Kwihala as part of Asilia
On 1st June Kwihala Camp opened as part of the Asilia family. During April and May we refreshed the soft furnishings and put in place a new menu, but kept the spirit of this popular bush camp firmly intact.
This season Kwihala Camp is in the very capable hands of Sandy Mellet. Many of you will know Sandy from Matemwe where she was our Front of House Manager. Sandy is going into her third season with Asilia.
Guiding this season we will have Lorenzo Roskelly and Festo Rafaelle Ntayaye full time. Pietro Lurashi will be in camp from the 1st July – 1st October and Marius Swart arrives on the 1st November.
What makes Kwihala Camp special
- Kwihala Camp has one of the best locations in the park, close to the Mwagusi Sand River where the most exciting game viewing happens! In the mornings, Kwihala guests tend to have this area to themselves, allowing them to move on when others start to arrive.
- The camp has a reputation for excellent guiding and we are pleased to announce that the guides who built this reputation will be continuing to guide in the 2014 season.
- It is one of the only camps in Ruaha to offer game drives, walking safaris and night drives. NB: walking and night drives do need to be pre-booked.
- Kwihala is one of the smallest camps in Ruaha. With just 6 tents this means we can deliver the kind of personalised service that Asilia has become famous for.
Why go to Ruaha?
- Exclusivity: Ruaha is Tanzania’s largest National Park at over 20,000km2. There are approximately 150 tourist beds in the park which means 130km2 of space for each guest!
- Big Cat viewing: Ruaha is home to 1 in every 10 of the world’s lions and the density of lions per km2 is higher than the Serengeti (0.27 per km2 in Ruaha compared to 0.16 per km2 in Serengeti). Cheetah and leopard are also seen regularly.
- Elephants: Ruaha is also home to Tanzania’s largest elephant population (aprox 20,000).
- Diversity: Ruaha is a transition between southern and eastern eco-systems and this is what accounts for its incredible diversity with over 1600 plant species and 500 bird species.
We are very excited to bring you the first photos of Namiri Plains. The 6 tents have fresh and contemporary décor, with accents of reclaimed steel and wood to keep it in harmony with nature. Stand out features include bold geometric rugs contrasted against organic, plant print textiles. Bathrooms have traditional bucket showers.
We have also had some incredible game sightings in the last weeks. A recent FAM trip saw a unbelievable 6 species of cat in 8 days. The 3 big cats; lion (95 different individuals), leopard (6 individuals) and cheetah (20 Individuals including some young cubs), were abundant, but also their smaller cousins were seen: wildcat (3), caracal (2) and an elusive serval. Namiri Plains is living up to its name as the place where the Big Cats Roam.
The Namiri Team
Namiri Plains will be run by Epimark Mwaklianga who many of you will know from Ubuntu Camp. Epimark has been with Asilia for 9 years and has worked his way through the ranks from waiter to manager. Assisting Epimark and leading the guiding will be Blessed Mpofu, originally from Zimbabwe but who many of you will know from Explore Gorongosa Camp in Mozambique. A Professional Walking Guide, Blessed has worked in camps across Africa.
What makes Namiri Plains special?
- Exclusivity and remoteness – Serengeti on your own: Namiri Plains is the only camp in the area (and will be for a while) which means other vehicles are a rare sighting in contrast to many other areas in the Serengeti
- Permanent water source means unrivalled access to fantastic wildlife, especially cheetah, lion and leopard year-round
- Access to the great migration for a long period of the year (Nov-March and June-July)
- An amazing variety of Serengeti landscapes: short grass plains typical of the south contrasting with the valleys and rock formations that are more recognisable of the north
From the BBC website, 16 May 2014 by Marc Harris
Travel firms suspend flights to Mombasa after FCO warning
Hundreds of UK tourists are being evacuated from parts of the Kenyan coast, after the Foreign Office warned of a “high threat” from terrorists. …. The FCO advised against non-essential travel to areas within 37 miles of the Kenya-Somali border and Nairobi. …. The FCO’s warning against non-essential travel covered the Mombasa Island area, Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island, the Garissa district, the Eastleigh area of Nairobi and the slum areas of the Kenyan capital. But it said its advice did not include the Diani beach resort or the nearby Moi International Airport. It said the main threat was from terrorism, which included kidnapping, and that westerners could be targeted. …. The United States, France and Australia issued similar alerts.
Regardless of terrorism, we warn against travel to the Kenya coast too – there are much better beaches and resorts elsewhere in Africa, including Zanzibar, the Tanzanian mainland coast and Mozambique. We have some really fabulous places on offer! If you find yourself affected by the recent FCO advice we’d be delighted to discuss all the alternative options with you – give us a call…
Our news and report this week comes from our guides at Dunia Camp, situated in the central Serengeti, known as Moru.
The wildebeest have done quite a bit of moving these last two weeks. Our guides are happy to report that the migration is now much closer to Dunia Camp as many of them have moved into the Seronera valley right in the heart of the Serengeti, which makes the access to them a lot easier. The guides say that although many of them are in the Seronera valley, there are still herds found down towards Naabi and also behind Naabi in an area known as ‘the hidden valley’ as well as ‘Western Ndutu’.
We can soon look forward to amazing sightings from Ubuntu Camp, when the wildebeest arrive in the Western Corridor and crossing the Grumeti River!