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Old June 4th, 2014, 03:44 PM   #121
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WOW! what a befitting endorsement.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 03:49 PM   #122
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That's good.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #123
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Eritrean Tourism

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ERITREA: THE NORTH KOREA OR NAPLES OF AFRICA?

June 3, 2014 · by Paul · in Uncategorized
African countries like Burundi and Somalia garner consistently negative press. Eritrea, on the other hand, garners consistently zero press.

Perhaps this is because the International Press Freedom Index ranks Eritrea’s freedom of press as dead last in the world — below that of even North Korea. It is not then entirely surprising that one of the first articles I find about the country describes it as the “North Korea of Africa”. Another discusses how Eritrea has the second largest standing army relative to general population, right behind North Korea.

These are not normally two statistics that would inspire one to visit a country. But I also stumble upon a Lonely Planet review that describes the capital, Asmara, as “like a film set from an early Italian movie.”

So which is it: North Korea? Or Naples?

Visiting Africa’s Hermit Kingdom

When I first call the Eritrean embassy in Washington, the man on the other end of the phone does not sound hopeful.

“So, you do not have any family in Eritrea?”

“No.”

“What about an organization to sponsor you?”

“No.”

“What about Eritrean friends in the country?”

“No.”

“Okay… well, this could be challenging.”

The central government in Asmara issues all visas. US-Eritrea relations are strained at best, rocky at worst, making it difficult for even American-Eritreans to obtain visas. Tourism is virtually non-existent.

When I receive a call from a random Washington DC phone number six weeks later, the same gentleman at the embassy seems as surprised as I am: “They gave you a visa.”

On the ground

Other travelers warn me about the airport. Every penny of currency will be counted, every picture on my camera checked, every serial number of every device recorded.

I make it from the plane to the parking lot in 10 minutes flat.

After a quick nap, I venture out to the streets of Asmara with two Eritrean friends of friends. The ever-optimistic US State Department told me to expect the following:

“The Government of Eritrea is arming its citizens with automatic rifles to form citizen militias.”
“Crime in Asmara has increased as a result of deteriorating economic conditions accompanied by persistent food, water, and fuel shortages, and rapid price inflation.”
“The Eritrean government-controlled media frequently broadcast anti-U.S. rhetoric.”
The first Eritreans I encounter, on the other hand, have this to say, after they recovered from their initial shock of meeting an American tourist wandering the streets:

“Welcome, America!”
“San Francisco is my favorite city in America!”
“I lived in Houston for a few years; I would never walk in the city at night. Here I always do.”
Someone in the Eritrean anti-American propaganda department needs to be fired.

Unlike North Korea, I was able to freely wander around Asmara at all hours of the day and night and speak to whomever I wished.

Asmara's main produce market.
Asmara’s main produce market.
Brief History

Italy controlled Eritrea from 1890 until WWII when the British awarded Eritrea to Ethiopia. Ethiopia annexed Eritrea as a province 10 years later, sparking a 30 year war for independence between Eritrea (population: 6M) and Ethiopia (population: 94M).

The conflict ended in 1991 with the expulsion of Ethiopian forces. Eritreans overwhelmingly voted for independence in 1993 under an UN-administered referendum.

Unfortunately, independence did not bring lasting peace or prosperity. The two countries continued to fight over disputed borders. Under the guise of security, one party has controlled Eritrea since independence. The country has held exactly zero national elections in the last two decades.

I know this only from public sources, however. Given Eritrea’s political situation, I was advised against inquiring about politics, so limited my visit to experiencing life on the ground. While not ideal, I wanted to both ensure my own ability to leave the country as well as the security of my local hosts.

Internet was slow, but snail mail still reliable.

Naples

From at least external appearances, Lonely Planet had it right — Asmara felt much more like Naples than North Korea.

In fact, it is unquestionably the most beautiful African capital city I’ve visited. It’s truly pleasant to stroll around on foot, with wide sidewalks, towering green trees, and minimal traffic. Breathing comes a bit harder at an altitude of over 7,000 feet, but the mountain air is refreshingly cool, clean, and crisp. The streets are immaculate; “roving gangs” of street sweepers “descend upon” the city every morning at 5am and “attack” litter.

Cafés dot the sidewalks. The gelato rivals that of Rome or Florence. Cappuccino is considered a national addiction. The national cuisine resembles Ethiopian, but Italian restaurants almost outnumber Eritrean ones.

Immaculately preserved cathedrals and mosques line the main squares. Christian and Islamic houses of worship stand in close proximity. The population is split between the two religions, but I am told no one can tell a person’s religion unless they ask. Everyone attends each other’s weddings regardless of religion; my hosts had over 4,000 guests at their ceremony.

