JKIA Parking

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Car Parking Garage is now officially open to the public. The facility is able to handle 1,300 additional cars for short term and long term parking. The parking garage will be well remembered by passengers arriving in Nairobi as it served as the main arrival hall for several years after the devastating fire at the airport in August 2013.

Additional Screening Measures for U.S Bound Travel

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require additional screening measures if you are flying on international flights bound for the U.S.

Advice if you are flying on International Flights Inbound to the U.S.
• You should plan to arrive at your international departure airport at least three hours prior to the departure time of their flight
• You are encouraged to proceed promptly to your departure gate where additional screening may occur to avoid delay or missed flight
• You can expect to see expanded uses of canine screening at international airports and deployment of advanced technology screening

Ethiopia E-VISA

The Ethiopian Immigration Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines has commenced an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia effective June 12, 2017. The e-visa is processed and issued online where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorizing them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa.
For more information see https://www.evisa.gov.et/#/home
Also they have set up separate counters at Addis airport to process the visas of travellers under electronic travel authorization.
The service is only valid for Ethiopian Airlines passengers, and for eligible Nationalities only.

Canada makes eTA scheme mandatory for travelers

The government of Canada has made the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) scheme mandatory for all visa exempt foreign nationals in order to tighten the security measures in the country. Foreign travelers including the citizens of Britain and US now have obtain an eTA. The cost is CAD $7.

The eTA requirement allows Canada to check that travelers are admissible before they board their flight, preventing those who are inadmissible from travelling to Canada in the first place

Malawi Airlines

Malawi Airlines is introducing an additional flight on Monday starting from 23 Jul 2017

Depart Nairobi at 06:15 and arrive in Lilongwe at 07:30, every Monday

Depart Lilongwe at 17:45 and arrive in Nairobi at 21:00, every Sunday

Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways & Turkish Airlines Travel to the United States, Electronic ban lifted

With immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board to destinations in the United States.

South Africa Visa – VFS Office Relocation

VFS have relocated from Parklands Road to new offices:

5th floor, Parkfield Building, Muthangari Drive, off Waiyaki Way, (opposite Safaricom House)

Helpline Number 0731 055555

Discovering the Secrets of the Empakaai Crater, Ngorongoro, Tanzania

One of the most unique aspects about the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is that the local Maasai tribe live in harmony with wildlife, something that is facilitated by a law demarcating Ngorongoro as a Conservation area, rather than as a National Park.  Unknown to many, are the variety of experiences that can be enjoyed within the greater Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

A scenic drive through the Ngorongoro highlands, passing through various volcanic peaks and mostly uninhabited areas, with the exception of the occasional Maasai village.  A mixture of cattle along with zebra and impala can be spotted on the open grassland as you drive from the Ngorongoro Crater for about 80 km towards Empakaai.  When you arrive at the rim of the Empakaai Crater, the views are magnificent and you will realize that the famous Ngorongoro Crater is not the only intact volcanic caldera in this region.  The large alkaline lake covering three quarters of the crater’s floor dominates the landscape.  From the crater rim, the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano near Lake Natron is clearly visible in the distance.

As you begin to hike, you will be accompanied by local Maasai guide expert as well as an armed ranger, qualified to lead walking safaris in this area.  Potential wildlife sightings include buffalo, bushbuck, blue monkey and a variety of birdlife including barred tailed trogon, eagle, greater and lesser flamingo.

The easy hike down to the bottom of the crater goes through the lush forest and provides scenic views of the crater and lake beneath.  Upon arriving on the crater floor, flamingos are in clear sight, though they maintained a comfortable distance. Being able to experience the serenity and tranquillity on the crater floor is a definite highlight, especially since it is only accessible on foot, unlike the Ngorongoro Crater, which at times can feel overcrowded with vehicles.

After a 30 minute break admiring the views and enjoying the scenery, the challenge of hiking uphill to the top of the crater is upon you.  During this uphill climb you begin to feel the altitude.  However, hiking at a leisurely pace will make it more enjoyable, with the added incentive of having a picnic lunch waiting for you at the top.  Though the ascent and descent trail passes through the same route, the breath-taking scenery more than makes up for it.

Hiking the Empakaai Crater can be combined with an additional hike at Olmoti Crater or a visit to an authentic local Maasai Village to make a full day active and cultural itinerary. The Maasai in this area are far away from the tourist trail and therefore the experience interacting with them is less commercial, allowing you to get a true understanding of the tribe and their daily life.

 

Ol Pejeta Conservancy Horse riding activity – starts on 19th June 2017

Take a morning or an evening ride within the 600 acre Endangered Species Enclosure, accompanied by knowledgeable staff on Ol Pejeta’s safari horses.  These rides will take you on a journey through a predator free area set aside by Ol Pejeta for the recovery of the northern white rhinoceros. As well as meeting the last three remaining northern white rhinos on the planet, you will ride through herds of the highly endangered Grevy’s zebra and Jackson’s hartebeest.  You will also encounter many other species including southern white rhinos and a myriad of plains game. Morning and evening rides will conclude with tea and cake at the nearby Morani’s Restaurant.

The rides will only be open to experienced riders and some proof of riding ability will be required at point of booking.

Ol Pejeta will supply all tack and riding hat. You will be responsible for your own attire. Legs and arms should be covered.

Rides for up to 4 riders will be available daily at 10:00 and 15:00 and will last approximately one hour.

Price per person: USD 90. Inclusive of meeting the northern white Rhino, riding and coffee/tea & cake.

 

Mara Migration Update

The migration of wildebeests and zebras have now entered the Mara. This has been confirmed after a fact finding mission round the entry points along the Mara and Serengeti border. Though this is still in its’ initial stages, every indication shows that the stage is set for the world’s most fascinating wildlife spectacle. A few herds of mainly zebras and wildebeest have crossed the border near Sand River gate. They could be seen taking their traditional route towards Roan hill, and some have already crossed the main road to the Mara river from Sekenani gate. Their movement however is slower because of the amount of grass in their way. Since April this year the Mara has continued having intermittent rains which has made the plains covered in long green grass. They will for sure slow the migration movement north. Looking onto the Serengeti from the Sand River, one can see isolated herds of zebra and wildebeest heading north though reluctantly. We anticipate that as the concentration builds up more will push up north into the Mara.

From Serengeti the migrating herds have taken two wings, one wing heading north from Ikoma area to the west and the eastern wing is the one now moving into the Mara.