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How Speke Apartments Is Revolutionizing Hospitality Industry

Uganda’s tourism sector is fast picking up with increased numbers of tourists coming into the country. Global broadcaster CNN ranked Uganda as the fifth best destination in the world putting the East African nation in a good position especially now that energies are being directed at marketing the country to the world.

Domestic tourism is also moving into the right direction especially now that middle income earners in Uganda are fast appreciating their country and beginning to explore it even more. All this is creating a demand for better hotels, restaurants, lodges and leisure places that complete the hospitality industry.

Because of this demand service providers like hotels are left with no choice but to put in place high quality facilities to meet demands of customers. This investment is demand driven. The latest addition to Uganda’s hotel industry is the magnificent Speke Apartments located on Wampewo Avenue, Kololo – Kampala.

Drhuv Pathak, marketing manager Speke Apartments says that their customers want a home-like facility. He explains that such facilities should be accessible, technologically equipped and fitted with luxurious services like health centers.

 “A customer should be able to get all amenities in one place. Therefore property developers in this business try to make the customer’s stay comfortable, affordable and memorable,” the marketing manager explained to journalists recently.

The Apartments are ideal for executives and their families who come to Kampala for a short to medium stay. It combines a great location with a secure, quiet, clean, serviced apartment accommodation spread out over five floors.

The apartment has facilities like one, two and three bedroom apartments with furnished kitchen, gadgets required for a home, double glazed aluminum windows, 52'&32 led flat screen TVs, air conditioned, and spacious with internet. Speke Apartment has 2 swimming pools, spa, 8 penthouses and first fusion restaurant in Uganda. It has a total of 82 units.

Pathak says good apartments that are on international standards should have full housekeeping services with cleaning and laundry services completed by standby friendly security personnel.

Kampala is a beautiful city that was originally built on seven hill which have since expanded to other hills. Speke Apartment is a residential facility that comes with a view overseeing the Kampala city and the iconic Lake Victoria.

“This property opens to a stunning living room with gorgeous furniture fitted with soft padded upholstery, high qualities of fixtures, furnishing, appliances, ready to move in. It comes with three bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a balcony and a dining table with six chairs.” Pathak said.

Speke Apartments is a luxurious facility that gives a complete bouquet of services a tourist, traveler of anybody looking to have fun needs. They are set in their own pleasant grounds a few minutes from the city centre, but away from the traffic. In the garden, there are bar and barbeque facilities that guests may use, as well as a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi & sauna.

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HOTEL REVIEW: Forest Cottages Brings Wildlife Experience To Kampala City

One of the reasons millions of people trek to national parks is to come up and close with nature. The green natural scenery, the clean air, the singing birds, animals and the peace that comes with being away from the city hustle is soothing. This kind of environment is the reason the tourism sector flourish across the global.

Yet we all can’t go upcountry to have first hand experience of this beauty for various reasons, Forest Cottages, located at Plot 17/18, Naguru Hill Old Kira Road, Bukoto, Kampala offers a suprisingly similar experience. Nestled in the deliberately planted trees, Forest Cottages is first becoming a hide out for people who love exquisite nature.

Forest Cottages are designed luxury cottages set in a serene, African forest environment. At the hotel, you get to feel the touch of nature in a comfortable and unique environment. The selectively planted smaller trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make Forest Cottages an inspiring destination for nature lovers and eco tourists alike.

The artistic hotel provides a small sanctuary for forest wildlife such as colored turacoes, hornbills, and an additional 20 bird species. The secluded hotel offers peace and quietness in a natural green setting or the excitement of waking up to humming birds. All this beauty is topped up friendly and courteous and professional staff members.

Sekacwa Brain, a usual quest at the hotel, in one of the only reviews describes Forest Cottages as ‘very quiet and good for relaxation,’ explaining that the Cottages are ‘simply amazing’. “The terraces give you a nice feel of nature. If you have not been there, try it. Trust me the experience is breathtaking,”

He adds “[Forest Cottages] is a good place to chill. Very well planned cottages giving ultimate privacy to guest. Proximity to Kabita country club where the guest can swim free is a wonderful offer. Maybe they can look at improving their own food menu.”