Walking is a slow process as every third person stops and offers a warm greeting. I did not receive as much attention as in other countries as there are still quite a few Italians living in Asmara, making Eritrea the first and last time I will ever be mistaken for an Italian.

Downtown Asmara.
Downtown Asmara.
Allies versus enemies

Eritrea undoubtedly has issues, but it seems the US government has taken a particularly harsh approach to the country. When you compare it to a country such as Bahrain — which relentlessly cracked down on protestors during the Arab Spring — it seems the US approach to Eritrea is disproportionately heavy-handed. That being said, unlike Bahrain, Eritrea isn’t housing the US Fifth Fleet.

Despite warnings about militias and armed gangs, I saw a grand total of three traffic police and zero militias — unlike Bahrain where every 10 minutes a pack of 5 armored police cars roared past. Even without a visible police presence, crime seems extremely rare.

In many respects, I found myself thinking back to my travels to Iran. Simply because a government is autocratic does not mean a country is either unsafe, unfriendly, or lacking beauty. Here’s to hoping that one day, both governments will reconcile their differences and make it easier for more people to enjoy the charm of the Naples of Africa.
http://www.beyondtheheadlines.org/er...rea-or-naples/
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Old June 5th, 2014, 04:42 AM   #124
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man those policies Eritrea has will not attract tourists
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #125
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man those policies Eritrea has will not attract tourists
I agree but even if it did many people don't even know a country like Eritrea exists....so I doubt many would travel there...but I get ur point
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Old June 9th, 2014, 02:06 PM   #126
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Ultimate Bucket List Safari Destination: Niassa in Mozambique

Luxury Travel Magazine

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Mozambique has always been associated with palm-lined beaches lapped by a warm Indian ocean. But today it is her undisturbed forests that offer the most unique experiences.

At the eight-tent luxury Lugenda Wilderness Camp in the pristine 42,000km² Niassa Reserve, Northern Mozambique’s most fascinating region which long has been inaccessible for holidaymakers, tourists can now experience an authentic, exclusive safari in a wilderness that nowadays is very hard to find elsewhere.

No minibuses. No 20 jeeps around a lion. No caged animals.

Unlike the overhyped safaris provided by many of top lodges in other southern African destinations, Lugenda Wilderness Camp offers guests the rare chance of experiencing Niassa’s vastness and wild beauty in an exclusive setting, shared with just a handful of other people.

The Portuguese called this region Fim de mundo – end of the world. Niassa is huge and stretches over an area that is larger than Switzerland and twice the size of Kruger. Niassa is Africa's second largest animal sanctuary, and dense with four of the Big Five as well as the endangered African wild dog, and unique species such as Boehm’s zebra, Johnston’s impala, Niassa wildebeest and over 370 bird species. The Lugenda safari concession stretches along its namesake river and contains the only luxury camp in the entire Niassa reserve, making Lugenda Wilderness Camp one of the most exclusive safaris in southern Africa.

Guests will be rewarded with landscapes of jaw-dropping beauty such as the palm-braided channels of the Lugenda River, its waters edged by broad sandy beaches and riparian forest. Giant granite inselbergs, the ‘island mountains’ that provide both dramatic backdrop and views of surrounding jungle. Miombo woodland interspersed with grass and wetland, constantly atwitter with ten or more bird species in any given glance.

And due to Lugenda’s relative lack of tourism, each wildlife encounter evokes a primal feeling of discovery that is often lost in today’s more popular guided safaris. Besides game drives or bush walks to view the numerous wildlife that roams this giant wilderness special experiences at Lugenda include:

Canoeing Safaris on the mighty Lugenda River

Water-based game watching. The bird life is superb and all the water birds occur along the river too. Game is plentiful with hippos, crocs, elephant and buffalo and general game drinking from the river. The canoe safaris can be from ½ a day to 3 days depending on what clients would like (and the availability of water). Canoeing safaris are best between May and end July.

Full Moon Safaris

Because the location of the reserve is so remote, there is zero light pollution from the outside world and the impact of a full moon in the Niassa is impressive beyond belief. Highly skilled and experienced rangers take guests out at night on foot and in game viewer vehicles to explore the mystic of this enchanting wilderness area. The light of the moon brings this black wilderness to life.

On-top-of-the-world mighty mountain camp-out

A sleep out in the wild of the reserve in a fly-camp set atop one of the unique Inselbergs that protrude the reserve. The experience includes dinner on the crest of the inselberg und sleeping under a vast canopy of stars, the crackling fire your lullaby.

Memorable experiences don't get much more unique than this.

