Ndege News - March 2023

Page 1

www.airkenya.com www.regionaltanzania.com www.aerolinkuganda.com BOOK ONLINE ndege AIRKENYA, AEROLINK UGANDA & REGIONAL AIR INFLIGHT MAGAZINE NEWS MARCH - MAY 2023 FREE COPY An Immersive Rainforest Escape Serengeti Serenade Kenya’s Completely Carbon-Neutral Safari The Loisaba Experience


The Business Platform Ltd

P O Box 103364-00101, Nairobi.

Tel: 254 -741 070001

Email: businessplatformkenya@gmail.com


Peter Ondabu

Cell: 0722 770367 ondabupeter@gmail.com

Design and Layout

Digital Colour Business Ltd. info@digitalcolourbiz.com

NDEGE which means aeroplane in Kiswahili is a quarterly Magazine publication of AIRKENYA Express Limited

Wilson Airport

P.O. Box 30357 - 00100 Nairobi, Kenya


Tel: (254-20) 391 6000

Email: resvns@airkenya.com

The magazine focuses on tourism, hospitality, travel, leisure, conservation and aviation related news in the East African region and beyond. The views expressed in NDEGE NEWS Magazine do not necessarily reflect those of either AIRKENYA EXPRESS, REGIONAL AIR SERVICES and / or AEROLINK UGANDA.

© 2023

All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced by any means without permission from the Publisher.

15 22 inside MARCH - MAY 2023 REGULAR 05 Welcome Note 08 - 12 News Updates FEATURES 14 An Immersive Rainforest Escape At Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge 20 The Pearl of Africa: There’s More Than Meets the Eye 24 Serengeti Serenade 28 Kenya’s Completely Carbon-Neutral Safari 34 Loisaba Conservancy Destination Experience 32
10 26

Welcome on board

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Ndege News, the inflight magazine for AirKenya, AeroLink Uganda and Regional Air Tanzania. We are honored to be a part of your journey and to provide you with a glimpse into the world of aviation in East Africa.

As we embark on a new year, I am reminded of a quote from Eddie Rickenbacker, the highly decorated World War I US pilot who said, “Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.”

2023 carries with it the promise of success as passenger demand continues to improve while Covid-19 related restrictions ease. Despite the global economy tightening, we are seeing consumers around the world yearning to reconnect with nature. Demand for travel to East Africa is high and growing day by day. As a company we are ready to provide seamless connections all around our route network which covers Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. With our private charters, we provide tailored made safaris across East Africa.

Our focus remains on improving the customer experience, and we are committed to making your journey with us as smooth, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible. From our interactive social media platforms and streamlined booking processes, to on-time flights and exceptional

client relations, we strive to provide operational excellence and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for choosing AirKenya, AeroLink Uganda and Regional Air. We look forward to welcoming you onboard and making your travel experience a truly remarkable one.

Warm regards,

Our focus remains on improving the customer experience, and we are committed to making your journey with us as smooth, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible.


Karen Connection Complex Office No. 15


Lower Plains Road (off Karen Road). ww.karengata.com

+254 715143126

+254 719145536


Stunning 5000sqft 6 bedroom family home located in Hardy on 1.5 aces. (Residential Freehold Title). Solar heated swimming pool. Staff quarters for 3.


Price: KShs 140m


Price: KShs 65m

Charming and well maintained contemporary house on 2.71 acres of mature gardens close to Karen Shopping


Price: KShs 78m

Price: On application.


Price: KShs 180m

Price: KShs 180m

BARGAIN PRICE: 3 bedroom main house with a 2 bedroom cottage on 1 acre of mature garden. 1.3 acre property in a quiet and serene area of Hardy Estate, with an old house, guest house and a mature garden full of trees, ideal for residential development. 5 acre property with views to Mount Kenya in a spacious secure, gated compound with its own driveway at the end of a cul-de-sac. Centre. 6 acre property located on South Lake frontage with a main house, cottages and swimming pool.

Karen Connection Complex Office No. 15


Charming 4 bedroom bungalow with courtyard and swimming pool on one acre of private garden, within a secure, gated community.


Price: KShs 85m


Lower Plains Road (off Karen Road). ww.karengata.com

+254 715143126

+254 719145536


Lush 1 acre ‘Freehold' land with river frontage ideal for re-developing. Gentle slope, red soil, water & electricity onsite. Easily accessible via bypass or Kitisuru road.


Price: KShs 95m.

2.5 acre “Freehold” property with main house and 3 cottages.

• 4 bedroom main house.

• bedroom cottage.

• 2 bedroom cottage.

• 2 bedroom cottage.

• Lovely gardens.

Price: KShs 150m (neg).


Triangular shaped 10 acre ‘Leasehold’ plot subdivided into parcels of 5 acres each. 1km off Mombasa Road. Ideal for commercial/industrial use, residential or long-term investment plan. Accessible through; Machakos, Mombasa rd & Maanzoni ranch.

Price: Kshs.14M per acre. Negotiable.

Modern17 storey, 2 block apartment complex, comprising of 2, 3 & 4 bedroom apartments located in Kilimani, on Riara Road which is approximately100 metres from Ngong Road on the outskirts of Nairobi CBD.


Price: Between KShs 12.5m and 15.3m

A RARE OPPORTUNITY to own a substantial country house with outstanding uninterrupted views across the KWS nature reserve with Lake Naivasha, Eburu Hills and the Mau Escarpment beyond.“Sukoroi House” has a built up area of in excess of 650 sqm, within it’s private, fenced mature gardens and grounds of 9 acres, was completed in 2012.

Price: KShs 75m

Visa openness in Africa sees steady improvement in policies

93% of African countries have improved or maintained their score on the 2022 Africa Visa Openness Index (AVOI). Two-thirds of African countries have adopted more liberal visa policies compared to six years ago. The AVOI measures visa policies of African governments based on visa-free entry, visas on arrival, and pre-travel visas required. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on travel restrictions, 10 African countries improved their visa openness score in the past year. The 2022 report showcases Burundi, Djibouti, and Ethiopia as the countries making the most progress in their visa openness. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community are the most open communities, according to the report.

Tanzania Records 64% Rise in Foreign Tourists in 10 Months

Tanzania recorded a 64 percent rise in the number of foreign tourists that visited the East African nation between January and October 2022.

Daniel Masolwa, director of economic statistics with the National Bureau of Statistics, said 1,175,697 foreign tourists visited the country between January and October this year, compared to 716,741 tourists during the same period in 2021.

"The number of tourists increased by 458,956, which was equivalent to an increase of 64 percent," Masolwa told a news conference in the capital Dodoma.

Masolwa attributed the surge in foreign tourist arrivals to efforts by the government aimed at revitalizing the tourism industry after it was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the Royal Tour documentary, which was part of the campaign to promote Tanzania as a preferred tourist destination launched by President Samia Suluhu Hassan in 2021, also played a major role in boosting the country's foreign tourist arrivals.

Masolwa also said most tourists were from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the United States, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, and South Africa.


The Pearl Of Africa Tourism Expo

The Pearl Of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) that had been scheduled to happen between February 8th - 11th, 2023 is postponed to April 26 — 29th, 2023. The rescheduling of the event will allow a comprehensive engagement and participation of stakeholders. This POATE edition is particularly critical because it seeks to reposition destination Uganda through transformational marketing of all the country's tourism offering post the pandemics. POATE is an annual signature event for Uganda that offers a platform to market and propel growth of the tourism sector.

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is East Africa’s tourism signature event that brings together tourism stakeholders to one ideal meeting place to meet and network with exhibitors, buyers, investors and suppliers of services in the tourism sector from all over the world.

Booming Tourism in Kenya: 2022 Report Food Relief for 800 Families

The total number of arrivals in Kenya during the January –November 2022 period was 1,321,887, which is an increase of 74.5% from the same period last year. The destination has attained 70.2% recovery of the performance for the year 2019 which stood at 1.97 million arrivals.

Leisure was the most popular reason for coming to Kenya during this period, with 39.6% of arrivals being for holiday purposes. Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) arrivals contributed 26% of the total, with 344, 256 passengers arriving. Business and MICE arrivals accounted for 26.1% of the total, with 345,123 passengers arriving. On-transit passengers also made up a significant portion of arrivals during this period, with 67,087 passengers arriving.

The top five markets for arrivals in Kenya during this period were the United States, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Tanzania and India.

In the middle of December, Elephant Bedroom Camp under the Atua Enkop Africa banner partnered with the Premchandbhai Foundation and the Giants Group in distributing much needed food relief to 800 families in two communities;

1. lderkesi community - 400 households

2. Marti community + Ndonyololiai - 400 households

Both these communities have felt the effect of the drought conditions in these areas, and it was felt necessary to come to their aid. The food parcels, weighing 11 kgs each, were received with smiling faces and gratitude.


Tribute to One of Tsavos Super Tuskers – “Lugard”

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) joins the conservation fraternity to bid ‘fare thee well,’ to one of Tsavo’s Super Tuskers; the majestic, iconic Lugard, whose life’s candle was snuffed out by advanced age, exacerbated by debilitating drought.

Lugard’s three-day old carcass was spotted by Tsavo Trust’s eagle-eyed pilot officer within Tsavo West National Park, during a routine aerial reconnaissance mission. An immediate ground response was initiated by KWS and Tsavo Trust to verify the situation.

The joint team confirmed the carcass to be that of the famous Super Tusker named Lugard: cause of death was natural. Further, both massive tusks were intact and subsequently recovered.

Lugard was first ‘baptized’ and recorded into the Big Tusker Project database on 1st January, 2014. He crisscrossed seasonally between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks via Manyani area, with his movement data and video recordings leading to the establishment of a wildlife underpass beneath the SG Railway, that has since been used by countless elephants.

KWS/Tsavo Trust physically observed Lugard on 373 separate occasions – approximating to a nearly once-per-week sighting of the gentle giant for the last nine years! For all of his many years, Lugard roamed unfettered over his home range - the sprawling 22,000 sq. km Tsavo parks - a sterling example of what continuous, collaborative conservation can conceive: elephants living out their lives to the fullest, as Mother Nature intended. This is a rarity in today’s elephant existence, more so for an elephant endowed with such impressive ivory.

