All posts by zurukenya

Zuru Kenya is a sophisticated, high quality, visually impacting travel, leisure and lifestyle Blog. We seek to raise the profile of Kenya by showcasing its diversity in cultures, tastes, wildlife, stunning landscapes and more! Our passion for travel drives us to highlight what makes Kenya a top tourist destination (not only in Africa but worldwide) and the premier of wildlife safari. Our aim is to bring you relevant travel content that features Kenya's fascinating history and culture, her people, amazing sights & sounds and beautiful regions designed to aid you in planning and/or enjoying your trip to this beautiful country

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022: A Picture-Postcard Race

It’s finally here! June 23-26, all roads lead to Naivasha for the 2022 World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally. The event which is listed as one of the 13 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship promises a tantalizing experience; competitors can expect challenging closed dirt roads, rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which could transform dry and dusty trails into glutinous mud baths.

Stages

  • Thursday lunchtime’s traditional Safari start in the heart of Nairobi is followed by a side-by-side super special in the afternoon at Kasarani, north-east of the city centre.

  • Friday’s opening leg visits the northern and southern shores of Lake Naivasha. The forested Loldia in the north is followed by Geothermal and Kedong to the south. At 31.25km, Kedong is the longest stage of the rally and a Safari test of old. After service, all three are repeated to bring the day’s total to 124.20km.

  • Roads further north around Lake Elmenteita host Saturday’s 134.90km of action. It opens with an extended Soysambu, followed by Elmenteita’s oft-used tracks in the Delamere Estate and Sleeping Warrior, set in the shadow of a hill that resembles a Maasai warrior lying down. The trio are driven for a second time after service.

  • Sunday’s finale returns south of Lake Naivasha. Oserian lies in the Oserengoni Wildlife Conservancy Estate, which is home to lions, leopards, giraffes, antelope and buffalo. It is followed by Narasha and Hell’s Gate and after service the trio are driven again. The second pass of Hell’s Gate, which finishes amid stunning scenery at Fishers Tower, forms the Wolf Power Stage. The six tests add up to 99.62km.

  • The 19 stages total 363.44km.

Iconic Stage

  • Saturday’s Soysambu stage. It is classic Safari with a little bit of everything that made this event so legendary and has been extended by 9km to almost 30km. A couple of river crossings near the finish with steep entries and exits, mud trucks on standby to pull anyone clear who gets stuck, big straights, flowing corners, rocky climbs, rough compressions and hard lava roads. What’s not to like?

Amidst the adrenaline rush, don’t forget to take a moment to soak in the stunning picture-postcard scenery and keep a look out for the exotic wildlife.

5 must-visit historical sites in Nairobi

We have such an exciting city, thriving as a frenetic concrete jungle with lots of art and culture, fantastic social initiatives and a fascinating nightlife scene. Urban explorers would be more than ecstatic about this energetic cosmopolitan we call Nairobi. Something is always going on! It’s a vibrant city with so many varied activities woven into its web.

Amidst all this buzz however, there are certain quaint places that tell a story of this city’s past. Places that might just slip by you if you aren’t keen enough. The tale of this modern, upbeat, Kenya’s capital, sits pretty in various unassuming sites, which promise to serve a pleasant surprise when explored.

To get a proper feel of Nairobi at its essence, you have to immerse yourself into its glorious preceding times and pay homage to a place that began as a rail depot on the Uganda – Kenya Railway.

Let’s dive into and appreciate five (5) heritage attractions that allow historical enthusiasts to explore our capital’s chronicles and also serve as remembrance of their great architectural, aesthetic and historical importance.

1. Nairobi Railway Museum

Nairobi Railway Museum | zuru Kenya | historical sites to visit in Nairobi

This museum is dedicated to the history of the country’s rail network. As mentioned earlier, Nairobi saw its inception as a rail depot. Nairobi Railway Museum, housed in the former East African Railway offices, showcases an intriguing collection of artifacts, models of railway engines and a variety of exhibits illustrating the construction of the railway. 

Within the museum yard, you will also get to experience a number of steam and some early diesel locomotives which operated as part of what was then the Kenya-Uganda Railway. Look out for the “man-eaters of Tsavo” tale in one of these locomotives. The very carriage from which a British superintendent was dragged by these beasts is on display here.

