Kenya Tourism – Mombasa Info Tue, 28 Jun 2022 10:01:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kenya Tourism – Mombasa Info 32 32 Djibouti joins the TWIX network to fight wildlife trade in the Horn of Africa Tue, 28 Jun 2022 10:01:27 +0000

Neighboring countries around the world face obstacles to coordinating and sharing vital information in the fight against wildlife trafficking. This is where TWIX (Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange) comes in. It is an online tool that facilitates information sharing between countries and supports international collaboration between wildlife law enforcement and management agencies to address threats to conservation efforts and economies posed by organized crime.

After a two-year pilot in three countries, it is excellent to see East Africa – TWIX expanding its reach to a fourth country. The arrival of Djibouti will accelerate cross-border cooperation between Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Djibouti to more effectively combat wildlife trafficking and help preserve the region’s rich biodiversity.”

Allan Mashalla, TWIX Regional Coordinator for East Africa from TRAFFIC

Earlier this month, experts met with the Djiboutian National Police and other officials.

The scoping mission, working with senior government officials including representatives from Customs, the CITES* Administrative Agency, the Ministry of Environment, the National Police, Gendarmerie, Prosecutor’s Office and Coast Guard, identified the significant potential to intercept wildlife crime before it reaches the consumer reaches markets in other regions of the world.

“Due to its strategic location, Djibouti is mainly used as a transit point for illegal wildlife crime, so the TWIX tool will encourage law enforcement cooperation not only at a national but also at an international level,” said Mr. Hassan Mousa Rayale, Horn of the Africa Wildlife Enforcement Network (HAWEN) Focal Point in Djibouti.

“TWIX is a useful tool and we are willing to work with TRAFFIC to support this initiative. However, more capacity building/training is needed for the tool to be well understood and implemented,” said Mr. Abdoulfatah Abdirahman Arab, Acting Director of the Environment Department of the Ministry of Urban Planning, Environment and Tourism.

Expansion into a fourth country will expand the region’s ability to apprehend, convict and prevent wildlife crime. Eastern-Africa TWIX is already exploring opportunities to expand into a fifth country to bolster the region’s wildlife crime response.


* the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

TWIX platforms consist of a centralized website that contains records of national, regional and international wildlife seizures and a mailing list that allows law enforcement officials to communicate, seek help and update each other on relevant enforcement actions.

The wildlife law enforcement fact-finding mission to Djibouti took place from June 12-16, 2022.

This mission follows the launch of TWIX in IGAD’s Horn of Africa Wildlife Enforcement Network in early 2020, where the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and IGAD member countries were interested in TWIX.

The East African TWIX project complements other TRAFFIC work in the region, including CONNECT, a four-year project being implemented by IUCN with WWF, and TRAFFIC has also created a dedicated online platform to facilitate investigation, enforcement and Cooperation of East African prosecutors in the fight against wildlife crime, which was launched last year.


Thanks to the Djibouti Ministry of Urban Planning, Environment and Tourism – Department of Environment and Sustainable Development, HAWEN and IGAD for their support during the scoping mission.

The fact-finding mission was made possible by US State Department funding by closing loopholes along the trade chain: Empowering East African Wildlife Law Enforcement Agencies in Combating the Illegal Wildlife Trade Project.

Manifestos show candidates for the governor of Vihiga who back women and youth Sun, 26 Jun 2022 12:47:22 +0000
Vihiga County Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The candidates running for the governorship of Vihiga County for the Aug. 9 election have narrowed their manifestos to youth empowerment and job creation.

Governor Wilber Ottichilo, defending his seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party map, faces him with former Governor Moses Akaranga of the Progressive Party of Kenya (PPoK).

Other candidates in the running include Senator George Khaniri of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi of the Amani National Congress (ANC) and former county secretary Francis Ominde of the Federal Party of Kenya (FPK).

Governor Ottichilo, who was the last to publish his manifesto, said he is optimistic his good performance in the first term will carry him to a second term as he now shifts his focus to the youth agenda.

He said he intends to implement the Youth Service Act, creating several avenues in which the county government will empower youth.

“Young people are crucial for the upswing of our district; Therefore, we insist that more efforts should be made to support them after winning our second term,” said Dr. Ottichilo during the presentation of his manifesto in Gisambai on Friday.

dr Ottichilo promised to attract more investors to boost the county’s economy by making investments that can create jobs for the young population.

“I call on local people to come on board and contribute to this noble roadmap so that we can work towards development together,” said Dr. ottichilo.