Lugard was a film star, appearing in several documentaries; photographed and enjoyed by visitors galore who visited Tsavo specifically to see him. He was last seen alive by Tsavo Trust on 10th November, 2022.

The silver lining to losing a Super Tusker - a gem of Lugard’s ilk - to the inevitable circle of life, is that his virility saw him sire multitudes of equally – if not more magnificent – pachyderms to sustain his documented “large tusks” genetics, to continue their reign over the impressive Tsavo ecosystem.


Across the world, more and more travellers are choosing to rent a private house, rather than a hotel for their holiday, opting for a truly relaxing experience that they don't have to share with other guests. DiscoverWatamu have been providing this service in Watamu for over 20 years. Specialists in the Watamu area, with over 60 properties, they offer couples, families and groups of friends the perfect place to stay, from one bedroom apartments to six bedroom beachfront properties.

This year DiscoverWatamu are introducing a fully catered option to a select few of the houses. With this, they will take care of all the worries, from buying the food, arranging airport transfers, and book your excursions, all in conjunction with a daily visit from a personal concierge.

With Malindi only an hours flight from Nairobi, and a short half hour drive to Watamu the private houses are an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, whether for a long weekend or a week with the family..

Watamu as a destination has so many things to do, whatever your reason for the break. Deep-Sea fishing is a massive draw to those who love being out on the water, and the majority of billfish caught are tagged and released to fight again

Watersports like kitesurfing, water-skiing, scuba-diving and snorkelling are also very popular, with schools like Tribe Watersports and AquaVenture Diving to give you the skills to enjoy this. There is a pitch and putt golf course and even the opportunity to play the growing sport of Padel.

In terms of restaurants, bars, and cafes there are plenty of delicious options, and the Blue Marmalade supermarket stock everything you need for your DiscoverWatamu self-catering option, with deliveries available to take the stress out of shopping

Taking a DiscoverWatamu rental is a simple, easy, relaxing option. Contact them on info@wpskenya.com or visit www.DiscoverWatamu.com to see the choice.

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 11

Angama's Amboseli Lodge Fully Booked Ahead of Opening

Angama, one of Kenya’s most luxurious hotels in Maasai Mara has opened a tented camp in Amboseli, adding 15 more rooms to the destination that attracts bird watchers, horseback riders, and tourists looking to enjoy sundowners against the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro while herds of elephants pass by.

Angama Amboseli joins the likes of Ol Donyo Lodge, Satao Elerai Camp, Amboseli Serena, and Ol Tukai Lodge Amboseli, luxury tented camps that have been offering accommodation in the region that was recording a sharp rise in the number of visitors two years ago before the pandemic affected travel.

The lodge has a smaller bed capacity at 15 rooms as opposed to Mara’s 30 rooms. The architecture is also different with every franchise tapping on its natural habitat for its identity. The Mara taps into scenic views and its rich ecosystem. The Amboseli taps on the elephant sanctuary, the forests, and the mountains around.

Government Launches Sea Turtle Protocol

Kenya’s marine biodiversity conservation efforts received a welcome boost when the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Hon. Peninah Malonza, launched the Sea Turtle Conservation Protocol at Mombasa Marine Park in Coast Conservation Area recently.

Sea turtles are keystone species and contribute to the thriving of the coastal ecosystem - as such, efforts to conserve and protect them impact other ecosystems positively. The historic launch is in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources as part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal.

The Protocols will help to monitor population trends across the Kenyan coastal line, and meet the statutory obligation of reporting on the status of Sea turtles as nationally listed endangered species.

NEWS UPDATES Tsavo National Park DailyFlights www.airkenya.com www.regionaltanzania.com www.aerolinkuganda.com Contact Us: +254 20 391 6000 resvns@airkenya.com

An Immersive Rainforest Escape

At Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

In Uganda's southwest, in the shadows of the towering Virunga Volcanos, is one of the last few places in Africa that is truly pristine. The region at the tri-frontier of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC is home to one of the last great tracts of ancient temperate rainforest — one of Central-East Africa's best-kept secrets. And if you're seeking a private rainforest escape in this Eden that makes you feel like an intrepid adventurer, there's no better place to stay than Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge.

Nestled on the emerald banks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on a pristine ridge, Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge is a true mecca for nature enthusiasts. The all-inclusive Lodge's off-the-grid location ensures that every part of the stay is a decadent adventure in the world-renowned Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, attracting travellers for its unspoiled and untamed nature.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world's last remaining rich ecosystems. The ancient rainforest spreads across steep ridges and valleys, forming a protective habitat for the region's most precious tourist attraction, the endangered mountain gorillas.

With a population of over 459 mountain gorillas, about half of the world's total population, the forest reserve represents a conservation frontline as an isolated forest of outstanding biological richness. The 32,092 ha (331 sq km) UNESCO World Heritage Site is a biodiversity hot spot with possibly the most significant flora and fauna, including one of the richest mammalian assemblages in Africa. Nonetheless, most travellers flock here for the exhilarating oncein-a-lifetime moments with the mystical silverback families.

There's something unquestioningly fascinating about these great apes

that charms visitors to appreciate the combination of remarkable strength with profound gentleness, the depth of primitive social bonds living in harmony with their environment, their vulnerability and their struggle to survive. An experience that reminds us of our humble beginnings and has become a bucket list adventure item on African safari packages.

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, a seven-time World Travel Awards winner of the Leading Safari Lodge in Uganda award, is a prime access point and an excellent base for trekking gentle giants and exploring the region's rural walking adventures. Guests can access the park's visitor centre, a short 10-minute walk from the Lodge, with an exciting assurance that they will get the luxe holiday treatment when they return. Meanwhile, action-packed daily excursions from the Lodge reveal the region's impressive wildlife,


including bird species only found in the Albertine region.

Those looking to marvel at a 36,000year-old rainforest can join a guided hike through the old-growth forest, where forest elephants, monkeys, chimps, over 100 mammal species, and thousands of butterfly species and blankets of moss create a masterpiece of colour and texture. After appreciating nature with your eyes, you can taste it at a special picnic lunch set up by the riverside with the relaxing river and twittering bird sounds.

"Uganda is our home — we're fortunate to call it that — and we're thrilled to share it with our guests." The co-founder, Lydia Eva Mpanga, narrated the Lodge's origin story to our scouts. "In 2007, we set up a camp in Nkuringo in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that has gracefully grown into a multi-award-winning luxury safari lodge in Uganda. The camp couldn't survive on the jungle's edge without

travellers for long. So we put together a team of local guides and set up our first adventure brand, Nkuringo Walking Safaris, to take travellers to experience our discovery expeditions and beyond. And we began and built our travel brand here in the beautiful mountains." So you see, when you stay at this Lodge, you're travelling with more than just a brand but a family of passionate travellers.

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge sits at a 2161-meter (7,087 ft) altitude ridge on the southern edge of the gorilla park with stunning views across the rugged rift valley landscape and the entire Virunga Volcanoes chain. The Eighteen lavishly appointed guest cottages are set among towering conifer trees sprouting through a wooded ridge like a wild rose garden. Even showering comes with verdant views.

Built with wood and ancient volcanic rock, the safari lodge is styled with eleven private garden cottages, two family-style villas, and four luxurious

forest suites sitting above the steamy forest swathe and peering out of the forested ridge slopes with distinctive elegance.

Nkuringo Lodge has a light-on-theland ethos, which carries through to the solar-powered generators and rain-water harvesting system. But the modest exterior belies the Lodge's emphatically chic insides—no wonder, as Nkuringo's creative force is the CEO, Lydia Mpanga. Lydia's stylish realisations are inspired by her love for the African continent, its cultures, and people, and she represents her homeland in the Lodge's exotic decor and furnishings.

She designed the rooms with locally sourced decor, graced the spacious rooms with African-styled furnishings, and fitted them with wood fireplaces to warm for mountain evenings that get really chilly. With wooden-tiled floors, slouchy couches and rustic furniture, macramé ceiling, African art wall hangings, lumbering walkways, and ambient gardens with greenery


swaying in the breeze, the setting could be heaven. Until the light from across the rift valley curtained by the blue Virunga Mountains corns beams through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and the fresh breeze from the rainforest valley snaps you back into place.

The guest cottages bear no trace of the colonial tropes—camping chests, pith helmets—that have become so tired and inappropriate in African safari lodgings. Instead, the spacious rooms feel like sophisticated cottages built with the same volcanic stone walls and raw woven papyrus ceiling as the main building, warmed by accents like vintage swing chairs, locally woven baskets, and handmade pillows, all in a tasteful palette of saffron, grey, and layered natural textures.

Thoughtful touches like African-style woven baskets for chandeliers, full-length mirrors, wall paintings, and plenty of hooks betray a woman's thoughtful touch, often lacking in safari lodge design. A wooden verandah extends into the exotic views at each private chalet with inviting seats. A deep rectangle tub overlooking the ridgeline sits on the edge of each luxury suite bathroom

16 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023

with a hip-to-ceiling glass window looking into the Kashasha valley over the rainforest—a setting that may persuade you to forego the evening chats in the lounge for a private moment.

Most guests do precisely that, followed by a deep, tendon-plucking massage in the free-standing spa and sipping a local malt by the gleaming fireplace after chef Milton & Peter's four-course meal.

At the highest point on the property sits the grand reception building housing the dining, lounge, and bar spaces with expansive 360-degree views of the sunrise over the misty jungle, the ever-changing Virunga views, and the sunset across the Albertine rift.

In another nod to the rural setting, the bar at one end of this breezy rectangular lounge/dining area is fronted by antique wall-mount wine racks and ancient Ugandan entertainment instruments inspired by native cultures from the surrounding communities.

One can also lose hours browsing the charming gift shop, lined with a Wunderkammer of African curios—

hand-beaded earrings, chunky bracelets, sandals, jewellery, Africancoloured clothing, wooden carvings, and various African gifts.

Dinners are also exemplary of Nkuringo's down-to-earth approach, which drops the culinary contrivances of many other safari brands in favour of fresh continental served family style—typically home-grown, same-day fresh fruit & vegetable salads, grilled beef, chicken, or fish skewers, paired with Indian-spiced dishes, though the kitchen is always ready to serve up a Ugandan platter of green banana, chicken soup and vegetables. Senior staff and guides eat alongside guests, another barrier-dropping tactic that makes a stay at Nkuringo stand out. The Lodge is staffed entirely by locals, including top management, who at other top-tier lodges are more often European.

