Archive | 2007

When to climb Kilimanjaro?

Which is the best trekking season for Kilimanjaro? Which route should I take to climb? These and many more answers to your questions, can be found in Henry Stedman’s “trekking guide to Africa’s highest mountain” which includes now also an excellent section on Mount Meru and guides to Arusha, Moshi, Marangu, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. The guide to Arusha must be one of the most detailled and updated sections on the “safari capital” which has been written so far. At the time of publishing, Onsea House was just about to open so unfortunately the author was not able yet to include us. The most authorative and detailed writer of the climbing Kilimanjaro however visited Onsea House recently and thanked us for a “splended evening touring around the hotel, eating in the restaurant and playing on the pool table”. Check for helpfull advise and the latest news and reviews his site or contact Onsea House on for advise, taking into account timing, budget and your skills.

Where to go on safari at this time of the year?

It seems to be one of the classical questions. Where should we go on safari? At this time of the year, the migration is in the Northern part of the Serengeti. The wildebeest accumulate in the Mara River area. We went some weeks ago to witness it ourselves what our Onsea House guests discover when travelling with reputable safari companies like Green Footprint Adventures, Nomad Tanzania, Sokwe and TrueAfrica who frequently use Onsea House as a homebase before and after the safari.

Green Footprint Adventures has an increasing success with its safari programs starting and ending in Arusha in combination with multiple nights at Onsea House. Many alternatives include also a 15 day safari visiting Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Zanzibar. One of the highlights is certainly the stay at the Asilia Sayari Camp in the Serengeti, close to the Mara River and ideally located at this time of the year. Recommendable!

Guests arrive safely from Ol Doinyo Lengai just before volcano eruption

Yesterday evening, a Dutch family living in Turnhout, Belgium arrived safely for their stay at Onsea House in Arusha after climbing the Ol Doinyo Lengai and a safari in the Lake Natron area.

The family witnessed several earthquakes in the past days before and during climbing the peak and were luckily back before the volcano erupted yesterday and the area around the volcano was closed for tourists according to the news today.

Thousands of villagers living around Mount Oldonyo Lengai in Ngorongoro District have fled their homes following the volcano eruption triggered by the earth tremors that have recently hit most parts of the northern zone.

Sources say more than 1,500 people, mostly Maasai herdsmen from Ngaresero, Orbalal and Nayobi villages, have abandoned their homes following the tremors, whose impact has also been felt in parts of neighbouring Kenya.

Two earthquakes rated as moderate hit the Oldonyo Lengai (Maasai for “mountain of God”) volcanic mountain at 11:42pm on Sunday and at 12:10am the next day. The first, which measured 5.4 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre 13km east of the volcano.

The second measured 4.7 on the Richter scale and had its epicentre 20km west of the volcano, with volcano experts saying both tremors had a shallow focus at the depth of 10km.

Yet another tremor, this time measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, hit about 100km (60 miles) away from this municipality on Tuesday evening. It provoked the world’s only active volcano that spews natrocarbonatite lava.

Arusha Regional Police Commander Basilio Matei has cautioned tour operators against taking tourists around Mount Oldonyo Lengai, citing security reasons.

“Tour agencies should not take their visitors anywhere near or around the mountain because one can never tell when the volcano will erupt again” he stated, explaining that many tourists might be interested in witnessing the rare natural phenomenon “but Tanzania is their host and must take all measures possible to guarantee their safety”.

This is the second volcanic eruption to occur in the northern zone since the one in March 2006, which also saw a number of villagers flee their homes for their safety.

An estimated 3,000 people fled to safe ground within hours of the eruption, most trekking to villages in neighbouring districts.

Mount Oldonyo Lengai, standing at 3,450 meters above sea level, is the world’s only active sodium carbonite volcano and doubles as the world’s only volcano that emits natrocarbonatite lava.

Natrocarbonatite lava usually contains almost no silicon and is much cooler in temperature than other lavas.

The highly fluid lava measures 510 degrees Celsius, while basaltic lava that can be as hot as 1,100 degrees Celsius.

Serengeti Balloon Safari: beautiful balloon flight and ultimate safari experience.

An increasing number of Onsea House guests choose to include a Serengeti Balloon flight into their safari. Probably the most beautiful balloon flight in the world and the ultimate Safari Experience.

5:00 am, Serengeti Balloon Safaris will collect you from your central Serengeti lodge or camp, and transfer you by Landrover to our launch site near Maasai Kopjes. Here you will meet your pilot, receive a briefing and watch the inflation of your balloon.

At dawn we take off, rising as the sun rises and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take us. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. At other times he will ascend to 1000′ or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.

The flight is for about one hour depending on conditions, and eventually you must land. You celebrate in the traditional manner with champagne (well, an excellent sparkling wine) before sitting down to a full English breakfast prepared and served in the bush in ‘Out of Africa’ style with bone china, linen table cloths, King’s silver etc.

After breakfast you receive your Serengeti Balloon certificate and we drive you back to Seronera Lodge game viewing enroute.

9:30 am Arrive at Seronera ready to continue your day’s activities.

Cost: US$ 479 pp

Space is limited. To secure your place we suggest you pre book by contacting at Onsea House or your preferred Tour Operator.

