Archive for January, 2016

Manhunt for pilot killers results in three arrests


(Posted 31st January 2016)

Information has emerged from Tanzania that the sustained manhunt for the killers of helicopter pilot Roger Gower has yielded results as three suspects are now in custody, reportedly cooperating with security forces. It is understood from a regular source in Arusha who did not wish to be named that more accomplices are being tracked with additional arrests imminent. The suspects will be arraigned in court and reportedly charged with poaching offenses and murder.

Roger Gower died in the seat of his helicopter after being fired upon from the ground but in his dying moments still managed to avoid a complete crash, aiding the survival of a second occupant who was also in the helicopter as a spotter.

The gang of poachers fled the scene, also leaving the carcasses of at least three elephant behind, but according to the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, are their days now numbered: ‘Soon more people making up the poaching gang will be netted and brought to justice’. He had vowed earlier on Sunday that no effort would be spared to find the poachers turned killers and have them face the full force of the law after he visited the scene in Maswa.

Tanzania’s conservation fraternity, together with their colleagues in neighbouring countries, are in deep shock over the unprecedented fatal shooting of the pilot, which resulted in his death and the destruction of the helicopter when it hit the ground hard. ‘There have been reports in the past that low flying surveillance aircraft came under rifle fire from poachers to scare the pilot. But this is the first time in East Africa as far as I know that a pilot was actually hit and killed. Mr. Gower’s passing is deeply regretted by us all here in Arusha because he, as a volunteer, played an immensely useful role in combating this menace. The new government at least is committed to crack down hard on the poachers, the traders, the middlemen and financiers and finish the cartels. This tragedy will also make us all redouble our efforts to honour our fallen comrade Roger who is now one of Tanzania’s conservation heroes’ added another regular Arusha based conservation source.

British pilot dies in hail of bullets as he pursues poachers in his helicopter


(Posted 31st January 2016)

As Tanzania under the new leadership of President Magufuli continues to step up anti-poaching operations, has bad news reached from Dar es Salaam about the loss of life of a British helicopter pilot who was in close aerial pursuit of a group of poachers.

According to information received did the pilot, named as Roger Gower, aged 37, provide aerial support for rangers on the ground pursuing a group of poachers who had killed three elephant already. When approaching did the poachers open fire on the helicopter, forcing an emergency landing by the mortally wounded pilot. Gower was found already dead still strapped in his seat when the ground unit arrived at the scene on Friday. The incident took place in the Maswa Game Reserve area which adjoins the Grumeti Sector of the Serengeti National Park. Dozens of game rangers and wardens have been killed in recent years while carrying out anti-poaching operations in Africa but it is extremely rare that surveillance aircraft are hit leave along a pilot killed in action.

Conservationists, staff of TANAPA and government officials have expressed their deep regret over this incident and extended their condolences to Roger’s family and friends.

Meanwhile have security forces swung into action to pursue the criminals who when caught will face trial for murder and not only poaching, an offense which carries the death penalty in Tanzania.

This correspondent to expresses his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the family and friends of Roger Gower, who can only be described as a Conservation Hero.

Newsletter: New Cubs, Stopping Lion Killings, and More

EWASO Lions – another news update

Promoting Human-Lion Coexistence in Northern Kenya

January 2016

Rise in Conflict Puts Lions at Risk

High levels of human-lion conflict during the past few months have put lions at serious risk, while our team has been pushed to the limits to keep lions alive. When lions attack camels or cows (like the one pictured above), the people whose livelihood depends on livestock may retaliate and kill lions. The spike in conflict coincided with the arrival of the rains in November and has only just slowed down in the past few days.

Since November, we have recorded 45 incidents of human-lion conflict, and we estimate that our team has stopped the killing of lions 26 times. As a result, no lions were killed during this period.

"There was one day in November that was one of the hardest days of my life," recalls Jeneria, who leads our field team when responding to conflict issues. "The lions killed camels in 5 locations. I raced to one area where Lengwe was eating the remains of a camel in bright daylight right there by the village. I was sure he was going to be killed by three angry warriors, so I sat with them under a bush all day and convinced them not to take action."

Why does conflict rise during the rainy season? How does our team convince communities not to kill lions who threaten their livestock? Read on to find out.

