Archive | 2008

Wildcard: Tanzania, vanaf 20 november te zien op Canvas

In juli trokken 35 studenten biologie van de Universiteit Antwerpen voor een tropische stage naar Tanzania. Samen met 28 studenten wildlife management van Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro verkenden ze er de fauna en flora van de savanne, het (berg)regenwoud, het kustbos, de mangrove en het koraalrif.

Tijdens een eerste week deden de studenten kleine veldstudies aan de universiteit van Morogoro. Nadien trok het complete gezelschap in tenten in achtereenvolgens 3 Nationale Parken die nog niet door het grote publiek zijn platgedreden: het Ruaha National Park, het Udzungwa Mountains National Park en Saadani National Park (één van onze favoriete bestemmingen in Tanzania).

In het spoor van de groep reisde ook een tv-ploeg rond woordkunstenaar Ramsey Nasr (gewezen Antwerps stadsdichter) en programmamaker Johan Terryn mee, die een vijfdelige documentaire over de stage heeft gedraaid: Wildcard: Tanzania, op 20 en 27 november en 4, 11 en 18 december, telkens om 21.10u. Parallel aan de serie verschijnt er een boek van Ramsey Nasr, Homo Safaricus bij De Bezige Bij en zal Canvas een speciale website verzorgen.

Download alvast het volledige artikel uit het tijdschrift AlfabetA (nr.77) van de UA voor meer info.
Wil je Tanzania zelf komen ontdekken en Onsea House als uitvalsbasis gebruiken, zoals verschillende biologen van de Universiteit Antwerpen reeds deden? Contacteer dan voor verdere info, rechtstreeks van Vlamingen ter plaatse.

Will Cowboys trust their RB committee at crunch time

For linebacker Sean Lee, for running back Joseph Randle, for defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and so many others for differing reasons, Sunday’s opener with the Giants is truly all about a fresh start. But for the Cowboys as a whole, 2015 is all about turning back to the clock to the days of.

Chan Gailey?

Technically, yes, Gailey is the last Cowboys head coach to take teams to playoffs in consecutive years.wholesale nfl jerseys from china Dallas advanced to the postseason in 2006 and 2007 but that was with Bill Parcells at the front end and Wade Phillips on the follow through.

Those Gailey teams aren’t exactly enshrined in Cowboys lore. They lost to Arizona in a home playoff in ’98, a game that caused some local columnist to declare the torch had been passed from Troy Aikman to Jake Plummer. A year later the Cowboys were eliminated in Minnesota, and Jerry Jones did his own torch passing, from Gailey to Dave Campo.

The Cowboys under Jason Garrett got their first taste of the playoffs in January. They are looking for more. The Cowboys did not become the Cowboys, the team that produces the highest rated games on an annual basis, by occasionally dipping a toe into the postseason.

They went 18 times in 20 years in an era when it was much tougher to qualify. Tom Landry’s teams won two Super Bowls, but they played in 12 NFC championship games in 17 years. That will always be, for me, the most impressive statistic associated with this franchise.

Along came Jimmy and Jerry, and by the time we had wrapped up the 30th Super Bowl, the Cowboys were the only team to have collected five Lombardi Trophies. They had played in eight of the first 30 Super Bowls and half of those 30 NFC title games.

Now comes Super Bowl L or Super Bowl 50. Forget the ultimate game. The Cowboys won’t have made a single conference championship game appearance in that 20 year stretch unless they finish the job this year, unless they complete the task they thought they were about to pull off at Lambeau Field eight months ago.

You won’t hear any talk of stringing together playoff seasons or even of last year’s modest success from Garrett or his players. They have bought into his mantra. It’s all about those first few plays against the New York Giants Sunday night and then the next series of plays after that.

Success comes through the completion of small steps, not a wide angle lens view of the big picture.

The Cowboys showed they were going for it in 2015 the day they signed Greg Hardy. He won’t play until Week Five against New England due to a four game suspension, but you don’t bring on the baggage of domestic violence and sign Hardy to a one year deal unless you believe that year can be special.

Surprisingly, all indications from the preseason suggest the Cowboys did more to fix their pass rush weakness with the drafting of second round pick Randy Gregory than the signing of Hardy. We won’t know that until Hardy takes his turn in the rotation later this season, but the Cowboys expect Gregory to be in Eli Manning’s face with frequency Sunday night.

The great question of this Cowboys season is whether they have abandoned the running game that fueled the team’s most triumphant season this century or they merely changed names on jerseys.

DeMarco Murray did more than simply break Emmitt Smith’s team rushing record while winning an NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. He handled the ball on 53 percent of this team’s runs and completions. That’s an unheard of number in today’s game. Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch, the player Murray was most often connected to in “Beast Mode” comparisons, checked in at below 40 percent last year.

