September 2016: Serena Hotels is pleased to announce the completion of phase one of the improvement and refurbishment plan of Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, the Group’s hotel in Dar es Salaam, which is conveniently located in the city’s business district. The new look includes improvements to the hotel lobby, a new coffee shop and shopping arcade, now successfully complete and opened to the delight of our esteemed clients and visitors.
And following soon will be the new pool bar and the eagerly awaited Maisha Health Club. Phase two which will cover improvements to the Serengeti Restaurant, the Kibo Bar and Ballroom will be commencing soon, with completion set for mid-December. Management is ensuring that hotel operations continue normally with minimal disruption to services.
The property, formerly the “Movenpick’ before Serena Hotels took it over 4 years ago is on course to be the select hotel address in Dar es Salaam, a splendid 5-star facility with its own unique style and identity, offering 5-star quality services in line with the other Serena City Hotels in Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali and Maputo.
Please see the following special offers from Asanja Africa
Stay 4 / Pay 4
When combining Asanja Serengeti and Nimali Tarangire, you can stay a minimum of 4 nights (combined) and have one night free.
25% reduction for the bride on accommodation at Nimali Tarangire and Asanja Serengeti
Family special for August and September
Stay a minimum of 3 nights at either Nimali Tarangire or Asanja Serengeti and the fifth person in the family has free accommodation.
Stay at Asanja Serengeti or Nimali Tarangire in the next six weeks and receive 20% off accommodation.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- “Asanja-Nimali combination” price is calculated as 25 % off the regular price
- Honeymoon is valid for 9 months after the date of marriage
- Free nights exclude park fees, camping fees and WMA fees
- Offers valid for the New Bookings confirmed prior to 19th December, 2016 only
- “Last Minute Offer” valid for the stay until 30th of September
- The Honeymoon special requires a copy of the wedding certificate
- Special cannot be combined
- Subject to availability
Neptune Hotels today announced that Neptune Palm Beach Boutique Resort & Spa will be open again as of today. Since the unfortunate fire incident at end of June have maintenance and construction teams been working around the clock to make this early reopening possible. The resort has been carefully restored and was in fact further improved, using this opportunity to add value to it.
The Neptune team is now looking forward to welcoming back their guests.
The management also took the opportunity to thank their guests and partners for their understanding and messages of support during this trying period.
The Neptune Palm Beach is a 4* boutique hotel in Swahili architecture set in tropical gardens on a prime beachfront location at Diani Beach, Mombasa's South Coast. The 60 rooms are in makuti roofed cottages with only 4 rooms per unit. A the large fresh water swimming pool is at the centre of the resort activities. The main restaurant serves both international and local cuisine while seafood lovers can book a table in the à la carte restaurant Mnazi. The resort is approximately 40 km's south from Mombasa and about 45 km's from Moi International Airport. The nearby Ukunda Airstrip is only about 8 km away and connects this part of the Kenya coast with both Wilson Airport in Nairobi - two flights a day - and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya's main aviation gateway to the rest of Africa and the world.
Neptune Hotels Group owns and manages the following properties in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar:
- Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Tented Camp, Masai Mara North Conservation Reserve, Kenya
- Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation, Tanzania
- Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa, Zanzibar
- Neptune Palm Beach Boutique Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
- Neptune Village Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
- Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
- Neptune Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
A WILD NIGHT OUT
Serengeti - the word is a household name but it is also a word that personifies dreams. The Serengeti is arguably the world's greatest wildlife region, and has become known for its wildlife spectacle, the great wildebeest migration.
The mere mention of the name "Serengeti" conjures up images of vast open plains, dotted with flat-topped Acacia trees and huge herds of game, predators and birdlife. Well that was my vision until I was privileged enough to experience a few days behind-the-scenes at Serengeti Explorer Camp, a mobile camp in the Serengeti which moves locations to track the wildebeest migration. My stay was in early August where the camp was positioned in a private campsite within Lobo in the Northern stretch of the Serengeti.
I left Arusha on a chilly, overcast Sunday morning and flew with Auric Air to Seronera, the central hub of the Serengeti. Like a vulture soaring high above the plains, I had a bird's eye view of this vast national park in Tanzania. I also quickly discovered that the park consists of a lot more than open plains, but also hills, valleys, rivers, kopjes (rocky outcrops) and woodland areas. The park is large and astoundingly beautiful.
On arrival, I was met the cheerful, smiling and knowledgeable Eliezer from Ranger Safaris, who transferred me to the Serengeti Explorer Camp site, a journey of a few hours. One has to pause for a moment to take in the magnitude and quantity of wildlife in the Serengeti. We saw herds of impala, wildebeest, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle (& Grant's gazelles), giraffe, warthog as well as smaller antelope like duiker, dik-dik and steenbok. We saw baboons and vervet monkeys, stopping along the way to gaze at tawny eagles and giant secretary birds. We had a brief stop at the hippo pool - a wallowing hole for hundreds of hippos who spend their day in the water and a wonderful sighting of a breeding herd of African elephants. All of this on my transfer!
During my stay and on various game drives, whether a predatory cat or one of the big five had been spotted or not, we would average at least 14 easily identifiable different species of wildlife in a couple of hours. It is a remarkable place with such incredible biodiversity and masses of wildlife.
However, I was not there, just to "Ooh" and "Aah", I was in the Serengeti to see what happens when a mobile camp changes location. Camps move location based on the time of year and usually follow the migration as much as possible.
