Tuesday, 31 January 2017

INDIA: Your Tickets For Delhi’s Tourist Hotspots Online

Fed up of waiting in a queue for tickets before you get to visit your favourite spots in the Capital? Fret not, for starting Monday, tickets to all these hotspots are just a click away. Travellers from across the world can now book their tickets for all tourism-related places in the Capital online, through the platform BookMyShow.

The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd (DTTDC) has entered into an agreement with BookMyShow for an online ticketing platform on a pilot basis. In this maiden collaboration, DTTDC will offer online ticketing for major tourist attractions, including Dilli Haats, Garden of Five Senses, Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial, Delhi Hop-On Hop-Off shuttles (HO-HO), entry tickets for events and paid shows, and so on.

In addition, registration, entry and other ticketing details of all events being organised by the state tourism will be posted on the portal.

The Delhi Tourism has taken the lead in giving the tourism sector a digital push through this partnership between the DTTDC and BookMyShow. “Tickets for tourist attractions will be made available online for the convenience of national and international tourists, besides Delhiites,” said Kapil Mishra, Minister of Tourism, Delhi government.

The national capital has 22 tourist destinations, as listed by the Department of Tourism.

“With increased smartphone and internet penetration, the convenience associated with online ticketing can be definitely leveraged across different sectors. Tourism is centered around providing great experience, and we are confident that with this pilot project, the DTTDC will be able to add tremendous value to its offerings,” Mishra added.

The move is expected to help a large number of tourists visiting the Capital throughout the year. “This is a great initiative. Now when everything is online these days, it is quite frustrating and a waste of time to stand in a queue for tickets. Now, it would be as easy as buying tickets for a movie or a rock concert,” said Mukhbir Sharma, a third-year college student and travel enthusiast.

Talking about the initiative, Kumar Razdan, Country Head of BookMyShow, said: “As we pave our way into online tourism ticketing in India, we are thrilled to partner with the DTTDC. Delhi is a city of monuments, historical sites, and is rich in heritage. With this initiative, we aim to make the DTTDC attractions more tourist friendly, which will also maximise the footfall.”

KENYA: Swiss International Pens Management Agreement For Leisure And Conference Resort At Mount Kenya

1. INTERNATIONAL QUALITY – LOCAL AFFINITY Page 1 Press release For Immediate Release Swiss International signs management agreement for a large leisure and conference resort at Mount Kenya “Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya” is expected to open at the end of 2017 Baar (CH)/Ras al Khaimah (UAE)/Nairobi (Kenya), Swiss International signed a management agreement with Mlima Kenya Holiday Homes Ltd to co-develop and manage a “one-of-a-kind” resort, located at the scenic foothills of Mount Kenya at Naro Moru. The agreement was signed at the Swiss International Lenana-Nairobi that opened its doors earlier in December. Present at the signing were Mr. Ronald Ndegwa (CEO of Mlima Kenya Holiday Homes Ltd), Mr. Henri Kennedie (CEO of Swiss International) and Mr. Benson Karanja (CEO of Uniform Capital Partners Ltd.). Uniform Capital Partners was the legal advisor to Mlima Kenya Holiday Homes.

2. INTERNATIONAL QUALITY – LOCAL AFFINITY Page 2 Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya will be a notable architectural landmark on the Nanyuki landscape with a total of 236 villas, townhouses hotel rooms & suites and an Event and Conference Centre for 1’000 participants. Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya will develop and offer for sale to individual owners:  82 Villas (4 bedroom)  54 Townhouses (2 and 3-bedroom) Mr. Ronald Ndegwa, the CEO of Mlima Kenya Holiday Homes Ltd, remarked “In the coming years, we are confident that Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya will be acknowledged as a prime venue and a platform for significant events in Kenya. Our partnership with Swiss International, which is known for providing exceptional hospitality service, will be a vital building block to support the success of the resort” Mr. Henri W.R. Kennedie, Chairman and CEO of Swiss International said, “This project is indeed one of the most exciting projects for us. It is a resort with full-fledged leisure and event facilities and that provides with amenities whatever the guests’ can think of which completely aligns with what we want to see in our properties” Swiss International has continued to show its commitment for the African region. Lately, the company opened its hotel in Nairobi with Swiss International Lenana. With the arrival of Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya, the chain will add its 6th property in Africa. (In the picture from left to right: Benson Karanja, Ronald Ndegwa, & Henri Kennedie)

3. INTERNATIONAL QUALITY – LOCAL AFFINITY Page 3 Facility overview: The Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya will offer residents and guests a wide range of facilities which includes:  A deluxe upscale hotel with 100 rooms & suites  3 restaurants: Swiss Café Restaurant & Lounge, Ticino Ristorante and TED & Co  An Eventives center for meetings and events in the hotel  Swiss Select Lounge  Fully serviced members only Inspirations Swimming Pool & Gym  A 9 hole reversible to 18 hotel golf course  One Golf Clubhouse with a large Bar & restaurant facility  2 free standing restaurants: Tukule and Safari Restaurant  A Safari Museum  An Art Gallery  A large luxury Spa, with treatment rooms, Sauna and steam rooms  Catering facilities  Welcome center for Resident & Hotel guests  Retail center It is a mixed use residential and holiday development close to the Mount Kenya National Park and 35 minutes flight away from the Nairobi city. It doesn’t end here; for guests who would like to keep up with their fitness routine the resort also provides with multiple outdoor activities facilities such as cycling & jogging tracks, tennis courts, aerobics, hiking and also a playground for children. Additionally, the resort is complemented by a free wireless internet, supermarket, gift shop, open air & covered parking, helipad, Jacuzzi, & club house. In a nutshell, the resort has it all for a fulfilled experience for its guests.

4. INTERNATIONAL QUALITY – LOCAL AFFINITY Page 4 Swiss International Hotels & Resorts Founded in 1982, Swiss International Hotels is established in Switzerland. Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is currently associated with hotels in Switzerland, Greater China, the Middle East and Africa. The company is registered in Baar, Switzerland and is operating from the UAE (Ras Al Khaimah). Swiss International is operating and licensing its hotels under the luxury brand “Royal Swiss” the upscale Swiss International and The Residences by Swiss International, as well as the company’s midscale brand Swiss Spirit, Hotels & Resorts. Other Swiss International hotels on the African continent: Swiss International Mabisel Port Harcourt Nigeria Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Mardezok Asaba Nigeria Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Freetown Freetown Sierra Leone Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Alisa Accra Ghana Swiss International Lenana Nairobi Kenya Please also see :( http://www.swissinternationalhotels.com/)

Antelopes Return To The Wild

Animals that go extinct in the wild rarely get a second chance at returning to their former habitats. Sometimes they do, though.

The scimitar-horned oryx has done. The desert antelope was declared extinct in the 1990s in its habitats across North Africa within the Sahara. But now members of the species are back, scampering about in pockets of the Sahara, as if they'd never been gone at all.

Captive breeding populations of the antelope, famed for its elongated curved horns that resemble scimitars, were kept safe from harm in several countries from the United States to the United Arab Emirates and Australia. Then last August 23 individuals were reintroduced to the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve, in a remote part of the African nation of Chad. The idea was to see how well they would fare in the wild. They have fared quite well, much to the relief of conservationists who are now releasing another 23 antelopes from captivity so they could join the ones already in the wild.

Some of the animals have even started breeding in the wild and last September the first wild scimitar-horned oryx calf was born since the species was driven extinct. Other females, too, are now ready to give birth to other calves soon in an encouraging sign that the species might be able to bounce back in the wild. “So far, the animals look exceptionally healthy,” said Jared Stabach, a researcher at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington DC. “They seem to be adapting to the environment really well.”

They are helped in that by their herbivorous ways, which means that they don't have to learn to hunt for food. It also helps that their natural predators, including cheetahs and lions, have themselves gone extinct in the area, New Scientist magazine explains. Locals are reported to be enthusiastic about the return of the antelopes, which were hunted into extinction in the area some two decades ago.

In a world where species are going extinct at record rates, such conservationist success stories are like rays of sunshine. “Conservation scientists are all giving big thumbs up and cheering over this,” Carolyn Hogg, from the University of Sydney, in Australia, told the magazine. “Animals are often bred in captivity in zoos with the view of releasing them back into the wild, but then there are always lots of challenges. It’s pretty amazing to know that you can put them back.”

It's amazing, yes. That said, we should make sure not to drive species extinct in the first place, rather than hoping that if we do, we will somehow be able to reintroduce them later.

GUINEA: Sheraton Grand Conakry Joins Brand’s Premier Tier of Best-in-Class Hotels Around the World

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (www.StarwoodHotels.com/sheraton), part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) (www.Marriott.com), announced the debut of Sheraton Grand in Africa with opening of Sheraton Grand Conakry (www.SheratonGrandConakry.com), welcoming it to the brand’s premier tier of hotels recognized for their exciting destinations, distinguished designs, and excellence in service and guest experiences. The newly built hotel marks Marriott International’s entry into Guinea, West Africa and joins a portfolio of more than 35 Sheraton Grand properties worldwide, with destinations spanning Istanbul, Dubai, Bangalore, Beijing and beyond.

“Sheraton has a strong heritage in Africa that dates back to 1971,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Over the last four decades, the brand has maintained its first mover advantage through strategic pipeline development and growth plans, giving global travelers access to more destinations in every corner of the globe. Sheraton Grand Conakry not only marks our entry into a new country, but will also create a halo effect for the brand and serve as a great example of our transformation efforts.”

