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Newsletter from East Africa Juni 2006
New face for intrepids camps in Kenya
Mara Camps and Samburu Intrepids are set to take the term ‘under canvas’ to a new dimension with their newly handcrafted tents, which are specially designed with generous spacious bathrooms. The new tents will not only have more space, but very large windows and a four-poster bed, elegant writing desk, polished wooden floors, an overhead fan and coffee bar. Bathrooms will feature marble-topped basins, oversized showers, bathrobes and a range of custom-designed luxury vanities. All 31 tents at Mara Intrepids and 30 tents at Samburu Intrepids will have been converted to the new style by the end of 2006.
The Kakapel Rock Art Site in Western Kenya opens to the public
The ancient rock paintings became available to visitors for the first time when Kakapel National Monument was opened to the public on January 30, 2006. The extraordinary site is located under the National Museums of Kenya and has art forms dating back over 2,000 years and possibly as far back as 4000 years old, combining many different styles and periods. For more information, please visit http://www.africanrockart.org
Horse riding adventures in Machame, Northern Tanzania
Makoa Horse Riding Adventures represents the best in horse safaris. Based in Machame, the starting point for the most scenic route up Kilimanjaro, Makoa Farm can be found along a steep and winding forest path. Here Elizabeth and Laszlo have made their home together with their beloved horses. The renovated old colonial house offers a stunning view over the plantation, rolling fields bordered by a river with the hazy profile of the Blue Mountains in the far distance. A mix of fine breeds from Germany, Kenya and Zimbabwe, the horses are in immaculate condition. The emphasis is on providing imaginative horseback riding safaris for experienced riders. All the horses are well trained in riding across Africa, but expertise is needed to negotiate rough terrain and river crossings, and grueling hours in the saddle.
Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks. It is 1,442 square kilometers and hosts scenery unsurpassed by any other park in East Africa. Located on the corner of Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers stunning Savannah landscapes that end in the rugged horizon. A large latitudinal range and correspondingly wide climatic conditions have evolved an extremely diverse flora. As a result, the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant, including many found nowhere else in Uganda. The park’s flora and fauna are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is dotted with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which you can get stunning views in all directions.
Fundu Lagoon Resort – Pemba Channel
For a long time, Pemba’s pristine beaches were only open to diving enthusiasts who chose the itineraries on board that visited the area. However, with the completion of the Fundu Lagoon Hotel, divers and those who simply want to live a true ‘Robinson Cruso’ experience – the doors are open! The hotel was built to blend into this natural haven without disturbing the environment.
Twenty luxury tented bungalows, all with beautifully constructed traditional Zanzibari roofs, are raised on wooden platforms, some directly on the beach front and others high on a ridge with wonderful sweeping views of the bay below. Each tented room has a private balcony and en-suite facilities with an emphasis on stylish comfort. The furniture is made from natural materials with the added luxury of a minibar and ceiling fan.
There are two bars, the stylish restaurant bar for fresh drinks and coffees during the day and aperitifs before your evening meal, and the bank bar. Fundu Laguna also has a fleet of vessels specially designed for sailing, deep sea and fly fishing, water skiing and scuba diving, as well as a traditional 11 meter sailing yacht.
