Archive for April 8th, 2017

Ol Pejeta Escapes – April 2017

Ol Pejeta Conservancy Updates ahead of the Easter holidays

March on Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The month of April brings school holidays and Easter celebrations. We have amazing offers and special rates for you. We hope you will choose Ol Pejeta as your destination of choice.

at Morani’s Restaurant

On Easter Weekend, we will have an outdoor screening of Disney movies: The Lion King and Frozen. Come early and enjoy a game drive, have dinner at Morani’s Restaurant and finish the evening with a movie for your little ones.
>> moranis to book.

Kids Movie Night


Ol Pejeta’s Safari Shuttle allows you to spend a day on the Conservancy and enjoy the wildlife and many attractions Ol Pejeta has to offer without having to worry about transport and fuel cost. Departing every Sunday from Nanyuki at 11am, the Safari Shuttle will run the whole month of April.
>> Learn more or call us on 0707 187 141 to book.

Safari Shuttle


During the month of April, kids go half price at The Stables. The Stables offers basic but comfortable accommodation facilities. With a full board nightly fee of just $45, we offer great value for money.
>> Contact us on info

The Stables @ Ol Pejeta


Pay for 2 nights and get the 3rd one free at Pelican House this entire month.
Offer valid for citizens and residents only.
>> Contact us on info

Pelican House

Porini Rhino Camp


School holidays are upon us. Treat your little ones to a holiday of fun at the eco-friendly and authentic Porini Rhino Camp with the special offer where ONE CHILD TRAVELS FREE (when sharing with 2 adults). Remember, your non-residents family/friends traveling with you enjoy resident status at Porini Rhino Camp.

Visit info

Safari Cottages

SAFARI COTTAGES – A 20% reduction in residents rates

Amazing offer at the Safari Cottages this month for residents:

  • 4 nights for 3
  • Accommodation only: Ksh 9,900
  • Full board (3 meals per day, mineral water, tea, coffee and soft drinks): Ksh 14,900
  • Fully inclusive (game drives, meals tea, coffee and soft drinks): Ksh 19,900

Conservancy fee and vehicle entry fee not included. These are payable at the gate on entry. Children Under 12 half price and under 3 stay free of charge.

Visit info

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp


At Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, the whole month of April and May, one child under 10 years of age stays free if sharing with parents. Child only pays a bed night fee (US$22.00 per night). Terms and conditions apply.

Visit anjali

Jambo Mutara Camp


@KSHS.39,000.00 ONLY per person

  • 2 Nights accommodation on Full Board
  • 1 Game drive
  • Activities include visiting Baraka the Blind Rhino, the Rhino Memorial and the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Bush Walks
  • 15% discount on bush dinners
  • Free for kids up to 7 years

Contact reservations for more information

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Private Bag, Nanyuki 10400




Just Released: UNWTO’s Innovation in Tourism – Bridging Theory and Practice

UN World Tourism Organization – Bridging Theory and Practice

Ethiopian Airlines and Singapore Airlines expand codeshare deals


(Posted 08th April 2017)

Star Alliance members, Ethiopian Airlines and Singapore Airlines will expand their existing codeshare agreement as of 01st of June 2017, offering customers travelling between Africa and Asia seamless connectivity options.

Ethiopian Airlines’ daily non-stop services to Singapore from Addis Ababa, due to be launched in June 2017, will be covered by the expanded codeshare agreement.

Under the new agreement, Ethiopian Airlines customers will be able to access multiple destinations in Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam across Singapore Airlines’ wide network. In turn, Singapore Airlines customers will enjoy access to Ethiopian Airlines’ vast intra-African network including countries like Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, The Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Mr. Girma Shiferaw, Acting Vice President, Strategic Planning and Alliances, remarked: ‘I wish to thank Singapore Airlines for the successful completion of this vital agreement. The two airlines will synergize their respective networks in Asia and Africa to offer customers the best connectivity options with one ticket and one single check-in at the first boarding airport. It will also play a critical role in enhancing investment, trade and tourism ties between a rising Africa, and a highly developed, innovative, and business-friendly Singapore‘.

Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Mr Tan Kai Ping, said, ‘We are delighted with our expanded codeshare operations with Ethiopian Airlines. This significant expansion of our important partnership is in line with our ongoing effort to continuously expand our network reach and to offer customers more travel options and convenience when travelling between Africa, Asia and Southwest Pacific‘.

The airlines first began code sharing on each other’s flights to and from Dubai in 2011. The expanded codeshare flights are subject to regulatory approvals and will be progressively made available for sale across various sales channels.

Ethiopian Airlines operates one of the youngest fleets on the African continent with an average aircraft age of less than five years, serving more than 90 international destinations across five continents with over 240 daily departures.

Singapore Airlines operates a modern passenger aircraft fleet of more than 100 aircraft and together with wholly owned passenger airline subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot and Tigerair, the SIA Group’s combined network covers more than 130 destinations around the world.

Ethiopian Airlines flies three times a day to Entebbe and also operates multiple flights each day to Kigali, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam while serving the tourist destinations of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Mombasa too.

AFRAA’s latest news updates about aviation in Africa

Traveling the region – the upsides and the downsides


(Posted 08th April 2017)

(The Lake Duluti Serena’s main building at night)

I remember travelling the region during the first edition of the East African Community, when from harbours to railways, from phone companies and mail transport and then some more all these services were integrated under a regional umbrella body. There were the East African Ports, East African Railways, East African Airways, East African Post and Telecommunications and East African this and that, besides private sector tourism bodies like the East African Tour Operators Association.

Crossing borders back then was an almost invisible thing if one failed to notice the signboards at the physical crossing from one country into the next as there were no cumbersome customs and immigration posts. Entering and leaving the East African Community was subject to customs and immigration controls but travel within the what was then called the ‘Schedule Territories’, was made for the free movements of not just locals but in particular the wagenis from abroad.

Today is travel between the five member countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi subject to these hassles of customs and immigration, making travel often unpleasant if an ill-tempered official makes it his or her purpose of the day to make a traveller miserable.

While travel between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya is now – under the NCIP, short for Northern Corridor Integration Project countries – made somewhat easier, locals can travel by using their national ID cards and expatriates in these three countries can travel Visa free under the ‘Interstate Pass’ arrangements, are customs checks still in place and inconvenience travellers. What, one wonders, would I possible smuggle from Kenya or Rwanda back into Uganda, unless dirty underwear is now an item to be paid duty for, and no surprise would it be given the big holes in the annual budgets.

Enough of tongue and cheek though for now as I turn my attention to the real travel side.

Uganda has since the launch of the Visa free Interstate Pass travel for expatriates and ID based travel for locals, rocketed into fourth position overall in terms of arrivals into Kenya. The presence of Kenya’s leading beach resorts at the 2017 edition in February of POATE, the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo, was testament how much they value the Ugandan business. A group of hoteliers based along Diani’s award winning beaches made the trip to POATE as a team and are now smiling all the way to the bank. Even though there are no more direct flights from Entebbe to Mombasa – one now has to travel via Nairobi or Kigali to get there – have visitor numbers grown in leaps and bounds.

The same cannot be said though for travel from Uganda to Tanzania or even for travel from Rwanda and Kenya to Tanzania. The lack of participation by Tanzania in these travel facilitation measures have left that country short of experiencing a similar travel boom from Uganda despite the many attractions available for visitors, from national parks and game reserves to the beaches of the Swahili coast, Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) and even as far as Mafia Island. The same can be said for travel from Rwanda and Kenya to Tanzania, where the growth rates are way below those of travel by Ugandans (locals and expatriates) to Kenya.

For now I want to just concentrate of visits to places outside national parks, as going there has been made rather expensive by Tanzania’s decision to heap VAT on park entrance fees, but that is a story for another day.

