Featured

First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

So I decided to start writing about stuff that happens around me as a tourism student, a youth and above all a Kenyan. Most of what I write will definitely be tourism related because I find peace and love in watching wildlife, travelling and taking scenic photos.

I will always throw in a few posts outside tourism though, just to keep it interactive as possible.

If you happen to be reading this, I challenge you to give me a suggestion on what you want me write about.

I invite you guys to accompany me in this journey.

All the posts I write will be strictly my opinions and thoughts.

I won’t promise to write daily but I will try as frequently as possible.

See you on the next one!!

Nairobi Festive Travels II.

UUUHHH! Here we are again. Been away for a while, as usual and I bet by now you already know I’m always gonna be away, so you don’t have to miss me, just  holla at me and I’ll be here for you.

So let’s get down to it. We already agreed from the previous edition that Nairobi has a lot to offer. I gave you a few budget attractions and this is a continuation of the same. I wanted to do two segments but hey, won’t hurt adding one more.

Stedmark Gardens.


Who wants a heated swimming pool? Count me in. The Stedmark Gardens is located on Lang’ata road, just a few metres from The Galleria Shopping Mall. There is a snake park, a swimming pool and a very fascinating floating restaurant. There are also a variety of wild animals and birds that you will get to see here. The charge is only 300 for the snake park.

Stedmark Gardens, Lang,ata road.

Uhuru Park.

Now, here’s where Nairobians will want to skin me. I mean most Nairobians despise the idea of chilling out at Uhuru Park yet it’s a FREE entry public recreation park!!! What’s wrong with us? Let’s swallow the pride and go have a fantastic time. You can try be creative and do some fun activity. I’ll ask you to take the boat ride, only 150 bob for a ride.

Boat riding at Uhuru park as you take in the view of the CBD!! Can’t get better than this yoh.

Rock Climbing at Diamond Plaza, Westlands.

You fancy going out for rock climbing? The weather ain’t doing right by you? The travelling is kinda expensive? Well, how about you go for indoor rock climbing? Won’t cost you an arm or a leg, just 800 bob and you test your skills. Maybe with time you will be good to conquer the toughest rocks nature throws at you. The difficulty levels can accommodate you who’s reading this and those you’ll share with.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the indoor rock climb.

Paintball Fury.

Adrenaline junkies where you at? There’s always that one friend you always feel like hitting- I have a few. Well, this where you can in hard on them. Get 100 paintballs and protective gear and go on a shooting spree. This is fun and will only cost 1000 bob for the 100 balls, which means you can share. POOFF!!! Nairobi has lots of places you can go for paintball. Closest being the Paintball Fury at Lang’ata road and Purdy arms in Karen.

AIM! FIRE! DON’T GET SHOT!!

GP Karting.

My grand prix peeps this is for you. You can go race with your friends and even get basic training here. The GP Karting is located on Lang’ata road, close to The Carnivore. Just 1k gets you some minutes on the track and you can floss how good you are at it. Forget the video games for a moment.

VRRRROOOOOMMMMM!!!!!

Take that in for now as I compile my experience from a hike I took a week ago (I was recovering from it), will definitely share with you.

I won’t be gone for long, it’s HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

Nairobi Festive Travels. 

It’s Festive Season!!!! Are you in Nairobi or around? You got a travel plan this December? If no, then worry not. I got you.

For those of us who stay around Nairobi, I’m gonna give you a list of places you can visit during this season, especially if you working on a tight purse string. 

Nairobi is not all about the hype of an expensive lifestyle, there are amazing places you can spend time, have fun and reconnect with nature at a low budget. 

Now, I’m gonna do this as a two episodes sequel. First episode is of places entirely within Nairobi and the second edition will include some that are not in Nairobi but still easily accessible and equally (or more) attractive. 

Let’s Go!!!!!
Nairobi National Park. 

You’ve  all heard about the only national park within the CBD in the world. Well, it’s just here, and what a site! Now, I’m guessing you worried about the idea of an expensive game drive, getting ‘lost’ in there (haha) and all other stuff you have at the back of your mind. Worry not! All that is just nothing. 

You have walking alternatives here. You can opt for the Safari Walk or take the Animal Orphanage. Both will give you an equally great time.  And guess what? You can combine both the Animal Orphanage at less than 500 bob (well, that is if you Kenyan. Residents and non-residents rates will differ).

