News

28 February 2020

Atta Legal: Coronavirus - Obligations & Rights of Customers

ATTA®

This is a special note following a number of queries regarding obligations and the rights of customers in light of the spreading Corona Virus and an apparent reluctance to travel by customers. The information was correct at the time of going to press 15:00 on 28th February but may change at any time.

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28 February 2020

Kenya Airways names new CEO

ATTA®

Kenya Airways has confirmed Allan Kilavuka, as the new Chief Executive officer effective April 1st. Kilavuka has been heading the national airline in an acting capacity since December 16 following the resignation of the ex-chief Sebastian Mickosz.

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28 February 2020

Application for Membership - Kusini Safaris

ATTA®

Kusini Safaris 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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27 February 2020

Kenya's Underwater Museum Writes History

ATTA®

Kenya has embarked on the construction of an underwater museum in the Coast that is set to be completed by around 2022 as the government aims to attract more tourists in the country. The Museum will be the first in Sub-Saharan Africa and will serve as Africa’s educational centre for underwater archaeology. The National Museum of Kenya (NMK) had identified Ras Ngomeni in Kilifi County as home of the historical site, where a Portuguese ship sank in 1516, making the vessel the oldest shipwreck in the country.

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26 February 2020

Is tourism the answer to Ethiopia's job creation goal?

ATTA®

With Ethiopia's economy growing at a rate of 10.5% and 7.71%, in 2017 and 2018 respectively, it sets the Horn of Africa up for even further growth in the next decade, and government optimistic to create 20 million jobs over this period. In addition to the growing economy, Ethiopia has been leading tourism growth rates globally.

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26 February 2020

Mystery monkey: Rare red colobus caught on camera in South Sudan

ATTA®

Oustalet's or Semliki? That is the question. It may not be on everyone's lips, but it's uppermost in the minds of conservationists after a rare red colobus monkey triggered a camera trap several hundred miles outside its known range. The image was captured in a remote forest in South Sudan as part of the extensive and ongoing camera-trap surveys that began in 2015 as a collaboration between Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Bucknell University and the South Sudanese government. Even for seasoned primatologists, Oustalet's red colobus—the Central African version of these acrobatic, fiery-coated monkeys—is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. A remarkable 20 subspecies of this highly variable species have been described, according to The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.

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25 February 2020

Single-use plastics ban in Kenya's protected areas - an opportunity to innovate

ATTA®

June 5 is World Environment Day. But that is not news. It has been marked yearly since 1974. The news is that the landmark ban on all single-use plastic in conservation areas will take effect on the same date, making it a singularly important day in Kenya’s calendar. Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the ban in June last year while speaking at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference at the Vancouver Conference Centre in Canada. The ban on single-use plastic comes just over two years after President Kenyatta’s government banned plastic carrier bags and flat bags in August 2017. Single-use plastics are to be disposed of or recycled. There are a wide range of plastic materials that fall under this category and they are used widely for packaging. They are popular for their convenience. Some of the materials that fall under this category include grocery bags, food packaging materials, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.

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25 February 2020

Atta Legal: Coronavirus Update - 25 Feb 2020

ATTA®

With the Coronavirus crisis becoming a major global issue Atta's legal advisor, Alan Bowen, provides members with an update.

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24 February 2020

Liberia and Sierra Leone join to protect the Gola rainforest

ATTA®

Liberia owns 43% of the Guinea tropical rainforest south of the Sahara and it extends to neighboring Sierra Leone. However, this vast natural resource that protects the environment from storms and helps with rainfall that also enhances soil fertility is threatened by human behavior. Loggers are either cutting down the trees indiscriminately for commercial purposes without reforestation, or farmers are cultivating it thereby destroying economic species of plant or damaging the habitat of protected wildlife.

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24 February 2020

Rare bird species boost tourism in Angola

ATTA®

Rare species of birds in the Tundavala region attracts international bird watchers to visit Angola and promote bird-related tourism in the Huila province, economic news website Macauhub reported. Noam Shany, director of Spanish company Promised Land Ventures told the online publication that the region has rare and endemic birds, including the white-headed barbet, the Angola cave chat, the Angola waxbill, Harter’s camaroptera, the Angola slaty flycatcher, Oustalet’s sunbird and Swierstra's Francolin.

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21 February 2020

British Airways ups flights to popular US and South Africa destinations

ATTA®

The airline is increasing flights from Heathrow to Miami, Seattle and Cape Town from April in order to offer passengers more flexibility. “We know that these destinations in the US and Africa are highly sought-after, particularly during spring, so we are pleased to be able to offer more flights to these destinations for our customers who are looking to get away,” said Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ director of network and alliances. British Airways recently announced it would also be increasing services from Gatwick to Cape Town, Saint Lucia and Cancun next winter, and launching six new European routes from Heathrow to Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro and Turkey from July.

