Archive for April 9th, 2017

Nyamu embarks on another ‘Elephant Walk’


(Posted 09th April 2017)

Jim Nyamu is ‘on the road again‘ in the truest sense of the word. Last year he completed a spectacular feat, walking across the Eastern African countries to create awareness of the plight of the African elephants in our region and after walking thousands of kilometres returned to Nairobi and a hero’s welcome.
Now it Marsabit the destination of his latest venture after he set out from Nairobi and will walk through several counties like Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri, Laikipia, Meru, Isiolo, Samburu before reaching Marsabit in an estimated 31 days from now. The theme of the walk was given as ‘Ivory Belongs To Elephants Marsabit Walk‘.
Before embarking on the journey, which was flagged off by the Irish Ambassador to Kenya Vincent O’Neill did Jim say: ‘During this walk, we shall be talking to various communities, mostly who are living with elephants, particularly in Mt. Kenya region where there are issues to do with human-wildlife conflict
The walk will lead through the Laikipia region of Kenya which has been under siege by criminals posing as cattle herders but who caused wanton destruction on conservancies, ranches and farms with over 30 people killed, half a dozen high end tourist lodges looted, burned and destroyed and great damage being done to Kenya’s reputation abroad.
Kenya’s elephant population has reduced over the past 20 odd years from over 130.000 in 1995 to just about 25.000 during the last major game count.
Jim also said that over 80 per cent of Kenya’s elephants are found outside protected areas and over nearly 80 per cent of poaching incidents take place is outside the protected areas.
We want to collect the views of Kenyans on how to conserve wildlife and mitigate human-wildlife conflict and how to reduce poaching within their regions‘ he then added.
Nyamu, who has been an elephant activist in Kenya for the past two decades has walked over 5000 kms raising awareness on the plight of elephant and rhino poaching.

Zimbabwe CAA in talks with Lufthansa to resume flights


(Posted 09th April 2017)

Following the opening of the new Victoria Falls International Airport and the success to bring airlines to fly to the new facility – South African now uses an Airbus A330 for the service while Ethiopian launched flights two weeks ago and Kenya Airways will follow suit in a few weeks time – has the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority now widened their horizon.
After attending the annual general meeting of the Airports Council International in Lusaka / Zambia recently did new emerge that ZCAA has made serious overtures to Germany’s Lufthansa to return to not just Harare but also consider a combined flight to Victoria Falls and a fifth freedom rights onward service to a final destination in Southern Africa.
Nothing could be found out about Lufthansa’s reaction to the proposals made but it would be a major coup for the Zimbabwean aviation regulators if an airline of such reputation could return to the country.
LH had to halt services to Harare nine years ago over their inability to repatriate ticket sales and only iron clad assurances that remittances will be made possible as and when requested might persuade the German airline giant to give Zimbabwe a fresh look.
Germany is a major source market for tourists to Zimbabwe who often combine a visit to Victoria Falls with safaris across the country, to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Matopos National Park’s scenic rock formation before moving on to other Southern African countries like Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia as part of their African journeys.

Reprieve for Rift Valley Railways as Uganda stands by the concession agreement


(Posted 09th April 2017)

As mentioned in a prior article on Kenya Railways’ decision to terminate the concession for Rift Valley Railways, the link shown below for ease of access, have clear differences emerged with partner Uganda Railways.

Information received overnight from Kampala suggests that while KR had indeed sent a team to the Ugandan capital to persuade their partners to jointly terminate the concession, this was apparently not well received by the Ugandans who subsequently did not serve their own termination letter.
Sources have suggested that Uganda would seek other alternatives to have RVR make good on both, pending payments for royalties and concession fees but also for the uplift increase in cargo carried, and not opt to shut the door in RVR’s face.
One of the shareholders from Uganda, Bomi Holdings, owns 15 percent of the company’s shares besides Egypt’s Qalaa which owns the remaining 85 percent but has signalled their intent to sell their stake.
RVR’s management has in the meantime obtained a court order halting any action subsequent to Kenya Railways’ termination letter for at least 30 days, giving the company time for emergency board meetings to seek solutions which would leave the concession intact.
The move by Kenya Railways is now seen as mischievious and deliberately timed to throw spanners in the works of Qalaa’s ongoing discussions with a potential US based buyer and as suggested in the previous article probably politically motivated to preempt RVR claims over loss of business when the SGR project goes on line by middle of this year. Should Qalaa be able to sell its stake and the new shareholder be willing to inject additional operational fund into RVR, would the company be able to clear the concession fee backlog almost instantly and concentrate to increase cargo uplift to meet targets, something which would put Kenya Railways into a serious bind come the start of the SGR, short for Standard Gauge Railway, operations.
One thing at present is sure though, that Uganda Railways will not be bullied into joining the termination letter and the unilateral action by Kenya Railways may therefore lack legal foundation.
As always, time will tell so keep watching this space.

