Niyi David


Vumbi was back with the driver and the bus early in the morning. I had to rush my breakfast because I didn’t get to the restaurant on time. We did the rounds again, picking others from Sea Cliff Court and Double Tree by Hilton before heading to the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) for the opening ceremony of the Swahili International Tourism Expo.

H.E. Samia Hassan Suluhu visiting the stands with officials of the TTB

The exhibition stands were already opened as people arrived the venue. The Vice President of Tanzania, Her Excellency, Samia Hassan Suluhu arrived soon and did a quick tour of the stands with officials of the TTB, before the commencement of the Opening Ceremony. An award ceremony followed after the speeches.

The High Table…
Presentation of awards
Presentation of awards
Presentation of awards
Cross section of guests…

Exhibition was in full swing, with most of the spaces all booked, while a crowd of buyers and visitors came around. There was a lot of networking ongoing, as people went about meeting their appointments.

Later in the evening, we were ferried to the Serena Hotel for the Welcome cocktail. There was enough to drink and finger food as we were treated to musical and cultural performances. Once it clocked 21:00hrs, Vumbi came looking for each one of us and we left for the hotels.

Official Welcome cocktail at Serena Hotel

Luanda: Feb 14, 2019

The Republic of Angola will host the World Tourism Assembly from 23 to 25 May, announced Thursday the chairperson of the World Forum, Bulut Baggi.

The official who was speaking to journalists at the end of the audience granted by the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, said that the event will be an investment and boost for national tourism.

He also considered that Angola has great potential in the tourism sector and that the holding of the forum could bring investment opportunities for the construction, transportation and job creation sectors.

The official also referred to tourism as the investment industry for peace and leisure, as well as opportunities.

Bulut Baggi believes that the event can bring together about 1,500 participants.

Source: ANGOP

If you followed the series “My Uganda Memoirs” you’ll probably have read where I mentioned doing the bungee jump on Saint Valentine’s Day while I was in Jinja in the country known as the Pearl of Africa. Jinja is regarded as the Adrenaline Capital of East Africa because of the several activities one can engage in in the town; from quad biking to whitewater rafting, cruises on the Nile, horseback riding, or even swimming with crocodiles! Okay, that’s a joke – no swimming with the crocodiles, please.

Jinja is also the place where the longest river in the world, River Nile originates from; so it is often called the Source of the Nile. For more about my Jinja experience please see: My Uganda Memoirs IX and XI, so you can get some background info.

With the quad biking action done, the bus returned to the Jinja Nile Resort with everyone, while those who signed up for the bungee jump made our way to the venue, which was around the back entrance of the resort. A few people had already gone ahead and started the bungee while we were busy on the quad bikes, but there was still a couple of people waiting to take the leap of faith when we got there.

Would you dare?

The first thing to do was to sign the indemnity form, followed by the weighing in, after which you proceed to the platform. You have enough time to change your mind as you walk up and start the climb up the steps to the platform.

All set…

At the weighing in, they ink your weight on your wrist, so once you get up the platform you show your wrist. This helps the guys there determine the necessary things to ensure your safety. They proceed to strap you into the harness. You sit down while they bind your feet together. The guys try to make you feel at ease. Once everything is set, you hop to the edge of the platform and raise your hands up and wait for the guys to give you the go ahead. Once they give the go ahead, you jump. Pretty simple, right?

Here we go…

You can have a million and one thing running through your mind at this time. I’ve heard tales of people who stood on that edge and refused to bulge after the go ahead. For whatever reason, they froze and had to be coaxed into taking the jump. Sometimes, I guess fear comes to people when they look down, so they tell people not to look down, or to close their eyes.

I wasn’t bothered and I looked down. No matter how much you try to steel yourself though, your heart starts racing as the rush builds up! I’m not sure I can describe what happens when you jump. You’re free falling until suddenly the rope jerks and you are upside down. You start a pendulum swing with spins which slows down after a while. For me, the rope didn’t jerk until I touched the Nile. The guy gearing me up had asked if I wanted to touch the water, and I said, “Yes.”

As the swing slows down to the barest minimum, a rescue team comes to get you. They are in a boat and they call out to you, asking you to open your eyes – usually most people have their eyes shut when they jump. Once you spot them, they stretch a paddle to you and you grab a hold of it and they easily bring you into the raft and unharness you.

That’s it?

So that’s it. I think I need to do this again. I’m really looking forward to an in tandem jump with a sweet young lady. I guess I should go in search of her…

13 February 2018

2019 Africa’s Travel Indaba Date Brought Forward

The 2019 Africa’s Travel Indaba will take place from 02-04 May 2019 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

This means that Indaba has been brought forward by four days.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, announced in his state of the nation address that the national election will take place on 08 May 2019. This would have coincided with Indaba.

A task team was set up by the CEO of South African Tourism (SA Tourism), Sisa Ntshona, to explore all available options and it was decided that moving Indaba forward was the best possible option.

