Archive for May 6th, 2017

STTA’s 3rd Regional Green Tourism Summit now just weeks away


(Posted 06th May 2017)

The 3rd Regional Green Tourism Summit will take place at the new Park Inn Westlands in Nairobi / Kenya from the 13th to 15th of June, bringing together an array of internationally acknowledged speakers over the three day event.
This conference will highlight the need of East Africa’s tourism industry to go green and stay green, i.e. embrace sustainability cornerstones in its corporate strategies to ensure the long term survival of wildlife and nature based tourism.

Recently published here ( were the names of some of the speakers and Ms. Judy Kepher-Gona, the Executive Director of Nairobi based STTA, has now also spoken up again on the summit when she said earlier today to this correspondent:

Whichever way you look at tourism, the future of the sector is in being sustainable and inclusive. Are you ready for this future? Green Tourism Summit will give you road map to this sustainable and inclusive future

Join us for 3rd Green Tourism Summit and discover what is driving & defining sustainability in tourism. Come learn how industry is responding from award winning case studies and research, to help you fix any broken systems and benefit from effective engagement.

The Green Tourism Summit is the only SUSTAINABLE TOURISM LAB in the region. It is the place to fix broken systems. All progressive tourism practitioners and supporting organisations (public & private) should not miss this opportunity to reflect, review and refocus their sustainability agenda in line with global trends. Participants benefit from case studies, research, and experience of 15 specialist speakers on diverse topics that define sustainability in the 21st century‘.

Check out the STTA website via for updates on the latest programme line up and speaker timings and register for the event to keep abreast with the latest information about not just going green but staying green in the long run.

Wildlife Direct announces new board members


(Posted 06th May 2017)

[From Left: Jim Karani (Legal Affairs Manager), Dr. Kamau Gachigi, Dr. Paula Kahumbu (CEO WildlifeDirect), Mr. Ali Daud Mohamed (Interim Chair), Ms. Sophie Kinyua and Joy Omulupi (Outreach and Education Officer)]

The Interim Chairman of the Board, Mr Ali Daud Mohamed recently announced the appointment of new members to the WildifeDirect Kenya Board, namely Dr. Kamau Gachigi, Mr. Edward Muriu, Dr. Margaret Kinnaird, Ms. Sophie Kinyua and Mr. Chris Diaz.

The new members were officially welcomed during the first board meeting of the year, which was held on April 12th at a Nairobi hotel. Dr. Gachigi and Ms. Kinyua were the two new members present as the other members were welcomed in absentia.

Dr. Gachigi and Ms. Kinyua bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise in the fields of innovation and fund raising respectively.

Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the Excutive Director of Gearbox, a company that provides an open space for design and rapid prototyping. WildlifeDirect has been working with Gearbox for 6 months. Last year Gearbox partnered with WildifeDirect and held an innovation camp in Amboseli that took a human-centered approach to solving human wildlife conflict. Dr. Gachigi is also the founder of Fab Lab at University of Nairobi, which is part of the international Fab Lab network started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has a doctorate in Solid State Science from Penn State University.

Speaking during the board meeting Dr. Gachigi said, ‘I am honored and humbled to join the WildlifeDirect Kenya board. Gearbox has worked with WildlifeDirect for over six months and I look forward to providing my expertise on innovative technology‘.

Educated in Kenya and the United States, Ms. Sophie Kinyua is a successful and innovative business woman and the owner and manager of the River Café – Karura Forest. She also owns several complementary businesses including a local coffee roastery. Sophie has a degree in Environmental Refugee Studies and her multi-cultural background and experiences have played a strong role in influencing the management and style of her businesses. She has a good connection with the local business and political community and is a very successful in fund raising for conservation charities.

Chris Diaz is a well known conservationist and a Honorary Game Warden with Kenya Wildlife Services. He has been working with international wildlife bodies and is also on the board of Elephant Rescue organization and Brand Kenya Board.

He is the former Marketing Director for Kenya Airways and is currently the Group Sales and Marketing Director on the board of Bidco Africa. Chris has been supporting sponsorships and fund raising to support wildlife protection. He brings a wealth of knowledge and access to Kenyan and international corporates, and will help develop long term sustainability strategy for the causes that WildlifeDirect champions.

Margaret Kinnaird formerly with Wildlife Conservation Society and the Executive Director of Mpala Research Center is the Global Wildlife Practice Leader at World Wildlife Fund – International and a recognized scientist with extensive experience in Africa and Asia. Margaret joins the board to help WildlifeDirect align its strategies to global agendas and promote the publication of WildlifeDirect’s accomplishments in recognized scientific journals.

Edward Muriu Edward Muriu is the Founder Partner of MMC Africa Law, One of the Largest Indigenous Commercial Law Firms in Kenya, where he seats as the Team Leader. He is a Member of Boards of Directors in a number of Companies with interest in Finance, Horticulture and Real Estate.

