Archive for May, 2017

Register Now For The 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism, 21-24 June 2017

UNWTO prepares for the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism, 21-24 June 2017

Will the Indian Ocean islands demand an explanation from the AU


(Posted 22nd May 2017)

Ahead of the elections for Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization had the Indian Ocean island member countries endorsed Alain St. Ange as their candidate of choice, as part of the Indian Ocean Commission to which they all belong and also as part of the Vanilla Islands organization.
Questions are now being posed by the respective tourism sectors to their own governments why St. Ange was decampaigned by the African Union at the behest of another candidate from Africa and sanctions threatened by an apparent underling at the AU head quarters in Addis Ababa through an unsigned letter bearing only the initials K.M.

The islands’ tourism sectors are also upset over racism allegations against St. Ange as are they over allegations that they are not ‘real Africans’ the way certain AU members on the mainland understand themselves.
This is starting to drive a wedge between the current AU administration and the island member states, in particular as South America too had two candidates in the race without the Organization of American States interfering in the democratic rights of their member countries – unlike the African Union did.
When the elections took place therefore did electors on the UNWTO executive committee punish Africa by casting their votes behind the Georgian candidate, who had not once even publicly campaigned for the office and for votes but who had left it to his government to strike non tourism related deals for votes, just to make a point that undemocratic practices by the African Union must not be rewarded.

Yet another fallout, this time for a media organization, is now also rising on the horizon as in particular the Seychelles’ tourism industry is beginning to ask questions why a web media company with a commercial arrangements between them and Seychelles tourism had blatantly tilted the playing field against St. Ange, who had notably brought them on board several years ago.
With a range of allegations flying around against the web media group have several of the top names of Seychelles’s tourism stakeholders made it clear to this correspondent that they will ask for the web media house to be dropped when the contract comes up for renewal for not supporting the archipelago’s quest to capture the UNWTO top job.

Wrote one well known stakeholder in particular: ‘We do not need wolves in sheepskins. You get paid to support Seychelles tourism with publicity, you are expected to go all the way. But we both know that St. Ange did not get that support and was in fact given a fairly hostile attitude and that must have consequences‘.

Links to related articles are available below but meanwhile, watch this space as the fallout continues to not just ruffle feathers but cause a storm of outrage among the islands’ tourism industries why they should be ‘lesser Africans’ and have their democratic rights trampled upon.

Long weekend 😎 coming up and Diani awaits you

Forty Thieves Beach Bar Is Open When You Visit Diani For Madaraka Day Weekend

Madaraka Weekend at Forty Thieves Beach Bar!

Come spend Madaraka weekend at 40S or Flamboyant!


Ritz Carlton brand set to enter Zanzibar


(Posted 22nd May 2017)

Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International ( earlier today announced the signing of an agreement with Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited, to debut The Ritz-Carlton brand ( in the exotic Zanzibar archipelago. Expected to open its doors in 2021, the 90 room all-suite and villa resort will bring the defining luxury experience of The Ritz-Carlton to one of the most magical destinations in the world.
Located within a convenient 45-minute drive from Zanzibar International Airport, The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will provide easy access to the fabled and magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town, often referred to as the cultural heart of Zanzibar.

The signing of The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar deal took place at a ceremony attended by the owners, Mr. Saleh Said and Mr. Brian Thomson, Directors of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited and Mr Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, along with other executives from both companies.

Celebrated as one of the world’s most exotic destinations, Zanzibar, is a perfect destination for The Ritz-Carlton‘ said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. ‘The Archipelago has the potential to strengthen its position as a key leisure destination in the Indian Ocean and to effectively compete with the more established islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives. The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will compliment Marriott International’s strong presence in the Indian Ocean and provide the necessary impetus to put the destination on the global itinerary of our guests‘.

Mr. Saleh Said and Mr. Brian Thomson, Directors of Pennyroyal Gibraltar added, ‘We are delighted to partner with Marriott International to debut The Ritz-Carlton in such a culturally significant destination and are confident that the brand’s allure, coupled with Marriott International’s strong base of loyal guests, will entice the affluent travelers to visit this enchanting destination, making it one of the most coveted resorts in the region‘.

The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will be an all-suite and villa resort with 90 luxuriously appointed spaces including over water villas, each with its own private pool and a distinct contemporary design inspired by the island’s tropical tableau and unique culture. It will boast of a distinctive dining scene with four themed restaurants and bars allowing The Ritz-Carlton chefs to showcase their culinary versatility and engage with guests through curated and immersive dining experiences.
Leisure facilities will include an outdoor pool, a Health Club, a Beach Club and a Kids Club. Guests will have access to a tranquil Spa with eight private Spa Suites offering individual and couple treatments as well as outdoor treatments. An intimate meeting facility will complement the resort facilities for personalized and bespoke events.