A few nights in the bush will be memorable no matter what, but the suitable Lodge—in a spot-on location with expertly trained service staff, good community relations, and spaces that enchant during the idle hours between adventures— can make your trip life-changing. Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge will

plunk you into IMAX-like ecosystems with cabins surrounded by forest gardens so silent you can hear your own thoughts.

For a sustainable traveller, the community-infused programs at Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge make you feel linked to the land's cultures, history, and future, thanks to the exceptional gorilla conservation program that weaves together the whole tapestry of sustainable endeavours and channels the soul of its surroundings.

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge makes you conscious of the continent's shifting identity and connects you deeply with the local community, for whom safari tourism presents a new economy beyond subsistence.

"Our responsible travel policy also endorses the principles of Fair Trade in Tourism. It is about ensuring that the people whose land, natural resources, labour, knowledge and culture are used for tourism activities benefit from tourism," Lydia excitedly points out with a charming smile.

"We work to maximise the benefits generated by tourism for local economies and people by preventing leakages, ensuring that the Lodge earnings actually stay within Uganda while providing our guests with a great travel experience. With our parent brand, Nkuringo Walking Safaris, we focus on our core values; to be adventurous, have fun, stay active, keep things personal & sustainable, connect with locals, and explore more on foot."

The proprietors have done an admirable job building a luxe Lodge in an ecologically sensitive part of the world. If your goal is spotting gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, this should be your home base.


How to get there

Travellers flying into Entebbe International Airport can avoid the 11-hour road jaunt and may take a second flight to the property's nearest airstrip, Kisoro Airport (approx. 90 minutes). After that, the property is another 90 minutes from Kisoro by road transfer, and the Lodge provides airport transfers.

Aerolink operates one domestic morning flight between Kisoro Airport and Entebbe, with routes connecting to Kihihi Airport (north of Bwindi), Mweya Airport (Queen Elizabeth National Park), Semiliki (Near Kibale National Park), Mbarara Airport, and Entebbe.

From Entebbe, one can connect to the other Ugandan National Parks, like Murchison Falls (Pakuba, Chobe, Bugungu Airports), Kidepo Valley (Kidepo Airport), and beyond the border to Kisumu Airport, from where they can access the epic Mara-Serengeti wildlife drama.

When to go

You are generally looking at planning your trip to this holiday hideaway between June to August and December to February. There are minimal chances of a downpour during this time, although you can't completely rule out rain because it's in the rainforest zone. Fortunately, even when it rains, it lasts for a short time before the blue skies open up to a bright gleeful day.

The Lodge is open throughout the year, and Aerolink flights are available, even for private charter flights. Some travellers chose to travel in the shoulder (low) seasons of March to May and August to October to take advantage of the room discounts and avoid the tourist hordes in the park.

18 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 KISUMU KENYA NORTH WEST K gum Gulu Masindi Kotido Li a M Adjumani Arua M y Kabale Masaka Kaiso Hoima MBARARA JINJA Kalangala Busia Tororo Mbale Soroti 2012-2022 ROUTE NE T WORK @aerolinkuganda www.aerolinkuganda.com +256 31 7 333000 /+256 776 882205 aerolinkuganda @aerolinkuganda info@aerolinkuganda.com
Flying Beyond AeroLink Uganda operates into all safari destinations within Uganda on both scheduled flights and charter service.
Visit the website at www.mountaingorillalodge.com, make reservations to bwindi@nkuringolodges.com, WhatsApp chat at +256 787 778424, or call the booking office in Entebbe at phone number +256 392 176327. FEATURE
Scan the QR Code to download the Lodge Brochure.
+256 31 733 3000 /+256 776 882205 For more information: @aerolinkuganda aerolinkuganda in www.aerolinkuganda.com info@aerolinkuganda.com +256 776 882203 www.airkenya.com www.aerolinkuganda.com www.regionaltanzania.com

The Pearl of Africa: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

As the Sales Manager of AeroLink Uganda, I had the opportunity to organize 4 days, 5 nights familiarization trip of 8 top Kenyan agents to showcase Uganda’s gems and amplify what great products our market has to offer. I realized that in the tourism world, when people think of Uganda, all that comes to mind is Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking. I felt it was my duty to educate our industry partners from Kenya on all the products that Uganda has to offer and cement the fact that one can do a 7–15-day tour, as our tourist destinations indeed are many.

The trip kicked off on a beautiful Sunday morning. The culmination of the shining sun and the cooling breeze created a perfect backdrop to welcome our guests to the Pearl of Africa. AeroLink Country Manager, Captain Catherine Mugo and I greeted out guests arriving from Maasai Mara with AirKenya’s schedule flight and assisted them through immigration before checking in for the onward flight to our first stop in this great adventure. After a short one-hour flight with AeroLink Uganda’s schedule flight, we arrived at Kasese Airstrip located in the Western part of Uganda. We were warmly received by Uganda Lodges ground team. We enjoyed packed lunch provided by the team and embarked on a scenic 2-hour drive to Fort Portal, a city based at the bottom of the Rwenzori mountains. As we drove through Kibale National Park, the agents couldn’t help but exclaim at the beauty Uganda has to offer. We inspected a handful of magnificent properties within the park and headed to Primates Lodge for a sumptuous dinner, concluding our first day of the fam trip.

After an early breakfast and briefing, we headed deeper into Kibale, which is an epicentre for Chimpanzees. Here you can find the largest number of Chimpanzees globally in addition to friendly trekking routes that almost anybody can handle. We began our trek through the forest in hopes that we would be lucky enough to strike gold. After about an hour of trekking, we came across 2 chimpanzees- one Alpha male and a teenager. We had one glorious hour to interact with them. During this time, we observed and learned about chimpanzee

20 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023
Rajah Njeri – AeroLink Sales and Marketing Manager

behaviour and family composition. Picture sessions signalled the end of this encounter as we headed back to the lodge for a much-needed refresh session and lunch.

After the morning’s activities, there was no better way to relax than a boat ride along the Kazinga channel. We boarded MV Kazinga owned by Uganda Lodges for the 2 hour boat ride. The scenery was breath-taking to say the least. Did you know that the Kazinga channel is home to one of the world’s largest concentration of hippos? It sure is! Approximately 2,000 of them. We watched them from a safe distance as they relaxed and cooled off in the water. Along the shores, we also saw hundreds of buffalo basking and dozing off under the African sun. The ride concluded with elephant sightings further down the channel. Thereafter, we headed to Elephant Plains Lodge for the night and had an amazing opportunity to come across lions lying by the road. On day 3, we got to sleep in. Well,

for a fam trip an 8 am breakfast is considered a late breakfast. We enjoyed a game drive enroute to our inspection of Kyambura Gorge Lodge, located at the edge of Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park in western Uganda. We passed by Kyambura Gorge, the magnificent valley of apes which was formed by River Kyambura and is roughly 100 meters deep. Even though only a handful of chimpanzees can be found here, one gets to enjoy the most stunning views of the rain forest as it is also positioned very close to the equator crossing. We proceeded to Ishasha Wilderness Lodge for an inspection of their facilities and lunch. Our afternoon saw a 2-hour drive to Buhoma, which is the Northern Part of Bwindi. After insightful inspections of the leading lodges and camps in the area, we arrived at Gorilla Forest Camp where we hung our boots for the night.

It was another early morning for us the next day. The 4th day comprised

the big-ticket item. Gorilla trekking in the great Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Climbing along the slopes of a mountain range, the park comprises of lush green vegetation, a collection of narrow and steep valleys, all engulfed in mist. Bwindi is home to half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla.

After a light but energetic breakfast, we departed for to our trekking point. Here we got to meet and interact with a group of lovely, vivacious women from an organization called Ride 4 a woman. The organization is set up to empower women in the community struggling with HIV, domestic violence, and poverty. The women treated us to a show comprised of singing and dancing to their traditional songs. The sounds in the air were a great way to set the mood for the tiring expedition ahead. We were split into two groups where we met our trekking guides and park rangers. We were given an extensive briefing and then we set on our way.

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 21
Kenya Tour Operators receive certificates for the completion of the Chimpanzee Trekking from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)

I opted to hire a porter at an additional fee which is one way of helping the community directly as this is a form of local employment. My porter helped me carry my belongings and came in handy assisting me when I was challenged. The paths were steep, muddy with lots of overgrown vegetation. There was a thick mist in the air which added to the optics of it all. The hike up the mountains is quite strenuous. One needs to be in good physical shape to attempt. It is also important to be well dressed and covered up to protect yourself from bugs and poisonous plants such as the poison ivy. We all came armoured with dark colored long pants, socks, long sleeved shirts and jackets, hiking boots, bug spray, hats, ponchos to combat the ever-present rains, along with walking sticks which were provided by the lodge.

It took us about an hour to locate a family of gorillas. The Rushegura family to be exact. This family is the biggest in Buhoma sector with 19 members. It is unique in that it had two alpha males, known as silverbacks, with the older of the two being the dominant one. Notably

there were also two older females. It was quite an exhilarating experience to be so close and personal with such gigantic primates and share quite intimate moments with them. We got to watch them close, study their behaviours and see how they interact amongst each other. I was intrigued to learn that much like humans, before they lay their heads to sleep at night, they will lay leaves on the designated area, seemingly like the human equivalent of making one’s bed. We immortalized these moments by taking no flash photographs. The park has a very strict one-hour policy. Once a family of gorillas is located, you can only spend one hour with them and then descend the mountain. Following our visit with the gentle giants, we bid farewell and began our trek back to base. We received our certificates and returned to the lodge very tired and worn out but filled with memories so many still have on their bucket list.

Over dinner and campfire, we all got to exchange stories of our individual experiences. It was so amazing to learn that the second group had quite a different experience. They put their waterproof ponchos to great use as they came across lots of rain, making their trek more challenging. All in all, we could agree that it was quite the magical experience and that everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime.

On the final day, we had an early breakfast followed by a 2-hour drive to Kihihi airstrip. Upon arrival at the airstrip, we boarded an AeroLink scheduled flight back to Entebbe. Once in Entebbe, our guests had the opportunity to meet and greet, Amos Wekesa, the CEO of Uganda Lodges who was our partner in the Familiarization trip. Shortly thereafter, our guests said goodbye to us and boarded their AirKenya flight back to Nairobi.

