Archive for April, 2017

Rwanda and Ethiopia sign multiple deals including tourism cooperation


(Posted 30th April 2017)

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn signed a series of bilateral agreements at the end of the three day state visit before they both participated in Umuganda, where they helped with the construction of a secondary school library building.Among the bilateral agreements were such covering extradition, legal assistance, communications but also tourism, a sector where Rwanda has excelled in past years and where Ethiopia has been facing challenges to grow the industry to its full potential.
The two countries already cooperation in the field of aviation where RwandAir is using the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy to train pilots, cabin crew and technicians and is using the Ethiopian Airlines maintenance facilities to service some of their aircraft instead of sending them overseas for mandatory maintenance.
A former Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake is in fact the Chairman of the Board of Directors of RwandAir, a further sign of close cooperation in the aviation industry.

Brussels Airport News Updates of April 2017

Brussels Airport News Updates, in particular
of importance for all travelers on Brussels Airlines
out of their East African destinations Entebbe,
Kigali and Bujumbura … and others too of course …

Your flight info at your fingertips
No more searching for info about your flight! With the latest version of the Brussels Airport app, everything you need to know about your flight is now at hand!

The app automatically detects where you are within the airport (when your bluetooth is on). This means you get relevant, up-to-date information based on your location, such as the walking distance to your gate.

Discover the benefits here and download our free app today.

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Hi Belgium Pass
Introducing the Hi Belgium Pass from Brussels Airlines: a unique travel formula offering people from around Europe the chance to discover Belgium at a very attractive price.

For just 149 euros, passengers can fly to Brussels Airport from 50 different European cities. Once arrived, the ticket is also good for unlimited free train travel anywhere in the country as well as free entry to 2 participating attractions in Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven, Liège and Mechelen.

Hi Belgium passes will be available until the end of the year. So what are you waiting for? Come and say “Hi” to Belgium!

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New flight to Fez with Air Arabia
Air Arabia already serves several Moroccan destinations from Brussels Airport. And now, just in time for summer, they are expanding the network with 2 weekly flights to Fez.

The first flight will leave Brussels bound for Fez on the 14th of June 2017.

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No time left to do the shopping?
Delhaize.113548.png Coming home with an empty fridge waiting for you? Don’t worry! The newly revamped Louis Delhaize supermarket in the arrivals hall is set to reopen its doors on the 27th of April.
Goods ranging from fresh products and groceries to sweet and savoury snacks to even toiletries can all be found at Louis Delhaize.

Stock up on all your essentials from 6am to 10pm daily.

20 km of Brussels
The 37th edition of the 20 km of Brussels is coming up on Sunday 28 May 2017. The number of participants this year is limited to 40,000 and as in previous years, organisers expect to fill all places without difficulty. The route takes in Brussels’ most impressive monuments and is a great way to discover the city if you are up for the challenge! But even if you’re not, the event attracts plenty of supporters and onlookers every year, adding an extra dimension to a weekend city trip! 20kmOdud.172300.jpg
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Brussels Airport Company

Kafunta Safari News and what happened in April 2017

Kafunta Safaris News Updates

Though not at ZATEX this year, I had to give South Africa
priority as they ‘sealed the deal’ well in advance, here come
more news from my hosts of last year, Katunta Safaris …

Kafunta Safaris
Dear all!


Welcome to our 2017 season!

Wow, it’s been an awesome start to it with Kafunta River Lodge reopening with a full camp!

And it’s been a great month, with amazing sightings all along. Those who doubt coming to Luangwa so early in the year, this newsletter is for you! Wildlife and birds abound, the light is absolutely amazing with dramatic sunsets and the temperature has been really comfortable.


Now of course… there is a risk of rain. In our March newsletter I showed quite a few pictures of the river and its high level, as well as the flood plains in front of the lodge.

Well, we can say the rains have still been regular, with some good downpours, all month long. Although it makes for beautiful scenery, it is now time for them to stop so we can get moving with building the pontoon (which should be in full operations by now) and grading the dirt road to camp, which is bumpier than we would like.

We are confident the rains will trinkle from now on, and for those of you visiting us in the coming weeks, rest assured that fixing those two things is our high priority.

The Cowans


Ron, Anke and Luke have been at the lodge since early April, but Luke is just on his way back to Australia as his school holidays are over. Ron and Anke are staying behind to oversee the final preparations for Three Rivers Camp.

