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Tanzanian beers win Belgian Awards

Two Tanzania Breweries (TBL) brands have scooped top international awards for best beer, with Safari Lager continuing its winning streak, first registered five years ago.

Kilimanjaro and Safari lagers won gold medals at the ‘Monde Selection 2009,’ an annual event in Brussels, Belgium for tasting alcohol, food, tobacco, perfumes and cosmetics. The Monde Selection is held annually since 1961.

“These Tanzanian products, which have become part of the rich national fabric emerged triumphant by winning the gold medals in the prestigious international Monde Selection awards” according to the TDL marketing director. Safari Lager won gold medals in 2004, 2005, and 2007.

The Belgian owners of Onsea House in Arusha, Tanzania, have a wide range of Tanzanian beers and some imported beers from Belgium and the USA on their drinks list.

Onsea House has also an extensive Wine List with a large choice from top wineries in South Africa to rare bottles from the old wine world, probably the best selection in Tanzania.

Luxury lodge is helping to preserve the Serengeti

“Keeping prices high and tourist numbers low could be the way to preserve the Serengeti and make it profitable. The new, luxurious Bilila Lodge Kempinski is part of the plan” reports The Independent on Sunday in an interesting (and funny) article about the opening of the newest and most luxurious hotel in the Serengeti last week. During the formal opening of the US$ 50 million Bilila Lodge Kempinski by President Kikwete, he sounded a curious note by calling on the country’s tourism authorities to go slow on building more hotels in the Unesco World Heritage Site.

The East African Business Week reported that the UAE owner Ali Saeed Albwardy of ASB Tanzania Limited, promised that there is more to come: “We promise to build more hotels in Tanzania. We are ready to invest in more hotels because the investment atmosphere is right. We have been in Tanzania for five years and already we have invested in Kilimanjaro Hotel, Kempinski in Dar es Salaam and Zamani Hotel in Zanzibar”.

We had the privilege to meet Ali Albwardy who came for lunch at Onsea House and revelealed his plans of the luxury 178 rooms Kempinski Hotel Saba Saba in Arusha with 3 restaurants and 2 bars, conference facilities for up to 800 guests and spa with 8 treatment rooms in late 2010. Now it is also official that Kempinski Hotel Stonetown is in the pipeline with 57 rooms and suites, 2 restaurants and a bar, conference rooms and spa with 4 treatment rooms in late 2010. Last but not least the Kempinski Ngorongoro Crater is foreseen for opening in 2012. With this expansian plan, Tanzania will take the lead with 6 properties in all Middle Eastern and African locations and even come globally in the top ranking after China, Germany and India.

Onsea House was invited for a familiarization with the Bilila Lodge Kempinski which was a throughly fantastic experience. While staff got trained to soon welcome up to 160 guests in 74 rooms, suites and villas, we had the luxury to discover the property with just 12 guests. The lodge facilities include a beautifully decorated restaurant, lobby lounge, bar, boma, wine cellar, art gallery and gift shop. The infinity pool and Anantara Spa provide for the ultimate relaxation after an exciting day of a game drive. Bilila combines the height of through 5 star luxury with romance in spectacular African wilderness surrounds.

Read about the special promotional introduction action or contact info@onseahouse.com for any further information and/or a stay at Onsea House as part of an attractive last-minute Kempinski package.

Tanzania celebrates 50th anniversary of Leakey’s discovery of humanoid skull in Oldupai Gorge.

Fifty years ago this July 17, evolutionary history was rewritten in Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa.

British archeologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, working on bone and fossil analysis in Oldupai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (now a UNESCO Heritage Site) discovered a skull that would change all prior scientific hypotheses.

Their exciting discovery was a humanoid skull with huge teeth that they named Zinjanthropus or “Zinj.” The excellent condition of the skull allowed scientists to date the beginnings of mankind to about two million years ago, and to verify that human evolution began not in Asia, as previously thought, but in Africa. In keeping with the significance of this information, Oldupai Gorge is now known as “The Cradle of Mankind.”

