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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

If the tourists don't go on safari the poachers move in.

Paul Goldstein, co-owner of Kenya-based Kicheche Camps, says: "If the tourists don't go on safari, there are no eyes on the ground and the locals don't get paid. The poachers move in.".

Goldstein was shocked last December to see a dead elephant, tusks removed by poachers, in the Maasai Mara park: this would have been unthinkable a year earlier.

Read the Foreign Office advice on travel to Kenya and you 'd be forgiven for avoiding the place altogether. According to Kenyan government statistics, British visitor numbers have fallen by more than a third since 2012 (from 185,976 to 117,201 in 2014).

Proving a link between the drop in visitors and a rise in poaching is difficult, but the fact that tourists, by their presence, help protect wildlife is something Zimbabwe learned the hard way when the country descended into economic chaos between 2003-2008 and visitors stopped arriving. Mark Butcher of Imvelo Safaris, who runs camps there says he saw the heavy price paid by the wildlife: "When people are hungry, they don't worry about conservation.

When Tanzania closed its border with Kenya between 1977 and 1983, visitors to the Serengeti dropped from 70,000 a year to around 10,000. The loss in revenue caused a 60 % decline in anti-poaching patrols and a rapid rise in poaching. Rhino disappeared, elephant numbers dropped and meat poaching skyrocketed. Similar things are now happening in northern Mozambique, where a government-backed survey has estimated that half of the country's elephants (almost 10,000) have been illegally killed in the past five years.

Like many in the safari business, Butcher thinks Kenya's conservancy movement is its brightest hope. This has seen large areas of Kenya protected by small landowners pledging land to communal conservation zones. Franchised safari camps pay landowners according to the number of tourists they take. "Communities set aside land for wildlife because it's financially in their interests," says Butcher. "But in the absence of tourists, poachers give the incentives.".

A report in March by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) highlighted the scarcity of data on the economic value of wildlife tourism in Africa, but surveyed data from 48 government bodies and 145 tour operators from 31 African countries and concluded that poaching "threatened the tourism sector's long-term sustainability". However, only 50 % of the operators were directly funding anti-poaching initiatives or engaging in conservation projects.

Encouraging them, and getting tourist numbers back up is vital. Jonathan Scott, who presents the BBC's Big Cat Diary and has lived in Kenya for 40 years, says: "If the world is serious about helping to prevent poaching, we need those tourist dollars.".

For more information on safari holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753180

Friday, 24 July 2015

Saadani River Lodge

Saadani National Park is one of the last remaining protected coastal areas in Africa allowing native plants and abundant wildlife to flourish. Our guests are likely to catch sight of cats, antelopes, giraffes, elephants and buffalo. Encounters with other vehicles during game drives are uncommon and game drives occur in the early morning and late afternoon/evening when the temperature is more agreeable to both our guests and the wildlife.

For more information on Saadani River Lodge or Safari Holidays to Tanzania please follow the links or email: info@puresafari.com 

Tanzania's Top Destinations

Designated as a World Heritage Site, the crater has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. An estimated 25,000 large mammals in a relatively small area make it a 'must' destination when on safari on the Northern Tanzanian Safari Circuit. Ngorongoro is home to one of the few remaining populations of black rhino in Tanzania.

The Serengeti National Park has so much to offer for it is vast and every season is special in this amazing National Park. For most safari itineraries the main focus of any trip to the Serengeti is the migration, depending on the long rains from February to May, where up to two million herbivores take advantage of the short grass of the southern Serengeti to calve and feed, before moving north westerly to eventually arrive at the dramatic crossing of the Grumeti river, home to some of Africa's biggest crocodiles.

The Zanzibar archipelago consists of fifty or so islands the main island is called Unquia but usually referred to as Zanzibar Island. Stone Town is the capital of Zanzibar being the port and entrance to these spiced islands.

Tarangire National Park is probably Tanzania's most underrated park. This park is used as a stop over point on the way to or from the Serengeti. It is a special area, a bird watchers paradise and in the dry season many animals are attracted to the area as it has a year round water supply along the River Tarangire. There are some wonderful camps here such as Swala Camp and then the magnificent Oliver's Camp in the wilderness area of the Park. The park is most legendary for the large concentration of elephants and the huge baobab Trees that dominate the park.

Lake Manyara National Park is a small but scenic safari park. It is most unusual for lions to climb trees, this park is famed for its tree climbing lions.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, sitting on the Tanzania- Kenyan border, is remote, alluring and simply put, awe inspiring. Located in Northern Tanzania, Kilimanjaro dominates the landscape.

It is not as popular as the national Parks in the North of Tanzania, in recent years visitors have begun to realize this park has much to offer the tourist looking for the remote wilderness experience. The northern section of the park has a handful of luxury camps. This park truly offers the Out of Africa experience.