Onsea House launches Gourmet Catering: Delicatessen Take Away in Arusha

At the occasion of the Karibu Travel & Tourism Fair, Onsea House will launch today, June 8, their Gourmet Catering Menu. Instead of starting a Delicatessen store – coffee shop at the corner of Joel Maeda and India Streets, as originally planned, Onsea House Arusha offers as of now a Gourmet Catering service: either take away at Onsea House (Moivaro, Moshono Village) or have it delivered anywhere in Arusha. The menu ranges from apero snacks, quiches, soups, starters & main dishes to genuine Belgian chocolate desserts and icecream. Fine delicatessen with local and imported produce. Great for private parties at home, office lunches, receptions, weddings etc. Orders: call Axel Janssens on +255 787 112 498 or email Since we work with market fresh products, please allow for preparation 24 hours after confirmation of the order. See attached menu with pricelist.

Onsea House offers complementary boutique accommodation in Arusha to the Kempinski Hotels & Resorts in Tanzania.

“The tourism industry is one of Tanzania’s fastest growing sectors with incoming tourism increasing 12% annually in the last few years.” So it should come as no surprise that Kempinski has selected Tanzania as the location for its first two hotel ventures in East Africa.

The luxurious 180-room Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski Dar es Salaam, located on the waterfront, is playing a major role in the revitalization of the port of Dar es Salaam. Kempinski’s magnificent renovation of the ‘Kili,’ has restored the legendary hotel’s lost glory since August 2005.

Zamani Zanzibar, Kempinski’s exclusive resort on the ‘Spice Island’, which opened in January 2006, continues to enjoy popularity with high-end clientele. Aside from 110 terraced rooms and suites, the resort features seven luxurious private beachside villas, each with infinity edge pools and unspoiled views of the Indian Ocean coastline.

Kempinski just announced major plans at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to continue its sweep across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), revealing details of more than eleven new uniquely positioned and distinctive luxury properties planned for the region and touching on negotiations for at least eight others. Namibia and Tanzania will be the focus of Kempinski’s foray into high-end luxury lodges signifying its diversification into the boutique accommodation sector, which has until now, remained uncharted territory for the group. In Tanzania, two luxury lodges owned by a private investor and managed by Kempinski Hotels and Resorts, will be developed within the famous Serengeti National Park as well as the Ngorongoro Crater. The group is also holding discussions for a tented camp along the Mara River on the Kenyan side of Masai Mara.

The latest plans include the opening of a Kempinski in Arusha. The historical Hotel 77 (Saba Saba) in Arusha has been sold to Kempinski Hotels. Kempinski would upgrade the hotel to a five-star status and will have over 300 rooms. The village-style hotel was built specifically for the Group of Seventy Seven Nations meeting held in Arusha in 1979, which – at its peak in late 1970s and early 1980s – was one of the most popular hotels in Tanzania.

Onsea House in Arusha aims to be a very complementary property to the current and future Kempinski portfolio in Tanzania, designed for guests who prefer to stay in small and intimate accommodation in Arusha, while still appreciating luxury, comfort and excellent food.

Meet and taste us at Karibu Travel & Tourism Fair 2007 in Arusha from 8-10th June 2007

Tanzania is the fastest growing tourist destination in Africa. Over 180 exhibitors will be participating the Karibu Travel & Tourism Fair in Arusha, the best opportunity to really discover Tanzania (and the rest of East Africa) and update your portfolio on this unique destination. Onsea House is such a small property, that we do not have our own stand. You are however most welcome to meet us at the stand of Sokwe Asilia Lodges, stand B3, where you can even taste us from 8th June until 10th June 2007. Karibu sana!

TED – Technology, Entertainment and Design Global Conference in Arusha from 4-7th June 2007

This year, the TedGlobal conference will be held for the 1st time in Africa and Arusha has been chosen as the place for the meeting and exchanging ideas of some of the great thinkers of the world.

“The program line-up of 50 speakers — like all TEDs — includes inventors, business-leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, artists, writers, activists, musicians and mavericks with names as different as Jane Goodall (Primatologist), Youssou N’Dour (Singer), Hector Ruiz (CEO AMD),… But they have this in common. They are all doing something valuable for Africa’s future. Their voices will inspire. And their ideas will spread.”

Over the past few years, a growing number of people in the TED community have become passionate about Africa, a continent that appears to be at an important tipping point. Its problems and challenges are well known. Less well known is that across the continent, change is afoot. Instead of relying only on development aid, Africans across the continent are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Ingenious solutions are being applied to tackle some of the toughest health and infrastructure problems. Businesses are being launched that are capable of transforming the lives of millions. New communication technologies are allowing ideas and information to spread, enabling markets — and governments — to be more efficient. And the numbers suggest that incomes are starting to nudge up in some countries and real growth is on the way. A new Africa beckons.

The conference will be held at the Ngorodutu Lodge, on the Momella Road from the 3rd to the 8th of June. Some of the conference attendees, including one of Silicon Valley’s leading communications entrepreneurs, have chosen to stay at Onsea House before the conference and we have also booking of attendees who decided to extend the conference with a post-conference safari with Onsea House as home base. Do you want to organize a conference with safari extension in Arusha? Contact us for free advise.