Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tanzania: Record 300 Tycoons Visit Serengeti National Park

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Arusha — About 300 rich Australian traders are in the country on a game viewing experience of the country's famous National Park, Serengeti.

Seronera Airstrip in Serengeti was over the weekend overwhelmed by nearly 50 four-wheel drive vehicles that were waiting to receive the 298 tourists from Australia who landed in the national park for extended three day tour.

Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Dr Hamisi Kigwangala said the government was thrilled to receive the visitors, saying more strategies are underway to boost the sector. "We have already launched the strategy to attract more tourists and open up new markets in various countries, the coming of Australian tourists shows that our strategies are working," said Dr Kigwangala.

He said the sector expects 200,000 new tourists every year, adding that his office plans new strategy to introduce Tanzania tourism sector as 'Tanzania, the land of the unforgettable'.

The Minister added that the ministry and Tanzanian Ambassadors abroad are doing everything in their capacity to attract more tourists in the country.

Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) Public Relations Officer Paschal Shelutete insisted that the Australians' presence in the country was yet another confirmation that the tourism sector in the country was growing, thanks to ongoing efforts to advertise the country's various tourist attractions

.The visitors jetted into the country aboard the Qantas Boeing 747 plane, branded the 'Spirit of Australia,' which landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) over the weekend. Mr Shelutete said the landing of the rich tourists has marked a new history in the Tanzania tourism sector.

He said it was the first time Tanzania received a big number of tourists at once. According to Mr Shelutete the tourism business is now on low season and that receiving such a big number of tourists marks a new history in the country.

"We always receive 100 up to 120 tourists at once, this time around we have received over 250 tourists at once, this is history," he said. It was established that soon after disembarking from the large plane, the passengers did not waste time; they were driven into smaller aircrafts that flew directly into the 'endless plains' of Serengeti for the intended spectacular game viewing.

They apparently by-passed Arusha en-route to the country's famous national park. The tourists left Sidney Australia on April 22 and they have so far covered, Hanoi, in Vietnam; Delhi (India) for Taj-Mahal.

They are currently in Serengeti before departing tomorrow for Marrakech, Morocco. From Morocco, they will head to the United States and land in New York, then target Havana in Cuba before flying into the French Polynesia Island of Tahiti and afterwards complete their global touring in Sidney on May 12, 2018.

'Qantas,' which is the acronym for 'Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services,' is the flag carrier of Australia and so far the largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations.

This was the first time, one of its aircrafts landed at KIA but on 'Constellation Private jetting.' 'Qantas,' is the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca, having been founded in November 1920 before starting its international passenger flights in May 1935.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Israeli Business Executives set for Tourism agenda Forum in Tanzania

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Israeli business executives are set to participate a two-day forum in Tanzania this week to chart out cooperation areas for investment in which Tanzania and the State of Israel would venture. Scheduled to take place in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam on Monday and Tuesday next week, the Tanzania Israel Business and Investment Forum (TIBIF) will attract investments in tourism which Israel companies have been looking to capture since the past two years.

The forum is expected to bring together more than 50 investors, prominent business owners, entrepreneurs, government officials and private sector executives from both Tanzania and Israel. The Israeli delegation will be led by Mr. Ayelet Shaked, the Minister for Justice of the State of Israel, the Forum organizers said.

Tanzania and Israel are seeking to boost bilateral relations, seeking to attract more Israeli tourists and business people to visit and invest in this African safari country.

Tanzania Tourist Board had launched marketing campaigns targeting Israeli tourists in large numbers, while a number of Tanzanians were looking to travel to Israel on religious pilgrimages. Already, there are tourist charter planes from Israel landing in Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

The number of pilgrims from Tanzanians planning to visit the Holy Land, are expected to increase after positive campaigns to market tourism and travel between the two countries launched the last two years.

Israel’s historical sites are the Christian Holy places of on the Mediterranean coast, the City of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee and the healing water and mud of the Dead Sea.

Tanzania has been among African countries attracting Israeli tourists who mostly prefer touring wildlife parks and Zanzibar. The number of Israel tourists to Tanzania had increased from 3,007 in 2011 to 14,754 in 2015, according to data available from the Tanzania Tourist Board.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tanzania National Parks: Heavy Rainfalls have Destroyed some key Infrastructures

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Lake Manyara National Park in northern Tanzania tourism circuit is temporarily inaccessible, thanks to ripple effects of the heavy rainfalls.

