Friday, 31 January 2014

Good news to Kenya Stakeholders and Tourists as National Tourism Directory Being Developed.

The department of Tourism, with representatives from Kenya Wildlife (KWS), Kenya Tourist Board (KTB), Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) and support from the World Bank is developing a directory of tourism attractions and tourism services, including tour operators, travel agents and accommodation facilities. The directory will be available online hosted on the Magical Kenya website and will provide a one stop resource for the tourism offering in the country, as well as provide easy access to a database of licensed tourism businesses in the country to promote formal engagements/networks with other businesses both local and international.
KTF participation in this project extends from being a key proponent of the project as it will establish statistics on the size of the tourism industry in the country, which will form basis for tourism statistics e.g. the contribution to the economy and inform lobby efforts for conducive policies and strategic growth of the sector.
The directory will list contact information for the listed attractions and services as well as link to websites where this is applicable. Additionally, the directory will provide maps to the attractions with the goal to make access to these easier for users.
The project will involve collation of information on attractions countrywide, which will be done following training of tourism stakeholders in the counties - county government officials in charge of tourism and representatives of private sector - on how to collate this information and these will also have a key role to notify of new developments that occur to enable the updating of the directory duly.
The project is benefiting from technical assistance from the World Bank, with the directory format design now ongoing. The project is also utilizing as bench-marks successful directories elsewhere globally to enable Kenya safaris to be on a competitive edge.

Sharon C

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Adventure on the Great Mountains in Kenya safaris

Kenya is a land of contrasts with magnificent attractions and nowhere is this more apparent than in its range of altitudes. The hills and mountains of Kenya are a world apart from the lowland valleys and plains. Adventure on Kenya safaris for these great natures!
High altitude Kenya offers something for everyone. There are refreshing hill walks through bird rich areas or more active hikes into montane forests.

Above all there is mighty Mt Kenya, whose slopes are the perfect trekking destination. The mountain’s alpine peak is a challenging technical summit for the experienced mountain climbing.

Mount Kenya adventures
Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. Traditionally, all Kikuyu home were built to face this sacred peak. They call it Kirinyaga, or place of light.  The mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn, when the day early light silhouettes its impressive summit high over the surrounding plains.
The highest point has a height of 5199 meters call Batian and its summit is a difficult task to climb, the lesser peak of Point Lenana 4985m can be easily reached by any fit trekker. This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, and unique montane vegetation zone including podocarpus and groundsel, and finally one of the world’s rarest sights, equatorial snow. For those who don’t want to climb the Mountain the cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout as you keep climbing.
Mount Longonot tours
Mount Longonot remains as an active volcanic mountain in Kenya safaris with spectacular fissures and lava flows. Standing over the shores of Lake Naivasha, at 2886 meters this massive dormant volcano dominates the landscape for miles around. As you climb these slopes, you pass through herds of grazing game as spectacular views of the Rift Valley and Naivasha unfold below. Its vast crater is an awesome sight, the jagged edge surrounding a broad expanse of vegetation. Geothermal steam trickles upwards from the walls, while buffalo and other game make their way across the crater floor.  
Mount Elgon safaris
Rising from the jungles that border Uganda, Mt Elgon is an impressively craggy extinct Volcano. This remote region makes an amazing trekking through deep forest and across broad moorlands.
Adventuring on this Mountain you will witness plenty of wildlife and other amazing views. The peaks are ideal for climbing, and shelter a series of warm geothermal springs. The mountain has many caves for the visitor explore. In these caves, known collectively as Elkony, ancient cave paintings decorate the walls, bats and rock hyrax are found among the winding passageways.
The most famous cave of all is Kitum, where each night Elephant herds gather and begin a slow procession deep into the mountain. The elephants make their way through the caves, following well worn paths made by generations before them. Deep in the cave, they use their tusks to excavate the walls, seeking the natural salt which they lick from the scarred rock. Witnessing this incredible sight is just one of the many wonders of Elgon safaris to remember in a lifetime.
Sharon C

Monday, 27 January 2014

Kenya Birding Safaris.

