The Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism has unveiled an ambitious five-year strategic plan to raise Tourism revenues to Sh200 billion annually, from the current Sh96 billion. Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie. This will involve execution of a campaign and marketing programme that will see tourist arrivals in the country rise to three million per annul from the current 1.8 million. Since Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are in one East African community, tourists can as well go gorilla tours in Uganda or Rwanda or in both thus  memorable  safaris.

The plan intends to consolidate the traditional tourism source markets of Europe and Americas. It will also venture into new emerging markets of Asia, Middle East, India, East Europe and Brazil. Speaking during the launch of the plan, East African Community, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie added that the ministry will soon set up the Tourism Regulatory Authority as provided for in the Tourism Act 2011.

The regulator will reign in rogue tour operators and streamline operations in the sector so as to raise the standards of tourist potentials. “This will guide this ministry pursuit of increased tourist arrivals, fast track regional integration, support traders and all Kenyan enterprises in alignment with Vision 2030,” said Ms Kandie.

According to the tourism secretary, Ms Kandie, the strategic plan was a product of extensive stakeholder consultation and will help to establish a framework for monitoring and evaluating performance.  The establishment of a commodities exchange to market value added products from Kenya — both locally and internationally as well as an intense awareness campaign on the benefits of regional integration are among the key highlights of the strategic plan.

Ms Kandie expressed confidence that the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and EAC on Economic Partnerships Agreement.  She said the pact that puts hundreds of thousands of Kenyan jobs on the line and billions of shillings of revenue through exports to EU at stake will be concluded expeditiously. “In driving the mandate of the Ministry, the intention is to promote EAC regional Integration, promote trade, promote Tourism Product development and Innovation and Marketing of Kenyan Tourism Products,” she observed.

This will accelerate the expansion of regional market and formulate and implement a coherent regional integration policy and strategy for Kenya. It will also implement the EAC Single Customs Territory through introduction of tax payment at first point of entry and conclude negotiations on Comesa-EAC-South African Development Co-operation Tripartite Free Trade Area.  Apart from targeting the tourism revenue in upwards of Sh200 billion yearly, the ministry seeks to encourage the expansion of hospitality industry facilities including bed capacity to over 30,000 addition beds.

To ensure increased revenues, the plan seeks to establish three more conference and convention centres in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu to attract business tourists. This alongside, the diversification of the products to include sports, cultural and medical tourism will ensure a vibrant sector.

Inpite of the fact Kenya hosts no mountain Gorillas like Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo but she has the potential of compiting favourably in tourism sector of the region. This is so because Kenya is endowed with many National parks and game reserves which protect avariety of tourist attractions. National parks in Kenya include Amboseli National Park, Arabuko Sokoke National Park, Hells Gate and Mount Longonot National Parks, Kora National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park,     Marsabit National Park, Meru National Park, Mount Kenya National Park, Mount Elgon National Park,     Nairobi National Park, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, Ruma National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park,     Sibiloi National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park.

Game reserves include: Arawale National Reserve,  Boni National Reserve, Dodori National Reserve, Kakamega Forest National Reserve,  Kisumu Impala Sanctuary,  Samburu National Reserve,  Buffalo Springs National Reserve,  Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary,  Shimba Hills National Reserve, Masai Mara National Reserve,  Mwea National Reserve, Witu Forest Reserve (Utwani Forest Reserve)

North-Western Province is known as the richest province in Zambia because of the thriving mining activities in the region. It has become the place to be for investors and those who want to do business with the mining companies are found here.

Along side mining, this area is known for massive tourism potential that can help turn-around the fortunes of the area, if well-harnessed.  Yes, we are talking about a rich province, not only from the mineral perspective, but also from the natural resources that lie untapped.

To that note however, this is adeliberate efforts that are being put together by the North-Western province administration to ensure that the tourism potential is exploited towards National Economic transformation deserve absolute support from all stakeholders. Indeed, the provincial administration deserves accolades for mooting 'Destination North-Western,' with a pulsating mandate of promoting the area through tourism.

The overall objective of 'Destination North-Western' concept is to realize increased inflows of investment in various Economic sectors of the province and encourage tourist visits to important heritage sites and cultural events.

 The concept was eloquently outlined at a thought-provoking and forward-looking inaugural 'Destination North-Western' tourism stakeholder consultative meeting at Solwezi Lodge recently. The gathering aimed to lay down a framework for the new initiative.