Within easy reach from the international airport, Sheraton Grand Conakry is conveniently situated in Conakry’s up-and-coming trendy Kipe district. With an enviable ocean-front location, the hotel introduces modern, elegant design, signature brand programing and an elevated guest experience for business and leisure travelers in the heart of West Africa.

All 269 well-appointed guestrooms boast breathtaking ocean views, offering unmatched comfort and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. Contemporary design and local touches blend to create a distinct and vibrant aesthetic. The 49 Sheraton Club rooms and suites offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge, a private space where guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, drinks and snacks during the day. Leisure facilities include an extensive 300 square meter fitness center with cutting edge equipment available 24 hours a day, a luxurious infinity pool and an invigorating Shine Spa.

The hotel’s distinctive dining venues create an eclectic culinary voyage. The all-day dining restaurant, Feast, features Mediterranean flavors, Asian influences as well as modern interpretations of traditional Guinean cuisine. Guests can also indulge in homemade French pastries, freshly brewed coffee and juices at La Parisienne coffee shop and bakery. Overlooking the sea, Hot & Blue offers relaxed tapas and cocktails by the poolside. Sheraton’s inventive lobby bar menu concept, Paired, combines artisanal small plates with unexpected pairings served alongside suggested premium wines at the O2 Lounge.

With more than 1300 square meters of dedicated and unparalleled meeting space, Sheraton Grand Conakry features a lavishly appointed Grand Ballroom with state-of-the-art facilities and endless connectivity through high-speed Wi-Fi, along with 15 meeting rooms and a fully equipped business center. The hotel provides both choice and flexibility, making it an exclusive option for large scale business meetings, social events, weddings or even smaller intimate gatherings.

“We are proud to be the first Sheraton Grand in Africa and Indian Ocean, and to join the existing roster of esteemed hotels and resorts worldwide,” said Helga Deboeck, General Manager of Sheraton Grand Conakry. “We have worked diligently to ensure the hotel goes above and beyond to deliver a fresh, modern and memorable experience to our guests setting a new benchmark of service within West Africa.”

Monday, 30 January 2017

UGANDA: Kampala Capital City Authority Shuts Bars That Allow Shisha Smoking

Civil Society Organizations have asked Kampala Capital City Authority to cancel operational licenses of bars and hotels which do not comply with the Tobacco Control Act 2015.

The law makes it illegal to sell or operate tobacco-related products or smoke a cigarette within 50 metres from any public facility or place such as a school or a hospital.

This comes on the heels of police operation that left over 30 netted while smoking shisha in various hangout places in Kampala.

The Legal officer at the Uganda National Health Consumers Organization, Moses Talibita says although the law is in place there is little or no deliberate effort to protect the public from the dangers of second hand smoke.

The same law makes it criminal to buy a stick of cigarette so that it is hard for children to access or afford it.

It is also now illegal for a person below the age of 21 to access cigarettes although according to the Constitution of Uganda, 18 years is the recognized age for an adult.

UGANDA: Pearl Of Africa Hotel Kampala By Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Quorvus Collection, a subsidiary of The Rezidor Hotel Group, has taken over management of Aya Hilton Hotel.
The five star hotel has been renamed Pearl of Africa Hotel, the group has announced.
“The Rezidor Hotel Group, one the fastest growing hotel companies in the world and a member of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, is very pleased to announce the addition of a new member to its luxury Quorvus Collection: The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala, Uganda,” read a statement from Hotel management.

The 296-room property will welcome its first guests in Q2 2017.”

“We are delighted to add our second Quorvus Collection hotel in Africa and thankful to our partners AYA Investment Group for bringing the Pearl of Africa to life with Rezidor,” said Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group on Friday.
“Uganda is an important hub in Eastern Africa. Its central location in the region, rich natural resources and improved infrastructure will create further economic opportunities. We look forward to a successful journey with our partners and to make our social contributions by creating local employment opportunities and establishing our hotel as the social anchor of Kampala,” added Younes

The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala is located in the city center, on top of Nakasero Hill and will offer guests great visibility and views from surrounding areas.

The property will feature a spacious 740m2 ballroom, nine meeting rooms, two boardrooms and a business center.

The extensive conference and meeting facilities reflect the hotel’s strong focus on the business travel market and event tourism.
Guests will have a large choice of food and drink options, including an all-day dining restaurant, a sports bar and a pool bar.

Other attractions will include a private membership gym; a wellness spa; two outdoor swimming pools; one indoor swimming pool; a children’s club; several retail shops; tennis, squash and volleyball courts; and a grill steak house.

Upon signing the deal, Mohammed M. Hamid, Chairman of the AYA Investment Group, commented, “We are extremely pleased to partner with the Rezidor Hotel Group and add this pearl to Uganda’s hospitality scene. Rezidor has already proven their capacity to successfully operate international hotel brands across Africa and has a very good understanding of the continent’s opportunities and challenges in the travel and tourism industry.

We are keen on benefitting from Rezidor’s knowledge and showcasing an outstanding luxury hotel experience in Kampala.”
Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa as a result of Winston Churchill’s reference to the East African country in his 1908 book “My African Journey.” Churchill’s use of the descriptive metaphor was inspired by his impression of the country as an example of magnificence in its “variety of form and color” and its “profusion of brilliant life.”

This was the inspiration behind the Pearl of Africa hotel that will reflect the local culture to its guests and the magnificence of the country – a true Quorvus Collection hotel.

Speaking about the new addition, Rob Kucera – General Manager of the Pearl of Africa Hotel – Quorvus Collection by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said “This is a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities of the contemporary global traveler.”

About The Rezidor Hotel Group

The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the most dynamic hotel companies in the world and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

The group features a portfolio of approximately 475 hotels in operation or under development with 104,000 rooms in more than 80 countries.

Rezidor operates the core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), along with the Club Carlson loyalty program for frequent hotel guests.

In early 2014, and together with Carlson, Rezidor launched the Radisson RED (lifestyle select) and Quorvus Collection (luxury) brands.

Since 2016, Rezidor has owned 49% of prizeotel. Rezidor has an industry-leading Responsible Business Program and was awarded one the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the US think-tank Ethisphere.

In November 2006, Rezidor was listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm, Sweden. HNA Tourism Group Co., Ltd.—a division of HNA Group Co., Ltd., a Fortune Global 500 company with operations across aviation, tourism, hospitality, finance, and online services among other sectors—became the majority shareholder in December 2016. The corporate office of The Rezidor Hotel Group is a Danish company based in Brussels, Belgium.

About Quorvus Collection

Quorvus Collection is a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities of the contemporary global traveler.

Individual and inspiring, each property within the collection offers a distinguished guest experience and an invitation to immerse oneself in the best a location can offer.

The collection currently includes G & V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, Hormuz Grand Hotel,

Muscat and Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait.

Each hotel is unique and has different architecture, ambiance and design. Quorvus Collection plans to grow to include an array of historic landmark properties, contemporary residences, classic boutiques and urban retreats. Quorvus Collection is a part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

USA: Stranded Muslims After Trump Immigration Ban

President Donald Trump's immigration ban has not just stranded travelers. It's also dashed the dreams of thousands of people around the world.

After two years planning, the Suleiman family were turned back to Iraq when they tried to board a flight from Cairo to New York.

"I have prepared for this journey and this immigration for two years," said Fouad Suleiman, a father of three who previously worked as a translator for USAID. "I sold my house, I sold my properties. The most annoying thing that I feel guilty about my kids left their school. So one whole year will be, I don't know what to say.''

That job allowed the 52-year-old Suleiman to apply to emigrate to the U.S. via a program known as the Special Immigrant Visa. It was created by U.S. lawmakers to help the thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives helping Americans after the 2003 invasion.

He applied for U.S. visas for himself, his wife, 10-year-old and 17-year-old daughters and a 19-year-old son in September 2014. The paperwork came through on Dec. 6, 2016.

Once they heard rumblings about Trump's intention to ban Iraqis from going to the U.S., the family hustled and moved their travel plans forward.

They were booked on a flight from the Egyptian capital to New York's JFK airport on Saturday, just hours after Trump's executive order went into effect. They were told they could not board the flight to New York and were turned back to Irbil, Iraq.

"I believe it's a terrible error in the United States, a terrible error in the history of the United States," Suleiman said. "I thought America is an institution and democracy. I see like autocracy."

His youngest daughter, Shad, had studied English at an international school in Iraq and was very excited about moving to the U.S.

Asked what she wanted to be when she grew up in America, she did not hesitate with her response: "Astronaut."

Now their new life has been put on indefinite hold.

"My home is in America. I'm paying rent for my apartment in New York, but I can't go there right now," said Saira Rafiei, a 32-year-old Iranian who is now stuck in Tehran.

Rafiei has been enjoying what she called the rigorous atmosphere of American academia since 2010.

She was initially a student at New York University and she is now doing her Ph.D. in political science at The City University of New York.

Rafiei has an F1 student visa that is valid for multiple entries in and out of the United States for another two years.

She had been in Tehran and was scheduled to fly back to New York via Abu Dhabi on Saturday when she and a group of other Iranian students were blocked from boarding the plane.

Rafiei was told to sign a document or else her visa would be revoked. She described the experience as humiliating and said she felt like she was treated like a criminal — despite the fact that she and many of the other Iranian passengers had valid visas and green cards.

"You somehow have this feeling that you can't trust the U.S. government because the U.S. government doesn't even respect its own policies," Rafiei said. "As I said, some of these people had green cards and they thought that they could go there without any problems."

Rafiei's final dissertation paper for her Ph.D. is on Trump and authoritarian movements.

