East Africa Tourism and Travel News

East Africa Tourism News

Tourism CS Najib Balala Summits Mt Kenya To Raise Awareness Against Elephant Poaching

Congratulations to Kenya’s Tourism CS Najib Balala and 7 summit Africa team for summiting Mt. Kenya. The journey that started on 13th -17th November from Serena Mountain Lodge aimed at raising awareness against elephant poaching and showing support to the Space for Giants. In addition, CS Balala aimed at showcasing what Kenya has to offer in terms of adventure and tourism.

The cause they’re climbing for was Space for Giants, which protects Africa’s elephants from immediate threats, like poaching, while working to secure their habitats forever in landscapes facing greatly increasing pressures.

Hon. Balala, said, “I’m excited to part of this exciting experience. Today we are introducing a new tourism asset to the world. It is, of course, an asset that is already there, but Mt. Kenya has long been underutilized and under-promoted. It is my hope that the 7 Summits Africa Challenge will change this by showing the world Magical Kenya’s adventure tourism opportunities.”

Serena Hotels has partnered with 7 Summit Africa Challenge to provide accommodation that will act as base areas for the 7-week mountaineering. The team has now been joined by Hon. Balala to climb Mt. Kenya. Thereafter, they
will proceed to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Stanley & Mt Speke, and Mt Meru. The finale ceremony is scheduled to be held at Lake Duluti Serena Hotel (soon to be Arusha Serena Hotel Resort & Spa). The next summiting will take place at Mt. Speke in Uganda.

2017 Maasai NYC Marathon Recap

The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust Team says thanks to all contributors for helping to raise 139.000 US DOLLARS. 

Thank you for helping us raise over $139,000 for the Maasai Community!Travelling from Kenya and spending the last few days in New York City was a great adventure for all of us! They all did brilliantly in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon with our whole team of 14 runners finishing the entire race!

Our very own John Metui, clocked in with the pros at 2:23:40 (just a mere 12 mins behind the winner- truly unbelievable!), Mark Somen at 4:22:07, Claudia Ogoti at 4:26:19, Dorcus Nteteat 5:00:21, Julie Gane at 5:16:34 and Titus Muia at 5:48:31.

We want to give a shoutout to our US runners who joined our Kenyan team
and represented TEAM MAASAI proudly!
Mary Schroeder, Julie Thibodeau, Mary McBride, Jake Bullock, Ava Jawson, Ashlee Kuhl, Joshua Pollinger, John O’Sullivan & JT Archie 
for their amazing fundraising efforts, great company during our stay and great enthusiasm in support of MWCT and its mission! CONGRATS YOU GUYS!

To all of you awesome people that donated: you’ve made such a difference in preserving the Maasai Community and its wildlife, we couldn’t do it without you. Immense thank you for your love and support always!

News Courtesy Of Pro Dr. Wolfgang Thome

Kenyan tourism still growing despite political quarrels

International tourist arrivals to Kenya rose 10% to 723 000 visitors between January and September 2017 when compared with the same period in 2016.

Kenya Tourism Board Chairman, Jimi Kariuki, explained that the rise in tourist numbers in the country had been in part bolstered by international airlines that had increased flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and Moi International Airport in Mombasa between June and July.

He said: “Between July and August, many international wildlife lovers visited the Maasai Mara to catch a glimpse of the wildebeest migration spectacle, despite the electioneering period woes.” Kariuki added that tourism could have performed much better were it not for the political heat, adding that the country should create an enabling environment for tourism to thrive.

According to the UNWTO, Kenya received 1.3m tourists who spent Ksh 100 billion last year, a 17% increase from the Ksh 85 billion spent in 2015. The UNWTO report noted that Kenya’s hospitality segment was set for brighter times, with room revenues projected to increase by 3.5% this year. The same trend is expected to continue at an annual growth of 7.5% until 2021.

“Additional air services to Kenya, economic stability and rising demand in the domestic travel segment will spur an increase in guest nights. 2017 has validated the bullish optimism of hotel investors,” according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report.

“The strong performance means Kenya is on track to surpass the 1.3 million arrivals posted last year, which, in turn, represented a 10% rise on the 2015 total, when security concerns saw tourist numbers fall to 1.18 million,” said the report.

The rise in visitor numbers in the first nine months of the year brings hope to Kenya’s tourism sector amid a political stalemate over the October 26 repeat presidential election.

News Courtesy of Tourism Update

AFRAA Appoints Abderahmane Berthe As The New Secretary General/CEO

One of the most awaited decisions taken by Africa Airline Association (AFRAA) during the current 49th Annual General Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda was the succession of Dr. Elijah Chingosho, who served the organization for more than 1 1/2 decades.

It can now be confirmed that Mr. Abderahmane Berthe will become the new Secretary General / CEO of the African Airline Association when Dr. Elijah steps down later this year.

Abderahmane can look back at a distinguished career in the aviation industry, currently serving as CEO of Air Burkina. Previously he held positions as CEO of Air Mali, COO of XL Airways in France which he joined from Star Airlines in 2004.

The outgoing Secretary General of AFRAA, Dr. Elijah, has over the years become a close acquaintance of this correspondent and proved to be a fountain of information and inspiration to the aviation industry in Africa and a great many thanks are extended to him for his close engagement and trusted interaction with ATCNews.org during his time as CEO.

“It has been a great privilege and honor to lead AFRAA, and I am proud of what the AFRAA team has achieved during my term of office. I would like to thank the executive committee for their support and guidance and the AFRAA membership fraternity.” Said Dr. Elijah when he addressed the AFRAA  ATA 49 delegates.

A warm welcome is extended to Abderahmane on his appointment and all the best for the challenges ahead, now being the chief advocate of African aviation across the continent.

News Courtesy Of Pro Dr. Wolfgang Thome

Republic Of Rwanda Announces New Visa Regime

Reference to the Cabinet Meeting of 8th November 2017 that approved the establishment of the new visa regime for the Republic of Rwanda: the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration would like to inform the public the following New Visa Regime:

  1. Reciprocity- Rwanda will grant Visa-free of charge with 90days Validity to the following countries on a reciprocal basis: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principle. This is in addition to Democratic Republic of Congo, East African Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Phillippines, and Singapore. This takes immediate effect.
  2. Visa waiver for diplomatic and service passports- The Government of Rwanda has entered into Visa waiver Agreement of holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Israel, India, Morrocco, and Turkey. This takes immediate effect.
  3. 30 days Visa upon arrival- Citizens of all countries to get Visa upon arrival without prior applications, starting 1st January 2018. Before that, only nationals of African countries and few others were getting Visa upon arrival.
  4. COMESA members dates to get 90 days Visa upon arrival– Citizens of COMESA member states to get 90 days Visa on arrival(On payment of the prescribed fee) as provided by article 4 of the COMESA protocol on free movement of persons, Labor, services, right of establishment and residence. Rwanda ratified the protocol on 13th July 2016. Currently, citizens of COMESA member states were getting 30days on arrival as other holders of African passports.
  5. Rwandas living abroad with Dual Nationality allowed to use National IDs or entry- Waive Visa fee to Rwandanas travelling on foreign passports in possession of Rwandan ID for countries that permit Dual Nationality only. Initially, Rwandans travelling on foreign passports in possession of a valid Rwandan Passport were the only granted Visa Free on arrival.
  6. Foreign residents to use their resident ID cards for entry- Returning residents holding valid residence permits with corresponding resident cards will be allowed to use them on entry, including using electronic gates (automated passenger clearance system) at Kigali Internaational Airport.

Courtesy of Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration

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