Tourism has gone global in the 21st century, and the North Western provincial administration has preferred a meaningful and natural route to uplift Zambia's economic development. It should be noted that torism earns a lot of foreign exchange to Zambia.

chinhoyi caves

10 years back, I decided to visit the amazing Chinhoyi Caves but it was adventurous to move through the caves. Whenever you enter this these cave, you come out fresh and re-thinking about Zimbabwe's geomorphological splendour. It is hard to explain the feeling.  To that note, the caves are worth visited by tourists.

The Chinhoyi Caves always emit an aura of myth and mystery that would excite and provoke an adrenaline rush in any visitor. Only a few chirping birds give a sign of life to the caves whose dearth of sound is like the innards of a grave!  The silence as one descends into the intricate network of caves, is both eerie and profound, yet the grottos and the huge sleeping pool form a spectacular combination in which reality defies existing tourism hyperbole. It is a geomorphologic spectacle whose grandeur Zimbabwe has done little to market for international tourism recognition.

The caves are grossly under-marketed and they have largely remained an untapped tourist attraction, except for a few people who trickle there.  When climbing down the steep granite steps it is easy for tourists to imagine approaching an abyss of darkness as light suddenly varnishes. The experience is hair-raising.

Chinhoyi cases are made up of limestone shaft linked by a maze of passages and caves, at the foot of which lies a huge pool whose limpid and translucent gothic water maintains the same level 24 /7. Inexplicably, the water defies common meteorological logic by remaining at the same temperature of 22 degrees Celsius 24/7 every second, every minute, every hour and indeed every day.

It is this deep blue pool beneath the sparkling cobalt stone that is known as the "Sleeping Pool".  Myth and mystery has it that one cannot successfully throw a stone across the seemingly small pool as the sacred spirits that watch over the pool will catch the stone and bestow a curse upon the stone thrower. Oral tradition has it that at the bottom of Sleeping Pool lies immured the bones of fallen Shona tribe heroes who died after being flung in by Nguni tribe raiders in pre-colonial Zimbabwe.

Location of chinhoyi caves
The caves are located in Makonde District, Mashonaland West Province, in central, northern Zimbabwe. They lie approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi), by road, northwest of Chinhoyi, the nearest large town, and the location of the district and provincial headquarters. This location lies about 135 kilometres (84 mi), northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and the largest city in that country. The caves lie on the main road, Highway A-1, between Harare and Chirundu, at the International border with the Republic of Zambia, about 250 kilometres (160 mi), further northwest of the caves.

Bicycle riding is one of the tourism activities which enables the participants gain physical fitness however, to engaging in cycling, one should be abit energetic and fit. It should also be noted that some body should also be skilliful in the cycling games as it is some times challenging.

The Eritrean clocked 22h 52 minutes and 24 seconds to beat Louis Leo Sanchez, who was wearing Yellow Jersey going into the final stage on Sunday. Team Rwanda finished in 8th position overall.  Bonavanture Uwizeyimana, who won stage five on Friday, was Team Rwanda’s best finisher in 22nd position with a time of 23h5’33’’.

On the Rwandan team, he was followed by  Janvier Hadi (31st) 23h9’54’’, Hategeka Gasore (32nd) 23h10’11’’, Joseph Biziyaremye (36th) 23h11’48’’, Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva (42nd) 23 hours 13 minutes and 10 seconds, while Valens Ndayisenga was in 54th position with a time of 23h32’16’’.  Adrien Niyonshuti, who was competing for his South African team, MTN-Qhubeka, finished in a respectable 14th position in 22 hours 55 minutes and 51 seconds.

On stage six (106km) on Saturday, 22-year-old Hadi came in 13th position. Belgian Frederique Robert won the stage. How the other Rwandans finished in stage six; Hategeka Gasore (17), Adrien Niyonshuti (32), Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (37), Joseph Biziyaremye (41), Valens Ndayisenga (63) and Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva (66).

India hosts approximately 1,700 tigers left in the wild. It is threatening that in the past five weeks, 17 people in four states have been killed by tigers.

In the country which is home to the world’s largest population of tigers, few things swing public opinion more sharply than a “man-eater” does.  With 17 people killed by tigers in the past five weeks in the four Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, angry residents of affected areas are threatening to take the law into their own hands as they have decided to kill tigers found lingering around.