For months she's been listening to the billionaire's speeches but had thought of him as a showman. Since the weekend, she's nervous.

"I think his policies, his agendas are really dangerous," Rafiei said. "I'm really worried about the future of the U.S. and the whole world."

As for her future, she said she doesn't know what is going to happen.

"Of course I want to go back there because I really love my school. My friends are there, I have worked hard to get into that school," Rafiei said. "I'm not optimistic, but I wish I can there again."

Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi said he will skip next month's Academy Awards following Trump's executive order, saying he would not attend even if granted an exception to the travel ban.

Farhadi said he previously planned on attending the event with his cinematographer.

"I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community," Farhadi, whose movie "The Salesman" is up for Best Foreign Language Film said. "I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations."

Farhadi's 2012 film "The Separation" won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film five years ago.

USA: Delta Air Lines Domestic Planes Stop Due To A Systems Outage

Delta Air Lines domestic planes were taking to the skies again early Monday but a nationwide ground stop due to a systems outage caused departure delays and at least 150 cancellations overnight, the airline said.

Delta's website and mobile app as well as airport information screens and computers at the airline's reservation desks were still down as of midnight ET, barring travelers from obtaining information about their flight statuses.

Delta's website was down early Monday after a systems outage forced the airline to ground its domestic fleet, causing delays and at least 150 flight cancellations.

"I want to apologize to all of our customers who have been impacted by this frustrating situation," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. "This type of disruption is not acceptable to the Delta family who prides itself on reliability and customer service.

"I also want to thank our employees who are working tirelessly to accommodate our customers," he added.

More cancellations were expected because of the outage, the airline said in a statement, especially at Delta hub airports like Atlanta, Memphis and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Delta said in the statement that it would not fly unaccompanied minors through noon ET on Monday.

International flights and flights in the air Sunday night were not affected by the stoppage, the airline said in a statement at 8 p.m. ET.

Jeremy Webb said his flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Maui, Hawaii, was held on the tarmac for an hour and a half.

CHINA: Xi Jinping Visits Chongli Ski Town

On January 23, General Secretary of CPC Central Committee, President of China and Chairman of Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited Zhangjiakou, Hebei province to review the preparation of Beijing Winter Olympic Games. He emphasized that the preparation of Winter Games was a priority of China. Competent local governments and competent departments should aim to organize a splendid, outstanding and excellent Olympic by making rational plans, using resources in an conservative and integrated way and following the schedule to complete all tasks of preparatory work.

Mountain areas in North China are covered by snows in winter. In the morning of January 23, Xi Jinping arrived at Ningyuan Airport in Zhangjiakou. After disembarking, he went to the temporary exhibition hall of 2022 Winter Olympic Games Zhangjiakou Stadium accompanied by Zhao Kezhi, Secretary of Hebei Provincial CPC Committee, and Zhang Qingwei, Governor of Hebei province.

Located in Chongli, Zhangjiakou Stadium is praised as “the most ideal natural skiing area in North China”. Snow sports of Beijing Winter Olympics will be held here. Xi Jinping listened to the introduction of geographical, climatic, historical, cultural, economic and social information of Chongli, understood the distribution of functional areas of the Stadium based on sandbox, watched a video clip on Stadium plan, and overlooked the land reserved for Olympic venues. He praised the on-schedule and orderly progress of preparatory work, and emphasized that the preparation was complicated and the first thing was to make a plan based on rational and advanced ideas.

The plan should contain both general plan and special and sectional plans, both work plan and venue and facility construction plan. It involves time and spatial distribution, resource and factor allocation and objective and responsibility definition, and thus need a systemic mind and professional qualities.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the plan of Zhangjiakou Stadium should be aligned with the general plan of Beijing Winter Olympics and the plan of Beijing municipal government, and meet the demand of the Games and supporting services. Making the plan involves sophisticated thinking, reviewing and, if necessary, improving the existing works, and the plan should work as guidance. All specific plans should follow the principle of using resources in a conservative and integrated way and being cost-effective as much as possible, and avoid extravagance.

Xi Jinping emphasized that all construction projects of Beijing Winter Games should follow the requirements of Green, Sharing, Open and Honest Olympics to design and construct painstakingly in line with the plan and schedule. Haste should be avoided and quality and quantity should be ensured, so that those projects can be built with high quality, integrity, and ecological and cultural values. Game facilities should be constructed in a professional manner, and supporting facilities should embody Chinese culture elements and local features, comply with energy conservation and environmental protection standards and protect ecological environment and cultural relics. We need to let modern constructions stand in harmony with natural landscapes and historical cultures, making them high quality assets benefiting the people and new landmarks of the city.

Xi Jjinping pointed out that Hebei province and Zhangjiakou city need to take the historical opportunity of organizing Beijing Winter Olympic Games to drive the development in all aspects on the basis of the 13th Five-year Plan and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinative development, so as to make good performance in both Olympic preparation and local advancement.

Leaving the temporary exhibition hall, Xi Jinping went to Genting Ski Area. He firstly entered ski gear hall to know about the function of helmet, ski cap, ski goggles, ski suits, ski boots and skis. Tourists and ski amateurs in the hall greeted the General Secretary and wished him a happy Chinese New Year. General Secretary Xi Jinping greeted them and wished them a happy time here.

Then, XI Jinping visited the practice zone of the Ski Area, listened to the introduction to the planning and rebuilding of the race venue, and understood the event setting, venue standard, technical tips and competition rules of skiing. When hearing that the Skiing Area was built by Genting Group of Malaysia and it has accumulated experience in competition organization and made contribution to the bidding for 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Xi Jinping thanked the foreign business. He said that the venue construction standard and operation assessment was the same for any investors. He hoped that Genting Group can implement the plan and ensure high quality ski track construction and supporting facilities construction.

Some practicing ski amateurs came excitedly when they saw General Secretary Xi Jinping, who talked amicably with them and asked about the feeling of skiing. Amid kids on a Skiing Winter Camp, Xi Jinping bent down and asked them how old they were, where they came from and whether it was difficult to learn skiing. He encouraged them to learn well and grow healthier, and reminded them to take care themselves in skiing while challenge themselves.

Xi Jinping visited the national skiing team, who was on training at Genting Ski Area. Athletes reported their training and competition to the General Secretary, and said that they would strive for the best. XI Jinping said that ice and snow sports were difficult, challenging and entertaining, and thus made people excited. As the preparatory work of Beijing Winter Olympic Games was progressing, he believed that there would be more and more people paying attention to ice and snow sports and athletes. The government would spare no efforts to provide better condition of training and competition for athletes. He hoped that the national team can live up to their responsibilities and keep diligent training, so as to be more competitive and earn honor for the country.

Xi Jinping pointed out that health was crucial for a happy life. As a large country with 1.3 billion people, China held sports as an important social business and a promising sunrise industry. He said that “We run for the Winter Olympic Games to achieve rapid progress of our ice and snow sports and nationwide fitness program. We proposed to encourage more people to participate in ice and snow sports, and Beijing Winter Olympic Games can act as a propelling force. It also acts as an orientation for ice and snow sport industry. I hope that more investors pay attention to China’s ice and snow sports and thrive while making contribution.”

Everyone applaud General Secretary for his expectation and encouragement. His address made each person feel warm.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and competent persons in CPC central committee accompanied General Secretary Xi Jinping on his visit.
Original title:Xi Jinping: Making Rational Plan and Using Resources in an Integrated Manner to Diligently Complete the Preparation of Winter Olympic Games.

World Tourism News

I.The year of 2016 received 1.2 billion international tourists, a record high
The number of international tourists exceeded 1.2 billion in 2016. Despite the global economic downturn, the tourism industry including cross-border tourism has shown strong momentum for growth.

II.Chinese President Xi Jinping supports the Toilet Revolution, drawing global attention and praise
On his inspection tour to Yanbian, Jilin province, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to “launch the Toilet Revolution in rural China”. China’s Toilet Revolution has made the headlines of overseas press in the UK, the USA, France and India. Financial Times in the UK wrote in April that, “With the support of the Chinese leadership, a movement to build tens of thousands of public toilets in tourist attractions has opened the golden age for toilet construction in China.”

III.China initiates and co-hosts the 1st World Conference on Tourism for Development with UNWTO
The 1st World Conference on Tourism for Development, co-hosted by the Chinese government and the UNWTO, was a high-level tourism gala in response to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremony and Vice Premier Wang Yang attended and addressed the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting.

IV.The World Tourism Day of 2016 focuses on tourism accessibility
On September 27, nearly 500 representatives from 60 countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to celebrate the World Tourism Day themed on “Tourism for All – Promoting Tourism Accessibility”. UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai sent the congratulatory message. On the same day, the Declaration of Bangkok, a guideline on promoting tourism accessibility, was adopted.

V.Olympic Games lures nearly 600,000 tourists to Rio, more than expected
During the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, a total of 572,961 foreign tourists visited Brazil, far more than it was expected before the Games. Another survey report by the Brazilian Tourism Institute found that 84% of the inbound tourists, most of whom were from the United States, had business to do with the Olympic Games, and they spent 424.62 reais (about USD 131.32) per day on average.

VI.The United States and Cuba restore diplomatic relations with groundbreaking tourism exchange
On May 3, a cruise carrying 700-plus tourists set off from Miami to Havana, the capital city of Cuba, the first commercial cruise from the United States to Cuba in 38 years. In March, the U.S. government loosened restrictions on visits to Cuba and President Obama announced the opening of airlines and cruise lines between the two countries.