Entry Requirements

CategoryRate
Non-resident adultKes 600 (6 USD)
Non-resident studentKes 300 (3 USD)
Resident adultKes 500
Resident studentKes 200
Non-resident / Resident childKes 100
Citizen adultKes 200
Citizen student/childKes 100
Reserch FeeKes 1000

Payment only by Mpesa or Visa Card

Timings: Open Daily: 8am – 5pm (Including weekends and public holidays)

Photography is strictly forbidden unless confirmed by the establishment.

2.   Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives | zuru Kenya historical sites to visit in Nairobi

Just a few blocks from the Nairobi Railway Museum, the Kenya National Archives sits quite conspicuously in downtown Nairobi. Amidst the modern skyscrapers in the city, this colonial building is not to be missed. Inside the doors of what we commonly refer to as just Archives, formerly the Bank of India, lies a treasure trove of approx. 40,000 public historical records and archives that go as far back as the pre-colonial era.

The ground floor of the Kenya National Archives building also houses the Murumbi Gallery (named after Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s second vice president) which contains traditional weapons, ceremonial artifacts, furniture, textiles, musical instruments, fine arts, contemporary paintings, among other goodies collected in the 19th century. The gallery is currently the largest Pan-African art gallery in Africa. The collected artifacts were acquired by the government of Kenya after a concessionary arrangement was agreed upon with Joseph Murumbi, who had initially turned down several huge offers to buy his collections by overseas bidders.

If you are a history buff and stamp collection is kind of your thing, you will especially love this place.

Entry Requirements

The exhibitions are open to the public at a small fee of Kes 50 for citizens and residents, and Kes 200 for non-residents. If you would like to use their library services, they also charge a membership fee of Kes 200.

Timings: Open Daily 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Advance booking is required for schools and other institutions

3. Nairobi National Museum

Nairobi National Museum Kenya – zuru Kenya | historical sites to visit in Nairobi

Looking to dive in more into the Kenyan heritage? The Nairobi National Museum is your go to. Built in 1929, this is the flagship museum for the National Museums of Kenya, housing celebrated collections of Kenya’s History, Nature, Culture and Contemporary Art present for both educational and leisure purposes. Perhaps what’s even more impressive here are the in the early man section, where actual fossils, discovered in the country, are displayed. This includes the fossil of a proconsul that dates back 18 million years, which encouraged archaeologists to consider Kenya as the birthplace of humankind.

In addition to the museum, visitors are treated to a variety of shopping and dining facilities, as well as botanical gardens that offer a serene environment. The artworks and materials used in the fabrication of outdoor sculptures, the landscaping and the botanic gardens, link to the four pillars of Kenya’s national heritage i.e. nature, culture, history and contemporary art.

While here, you can also visit the Nairobi snake park founded in 1961 within the botanical garden. Hosted here are 20 different snake species, an aquarium and crocodiles, among other reptiles and amphibians.

Entry Requirements

Admission Hours
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. All year round including public holidays and weekends.

The entry fee for Kenyan Citizens is Ksh150 per child and Ksh300 per adult, this is a combined National Museum and Snake Park entry fee.

Night Tours
Exclusive for organized groups for a minimum of 10 people, a request can now be made through advance bookings for night tours through publicrelations@museums.or.ke.

Timings: The Museum will be open between 6:00pm – 10:00pm except when there is a privately held function.

NIGHT TOUR RATES

Category Citizen – Kenya  (Kes)Residents – East Africa  (Kes)Non‐ Residents  (Kes)
TOUR PACKAGE   
Adults  50010002000
Below 16 years2505001000
GUIDED TOUR   
Minimum 10pax   
Adults100020002000
Below 16 years50010001000

Combination Tickets

Discounted joint tickets are available to purchase at Nairobi National Museum that include admission to the Snake Park.

  • Citizen Adults Kes. 300 (save Kes. 100)
  • Child below 16 years Kes. 150 (save Kes. 50)
  • Resident Adults Kes. 600 (save Kes. 400)
  • Child below 16 years Kes. 300 (save Kes. 300)
  • Non-Resident Adults Kes. 1,500 (save Kes. 900)
  • Child below 16 years Kes. 1,000 (save Kes. 200)

4. Nairobi Gallery

Nairobi Gallery | zuru Kenya | historical sites to visit in Nairobi

Built in 1913, what is presently Nairobi Gallery was the Old PC’s office building fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here. Today, the building is a National Monument and serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions

Divided into 6 main rooms, each containing a different collection, the Nairobi Gallery houses the Murumbi African Heritage Collection and temporary art exhibitions. It is also the location of Point Zero, from which all distances were measured in Kenya.