While another online reviewer, Jeremiah Oweka describes the hotel as ‘a nice place for outing with friends and family because of good services’. These and many more positive reviews are testament to what Forest Cottages stands for.

Accommodation

a safari lodge style cottage accommodation in the heart of Kampala city, with individually designed luxurious cottages offering a relaxing and soothing experience. All the cottages are furnished with locally handmade furniture, and equipped with self-catering facilities with all essential amenities to ensure your comfort during your stay.

The Hotel, offers 5 room types from which you can choose. The Standard Single, Standard Double, One Bedroom Cottage, Two Bedroom Cottage and Three Bedroom Cottage which are all ideal for business travellers, tourists, honeymooners and even families on holiday.

A night inside a Standard Single Room goes for $65, Standard Double Room at $72, 1 Bedroom Cottage at $90, $2 Bedroom Cottage at $120 and 3 Bedroom Cottage comes at $165. Half Board per Person $75 (Includes Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner) while full board per Person $85 (Includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner).

Corporate events, Meetings

Forest Cottages’ conference and banquet facilities comprise of meeting space the total of 4 separate rooms. These rooms are capable of seating 10 to 200 guests in various sitting styles, and cater to maximum of 150 guests for a reception. The facilities are equipped with Wi-Fi, conference calls, fax facilities, recording devices are available upon request, PA system, stationary and courteous fulltime staff on hand to assist you during your event.

Forest Cottages also provides a venue for weddings. Also airport pickups and drops, safaris, tours around Kampala and day trips to locally made African craft markets can be organized.

Dinning

At Forest Cottages, one can enjoy unique and posh dining in a setting of your choosing. The Avocado Restaurant has a traditional ambience which leaves you in no doubt that you are dining in Africa. With an extensive assortment of cosmopolitan dishes ranging from exclusively local and International cuisine, our guests will be spoilt for choice.

The decadence you experience while dining in the restaurant is in part due to the competent and capable well-trained staff consisting of diverse experience of chefs. The hotel serves a delicious continental breakfast that you can enjoy in either the dining room or on the open terrace where a fresh breeze cooled by the trees leaves you reinvigorated and ready to face the day.

The Bar is lavishly stocked with all major alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Served in a beautiful recreational atmosphere, you will spend your evenings delightfully during the duration of your stay. You can get a 15% discount off when you make online bookings then you can enjoy Safari lodge services within the city at the most affordable rates.

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Demand For Environmental Health Experts Increasing, Says University Dean

The dean Faculty of health sciences, Victoria University, Dr. Krishna N. Sharma has warned that humans need to leave in a health environment but the availability of environmental health experts is not correlating with the increasing demand. 

Dr. Sharma who recently the high rising Victoria University located on Jinja road in Kampala city described environment health as a human need which must be preserved by experts in that field because ‘we don’t have a choice’.

“No matter who we are, the fact is that we all have to live in an environment. As far as we are alive, whatever we touch, breath, eat or drink may bring us trouble. So a healthy environment is our need. We don’t have a choice.  Here come the environmental health experts,”

To fill up the gap, Victoria University under the Faculty of health sciences is offering degree like a Bachelor of environmental Health Sciences that provides fundamental knowledge of environment health. The degree course puts emphasis on the control of major environmental health problems such as water supply, waste disposal, food hygiene, occupational health, air pollution and other environmental aspects.

Dr. Sharma says the application of environmental of environmental health knowledge, principles and methods is vital for the health and safety of the population in the world. The university says environmental health is a principal area of study in the field of public health.

Environmental health scientists, according to Dr. Sharma, work on assessing, managing, controlling and preventing environmental risks through research, advocacy and intervention at community, national and global level. Bachelor of environmental Health Sciences is a three year course.