Within the National Park you also have an option of visiting the David Shedrick Wildlife Trust, which is simply an orphanage for elephants. The entry rate here is Kshs 500 and it’s open from 11am-12pm when it’s ‘break time’ for the ellies.

Here you’ll get to enjoy the rich wildlife and the exquisite nature!

Nairobi National Museum. 

Apparently, not so many people know about the museum(s) in Nairobi, even the born and bred. Talk to most Nairobians and you’ll hear stories of how they went to the museum when they were toddlers on a school trip (they are about 40 years old now, haha). Take a visit to the musem and reconnect with your history and also get to understand the rich diversity the country can offer from culture, wildlife, history, archaeology, art e.t.c. 

If you fancy a moment with the best animals on the planet you will definitely buy a combined ticket and get into the Nairobi Snake Park. This will only cost you Kshs 300  and I can bet you’ll definitely have a fantastic time. 

Giraffe Centre.

You ever thought of kissing a giraffe? I know we say “don’t kiss and tell” but I’m gonna let you in on this one. It’s the best GIGANTIC kiss you’ll ever get. Trust me on this. It,s just a few minutes drive from the CBD and accessible by public transport. And guess what? You’ll  pay Kshs 250 ONLY. Where else will you get such a good deal? Nowhere, even on BLACK FRIDAY!!

Bomas of Kenya. 

Another super amazing place to visit if you wanna get to experience cultural dances. You’ll be awestruck by how good traditional dances can get and if you wanna get down on the stage and shake what you been blessed with then this is your place. 

Just Kshs 200 and you in for a dance. Just off Lang’ata road on the Galleria Shopping Mall round about.

Mamba Village

The Croc Land in Nairobi. This is also on Lang’ata road. It’s an amazing place where you can get to watch crocodiles being fed, visit the ostriches, take a horse ride and even go on a boat ride ‘around Africa.’ If you also looking for an event venue, you will be sorted here. The meals here are also amazing. You just need to have about 5 bucks and you sorted. 

Karura Forest.

If you wanna take a good fulfilling nature walk then this is the place to be. This is a fantastic forest with a waterfall and caves to compliment your walk. The Nobel Prize winner the late Martha Karua fought a good fight to keep the forest from destruction and her efforts ensures we can enjoy a good sighting. The bird songs will make you forget about your phone. 

KICC and Memorial Park.

We’ve taken walks around the CBD and Nairobi in general during our normal daily hustles. How many have seen the view of the whole of the CBD from an aerial angle? That is one view that will leave you breathless. 

It just costs 200 to get to the helipad where you’ll be free to utilize yor phone’s camera and storage by taking amazing photos.

While still in the CBD, you can also take time to visit the Memorial Park which is just opposite the Railways bust station. Here you’ll get to watch a short film on how the 1998 Bomb Blast went down at the former US Embassy building. This will only cost you less than 200 bob for the film and entry into the park.

Nairobi Railway Museum

Now this is the final place in this episode. Get to understand how the railway system in Nairobi came to b. This is just next to the Railways Bus Station. The old locomotives are all here and you have a room that details all the history in writing. 

The lead up to the entrance is well decorated by very amazing art work and you can get first hand view on the paintings as the youth do their work on site. You are also welcome to purchase if you love amazing art.

Only 200 bob and you in.

Do you still have a reason not to travel around Nairobi? If you need help in planning and getting there and any other logistical details feel free to hit me up on 0752 295 775.
See you on the next episode!!!! 

POACHING- A VERY DUMB THING FOR AN ‘INTELLIGENT’ HUMAN TO DO.

43818142_251434839061927_355546600727489514_n

PHOTO BY: Brent Stirton. instagram.com/brentstirton.

Just to quote from Prince Ea, “Dear future generations, ….. I’m sorry we put greed above need, the rule of gold above the golden rule, we used nature as a credit card with no spending limit, over-drafting animals to extinction, stealing your chance to ever see their uniqueness or become friends with them….”

So last week the Chinese government lifted the ban on the illegal trade of rhino horns and tiger parts after a 25 years ban. They say this is to accommodate “farmed animals” bred in China. There are many reports on those farms, none of them good. Issues of severe inbreeding, starvation, and other abuses are common. There are also many reports that wild animals fetch higher prices on the Chinese market. Any legalization of these animal products throws open large loopholes for the illegal trade, stimulating poaching against severely endangered animals in countries that feed the illegal wildlife trade flowing into China.(NatGeo).