We’re on track for opening, even if the rains are making it a bit more challenging than we’d like! And driving down can be an adventurous journey! See the picture here of Ron & Anke in a bit of a pickle, and waiting in the shade while help was on the way (the vehicle got slightly stuck… ).


April is Ron’s birthday month and as we are loyal to our traditions, the staff came along with Ron’s favorite chocolate cake happily singing and wishing "bwana" another wonderful birthday.

Why this is always done at breakfast I’m not certain! Sure keeps our sugar level high for the rest of the day.

The Cowans also had visiting friends for a week or so, and enjoyed bringing them to one of their favorite spots – at the top of the Chindeni Hills. It’s quite a climb to get there (several hours of steep hill hiking), but the view is worth it.

Ron, Anke and Luke at the top of the Chindeni Hills
From left to right: Anna, Fine, Friederike, Luke, Anke, Ron, Sverre and Paul (sitting)
Welcome to Anna & Sverre!


With our portfolio of camps increasing so is our staff. Firstly, we are very excited to welcome Anna van Doorn and Sverre Beugelink!

Both from the Netherlands, they met each other almost 13 years ago, while working in a restaurant in Holland and have been together ever since. Travel & nature are a common passion and in September 2013 they left home to work as hotel managers in rural China. This was the beginning of a new career. In 2014 they set foot on the African continent, and after working on the top of a rocky outcrop in the Ugandan Savannah followed by a tropical beach in Zanzibar they joined us at the very end of March.

With studies in hospitality management and years of experience in restaurants (from cook to barista to events to restaurant manager), Sverre is ready to meet the challenge of our first season at Three Rivers Camp. Anna’s background is in Commercial Economics and her high administrative skills and passion for customer service makes her the perfect Duty Manager at Kafunta River Lodge.

Anna will also serve as Sverre’s back up and extra help at Three Rivers Camp, and in the future, we hope to see Anna & Sverre both based at the camp.

And to Ludovic!


We also have long term visitor at the moment, Ludovic Wilmart who is coming to us from Belgium (that makes him my compatriot!). Ludovic is staying at Kafunta as a school intern.

As a small child, Ludovic inherited his mother’s empathy for injured animals and helped her caring for rescued ones often turning their house into a small zoo.

His parents also passed on their passion for travel and when Ludovic turned 21 he left his tiny country to spend most of the year in widespread New Zealand where the idea of working in tourism came to him. Back in Belgium, Ludovic started tourism studies and is now doing his school internship with us for a couple of months.

Not only is he learning a lot about the industry, he is also a keen photographer as you will see throughout the newsletter, and on our social media! Well done Ludovic, and we’ll be sorry to see you go at the end of May.

Now some of you may wonder what has happened then with Eugene Booysen, who was at Kafunta River Lodge for the past two years! Don’t you worry! "Monkeygene" is coming back soon and will be based at Island Bush Camp as full time manager to take over from our friend Klaus, forced in pre-retirement.
Staff on deck!


Our restaurant team, barmen and waiters, will also be growing as senior staff train new locals to eventually move to Three Rivers Camp.

Our Lodge Manager Lisa Peake is looking after them as a good mother hen would!

Look at how sharp they all look in their new uniform!

Clockwise from Lisa – Sandie, Francis, Nashan, Andrew, Honest
Francis presenting afternoon tea
How about some wildlife!


Earlier on I said this newsletter would interest those of you who are still shy of coming to Luangwa so early in the season.

This section is for you! And the rest of us who are never tired of looking at the abundant, and gorgeous wildlife, we are privileged to have here in our area.

Now I have TOO many pictures to show for one newsletter. So you will just have to stay tuned to see more on the next one. But here’s a sample of what was seen in the past month.

Leopards, lions, wild dogs, buffalos, and tons of birds. Thank you to all for already sharing your pictures with me so they could be included in this newsletter.

Be our guest! The Shelley Family


We are back with our popular feature we started last season. Once in a while in our newsletters I introduce you to some of our guests, randomly selected at the lodge by our team of managers.

Amongst our first guests this year, were Paul & Ann Shelley with their teenagers boys Ben & Buster. Coming to us from Australia, this is what they had to say after their 5-night stay at Kafunta.

Was this your first trip to Africa? Yes, this is our first time to Africa. Paul has travelled to Johannesburg for work previously.