Located on the edge of Great Rift Valley, about 126 km west of Arusha city, Lake Manyara National Park, is probably a small, but the most stunning park, save for Serengeti. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) says the last night’s heavy rainfalls have destroyed some key infrastructures leading to the national park, making the tourist attraction site inaccessible.

“The drift for crossing Marera River, nearly a kilometer from Lake Manyara National Park’s main gate, has been swept away by water, temporarily making the tourist attractions out of reach” TANAPA’s Corporate Communication Manager, Mr Pascal Shelutete said.

Mr Shelutete, however, allayed tourists’ fears that TANAPA’s engineers have already deployed on site, taking all means necessary to restore the drift in order to resume the services within a day.

“As we speak our engineers are on site, working extra time to ensure the drift is restored so that we can resume our services to our dearest tourists within a day” he explains. Commenting, drivers and tour guides told NCA that Tanzania National Park engineers are doing extra efforts to restore the crossing drift.

“I’ve no doubt that the services would resume soon as my tour guide on site told me that the TANAPA engineers are really working overtime to restore the swept drift” .

Covering about 330 kms, of which two-thirds is underwater, Lake Manyara National Park is a small park but very beautiful and contains tremendous diversity of habitats, animals and especially birds. The Park is located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, and offers excellent game viewing and bird life.

The landscape is so diverse that its mammal and bird lists are some of the most impressive in Tanzania.

The park includes a significant portion of the lake and its shores and also large areas of ground water forest with fig and mahogany trees alternating with acacia woodland and open swampland'sLake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, breathtaking views and incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and amazing numbers of birds.

Lake Manyara game includes Buffalo and Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra, Warthog, Impala, Kirk’s Dik Dik, Waterbuck near some of the springs, and Klipspringer on the slopes of the escarpment.

The Park has a large Elephant population and is most famous for its tree-climbing Lion.

Very obvious are the huge troops of baboons – which often number in several hundred and are widely regarded as Africa’s largest.

The park provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife.

The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life; more than 400 species have been recorded. These include thousands of pink-hued flamingos as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, stilts, stalks, spoonbills and yellow-billed storks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tanzania: Government Set to Step Up Fight Against Poaching, Trafficking

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Dodoma — The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamis Kigwangalla, says his office will continue fighting poachers, smuggling of forestry products and taking legal measures on civil servants behind such illegal trades.

Speaking at the 25th workers meeting planned to draw new ideas and deliberate on issues facing the ministry, the minister said reports now show that some dishonest staff were conniving with criminals to commit such crimes.

"It ranges from smuggling of logs to poaching ... we've information some officials within the ministry are helping criminals commit the offences," the minister said, adding, "... we will clean up the place ... of all those working with criminals.

" The minister says such offences were already causing huge losses in government revenues, but could not provide estimates monies lost, but stressed that only commitment to observing rules and procedures by officials in the ministry would help end poaching, smuggling and wildlife trafficking - and begin positive contribution to increased tourist arrivals and hence more revenue collection. Tanzania recorded 1.2 million arrivals in 2016, which brought in $2.1 billion, which had gone up to 1.3 million by last month, with a total of some $2.2 billion.

The minister reminded ministry officials of the need to ensure they raised revenue collection, saying "... it's through more revenue (collection) that we can improve tourism services within the country." Permanent Secretary Maj Gen.

Gaudence Malinzi has meanwhile said that his ministry was considering setting up a 'specially trained' army to beef up the fight against poaching, smuggling and trafficking. He said that, effective next September, the ministry would be holding a national heritage and tourism festival to promote the country's culture and tourism sectors.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tourism Fair Organisations Join Together in Northern Tanzania.

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Leading tourism and travel exhibition organisers in Northern Tanzania – the Karibu Fair and KILIFAIR – have recently joined into a single tourism and travel exhibition entity, aiming to gain more mileage in tourism and travel trade in Africa.

The newly-formed tourist exhibition entity have organized a joint tourism show that will take place in the Northern Tanzania’s tourist town of Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region, the first of its kind in East Africa.

