Friday, 27 June 2014

Proposed Serengeti highway gets a big ‘No’

Posted By Getaway On June 23, 2014 @ 9:24 am In Travel news

AfricaStay | picture by Juan Nel ©

A ruling from the East African Court of Justice on Friday, June 20 has shut down the proposed 53 km super highway intended for construction across the Serengeti National Park.

The judges have restrained the Tanzanian Government from constructing the road and have declared the operation unlawful. “The judgment in essence confirms that the treasured Serengeti ecosystem is an invaluable World Heritage Site; and that it deserves optimal protection and restraint from high impact development that can interfere with the functions of the ecosystem and have adverse effects on animals and humankind,” the Africa Network for Animal Welfare [1] (ANAW) said in a statement following the ruling.

AfricaStay | picture by Juan Nel ©

Southern African Tourism Update [2] reported that in 2010 ANAW filed a lawsuit against the move and a temporary court injunction was awarded to ANAW as deliberations took place. “ANAW fully respects Tanzania’s sovereignty and its need for national development. However, by taking up this matter, ANAW was in actual fact protecting a resource that would be of future benefit not only to Tanzanians or East Africans but also the entire humanity,” the statement continued.

 AfricaStay | picture by Juan Nel ©

“This was not a win for ANAW, not for our lawyer, Saitabao Ole Kanchory, not for Serengeti Watch, not for our expert witness John Kuloba, but for the millions of animals in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. It is a win for nature and God’s creation. Nature has won today,” said Josphat Ngonyo, ANAW’s executive director after the judgement.

Posted by: [27.06.2014]

[1] Africa Network for Animal Welfare:
[2] Southern African Tourism Update:

Our 2015 Wildebeest Migration package coming out soon. 

My Zanzibar Trip by Caroline Mhazo

Jambo!! The expression that you will become very familiar with in a few minutes of landing on the beautiful spice island.  It means Hello in Swahili and always delivered with a smile! 

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Zanzibar Airport

As soon as we landed on Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, I suddenly felt overdressed in my early morning Jo'burg outfit of jeans, boots and a hooded jacket. We went at the end of May 2014, so the winter had just kicked off in Jo'burg and yet the weather in Zanzibar is always warm and I’m not really a winter person so I felt right at home.

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The highlight of my Stone Town tour was the fish market

I enjoyed the Stone Town tour, this little town has a lot of history and you better have your camera ready.  The local markets sell meat, different types of fruits and fish.  Watch out for the scooters which race up and down the streets! The highlight of my Stone Town tour was the fish market.  My colleague and I went inside a structure where a fish auction was underway.  The highest bidder gets the first pick of the ocean’s bounty at the most reasonable price, after which market rules of demand and supply take over. I was awe struck by the market activities, busy snapping away at the proceedings when the next thing I noticed was my poor colleague having a completely different experience trying to keep her breakfast down. She ran out of the auction defeated by the strong smell of entrepreneurship.  I guess the fish market is strictly not for the faint hearted. As part of the excursions, there are different tours in Zanzibar, you can go for Safari Blue, Spice Tour, Prison Island Tours, Jozani Forest Tour, Kizimkazi Dolphin Tour. It is also the perfect place for both experienced and new divers.  Snorkeling, as well as different water sports can be easily organized at any of the hotels.

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The white sandy beaches in Zanzibar are breathtaking.
As a travel consultant I had the privilege of visiting more than 20 hotels and I fell in love with the swimming pools. Most of the hotels have more than 1 pool so if you don’t feel like being in the ocean, you can always swim at the resort.

AfricaStay | Best Value Holidays

The people of Zanzibar were very welcoming and made us feel at home. The exotic dishes and spices offer a memorable culinary adventure.

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Infinity pool, infinity fun!!

I would like to extend a special thanks to Karafuu Beach Resort & Spa, MeliĆ” Zanzibar and Royal Zanzibar for accommodating us at your beautiful resorts.  Thank you SunTours team for taking us around the Island and a very big Thank you to AfricaStay for the experience of a lifetime!! 