Read On »

70d2b88b-ee8d-4006-a13a-5c76a48598db.jpgNaramat’s Cubs Revealed

Nine months ago, Naramat gave birth to three cubs in the community area, Westgate. Our Lion Scouts and warriors closely monitored the lions, keeping them safe by communicating with local herders. The entire time, we only ever saw their tracks. Until now. We found the lions along the Ewaso Nyiro River and photographed the curious cubs who may never have seen a car before.

Read On »

19e7c5e5-1c21-4501-b0a9-fb61cd8c749e.jpgWinner of African Excellence Award – Best Wildlife Group

Ewaso Lions has won a 2015 African Excellence Award for Best Wildlife Group. These awards are given annually to "African people and firms that have done great work to carve out a place for themselves among the most exciting in the world." We are thankful for the accolade and hope this will put lion conservation in front of a new audience in the private sector.

Learn More »

49bcf1d3-ef47-4c12-90fc-675e314c8786.jpgUpdate: Lengwe is Well

Lengwe has an incredible recovery story. In September, we coordinated an operation to X-ray the badly injured lion, and discovered he had a broken femur. His chances of survival were extremely low. Despite all odds, the tenacious lion has recovered and is able to keep up with his pride… and is even strong enough to get himself into trouble (see Feature story). We wish to thank the hard work of our Lion Wastch Guides who have been closely monitoring his progress.

Watch video of his recovery »

b1a33090-bd08-4c14-9bf0-ec979491748a.jpgVideo: Three New Cubs

Nanai has given birth to three little cubs inside Samburu National Reserve. The cubs are about 3 months old and appear healthy and active. We posted this video and could watch these little ones bounding after their mum all day.

Watch video of cubs »

3911263b-b567-4c08-9b0e-72b5659617ad.jpgPhoto of the Month

If our goal is to create a sense of ownership towards conservation among local communities, then perhaps nobody exemplifies this more than our Mama Simba women. In this photo, Munteli and Mparasaroi proudly wear their Mama Simba kikois while looking for wildlife in Westgate Conservancy. Through their leadership, we will expand Mama Simba into new key areas this year. Photo by Letizia Kornberg.

View »



Copyright © 2016 Ewaso Lions
Kenya: PO Box 14996, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
USA: Wildlife Conservation Network, 209 Mississippi St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
All photos © Ewaso Lions.

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


China’s Culture Vice Minister visits Seychelles ahead of launch of nonstop flight


(Posted 31st January 2016)

Mr. Ding Wei, the Vice Minister in the Ministry of Culture from the People’s Republic of China arrived in Seychelles on Saturday afternoon and was greeted at the island’s International airport as he stepped off the plane by Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture together with Ms. Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture. Also present was Mr. Zhang Xiangyang, the Counsellor at the Embassy of China in Seychelles and other Embassy personnel.

This is the first official by Minister Ding Wei which coincides with the upcoming Seychelles-China Day Celebrations set to be launched this coming week.
On Monday afternoon, the 1st February Minister Ding Wei will be at the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture were after bilateral talks they two Ministers are expected to sign an MOU that will further consolidate the already excellent level of cooperation existing between the two Ministries and also between the two countries.

This visit by the Vice Minister from China takes place just days before the launch of the first direct non-stop flight operated by Air Seychelles between the Seychelles and Beijing.

Chinese visitors numbers have significantly increased over the past few years as the archipelago has established itself as a wedding and honeymoon destination in China.

More destination information is available via

Hobbit land brought closer as Emirates announces 01st of March as launch date for Auckland flights


(Posted 30th January 2016)

Following the announcement by Qatar Airways’Group CEO Akbar Al Baker at the Bahrain Air Show earlier this month, that the airline was going to launch flights later this year between Doha and New Zealand’s city of Auckland did it not take long for rival Emirates to react.

Dubai’s national airline will on the fast track now also launch daily nonstop flights to Auckland, as early as 01st of March, in other words just five weeks from now. Rarely has there been such a short time between the initial announcement of a new long haul destination and the actual inaugural flight, but it seems competition has made the impossible possible after all.

