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Travel And Tourism In Africa

East Africa tourism report

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Ambassador  Sep 18, 2009


Celebrities all the way from Hollywood are expected in Uganda next week to help celebrate the UN Year of the Gorilla 2009 and lend a high profile to the event. Uganda Wildlife Authority; the Uganda Tourism Board; and the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, and Industry all worked hand in hand to make this happen, as was explained at a press conference yesterday in Kampala. Amongst the visitors from the US are Jason Biggs, Simon Curtis, Nicholas Brendon, Kristy Wu, and Eddie Kay Thomas. They will be joined by South Africans Rose Mutene, Hlubi Mmopi, and Fared Khimani, adding diversity and African celebrities to the group of high-profile visitors for the launch of the new gorilla group for tracking. Other VIPs associated with the Leadership for Conservation in Africa will also be in Kampala, where the Uganda Wildlife Authority is leading the celebrations of the UN Year of the Gorilla 2009. The celebs will travel to Bwindi with a group of select journalists and media representatives, including this eTN correspondent, to commission the new group. There will be plenty of time to interact with the communities living nearby in the national park in Kisoro before returning to Kampala for the grand finale next Saturday. HE President Museveni is expected to be visiting an exhibition and celebrations at the Kololo parade ground, open for all between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. In the evening, a fundraising dinner will take place at the Kampala Serena Hotel, already sold out already at US$100 a plate - all for the benefit of conservation and the protection of the gorillas.


The Ruhija Gorilla Lodge inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest will shortly open its doors for visitors. A group of gorillas, launched after full habituation last September for visits by tourists named Bitukura, is the main attraction from the lodge. Being located in the heart of the forest, other game and forest birds can also be seen with ease. One particularly appealing feature is the splendid view from the main terrace. The new lodge will offer a total of 12 twin cabins in the categories of standard, superior, and deluxe, catering to all budgets – from US$80 per person, twin sharing to US$190 per person, sharing. The lodge pointed out that a single supplement applies for rooms occupied by only one person.


It appears that the dedicated health desk for the screening of arriving passengers was abruptly vacated by staff last week. No further information has been received as to whether this was on orders of the Ministry of Health or for other reasons. One effect of this closure has been the faster processing of arriving passengers by immigration, as the intermediate step of filling the extra forms could be omitted.


The uniform parking fee of 1,000 Uganda shillings or about US50 cents, which motorists had to pay on entry of the airport, has now been succeeded by new charges per hour. Staying within the airport for one hour now costs 2,000 UShs, while every extra hour then adds a further 500 UShs to the bill. Long-term parking fees, costing 5,000 UShs per day, have also doubled to 10,000 UShs for each car per day, equivalent to about US$5. With inflation in the low double-digit figures, the doubling of basic charges has been condemned by large sections of airport users, although the CAA pointed out that the parking fees had not been revised for many years.


Growing and increasingly vocal demands by the aviation fraternity and airline passengers will undoubtedly feature on the agenda of the forthcoming aviation meeting in Arusha in October, where the theme is “Aviation – linking EAC and the World Safely and Efficiently.” It is understood that the Rwandan delegation will support demands for a full regional open skies regime, something Uganda has practiced for some time without seeing its generosity towards Kenyan and Tanzanian aviation stakeholders reciprocated. In reported cases, Ugandan aircraft continue to be treated as foreign, which is in clear and direct violation of the spirit of the East African Cooperation, while other airlines report that fees have to be paid in hard currency instead of local currency, as should be the case for regional aircraft when entering for instance Kenya or Tanzania. Other cases reported to this column ahead of the meeting, also speak of the lack of clearances beyond the main entry points gazetted by the national authorities, making it impossible to deliver its clients to the final destination in the game parks. Some of the main demands are to scrap the multiple requirements for airline licensing and the issuance of an air operators certification (AOC), the mutual recognition of licenses and permits across the region once granted by any one member state, the move towards scrapping customs and immigration procedures on arrival and departure for flights within the East African Community, the substantial reduction of regulatory charges and airport fees for domestic and regional flights, and eventually a full integration of national regulatory bodies into a regional regulator.