Drawing a blank

The argument is that the Tiger have killed two people in Maharashtra’s Tadoba region. A tiger that killed three people since 4 January in Dodabetta has been confirmed as a “man-eater”. In Uttar Pradesh, a wandering tigress from Jim Corbett National Park has killed seven people since Christmas. Another five people have been killed by a tiger in Karnataka.  While two “man-eating” tigers – and one who killed livestock – have been captured in Karnataka since last month, forest authorities in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have so far drawn a blank.

In fact, most attacks on people are chance encounters gone wrong. Victims of such accidental attacks are rarely dragged away as prey or actually eaten.  But a series of attacks on people in quick succession is a telltale sign of a man-eater at work.

Facts about Tigers:

Common Name: Tiger

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Pantherinae Panthera

Species: tigris

Tigers are some times known as the Largest of the big cats (Amur tigers can weigh up to 700 lbs; lions typically only weigh up to 500 lbs.), the tiger is also one of the best-known large mammals. Reddish-orange to yellow-ochre coat with black stripes and white belly. Males have a ruff - especially in the Sumatran sub-species. Tigers love the water, and will spend much of a hot day soaking. They will also readily enter the water to kill prey. Tigers are by nature solitary animals (as are all cats except lions, which are the only true social cat), but at CPT they have adjusted to life with a mate. This is possible due to having enough food (the primary reason to be solitary).

Kenya has kicked off a tourism marketing campaign in West Africa by reaching out to travel agents in different regions in Ghana and Nigeria. According to regional Marketing, Mr Fred Okenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Nigeria are potential markets to Kenya’s tourism growth. According to Basudde paul, asenior tour consultant from African jungle Adventures ltd argue that, more tourists from gorilla tracking in Rwanda, always yearn to supplement their safaris with the view of tree climbing lions of Masai mara in Kenya.

He added that, Kenya Tourism Board would conduct seminars with about 200 travel agents in West Africa as well as media engagement programs in a bid to equip them with information on Kenya's tourism products.

Last year Ghana and Nigeria recorded about 23,000 arrivals to Kenya; a figure Okeyo says will be increased significantly after the aggressive marketing campaign. Besides holiday leisure, education, conferencing and medical tourism are becoming key tourism products attracting Nigerians to Kenya.

On his part, Kenya's High Commissioner to Nigeria Tom Amolo said the embassy will seek to assure potential visitors that Kenya is safe to travel to, especially building on the ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations. "We have continued to reassure the market of Kenya's safety and her conducive business for tourism business and other economic activities," said the Ambassador.

In an attempt to increase the tourists to Kenya, national carrier Kenya Airways sales manager in charge of Nigeria Diran Oloyede said the airline will launch a direct flight between Abuja and Nairobi early next year.  "With these marketing activities by Kenya Tourism Board, we will expect interest of travellers to Kenya and the launch of direct flight to Nairobi will come in handy," says Oloyede.

Currently, Kenya Airways flies to Lagos 10 times a week with passengers from Abuja flying to Lagos to connect to Nairobi. He termed the introduction of direct flight from Abuja to Nairobi as a major milestone in easing access to Kenya.

Kenya is one of the East African countries with more developed tourism sector. It has more than ten National parks like Amboseli National Park, Arabuko Sokoke National Park, Hells Gate and Mount Longonot National Parks, Kora National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Marsabit National Park, Meru National Park, Mount Kenya National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Nairobi National Park, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, Ruma National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Sibiloi National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park and other game reserves. To that note however, the country has a variety of tourist destinations and attraction.

Privately-owned and managed, Finch Hatton's is one man’s dream to create an ideal, offering guests a unique opportunity to relive the golden era of the safari with elegance, first class comforts and the finest cuisine surrounded by the spectacle of the great African wilderness.
Finch Hatton's lies at the heart of Tsavo West National Park - part of Kenya’s single largest game park.
Finch Hatton's 35 acre concession sits on the south western edge of Tsavo West. A green oasis fed by an underground spring that pumps a constant supply of water into three pools before disappearing back into the volcanic earth.

These pools are home to a resident pod of hippopotamus who spend their days wallowing in the shallows and their nights grazing around the camp. Crocodiles and a healthy population of terrapins and monitor lizards are often seen sunning themselves at the water’s edge while a wide variety of game has been sighted in and around the camp which is unfenced so the animals come and go as they please. Bird life at Finch Hatton's is spectacular with over 200 locally recorded species.
Yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea trees surround the tents which are beautifully located and offer comfortable and stylish accommodation in an idyllic setting. Many boast spectacular views directly overlooking the hippo pools and springs.