From the world’s biggest bird, the Ostrich, to spectacular flamingos that congregate in their millions at the various Lakes of the Great Rift Valley (Lake Nakuru) and camouflage them in pink, Kenya safaris holds some remarkable birding sights that you have to witness by your own since  Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world.  
It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day!  The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Some of these birds are migratory while others are residents.
Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found.
Other destination in Kenya where you can spot these great birds is Nairobi National Park or the grounds of the National Museum is likely to turn up bright black and yellow weavers, tiny iridescent sunbirds resembling flying jewels, Secretary Bird, Bustards and Mouse birds with long tails, which are unique to Africa. The giant Marabou Storks, a frequent visitor to the city, now nests on the acacia trees along the streets. 
With the rainy seasons of April and November coincide with migration of birds from and to Europe and Asia, and some of the top day’s totals have been recorded at that time.
Migrants make up only about ten percent of Kenya’s birdlife, however, and the spectacular birds of the bush –guinea fowl, go-away birds, rollers and barbets, to mention but a few – are active all year. 
Visits to a variety of habitats, such as the dry-country parks of Tsavo or Samburu, the western grasslands of the Maasai Mara, one of the Rift Valley lakes or one of the highland forests, will produce a long and varied bird list that makes your safari fabulous.
 With other destination having unique birds and Kenya’s rarest bird, indigenous and unfortunately endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands in place like Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver. This raises alarm on the Kenya government to protect these important bird species.
Traveling in western Kenya, Kakamega Forest is a little patch of Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Kenya. Among the many rainforest species found are spectacular Turacos and Hornbills can be easily spotted with other bird species in your guide’s safaris.
Sharon C

Friday, 24 January 2014

Wildlife safaris in Kenya

Kenya wildlife safaris remain as the most preferred attractions by tourists from all over the globe. No other African country can boast such an incredible range of landscapes, unique geographical features like plateaus and Mountains, Great Rift Valley, cultures, beaches, and various species of birds among other attractions than Kenya safaris.

A safari in Kenya offers visitors a chance to experience a natural world unchanged by the passage of time. The Kenyan wilderness is home to an endless array of ecosystems, the staging ground for natural cycles of life, death and regeneration of life in wildlife scenarios keeping life to continue in eternity.
This great range of natural habitats for wildlife means that there is plenty to adventure and plenty of species to encounter in your safari.  to an incredible abundance of birdlife, from the depths of a tropical rainforest to the depths of the Indian ocean teeming with marine life and coral reef  keeps Kenya safaris a world of natural wonders to recall forever. A safari into the wilds of Kenya is a journey into nature at its purest. Everywhere you view there is a profusion of life existence making you to yearn back for Kenya adventure.
This is a land of endless potential for the wildlife enthusiast. From great migratory herds term as the great wonders of the world.
However, without leaving behind another exciting experience camel ride safaris. It is perfectly adapted and widely used throughout Northern Kenya destinations. They are usually used for pack animals rather than riding, and are ideal as back up on a trek through the bush. Camels with saddles are usually also supplied for those who want to ride.

This is a once in a lifetime experience, walking through the bush with only the sounds of the lullabies songs of the birds, roaring sound of the wild and the soft tinkling of the camel bells, you will find yourself travelling at a relaxed pace, with the rhythms of nature.
Sharon C

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Explore more on Kenya Beach Holidays.

Tourists along Kenya’s coastal beaches now have a new life- they can enjoy sun-bathing laced with relieving breeze from the beach courtesy of beach management programme undertaken by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Hoteliers along the beach have put up sun beds along the beach adjacent to their properties, introduced full waiter services to enable clients get served at the beach.
Under the beach management programme championed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), frequent patrols have been initiated; daily beach clean-up exercise and reorganization of beach vendors making the beach friendly to tourists.