The governor said his administration will focus on a 10-point development agenda, including empowering women, youth and people with disabilities.

Moses Akaranga. [Eric Lungai, Standard]

He also pledged to focus on providing affordable health care, access to education, promoting infrastructure, food security, sports, culture and tourism, providing clean water and tackling climate change.

“I present my vision in this manifesto, which will come into effect from August 2022. I feel revitalized and eager to continue to transform our county into a thriving entity, with a particular focus on creating a unified purpose among our leaders and directly engaging people on issues of socioeconomic development,” said Dr. ottichilo.

dr Ottichilo also pledged to focus on the social development of the county’s residents during his second term when he is re-elected on Aug. 9.

He said although his government has made remarkable progress in implementing their 2017-2022 manifesto, they have still encountered some implementation challenges.

“Like the previous manifesto, this one will also focus on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular emphasis on climate change as a cross-sectoral agenda and the overall economic transformation of our country,” said Dr. ottichilo.

like dr Ottichilo also put Mr. Ominde in his manifesto on persuading young voters to vote for him. He said he plans to develop a policy that will include youth in all district departments.

Mr Ominde went further to show his commitment by selecting a young Deputy Governor, 29-year-old Wycliffe Chabaya.

“Vihiga district is in an unemployment crisis with no clear job opportunities for any category of its residents. To mitigate and reduce these challenges, our government will profile and document all of its residents between the ages of 18 and 40,” reads part of Mr Ominde’s manifesto.

The candidate also plans to give all 10 county offices specific annual targets for job creation.

“At least 70 percent of all contracts with our new district government should be awarded to local businesses and companies.

“All companies dealing with our county government must ensure that at least 70 per cent of their employees are local residents,” Mr Ominde said.

Vihiga Senator George Khaniri. [Eric Lungai, Standard]

Another plan outlined by Mr Ominde is the establishment of the Vihiga County Youth Service (VCYS) database, which will help track and recruit youth based on their qualifications for available employment opportunities.

The Youth Service database will go hand-in-hand with the development of an internship program to ensure that all college-educated youth receive internship opportunities in the county.

This is based on the premise that the district does not have industries capable of absorbing the entire workforce, therefore most youth are forced to move to other districts in search of work.

Just like Mr Ominde, Senator Khaniri chose a young politician, Jerald Samoyo, as his running mate, saying it will allow him to nurture youth for future leadership.

“Our main agenda will revolve around youth and women. We intend to invest in them as we also try to work closely with people with disabilities,” Mr Khaniri said.

Former Gov. Moses Akaranga and incumbent Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi have also focused on directly engaging youth in hopes of winning their votes.

Vihiga has a total of 310,043 voters spread across five constituencies.

Uganda coffee a hit in foreign markets but shunned at home Wed, 22 Jun 2022 08:41:44 +0000


On a sunny morning, Nasser Mutesasira hands out free packets of processed coffee to farmers who sell coffee beans to his company for processing.

“I’m giving you this coffee so you can taste your own products,” says Mutesasira, who buys coffee beans from 991 farmers in the hilly areas of Kapchorwa, Bulambuli, Mbale and Bududa.

Though generations of farmers have grown the coveted Arabica coffee here, only a handful have ever brewed a cup of coffee from their beans.

Farmers grow coffee for commercial rather than home consumption.

export earnings

Uganda is one of Africa’s largest exporters of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee, but less than five percent of the coffee produced locally is consumed in the country, says Mutesasira, who runs Sipi Hills Coffee in Mbale, Uganda’s Arabica coffee hub.


Latest statistics from regulator Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) show that the country exported 389,936.46 tons of coffee and earned US$2.35 trillion ($627.18 million) in 2021.

As of April 2022, Italy was the largest importer of Uganda’s coffee with a 33.12 percent market share, followed by Sudan with 14.59 percent, Germany with 13.41 percent, India with 7.71 percent and the United States with 7.3 percent .

In the same month, African countries accounted for 23 percent of Uganda’s coffee exports, with Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya being the main markets.

But while Uganda exports nearly 400 million kilograms of coffee annually, only about 14,688,000 kg are consumed at home, UCDA statistics show. Despite the 88 registered coffee exporting companies in the country, only 20 Ugandan brands are available on local supermarket shelves.

Joel Kaburu, who runs Uganda Coffee Tours, a company that organizes coffee tours and processes coffee into souvenirs for local and international tourists, is dismayed that while many Ugandans avoid locally processed coffee, they end up buying imported brands at exorbitant prices.