From scientific studies, it is shown that rhino horn is made of keratin, which is the same substance that nails are made of. Any claim that rhino horn has any medicinal benefit is unfounded and just an excuse for the rich who can afford to purchase the very expensive products and to further their greedy interests. It’s approximated that a kilo of rhino horn goes for $60k.

Since  the Asian black market is the main source of supply for illegal ivory, the lifting of the ban in China will put the African wildlife at increased risk as the poachers have a wider market to sell their ‘kill.’ This makes the work of the wildlife protectors more difficult and highly risky, especially in Africa where you have poachers with more sophisticated weaponry than the protectors.

The wildlife numbers are dwindling each year. To put it into figures, we have only 4,885 black rhinos, 20,700 southern white rhinos and ONLY 2 northern white rhinos left in the wild.

The fight against poaching should be heightened and more measures put up to combat the illegal trade of wildlife products.Unfortunately, with such decisions as the one by the Chinese government will only derail any effort made to protect wildlife. However, this should not deter us in the fight, rather should only make us stronger. Like we believe here in Kenya, “Ivory belongs to Elephants and Rhinos, not on walls.”

As I sign out, I want to salute all the people who’ve made it their daily task to protect wildlife. Our generation and the future will definitely be indebted to you.

 

What is the Future of Sustainable Tourism in Kenya?

DSC_0163.JPG

The future of sustainable tourism can be addressed from looking at it from different angles. With comprehensive understanding of the following perspectives, then we can make a decision on where we see future of sustainable tourism specifically in Kenya. These are the main aspects that we need to focus on to make a conclusive judgment.

  • What are the Trends Shaping the Tourism Industry?

What happens in the tourism industry is shaped by the daily changing trends. This is probably one of the most unpredictable industries. Some of the trends that can be said to have affected tourism in the recent past include the following;

  1. Sustainably conscious travellers. According to a study done by booking.com in 2018, 87% of travellers want to travel in a manner that’s sustainable. They want to practice travel that has minimal impact to the environment, society and improves the economic status of the community. However, the same study also showed that only 10% of this number is able to achieve this desire. The awareness for the need for sustainable tourism has increased and will continue rising with time.
  2. Global requirements. As per the Sustainable Development Goals, almost all the goals influence the practice of tourism. For example, SDG 8 focuses on creating Decent Work and Economic Growth, which is encompassed into sustainable tourism to improve the economy of the host community. SDG 12 focuses on Responsible Consumption and Production. Tourists are big consumers of products in the host destination. Sustainable tourism aims at promoting consumption of locally produced goods and also minimize wastage. SDG14, focuses on Life Below Water. The marine ecosystem is highly affected by tourism activities, through pollution, climate change or even destruction of corals and killing of other marine species. Sustainable tourism is focused on ensuring that marine life and the general marine ecosystem is well maintained and utilized responsibly.
  3. Standards and Certifications. Tourism practitioners have to comply with standards set for one to be considered a sustainable tourism practitioner. With clients looking at responsible travel, most operators are scrambling to get eco-certifications from the different bodies. These bodies ensure that the operators meet the set standards and commit to adhere to the requirements set.
  4. Conversion to social enterprises. Most tourism businesses are changing their business models to be more social inclusive enterprises. Through this, the businesses are able to address issues affecting the host communities and in the process help the communities generate wealth. Sarova Care and Booking Social are some of the models that have been set up to improve community engagement and ensure local communities earn enough rom tourism in their community.
  5. Digital disruption. It is easier to access information from the numerous digital platforms available to travellers about a certain destination before travelling. This allows the traveller make an informed choice on which destination to visit, tour operators and accommodation facilities to pick as per their needs.

As from the statistics, we realize that 10% is still a small number, given the number of travellers worldwide. So what do we need to do to improve this number? There are some changes that we need to make in order to ensure responsible travel is achieved.