Why did you choose South Luangwa as your safari destination, and Kafunta River Lodge? Because Luke and Ben are at school together, and also in the same soccer league so we’ve known Ron & Anke for a long time. We also know a family who came before and had said how great it was. We really wanted to see it for ourselves. We did not know anything about South Luangwa before we came.


How was your experience at Kafunta? Kafunta was just amazing. A beautiful place just to sit and take in the surrounding views. We were warmly welcomed. The staff were amazing. The accommodation wonderful.

What was your greatest wildlife sighting? This was our first time on safari so all the wildlife was up close and amazing to see. Absolutely loved everything. Lions walking past us. The leopard relaxing on a tree. I loved the hippos and their sounds at night.

Was there anything that made you nervous in the African bush? Our guide, Martin, made everything relaxed and comfortable, even as 5 lions walked casually passed our open 4WD!


You went to see the local kids play soccer, how was that? Ben was keen to have a game with the locals, and was a bit surprised when he turned up and it was decided to play 2 x 1 hour halves. He had an absolute ball. The locals had all turned up to watch and it was great fun. Great sportsmanship by all.

Do you think you will travel again in Southern Africa after this? If so, where? I think that we will definitely go back to South Luangwa and Kafunta. We would like to visit at a different time of year and have access to the river crossing to see a different area of the park.

And anything else you would like to add? Our family had a wonderful time. Everything was absolutely great. The staff, the accommodation and the food. We were certainly looked after by all.

Half time! Both Ben and Luke joined to play
New in the neighbourhood – Luambe Camp


Luambe National Park is a very small piece of land tucked between the North Luangwa and the South Luangwa National Parks, on the Eastern side of the Luangwa River. It offers a Luangwa Valley experience reminiscent of the early days in the Valley – remote and wild!

We applaud the rebirth of Luambe Camp, the only safari camp in the park and its operating company Luambe Conservation Ltd whose main objective is to primarily conserve the habitat and biodiversity of the National Park, which forms a crucial part of the Luangwa Valley’s ecosystem.

We are delighted to join with Luambe Camp and introduce a very exciting combined itinerary to include both South Luangwa at Kafunta River Lodge and Luambe National Park at Luambe Camp and then fly for a 3 nights stay at Wasa Lodge in Kasanka National Park for the unique bat migration! This is a spectacular phenomenon happening yearly in a very limited period of time (end of October/early November).

Seats are limited due to seasonality of Luambe Camp (closing Oct 31) and the short bat migration. Inquire here for package details.

Bat migration at Kasanka National Park
Luambe NP
Kasanka NP
Observation Hide

If bats are not your thing, we can also suggest visiting all three parks of the Luangwa Valley, by combining our camps in South Luangwa, with a few nights at Luambe Camp before continuing to Mwaleshi Camp in North Luangwa. The seasonality of this combo is broader, being available from mid-June until October.

This is not a set package, but a tailor-made itinerary which I would be happy to help with. Inquire here for more information.

Luambe National Park
Just a few sunsets


It’s time to end the newsletter, but I couldn’t resist sharing a few more pictures of the amazing April sunsets we’ve had over the past few weeks.

The combination of clouds and spectacular lights makes for jaw-dropping sceneries that Anke and Ludovic both captured beautifully, right from the deck of Kafunta River Lodge.


In a month’s time Island Bush Camp and Three Rivers Camp will be welcoming their first guests too. Another exciting time ahead. The picture to the left is another sunset, but this time taken from Three Rivers Camp, how stunning is that!?

Bye for now,


Kafunta Safaris

Kafunta Safaris, Box 83, Mfuwe, Zambia

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates


Kenya, US Security Pact Advances Steps Towards Direct Flights Capital FM
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Solar power dominates rural Tanzania, says report ESI Africa
The report, released earlier this week by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Rural Energy Agency shows that grid electricity is the second… Read more>>


Tourism trends in Africa: mobile is the game-changer Travel 24
Travel into Africa for business and leisure is on the rise, with 39 million inbound trips expected annually in Africa by 2020… Read more>>

Unlocking the potential of South Africa’s ocean economy Africanews
Endowed with picturesque beaches and a coastline stretching for more than 2,500 km that is surrounded by waters from both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, South Africa is a tourist’s play ground… Watch more>>

Nairobi Now gives you all the information you need to have a great time while in Nairobi

Nairobi Now’s latest updates on ‘Action in Kenya’s Capital City

NairobiNow has been nominated in this year’s BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) Awards under the ‘Best Entertainment Blog’ category. Take some time off and vote for us here. Easiest way of finding us is, 13. E. However, …

Nairobi Now

Dear Readers of ATC News,

Welcome to this week’s Nairobi Now newsletter!

