Hotels cash in on business spilling to western Kenya


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Tourism players in western Kenya are taking advantage of business that is spilling to the region due to US President Barack Obama’s visit.

Hotels in the region are already recording bookings by individuals who have decided to get away from the pressures of Nairobi, where the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is taking place.

Acacia Premier, which is set to host a Safaricom business meeting in Kisumu, which will be attended by 150 participants, and Imperial Hotel, among other resorts, are gearing up for the boom.

The telecom firm is believed to have chosen Kisumu owing to the inconveniences caused by the business summit, with most hotels in Nairobi said to be fully booked.

The surge in the number of guests has also been experienced at St John Manor, Le Savanna and Royal City hotels in the lakeside town.

Western Kenya Hospitality…

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Criminal Gangs on the Prowl: Kisumu Beware

Panic and fear gripped residents of Kisumu County following a crime wave that hit the lake side county. Residents who spoke to NTV’s western Kenya reporter Ouko Okusah talked of a criminal gang operating on motorbikes and wielding all manner of crude weapons ranging from machetes, swords, knives, blunt metal objects to guns.

Migosi areas of Kondele Primary, Fourems, Greenview among others most affected.

How do you market your real estate online?

realestate1For real estate agents, having an online presence is no longer optional. In a world where so much of our interaction is now online, the advantages of using property portals and social media to reach house-hunters cannot be ignored.

Global property portal Lamudi looks at six easy ways real estate agents and brokers can harness the power of the Internet to reach a wider audience.

1. Pictures, pictures, pictures

High-quality photo are crucial for creating a strong first impression and, ultimately, to getting more house-hunters to attend a viewing. Research from residential real estate firm Redfin shows that professionally photographed homes are more likely to sell – and for more money. However, you do not necessarily need to fork out thousands for a professional photo shoot. If you are taking the images yourself, keep the following in mind: use a good camera, make sure the property is clean and tidy, and try to take the photos in natural light where possible.

2. Share your property listings

Use social media to spread the word about the properties that you currently have on the market. To drive traffic to your listings, set up a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account for your business, where you can post photos and links to your properties. This is now one of the best ways to spread word about your catalog of available properties. And do not forget about your own social media accounts: share your top properties with your personal network as well.

3. Be targeted with social media

With so many options for social media these days, how do you know whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn is right for your business? Instead of spreading yourself too thin, select one or two of the networks where your customers are most likely to be active. Focus your efforts on building a strong following on these key channels before setting up additional accounts on other platforms.

4. Engage with customers directly

More than any other channels, social media offers the opportunity for you to directly engage with your customer base. Rather than only posting links to your property listings and promoting upcoming open house times, get creative with the ways you interact with potential clients. For example, look for users on platforms such as Twitter who are actively searching for property to buy or rent; reach out to these users with suggested properties to match their needs.

5. Post real estate news, advice and more

Share news about developments in your local real estate market, as well as tips and advice for property-seekers, on your various social media channels. This is a great way to position yourself as a market expert and gain the trust of your client base.

6. Try content marketing

Producing your own content is another way to build trust and convince property-seekers that you are a true market expert. Create a blog on your website where you answer house-hunters’ most frequent questions. You could also produce a weekly newsletter that promotes new properties on the market.

Jovago Launches Jo-Booker for the Entrepreneurial Student

“The program targets students as ambassadors of online travel by creating a scheme in which they promote e-Tourism while earning from the same.” today announced the launch the JoBooker, a unique scheme that will assist innovative students to learn as they earn.


The first of its kind, the program is designed for students across the country who are keen on turning their hobbies into money through travel and discovery. It is one of Jovago’s initiatives that aims to make travel accessible, enjoyable and affordable for a divergent consumer base.

“JoBooker recognizes the need for laying financial independence among college-going generation,” said Nafisa Fazal, Head of Marketing for Jovago East Africa. “Apart from enabling students make some money on the side without necessarily interfering with the school schedule, this new initiative will also prepare students for the corporate world through incorporating work values and ethics”

The program is based on a simple structure that allows a student to earn 5% in commission for every Jovago booking they make. It’s also built on a socially engaging model; allowing friends of students signed to the programme a 10% discount for bookings made on the platform. This inclusion creates a network of tech savvy travelers who prefer products that are both convenient and inclusive.