VII. China climbs up to the world’s second place in terms of tourism revenue, keeps its status as the world’s biggest outbound tourism consumer
According to the data released by the UNWTO on May 9: in 2015, China overtook Spain and became the world’s second biggest tourism earner with the revenue of USD 114 billion. Chinese tourists spent USD 292 billion, up by 25%; China received a total of 128 million visitors, up by 10%. Since 2012, China has ranked the world’s biggest outbound travel consumer for years, contributing more than 13% of the global tourism revenue per year.

According to David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council: (China’s) outbound tourism has been growing robustly, ranks the world’s second place in terms of size, and in the next decade, will grow by 7% per year, above the global average growth rate of 4%, and overtake that in the United States by 2024.

VIII.The tourism industry in the shadow of tourist attacks
Millions of tourists have given up the plan to visit the pyramids in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the coastline in Tunisia or the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul which are the high-profile targets of terrorist attacks.

IX.As the pound goes down after Brexit, tourists flock to the UK
The Brexit has produced “immediate, positive impacts” on the British tourism industry. Within 28 days after the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union, the number of flight tickets to the country increased by 4.3% from the same period last year.

X. Cross-border self-guided tours challenged by the refugee wave to Europe
According to a statistical report released by the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees, in the first nine months of 2016, more than 300,000 refugees and immigrants from the Middle East and North African regions including Syria and Libya had crossed the Mediterranean to reach the European cost. Sweden and Denmark had tightened border control and the free personnel flow under the EU’s Schengen Agreement will be challenged

USA: Trump Travel Ban, Court issues Emergency Order Temporarily Barring The U.S. From Deporting People

A federal judge in New York has issued an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly issued the order Saturday evening after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.
Cheers broke out in a crowd of demonstrators outside a Brooklyn courthouse as the decision, effective nationwide, was announced.
The order barred U.S. border agents from removing anyone who arrived in the U.S. with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

It also covered anyone with an approved refugee application.
It was unclear how quickly the order might affect people in detention.

7 p.m.
New York City's Kennedy Airport became a scene of anguish Saturday for relatives of people detained after arriving in the U.S. from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban.
Lawyers and advocates working at the airport say they didn't have a hard count on the number of people taken into custody after getting off their flights.
Yosre Ghaled was among about a dozen distraught people waiting at a terminal Saturday to see if loved ones would be released or deported.
She says her mother-in-law's sister had been detained.
The 67-year-old Yemeni citizen had flown to the U.S. to live with family because she is sick from heart problems and diabetes.
Two members of congress joined hundreds of protesters at the airport, demonstrating against the detentions.

1 a.m.
The government of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is taking exception to the Israeli prime minister's praise of a border wall to keep out illegal immigration.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter Saturday that "President Trump is right" for building a wall.
"I built a wall along Israel's southern border," he wrote. "It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea."
Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a communique that it had expressed its "profound surprise, rejection and disappointment in the prime minister's message on Twitter" to Israel's ambassador. "Mexico is Israel's friend and should be treated as such."

12:20 a.m.
President Donald Trump says his crackdown on refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries "is not a Muslim ban."
A day after signing an executive order implementing the ban immediately, Trump says it's "working out very nicely."
But confusion, worry and outrage boiled over Saturday as airlines blocked people from travelling to the United States and legal challenges were mounted.
Included is a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The U.S. refugee program is suspended for 120-days.
Trump's order imposed the most aggressive ban on Syrians, indefinitely blocking entry to the U.S. by anyone from that country, including those fleeing civil war.

12:10 a.m.
Airlines around the world are turning away passengers, refunding tickets and rebooking flights in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's immigration order.
The order signed Friday included a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen. It also suspended the U.S. refugee program for four months.
That forced airlines to tell some customers they couldn't proceed on flights to the U.S.
Dubai-based Emirates said a small number of its passengers were affected Saturday, and it was helping them rebook. Delta Air Lines and British Airways both said they were offering refunds for passengers who couldn't complete their trips.
Several airlines, including Qatar Airways, posted travel alerts on their websites warning customers about the changes.

11:50 p.m.
In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country's decision to not issue Americans visas will not be retroactive.
Zarif says on Twitter: "Unlike the U.S., our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed."
U.S. visa restrictions that took effect on Saturday for people from several countries, including Iran, ban travel even for those who already had American visas.

11:20 p.m.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for refugees rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump: Canada will take you.
Trudeau tweeted Saturday "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength .WelcomeToCanada."

Trudeau also tweeted a picture of him greeting a Syrian child at Toronto's airport.

Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected in late 2015.
The young prime minister has been reluctant to criticize President Donald Trump. His government has been trying to balance his liberal view of the world while not offending the new Trump administration.
More than 75 per cent of Canada's exports are to the U.S.

10:20 p.m.
An Iraqi who was detained overnight at a New York City airport because of President Donald Trump's ban on refugees from certain Muslim nations has called America "the land of freedom" after being released from custody.
Hameed Khalid Darweesh worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army when it invaded Iraq in 2003. Later he was a contract engineer for the U.S.
He was granted permission to relocate to the U.S., but was detained along with another traveller from Iraq after arriving at Kennedy Airport Friday night.

Lawyers petitioned a federal court early Saturday to let them go. Two Democratic U.S. Representatives, Nydia Velazquez and Jerrold Nalder, were at the airport trying to get 11 other detainees released.
After he was freed Saturday, Darweesh told a waiting crowd that "America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world."

9:50 p.m.
In Somalia, people are reacting with dismay and warnings that countries could retaliate against the United States' new immigration and visa policies with restrictive policies of their own.
"I am shocked beyond words. This will mean that my new husband will never be able to join me in the U.S.," said Fatima Ashkir, a Somali-American woman from Florida who came to Mogadishu to marry her Somali boyfriend.
Others say they are not surprised at President Donald Trump's executive order imposing a three-month ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia.

"His intentions of hurting rather than to help were clear from the very beginning," said Ahmed Abdullahi, a university student in Mogadishu. "But you have to know that this will have a serious effect on relations between Americans and the Muslim world. A tit-for-tat response by Muslim countries, in which Americans could be barred from entering countries affected, is likely to be seen."

8:30 p.m.
Iran's foreign ministry is suggesting the country will limit issuing visas to American tourists in retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump's suspension of immigration and visas for nationals from Muslim countries including Iran.

The official IRNA news agency Saturday carried a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry that says Iran will resort to "counteraction" to Trump's executive order.

The statement says: "Iran, to defend the dignity of the great Iranian nation, will implement the principle of reciprocity until the removal of the insulting restriction against Iranian nationals."

The statement adds: "It will apply corresponding legal, consular and political actions."
The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since 1979 when militants stormed the U.S. embassy.

8 p.m.

Cairo airport officials say five U.S.-bound Iraqi migrants from one family who have been prevented from boarding an EgyptAir flight to New York's JKF airport would return to Iraq.

They said the five will spend Saturday night at Cairo airport and leave for Irbil, capital of Iraq's Kurdish region, Sunday morning.
They added that the sixth U.S.-bound migrant, a Yemeni national, left the airport to return to Cairo, where he resides.

The officials said Saturday's action by the airport was the first since President Donald Trump imposed a three-month ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

The officials said the six migrants, escorted by officials from the U.N. refugee agency, were stopped from boarding the plane after authorities at Cairo airport contacted their counterparts in JFK airport.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

7:05 p.m.
Dutch airline KLM says it has had to turn away seven would-be passengers because they would no longer have been accepted into the United States under President Donald Trump's ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Manel Vrijenhoek, at KLM's press office, said: "We would love to bring them there. That's not the problem. It's just that this is what the U.S. sprang on the rest of the world -- that these people are no longer welcome."
She said the seven were due to fly with KLM from different airports around the world. Vrijenhoek said she had no specifics on their nationalities, although she confirmed they were from countries affected by the three-month immigration ban: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Trump signed the order Friday.

6:40 p.m.
A U.S. federal law enforcement official says any non-U.S. citizen from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen is now barred from entering the United States.
That covers legal permanent residents -- green card holders -- and visa-holders from those seven countries who are out of the United States after Friday, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order with the temporary ban. They cannot return to the U.S. for 90 days.
The official says there's an exemption for immigrants and legal permanent residents whose entry is in the U.S. national interest, but it's unclear how that exemption will be applied.
The official says visa and green card holders already in the U.S. will be allowed to stay.
The official wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the details of how Trump's order is being put in place and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Customs and Border Protection is notifying airlines about passengers whose visas had been cancelled or legal residents scheduled to fly back to the U.S., and the airlines are being told to keep them off those flights.

6:35 p.m.
Israel's leader has endorsed President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted Saturday that Israel's wall along its border with Egypt has been successful in stopping a swell of African migrants.
"President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea," he wrote, with images of the Israeli and American flag.
The tweet marked a rare public foray for the Israeli leader into a charged American domestic affair. The two leaders spoke earlier this week and Netanyahu is planning to visit Trump in the White House next month.
After repeated clashes with President Obama, Netanyahu has high expectations for Trump, who has signalled he will take a kinder approach.

5:45 p.m.
Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012 to stop her campaigning for girls' education and co-winner of the 2014 Nobel peace prize, says she is heart-broken by U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on refugees from entering the United States for four months.
The order Friday suspends a program that saw around 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice resettled in the U.S. last year. Trump indefinitely blocked people fleeing Syria's civil war, and imposed a 90-day ban on U.S. entry from seven Muslim majority nations.
In a statement Saturday, Yousafzai implores Trump "not to turn his back on the world's most defenceless children and families."
Refugees and immigrants, she says, have "helped build your country."
Trump's mother was born in Scotland.