Emirates will use a Boeing B777-200LR for the 16 hour flight – the return service is said to take 17 hours 15 minutes – the same aircraft type Qatar Airways was proposing to use. Yet unlike Emirates has QR not set a date as yet, not has it named a date for flights to Chile’s capital Santiago, which was mentioned by the Qatar Airways Group CEO at the same time when he announced plans to fly to New Zealand.

Either way, East Africans keen to visit Hobbit Land – the two trilogies ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ were both shot in New Zealand near Auckland in the town of Matamata – will soon be spoiled for choice how to get there and by two of the world’s leading airlines, Emirates and five star Qatar Airways. The latter, though coming late on the route, may however still make headlines with this flight when eventually launched, as it may well become the world’s longest nonstop service, with sources in Doha speaking of a flying time of over 18 hours. This will dwarf Emirates record attempt when they launch their nonstop flights to Panama City in March, due to take some 17 hours and 35 minutes.

Emirates uses only wide body aircraft on all their routes and serves Entebbe, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam while Qatar Airways, which deploys an Airbus A320 to Eastern Africa, serves Entebbe, Kigali, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Seychelles by horseback … a novel experience


(Posted 30th January 2016)

The Seychelles lack few major tourist attractions compared to many other destinations in the world. Arguably is hot air ballooning probably one of those activities which simply cannot take place on the islands unless pilot and passengers are ready to land in the ocean instead of firm land. Horse riding though has now come to the Seychelles with a planned launch in March this year after Damian and Tamara Dreyer, a South African couple, relocated to the main island of Mahe.

After spending their honeymoon in the Seychelles in 2014 they fell in love with the paradise islands and soon after their return home to South Africa put the wheels in motion to move to Mahe, the archipelago’s main island.

The couple, assisted by the Seychelles Investment Board, discovered that stables existed in the Barbarons District on the west coast of Mahe, which though disused were available for purchase. The couple took the bold decision to invest the proceeds of the sale of their properties and holdings in South Africa and going by the look of things – check out their Facebook page for relevant details – have things progressed very well. The seven select Appaloosa horses, which were flown from South Africa to Mahe, are out of quarantine and have settled down in their new home while getting acquainted to the long beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

A range of options for tourists are available, from riding lessons over short rides along the beach to two hour outings, swimming with horses, picnics and photo shoots included. Details are available from the company website as are tariffs. Discovering the Seychelles, or at least part of it along the Barbarons beaches, from horseback, is now no longer just a fiction but from March this year becoming reality.

For the love of Africa!

For the love of Africa – Travel Africa’s magazines …

Jambo! It was great to talk to so many of our readers last weekend at the Adventure Travel Show in London, and we’re always fascinated to hear about your travel plans and ideas, so thank you so much for stopping in to chat!

So, where to next?

We love blending some of Africa’s most iconic attractions with some of its lesser known and more surprising destinations, and the forthcoming April-June issue will be no exception. From the Masai Mara and Cape Town to northern Zambia, Sudan and the ancient civilisation of Great Zimbabwe, we will explore some of the great wildlife and cultural stories that make this the world’s most exciting continent.

Subscribe, extend or renew your subscription by clicking here

Walk this way

There’s no better way to explore the bush than from ground level. The anticipation felt when listening for telltale signs is intoxicating. Mike Dexter recounts his recent adventure in Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park…

Elephants in crisis?

With elephant numbers across Africa declining rapidly under the onslaught of ivory poachers, one national park faces an entirely different problem: Hwange’s elephant population just keeps growing. But what, on the face of it, might appear to be good news has become an equally serious problem, one that is as much a threat to the elephants’ long term survival as ivory poaching. Quite simply, Hwange has too many elephants; far more than the habitat can sustain. We talked to Mark ‘Butch’ Butcher

Join our team!

We’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper with a passion for Africa and for travel, who ideally has worked with databases and is good with people (so, not asking for much then!). A varied and stimulating role, based in our office in the Oxfordshire countryside – if this appeals to you, or you know someone who might be interested, please let us know <a href="mailto:craig (confidential email). Details and an application form are available on request.

Feel free to contact us with any – reach us on service or at +44 (0)1844 278883. We are always looking at ways to improve our service and 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

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