News

17 October 2019

Ellen DeGeneres has raised $5 million for the conservation of mountain Gorillas

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A fundraiser organised by popular American TV personality and comedian Ellen DeGeneres has raised some $5 million (about Rwf4.6 billion) as her efforts to raise funds for conservation of mountain gorillas in Rwanda kicks off in earnest. Ellen DeGeneres was, over the weekend, joined by her wife Portia de Rossi and a host of other big names in the entertainment world for the ‘Gorillapalooza’ event in Los Angeles, California. The proceeds were more than double the initial target, she said on her popular show, The Ellen Show, earlier this week. “We were hoping to raise $2 million. That didn’t happen. We raised $5 million. This is so important because there are only 1,000 mountain gorillas left,” she said.

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17 October 2019

Wheels Up on More Flights to the African Continent

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New nonstop flights are dramatically cutting travel time and linking more African cities to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Flights from the United States to the African continent can take 30 or even 40 hours depending on the routing, and many travelers face lengthy layovers in Amsterdam or London, or Dubai or Doha in the Middle East. But that might be changing soon: Airlines are increasingly introducing nonstop flights, dramatically reducing travel time and further linking the United States to major African nations.

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16 October 2019

Kenya birdwatchers log migrating birds for Spring Alive

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As the winter season slowly approaches in Europe, bird enthusiasts are in for a treat as migratory birds start arriving in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Conservationists say this season’s migration has started earlier than usual much to the delight of bird watchers and nature lovers. Twice a year, millions of birds fly hundreds and even thousands of kilometres across continents in search of food and the perfect grounds to breed and raise their young ones. James Kimaru, senior warden at Lake Bogoria National Reserve 150 miles north of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, said eight species of migrants have been spotted in the past two weeks during the latest water-bird count.

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16 October 2019

Kenya Stats July - September

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KTB Reports that international arrivals to Kenya within the period (July – September), closed at 591,996, compared to the same period last year which posted 587,385, indicating a growth of 0.8%. During the period, arrivals through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) closed at 420,770 which is a growth of 4.8% compared to 401,533 in 2018/19. Moi International Airport Mombasa (MIAM) received 28,850 visitors, compared to 28,614 in 2018/19, representing a 1.1% growth.

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15 October 2019

Development of Walvis Bay waterfront and marina well on track

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The development of a Waterfront & Marina, identified by Namport to better combine sea port activities with recreational and tourism activities, is well on track with the actual Marina, which will supplement the Waterfront, expected to be completed by 2020. Namport, as the land owner, facilitates the development of a waterfront at the present waterfront area, which on completion could become the main citizen and tourist attractions in Walvis Bay.

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15 October 2019

Polish airline launches weekly Mombasa flights

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A Polish charter airline will be flying weekly to Mombasa as it moves to cash in on the festive season. The maiden flight to the coastal town on Saturday had 189 passengers. The carrier dubbed Smartwings Airlines will be operating bringing in about 200 tourists from Poland, and is expected to push up the regions hotel occupancy rates above the current 70 percent. It will be operating once a week until end of the year before increasing its frequency to twice a week from January to March next year.

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14 October 2019

Expansion of a famous elephant park holds out hope for Africa’s big tuskers

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There is a scene at the start of the film Last of the Big Tuskers where a man is having his upper arm tattooed. As the artist puts the finishing touches to the work and dabs away blood, the camera pans out and an inky face with enormous tusks emerges. Elephants have always had a way of getting under people’s skin. That much was clear at the South African premiere of the documentary, which played to a nearly full theater in Durban this week. Much of the documentary, which focuses on the plight of Africa’s big and super-tuskers — elephants with tusks exceeding 45 kilograms (100 pounds) each — is filmed in South Africa’s Tembe Elephant Park, immediately south of the border with Mozambique, 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Durban.

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14 October 2019

Application for Membership - Journeys Namibia

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Journeys Namibia has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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11 October 2019

Kenya launches first mountain race

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Meru Governor H.E. Kiraitu Murungi on Tuesday officially launched the Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championship, scheduled to take place in February 2020. Under the theme ‘Challenging the Heights’, the race will be the first of its kind in Kenya and will hopefully attract runners from around the globe, therefore promoting the county as a tourism, investment and sports hotspot. Mt. Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, and with 40% of the mountain being in Meru, the county government is hoping to leverage on this and bring more tourists to the county.

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11 October 2019

Registration Opens for Film Tourism Festival

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The Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme (STTP), organisers of the inaugural International Tourism Film Festival-Africa (ITFFA), has opened registrations to attend the festival taking place in Cape Town and the Northern Cape from 20-24 November 2019. “As we have limited spaces available, we suggest that interested parties register as soon as possible or by 30 October at the latest,” says James Byrne, Executive Assistant to the ITFFA Festival Director.