“Zinj”, whose name was later changed to Australopithecus Boise, after Charles Boise who funded the Leakeys’ research, is not a direct human ancestor, but is the first specimen of this species ever found, and at the time of his discovery, the oldest hominid. Two decades later, footprints found at Laetoli, south of Oldupai, were interpreted as those of hominids even older: 3.5 to 4 million years old.

To celebrate this historical discovery, the Leakey’s organized a family reunion in Tanzania on July 17, 2009. To round of the special day, Philip Leakey, son of Louis and Mary and a former member of Parliament and cabinet minister in Kenya, and his wife Katy, marketing Kenyan jewels and ”anthropological travel”, came afterwards for dinner and overnight at Onsea House in Arusha.

This year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Department of Antiquities and the National Museum of Tanzania will mark this historic find with the International Conference on Zinjanthropus in Arusha, Tanzania from August 16-22, 2009. The conference will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the discovery as well as explore new information on human origins, conservation and other allied studies. A special workshop on Louis and Mary Leakey has been organized by the East African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology.

Gourmet Travel in Tanzania

The Food & Home Entertaining July 2009 issue writes about The Tastes of Africa in an issue dedicated to food and good restaurants in Africa. The highlight of the issue is an article about Gourmet Travel in Tanzania. The fertile country grows some of the continent’s finest vegetables, as can be seen at the markets, where the juicy rich-red tomatoes in particular have that rare, sweet, real-tomato taste.

Among the discribed “places to be” are the restaurant at Saadani Lodge, the Ethiopian restaurant “Addis in Dar”, the Oriental restaurant at the Kempinski Kilimanjaro in Dar Es Salaam and the new Kempinski Bilila Lodge in the Serengeti.

Arusha has (just) “two particularly excellent restaurants”. Mary Chatzifotiadi owns and runs the Bay Leaf Fine Dining Restaurant, which is called an “unexpected culinary discovery”. The article ends with a description of the Onsea House restaurant on the outskirts of Arusha with Michelin experienced Belgian chef: “a brasserie serving inventing dishes that combine African and European tastes and techniques”.

Call chef-manager Axel Janssens on 0787 112 498 to book a table.

Enjoy promotional introduction rates in the Serengeti at Bilila Kempinski

Destined to bring a new level of luxury to the Serengeti, the Bilila Lodge Kempinski officially opened on June 1, 2009.

The earlier announced promotion ‘Stay 3 – Pay 2′ valid until the end of September 2009, has just got even better with reduced rates valid until December 23, 2009:
Deluxe room:    EUR 500 (instead of EUR 600 in high season)
Club room:        EUR 700 (instead of EUR 850 in high season)

All the above mentioned rates are Full Board (including full breakfast, lunch or packed lunch and dinner), per room, per night.

Scheduled and private game drives into the Serengeti National Park can be booked together with the accommodation. Half day (4hrs) game drives are a fantastic experience for guest who fly in and get transferred to/from Seronera Airstrip.

Visit the travel diary for an insight into Tanzania and Kempinski.
Contact info@onseahouse.com for further recommendations if you want to combine this last-minute action with a stay at Onsea House in Arusha after your arrival &/or before departure.

Asilia Lodges and Camps Special 4-for-3 Offer

Next to the ongoing introduction action of the new Kempinksi Bilila Lodge in the Serengeti and the AndBeyond Africa special safari offers, Asilia Lodges and Camps launches a special action for all bookings taking place from June-December 2009: stay for 4 and pay for 3 (or stay during 8 days and pay for 6,…). 

This special offer is an ideal way to discover the stunning Sayari Camp and Olakira Camp in the Serengeti,  Suyan Camp in the Loliondo area and Oliver’s Camp in Tarangire National Park during a safari in Tanzania and/or relax at Matemwe in Zanzibar.