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21 February 2020

What trends will be shaping the African travel sector?

ATTA®

Tourism is a growing sector in many African countries. According to the Latitude Hotels Group’s 2019 CSR Report, in 2018 tourism was the highest foreign exchange earner in Uganda, representing 18.5 percent of the total export. Meanwhile, in Zambia it was the fastest growing economic sector – according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, international visitor spend represented seven percent of the country’s export total. “Tourism in Africa enjoys continuous growth, partly made possible by prevailing peace conditions in many countries, air accessibility and diversity of attractions supporting investments,” commented Judy Kepher-Gona, Executive Director of Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda. For example, 2020 will see several new direct flight routes opening up between Africa and the US, such as Rwanda Air’s direct flight from New York to Kigali.

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20 February 2020

Seychelles launches $31 million ‘Ridge to Reef’ project to protect island’s ecosystems

ATTA®

A first-of-its-kind project in Seychelles will go a long way in helping the island nation improve the management of its marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. Officials from the United Nations Development Progamme, and Seychelles’ government signed a document launching the ‘Ridge to Reef’ project. The $31 million project, financed by the UNDP and the government, will be implemented over six years. “First of all it’s going to focus on enhancing the management and conservation of not just agricultural ecosystems and the upland forest but also as well coastal and marine ecosystem,” said UNDP Resident Representative Amanda Serumaga. Serumaga says sustainable management of the island’s ecosystems and biodiversity will also guarantee some of the livelihoods of Seychelles residents. The project objective is to undertake a comprehensive Ridge to Reef approach addressing the ‘whole island’ priorities of improved management and conservation.

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20 February 2020

Can the wildlife of East Africa be saved? A visit with Richard Leakey

ATTA®

The week before Christmas, Richard Leakey, the Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist, celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday. He is lucky to have reached the milestone. A tall man with the burned and scarred skin that results from a life lived outdoors, Leakey has survived two kidney transplants, one liver transplant, and a devastating airplane crash that cost him both of his legs below the knee. For the past quarter century, he has moved around on prosthetic limbs concealed beneath his trousers. In his home town of Nairobi, Leakey keeps an office in an unlikely sort of place—the annex building of a suburban shopping mall. His desk and chair fill most of his cubicle, which has a window that looks onto a parking lot. The space has no adornments other than two framed photographs, each sharply symbolic of the parallel interests that have absorbed most of his adult life: the world of extinct prehistoric hominids and the contemporary natural environment that is being pushed toward extinction by humankind.

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19 February 2020

In Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains, lions and wolves prowl and humans make honey

ATTA®

After a seven-hour drive south from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, past camel markets, shimmering Rift Valley lakes and seemingly endless fields of wheat and teff, the asphalt ends. A rust-red dirt track takes over and begins to climb, its heavily rutted surface slowing buses, four-wheel drives and firewood-laden donkeys to a crawl. As the air chills, driver and guide Demiss Mamo winds up the window of his well-used jeep. “Welcome to the rooftop of Africa,” he says, swerving to avoid a giant pothole. “When most foreigners think of Ethiopia, they don’t imagine snow-clad volcanoes, cloud forest and alpine lakes. But then again, the Bale Mountains have always been a pretty unique place.”

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19 February 2020

Touring Mondesa's streets on bicycle - Namiba

ATTA®

Instead of taking in the view of the township through the bus windows, entrepreneur Nande Junias decided to take his visitors around the dusty streets of Mondesa on bicycles. It was an idea the Swakopmund native conceived after speaking to several tourists to get a clue on how they would best enjoy their experience. “To truly experience the warmth, friendliness and humanity of township residents of Mondesa, you have to walk its streets, see the children play, hear the people's voices, smell the pavement barbecues, taste locally brewed beer – not to forget the food,” Junias said of the tourism bicycle experience.

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18 February 2020

African countries propose concerted action to conserve giraffes at CMS CoP 13

ATTA®

Seven African countries proposed a plan of ‘concerted action’ for conserving giraffes to be considered at the ongoing 13th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS CoP 13). These actions that list priority conservation measures were proposed by Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The proposal, prepared in coordination with non-profit Giraffe Conservation Foundation called for the development of Africa-wide, national and regional plans.

