Archive | 2009

Recommended in the 3 newest Bradt Travel Guides

Philip Briggs’ second edition of Northern Tanzania: The Bradt Safari Guide with Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, published in July 2009, is fully updated throughout, including revised information on the best accommodation in every price bracket, from luxury lodges to simple hotels and hostels, and the best of the safaris. There’s specific coverage of the wildlife and natural history of the region, making it the indispensable companion to a safari in northern Tanzania’s renowned national parks. Plus there’s an introduction to the Swahili language. It is the first of 3 new Bradt Travel Guides featuring Onsea House in Arusha as best accommodation in its class: “… this attractive intimate boutique hotel has drawn praise from all quarters since it opened in Jul 2006. The large green gardens contain a swimming pool & the restaurant, managed by a Michelin trained Belgian chef, serves superb Afro-European fusion cuisine…”

In September, the 6th and fully updated edition of Philip Briggs’ comprehensive bestseller Tanzania with Zanzibar, Pemba & Mafia will provide the latest practical information for both independent travel and all-inclusive safaris, recommends the best of the ground tour operators, gives advice on interaction with the local people,… and also recommends Onsea House. Earlier editions of this guide received rave reviews from both travel press and travellers.

Gordon Rattray is the author of the first edition of Access Africa: Safaris for People with Limited Mobility, a safari guide that is the first in its kind. It describes access in hotels, lodges and tented camps, allowing readers to decide if it suits their particular needs, recommending Onsea House “… Less able travellers might prefer to use it as a chance to eat out in style while in Arusha (accepting help up & down the steps)…” 

Contact www.bradtguides.com or your preferred book shop to buy your copy or contact info@onseahouse.com to make an inquiry at Onsea House in Arusha.

New Sayari Camp opened: most stunning Asilia property to date

Asilia has just opened their brand new luxurious permanent Sayari Camp- located right at the Mara River in the Northern Serengeti. The former seasonal Sayari Camp has been redesigned to now be Asilia’s most luxurious and breathtaking property. Retaining the essence of an Asilia camp, this stylish property is the epitomy of camp with delivering a high level of personalised service, in amazing comfort but retaining the central focus on sensational game viewing and wildlife experiences. The camp layout and staff numbers allow for guests’ experience to be unique and tailor made- every stay at Sayari shall result in a once in a life time experience.

The camp, although luxurious in many ways holds a great balance with offering guests a true safari experience embracing the unique elements of the ‘real African bush’. Sayari Camp’s 15 luxury tents are split into 2 wings- one with 9 and one with 6 tents all of which are raised on wooden platforms to offer a spacious and extremely comfortable stay. Both wings have their own entertainment and hosting tent making it possible to book each wing exclusively for groups. All of these unique tents in Sayari Camp offer panoramic views over the Serengeti through glass sliding doors and windows and allow guests to enjoy the tranquillity of the bush while relaxing on their private wooden deck where a large sofa/day bed and table and chairs are just waiting for them.

To promote this property Asilia is offering a stay 4 nights pay for 3 nights special for the remainder of this year (2009). This special also applies to the other Asilia properties: Olakira and Dunia Camp in the southern/central Serengeti, Suyan in the Loliondo Private Concession, Oliver’s Camp in the Tarangire National Park and the 2 stunning beach properties Matemwe and Matemwe Retreat on the North East coast of Zanzibar. For more information visit www.asilialodges.com or contact us on info@onseahouse.com.

Member of African Travel and Tourism Association

Since July, exactly 3 years after the opening in July 2006, Onsea House in Arusha has been proposed and accepted to be member and shareholder in ATTA, Europe’s largest trade association linking tourism in Africa with the travel trade, the UK Foreign Office and the media.

ATTA creates the platform for buyers across Europe to meet suppliers of African tourism product at networking events, trade shows and through its links with the media. ATTA distributes news on tourism matters throughout Africa to its wide membership and acts as an information hub between the news media and the tourist industry in times of crisis.

Onsea House has its own member page in the ATTA online member directory. Contact info@onseahouse.com and/or visit www.onseahouse.com for any further information.

Tourism in Kenya and Tanzania at risk

The Daily Nation, one of Kenya’s quality newspapers, reports today about the shrinkage of the world famous annual wildebeest migration:

Reduction of water in River Mara, whose origin is in the Mau Forest, and which traverses the expansive Maasai Mara game reserve right into Serengeti in Tanzania, is causing the shrinkage of the world famous annual wildebeest migration, which may stop altogether.

According to the American Museum of Natural History, the great migration, a major boost to the tourism sector, is one of the world’s large-scale-terrestrial migrations that have been severely reduced and could eventually stop.

A study, Endangered Species Research, published last month, says the lives of the more than one million animals are threatened.

But even more frightening is that the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania could vanish in less than 40 years.

Experts now warn that the catastrophic Maasai Emutai (meaning to wipe out), which occurred between 1897 and 1898, in which there were massive deaths of wildlife, livestock and people in the area could be in the making.

Many years later, the African Journal of Ecology wrote of the experience quoting an Australian explorer who had travelled in the area.

“There were women wasted to skeletons from whose eyes the madness of starvation glared … warriors scarcely able to crawl on all fours, and apathetic, languishing elders. Swarms of vultures followed them from high, awaiting their certain victims,” wrote Dr Oscar Baumann.

“The way we handle, for example the issue of the Mau Complex will greatly influence whether people, animals and plants far away off will be able to access food and water,” Dr Julius Kipng’etich, the Kenya Wildlife Service director, told a recent meeting in Nairobi organised by the African Conservation Centre.

Climate change

The meeting was receiving preliminary research finding on how plants, animals and pastoralists on the Kenya/Tanzania border are reacting to climate change and effects of environmental degradation.

The studies, carried out by the universities of California at San Diego and York, Missouri Botanical Gardens and the African Conservation Centre identified lack of water as the biggest threat to human and animal existence in the area.

The study area covers about 60,000 square kilometres, hosting 14 wildlife parks and a major tourism circuit. River Mara is the main lifeline for the Kenyan and Tanzanian Maasai who live in these plains.

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.