“The demand for environmental health experts is increasing at the speed of development and urbanization due to the increase in health threats that come with urbanization,” Dr Sharma, who is in charge of the line faculty, said.

“At this time, more than 54% of the world population lives in urban areas.  In fact even in Uganda, the level of urbanization last year was 18% and it might increase to 30% by 2030. It is estimated that about 50% of the total Ugandan population will be living in urban areas by 2050.

So if you look at these statistics, you will get a broader picture and understand how the demand for environmental health experts is increasing rapidly and how brighter the career in this field is.” He adds.

Dr Sharma, a renowned academician, celebrity physiotherapist and prolific author says Victoria University is going to work a lot on research and publications. “We are upgrading the teaching methodology with the latest schools of thoughts in pedagogy. We will focus on the fruitful research… the research that will bring positive change in Uganda and abroad. 

This year we will have our own journal and publication so once the students graduate from here, they will already have their published research paper and book. These will give an added value and recognition to them. Apart from this, we are going to move towards online education through our e-academy. We are planning to offer many free courses too as a part of our corporate social responsibility.

KISU To Host 4th Children’s Climate Change Conference

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and My Kid is A Superstar have announced that this year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference will be hosted by Kampala International School Kampala (KISU) which is located in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb, on 22nd April, 2017.

Joseph Masembe the CEO of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, a civil society organization that advocates for environment conservation, said during a press conference at KISU that 300 child delegates from 40 schools including 4 international schools from Rwanda will meet at the conference being organized under the theme ‘environmental and climate literacy’.

“These children will be representing different nationalities and will discuss and debate environmental issues. Each school will be given time to present its thoughts on the theme of the conference,” Masembe told journalists on Tuesday morning.

The conference will give a platform for children to air out their views on climate change, promote environment conservation among children, showcase efforts children are putting in the climate change fight among other efforts dedicated to environmental conservation.

Steve Lang, School Director KISU expressed delight being part of the conference emphasizing that radical and concerted effort is required to promote environmental conservation through education and mobilizing the next generation.

“That, to me, is what this conference is all about, and why we are so pleased to be hosting it.” Lang noted. The conference is supported by KISU, earth day network, NBS Television, Kampala Capital City Authority and Rwanda Little Hands Go Green.  

The International Children’s Climate Change conference will take place on World Earth Day April 22nd.  A delegation from Rwanda's Mother Mary School, Little Bears Montessori and Hope Academy will be accompanied by patrons from the schools as well as officials from Rwanda's Little Hands Go Green, REMA, parents and Q sourcing Rwanda.

Conservationists Mourn Bugoma Forest Reserve Depletion

By George Busiinge 

Environmental activists across the country have condemned the continued depletion of Bugoma Forest Reserve in Hoima district. Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, in Hoima district has been subject to encroachment, illegal timber logging and agriculture for crop production. Experts warn that the trend spells doom for the region if not reversed in the wake of global warming.

 A group of environmentalists who include Association for the Conservation of Bugoma forest, National Forest Authority-NFA, Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust-CSWCT, association of Uganda tour operators, Environmental police and Jane Goodall Institute among other recently converged at Rwera Eco-tourism site in Bugoma Forest Kabwoya sub-county  to mark World Forest Day with a call for stiff penalties against encroachers.

Costantino Tessarin, the chairman of the Association for the Conservation of Bugoma Forest says encroachment on Bugoma forest is a threat to the development of tourism in the country because the reserve acts as a home to thousands of species of birds among other endangered species of Animals.

He noted that Bugoma forest is one of the most treasured forests world over because of its richness in endangered species such as chimpanzees, Endemic Monkey such as Ugandan Mangabeys that are found in few areas globally and endangered birds such as Nahan’s francolin. He added that Bugoma is growing as tourism destination and demanded that it should be protected.

He noted several people have been arrested in forest but unfortunately they leave them to go free. He explained that noted that the failure by government agencies to implement environmental laws has attracted more encroachers in the forest reserve hence calling for tough penalty to the culprits.