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18 February 2020

Lake Kariba Promotional Video Launched

ATTA®

A video promoting and marketing tourist attractions in Kariba has been launched, as stakeholders seek to reposition the town on the main menu of the country's tourism sector. The video highlights Kariba's natural and man-made attractions, rich cultural heritage and pristine wildlife. Stakeholders, including the Kariba Publicity Association (KPA), came together to produce the video, which is a huge statement of intent to make Kariba great again. This comes as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is working to come up with a clear marketing strategy for the destination working with all stakeholders in Kariba.

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17 February 2020

BA and Royal Air Maroc to codeshare

ATTA®

British Airways has signed its first African codeshare with Royal Air Maroc. The agreement will offer passengers more choice between Heathrow and Marrakesh, as well as daily access to Royal Air Maroc’s hub in Casablanca, which is not currently served directly by BA. The codeshare comes as Royal Air Maroc prepares to join the oneworld alliance on April 1.

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17 February 2020

Application for Membership - Remote Africa Safaris

ATTA®

Remote Africa Safaris 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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14 February 2020

A solar-powered 'Meerkat' is protecting South Africa's rhinos

ATTA®

In South Africa's biggest national park, a camouflaged system of radars, cameras and sensors stands guard. The solar-powered technology is helping to protect Kruger National Park's rhinos from poachers, and the country's tourism industry as a result. The network can distinguish between human and animal movement and even includes an infrared sensor, so it can spot poachers at night and alert park rangers to their presence. Standing almost 12-feet tall, the system is known as "Postcode Meerkat," after the source of its funding — European postcode lotteries — and the meerkats of southern Africa, who live in family groups protected by one of their own standing on its hind legs and watching for predators.

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14 February 2020

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): General Advice for Travellers

ATTA®

The outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19, as the disease has been newly named) continues to evolve and travellers may have questions regarding their travel plans and the best way to prepare and protect themselves from exposure to the new virus. Specific recommendations are already in place for those travelling to and from mainland China, and for those travelling from other selected countries and areas including Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, see our news item for details [1]. However, travellers planning to visit other countries may also have concerns.

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13 February 2020

Application for Membership - Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve

ATTA®

Inverdoorn Private Game 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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13 February 2020

Application for Membership - Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa

ATTA®

Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa 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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12 February 2020

Virgin Atlantic will commence direct flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town - October 2020

ATTA®

Virgin Atlantic will commence direct flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town on 25 October 2020! The daily service will be operated on a Boeing 787-900. VS478 will operate as a night flight departing Heathrow at 16:20 arriving into Cape Town at 05:55am. The inbound flight, VS479, will depart Cape Town at 08:00am landing later that day into Heathrow at 18:00. Tickets go on sale from 18 February.

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12 February 2020

Application for Membership - Micha Travel Mexico

ATTA®

Micha Travel Mexico 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 February 2020

Trade eased on the Kenya-Tanzania border with One Stop Border Post

ATTA®

On the border between Tanzania and Kenya sits Namanga, a town of 16,000 residents where cross-border trade has thrived thanks to investment in a One Stop Border Post (OSBP). In 2007, the African Development Bank provided financing of $108 million to Kenya and $77 million to Tanzania with the objective of easing the flow of people and goods across the East African frontier through road improvements and the construction of a OSBP. The facility, located between Tanzania's Longido District and Kenya's Kajiado County, has contributed to improving trade and tourism on both sides of the border and is aligned to one of the Bank's "High 5" strategic priorities: Integrating Africa.

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11 February 2020

Air Seychelles to name second airbus A320Neo after endangered bird “ Pti Merl Dezil’

ATTA®

Air Seychelles has today confirmed that its second Airbus A320neo aircraft will be named after one of Seychelles critically endangered bird called ‘Pti Merl Dezil’ also known as the ‘Seychelles Warbler’. Set to be delivered in March 2020, under the code S7-PTI, the newest addition to the fleet will reaffirm the airlines’ commitment in raising awareness about the Seychelles ecosystem and the importance of protecting its endemics for future generation. Scientifically recognized as ‘Acrophalus sechellensis’ with current population over 3000, the small song bird which can be identified by its brown feathers, long legs and narrow beak was on the verge of extinction in the twentieth century.

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10 February 2020

UTB signs partnership with Uganda Airlines to promote destination Uganda

ATTA®

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Airlines have signed a partnership that will see both government entities strive to increase the inflow of tourists into the pearl of Africa as well as making case for the available resources in the country at different destinations where the national airliner flies. This happened during the 5th edition of Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) hosted at the commonwealth hotel in Munyonyo presided over by the first deputy prime minister Gen (Rtd) Moses Ali.