Ruaha is probably the most arid of Tanzania's parks. It is on the Southern Circuit and is sometimes know as Giraffe Park as it has in excess of 8,000 Maasai giraffe. From December to January the park enjoys a large number of the rare Eleanor's falcons.

Mafia Island is set off the coast of central Tanzania, twenty kilometers from the Rufiji River Delta, making this remote island an ideal place for relaxing after a safari in the Selous. A small island, fifty kilometers long and fifteen kilometers wide and completely surrounded by a barrier reef, entry by light aircraft is required. The reef is teaming with marine life. There are over 460 species of tropical fish in these reefs as well as five species of turtles. The diver, either beginner or more experienced, has a profusion of underwater habitats to explore.

Arusha National Park is a lovely park is set between the peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a tiny park - only 53 square miles. The Park is an area of outstanding beauty and can be visited easily for a few hours from the nearby town of Arusha. The highlands are forested, with the peak of Mount Meru rising above the forests to dominate the park. The forests are populated by a thriving and varied bird life and climbing in the ancient cedar trees is the dramatically marked black and white colubus monkey, barking its haunting call through the quiet forest.

For more info on travel to Tanzania or Safari Holidays please contact info@puresafari.com

Monday, 8 June 2015

Zanzibar to attract more visitors.

Zanzibar is set to attract more tourists following increased advertisement of the islands globally, President Ali Mohamed Shein said while in Germany.

Dr Shein added that the government has been working hard to promote Zanzibar as the best tourist destination in East Africa and the results are bearing fruit.

“As we advertise the tourism attraction sites in Zanzibar, we have been also overcoming different challenges,” Dr Shein said in an interview with members of the press in Wurzburg- Germany where he has been since last Tuesday for an official visit.

The president underscored the importance of tourism to Zanzibar socially and economically, and that the Islands still have unique attraction places including its history admired by many people who visit East Africa.

He said that in addition to the contribution of tourism to Zanzibar economy, it has also enhanced good relations with foreign nations through cultural exchange like in this years’ International African Music festival in Wurzburg, where artists from different countries had an opportunity to meet.

“Hospitality, our traditions, behaviour, local music and local food are some of the things which unite people of Zanzibar and attract tourists,’ said Dr Shein. According to a press release from the President’s press team, Dr Shein said his government was determined to make sure that Zanzibar is widely advertised including through festivals held in different countries around the world. During the interview with Germany journalists, Dr Shein said Zanzibar government was improving infrastructure and promoting peace/stability as prerequisite to development. Dr Shein together with his delegation also visited the Department of Tropical Diseases at Wurzburg Mission College of Health Sciences, where the Chairperson of the Board Prof August Stich said his institute has been collaborating with various higher institutions across the world including Bugando in Mwanza, and KCMC in Moshi. “During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, my institutions trained 200 health workers who were working in affected countries,” Prof Stich said before bidding farewell to Dr Shein and his delegation who left Wurzburg for Berlin where he is scheduled to meet Germany leaders and members of the business community.

For more information on holidays in Zanzibar or safari holidays, please follow the links or email info@puresafari.com 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

No more yellow fever requirement for travellers from SA to Zambia

Travellers heading to Zambia from South Africa will no longer be required to get a yellow fever vaccination, the Department of Health has announced.

Tourism Update reports that the decision was made at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Friday and lifted with immediate effect.

According to the Lusaka Times, the decision comes after the World Health Organisation confirmed that Zambia had low yellow fever exposure status.

The decision is expected to boost travel to the region somewhat.

For more information on travel to Africa please call: 0044 (0)1227 753181

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Agriculture Vs Tourism As Backbone of Zanzibar's Economic Growth

Zanzibar — LIKE in many countries across the world, agriculture has been backbone of Zanzibar's economy for many years. Although it is small scale farming, agriculture has been basic occupation for majority people with over 70 per cent of population relying on agriculture and fishing for its livelihood.

The main farm production has been cloves, spices and fruits. Farmers take care of entire process of agriculture like sowing seeds, weeding, harvesting crops, and watering, while government helps to provide inputs including required knowledge, tilling of the land by tractors, provision of seedlings, fertilisers, and better prices after harvest.

Under the motto 'Mapinduzi ya Kilimo (revolution in farming)' introduced after the formation of Dr Ali Mohamed Shein's Government of National Unity (GNU) it has been taking several steps to improve agriculture, including providing education to farmers on how to increase productivity.
However, despite government promoting farming, some people particularly the youths are not giving agriculture due treatment. People fail to understand the importance of this sector because of slow economic achievement.

Very few youths select this field as career or occupation. But Tourism is another main industry in Zanzibar. Having realised the importance of tourism to the economy, the Islands' Government has been working hard to further promote tourism to attract tourists from around the world.
The government has designated tourism as a priority sector of the economy; contributing twenty seven per cent to the Gross Domestic Product and providing directly 20,000-40,000 jobs.