The Kampala office confirmed earlier in the week that the recent codeshare agreement with Lufthansa has been expanded to offer SN passengers from Europe, or traveling via Brussels from its intercontinental network, yet more African destinations. Operated by Lufthansa from Frankfurt, flights with an SN prefix are now possible from Brussels to Khartoum, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Accra, effective this week. More destinations operated by SN on its Africa network are also due to join the growing list of codeshared flights, which in turn will permit LH passengers to travel via Brussels to a wide range of airports on the African continent. Already Banjul, Douala, Yaoundé, Abidjan, Bujumbura, and Nairobi, besides Entebbe, are on offer with Lufthansa flight numbers, leading to ever-greater integration of flights and destinations between members of the LH Group, i.e., Swiss, Austrian, SN, and BMI and Star Alliance partners.


Advance information given to this column by a source from the Kampala KLM office indicates that the airline will soon begin to convert a section of the economy class cabin into a comfort area with wider seat pitch, up to 10 extra cm, and much greater seat recline, but otherwise the same food and drink service. The projected location of this area will be in the front section of the economy class, behind the business class. Surcharges will apply for the seats, although frequent flier benefits and full-fare passengers will be able to book the seats without extra cost. The airline will progressively convert its B777s towards this new feature, but no time line was given when the product will be available on the Entebbe route or the rest of the airline’s east African destinations.


A major annual conservation fundraising drive last weekend, the 4x4 Chimp Challenge, fell afoul of the hooligans, looters, and rioters deployed by their political godfathers last week, prompting the organizers to postpone the event rather than risk the property, safety, health, and lives of participants driving to the 4x4 range out of town along Entebbe road, which had been targeted by the rioters. While the situation had been brought largely under control at the time, isolated pockets of hot heads continued to try to cause some havoc but were met with a strong reaction by security forces, which turned out in overwhelming numbers. A new date has been provisionally set for September 19 – this weekend. In related developments, the local movie theatres, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and casinos were all recording a substantial loss of customers and revenues, while supermarkets and other shops also saw revenues plummet due to voluntary preventative closure or lack of clients. A planned concert by American gospel singer Kirk Franklin was also postponed indefinitely.


The US State Department was swift to up the language of its advisory notes about visiting Uganda, as well as American citizens living in Uganda, following the riots last week. Although no visitors came to harm during the events last Thursday and Friday, Americans living in Uganda were put on notice that there was a potential for more violence and to stay away from large groups of people as “even peaceful gatherings and demonstrations can turn unexpectedly violent”. Tourism stakeholders approached over this development expressed dismay and again blamed kingdom hardliners for having unleashed rioters, looters, hooligans, and hit squads on the city and other urban centers with absolutely no regard for Uganda’s reputation abroad and the resulting damage to the country’s tourism industry, already struggling after the fallout of the global economic and financial crisis affected visitor numbers. Several hundred participants in the riots have since been produced in court and charged with a variety of public order and criminal offenses, putting to rest deliberately misleading rumors that the government was detaining people without charge. Courts in Kampala and elsewhere have remanded the accused in various jails until their cases come up either for mention or trial.


Mt. Elgon National Park once again recorded the tragic death of yet another warden when encroachers last week set upon him with machetes and other crude weapons and battered him to death. According to UWA sources, at least 11 wardens have been injured or killed in the recent past by illegal squatters and encroachers, something incidentally repeated in other parts of the country when NFA staff had tried to evict people form national forest reserves. Uganda Wildlife Authority called upon communities living near or around protected areas to respect the park boundaries, which in most cases are either clearly marked or well known to residents nearby. The mandate of NFA and UWA has been made more difficult by political interference and influenced peddling, when several hundred evictees returned to a forest in Kibaale district when politicians got involved only days after the National Forest Authority personnel had driven the invaders out. These situations are bound to raise questions about Uganda’s reputation abroad as a green destination with a high ratio of environmental protection, which the country so far enjoyed for the benefit of the tourism sector. If park and forest invasions are not stopped, it could spell doom for conservation and tourism alike. The condolences of this column go to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues at UWA.


Last weekend saw reports emerge that sections of the communities living near the Bwindi national park have demanded that UWA share as much as 50 percent of its revenue with them, allegedly after being incited by populists. The law governing the operation of the Uganda Wildlife Authority mandates that 20 percent of the gate receipts are shared with those communities neighboring protected areas. UWA has implemented this legal provision and over the years handed hundreds of millions of shillings to communities for approved projects. Sources from the conservation and tourism fraternity sampled over this demand also rejected the idea outright saying it is a cheap trick by aspiring politicians to get votes and support, while completely unfeasible and in fact misleading. Said one source to this column: “This is a recipe for conflict. If the instigators are not arrested and brought to book, the poor residents in the area may resort to violence. This is not what we want and can tolerate. It could seriously do harm to tourism.”


