This Week at Atta HQ

Good morning!

It has been a relatively quiet week in the Atta office, with our CEO Nigel out at the Atta East Africa Seminar "Responsible Tourism Protects Wildlife" in Nairobi. Judging by the reception received on Twitter, we gather this went extremely well! We have yet to hear how it went as Nigel has been travelling back, so we will let you know more next week.

Atta director Ross Kennedy attended a celebration event at the Harare International Convention Centre on Thursday, a handover ceremony of EU Awards for Tourism to the President of Zimbabwe. Here Ross is pictured with Paul Matamisa, CEO of Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (right) and Mrs Ndai Mukwena, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Domestic Market Manager.

We should all celebrate the recognition that the EU is giving to African destinations, and hope this will go a long way to promoting tourism to these regions.

We are now looking to the Atta Regatta, with an afternoon of education, followed by the Atta summer networking event, which will feature a barbeque, cash bar and traditional folk dancing! We have just over a month until this event and tickets are already booking up fast - find out more here.

The Atta team are delighted to learn that Stefano Cheli, the founder of Cheli and Peacock has been awardedt he "Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia". Granted by the President of the Republic, the award represents the second highest civilian honour of the State, and is given to those who have achieved special merit in the "promotion of national prestige abroad". In Stefano Cheli's case, the award commends his lifelong commitment towards conservation in Kenya and his outstanding achievements as a front-runner in Sustainable Tourism.

Last week, Lina gave us a summary of what she had got up to in South Africa, and promised a continuation this week - well, true to word, here it is:

"I am very excited to share with you today my South African experience at &BeyondPhinda Private Game Reserve where they focus on preserving wildlife and returning the land to a thriving state after years of agricultural management and misuse.

I have had the opportunity to stay at two of their properties. Phinda Mountain Lodge boasts a spectacular position perched on a ridge overlooking the reserve.

       

Your private suite is situated on the crest of a mountain ensuring complete privacy while optimising the view from the veranda which I found truly fascinating. The afternoon game drive with guide Toby was unforgettable as he was full of fun, enthusiasm and passion for what he did! He told us a lot about various conservation projects &Beyond are involved in.

The highlight of the day was a dinner under the starts in an open air Boma where delicious cuisine was served around the open fire.

The following day I have moved to Phinda Forest Lodge with free standing villas with glass walls nestled among trees. It was such a contrast to the Mountain Lodge where you could see the African horizon miles away…

Our guide Benson was the most experienced in the reserve and my birthday wish to see elephants and cheetah was easily fulfilled the next morning.

      

And I have also had some company for the breakfast - the cheeky monkeys who are so naughty that they need people to work as security to guard the breakfast food.

However my fondest memory of visiting Phinda was the surprise dinner in the bushes. There is nothing quite like having dinner under the stars surrounded by wildlife and nice people.

We even had the head chef, dressed in traditional Zulu dress delivering a speech peppered with anecdotes about how he became a chef and his food philosophy. 

Yours, Lina"

We have once again dried up a little in terms of news - we were really getting it flooding in a few weeks ago. Please do not forget to send us anything of interest - the tutorial for doing this can be found in a previous edition of This Week at Atta HQ.

In Matched, Hatched and Through the Grapevine this week, we have the exciting news that within the next few hours our book-keeper Silvia will have had her first child! We are waiting to see pictures with bated breath, and all of us from Atta are wishing her the best.

Until next week - Coranda, membership@atta.travel