“These ordinary coffees are made from the triage, which is basically the defective coffee beans. Our locally produced coffee is of a much better quality, but these international brands are good at marketing and branding,” he says.

On average, a Ugandan farmer sells a kilo of Arabica coffee for Ush 10,000 ($2.66) and Robusta for Ush 4,000 ($1.07). In Uganda there are about 1.7 million households that grow coffee.

Developer is building Sh539m Kisumu Beach Apartments Mon, 20 Jun 2022 21:00:47 +0000


Developer is building Sh539m Kisumu Beach Apartments

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NMG

A developer has increased stakes in residential and tourism offerings in Kisumu with Sh539 million in floating beachfront apartments on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The iconic structure, to be built in the Usoma area, off Nkrumah Road in the Kogony sub-location, will have 119 self-contained units and a restaurant.

Upon completion, the proposed floating beachfront apartments will overlook the Sh3bn redeveloped port of Kisumu.

The project, carried out by Gad Works Projects Limited, will also include a floating pool in the lake and an aqua park.

ALSO READ: Jumbo Steel Invests Sh2bn in Kisumu Plant

According to the Environmental and Social Impact Report (ESIA) submitted to the National Environment Management Agency (Nema), the applicant will work closely with the Kenya Fisheries Service and fishermen to prevent any impact on fishing activities and migration routes.

“The project will increase the aesthetic appeal of the area, increase revenue generation and job creation,” says part of the ESIA study, conducted by Diaspora Design and Ltd.

The investor is working with Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation (KLDC), chaired by former Auditor-General Edward Ouko, which was formed to revitalize the blue economy.

“Besides providing housing, recreational facilities and enhanced economic growth, the project will provide a modern tourist resort area,” the report added.

The neighboring floating beach apartments facilities are the National Cereals and Produce Board, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Equators Bottlers and the Kenya Pipeline Corporation.

Currently, the site has no structures and is mainly covered with vegetation composed of grasses and some species of trees. The project aims to provide safe and modern living facilities.

This comes after Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o signed a Sh1.4 billion MoU with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) to build a 46-kilometer promenade along Lake Victoria to improve accessibility to improve the lake.

ALSO READ: KRC to Switch Train from Kisumu, Nairobi to Night Travel Amid Low Demand

According to Kura’s design, 14 kilometers of the main street will be fully serviced with connections that will transform the port city into a better place to live, work and play.

Prof Nyong’o said the promenade would include a walkway and bike lanes that will stretch from Camp David Osori (Paw Akuche) to Dunga Beach. Other upcoming projects include a marina in Dunga, while land is being sought for the construction of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers overlooking the lake.

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Go Here, Not There: Low-crowd alternatives to top outdoor getaways Sat, 18 Jun 2022 10:48:55 +0000 For city travelers second city tourism means skipping a country’s most famous city to enjoy a destination that’s still impressive but less well-trodden. Think: Chicago instead of New York City or Manchester, England instead of London. This concept can easily be applied to outdoor getaways as well. Just trade less-visited but equally stunning natural …]]> “],”renderIntial”:true,”wordCount”:350}”>

For city travelers second city tourism means skipping a country’s most famous city to enjoy a destination that’s still impressive but less well-trodden. Think: Chicago instead of New York City or Manchester, England instead of London. This concept can easily be applied to outdoor getaways as well. Just trade less-visited but equally stunning natural spots for the more crowded ones.

It may sound simple, but prioritizing less-visited getaways can yield serious results for high-capacity destinations. The trend is also gaining momentum as crowds devastate the world’s most iconic outdoor destinations. We’re not suggesting you avoid popular spots forever, as they’re iconic for a reason. But if and when you do decide to visit them, lessen your impact by going in the off-season or off-season. (Follow our Responsible National Parks Travel Guide for more low-impact travel tips.)

If you’re already ready to get off the beaten track while helping curb overtourism, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eight of the best national and international Second Escapes, designed to give you an epic outdoor experience and give nature’s most crowded destinations a well-deserved break.

Visit Rattlesnake Canyon instead of Arches National Park

Thanks to Utah’s successful “Mighty Five” national park campaign, Moab reached its tourism tipping point — and that of Gateway Town — well before the pandemic Crowds have not decreasedespecially in Arches National Park.

your alternative? A lesser-known but equally fascinating arch-studded harbor is just two hours away: Colorado’s Rattlesnake Canyon.