Kenyan and other East African expats are always on the lookout for new places to visit, over long weekends but also during their local vacation period.

The roads from Nairobi and Mombasa to the border with Tanzania have vastly improved and are undergoing further upgrades and improvements especially to make exit and entry into the cities easier.

Be it the new highway from Voi via Taita Hills to Taveta and on to Moshi and Arusha, or the highway from Nairobi via Athi River, Kajiado and Namanga to Arusha, apart from traffic jams getting out of the two cities, those have made road travel much easier. Once reaching Athi River out of Nairobi or Mazeras out of Mombasa, it is smooth cruising to the nearest border post with Tanzania. Of course do East Africans need a passport to enter Tanzania and expats from neighbouring countries have to pay an entry fee, aka Visa of 50 US Dollars – adding up to 200 or 250 for a family of four or five – something today seen as waste of money given visits within the three, Uganda – Rwanda – Kenya are now free.

Accordingly are visitor numbers from the three to Tanzania not growing as they could and should to the detriment of hotels, resorts and safari lodges, especially those outside the national parks. A long weekend spent in Arusha or outside the city or a drive on very good tarmac roads to for instance the Lake Manyara Serena is within easy reach of Nairobi’s affluent expat community but often dismissed exactly for the reason of extractive Visa fees, when other options exist how and where to spend that money.

Yet do the attractions beckon. There are a number of resort and hotels outside Arusha visitors can choose from, notably and among many others of course the Lake Duluti based Serena from where it is but a long stone throw to a great golf course, KiliGolf.

Set in a coffee estate and overlooking Lake Duluti has the Serena in Arusha all one could wish for, from maid services for toddlers and younger kids to excellent food and spacious rooms set in clusters, perfect for friends travelling together. A pool invites for a refreshing dip after doing a boat trip on the lake, perhaps trying out one’s fishing skills, or just an extended hike across the coffee estate. Bird walks and bike trips too are on the menu of activities guests find at the Lake Duluti Serena. The concierge service at the Serena is happy to arrange for golfing at the Arusha Golf Club or KiliGolf for the avid golfers while those not keen on chasing a small white ball can enjoy a massage at the hotel or just laze by the poolside while the kids are under the care of a professional maid.

Moving a little more out of Arusha provides visitors coming in their own cars with a very scenic drive out of the city towards Lake Manyara. All but one of the lodges and safari camps are outside the national park on top of the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment and again does the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge stand out among its peers. The view from the lodge would be described by Americans as ‘Awesome, just Awesome’ while us locals just use words like ‘Out of this World’ all meaning a spectacular setting and scenery unfolding at the bottom of the escarpment which forms part of the Rift Valley walls.

Sporting and adventure activities await guests at the lodge, including mountain biking, hikes and bird walks. Also available is a Spa for those who need a massage after some hiking or biking or simply enjoy the good life.

Given an all tarmac access from the borders in Namanga or Taveta to Lake Manyara, and the choice to stay outside the park which makes a visit more cost effective, is this property just like the sister hotel near Usa River (outside Arusha enroute to the international airport) an ideal choice for a long weekend, a short break or a week’s vacation time without busting the bank. Serena offers low season resident’s rates just as they do in Kenya and – apart from the entrance fee into Tanzania, aka Visa fees – can visitors expect to spend a similar budget on a stay as they would at home in Kenya with the added bit of fuel for the longer drives.

At KiliGolf are incidentally properties available for sale for those who think of investing in a weekend retreat or place where to spend quality time. However, unlike in the Gulf, where buyers of real estate get automatic residency, is this still an issue to be resolved in East Africa where a number of gated estates on golf course developments have sprung up over the past years. When full clarity on this has been accomplished on this score it should be an easy sale especially to buyers from around the world looking for a sound investment from where they can indulge in their favourite pastime, golfing.

