Magical Kenya releases new promo clip showcasing Kenya’s destinations

Magical Kenya has released a new promo video aimed at marketing different parts of Kenya as tourist destinations of choice.

The 3-minute clip shows different parts of Kenya including Shela, Lamu, Samburu, Mount Kenya, Diani Beach, Laikipia, Limuru, Magadi and Nairobi.



The video highlights various fun activities to do in various parts of Kenya including watersports in Diani Beach, a glimpse of Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, tea plantation in Limuru, Golfing at the Golf and Country Club in Nairobi, athletics in Iten, boat riding in Lamu and Bamburi beach, horse riding in Laikipia, donkey riding in Lamu, and rock climbing at the Hell’s Gate in Naivasha.

The video also highlights activities to do at the Maasai Mara including game drive and balloon riding, hanging out with the rhino at Ol Pejeta Sanctuary, an opportunity to chat with the giraffes at the Giraffe centre in Nairobi, or take part in an early morning Yoga session in Lamu.

Pick where you would like to go and book your stay on

14th edition of Lamu Cultural Festival to go ahead as planned

The 2014 edition of Lamu Cultural Festival will go ahead as planned, despite concerns about its postponement.


Donkey Race at a past Lamu Cultural Festival

The event will be held from 28th to 30th November 2014 and will bring together both local and international participants as they converge to the island town to celebrate the unique Swahili heritage of the Lamu Archipelago.

The three-day event, organised by Lamu Cultural Promotion Group, is a showcase of traditional dances, displays of handicraft and competitions on water and land (donkey races, dhow races, Swahili poetry, henna painting), a Swahili bridal ceremony and musical performances

During the festival, visitors have the perfect opportunity to experience the island’s unspoiled beaches, medieval ambiance, architecturally magnificent Old Town, gracious locals and traditions from an enchanted time where history lives on.

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Indian Ocean Rim Association members pledge to work together to promote tourism

Tourism ministers from countries in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) have pledged to work together to promote tourism industry in the region.

Delegates from IORA member states. [Photo/]

Delegates from IORA member states. [Photo/]

In a two-day meeting held last week at Savoy Resort and Spa in Seychelles under the theme Tourism and Travel within the IORA, the ministers promised to work together to achieve a common tourism goal while observing the environmental rules, regulations and requirements of the member states and UN/ international organizations.

An accord termed the Seychelles Declaration was approved and adopted at the end of the first ever IORA Tourism Ministerial meeting to help in crafting a way forward for the region.

The accord declares that member states among them Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malaysia recognise that the numerous facets of tourism in the Indian Ocean Rim region should be developed and optimised in a sustainable way.

The ministers also pushed for the marketing of adventure tourism, business tourism, coastal tourism, cruise tourism, safari and wildlife tourism, medical tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, underwater tourism, youth tourism and spiritual tourism in the region.

Speaking to the media after the official opening ceremony of the meeting, Seychelles Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune said each country of the association has their own strategies and objectives for their tourism industry, but the Indian Ocean Rim Association wants to help these countries to promote tourism as one goal.

The delegates further agreed that cruise tourism strategy needs to be developed as part of the overall tourism strategies and that member states should consider the opportunity for the development of small cruise vessel tourism.


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Minister announces plans to rebrand Seychelles Festival of Sea

Seychelles Festival of the Sea famously known as Sub-Indian Ocean Seychelles (SUBIOS) has been relaunched and renamed Seychelles’ Ocean Festival.

Seychelles Tourism MinisterAlain St.Ange

Seychelles Tourism MinisterAlain St.Ange. [Photo/]

The event held every November in Seychelles will adopt its new name starting next year to signify a totally new direction that it will take according to Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange.

Speaking during the official closing ceremony of SUBIOS 2014 at Beau Vallon, Alain said that the Seychelles’ Ocean Festival will make the perfect marriage between tourism and the blue economy concept.