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10 October 2019

New electric vehicle charging station benefits local businesses

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South Africa’s first electric vehicle road trip Africa (EVRT Africa) brought to the country by Generation.e, has launched a new electric vehicle charging station powered by ACDC Dynamics at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town, on 9 October 2019. Ben Pullen points out that one sector which will benefit is the tourism industry which is a large contributor to the economy of the country. “Launching charging stations at local hotels, such as the Vineyard, not only provides direct opportunities for their business, but also has a knock-on effect on the surrounding restaurants and tourist attractions that will benefit from an increase of thoroughfare in the area of those who are needing to charge an electric vehicle.”

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10 October 2019

Arsenal Defender David Luiz Expected in Rwanda

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Arsenal defender David Luiz is expected in the country on Thursday for a two-day visit. The visit is part of the 'Visit Rwanda' partnership between the Government of Rwanda and the English club. "I have heard wonderful things about the breath-taking beauty of Rwanda and its people, and I can't wait to experience the country and all it has to offer. Football has the amazing power to bring communities together and drive social change, and the Arsenal shirt has a unique ability to reach fans all over the world. I am very proud to represent Arsenal to help tell a global audience of Rwanda's modernisation into a luxury tourism destination, its amazing culture and its enthusiasm for football development," the Arsenal star said in a joint statement.

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09 October 2019

e-Visa pilot to start ahead of Festive Season, making travel easier to SA

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Starting November 2019, visitors to South Africa will be able to apply for visas online when the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) launches a pilot scheme for the e-visa system. This will make travel much easier for foreign tourists, as they will be able to apply for their travel documents from the comfort of their homes, which was especially problematic for visitors from India and China. South Africa has been rolling out much-needed reforms to its visa regime, including visa-free entry for residents of New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with visa waivers in the pipeline for Ghana, Cuba, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Visa requirements have also been simplified for China and India.

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09 October 2019

Elephants turn Mt Elgon Park caves into maternity units

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Deep in Mt Elgon National Park, on the Kenya-Uganda border, are five caves that elephants have turned into maternity wards. Elephants consider the caves a safe place to bring forth new ones because they are secure, have salt for them to lick, and there is plenty of food in their neighbourhood. The caves are protected by rangers. “The elephants are known to travel from the neighbouring Trans Nzoia County and Uganda to these caves, where they give birth and bring up their young ones,” said Mr Renson Makheti Wanyonyi, Bungoma County tourism executive.

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08 October 2019

This South African student is fighting animal poaching using wildlife photos

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It's a shocking image: A huge rhinoceros pinned to the ground while a grimacing man shreds a power saw through its horn, white shards shooting off in a blur of high speed. The photograph, taken by 20-year-old student Neville Kgaugelo Ngomane, shows the radical lengths that are now being taken to protect vulnerable rhinos from the poachers who hunt them down for their horns. Though it seems cruel, this is now a standard practice in some parts of Africa to keep rhinos alive. Robbed of the horns that fetch high prices in illegal trade, the rhinos will be left alone.

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08 October 2019

Chester Zoo celebrating birth of a baby bongo - Africa's rarest large mammal

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First-time mum, Safi, gave birth to the critically endangered eastern bongo calf on Wednesday, September 4, after a nine-month-long gestation. It is the first eastern bongo – the world’s largest forest-dwelling antelope - to be born at the zoo for more than 11 years. Zoo experts have hailed the female calf’s arrival as “incredibly important”, with latest estimates suggesting as few as 70 may now remain in its native East Africa.

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07 October 2019

South African Airways Announces Codeshare Expansion to New York with Air Seychelles

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South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to announce the expansion of the codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles (HM) to New York effective 1 November 2019. SAA will be the operating carrier on the Johannesburg (JNB) – New York (JFK) sector and Air Seychelles will be the marketing carrier. The codeshare flights will open for sale on 15 October 2019 and the effective date of travel will be from 1 November 2019.

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07 October 2019

Recovery and renewal: the return of wildlife tourism in Zimbabwe

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Nature tourism in Zimbabwe is undergoing a renaissance. In spite of recent political instability, a new landscape of luxury lodges and private concessions are offering affordable wildlife experiences, where the big five vastly outnumber humans. “They’re not running — this is a good sign,” remarks Scott, with a pleased nod, as these wandering grey mountains melt back into the bush. Until three years ago, this area — the Sapi Concession, in the far north of Zimbabwe — was a hunting ground, and, according to conservation manager Scott, the experience has left mental scars on much of the wildlife here, particularly the lions and elephants. But in 2016, the government leased the 463,000sq mile concession to eco-tourism operator Great Plains Conservation, which converted it into a private photographic reserve; a fine example of how the safari scene is evolving in Zimbabwe.

