[featurephoto/iisd.ca]

UK relaxes travel advice for Nairobi, Kenya

The UK has relaxed its travel advice for Kenya’s capital Nairobi bringing the city in line with other cities in the world.

Kenya's capital Nairobi. [photo/muthaigatravel.com]

Kenya’s capital Nairobi. [photo/muthaigatravel.com]

The reversal of the advice, which has been in place since 2007 following post-election violence, is set t0 further open up Kenya and particularly its capital Nairobi to increased tourist arrival not only from the UK but also other countries in the European Union and the United States.

karibUNi

UN offices in Nairobi

Nairobi is known to be an economic hub not only for Kenya but also its East African counterparts (Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan). The city hosts several multi-national companies and organisations including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) headquarters and the main coordinating and headquarters for the UN in Africa and the Middles East, the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).

The city is also known for its world class conferencing facilities including Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) and several world-renowned hotels.

Book your stay in Nairobi 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.

 

Kenya Airways introduces policy to increase free buggage allowance

National carrier Kenya Airways is set to introduce a new policy that will increase free baggage allowance in all classes.

KQ

According to Kenya Airways Commercial Director Gerard Clarke, the policy, set to come into effect from October 1, 2014 is aimed at addressing the changing needs of travellers and will allow up to 64kg of free check-in baggage in Premier World and 46Kg in Economy cabin. The new policy will also allow travellers to bring more weight on board as hand luggage with the current allowance of 10kgs being revised upwards to 12kgs in all classes.

Kenya-Airways

Kenya Airways becomes the first carrier in Africa to fully adopt Piece Concept Baggage Policy, moving away from the Weight Concept policy. The airline, which was named Africa’s Leading Airline in the Business Class category at the World Travel Awards 2014, has been putting in place new measures including mobile check-in service in a bid to increase efficiency and reduce cost of service delivery.

KQ has also purchased boeing dreamliners to explore new markets, improve its economic performance and provide passengers with revolutionary comfort in addition to launching low-cost Jambojet flights from Nairobi to Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret to increase air travel in Kenya.

 

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.

Wyndham Hotel Group to open high-end resort at Amboseli National Park

Wyndham Hotel Group has announced plans to set up its first high-end property in Africa at the Amboseli National Park.

The hotel group which boosts approximately 7,540 outlets worldwide is set to build the resort on a 400-acre land near Amboseli National Park in Kenya as it seeks to tap into the growing travel industry in Kenya.

Wyndham Istanbul Petek Hotel

Wyndham Istanbul Petek Hotel

Wyndham Amboseli Golf Resort and Spa, set to be open in 2017, will hold a new class of luxury accommodation, world-class golf and spa and 300-delegate capacity international conference centre. It will also have serviced plots for the development of private cottage.

According to the firm’s regional vice president for Middle East and Africa Mr Bani Haddad, the plan has been informed by the increasing demand for internationally renowned brands in Kenya’s hospitality industry.

“As Kenya’s economy continues to grow, demand continues to increase for internationally renowned world-class brands in virtually all segments, from budget through to upscale and extended stay,” he said.

Early this year, the Group announced plans to open Ramada Hotel in Nairobi to cater for business travellers in Kenya’s capital Nairobi as the new Wyndham Amboseli Golf Resort and Spa host leisure and business travellers.

 

Book your accommodation in Amboseli on SleepOut.com.

'Facebook Update' by Marsel van Oosten. [featurephoto/news.distractify.com]

Amazing photos from finalists of the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, presented by London’s Natural History Museum and BBC, has announced its 50 finalists from over 41,000 entries from which the winner will be announced in an event set for October 14th 2014.

SleepOut takes a look at some of the most amazing photos from some of the finalists taken over the last year.