Colobus Conservation fundraising gets a boost by Jonathan Scott


(Posted 09th April 2017)

Safarilink, Kenya’s leading ‘bush airline’, has been supporting the Colobus Conservation project in Diani for many years. In fact is John Buckley, CEO of the airline, also the chairman of Colobus Conservation and only a day ago did it emerge that he persuaded Jonathan Scott, one of Kenya’s most acclaimed wildlife photographers producer of the ‘Big Cat Diary‘ to launch a public appeal for more funding support for Colobus Conservation.

Jonathan and Angie Scott live in Kenya and spend much of their time in the company of African wildlife. Their wildlife photography, wildlife pencil drawings, and wildlife books have won awards and recognition throughout the word while their stock images are represented by many of the world’s top photographic agencies. The Scotts have dedicated much of their lives to wildlife conservation and are patrons of a number of wildlife conservation societies. Since 2012, they have been supporting Colobus Conservation.

As conservationists, we welcomed the opportunity to join hands with a local conservation initiative that we know has made a significant difference to the welfare of one of Kenya’s most charismatic primates – the exquisitely-marked Angolan colobus. The organisation pioneered the innovative construction of flexible ladders, which are strung across the roads of Diani at treetop height to cut down on road kills. They also prompted the insulation of some of the deadly power lines, which are taking a heavy toll on the population of colobus in this country‘ said Jonathan & Angie Scott

Watch Jonathan make his appeal and dig into your pockets or swipe your credit card in support of what has become the only hope for survival at the Diani coast and beyond for the indigenous colobus populations and other monkey species.For added information click on

Kempinski Hotels world wide celebrate the company’s 120th anniversary


(Posted 09th April 2017)

Kenyan artist David Thuku was the creator of the art piece which was revealed last evening at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi as the Kenyan capital joined all other hotels of the world’s oldest hospitality brand to celebrate 120 years of heritage in hotel keeping.
Thuku captured with his creation not just the 120 years represented by 120 frames – and four mirrored cubes on the bottom – but with his colours from the entire rainbow he also projected the variety and diversity of Kempinski properties around the world.

General Manager Kees Heuveling addressed the invited guests assembled in the extensive Villa Rosa Kempinski lobby and explained not just about Kempinski Hotels and their corporate philosophy of service excellence, fine dining and spectacular locations but also about their Nairobi hotel and its features.

#Kempinski @ 120 Day 2-1 (4)

The Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, owned by the Simba Corporation and managed since its opening by Kempinski Hotels, has in a short period of time established itself as the city’s top luxury hotel with in particular the Presidential Suite – occupied by former US President Barrack Obama during his visit to Kenya in 2015 – repeatedly gaining the accolade as Kenya’s best hotel suite, if not the best in the wider Eastern African region.

Having stayed in the hotel before are TripAdvisor reviews of my personal experience available via:

Officially opened on the 01st of November 2013 – the soft opening started on the 01st of August of 2013, was this Mediterranean styled hotel the first entry of the Simba Corporation into the hospitality business alongside the Olare Mara Kempinski luxury tented safari camp where suites under canvas up to 80 square metres large await guests.
The two Kempinski branded properties in Kenya have given the hotel group a foothold in the region. The company is reportedly keen to expand their African portfolio and no doubt will sooner or later another Kempinski name be unveiled in the wider Eastern African region to provide their loyal following with another venue for some of the world’s finest hospitality.

Simba Corporation, the owners of the Villa Rosa Kempinski, then also launched their own brand, Acacia Hotels, with the first one opened in the Kenyan lake side city of Kisumu in December 2015 and plans to expand this brand to such locations as Meru, Naivasha and other key towns according to information received from one of the group’s senior executives during the celebration last night.

A few links to other articles written by this author about the Villa Rosa Kempinski:

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