Archive | April, 2008

New hotel in Arusha ready for Sullivan Summit

A new international hotel has been officially opened last weekend in Arusha ready to host participants in the forthcoming Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII in June.

Called the Naura Springs Hotel, it has 121 rooms and has been built through a loan of Sh3 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The hotel’s opening will be a great boost to solving accommodation problems for over 3000 participants of the summit. The summit, to bring together international figures, will be graced by President Jakaya Kikwete.

Apart from the 121 rooms, the hotel also has four conference rooms for 400 delegates. Already it has employed 70 people and hopes to employ up to 150 at its full capacity.

The Tanzanian owner of Naura Springs, Mr Mrema, is also the owner of the (old) Impala Hotel and the (recent) Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge. Each has a capacity to host 200 occupants at a time.

Those who prefer more intimate luxury accommodation outside the busy towncentre can contact info@onseahouse.com for more information on Onsea House, just 7 minutes drive from the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

High profile conferences in Arusha

Tanzania as a brand is acquiring wide and respected recognition in the past few years, so it comes as no surprise that America is now the leading source of visitors to Tanzania’s Game Parks. In October 2006, Serengeti National Park was named the Seventh New Wonder of the World by ABC-TV’s Good Morning America and USA Today.  Zanzibar was on the New York Times Travel Section’s “Places to Go” in 2007. Kilimanjaro made the same list for 2008 as well as the USA Today 2008 List of “must see” destinations.   Even the popular  American movie, The  Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman,  included a “Safari in  Tanzania” as one of the 10  “must do’s” before one “kicks the bucket.”

Now, the country is preparing to host two high profile American conferences in Arusha: the 33rd Annual Congress of the Africa Travel Association (ATA), from May 19-23, 2008 and the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII from June 2-6, 2008.

The 33rd ATA Congress in Arusha is expecting 500 delegates including tour operators, dignitaries, Ministers and Executives from Africa, Europe and North America. His Excellency Jakaya-Mrisho Kikwete, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, will officially open the Congress, which will be held at the Arusha International Conference Centre.
The Congress will provide a forum for African tourism stakeholders to meet and deliberate on issues concerning tourism development, establish and strengthen existing contacts, plans and programmes that will boost tourism within member states and raise public awareness around the world on Africa’s rich and diverse tourism opportunities and products. (www.africatravelassociation.org)

The Sullivan Summits are organized by the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation to highlight key issues and best practices, stimulate discussion and define opportunities, promote private enterprise and foster high-level strategic partnerships. Creative and innovative initiatives emerge out of discussions and negotiations at the Summits, and new relationships are brokered in order to make those initiatives a reality. The Sullivan Summits are bridge between America and Africa, serving as a forum for economic and cultural cooperation. The Summit is expecting to draw more than 2000 delegates from the US. (www.thesullivansummit.go.tz)

Onsea House has been selected as one of the official hotels of the Sullivan Summit.
Located only 7-10 minutes drive from the AICC, the venue of the Sullivan Summit and the ATA Conference.

Since we just have few space left on the dates of the conferences, we welcome Tour Operators at Onsea House for a guided tour around our country inn & guest cottage. Contact info@onseahouse.com for an appointment.

An ultra luxurious safari: “out of this world”

It used to be that when the super-rich wanted to get away from it all, they jumped on the private jet or yacht and retreated to the secluded island they owned in the Caribbean or the South Pacific. Now another part of the world is becoming home away from home – the African bush. Singitata Grumeti Reserves is the realty of Wall Street billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who built 3 spectacular properties on the extraordinary 346,000-acre private reserve in a remote western corridor of Tanzania’s Serengeti.

Singita’s award-winning Sasakwa Lodge has 7 luxurious suites set on a hilltop in the Serengeti and has been built to maximise the sweeping views of the plains below. It features all the elegance of a turn-of-the-century colonial ranch.

With 6 lavish tents, and all the luxuries you could seek, Sabora Tented Camp is ideal if you’re after that Out of Africa experience. Come here for elegant simplicity, romance … and expansive views of the plains and the vast numbers of wildlife that inhabit them.

A classic East African safari camp, Faru Faru Lodge is set against a backdrop of some striking rock formations. The 6 suites with raised decks allow you to watch game coming down to the waterhole, as you sip sundowners.

Sasakwa Lodge was named one of ‘The World’s Most Exciting New Hotels’ by Luxury Travel Magazine in 2007 and made it to the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List of 2007. Singita Grumeti Reserves won the Travel & Leisure Global Vision awards in 2006 and is member of Relais & Châteaux since 2007.