[Photos/news.distractify.com]

 

‘Apex Predator’ by Justin Black

pic1

 

‘Stretching’ by Stephan Tuengler

pic13

 

 

 

‘Bad hair Day’ by Gordon Illg

pic5

 

‘Caiman Night’ by Luciano Candisani

pic6

 

‘Dantes Inferno’ by Karen Lunney

pic7

 

‘Heavy Rain’ by Pierluigi Rizzato

Pic8

 

‘Innocent Betrayal’ by Hilary O’Learypic910

 

‘Old Cloths’ by Claudio Contreras Koob

pic11

 

‘Yellow-necked Mouse’ by Carsten Braun

pic12

 

‘Caiman Night’ by Luciano Candisani

pic6

 

‘Flirting Bearded Seal’ by Audun Rikardsen

pic2

 

 

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.

SleepOut in a Tree House at Ivory Lodge, Zimbabwe

Nestled in a lush private concession just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Ivory Lodge boosts meticulously constructed tree houses, rustic and aesthetic, to quench the thirst of any exploratory traveller.

Tree Hse2

The lodge is located off the Bulawayo/Victoria Falls main road, an hour and a half from Victoria Falls Airport and consists of 9 grass-thatched tree houses all commanding uninterrupted view of the private waterhole. The rooms have mosquito nets and electric blankets for the winter months and are fairly open for wild but safe safari experience.

Tree Hse

The main guest area has a library, Wi-Fi connection and a dining area all overlooking the waterhole, a private section for game viewing and swimming pool.

There are several activities that you can engage in while at Ivory Lodge including morning and afternoon game drives on the private concession or in the park, walking safaris, visits to the Painted Dog Conservancy and the Mother Africa Trust Projects.

Tree Hse3

Ivory Lodge is also home to the Presidential Elephant Herd made famous by Allan Elliot in the 80’s where you can spend your afternoons.

Book your accommodation at Ivory Lodge on SleepOut.com.

Transcorp Calabar

Transcorp to invest IPO proceeds into new luxury hotels in Port Harcourt and Lagos, Nigeria

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) plans to invest the proceeds of $48 million Initial Public Offer (IPO) to set up two more luxury hotels in Nigeria.

Transcorp-Hilton

The company which owns two hotels in Nigeria, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and Transcorp Hotels, Calabar has already unveiled plans to set up a 300-room hotel in Lagos and a 250-room property in the oil-hub city of Port Harcourt as it seeks to expand its market reach in populous nation.

According to the company CEO Valentine Ozigbo the expansion project set to be rolled out within the next three years will increase the company’s income from 4.4 billion naira last year to 7 billion naira in 2017.

“The next three to four years would see our new hotels become operational and boost profit significantly. International arrivals into Nigeria have risen in the past few years due to increasing economic activity in the country and we seek to tap into that growth,” he said.

Transcorp Hotels will sell 800 million shares at 10 naira each to finance the development of the luxury hotels a project that is set to cost $500 million and will be funded by a combination of debt and equity according to Ozigbo.

Book your accommodation in Nigeria on SleepOut.com.

[featurephoto/topbestview.com]

12 of the world’s sexiest accents

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what someone says but how they say it and with close to 7,000 languages in the world it makes sense that we have 7,000 different accents some which are sexy while others not so much.

SleepOut highlights below 12 of the world’s sexiest accents according to CNN.

 

Nigerian

Famous tongues: King Sunny Ade, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. [photo/topcelebritiesphoto.com]

The Nigerian accent has been aped as far as holiday, forget the fact that it’s deeply stuck miles away somewhere in African. The deep, rich “oh’s” and “eh’s” and words like “oga” and “broda” bend the English language without breaking it, arousing tremors in places other languages can’t reach.