Over 5000 hectares of forest land have been destroyed since 2012 by illegal lumbering, charcoal burners and cultivators. They cited the former Hoima Mayor Francis Atugonza who was early this year was arrested for aiding encroachment in Rwempunu village part of Bugama forest leaving over 5000 acres cleared down.

Joshua Rukundo, the operation Manager CSWCT says that chimpanzees in Bugoma forest are starving because of the tree species that provide them food have been cleared adding that this likely to create human and wildlife conflict. He noted that currently Bugoma 60 chimpanzees but they are likely to relocate due the continued destruction of its habitants.

SP Jackson Baryapika the Albert region environmental police commander said that Bugoma forest which used to be known as the biggest forest reserve in country has turned into skeleton in few years. He advised that local should be empowered to protect this forest adding that NFA and police cannot do much. ”A forest that would benefit generations is being depleted by few individual, this unfortunately and we should join hands to save this forest”

Hoima District has 11 central forest reserves covering 61,162 hectares. The Bunyoro sub-region has 34 central forest reserves but environmentalists estimate that the region loses over 700 hectares of forests annually.

 

Kibuli Mosque: More Than A Beautiful View

Towering over 1,211 above sea level, Kibuli hill is among the several hills that make up Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The hill is located a few minutes from lake victoria, and if you are at the top you get a beautiful view of the lake shores as well as the city center with its towering structures.

The biggest chunk of Kibuli hill land was owned by the late Prince Badru Kakungulu who later donated the hill to the Uganda Muslim Council where the current Kibuli Mosque, hospital, and schools stand.

The Kibuli Mosque is one of the few old structural landmarks that still stand tall in Kampala, and is also deeply rooted to the history of Islam in Uganda. Islam is said to have come to Uganda in 1844 and was easily embraced by Kabaka Suuna II, who was the then King of Buganda. Kabaka Suuna II encouraged Islamic teachings throughout his kingdom and in no time, the numbers of believers grew. When Kabaka Mwanga II ascended on the throne, there were a few disagreements on some of the teachings and in the long run the kingdom and Islamic leadership were split.

Prince Badru Kakungulu, donated 80 acres of land to the Uganda Muslim Council for the construction of a mosque on Kibuli hill in the early 1930s and the construction commenced around 1937. When the Aga Khan visited Uganda in 1941, he started a campaign to raise UGX 250, 000/- for the construction of the mosque and was able to match up what was contributed which led to its completion.

The mosque was opened for prayers in 1951 and has been standing strong since then, watching over the rest of Kibuli like a guardian angel.

Although not as overwhelming in size as is the Gaddafi Mosque, the Kibuli Mosque has a classic feel to it. The mosque’s architecture will blow you away with a beautifully white washed exterior that seems to glow when the sun hits it just right. The towering minarets shaped like a well sculpted beacon stands tall adjacent to the aged but beautiful army green dorm that is almost covered with early morning mist before the sun rises.

As expected of most Mosques, you will find intricate and well made mosaic design with verses from the Quran strewn on the walls throughout the Kibuli mosque.

Inside the mosque is the prayer area which is called the Musalla, a spacious but bare part of the mosque where the faithfuls come to worship. The Musallah is kept bare because Muslims do not need chairs during prayers but you will find a few shelves alongside the walls. The shelves are known as Rihal and they usually house books as well as Qurans for those who do not have their own.

The most beautiful part of the Kibuli mosque or all mosques is the Mihrab. There is a way it looks like someone took time to paint and make it stand out from the rest of the prayer hall. A mihrab is an indentation that looks like an altar that marks the direction of the Qiblah for the faithfuls to face during prayer.

Mihrabs are usually shaped like a doorway and give you an overwhelming sense of calm when you stand near it. The Mihrab at the Kibuli mosque has a sky blue color to it and is a little larger in size compared to most. It has a small passageway with a mat that is usually reserved for the person leading prayers and above it a round window like opening that brings in sunlight.