A further contract has been signed by the government to begin the rehabilitation of the next section of the main highway from Kampala towards the Rwanda border at Katuna. Sections of the highway between Masaka and Mbarara and on towards Ntungamo are already under repair and upgrade, and the final 100 KM of work have now been commissioned. Tourist visitors will be happier once the work is completed, as the road will be wider with extra space for vehicles to stop on enlarged road shoulders, while the main surface of the highway will be completely resealed. This will make safaris to the country’s main national parks in the southwest of the country safer and faster to reach.


The project to build a new bridge across the Nile in Jinja to link the eastern and western part of the country, has been given a boost last week when the consultants’ report affirmed the viability and feasibility of the project. The cost is presently estimated at about US$100 million but may increase further as time goes on, which has often been the case with such projects. The Japanese government is expected to finance the construction, including the new access roads and ramps on both sides of the river, by part grant and part long-term soft loans. The presently available time frame talks of a building start by 2011 and a construction period of approximately 4 years before the new dual carriage road bridge can be commissioned and opened for public traffic. The present bridge across the Owen Falls dam will, in the meantime, be repaired and strengthened. This work will begin later in the year to prolong the lifespan of the bridge and, once the new bridge is open, keep it in working order as a redundancy fall back option.


Faster than initially expected after the most recent reports about necessary repairs, the main ferry resumed services between the Entebbe pier and the main Ssese Islands. After the mandatory Lloyds inspection for the annual insurance cover renewal, some repairs had to be carried out, which have been completed. This will come as a relief to island residents who now have affordable fares again compared to private boats. Motorists and cargo transporters will also feel the relief since the ferry can uplift several vehicles. Tourists can breathe a sigh of relief as the long road trip to the Masaka ferry crossing can now be avoided by a quick trip to the pier in Entebbe and a more comfortable ride on a larger vessel.


The rising cost of crude oil on the international market has hit home again with fuel prices reaching near 2,500 per liter for petrol and touching the 2,100 UShs mark for diesel. While the shilling has of late appreciated considerably, this does not seem to be reflected by the actual prices being charged, again raising suspicions that the big fuel companies are taking advantage of market conditions. The brief riots last week also resulted in some stations making quick profits by raising prices until the unrest had quieted down.


The annual international trade show organized by the Uganda Manufacturers Association at its Lugogo Show Ground is taking place this year between October 6-12. The annual event attracted over 900 exhibitors’ prebookings for space from eastern and southern Africa and further abroad, representing a total of 33 countries. President Museveni is expected to formally open the trade show on October 7. Budget hotels will be in great demand for the duration of the trade show, so intending visitors are advised to reserve their rooms well in advance and register with UMA’s secretariat for entry passes to avoid disappointment.


Nile Breweries are main sponsors of the newly-introduced Karaoke Night at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel every Wednesday, and it will be giving away a free Nile Gold premium malt beer for the first 100 arrivals, arguably aimed at oiling their throats or else to help them overcome anxiety before their anticipated performances. The new beer was launched only a few weeks ago and has become an instant hit with the yuppies and uppies in Kampala, and as the Sheraton has of late positioned itself once again in the favored list of Kampala’s socialites, the new evening activity will undoubtedly pull in the crowds even more.


Information was received from tourism stakeholder sources in Nairobi, that the Ministry of Tourism finally put its money where its mouth is by developing new tourism circuits across the country. The western Kenya region has been allocated 30 million Kenya Shillings (1 US dollar presently equals about 76 Kenya shillings) to support marketing activities and product development so as to attract more visitors into the less-explored parts of the country. Western Kenya, in particular the Kisumu area, is now globally known as the paternal home of US President Obama’s family, and the growing demand for tours to the area will be given a boost by injecting bigger budgets.


In response to the temporary halt of flight between Nairobi to Kisumu by Kenya Airways, due to work on the single runway of the airport, Fly 540 has added a third flight. The airline is using ATR aircraft, which can safely land and take off from the shortened runway. There is no information available if the third flight will remain on the Fly 540 schedule once Kenya Airways resumes services with its Embraer 170 regional jet in December after the runway extension and rehabilitation has been completed.