“Seychelles’ Ocean Festival will be the ideal marketing tool for the Seychelles to showcase not only its underwater world attractions but also encourage more facilities to make everyone enjoy a day out on the island’s blue seas,” he said.

The minister observed that SUBIOS original meaning and purpose has been lost and the time is right to make it more relevance to Seychelles’ niche marketing.

“On a marketing point of view SUBIOS is no longer relevant to Seychelles’ niche marketing. It is with this in mind that we have come up with a new formula and name to give a new direction to the event,” he added.

St.Ange revealed that in 2015, Seychelles’ Ocean Festival will merge with an international festival of the sea which is still being finalised and will include underwater film and image festival and showcase interesting synergies as well as bringing on board more water based activities.

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Tourism industry stakeholders urge government to tackle insecurity, form new ministry

Stakeholders in the tourism industry have called on the government to tackle cases of insecurity in the country in order to revitalise the tourism industry.

Deserted beach in South Coast.

Deserted beach in South Coast.

Speaking at a forum organised by Recovery Task Force in Mombasa yesterday, the stakeholders claimed that the spate of insecurity and poor infrastructure have led to dwindling fortunes in Kenya’s tourism industry.

Bahai Dhow Villas General Manager Abdi Wario said the current set up for tourism ministry is confusing and called for a fully-fledged tourism and wildlife ministry to solely focus on the industry.

“We are facing a major crisis and President Uhuru needs to give us a fully fledged ministry merged with wildlife which can give tourism the attention it needs,” he said.

Heritage Group of Hotels CEO Mohamed Hersi said the industry is facing tough times and called on the government to create a conducive environment for tourists.

“At the moment we do not see Tourist Police Unit (TPU) in action. It is like they d not exist and if they do, then their numbers need to be increased and their services modernised,” he said.

The stakeholders also asked the Kenya Wildlife Services to reduce park entry fees to make it affordable for both domestic and international tourists to visit.

The task force, formed by East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and headed by Lucy Karume was in Mombasa to listen to the concerns by tourism industry players.

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Emirates launches third daily flight to Malé, Maldives

Dubai-based airline Emirates has launched a third daily service to Malé, the capital of the Maldives as it seeks to increase its operations in the Island nation.


The flight, which begins on Monday December 1st, is set to depart Dubai International Airport at 02:10 and arrive in Malé at 07:15 adding seven more inbound flights a week to the Maldives thus increasing passenger and cargo capacity on the route by a third. Outbound flight will depart Malé International Airport, Hulhulé at 08:45 and arrive in Dubai at 11:55 local time.

Ahmed Khoory, Emirates senior vice president, commercial operations – West ASIA and Indian Ocean said: “Emirates’ additional daily flight to Malé will give our customers greater flexibility in their travel plans allowing them to visit this exciting destination and connect seamlessly to other flights on Emirates’ extensive global network.”

Both flights offer perfect connecting times to flights from and to key destinations in the UK and Europe. Passengers visiting Malé for example, the connecting time in Dubai for inbound Emirates flights from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Milan, Moscow, Frankfurt and Zurich is under three hours.

Similarly, the new outbound flight offers a connecting time of three hours or less with Emirates flights to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Frankfurt and Madrid.

The seven new flights a week will be operated with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in two class configuration, adding 294 Business Class and 2,702 Economy Class seats each way per week on the route, as well as 23 tonnes of additional capacity for cargo per flight.

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VIDEO: Pair complete tightrope walk across Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Two tightrope walkers, Lukas Irmler from Germany and Reinhard Kleindl from Austria, have completed 100-metre crossing on a slack line stretched across Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

As seen in the video below, the two men made the crossing without falling off the rope while relying on their safety cords in what appears to be one of the riskiest adventures ever undertaken. The two were given permission to undertake the challenge after months of negotiation with relevant authorities.

“Here you have a lot of spray, a lot of water in the air, floating beside you, splashing your face and it’s intimidating on the one side but also distracting,” said Irmler.

