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The decision to euthanize an elephant that flipped over a vehicle at the Kruger National Park was not taken lightly, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Thursday.  SANparks was responding to a public outcry regarding its decision following the 30 December 2013 incident in which the animal flipped a visiting British couple's car. It is fortunate that none of the tourists was reported dead though the vehicle got some damages.

Managing executive of the Kruger Park, Abe Sibiya, said the incident was a consequence of parks allowing people to enjoy the natural environment.  "While it is expected in an environment such as the Kruger National Park that human and animal conflict will always occur, it is also vitally important that members of the public visiting various national parks should always adhere to the rules," said Sibiya.

Sibiya added that, while the park can understand the public outcry and anger towards the management, it is critical for the public to have confidence in the park management.  "The park is managed by adequately qualified officials who are able to make informed and appropriate decisions at any given time."

According to Sibiya, the decision to euthanize the animal was not taken lightly but based on the information from well experienced rangers' assessments; the animal was likely to attack tourist vehicles in the future.  "It is for this reason that we appeal to our patrons to act in a responsible manner and give such information as quick as possible rather than share it on social media platforms."

He said to bring closure to the matter; SANParks would need co-operation from the visitors that took the video.  The law stipulates that evidence such as this should be accompanied by a written statement from eyewitnesses as the footage cannot be the only permissible evidence in order to sanction any fine against the alleged perpetrators. It is by law that tourists are supposed to drive slowly while in the park. This is done to protect the lives of wild life and the visitors from accidents.   Kruger National Park is known for hosting a variety of bird species like Lappet faced Vulture, Martial Eagle; Saddle billed Stork, Kori Bustard and Ground Hornbill. The one curve ball is the Pel’s Fishing Owl among other. Wild animals in the park include elephants, Buffaloes,Leopards, Lions ,Antelopes among others.

Cultural tourism in Kenya is one of the most wonderful and mostly wanted by many tourists.  Among the top cultural site in Kenya include Lwanda Magere stone, Ramogi Hills, Kit mikaye, Crying stones, Bullfigting in Kakamega among others.

Nigeria is set to Benchmark with Kenya on cultural tourism and handicrafts to boost her tourism numbers. According to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), Cross River State of Nigeria is keen on learning from Kenya’s cultural tourism product that has become a pulling factor for tourists besides beaches and wildlife safaris.

Along side wildlife and beach trips in Kenya, Nigeria would like to learn from Kenya learning on how to develop and repackage culture as a product as well as embracing sustainable tourism through handicraft business. We are aware of Kenya’s zeal towards eco-tourism by giving communities priorities in areas such as handicrafts, community-made wares among other opportunities that have direct impact on local communities where tourism is being carried out,” Agba said in the statement.

A bout Calabar festival

Calabar city is a tourism hub for a Nigeria attracting slightly over 0.5 million tourists a year through the famous Calabar Festival that usually takes place between November and December. The festival showcases culture like marriage, cuisine, costume and dance. It should be noted that African countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Egyept among others benefit so much from tourism. To that note however, each individual country is striving to find all the possible ways of promoting it.

After entering Nairobi National park through the East gate, I continued to drive through the park without hope of seeing wildlife that late afternoon. But after bypassing junction 7, a head of me, two vehicles were parked next to a large shrub on a bend and I wondered what their owners had seen.

Then I saw them critically observing some thing which late I realised that they were observing a certain animal.  It was a lioness with two small cubs just a few metres from the roadside. The cubs were in a playful mood and played many little games like 'tag mom's tail' or 'stalk and pounce'. Many of the games that cubs play hone their hunting skills as they mature.

As soon as the other cars drove away, the cubs suddenly began to play 'tag me' around an acacia tree. Then one cub actually climbed up the tree with the other one trying to follow. The lioness (whose ID is MF3) gave low concerned calls to the cubs and eventually walked over to the tree and called until the cub came down. It was fantastic to see cubs climbing a tree.

It was amazing because, tree climbing lions are known in manyara (Tanzania) or Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda. The tree climbing lions are mostly seen by tourists while on their way to Bwindi impenetrable national park where gorilla treks take place. After seeing the cubs climbing I could not help but wonder why some lions climb trees and others do not? Sadly it appears that in the following weeks, the lioness (MF3) lost both her cubs as it is rare for a lone lioness to raise cubs.

Mount Nyangani

Mount Nyangani

The search for the disappearance of a Zimbabwean tourist known as Zayd Dada still continues. It is now 14 days from the day when Zayd got lost on Nyangani Mountain. The search party comprising up to 80 people is facing difficult weather conditions and the complexity of the terrain has hampered rescue efforts. Zayd's family is now pleading for local and international professional trackers, mountain climbers and hikers to come forward and assist.

More support and prayers still needed to enables the trackers find this man.  According to  Zayd's elder brother Rayaaz.  "We know Zayd is somewhere out there. He is lost and probably exhausted and injured. We need to find and bring him home soon. We are begging for anyone who can help us to please come forward."