I arrived to a group of 15 staff in camp - a smiling, singing, lively, energetic team of hardworking men. If you have ever had doubts about what is involved, then these are the experts who make it happen. It starts with setting up a basic camp for the staff - mess tent, storage tent and kitchen tent.
Setting up camp on site, starts with planning the site - deciding where the sleeping tents for guests will be placed, where the dining tent and lounge will be positioned. Then the site has to be cleared - the grass needs to be cut, rocks, stones, and debris cleared, tree stumps chopped and then flattened - a good deal of manual labour required.
Then comes the tent set up. If you've ever been camping you will know that pitching a tent does not always go as smoothly as the instructions indicate. Pitching 32 square metres of canvas is no easy task, especially in the morning wind or when the afternoon sun comes baking down. But up those tents go, with superbly coordinated teamwork!
From there, the holes are dug for toilets - a hugely important task! The bathroom showers are set up, along with double wash basin and eco-friendly flush toilets. Then it's the beds, the chairs, the wardrobe, the writing table, the solar powered lighting and of course the curtains, linen, cushions and decorative accessories follow. All the tents and equipment are brought in by truck but the roads are rough, bumpy and dusty. Each item of furniture is checked, polished, cleaned and scrubbed to be ready for use by the camp's guests. Setting up camp is hard work, it's hot and dusty and one must be on alert for predators and danger.
I took some time to read my book under the shade of an Acacia tree. A delightful indulgence. But you cannot escape that you are surrounded by life, from insects to massive elephants. It's Africa folks and one cannot forget that. The sounds alone are enough to keep you conscious that you are in a region that has never been permanently inhabited by human settlement. The grunts, growls and whining laughter of the hyena's carrying in the night air, and the deep throated rumbling vibration of a lion's roar is enough of a reminder.
My favourite moments were the early dawn sessions, waking up in the dark, grabbing a coffee and heading out for a game drive, as the sun breaks through the wispy clouds to herald the day. The sunrises were dramatic and almost more spectacular than the sunsets and held that promise of a day filled with adventure and the unexpected - because things can change in a moment in the Serengeti.
I also loved the clear, starry nights sitting around a camp fire, before and after a sumptuous meal and a day of sights, senses and smells. The body is weary bumping around the bush and being emotionally stimulated by the experiences of the bush. The longer you stay, the more your senses tune into the surrounding environment and the information provided by the signs, the tracks and the behaviour of other animals especially the birds, giving you clues to life and survival.
My final afternoon, was a supply run to the stores at Mbuzi Mawi to collect supplies for the camp. (In the bush, there's no such thing as popping into the local grocer for something you've forgotten). Everything went fine and well, in spite the capture and release of a boomslang (though venomous, a quite harmless snake) outside the storeroom! As we bumped our way along the road back to SEC, we came around a corner to find a safari vehicle with a very flat tyre and a guide struggling with his jack, so naturally we stopped to help. A good 45 minutes later we waved goodbye to the driver and his hatless group who had all turned an unfortunate shade of red whilst observing the rescue.
We decided to take the river road back to see if we could find the elusive leopard, but fortune was not on our side - no leopard. Once back at camp a hot meal was waiting lovingly prepared by Chef Conrad. It is amazing to taste his creations considering it is a camp kitchen with relative supplies and equipment to a full-fledged kitchen at a lodge or city hotel. The one advantage is the fresh supplies that come from the farm to your plate. This helps to flavour the wonderful food created by the master chef at Serengeti Explorer Camp.
Thanks to Ranger Safaris, Serengeti Explorer Camp and Auric Air. Special thanks to all the team at Serengeti Explorer Camp.
The Ugandan Immigration Authorities have, with immediate effect, instituted an online visa application. All visas for nationals who previously could get visa on arrival, now you must get the visas in advance. There is a chance that you will be denied boarding of your flight to Uganda if you do not have a visa when checking in at your home airport.
To apply for the electronic visa, please visit HERE and please note that the process could take up to 3 days (or longer in some cases).
During the processing of this online application, you will be required to upload copies of your passport (the section with name, number, expiry, etc.), passport photo and a copy of your valid yellow fever vaccination certificate including the section that shows the date and batch of your most recent inoculation against yellow fever.
The good news is, Uganda have reduced their visa fees to $50.00 for most passport holders.
Enjoy the amazing location, service and comfort of Naibor Camp in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve and the best part is, your stay is free!*
04 January 2017 to 31 July 2017 - Stay 3 and pay 2
01 August 2017 to 20 December 2017 - Stay 4 and pay 3
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Park fees are still payable on free nights
- Subject to availability
- The offers cannot be combined with other offers
- The offer is not cumulative
- Stay must be within the dates specified. Date are inclusive.
- If a booking crosses periods, the stay 4, pay 3 offer applies
- If a booking crosses rate bands, the cheaper date is the night considered free
*Except park entry fees that are payable on all nights
The Government of Rwanda has implemented reduced speed limits on all roads. This will increase the various driving times in the country. Please see some of the examples as follows:
- Kigali – Ruhengeri or Ruhengeri – Kigali is now roughly 3.5 hrs
- Kigali – Nyungwe or Nyungwe – Kigali is now roughly 6.5 hrs
- Kigali – Akagera or Akagera– Kigali is now roughly 3 hrs
- Nyungwe – Ruhengeri or Ruhengeri – Nyungwe is now roughly 8.5 hrs