Further Information on www.lugenda.com. Reservation enquiries +27 (0)11 658 0633 or by email at [email protected].
http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/...ique-21641.php
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:50 AM   #127
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mozambique has some of the best beaches in sadc but people forget about the huge potential with mountains and wildlife ......definatley has massive potential in tourism
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:04 AM   #128
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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: The power and the glory


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Africa's mightiest falls are an assault on the senses for Michelle Griffin.
From the window of the plane, it looked like an explosion - a pillar of white smoke high above the scrubby woodlands of Zimbabwe. My second sighting was a funnel cloud rising above the mopane trees, glimpsed from the shuttle that connects the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge to Livingston Way, the main street of the town of Victoria Falls.
Then I saw it again late in the afternoon from the verandah of the Victoria Falls Hotel, a grand colonial pile designed to make the most of "that view".

From my rattan seat, I gazed across the manicured lawn, past century-old shade trees, to the Livingston Bridge that spans the gorge dividing Zimbabwe from Zambia. Through binoculars, I could make out the jumping-flea silhouettes of people diving from the railings - bungy jumpers, those travellers who think all breathtaking views are improved by hurtling past them attached to an elastic cord.
Beyond the bridge, there it was, the swirling white foam tumbling down the second gorge, and spraying high in the air: Victoria Falls, more evocatively described in the Tokaleya Tonga dialect as Mosi-oa-Tunya, "the smoke that thunders".
It would be two more days before I finally visited the falls, but the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls offered more than the sheer spectacle of the world's longest, deepest waterfall in flood season.


This century-old holiday spot, population 50,000, was surprisingly charming, so safe I could wander its streets alone, and an easygoing entry point for an Africa novice on debut safari.The falls, made famous by that most famous Victorian, Dr Livingston, have been a tourist drawcard since 1905, when the railroad made leisure travel to the area possible. Up until 1999, tourists streamed to the thriving Edwardian town on the Zimbabwean border.
But when President Robert Mugabe began forcibly acquiring white-owned farms in 2000, the tourism industry collapsed alongside the agriculture sector.


A decade of political violence, economic sanctions and hyperinflation beggared the country.As inflation soared past an annual rate of 11 million per cent in 2008, the central bank started minting multi-trillion-dollar bank notes. Travellers who did make the journey to the town of Victoria Falls came back with grim stories: hungry touts lining every step of the falls' walkways selling, literally, the shirts off their backs; waiters in immaculate livery apologising that nothing on the menu was available; supermarkets where armed guards defended empty shelves.

But since the formation of the Unity Government in 2009, the Zimbabwean economy has begun to recover, and nowhere more visibly than in Victoria Falls. The old currency, scrapped also in 2009, is now sold on the street as souvenirs, while the lodges, restaurants and craft stalls deal in the American dollar, the euro and the South African rand.

Victoria Falls hotels now boast an average occupancy rate of 64 per cent, the best in the nation. The old lodges are joined by backpacker hostels and three-star joints as well as new luxury resorts, while cafes on the town's main strip offer tapas or burgers with the bottles of the crisp local Zambezi Beer. (Grab a tin or two as souvenirs, illustrated with a painting of the falls.) Touts still sell carvings and bead work on the road, but street-side commerce no longer has the gripped-arm desperation seen in the last decade.Locals talk reasonably freely about the grim years when any money earned was worthless before it could be banked - of food bartered or foraged, of long, hungry days with no work as the tourists disappeared.
Asked if he ever thought of leaving for South Africa, as so many Zimbabweans did, a shuttle bus driver who'd lived on the outskirts of town all his life shook his head vehemently.

"Even when there was no work here, it was a safe place," he said. "You could leave your home, not worry about people stealing from you. South Africa is too dangerous. It is no place for family."The town does feel safe and a little sleepy, thanks not only to the strong noonday sun but to the presence of the orange-jacketed tourism police recruited by the area's tourism operators. While they can and will detain thieves and trouble makers, the tourism police's general purpose is to keep a watchful eye on visitors - I was politely approached more than once by officers checking I was neither lost nor harassed.

Remarkably, for a holiday centre built around one of the best-known sites in Africa, Victoria Falls isn't overdeveloped - yet. In 2013, the tourism minister pitched his vision of a $323.3 million theme park and conference centre, but it remains just that - a vision - although the tiny local airport is in the middle of a needed upgrade.Planning regulations keep all developments below the tree line, so there are no rows of 10-storey hotels blocking waterfall vantage points. For all the billboards spruiking superfast internet and Wi-Fi-juiced bars, it's still a town of hand-painted wooden signs and dusty green parks populated by warthogs and baboons.