This western Colorado retreat, located within the 120,000-acre McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, is home to the second largest concentration of arches in the United States. The rugged terrain surrounding these otherworldly wonders naturally limits guests – sandstone arches are accessible with either a rugged 4×4 drive or a 15 mile round trip hikeso the deserted vistas are a well-deserved treat — but the bites and mixes here Colorado’s Wine Country are additional bonuses after the adventure.

Instead of Hawaii, visit the US Virgin Islands

Hawaiian communities are Travelers ask to stay at home– to the point of being the Mayor of Maui County urged airlines to pause flights last summer. Give Hawaii a break and find that island vibe elsewhere, and without leaving the country, by booking a trip to the palm-studded US Virgin Islands (USVI) in the Caribbean, where your tourism dollars are needed.

Tourism accounts for 60 percent of the USVI’s gross domestic product, and that’s what the territory has been doing for the past five years fought with declining traveler numbers due to hurricanes and COVID-19. Is it the same travel experience as Hawaii? Of course not. The targets are in two different bodies of water, and the USVI is a fraction of the size of Hawaii. But these islands, islets, and cays don’t skimp on adventure—especially St. John, where Virgin Islands National Park offers hiking, kayaking and snorkeling.

Instead of visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit the Monongahela National Forest

Many U.S. national parks were operating at peak capacity during the pandemic, but few have been as successful as our nation’s most-visited park: the Great Smoky Mountains. This getaway welcomed a whopping 14.1 million visitors in 2021 – an increase of 50 percent over the past decade.

Instead of adding to the traffic jams, set off at another Appalachian haven: West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, which has rough visibility a million visitors a year. Its 900,000-acre northern red spruce hardwood forest is a Success story reforestation; Deforestation and wildfires devastated the ecologically diverse region until the early 20th century, when conservationists stepped in. Now its undulating green hills and rocky outcrops reflect America’s favorite park, as does its landscape backpacking potential.

Visit Sawtooth National Recreation Area instead of Grand Teton National Park

There’s a reason travelers flock to the Grand Teton trailheads: Wyoming Park’s rugged peaks are among America’s most scenic hikes. But the national park and its gateway city of Jackson are struggling overtourism throughout the pandemic. The consequences, from traffic jams to garbage and human feces on the roads, are becoming increasingly unsustainable.

You can help by swapping Grand Teton for a trip to admire the equally amazing fangs of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The 756,000 hectares Sawtooth National Recreation Area, just two and a half hours east of Boise, offers 700 miles of hiking trails, 40 peaks over 10,000 feet and campgrounds galore. Compared to Grand Tetons 3.5 million visitors per yearsawtooth mountains’ 1.3 million Visitors feel like nothing.

Instead of Torres Del Paine National Park, visit the Sierra Baguales

Chiles Torres del Paine National Park is a staple on adventure bucket lists. The towering granite massifs and aquamarine lakes that line the famous backpacking routes of the W and E Loops are as dramatic as landscapes can get. However, some worry that the park’s scenic drama could lead to its demise. Like many of America’s most popular national parks, overcrowding left Torres del Paine with everything from trash on the trails to trampled flora.

Pandemic travel closures gave the park a much-needed rest, and you can further ease the strain on the ecosystem by visiting a virtually undiscovered Patagonian haven on the border with neighboring Argentina: Sierra Baguales. Described by guidebooks as the hinterland of Chile, this wild frontier is new to the tourism game. It’s a patchwork of privately owned estancias that have only recently opened up their vast, unspoilt grounds to hikers. agencies like W Circuit Patagonia Work with estancia owners to embark on uncrowded excursions that show the peaks of Torres del Paine on the horizon and offer hikers glimpses of wildlife like guanacos and condors that outnumber visitors by at least five to one.

Drive the Diamond Circle instead of the Golden Circle

Few destinations are as synonymous with overtourism as Iceland, whose visitor numbers skyrocketed to 2.5 million (more than eight times the population) in 2018. The capital was Reykjavík described as Transforming into Disneyland, with rising rental costs reducing the quality of life for local residents. The overtourism effects have also extended to the Golden Circle, a scenic road trip route near Reykjavík, where popular destinations like UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall are struggling with issues like trampled vegetationvisitor management and Defecation by the wayside.

Icelandic tourism officials don’t attribute the problems to widespread overtourism, but to overcrowding in certain areas, such as the Golden Circle. Venture off the main tourist track, however, and a surreal, deserted landscape awaits.

