and why you love them. Email us using – we’re really looking forward to hearing from you!
(Image courtesy of Mumbo Island, Malawi)

Subscribe, or renew your subscription, by clicking here

New book arrivals…

Terra d’Africa, by Valentino and Jacqueline Morgante
Featuring an eclectic range of Southern African scenic splendours and an intimate portrayal of the mammals, birds and reptiles whose home is the wilds of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Valentino and Jacqueline Morgante’s Terra d’Africa is an inspirational powerhouse of ‘thought’ images that celebrate the photographic art of capturing the wonders of nature by highlighting unusual and often little-known features not often seen in books of this nature.

Legendary Safari Guides, by Susie Cazenove
In this updated version of Licensed to Guide (2005) are several of Africa’s most experienced practitioners – Robin Pope, Garth Thompson, Calvin Cottar and others – plus some of the rising stars – Benson Siyawareva, Anthony Kaschula, Betty Maitai and more. Each has a fascinating story, often involving some personal sacrifice or heartache, but always unfolding a tale of dedication, humility and a fascination with the natural world. What you are left with is a sense of their shared, deep-rooted passion for Africa’s wildlife and wilderness. It’s easy to relate to, because this why we love going on safari. And we do that because at some point a guide will have shown us something truly remarkable and got us hooked forever.

Please feel free to head on over to our Book Club where we’ll let you know about new releases, dig out some interesting old favourites and invite guests to recommend and review titles. Most importantly, please share your own suggestions and reviews of books you’ve particularly enjoyed to Happy reading!

Feel free to contact us with any questions – we can be reached on or at +44 (0)1844 278883. We are always looking at ways to improve our service and to ensure you are getting the most from your subscription to Travel Africa magazine, so help us to help you!
Safari njema!
Sherry Rix, Customer Services

Blending Culture and Art with Tourism and Adventure – look no further but Kenya!


(Posted 31st July 2015)

Tourism and Culture are ever more closely linked and this is very evident at the Segera Retreat of the Zeitz Foundation, which is located on the conservancy of the same name. Besides hosting the Zeitz MOCAA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Africa, have the owners now added an artist residency programme from which guests can benefit. Peterson Kamwathi will take up a month’ residency at the retreat, the first ever to be invited and the launch pad if not the proverbial guinea pig – no pun intended – for future invitations to artists from across Africa.

The Zeitz MOCAA Artist Residency Programme at Segera plans to invite artists whose work engages with identity, history, geography, landscape or discourse of the African continent. It is an opportunity for artists to spend time in nature – a time for contemplation, research and the ability to engage with Africa not only from a Metropolitan point of view. Segera offers artists in residence crucial support, for them to use their time at the Retreat to work through questions in their practice, without the distraction the mundane daily tasks they would usually have to deal with at home. An added benefit will be the presence of qualified wildlife scientists available for consultation, engagement with surrounding communities and cultures. Add to that the presence of the Zeitz Foundation team to support and interpret the landscape, flora and fauna, and a closeness with nature that amplifies pressing issues such as climate change and responsible ecosystem management brings value to the artists’ experience.

Visiting Segera as a tourist visitor, when an artist is in residence, offers guests an extraordinary opportunity to directly engage with some of the leading African artists of our time. Through experiencing this inspiring environment side by side, including dining together, studio visits, artist’s talks and other social activities, select guests will be able to learn first-hand about the artist’s work, their research at Segera, their studio practice and the current issues they are engaging with. This is a rare opportunity to be in the presence of individuals who are creating the history of art of our time.

Born in 1980 in Nairobi, Peterson Kamwathi’s substantial body of work has established him as one of the most evocative and aesthetically compelling artists working in East Africa today. Created in a figurative tradition, Kamwathi’s works are also highly conceptual, focusing on distinct topics and executed with technical prowess. His social, political and cultural themes are rooted in the Kenyan context that surround him but also take account of global phenomena. Kamwathi’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues around the world including Kenya, UK, USA, Netherlands, Austria, El Salvador, Finland and his work is represented in the permanent collection of Zeitz MOCAA, selections of which are currently on show at Segera Retreat.