Buses break regularly for rambling elephants, vultures wheel above and everyone jogs along the verge in the morning to avoid the surly cape buffalos in the scrub. Even from the deck of the Victoria Falls Safari Club, I could watch elephants and buffalo slake their thirst at a big waterhole, while I satisfied mine with another bloody mary.After lunch, I watched a colony of vultures descend on a scattering of kitchen scraps in one sudden, ravenous thump. The resemblance to a press conference, I wrote to my journalist colleagues back home, was uncanny. At night, I'd drape the mosquito nets around the four-poster bed, open the sliding doors, and sleep to the hooting, chattering, cackling sounds of the Zambezi Nature Sanctuary.
While there's plenty of shopping to be had on Livingston Way, some of the best souvenirs can be found at Elephant Walk Shopping and Artists' Village, where small boutiques sell high-quality textiles, jewellery and artwork. There's no haggling permitted here, but prices are cheaper than many of the stalls and shops on the main drag.Best bets include intricate mosaic and beaded work from the Ruoko collective, the artists' association that made the giant beer-can-plated rhino that guards the front entrance.

There's always one or more artists ready for a chat. In a courtyard dominated by a gigantic elephant head, there are a handful of market stalls and the terrific Africa Cafe, where tables under big umbrellas are surrounded by greenery and strewn with cushions decorated with old advertising logos. I had a prettily iced tea cake and an elaborate fresh juice (with its own umbrella), but the menu ranges from bugers and salads to beef stews and evening snack platters.

The big night out in Victoria Falls is The Boma, a theatre restaurant with a slick floorshow, a massive barbecue buffet and a cheesy Disney charm. I was happy to wear a chitenge, a kind of African sarong, but sprinted to my table to avoid being pulled out of line to join the African dance troupe welcoming us to the show. I was happier to accept a bongo later on for the post-dinner drum workshop, as I could join in from my seat, while more agile guests showed off their best moves.The buffet makes a virtue of plenty over finesse. This is the place to add new species to your diet, from kudu and guinea hen to crocodile and warthog - a tender meat even after a ruthless grilling, more like veal than pork. I lined up to sample the mopane worm, a deep-fried caterpillar. Like the fried crickets I once tried at a bar, they tasted chiefly of frying oil and salt: crunchy with the unpleasant aftertaste of tiny legs stuck between my teeth.

Adventure tourism is thriving in the town. The falls can be experienced by helicopter, white water rafting, kayaking. Anyone wanting a closer encounter with the wildlife than those offered on a safari drive can pay up to get their photo taken with a lion cub or go cage diving with Nile crocodiles.
At Elephant Wallow, I spent the morning with a small herd of eight African elephants, raised from an original group of orphans donated to local tourism outfit Wild Horizons in 1994, after they'd outgrown farms that had kept them as pets.Conservation tourism is an awkward business but elephant manager Zenzo Sibanda approaches the task of caring for his semi-wild herd with the passion of a lifelong scholar.Our encounter started at the ankles: we stood on a high platform as black, prickly trunks snaked over our shoes as the elephants built up our scent profiles. We leant over a high railing to pat their muddy hides and approached, cautiously, to fling mouthfuls of pellets, like supersized oat bran, into wide open mouths.

The juniors curled back their trunks to reveal spongy pink tongues. Jock, the elderly bull named for one of the patriarchs on the soap Dallas, helped himself to handfuls by delicately picking out a handful from my outstretched palm with the moistened tip of his trunk.Everything my tour group did with Wild Horizons was professionally staffed, equipped and catered. One of their best-selling offers is The Gorge Swing, a 70-metre free fall from a high cliff, before the cable locks, swinging the thrillseeker above the waters that separate Zimbabwe from Zambia.

We took the quieter route, a zipline canopy tour of the zig-zag gorges carved out by the Zambezi downstream from the falls. There are nine different lines zigzagging between the cliffs. While they swung me across the foliage at a decent speed, there was plenty of time to scope the birds and monkeys scrambling beneath the canopy of paperbark and fever berry trees, and the tangles of flowering vines and wild grasses, native blood lilies and European daisies escaped from hotel lawns.But I came to see the smoke that thunders. From the zipline, I could hear it roar in full flood - in March, 500 million litres of water rushes over the 1.7km drop every minute.

"You'll get wet," the drivers warned us. "How wet?""Wet!" they said, grinning.
I wore my swimsuit under my shorts and carried a change of clothing wrapped in two plastic bags. But I was as wet as if I'd jumped head first into the river. It's only on the Zimbabwe side of the falls that you get a full frontal view of the roaring water across a chasm only 60 metres wide in some places. In high season, walking the trail is one part nature spectacular, one part water park.One moment, I was walking under a hot, blue sky, marvelling at a dozen rainbows springing from the gorges as the Zambesi plunges over the edge at a deafening volume. "Great place to destroy evidence," said one tourist nearby.