Mountain Nyangani is the highest range in Zimbabwe and standing at a majestic 2,592 metres (8,504 ft), is surrounded by lush green forest. The mountain has dangerous steep edges of the plateau, fast weather changes from clear blue skies to thick fogs.

It should be also noted that for many years, the mountain has been said to be a source of blessing to the people who believe in African traditional religions. Police and Wildlife Management Authority officials said on Saturday January 4, Zayd who was in the company of his wife Neelam and another couple attempted to climb the mountain in the morning. However half way up, the team got tired and decided to take a break but Zayd proceeded on his own. That was the last time he was to be seen as he failed to pitch up for hours.

Since the fateful day, efforts to locate Zayd have proved fruitless and even a search by an Airforce of Zimbabwe helicopter has yielded nothing. Some traditional healers converged at the mountain and carried out rituals, hoping to appease the spirits of the revered mountains. It is commonly believed that if a place is sacred there are certain rules that are supposed to be followed and if these are broken, serious consequences are expected. According to folk stories, if one strayed into a scared place they would lose their sense of direction and wander aimlessly for days until some form of appeasement is conducted on their behalf by their family.  The story which has generated much interest has seen many people responding on various social media platforms.  One comment reads: "I know some people think that the issue of "nzvimbo inoyera" (sacred place) is nothing but superstitious nonsense but I think this is what is at play here."  Others are sending prayer messages and wishing a safe return for Zayd. In a bid to drum up more support for the missing tourist, his family and friends have started a Facebook page titled, Let's Find Zayd providing updates and details of the search.

The capital city of Ethiopia was listed among 52 places to be visited in 2014. This is according to the New York Times.  The travel section of one of the biggest daily newspapers in the US labeled Addis Ababa as an ambitious art scene that is heading toward the international stage.

Building on a strong historical legacy (Addis boasts one of East Africa's oldest art schools) are a host of events scheduled for 2014: a photography festival, two film festivals and a jazz and world music festival. Thanks to the city's diverse art institutions and galleries, including the artist-in-residence village Zoma Contemporary Art Center and the Asni Gallery (really more an art collective than a gallery), there is an art opening at least once a week. Even the local Sheraton puts on "Art of Ethiopia," an annual show of new talent. But it's the National Museum that, in May and June, will host this year's blockbuster exhibit, "Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement," devoted to Emperor Haile-Selassie I and Rastafarianism," The New York Times stated.

Apart from Addis, other African countries and specific cities and locations like Cape Town, South Africa, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania are also picked by the newspaper. It is also important to note that, Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo should not also be left out as they host one of the world’s tourist attractions known as mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking takes place in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park (Uganda), Volcanoes National park (Rwanda), Virunga National park in Democratic republic of Congo.

It was unfortunate that many passengers including tourists got stark after the train they were to travel in got a hitch at Mackinnon road in Taru.  The Rift valley passengers train did not reach Mombasa after another cargo train derailed near Mackinnon blocking the main Mombasa-Nairobi railway line.

It is disappointing that, railway transport in East Africa is still unreliable as it is not even used in most area while in some area where it used to operate; it is no longer operating due to mismanagement and financial crisis.

According to Liz Gathoni, a travel agent based in Mombasa said, her clients were forced to cancel their trips following the hiccup. She complained of poor services offered by the RVR because of the monopoly it enjoys in offering train services.  One of the Norway tourists known as Marius stenby expressed his dispointment at how the RVR management handled the whole problem.  He said the management was not open with the passengers on what was happening.

Transport system in some of the African countries is not reliable hence making tourism sector of the affected countries rag behind.  A bus with passengers had earlier been stopped by police at Makupa because the driver did not have the temporary license allowing him to travel at night. At around 11pm all passengers were refunded their money to look for other means of transport.  Since the government introduced the night travel ban on Passengers Service Van, many people who were in Mombasa for holiday have opted to travel by train. However, many have complained the trains are slow because some of the engines are very old. Trains are charging lower fare after bus companies raised theirs to about Sh2,000. Trains charge around 4,405 for first class, 3,385 (second class), and Sh680 for third class.

Kenya has many tourist destinations which are highly liked by many tourists but likely to be hindered by poor transport, insecurity- the attack of westgate and so on.

The western routes, which almost everyone uses, are through pleasant grassland and light mountain scrub. Yet straying from the path can be dangerous. The tourist path up the western side of the mountain follows the Nyamuziwa River, and is a very attractive walk, with the little river and its waterfalls to the north of the path.  But as anyone who has strayed to refill a water bottle or just to have a look can tell you, there are a lot of very deep narrow cuts in the ground near this river.

Even in daylight it can be dangerous if the rock is wet from the spray from the falls. And at night, or when that fog suddenly descends as a cloud collides with the mountain, it is easy to understand how people can disappear, swallowed up by the ground. National Parks do a lot.  People are warned, and warned repeatedly, not to stray from the path and not to try and rush down if they cannot see. There are notices telling you not to ascend after certain times, because you cannot get down in daylight.

There is a proposal to fence off the path so that walkers are kept away from all danger but the worry is, the fencing would destroy the joy of the climb to the plateau.