5:15 p.m.
Qatar Airways is advising passengers bound for the United States from seven newly banned majority Muslim countries that they need to have either a U.S. green card or diplomatic visa to travel.
A statement on the company's website says: "Nationals of the following countries: Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen ... may travel to the U.S. only if they are in possession of a permanent resident card (Green card) or any of the below visas."
It listed foreign government, United Nations, international organization and NATO visas.
President Donald Trump has issued a 90-day ban on all entry to the U.S. from countries with terrorism concerns, including Syria, Iraq and Libya.

3 p.m.
Cairo airport officials say seven U.S.-bound migrants -- six from Iraq and one from Yemen -- have been prevented from boarding an EgyptAir flight to New York's JFK airport.
The officials said the action Saturday by the airport was the first since President Donald Trump imposed a three-month ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
The officials said the seven migrants, escorted by officials from the U.N. refugee agency, were stopped from boarding the plane after authorities at Cairo airport contacted their counterparts in JFK airport.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

2:45 p.m.
The head of a leading refugee aid agency says President Donald Trump's decision to ban Syrian refugees hurts innocents fleeing violence.
Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council tells The Associated Press on Saturday that Trump's decision "will not make America safer, it will make America smaller and meaner."
Trump on Friday suspended refugee admissions for four months and indefinitely banned those from war-torn Syria, pending program changes that are to ensure refugees won't harm national security.
Egeland says the decision dealt a "mortal blow" to the idea of international responsibility for those fleeing persecution. He says the U.S. is leading a "race to the bottom" in which politicians in wealth countries provide "zero moral leadership."

1 p.m.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the time has come for removing walls between nations rather that building new ones.
Rouhani did not name any particular country but his remarks come shortly after President Donald Trump's executive order Friday suspending all immigration and visa processes for nationals from a handful of countries with terrorism concerns, including Iran, for 90 days.
Rouhani said Saturday that, "It is not the day for creating distance among nations."
Speaking at a tourism conference broadcast on state TV, Rouhani said that those seeking to create such walls, "have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed years ago."

12:30 p.m.
The International Rescue Committee is calling President Donald Trump's suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program a "harmful and hasty" decision.
In a statement issued late Friday night after the suspension was announced, IRC President David Miliband said, "America must remain true to its core values. America must remain a beacon of hope."
The IRC statement declared that the U.S. vetting process for prospective refugees is already robust -- involving biometric screening and up to 36 months of vetting by "12 to 15 government agencies."
Miliband praised The United States' record as a resettlement destination and said, "This is no time for America to turn its back on people ready to become patriotic Americans."

MALAYSIA: 28 Chinese Tourists Missing Off The Coast Of Borneo,

A boat carrying 31 people, including 28 Chinese tourists, is missing off the coast of Borneo, Malaysian maritime authorities said on Sunday.

The boat left Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia's eastern Sabah state, at about 9 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Saturday bound for the popular tourist spot of Mengalum island, officials said.

It was reported missing at about 9.50 p.m. after failing to arrive at the island and a search operation was launched soon after, Sabah and Labuan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director Rahim Ramli said.

Bad weather was hampering the search effort, which covers an area of about 400 nautical square miles.

"We are looking at strong winds and choppy waters," he said.

The Malaysian navy, maritime police and air force were involved in the search, the MMEA said in a statement.

The Chinese consulate in Kota Kinabalu has asked the state government to step up the search effort.

The China National Tourism Administration said it has initiated emergency response procedures.

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UAE: Sharjah International Airport Exceeded 10 Million Passengers In 2016

Sharjah International Airport registered a 10 percent year-on-year increase in passengers, handling 11 million passengers from January to December 2016. The airport passed the 10 million passenger mark for the first time in 2015, showing 5.5 percent growth. Since then, the airport has continued to show strong growth.

Airport passengers increased 12 percent during the first quarter of 2016, 11 percent during Q2 and 13 percent during Q3, reaching one million passengers per month for the first time in August 2016. Aircraft movements at Sharjah International Airport increased by 6 percent to 75,900 scheduled and non-scheduled movements in 2016 compared with 71,426 in 2015.

Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of Sharjah’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia. The airport’s ideal location, close to Sharjah city, Dubai city and the main highways connecting the country’s seven emirates, has made it a convenient hub for both business and leisure travelers.

Whilst Air Arabia hasn’t yet announced overall figures for 2016, the airline served over 2.27 million passengers during the first nine months of 2016, a 14 percent increase compared to the 2 million passengers during the same period of 2015. The airline currently operates a fleet of 46 Airbus A320 aircraft offering flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries from five hubs across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Sharjah’s tourism industry has fared well during 2015 and 2016, despite global and regional economic pressures. Hotels and hotel apartments registered a 19 percent increase in room nights booked during the first nine months of 2016, totaling 2.94 million room nights, according to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). The Authority’s tourism development strategy aims to attract more than 10 million tourists to the emirate by year 2021.

Meanwhile, Gama Aviation continues to expand its fixed base operation (FBO) at Sharjah International Airport. The global business aviation services company announced plans for its new, purpose-built Sharjah FBO, scheduled to open in mid-2018. The company has seen a 12 percent increase in aircraft traffic handled by its Sharjah hub during the past year and 33 percent growth in managed aircraft.

In 2014, Sharjah airport opened a new super-jumbo capable AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway, significantly expanding the airport’s capacity. More recently, the airport has introduced 16 smart gates to its arrival and departure halls, facilities for disabled passengers, a new automated baggage management system, plus a facilities for handling pharma and healthcare cargo. The airport has also begun construction of an additional bridge for passengers.

Sharjah International Airport’s expansion and development falls in-line with its goal to serve 25 million passengers by the year 2025.

KENYA: Kenya Wildlife Service Changes Payment Policy

Kenya Wildlife Service has changed their payment policy and will, with immediate effect, only permit payment with a VISA Card, MPesa, a mobile money service or by bank deposit, the latter however only possible at two specific branches of two banks, Kenya Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

How this will work out for tourists who find themselves with time at hand and may wish to visit the Nairobi National Park or the Nairobi Safari Walk at the spur of the moment remains to be seen but tourism stakeholders have already voiced their concern that, in order to prevent fraud with gate receipts the organization has hit the wrong targets, i.e. short notice visitors who do not have either of these options available but only cash in their pockets they wish to spend.

ZIMBABWE: Ethiopian Airlines Partner With Zimbabwe Tourism

Zimbabwe's Tourism Authority and Ethiopian Airlines will this year cooperate in various joint marketing initiatives aimed at promoting travel to the country in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

'We are excited to be working with progressive destinations like Zimbabwe through the ZTA. We see a lot of potential in the Madrid- Victoria Falls route so it is our undertaking to nurture and develop this route together with them. We are planning on having roadshows and particularly in Spain and Portugal' said Mr. Alemu Bekele, Area Manager for the airline in Spain and Portugal.

Speaking at the same occasion the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Mr. Karikoga Kaseke expressed his appreciation how Ethiopian Airlines has continued to respond to Zimbabwe Tourism's needs.

'Ethiopian Airlines have consistently supported us and always been forthcoming to our calls for close collaboration in the areas of joint marketing and promotion. We are optimistic that close cooperation will yield more results for mutual benefit. So this year we will fully implement the MoU we signed with them. It is our wish to expand this collaboration to cover other markets in the entire Europe and beyond' said Mr. Kaseke.

The ZTA Chief Executive als added that apart from Ethiopian Airlines there were other airlines that have expressed interest in flying into the resort town of Victoria Falls.

'A number of airlines have shown interest in flying to Victoria Falls and as a government we will continue to court more airlines because we want to see the full utilization of the recently upgraded and commissioned Victoria Falls International Airport. It has untapped potential to become a hub of air traffic in the sub region' he added.

The ZTA and Ethiopian Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint marketing and cooperation last year. In the spirit of the same pact, the two parties have continued to work together particularly during Zimbabwe’s premier business exchange, the Sanganai / Hlanganani World Tourism Expo that saw the hosting of travel trade buyers from Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, more promotional programmes for this market are lined up for this year and further into the future.

Ethiopian Airlines will, as reported here before, from 26th of March be flying into Victoria Falls 4 times a week.Tourists flying into VFA can, after visiting the falls, also explore the not too distant Hwange National Park and other attractions including the Great Zimbabwe monuments.

SEYCHELLES: Air Seychelles Honours Staff

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles and partner airline of Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, presented 52 staff with long-service awards last night in recognition of their long service with the airline.

The special awards ceremony took place in the VIP Lounge at the airport where the staff, who have all been with the company for over 10 to 40 years, were thanked for their years of service.

The group came from various airline departments including Ground Operations, Quality and Safety, Cabin Operations, Flight Operations, Procurement and Supply Chain, Guest Services, Revenue Management, Sales and Distribution, Planning and Finance, Human Resources, Technical Operations and Cargo.

Jean Weeling-Lee, Chairman of the Air Seychelles Board, said: 'On behalf of the Air Seychelles board I would like to extend my congratulations to the many Seychellois who have continued to support the national airline throughout the years. At Air Seychelles we strive to place people at the centre of development and your commitment has not only contributed towards the future growth of the airline but also towards the tourism industry which is one of the key drivers of the Seychelles economy'.