Inside the Joseph and Sheila Murumbi Room, items collected and used by the Murumbis are on display. Joseph Murumbi and his wife collected African artefacts and the works of African artists. In 1976, they sold the collection to the Kenyan Government. It became available to the public in 2013.

Entry Requirements

Category Citizen – Kenya  (Kes)Residents – East Africa  (Kes)Non‐ Residents  (Kes)
Adults  1506001,000
Below 16 years100400500

Timings: Open Daily at 8:30am – 5:30pm.

5. Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park

uhuru gardens | zuru Kenya | historical sites to visit in Nairobi

Kenya’s largest Memorial Park, Uhuru (Swahili word for freedom) Gardens was declared a National Monument in 1966. Of importance to note is that it is Kenya’s birthplace. This is where the first Kenyan flag was raised marking the very first year of independence on the 12th December 1963.

Within the garden are two monuments commemorating Kenya’s independence, and a Mugumo (fig) tree. The first and most important of the two is a 24-metre high monument supporting a pair of clasped hands and a dove of peace and a statue of soldiers raising the Kenyan flag on one side depicting Kenya’s struggle and declaration of independence. The second monument is a fountain erected in 1983 marking the 20th anniversary of Kenya’s independence.

The Mugumo tree is symbolic as it was planted on the spot where the Union Jack (British flag) was brought down and Kenya’s national flag was first hoisted.

In addition to the historical significance, Uhuru Gardens continues to attract various events as a recreational park. It is popular as a rest area for families and friends, a must visit for schools and in recent times has gained popularity as an events venue for corporate launches, concerts, weddings, film location just to name a few.

Entry Requirements

Entry to the Garden is free but car parking fee is Kes 200

      Timings:  Open Daily at 8:00am – 6:00pm.

Mahali Mzuri: World’s Best hotel + Top Safari Lodge in Africa

Born out of a need to preserve the Maasai Mara ecosystem, the luxury safari camp that is Mahali Mzuri is indeed living up to its name as the “beautiful place” it was designed to be; that’s if the Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2021 is anything to go by. Voted best hotel overall worldwide, this camp located in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy is a must tick on your travel bucket list.

Mahali Mzuri luxury safari tents
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI
Mahali Mzuri luxury safari tents
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI
Part of the Virgin Limited Edition collection, Sir Richard Branson's majestic safari camp in the Masai Mara is "just perfect," according to one voter. The seemingly space-age tents somehow rise up out of the landscape and blend in with it simultaneously. Wildlife remains abundant in the surrounding bush — ideal for the twice-daily game drives — and the guides are extremely knowledgeable. One respondent raved about the "excellent service," adding that "the hospitality provided at Mahali Mzuri resembles the name," which means beautiful place in Swahili. Another reader says simply that it's "the best luxurious camp to visit on the African continent."

Score: 99.73
More info: travelandleisure 

Mahali Mzuri is home to 12 no ordinary luxury tents; each fitted with an ensuite private bath, cozy bedding, leather furniture for lounging, grand clawfoot soaking tubs, and expansive windows and doors that open up to a massive deck where you can easily soak up sunrises, sundowners and everything in between. To paraphrase the establishment, The camp’s excellent location gives you a front-row seat, not just to the annual great migration, but also to the abundant game you get the pleasure of seeing all year round.

Guest suite at Mahali Mzuri, voted one of the best hotels in the world
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI

“Our super stylish tented suites make for the perfect retreat during your stay. We can cater for up to 24 guests in the camp at any one time, so you are guaranteed peace and quiet, as well as excellent customer service at all times.”

~ Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri luxury safari tents
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI

“It is an exceptional honour and dream come true to be named as the Number One Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure’s knowledgeable readers,” says General Manager Wilson Odhiambo. “Being recognized in any capacity by one of the most respected and renowned resources on travel globally is incredible in itself. Receiving two accolades, including Number One Safari Lodge alongside World’s Best, is exemplary and a recognition of the hard work and dedication that every single person in our Virgin Limited Edition team puts into Mahali Mzuri and serving its incredible guests each and every day.”

Mahali Mzuri luxury safari tents
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI
CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI

Travel + Leisure recognizes the top hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, airlines, spas, and more, based on the results of their readers’ survey. Readers rated hotels on rooms/facilities, location, service, food and value. This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three year period.

