Tuesday, December 11, 2007

East Africa Travel Serenade

Newsletter from East Africa

A Wedding Out Of Africa

Kenya has always brought out the romantic in its overseas visitors, from the days of the early European settlers to the international travelers that now arrive daily from all parts of the globe to explore the country for themselves. As a honeymoon destination, Kenya is among the top in the list. It is a country that boasts an enviable range of dramatic landscapes inhabited by exotic and wild animals, and has a surprising number of paradise locations on its Indian Ocean coast. An advantage of a wedding in Kenya is that everything will be done for the couple except saying “I do”; from invitations, marriage license to registrar, photographer to entertainment. So whether a beach wedding with a total seclusion on a deserted sand dune or a sumptuous beach party of 200 or more! Or getting spliced on a luxury yacht whilst sailing on the Indian Ocean, or even a bush wedding revolving around the ‘Out of Africa’ theme – Five-star seclusion, four-poster beds and excellent cuisine served on best bone china with silver cutlery and candlesticks redolent of times past, you name it and the dream will be a reality. http://www.kenyaonetours.com/activities/weddings.htm

Endangered Species in Kenya

After the decision to resume ivory trade was taken last year, poachers have taken a greater interest in elephants in northern Kenya. Eight orphaned babies have been rescued in the recent months, the youngest being one week old. These baby elephants, which actually are a reminder that the resumption of international trade in ivory brings violence, cruelty and tragedy, are being raised and rehabilitated by Kenya Wildlife Service, for the eventual release back into the wild. Kenya that once boasted of 120,000 elephants, has had this number reduced tremendously after a decade of poaching. Today her elephants are strictly protected and population is recovering.

Lamu Cultural Festival

This month the historical Lamu island in the Indian Ocean hosted its third Cultural Festival that brought together thousands of people from other coastal towns, upcountry visitors and tourists. Unfortunately this event came in the wake of a disastrous fire that razed three hotels, including Lamu's oldest establishment Petley’s Inn, which was built in 1936 and was regarded by historians and Lamu residents as "the epitome of our cultural heritage". However, the mood of the festival was not been dampened and instead Lamu people used the occasion to display their traditional spirit of goodwill and resilience. The number of visitors has continued to increase in the past days in Lamu, and main streets and narrow alleys are congested.

Shimba Hills Lodge Specials

Shimba Lodge, a unit of Block Hotels Kenya, has introduced a very special rate for its guests this season who want to experience the only Tree Hotel at Kenya Coast. The new prices are as little as US Dollars 80 per double and US Dollar 50 per single, on Half Board. Child rate is 50% of the double room rate.

Mombasa’s Castle Hotel comes back to life

Mombasa's old glory, the historic Castle Hotel is back. This famous Meeting Place - where residents and tourists alike, including those from visiting ships, could socialize in comfort while enjoying a drink and great hospitality along the island's main thoroughfare, Moi Avenue. Its existence since 1927 (the original hotel site probably going back even earlier to 1913) also attracted many more people and trade to the area. It has been sorely missed since closing ten years ago. Striving for a four-star grading, the hotel with 66 rooms, hopes to be fully operational by the end of the year. The 'Ashanti Cafe', 'Ivory Bar' and 'Italian Restaurant’ are already operating.

East African Safari Rally

This is a reminder about the 2003 East African Safari Rally, which marks the 50th anniversary of the original Coronation Safari rally held in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. This year’s event is opened to all cars built prior to 31st December 1971 – a classic event for classic rally cars. The 5,000 kilometres, nine day event, will start in Mombasa on 10th December, and will cover the three East African countries. The type of cars to be seen, driven by a host of former champions and experienced rally drivers, will include, Ford Escorts, Porsche 911’s, Datsun 1600SSS’s & 240Z’s, Ford Mustang, Mercedes 220SE, Volvo PV544 Sport, Austin Healey 3000, VW, Skoda, Alfa and even a Trabant. For more visit www.eastafricansafarirally.com

A Golfing Destination Kenya

Kenya has long been considered one of the world's great undiscovered Golfing destinations, but more and more traveling golfers are now packing clubs on safari. For the traveler seeking a diverse range of golf courses, combined with world class standards and service, Kenya is the perfect choice. The weather in Kenya is ideal for golf all year round. Kenya has 38 courses, of which 12 are 18-hole and 10 are used for championship events, in locations as varied as high altitude plains, beautiful lakeshores, lush forests, tropical beaches and more. The courses offer international golfing standards and some of the world's finest design and landscaping. Day or temporary membership at Kenyan Golf Clubs can be readily organized by the visitor or through a travel agent or tour operator.

Sky Diving at Kenya Coast

There are many ways to see Kenya on safari, but how about from 14,000 feet above the ground, falling earthwards at 120 miles per hour? For adrenaline junkies, the Kenyan coast has become the latest hot spot for aerial adventure- where the equatorial atmosphere at sea level can give skydivers more than a minute of full freefall over the beautiful blue Indian Ocean, before touching down on pure white sands on one of the world's best beaches. For 14 years now international skydivers have been gathering at Diani Beach on Kenya's South Coast each year for the Kenya Skydive Boogie. This event is proving very popular both with experienced skydivers and those interested in experiencing the thrill of freefall for the first time. It has now become a major event on the international skydiving calendar. The Boogie is organized by Kenya Skydivers and will be held in October 2003. www.skydivekenya.com or www.kenya-boogie.com

Lake Baringo Club, Kenya

This is a classic, neat and compact hotel on the shores of Lake Baringo, and one of the rare places in Kenya where it is possible to watch a family of hippos graze just a few metres from where you are seated! The club has plenty activities including a boat ride across the hippo and crocodile infested lake! A good time to see the hippos is late in the evening after dinner, because at this time they start to ascend from the lake to the lawn where they graze. There is also a morning bird walk before breakfast, led by the club’s ornithologist. There are over 460 species around the club. Baringo Club is situated right on the floor of Rift Valley, an area that boasts of contrasting and captivating scenes.

Greeting from East Africa

Yours, Karl-Heinz Straus

Karl-Heinz Straus is the Managing Director of Kenya One Tours and living in Kenya for 15 years and working as a tour operator for 30 years. Visit also the website http://www.kenyaonetours.com.

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