Due to the opening of the Kibuli mosque, other busy structures were constructed on slopes of the hill. Although within the same compound, you will find the Kibuli hospital which is one of the biggest in the country and just on the right is a nursery/primary school.

As the sunrises on the city after the last call of the Muazzin, there is a sense of closeness to The Almighty as you stare down at the suburbs of Kampala from the verandahs of the Kibuli. It is a feeling of contentment and peace knowing someone is looking down on you and protecting the city you call home.

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

How Non-Tariff Barriers Are Ruining Tourism In East Africa

East Africa as a region trying to integrate is still grappling with non-tariff barriers. These barriers have hampered the development of trade and most recently tourism. Analysts say the five member bloc needs stronger institutions and mechanisms to address challenges that may impede its progress.

In the tourism sector, the usage of the Single Tourist Visa and plans to introduce EAC e-passport are commendable achievements. Indeed there is commitment especially within the private sector to develop tourism sector in the region. 

Stakeholders under the East Africa Tourism Platform are trying to market the region as a single product – Destination East Africa. But with the non tariff barriers this is going to be hard.  

A document released by East Africa Tourism Platform titled ‘Curb Non-Tariff Barriers To Spur Intra-Regional Tourism within the EAC’ laments how most partner states still have introduced non-tariff barriers that obstruct the growth of tourism.

“Inconsistent immigration procedures have been adopted across many entry and exit points in the region especially with the handling of yellow fever vaccination cards, restrictions requiring travellers to have invitation letters, the need to show-where the travellers will be staying, delayed on-line application procedures, customs inspection and arrival registration forms; subjecting travellers to cumbersome, checks and delays,”

“Additionally, veiled protectionism has reared its ugly head in the form of levies of high exit taxes, foreign exchange control, and restrictions on the use of credit or cash cards. In the face of these impediments, unflagging efforts should be made at all levels, both national and regional, to remove such threats and barriers to intra-regional travel and tourism.

It is disheartening to note that despite the importance of tourism as a great foreign exchange earner, regional governments are yet to pay as much attention to facilitating travel as they do to in developing other industries. To facilitate intraregional tourism, it is imperative that governmental bodies throughout the region recognize that their role is to facilitate travel and not to stand in its way.

Regional governments need to address non-tariff barriers and ease access to their respective jurisdictions from across the border to the extent that this does not compromise security. Where this is not possible, then there is need for an agreement that does not add unnecessary time and financial costs.” The document explained.

East Africa Tourism Platform further explains the ‘these restrictions fly in the face of the campaign to market the East African Community (EAC) as a single tourist destination. Under the campaign, tourists are urged to apply for a single visa that allows them to visit Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda without border restrictions.

The regional tourism platform that bring together private sector players elaborates the if EAC countries are to benefit from this initiative, they need to resolve some of these non-tariff barriers to the free movement of people and tourists across their borders.

“The best solution would be for regional policy makers to deliberate on non-tariff barriers and ensure they are finally eliminated. With a little goodwill from partner states, these barriers will be easily and amicably resolved and a solution found to satisfy and benefit respective countries and the region. Tourism plays an important role in the economies of the EAC partner states and, considering the competition they face from destinations such as South Africa, they would be better off fighting in the same corner than against each other.

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Ugandan Travelers Prefer 2 Star Hotels

An annual Hospitality Report released by online booking agency Jumia Travel in Kampala has indicated that 43.8% of Ugandan travelers prefer booking 2 star hotels while 29.2% prefer 3 star, 14.6% prefer 4 star, 8.3% book 1 star and 4.1% rather stay at a 5 star hotel.

“Over the past year, a number of two star hotels started offering additional amenities such as WIFI than before plus their locations are suitable for the travelers especially when it comes to business.” Louis Badea, the Country Manager for Jumia Travel-Uganda.

The trend tends to represent pricing fears hotel users have. Two star hotels are relatively cheaper and affordable by Ugandan standards. Commenting on the pricing issue, Badea encouraged local hotels to be flexible in order to attract business.