The 2021 World’s Best Awards lists, as well as survey methodology, are currently featured on www.travelandleisure.com and will appear in the October 2021 issue of the magazine, on newsstands September 17.   This year, the awards will see the Virgin Limited Edition collection triumph as Kasbah Tamadot, its beautiful retreat in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, is also named the Number One Resort in North Africa and the Middle East for the fourth year.

5 Off-the-beaten Instaworthy Spots in Kenya

With a burst of wild beauty and intangible spirit, Kenya barely falls short of spots designed to give your instagram feed that travel glow-up you desire! 

In case you have been struggling to locate those brag-worthy spaces, we highlight some cool spots which we believe will speak to your nomadic self. There is no reason now why your feed shouldn’t have  some aesthetically pleasing travel snaps! 

Peep these off-the-beaten instaworthy spots around Kenya

  1. The Giraffe Manor, Nairobi / @karina_nigay

An Instagram favorite, the giraffe manor has seen many travel miles upon miles just to capture that wow-mazing snap with it’s resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes at the most unforgettable bucket-list breakfast in the world. 

  1. Old Town, Mombasa/ @ashleemajormoss

Reminiscent of the days when the Arabs exerted heavy influence on the town and its culture, and especially in the architecture. Old Town is well known for its ancient buildings, extravagant art designs and curio shops that sell antique and popular Kenyan souvenirs. Here, you will be spoilt for choice with an array of backdrops available for that perfect instashot! 

  1. The Majlis, Lamu/ @spiritedpursuit

Situated on Manda Island in Lamu, The Majlis offers you the perfect blend of Luxury, style, swahili culture and western comforts. Accentuate your feed with some ultra-stylish and elegant Lamu style decor with displays of antique Swahili furniture, African paintings and sculptures. 

Spiritedpursuit_leelitumbe-75_lamu_kenya.jpg

  1. The Brandy Bus, Nairobi / @thebrandybus

How about an old-school bus revamped into a cozy and quaint home? The tones and eccentric details that this cottage style accommodation has to offer will definitely up your instagram with some enchanting decor and colour.

96275900_2389894741113772_4729662061062745058_n

  1. Shepherds huts, Nanyuki / @onestopnanyuki

As if having Mount Kenya as a backdrop is not priceless enough, the tasteful decor in shepherds huts at One Stop Nanyuki provides for spectacular travel snaps. If your feed features some neutral tones with some hints of greenery, this is the perfect spot for you!

29401636_558678931183948_1694068546176286720_n

 

 

Diary of a Kenyan traveller, 10 fascinations from my US trip

Taking a trip to the United States is something some Kenyans aspire to as a dream destination – Over 75 million tourists visit the United States each year. While some wish to visit places they see in the movies like Las Vegas and Washington DC, I aimed to tour the main fascinating sites in the country. This included attractions like Fort Lauderdale in Florida, Santa Fe in New Mexico,Fort Collins in Colorado, and Winston-Salem in North Carolina, among others.

I wanted to cover as much ground as possible. So before I flew out, I sat down and crafted my most desired destinations and things I would like to do once I landed. Doing so came in handy since I ended up having a fascinating time in America.

Here is a list of places I toured while I was in the United States.

1. Sequoia National Park In California

The first day was a bit slow since I had to unpack and acclimatize. I spent most of my time in my hotel room, relaxing. I later took a stroll and had a nice dinner at an exquisite restaurant nearby.

The next day I started my adventure, and the first place I decided to visit is the Sequoia National Park in California. The park is not only among the best places to visit in the US but also one of the most rated parks in the country. Sequoia boasts of a remarkable landscape that consists of giant sequoia trees. Mount Whitney gives the park a spectacular backdrop and adds glamour to the site. I passed by the General Sherman Tree, which is thousands of years old before I left.

2. MacKerricher State Park In California

MacKerricher State Park is famous for many things, including rare plant species as well as whales. But then, among the top reasons for including the park on my list was to see the famous glass beach.

The first time I heard of glass beach I swore I was going to visit the site when the time was right. The idea of a beach covered with sea glass was stunning. The site is marvelous and one of the places to visit if you want to have a lovely day. I stuck around until sunset and left for my hotel.