The two travel trade show organisers – Karibu Fair and KILIFAIR – have recently joined into a single tourism exhibition, and organisers expect to pull in more partners and key players in the tourism industry across East Africa and the entire African continent.

Reports from Arusha and Moshi are that all the leading safari centers in Tanzania said the two travel trade exhibition organisations have joined together, aiming to add more mileage in the tourist business in Africa.

The first touring exhibition under an umbrella of the two travel trade organizations is expected to kick-off in Moshi from June 1-3 of this year with expectations to attract over 350 exhibitors, mostly from Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa, plus hosted and semi-hosted buyers from the rest of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. About 4,000 trade visitors are expected to participate in the 3-day tourism fair, reports said.

It was also reported that the 3-day event that will take place at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and will be the first of its kind in East Africa by its magnitude of exhibitors, visitors, and travel trade gatherings to take place on the course of the event.

Under such a special arrangement, Karibu Fair and KILIFAIR fair will annually alternate between Moshi and Arusha. The other such joint tourism fair will take place in Arusha next year, the Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr. Siril Akko, said.

He said the two travel trade organizations have aimed to create the largest and most important tourism trade fair in East Africa under one roof.

The Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF) were established about 15 years ago with high-end success in tourism development through its annual shows in Arusha.

The KTTF 2017 is the premier East African regional tourism show and one of the top two “must-visit” events of its kind in Africa with a superb, secure, and more convenient venue in a natural setting with an ideally-designed layout, making it the biggest and only outdoor tourism fair in Africa.

Standing as the most competitive and dedicated travel market that brings the Eastern and Central African region and the world under one roof, providing overseas tour agents with an ideal platform to maximize their networking opportunities, KTTF has been listed among competitive travel shows taking place in Africa.

KILIFAIR stands as the youngest tourism exhibition entity to be established in East Africa, but, has had succeeded in making a record-breaking event by attracting a magnitude number of tourism and travel trade stakeholders.

The KILIFAIR exhibition targets to promote Tanzania as an African safari destination, focusing on global tourists visiting northern Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro, the premier tourist zone of East Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the leading tourist attraction in East Africa and pulls in crowds of visitors all year round. The annual fairs include days of business networking and workshops for the tourism industry aiming to boost Tanzania tourism, as well as tourism in the Kilimanjaro region, a fast-growing locality on the African continent.

Attracting exhibitors from different African countries, the premier KILIFAIR Exhibition takes place in May or June every year, drawing a sizeable number of exhibitors, travel trade visitors, buyers and sellers from various corners of Africa, as well as guests from other parts of the world.

Moshi and Arusha are the leading safari capitals in Tanzania, taking advantage of the premier wildlife parks, including Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Arusha, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

The two safari towns are well connected to global tourist networks through Nairobi, the Kenyan capital city, and the East African safari hub.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tanzania's Big Win At the Oscars a Plus for Tourism

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Tanzania might not have had any expectations at the 2018 Oscars but they were East Africa's biggest winners on the night.

Ugandans of course were hoping that British-born Daniel Kaluuya would win Best Actor for his role in the horror comedy film Get Out, and Kenyans were crossing fingers for Watu Wote, nominated for the Best Short Film.

Following Academy tradition, Oscar nominees were treated to lavish swag bags from sponsors from marketing company called Distinctive Assets.

Here is the Tanzanian connection. This year the nominees received really extravagant gift bags with more than $100,000 worth of goodies including an exclusive voucher for a 12-night luxury safari in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.

The voucher covers adventure-packed excursions during the day and luxury lodges and tents at night, surrounded by the famous Big Five and wildebeest, zebra, hyenas and other abundant wildlife.

Luxury safaris don't come cheap and this is a big boost for Tanzania tourism which has been on the rebound lately, proving that the marketing, quality and product offering are paying off by attracting big spenders. And they don't come bigger than Hollywood's A-list.

Tanzania is also the only country in the region whose tourism advertising graces the stadia hosting the English Premier League games.

To give perspective to the 12-day safari, the goody bag entails not one, not two, not three but four vacations. There is a stay at Avaton Luxury Villas Resort in Halkidiki in Greece, which overlooks the Athos Peninsula and the Aegan Sea, where the gods supposedly lived.