New lodge for Lake Mburu National Park, Uganda
A tented safari lodge is currently under construction outside Lake Mburo National Park, overlooking Lakes Kachera on one side and Lakes Mburo on the other. Mihingo Lodge, as it will be known, will have 10 spacious, self-contained tents under tall shade, built from local timber, and will have a swimming pool and other facilities upon opening. Being located outside the park, the lodge will offer guided hikes and mountain bike tours on the 200 acres of surrounding land that also belong to the lodge. Opening expected in early 2007. Information on this and other parks and reserves in Uganda on the Uganda Wildlife Authority website http://www.uwa.or.ug. Source: Uganda Wildlife Authority
More Baby Gorillas for Bwindi, Uganda
Other births were reported in recent days by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, one of two gorilla parks in the country. The Mgahinga group that went ‘AWOL’ over the Rwandan border is also reported to have added a child a few weeks ago, as informed by Rwandan park authorities. The increase in numbers over the past decade has been fairly steady due to improved habitat protection for the animals and the creation of an additional buffer zone around the park, and an increase in gorilla numbers of around 10 percent has been recorded by UWA. Information on this park and gorilla tracking in the country can be obtained at http://www.uwa.or.ug. Source: Uganda Wildlife Authority
Tarangire Treetops Lodge, Tanzania
Tarangire Treetops features 20 luxury en-suite rooms built atop tree-climbing platforms overlooking the Tarangire Sand River. The camp has blended brilliantly into the environment with sleeping platforms built into a variety of Baobab, Mopani and Wild Fig trees. The dining area is located near the elephant’s swimming pool and waterhole. Each suite unit has a private veranda and lounge area, with sweeping views over the private grounds of the Conservancy.
Bird Watchers and Hippo Paradise in Uganda
Home to more than 560 species of birds, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a 2,000 square kilometer area located in Western Uganda that has become a Mecca for bird watchers from around the world. Queen Elizabeth National Park also boasts the highest concentration of hippos in Africa. Bird adventures can be combined with safaris
see the famous tree-climbing lions and the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Buffalo). In Queen Elizabeth National Park there are crater lakes filled with large flocks of flamingos, soaring fish eagles and perching vultures. Queen Elizabeth National Park is bounded to the north by the Rwenzori Mountains and to the west by Lake Edward.
Canoe Safari in Arusha National Park, Tanzania
Canoe safari, another tourist attraction, was introduced around one of the world famous lakes located in Arusha National Park. The canoe safari on one of Momela’s lakes, known as ‘Little’ Momela, has already started. Canoe safaris allow visitors to get a closer and more natural look at hippos and bird life not easily seen on regular game safaris. Lying between the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha National Park is a stunningly beautiful area with a wide range of habitats, forming a series of crater lakes where many waterfowl can be seen through the montane forest to the impressive summit of Mount Meru.
Il Ngwesi, Kenya
In partnership with the local community – Kenya’s development and wildlife conservation outside the parks Il Ngwesi Lodge, on the Il Ngwesi Group Ranch in Northern Kenya, opened in 1996 and involves the local Maasai people in wildlife conservation for the benefit of both with benefits that are returned to local communities. The ranch maintains traditional land use while providing safe shelter and freedom of movement for wildlife. The lodge overlooks the vast landscape of Kenya’s northern district, unspoiled land where no light shines and only the chorus of the African bush is heard at night. A watering hole with a viewing platform offers a chance to see the animals coming to drink. Six spacious bunks – each with a double bed and a single bed, so a potential of three people per bunk. They have thatched roofs with half walls at the front to keep the rooms cool and allow uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. Each gang has an ensuite bathroom with flush toilet.
Ras Kutani, Tanzania
Ras Kutani lies on an undeveloped beach of the Indian Ocean; a 3-mile crescent of white sand and gentle surf, cooled by the trade winds, surrounded by a tropical forest teeming with colobus monkeys, set adjacent to a freshwater lagoon. Ras Kutani is the perfect retreat away from the maddening crowds where you can relax after an exciting safari or just relax for a week or two. There are facilities for sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and fishing. Accommodations are in spacious villas built from local materials. Each villa is en-suite with its own large veranda and all have wonderful views of the ocean.
Tourism in Kenya is on the rise
The number of arrivals to Kenya in 2005 increased compared to 2004 by 24.5% to 825,000. This upward trend continues in 2006. In the first 5 months from January to May, the number of arrivals increased by 17% compared to 2005, to 357,000.
The International Primatological Society meets in Uganda
The society’s 21st World Congress opened in June in Entebbe with around 1,000 participants from around the world gathered to discuss the future of primates. The Congress was opened by Ugandan President Museveni.
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