But as the path edged closer to the main falls, the view disappeared into the spray that surges 400 metres into the air. My view dissolved in a hissing white mist, and conversation was submerged below the sound of churning water. Water sprayed and splattered me from every direction, as if I'd been targeted by a crack water-gun battalion.My camera, hidden away in a pack wrapped in three layers of plastic, managed to stay dry. I saw visitors battle headlong into the spray with umbrellas, but not for long. The savviest walked in bathers and thongs.
Twenty minutes later, I emerged into the sunshine, water dripping down my back and pooling at my feet. The bungy jumpers were lining up for another plunge off Livingstone Bridge, but I didn't see the point.
I walked back to the bus in the baking heat, shaking the Zambezi from my hair, exhilarated by my close encounter with the mad, kinetic energy of such an extraordinary place, the smoke that thunders.

The writer travelled as a guest of Bench International.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/victori...#ixzz34BZQ4gJn
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Old June 10th, 2014, 09:33 AM   #129
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mozambique has some of the best beaches in sadc but people forget about the huge potential with mountains and wildlife ......definatley has massive potential in tourism
Moz just needs to sort out its police. A couple of friends went over recently and the police pretty much just pulled them over demanding a bribe :/ It's a bit off-putting for someone like me who thinks the country looks amazingly beautiful and would like to visit the beaches.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #130
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Moz just needs to sort out its police. A couple of friends went over recently and the police pretty much just pulled them over demanding a bribe :/ It's a bit off-putting for someone like me who thinks the country looks amazingly beautiful and would like to visit the beaches.
corruption is a problem in africa maybe they can set up a tourist police unit who are better paid and more professional like zim did in vic falls
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Old June 10th, 2014, 05:18 PM   #131
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Old June 10th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #132
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Kenya: is it safe to travel?



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Brian Jackman, author of our 'safaris for beginners’ guide, writes
Last month, after a series of bombing and terrorist incidents in Kenya, the Foreign Office warned Britons against all but essential travel to parts of Kenya. Those include Mombasa Island, Kiwayu and the coast north of Pate Island, the Eastleigh district in Nairobi and everywhere within 60km (37 miles) of the border with Somalia.
Two leading British tour operators, Thomson and First Choice, immediately flew more than 400 customers home to Britain and cancelled all further flights to Mombasa until October.
The Kenyans say the warning and the travel trade’s reaction to it play into terrorists’ hands by causing “fear and panic”. They also worry that it could lead to the collapse of tourism along Kenya’s idyllic Indian Ocean coast, pointing out that Kenya receives more visitors from Britain than anywhere else (149,000 in 2013).

Similar notices were issued by the United States, France and Australia, and appear to have been based on specific intelligence warning that Westerners are now being targeted by the al-Shabaab militants responsible for most of the terrorist attacks since Kenyan troops invaded Somalia in 2011.
Mombasa has been a centre of unrest for some time and the death on April 1 of Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, a prominent radical cleric, has helped to increase the tension.Most British-based tour companies specialising in Africa have experienced a dip in phone inquiries about holidays to.Kenya, although Bill Adams of Safari Consultants said: “Most of our business is safari-orientated and remains unaffected. As for the coast, we still sell Diani Beach as a destination but avoid Mombasa by flying our clients from Ukundu airport back to Nairobi.”

Clearly the Foreign Office is caught between a rock and a hard place and this week called a meeting to discuss the security situation, aimed at tour operators and other interested parties. But as the Kenya Tourist Board is at pains to point out, the country is roughly the same size as France and most of it is unaffected by the Foreign Office advice.Meanwhile, Kenya Airways and BA continue to operate daily flights into Kenya, and Condor, the German charter airline, still has five flights a week from Frankfurt to Mombasa.

Many people think I live in England, the land of my birth – but I don’t. I am proud to call Kenya my home, having lived here for nearly 40 years and married my sweetheart Angela in 1992 on the Syria Escarpment overlooking the Maasai Mara’s animal speckled plains. It was a beautiful ceremony. A year later we bought a house of our own on the outskirts of Nairobi. People told us we were mad buying property in Kenya – that we would never see a return on our investment. We wanted quality of life: we weren’t looking for a good investment. In the end we got both in abundance.
The Maasai Mara is our second home. For part of each year we base ourselves in a small cottage at Governor’s Camp in Marsh Pride territory – lions I have watched since 1977. We know the Marsh Lions better than we do many of our friends. At night we lie in bed and listen to their thunderous roars echoing across the plains. This is a never-ending story and what keeps us wanting to set out each morning. The joys of safari are one reason why so many visitors fall in love with Kenya and long to return.
These same Marsh Lions were destined to become stars, first in my 1982 book The Marsh Lions (co-authored with Brian Jackman, see introduction above), then in the hugely popular television series Big Cat Diary, which I co-presented for the BBC from 1996 through to the final series – Big Cat Live – in 2008. The Big Cat programmes were watched by millions of viewers around the world. I am proud that many Kenyans have been able to share in this story – to see their big cats on television. The majority will never be able to marvel at the sight of wild lions, leopards and cheetahs in the way that visitors from overseas are so fortunate to.