3. The Living Desert Zoo In Palm Desert

The next day I spent time at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. The attraction site offers a vast array of activities, including animal shows and hiking trails. I also took my time to visit the wildlife hospital, where I got some insight into how to treat animals. I also found the mountain lions and cheetahs a bit scary and amazing to watch.

I finished off at the botanical garden where I saw plants I have come across in Africa. The whole experience was fulfilling.

4. Route 66

While in California, I also got to see part of route 66, which I learned stretches from Illinois. Throughout its stretch, the highway goes through eight states and a total of three time zones, making it one of the most popular routes in the United States of America.

If you’re a machine enthusiast or an avid motorcyclist who loves to ride, that’s the route you should explore.

Before calling it a day, I passed by a millennium restaurant and had a delectable vegan meal, which I washed down with a glass of refreshing juice.

5. The Wave In Arizona

On my fifth day, I took a trip to Arizona to visit The Wave. The sandstone rock formation remains to be a spectacular site that attracts huge crowds every day. The Wave also provides a perfect hiking spot for anyone who loves taking long walks while enjoying a breathtaking landscape.

You should, however, be quick since only twenty permits are given out in a day. The slopes of Coyote Buttes provide a great view making the region one of the best attractions in the States.

I also visited the Grand Canyon to see if it is as legendary as advertised. The place is dreamlike. I could only manage to set foot on the South Rim where I biked. I then took a helicopter tour to get a better view.

6. The Kennedy Space Center In Florida

The Americans were the first people to land on the moon, and so I had to see how they made that happen. That is why I went over to Orlando to have a look at the National Aeronautics center. The place is fantastic and sophisticated at the same time. At the visitor complex, you will see all sorts of space equipment.

7. Rhodes Island

My seventh day in the country was more about music and vibe, and that is why it found me in the city of music festival, Newport in Rhodes Island. At the place, people worship music, and I found it fantastic given that I often listen to jams whenever I want to clear my head.

8. Washington Park In Portland

I wanted my eighth day to be peaceful. That is why I saved Washington Park for last, and it worked perfectly fine. The gardens in the area are beguiling, and the impressive landscape is enough to make your day better.

I also stopped by the Farma medical clinic, which is one of the top cannabis dispensaries in Oregon. They also have some of the best strains.

With so much happening in this field in the US, I thought it was a must-visit to explore what cannabis offers to the medical world. The place is fantastic with amazing finishes. Bright lights enhance the beauty of this place multiple times.

9. Yellow Stone In Wyoming

It was not until I visited the yellow stone that I realized it was the first national park in America. The attraction has a fantastic landscape with breathtaking sites. I found places like the steaming geysers, hot springs and the long trails to be incredible. You can also book a tour guide and have yourself driven through the Lamar and Hayden valleys. I found the place fun and exciting, given that I am a nature lover.

10. The Statue Of Liberty

Leaving the United States without visiting the Statue of Liberty is one mistake that I was not going to make. I thus decided to make my last days exclusive by flying to New York which is easily one of the most happening places for planning a vacation.

The copper statue is phenomenal. Staircases are available to get you to the balcony where you can observe the stature better. The tickets were however limited, and it is only by luck that I got one.

Final Words

Throughout my visit, I learned that the US is a fascinating country with many attraction centers which are not only fun but exciting to visit. I also noticed that if you don’t have a plan, you may find it hard choosing which place to visit and which one to spare for your next visit. My adventure was not only successful but also splendid.

– By Jenny Travens

Maasai Mara: 5 Things that make it a Great Destination for Safaris

Every year, magic that attracts large numbers of tourists happens. Over 2 million herbivores, acting on uumm… animal instinct – and all that pun – move homes. The grass, they note, is greener on the other side. So they migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara to enjoy a few months of pure bliss, fattening, a few births, and the usual survival of the fittest. This feat is so majestic that it has been dubbed The World Cup of Wildlife, and earned its place as one of the world’s wonders. But is that all there is to the Mara?

A little about Maasai Mara…
You cannot talk of parks in Africa without mentioning Maasai Mara. The 1.510km park lies southwest part of Kenya, and it borders the Serengeti of Tanzania. Several tented accommodations host over 100,000 visitors every year. On a random day of the peak season – usually July to October, you won’t miss at least five safari vans in the park.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-03 at 11.05.15

Image: AJK
Image: Maasai Mara

Here are five fascinating facts about this national reserve.