The task team comprised of representatives of the following organisations:

• SA Tourism

• Department of Tourism

• Durban ICC

• Tourism KZN

• Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA)

• eThekwini

The task team took into account various factors and permutations in reaching the new date.

“The national election is the cornerstone of our democracy and is a celebration of our freedom in South Africa,” says Ntshona.

“It’s an important date and occasion for all South Africans and we need to acknowledge and respect the date.”

“At the same time, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to the Tourism industry for their understanding of the situation, I have received many calls, emails and texts with advice and support. I am really impressed to experience how the tourism sector gets together. I also want to thank the Indaba Organising Committee involved with Indaba – they are Tourism KwaZulu Natal, ICC and

eThekwini (Durban Tourism) – for being accommodating with regards to the change,” added Ntshona.

“From a Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) perspective, we presented comprehensive views of the sector to the task team and ultimately the key thing for us was to get a new date as quickly as possible,” commented Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO at TBCSA.

“We will now work with all our trade partners to ensure that there is smooth transition into the new date as many would’ve had plans in place already for the previous date. We still have a key role to play in achieving Indaba’s objectives of selling South Africa and the continent to the rest of the world.”

Indaba is the African continent’s biggest travel exhibition show.

Last year over 7 000 delegates attended from 80 countries.

Registrations for buyers and exhibitors are still open. For more information, visit

The dates for Africa’s Travel Indaba have been brought forward to May 2 to 4, 2019 remaining at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

This is due to the SA President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing at his State Of The Nation Address (SONA) that the national elections would take place on May 8 – falling in the middle of the original Indaba dates of May 6 to 9.

CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, set up a task team immediately following this announcement to explore all viable options, deciding that it was best to move the Indaba forward by four days.

“The national election is the cornerstone of our democracy, and is a celebration of our freedom in South Africa,” says Ntshona. “It’s an important date and occasion for all South Africans and we need to acknowledge and respect the date.”

“At the same time, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to the tourism industry for their understanding of the situation,” continued Ntshona. “I have received many calls, emails and texts with advice and support. I am really impressed to experience how the tourism sector gets together. I also want to thank the Indaba Organising Committee involved with Indaba – they are Tourism KwaZulu Natal, ICC and eThekwini (Durban Tourism) – for being accommodating with regards to the change.”

CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, said that comprehensive views of the sector were presented to the task team, with the key aim being to get the new date out as quickly as possible.

“We will now work with all our trade partners to ensure that there is smooth transition into the new date as many would’ve had plans in place already for the previous date. We still have a key role to play in achieving Indaba’s objectives of selling South Africa and the continent to the rest of the world,” added Tshivhengwa.

Source: Tourism Update

I was finally on my way to the Land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti! Even though I had just got back from a trip a couple of days earlier – my second visit to Zimbabwe – this was a trip I was looking forward to! I had barely sat in my window seat aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Lagos, Nigeria when one of the cabin crew came over to my seat and asked to see my boarding pass.

I love window seats because it affords me the chance to take aerial pictures, so I had checked in online ahead and secured the seat I wanted. I stared at the man and produced the paper he asked for. Maybe someone is claiming I’m on their seat and he needs to verify I’m seated in my rightful seat. People do that and some refuse to move when the rightful owner of the seat arrives until an airline official comes along to request them to move.

I looked away as the fellow seem to scribble something on the paper.


I turned to him, wondering what the problem was. He had a soft smile as he continued. “You have to move, please.”

What was that? Before I could get the words out of my mouth.

“You’ve been upgraded to Business Class” he smiled as he handed me my boarding pass. I grinned at him trying to hide my surprise, and sneaked a look at what he scribbled on the boarding pass. I retrieved my hand luggage from under the front seat while the young men sitting next to me made room as I got up.

Flying Business Class courtesy Ethiopian Airlines!

We arrived Addis Ababa around 20:00hrs and waited at the airport for the connecting flight to Dar es Salaam. We left Addis at 23:00hrs. There were no special treats on the Addis-Dar flight, but I’m already a lifelong fan of Ethiopian Airlines.

We touched down at the Julius Nyerere International Airport the next morning at 02:35. Going through immigration and getting visa, I eventually found the S!TE Team desk outside the airport. However, the bus had left to drop off some arrivals while I was still going through immigration, so I had to wait a while for it to return.

Welcome to Julius Nyerere International Airport
Outside after getting through immigration
There they are: the S!TE Help Desk

I eventually got to my accommodation, Sea Cliff Hotel & Casino on Msasani Drive. My cabbie was a nice guy called Fortune. We chitchatted as he drove me to the hotel. I took his number when we arrived, promising to give him a call when I need his services to see town. After checking in, the only thing on my mind was sleep.

Sea Cliff Hotel & Casino

I got out of bed in the afternoon around 15:00hrs, and went to have lunch at the Karambezi Restaurant of the hotel. I looked around and discovered we were nestled on a cliff off the ocean. Yeah, the name was apt – Sea Cliff.

