Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gorilla Baptism in Rwanda

Next month, twenty-two baby mountain gorillas will be "baptized" in an annual ceremony dubbed as a name-giving event in Rwanda's Volcans National Park. One of the main touristic attractions in Rwanda are the gorillas which accounted for 90% of tourism revenue. The looming sad story is that up until today, mountain gorillas find themselves on the endangered species list however, according to a 2010 census, the total number of mountain gorillas has increased by a quarter over the past 7 years to reach more than 780 individuals!

Conservation and tourism director Rica Rwigamba said the ceremony will be held on 18 June,2011 and among those who will be given names are twin mountain gorillas which is a rare occurrence for an endangered species.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A day of Glitz and Glam: The Annual Uniglobe Awards Conference

This year was a blast for the Kenya Uniglobe Travel Agents! Marked with glitz and glam, for the first time ever, the Annual Uniglobe Awards were held in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was marked with 100% of 5 star excellence, with the conference being held in Kenya's very own 5 star hotel, Ole Sereni!

We all arrived at the hotel by 9.00 a.m, dressed in matching, Uniglobe embroided black and white T-shirts and were welcomed with fresh pastries and hot tea, to warm us up for the event and from the cold weather. The morning started of with astounding speeches and presentations from Uniglobe International's President Martin H. Charlwood, Uniglobe Sub-Sahara President Mike Gray and Uniglobe preferred suppliers and event sponsors which featured the likes of Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Equatorial Bank among many others! 

Our staff, Uniglobe Let's Go Travel were among the lucky winners with over five (5) consultants being awarded in gold, silver and bronze categories, two (2) sales executives got awarded in gold and silver categories respectively and administration department got over five(5) awards! To top it all, our General manager was a finalist in the category for Travel Manger of the year and yes she won, making her the best Uniglobe travel manger for 2011!!!

The event was patent with excitement and happiness. Great business ideas, pleasantries and networking floating in the room! On a fun note, we had a raffle draw and most of Lets Go Travel walked away with fantastic electronics and gadgets including items such us phones and digital cameras! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two more White Rhino's Killed in the Mara - The continuing saga of poaching

On Thursday last week we received reports that in the past 2 weeks two White Rhino's had been killed as a result of poaching in Africa's most known National park, Maasai Mara. This is rather very sad because not only are the Rhino an endangered species but countless efforts are being done to curb poaching but all so far is proving not being worthwhile.

This topic has been highlighted in the media countless times but somehow these killers are still penetrating in our parks and finding ways to undertake their unlawful and cruel act.The looming question now is what more should we do tho stop poaching? This act even makes us doubt our efforts; are we doing enough or what more should we do?

White Rhino being released
However, after the incident the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) successfully carried out a translocation exercise of a white rhino from the Maasai Mara to the Nairobi National Park (NNP).

The 16-year old male rhino which previously lived at a private ranch in Ol Choro Roua area in the Mara had been frequently crossing over to the communities in the area further increasing the dangers to its life. KWS Southern Conservation Area Assistant Director, Mr. Wilson Korir, said that the move was taken to protect the rhino and provide it with a safe and secure habitat. However the KWS failed to mention that the relocation was carried out to protect the rhino from the poachers that have already killed the two mentioned above.
The white rhino will join 11 others currently living at the park that were brought in last year from Lake Nakuru National Park in a similar exercise. The translocation will enhance and increase the genetic breeding structure of the current rhino population at the park.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Meru and Samburu: A taste of what our staff experienced!

In life, it is said there is no better way of knowing something unless you have experienced it first hand! True to that word, we at Uniglobe Let's Go Travel feel that unless we know what we are selling to you, there is no point of us selling what you can easily find on the web. It is important to give you details about a lodge/camp that you will not find on a website but details that have been experienced .

With that being said,on the first weekend of  May 2011, nine of our staff took a trip down to Meru and Samburu with a mission to learn and explore the area, an area that so many of our clients visit.The itinerary was quite packed, with  them expected to visit over ten  different lodges and camps within three days! Upon their return this is the report and findings that the came back with:

Day 1: Meru
Departure from Nairobi was 7.00 A.M and their first stop was Isaak Walton Inn, which is in Embu. It is quite a country inn, very warm, very spacious and also pocket friendly. It is tidy,clean and the ambiance is great for a relaxing getaway or as a transit hotel to Meru.Their next stop was Rhino River camp, which is located outside the Meru National Park, and according to our staff, Rhino river camp totally blew their minds off! Rhino River's ambiance was amazing, the luxury tents decor is unique and their pool is one to leave you breathless! In one word, they described the place as exotic!