If you would like to receive recommendations on with whom to book your holiday to Tanzania and/or information for a stay at Onsea House before and/or after your safari in Arusha, please send an email to info@onseahouse.com.

Serena Hotels acquires two luxury boutique properties in Tanzania

Traval Wires reported that Serena Hotels has taken over the operations and management of two new luxury boutique properties in Tanzania, a move that will effectively strengthen its safari circuits and brand presence within premier leisure destinations in the East Africa region. Both properties, the Mivumo River Lodge and the Selous Wildlife Lodge are located within Africa’s largest game reserve and a proclaimed world heritage site, the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania.

Set to open on July 15th 2009, the Mivumo River Lodge comprises 12 superior rooms and 3 premium luxury suites decorated in an elegant African style of a bygone era incorporating local materials from the region. Each superior room consists of a luxurious bedroom and lounge with a private balcony offering an indoor bathroom, outdoor shower and an intimate plunge pool. To ensure privacy and exclusivity, the rooms are spread out and strategically located along the mighty Rufiji River, all with magnificent views of the breathtaking Stiegler’s gorge.

The lodge also offers full aromatherapy Spa treatments and a variety of activities including game viewing river cruises, exclusive guided walks, bush picnics, private game drives and sundowner river cruises.

To complement the Mivumo River Lodge is the Selous Wildlife Lodge, a luxury tented camp unit located on the Eastern bank of the Simbazi River, a tributary of the Rufiji, is set to open on 1st August 2009.

The camp comprises 12 tents each of which enjoys outstanding views of untouched wilderness, with scatterings of enormous trees and lush, dense vegetation. It has a dining area and guest lounge overlooking the natural watering hole which is also lit in the evenings for night game viewings. This is all complemented by an outside viewing deck and swimming pool.

This development brings to 23 the total number of hotels, resorts and lodges under the Serena Brand in East Africa.

Contact info@onseahouse.com for advise and recommendations if you want to include a stay at Serena properties during your safari before or after your stay at Onsea House in Arusha.

Talk of the town at the 10th Karibu Fair

The Wine & Food tasting organized by Onsea House in collaboration with UZT was the talk of the town at the 10th Karibu Fair, East-Africa’s most important Travel Show, which took place from June 5-7 2009 in Arusha.

A limited group of 100 personally invited visitors and standholders, received an invitation to taste some interesting Wine & Food pairings presented by Onsea House chef Axel Janssens. 17 wines ranging from light white to full bodied red were tasted with 6 matching bites in 6 different sessions spread over 2 days.

At the times the tastings took place, the UZT tent was without any doubt thé most popular stand on the Show. Among the participating tasters were the “crème de la crème” of safari & beach property operators in Tanzania including Asilia, Fundu Lagoon, Kempinski, Kirurumu, Lemala Luxury Camps, Nomad, Saadani, Singita Grumeti Reserves, the ATTA African Travel and Tourism Association director and most of the Onsea House preferred operators.

On Sunday evening, the managing directors & owners of several top luxury Tanzania & Zanzibar beach properties picked Onsea House as dinner venue. 

Jan Haasiosalo, the Finnish managing director of the new Zanzibar Retreat Hotel, Bobby McKenna, the managing director of the brandnew stunning Kilindi, a 15 pavillion hotel in Northern Zanzibar, Fundu Lagoon designer & director Ellis Flyte, their general manager Matt Semark, Saadani Safari Lodge managing director Costa Coucoulis and their marketing manager Mark Evans came all for dinner at Onsea House.

The brandnew Kempinski Tanzania managing director and his sales director did not have space but have been served some bites and talked about their Discovering Tanzania project which helps to promote Tanzania in general and their properties specifically.

Contact info@onseahouse.com for further information on a stay at Onsea House and recommendations for accommodation during your safari and/or beach holidays in Tanzania and Zanzibar.