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28 Jun,  2013
Just as the annual wildebeest migration arrives in the North of the Serengeti this month, so Asilia Africa opens their newest camp, Olakira Lamai. A luxurious base from which to view one of nature's greatest spectacles, Olakira Lamai is close to the Mara River where the iconic river crossings of thousands of wildebeest take place each year.


Many regard the Lamai Wedge as having the most beautiful scenery in the whole Serengeti eco-system. This stretch of savannah sits between the Mara River and the Kenya Border and from June - November is home to Olakira Lamai. The camp is an easy 20 minute drive from the Mara River and the dramatic action of the annual wildebeest crossings. The game-rich valleys and plains that surround the camp are home to the big 5 year round and the picturesque Mau escarpment provides a dramatic back drop as the action unfolds.

Touching the earth lightly this canvas camp all but disappears into the surrounding bush, and with just eight en-suite tents Olakira - meaning "shining star" in kiSwahili - ensures an intimate and authentic wilderness experience.The décor takes its inspiration from the nomadic cultures of North Africa with Moroccan influences such as the Bedouin lanterns that illuminate the mess tent at night. Yet the camp remains loyal to the traditional East African safari style with authentic bucket showers and flickering lantern light. Each morning guests are woken with tea or coffee brought straight to their tent and a piping hot traditional bucket shower. After a hearty breakfast your morning drive will explore the Serengeti, whether a dramatic crossing at the Mara River or a lazy pride of lion lying under a shady Acacia tree, this is big game viewing at its finest.


After a light lunch back in camp it is time for a siesta, whether relaxing on your tent verandah or in the comfortable mess area, the camp's library is well stocked. A delicious afternoon tea precedes the afternoon game drive. The Lamai Wedge is famous for the herds of a thousand topies, hundreds of eland, big prides of lion, cheetah and rhino. An African sunset marks the close of a day and is always best viewed with a sundowner drink in hand! Return to camp to the warmth of the camp fire and swap the day's sightings and stories with other guests. After a three course feast and a final night cap by the fire under the stars be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the African bush at night.


Olakira Lamai was built with the utmost respect for the environment in which it is situated and aspires to leave behind nothing but footprints. The tented camp has no permanent structures and is broken down and moved at the end of the season, leaving the precious site as it was found with the exception of a couple of footpaths which are quickly reclaimed by the resilient African bush. Furthermore the camp is carbon neutral and runs entirely on solar power.


Olakira Lamai will open on the 1st July 2013 and rates start at US$ 620 per person per night, excluding national park fees.

Founded in 2004, Asilia has a strong presence in the main safari destinations in Tanzania and Kenya. Asilia aspires to grow its footprint, its positive impact and to be a leader in improving and expanding natural habitats. Asilia is the first Sustainable Safari / Lodge Company in Africa to receive a 5 Star rating for Sustainability from GIIRS.

Currently, Asilia's portfolio of camps includes: 

In Tanzania: Sayari Camp, Dunia Camp, Olakira Camp, Oliver's Camp, Ubuntu Camp and Rubondo Island Camp.
On Zanzibar: Matemwe Lodge, Matemwe Retreat and Matemwe Beach House. 
In Kenya: Rekero Camp, Naboisho Camp, Mara Bush Houses.
In Mozambique: Kubatana Camp.



For media related enquires please contact:
Mercedes Bailey


Earning $1 billion (USD), Tourism Overtakes Agriculture  

Growing at a steady rate for the past seven years, Tanzania's tourism is booming. According to the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, Prof. Benno Ndulu, Tourism, earning $1 billion USD, now contributes nearly triple the GDP of Agriculture, which has been the leading contributor to the East African country's coffers for most of its history. According to the Honorable Mme. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, Tanzania's Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, "Estimates are that more than 750,000 tourists are expected to arrive in the country this year, bringing in about $950 million dollars.  We attribute this growth to several factors, not the least of which is that Tanzania has a stable and peaceful environment with a democratically elected government.


Increased air access, with many carriers now flying direct to Tanzania, new luxury hotels on the Mainland and Zanzibar, improved infrastructure and tarmac roads on safari circuits are also major factors contributing to Tanzania tourism's success story.

Peter Mwenguo, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board,  noted that these improvements  together with the diversification of the tourism product  adds to the existing allure of Tanzania's unsurpassed wildlife, seven World Heritage Sites, the cultural richness and friendliness of Tanzania's people, miles of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline and the exotic spice Islands of Zanzibar.  "Over the last 10 years, Tanzania has become a stand-alone destination. In the past, many tour operators to East Africa offered Tanzania as an add-on or extension to other countries. Now, there is such a great demand by clients to spend their entire time in Tanzania, that the same tour operators offer more than one Tanzania-only itinerary. Recently they have even expanded their programs to include the lesser known Southern Circuit where visitors can explore the world famous Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Recently, it was announced that Ruaha will be combined with the adjacent Usangu Game Reserve, making it the largest National Park in Africa." 



Tanzania as a brand is acquiring wide and respected recognition in the past few years, so it comes as no surprise that America is now the leading source of visitors to Tanzania's Game Parks. In October 2006, Serengeti National Park was named the Seventh New Wonder of the World by ABC-TV's Good Morning America and USA Today.  Zanzibar was on the New York Times Travel Section's "Places to Go" in 2007. Kilimanjaro made the same list for 2008 as well as the USA Today 2008 List of "must see" destinations.   Even the popular  American movie, The  Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman,  included a "Safari in  Tanzania" as one of the 10  "must do's" before one "kicks the bucket."

In an effort to reinforce Brand Tanzania with the American travelers as well as Travel Industry professionals in the US, Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) launched a two-prong campaign. Targeting the consumer in September, 2007, TTB inaugurated a TV campaign, its first-ever, which aired on CNN, CHLN, CNN Airport, and CNN.com. 

According to Amant Macha, TTB Marketing Director, "we have had a great demand from American agents for a Tanzania Travel Specialist program. With this in mind, TTB initiated a "Tanzania Travel Specialist" course of study with Travel Agent University. The response was overwhelming, with more than 500 travel agents passing the test and qualifying as Tanzania Specialists in the first four months of the course offering."   


Now, the country is preparing to host two high profile conferences in Arusha: the 33rd Annual Congress of the Africa Travel Association, May 19-23, 2008 (www.africatravelassociation.org) which is expected to draw more than 300 travel industry professionals; and the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII (www.thesullivansummit.go.tz), June 2-6, 2008 expecting to draw more than 2000 delegates from the US.

About Tanzania

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 % of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 15 National Parks and 33 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, named in October, 2006, the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the Cradle of Mankind:  the Selous, the world's largest game reserve; Ruaha, now expected to be the largest National Park.


Park in Africa; the Spice Islands of Zanzibar; and seven world Heritage Sites.

Most important for tourism, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, although Kiswahili is the national language, and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratic and stable government.

For more information about Tanzania visit www.tanzaniatouristboard.com;

Editorial contact in the US:

Karen Hoffman/Fran Levine

The Bradford Group,

Tel: (212) 447-0027; Fax: (212) 725 8253

Email: Tanzania@bradfordglobalmarketing.com/