Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

We take this opportunity in wishing you a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for the festive season.

Please be careful in your travels particularly on the roads as they will be busy and for flights, be at the airports in good time.

This last Saturday Royal Jordanian Airlines just started a service to Nairobi from Amman (4 times a week) and have a wide network via Europe and to the East.  Jordan has some great history and a visit to Petra or float in the Dead Sea are well worth the experience.  Make a plan for next year.  
Call us for more details.

With best wishes at this time and may 2012 be a better year for all of us and hopefully throughout the world!

Emergency Numbers and when our offices are closed
Should you need to contact us during this holiday period, please remember we are on call 24/7 and it will be best to try any of the Managers listed below.
Dennis 0722753095, Roda 0721206166 or 0733753452 of ABC Head Office, and Angelica 0722370681 of Karen branch office. If calling from overseas please add country code 254 without the first 0 ! 
These numbers and the regular office numbers are on your air ticket documents.

We are closed from Saturday 24th December midday through to Tuesday 27th December inclusive. Again from Saturday 31st December midday through to Monday 2nd January, inclusive.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tourism a threat to the Watamu endangered Turtles

For those of you who have ever had the chance to enjoy a holiday at Kenya’s Watamu – Malindi beach,you  know how much of heaven these sandy, white, lovely beaches have to offer. This week I happened to stumble upon a very interesting and educative article written by Jessica Aldred of the online portal of the guardian magazine. I had always known that Turtles were among the many species on the IUCN list of endangered species but it is only after thoroughly reading this article did I realise the level of seriousness about this matter. In the article, she brought to light the fact that as much us we are embracing tourism at the coast, Irresponsible tourism could result in destroying one of the main reasons as to why we have tourists at our beaches!
A baby green sea turtle – one of the five turtle species that can be found in Kenya. Photograph: Michele Westmorland/Getty Images
  •   Eight tourists at the beach equal to one job created in the tourism sector.
  •  Female Turtles nest their eggs on the beach shores.
  •   Five of the world’s seven species are found in Kenya, green, hawksbill, olive ridleys, loggerheads and leatherbacks.
  •   All  turtle species are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. In the past 50 years the population has declined by 80% and the WWF say if the trend continues, there will be no marine turtles in existence in eastern Africa.
  • Of the turtles admitted in Turtle help centres such as the Local Ocean Trust’s Watamu TurtleWatch, 62% of the turtles are brought to the clinics because of human related causes many associated with tourism
As I read these facts moving from one point to the next, I reminisced on what would happen if marine life was extinct and how the sea would no –longer be appealing or be one of the main attractions that undoubtedly bring in so many tourists at our local beaches. This also led me to thinking about the root of the no tourists’ consequence that we would face as a country! So the ultimate question that needed to be answered was, how was tourism taking turtles from Kenya’s blue waters?

Photograph by Nick Caloyianis - National Geographic
  •  Disposing of litter in the sea is one of the hazards. This is dangerous to Marine life as turtles may mistake the clear plastic waste for jellyfish and can die if they eat it.
  • Buying products that have been made from sea turtle parts or any marine life. This will only make those who sell to you these items go back in the sea for more of the animals so they can sell more!
  • Stay at beach resorts that do not have responsible beachfront management practices, for example banning bright lights that face the beach and can confuse nesting turtles.
  • Driving motorised vehicles on the beach and as a result compacted sand from vehicles makes it difficult for turtles to dig nests.
  •  Restaurants that serve undersized crabs and lobsters as this contributes to the species’ demise.
  • Snorkeling and diving are encouraged but under the supervision of KWS wardens who work closely with local tour operators and hoteliers to ensure strict adherence   to marine wildlife code.
  •  Removing, damaging or touching corals. They are living organisms that take years to grow and support the many species.
These are just but a few things that if observed could save our marine life. It may all not be 100% possible at present but we can meet at least 99.99% if we keep our conscious awake and practice responsible tourism, and as KWS say, “Leave only footprints in the sand and air bubbles in the water.”

NB: Some resorts at Kenya's Watamu Coast that have good beachfront mahagement are Hemingways Resort, Turtle Bay Beach Resort, Ocean Sports.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Embracing December

December is a month highly associated with festivities, the main reason being because of Christmas and also the New Year! As Christmas hymns dictate, it is a season to be jolly!

One year ago, we posted our first blog, writing about Christmas, posing the question whether or not you had booked your Christmas getaways early enough to secure your dream holiday? I remember advising that to avoid the sound of our ever charming consultants saying to you  "I am sorry sir, all places are fully booked!" Well, let's just say that the advice may have gone out through the window, but hey, do not despair, there are still a few places here and there that still have availability, all you have to do is give us a shout, your budget and we will be quick to match your holiday desires.

With December, this not only means  holidays, chocolate cakes, parties, gifts and all the fabulous treats, but it also means that next year is only four weeks away! This means, new year resolutions,plans, budgeting, purchases, targets, the list is endless! With this running through our minds we started to question, which places did we visit this year that we thought were awesome or thought were exaggerated and were not as good as said? We also started wondering which places would be great for 2012 in terms of location and attractions? Where would we and our clients love to explore? The questions just kept on moving from this to that.... we even got the point where our thoughts were asking, who do you think would make the top10 must visit destination in 2012, if we were to create our own list? Lonely planet already have their top 10 cities,countries and best value for 2012?! What and who would our list contain?

The Pelican Lodge Elementaita
In 2011, we saw hotels such us The Emakoko emerge as an amazing attraction in the world's safari capital Nairobi, Serena Hotels Lake Elementaita Camp and even The pelican Lodge still in Elementaita, a place we once nicknamed, the undiscovered gem in the Rift Valley! Many high - end, sophisticated and unique places that could take up at least five separate blogs with us just naming them! This means that there are so many new places that we are yet to enjoy and have a taste of. The more we think of this, the more we look forward to 2011, bearing in mind that alot of speculation about 2012 being the year that the world supposedly will come to an end! Reports even suggesting this could be our last ever Christmas to celebrate?!

All said, there are many properties and destinations that remain untapped and would serve as great adventure and treats for our holidays. The best 2012 resolution we would suggest is for you, is to contact us so that you can start finding out more about these raw and fresh destinations and properties. This will help you budget and plan in advance, that way making sure you do not strain your budget when the vacation time comes. This will also give you an added advantage and a reason to brag and show off your travel skills and knowledge infront of your family, friends or spouse by showing them how well your knowledge in the new travel products are, and yes... we will not ruin your moment when it comes,by saying you got all that information from us!

*Happy Holidays!!*