The Locals love their Mara
One of the most unique things about Maasai Mara is its connection to the local community. You see, it is named for the Maa community that has lived here since the 17th century. The local authorities are in charge of the management of most of the park, a fact that has helped resolve wildlife-human conflicts in the region.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-03 at 11.05.25

Image: AJK

Home to the Big Five… and then some
The Mara is home to almost 100 species of mammals. It is also where you will find all members of the Big Five: Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Rhinoceros. It makes sense that the park houses this large number being as it measures 1,510 km2.

Over the years, man has been unkind to wildlife, killing and exploiting game for his own benefit. However, a census done in 2017 shows the number of elephants, lions, giraffes, and almost every large mammal in the Mara to be increasing when compared to those of 2014. These good news can be attributed to the intentional conversation efforts being made by various parties, and we all laud them.

Quick fun fact: the Mara is also fondly known as the Kingdom of Lions.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-03 at 11.06.20

Image: AJK

Four Different Topographies
The Mara is divided into four different topographies; Ngama Hills, Oloololo Escarpment, Mara Triangle, and Central Plains. Ngama Hills is 2025 meters above sea level and is characterized by sandy soil that black rhinos seem to love. The Oloololo Escarpment was once densely populated with trees, but elephants damaged most of them so that now it’s mostly grassland. The Mara River crosses here, making this area an animal haven.

The Mara Triangle is also mostly a lush grassland that borders the Mara River and is well-loved by animals. It is quite popular with visitors. In the Central Plains, you will find antelopes and gazelles that prefer to graze in the open grassland where they can see their predators.

Bird Species – so Many Types
If you are into bird watching, then you may want to camp at the Mara for a while. This haven is home to over 450 bird species, with White-Tipped Crest, Red-Winged Schalow’s Turaco, and Orange Buff Pel’s Fishing Owl among those roaming the open savanna freely. There are about 53 species of predator birds too.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-03 at 11.05.36

Image: Mara Engai

Filming Ground of the Big Cat Diary
That BBC Film that keeps most of us glued to Nat Geo, Big Cat Diary, is shot in the Mara – in both the reserve and conversation parts of the park. Cool, right?

Been to the Mara?
Been there yet? Nothing beats seeing these beautiful animals roaming their natural home freely. If you haven’t, it’s never too late to make a trip.

Solo Travel is the Best! Here’s 10 Reasons why…

While often times, people prefer to travel and explore new destinations in groups, (because it may seem like the safest choice, perhaps even more fun-filled) we are, as of more recently,  seeing adventure seekers break off from the norm by taking what some would deem a “bold step” – going at it solo. Why would anyone prefer to travel all alone devoid of any company? might there be any comfort in doing so? 

I would like to think that there are people out there who solely enjoy the experience of discovering and exploring new places by their lonesome. It might be a slight concern for some that there is “no safety in numbers per se”  when you plunge yourself deep into solo travel but the benefits far out way the concerns.

Read for yourself…

  1. You Are Your Own Master

Yes, you can be your own master when you are alone. You are not answerable to anyone if you stay awake till late or wake up late. You are not forced to go to places that you do not wish to visit or do things for someone’s happiness. You can do something only that pleases you. You get a lot of ‘me’ time.  This is really important. If you visit with kids, you need to plan according to them which can take a lot of your time.

  1. Boosts Confidence

Doing things that you have never done without anybody’s help will surely boost your confidence. Solo travelers have to book tickets and hotel rooms all by themselves. They have to find about other facilities and inquire about everything from others on their own. This helps them improve their communication and hence their confidence.

aircraft-airplane-airport-36983

  1. Easy to Plan

When travelling in a group every member’s opinion and likes and dislikes have to be taken into account. Someone has to forgo something for the sake of others. This compromise may rob the fun of the outing. But when it comes to solo travel, planning revolves around you. So, you can decide where you wish to go, when and how. The enjoyment factor will increase manifold.

  1. Make New Friends with Ease

Traveling alone does not mean that you do not speak to someone. Yes, you can add new people to your friends’ list along the way when you share your thoughts and experiences and other things with them. This increases the friendship. This is solely your choice. In a group, it may not be so. You may have to give up a lot.

  1. Get A Lot of Experience

Going about alone in a strange land amidst strange people may not be easy. You may have to learn a new language to mingle with the people. You may have to learn to eat and live like the local people. This will teach you a lot in life. These experiences will help you to grow and mature and help in nurturing your relationships.

