NAVIGATING WITHOUT STARS

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…. a wave from us at Kinasi Lodge

So much has transpired, so quickly, affecting so many, so fast…. A whirlwind has fetched us up and cast us down again to figure out What’s next ?

First of all, we wish that you and your families and friends stay safe and well during this time of crisis. For those of you “locked down” we are watching the news and anticipating the day we can see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and there is now hope it will be soon. Our daughter is also in lockdown at university in Australia, so we are keenly aware of the challenges and the worries.

We have been buoyed by the resilience of those we are in contact with – and we want to contribute to that with this newsletter – and the fact that we are still receiving enquiries and some bookings… Amazing ! Wonderful ! Thank you. There is scientific evidence now that the trajectory of this virus is an eight – to ten-week cycle with its “curve” and that revising the treatment protocols is changing the impact of COVID-19.

Another positive – I think stunning – development is the introduction by airlines leading the way in introducing safe travel through instant testing (read below). These include Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, all of which serve Tanzania. This will bolster traveller confidence but more than that, it shows what can be done with target-driven science, good management and strong co-operation of skilled partners.

One day in the near future researchers will be able to tell us what happened in different countries with all the varying trajectories of infections, treatments and deaths, but for now much of this pandemic remains unknown.

TAKING STOCK

We have so far had seven months of unusual and record rainfall, commencing in October. As I write it is storming and spectacular lightning and towering clouds are sweeping in over Chole Bay. I have not seen so much rain sustained over such a long period in Tanzania. We are battened down and holding on trying to keep the gardens and lawns in good shape, emptying boats of inches of rainwater twice a day and doing running repairs when we can. Our focus at present is on our staff, some of whom have been with us for 20 years, so – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – we have put in place a series of education outreach meetings and demonstrations for our staff and their families to follow and maintained strictly our Safe Standards and Procedures regime at KInasi, even though it is now our off-season and we will be closed until June 1st. half our 45 staff took leave in April and the remainder in May so that we have a crew to keep Kinasi in shape. Together with our employees we have put into effect a 12-month economic survival package that will leave the bank accounts empty but hopefully everyone safe and secure.

Tanzania has so far been spared any of the extremes of the epidemic and the happy coincidence of the normal end of our tourism season (as the rains approach) and the fast, decisive actions of our Tanzania and Zanzibar governments, we are so far in a good place. The infection rate here is extremely low and contact transmission almost entirely stamped-out. Closing Zanzibar international flights and hotels in mid-March and restricting mainland Tanzania travel by quarantining foreign visitors early also appear to have worked very successfully. The few “imported” cases related to Tanzanians returning from abroad or foreign visitors arriving with COVID-positive symptoms so far have been dealt with quickly, efficiently and successfully.

 We closed early this year – after a busy season, because we were preparing for exciting developments and improvements going on that will modernise and upgrade Kinasi Lodge to its very best, to take advantage of its glorious position overlooking Chole Bay and for providing superb experiences on the water and land excursions. This includes remodelling our Reception area and the Bar-Lounge-Dining complex overlooking the Bay. This is very exciting for us and is the crowning part of our re-development activities over the last two years.