Archive for December, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas when all through Africa Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Well okay not quiet but this is our African Christmas….

Africa suddenly stops and forms a huge “human migration” for the Christmas and New Year period.

Just as the great animal migration swarms so does the African population (that is we should say for those who are not in the tourism industry) so hordes of children, parents, grand parents, elders & warriors migrate to various villages in Africa.

Public transport suddenly becomes crazy as prices go through the roof, seats become rare to the point that these African busses become incredibly over crowded (and also sometimes dangerous) all in an effort to get to their villages.

December 25th is usually a fun filled day, beginning with church events for the Christian population, families gather in the sun and heat (you won’t find a chubby father Christmas in red suit and snowy boots here!) children having fun and laughing playing games.

They gather together to slaughter a goat then to share a meal with traditional Pilau Rice, but this is done is sobriety, without the excessive consumer society tricks.

The average families will not have 5 presents per child under the Christmas tree, instead the day is filled with typical African music, enough food and meat to fill up the tummies of everyone there, with a soda to wash it down, it is this togetherness that will certainly put a smile on the little faces, being together, dancing, chatting and sharing is the African Christmas day.

Of course not everyone celebrates this way, for us in the Tourism trade, it is not a time to stay at home and enjoy this relaxed time, oh no for us it is the peak season.

All of our teams are deployed, on the Kili, the National Parks into camps and lodges, where it is now nearly impossible to book a hotel in Zanzibar at this time of year!

For us the spirit of Xmas is for our guests to enjoy!

New school opening donated by Corto Safaris

Monday, December 13th, 2010

New school opening for the Masai people living around the camp

New school for the Masai people living around the camp

A very exciting day was had by all when many of the Corto Safaris employees gathered together on November 28th 2010 to inaugurate the new Oremiti tented lodge on the shores of Lake Manyara.

The Oremiti Lodge takes its name from the tree that serves both as toothpaste and toothbrushes to the Masai and gives them their legendary radiant smile. This occasion included the opening of the new school which was proudly donated by Corto Safaris to the Masai people living around the camp.

The Masai women and their tribal songs

The Masai women and their tribal songs

As part of the fun activities on the day everyone was taken on a short safari Game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park, upon our arrival to the village which is the home of the local crafts association, the Masai women welcomed the group with the sounds of their tribal songs, here they proudly displayed their local crafts and offered gifts of beaded coloured jewellery

Local dignitaries gave their speeches – in particular the mayor, governor, and Masai community leaders – thanking

Speaches about eco-tourism in Tanzania

Speaches about eco-tourism in Tanzania

the involvement of Corto in taking part in the development of the community and the importance of eco-tourism in this Tanzanian Region.

After all the speeches were given, songs sung and a small show organized in our honour was finished, the dignitaries headed to the classroom to unveil the plaque and cut the cord as a sign of symbolic inauguration, a few words of mutual congratulation were exchanged before we headed out doors to where trees were planted around the school

New School Opening

New School Opening

where once grown this will provide a little shade to generations of school children.

The aroma of delicious cooking filled the air and so it felt like a long wait before the moment arrived and all were invited to a giant barbecue which was organized by the cooks at Corto Oremiti Tented Lodge. By late afternoon our bellies were full and the rains came, bringing good luck to the newly planted trees.

Celebrations of the new Oremiti tented lodge

Celebrations of the new Oremiti tented lodge

The beautiful day ended with the promise of a bright future of cooperation and mutual assistance between Corto Safaris and the surrounding Masai community.