AfricaStay | Best Value Holidays
Caroline Mhazo in Zanzibar

Thursday, 19 June 2014

SA travellers need visa for Kenya from the 1st of July

The Kenyan High Commission has announced that South African travellers wanting to visit Kenya will need a visa from July 1, 2014.

Ordinary visa applicants travelling to or transiting through Kenya will be required to pay a service charge of R 750 ($70).

All applicants will be required to produce the following documents:

1. Return Air Ticket
2. Invitation letter from the host in the Republic of Kenya
3. Letter from employer/institution/college/school
4. Proof of funds (bank statement)
5. Applicants must appear in person for Biometrics
6. Two Passport Photographs

The processing period for the visas is strictly five (5) working days.

Holders of official or diplomatic passports travelling on Government business are not affected by these changes and will continue to get visitor’s passes on arrival at the ports of entry.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa - Opens on the 1st of June 2014

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa, the trendiest resort to hit Zanzibar's east coast will open on June 1, 2014.

Eleven all-white villas are nestled in the island's lush landscape to provide privacy and create an enchanting oasis. Sea views, a private terrace and a private pool can be enjoyed from any of the one, two or five bedroom villas.

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is the only resort in all of Tanzania to have a five-bedroom villa, talk about bragging rights! The Presidential five-bedroom villa includes a Jacuzzi. All villas are equipped with Wi-Fi, A/C, hanging beds, outdoor bathtubs and rain showers. Guests can watch the sunset from the rooftop lounge, have happy hour by the large swimming pool or get lavishly pampered at the spa.

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa strives to preserve and protect the environment. The resort is powered by wind and solar energy and has its own water source and desalination plant. Each villa is equipped with a solar water heating system. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are grown on the resort's own garden and served at its first class restaurant.

The resort is purposely located on Paje Beach, one of the top three kitesurfing spots in the world. The resort's owner is an avid kite surfer and Paje's beaches make it possible for him to share his passion for the sport. Beginners can take classes from certified instructors and more experienced riders can rent high quality equipment. Stand-up paddle, Blokart and kayak rentals are available for those guests not so keen on wind and speed.

To celebrate its grand opening, White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is offering a great special for the month of June. E-mail us for more details:

Taken from: [30.05.2014]

Tuesday, 20 May 2014



In light of the recent travel advice issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice. The Kenya Tourism Board would like to confirm the following to the South African tourism industry and consumers. While there have not been any incidents in Mombasa and Nairobi that have affected any tourists. Security in all tourism establishments remains high. Kenya?s coast is safe for tourists and business activities are operational despite evacuation of British tourists. Several travel agents continue to sell the Coast despite the evacuations by TUI of UK.

  • Tour Operators are still continue to sell safari circuits in Kenya and the coastal resorts of Diani, Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi and Lamu.
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and all safari circuits throughout Kenya continue to operate as normal and Kenya Airways and SAA and other scheduled carriers continue to operate their usual flight schedules to Kenya.
  • Kenya had always been a leading destination for safaris and we expect to continue with customers on safari in Kenya 59 national parks which are unaffected. Current insecurity incidences are global and not confined to Kenya. Regardless of which part of the world one travels, it is important to be prudent.
  • Nigel Vere Nicoll, CEO, The African Travel and Tourism Association said, "There is no doubt this is going to affect tourism. It is incredibly important that tour operators and consumers are aware that the majority of the Kenya Coast, as well as all international airports and safari circuits. Continue to operate as normal."