22 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023
Jared Babu – AirKenya Sales Executive MV Kazinga at the Kazinga Channel owned by Uganda Lodges

Serengeti Serenade

A quintessentially African sound reverberates in our ears the minute that we step out of our Regional Air flight and into the warm sunshine. The deep grunt-grunt-grunt-honk, frequently interspersed with a watery snort or a loud splash, is both familiar and oddly welcoming, like overhearing a group of strangers in a bar laughing at a joke that you haven’t heard but the response to which inevitably makes you smile anyway.

It’s also about to become the soundtrack to an unforgettable few days of adventure at &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge, tucked deep into the riverside thickets in the Serengeti’s remote Western Corridor.

As we settle in the cushy seats of the safari vehicle, our guide Wilfred

welcomes us with a big smile and offers us a quick game drive before we head to the lodge. Before we know it, we’re parked beside the river, where a large pod of hippos welcomes us with a serenade of throaty grumbles and groans. Across the river, an African fish eagle perches in the riverside trees and a grey headed kingfisher surveys the waters for lunch from a strategic spot on an overhanging branch.

Leaving the hippos and their splashing behind, we pull up to the entrance of &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge, only to be greeted with the melodious sound of voices raised in song. It feels like the entire staff complement has turned out to greet us, enticing and ushering us into the cool interiors. As we climb the few steps into the main guest area, the riverside view unfolds

before us and there are our friends, the hippos, once again, wallowing in the shallows directly in front of the lodge, grunting out yet another chorus of welcome.

While the view is the first thing to draw your attention and take your breath away, there is plenty about this sensitively constructed lodge to attract the gaze. Elegantly contemporary yet faultlessly tuned into its environment, the open design effortlessly blends the incredible setting with comfort and style. Flowing along the banks of the river, warm shades of wood, vibrant woven fabrics and organic glass installations bring touches of glamour, creating intimate areas that tempt guests to linger a little longer simply gazing on the peacefully setting of the hippo pool.


There are yet more delights waiting for those who can tear themselves away from this mesmerising setting. Spilling along the banks of the river, each of the ten spacious tented suites is a light and airy haven awaits, offering vast wooden interiors with woven ceilings and soothing, earthy tones. Floor to ceiling windows dominate each space, drawing the eye to sparkling plunge pools. How tempting to spend the afternoon in the pool’s cool depths, emulating the content hippos that can always be heard, and almost always seen, from each and every suite!

For now, it’s time for lunch and it would be rude to keep Chefs Jackson and Goodluck waiting. Course after delicious course appears on the table, created using the freshest ingredients and featuring many a local twist. Crisp pizzas, feathery light gnocci and creamy pastas pay homage to the lodge’s original Italian owners, crunchy fish tacos

utilise ingredients from nearby Lake Victoria, and delicious lamb curries celebrate the region’s renowned spices.

Later that afternoon, sitting in the vehicle once again, we watch as a herd of elephants spills over the plains as a dark line of rain rolls in across the horizon. Just as it seems we’re about to get wet, the edge of a rainbow peeks through a dark lacing of clouds, a promise of even more good things to come.

And good things do come the very next day, as we raise sleepy heads from plush pillows and set off on early morning game drive, spirits buoyed by delicious, fragrant cups of coffee delivered to our suite by smiling faces and deposited in the convenient butler hatch. Less than half an hour into our drive, we find one of the large prides of lion that this remote corner of the Serengeti is so justly renowned for. Bathed in

golden morning light, a number of lionesses and their sub-adult cubs are sprawled in the grass. While the older lionesses snooze, the youngsters start a game of catch, tagging and chasing each other in pursuit of the prize, an old wildebeest horn. Seated in the vehicle, close enough to feel the thud of running paws on the sun-baked earth and hear the crunch of jaws on horn, we’re dumbstruck by the sheer power and joy of living of these magnificent cats.

Moving on, we stop for a picnic breakfast overlooking a short grass plain. Quickly setting up a table topped with a snowy white cloth, Wilfred lays out an endless stream of tempting delights - fruits, freshly squeezed juices, crunchy granola topped with creamy yogurt and delicious breakfast wraps. As we tuck into our outdoor feast, a long line of giraffes strides across the plain. Dainty heads swivel on elegant necks as long-lashed eyes turn

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 25

to gaze upon these unexpected interlopers, but the animals amble on, unflappable and majestic. We can hear the clicking of their long legs and the stealthy scuffle of their hooves as they pass us by. Breakfast with the giraffes, indeed!

It’s moments like these that make game viewing in the Western Corridor so special. The area is less frequented by tourists than the Central Serengeti, although just as easily reached thanks to frequent local connections by Regional Air. This scenic landscape not only provides the possibility to view Great Migration river crossings from time to time, but is also blessed with abundant resident game. Wildlife viewing here is unhurried and exclusive, with few vehicles other than your own ever attending a sighting. And, while there may be fewer eyes around to help with the spotting, the wildlife is so dense that there are scarcely any

moments without something to look at. Something that we’re reminded of later that morning as we stop in the midst of a grassy plain filled with shallow pans of water and gaze around us as zebras, impalas and topi antelope graze while baboons and warthogs chase each other, hyenas wallow in the mud and jackals keep a wary eye on everything from a distance.

Gathered around the campfire in the lodge’s cosy boma that night, we remind each other of the day’s highlights and debate what wonders are yet to come.

Our answer comes the very next morning, when we rise well before dawn and drive out to where a leaping tongue of flame lights up the slowly inflating canvas of a hot air balloon. As golden light spills over the edge of the world, we hop into the basket of the balloon and, with a gentle bump,

we find ourselves floating along with the first rays of the rising sun. A brisk breeze carries us along at a steady clip, chasing our own shadow across the plains or soaring just above treetop height. It’s a surreal feeling as we look down on birds stirring in their nests. There’s a quick flash of black and white fur as a colobus monkey startles at the unexpected intrusion from above. Floating above the Grumeti River, we see our old friends, the hippos, coming back from a night of grazing along well-trodden paths. From above, the Serengeti looks like a green and gold patchwork criss-crossed by a network of animal highways that are well-night invisible from the ground. The talk is animated as we celebrate our early morning flight over a champagne breakfast. By the time that Wilfred picks us up for the game drive back to camp, we have a brand new wish list of sightings. He accepts the challenge with a


knowing shrug and a gracious smile and, not fifteen minutes later, we find ourselves sitting in front of two magnificent male lions resting in the shade of some shrubs. Item one on the list done. What’s next? Another encounter with a herd of elephants? No problem.

Now the search is on in earnest for the one remaining species on the wish list – the leopard. We cross plains and scour thickets until the steadily intensifying heat drive us back to the lodge. Revived and revitalised by a delicious lunch, we idly ponder an array of relaxing options before it’s time to meet for afternoon tea. Should we sit quietly in one of the many nooks of the guest area, watching the coming and going of the wildlife on the river’s banks? Spend some time browsing through the exquisite selection of locally produced goods in the Safari Shop? Work up an appetite for the freshly

baked cakes sure to be served at tea in the air conditioned gym? Soak the heat of the day away in our private plunge pool?

They say time flies when you’re having fun and soon we find ourselves on the last game drive of our journey. Once again traversing far and wide in search of leopard. The elusive

creature refuses to be found, but, along the way, we admire the Western Corridor in its many moods. As we pause for one last sunset, watching a seemingly endless herd of topi stream across the landscape, there’s no regret for the missing leopard, only great joy at the amazing things that we have seen and done.

How to get there

The Serengeti National Park is easily accessible by flight through Regional Air Services, which offers scheduled flights to all the safari destinations in Northern Tanzania in addition to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. It also offers charter services across Tanzania with a connection to Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 27

Kenya’s Completely Carbon-Neutral Safari

Explore the Maasai Mara on solar-powered Land Cruisers, indulge in riverside picnics amidst plastic-free living, and eat up garden-fresh

The grass was tall and dried to a golden crisp by the unforgiving summer sun, ready to be devoured by the hungry wildebeests and zebras soon to cross over during the Great Migration. We spotted hyenas by the dozen, watching in a mix of horror and admiration as these strange mammals famed for their shrill cackle fought viciously over a decapitated zebra and its prized, striped head, while the cubs feigned innocence as they rolled in the dirt.

We continued on, silent spectators to the many scenes of the Maasai Mara in our custom electric vehicle. The majestic mane of the king of the savannah waved in the wind as he napped atop a hill and his female counterparts kept watch from the nearby tall grass. Families of elephants playfully entangled their trunks on the plains, giraffes took refuge beneath the shade of acacia trees, and hippos bathed in the muddy river. Beyond the more sought-after creatures, we spotted smaller critters of the Mara too—lilac-breasted rollers’ brilliant

feathers flitted through the sky and the small but mighty dung beetles rolled balls of dung over thrice their weight.

A hush fell over the car as we spotted a trio of cheetahs stalking their prey in the plains. After we watched them patiently advance towards their prey, we stretched our legs beneath the branches of an acacia tree while warm gold and tangerine-tinted hues spilled across the horizon. En route back to camp, the only sounds that slithered across the savannah were the rumble of dark clouds and the crack of lightning as a storm slowly started to roll in, harmonising with the rhythms of nature that emerged at nightfall. We were lulled into a trance by the crickets and insects echoing across the grasslands as we returned to Kenya’s first, fully carbon-neutral lodge, Emboo River.

fare at Emboo River. Photo © Brian Siambi

Sun-Powered Safaris

I have been on countless safaris across East and Southern Africa and South Asia over the last decade, all of which have been inclusive of humbling wildlife sightings, curated camps, and an incredible immersion into breathtaking landscapes. Each one has also been accompanied by the deep, guttural sputtering of the safari vehicle’s engine every time it stops and starts, loudly announcing its presence in the savannah and emitting unwanted pollutants into the fresh air. Although riding in an open-top Land Cruiser is practically synonymous with a classic safari, it also clearly imprints one’s carbon footprint on the environment. For those still nostalgic for the classic safari experience, Emboo combines modern technology and innovation with old-school style and sentiment, its electric safari vehicles blending the best of both eras.