To join, students can send their email to They will in turn receive an information pack and a personal code that will be used to identify and track all their bookings. Other benefits include possible internship as well as free Jovago getaways.

 About is an online hotel booking service with offices across Africa. The company is founded by Africa Internet Holding and has MTN as one of the investors., Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Follow on Twitter – @jovago_ea,

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Newborn babies in Kisumu named “AirForceOne” to honor Obama’s visit

Obama’s trip to Kenya had some residents so thrilled they named their new babies after the president.

And at least two babies were named after the president’s airplane.

Born Friday, little AirForceOne Barack Obama was one of eight babies born in the city of Kisumu during the president’s recent visit.

Air Force One: Lucia Kagotha holds her new born baby boy, named 'Obama' in honour of President Barack Obama, at the Mbagathi Hospital of Nairobi. At least two boys were named 'Air Force One' in the country on Friday
Air Force One: Lucia Kagotha holds her new born baby boy, named ‘Obama’ in honour of President Barack Obama, at the Mbagathi Hospital of Nairobi. At least two boys were named ‘Air Force One’ in the country on Friday
Millicent Akinyi holds her new born baby girl, named 'Michelle' in honour of US First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi
Millicent Akinyi holds her new born baby girl, named ‘Michelle’ in honour of US First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi

Already there are numerous young Barack Obamas living in Kogelo, the president's ancestral village, but soon after Obama touched down on Friday night two mothers (not pictured) in the western city of Kisumu took the unusual decision to name their sons after the president's jet, Air Force One

‘I have decided to call my baby AirForceOne Barack Obama so that we can all remember Obama’s visit to Kenya because it is a huge blessing,’ Lucy Akinyi Okoth, one of the mothers, told AFP.

Another mother went short and sweet, naming her boy AirForce One.

‘I have been told that it is the best aeroplane because it carries a very powerful leader of America who is also a Kenyan,’ Lucy Atieno explained.

One baby was named after the Obama's eldest daughter Malia (left, in Italy this summer with sister Sasha) while another was named Malia Sasha after them both

 'I have been told that it is the best aeroplane because it carries a very powerful leader of America who is also a Kenyan,' mother Lucy Atieno explained

In addition to the takes on the president’s (and his plane’s) name, three girls also got Obama-related names.

One was named Michelle, another was called Malia and a third was named Malia Sasha after both Obama girls.

‘I could not call my daughter any other name,’ said Wilkister Anyango, new mother to Malia Sasha.

Fulfilling the hopes of millions of Kenyans, Barack Obama returned to his father’s homeland Friday for the first time as U.S. president, a long sought visit by a country that considers him a local son.

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Kenyan Passport Rated Among the Top 25% in the World

The Kenyan passport is ranked 50th in the world out of 199 indexed passports. This is according to Passport Index – the interactive tool recently unveiled by Arton Capital, a financial advisory firm which specialises in procuring multiple citizenships for its clients.

Commenting on the Index, Oluwakemi Ojo – Head of Communications for Travelstart Kenya – said, “

Arton Capital’s assessment bodes well for Kenyans who love to travel. Currently, Kenyan passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 68 countries in the world including Mauritius, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Ethiopia, Philippines, Singapore. Visa free travel is extremely important because it facilitates doing business in foreign territories, and for leisure travellers it reduces the costs and administrative hassles of international travel.”

In East Africa, Kenya has a leg up on the rest of the sub-region. The second most useful passport in the region belongs to Tanzania whose bearers can travel to a total of 61 countries without having to apply for a visa. Citizens of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Eritrea are less fortunate with visa-free access to just 38 countries.

The Passport Index filters passports by country, by region, by colour (of the passport cover), and by passport power rank – the ranking system allocates 1 point for each country the passport holder can enter without applying for a visa before departure.

The United Kingdom and United States share the highest passport power rank in the index with access to 147 countries, while Palestinian Territories, Myanmar among others have the lowest with visa free access to just 28 countries.