Prices range from US$ 950 per person per night sharing for Sabora and Faru Faru to US$ 1500 per person per night sharing for Sasakwa. Singita Grumeti Reserves guests frequently stay at the intimate Onsea House with 4 suites perched on a hill just outside Arusha before or after their stay in the bush (at a fraction of that price though). Contact info@onseahouse.com for further information.

Op safari of de Kilimanjaro met goedkope Connections verjaardags vlucht

De hele wereld viert de verjaardag van Connections. Ook Kilimanjaro International airport nabij Arusha, Dar Es Salaam en Zanzibar zijn 3 bestemmingen in Tanzania die in de Afrika lijst met met goedkope vluchten zijn opgenomen. Prijzen starten vanaf 679 Euro. Alternatief kan je nog goedkoper je Oost-Afrika safari starten in Nairobi (Kenya) of Entebbe (Oeganda) voor respectievelijk 599 en 619 Euro.

Reserveer dit verjaardags aanbod bij Connections tot 5 mei en reis tot eind 2008.

Contacteer info@onseahouse.com voor verder advies indien u Onsea House uitkiest als uitvalsbasis in Arusha.

Cultural Tourism: highly recommended to be included in your safari in Tanzania

A study commissioned by the Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa) has provided evidence that Cultural Tourism is best poised to alleviate poverty in rural areas because it does not require sophisticated education or huge capital outlays in the first place.

Recent research suggests that this branch of tourism was strongly emerging as an important money making activity in areas where visitors go see places of interest.

Cultural tourism as it is known today, is basically based on the mosaic of places, traditions, art forms, celebrations and experiences that portray the nation and its people, reflecting its diversity and character.

It generally focuses on traditional communities who have diverse customs, unique form of art and distinct social practices, which basically distinguishes it from the traditional game viewing safari.

Tanzania now has an official cultural tourism policy and several private sector-led projects are being implemented.

We believe that the most interesting Cultural Tourism Programs are those in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals), and their values and lifestyle.

The Repoa study came to the conclusion that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do.

Upon analysing data gathered from the three locations which have been analysed (Mto wa Mbo in Monduli district and Kilimoja in Karatu district on the mainland, Bagamoyo in the coast region and North Unguja region in Zanzibar), researchers came to establish that tourism industry contributes significantly to the national economy through employment generation, foreign exchange earnings and tax revenues.

Contact info@onseahouse.com or check the overview of Cultural Tourism Programs around Arusha which we highly recommend to include in your safari (including Ilkindinga, Ngiresi and Tengeru) on www.onseahouse.com.

Safari tourism leads Tanzania’s economy

Growing at a steady rate for the past seven years, Tanzania’s safari tourism is booming to become the country’s leading foreign income earner with nearly triple the incomes accrued from agriculture, which has dropped its earning in recent years.

Tourism earning this year is expected to generate US$1 billion, which is contribution to about three times the annual income gained from agriculture. More than 750,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Tanzania this year, bringing in about US $950 million dollars with expectations to reach US $ 1 billion exactly end of the year.
The growth can be attributed to several factors, not the least of which is that Tanzania has a stable and peaceful environment with a democratically elected government.

Increased air access, with many carriers now flying direct to Tanzania (including KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Condor, Kenya Airways and Swiss), new luxury camps, hotels and lodges on the mainland – home to wildlife and Zanzibar beaches (including Singita and Kempinski developments), improved infrastructure and tarmac roads on safari circuits are also major factors contributing to Tanzania tourism development.

The improvements in tourism are the outcome of the diversification of the tourist attractions and the existing allure of Tanzania’s unsurpassed wildlife, seven World Heritage Sites, the cultural richness and friendliness of the Tanzania’s people, miles of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline and the exotic spice Islands of Zanzibar.

Over the last 10 years, Tanzania has become a stand-alone destination. In the past, many tour operators to East Africa offered Tanzania as an add-on or extension to other countries. Now, there is such a great demand by clients to spend their entire time in Tanzania, that the same tour operators offer more than one Tanzania-only itinerary.

In efforts to attract US travelers as well as travel industry professionals in the US, TTB launched a two-prong campaign, targeting the US travel trade consumers in September last year through TV campaigns.

Tourists have recently expanded their visiting programs to include the lesser known Southern tourist circuit to explore the world famous Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Ruaha National Park will be combined with the adjacent Usangu Game Reserve, making it the largest National Park in Africa.

Contact info@onseahouse.com for more information if you consider to include Onsea House as accommodation in Arusha during your safari.