Segera is centrally located in the heart of Laikipia, one of Africa’s and the world’s most exciting safari destinations. This part of Kenya boasts the second highest density of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, reticulated giraffe, Lelwel’s hartebeest and providing a refuge for endangered species such as Grevy’s zebra, Patas monkey and African wild dog. As the East African hub of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), Segera throughout the retreat displays striking, relevant and at times culturally and socially challenging artworks from the Zeitz Collection.

Segera is a destination for adventure close up to nature but also for spiritual reflection and peace. By pioneering the unique and holistic 4Cs approach to sustainability (a balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce), Segera Retreat is not only a beautiful place to be, but was created over a decade ago to inspire visitors to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Fusing absolute luxury with environmentally friendly technology, the feel is nothing short of eclectic, almost a sense of a collector’s objet trouvé with personalized interiors, while the extensive art collection punctuates open spaces with drama. There’s a sense of monumentality, of textured wood, hand-smoothed stones softened by fringes of twisted thatch roofs and light dripping through locally-made recycled glass chandeliers. As the East African hub of Zeitz MOCAA, Segera strives to strengthen intercultural relationships and understanding, safeguarding cultural heritage while raising awareness of cultural diversity.

There are few places in Kenya where tourism, conservation, culture, community and art are so skilfully blended together than at Segera, just one more of many reasons why Kenya is worth a visit.

For more details click on or else visit

Will Kenya Airways leave the turbulences behind and fly into calmer skies? Read on to find out!


(Posted 31st July 2015)

The losses announced yesterday at the airline’s investors briefing at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi were with 25.7 billion Kenya Shillings the highest ever in the airline’s history. Financial analysts, some with an inkling of what was coming, as well as aviation pundits must have held their combined breath for a moment, before moving on to dissect the range of additional information the airline put out ahead of the upcoming annual general meeting, when shareholders will have their say.

A closer look at the balance sheet shows the key elements which led to the airline writing a deep red bottom line, such as doubled fleet ownership costs, which rose from last year’s 12.5 billion Kenya Shillings to nearly 26 billion Kenya Shillings, while the company’s finance costs also doubled from 2.4 billion to 4.7 billion Kenya Shillings.

Operating losses in the meantime rose from 2.7 billion Kenya Shillings in 2014 to 16.3 billion Kenya Shillings this year. Higher labour cost too were cited in comparison with key continental competitors, raising questions on the sanity of union demands seemingly in total isolation from financial reality.

Mitigating factors for this performance was the halt of flights to key markets in West Africa on order of the Ministry of Health in Kenya during the height of the Ebola crisis, which cost the airline between 4 and 5 billion Kenya Shillings in revenues. Crippling anti travel advisories inflicted by Britain and some other countries were another factor beyond the airline’s ability to fight off and impacted on load factors of key European routes to Nairobi.

At the same time has competition heated up, not only from Gulf airlines, a fact also decried by AFRAA as an Africa wide phenomenon, but also from Ethiopian Airlines which doubled their services between Addis Ababa from two a year ago to four and is luring passengers from Kenya to fly with them via Addis at what some have suggested are below cost fares, an allegation however hard to substantiate. Many airlines, when selling against a national airline, offer fares below those of the home airline though the differing variances are an indicator just how hard they try to gain market share.

The airline, in a statement availed to this correspondent, made various comments vis a vis the financial results and key elements will be shown here for readers to understand better the challenges at hand:

Start quote:


Kenya Airways (KQ) successfully completed the first phase of its fleet renewal program in the

year involving the acquisition of the long delayed 5xB787 Dreamliners, 2xB777 – 300 and

3xB737 – 800NG. In the same period, the entire fleet of 767 ’ s were exited from operations.

These investments however coincided with a difficult business environment driven by the

incidences of terrorism in the region together with adverse external factors like West African

Ebola crisis and the effects of travel advisories. These factors cumulatively had a negative

effect on the Kenyan tourism and aviation sector. As a result, both the operational and financial

performance of the airline for the period under review has been adversely impacted.


The airline offered to the market a capacity of 15,406million measured in Available Seat

Kilometres (ASKs) representing a year on year growth of 8.6%. The uptake of capacity

measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) rose to 9,793million, a growth of 5.2%,

driving down the achieved cabin factor to 63.6% for the period from 65.6% prior year. At KShs

90.4 billion, the passenger revenue base remained flat and at the same level with prior year’ s

Kshs 90.2 billion.