“It was fantastic to see the beach fully occupied by clients enjoying the beach life without being hassled by anyone,” Catrin Schwerring General Manager Bahari Beach Hotel Mombasa, said.

KWS has started a Sh150 million six-month pilot beach management programme to revive Kenya's coastal area as key tourist destination.

The programme aims at restoring the competitive edge of Kenya’s coastal area as a tourism destination while ensuring that the marine and beach tourism products are sustained. 

Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) says the beach product is a key attraction to the coast and termed the renewed efforts to improve the product laudable.

This Programme is expected to address some of the emerging threats to beach tourism in Kenya holidays which include harassment of tourists, beach insecurity, beach degradation and youth unemployment” said the managing director.

Sharon C
Kenya holidays

Monday, 20 January 2014

UNEP praises Kenya’s new wildlife law

Kenya’s efforts to fight poaching and illegal trade in Kenya wildlife have been recognized by the United Nations.
Mr. John E. Scanlon, the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretary-General, noted that Kenya had passed a law with stiffer penalties against poachers and wildlife traffickers.  He was speaking in Guangzhou, China today where he had gone to witness the destruction of confiscated ivory tusks and carvings as part of efforts to raise awareness of elephant poaching.
Mr. Scanlon said: “And just ten months after the conclusion of CITES CoP16, we are seeing enhanced measures taken across range, transit and destination States - such as in Kenya where new wildlife laws that impose significantly higher penalties for those involved in wildlife crime have been assented to by President Kenyatta, and in Malaysia where the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has filled 43 new posts for enforcement and prosecution.”  
Officials in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, pulverized 6.1 tons of confiscated tusks and carvings in an event attended by representatives from 10 countries including the UK, and elephant states including Kenya, Gabon, and Tanzania.
The function was also attended by the Kenyan Ambassador to China, HE Kinyanjui, Assistant Director for International Affairs, US Fish &Wildlife Service Mr. Brian Arroyo and high-ranking Chinese environment officials.  The burning of the 6.1 tones of ivory stockpiled over the years marks the first major commitment by the Chinese government to publicly fight the multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade. In a letter addressed to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last week, China invited representatives from foreign embassies, international organizations, and government departments to witness the event.
The Department of International Co-operation and the State Forestry Administration announced the intention to burn illegal ivory and other wildlife products in Guangzhou — a major hub for ivory trade — after concerted international pressure to close its market for animal trophies.
China has prepared and is implementing its comprehensive National Ivory Action Plan, as agreed with the CITES Standing Committee. The Plan has been shared with the Committee, which will discuss it and the other seven plans in July.
Amongst other initiatives, China led the first cross-continent wildlife enforcement effort known as Operation Cobra, has agreed collaborative enforcement-related initiatives through the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and most recently China (Hong Kong SAR) returned seized ivory and rhino horn to South Africa.  China has also provided funding to the African Elephant Fund and MIKE, and in-kind support to African range States, which will be further enhanced over the coming year. 
Kenya’s proposal to fight poaching of elephants and rhinos won backing during the CITES meeting held early this year in Bangkok, Thailand. The country has since submitted an ‘Ivory Trade Action Plan to reduce poaching & Ivory Trafficking. This was after Kenya was blacklisted among the so called ‘gang of eight’ for fueling environmental crime within the region as a major transit and source country for ivory. 
The objective of Kenya’s national action plan is a collaborative effort to ensure elephant poaching and illegal trade in elephant ivory is reduced to the bare minimum and enhanced Kenya safari holiday all year round.
The key thematic areas of the Action Plan are:
·         Legislation and regulations
  • Enforcement actions, investigations and national inter-agency collaboration and coordination
  • International and regional wildlife enforcement collaboration
  • Outreach, public awareness and education
  • National reporting to CITES Secretariat and Standing Committee.
Sharon C