“Beautiful and lush property”

Fodor’s Africa & Middle East Forum continues to get positive threads posted on Onsea House. A recent guest posted his Trip report Tanzania March 08 in which he describes in detail his experiences. Nice inspiration for our website content which urgently needs to be updated: “I awoke early the next morning and opened the blinds. I couldn’t believe how beautiful and lush the property was. We had our own balcony overlooking gardens filled with orange, banana and pomegranite trees together with numerous different types of flowering plants. There was a swimming pool in the middle of this paradise.”

Also Tour Operator Green Footprint Adventures, who uses Onsea House as a base for their guests in Arusha, gets as usual a fantastic review. The company of Mary Rynberg and veteran safari guide Jean Du Plessis is just finishing up 5 new episodes for Ultimate Africa, which will soon return on Animal Planet and Disvocery HD for Season 2. Featuring Serengeti and Selous Game Reserve and other interesting destinations in Africa, all in high definition.

Contact info@onseahouse.com for further information on Green Footprint Adventures and/or a stay at Onsea House.

Tanzania focuses on its National Parks: Mkomazi, Tanzania’s 15th national park

Efforts to expand Tanzania’s National Parks have been continuous in the past years. After the new Saadani National Park, now an exciting new development for wildlife lovers is unfolding in northern Tanzania. Added to Tanzania’s 14 national parks will be the restructured Mkomazi, a 56-year-old former game reserve. As the centerpiece of the new national park, Mkomazi is joined with the Umba Forest Reserve, and shares a border with Tsavo National Park. Tanzania’s 15th national park plays a key role within the greater ecosystem as safe migratory routes and dispersal areas for herds of elephants, oryx and zebras during the wet season and as a protected area for giraffes and many other birds and animals year round.

The transformation of Mkomazi into a National Park has served three major purposes: the re-securing of its land as a haven for wildlife, including the reintroduction of the critically endangered (and once extinct in East Africa) black rhino and the hunting African Wild Dogs; the upgrading of the entire infrastructure of 500 miles of road, an airfield, and dams and water sources within the new area; and the introduction of an innovative outreach program to villagers living in surrounding areas. Construction of schools and clinics, new boreholes and water pumps, the formation of women’s groups and a soccer team, and the introduction of cultural tourism are all part of the program meant to benefit the people of Tanzania as well as its wildlife.

You can include a visit at Mkomazi National Park while staying at Babu’s Camp, an intimate luxury camp with a similar approach as Onsea House in Arusha. Contact info@onseahouse.com if you would be staying at Onsea House and you like this to be included in your safari.

Southern circuit
Although first time visitors must see Tanzania’s safari icons in the North, the great migration of the Serengeti, the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Mountain Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Tarangire and Arusha National Parks, extended air service has made it possible to include the South in the same itinerary. Whereas Arusha is the safari capital of the North, Dar es Salaam, the exotic port city and commercial capital of Tanzania, is the jumping off point for the South.

Since Tanzania’s tourism strategy is to encourage high quality, low volume tourism, the Southern Circuit creates more diversity in the safari circuits and helps avoid mass tourism.

The Selous Game Reserve, at 55,000 square km is the largest in Africa and larger than the country of Switzerland. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the Rufijii River, Selous offers the tourist different game viewing experiences, boat safaris, as well as walking safaris. In addition to its masses of elephants, hippos, buffalo, it is the remaining home of the Black Rhino and is also home to 25% of the continent’s wild dog population.

Ruaha National Park will soon be combined with Usangu Game Reserve, and expected to increase its size by over 15,000 square kilometers; if this expected size remain the same, it will make Ruaha the largest National Park in Africa.

Ruaha, which boasts 10,000 elephants, the largest population of any East African national park, protects a vast tract of the rugged semi-arid bush country that characterizes central Tanzania. Its lifeblood is the Great Ruaha River, which courses along the Eastern boundary of the park. A fine network of game-viewing roads follows the Great Ruaha and its seasonal tributaries, where, during the dry season, impala, waterbuck and other antelopes risk their life for a sip of life sustaining water. The risk is considerable with prides of 20 plus lions lording over the savannah, the cheetahs that stalk the open grassland and the leopards that lurk in tangled riverside thickets. Ruaha is also home to over 450 bird species. The Usangu Game Reserve includes the Ihefu Wetland, the natural water reservoir for the Great Ruaha River.

Other parks in the South include Mikumi, set between the Uluguru Mountains to the north and the Lumango mountains to the south-east and within a short flight from Dar es Salaam, Mikumi is teeming with wildlife and 300 species of birdlife.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park, one of the world’s key biodiversity hot spots, is especially known for its 10 or so species of primates, including the rare Iringa Red Colobus and the Sanje Crested Mangabey as well as the bizarre giant elephant shrew. Its constant climate has given rise to a range of flora and fauna, and sometimes called the African Galapagos.