  1. Make Your Own Itinerary

A group decides to do things with a majority vote. A single voice crashes down. You have to go to a museum or a national park even if you wished to go to the beach instead. The whole trip you just went by someone’s wishes. Your wishes were curbed and that diminished your fun quotient. A solo traveler has freedom to go as per his or her wish.

adult-adventure-backpack-287240

  1. Know Yourself Better

It is really important to know your potential and also your weaknesses. Only when you are on your own you can know about this. You are free to do what you wish. There is no pressure and reduced stress. Your performance increases and so does your efficiency. You will be surprised about yourself learning that you can accomplish a task which you dread doing.

  1. Financial Management

You can learn to value many things when you are all on your own. A person who is a spendthrift and does not care about money may learn to value it especially in a new land when there is no one to help when you are short of money. This will teach you to manage your finances better. You will also learn not to spend it on unnecessary items.

  1. Better Observer

You can learn to observe things better when you are alone. You need to be alert and manage everything on your own. You become responsible and also learn to take care of yourself which you may have not done all your life as someone took this responsibility. Increasing your observing skills will make you a better person.

clouds-cloudy-landscape-105857

  1. More Satisfied

For many people gratification does not come easily. When travelling alone almost all wishes get fulfilled and a sense of satisfaction creeps in. This feeling of gratification helps a person to grow up and makes him or her calm from inside. You tend to understand others easily and can build relationships easily.

If you are yet to attempt solo travel, try it once and learn more about yourself.

 

Author Bio:

Know about Rohit Agarwal’s take on travel on the blog Trans India Travels.

 

Fighting for Trash Free Seas: The International Coastal Cleanup – Kenyan Chapter

33 years ago, a movement began. Catalyzed by the desire to see a trash free coastline, the international coastal cleanup was born in Texas geared by two individuals; Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara.

What may have seemed then like just a small project has since sparked into a great movement spanning across the globe with volunteers from over 100 countries joining in, coming a long way from the first cleanup with just a handful of volunteers. What makes the international coastal cleanup outstanding is that volunteers do not just pick up trash but also go a step further to record each item collected on a standardized data card in order to identify ways to eliminate ocean trash in the future.

This year, Kenyan locals along the Indian Ocean coastline came out in numbers to show their resolve of beating plastic pollution in our beaches. Led by the Kenyan team coordinators – Ocean Conservancy has coordinators in all countries involved in the ocean conservancy – the Kenyan cleanup was segmented into various beach cleanup sites with the main event culminating in a ceremony at Mama Ngina Drive. Zuru Kenya helped coordinate and took part in the Kikambala Beach cleanup.

Pictures below highlight the successful event that took place across the entire coastline. We are grateful for all those who came out to help clean our coast and create more awareness to the effect of pollution on our oceans.

Kids from Braeburn School cleanup Jumba ruins Mtwapa

International coastal cleanup ceremony at Mama Ngina Drive

Registration of volunteers in Kikambala

A volunteer counting trash collected

Mtepeni ward MCA – Kilifi South also took part in the cleanup, taking trash to the garbage truck

Turn up in Kikambala was impressive

Volunteers being awarded their participation certificates

Briefing before the cleanup

Students showcase their certificates in Kilifi

Nyali beach team

Trash collected in Shimoni awaiting pick up by garbage truck

Technical University of Mombasa Team

Coastal cleanup in Lamu

National Museums of Kenya & the Murumbi Trust Present “Pioneer Women of the Arts”

National Museums of Kenya and The Murumbi Trust presents an exhibition of artworks by nine acclaimed women of East Africa, titled “Pioneer Women of the Arts.” The exhibition which launches on Sunday, September 9 at 2:00pm, at the Nairobi Gallery in Nairobi, Kenya led by AMB. Amina C Mohamed, EGH, Cabinet Secretary for Education, will highlight works from legendary East African artists; Margaret TrowellJoy AdamsonMagdalene OdundoRosemary KarugaGeraldine RobartsRobin AndersonYony Wai-TeNani Croze, and Theresa Musoke. The exhibition will be open through to December 8, 2018

Attendees of the opening ceremony should expect a thrilling performance by PAPILLON, a young Kenyan musician and protégé of the world-famous Kenyan musician Ayub Ogada. PAPILLON creates his own instruments inspired by African instruments thousands of years old and writes his own music in an effort to preserve authentic Kenyan music not influenced by Western rap and hip hop. PAPILLON follows in the footsteps of Kenya’s African Heritage Festival, founded by Alan Donovan, which travels the world with its cast of models, musicians, acrobats, stilt walkers, hair dressers, chefs and others.

