Wilderness Safaris to open new luxury camp in Zimbabwe

Wilderness Safaris will expand its portfolio in Zimbabwe with a new camp thanks to the country’s resurgent tourism sector.

The new Linkwasha Camp in the wilderlife rich area of Hwange will bring to three the number of properties Wilderness Safaris runs in the area, others being Little Makalolo and Davison’s Camp near Hwange.


The Botswana and Johannesburg listed safari group also runs the Ruckomechi Camp and Toka Leya Camp at the Mana Pools, a popular tourist destination.

According to Zimbabwe’s Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walater Mzembi, the company’s expansion in Zimbabwe is an expression of confidence in the country as a safe tourist destination.

Zimbabwe’s international profile was boosted after the successful hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization with Zambia in August last year. The country was also named the world’s best tourism destination for 2014 and declared it a favourite cultural destination of the year thus boosting its profile.

The safari business in Zimbabwe is expected to generate nearly $60millionm in revenue this year, an increase from $45 million last year according to safari tour operators.

Wilderness Safari also has a strong presence in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Democratic Republic of Congo.


Book your accommodation in Zimbabwe on SleepOut.com.

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Livin’ it up at The Bulawayo Club, Zimbabwe

From its architectural design, stunning colonial interiors and fascinating history, the recently converted “gentleman’s club” come boutique bed & breakfast, the Bulawayo Club is a model of colonial charm and esthetic.


The room’s baronial design, antique furniture and wall hangings, and the general ambience speak volumes to a by-gone era. The old clubhouse was built in 1895 and was rebuilt and refurbished in 1934 complete with an elevator.

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Located in Bulawayo’s Central Business District in Zimbabwe, The Bulawayo Club is an excellent stop for business travellers, as the accommodation holds within it lovely comfy rooms, well-appointed dining facilities, conferencing facilities, an enormous snooker room, a historic library and a proper well-stocked bar.


The Bulawayo Club has premium rooms with double beds ideal for travellers visiting on business or pleasure. To ensure maximum comfort, the rooms have fans, Wi-Fi internect connection and a collection of books to keep you occupied. You can also enjoy an uniterrrupted view of the city from the comfort of your balcony as you enjoy your evening tea or coffee which is readily available in your room. The building has also been designed to make the rooms and facilities accessible for guests with disabilities and the elderly.


Book your accommodation at The Bulawayo Club on SleepOut.com.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

wildebeest migration

Lodges in Maasai Mara record over 80 per cent bed occupancy ahead of Wildebeest migration

Accommodations in Maasai Mara Game Reserve have so far recorded 80 per cent confirmed bookings in July, Kenya Tourist Board Managing Director Ndegwa Muriithi has said.

According to Ndegwa, the travel advisories imposed on Kenya by some foreign governments have not affected tourist arrivals ahead of the great wildebeest migration, the seventh wonder of the world, wghich runs from July to October at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

[photo/Murray Macdonald]

[photo/Murray Macdonald]

The period will see wildebeest migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, but not before encountering fierce battle for survival from from hungry crocodiles inhabiting the Mara River – this marking the highlight of the entire migration.

Heritage Hotels Chief Executive Mohammed Hersi said their facilities, Mara Intrepid and Mara Explorer camp will not be affected much by the advisories noting that they are already operating at 70 per cent occupancy rate, with possibility of surpassing 80 per cent by August 2014.

Entumoto Safari Camp

Entumoto Safari Camp

Kenyan tourism market received a major boost this month when British Billionaire Richard Branson expressed his support for the industry slamming foreign governments for issuing travel advisories.

Book your accommodation in Maasai Mara on SleepOut.com and be part of this spectacular event.


A Guide to the Festivals of Zimbabwe

Every year Zim hosts an impressive line-up of events any serious festival-goer must include on their bucket list. Here are some of the essentials if you’re planning on visiting this gem of a country for HIFA, Shoko Festival or Miombo Magic.


Harare International Festival of the Arts

HIFA Performers [photo/eivindseljeseth.com]

HIFA Performers [photo/eivindseljeseth.com]

Next event: 29 April – 4 May 2014

What’s it all about?

HIFA is a 6-day annual festival and workshop programme that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival programme of theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts.

Outdoor music performers at HIFA

Outdoor music performers at HIFA

The Numbers

The HIFA festival has been around for 15 years and is sponsored primarily by donors, corporates, embassies and ticket sales. Over 1,110 artists attend with 204 performances (126 acts) at the April/May 2013 event. 61,601 tickets were sold and 27 countries were represented. An estimated 1,200 jobs were created at 16 venues throughout Harare. The total show time including free shows and workshops in 2013 amounted to 224hrs and 50 minutes. The total ticket cost if you were to attend every show was $1,524.

The event features free public workshops and supports health, sanitation and environmental projects. Finally, 175 students and 65 street youth were trained and employed in 2031.

Read more on the festival website.


Shoko Festival

Magamba banner at the Shoko festival. [photo/Lena Jackson]

Magamba banner at the Shoko Festival. [photo/Lena Jackson]

Next event: 17 – 22 of September, 2013

What’s it all about?