One of the best alternatives to the Golden Circle is the diamond circle in the far, mountainous north of Iceland. This new loop, completed in 2020, is a wild 160-mile journey that begins in Iceland’s largest northern city, Akureyri (a five-hour drive from Reykjavík), and takes in fishing villages, lava fields, hot springs, waterfalls and snow – dusty mountains.

Safari through Ruaha National Park instead of Masai Mara National Reserve

With sightings of wildebeest migration and an impressive concentration of Africa’s famous Big Five animals (rhino, leopard, lion, elephant and buffalo) it’s easy to see why Kenya‘s Masai Mara National Reserve has so many on the radar. But it may have surpassed to many bucket lists. That’s what experts fear Safari people in the Masai Mara actually harm the animals now, with evidence of it Vehicular traffic disrupts natural wildlife patterns.

The good news: there’s a stunning and secretive alternative over in Tanzania, and we’re not talking about the Serengeti. southern tanzania Ruaha National Park, a 7,800-square-mile wildlife paradise and one of the largest national parks in East Africa, is well off the beaten track. You won’t see crowds, but you will see elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, gazelles, crocodiles and hippos.

Ruaha offers only a handful of places to stay. You can stay at one of the Tanzania National Parks Authority’s public campgrounds or take advantage of one of the region’s newest offerings: Asilia’s Usangu Expedition Campa small, conservation-focused glamping resort due to open this summer, where guests will meet scientists to conduct vital hands-on research that will inform the region’s future conservation strategies.

Hike to Gokyo Valley instead of Mount Everest Base Camp

While fewer than a thousand climbers attempt to reach the summit of Everest each year, tens of thousands trek to Everest Base Camp on the south side of the mountain. The hordes mean you’re unlikely to experience much solitude during the beautiful multi-day trek through the foothills of Nepal, and it’s impossible to escape the constant hum of helicopters evacuating people along the route.

For an alternative that promises Everest views without Everest traffic jams, try Nepal Gokyo and Renjo La route. According to adventure outfitters world expeditions, less than 10 percent of the region’s trekkers hike up the Gokyo Valley. This two-week expedition includes many of the typical Base Camp Trek experiences: a flight to Lukla and views of the highest peak on earth with landscapes such as glaciers, azure lakes and monasteries along the way.

Despite the enormous potential, East Africa’s tourism resources remain untapped Thu, 16 Jun 2022 14:07:35 +0000

By Janeth Mushi

arusha The vast natural resources in the East African Community (EAC) bloc have not yet been fully developed for tourism.

Visitors to the recently held tourism exhibition said that the world-renowned attractions that the region is endowed with do not match the number of visitors.

Richard Gafabusa, a lawmaker in Uganda’s parliament, said concerted efforts must be made to jointly promote the bloc for tourism.

“EAC is endowed with many resources that remain largely untapped,” he said at the Magereza compound in Arusha, where the expo was held.

The annual fair was jointly organized by Moshi-based Kilifair Promotion Company Limited in conjunction with the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) and other stakeholders.

It attracted over 400 exhibitors from 12 African countries, 500 international and regional travel agents and an estimated total of 8,000 visitors over the three days.


Major tourist attractions in the EAC include the ice-capped mountains; Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya and Mt. Ruwenzori, the Serengeti/Maasai Mara ecosystem and the coastal beaches.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the region received about six million foreign tourists annually, but declined to about two million in 2020.

However, Mr Gafabusa bemoaned the failure of partner countries to agree collectively to market the region as a single tourist destination.

This, he said, would have allowed the region to get the maximum economic benefit from the initiative by increasing visitor numbers.

Under the initiative, the EAC would become a single tourist area with a single tourist visa issued to travelers from abroad.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have been using the tourist visa for about a decade, while Tanzania and Burundi have yet to join the system.

Ugandan member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) James Kakooza called for the promotion of regional tourism by creating synergies between tourist boards in the region.

Ugandan lawmakers stressed the importance of promoting local tourism by creating synergies between tourist boards in the region.

He said the Karibu Fair/Kilifair has improved networking between tourism stakeholders in the region to revitalize the sector recently hit by Covid.19.

Opening the expo, Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Pindi Chana said although the tourism industry has been hit hard by Covid-19, it is now recovering.

Statistics show that the number of visitors fell from around 1.5 million in 2019 to just over 620,000 in 2020; the peak of the pandemic.