You can always access Nairobi Now and get in touch with us through twitter, facebook or the blog.
Also, email us to submit your events or suggest new ideas and collaborations.

These are the latest events posted on Nairobi Now – you’ll find more upcoming events published on the blog:

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Thai Tourism Minister meets St. Ange in show of support


(Posted 29th April 2017)

Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand made time on the sidelines of the WTTC (World Tourism Travel Council) Summit in Bangkok to meet Alain St.Ange, the immediate former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who is now a Candidate for the position of Secretary General for the UNWTO.

Former Minister St.Ange was in Thailand to push his Agenda for "Tourism for All" which he says is to live in a way that respects & enhances the freedom of others like President Nelson Mandela of South Africa said when he spoke about ‘To Be Free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live it a way that respects & enhances the freedom of others‘ St. Ange said even though making no reference to other candidates whose home countries and personal opinions have absolutely contrary positions on these issues.

Alain St.Ange who launched his bid for SG of the UNWTO in January when he presented his Official Nomination Documents to Mr Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO. St. Ange at that time was only the second official candidate when this took place in Madrid for this year’s UNWTO election set for 12th of May, also in Madrid. Alain St.Ange believes in the Tourism for All platform saying that discrimination in all its form must not be tolerated in the world of tourism and has always invited the other candidates to come out and make the commitment as well, something no one seems ready to do however at this stage, in one particular case because the candidate’s own country has a policy of discrimination. This includes the fight against discrimination based on colour of the skin, of religion, of politics, of gender, of sexual preference, of disability among others and he says that this is simply pushing an agenda of RESPECT because any form of discrimination is against our basic Human Rights.

In Bangkok it was the opportunity for Alain St.Ange to table to the Minister of Thailand his Statement of Intent and discuss his vision in the presence of Mr Pongpanu Svetarundra, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand. He was being accompanied at this meeting by Mr Nico Barito, the Seychelles Special Envoy of the President to ASEAN Countries and Mr. Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands which comprises if the Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Reunion and Mayotte islands.

The meeting was good. It was a great opportunity to speak openly and frankly especially as Thailand and the Seychelles enjoy [a] very cordial relationship. The plans for a sustainable tourism agenda as well as the need to work for safeguarding safety and security was also discussed‘ said Alain St.Ange

Previous to that meeting with the Thai Minister, the Seychelles Candidate for SG at the UNWTO had met Senior Officials of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he also presented the Seychelles Agenda for Tourism for All.

Jambojet acquires new Bombardier Q400NextGen’s


(Posted 29th April 2017)

(Jambojet’s new Bombardier Q400NextGen in new livery)

Jambojet will take delivery of another brand new Bombardier Q400NextGen in May and a second one later in the year as Kenya’s main LCC seeks to expand operations to new destinations.
Both aircraft, Bombardier confirmed this, will be through a long term lease arrangement with Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Co. which has reportedly converted an option for a Q400NextGen into a firm order, now having two on their books and beat other more established aircraft leasing companies to the door.
This agreement for these next generation turboprops signifies a key development in IFC’s international leasing business‘ said Alexander Rubtsov, Director General, IFC. ‘The demand for high-performance turboprops, such as the Q400, continues to expand and we are pleased to enter into this new lease with Jambojet‘.
The delivery of these two aircraft will increase the fleet of Q Series turboprops in Africa to over 120 aircraft including about 70 Q400 aircraft.
We are impressed with the level of professionalism that IFC exhibited throughout the process that led to this first agreement, and are delighted to have found a trusted and reliable partner to support our development plans‘ said Willem Hondius, Chief Executive Officer, Jambojet. ‘The Q400 aircraft’s performance has exceeded our expectations on all fronts. With its low operating costs and best-in-class passenger experience, the Q400 turboprop has helped us optimize and expand our operations and is undeniably the backbone of Jambojet’s growth strategy‘.
JeanPaul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft responded when he said: ‘We are proud of the Q400 aircraft continued success in Africa. Jambojet’s operations illustrate the capabilities and qualities of the Q400 aircraft that make it uniquely suitable for the region. The Q400 is a valuable asset for owners and operators, and we are confident that IFC and Jambojet will find many more opportunities to mutually benefit from the aircraft’s outstanding economics and performance‘.
Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 573 Q400 aircraft.

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