Sounds like: The THX intro with teeth

 

Brazilian Portuguese

Famous tongues: Alice Braga, Anderson Silva

Due to its freedom from French influence, the Brazilian Portuguese accent has a more colourful, puerile flair than its coarser European counterpart. The resulting yowl of drawn-out vowels reveals a flirty freedom of spirit that suggests a permanent vacation

Sounds like: The near, then far, then near again hum of a low-wattage vacuum cleaner that runs on dance sweat

 

Thai

Famous tongues: Tony Jaa, Araya ‘Chompoo’ Hargate

Tony Jaa. [photo/kacrek.com]

Tony Jaa. [photo/kacrek.com]

With five tones comprising their native speech, Thai accent can any language into a song of seduction. It is largely monosyllabic, so multi-beat foreign words get extra emphases right up until the last letter, which is often left off leaving the listener wanting more.

Sounds like: R-rated karaoke

 

Argentine

Famous tongues: Fernando Lamas, Gabriela Sabatini

As a historical refuge for Spaniards, Italians and Germans; Argentina has cultivated a proud, pouty tone. With its own pronunciation of Spanish letters (“ll” sounds like “shh”) and its own words (“you” is “vos”), this is a dialect that’s hard to get. (Or at least plays that way.)

Sounds like: A tightly tuned guitar of G-strings strummed by a lamb shank

 

Scottish

Famous tongues: Ewan McGregor, Rose Leslie

Scottish accent has gentle, knee-melting tones that conjure cosy firesides and beguiling knitwear before their sudden swing to reproach leaving us whimpering for more. The accent produces melodic voices capable of ranging a full octave in a single “aye” tumble like soft rain on warm bagpipes.

Sounds like: A stroked tartan cat

 

Italian

Famous tongues: Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Del Piero

Del Piero. [photo/footballtop.com]

Del Piero. [photo/footballtop.com]

The Italian accent is a raw, unfiltered, vowelgasm that reflects the spectrum of Italic experience with the romance of the Renaissance. Insatiable, predatory and possessive, this is sex as a second language.

Sounds like: A Ferrari saxophone

 

Czech

Famous tongues: Petra Nemcova, Jaromir Jagr

Czech is a smoky, full-bodied vocal style that goes with most meats, just like Russian though without the nettlesome history of brutal, iron-fisted despotism. Murky and mysterious, the Bohemian tone is equal parts carnal desire and carnival roustabout.

Sounds like: Count Dracula, secret agent

 

Irish

Famous tongues: Colin Farrell, Andrea Corr

The Irish accent is fluid and uplifting and can swing from vulnerable to threatening over the course of a sentence, restoring your faith in the world again right before it stabs you with a broken bottle top. The accent is valued slightly more in men than in women, the Irish brogue is a lilting, lyrical articulation that’s charming, if not exotic.

Sounds like: A marauding pixie

 

Trinidadian

Famous tongues: Nicki Minaj, Billy Ocean

Nicki Minaj. [photo/spin.com]

Nicki Minaj. [photo/spin.com]

The Caribbean island of Trinidad offers an undulating, melodic gumbo of pan-African, French, Spanish, Creole and Hindi dialects that, when adapted for English, can be sex on a pogo stick.

Sounds like: A rubber life raft bobbing on a sea of steel drums

 

Spanish

Famous tongues: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz

The Spanish accent is sensual and beckoning but with the passion to unleash hell kept just barely restrained. Tender, vulnerable and cute as a baby’s hangnail no one owns the “th” sound formed by tongue and teeth like those who speak the language of Cervantes.

Sounds Like: An outboard motor on Lake Paella

 

French

Famous tongues: Marion Cotillard, Jean Reno

The French accent is one that would grab all your attention as you want to listen and listen. The come-hither condescension and fiery disinterest of the French tongue remains paradoxically erotic.

Sounds like: A 30-year-old teenager

 

Queen’s English

Famous tongues: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley. [photo/fashionavecpassion.com]

Keira Knightley. [photo/fashionavecpassion.com]

There are very few accents that promise the upward nobility of the Queen’s English. It’s a take on the language that sets hearts devoted to James Bond and Hermione Granger aflutter. Should the speaker fail to slake your most wanton desires, at least you’ll learn something.

