This is the November roundup of the some of the more interesting travel, vacation and entertainment news from East Africa!
Kenya: Japanese Tourist Marks 154th Kenyan Visit
Photo: The Star
Nairobi – Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hiraiwa first came to Kenya in 1972 as part of a Japanese delegation invited on an inaugural direct flight by British Airways from Tokyo to Nairobi. Since then he has visited the country 154 times!
Hiraiwa, together with daughter Masayo Hiraiwa, were named by the government as Tourism Goodwill Ambassadors of Kenya in Japan.
They were recently on a 10-day visit leading a group of 10 Japanese tourists.
During the recent tour, the group visited Nairobi, Amboseli National Park, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park and Samburu National Park. The highlight of the tour was the famous wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara.
Kenya: Tourism Boost As 1,000 Arrive Aboard Cruise Ship
Mombasa – Tourism got a major boost early in November when luxury cruise liners, MS Insignia and MS Nautica docked in Mombasa with more than 1,000 tourists and crew on board each vessel.
Following the arrival of the vessels, this year’s cruise tourist figures rose to 2,500 – a dramatic increase over last year’s figure of 900.
Most of the visitors were from the United States, while others came from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway and South Africa.
Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the arrival of the liners was a sign that cruise tourism was on a recovery path. He attributed the increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Mombasa to the US and UK governments' lifting of travel advisories against Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties.
Addressing journalists at the port of Mombasa after welcoming the tourists, Ndegwa said the board, in collaboration with the Kenya Ports Authority, would aggressively market the destination in a bid to attract more cruise tourists.
Uganda: Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo to Market Uganda Beyond Borders
Kampala — East African countries are to form a joint tourism body to reap international benefits from the industry. This was revealed at the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo at Serena Hotel which was opened by vice president Edward Ssekandi.
Organized by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the maiden expo attracted more than 300 exhibitors and several tourism boards, from 14 countries, including Nigeria, Britain, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya.
According to Carmen Nibigira, the coordinator of East Africa Tourism Platform, uniting all the East African Community states under one umbrella will bring business personnel to the region and get one voice for the private sector in the diverse tourism platforms of geo tourism, nature, and adventure.
Tanzania: Brewers launch Kilimanjaro Marathon
Tanzania Breweries Ltd announced the 14th edition of Kilimanjaro Marathon in Dar es Salaam, this month. The event will held in Moshi, on February 28, 2016, and it is expected to host a gathering of top athletes from all over the world, as well as domestic competitors.
“The event has been a success and grown to be one of the biggest marathons in the region attracting more than 7,000 athletes from over 45 countries worldwide”, Pamela Kikuli, the firm’s official, said.
Alex Nkenyenge, an official from the Ministry for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, said that the “Marathon had turned out to be one of the biggest sporting events, promoting tourism while boosting the economy”.
Zambia: Kapata calls for Chinese tourism investors
Photo: Daily Mail
Lusaka – Zambia’s Minister of Tourism and Arts, Jean Kapata, has facilitated investments from Chinese investors in the country’s tourism sector by being responsible for the development of facilities such as hotels and lodges. By investing in the tourism sector, Chinese investors are helping to create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve the country’s economic growth, Kapata said during the 3rd anniversary celebrations in honor of the founding of the Golden Peacock Hotel.
“As Government, we support such investments as the establishment of accommodation facilities such as the Golden Peacock Hotel whose anniversary we are celebrating tonight. We congratulate the hotel for this achievement and contribution to the growth of the tourism sector in our country for the three years it has been operating in Zambia,” Kapata said.
Rwanda: Turkish Investors Eye Tourism, Agro-Processing in Kayonza
A group of investors from Turkey has shown an interest in investing in tourism and agro-processing businesses in Kayonza District of Rwanda.
According to Adem Sanliturk, the secretary general of the Rwanda Active Businessmen Association (RWABA), the goal is to establish strong and strategic partnerships between the local private sectors and Turkey.
Sanliturk said that the district offers a variety of business opportunities that make sense to the Turkish investors, making a clear point that agro-processing and tourism are the key areas of interest.