The Kenya Tourism Board would like to clarify that the following areas of the Kenya coast are not affected and continue to operate as normal:

North of Mombasa to Lamu:
  • Kilambla
  • Kilifi
  • Watamu
  • Malindi
  • Che Shale
  • Mambrui
  • Lamu
  • Manda

South of Mombasa and Tiwi:
  • Diani Beach
  • Galu Beach
  • Kinondo
  • Msambweni
  • Funzi Island
  • Shimoni
  • Wasini Island

Monday, 28 April 2014



I have recently been to Zanzibar and would like to share my experience with you. If you are looking for a place full of history, culture, lush green gardens and forests plus a beautiful beach vacation Zanzibar is the place for you. From the first moment stepping off the plane you can feel the warm ocean air hitting you, it’s a true feeling of being on a tropical island. I visited Zanzibar in July being the best time as it is there winter season.  The Island does not really experience cold winters therefore weather was excellent as it was warm but not an unbearable kind of heat as in the summer season. 

Our first experience was meeting our guide Genes who is a local in Zanzibar and excellent at what he does. We then headed for Stone Town were we had lunch for the day. Stone Town is the old Town on the Island with beautiful Arabian style Architecture. As we drove to Stone Town Genes shared some information with us on the locals and some of the history. The locals are some of the most humble and friendliest people I’ve ever met. During the trip I’ve learnt they don’t have much of the finer things we are used to but yet they remain happy with what they have and very proud of their Island.

Juan Nel ©

Driving through stone town reveals the islands history. The town was built with coral stone and till today they have maintained it and kept it that way. The doors on the buildings are all hand carved by the locals and one of the attractions as they are some of the biggest doors I’ve ever seen. There are also various shops were you can purchase your souvenirs. The market, some mosques and Arab houses is also located in town. The streets in Stone Town are very narrow therefore it is best to walk through the town or hire a scooter to get from place to place as it also gives you the full experience of the town. A day or 2 is a must in stone town if you are into the history and cultural side of Zanzibar and gives one a chance to mix with the locals. I suggest 2 nights before moving to one of the islands beach resorts. 

As we drove to the different Beach Hotels we passed some of the villages which are also nice to meet the locals and see how they live. Over the next few days we stayed at different hotels on different parts of the Island, each one unique in their own way. For the family travelers hotels in the Southeast and Northeast have some of the most beautiful and family orientated hotels and for the more romantic traveler the North and west would be perfect but both offers a bit of both. The most beautiful sunsets and close to home feel resort would definitely have to be sea cliff which is situated on the West of the Island. If you are young and looking for a backpacker type of experience Amaan Bungalows and Paje would be an excellent choice for you as they are vibey and filled with the younger crowds. The Hotels from on the South East, Northeast and North has the most beautiful beaches on the Island, those long stretches of beaches which are great for morning walks with some of the local people and maasai’s selling various things for tourists to buy. Most hotels also have boutiques were you can buy your souvenirs to take home with you.

 Guests can also arrange different tours from all the hotels in Zanzibar, also if they are interested in diving, snorkeling, fishing etc most hotels has a dive center or there is one close or around the hotel they could use. At some hotels some of the water activities are free except the motorized ones which you have to pay for.  The Island also hosts different beach parties were transport can be arranged from the hotel at a price. Some parts of the Island can be explored with scooters which one can hire if you would like to do some self-exploring but not available all over the Island. 

Juan Nel ©

The food at the Hotels truly exceeded my expectations. It is all Buffet style at the main restaurants except when visiting the other restaurants on the resorts which you pay for.  There was a wide variety of choices with all kinds of food. My advice when visiting Zanzibar is to do an all-inclusive as things is really expensive there. The advantage of an all-inclusive is that you get a variety of meals to choose from for breakfast, lunch and supper and it includes your drinks. Some resorts also offer snacks in between meals and have waiters coming to you around the pool area and beach area in case you need anything.  Beach dinning and private dinning can also be arranged at some hotels. 

Juan Nel ©
All in all this was truly an amazing experience for me and my first time out of the country. I would definitely visit Zanzibar again and would just like to thank the staff from exotic tours and all the hotels we have visited for making this a really great experience for me and to African Encounters for making it all possible

Chane Barker & Andisa Mesatywa in #ZANZIBAR