News from Mafia Island
It has been a very wet month of April and May on Mafia and indeed the whole coast including Zanzibar; it is raining again now in late June, as I write. We have not been able to take the roof off our bar and restaurant – it is overdue for replacement and a re-design. So the day we did take it off – believing the rains to be over – it poured all day !
I think the big news of this recent period is the escalation in oil prices consistent with the fall in the value of the USD (since crude is priced in USD) against other major currencies. This makes holidays for people in the UK and Eurozone much more cost-effective and the season should hopefully reflect this. But the looming impact of the Greek debt crisis, with the Irish and Portuguese also in trouble adds a large measure of worry for our industry
Great Culinary News – Thai Expert Chef in Kinasi and Lua Cheia !
Those who love great food will be pleased to learn that we have recruited a Thai expert chef – Pairoj – to join our team in July. Not only will he be training our staff…he will be our hands-on Head Chef at Kinasi and with stints from time-to-time at Lua Cheia. All our kitchen staff will undergo intensive training over the next year in Thai and fusion food, as Thai blends extremely well with our current menu options and available products, and of course seafood, as well as with Mediterranean recipes which we like so much.
To complement this development we are busy cultivating a range of vegetables and herbs on our farm in Zanzibar. These will be flown fresh, as required, to Mafia (Under a separate project there Peter is implementing a programme of promoting Asian vegetable production on the island in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, with the tourist hotels as markets. Our farm will be the main testing ground for types and varieties of many vegetables, from Asparagus to yellow Zucchini).
New Hotel and Underwater Images
During March we were lucky to be visited by two professional underwater photographers and the footage that resulted is absolutely stunning. Weather and sea conditions were perfect and the images are breathtaking for their clarity and detail. We will be uploading these to a special gallery on our website, from where you can copy them for your own use.
KINASI Rates Adjusted
Like Coastal Aviation all of us in the tourism industry have faced rapid increases in cost of operation over the last three years but we have not been in the advantageous position that we could alter prices easily. We have new diving and activities rates in place and we have adjusted the incentive rates, which will apply ONLY if guests stay at least five nights. There has also been a small adjustment in the months that are regarded as incentive season. The 2012-2013 rates are also now available for those who would like them. We have tried to send these to all agents by email but many do not receive them, file them and replace the previous, or spam us out, so please advise if you need them. And please take note of the changes which will affect all bookings from July 1st.
Andrew Smith, new Manager and Dive Instructor at Lua Cheia
During the last two months i completed the kitchen extension and the new reception, as well as the terrace that links the bar and restaurant at Lua Cheia and with the good rains the grounds look wonderful.
From 1st July Lua Cheia is back in action and we will be busy setting-up a dive and snorkel centre as well as ongoing improvements, including a biogas plant for slow-cooking and solar-gas refrigeration. We have been lucky enough to recruit Andrew Smith, who is an Australian who has lived and worked abroad for many years and is both an experienced dive instructor and very practical builder-plumber-electrician – just what we need to complete this wonderful little beach resort.
With best wishes and our respects and thanks to all of you who continue to support and trust us….we assure you of even greater efforts and expense in taking care of our guests.
Sincerely, Antonella Balestra and Peter Byrne