Soon after launching twice-daily flights from Wilson Airport to Kisumu on Bombardier Dash 8 equipment, locally-incorporated airline, ALS, commenced flights between Nairobi and Juba, southern Sudan. The airline will use a recently-acquired Embraer 135LR aircraft on this route. No information could be received on further destinations planned by the airline, either for the domestic or regional markets. The Kenyan airline has a joint Kenyan and Middle Eastern ownership from Kuwait. The Embraer 135 is a small regional jet with 37 seats, three abreast, in an all-economy version and is said to be one of the more economical small jets on the market. What is particularly impressive is that as a start-up airline, ALS is using relatively modern and young aircraft, raising the threshold for other future start ups and serving notice to aged, fuel guzzling “sky howlers” of yesteryear.


Information received from sources close to the Kenyan private airline indicates that after operating 4 CRJ aircraft on its fleet, a further three could join them in due course. It could not be ascertained if those extra aircraft would be operated on an expanding route network for Jetlink or be wet leased to other operators, as Jetlink presently does for RwandAir. The same sources also confirmed that Jetlink is well on its way to finishing its own maintenance hangar at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and may well be on the way to becoming a dedicated CRJ maintenance base for eastern Africa, now that several airlines are using the aircraft type, and the nearest such facility is presently located in South Africa.


After receiving a shipload of processed fuels in Mombasa, the Kenya pipeline company started pumping various fuels from its main terminal at the Mombasa port to the depots in Nairobi last weekend, ending a drawn-out fuel crisis in the capital and other upcountry urban centers. The refinery in Mombasa is presently operating on half capacity due to shortages of both water and electricity, making imports of refined fuels necessary. The landed fuel should be sufficient to supply enough petrol and diesel to Kenya for two weeks.


Three people were sentenced to long prison terms in Nairobi last week after being found guilty of child molestation, statutory rape, and subjecting minors to prostitution. The main culprit, former managing director of the Nairobi Java Coffee House, Mr. Jon Wagner, will serve at least 15 years behind bars, while his suppliers – two Kenyan women who had brought the school girls to Wagner – were jailed for 10 years each. The three school girls who had reported the crimes were all under age and were said to have been brought to Wagner under false pretenses to secure scholarships or other support. The convicted rapist, according to the prosecutors, then drugged and sexually assaulted the girls. Kenya has long made it known that it will employ the full extent of the law to bring paedophiles to book, should these predators come to the country in search of innocent victims, but this has been the first major case involving a resident foreigner who colluded with local Kenyans to satisfy his depraved mind. Sex tourism has, in recent years, taken to “outing, naming, and shaming” of those engaged in these disgusting activities, and the world’s leading tour operators, hotel chains, tourist boards, and the travel media have all worked hand in hand to first reduce and then eliminate these shameful activities under the disguise of tourism. It is understood that the trio plans to appeal their sentences.


Reports in the Kenyan media indicate that the Kenyan government is set to acquire at least 10 residences in Nairobi, and probably elsewhere in the country, to accommodate state visitors, VIPs, and visiting delegations in an attempt to reduce its hotel bills. Government normally pays for all or some of all hotel bills for visiting state guests’ delegations, ordinarily staying in top-of-the-range suites at top-rated hotels in the city. Charges for such accommodation run into the thousands of dollars each day for a presidential suite, costing the Kenyan tax payer hundreds of millions of Kenya shillings during the course of a financial year. In the past, the government has not exactly shown excellence in managing businesses, especially the hotel sector, considering the defunct African Tours and Hotels state enterprise, and it has little, if any, current experience other than managing the various State Lodges and the main State House in Nairobi. Experience is needed to run and maintain top-of-the-range accommodation that will measure up to the level of its visitors’ expectations regarding the hospitality required to keep such guests happy.


Last week, a passenger train that was trying to cross the line in the wider Tsavo East National Park area hit several elephants. The accident happened at night when visibility for the train drivers was restricted to the beam of the train’s headlights, causing the collision, which then killed at least 5 of the elephant. The line was then closed for some time to allow for an investigation to be carried out by police and wildlife management personnel. As a result of the drought, many wild animals in the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks are now migrating long distances, at times beyond the park boundaries, in search of pasture and water. In the process, they enter farms and endanger the local population, which is trying to protect their precious crops that they managed to grow during the drought. Increased crossing by animals on roads and highways, has led to more accidents with cars along the Mombasa to Nairobi highway, and is now a matter of serious concern for KWS and the traffic police along this stretch of road. Schools are reportedly starting late and closing early to allow the children to reach their destinations during the daylight, when conditions are better for avoiding straying wildlife.
Meanwhile KWS also confirmed that at least 20 young elephant have died because of drought-related complications in recent weeks, most of them in the Laikipia area of central Kenya.