So how did I get to live my dream? As a child growing up in Berkshire, I was obsessed with wildlife and Africa. So in 1974, after taking a degree in zoology at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I set off for Johannesburg in an old Bedford truck. That 6,200-mile trek through Africa changed my life. I got malaria along the way, but who cares – after four months on the road, I had not only lost my heart to Africa but glimpsed the place to which I wanted to return most: the Mara-Serengeti in Kenya and Tanzania – an animal paradise without equal. After two years working with wildlife in Botswana, I headed back to Kenya, certain that was where I wanted to make my home.
A plan was beginning to emerge. My father was an architect and a talented artist who died when I was two years old. The gift he left me was an artist’s eye: I could draw and was a keen photographer. Prior to leaving for Kenya the second ti me, I was commissioned by a publisher in South Africa to make my first set of pen-and-ink drawings of wildlife. Meanwhile, a friend had introduced me to Jock Anderson, of East African Wildlife Safaris, who was looking for someone to keep an eye on his camp, north of the Maasai Mara Reserve.
For the next five years, Mara River Camp was my home. I couldn’t have cared less that there was no pay. I was living in the Garden of Eden.
That was in 1977. Nearly 40 years later, I have 26 books to my name (many of them co-authored with my wife Angie) and have co-presented not just Big Cat Diary, but also Elephant Diaries, and The Truth About Lions. What have I learnt from following my dream? First, to live with acceptable risk. I spent four years at university in Belfast during the “Troubles”, with people telling me I must be crazy to stay there as a “Brit” when riots and bombs were exploding on a regular basis. The truth is, I had the time of my life. I simply refused to buy into the fear factor.
The same could be said about living in Keny a. Despite all the FCO travel advisories and announcements by tour operators in recent we eks, I have never been attacked or had my home broken into. I still walk the main streets of Nairobi and feel as safe as I do in London. Yes, of course you need to be sensible. Wherever you are in the world, it’s never smart to walk into neighbourhoods you know nothing about; always ask your guide and hotel receptionist for advice first.

My wife and daughter are citizens of Kenya; our grandson Michael was born in the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi last June and has already made two safaris to the Mara. And he loved a memorable stay over Easter in Mombasa on the Kenya coast. He is 10 months old. Will I still be spending time with the Marsh Lions and enjoying the miracle of the great migration? You better believe it – starting next month.Yes, security is an issue everywhere these days, and it is only right for governments to warn citizens of risks to their safety. It is then up to each individual to evaluate that risk – just as our daughter Alia did before taking our grandson on safari or to the coast. We can never be certain that bad things will not happen. That is why it’s so important not to become prisoners of our fears.

And our precious wildlife? The bottom line is this: if we abandon tourism, we abandon conservation. When people ask us “How can we help?” we say “By taking a safari,” something that I feel fortunate to have adopted as a way of life. Wildlife-based tourism is not a choice but a necessity; it pays the bills, not just for me but for Kenya. Is the international community prepared to bear the cost if we lose that revenue?Right now our hearts go out to those Kenyans who are most affected by hard times – those who shoulder the greatest burden in living side by side with wild animals and terrorism at the same time.

A smile and a wave are gestures we all understand – and when it comes to its visitors, Kenya offers them a hearty welcome in tandem with an unforgettable safari experience. No matter where you come from, we need you. And that is the point. We are all connected, but we need to set aside our differences and pull together.If we are serious about saving the world’s wildlife, we won’t do it without collective action. It’s time for people to think about their first safari – or their next one – and to remind us why they love Kenya. I know why I do. How about you?
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Old June 11th, 2014, 12:07 AM   #133
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Endless deserts, rugged mountains and wildlife eking out a living: Namibia's savage beauty captured in stunning photographs

With its stunning scenery, vast sand dunes, rugged mountains and sweeping coastline, the beauty of Namibia is captured in these stunning photographs.
Crowned number one in the top 50 emerging travel destinations this year, the country - widely regarded as one of the safest places in Africa - is also one of the most diverse and tranquil
As one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with only 2.1 million people living in its landscapes, Namibia is dominated by vast sand dunes, rugged mountains and a sweeping coastline.
Photographer Paul Goldstein captured these incredible shots, from rocky mountains to the less-known but equally stunning dunes of the Hartmann Valley near the border with Angola.
He said his brief was to capture the 'tranquil nothingness' of Northern Namibia.
Namibia is predicted to enjoy a 9.1 per cent growth in tourism over the next 10 years, according to the World Travel And Tourism Council.
As the Namibian tourist board puts it: 'Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul.'