  1. We need to change how we teach tourism. Providing training is one key aspect for ensuring we get competitive and responsible human resource. However, the training offered should be of the highest level and objective oriented in that all trainees in the tourism sector have knowledge on sustainable tourism. This helps grow the professionalism of the future practitioners.
  2. We need to change how we plan tourism. We should include travel alternatives on our plans such that we are able to prevent overcrowding in one destination, which has long-term damage on the specific destination. Tour operators should work closely with destination managers to check the numbers of visitors booking in a certain destination. This will allow for manageable numbers and reduce chances of resentment from the hosts towards the guests.
  3. The way we promote tourism also needs to be refined. We need to move from the conventional way of promoting tourism. It’s high time we looked at other attractions and destinations that would perform equally well if promoted extensively. The common way of attending conferences and talking about our wildlife, beaches and Maasai culture needs to change. Who will promote our rich archaeological diversity, cultural and heritage we have in the country if our focus is narrowed to wildlife and beaches only? How about investing in county cultural centers to showcase the different cultural aspects within the county? How about we make our sportsmen/women our ambassadors when they are out there working? A lot can be done to promote sustainable tourism, we just need to look at the right direction and be aggressive. It’s not always about the numbers, the impact of the numbers also matters a lot.FB_IMG_1540710330182.jpg
  4. Tourism Delivery. It’s time we focused on improving the experience the guest gets for their money. If we can offer the best experience possible, the guests would be gladly willing to pay for it. Otherwise, if we just in it to make a few dollars, we’ll attract many guests who have minimal positive impact on sustainability.
  5. As travellers we also need to change how we travel. We should aim at “Utalii Bora, not Bora Utalii.” This way, we are conscious of what our travel does to the ecosystem and the host community.
  • What are the threats to Sustainable Tourism?

This is another perspective of tourism that we need to look at. The tourism industry is very fragile and slightest scare is big enough to disrupt the stability of the industry. So here are some of the threats that can hinder us from achieving sustainability in tourism.

  1. Climate Change. This is a very big threat to the industry. For example, the high temperature that have been experienced over the last few years are highly affecting travel patterns. The temperatures have caused the melting of ice, which in turn causes a rise in sea levels. This could have a negative impact on some sites like Fort Jesus. It could also lead to flooding, destruction of properties and even loss of life.
  2. Over reliance on fossil fuels for energy. Travelling contributes to 72% of tourism’s carbon footprint, with aviation contributing to 55% of the total. We should come up with alternative sources of energy to reduce the emission of green house gases into the environment.
  3. Commodification of Culture. This is the conversion of a people’s culture into a commodity for trade purpose. The community whose culture has been ‘traded’ gains little to nothing in the process
  4. Inadequate Community Participation. Sustainable tourism flourishes where the host community is involved. Tourism development should have in mind that the host community needs to be involved for it’s growth and sustainability.
  5. Insufficient Sustainable Tourism Marketing. A huge percentage of the tourism marketing campaigns is aimed at attracting more people to visit Kenya as a destination. Little effort has been deployed to ensure the visitors we are aiming at attracting check the impact of their travels.
  6. Rigid Academic Curriculums. As initially stated, training is a key aspect of promoting sustainable tourism. Having a rigid curriculum in a rapidly changing industry limits the learners’ growth.
  • Marketing for Sustainability.

We need to ensure that our marketing strategies balance the three levels of sustainable tourism i.e. the society, organizations and the individuals. The current crop of visitors need to feel inspired for them to pick one destination over the other. In marketing we need to look at the following

  1. Educating service providers on how to create packages that market Kenya and are sustainable.
  2. We also need to diversify our markets and products and look at attracting new markets.
  3. Need to offer product value. Most clients pay a lot in order to travel. They need to have an experience that they can get value from.
  4. Individuals’ contribution towards sustainability is also key. What are you doing to ensure you promote sustainability? What are you doing to manage wastes? How does your travel affect the environment and the host community?
  • Does Sustainability Sell?

The main aim of every business is to make money. So does practicing sustainable tourism pay? This is a very expensive practice to maintain. However, with the travellers now leaning towards sustainable tourism, it is worth investing in sustainable tourism.

Sustainable tourism is not only beneficial to businesses, but also to the traveller, the community and also the planet at large.

  • What Sustainability Model are we Using?

There are two models of sustainable tourism, the weak and the strong sustainability models.

The following diagram shows a weak model, where all the aspects of sustainability overlap and sustainability is at the middle of the overlap

Blog-07-20-10-Slide-3.jpg

The below model is a strong sustainability model, where sustainable tourism activities should be carried out within the limits of the economic, social and environmental boundaries.

Blog-07-20-10-Slide-4.jpg

It is everybody’s responsibility to support sustainable tourism. This way, we’ll be in a position to measure the impact of tourism beyond the numbers. Travellers, businesses and relevant organizations have a role to play if we are to say the future of sustainable tourism is bright. It all starts with you.