The Cowboys have tried to maintain an air of secrecy about how Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and perhaps even newcomer Christine Michael will factor into this mix, even suggesting that practice in this final week of preparation would determine who starts.

More important is who finishes and not just the fourth quarter. Who do they go to on the goal line, on third and 1? Or do they revert to previous form, allow 35 year old Tony Romo to throw 600 passes and roll the dice that this superior offensive line can protect him?

It all starts Sunday night against the Giants, who won their first four trips to AT Stadium before Dallas finally held serve in 2013. Tonight’s about the Giants. But this season has to be about so much more.

After the Will Smith booking, BBC cast discovers Onsea House in Arusha

The Arusha Times reported this week on the frontpage on the visit of highly rated actors, performing under the auspices of the BBC to spearhead the success of a Sitcom recorderd in Arusha, to be broadcast worldwide under the name of “Taking the Flak“.

The crew and what they intend to do in Arusha became talk of town only after Will Smith, the American actor who was recently described by Newsweek as the most powerfull actor on the planet. He was in Tanzania as UNICEF goodwill ambassador, visited some health projects and made a booking at the Onsea House restaurant!

After Will Smith, the cast of BBC now has discovered Onsea House. This weekend, we had several seperate room bookings from the BBC, including “Smack the Pony” star Doon Mackichan. Rumours have spread that Onsea House in Arusha is a nice and intimate place to relax, eat and overnight.

The Swahili House opens her doors in Zanzibar

After months of renovation, The Swahili House will open her doors in the first half of 2009.
Located in the bustling heart of Stonetown the building was originally set up and used as an Indian Merchant House in the 19th century. In the 125 years that were to come the building was home to one of the many Sultan families and then became a hotel some years ago. The hotel has been purchased by the Moivaro group of Hotels Lodges and camps and renovations started in May 2008. Most of the hotel has been restored into its original state. The result is The Swahili House, a hotel with traditional influences and modern day facilities in combination with authentic Swahili hospitality.

The Swahili House has 5 floors that are all built around a court yard – an ideal spot to enjoy a quiet moment away from busy Stonetown life. The floors are all accessible via traditional Zanzibari Staircases and an elevator.  22 rooms are spread out over 4 floors and can be divided in 3 different room categories:
Sultan Suites – large, spacious rooms with balcony. Approx. 45m2;
Suites: medium sized spacious rooms with balcony. Approx. 33m2;
Deluxe Rooms: standard sized double or twin room. Approx. 21m2;
The rooms all are restored and decorated in traditional Swahili style, but adjusted to Western standards, which for example includes European sized mattresses, air conditioning and a fan. Most rooms feature a spectacular open bathroom including a shower and bath, which are ideally to relax after a busy day of exploring Stonetown and its many treasures.
The Swahili House would definitely not be the same without the rooftop terrace which houses a bar, restaurant and a very relaxing Jacuzzi overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Contact if you would like to include a stay at Swahili House and the sister hotel Fumba Beach or other Moivaro properties in your Zanzibar or safari holidays in Tanzania while using Onsea House as homebase in Arusha.

Birding Safari in Arusha National Park, a bird watcher’s paradise discovered with Birdman

It must be more than 20 times that I have visited “our” Arusha National Park and it keeps on amazing me, every time again.

The mighty Mount Meru, the Momela lakes and its flamingos, the Ngurdoto Crater with great viewpoints on both Meru and Kilimanjaro and its rare Colobus monkeys in the surrounding forest and the massive quanties of giraffes across the National Park are for sure not the only features of this much underrated safari destination. 

Yesterday, we went with James Wolstencroft, Arusha’s one and only Birdman, to look at the park with bird watcher’s eyes. And although I’m not an expert, I must say I was fascinated from the very first minute by the knowledge of our experienced English guide. Within minutes, we spotted the only couple of Saddle Billed Storks living in the park, followed by spur-winged Goose, Sacred Ibis, Black Headed Herons, Egrets, a couple of Grey Crowned Cranes, red-billed Oxpeckers,… It almost looked like a set-up. The trophy of the day were for sure the red-fronted Parrots which we discovered standing on a 2200 meter Kilimanjaro viewpoint on Mount Meru. 

Experience over five decades, across four continents, has given James the broader view of nature which these days very few wildlife professionals seem to have.

James writes daily about the natural world and has been leading bird watching and nature tours for over twenty years.

Much, much more can be found on Birdman’s website or directly on his blog Birding in Arusha National Park – A Safari In Itself

Contact if you like to include one or more days with birdman in your safari or while staying at Onsea House in Arusha.

