Wednesday, March 14, 2012

East Africa News

Travel in East Africa both in April & May is highly advisable for Incentive groups as the rates are much lower and often regarded to offer the best deals both in Kenya and Tanzania
This low tourist season in East Africa also known as the green season happens to be one of the best times of the year for wildlife viewing especially in the northern Tanzania game parks, with Serengeti plains teeming with hundreds of thousands of migratory animals including the wildebeest and zebra.

Plan Hotels opens the New Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge in Karatu, north circuit in Tanzania.

Exploreans Ngorongoro opened in January 2012 and is set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in Karatu district about 160 km from Arusha town in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape. This all-suites wood log cabin style retreat is a mere five minutes driving distance from the entrance to the world famous Conservation Area and 20 minutes’ drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have one of the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa.

This all inclusive property features 20 spacious, individual, private log cabins with fire place, featuring en-suite facilities with solar heated water, large walk-in shower, double hand wash basins, WC, bidet, hand-shower and hairdryer. The resort is on an all-inclusive basis which includes; in room deluxe coffee, tea and hot chocolate making facilities; in-room mini bar; afternoon tea at the pool or lounge; juices, soft drinks, selected wine, local beer, coffee and tea served during meals and at the lounge bar. Other services available include laundry and valet service, in-room service, a Library, television with satellite channels, Mvua African Rain Spa, safari boutique & a swimming pool with sundeck.

CSR Projects in Tanzania

CSR projects are a relatively new concept in East Africa.  Most cultural tour sites in mainland Tanzania have developed by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in conjunction with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), starting with selected villages around Arusha in northern Tanzania. These are traditionally existing villages which provide visitors with a glimpse of the authentic lifestyle of the many tribes in rural Tanzania. Besides enriching itineraries for visitors, the cultural tours are generating income directly to the local communities that are visited. By visiting the cultural sites the guests would be giving support to community health, water projects, primary education and many other projects carried out at village level including reforestation and protection of the environment.

Mto wa Mbu is one of the first cultural tourism sites developed by TTB and SNV. The site is situated on the foot of the Great Rift Valley, bordering Lake Manyara National Park, straddling the famous Arusha / Serengeti route, 120kms and 60kms from Arusha and Ngorongoro respectively. Following the setting up of irrigation systems in the early 1950s, the area rapidly developed into a small town attracting a new wave of tribes from all over the country, each with its own cultural background. Nowhere else in Tanzania have so many different tribes settled in such a small area. The Mto wa Mbu tour is a village walk, designed to provide guests with an experience of the rich cultural heritage in Tanzania, this can be a half day or full day activity.

The varied products, handicrafts and activities that can be seen in the market place and in the village farms is an illustration of this cultural diversity. When you visit the Mbugwe people from Manyara Region; they will show you how they grind different grains to obtain flour using traditional millstone; join the local people of Mto wa Mbu and learn how they construct mud huts, typical housing for most tribes around the area. You will be shown how to mix mud, rice husks and cow dung to obtain the right mud stuff for strong walls, and how the local people roof their huts using dry banana barks and leaves. The local people will show you how to make different tools like spears, knives, arrows. Learn from the local women how pots and dishes are made from clay soil and baked to make them hard.

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