Last year, the number of visitors to the tourist attractions rose to 922,992, a significant number of whom were local tourists.

Visitor forecasts for this year have not yet been released, but the government is still aiming for five million tourists in 2025.

The legendary Hilton Nairobi will close its doors in December after 53 years Fri, 10 Jun 2022 18:43:31 +0000

After 53 years of activity, the legendary Hilton Nairobi, a symbol of luxurious hospitality, was in Kenya, will close its doors indefinitely in December. The hotel said it will deploy some staff at hotels in its Nairobi Hilton portfolio.

“Following extensive discussions with the hotel owner, the Hilton Nairobi will close its doors and cease operations for the last time on December 31, 2022. “Covid-19 has presented our industry with unprecedented challenges. However, the decision to stop operations is not directly related to the pandemic. Unfortunately the closure of the hotel will result in a downsizing process. However, we will work with those affected to help them find alternative employment,” a Hilton spokesman said Business Daily in an interview.

Hilton Nairobi | Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Kenya’s tourism industry has started to recover as local travelers benefit from lower prices, but foreign tourists are still well below pre-pandemic levels. Kenya’s government has eased a number of travel restrictionsbut the return of international tourists has been slow.

The hotel is 40.57 percent government-owned and features 287 guest rooms, three restaurants, an American-style coffee shop, two bars (indoor and outdoor), and a fully equipped gym with spa and heated pool for enrolled members and residents.

The Hilton Nairobi has played host to various celebrities over the years including Sydney Poitier, Angelina Jolie and musician Sean Paul. Hilton was also the first hospitality company in Kenya to sponsor leading safari rally driver Patrick Njiru, who regularly parked his famous Subaru at this location.

The closure does not mean the end of the brand’s activities in Kenya. Hilton said it will not leave the country and will continue to operate its other brands in the country.

“Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham and Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport add new hotel development opportunities to our portfolio in the city and beyond,” the brand said.

Last week, the brand announced the opening of Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton, which is expected to open in late 2022.

Located between Peponi Road and Kitisuru Road in the Westlands Business District, the Kwetu Nairobi will offer 100 guest rooms in five different buildings.

“I am pleased to announce the upcoming opening of Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton as we prepare for the East African Property Investment Summit and reaffirm our commitment to Kenya and broader East Africa. This incredible new hotel will set the standard for upscale hotels in Nairobi as part of our Curio Collection by Hilton brand,” said Andrew McLachlan, Managing Director, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa.

The hotel will feature stylish boutique interiors as well as multiple dining venues, bars and ten meeting rooms.

Kenya Railways has introduced a night service between Nairobi and Kisumu Wed, 08 Jun 2022 19:10:56 +0000

After improvements the On the Kisumu route, passengers will be able to travel at night starting this Friday.

The Kisumu Night Train now stops before arriving at Kikuyu, Naivasha, Nakuru, Njoro, Elburgon, Turi, Molo, Mau Summit, Londiani, Kedowa, Kipkelion, Tunnel, Fort Ternan, Koru, Muhoroni, Chemelil, Kibigori, Miwani and Kibos its final destination in Kisumu, in response to consumer inquiries.

This will also increase the number of passengers using the service.

The Kisumu Safari train, reintroduced in December 2021 after a long absence, has proved a hit, according to Kenya Railways chief executive Philip Mainga, with many revelers and residents of the Lakeside region choosing the train as their favorite form of transport.

“We listened to our customers and the general public and made the decision to make the change to meet their travel needs.” The Kisumu to Nairobi train now runs at night. We are also adding more stops along the way to ensure we can accommodate more people. Depending on demand, we may revive the day train in the future.”

Every Friday the train departs from Nairobi Central Station at 18:30 and arrives in Kisumu at 06:30.

Every Sunday the train departs New Kisumu Station at 18:30 and arrives in Nairobi at 06:35. Kenya Railways hopes to make the service more attractive to tourists between Nairobi City, via the Rift Valley and finally into the Lakeside region, by charging Sh2,000 for a journey in first class cabins and Sh600 for a journey in economy class -Vehicles charged.

The company also intends to start services in Butere over the next month, which will increase the number of people using the service.

Position Kenya as a hub for event tourism Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:03:14 +0000

ideas & debate

Position Kenya as a hub for event tourism

Children watch and listen as puppeteers perform an interactive show during the revamped storytelling festival at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi. PHOTO| AUGUSTIN SANG | NMG

Leading destination brands around the world have successfully used event tourism to serve as part of their branding strategy and achieve various economic and tourism goals.