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04 October 2019

Tanzania: Kisarawe Introduces Ecotourism to Boost Economy

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Kisarawe District has put in place strategies to turn its abundant reserved forests into effective source of its income through introducing ecotourism to boost revenue collection. The district is home to popular forests of Kazimzumbwi and Pugu, which are near to Dar es Salaam city which has two main gateways: Dar es Salaam Port and Julius Nyerere International Airport. Kisarawe District Commissioner (DC), Jokate Mwegelo was upbeat that the two gateways would help the district receive many tourists. "We are going to make the forests part of tourism in our district, people will be coming for day trips, taking pictures of ecosystems... we have a huge opportunity for building recreational areas," Ms Mwegelo stated during an interview with the 'Daily News' recently.

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04 October 2019

The black rhinos surviving Damaraland’s drought

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Bashing along a basalt boulder-strewn track in Torra Conservancy in Namibia’s Damaraland, our guide cut the engine and whispered “rhino”. About 150 yards ahead was a large black rhino looking straight toward us. Because rhinos have poor eyesight it is most likely that she was listening to the sound of us approaching, but probably couldn’t see us well enough to know what we were. If the cow was aware of our presence, she didn’t show any concern and continued nibbling at the Euphorbia damarana bush in front of her. This bush survives well in the harsh, arid, rocky terrain and climate of Namibia’s Damaraland. It may be one reason why the desert-adapted rhinos of Damaraland appear to be surviving the three-year drought there better than other wildlife. Euphorbia is strongly drought resistant and exudes a thick, milky sap that is so toxic that it can kill browsing herbivores and has been used by San hunters as a poison for their arrows. Rhinos can eat it without ill-effects (as can desert-adapted gemsbok and kudu) and it helps them survive when other vegetation withers and dies.

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03 October 2019

700 new hotel restaurants and bars will be opened in Africa by 2025

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A new study forecasts that 700 new hotel restaurants and bars will be opened in Africa by 2025, in internationally branded hotels. The research involved 410 F&B venues across the 100 internationally branded hotels in the major 10 cities in Africa and W Hospitality Group’s hotel development pipeline report.“Over the last 70 years, the restaurant market internationally has been built on three factors; growing towns and cities, broad distribution of income and a growing middle class. When you take into account that the anticipated rate of urbanisation, expected across Africa, will outpace India and China in the next 25 years, Africa will become one of the world’s most vibrant dining scenes," said Stefan Breg, group strategy director of Keane.

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03 October 2019

Application for Membership - Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve

Atta

Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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02 October 2019

A Journey Into the Rarely Seen World of Kenya's Wildlife Conservation Rangers

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The men and women on the front lines of wildlife conservation in Africa inhabit a world few outsiders truly understand. These brave rangers spend weeks at a time on foot patrols away from their families. living with only the most basic of comforts and facing threats from poachers and the very animals they have dedicated their lives to protecting.

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02 October 2019

Application for Membership - Zuri Zanzibar

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Zuri Zanzibar has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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01 October 2019

Inside The Duke of Sussex's efforts to preserve African parks

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In 2016 The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, flew over a forest reserve in southern Malawi called Mangochi. He was shocked by what he saw. Though the reserve borders one of the country’s most popular safari destinations, it looked badly deforested and neglected. People had started moving in past the park’s borders. “These communities are encroaching way beyond where they should be and this whole place is on fire,” he recalls thinking. Malawi, a sliver of a country tucked into the borders of Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania, straddles the environment of both southern and east Africa. The electricity-poor region is reliant on charcoal for energy and reportedly has the highest rate of deforestation in the region. As conservation groups begin to tackle this crisis, a royal effort hopes to exert enough pressure to keep the indigenous forests preserved.

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01 October 2019

Strategic Land Purchase Provides Vital Corridor to Save Wildlife in South Africa

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South Africa’s Soutpansberg mountain range has an extraordinary variety of important and unique habitat types. Resident species reflect that diversity, ranging from small endemic species to large, wide-ranging predators, like the Vulnerable Leopard. But wildlife poaching, agricultural expansion and sand-mining threaten the future of the region’s ecosystem. This week, Rainforest Trust’s local partner, The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), purchased a vital land parcel in South Africa’s Soutpansberg mountain range. The 3,298-acre property takes another important step towards connecting a network of reserves in this unique and biodiverse landscape. Besides purchasing land for conservation, this project engages local landowners in biodiversity stewardship to combat the poaching of leopards and other threatened species. The final goal is to declare the Soutpansberg Protected Area (SPA), covering over 60,000 acres of intact habitat.

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