News update about the Tour D’ EAC


(Posted 06th May 2017)

One of the main promoters of this unity inspired cycling tour across all of Eastern Africa has last night shared additional information to be made public.
Said Mr. John Balongo of the CampFireLogsGuild:

You are invited to take part in the East African Bicycle Tour 2017 aimed at raising awareness about the East African Community integration agenda.
You can participate in many ways, by riding 1 or 2km in the name of Tour D EAC, by telling [your] friends about the tour and East African community, by sharing what you know about the benefits of the East African community integration agenda, by supporting or donating to the tour.
Please share all activities you do in the name of Tour d EAC with us for publication of our social media platforms‘.

The various stages and section of the Tour D’ EAC 2017 are again shown above to give individuals, groups or organizations keen to take up the challenge the opportunity to select a stretch of the tour where they can cycle along on the route from the town or city they are based at.

Dodoma Airport goes 24 / 7


(Posted 06th May 2017)

Information has emerged that the installation of approach and runway lights at Dodoma Airport has been completed. This will enable the airport, which currently handles only about 10 flights a day, to operate around the clock.
Night landings are now possible but presently not likely to happen. Right now do our flights operate during day times only and so do all other airlines flying charter or schedule to DOD. But this is progress for the aviation industry and for instance urgent medical evacuations can now take place even at night after the lights were installed. Some day may airlines even begin to offer flights into and out of Dodoma at night to make better use of their fleet but that is still some way off‘ contributed a regular Dar es Salaam based aviation source.
The airport is served by Air Tanzania, Auric Air and Flightlink among other airlines flying daily or multiple times a week to Tanzania’s political capital.
As reported some time ago was Dodoma one of Tanzania’s airports earmarked for expansion and modernization and with the new lighting system in place has this objective been fulfilled. The IATA code for Dodoma is DOD while the ICAO four letter code is HTDO. The runway length was given at 8.038 feet length or 2.450 metres, all tarmac.
No cost was available for the latest installations.

A pub for horses?!? Read on to find out all about that …

The latest Travel Africa Magazine

Jambo ATC Readers!

Whether you’re a reader, a traveler or an adventurer, we hope our stories give you the inspiration and information you need to explore your next destination!

Driven to attraction

In part two of Phil Clisby’s self-drive trip around Namibia, he and his family travel to the NamibRand, Fish River Canyon and the Quiver Tree Forest, with a bit of horseplay in-between

We were on the road again, this time towards the NamibRand Nature Reserve. As we leave the highway, en route to Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, we encounter numerous springbok, oryx and zebra. The springbok run and leap in front of our car, accompanying us as we make our way along the 20km track that leads to the lodge reception – a personal antelope escort service.

The lodge overlooks the plains, and the mountains beyond. A view to die for. Oryx graze or drink from a waterhole, just yards from our open-sided safari tent.

Isoqel (pronounced ‘Easy Kill’, or so it seemed to my London ears) greets us warmly and introduces us to our guide, Simon, who takes us for a sundowner drive.

As we pass by a herd of zebra, a stallion starts to get rather intimate with a mare, or rather he’s “socialising”, as Simon politely refers to it, with a shy grin on his face.

We stop for drinks and snacks on top of a small dune overlooking the valley. The scenery is unreal, the sunset out of this world. Is there anywhere better than this? I wonder.

Read the full blog to discover whether dragons live in the ground, visit a pub for horses and take a journey to another planet

Crossing the continent

Adventurer and former Turks & Caicos athlete Mario Rigby is part way through a land and water expedition from Cape Town to Cairo. Olivia Rook caught up with him to discover more about his ‘light’ interrogation and why cows have been his biggest wildlife threat

Highlights for our next edition of Travel Africa magazine include:

  • Leopards: a stunning portfolio of photographs of these elusive cats
  • Giving back to the wildlife and the community when you travel to Botswana
  • Tony Park meets members of the Himba tribe while on a canoe adventure
  • South Africa’s Madikwe, Waterberg and Lapalala region
  • Mike Unwin takes his family on a road trip in Zimbabwe
  • High tea (and coffee) in Malawi
  • Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, the hottest place on Earth
  • Zambia’s Kafue National Park… plus so much more
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EcoTraining now extends to Kenya to cover the Eastern African region


(Posted 06th May 2017)

EcoTraining launches new professional Safari Guide and Nature Training operation in the Masai Mara, Kenya

EcoTraining, Africa’s largest and oldest guide training company is proud to announce the launch of their professional Safari Guide and Nature Training operation in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Nestled on the banks of the Mara river, the Mara Training Centre is their new base to welcome local and international participants from across East Africa and abroad for a variety of programs. These will include safari guide, wildlife, research, conservation, community and land management programs. The courses provide skills that address the issues of co-habitation and conflict between the community herdsmen, crops, cattle and wildlife. This centre will also enable EcoTraining to extend its reach further into the training of guides in East Africa’s safari lodges. The very first community safari guide training programme is already complete and will be followed by relevant nature courses across similar disciplines.