Events can be the catalyst that creates the real reason for potential tourists to visit a particular destination.

Events also improve hotel bed occupancy and boost the economies of host destinations by attracting foreign capital, creating jobs and stimulating cash circulation in the local economy. This brings economic benefits and increases the quality of life of citizens.

During their stay in the country, visitors offer guest destinations the opportunity to create memorable experiences that will ensure their loyalty, commendations and future return visits.

Some visitors prefer to time their visits to coincide with specific events for added value. They do this to look for opportunities to have unique cultural, social, or recreational experiences.

In this respect, tourist income and arrivals can be positively influenced by the conception and production of a carefully curated event portfolio that aims to generate tourist demand and to influence the image and attractiveness of the destination in the long term.

The inherent power of events can be seen in the impressive revenue and arrival metrics recorded by top destination brands that have invested in developing the necessary infrastructure capacity and executing well-funded marketing campaigns.

Industry stakeholders and governments should initiate joint event design and marketing campaigns through broader and more inclusive public-private partnerships to include the development of a comprehensive annual calendar of events by type, season and appeal to attract the national, regional and international travel market.

Counties should also develop and market attractive events to increase attendance and revenue. This will contribute to the diversification of our tourism products.

Our tourism industry is characterized by high and low seasons. By interspersing events and strategically placing them throughout the year, we are able to purposefully and progressively eliminate the off-season, which has traditionally led to declines in attendance and revenue at most of the country’s tourism attractions.

The UK and Germany, for example, hold their largest and busiest tourism fairs in the winter, when attendance is typically comparatively low. This aims to maintain a high bed occupancy by delegates from around the world when weather conditions are not favorable for leisure tourism.

The annual three-day World Travel Market event in London attracts around 50,000 visitors, including senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media, and generates over £3.71 billion (approx. Sh536 billion) in travel industry contracts. Before Covid, the city of London attracted around 21 million visitors in 2019.

Kenya has successfully hosted a number of regional and international events. Unfortunately, the country has also missed opportunities to host continental football tournaments, mainly due to substandard or inadequate facilities.

The city of Nairobi is currently the only destination with accommodation capacity to host reasonably sized events depending on the number of delegates.

Kisumu had to expand its search for accommodation to neighboring counties to accommodate over 10,000 delegates attending the recently concluded 9th edition of the Africities Summit. However, Kisumu’s economy has seen a welcome boost following the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main beneficiaries included hotels and other accommodation facilities, tourist attractions, transport service providers and restaurants, among others.

The experience gained in hosting the Africities Summit should serve as a springboard for the country to be proactive in seeking and submitting bids to host regional and international events.

There is the possibility and the existing good will for Kenya to position itself as a regional event center. However, this can only be achieved if the government consistently allocates adequate funds and actively promotes the procurement of additional investments for the sustainable development of the necessary infrastructure.

This will gradually allow the country to become a formidable contender for hosting premium international events.

We must continue to develop a variety of quality accommodation, world-class stadiums and seamless mass transit systems, coupled with well-trained human capital with technical expertise to keep event facilities in tip-top condition.

It is encouraging to note that some hotels have reopened following the pandemic shutdown. International hotel brands are resuming deadlocked projects or planning new investments. This will strengthen the country’s capacity to host events due to the increased number of hotel rooms.

50 Years Investing in Rhinos – Business Daily Sat, 04 Jun 2022 06:00:53 +0000


50 year investment in rhinos

Ian Craig, Owner of Lewa Conservancy and Director of Conservation, Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) during interview at Serena Hotel, Nairobi on May 19, 2022. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Ian Craig swears by two things: safe wilderness and conservation. The director of the Lewa Conservancy, home of the Northern Rangelands Trust, has dedicated 50 years of his life to protecting wildlife, particularly the black rhino and the endangered Grevy’s zebra.

The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a group of 43 conservancies covering an area of ​​63,000 square kilometers in northern and coastal Kenya. Craig serves as Director of Conservation.

Born in Meru in 1952 to an Irish farming family, Craig was educated in Nanyuki, Eldoret and Ireland. His family tended the cattle in Lewa and mingled with the wild animals. This brought him into contact with “intact nature” as a child, which aroused his interest in nature conservation.

This hardened conservationist, who has spent most of his life in the wild, speaks softly and does not strain himself during a conversation.

But when he speaks, you begin to see him as a man with a mission bigger than himself.