A while ago, it was confirmed that new ferries had been ordered and were due for delivery later in the year for the operation crossing from the Mombasa island to the south coast mainland at Likoni. This target, however, is now in serious doubt, according to reports from Kenya, as almost half a billion Kenya Shillings meant to pay for them has gone missing. The reports have caused a storm of outrage and anger, as well as frustration amongst the regular users of the ferries, which – when they break down – cause untold delays and have, in the past, led to workers missing work, pupils and students missing school, and tourists missing flights.


The Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Ms. Mwangunga last week demanded better and more training for citizens in the field of wildlife management and tourism, when she visited the College of African Wildlife Management in Mweka, near Moshi. She in particular asked tour operators to employ trained staff from amongst the graduates to improve the skill levels of their employees, which she called a cornerstone of the tourism industry’s success.
The principal of the college at the same time also made it known that the school has spare capacity to absorb more students and called on private sponsorship by tourism companies to permit deserving students to meet their expenses while undergoing training.


Following the recent lamentations by a Tanzanian government minister about the lack of capacity in the country, a new aviation training venture is set to take off. Located at the Arusha municipal aerodrome, the new facility aims to train student pilots, taking them from the initial course for a PPL (Private Pilot License) to the much in-demand CPL (Commercial Pilot License). Reportedly, the demand for pilot training is substantial, not only from within Tanzania but also from Kenya and Uganda. Arusha Aviation Services Company Ltd. is, according to sources, owned by retired aviators and aircraft technicians and also proposes to start courses for aviation engineering students. The new facility received a boost in recognition last week when Tanzania’s President Kikwete visited Arusha and gave the local investors the thumbs up and encouragement to proceed with its plans.


Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Ms. Mwangunga earlier in the week denied that any of the herders expelled from game areas in and around Ngorongoro were Tanzanians, but confirmed that illegal immigrants had been found in the area and reportedly been returned across the border to Kenya. The illegal immigrant speak is concealed language often used to criminalize other east Africans found within the Tanzanian borders and when it suits authorities also in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, belying the spirit of the east African cooperation and unmasking underlying sentiments not helpful for the envisaged integration. Sympathizers of those affected, trying to get the attention of the Tanzanian president by staging a sit-in at the State House in Dar es Salaam, were reportedly also arrested, again as illegal immigrants or aliens. Tanzanian herders presently entering game areas in search of pasture for their livestock have reportedly been left alone in the same area, although it is at best difficult and at times impossible to distinguish between the Masai from Kenya and the Masai from Tanzania, whose age-old grazing grounds are now subject to a dividing international border, which they, however, continue to cross with their herds in search of water and pastures. It is also understood that following the negative regional media coverage and pressure by donor countries on the circumstances and the one-sided partiality of the evictions, the Tanzanian government will investigate any abuses or human rights violations that may have taken place.


The recent visit by Roman Abramovich, Russian billionaire and best known for his ownership of Chelsea Football Club, failed to produce the wanted results, when reportedly the climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro had to be abandoned. The Russian’s group of friends, who had flown into the country with him aboard of his personal B767 private jet, were compelled to return to base without reaching the summit when Abramovich developed breathing problems – a condition often seen with tourist climbers who fail to acclimatize properly and ascend too fast, a situation which very likely occurred with the VIP group that reportedly took over a hundred porters with them to cater for all their fancies while enroute to the peak. It appears, though, that this pampering could not make up for the onset of medical problems. That all said, Abramovich’s visit was high profile enough to have caught the eye of the global media and afforded Tanzania priceless PR in key tourism markets.


The most recent World Bank Survey, “Doing Business Report,” has catapulted Rwanda’s standing some 76 places upwards from last year’s position of 143, to 67 out of the 183 countries surveyed. The latest edition of the annual report, titled, “Reforming through difficult times,” gives Rwanda recognition for building institutions and making business start ups and operations more easy to achieve. Like the tourism sector, already a growth leader in eastern Africa, the rest of the Rwandan economy has now emulated the example as well. In contrast, Uganda’s rating has moved into the opposite direction, and challenges await for this country to restore international confidence and create the right conditions for further investments, an area in which the country for long excelled.