They took 1990’s Land Cruisers and updated them with electric engines, a transformation that seems obvious and yet remains novel among even some of the most environmentallyconscious safari camps. Emboo River is built on a foundation that sets it apart from the rest: It is the first carbon neutral safari camp in the Maasai Mara and Kenya as a whole. While its sun-powered, electric safari vehicles are one of the flashiest draws of Emboo, this element only scratches the surface of the camp’s impressive model, sustainable travel that rethinks and revolutionises its conceptualisation of sustainability.

One night, a few years back, Valery Super and Loic Amado exchanged frustrations and ideas over dinner in the Maasai Mara with William Partois Ole Santian, then manager of

From Top Clockwise: The yearly Great Migration brings millions of wildebeest to the grasslands around Emboo River. Photo © Sasha Juliard Emboo River room in the forest Photo © Ashlee Major Moss Charging of electric vehicles. Photo © Brian Siambi

the camp they were staying at. As someone who has grown up and worked in the Mara, William holds grave concerns about its future. “I have witnessed the Maasai Mara change, especially during the last 15 years,” William commented. “This change is driven, amongst others, by environmentally unfavorable business approaches that have started mushrooming around the Maasai Mara, massive community land degradation, and rampant drought combined with excessive rains during unexpected times of the year.”

Over a conversation that extended well into the night, the three began imagining a safari camp that was radically different from the rest. “We talked for hours about this unique ecosystem, sustainability, and our frustrations regarding the status quo of the safari industry,” said Valery. “Guests want to see unique wildlife but when staying at these old lodges they negatively contribute to the ecosystem through polluting vehicles, solid waste, untreated wastewater leaking into the soil… The negative impact was enormous. Someone had to make a difference, so we did.”

Within a matter of months, that dinner conversation sparked the early workings of Emboo. The three of them found a beautiful space oozing with potential but in need of deep transformation. The property was overgrown, the rooms were damaged, and the vehicles were no longer operational. Immense hard work, innovation, and love

were poured into the space over the next few months and on July 1, 2019, Emboo River welcomed its first guests.

The No-Emission Mission

Since its inception, these three masterminds of sustainability have fully committed to their goal of constructing a self-supporting system. They have taken meticulous measures to reduce their carbon footprint from the onset, rather than buy carbon credits, and as a result, they have created a conscious, action-oriented wildlife experience. “The vision of Emboo River is based on offering a fully sustainable and luxurious experience to our guests,” Valery elaborated. “For this reason, we decided to go all in on sustainability from the start. We were not looking for temporary solutions or going sustainable only bit by bit.”

To monitor their carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality, Emboo adopted a system that follows the three-tiered approach of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, a global standardised framework to measure GHG emissions. The first tier traces carbon emissions that are directly under an operation’s control; for Emboo, this is their safaris, which take place in electric vehicles that are charged with solar energy, meaning they emit no carbon emissions in this category. The second tier concentrates on their energy source, and since Emboo operates 100% off solar power, they emit zero carbon emissions in this scope.

Emboo River's Solar System provides power 24/7 to the lodge and 4 electric vehicles. Photo © Backdrop Production Meet Naserian and Emily, Emboo River's guides. Naserian and Emily are among an elite group of female guides in Kenya. They are inspiring other women to follow in their footsteps. Photo ©Tatiana Karanja

Finally, the third tier addresses emissions that are out of Emboo’s direct control. This includes elements like food for the lodge and the transport of guests and products to the camp. Through Emboo’s detail-oriented approach, they have minimised their carbon emissions in this area. For example, they grow as much of their fresh food as they can and import dry goods in bulk to reduce fuel and plastic usage. And to offset the emissions they can’t avoid, Emboo has crafted a tree nursery, where guests plant indigenous trees—one if they traveled to Emboo by car, and two if they reached Emboo by plane. In order to ensure that they have offset their carbon emissions, Emboo has created their own carbon calculator that is tailor-made for an off-grid business in a remote location and takes into account factors like safari vehicles, generators, and trucks shipping in fresh water.

Beyond achieving carbon neutrality, William, Loic, and Valery are deeply passionate about reducing their impact and contributing to the holistic regeneration of the Mara’s ecosystem. The camp has been constructed to be as minimally invasive as possible, so that it blends into the natural environment. Each detail of the design and operations of the camp has been carefully executed with this intention in mind, so guests can enjoy an immersive wilderness experience without harming the environment. Afterall, “What’s more luxurious than a stay in the Maasai Mara that leaves nothing but a positive impact behind?” prompted Loic.

The camp’s wastewater is filtered in lush lagoons filled with local plants, naturally preventing the grey water from seeping into the local ecosystem. Cleaning products are non-toxic and sourced from Grounded, a women-run

Kenyan company, and the swimming pool is filtered without chemicals. A “trash to treasure” ideology is also woven throughout details in Emboo. Food is cooked using biogas powered from food waste produced by the camp, drinking glasses are made from old wine bottles, and their lion-shaped key chains are made from old plastic by a community project in Mathare, an unofficial settlement in Nairobi. The camp is proudly plastic-free and uses reusable beeswax cloths to cover food and bamboo straws. One of Emboo’s latest additions is a vertical garden that expands both the diversity and quantity of fresh food they grow, from red spinach, lettuce, and kale to cauliflower and bok choy.

A Sustainable Pride

Beyond their dedication to respecting and preserving the natural environment, Emboo is deeply rooted in working alongside the local Maasai community. “Maasai culture has been the epitome of conservation of the Maasai Mara. Without the Maasai community it would have been impossible to still have this amazing ecosystem,” William, a Maasai himself, reflected. “My community is needed as conservationists, investors, and leaders for the restoration of the Maasai Mara, because we have a great passion for a greener and environmentally-balanced Maasai Mara, and we have a passion to drive and promote social economics now and for generations to come.”

Nods to Maasai tradition can be found in detail throughout Emboo. The tents and lounge are decorated with accents of colorful Maasai beadwork, made by women in the community; some of Emboo’s safari guides are Maasai women, an opportunity that empowers local women in non-traditional roles; and even the name itself has roots

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 31
A single tour may present you with magnificent sightings beyond the big five all the way from sleeping hyenas to lounging hippos.
Photos © Alicia Erickson

in Maasai culture. “Emboo” means “pride,”—like a pride of lions, a group, a community—in the Maasai language. “Our logo features our Emboo Pride or the constellation of Leo, which can be spotted from the camp at night. When guests stay with us, they become part of our Emboo River Pride,” William remarked.

The founders of Emboo are always looking towards the future and are constantly working to improve their existing model and share the knowledge they have acquired across Kenya and beyond. “Going sustainable is a learning process and there are always new innovations coming up that can help us to do even better,” commented Loic. “At Emboo River we offer a testing platform for new innovations… This has led to an ecosystem of technologies within Emboo River and supported by Ambo Ventures, an entrepreneurial platform and community at the forefront of Africa’s green revolution, which are together fighting climate change.”

Emboo’s work is set to play an even larger role in light of recent commitments the Kenyan government

has made towards environmental policies. At the UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021, the Kenyan government outlined progressive requirements for operations in its national parks. A ban on single-use plastics and restoration of degraded areas are among the goals, while perhaps one of the loftiest goals is the restriction of vehicles that use fossil fuels and the requirement that cars rely 100% on renewable energy by 2030.

Whether it is your first safari or your twentieth, Emboo offers something unique for even the most experienced safari-goer. In between morning and afternoon game drives, unwind amidst the magical forest along the Talik River. Enjoy a fresh meal riverside, overlooking ravines where elephants and giraffes are often spotted grazing on the far side of the river. Take a refreshing dip in the chemical- and salt-free pool, dig deeper into the sustainability efforts on a tour of the camp, or pay a visit to the local Maasai community. Pass evenings around a crackling fire, where you may find yourselves joined by Maasai warriors who have come to share traditional singing and dancing. Sink into the stillness of the night, gaze up at the dark sky glimmering with stars, and bask in the luxurious simplicity of the untainted wild.

How to get there

Fly to Emboo River Camp, with AirKenya to Olkiombo Airstrip.

AirKenya flies to the Maasai Mara three times a day from Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

32 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023
Emboo offers something unique for even the most experienced safari-goers, no matter the number of visits. Photo © Alicia Erickson Karanja
Breakfast in the Mara Lunch in the Serengeti

Loisaba Conservancy Destination Experience

From the moment I read on the news of the discovery of the black leopard in Loisaba, I began to be curious of how my reaction would be if I happened to see one during a game drive. I thought all about it during my one and a half hour flight to the destination courtesy of Air Kenya, taking photos of the beautiful vistas of various stages from above, poring through their magazine on their latest stories and also, enjoying the sweets that our pilot, captain Alex had given us to prevent airplane ear during the flight. According to the Jean Uku,

the sales and marketing manager of AirKenya, the airline opted to start flying in Loisaba in 2018 due to the rising demand of the destination.

“We started flying with a minimum passenger requirement of four passengers which we have now brought down to two passengers in line with our other domestic routes. Elewana were another big reason why we started plying the route as we saw there was demand for their Lobo Springs and Starbeds properties,” she says.

I was received warmly at the airstrip by one of the tour guides from Loisaba tented camp, one of the camps in the destination. There are currently three camps all owned by Elewana collection with the other two being Loisaba star bed and Loisaba Lodo springs, all offering different experiences for guests. Loisaba tented camp was the first one which began in 2013 after a fire engulfed the Loisaba conservancy and burnt the first camp which was Count Carietto Ancelotti’s home. The Count

34 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023

was the original owner of Loisaba, who fell in love with Kenya in the 1960’s while on safari and opted to make the country his home. The view of my tent was breathtaking with the unhindered expansive views of the conservancy and Mount Kenya from a distance. I loved the fact that the tent was spacious and airy with an African touch design. The stunning views remain a recurring theme during meals, while having drinks and also should you opt to have a swim at their infinity pool.

“The difference between this camp and the rest is that it was started earlier. The camps share activities since they are all done within the conservancy, but while here, guests can do e-biking which is not in the other camps. We also have nature walks where you walk with an armed guide who takes you through the conservancy,” says Jeremiah Museti, camp manager Loisaba tented camp. After refreshing myself in the afternoon, my guide, Dalmas Lemaiyan went out for a game drive to explore the 57,000 ha conservancy. My fingers were also crossed to at least get a chance to see the elusive black leopard.