Then there is a week-long stay at Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu in Hawai'i. It's a luxury five-star resort with waterfalls and it's very own tropical rain forest.

Last is a week-long spa trip at the Golden Door in southern California for indulgence at the popular celebrity SoCal spa, Golden Door. It offers massages, skin, body and hair care.

Other gifts include a conflict-free diamond necklace. Among those who received the goody bags are Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep and Margot Robbie who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in I, Tonya as disgraced US figure skater Tonya Harding.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wildlife in Major game Reserves face Threat as Mara River Dries up

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Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and the adjoining game-controlled areas have only one year-round river, the Mara. However, the drought that has continued ravaging various parts of the country now threatens wildlife in the world-famous parks as the as the Mara River, which serves as the heart of tourism in these areas is on the verge of drying up.

It is evident that the water level in the key river has reduced drastically, portending danger in the near future. The destruction of the Mau Forest complex, the source of the river, has been blamed for the current situation. The drying up of the river spells doom for tourism prospects at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

A spot check of the river reveals that crocodiles and hippos are dying as the Mara and its tributary, Talek River, are drying up. Wildebeests and zebras, among other wild animals, have been crossing the dry river beds, heading to Tanzania to seek for greener pastures.

In some parts of the river is now just a small channel.

Crocodiles and hippos are competing for pools of water that remain along the almost drying river. Conservationists also argue that the Mara ecosystem is now more polluted than ever before and is still under enormous threats arising from human activities. The Mara is a trans-boundary resource shared by Kenya and Tanzania and it covers an area of 13,500 square kilometres with 65 percent of it being in Kenya.

The conservationists warn that the drying up of the Mara River whose source is the Mau Forest is one of a series of ominous signs that could lead to an ecological disaster. The river covers three counties of Bomet, Narok, Kericho and Nakuru which also are part of the Mau Forest ecosystem, a critical catchment of the Mara River basin.

“This climate change issue and occupation of the Mau Forest is negatively affecting wild animals and is causing changes in their breeding grounds, animal populations, increased animal deaths, changes in migration routes and patterns,” said Mr Parmataro Lemein, a wildlife scientist based at Matira camp.

Mr Lemein’s concerns are inspired by the irregular flow of the Mara and its main tributary, Talek River, which has become more and more extreme, with conservationists warning it might cause a collapse in the wildebeest populations, thus hampering the entire migration cycle that sustains the Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

“Aquatic life is being threatened here. Hippos and crocodiles are fighting for space in the pools of water that equally have turned dirty due to stagnation. The water is diminishing, causing stress to the underwater animals and often (resulting in) regular fights over territory,” added Mr Lemein.

The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem coordinator Nick ole Murero noted that there has been constant migration and dispersal of wildlife in the recent past and attributed it to the changes in climate and destruction of the Mau Forest, the source of the river.

“The climate in the Mara is becoming unbearable. The animals tend to move to other areas where they can be able to survive. The Mara River is a source of life but there is no water,” said Mr Murero. He said thousands of hippos, elephants, wildebeests, and buffaloes have migrated to Serengeti park in Tanzania after several streams and water dams within the Mara dried up.

Local tour operators and hoteliers have so far raised the red flag over the current human population growth rate coupled with excessive exploitation of natural resources within the core areas of the Mara River basin.

However, all is not lost.

Last week the Narok County government imposed a permanent charcoal ban and logging following widespread outcry over loss of forests, a fact that continues to expose Kenya to the vagaries of climate change.

Governor Samuel ole Tunai’s announcement came two days after Deputy President William Ruto suspended logging in all forests in the country for the next three months as water levels in major rivers countrywide continued to drop at alarming levels.

Mr Tunai said all logging activities in Mau Forest, Nyakweri Forest in Transmara, Enoosupukia Forest in Narok East and Loita Forest in Narok South have been banned and declared illegal.

“We are also rolling out a massive afforestation programme to plant trees in the Mau and along the riparian areas of the Mara River,” said Mr Tunai. Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala hailed the ban on charcoal burning and logging by both the county and national governments, saying it will go a long way in saving both human and wildlife along the Mara River basin.

“The Mara River ecosystem is the lifeline of people in this region. There is therefore an urgent need for communities living along the basin to embrace the conservation efforts being put in place.”