Generally, it should be noted that, tourists can only climb Nyangani safely only if they sensibly follow the rules and escorted by the experts. Most do, sticking to the well-marked path and, if they want to move off for a rest and a sit-down, simply having company and keeping a good look-out where they are going.

Mountain climbing is a wonderful activity and high level of fitness is needed and it should be led by experts as it is challenging.  Therefore, however is hoping to climb mountains need adequate preparation and should be ready to follow the instructions.

More confirmation that Uganda is the pearl of Africa came after the rank of Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary Island by Jane Goodall which is the United Nations ambassador of peace.  A power house primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist, Goodall is also the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.

She says she based her ranking on the kind of attention and care accorded to the primates, which are highly threatened by extinction. In Africa, there are 29 chimpanzee sanctuaries of which, two were founded by Goodall under her Jane Goodall Institute. She has been supporting the other 27 through funding. Some of the African countries with chimp sanctuary include Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Speaking at her 80th birthday which was held at Lake Victoria Island, Goodall said she observed that the 47 chimpanzees on Ngamba Island were loved and treated with so much care like no other on the planet.  Goodall says the chimpanzees at Ngamba are well taken care of like no other in Africa.

Goodall added that for the last couple of years; he has visiting each sanctuary across the continent, but concluded that Ngamba is by far than any other. “They have fully acknowledged the fact that chimpanzees are man’s closest relatives and treat them with so much love and attention. I am overwhelmed,” she the delighted octogenarian.

The sanctuary’s top ranking is seen as potential pull for the local tourism industry.  According to Lilly Ajarova, the sanctuary’s executive director, Goodall’s recognition of Ngamba as the top sanctuary in the continent could be a positive turning point, which could attract more tourists.

“Owing to the fact that Goodall is an inspirational figure who commands over 10 millionfollowers worldwide inclusive of tourists and conservationists, her credit of Ngamba is destined to fire up its annual tourists turn-up from its annual 4000 to 5000 to nothing short of an impressive influx,” she says.

It should be noted that Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary is located on Ngamba Island found on Lake Victoria. The trip to this sanctuary stars from Entebbe at Nakiwogo landing site and it is approximately 45 minutes cruise on a special boat. This makes it easily accessed by tourists from different parts of the world. This is because Entebbe international airport is nearly accessed for the international Visitors.

The all world is giving negative comments to the genocide acts as it leads to loss of lives of innocent people. That is why in countries where this has happens, most of the affected strongly condemn and vow to fight against it never to happen again.

rwanda

 

As Rwanda marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, this year’s Walks to remember will take place in 15 countries around the world, organizers announced that.

The walk will take place in affected nations like Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Rwanda.  Initiated in 2009 by members of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP), Walk to Remember is a yearly event designed to empower the youth of Rwanda and around the world to fight against genocide.  As usual, this year’s genocide walk will characterize candle lighting as a sign of mourning.

Preparatory memorial activities ahead of the April 7 commemoration event are ongoing, with a Remembrance Flame already on a tour of the country. The walks are aimed at showing the entire world that genocide acts are bad and should be strongly condemned. During the move, people are expected to remember the spirits of their relatives, friend or beloved ones who lost their lives in genocide movements. It is unfortunate that such acts are still prevailing in some nations as currently in South Sudan. So far hundred of people have lost their lives.

Officials in Zimbabwe and Mozambique are determined to boost tourism and infrastructure development in the two countries.  The director of Tourism in Mozambique, Fredson Bacar last week said his country had a lot to learn from Zimbabwe's tourism, which is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.

Mr Fredson suggested that Mozambique would take advantage of the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed by the two countries in November last year. The agreement was aimed at promoting tourism co-operation.

He said Mozambique wanted Zimbabweans to help develop infrastructure destroyed by years of civil war in the 1980s. "As a government, we are putting a lot of effort but we need people with expertise to develop our country. Mozambican laws are very liberal and we will not impose projects on our foreign investors," said the Mozambican official.

Bacar added that Mozambique was a safe tourist and investment destination despite threats posed by Renamo fighters. "Mozambique has no war. We are surprised to read in the papers of this so-called war. It is just in Mushungwe district where soldiers of Renamo and Frelimo had a clash some 200km to Save River. This area is currently the centre of controversy and government is negotiating with Renamo to end the conflict."

The Mozambican official was on a follow-up visit following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on November 29. The Memorandum of Understanding seeks to create and enhance tourism relations between the two countries to boost economic growth through the development of the tourism sectors.  In the Memorandum of Understanding, the two countries seek to further market and promote research and planning tourism investment promotion among others. Mozambique has already set the ball rolling, with a six-member delegation touring some of the facilities in Manicaland province.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Manicaland area manager Daniel Mupande said Mozambique was set to benefit from Zimbabwean tourism and travel expertise. "During discussions we noted that our counterparts do not have institutions like publicity associations. This joint effort is expected to produce a lot of yields in such a way that tourists will be moving from each member country with out any restriction.