Safari approved by Carmen Roberts, BBC World News’ Fast Track reporter

What a co-incidence: just after posting the news on female Wildlife presenters, starring Charlotte Uhlenbroek, we got a request from Carmen Roberts, also from the BBC, to organize a safari in Tanzania, after her trip in Kenya.

We put together a last-minute 3 day safari to Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire, in co-operation with one of our partner tour operators, taking into account the budget indications.

After returning from an “excellent safari”, enjoying a sundowner at the the terrace of Onsea House in Arusha, Carmen told us she is a journalist for Fast:Track, a travel programme on BBC World News for the business and leisure traveller. She was in Kenya to shoot a snake safari. 

To watch Carmen Robert’s snake safari, treat yourself soon on Fast:Track.
Do not hesitate to contact for any safari enquiry and/or plans to stay at Onsea House.

BBC Wildlife presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek: “I love the whole of east Africa but Tanzania is my favourite”

Wildlife television presenting was once a man’s world. A documentary on baboon behaviour or ocelot extinction would call for a bearded naturalist like David Bellamy, or the cheery anthropomorphism of Johnny Morris. But now this territory is facing a climate change all of its own, as it is invaded by a new breed of presenter: feisty, intelligent, eco-aware – and female. Though a publicist for Sir David Attenborough assures Timesonline that he is “obviously not replaceable”, his grip on the title of king of the jungle may not be as firm as it once was.

Dr. Charlotte Uhlenbroek is one of them. Uhlenbroek’s big television break came in the late 1990s. “I’d spent months analysing chimp vocalisations in a soundproof studio back in Bristol,” she explains – work that revealed that chimp communication involves not just one type of call, as was previously thought, but several different long-distance calls. “The BBC heard there was a girl up the road who had been working out in Gombe, and asked if I wanted to go back to present a series called Dawn to Dusk, and that they’d pay me!” Presenting came naturally to the young primatologist. “I was talking about chimps that I knew incredibly well. I was just turning to the camera as if it was a friend. I felt like a conduit.” Her ability to decipher primate behaviour, her blue-chip zoological credentials and look of “an eco-friendly Lara Croft” meant she was soon fronting BBC2’s Chimpanzee Diary. Since than, she presented Jungle (2003) and Safari School (2007) and has written several books. Her latest book, Animal Life, is a “bang-up-to-date” look at animal behaviour, packed with research using the latest technology.

The Independent reported in an interview with Uhlenbroek:

I love Kenya and the whole of east Africa but Tanzania is my favourite because that’s my stomping ground. I worked in the forest for four years, I speak Swahili and I go back regularly so I’m very at home there. Tanzania has some of the best wildlife in the world and some beautiful wildlife parks, the best two being the Serengeti National Park and the Selous Game Reserve. Selous, in the south-west, is three times larger than the Serengeti and twice the size of Belgium. It was founded by the German colonial administration in 1905 and later expanded to include elephant migration routes. You really get a sense of wilderness in these reserves. As for the people, the Tanzanians are just some of the nicest I’ve ever come across. I worked really closely with the researchers there and they became my second family. They derive a lot of pleasure from spending time with people and families. When I worked in Gombe, I would periodically come back to England to write up some of my research. Then, when I returned, the Tanzanians would tell me off for being too abrupt. I’d say good morning to them and then launch into a series of instructions for the day about who should follow which chimp. They’d say, “Charlotte, slow down. We don’t live at that pace. How are you? How are your family?” In Gombe, you might spend half an hour talking to the staff about their goats and their family (though not necessarily in that order) before getting down to the day’s programme of work.

Intrigued by Tanzania and the Chimps in Gombe Stream National Park? Contact for more information and advise if you are interested to see wildlife with reputable eco-tour companies and to feel personally connected with the animals when you get back.

Rik Felderhof met “schrijvers op de veranda” in Onsea House

Een geheel nieuw programma met Rik Felderhof op de NCRV, in navolging van Villa Felderhof: Schrijvers op de veranda. Nederlandse schrijvers luchten hun hart op de veranda van Rik Felderhof aan de voet van de Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Er wordt indringend gesproken over liefde, zelfkennis, verbeeldingskracht en uiteraard Afrika.

Te gast zijn: Nelleke Noordervliet, Arthur Japin, Yasmine Allas, Desanne van Brederode, Abdelkader Benali, Susan Smit, Jan Siebelink en Charlotte Mutsaers. De opnames vonden de afgelopen weken plaats met telkens een afsluitend diner op de veranda bij Onsea House in Arusha.

Vanaf 18 oktober, 20:17 uur, Ned. 2