Sources;

Ms. Lucy (STTA).

Dr. Joseph Njoroge(Murang’a University of Technology)

Ms Paula (Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel)

Ms. Fiona Assistant Manager, Bussiness Development, KTB

Ms. Lilian Wanyonyi (MUT)

Mr. Matheka(MUT)

Mr. Felix Abel(KEMU)

 

 

 

 

​SUSTAINABILITY IN CONSUMPTIVE VS NON-CONSUMPTIVE WILDLIFE UTILIZATION. 

In the tourism industry, the big debate that lingers on is all about sustainability. In every conversation involving tourism, it is highly unlikely there won’t be mention/discussion of sustainability.

Sustainability in simple terms is ensuring that we consume available resources in such a manner that we do not deprive the next generation of the opportunity to enjoy the same resources.

Consumptive utilization involves killing of wildlife for pleasure, after obtaining a license, which will cost a huge amount of money to acquire. The money raised in turn is then put in the conservation works to ensure the wildlife species targeted do not go into extinction.

Non-consumptive utilization on the other hand involves going on safari, watching wildlife and taking photos. You go back home with memories, rather than ivory, skins. Of course this also fetches cash in park entries.

In Kenya, wildlife tourism contributes to over 50% of the international tourists numbers. This is mainly due to the fact that Kenya has traditionally been known as a wildlife sanctuary for so many years. The country’s conservation efforts are a big attraction to most wildlife enthusiasts. 
Lately, the debate has been taking place in Kenya on whether we should allow consumptive utilization of wildlife. The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Tourism and Wildlife even formed a taskforce to engage stakeholders on the topic and report the findings. 

The Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS), the body tasked with ensuring the protection of all wildlife in the country is currently in wrangles and on the spotlight due to the recent death of 11 rhinos translocated to the Tsavo East national park. If handling a simple translocation can be this catastrophic, how on earth do we expect them to handle people with guns shooting defenseless animals just for obtaining a license?

The levels of corruption in the country and government systems is unprecedented, so for a rich guy it won’t be that hard to obtain a hunting license, just has to bribe a few selfish greed-driven officials and it’s done. 

The current crop of travellers is highly informed. Most tourists have established they won’t visit a destination that engages in acts of animal cruelty, which consumptive utilization represents. 

A case in point, in the 1970s Kenya had approximately 275, 000 elephants. Elephant hunting was banned by the late former president, Jomo Kenyatta in 1973, yet Kenya lost almost the entire elephant population, remaining with a meager 20,000 in 1989.

We still have A LOT of work to do if we are even to have this debate on whether to support consumptive wildlife utilization or not. Until that time when we can eradicate corruption and put our houses in order (KWS), then, maybe then we can listen to a taskforce. Until then let’s focus on ensuring our wildlife is conserved for our kids and theirs. Otherwise we’ll go down as the generation that chose GREED OVER NEED. Let’s choose wisely what we want to display.


“What is good for animals is good human beings.”

Ethical Issues in Tourist-Wildlife Interactions.

The debate on what is ethical and what is not seems like a controversial topic for some stakeholders (read zoos). Tourist-Wildlife interaction can either be direct or indirect. Direct interaction includes feeding, petting, holding, cuddling, poaching, sport hunting, e.t.c, while indirect interaction includes walking, horse back, balloon, van, helicopter safaris, wild marathons, etc. 

Wildlife watching is the biggest tour product sold to most tourists to Africa. It contributes to 80%. This leads to 8bn tourist-wildlife interactions but most people only care about the $600b generated

While indirect interaction is highly desirable, not all of it is sustainable. For example, a helicopter causes too much noise that is not appreciated by the animals. Vans crowd around an animal, which is risky for both the animal and its cubs- the cheetah is the biggest victim for this. The wildlife code of conduct requires that all humans stay at least 25m away from wildlife when watching them, which is not observed by most, worst of all even tour guides don’t keep this distance.

Zoos have made it easier for people to watch wildlife without necessarily having to travel to Africa. This has led to their increased popularity. As a result, this zoos have led to more animals being held in captivity and for some populations the number in captivity is higher than the number in the wild. There are approximately 10,000 zoos in the world. As a result, statistics show that there are;

  • 16,000 elephants in captivity, which is about a quarter of the number in the wild.
  • 8,000 lions are held captive.
  • 5,000 tigers are kept in zoos in the US, which is not their home. This is absurd given that only 3,200 exist in the wild.
  • 1,600 bottlenose dolphins are kept in zoos mainly for entertainment.
  • 75% of all elephants used for entertainment are taken from the wild.