An abundance of wildlife has bolstered the safari industry in Namibia, while adrenaline junkies arrive annually to tackle the gruelling Namib Desert Challenge, an endurance event which takes place in the Namib Naukluft National Park of Namibia.
Part of the allure of Namibia is that it is four countries in one: As the tourist board explains, the four different landscapes each have their own characteristics and attractions.
'The most definitive is the Namib, a long coastal desert that runs the length of the country and is highlighted with migrating dune belts, dry riverbeds and canyons.
The central plateau is home the majority of Namibia towns and villages and is divided between rugged mountain ranges and sand-filled valleys. Next is the vast Kalahari Desert with its ancient red sand and sparse vegetation.
Kavango and Caprivi are blessed with generous amounts of rain and typified by tropical forests, perennial rivers and woodland savannahs.
'Namibia is home to vibrant cities where people are excited about the future, while remaining deeply connected to their rich, cultural past.
A stable, democratic government, infrastructure that allows guests to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons beckon you to explore define this country and its people.'




Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/ar...#ixzz34Gy2wZIn
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Old June 11th, 2014, 12:16 AM   #134
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Zambia ranks 3rd on world's 50 upcoming tourism destinations

ZAMBIA has been ranked the world's number three among 50 upcoming tourism and travel destinations.
According to a list compiled by Love Home Swap, based on data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, the 2014/2015 top 50 upcoming countries to watch were dominated by African countries, with Namibia graded in first place, followed by Montenegro.

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The WTTC data states that although some of the African countries that have dominated may not necessarily have the infrastructure ready yet to support tourism, they are building up hotels, restaurants and shops that cater to foreign visitors and are promoting themselves as top tourist destinations.
And a check on the Livingstone Tourism Association (LTA) website, a declaration simply states that Livingstone and environs offer stylish lodges and hotels, as well as a wide range of accommodation options to use as base for exploring the area.

The city which boasts of many national monuments both cultural and natural is truly alive to its grade as Zambia's tourist capital as declared by President Michael Sata after he announced the relocation of the provincial administrative capital to Choma.The city, which has Zambia's leading hotel in the Royal Livingstone, also boasts of the Zambezi Sun, New Fairmount, Chrismar,Protea, Courtyard hotels and the David Livingstone Safari lodge and Spa lodges.The LTA website has 27 lodges, guesthouses and camp sites with stirring names such as Bushfront, Jollyboys or Asenga.
Livingstone occasionally generates hundreds of visitors attending conferences to workshops or just having a holiday especially during long weekends.
It is also accessible to Mukuni Village by tarred road where senior chief Mukuni and the Leya people celebrate the Lwiindi traditional ceremony in July and December.Recently, Bushfront Lodge held a cocktail for its Livingstone partners at which Victor Sikutwa who is Lawrence Sikutwa Associates business development director said plans were underway to expand the Livingstone 14 chalet premises into a hotel.

He said LSA, which has a stake in the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa, plans to expand the Bushfront Lodge into a 48-room hotel by the end of the year."We plan to expand the Bushfront into a four-star hotel facility to promote value added products and also add value added employment being a 100 per cent Zambian entity," he said And Omar Munsanje, who is Livingstone district commissioner, in a speech read on his behalf by Livingstone deputy mayor Fred Sikazwe said Livingstone has never been the same since the hosting of the 20th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) last August.
Munsanje commended LSA for taking an initiative to expand the Bushfront Lodge into a hotel.

"My government will do everything possible to support Zambians interested in investing in tourism," Munsanje said.And Bushfront manager Mercy Mukena says the lodge was an ideal outing for holidaymakers who want to experience a peaceful environment.She said the lodge offers various safari expeditions and is conveniently situated near the Musi-oa-Tunya National Park and only a few kilometres from the Victoria Falls.And Monday Vice-President Guy Scott and Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe urged Zambian diplomats attending the heads of missions' abroad strategic conference to market the tourism sector to place Livingstone high on the world map as a tourist destination.