The Index’s visa-free count is based on data and consultations from IATA’s Timaticweb platform and other sources. Passports are ranked based on their Visa Free Score. The higher the Visa Free Score, the better the Passport Power Rank.

Kenyan_PassportThe country list is based on the 193 UN member countries and 6 territories (Macao, Kosovo, etc.) for a total of 199. Territories annexed to other countries such as Norfolk Island, French Polynesia, etc. are excluded. Data is based on research from publicly available sources, as well as information shared by government agencies.

To see how useful the Kenyan passport is click here.

Below is a table showing the top 10 passports from the East African region, according to Passport Index.

Country Passport Power Rank No. of Visa Free Countries
Kenya 50 68
Tanzania 57 61
Uganda 60 57
Rwanda 70 47
Rwanda 74 43
Burundi 77 40
Eritrea 78 39
Ethiopia 79 38
Djibouti 79 38
Somalia 78 39

About Travelstart

Travelstart is the largest and fastest growing online travel agency in Africa, providing independent flight comparisons between low cost airlines as well as all major international airlines. Travelstart’s mission is to make air travel easier for the customer in the aspects of searching, comparing and booking flights. In addition customers can also compare prices and book hotels, car rental and holiday packages. Travelstart is available in 16 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Turkey where it is known as

For more: Read Here

The GES: What Obama’s Visit means to Kenya’s Tourism and Travel Industry

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be held on July 25-26, bringing together entrepreneurs from across the globe as well as heads of state and government representatives.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the country, in an event that is seen as a great endorsement for the country’s Tourism and Travel that has been facing several challenges including travel advisories and terrorism threats.

Obama is scheduled to be in the country later this week, mainly to attend the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit that will see tens of thousands gather in the capital city of Kenya for the two day event. The summit which serves as a platform for individuals, SMEs, opinion leaders as well as Governments and international organizations to meet and trade ideas as well as support emerging entrepreneurs is part of the President’s Spark Initiative aimed at linking, directing and communicating entrepreneurship across the globe.

Among other aspects, the GES Summit will focus on innovation and its role in the Sub-Saharan African economy; mainly looking into entrepreneurship and innovation in the region. Kenya has been on the lead in promoting certain aspects of this including mobile money, governance, healthcare and e-tourism; with the later furthering the country’s inclusion on the global scale for online Travel and Tourism.

EstelleThis as Estelle Verdier-Managing Director for East and Southern Africa says is a great endorsement to Kenya as a safe destination, “the success of this summit and the President’s visit primarily recognizes Kenya’s position in the global economy and positions the country’s business and environment as both secure and rewarding”

The MD went ahead to observe that, Kenya’s Travel and Tourism plays a big role in contribution to the GDP and expressed confidence in the growth of the industry in the coming years. Her company –, is a leading online hotel booking platform which has partnered with over 25,000 hotels in Africa to ensure speed and ease in online bookings.

GES is part of the major events lined up to take place in Kenya in the second half of 2015. Kenya will be hosting the Africa Travel Association in November while the tenth World Tourism Ministerial Conference will take place in December. The coastal capital of Mombasa is also scheduled to host the Mombasa International Cultural Festival in November, with stakeholders expressing renewed optimism after the UK lifted its non-essential travel ban on the region. This events, as Verdier says will be good opportunity to showcase the industry’s new frontier in Meetings and Incentives, and its hosting ability.

According to the World Economic Forum – 2015 report on Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index Ranking, Kenya has improved steadily, jumping from position 103 in 2012 to a promising 78 in a report that covers 141 countries across the globe. The report released in May, also ranks Kenya as one of the most searched destinations online at position 10, by visitors looking for natural tourism. Kenya heads the pack in East Africa while further ranking an impressive 5th position in the sub Saharan Africa region.

Hotels in Kisumu City and their Contacts

Kisumu City has various hotels, get their contacts as listed below.