Shoko is a living experiment in urban culture, free expression and positive social change. Shoko is about breaking down the barriers between media, culture and activism to create dialogue, progress and cutting edge new urban culture.

The Numbers

The Shoko Festival has been around for 3 years and is sponsored primarily by donors, corporates, embassies and ticket sales. Over 250 artists attend with 52 performances at the September 2013 event. 6,000 tickets were sold and 9 countries were represented. An estimated 350 jobs were created at 6 venues throughout Harare. The total show time including free shows and workshops in 2013 was 50hrs. The total ticket cost if you were to attend every show was $40.

The event features free public workshops and discussions, a Free Peace in The Hood concert in Glen Norah and engagement with festival exchanges in South Africa and Senegal.

Read more on the festival website.


Miombo Magic


Last event: 17 – 18 May 2014

What’s it all about?

Miombo Magic is a small festival with a big heart. Established to support the Christon Bank Primary School, the festival takes place over two days around a single very scenic outdoor stage. Visitors, including whole families, camp in the surrounding miombo woodland.

The Numbers

Miombo Magic has been running for 3 years and is funded primarily by ticket sales. Over 124 artists attend with 23 performances at the May 2014 event. 500 tickets were sold and 5 countries were represented. An estimated 60 jobs were created at 1 venue in Harare. The total show time including free shows and workshops was 20hrs and 30 minutes. The total ticket cost if you were to attend every show $50 (including 1 night camping).

The event features 6 zebras in attendance and raises funds for the Christon Bank Primary School.

Book your accommodation in Harare on SleepOut.com.


Kenya’s Wilson Airport set for Ksh 700M terminal expansion

The plan by local airlines to put up a Ksh688 million terminal at the Wilson Airport is set to boost tourism to tourist destinations far from Nairobi.

The new terminal, to be build in a Public Private Partnership (PP) model is expected to give the airport a major upgrade that will improve operation of local airlines to various towns both in and out of Kenya.

wilson airport

Departure section at Wilson Airport. [photo/panoramio.com]

The project will also increase activities at the airport and bring on board operations from regional airlines due to Wilson’s minimal traffic and fast check-in process. Currently, the airport is operating at its minimal due to lack of better facilities having been set up during the colonial years.

Air operators have drafted a proposal where they intend to partner with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) which manages all local airports to put up the new terminal at Wilson Airport, estimated to cost $6 million to $8 million. The airlines plan to raise half of the money internally with the rest being raised through debt. The project will be run under newly formed Wilson Airport Terminal Company (WATCO) that will be responsible for mobilising resources.


Wilson Airport. [photo/skylinkflights.com]

“If we have a new terminal in place, it will increase flights to the region and enable airlines take advantage of the county system of governance. It will also ease pressure on JKIA by bringing some of the regional flights to Wilson,” said the Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO) Chief Executive Col (Rtd) Eutychus Waithaka.

Currently a number of airlines operate through Wilson Airport including AirKenya, Safarilink and Fly SAX flying to domestic and international destinations among them Amboseli, Samburu, Nanyuki, Naivasha, Nakuru, Lamu, Malindi, Diani and Kilimanjaro. SleepOut.com has accommodations in all the above destinations.

Book your accommodation anywhere in Kenya on SleepOut.com.

[photo/Peter Bennett]

2015 edition of Zanzibar International Film Festival set for July 18-26

The 2015 edition of Zanzibar Film Fetsival will be held from July 18-26, Festival Director Martin Mhando has announced.

The event follows a hugely successful 2014 edition which brought together nearly 40 filmmakers from over 12 countries in a 9-day event.

[photo/Peter Bennett]

[photo/Peter Bennett]

The 2015 theme is a call to deeper introspection, to collaboration with those with whom we hear the call and to that enchanted time and space.

In the months building up to ZIFF 2015 there will be announcements on film submission and selection, travel packages and other updates. To submit your film for 2015, please visit www.ziff.or.tz where details on the call to entry will be made in the next few weeks.

[photo/Peter Bennett]

[photo/Peter Bennett]

The event is sponsored by Zuku in a deal that is set to run until 2021. Visit www.ziff.or.tz for more information.

Book your accommodation in Zanzibar on SleepOut.com.

 About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

Why a stay at Collingham Gardens, Karen is a Must Do

Collingham Gardens is a boutique hotel nestled in the suburban neighbourhood of Karen in the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

The hotel offers exclusivity, serenity and safety – be it for a leisurely afternoon at lunch, or a long stay with the aim of getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Beside the glimpses of the beauty and flashes of opulence highlighted in Kenyan musician’s Prezzo’s latest video “My Gal” featuring Vera Sidika, there is more that Collingham has to offer (although the lush surroundings and opulence make it perfect for just that!)

It is this curiosity that prompted Rachel Muthoni and I to pack our bags and braved the winding Karen roads with 24 hours worth of pampering in mind. After getting lost five or six times, we finally pulled up to the rather unassuming gate – not quite sure what to expect.