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles then added: 'The successful achievement and the future growth of our airline would have not been possible without the hard work and determination of our people. Our staff will remain an important pillar in the development of Air Seychelles and for that we want to express our gratitude for their devotion and loyalty. Currently the airline which is considered as one of the biggest employers in the Seychelles provides employment opportunities to 787 staff of which 97% are Seychellois. This remarkable achievement is significant for Air Seychelles as it demonstrates the can-do attitude and the skill-set of our staff and the importance we place on human resources to further improve the capabilities and the future of our airline'.

Riard Balette, Manager Technical Quality and Safety at Air Seychelles, was amongst one of the staff honoured for working at the airline for 30 years.

During celebration he said: 'I am indeed very proud to share 30 years of my experience and expertise with Air Seychelles. I have always been fascinated by the aviation industry and the opportunities provided throughout the years of working for Air Seychelles have equipped me with the right skills and professional aptitude to progress further in my career'.

Rose-Marie Monthy was recognized for 20 years of service and sharing her experience with the airline, noted: 'I have taken great pride in working for the national airline and I am thrilled to have been part and witnessed the various developments which have enabled Air Seychelles to become a successful and reputable airline within the Indian Ocean. Having started my career back in 1996, amidst the ups and downs that any job brings along, today I am very grateful for the career opportunity Air Seychelles has offered me. Completing 20 years with Air Seychelles does not mean that I have reached the end of my career, I continue to provide my support towards the continuous growth of the airline and to ensure that Air Seychelles remains the pride of Seychelles'.

Ropatra Gonthier, Performance Standard and Training Manager in Guest Services, was recognized for more than 10 years of service at Air Seychelles.

She shared her experience of the airline’s growth, saying: 'The Air Seychelles airport operations have witness considerable improvement throughout the past ten years especially in areas of guest services. Currently the airline operation involves more than 350 domestic and over 60 international services per week and with the upcoming flight to Dusseldorf and Durban the operation will be more complex. Being witness and taking active part in this fantastic achievement and continuous progress has been a great experience for me'.

Air Seychelles is a Skytrax rated 4 star airline and operates a fleet of Airbus A330's, A320's besides six DHC Twin Otters for domestic services. The airline flies from Mahe to Beijing, Paris, Duesseldorf from mid 2017, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Mauritius, Madagascar, Johannesburg and soon also to Durban.

ZIMBABWE: Matobo National Park

Matobo National Park occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares. Established in 1953, the Park was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status in June 2003. The Park includes an Intensive Protection Zone where a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros are successfully breeding. The Park offers a diverse package of tourist attractions and activities.
The park is situated in the magnificent Matobo Hills, a range of domes, spires and balancing rock formations which have been hewn out of the solid granite plateau through millions of years of erosion and weathering. The majestic and rugged terrain of the park is a hiker’s paradise and the diversity of the vegetation supports a wide range of wildlife.

Matobo meaning ‘bald heads’ was the name chosen for the area by the great Ndebele King, Mzilikazi. He is buried in the Matobo Hills just a short distance from the park.

Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. He is buried at the summit of Malindidzimu -‘ hill of benevolent spirits’. He referred to this hill as having a ‘View of the World’. A short walk from the parking lot will lead the visitor to his grave, which is carved out of the solid granite hill and surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of massive boulders.

The Matobo area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.

The Park is home to a wide variety of animal species including: black and white rhinoceros, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, eland, sable, klipspringer, leopard, hyena, cheetah, hippo, warthog, rock dassies, waterbuck, wildcat, springhare, common duiker, crocodiles, baboons and monkeys.

The richness of the Park can also be seen from the diverse bird life. The park is famous for its large concentration of black eagles, which can be seen perched atop the rock formations or soaring along the cliffs in search of prey. Bird species that can be found include, fish eagle, martial eagle, francolin, secretary bird, weavers, pied crow and Egyptian geese.

Fish species readily found in this Park include, bass, bottle fish, bream, catfish and robustus.
Matobo National Park has a mixed type of vegetation that ranges from Mopane, Acacia species, Brachstegia in other area, Figtrees, Azanza species, Zizphus species, Strychnos species and Terminalia species.


Accommodation facilites are located at Whitewaters, Tshabalala Sanctuary, Toghwana, Hazelside and Mtsheleli. Maleme Rest Camp provides accommodation in the form of chalets and lodges and it is by far the largest rest area in the Park.


Electrified accommodation is found at Maleme Rest Camp where the main office is located. There are several types of lodges at Maleme.
12 lodges with have 2 bedrooms, a kitchen with fridge, stove, cutlery and crockery. Some of the lodges have 4 single beds and others have 1 double bed and 2 singles. All lodges are equipped either dressing tables or wardrobes, dinning rooms with tables, chairs, heaters, flush toilet and bathrooms with cold and hot water.

There are 3 single bedroom lodges with similar facilities as the 2 bedroomed lodges.

Exclusive Lodges
Fish Eagle

This is a 2 bedroomed lodge with 5 beds i.e. one double and one single bed, one bedroom with 2 single beds all with linen, 2 dressing tables. The kitchen has a fridge, 4 plate stove, electric kettle, crockery and cutlery. The lodge has a flush toilet, bathroom with tub and hot shower, veranda, garden table and chairs.

Black Eagle

This is a 2 bed roomed lodge with 5 beds i.e. one double and one single bed, one bedroom with 2 single beds all with linen, 2 dressing tables. The kitchen has a fridge, 4 plate stove, electric kettle, crockery and cutlery. The lodge has a flush toilet, bathroom with tub and hot shower, veranda, garden table and chairs.


Top of the range accommodation with 2 bedrooms containing 2 double teak beds. Each bedroom has 4-seater teak easy chairs. There are 2 ensuite bathrooms and flush toilets. The dining room has a teak table. The veranda overlooking the river has a garden table and chairs. The kitchen has a fridge, 4 plate stove, crockery and cutlery supplied.


5 single bedroom chalets have 2 single beds, dressing tables, wall wardrobes, dining tables with chairs for 2. The kitchen is communal and is equipped with 2 plate stoves. Ablution facilities are communal. Heaters are also supplied in the chalets.

1 two-bedroomed chalet with one double bed and 2 single beds, dressing tables, wall wardrobes. The chalet has a dining room with dining tables and chairs for 2. The kitchen is communal and is equipped without 2 plate stoves. Ablution facilities are also communal. Heaters are also supplied in the chalet.


Cooking facilities are available on wood or charcoal braais. Ablution and toilet facilities are provided in a communal block.

Communal Campsite

Camping sites are available at Maleme Dam, Mthselele Dam, Toghwana Dam, Mesilume Dam and Arboretum.

Conference Facilities

The Rhodes Hall is a conference facility that can host up to 30 delegates depending on the required seatting arrangement. There is a blackboard, projector, 60 inch colour television monitor, VCR and decoder. Toilet facilities are adjoined to the hall. The kitchen facilities and equipment include an urn for boiling water, pots, cups, glasses, crockery and cutlery. Movable braai stands are also available for guests’ use.


Tourists are encouraged to liase with the tourist office on availability of particular activities as well as to get details on the rules and regulations.
• Escorted walks for up to 6 people – an armed scout can be availed on booking at Maleme or Whitewaters office
• Pony trails – conducted around the Maleme Dam area and into the Whovi Wild Area
• Fishing – allowed in most dams to those issued with licences at the tourist office
• Boating – privately owned boats are permitted on certain dams
• Game viewing – can be done in the Whovi Wild Area, a protected game park which is home to more than 60 animal species and hundreds of beds
• Bird watching – offers great opportunity to see the several eagle species
• Hiking – there is abundant excitement of climbing the Pomongwe Hill which gives one a good view of the central part of the Park
• 33 miler road race – a unique marathon that is conducted within the Park at particular times of the year

Why Visit Matobo?
• The Park has one of the largest concentrations of black and white rhinoceros making it easy to sight one or more of the large population of this endangered specie
• Fine rock paintings – within the park are numerous sites which were once occupied by the San hunter-gatherers. The paintings at Nswatugi Cave are perhaps some of the finest in the country and contain beautiful renditions of giraffe, eland and kudu. There are other areas of note such as Bambata Cave, Inanke Cave and Silozwane Cave – just outside the park – that display fine animal paintings. The feint but distinct outline of a rhinoceros at the White Rhino Shelter was the impetus for the reintroduction of the species to the park in the 1960’s.
• Numerous cultural and historical sites
• The unique balancing rock features
• The curio souvenir sales crafted by the local communities around the park
• The quiet and unpolluted environment
• Excellent stopover for tourists in transit to Hwange and Victoria Falls
How to get to Matobo National Park

The park is located 34 kilometres south of Bulawayo along the Kezi/Maphisa Road. The Main road to Maleme is tarred while all other Park roads are gravel and mostly in good condition. Durintg the rainy season the road to Toghwana requires 4 wheel drive vehicles

ZIMBABWE: Mana Pools National Park

A UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, Mana Pools National Park is synonymous with the Zambezi River, elephants, lions, remoteness and wilderness. This unique park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are associated with the pools. ”Long Pool”, is the largest of the four pools, extending some six kilometres in a west-east direction. This pool has a large population of hippo and crocodiles and is a favourite for the large herds of elephant that come out of the thickly vegetated areas in the south to drink.

As one moves northwards towards the Zambezi River from the forests on the Karoo sediments, the vegetation changes to open Faidherbia albida woodlands on the old river terraces. This vegetation gives an unique look to the area and a surreal light filters through the trees giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere.

