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.

You can now book your stay in the Maldives on SleepOut.com.

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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Kenya targets billions from inaugural MICE event set for January 2015

Kenya is targeting to earn billion of shillings when it hosts the inaugural Meetings, Incentive travel, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) event early next year.

KICC, Nairobi

KICC, Nairobi

The event, which has been synonymous with South Africa, is designed to bring together stakeholders in the travel, tourism and business conferencing sector and create a platform for them to share knowledge, institutional memory and implement insights to help them grow their businesses.

“The MICE Expo is expected to inject about Ksh32 billion into Kenya’s economy through the multiplier effect of the monies that will accrue to the national domestic product,” said Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Managing Director Fred Simiyu.

The two-day MICE meeting has been organised by the KICC, through the Ministry of Tourism and Trade, as Kenya seeks to position itself as a preferred business tourism frontier globally. The event will run from January 23rd to 25th 2015 and will focus on local stakeholders with an international business tourism MICE scheduled for the following year.

“This requires KICC to engage into harnessing Kenya’s MICE potential by aggressively marketing the destination. The fruit of this proactive marketing has been the facilitation of bids to attract meetings and events of this country as per the National MICE strategy,” Simiyu said.

The Expo is set to attract more than 80 exhibitors in the meeting industry and will focus on bringing together buyers and sellers of the MICE industry.

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Relief for hoteliers as government plans to build bridge across Likoni channel

Hoteliers in South Coast may experience a change in tide if the government implements its plans to construct a bridge across Likoni Ferry channel to ease transportation.



Principal Secretary, Infrastructure development, Engineer John Mosonik said that in order to provide a more reliable link to South Coast, plans have commenced for the construction of the Likoni bridge to replace the ferry.

The ferry, which is managed by Kenya Ferry Services, has been seen as a stumbling block in the growth of tourism in South Coast due to long queues that have been a nuisance to tourists travelling to and from South Coast.

According to Mosonik, the government also plans to develop a ring of roads and bypasses around Mombasa to decongest the city noting that designs are underway for the proposed Mombasa Northern Bypass linking Mazeras to the Mombasa – Malindi road in North Coast.

Other initiatives currently underway include a second Nyali Bridge under Public-Private Partnership arrangement and the Mombasa Bypass project linking the West mainland to the proposed port at Dongo Kundu, which is one of the flagship projects under Vision 2030.

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fastjet Zambia edges closer to launching flights

fastjet Zambia is closer to launching its operations in the country after receiving the Air Service Permit (ASP).



The carrier is now moving to the next step which involves submission of the necessary documents and manuals to complete the application process for an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) before commencing domestic and international flights in Zambia.

“We have been working tirelessly to roll out the fastjet model across the region and obtaining the ASP in Zambia is a really positive step forward. We still have to obtain the full AOC, but this vote of confidence from the authorities is a major step along that road,” said the airline’s CEO Ed Winter.

Zambia will be Fastjet’s second base for low cost flights to various destinations in East and Southern Africa with the first base being Tanzania.

In addition, the airline has received permission from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to operate flights from Uganda to Johannesburg, Juba, Nairobi, and Kigali under 5th Freedom rights using Tanzanian based aircraft. Once the authorities in the relevant countries provide their approvals, fastjet Tanzania will be able to offer flights linking Entebbe with these destinations.

fastjet commenced operations from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe in September and added additional flights in October.


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Qatar Airways to expand operations to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Turkey

Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is set to expand its flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport from March 29th 2015, as it seeks to increase its frequency to a double-daily service.



The launch of the new daily service to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, will grant passengers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and the Americas an additional morning connection to Istanbul via Doha.

The new daily flight, operated by a two-class, Airbus A320 aircraft, will depart Doha at 09:45, arriving in Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 14:00 and return from Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 15:00, arriving back in Doha at 18:55.

This comes as Qatar Airways celebrates its ten years of successful operations to Turkey having begun its operations in the country with flights to and from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport back in 2004.


Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. [Photo/skyscrapercity.com]

“Qatar Airways’ service to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport has enjoyed exceptional popularity since its launch earlier this year,” said Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker.

“The start of a double daily service from March next year will further strengthen our support for leisure and business travel to Istanbul and we are certain that our passengers will welcome this initiative,” he added.


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Namibia records increased tourist arrivals from the UK

The number of tourist arrivals to Namibia from the UK increased by 10.2 per cent last year compared to 2012, the ministry of tourism has revealed.

Tourists in Namibia. [Photo/travelnewsnamibia.com]

Tourists in Namibia. [Photo/travelnewsnamibia.com]

In 2012 UK arrivals had fallen by 2.5 per cent with depletion in numbers to 21,035. In 2013, however, the UK market showed positive signs of growth thus leading to increased arrivals in the Southern African country. The visitors also extended their stay in Namibia with an average night stay increasing from 15 days to 19 days.

Entry numbers of visitors from Europe, in general, to the larger southern African region grew from 198,219 people in 2012 to 199,655 in 2013 indicating a growth of 0.7 per cent.
Namibia is known for its rich culture, picturesque landscape and wildlife and these could have contributed immensely to the high numbers.

“Namibia has received a considerable amount of global attention in the past two years largely owing to its reputation as a country of diversity. Namibia is also considered a pioneer in environmentally and socially sustainable travel offerings,” said Maureen Posthuma, area manager Europe of Namibia.

The UK remains one of Namibia’s strongest tourism markets alongside Germany at 79,551 arrivals and France at 15,911 arrivals.

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