The capacity availed into Europe grew by 13% mainly driven by the deployment of the larger

B777 – 300ER to Amsterdam in place of the B777 – 200ER, as well as the upgrade of the Paris

operations to a B787 Dreamliner. The combined capacity into the Middle East and Far East

regions expanded by 9% due to the substitution of the B767s with B787 to most of the


Within Africa, the capacity offered increased by 3.6% as a result of the additional frequencies

to most destinations despite the suspension of operations into Sierra Leone and Liberia since

August 2014 and suspension of operations into South Sudan earlier in the year. The capacity

within the domestic market registered a 29% growth following a successful entry of our low cost carrier JamboJet into the arena.

During the period, passenger numbers increased from 3.7 million to 4.2 million.


Direct operating costs at KShs 76.1 billion remained flat compared to prior year despite the

8.6% increase in capacity mainly driven by savings in fuel cost. Fleet ownership costs

increased to KShs 26 billion compared to prior year at Kshs 12.5 billion arising from the impact

of the fleet renewal plan. Included in the fleet costs are impairment and other costs associated

with the retirement of fleet. Ov erheads increased from KShs 21 billion to KShs 24.5 billion

driven by support costs for the expanded network and additional fleet.

Financial items

• Finance costs at Kshs 4.7 billion are Kshs 2.3 billion higher than prior year due to

acquisition of addi tional fleet and short term financing costs

• Include unrealised losses on fuel derivatives of Kshs 5.8 billion

Exchange Rate

During the period under review the Kenya shilling weakened against the dollar with the

average exchange rate at Kshs 89.05 compar ed to Kshs 85.92 in the prior year.


Against this background, the Board has taken a number of measures aimed at safe guarding

the long term viability of the business. These measures include:

• The agreement with Afrexim Bank to act as a financial advisor for an optimal funding

structure and to provide a USD 200m bridge loan.

• The acceleration of the commercial action plan geared at revenue generation

• Engagement with key shareholders for support

The Board believes that the KQ product offering is greatly enhanced with the fleet renewal and

improvements at the hub. The Board takes this opportunity to thank all its customers, staff, and

management, Government of Kenya, the shareholders and suppliers for their dedicated

contribution to the airline.

End quote

On the positive side for Kenya Airways is the move during the past financial year into their new home, Terminal 1A a bonus for their passengers, with substantially improved comfort levels from check in to the gates. New lounges for premium passengers offer unparalleled facilities and services, again providing the right incentive for front cabin passengers to fly with Kenya Airways, more so as the on board services in business class were also upped.

The arrival of yet more new B787 Dreamliners’ which offer substantially improved operating economics will allow the airline to dispose of the larger but more expensive to operate Boeing B777-200ER’s. Kenya Airways has four of those planes on the fleet but had mothballed them during the past year when demand on routes where these aircraft were deployed reduced. An airline source yesterday did confirm that negotiations are ongoing with potential buyers to sell at least these four and possibly even the newer three B777-300ER’s with the aim to operate all long haul routes with the state of the art B787 Dreamliners.

Once sold will the proceeds no doubt help to not only reduce operating costs but also improve the financials of the airline through a leaner but much more efficient fleet, leaving room to expand again when demand rises by adding more Dreamliners.

Towards that end has it also been confirmed that Plan Mawingo has already and continues to undergo a major review taking into account the changed parameters since the strategic plan was originally launched. This applies apparently not only to the projected fleet growth but also vis a vis new destinations and a team of consultants has been brought on board to help come up with an updated version, reflecting the present reality and match it to what can be accomplished, not what past ambitions wrote into the hymnsheets. Grapevine talk has it that a newly formulated realistic 5 year plan covering the period up to 2020 has been produced but is kept under wraps to avoid key competitors from obtaining and using such crucial details as Kenya Airways’ flies into friendlier skies again.

What is clear is that the company’s CEO Mbuvi Ngunze is determined to turn the airline’s fortunes around and with the 2014/15 financial year results now out in the open will attention turn to the announcements of the Q1 results. Those keenly awaited figures will be covering the period April to June, as and when they become available in a few weeks’ time and will be a good indicator if the past trend, like with tourism in Kenya overall, has bottomed out and a recovery is underway.

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