One thing is clear, travel across the region could be greatly expanded were Tanzania to join the ID based travel arrangements for EAC citizens as is being practised by Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya and accept Interstate Pass travel by expatriates duly registered in other EAC countries.

Perhaps does the Tanzanian hotel industry need to speak up some more and explain to their government what vastly improved occupancies would mean for not just their properties but also for overall revenues and taxes and employment opportunities and even added new investments.

For now, with Easter around the corner, will Rwandans and Ugandans, both locals and expats, very likely once again stream to the Kenya coast – where incidentally another Serena resort is found – and where no entrance fees become due at the border, leaving plenty of money to indulge in cold Tuskers or invest in a sunset dinner cruise on one of the converted dhows sailing up and down Tudor and Mtwapa creeks.

Safari Njema and Karibu Sana for those who travel.

Emirates set to get third frequency to Nairobi after all


(Posted 08th April 2017)

Emirates seems now set in earnest for their third daily flight between Dubai and Nairobi as the airline has now removed the precautionary notice ‘Subject to Government Approval‘ from its flight schedule website.
Despite the current Bilateral Air Services Agreement clearly showing an open skies agreement had Kenya’s former Transport Principal Secretary Mr. Irungu Nyakera vehemently opposed the third flight, speaking of the need to protect Kenyan airlines from competition, something which did not go down well in the United Arab Emirates. He added more confusion at the time when he said that some 30 other airlines’ applications for more frequencies or the use of larger aircraft had also been deferred, causing those affected to star on with a degree of perplexity, given the need to Kenya to bring in more tourists, conference participants and visitors in general.
Regular sources close to the Kenyan administration subsequently confirmed that the UAE and Dubai were digging in their heels insisting on Kenya respecting signed and ratified agreements with a big fat ‘or else‘ hanging like an angry cloud over the bilateral relations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a reshuffle last week of Principal Secretaries then moved the cantankerous Nyakera into a less profiled PS position at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, following which Emirates promptly deleted the precautionary warning.
As of the 01st of June will Dubai’s award winning airline therefore fly three times a day from DXB to NBO using a Boeing B777 aircraft in a three class configuration of First, Business and Economy on all three services.
Kenya’s tourism industry according to feedback received overnight, while in Nairobi, in fact expressed their delight of the added numbers of visitors the country will now receive as a result of upping the frequencies which makes Nairobi reachable from around the globe with just one convenient stop and short transit times in Dubai.
Elsewhere in the region does Emirates serve Entebbe and Dar es Salaam with one flight a day, also using Boeing B777 aircraft.

UNWTO pushes for uniform Statistical Framework


(Posted 08th April 2017)

The 48th Session of United Nations Statistical Commission has supported the UNWTO-led initiative of developing an international framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST). The initiative, being implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Statistics Division, aims to develop a new statistical framework for tourism — one that integrates the various dimensions of sustainable tourism (economic, environmental and social) and across relevant levels (global, national and subnational).

Overwhelming appreciation was expressed to the work of the UNWTO Committee on Statistics and TSA and the Working Group of Experts on Measuring Sustainable Tourism, which is leading the development of the new framework. The Commission encouraged the development of a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism as a priority to support more integrated policy in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in response to requests from Member States and various stakeholders.

It also highlighted the importance of linking the TSA to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), the elaboration of a TSA Compilation Guide, and the need to enhance capacity building for measuring sustainable tourism, notably in compiling TSA.

Established in 1947, the Commission gathers Chief Statisticians from Member States and is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities. The last time that the Statistical Commission discussed a UNWTO report was in 2008, when the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) framework was approved.

Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) will be the central focus of the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism, to be held in Manila, the Philippines, 21-24 June 2017.

The Manila Conference is an Official Event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 and will be a landmark opportunity to discuss methodological advances, explore emerging issues and learn from pioneering country experiences. A Ministerial Roundtable will kick-start the Conference to underline the importance of measurement in better understanding the role that sustainable tourism plays in fostering economic growth, social inclusiveness, and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

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