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10 February 2020

Application for Membership - Isibindi Africa Lodges

ATTA®

Isibindi Africa Lodges 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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07 February 2020

Tourism holds positive growth for business in Nigeria

ATTA®

Major investment is being made in the hospitality industry throughout Africa. According to the Africa hotel projects overview construction report (published in December 2019), Africa's 282 projects across the continent amounts to more than 60, 000 rooms. The report looks at statistics and projections from the Top Hotel Construction database and outlines key growth markets across the African region. And Nigeria is no exception to this hospitality industry boom, placing third on the report behind Egypt (with 52 projects) and Morocco (with 32 projects).

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07 February 2020

Qatar Airways Eyes Growth by Entering the Heart of Africa via RwandAir

ATTA®

In order to ease Africa travelling for its customers, Qatar Airways is planning to purchase a 49 percent stake in Rwanda’s state carrier, RwandAir. Eyeing further growth, the Gulf airline has picked up Kigali, Rwanda. In December 2019, Qatar Airways settled for buying a 60 percent stake in the Bugesera International Airport. Its second phase is set to open in 2032, the first phase is sure to open in 2022. Post completion, it will be the largest and the most modern airport of the African subcontinent.

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06 February 2020

Sao Tome and Principe: Why Africa's 'heaven on Earth' wants more tourists

ATTA®

Wander amidst the faded colonial splendor of Sao Tome, the capital of Sao Tome and Principe, and it's easy to be charmed by the African city's laid back, tropical simplicity. Traders jostle to sell their wares at the bustling central market while fishermen laugh and joke by the large bay that swoops around the city. Follow the promenade along the coast towards the edge of town, meanwhile, and a rural paradise of palm-lined beaches and stunning biodiversity awaits. Uninhabited until being discovered by the Portuguese in the late 15th century, Sao Tome and Principe is a tiny archipelago situated in the Gulf of Guinea.

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05 February 2020

Rhino, elephant poaching declines in South Africa

ATTA®

The number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa has been reduced for a fifth consecutive year as authorities tighten their grip on poachers, the environment ministry said Monday. A total of 594 rhinos were killed across South Africa in 2019 compared to 769 in 2018, bringing the number down by 175, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy said in a statement. “A decline in poaching for five consecutive years is a reflection of the diligent work of the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to combat rhino poaching, often coming into direct contact with ruthless poachers,” Creecy said.

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05 February 2020

Boating app allowing travellers to rent boats in Uganda

ATTA®

According to the World Tourism Organisation, some of the world’s top tourism destinations are countries where a majority of activities occur near water bodies. Uganda is endowed with several water bodies like the share of one of the world’s great lakes, Victoria, Lakes Kyoga, Albert and George. However, besides these water bodies exploited for fish and maybe a source of water, little tourism has been developed. This is mainly because of the poor transport infrastructure facilities like boats plying these water resources.

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04 February 2020

Rwanda’s Nkombo Island: The Dazzling Hidden Beauty

ATTA®

Travellers visiting Rwanda will only tell stories of the robust, courageous and quite amazing mountain gorillas in the north, the beautiful scenery of Akagera national park – home to the big five in the East. Others will tell their compatriots back home the stories of traditional culture of Rwandan dancers, leave alone canopy walkway in the Southern province, just to mention some samples in the country’s heavy tourism package. Truth be told, a few of them will tell stories of a hidden away beauty of Rwanda that could be rarely heard of Nkombo Island. This Island is deep in Lake Kivu,some 12 kilometers away from Kamembe town, Rusizi district in Western Province.

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04 February 2020

Application for Membership - Aspera Exploration

ATTA®

Aspera Exploration 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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03 February 2020

Angola Government Partners with African Parks for the Management of Iona National Park

ATTA®

The Angola Government and African Parks, a conservation non-profit organisation have signed a management agreement for Iona National Park, initiating their first partnership to ensure the long-term protection of one of the country’s largest protected areas. Iona is an iconic desert landscape, extending from its Atlantic coastline over dunes, plains and mountains. It spans a vast 15,200 km2 that incorporates a new biome and country into African Parks’ management portfolio, which now includes 17 parks in 11 countries, amounting to over 13.5 million hectares.

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03 February 2020

Air Mauritius to boost capacity to Cape Town and Johannesburg

ATTA®

Air Mauritius is scheduled to increase flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa from April this year, according to the airline’s regional general manager Carla da Silva. The announcement was made on Sunday during an awards ceremony held annually to acknowledge the airline’s partners.

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