Sounds like: A crisply ironed shirt playing a harp.

 

 

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.

room

Report shows surge in hotel development in Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos has seen a surge in hotel development according to the latest report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report shows that Lagos, which is Nigeria’s economic hub, is one of Africa’s most popular markets in terms of hotel development with more than 4,000 rooms and further prospect of more between 2014 and 2017.

InterContinental Hotel, Lagos

InterContinental Hotel, Lagos

Demand for rooms is also said to have increased with stay unit nights increasing by 6.3% in 2013 growing faster than room availability over the past three years. Majority of these markets are corporate travel, meetings & conferences, domestic tourism, cultural festivals and carnivals.

The city has also experienced minimal increase in room rate for last two years owing to the increase in rooms with the opening of Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Best Western, InterContinental Hotel, Ibis Ikeja and small scale properties in Lekki and Ikeja between 2011 and 2014.

Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points by Sheraton

According to data from STR Global, Lagos RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) reduced by 15% to $161.96 in April 2014 and 20.9% to $150.74 in May 2014 owing to the high level of competition.

“The boom will bring more four and five star hotels to Africa hence prices will become more competitive and this will make some expensive cities more affordable,” said Markus Lueck, general manager for the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra, Ghana.

Ibis Hotel, Lagos Airport

Ibis Hotel, Lagos Airport

Data from A.T. Kearney, a US based consultancy shows there would be an undersupply by 1,043 rooms in Lagos, Nigeria second only to Nairobi, Kenya with 1,381 rooms by 2018 though the hotel room revenue is expected to expand at a 22.6% compound annual rate to $1.1 billion in 2018 from $413 million in 2013.

Book your accommodation in Lagos, Nigeria on SleepOut.com.

Stay for 3 nights, pay for 2 at Entumoto Safari Camp, Maasai Mara

Entumoto Safari Camp has announced a special offer that will allow guests to stay for 3 nights for the price of 2, applicable for both fullboard and all inclusive guests.

entumoto

The offer which runs from September 1st to December 15th 2014 excludes conservation fee and park entry fee, which is payable for all the nights.

Entumoto is an elegant camp nestled in the Entumoto Valley overlooking the expansive grassland Savannah. The camp is neatly furnished with beautiful furniture, and has hospitable staff to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Entum

The camp is strategically positioned, bordering Maasai Mara National Reserve within the expansive wild to ensure maximum privacy and offer a clear view of wild animals roaming freely in the grassland.

Book your accommodation at Entumoto Safari Camp on SleepOut.com and enjoy this special offer.

 

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.

The Bongo Family posing in their 100 million EUR mansion.

Cribs: 4 African dictators and their lavish lifestyles

Watching MTV cribs makes you forget about the important things in life and sit back and marvel at some of the world’s most unique architectural masterpieces – or perhaps some might say – gaudiest homes ever built.

Likewise, a handful of notorious African leaders have set aside important social and economic issues in their countries to show the world how to live it up. This elite group of African leaders join the world’s richest personalities while owning some of the world’s most expensive mansions, driving the flashiest custom cars and partying like it was 1999 every single day of the year. SleepOut.com takes a look at the Top 4 African dictators’ cribs.

 

Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s longstanding number one guy earns a humble $57,000 a year yet he recently completed work on a brand-spanking new $26 million, 25 bath estate in the wealthy suburb of Borrowdale Brooke in Harare, the country’s capital.

hi-mugabe-852

Robert Mugabe sporting classic dictator facial hair

Millions more were spent decorating the palace including hiring a team of Moroccan artists who worked for a year to design the ceilings. The stylish home comes with the latest in home-security technology with a set of anti-aircraft missiles donated by China.