Hotels in Kisumu, Kisumu Hotels, Accommodation in Kisumu,

Welcome to Kisumu City, Dala :)

  1. Kisumu Hotel 0726440978 CBD
  2. Imperial Hotel 07372022268 CBD
  3. Nyanza Club 0720450892 Milimani
  4. Sunset Hotel 0731121163 Milimani
  5. Great Lakes Hotel 0721972946 Near Main stage/library
  6. Jumuia Guest House 0733569610 Behind United Mall
  7. Parkview Safari Hotel and Apartments 0723101198/ Milimani/behind Impala Park
  8. Whirl spring Hotel 0722460674 Kilimani shop
  9. The Vic 0713222352 Mega city mall
  10. Palmers Hotel Milimani/ near stage
  11. Le Savanna Country Lodge 0721545431 Robert Ouko estate
  12. Impala Eco Lodge 0724400111 Inside Impala park
  13. Royal City Hotel 0717872883 Behind Aga Khan hall
  14. Royal City Nyamasaria
  15. Royal City Garden 0722701864 Milimani/near citam
  16. East View Hotel 0711183017 Milimani/ near stage
  17. Triple Trojan Hotel 0703190928/0723436680 Milimani
  18. St. Johns Manor 0713345493 Milimani
  19. Mamba Hotel – Kisumu-Kakamega Road, Patel Flats Junction
  20. Hillside Villa Mamboleo
  21. Shalom Hotel 0725320612 Opposite Kisumu polytechnic
  22. Duke of Breeze 0725396754 CBD
  23. Perch Hotel 0722974607 Jua Kali area
  24. Victoria Comfort Inn 0712211301 Robert Ouko
  25. Dewchurch drive Near Star Hospital
  26. Metro Park hotel 0701663674/0702186912 Robert Ouko estate
  27. Good Samaritan 0726958010 Near national Library
  28. Naselika hotel Main stage
  29. Kika Hotel 0720477254 Miimani
  30. Salazar Hotel 0722850466 CBD
  31. River Sand 0716671978 Jua kali area
  32. Joventure 0710145826 Kondele/car wash
  33. Sovereign Hotel 0717694104 Milimani
  34. Kogelo Retreat Villas/Apartments 0728993225 Near Museum
  35. St. Anne Guest house 0721897709 Milimani
  36. Wigot Gardens Hotel 0724835912 Mamboleo
  37. Lake view hotel CBD
  38. Western Holiday Inn 0722241052 Opposite museum
  39. Groove hut apartments Milimani/central police
  40. Shama hotel 0725008897 Milimani
  41. Christian Guest House Kondele
  42. Dream House 070319095 Milimani
  43. Macadai guest house Kilimani shops/Milimani
  44. Kilimani guest house Kilimani/Milimani
  45. Highlanes guest house 0723933579 Kilimani/Mlimani
  46. Memory guest house Kilimani/ Mlimani
  47. Polyview hotel 0721777629 Opp. Kisumu Polytechnic
  48. Golden tourist house 0710456437 Robert Ouko est.
  49. Victoria hotel CBD
  50. Scottish Tartan Hotel 0732201637 Opp. Catholic university
  51. Milimani guest house Kilimani shops/milimani
  52. Kiboko Bay Resort 0733532709 Before dunga
  53. Vera Inn Guest House 0738771573 Milimani
  54. Clarice House
  55. Rock Resort
  56. Magdaline Guest house 0729527427 Milimani
  57. Sooper Guest House CBD
  58. Cosy Garden 0724224660/0722570692 Mlimani
  59. Miriam House 0726256215 at Wayside, Kisumu-Kakamega Road, Kibuye
  60. Sunshine Hotel 0718591622 Mamboleo
  61. Dream House Hotel 0703190959 Milimani/Opposite Jaralam Academy
  62. Twiga Sanctuary 0701017053 Milimani
  63. Family Nest Guest House – Milimani
  64. Alcazar Hotel – Kondele
  65. Botanics 0725797434 Milimani
  66. Fanana Anex 0722614000 Kondele
  67. Homeland hotel 0720433689 Kondele
  68. Canon Guest house 0722770700 Kondele
  69. Hotel Cassanova 0723815947 Kondele
  70. Sally Paradise 0722625989 Kondele
  71. Havana Guest House 0720668952 Kondele
  72. Generation Guest House 0727293209 Kondele
  73. Acquills Guest House 0701637267 Kondele
  74. Kisumu Rose Garden Inn 0726803736 Kondele
  75. Silver Swan Hotel 0715792131 Kondele
  76. Suedoy Hotel 0715792131 Carwash/kibos RD
  77. Sunrise Hotel 0722306756 Mamboleo
  78. Ikonia Hotel
  79. Le Pearl – Hippo Point Kisumu
  80. Acacia Premier Hotel