The Pre-S!TE BBQ was scheduled for later in the day and about an hour later, I got a call from reception to come downstairs. There I met the other participants sharing the Sea Cliff Hotel with me: Max, Kojo, etc. – we were five in all. Our chaperon was a middle-aged Tanzanian named Vumbi, which means ‘Dust’ as he told us once on the bus. As the driver drove out of Sea Cliff premises, Vumbi informed us we were picking up some other people along the way. Our first stop was the nearby Sea Cliff Courts, a sister facility and after which we went to Double Tree by Hilton. By this time the bus was alive as we got to know each other and we drove down to the Headquarters of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) on Laibon Close where the event was scheduled to take place.

On arrival, we were served fresh coconut juice as we watched a cultural troupe rehearsing. Later on as we mingled enjoying the evening, some known faces showed up like Jayesh, Farzana, Cephas along with Mark and some others.

Oksana from Ukraine and Bhavani from Indian enjoying fresh coconut juice
Cultural troupe rehearsing…

Musical and cultural entertainment was provided and short speeches were given by the Chairman of the board of the TTB Justice Thomas Mihayo, and the MD Devota Mdachi. There was lots to eat and drink too. Some time after 21:00hrs, Vumbi came to gather us and we left for our hotels.

Music performance…
Rtd Justice Thomas Mihayo…

07 February 2018

Update on Africa’s Travel Indaba

South Africa Tourism will reschedule this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.

This follows this evening’s State of the Nation address by President Cyril Rampahosa, who confirmed that 08 May 2019 will be the date for the national elections.

Indaba was scheduled to take place from 06-09 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.

The ICC also serves as the nerve centre for elections in the KwaZulu Natal province and takes priority over all other events.

“We are currently exploring all viable alternative options in light of the announcement of the election date,” said South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.

“We also need to consult with our various partners and stakeholders and appreciate the understanding of our buyers, exhibitors and delegates who will now await a new date to attend Indaba.”

“We know the importance of Indaba to the travel industry and want to ensure that we are still are able to provide a world class show despite having to change the date,” added Ntshona.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) also added their voice.

“With dates confirmed upfront, buyers and exhibitors would’ve planned around the original date. There are also other global shows during this period, but we would like to re-assure the industry that despite the new date, Indaba will still be a fantastic show to attend and would like to encourage you to attend once the new date is confirmed,” explained TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa,

Indaba is Africa’s biggest travel and trade show with over 7 000 delegates from 80 countries attending last year’s event.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Board (ZTA) has seconded one of its members, Mrs. Rita Likukuma on an acting role of Chief Executive with effect from February 1, 2019. ZTA’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Givemore Chidzidzi had been acting since November 2018 on behalf of Dr. Karigoka Kaseke who has been off work on medical grounds.

Mrs. Likukuma brings in vast corporate governance experience having served on various boards. She is the Deputy-Chairman of the current Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Board and Non-Executive Director PG Industries. Mrs. Likukuma is the current Chairman at Turnall Holdings Ltd and she is a Director on the Morgan Company Board, an international business consortium currently in advance stages of setting up in Zimbabwe.  She was the Chairman of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe until January 2013. In June 2014, she was appointed a member of the CMED Board of Directors.

Mrts. Likukuma served as the Managing Director, Solar Division at Art Corporation and was a senior executive at Unilever. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University and a Bachelor of Science Economics degree at the University of Zimbabwe.The new ZTA Acting Chief also studied for a City and Guilds Diploma Electrical Installations.

Mrs. Likukuma is charged with driving the vision of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in line with that of the nation.

Addis Ababa: February 07, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines, the Largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX Certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded gold prize as the top performing cargo transportation airline at the Customers Annual Meeting organized by Guangzhou Bayiun International Airport on 30th January 2019.    

The award was handed to Ethiopian for being the first airline among top ten cargo operators to Guangzhou Bayiun International Airport. Ethiopian has the largest share, over 11%, of the total international cargo transportation at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou.  

Regarding the award, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked: We are very honored that Guangzhou Airport has recognized us with this prestigious award. Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics, which operates 9 ultra-modern Boeing 777 Freigthers, each with 100 tons uplift capacity, is facilitating trade flow between Africa and the rest of the world, thereby contributing to the economic development of the continent. 

In particular, it is playing an important role in the success of the China One Belt One Road Initiative by availing critical air infrastructure that is boosting cargo export and import between Africa and China. I wish to thank all my colleagues at Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics for this well-deserved recognition and encourage them to work even harder to support Africa’s economic transformation.”

Ethiopian won this award for the second time in a row outperforming competitor competitor airlines by transporting 38,800 tons of import and export cargo to/and from Baiyun International Airport  in Guangzhou in 2018 alone.  

WTM Africa is a vibrant, culturally diverse, must attend business-to-business travel and tourism event, with a range of destinations and industry sectors for African and International travel professionals.

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