The hotel will be part of the Amber Resort complex expected to be the largest mixed use development in Africa occupying approximately 1,750 hectares of pristine Indian Ocean coastline in the north east of the island. The complex proposes to provide an integrated high end lifestyle experience with a marina, a signature golf course designed by Ernie Els, residential villas and condominiums as well as leisure and entertainment facilities including a water park, and an equestrian center.

The Ritz-Carlton brand currently operates 12 properties across Middle East and Africa and is gearing up to open hotels in Amman (Jordan), Tunis (Tunisia), Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and three properties across Morocco – Tamuda Bay, Marrakech and Rabat. The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will be a significant addition to this fast growing brand portfolio across the region.

Atta – African Travel and Tourism Association – News Summary

African Travel and Tourism Association News Updates …
and while enjoying the read, consider joining ATTA where
everything is about Africa

Atta Header Banner
Dear ATC Readers,

Please find below this week’s summary of the Atta members news featuring news from across the African continent and beyond.

Atta Members Weekly News Summary

Uganda hosts 4th continental accountants congress
Uganda Tourism Board
Uganda is hosting the 4th African Congress of Accountants from 2-5 May at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala. Read More

On Foot in North Luangwa
Africa Geographic
On Foot in North Luangwa. Read More

Looking out for Communities and Wildlife
Africa Geographic
Looking out for Communities and Wildlife Read More

Cyber & Privacy Risk
Tasker and Partners
Those of us who have been around for a few years will typically recall that the primary form of security used to protect our businesses was almost exclusively  physical not so long ago, and would normally include good quality locks, alarms, CCTV, flood prevention measures and the like. Read More

ResRequest and Expedia are now connected
We have some exciting news! Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, now has a connection to ResRequest. Read More

Community & Conservation Highlights
The Safari Collection
At The Safari Collection we are proud to support a wide variety of conservation and community initiatives at each of our four properties in Kenya. Read More

Celebrating Cheetahs: Beauty in Perfection
Africa Geographic
Celebrating Cheetahs Read More

Madikwe Moments
Africa Geographic
Madikwe Moments Read More

Safarilink New Route to Zanzibar
Botswana Tourism Organisation
Safarilink is delighted to announce a further expansion to its route network: a four times a week service to Zanzibar from 01 July 2017. Read More

No price increase for gorilla tours in Uganda
Uganda Tourism Board
The Uganda Government has confirmed that it will maintain the fee for mountain gorilla trekking and promises there will be no price increase in Uganda. Read More

Sanctuary Retreats Starts Rhino Monitoring Project in Botswana
Sanctuary Retreats
Following on from Sanctuary Retreats’ involvement in the successful translocation of a substantial number of black and white rhino to the Moremi Reserve in Botswana, they have now started work to monitor this growing rhino population. Read More

Cheetah to Liwonde
Ulendo Safaris
The long wait is finally over, after months of planning the cheetahs have landed safely in Liwonde National Park. Read More

Rhino Charge 2017

Rhino Ark’s RHINO CHARGE 2017 News Update





Rhino Charge 2017

Dear ATC Readers,

Final preparations for the 29th edition of the Rhino Charge, Kenya’s unique off-road motor competition, are underway at an undisclosed location in the untamed wilds of Northern Kenya. Competing crews and spectators are gearing up ahead of the actual adrenalin-charged motorsport orienteering challenge on Saturday, 3rd June, 2017.

It is not only a world-renowned motorsport event, but also, and primarily, a major fund raising activity for the conservation efforts of Rhino Ark, the charitable trust which works towards the protection of Kenya’s ‘Water Towers’. Indeed, since its inception in 1989, the Rhino Charge has raised a staggering amount of over KES 1 billion towards the Aberdare, Mt. Kenya and the Mau Forests Complex.

This year’s Rhino Charge main events are as follows:

• Friday, 2nd June – Scrutineering
• Saturday, 3rd June – Rhino Charge
• Sunday, 4th June – Prize-giving

Like in previous years, there will be a Media Corner for journalists and travel writers at the event headquarters. There journalists who have registered with Rhino Ark will be provided with a Media Kit. WI-FI bundles will be available for purchase at the Media Corner.