A new tree-top canopy walkway is expected to open in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Western Cape, early in March. The Boomslang Aerial Walkway will be situated in the Kirsten bosch Arboretum, which houses a collection of over 450 indigenous tree species.  It is 130m long and peaks at roughly 11.5m above the ground, giving guests views above the forest. The canopy walk follows two years of planning and will be free to anyone who has entered the gardens, for which an entry ticket is required. In some states of Africa, canopy walk is anew activity but mostly liked by tourists because, it provide them a top view to the variety of  special birds, plant species, animals among others.

In Rwanda, the canopy walk is operating in Nyungwe forest National park which is also known as the home of the amazing chimpanzees. From chimpanzee tracking, visitors transfer to Volcanoes national park for mountain gorilla trekking before leaving the land of a thousand hills.

The new canopy walk  was designed by architects Mark Thomas and Christopher Bisset, the walkway was inspired by the form of a snake’s skeleton. It has been constructed from galvanised steel and will be painted to attract moss and growth. The walkway offers 360-degree views of Cape Town and the city’s mountain slopes. It also allows guests to experience the forest from high above the ground and see birds and other animals that are otherwise difficult to spot.

About Kirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch is South Africa’s world-famous national botanical garden, set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, and home to more than 22 000 indigenous plants. Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The Kirstenbosch estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. The Kirstenbosch Visitors' Centre includes an information desk and various retail outlets and a coffee shop. The Centre for Home Gardening has outlets for plants and other services to support the home garden.

The canopy walk will be wheelchair accessible and was made possible by private funding but predominantly Mary Mullins.  It is adventurous to move o the canopy walk as it rewards with the view of unique bird species  which can not easily seen while at the ground.

South Africa tourism recent road show in India was very successfully attended, with a total of 1 235 attendees at workshops hosted in Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.

Slabber is excited about the upcoming year, saying that last year travel from India was affected by the Indian rupee depreciating against the dollar. She added that while travel from India to South Africa had increased last year, South Africa Tourism would have liked to see greater numbers.

South Africa Tourism has been working extensively with former cricketer, Jonty Rhodes, to promote the country to the Indian market. “[Rhodes] is very popular in India and being the fielding coach of the Mumbai Indians – the current IPL champs – helps to keep his profile very high,” said Slabber. “Last year we did a very successful consumer campaign where four lucky winners won a trip to South Africa – hosted by Jonty – and it was turned into a television series.” She added that material from the campaign was also used in cinema and television campaigns. South Africa Tourism will repeat the competition this year and also has other joint marketing campaigns planned.

Slabber said South Africa Tourism planned to aggressively market South Africa as a film destination. “Film in India – and not only Bollywood – is absolutely massive and an incredible way to raise awareness of South Africa.” She used the example of Mountain of the Moon, a Bengali movie filmed in South Africa, which showcased the beautiful scenery of the country.

According to Slabber, advertising, film shoots brought large crews into South Africa for extended periods. “They use restaurants, are great at taking part in activities and of course splash it all over social media.” She added that Fear Factors had just been confirmed for South Africa. “We have had numerous products making suggestions on how we can make this the scariest season ever.”

It should be notes that South Africa is one of the African developed countries. To that note however, it has developed infrastructures like good roads, Hotels, lodges among others. Such improvement has attracted tourists to have their vacations in this country.

More so, the country is strategically locate near the seas which ease the transportation of tourists from different nations and back. South Africa is also known for its large surface and to that note, it is eligible of hosting a variety of tourist attractions.

Kenya’s richest musician known as Jaguar has proposed a musical tour in Uganda in some few weeks to come. The Kigeugeu singer will jet into the country with his own plane that will see him come with a 10 member crew which is musically talented. The crew will include his producer known as Phil, Photographers, Videographers, Online journalists and Vivienne who is an upcoming Kenyan songstress.

Producer Phil is the one behind Jaguar’s club hit songs like Kigeugeu, Kipepewo and Kioo his latest song. Jaguar will entertain Ugandans along side other Kenyan artists like Wadosi a duo under Main Switch group

The Kipepewo star is expected to thrill Ugandans with his best songs. This will be the second time for jaguar to perform to Ugandans in Kampala. In 2012, he performed at Jinja road based club Rouge and the show was successful.

Jaguar is also expected to sing along side Ugandan best musicians like Dr Chamelion, Bebe cool, Bobi wine among others. This music tour is aimed at publicizing the Kampala’s  tourist Hotels and lodge, along side other amnesties like  markets, night clubs, theaters, Bars among others.