“Is the drive too bumpy,” asked Lemaiyan noticing how I zoned off to dreamland imagining how the leopard would look like in my thoughts.

The question brought me back to reality and right in front of me were waterbucks, zebras and impalas all grazing together, while others were resting. One of the male Impalas had one horn which made me empathize with him. My tour guide explained to me that he must have lost his horn while fighting with another male for territory.

“The worst thing that can happen to you as a male is to lose one of your horns. The horn means eternal rejection and no female will ever accept you in their fold. That means no mating till you die,” he said as he stopped the land cruiser for me to take photos of the view.

The conservancy supports over 250 species of birds and a further 50 animal species comprising of wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, the endangered Grevy’s zebras, lesser kudu, reticulated giraffes, wild dogs and buffaloes. Amongst these are the

three lion prides, which I managed to see towards the end of the game drive enjoying a freshly killed giraffe. There have been efforts at Loisaba to conserve them since their population in Africa has been halved in the past 20 years. In this region, it has been mostly due to human wildlife conflict since the lions attack the Samburu cattle, a source of their livelihood.

Loisaba also lies within an important movement corridor for the country's second-largest population of elephants which we saw during the game drive seeking refuge at the conservancy due to drought. There was a mother and a calf eating an invasive cactus species which has become a nuisance at the conservancy. The elephants eat them and since it can’t be digested, they spread its seeds all over making the entire landscape be full of them. The game drive ended with a beautiful sundowner together with the other guests over drinks and the view of the conservancy.

I also had a chance to experience the Samburu culture during my stay and this time John Scorpion, was my tour guide. Watching how they

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 35

live, together with joining them as they sang and danced really made me appreciate life and the cultures of other communities. Dancing is a significant part of Samburu culture and it’s similar to that of the Masaais with men dancing in a circle as high as they can to be the best of the dancers. Traditionally, the Samburu tribe have not used any instruments to accompany their dancing and singing. Their traditional attire which is a traditional striking red cloth wrapped like a skirt and a white sash for the men is usually adorned with many colorful beaded earrings, bracelets, anklets and necklaces, which has earned them the name the butterfly people. Each piece of jewelry worn represents the status of the wearer. They haven’t also parted from their customs of being nomads and cattle play a vital role when it comes to their livelihood.

We went to see their huts which are constructed using hide, mud, and grass mats strung over poles. A fence is usually constructed around the mud huts for protection from wild animals. Revenue generated from conservancy fees and bed nights at Loisaba are dedicated to conservation and supporting the community’s orientated health, education and enterprise programmes outside its boundaries with the neighboring Samburu and Laikipian Maasai tribes. Another property at the conservancy is the Loisaba Lodo Springs which comes from the Maa word meaning along the spring. Compared to the Loisaba tented camp, this one is a bit modern, spacious, and luxurious with a personal touch to it. I was amazed by how enormous my room and the design which was a mix of both modern and traditional touch like the Samburu head rest which was part of the décor. The tent was perched on an elevated verandah where here I was able to view wildlife and the Lodo springs which is life in the

conservancy. One can opt not to have a game drive and just watch them from the verandah as you sip your favorite beverage something that I did while there.

“Luxury is being in spaces like these which have a therapeutic effect coupled with warm efficient service in a spacious room which offers all the features that you would get if you were in a city hotel whether in Nairobi or other African countries. You have

creature comforts like a good speedy internet, swimming pool and all your dietary requirements are catered for. One can also sample world class cuisine which is a good infusion of local and international cuisines,” explains Andrew Kuria GM Elewana collection Loisaba Lodo springs.

The personalization bit which is rare in big hotels is what I loved the most in this camp. The General Manager welcomes and briefs you on what to

36 | NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023

expect at the camp and also checks on you to find out how your experience was, was impressive. There is also the chef coming in to explain to you what you are having on the table and finding out how your meal was.

“Though we are small in terms of the number of rooms, we are gigantic in the willingness to serve and desire to exceed expectations. In many hotels, you might get in and never get to interact with the general manager but here you have the chance to and these are critical components of the guest experience,” adds Andrew.

While here I was able to have the bush walk with an armed ranger and my tour guide which was a different way of experiencing the conservancy and learning about it compared to a game drive. In the evening, I enjoyed a camel ride with the view of

Ewaso Nyiro, something that I would recommend should you find yourself on vacation in this conservancy. Though I never got to see the black

leopard, I left the conservancy full of the other experiences that made me appreciate conservation and how tourism is vital in sustaining it.

NDEGE NEWS | MARCH - MAY 2023 | 37
AirKenya Finance Team receiving an award from Total Kenya for their business support. Pilots from AeroLink, AirKenya and Regional Air with the giveaway Valentine's Day fridge magnets.


11. Sasakwa


13. Seronera

14. Wasso

15. Zanzibar

16 Tarime

1. Amboseli 2. Finch Hattons - Tsavo 2. Kilimanjaro 3. Lewa Downs 4. Masai Mara 5. Meru 6. Nairobi 7. Nanyuki 8. Samburu 9. Migori 10. Loisaba 11. Kisumu 12. Entebbe 1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips 2. Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kasese, Mweya and Semliki airstrips 3. Murchison Falls National Park - Pakuba, Bugungu and Chobe airstrips 4. Kidepo National Park - Kidepo Airstrip 5. Lake Mburo National Park - Mbarara Airstrip 6. Entebbe - Mara Via Kisumu 1. Arusha 2. Dar es Salaam 3. Fort Ikoma 4. Grumeti 5. Kilimanjaro 6. Kogatende 7. Lake Manyara 8. Lamai 9. Lobo 10. Ndutu Serengeti South LAKE MBURO NAT. PARK JINJA MBARARA


• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Flight from Amboseli to Wilson (via Finch Hattons) connects to Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Meru, and Loisaba at 10:00; Maasai Mara at 10:30 and Kilimanjaro at 13:30.


• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Flight from Finch Hattons to Wilson connects to Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Meru, Loisaba at 10:00; Maasai Mara at 10:30 and Kilimanjaro at 13:30. KILIMANJARO

• Daily service, minimum of 4 pax to operate.

• This airport is your gateway to a safari between Kenya and Tanzania as it easily connects to Arusha, Manyara, Grumeti, Seronera, Kogatende, Lobo, Fort-Ikoma and Sasakwa via Regional Air Services at 15:30.


• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Arrival and departure times to/from Lewa Downs may vary significantly by up to 45 minutes depending on aircraft routing over multiple airstrips.

• Flight from Lewa to Masai Mara may route via Wilson in low season to connect on the 14:00 flight.

• Flight from Lewa to Wilson connects to Kilimanjaro at 13:30 and to Masai Mara at 14:00.

• Flight from Masai Mara connects to Lewa via Wilson at 10:00.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips.





• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Arrival and departure times to/from Loisaba may vary significantly by up to 45 minutes depending on aircraft routing over multiple airstrips.

• Flight from Loisaba to Masai Mara may route via Wilson in low season to connect on the 14:00 flight.

• Flight from Loisaba to Wilson connects to Kilimanjaro at 13:30 and to Masai Mara at 14:00.

• Flight from Masai Mara connects to Loisaba via Wilson at 10:00.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips.

• Daily Service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Morning flight from Masai Mara to Wilson connects to Lewa, Loisaba, Meru, Nanyuki and Samburu at 10:00.

• Masai Mara flights service multiple airstrips, therefore, timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• The arrival and departure times depict the first stop.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips.

• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Arrival and departure times to/from Meru may vary significantly by up to 45 minutes depending on aircraft routing over multiple airstrips.

• Flight from Meru to Masai Mara may route via Wilson in low season to connect on the 14:00 flight.

• Flight from Meru to Wilson connects to Kilimanjaro at 13:30 and to Masai Mara at 14:00.

• Flight from Meru to Samburu is a one-direction service.

• Flight from Masai Mara connects to Meru via Wilson at 10:00.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips.



P2 871 WILSON NANYUKI 10:00 11:00

P2 872 NANYUKI WILSON 12:30 13:25

P2 871 NANYUKI MERU 11:15 12:00

P2 862 NANYUKI MASAI MARA 10:15 12:15

• Daily service to Nanyuiki Civil and Kamok airstrips; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Arrival and departure times to/from Nanyuki/Kamok may vary significantly by up to 45 minutes depending on aircraft routing over multiple airstrips.

• Flight from Nanyuki Civil/Kamok to Masai Mara may route via Wilson in low season to connect on the 14:00 flight.

• Flight from Nanyuki Civil/Kamok to Wilson connects to Kilimanjaro at 13:30 and to Masai Mara at 14:00.

• Flight from Masai Mara connects to Nanyuki Civil/Kamok via Wilson at 10:00.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips.

MARA 10:15
P2 861
MASAI MARA FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE P2 851 WILSON MASAI MARA 07:30 08:10 P2 852 MASAI MARA WILSON 08:15 09:45 P2 853 WILSON MASAI MARA 10:30 11:10 P2 854 MASAI MARA WILSON 11:15 13:00 P2 951 WILSON MASAI MARA 14:00 14:40 P2 952 MASAI MARA WILSON 14:45 16:15
MERU FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE P2 861 WILSON MERU 09:00 10:00 P2 871 WILSON MERU 10:00 11:00 P2 872 MERU WILSON 11:15 13:25 P2 861 MERU NANYUKI 10:15 11:00 P2 861 MERU SAMBURU 10:15 10:30 P2 862 MERU MASAI MARA 10:15 12:15
861 WILSON NANYUKI 09:00 10:00




P2 872 SAMBURU WILSON 11:15 13:25

P2 862 SAMBURU MASAI MARA 10:15 12:15

• Daily service to Samburu Buffalo, Kalama and Sasaab airstrips; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Arrival and departure times to/from Samburu may vary significantly by up to 45 minutes depending on aircraft routing over multiple airstripes.

• Flight from Samburu to Masai Mara may route via Wilson in low season to connect on the 14:00 flight.

• Flight from Samburu to Wilson connects to Kilimanjaro at 13:30 and to Masai Mara at 14:00.

