Newsletter from East Africa Juni 2006

New Face for Intrepids Camps in Kenya

Mara and Samburu Intrepids Camps are set to take the term ‘under canvas’ to a new dimension with their newly handcrafted tents that are specially designed with generously roomy en-suite bathrooms. The new tents are not only going to have more room but extra large windows and a four-poster bed, elegant writing desk, polished wooden floor, an overhead fan and coffee bar. The bathrooms will feature marble-topped basins, large showers, bathrobes and a range of specially created luxury toiletries. All of the 31 tents at Mara Intrepids and 30 tents at Samburu Intrepids will have been converted to new style by the end of 2006.

Kakapel Rock Art Site in Western Kenya opens to Public

Ancient rock paintings became available to visitors for the first time when Kakapel National Monument opened to the public January 30, 2006. The remarkable site is under the National Museums of Kenya and has art forms dating over 2000 years ago and maybe as much 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 very best in horseback safaris. Based at Machame, the starting point for the most picturesque route up Kilimanjaro, Makoa Farm can be found along a steep, winding forested path. Here Elizabeth and Laszlo have made their home along with their beloved horses. The old, renovated colonial house offers a stunning view over the plantation, rolling fields bordered by a river with the misty profile of the Blue Mountains in the far distance. A mixture of excellent breds from Germany, Kenya and Zimbabwe, the horses are in immaculate condition. Emphasis is on providing imaginative horse riding safaris for the experienced rider. All the horses are well-trained in cross-country riding through Africa but expertise is necessary to negotiate the rough terrain and river crossings, and demanding 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 kilometres and harbours scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. Tucked into the corner of Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. A huge 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 which are found no where else in Uganda. The flora and fauna of the park are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.

Fundu Lagoon Resort – Pemba Channel

For a long time the pristine beaches of Pemba were only open to diving enthusiasts choosing on-board itineraries visiting the area. With the completion of Fundu Lagoon Hotel though, divers and those simply wanting to live a real ‘Robinson Cruso’ experience – the doors have opened! The hotel has been built to blend into this natural haven without disturbing the environment.

The twenty luxury tented bungalows, all with beautifully constructed traditional Zanzibari roofing, are raised on wooden platforms, some directly on the beach front and others high on a ridge with superb sweeping views of the bay below. Each tented room has private balcony and en-suite facilities with emphasis on stylish comfort. Furnishings are made from natural materials with the additional luxuries of a mini bar and ceiling fan.

There are two bars, the elegant restaurant bar for cool drinks and coffees during the day and aperitifs before your evening meal, and the jetty bar. Fundu Lagoon also has a fleet of vessels specifically designed for sailing cruises, deep sea and fly-fishing, water skiing and scuba diving, as well as a traditional 11m traditional wooden sailing dhow .

New Lodge for Lake Mburu National Park, Uganda

A tented safari lodge is presently under construction outside Lake Mburo National Park, overlooking lakes Kachera on one side and Mburo on the other. The Mihingo Lodge as it will be known will feature 10 spacious, self contained tents under high shades build of local deadwood and will have a swimming pool and other amenities upon opening. Being located outside the park the lodge will offer guided walks and mountain bike tours into the 200 acres of surrounding land also belonging to the lodge. Opening is expected in early 2007. Information on this and other parks and reserves in Uganda at the Uganda Wildlife Authority site http://www.uwa.or.ug. Source: Uganda Wildlife Authority

More Gorilla Babies for Bwindi, Uganda

Additional births were reported in recent days by Uganda Wildlife Authority in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, one of the two gorilla parks in the country. Even the Mgahinga group which has gone ‘AWOL’ over the border to Rwanda is reported to have added a baby a few weeks ago as was informed by the Rwandan park authorities. Growth in numbers has over the past decade been rather sustained 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 about 10 percent has been registered by UWA. Information on this park and gorilla tracking in the country can be sourced 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-attached platforms, overlooking the Tarangire Sand River. The camp has been superbly blended into the environment with the sleeping platforms built into a variety of Baobab, Mopani and Wild Fig trees. The dining area is situated close to the swimming pool and elephant water hole. Each en-suite unit has a private veranda and lounge area, with sweeping views over the private Conservation area.

Bird Watchers & Hippos’ Paradise in Uganda

Home to more than 560 species of birds, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a 2,000 sq kilometre 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. Birding adventures can be combined with safaris to
view the famous tree climbing lions and the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Buffalo). In Queen Elizabeth National Park there are see crater lakes filled with huge flocks of flamingoes, spot fish eagles soaring and vultures perching. Queen Elizabeth National Park is bordered to the North by the Rwenzori Mountains and to the West by Lake Edward.

Canoeing Safari in Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Canoeing safari, yet another tourist attraction, was introduced around one of the world famous lakes located in the Arusha National Park. Canoeing safari on one of the Momela lakes, known as ‘Small’ Momela, already took off. The canoeing safari enables visitors to have a closer and natural look at hippos and bird life not easily seen on ordinary game safaris. Lying between the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha National Park is an outstandingly beautiful area with wide range of habitats, form a string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched through the highland mountain forest to the imposing summit of Mount Meru.

Il Ngwesi, Kenya

In partnership with the local community – developing Kenya and preserving wildlife outside the parks Il Ngwesi Lodge, on Il Ngwesi Group Ranch in Northern Kenya, opened in 1996 and involves the Masai people of the area in wildlife preservation to the benefit of both with profits being put back into the local communities. The Ranch maintains traditional use of the land, whilst offering safe refuge and freedom of movement to the wild animals. 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 water hole with viewing platform offers a chance to watch animals coming in to drink. Six spacious bandas – each with a double bed and a single bed, thus a potential of three people per banda. They have thatched roofs with half walls at the front to keep rooms cool and allow uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. Each banda has an ensuite bathroom with flush toilet.

Ras Kutani, Tanzania

Ras Kutani lies on an undeveloped Indian Ocean beach; a 3 mile crescent of white sand and gentle surf, cooled by trade winds, surrounded by a tropical forest replete with colobus monkeys, set adjacent to a fresh water lagoon. Ras Kutani is the perfect hideaway far from the madding crowds in which to relax after an exciting safari or to just unwind for a week or two. There are facilities for sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and fishing. Accommodations are in spacious cottages constructed from local materials. Each cottage is ensuite with its own large veranda and all have great views of the ocean.

Kenya’s Tourism up

The number of arrivals to Kenya in 2005 increased compared to 2004 by 24.5% to 825,000. This upwards trend continues also in 2006. In the first 5 months from January to May the number of arrival grew compared to 2005 by 17% to 357,000.

International Primatological Society meets in Uganda

The 21st world congress of the society opened in June in Entebbe with about 1000 participants from across the globe assembled to discuss the future of primates. The congress was opened by Ugandan President Museveni.

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