Most tourists do not know the cruelty the animals are taken through in order to perform a single trick. Most have said they wouldn’t visit a place that mistreats animals, which is a good thing because maybe very soon we won’t be having zoos.
So what are the ethical issues raised during the seminar and what are the solutions to combat these issues? Pollution, deforestation, gorilla trekking, canned hunting, off road driving, trophy hunting, ‘bad selfies’ e.t.c are some of the issues. Some solutions include zoning, afforestation, conservation incentives, education, etc.

According to World Animal Protection(WAP), a ‘bad selfie’ is one that the person is either holding the animal, baiting it with food, the animal is not in it’s natural home or the distance is less than 25m. A ‘good selfie’ is one where the animal is in its natural home, not held, not being fed or not baited with food. 

Selfies amount to the biggest contribution to animal cruelty. 28% of photos uploaded on Instagram with giraffes originate from Kenya, 67% involving lions are from SA and Kenya, and 10% involving elephants are from TZ and SA. This shows that of all photos uploaded on IG involving animals, 40% are considered as ‘bad selfies’. The love for animals fuels the desire for humans to take selfies with animals without realizing how detrimental it is for the animal. 
WAP identifies the freedoms that should be accorded to animals;

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst.
  • Freedom from discomfort.
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease.
  • Freedom to express normal behavior.
  • Freedom from fear and distress.

We need to promote ethical interactions. For example, we should avoid using culture as an excuse for cruelty. Like when the Maasai used to kill lions as a rite of passage, and now some have taken up the role to protect the lions. Travellers should also do research on where they intend to travel to and the tour operator they intend to use, hotels they will be staying in. Wild animals in zoos should also be relocated to their natural habitats. It’s so unfortunate that 80% of travellers will give positive feedback for destinations that engage in negative wildlife interactions.

The greed for profit above need has seen most tour operators put on a blindfold on matters relating wildlife cruelty. As long as they getting the money they don’t care about the ethics. Tour operators should train their drivers and educate their clients on what is expected before every tour. They need to be proactive in acting in wildlife’s interests. This is the main attraction and we need them and they can do just fine without us.

Some organizations have put themselves at the front of fighting against animal cruelty, e.g., Born Free Foundation, TraveLife, World Animal Protection, among others. These organizations will be crucial to fight the currently formed Task Force on Consumptive Utilization of Wildlife. We have lost almost 50% of animals through the time sport hunting was banned, imagine what will happen if these rich guy are given licenses to go shooting at defenseless animals for self amusement.

In other news, the formation of the Tourism Professional Association of Kenya will give all tourism professional a platform to interact, network, share opportunities and get involved in the legislation of the tourism industry. The associate is open for membership from students to corporates.

Sources: Judy Kepher Gona, Director Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda(STTA) 

Edith from World Animal Protection. 

Angela from Uniglobe Lets Go Travel

Lillian (Zetech Uni).

Joan (UoN).

Diani Beach! Absolute Beauty!! 

Wake up to the whisper of the ocean breeze on the famous Diani Beach. Located in county number 02, Kwale county just 36.6 kilometers south  from the famous Mombasa Town is the extravagant Diani beach where the sun melts into the sky sending it’s rays down like a divine painting. It’s quite a sight no wonder it’s rated the  3rd most visited beach in Africa according to CNN Travel.

With very beautiful, warm and friendly Swahili locals who have sustained their unique cuisines like vitumbua(baked ground rice)and Mahamri just to mention a few. Tourism is their main source of employment in the area ranging from employees of the many hotels across the 25 kilometers beach stretch, to beach boys who hang around the beaches selling locally made artifacts or the quite refreshing coconut milk ‘Madafu.” It’s quite a shocked  that about 40% of the locals know at least one foreign language without even attending classes!

The recent attacks on our country have really led to a decline in the tourists population with travel advisories warning against visiting this area. But it’s quite a relief as Kenyans have started embracing local tourism. As I witnessed during the recent holidays where hotels were ‘full house’ with rooms going back to back due the flock of the local folks.

So why not give it a shot. Forget every existence. Watch your feet take steps as the sand squish between your toes. Watch drooling sunrises and sunsets enwraped into the beautiful horizon where blue meets blue.

Courtesy of Peter Kariuki aka Master P.