Rare photos of Mugabe's Harare mansion

Rare photos of Mugabe’s Harare mansion

The mansion is the third built by the Zimbabwean president and the fifth he has owned since becoming president. In the late 1990s his wife Grace caused uproar when she used government funds meant to build low-cost housing for the poor to build herself a 30-room estate, “Graceland” which was later bought by slain Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The Mugabes are also known to have spent nearly $6 million on a home in Hong Kong according to reports that emerged in 2009.

 

Ben Ali – Tunisia

Tunisiam dictator, Ben Ali [photo/portalestoria.net]

Tunisiam dictator, Ben Ali [photo/portalestoria.net]

Ben Ali’s very own private club med had among other luxuries an infinity pool and terrace of 50 metres and priceless authentic Roman artefacts. The mansion also boasts a lion’s head from which water pours into the pool and a pet tiger which he kept in a cage in his compound where it consumed four chickens a day.

Ben Ali's summer home post-looting [dphotographer.co.uk]

Ben Ali’s summer home post-looting [dphotographer.co.uk]

Unsurprisingly, some of the factors that led to the street protests and riots in Tunisia during President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s regime in January 2011 included wide spread unemployment, rising food prices, restrictions on civil liberties and corruption by Ben Ali and his extended family.

Ben Ali's mansion which was set ablaze during the uprising in 2011

Ben Ali’s mansion which was set ablaze during the uprising in 2011

Ben Ali’s opulence was exposed by Wiki Leaks with one describing the flashy dinner at the home of his son-in-law, Mohamed Sakhr el-Materi.

Below you will find a video of Ali’s ferrari being forklifted back to the people of Tunisia during the uprising in 2011.

 

The Bongo Family – Gabon

Ali Ben Bongo’s father and predecessor Omar Bongo did set the bar high during his time as President of Gabon by acquiring at least 45 homes in France including a $27 million villa, $1.5 million Buggati sports car and a dozen other cars over the course of his four decades at the helm.

The Bongo Family posing in their 100 million EUR mansion.

The Bongo Family posing in their $120 million mansion.

This tradition of expensive taste and French estates did not end with son Ali Bongo who after taking power in disputed 2009 elections set aside $120 million for an 18th century mansion in the centre of Paris. The home is just around the corner from the Musée d’Orsay in one of the city’s toniest neighbourhoods. The mansion is said to have a modest 4,500 square meters of living space surrounded by 3,700 square meters of land.

Ali Bongo spotted at St Tropez' ultra-exclusive Club 55.

Ali Bongo spotted at St Tropez’ ultra-exclusive Club 55.

Ali’s Californian wife, Inge has appeared on the VH1 reality show Really Rich Real Estate on which she was filmed putting down a $25 million bid for a mansion in Malibu. She also rented a $25,000 a month home from rap mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs but later sued him for landlord neglect.

 

The Obiang Family – Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea has been described as a “parody of an oil kleptocracy” and that reputation is unsullied by the ruling family’s uncompromisingly jet-set lifestyle.

ee

Equatorial Guinea President’s son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue [photo/9jaflave.blogspot.ca]

[photo/mycontinent.co]

Teodoro’s Michael Jackson glove worth $1.8M. [photo/mycontinent.co]

In addition to the presidential palace in the capital city of Malabo, President Teodoro Obiang has a summer palace in Cape Town, South Africa bought for $2.6 million in cash in 1999. The mansion has 10 bathrooms, seven fireplaces and an indoor pool as well as two mansions in Potomac, Maryland bought for $1.15 million in 2000. Teodoro also has six private planes one of which features a king-size bed and a bathroom with gold-plated taps.

Teodoro Jr's mansion in Malibu

Teodoro Jr’s mansion in Malibu

Obiang’s oldest son Teodoro Jr is known to have a fleet of Bentleys and Lamborghinis, properties in Spain and the Canary Islands, a California-based hip hop label and a $35 million Malibu mansion on the same street as Mel Gibson and Britney Spears.

The son also owns a private jet for $38.5M

Teodoro’s private jet worth only $38.5M. [photo/mycontinent.co]

 

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.

Older Posts