• Call Airkenya operations on departure date to confirm arrival and pick up times for various airstrips. MIGORI




• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Flight to/from Migori services multiple airstrips, therefore, timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• The flight connects Masai Mara (serviced by AirKenya) with Serengeti (serviced by Regional Air Services).

• Contact Airkenya Reservations if connecting with Auric Air or Coastal Aviation at Tarime.


• Daily service; minimum of 4 pax to operate.

• Flight routes via Kisumu and Entebbe International Airports for Customs and Immigration processing.

• Flight services multiple airstrips, therefore, pick up and drop off timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• BINP - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

• QENP - Queen Elizabeth National Park

• MFNP - Murchison Falls National Park

• KVNP - Kidepo Valley National Park

Note: Kidepo flight requires a minimum of 7 pax and operates on Wed, Fri and Sun.

HIGH SEASON: 21 DEC 2022 - 28 FEB 2023; 01 JUN - 31 OCT 2023

LOW SEASON: 01 MAR - 31 MAY 2023; 01 NOV - 20 DEC 2023

Valid from 21st December 2022 to 20th December 2023

• CHECK IN TIME is 60 minutes to departure time in Nairobi (Wilson), Kilimanjaro, Kisumu and Entebbe Airports.

• Passengers will not be allowed to check in 30 minutes to departure time.

• Check in time for all bush airstrips is 30 minutes before flight departure time.

• Contact Airkenya Operations department on the morning of the scheduled flight to get approximate arrival and departure times for various bush airstrips.

• Daily service; minimum of 2 pax to operate.

• Flight routes via Migori and Tarime.

• AirKenya provides road transfer and ground handling service between Migori and Tarime.

• Flight services multiple airstrips, therefore, pick up and drop off timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• Flight connects AirKenya services in Kenya with Regional Air Services in Tanzania.

• Contact Airkenya Reservations if connecting with Auric Air or Coastal Aviation at Tarime.

• Airkenya guarantees all its connecting flights within Kenya and across East Africa in conjunction with its subsidiaries; Regional Air Services and Aerolink Uganda.

• AirKenya reserves the right to change departure times or carrier when so required for operational, weather or safety reasons.

Call Centre - +254 (0)20 391 6000 / +254 (0) 20 3925000 Operations: +254 (0) 706 085534 / +254 (0) 727 131977 Email: resvns@airkenya.com / marketing@airkenya.com Website: www.airkenya.com Contact the Charter department for tailor-made services or if the scheduled service does not meet your requirements: charters@airkenya.com
FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA SERONERA 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 SERONERA MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA KOGATENDE 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 KOGATENDE MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/432 MASAI MARA MANYARA 08:15 12:00 N8/P2 431/454 MANYARA MASAI MARA 08:40 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA FORT IKOMA 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 FORT IKOMA MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA NDUTU 08:15 11:45 N8/P2 115/454 NDUTU MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA LOBO 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 LOBO MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA SERENGETI SOUTH 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 SERENGETI SOUTH MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA SASAKWA 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 SASAKWA MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40 P2/N8 453/422 MASAI MARA GRUMETI 08:15 11:20 N8/P2 421/454 GRUMETI MASAI MARA 09:15 12:40
P2 551 MASAI MARA KISUMU 08:15 09:20 P2 551 KISUMU ENTEBBE 10:00 11:00 P2 552 ENTEBBE KISUMU 11:45 12:45 P2 552 KISUMU MASAI MARA 13:25 14:30 P2 551 MASAI MARA ENTEBBE 08:15 11:00 P2 552 ENTEBBE MASAI MARA 11:45 14:30 P2/A8* 551/121 MASAI MARA KIHIHI (BINP) 08:15 14:40 A8*/P2 112/552 KIHIHI MASAI MARA 09:45 14:30 P2/A8* 551/ 121 MASAI MARA KASESE/MWEYA (QENP) 08:15 14:15 A8*/P2 112/552 KASESE/MWEYA MASAI MARA 10:20 14:30 P2/A8* 551/121 MASAI MARA SEMLIKI 08:15 14:15 A8*/P2 121/552 SEMILIKI MASAI MARA 10:20 14:30 P2/A8* 551/131 MASAI MARA BUGUNGU 08:15 13:00 P2/A8* 551/131 MASAI MARA PAKUBA/CHOBE (MFNP) 08:15 13:00 P2/ A8* 551/ 131 MASAI MARA KIDEPO (KVNP) 08:15 14:45



Manufacturer: Bombardier

Crew: 5 (2 pilots, 1 flight attendant, 1 engineer, 1 Baggage Master)

Passengers: Maximum 37

Description: Pressurised aircraft ideal for both African bush and city flying

No in Fleet: 1

DHC 7-100 (DASH 7)

Manufacturer: Dehavilland Canada

Crew: 5 (2 Pilots, 2 Flight attendants, 1 Engineer and 1 Baggage Master)

Passengers: Maximum 49

Description: Pressurised STOL (short take-off and landing) aircraft ideal for African bush flying

No in Fleet: 2


Manufacturer: Dehavilland Canada

Crew: 2 pilots

Passengers: Maximum 18

Description: STOL (short take-off & landing) aircraft with fixed landing gear ideal for African bush flying No in Fleet: 3


Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company

Crew: 2 pilots

Passengers: Maximum 11

Description: STOL Aircraft with fixed undercarriage ideal for African bush flying

No in Fleet: 2



YEARS 1997-2022



Above Rates to and from Tarime are exclusive of road transfers charged at $ 55 per person and the sector Mara - Migori - Mara is operated by Airkenya Express


• All timings are estimates and will vary depending on aircraft routing more

• *ON REQUEST means we will only operate where there is sufficient traffic to justify the operation and timing or when extra cost is covered

• **ON INDUCEMENT means flights which we will operate at scheduled rates for 4 passengers or more

• ***SEASONAL is June to October and December to March

• ****TBA means time to be advised depending on flight plan that day

• A minimum of 2 pax is required for RAS to operate into any airstrip that’s not on inducement or request.

Operations: ops@regional.co.tz / +255 (0)753 500 300 / (0)786 021 102 Reservations: resvns@regional.co.tz / +255 (0)754 285 754 / (0)784 285 753 www.regionaltanzania.com
Arusha AM Fort Ikoma 08:00 10:05 Grumeti 08:00 09:30 Kogatende 08:00 09:55 Lobo 08:00 09:25 Manyara 08:00 08:25 Ndutu*** 08:00 09:05 Sasakwa 08:00 10:05 Seronera 08:00 10:30 SGS 08:00 TBA Wasso 08:00 09:55 Arusha PM Kilimanjaro 13:00 13:15 Manyara 16:00 16:25 Seronera 16:00 17:15 LOW AND MID SEASON (1ST JANUARY – 14TH JUNE 2022 AND 16TH SEPTEMBER - 31ST DECEMBER 2022) Arusha Dar 13:00 15:20 Dar Arusha 15:50 17:40 Arusha Zanzibar 13:00 14:35 Zanzibar Dar 15:00 15:20 Zanzibar Arusha 15:00 17:40 HIGH SEASON SCHEDULE (15TH JUNE 2022 - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2022) Arusha Dar 14:30 16:20 Dar Arusha 16:40 17:50 Arusha Zanzibar 14:30 15:35 Zanzibar Dar 16:05 16:20 Zanzibar Arusha 16:05 17:50 ZANZIBAR - ARUSHA - SERENGETI MORNING SCHEDULE Zanzibar AM Arusha 07:30 09:05 Kogatende 07:30 10:30 Lobo 07:30 10:30 Sasakwa 07:30 10:30 Seronera 07:30 10:30 DAR ES SALAAM - ARUSHA - SERENGETI MORNING SCHEDULE Dar es Salaam AM Arusha 08:00 09:05 Kogatende 08:00 10:30 Lobo 08:00 10:30 Sasakwa 08:00 10:30 Seronera 08:00 10:30 Grumeti AM Arusha 09:50 12:15 Dar 09:50 13:10 High season only Dar 09:50 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Kilimanjaro 09:50 13:10 Kogatende 09:50 10:10 Lobo 09:50 10:35 Manyara 09:50 11:35 Ndutu *** 09:50 11:20 Sasakwa 09:50 10:00 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Seronera 09:50 10:30 Zanzibar 09:50 12:30 High season only Zanzibar 09:50 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Kilimanjaro PM Arusha ** 15:30 15:45 Manyara** 15:30 16:25 Seronera** 15:30 17:15 Kogatende** 15:30 TBA Lobo** 15:30 TBA Ndutu** 15:30 TBA Kogatende AM Arusha 09:00 10:10 High Season Only Arusha 10:00 12:15 All Year Schedule Dar 10:00 13:10 High Season Only Dar 10:00 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Grumeti 10:00 10:25 Kilimanjaro 10:00 13:10 Lobo 10:00 TBA Manyara 10:00 11.35 Ndutu *** 10:00 TBA Sasakwa ** 10:00 10:15 Seronera 10:00 10:30 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 10:00 12:35 High Season Only Zanzibar 10:00 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Seronera AM Arusha 11:00 12:15 Dar 11:00 12:35 High Season Only Dar 11:00 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Grumeti ** 09:30 10:00 Kilimanjaro 11:00 13:10 Kogatende 09:30 09:55 Lobo 09:30 09:50 Manyara 11:00 11:35 Sasakwa ** 09:30 09:45 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 11:00 12:35 High Season Only Zanzibar 11:00 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Seronera PM Arusha * 17:30 18:30 Arusha* 12:45 13:40 High season only Lobo AM Arusha 09:45 12:15 Dar 09:45 13:10 High Season Only Dar 09:45 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Grumeti 09:45 10:25 Kilimanjaro 09:45 13:10 Kogatende 09:45 09:55 Manyara 09:45 11:35 Ndutu *** 09:45 10:15 Sasakwa ** 09:45 10:05 Seronera 09:45 10:30 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 09:45 12:35 High Season Only Zanzibar 09:45 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Manyara AM Arusha 11:50 12:15 Dar 11:50 16:40 High Season Only Dar 11:50 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Fort Ikoma 08:40 10:05 Grumeti 08:40 09:30 Kilimanjaro 11:50 13:10 Kogatende 08:40 09:25 Lobo 08:40 10:20 Ndutu *** 08:40 09:05 Sasakwa ** 08:40 10:05 Seronera 08:40 10:30 Tarime 08:40 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 11:50 16:00 High Season Only Zanzibar 11:50 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Manyara - Zanzibar flight in the high season is via Ausha and will have a lay over of 2 hours and connect on the 1500hrs flight to Zanzibar Manyara PM Arusha * 18:05 18:30 Grumeti * 16:40 TBA Sasakwa * 16:40 TBA Ndutu AM Arusha *** 11:35 12:15 Dar *** 11:35 16:40 High Season Only Dar *** 11:35 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Grumeti *** 09:20 09:50 Kilimanjaro *** 11:35 13:10 Kogatende *** 09:20 10:00 Lobo *** 09:20 09:50 Manyara *** 11:35 12:00 Sasakwa ** 09:20 09:50 Seronera *** 09:20 10:30 Tarime *** 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar *** 11:35 16:00 High Season Only Zanzibar *** 11:35 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only SGS Tarime 09:15 10:15 Arusha TBA TBA Sasakwa AM Arusha 10:15 12:15 Dar 10:15 13:10 High Season Only Dar 10:15 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Kilimanjaro 10:15 13:10 Kogatende 10:15 TBA Lobo 10:15 TBA Manyara 10:15 11:15 Ndutu *** 10:15 11:20 Seronera 10:15 10:30 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 10:15 12:35 High Season Only Zanzibar 10:15 14:35 Low & Mid Season Only Wasso AM Arusha ** 10:00 12:15 Fort Ikoma AM Arusha 10:00 12:15 Dar 10:15 13:10 High Season Only Dar 10:15 15:20 Low & Mid Season Only Kilimanjaro 10:15 13:10 Lobo 10:15 TBA Manyara 10:15 11:35 Ndutu 10:15 11:20 Tarime 09:15 10:15 Connects with Airkenya at Migori Zanzibar 10:15 12:35 High Season Only Zanzibar 10:15 14:35 Low & Mid Season
Arusha PM Ndutu** 16:00 TBA Kogatende** 16:00 TBA Lobo** 16:00 TBA Tarime Arusha 11:00 13:40 Fort Ikoma 11:00 TBA Grumeti 11:00 TBA Kogatende 11:00 11:15 Lobo 11:00 TBA Manyara 11:00 TBA Ndutu 11:00 TBA Sasakwa 11:00 TBA Seronera 11:00 12:10 SGS 11:00 TBA
Arusha Nairobi, Wilson 13:00 15:20 Grumeti 9:50 15:20 Kilimanjaro 14:25 15:20 Lobo 9:45 15:20 Kogatende 10:00 15:20 Manyara 11:50 15:20 Ndutu 11:35 15:20 Sasakwa 10:15 15:20 Seronera 11:00 15:20 Kilimanjaro - Wilson Sector Operated by AirKenya Express Nairobi, Wilson Arusha 13:15 15:45 Grumeti 13:15 TBA Kilimanjaro 13:15 14:10 Manyara 13:15 16:25 Sasakwa 13:15 TBA Seronera 13:15 17:05 Wilson - Kilimanjaro Sector Operated by Airkenya Express FROM



Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company, USA

Crew: 2 pilots

Passengers: Maximum 12

Description: STOL Aircraft with fixed undercarriage ideal for African bush flying

Fleet No.: 1


Manufacturer: Dehavilland, Canada

Crew: 2 pilots

Passengers: Maximum 18

Description: STOL (short take-off & landing) aircraft with fixed landing gear ideal for African bush flying No in Fleet: 1


Manufacturer: Bombardier

Crew: 2 pilots 1 flight attendant

Passengers: Maximum 37

Description: Pressurized cummuter aircraft

Fleet No.: 1



Semuliki National Park

Murchison falls National Park - QENP,

• Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• Minimum of 2 passengers to operate

• Flight 112 from Semliki passengers can connect onwards to Masai Mara Via Entebbe and Kisumu for Immigration

• Flight 117/118 operate daily except April, May and November

• Flight 121 may route via Murchison Falls National Park subject to loads.


• From Semliki airstrip passengers can connect to:- Mweya, Kasese, Kihihi, Mbarara and Kisoro airstrips on request at seat rate

Murchison falls National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

• Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.

• Flight 112 from Kasese/Mweya passengers can connect onwards to Masai Mara Via Entebbe and Kisumu for Immigration

• Flight 117/118 operate daily except April, May and November

• Flight 121 may route via Murchison Falls National Park subject to loads.

• From Kasese/Mweya Airstrip passengers can connect to: - Mweya/Kasese Kihihi, Kisoro, Mbarara and Semliki airstrip on request at seat rate.

Murchison falls

Mweya, Kasese, Semliki, Pakuba, Bugungu, Chobe and Kidepo airstrips


• CHECK IN TIME is 60 minutes to departure time in Entebbe International Airport.

• Check in time for all bush airstrips is 30 minutes before flight departure time.

• Contact AeroLink Operations department on the morning of the scheduled flight to get approximate arrival and departure times for various bush airstrips.

• AeroLink guarantees all its connecting flights within Uganda and across East Africa in conjunction with its subsidiary; Airkenya Express.

• Flight to/from Jinja to Kisoro/Kihihi/Kasese/Mweya/ Murchison Falls on request at a surcharge of USD 900.

Valid: January to December 2023

BOOK OUR TIMELY, FLEXIBLE, & COMFORTABLE FLIGHTS +256 31 733 3000 /+256 776 882205 aerolinkuganda @aerolinkuganda aerolinkuganda in @aerolinkuganda www.aerolinkuganda.com info@aerolinkuganda.com +256 776 882203
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH) DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 111 ENTEBBE KISORO 0700 0810 A8* 112 KISORO ENTEBBE 0825 1125 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Kisoro flights are subject to the prevailing weather conditions and strictly morning flights. • Kisoro has a surcharge of USD 70 per person. • From Kisoro airstrip passengers can connect to: - Kihihi, Mweya, Kasese, Mbarara, Semliki airstrips on request at seat rate. • Flight 112 from Kisoro, passengers can connect to Maasai Mara Via Entebbe and Kisumu for Immigration
DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 121 ENTEBBE BUGUNGU 1200 1300 A8* 122 BUGUNGU ENTEBBE 1315 1615 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Minimum of 2 passengers to operate • From Bugungu airstrip passengers can connect to: - Kasese,Kihihi, Mweya and Semliki airstrips
National Park
BINP &SNP DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 121 BUGUNGU/ PAKUBA/ CHOBE KASESE/MWEYA KIHIHI/SEMLIKI 1415 1315 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Minimum of 2 passengers to operate QENP - Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese and Mweya airstrips) BINP - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Kihihi airstrip) SNP - Semuliki National Park (Semliki airstrip)
DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 121 ENTEBBE PAKUBA/CHOBE 1200 1300 A8* 122 PAKUBA/CHOBE ENTEBBE 1315 1615 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Minimum of 2 pax to operate • From Pakuba/Chobe airstrip passengers can connect to:- Kasese,Kihihi, Mweya and Semliki airstrips Kidepo Valley National Park WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY AND SUNDAY FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 131 ENTEBBE KIDEPO 1200 1330 A8* 132 KIDEPO ENTEBBE 1400 1530 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Minimum of 7 passengers to operate Lake Mburo National Park DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 117 ENTEBBE MBARARA 1015 1100 A8* 118 MBARARA ENTEBBE 1245 1330 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Minimum of 2 passengers to operate • Flight 117/118 operate daily except April, May and November • From Mbarara Airstrip passengers can connect to: - Kisoro, Kihihi, Mweya, Kasese and Semliki airstrips on request at seat rate Masai Mara-Entebbe DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE P2 551 MASAI MARA ENTEBBE 0815 1100 P2 552 ENTEBBE MASAI MARA 1145 1430 MASAI MARA *KISUMU 0815 0920 *KISUMU MASAI MARA 1325 1430 *KISUMU ENTEBBE 1000 1100 ENTEBBE *KISUMU 1145 1245 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • *Routes Via Kisumu for Immigration • Minimum of 4 passengers to operate • From Masai Mara passengers can connect to: - Kihihi,
P2 551 P2 552 P2 551 P2 552
1125 A8*
1205 A8*
0700 1005
ENTEBBE 1220 1330 A8* 121 ENTEBBE KASESE/MWEYA 1200 1415 A8* 122 KASESE/MWEYA ENTEBBE 1420 1615
DAILY SERVICE FLT NO FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE A8* 111 ENTEBBE KIHIHI 0700 0845 A8* 112 KIHIHI ENTEBBE 0945 1125 A8* 117 ENTEBBE KIHIHI 1015 1125 A8* 118 KIHIHI ENTEBBE 1140 1330 A8* 121 ENTEBBE KIHIHI 1200 1440 A8* 122 KIHIHI ENTEBBE 1445 1615 • Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing. • Flight 112 from Kihihi passengers can connect onwards to Masai Mara Via Entebbe and Kisumu for Immigration • Flight 117/118 operate daily except April, May and November • Flight 121 may route via Murchison Falls National Park subject to loads • From Kihihi Airstrip passengers can connect to: - Kisoro, Mweya, Kasese, Mbarara and Semliki airstrips on request at seat rate.



Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company, USA

Crew: 2 pilots

Passengers: Maximum 11

Description: STOL Aircraft with fixed undercarriage ideal for African bush flying

No in Fleet: 3


Airkenya Express Limited, Wilson Airport

P.O. Box 30357 - 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Telephone numbers:

Call Centre (Reservations) +254 (0)20 391 6000

(Operations, Sales Marketing & Accounts)

+254 (0) 20 3925000, 6005745/6, +254 (0) 206005730

Mobile: +254 (0) 721 415346, 0733 731865, +254 (0) 727 131977

E-mail: resvns@airkenya.com, operations@airkenya.com

charters@airkenya.com & helicopters@airkenya.com

Administration: www.airkenya.com


P.O. BOX 689 Entebbe


Tel: +256 31 7333000


Tel: +256 776 8882205


Tel: +256 31 733000


AEROLINK Airkenya Express @airkenya_official
Email: info@aerolinkuganda.com www.aerolinkuganda.com @AirKenyaExpress

Travel Tip:


Make sure to check your destination’s travel requirements before booking your travel.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.