Arusha conference and congress hotel accommodation upgrade

Tanzania will host the first Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism Management in National Parks and Protected Areas which will bring delegates from 50 different countries to Arusha, at the AICC. The conference will run from October 15th to October 19th, 2012 and is organized by the United Nations World Travel Organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
The conference aims to encourage professional approach to better position “park tourism” as one of the core components of overall national park management in Africa and to acquire an overview of the current challenges in terms of demand and supply chain. Furthermore new partnerships and business models shall impulse re-engineering of park management structures in order to maximize the economics and social benefits to the local communities.

Secondly, Tanzania will be the venue for the 7th World Rangers Congress from November 4th to 9th, 2012 at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge. The Congress is organised by the federation of rangers’ organisations from different parts of the world and will provide valuable opportunities for tour operators to network with other players in the tourism industry.
The congress will be of great value to conservation in the East Africa region and will assist in raising the profile of rangers and especially the emerging community ranger sector of Tanzania.

Participants should make their own accommodation arrangements with the hotels. Those who want to be away from the crowds and relax in a peacefull luxury retreat just outside Arusha should consider an upgrade and stay at Onsea House or Machweo Wellness Retreat & Fine Dining. Contact info@onseahouse.com for our best offer.

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Bilila Lodge becomes Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

PR Newswire announced on 10 July 2012 that Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has signed a long term management agreement with the owners of Bilila Lodge, a resort in the Serengeti National Park, and is now operating the property, which will be upgraded and renamed Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania in fall 2012.

Four Seasons veteran James Kostecky has been appointed General Manager as the property transitions to Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. Most recently General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Thailand, he has previous experience in Kenya with a hotel group based in Nairobi.

“This is the first step in a bold development project that will see three diverse Four Seasons experiences in what are considered to be three of the most important and attractive destinations in Tanzania,” says Scott Woroch, executive vice president worldwide development at Four Seasons. “The responsibility of taking over such as irreplaceable asset within the Serengeti National Park is one that we take very seriously. This is an extremely rare opportunity for Four Seasons in that no other property of this size or scale exists, or is likely to ever be developed again in the Park. With the future development of a luxury tented safari camp in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and an exclusive beach resort on the island of Zanzibar, Four Seasons will offer some of the finest holiday experiences in Tanzania.”

The news was announced to us long time before it became official by owner Ali Albwardy from Albwardy Investment and co-owner Ong Beng Seng from Hotel Properties Limited during their visits at Onsea House and Machweo. We look forward to welcoming clients in Arusha before or after their stay at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti.

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Mwendo plays Jazz at Machweo

Come for a moving experience at sunset and dinner.

MWENDO is a comprised of teachers and students from Tumaini University Makumira close to Arusha. For the past 6 years members have performed at all of the well-known local venues in Arusha with many local ex-patriot artists.

They have opened for Sandra Nkake (Cameroon/France) and performed as the local band for Maya Azucena (UN ambassador for music from U.S.). Members of MWENDO have performed with various ensembles in East Africa, the States, and Europe. They will be playing a variety of American jazz styles (swing, cool, be-bop, funk, fusion) for a “moving” experience (MWENDO).

Members performing from “sunset” (MACHWEO) onwards this Saturday night will be: Randy Stubbs on piano, David Seng’enge on guitar and Megan Stubbs on bass.

Machweo is the sister property of Onsea House, featuring the wellness retreat and fine dining restaurant. Book now your table on +255 787 112 498. There will be 2 sessions on Saturday, from 6:30-7:45 and as of 8:15-9:30 so be in time.

Next Jazz gigs at Machweo will be scheduled on Friday August 10, Saturday September 15 and Saturday October 20, 2012.

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Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson discovers Onsea House

We have the pleasure to have Donald Johanson among our guests, as expert in the National Geographic Expedition “Human Origins”. The whole expedition team has chosen to stay at Onsea House before they walk in the footsteps of early humans, from the highlands of the Great Rift Valley to the Eden of South Africa’s Western Cape, in the company of one of National Geographic’s top experts on human origins.

Donald Johanson has produced some of the field’s most groundbreaking discoveries, including the most widely known and thoroughly studied fossil of the 20th century, the 3.2-million-year-old “Lucy” skeleton.
Although the 20th century has been peppered with important early-human fossil finds, it was Johanson’s 1974 discovery in Ethiopia that added a crucial link, prompting major revisions in our understanding of human evolution. “Lucy” possesses an intriguing mixture of ape-like features such as a projecting face and small brain, but also characteristics we consider human, such as upright walking, marking an important step on the path to Homo sapiens.

In 1981, Johanson founded the Institute of Human Origins, a non-profit research institution devoted to the study of prehistory. In 1987, the IHO was given permission to conduct an expedition to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, and found a partial skeleton, OH 62, which is generally attributed to Homo habilis. The discovery and description of this species is credited to both Mary and Louis Leakey, who also uncovered the tools and fossils of ancient hominines. Mary Leakey also discovered the Laetoli footprints. Members of their family staid also earlier at Onsea House to celebrate the anniversary of their discoveries.