Definitely not structures that looked more like houses than a hotel! Warm, welcoming, it felt like we had stumbled into an exclusive residential gated estate. Check in was quick and easy – we received a welcome drink once we had checked into our room, and invited to explore the grounds.

Lavishly designed, each room had its own personality. The style was similar, but the colours (royal purples and creams, deep greens and blues) made us feel like kids in a candy shop.


The grounds at Collingham Gardens are immaculately manicured – cranes and bunnies adding to the carefree feel that its owners were clearly striving for. And that’s the essential aspect of it: we never quite felt that we were staying at a hotel – the staff was a small group, and the service felt extremely personal. We were on a first name basis with a couple of them, after just a few hours.

Accommodation rates at Collingham are varied, depending with the room-type. Either way, you will genuinely feel you’ve got your money’s worth. It is a haunt for the elite, but regular families come through on Sundays to eat at their restaurant, or get their fill of the swimming pool.

The first class guest service, pristine gardens, turquoise pool and idyllic scenery make Collingham just the place to visit whenever you wish to get “out of the world” for a while.

Adapted from Della Mbaya

Book your accommodation at Collingham Gardens on SleepOut.com.

Unbelievable two-month offer at Turtle Bay Beach Club

Turtle Bay has announced a special offer that runs throughout the months of July and August 2014.

The offer will see 2 children between 0-9 years get free accommodation while those between 10-15 years will pay Ksh3,800. Adults will pay Ksh7,000 per person sharing per night for an all inclusive accommodation.


The offer, which runs till August 31st 2014 is inclusive of accommodation and meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks from 12- 6pm, 4pm pan cakes, 11pm midnights snacks) buffet style. It also includes Pizza garden (pizzas, pasta for lunch or dinner time), all drinks (domestic alcoholics or no alcoholic drinks up to 12:30 midnight).

Turtle Bay also has a supervised kids club (4-12 years) that will keep your children occupied as you enjoy your holiday. Spend your time snorkeling in the National Marine Park situated in front of the hotel or other watersport activities.

Book your accommodation at Turtle Bay Beach Club  on SleepOut.com.


Kenya’s Ngong Hills voted most romantic site in the world

Ngong Hills in Nairobi, Kenya is the most romantic movie site in the world according to an international travel site Travelzoo.

Ngong Hills from Oloika Cottage

View of Ngong Hills from Oloika Cottage

To make the spot, Ngong Hills saw off competition from Paris, New York, Rome and Ireland among other countries that have in the past taken up the position. It will be remembered that Ngong Hills was featured in the movie Out of Africa that was based on Karen Blixen’s book by the same title. The movie went ahead to win 28 film awards including several Oscar Awards.

View of Ngong Hills from Ol Talet Cottage

View of Ngong Hills from Ol Talet Cottage

SleepOut has several accommodations in and around Ngong Hills including Ol Talet Cottage, Oloika Cottage, Oloolua Resort, Shimei House and PEC Guest House.

Click here to book your accommodation in Ngong Hills on SleepOut.com.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

Heathrow Airport VIP Lounge, London. [photo/jetairways.com]

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to have special terminal for the super-rich

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will have a special terminal with lounges for the super-rich if plans by the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) go through.

In an official communication, KAA has invited interests from private investors who would like to set up and operate the new terminal which is aimed at positioning JKIA as the premier aviation and commercial hub in the region. Interested investor should however have experience in running similar facilities around the world and handling diplomatic protocol to bid for the project.

Qatar Airways' Premier Lounge at Heathrow Airport. [photo/arabianindustry.com]

Qatar Airways’ Premier Lounge at Heathrow Airport. [photo/arabianindustry.com]

Currently Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has a VIP and Presidential Lounges that can only handle a limited capacity and the new development will go a long way in helping the airport expand its capacity to accommodate government dignitaries and affluent visitors most of whom will be jetting in on private jets.

Visitors using the terminal will have access to private lounges to relax or hold meeting and be served with their food of choice as their immigration documents are processed.

Al Dhabi Lounge at AbuDhabi International Airport. [photo/mid-east.info]

Al Dhabi Lounge at AbuDhabi International Airport. [photo/mid-east.info]

The airport is also looking for investors to set up an industrial park, a shopping mall, a hotel and a medical facility at the airport with close to 2.25 hectare set aside for this project. The mall is set to house restaurants, business centre and departmental stores for beauty products, healthcare goods, electronics and laboratory equipment.

So far the construction of Terminal 1 at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is being finalised and will have a capacity of 2.5 million passengers annually once it begins operation by the end of the year. The airport is also developing Terminal 3, dubbed the Greenfield project that will handle up to 20 million passengers annually once complete.

Model of  JKIA's Greenfield terminal. [photo/archidatum.com]

Model of JKIA’s Greenfield terminal. [photo/archidatum.com]

The new terminal project will ape similar investments in Abu Dhabi where visitors are charged at least Sh48,000 for arrival and departure and Sh84,000 for transit at its VIP terminal. London Heathrow Airport, which also has a private terminal, charges at least Sh224,950 for VIP services covering one to six travellers.

Book your accommodation in Nairobi, Kenya on SleepOut.com.

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