On the old river terraces, tourists can walk unaccompanied by guides in the open Albida woodland because visibility is good and there is little danger of unexpectantly coming across dangerous animals. This privilege of walking alone in an area with dangerous wildlife is unique in Zimbabwe. Elephant, eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog and hippo are some of the larger herbivores to be seen regularly on the river terraces as they come out to eat the fallen Albida fruit. Lions, leopards, spotted hyaena and cheetah are present in the area, but their secretive nature makes them more difficult to see. Despite this, it is not often that the visitor leaves Mana Pools without seeing at least one of these large carnivores.

Northwards, off the river terraces, is the mighty Zambezi River flowing sedately on its way to the Indian Ocean. This now tranquil river was a major route for the trade in ivory and slaves in the dark past. Mana Pools is 2,196 square kilometres in extent but is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east. This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area – even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

Tourist facilities include lodges, a communal campsite with ablution facilities and exclusive campsites where the visitor can be alone.

There are 5 lodges in the Park, all located along the Zambezi River. There are 2 large lodges situated a short distance upstream from Nyamepi Camp, Musangu and Muchichiri. These lodges have a bathroom and shower with hot and cold running water; 2 toilets and a fully kitted kitchen with stove and deep-freeze and all utensils such as cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. All bedding and towels, etc are supplied. There is a large dining room and lounge, an outside braai area with seating where one can view the river and the wildlife coming down to drink or simply watch the African sun setting over the Zambezi River.

There are also 3 four-bedded lodges, all under thatch. Each lodge has 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, a shower and toilet and seating areas outside near the Zambezi River. The kitchen is supplied with a deep-freezer, cooker, crockery and cutlery and other cooking implements. Bedding and towels, etc are supplied.

Camping Sites
There is one large communal campsite along the Zambezi River, and a number of exclusive campsites where visitors can ensure their solitude.

Communal Campsite
The Nyamepi Camp camping area located along the Zambezi River is situated near the Mana Pools National Park reception office. Visitors need to bring their own camping equipment, bedding, toiletries, cooking implements, etc. There are ablution blocks nearby with hot and cold running water, flush toilets and laundry basins. Visitors can buy firewood at the reception office, and each campsite has a braai area. This camping ground has 30 sites.

Exclusive Campsite
There are a number of exclusive campsites situated along the Zambezi River. These camps are for the visitor who seeks solitude and who wants to truly experience the wildness and challenges of the bush. There is a braai stand at each site and rudimentary toilet. Water is collected from the river or the reception office. Visitors to these sites need to be fully self-equipped and be able to handle the remoteness and solitude of these unique camps. The camps are only allowed 2 vehicles and 12 persons per stay. Water may be drawn from the river.

8 kilometres west of Nyamepi and has 4 secluded camp sites

Just over 1 kilometre east of Nymepi and has 1 camp site

Just east of the carpark area and has 2 campsites

A short distance upstream from the lodges has 1 campsite, with cold-water shower, flush toilet and basin and a braai stand.

Wild Exclusive Camp Sites
There are 2 completely wild camping sites located in the southern sector of the Park – close to Chitake Spring, near the foothills of the Zambezi Escarpment. The check-in point for these camps is at Nyakasikana Gate. Both campsites are without any facilities and are accessible only with four-wheel drive vehicles.

Chitake Camp 1 (Nzou)
Located 150 metres downstream from the Chitake River crossing under a large Natal Mahogany near the river.

Chitake Camp 2 (Shumba)
Situated on top of a small hill near a number of baobab trees and has a magnificent view south to the escarpment, north to the far off Zambezi, east to Mangangai and west to the Rukomechi River. The camp is about 1 kilometre from the spring.
Tour Operator All-inclusive Tours
Visitors can book with a number of registered tour operators who will take care of all requirements including transport, food, accommodation, activities, safety and transfers. Visitors will need to make their own arrangements to hire a tour operator.

The following are some of the main activities offered at Mana Pools National Park:

Available around the Park at developed, minimum development and exclusive sites

Walking Safaris
These safaris are offered at full moon. Parks staff will take visitors on a 3 day hike in the wild of Mana Pools National Park. Visitors will need to be fit, provide their own rucksacks, food and toiletries. This is a unique experience for the nature lover and those who enjoy the challenge of facing nature one on one.

Lion Tracking
This is a limited activity whilst the lion research project at Mana Pools is in progress. Visitors are guaranteed a close view of the lions in most instances. This activity is unique and also assists in data collection for research projects.

Visitors can fish in the Zambezi River and experience the excitement of hooking large fish for the pot. Half of the joy is experiencing the quiet, solitude and beauty of the unspoiled bush around you.

Game Drives
Usually most rewarding in the early morning and late afternoon. Long Pool is often worth visiting soon after sunrise.

The Park is generally remote and far from any business centre. The nearest shops and fuel supplies are nearly 100 kilometres away, therefore visitors should be fully equipped for their visit.

Why Visit Mana Pools?
• The unique guided and self-guided walks in the Park amongst many wild animals
• Renowned ”World Heritage Site”
• One of the world’s wildest and preserved natural ecological areas
• Rated the 5th Best Park in Africa by Getaway magazine (September 2003)
• Excellent canoeing and river fishing
• The remnant pools of the mighty Zambezi River are a marvel to watch as a prime habitat for several bird and mamal species

How to get to Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is a truly remote park. Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, Mana is far from any major town or human settlement. Drive along the main Harare/ Chirundu tarred road and at the bottom of the Zambezi Escarpment, branch off the tarred road onto a dirt road that will take you 70 kilometres into unspoiled bush to Nyamepi Camp. There are a number of game-viewing roads that run along the Zambezi River and further inland from which you can view the wide variety of wildlife. Visitors can get a free entry permit to enter the Nyamautsi wilderness area and Kanga Pan where vehicle entry is limited to 2 per day

ZIMBABWE: Arts And Crafts

Traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery and carving. Among the distinctive qualities are symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood. Shona sculpture has become world

famous in recent years having first emerged in the 1940s. Most subjects of carved figures of stylised birds and human figures among others are made with sedimentary rocks such as soapstone, as well as harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and the rare stone verdite. Some of these Zimbabwean artefacts being found in countries like Singapore, China and Canada. i.e. Dominic Benhura’s statue in the Singapore botanic gardens.
Shona sculpture in essence has been a fusion of African folklore with European influences.

World renowned Zimbabwean sculptors include Nicholas, Nesbert and Anderson Mukomberanwa, Tapfuma Gutsa, Henry Munyaradzi and Locardia Ndandarika. Internationally, Zimbabwean sculptors have managed to influence a new generation of artists, particularly Black Americans, through lengthy apprenticeships with master sculptors in Zimbabwe. Contemporary artists like New York sculptor M. Scott Johnson and California sculptor Russel Albans have learned to fuse both African and Afro-diasporic aesthetics in a way that travels beyond the simplistic mimicry of African Art by some Black artists of past generations in the United States.

Several authors are well known within Zimbabwe and abroad. Charles Mungoshi is renowned in Zimbabwe for writing traditional stories in English and in Shona and his poems and books have sold well with both the black and white communities. The book The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera won an award in the UK in 1979 and the Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing’s first novel The Grass Is Singing, the first four volumes of The Children of Violence sequence, as well as the collection of short stories African Stories are set in Rhodesia.

Internationally famous artists include Henry Mudzengerere and Nicolas Mukomberanwa. A recurring theme in Zimbabwean art is the metamorphosis of man into beast. Zimbabwean musicians like Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, the Bhundu Boys and Audius Mtawarira have achieved international recognition. Among members of the white minority community, Theatre has a large following, with numerous theatrical companies performing in Zimbabwe’s urban areas.

Zimbabwean art includes decorative esthetics applied to many aspects of life, including art objects as such, utilitarian objects, objects used in religion, warfare, in propaganda, and in many other spheres. Within this broad arena, Zimbabwe has several identifiable categories of art. It is ahallmark of African cultures in general that art touches many aspects of life, and most tribes have a vigorous and often recognisable canon of styles and a great range of art-worked objects. These can include masks, drums, textile decoration, beadwork, carving, sculpture, ceramic in various forms, housing and the person themselves. Decoration of the body in permanent ways such as scarification or tattoo or impermanently as in painting the body for a ceremony is a common feature of African cultures.

Spoken or musical art is also a prominent part of Africas generally. Various instruments including drums, lamellophones and stringed bows have been used in Zimbabwe, while oratory, poetry, fable telling, praise singing and tribal ritual chants are also prominent.

In recent decades Zimbabwe has become widely recognized internationally for its sculpture.

It is useful to examine Zimbabwean art through time, by area, by main tribal division and as indicative of recent historic and political changes. There is an artistic tradition in Zimbabwe that can be traced back to pottery of the Early and Late Stone Age and rock paintings from the Late Stone Age. Many rock paintings produced by San artists between 10000 and 2000 years ago are found in cultural sites in Zimbabwe and these demonstrate a high degree of skill in drawing. Many depict recognisable animal figures and use shading and colour to enhance the visual impact. The archaeology of Zimbabwe includes numerous pottery finds, which assist in the reconstruction of linguistic and cultural groupings within what is here termed Shona.

The pottery indicates that the people of the Late Iron Age were settled agriculturists and they have been categorised as forming groups such as the Harare culture and the Leopard’s Kopje culture: the latter established in 980 AD in a site called K2. This group moved to Mapungubwe where they used stone walls to separate the ruling class from the rest of the population. This settlement was abandoned in the thirteenth century at around the time that a now much better-known site was developed by others who lived on the Zimbabwean plateau. This was Great Zimbabwe, which dates from about 1250–1500 AD. It is a stone-walled town (Zimbabwe means “royal residence”) and shows evidence in its archaeology of skilled stone working: the walls were made of a local granite and no mortar was used in their construction.