Kindly note that general information about the Rhino Charge, as well as updates about the event, including photographs, will be made available online on the Rhino Charge website

The digital channels of the Rhino Charge and Rhino Ark are:

Rhino Charge Rhino Ark
Twitter @rhino_charge @RhinoArk
Instagram Rhino.Charge Rhino.Ark
Hashtag #RhinoCharge #RhinoArk

Anyone who wants to come to the Rhino Charge has to purchase a Vehicle Pass (known as Landowner Access Fee (LAF)) and an accommodation in advance through the Rhino Charge Ticketing Portal: These measures have been put in place for the comfort and security of all participants as well as to ensure the environmental friendliness and sustainability of the event.

Media personnel have to register with (kate) before Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 12:00 midnight (EAT) to be granted special access privileges but have to provide Rhino Ark with:

  1. The list of your team members (names, ID number and email addresses);
  2. The number of vehicles;
  3. The accommodation you wish to book. More information on accommodation options can be found here:

Upon receipt of your registration information an invoice will be sent and you must then make your payment by MPESA. Upon receipt of the payment, you will receive your vouchers by email for both the Entry Tickets and the Vehicle Passes (LAF). Upon presentation of the printed vouchers at the Venue Check-in, you will receive your wristbands and Vehicle Pass stickers.

Please note that the Vehicle Pass (LAF) was implemented by the Rhino Charge organisers to benefit the local host communities. The money raised through this fee goes directly to the community for community projects, such as the construction of school classrooms or the installation of a borehole. This is a very important contribution and an exceptional way of saying thank you to the host community for letting us run the Rhino Charge on their land.

Kindly note that the Ticket Portal will be closed on Wednesday, 24th May 2017 at 12:00 noon (EAT). Through the Portal, you will be able to book and pay for the following:

  1. Entry Ticket;
  2. Vehicle Pass (LAF);
  3. Accommodation.

Please also note that the gate closes at 6:pm strictly and there will be NO ENTRY into the Rhino Charge venue on the day of the Charge (3rd June 2017).

For further information on the event, please contact:

  • Kate Mwangi (kate; 0721 583172)
  • Paul Udoto (pauludoto; 0721 453981)

For any query on the Rhino Charge Ticketing Portal, please write to: tickets

Kate Mwangi
Public Relations Officer
Rhino Ark Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 181 – 00517 | Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)733 632460 / (0)724 604233
Wireless: +254 (0)20 2136010/11
Web: |
Copyright © 2017 Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, All rights reserved.


New attractions for tourists heading to the Ugandan gorilla parks


(Posted 21st May 2017)

Along the main highway from Kampala to the South Western town of Kabale has a museum opened its doors near the trading post of Muhanga. The Great Lake Museum is part of the Satellite Holiday Resort, where travelers also find a small restaurant, restrooms – clean for that matter – and accommodation, simple but quite adequate and very affordable too. Standard rooms go for as little as US Dollars 20 though meals are charged extra over and above that rate. The receptionist did mention that for longer stays a special rate can be negotiated.
The facility is open since late 2015 but in some areas still a work in progress as the owners are adding more rooms to the resort which presently has 30 rooms and suites.
But my focus, when stopping, was entirely on the museum and its many exhibits and explanations about the Ankole clans and culture.

Curator Abias Kangume was at hand to welcome me and keen to share his extensive knowledge about this part of Uganda, explaining in detail the various exhibits and their meanings and uses among the local population.

(Sculptures found at the Great Lakes Museum)

Abias took me through the exhibits and displays, pointed out the clan information on the walls and the origins of the Ankole people before then elaborating on his other ‘job’, being a tour guide.

Abias does take tourists on hikes into the surrounding hills of the area but is also available as a guide using bikes for cross country drives to see villages and small scale farms to better understand how the people in this part of Uganda live and from what they make a living.

These bikes, ten in total, are available for hire from the museum for just 10.000 Uganda Shillings a half day and, as seen, are in excellent shape. Especially for visitors staying at the Satellite Resort which is part of the set up at Muhanga, are both activities giving options to spice up a vacation, by hiking and biking into the wider area before returning to the resort where a wholesome lunch or supper awaits them, made predominantly of local dishes.

(The view from the dining room at the museum complex)

Also along the route between Mbarara and Kabale can one find a similar venture, called Igongo Cultural Centre but I opted for the Great Lakes Museum in Muhanga, having heard about the collection of artifacts and the competence of the curator.

What it goes to show though is that local entrepreneurs have found a market niche, combining a more regular rest stop with accommodation and the added attraction of a well stocked museum, where visitors, both local and foreign, can learn about the local customs, traditions and heritage in this part of Uganda. ‘Traffic’ was significant while there with many people stopping and taking in the open air sculptures while, admittedly, fewer made their way into the museum, something which needs to be remedied.

(The great ‘Tree of Life’ which dominates the outdoors of the Great Lakes Museum)

For more information about Destination Uganda click on

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