The Most Exclusive Presidential Suites for Obama’s Visit to Kenya

If you are in Kenya, then you know something big is about to happen! The Man at the helm of world’s most powerful nation is confirmed to be making his homecoming towards the end of this week; and Nairobi is getting the facelift of all times. That pretty much covers where he’ll walk, drive around, maybe even take a few selfies– but no one knows where he’ll spend the night! Here are our educated guesses on where President Barack Obama will be spending the nights during his three day visit in Kenya.

Hemingways Nairobi

HemingwaysThe prime suite at Hemingways Nairobi exudes pure magnifique and royale; with expansive windows giving a sense of space and freedom. The penthouse style presidential suites fits well with the countryside set up in Karen, spotting unique modern-chic interiors that create a warm and homely ambiance.

Villa Rosa Kempinski

kempinskiThis probably makes the best choice for Nairobians; unless President Obama wants to pull a Kidero stunt, and hopefully enjoy the walk on the stoned sidewalks. Kempinski Nairobi is part of an international luxurious chain making one of the oldest European luxury hotel group. The flair, proximity to the CBD and history in finesse should exceed standards on what we expect for our son’s homecoming!

Hotel Intercontinental

IntercontinentalHotel Intercontinental is popularly associated with visiting heads of state; having hosted among others the former president of Nigeria – Goodluck Jonathan, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Us Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries such as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Africa’s wealthy and powerful. The suite has sound proof rooms and a private phone line, just the amenities the likes of the mentioned must require.

The Tribe

TribeThe presidential suite at The Tribe boasts of a helipad, giving it advantage over the rest. Guests have private access to the penthouse via an exquisite staircase made of mahogany that gives way to a naturally lit living room decorated in rich African interiors. The Tribe was voted in the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List -2010, a great endorsement for its splendor.

Nairobi Serena Hotel

serenaNairobi Serena Hotel is quite popular with dignitaries for its ideal location a minute away from both the CBD and the State House. One disadvantage would have to be the traffic snarl-up across town, but again won’t half of us be all following the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and President Obama’s movements from the comfort of our stately living suites? is an online hotel booking service with offices in Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Doula (Cameroon) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The company is founded by Africa Internet Holding and has MTN as one of the investors., Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Follow on Twitter: @jovagotravel
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Jovago Kicks off Advertising Campaign in Kenya

The campaign centers on online travel convenience created by Africa’s leading online hotel booking website, while showcasing added value to the customers using the platform. has launched its first national TV advertising campaign in Kenya with an intent to showcase the ease and convenience of online hotel booking. The ad candidly describes the booking process while highlighting high efficacy in the recently launched interface.

“Jovago champions for easy travel, and always strives to make the process smooth and fast to our customer’s satisfaction” explained Nafisa Fazal, Head of Marketing for Jovago East Africa.

She went on to expound on the concept of the campaign emphasizing on the importance of focusing on customer needs while designing any informative campaign. The TV advert runs for 30 second, portraying both provocative and memorable graphics to define the complete online booking process.

The campaign integrates below and above the line elements; with print adverts running in newspapers throughout the period as well as outdoor advertising in various locations in Nairobi. The TV spot and scheduled radio campaign will complement the campaign that comes weeks before the company celebrates its second anniversary since launching in Kenya. has seen impressive growth since inception, and now boasts of the largest inventory of hotels in Africa at more than 25,000 properties. The company has also launched a special scheme called Best Price Guarantee with an assurance of offering the most attractive pricing on all its hotels as compared to any other online booking portal.

In an interview with, Jean Luc Guizonne, the face of the campaign expresses confidence in tourism as a major contributor to the economic growth in Africa while adding that this awareness offers more people the opportunity to discover Africa through a platform focusing on the continent. Guizonne is popularly known for his role as MUFASA in the hugely acclaimed Broadway Musical “The Lion King” in Paris.
The TV ad below:


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