Rhino River Camp

They had a late lunch at Rhino River because as has always been the case, there is the assumption that driving to Meru takes about five to six hours, but in real sense it takes you about seven to eight hours. Also a notable fact is that if you are driving yourself to Rhino River camp you must use a four by four car alternatively get to the Meru park and have the camp's driver pick you up with their own four by four, as our staff did once they realised, their safari mini van was not going to get them to the camp!The team later spent the night at Murera Springs Eco Lodge, which is a new camp just outside the main gate of the national park.The camp is simple but at the same time very beautiful. Their key point was how they have a bonfire sitting just outside the dinning area which our staff described as fantastic!

Day 2: Samburu
According to the itinerary, our staff were to set off to Samburu early in the morning, but due to  mis-timing, the group set off their first visit to Elsa's Kopje which yet again left them in awe! Elsa's is located in the park and on the hills of the park so when you are there, it kind of give you a view of the whole Meru Park. The views are simply astounding and the camp is unbelievably elegant!

Elsa's Kopje in Meru

Due to its location (being on a hill) most of the time you are either climbing or going down the hill, therefore the place is best suited for people who are not physically challenged.The group then took off for Samburu with their first start being  Bomen Hotel which is located in Isiolo town.It is not a "fancy" kind of hotel but somewhere where we could recommend as a overnight stay while around that area. Our staff, then visited Samburu Simba lodge where they had a marvelous lunch and as all Simba properties, their staff were very friendly and very cheerful.The group then visited Elephant bedroom, which we must say is amazing! The tents have been renovated, with those by the river being lifted up the ground due to the floods that were experienced last year! Our staff say, they were not only left in awe but the views of the camp were out of this world!They did add that the staff were extra hospitable!

Elephant Bedroom Camp
They later proceeded to Larsens camp, which they also discovered they had faced renovations due to the floods, had great customer service and added that would recommend at any given day!The group then slept over at Samburu lodge where once again said the ambiance was great, their 7 o' clock crocodile feeding program was entertaining and their food was very fresh!

Day 3: Shaba

Initially, the plan was our staff would only visit Sarova Shaba on this day however, they sort out to visit Samburu Intrepids,which after the 2010 floods was completely washed away! In delight, the camp was now fully refurbished, they maintaining the original decor only lifting the tents up from the ground.The group then visited Saasab, which they say left them speechless!

Sasaab by the poolside
The group then visited Samburu Sopa lodge which they say was beautiful and proceeded to Sarova Shaba for lunch. The Sarova Shaba staff were very friendly and welcoming, the rooms of the lodge were of high standard and very clean and tidy. A memorable moment at Sarova Shaba is when one of our staff rescued a fish from the natural water flow paths, which was caught in a small plastic bag!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Strange and Unusual Tour: The Island of Dolls

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to going on holiday. People enjoy hiking, camping, going for game drives or soaking on the sun by the beach. However, following a blog on Nomadic Matt's Site people are now enjoying what we would call "visits to horror islands!"

Known as “La Isla de la Munecas” in Spanish, the ‘Island of the Dolls’ is perhaps one of the creepiest tourist attractions in the world.

The story of this Island in South of Mexico City began when a hermit named Don Julian Santana moved to the island after reportedly leaving his wife for some unknown reason and decided to spend the last 50 years of his life living alone.

The tours to this creepy island came about after the death of Don Julian Santana who was found dead in 2001 by his nephew, in a canal where a little girl drowned with the “haunted” aspect of this story supposedly began when three girls once visited the island and while playing in the water, one of the girls drowned. As a result of her death, her restless spirit haunted the island. Yes, it does kind of sound like a scene from a movie but this is real. Julian, initially put up one doll to ward off this paranormal peril and help put the girls soul to rest so she could pass on to the next life. However, the “activity “of the girl’s ghost only increased with  more and more dolls being placed in the trees in an endeavor to placate the said girl’s spirit. Apparently, Julian only left the island when he was going to get more dolls. It is said that he even used to trade food for dolls. It is also said that each doll holds a portion of the girl’s spirit.

The island was on the Syfy Channel show “Destination Truth”, where a paranormal investigation team spent the night. They apparently saw apparitions and heard voices!

Now, would you like to visit this Island in Mexico?