The report which provides various data and insights into the tourism sector has Kampala as most searched destination and following right behind is the adventure capital Jinja that boosts of whitewater rafting, bungee jumping on the Nile.

Full report here

Job Opportunity: An International Hotel Chain Is Recruiting

With Uganda’s Hotel and Tourism industry slowly growing, hotels are looking for qualified and experienced hoteliers to join their ranks. An industry insider has revealed to us that the competition for Sales Executives whose responsibility it is to look for clients and maintain relationships has heated up. One of the International Hotel Chains is looking for sales executives and managers, and below is the job description.

All the best to the lucky ones.

Job brief: An international hotel chain in Kampala is looking for sales professional to be part of the team to achieve sales target in rooms, food and beverages and events revenue. The successful candidate will be responsible to implement all sales activities and maximize business opportunities in specific area of responsibility by establishing strong relationship with customer and guests.

Responsibility/Accountability

  • Find business opportunities by identifying prospects and evaluating their position in the industry; researching and analyzing sales options.
  • Maintains relationships with clients by providing support, information, and guidance; researching and recommending new opportunities; recommending profit and service improvements.
  • Prepares reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Generating and maintaining customers through sales calls,sales blitz, telephone calls and entertainment.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed and meeting sales targets.
  • Strong influencing and negotiations skills

Qualifications

  • Degree or diploma in Sales, Marketing, leisure and hospitality or equivalent from a reputed university preferable
  • A minimum of 2 years working experience within the hospitality industry and/or in sales
  • Organizational and time management skills, attention to detail, multitasking, researcher, and customer care skills, negotiator, ability to write reports, sales planner.
  • Computer literate
  • Applicants to send resume only to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30th March 2017.

 

Plan Ahead For Your Easter Holidays

Easter is around the corner, that means there are going to be many deals popping up for the holidays just for you to travel. So why not use this long holiday to get away or do something with the family. We bring you some of the best travel packages for your Easter season around Uganda and discover some gems.

Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge

For Easter, the rates for Ihamba are going down in weeks before the holidays. The lodge offers private accommodation consisting African styled rooms with extensive living areas overlooking the magnificent Lake George. Each room features an en-suite bathroom, a pair of slippers, a working desk and a private deck. The bathrooms boast of large glass windows, offering a unique game viewing of breathtaking Lake George. Since its a drive from the Queen Elizabeth National Park, your Easter might consist of game drives and boat rides on Lake George.

Imperial Resort Beach Hotel

Long drives to the village can get tiresome sometimes, so why not spend your Easter in a little gem off of Lake Victoria in Entebbe? The resort is a walking distance from the Uganda Wildlife Education Center commonly known as the Zoo filled with wild animals. You can book one of the spacious rooms overlooking the victoria before Easter at a huge discount.

Simba Safari Camp

Treat your family to a relaxing trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park this year and catch a glimpse of the famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha. Simba Safari Lodge is located near the national park making it easy for you to have those game drives and forest walks. The lodge has cottages, ensuite family rooms, dormitories with enough space for your loved ones to be comfortable during your stay.

Wild Waters Lodge

If you are looking for a wild thrilling weekend on the Nile, this might just be your place. One of the most visited lodges in the country will give you a rush with the roaring waves of the Nile right next to your room and poolside. For activities, you can choose to go white water rafting, bungee jump over the Nile or maybe just relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature around you.

TV and Order In

And if you are one of those people who have decided that Easter is for “me- time,” you can also catch up on your TV programs and stay relaxed with food being brought at your doorstep. Sometimes all we want is a long weekend indoors with the ones we love or alone shedding off the stress of the first quarter of the year.

About Town

For those who will not be traveling, there are a lot of Easter plans happening through Kampala. From concerts, to Easter egg hunts at hotels like the Kampala Serena and discounted movie offers at the Cinemas. Go to the spa, visit a couple  of friends/ family and enjoy every bit of you the holidays.

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

 

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