Since 2010, National Geographic Expeditions selected Onsea House as top accommodation in Arusha. Check out the National Geographic Expeditons to Africa and ask for an upgrade to stay Onsea House or Machweo.

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Karibu Fair Hosted Buyer Dinner & Fine Wine Tastings

The night before the opening of the Karibu 2012 Travel and Tourism Fair, the new Machweo Fine Dining restaurant welcomed the Karibu Fair hosted Buyer Dinner which included 17 International Safari agents looking for new property discoveries in Tanzania.

During the entire Fair, many agents and colleagues staid at Onsea House and Machweo and the evenings at the  restaurant were the talk of town. Both Friday, Saturday and Sunday were fully booked with too few space to accommodate all booking requests.

The highlight was the stay of the entire crew of one of our main wine suppliers including the Regional Business Manager (East Africa) of winemaker KWV and another wine expert  flown in from South Africa, who all joined the Fine Wine Tastings at Machweo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

KWV wines were among the biggest winners in the Winemakers’ Choice Diamond Awards. Leading the charge were the Paarl-producer’s premium Mentors wine range. Over the past few months alone, KWV The Mentors have featured in virtually every major wine competition. At the Veritas Awards, it was the range to garner the most recognition for KWV. Our favourite was KWV The Mentors Sémillon 2009, a refreshing experience in flavour. In the 1820s, the grape covered over 90 percent of South Africa‘s vineyards, where it was known as Wyndruif, meaning “wine grape”.  It was once considered to be the most planted grape in the world. Today, it accounts for just 1% of South African Cape vines.

Other connoisseur wines tasted and selected for our new winelist include the Hartenberg the Eleanor Chardonnay with its creamy citrus, nutty, mineral and elderflower flavours with a refreshing acidity (which proved to be great with langouste in tarragon lemon butter) and the The Meye Cabernet 2008 (which was fantastic with Axel’s Kenyan beef filet with béarnaise sauce).

After the meals, we tasted the KWV 10 year old brandy, recently awarded the Best Brandy in the World, which will as of now also feature our drinks list.

The “Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair” jointly organized by Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, Tanzania Tourist Board together with the Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism, is a three day International Travel and Tourism Fair which is held in Arusha. The Fair has grown into East Africa’s biggest tourism and is thé occassion for great food and wine at Onsea House.

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The big cats of the Serengeti – Photographic Safari

The Big Cat Chronicles – join this exciting photographic tour to the Serengeti National Park in search of its famous big cats. Your professional photographer and Photo Tour Leader, Paul Joynson-Hicks, has lived in East Africa for the last 25 years and this is his favourite time of the year to explore northern Tanzania. Not only is it best for photography but it is also the quietest time of year in the north for tourists.

Paul Joynson-Hicks’ breath-taking images have won him international awards and he has also published 4 books on Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Saadani, including the renown “Tanzania Portrait of a Nation”, published in 1998 after travelling throughout Tanzania for a year. The book shows Tanzania’s massive geographical diversity and illustrates the many spectacular aspects of Tanzania. The very popular book is now in its third edition.

The 8 Day – 7 night photographic safari takes you to several of the camps of  Nomad Tanzania, one of East Africa’s original safari companies.  For the past 20 years Nomad Tanzania has owned and operated their outstanding small safari camps in three of the remotest corners of Tanzania.   Over the years they have built a reputation for quality that we are proud to be partnered with.

The Photo Safari starts with 1 night at Onsea House with rooms in the new Machweo Wellness Retreat & Fine Dining where you’ll have a chance to meet the rest of the group and Paul will take you through the plan for the week ahead.

Set departures in November 2012, January and March 2013.

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3rd consecutive TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

For the 3 consecutive year, Onsea House has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall excellent rating, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“Onsea House is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Chef-Manager Axel Janssens. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. With almost 100 reviews since our opening, Onsea House remains also one of the most and best reviewed places in Arusha.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travellers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.”

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Nominated for the 2012 Safari Awards

With over three thousand safari lodges, camps and mobile safari operators in Africa there is a need to differentiate between those that provide an average or bad safari experience and the few who exceed expectations. It is not a question of luxury, but of the ‘safari experience’ from your arrival on a remote airstrip to the revelation of the wilderness and how it works by your professional safari guide.

Accommodation and cuisine are a vital element to the enjoyment of any safari. The purpose of The Safari Awards is to recognise excellence amongst the very best safari lodges and operators in Africa.

For the 3rd consecutive year, Onsea House is nominated for the Safari Awards. We were voted in 2010 as one of “Traveller’s Choice Best Safari Properties in Africa”, followed as Finalist for the “Best Safari Cuisine” in 2011.

Both Machweo Wellness Retreat & Onsea House have been nominated for 2012 as “Best Safari Spa” and “Best Safari Cuisine”. Again we are the only properties in Arusha and one of the very few in Tanzania who have been nominated for these prestigious awards!

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