The East African Business Council held its annual general meeting last week in Kigali, Rwanda. This is the first time an AGM was held in Rwanda since the country joined the East African Community as a full member last July. The EABC is the private sector apex body for the East African Community member states national business associations, located at the EAC headquarters in Arusha. It is said, the GTZ, the German development service, has financially and logistically supported the EABC since its formation. During the meeting in Kigali, Mr. Faustin Mbundu Kananura was elected as the new chairperson – the first from Rwanda to hold this prestigious position. In his business capacity, Mr. Kananura is the CEO of a leading Rwandan coffee export company. He will hold office for the next year, before a new chairperson, likely then to be from Burundi, will be elected. Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania have held the positions since the inception of the EABC a few years ago, and the post rotate’ amongst the member states in the true spirit of east African cooperation.


August 9, 2010 will be the day Rwandans go to the polls to elect their president. Campaigning will commence on July 20, ending the day before the elections. The country’s tourism sector, led by RDB-T&C, was swift in reassuring intending visitors that elections in the New Rwanda have in the past been peaceful, and all tourism operations, including gorilla tracking, would continue uninterrupted during the campaign and election period. Parliamentary and civic elections will take place along a different timeframe.


As has happened before, fires erupted along the periphery of the Akagera National Park, believed to have been lit by poachers and irresponsible residents in nearby villages scouting for honey. Park authorities, together with other security organizations and neighborhood support, brought the fires swiftly under control. The fire risk is presently higher than normal due to the prolonged drought conditions in many parts of eastern Africa. The last reported major fire was back in July. Tourist visitors on safari to the park are said to be unaffected by the fires.


Mr. Titus Naikuni was recently honored when receiving the 2009 Aviation Achievement Award during a conference held at the Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel. Interesting enough, the honor was bestowed upon the Kenya Airways chief executive by his counterpart from Ethiopian Airlines during the award-giving ceremony, which crowned the three-day meeting. In attendance, were representatives of the African Union’s Civil Aviation Commission, ICAO, AFRAA, and IATA, amongst others. The theme of this year’s conference was “Air Transport in Africa – One Continent, One Strategy.”


Information was received from Addis Ababa that Ethiopian Airlines seems set to commence scheduled flights to Mombasa starting in October. However, ET has again failed to match the well-oiled PR and information machinery of say Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Brussels Airlines, and Fly 540, by not providing details on the type of aircraft to be used or the number of frequencies between Addis and Mombasa. That said, the coastal tourism fraternity will be happy to see extra scheduled flights come to Mombasa, which will in the process offer more seats and better connectivity with flights routing via Addis Ababa. In a related development, Ethiopian Airlines took delivery last week of yet another new B737-800, which will be deployed on its African regional and continental network.


The Zambian government has formally demanded the return of ivory seized in Singapore some years ago, which is now being held in Kenya by the Nairobi-based task force responsible for implementing the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement. The illegal blood ivory, said to weigh over 6 tons, was traced back to Zambian origins by scientific tests and was, at the time, likely smuggled across the Zambian borders to a neighboring country. From there, it eventually made its way to buyers in Singapore, where it was intercepted by customs on arrival. The massive confiscation of the ivory shipment in Singapore, thought to have cost hundreds of elephant their lives, took place way back in June 2002, but it took several years to establish the country of origin, which has now permitted Zambia to officially claim the ivory back.


Nearly two exiting months of travel through Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique ,and Malawi ended last weekend for Ilse Mwanza, when she returned to Lusaka and her normal life. Ilse, the co-author of “The Guide to the Little Known Waterfalls of Zambia” will start transferring her travel notes and daily journal entries into a proper travel report and then begin to release her travelogue, aimed to create more attention to the many attractions in little-known places in eastern, central, and southern Africa.


The founder president of the Seychelles James Mancham has embarked on a world tour to promote his book, “Seychelles – Global Citizen,” beginning with a visit to the United States of America. The autobiography is thought to draw in many more visitors to the Seychelles, when readers have taken an added interest in this Indian Ocean country, after beginning to understand the history of the Creole island state and appreciating the natural beauty, the flora and fauna, and most important, the friendly nature of the Seychellois population.

East Africa tourism report
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