When excavated, six soapstone birds and a soapstone bowl were found in the eastern enclosure of the monument, so these Shona-speaking Gumanye people certainly produced sculpture. Each object was carved from a single piece of stone and the birds have an aesthetic quality that places them as genuine “art”. In comparing them to other better-known African stone sculpture, for example from the Yoruba culture, Philip Allison, writing in 1968, stated “The stone sculptures of Rhodesia are few in number and of no great aesthetic distinction, but Zimbabwe itself has a place of peculiar importance in the study of African cultures”.

In prehistory the area was widely settled by Kung peoples, the so-called Khoikhoi or San, Hottentot or Bushmen people, who were hunter gatherers. They often lived in caves and made various artworks, including beading from shells for personal decoration, incising designs on ostrich shells and utilitarian objects such as clay water straws and also on the cave walls themselves. These dynamic and varied cave paintings date from around 10000 BCE and depict humans hunting many kinds of animals, warfare between humans, mystical and other unidentified marks, landscape and ceremonies where the humans are obviously decorated or in costume. The colours vary from black through brown, red, ochre, yellow and white. The pigments used are unknown, though presumably contain a mix of local materials such as earth oxides, fat, vegetable juices and possibly fluids from larval insects. Certainly they have lasted for thousands of years.

Their descendants, who live mainly in Botswana and Namibia, sing a variety of uniquely structured and tuneful songs, accompanied sometimes by a plucked or struck bow. They also have a repertoire of dances, and there is no reason to suspect their ancestors did not do the same thing.

These Stone Age people were supplanted by Iron Age Nguni-derived pastoral and farming peoples migrating in from the east and north around 2000 years ago, who became the ancestors of the WaRozwi/Barotse people and by derivation the Amashona peoples. The art of these people can be seen in many decorated first-fired clay pots, where typically a repeated dhlo-dhlo (linear herringbone) motif or similar edging was applied. Other artwork is harder to source, though it can assumed they decorated the body and had beadwork and other art styles related to typical styles of the East and Central African Nguni peoples. A recurrent motif in Shona art is the transformation of a human into an animal of some kind.
Later prehistory

At around the same time as the earlier incursions of these Bantu-type people (200BCE) there were sporadic expeditions by South-East coastal dwellers, probably by the Savi/Save river or over the Inyanga/Chimanimani mountain passes, into the Zimbabwe area to obtain gold for trade with Arab traders trading as far south as the mouth of the Savi. They built stone forts extending into the interior at one day’s march from each other, with the final one being the complex now known as Great Zimbabwe. To service the coastal trade a town called Sofala was established at the mouth of the Sofala river on the east coast. It had its heydey in around 700 AD/CE and served the Mwenemutapa/Monomotapa Kingdom, whose capital was Great Zimbabwe. Arabs took up residence in Sofala around 900AD/CE.
Early sculpture

Archaeology at Zimbabwe has shown several distinct phases of building and styles of stonework. It is likely the original complex was rather functional – essentially a fort and trading post only, and the later and more elaborate building occurred when the complex became the central administrative and royal centre of activity for the area. Some of the architectural features are probably linked with styles of coastal Swahili architecture and some are uniquely local. Chinese pottery shards, ivory, glass objects, local gold objects, Arabic and local beads, copper ingots, iron ingots and other trade items have been found at Zimbabwe. The herringbone and other stepped linear froms of decoration in the walls are a feature of the most recent stonework. Similar stonework is seen at Khami ruins, a fort built on the way to Zimbabwe.

However, the most impressive and unique feature of Zimbabwe are the huge soapstone birds, the so-called Zimbabwe birds, depicting a bird of prey perched on a zig-zag base motif. These birds are possibly based on the Bateleur eagle or maybe a vulture species and might have had something to do with a religious cult or indicative of a totem animal for the ruling people at the time. Most of these sculptures are still in the country but one is in South Africa where it still adorns Groote Schuur an official residence, once the home of Cecil Rhodes. Another unexplained motif at Zimbabwe, which like the birds were mounted on the perimeter wall of the Great Enclosure, were stelae or tall narrow rectilinear pillars of rock (probably natural fracture artefacts) set at intervals round the top of the wall. The Zimbabwe bird is the most prominent motif of the current Zimbabwe flag.

The origin of Amandebele speaking peoples in southern Zimbabwe received its main impetus from settlement around 1840 under Mzilikazi, a Khumalo chief who rebelled against Zulu rule. However, it is likely that such tribes began crossing the Limpopo sporadically from about 1800 onwards. Amandebele conflict with the Amashona drove them northwards into what was dubbed in colonial times Mashonaland. These Amandebele/Matabele peoples had several distinct art forms differing from the Amashona: in pottery styles, bead aprons and headpieces, house decoration, carving and decoration of war implements such as clubs/knobkierries and shields.

Art in Zimbabwe lost most of its spiritual power with the conversion of the majority of the population to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Missionaries harmed the local cultures by demanding destruction of anything they regarded as anti-Christian, in particular masks or carvings thought to have votive powers, that is, to be appealing to some god that was not the Christian one. By the second world war most art objects produced in Zimbabwe were simply that: produced for tourist and local white settler consumption. With the advent of guns, animal skins prepared and decorated with small panels of other hides also began to appear more frequently in the early 20th century, as well as ‘karosses’ or fur blankets influenced by BaTchwana styles from Botswana to the south.

As for travelers to the area during the Victorian period, they used art, especially painting, to depict some of what they saw there. This art of the colonial period took landscape as its main theme and many of the European artists were present as part of expeditions that aimed to inform the public in Europe about life in Africa. For example, Thomas Baines joined the Zambezi expedition led by David Livingstone in 1858 and in 1861 he was one of the first to make oil paintings of Victoria Falls. John Guille Millais spent six months of 1893 sketching and hunting in Zimbabwe.

In the 1940s a Zimbabwe philanthropist named Jairos Jiri began to teach disabled people various artistic skills and centralised their production for sale in several outlets nation-wide. These proved very popular and returned money to persons otherwise excluded from normal commercial activity. Jairos Jiri centres remain an important part of the artistic output in Zimbabwe. Typical items include tiles, tiled tables and wall plaques, basketwork, beading, carvings in wood and stone, jewellery and paintings.

In the mid-1970s the nationalist guerilla incursions resulted in several atrocities against people in rural villages, including the sawing off of the upper lip of those perceived as collaborating with the government forces. The white government collated photographic images and a text list of these events into a propaganda booklet called ‘Anatomy of Terror’. This was designed to show the brutality of the nationalists against innocent rural native people. Images from this publication are today to be found on YouTube (for example under ‘Terrorists in the Rhodesian bush’).

Other art from the white minority during the civil “Rhodesian Bush” (1968 – 1979) war consisted mainly of depictions of indigenous fauna and flora and landscapes. These subjects had always been popular and remain popular to this day among white artists. No individual white artist expressed any significant political sentiment during the civil war era. However, many film, still and sound clips celebrating the government forces’ role during this time are currently available on YouTube.

While there were many well-known white artists in Rhodesia prior to independence in 1980, there were relatively few black artists of note. One of these was Kingsley Sambo (1932–1977), who started to paint at the Cyrene Mission where Canon Edward Paterson taught art. Two of Sambo’s paintings are in the MoMA. Others were Thomas Mukarobgwa (also a leading sculptor) and Joseph Ndandarika

Although the Workshop School of the National Gallery supported and encouraged painters from 1957, Rhodesia had few Colleges for Fine Arts. The Bulawayo College of Fine Art and Design trained artists in fine art and graphic design for Rhodesian industry and it was not until 1963 that Alex Lambert set up the Mzilikazi Art School in Bulawayo specifically to encourage local people to take up art.

The National Gallery has, since 1986, promoted local artists by hosting an annual exhibition of contemporary visual arts called “Zimbabwe Heritage”. Patronage from Zimbabwean companies – the Baringa Corporation (for paintings, graphics, textiles, ceramics and photograph) and the Nedlaw Investment and Trust Corporation (for sculpture) – initially supported the expense of having an international panel of judges come to Zimbabwe to assess the works and make Awards. Later, the sponsorship of the event grew to include international companies such as Mobil, Lever Brothers, The BOC Group and Longman. Early winners of Awards of Distinction in the painters and graphics category included Berry Bickle (1987), Bert Hemsteede (1988), Rashid Jogee (1992) and Tichaona Madzamba (1992).

Painters who have established reputations in post-independence Zimbabwe include Dumisani Ngwenya, Taylor Nkomo and Richard Jack.

Zimbabwe Sculpture: a Tradition in Stone, Atlanta, USA, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport between concourses T and A

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Harare is currently an important locality for display of (mainly) Shona sculptors and carvers. Another Chapungu Sculpture Park was created in 2007 in the United States, along with a gallery, in Loveland, Colorado. Zimbabwe Sculpture: a Tradition in Stone is on permanent display at Atlanta’s airport.

Since antiquity local artists have been using the steatite/soapstone deposits of the eastern Zimbabwe mountain ranges to produce artworks showing, among other things, the common Shona theme of animal/human inter-morphosis. These works became much larger under the patronage of white collectors in the 1960s (though the Zimbabwe birds of antiquity are massive) and now it is common to see monumental soapstone sculptures both nationally and internationally.

Noted Zimbabwean artists include sculptor Patrick Mavros, and painters Kim Donaldson, Larry Norton, Brennan Seward, Kefas Gimo, Eric Forlee and Owen Maseko.