“You need to have a clear visual view of the environment; you need to be focussed on the anchor point to the very end you want to walk to and not getting distracted by a lot of water crashing by the side, which is very hard mentally,” he added.

His compatriot Kleindl stated: “Optically it’s very difficult because the spray comes from the sides and it’s like waves, they try to drag you, so it’s really difficult for the optics and obviously everything is very heavy because it’s soaked with water.”

Click here to view video.

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Government officials meet to discuss progress on Transfrontier Parks

Government officials from Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa have met to discuss progress made towards establishing the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) as a tourism destination in Southern Africa.

Mapungubwe national Park, South Africa

Mapungubwe national Park, South Africa

The GMTFCA links national parks shared by the three countries and plays host to the annual Tour de Tuli tourism expedition which involves Tour de Tuli Mapungubwe mountain bike event whose route traverses the Greater Mapungubwe Mega Park.

The event is known for attracting over 350 cycling tourists annually from across the globe in what has been described as a thrilling tourist experience.

The meeting was aimed at discussing issues around environmental conservation, safety and security, among other things, with the officials expected to visit the Zimbabwean component of the Mega Park to assess progress towards the development of a camp site in Maramani Communal land.


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Chemist designs maps to demistify world’s perception of Ebola spread in Africa

The spread of Ebola has been greatly affected by misformation by world media and personal account making people abroad to believe that Ebola is in Africa, and not specific countries.

The latest Map is of November 24th, 2014

The latest Map is of November 24th, 2014

It is for this reason that an English chemist in the Netherlands came up with a rudimentary map demonstrating that Africa is not synonymous with the Ebola virus and that just a particular countries are affected.

There has only been one reported death outside of West Africa, but cases in the United States and Spain of those who had recently returned from affected countries have put the world on high-alert leading to fear that has been fuelled by misinformation and generalisation.

The infographic, which has been translated to several languages including Chinese, Amharic, Arabic, Afrikaan, Hebrew, Greek, Dutch, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese highlights where the Ebola virus is a reality focusing on Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and parts of Mali where multiple cases have been reported.

The map translated to German

The map translated to German

Anthony England, who was recently unemployed, says he wanted to be useful in spreading the word on the spread of the Ebola; doing so through dissemination of the map through his twitter account @EbolaPhone.

“As Ebola rolled on and didn’t go away. I am sitting here looking for jobs, not doing anything, I realised I can be useful,” he said.

England has gone ahead to design more updated maps as he monitors the spread of Ebola in African countries, albeit giving a clearer picture of the situation on the ground.


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Kenya Tourism Board holds 6-day media tour of Central Kenya circuit

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has held a 6-day tour of Central Kenya circuit for local journalists as it seeks to showcase alternative tourist attractions in the country.

A view of Mt Kenya from a distance

A view of Mt Kenya from a distance

Flagging off the trip, KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said there is a need to draw media attention to the sparingly-covered tourist sites in various parts of the country.

For years, Kenya has been known for its wildlife, safaris and pristine coastal beaches, but according to KTB, there is more the country has to offer both domestic and international tourists.

“Most visitors only know of the generic attractions like the Maasai Mara and Mombasa. This has not only put a strain on the facilities and capacity in those areas, but also left the tourism industry largely dependent on a few attractions,” he said.

The trip was aimed to cover the Central Kenya Circuit, from the Mt Kenya to the Aberdare ranges, a region that has been known more as a food bucket than a tourist destination popular for golf tourism, adventure sports, leisure tourism and wildlife tourism.

“We have also been looking to grow domestic tourism using the Tembea Kenya project to get residents excited about the various destinations that the country has to offer. There are many Kenyans who are interested in travelling but lack sufficient information,” he added.

Kenya Tourism Board is mandated with driving and supporting effective marketing of Kenya’s tourism products and the running of Magical Kenya brand which showcases different tourist destinations in Kenya.

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