Watch our video capturing the new venture created by Sam Davies, our in-house videographer, featuring Anton Lategan owner of EcoTraining.

The Mara Training Centre is equipped with three comfortable twin bandas and three bunk bed bandas presenting a new style of EcoTraining accommodation

Training of the Masai

To date, seven Masai from the Enonkishu and neighbouring conservancies were invited by EcoTraining to enrol in the 14-day Safari Guide introductory training at the Mara Training Centre, which ended on the 1st May. The course should afford the Masai participants opportunities to be employed as trainee guides at local lodges within the Enonkishu concession. The purpose of the training is to address the need for skills development for the conservation of the Mara’s natural areas, management of the co-habitation and conflict between Mara pastoralists, crops, cattle and wildlife of East Africa.

The journey of Moses Nampaso unlocking the natural world

Moses Nampaso comes from generations of traditional cattle herders and after completing his training in East Africa, presently holds a Silver Safari Guide certificate in guiding. Moses is currently undergoing further training in South Africa with EcoTraining and will be returning to Kenya to train future guides. He will also accompany EcoTraining to Indaba this year from 16 – 18 May at the ICC Conference Centre where he will be sharing his story.

Become a Guide or a Guardian, the choice is yours

EcoTraining offers a range of professional courses for those who want to become professional guides. EcoTraining also caters for guardians who want to become more environmentally conscious and contribute to conservation in their own lives. Guides and guardians who wish to enrol in one of the courses conducted at the Mara Training Centre in Kenya will learn about the communities, wildlife and conservation of the Mara. Not to mention witnessing the great world-famous migration that overlaps with the course dates in August.

Course Dates:

Safari Ranger Program : 19 July – 01 August 2017 (14 days)

EcoQuest : 02 – 08 August 2017 (7 days)

EcoQuest : 09 – 13 August 2017 (5 days)

28 Day Safari guide : 01 – 28 October 2017 (28 Days, Kenya Bronze)

What topics are covered in these courses?

  • · an introduction to ecology
  • · animal tracks and tracking
  • · birding and plant identification
  • · animal behaviour
  • · astronomy
  • · wildlife cohabitating with communities and their cattle and crops
  • · conflict between these pastoralists and the wildlife competing for space and food
  • · the community schools and sports field in the wildlife conservancies
  • · the rhino sanctuary

Should you want to join EcoTraining for this spectacular experience, contact Corne Schalkwyk, the EcoTraining Relationship Manager on relationshipmanager

All photos credited to the Mara Training Centre

Uganda’s Silverchef competition due for next weekend


(Posted 06th May 2017)

Chefs from Uganda and Rwanda will next weekend compete for honours again when they engage in culinary battle for the coveted ‘Silverchef Hat‘, South Western Uganda’s premier food competition.
The venue this year will be the ‘Birdnest Resort‘ on Lake Bunyonyi near the South Western Ugandan town of Kabale, also known as the springboard to the Ugandan mountain gorilla national parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga.
Organizers Gorilla Highlands’ Miha Logar confirmed to this correspondent that a record number of chefs have this year signed up for the culinary competition, which was launched three years ago to develop cooking and presentation skills among in particular local chefs.
Last year did Rwandan chefs for the first time participate as the area of coverage was expanded across the border following the closer cooperation of the two countries in tourism promotion and becoming part of the common tourist Visa which, besides Uganda and Rwanda, also includes Kenya.
The chefs will be allocated into two groups, one preparing a lunch while the other will prepare a dinner on the 13th of May, i.e. next Saturday.
One dish must be vegetarian – a reflection of the tastes of more and more of the travelers visiting the Ugandan and Rwandan highlands – while the other dish this year focuses on the use of fish and crayfish, both locally available in the region in some abundance.
The following hotels, lodges and resorts had their names registered at the deadline and will send a chef to compete:

Akagera Game Lodge Rwanda BirdNest Resort, Uganda Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Uganda Chameleon Hill Lodge, Lake Mutanda, Uganda
Cephas Inn, Kabale, Uganda Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda Itambira Island Seeds of Hope, Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda Kigali Marriott, Rwanda Mirror Hotel, Kigali Rwanda Mutanda Lake Resort, Uganda Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Uganda Rushaga Camp, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda Ruth Kamuteera (from Lake Victoria Serena Resort who will compete as an individual)

This is the hitherto largest number of competitors lining up to compete and take the 2017 Silverchef Hat at the end of the event.

Supporting the initiative is once again the Uganda Tourism Board which has also given logistical boosts to previous events, in line with promoting the country not just for its natural attractions but also for hospitality excellence.

(UTB’s Sylvia Kalembe seen here ‘crowning’ the 2016 winner with the 2015 winner displaying his certificate in the next picture)

Judges are drawn from the Ugandan’s tourism sector and the event is due to be covered by local media through travel and tourism journalists known to help promote Uganda and neighbouring Rwanda.
Watch this space as the event unfolds next weekend at Lake Bunyonyi.

For added information click on www.gorillahighlands.com

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