What has more than 50 years in the wild taught him about people and nature? He tells me that he has had the privilege of experiencing nature at its roughest.

“I have deep friendships with people who were born and lived with wildlife herding cattle. This led me to understand how animals live and why wildlife is a part of us.”

Craig has witnessed every episode of the Kenya Conservation Journey, growing up at a time when there were “free roaming rhinos” in Kenya and as a young adult witnessing firsthand the carnage of the 1970s when rhinos and elephants were decimated by poachers.

From 25,000 rhinos in Kenya to just about 200 now, he says this is the bloodiest episode in the country’s wildlife history.

“The rhinos came to Lewa to seek refuge, and over time the numbers started to increase,” he says.

This was the birth of the Meru County sanctuary he established by converting the family’s 140,000-acre cattle ranch into a rhino sanctuary.

For Craig, looking at conservation through the prism of tourism was a “stale, superficial and fickle” approach that he says needs to change. Away from tourism and animal husbandry, according to Craig, the future of conservation lies in the sale of CO2 certificates.

“It’s a game changer. This will transform the dream of protecting Kenya’s wildlife to one that will create the link between land planning, land use, wildlife and the consumer economy on a scale that will transform everything.”

He emphasizes the need for practices that are compatible with the country in order to achieve maximum socio-economic gain.

“I’ve sat on government boards and what seems missing is how to derive social value for communities from wildlife. We must enable our people to save. What are others doing elsewhere in Africa? What incentives do they give their people to save?”

But this approach has its complexities, with competing interests. However, Craig believes that strength lies in building institutional structures that allow stakeholders to speak with one voice.

“Government and NGOs listen when wildlife communities are well organized. Ultimately, communities are stronger stewards of wildlife than government can ever be,” he says, noting that such societies can receive bilateral funding for education, health care and other projects.

Craig’s grandparents came to Kenya in the 1920s. His mother, who died last year, was born in Kenya.

“My wife was born in Sri Lanka. Our son and a daughter work here. We have five grandchildren, some going to school in Gilgil, some in the US. We are a Kenyan family.”

While optimistic about recent conservation gains, Craig concedes that corruption and “an abundance of illegal firearms” are holding back efforts.

Northern Kenya is a terrible place to work. Craig calls it a lawless territory of ethnic conflict and banditry.

“It’s a pretty deep problem, but we work and live here. It’s like we’re in another world. How do we bring decency and reason into this society? I put this question to our government.”

Last year he and his wife came under heavy gunfire from bandits in an ambush in Isiolo.

“It was New Year’s and we were just having fun in the wild. I told her, ‘We’re not getting out of here alive.’ We survived by grace.”

He notes that conservation agency leadership is critical to addressing some of these challenges. How practical is this for an institution with more than 40 member associations?.

“Our leadership changes every two years so that people don’t get stuck in positions that allow corruption to take root in these societies.”

Earlier this year, an NRT was suspended from the NRT for poor governance, he says. “The money was mismanaged and there was no audit trail. There is a great message in that.”

Is Kenya now on track to restore rhino numbers? Craig beams for the first time.

“Kenya is doing very well. We are leaders in Africa. Rhino poaching has decreased drastically. As of the first quarter of this year, 83 rhinos have been killed in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. It’s different here,” he says.

As to whether private conservancies are the future of conservation in Kenya, Craig says they only do well in capacity.

“You are making your contribution. For example, if we didn’t have Solio Ranch, we would have virtually no rhinos in Kenya.”

However, he points out that private sanctuaries have their limits, adding that the migration of elephants from Marsabit through Samburu and Isiolo counties into Meru National Park is difficult to curb.

“They need a safe passage for these animals to move. This requires peace between the communities. For peace to prevail, there must be economic benefits for the people.”

His proudest achievements as a conservationist? The restoration of Sera Conservancy in Samburu County tops the lot. Sera is home to rhino, elephant, lion and buffalo and says 10 years from now Sera will be a prime travel destination.

“This has been done and fully supported by the local community. There are no third parties here.”

Because of milestones like this, he wants to stay in the wild for the rest of his life.

“I didn’t wake up one morning with a vision. I saw an opportunity and took it. I’ve met people with money who were willing to help me do what I love.”

What kind of legacy is he building for himself at 70?

“I would like to test the NRT model outside of Kenya. We have already started some work in Northern Uganda. This is not a project. It’s a movement. I don’t want anything more in my life.”

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