It is estimated that indirect employment is between 60,000 and 100,000 people in the industry, they include food suppliers (and fish mongers), traders selling tourists items, and taxi drivers.
Since tourism accounts for 80 per cent of the foreign currency, many leaders and members of the business community describe the sector as the backbone of the future economic growth and development of the islands.

The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI) recently had a colourful annual dinner held at the Zanzibar Beach Resort, where the ZATI chairperson said; "Tourism is now the leading industry. It is the backbone of the economy.

So, it really is a time for tourism for all... " ZATI chairperson Mr Abdulsamad Ahmed Said informed the gathering that tourism requires knowledge and awareness -- that would in turn bring positive change.

He said: "I believe that Zanzibar can strive to be the destination that we want it to be." The event was officiated by German Ambassador, H.E. Egon Kochanke as guest of honour.
He said Zanzibar has a bright future should the tourism industry be well managed with workable planning. Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture, and Sports Mr Said Ali Mbarouk, Urban West Regional Commissioner Mr Abdalla Mwinyi Khamis, Commissioner of Police- Zanzibar Mr Hamdani Omar, ZATI Executive Board, and ZATI members were also at the function.
ZATI director & advocacy officer, Ms Pamela Matthews, and administration assistant Ms Farida Nassor were also at the function where Mr Said mentioned several key areas aimed at improving tourism in the country.

The areas include: dealing with issues surrounding liquor licences, the Policing, safety & security placed high on our agenda by working closely with consultants, Ministers, Police in order to work towards improvements of security in the islands.

"Following up on concerns over security at the airport; Taxation and in particular the ongoing issue of the VAT Amendment; Waste management issues and monopolies and issues with regional administration; and the Zanzibar Commission of Tourism (ZCT) Regulations review," the ZATI chairperson said.

He also mentioned other subjects being dealt with by his office to build tourism as Lobbying Government at Parliamentary sessions for changes; working closely with the Ministry of Health on Ebola & sharing of information; and Conservation, by taking part in the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project designed to improve the management of fisheries and promote sustainable practices.
Mr Abdulsamad Ahmed Said, emphasized on having a good investment environment, and that success of his private sector organisation (ZATI) is very much dependent on the relationships with the Public Sector, to support the growing industry to thrive and achieve its potential for the people and the economy of Zanzibar.

He said, "So let's work together to face and resolve the challenges that we are all facing. We are stronger together. More effective together, we must encourage more and more public private partnerships as this is what will enable us to make the changes that we all wish for."
According to the Zanzibar minister responsible for tourism development, Mr Mbarouk, Zanzibar needs to improve its attraction sights like culture, beaches, diving, forests, security, and the historical sights. He said that visitor arrivals have been increasing to Destination Zanzibar, with annual average visits of 150,000 in the past recent years.

The minister said that the increase represents visitors from across Europe and US. The minister emphasized on workable advertisements, organized tours, peace and having no worry of insecurity, and involving everybody in the campaign to promote tourism.

For more information on travel to Zanzibar and or a Safari Holiday please follow the links or call: 01227 753181

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tanzania Offers to Lease Islands

The government is finalizing the evaluation of two bidders selected to invest on the Indian Ocean islands close to Dar es Salaam city. The selected companies are Landmark Hotels and Prime Time Promotions.

The move by the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves (DMR) to lease the islands is to boost tourism. The islands have for many years remained deserted.

DMR manages a group of marine wildlife reserves in Tanzania, situated off the coast of Tanzania. The reserve system consists of nine uninhabited islands of Bongoyo, Mbudya, Pangavini and Fungu Yasini.

Others are Makatumbe, Sinda and Kendwa Island. But to start with investors would take over Mbudya, Bongoyo and Sinda islands.

DMR provides protection for several important tropical ecosystems; coral reefs, mangroves and sea-grass beds.

According to DMR's Head of Tourism Services Dept, Idelfonce Masekesa an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been conducted and upon completion it would be sent to the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC).

Apart from those islands, DMR has also identified six areas for investments along Mtwara region coastline, Southern Tanzania.  Meanwhile the government is revising the law to include fresh water islands.

"We are in a process to review the Act that established DMR, instead of relying on Indian Ocean islands, we are now planning to include fresh water islands on Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa," he said.

Islands in both the Indian Ocean and the lakes have been idle in tourism for many years.
Previous government decisions may also been contributed to the delay in investments, because in early 1960s the Kawawa Commission recommended among other things to restrict investors from islands for security concerns.

Mbudya Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, north of the country's capital city, Dar es Salaam.
The island lies close to the beach resort and fishing community of Kunduchi and is reachable by means of a 20-minute motorboat ride crossing from the mainland.

It is therefore a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike, serving as a location for a variety of leisure activities, including snorkelling, sunbathing and hiking.

Bongoyo Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, situated 2.5km north of Dar es Salaam.

It is the most frequently visited island of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMR) and a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike for snorkelling and sunbathing.

Source: eTN

Fore more information on travel to Tanzania or Safari Holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753181