Munkombwe urged the diplomats to market Zambia's tourism potential on behalf of the Zambian people as it was expensive to have a tourism attaché in each mission.A check at the Zambia Tourism Board office revealed that ZTB had 107 accommodation facilities on its 2014 list.
Livingstone has had massive infrastructure developments which include the upgrading of the Harry Mwaanga International Airport, road networks while a new market and international bus terminus is nearing completion.The terminus which will be the biggest in the country, with slots for 20 buses will be to the standards only found at airports, such as screens providing information of bus departures and arrivals.

The one storey bus station will also be equipped with glass elevators and two escalators taking passengers to the shops and restaurants on the first floor while the ground floor will have waiting seats and bus ticket offices.
As the WTTC data states, Zambia is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa which makes it a popular destination."Visitors can experience a wealth of national parks along with the stunning Victoria Falls," WTTC states.
Livingstone is truly an ultimate tourism destination which should be placed on one's travel and holiday list as a priority.
The city is accessible by air through the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula
International Airport at which local flights from Lusaka and international flights from South Africa land.Livingstone is also connected through tarred roads from regional border towns of Kazungula and Katima Mulilo and from Lusaka.
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Old June 11th, 2014, 12:26 AM   #135
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Lack of SA luxury cruise ships ‘limits marine tourism revenue’

HOLIDAYMAKERS looking to celebrate Christmas and New Year at the coast will this year have the option of joining Cruises International’s first round-trip cruise holiday along the South African coastline.

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Two luxury cruise liners, Seabourn and Oceania, will depart from Cape Town and stop at Mossel Bay, East London, Durban, Richards Bay and Maputo in Mozambique before returning to Cape Town two weeks later.

The Oceania will also sail to Walvis Bay in Namibia.Cruises International said while luxury cruises had gained increasing interest among South Africans, the industry was still largely untapped. Cruises International represents nine international cruise lines.

Due to an increase in piracy attacks on Africa’s east coast, cruise liners are increasingly exploring the west coast, presenting new destinations to be explored and an opportunity for Southern African countries to develop their cruise tourism sector, says Cruises International MD George Argyropoulos.

South Africa’s coastline covers about 3,000km, but apart from the Cape Agulhas, a training vessel, it has no South African-owned cruise ships on its registry.

Earlier this month South Africa Maritime Safety Association (Samsa) CEO Tsietsi Mokhele said this was limiting economic flows from marine tourism into the country, even though South Africa benefits from passengers spending money when they disembark from foreign-owned cruise liners and take part in shore-based activities.

Mr Mokhele said a lot more economic benefits would accrue to South Africa if there were more locally registered cruise liners.

Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO Mmatšatši Ramawela said that while South Africans were "embracing" cruise tourism, it was not to the extent seen in other popular destinations across the world.

"It is an important growth area. It is something that we as an industry and the public sector nationally need to rally around to see how we support the role players involved in this market" Ms Ramawela said.

Samsa is developing a strategy, to be completed at the end of this year, to increase participation in leisure activities and holidays along the country’s coastline, and at its dams and lakes, to the benefit of surrounding communities.

Cruises International markets mainly to those South Africans who can afford to go on an overseas holiday. It estimates that 1.5-million to 2-million South Africans go on overseas holidays annually.

However, Cruises International sells only 15,000 cruises a year — which is about 1% of its target market, and a significantly smaller market penetration compared to 13% in the US and 5% in the UK, Mr Argyropoulos said.

"So we are still very far behind, but I think as we become more affluent and the income distribution becomes more equitable, we will see an uptake in cruising."

The company had seen significant growth, rising off the corporate incentives market, in the black middle class going on cruises, Mr Argyropoulos said.

Cruise tours are used by companies to incentivise clients or employees and distributors to meet certain targets.

"What we found initially is that they (black middle class) went as delegates and then we saw them the following year coming with family and friends," he said.While the cruise industry is an area of growth for the country’s tourism industry it is not without its problems. South Africa is far from the major client source markets in Europe and the Far East, Mr Argyropoulos said.There is "a big gap of destinations that have not been friendly to cruising" on the way to the country.

A lack of attractions for guests to visit when the ships dock at certain ports of call is also a challenge."So for a German or European or even someone from the Far East to come specifically here to do a cruise, we just don’t have enough attractions and it’s a very long voyage, although this is improving in some areas," Mr Argyropoulos said.
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Old June 11th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #136
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Cape Town and Durban's new cruise ship terminals should go a long way towards developing the local cruise industry.
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Old June 11th, 2014, 11:33 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Lydon View Post
Cape Town and Durban's new cruise ship terminals should go a long way towards developing the local cruise industry.
yeah I hope they co-operate with madagascar and mozambique
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Old June 11th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #138
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interesting video of tanzania

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Old June 11th, 2014, 11:58 AM   #139
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Old June 11th, 2014, 12:00 PM   #140
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