Each artist showcased in “Pioneer Women of the Arts” was selected based on the various paths that have paved their existence in the art realm, and their earned acclaim through their unique struggle. These female artists have generated a significant impact on the art and culture of East Africa.

African Arts and Crafts by Margaret Trowell 

Trowell, with her six books and art school at the prestigious Makerere University in Uganda, which was the best in the region – and perhaps all of Africa, is undoubtedly an influential pioneer artist and teacher to whom all artists in East Africa owe a debt. Her main goal in creating art, Trowell said, was to “make it plain that art is of the people and natural to the people.”

Gabra Woman by Joy Adamson

Adamson, conceivably best known for her children’s books and later TV series “Born Free,” has also had a tremendous impact on the preservation of African culture. Throughout her travels, Adamson realized that she must paint the people of Kenya in their many tribal dresses before they were abandoned for Western wear and imports. She spent six and a half years living in all parts of Kenya during this pursuit after the Kenyan Government commissioned her to make a comprehensive record of all the traditional dress and ornaments of the people of Kenya.

Pot by Magdalene Odundo

Odundo holds the highest position in international arts of any East African, as Chancellor of the University of Creative Arts in the UK. She has received an OBE by the Queen of England for her service to the arts, and has achieved international acclaim for her ceramic and glass works, which have been collected in museums globally. Odundo is known for being one of the world’s greatest contemporary potters.

Work by Rosemary Karuga

Karuga was the first woman to attend the prestigious Makerere University School of Fine Arts. She has exhibited her works with the leading artists of the continent and has been a mentor to world-renowned ceramicist Magdalene Odundo. Karuga pioneered a unique form of collage using local materials, and was eventually given a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art world.

The Birds by Geraldine Robarts

Robarts has lifelong experience as a painter and University Lecturer in Fine Arts, including Makerere University and Kenyatta University. She is always pushing the boundaries of what paint, color, and new materials can achieve, and loves exploring the world to bring her inimitable style to her creations. Robarts is also a prominent worker with grassroots women’s groups in Kenya and has worked to bring art, health, and economic opportunities to communities who had previously struggled to survive.

Silk Batik by Robin Anderson

Anderson has made a lasting impact on the art world of East Africa, perhaps most famously as the co-founder of the leading East African contemporary art gallery, Gallery Watatu, which served as a platform for serious contemporary art in East Africa with recurrent exhibitions by leading artists. Inspired by the people and wildlife of Kenya, Anderson was a forerunner for what became a burgeoning industry of batiks in South Africa with her elegant batiks on silk.

Painting by Yony Wai-Te

Wai-Te is most famous for co-founding the first major contemporary art gallery in East Africa, Gallery Watatu, which has become the leading contemporary art gallery in the region. Her wildebeest and wildlife paintings populate hotels and public buildings throughout East Africa and have gained her an international following and reputation synonymous with the safari style of the region. Through her Wildebeests Workshops, Wai-Te has worked and trained many East African women’s groups and artists.

Stained Glass Mosaic by Nani Croze

Croze, as an artist, educator, and environmentalist, has brought another dimension to  the art of East Africa. Founder of the Kitengela Glass Research and Training Trust, a center for recycling used glass into art, Croze has conducted numerous glass training workshops for young women from Kibera slums creating glass beads, pottery, and mosaics. Her monumental stained-glass and recycled glass works appear in numerous public spaces, including the courtyard and entry of the National Museums of Kenya.

Painting by Theresa Musoke

Musoke was one of the first women to obtain a degree from Makerere University at a time when very few African women were attending University. Her distinctive works romanticizing wildlife in a moody mixture of abstract batik and oil paintings have won Musoke great acclaim. She also taught art at Makerere and other leading art institutions in East Africa.

To learn more about “Pioneer Women of the Arts,” please visit:
https://africanheritagehouse.info/exhibition-pioneer-women-of-the-arts/.

 


About National Museums of Kenya
National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament, the Museums and Heritage Act 2006. NMK is a multi-disciplinary institution whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present Kenya’s past and present cultural and natural heritage. This is for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources for the benefit of Kenya and the world, for now and posterity. NMK’s mutual concern for the welfare of mankind and the conservation of the biological diversity of the East African region and that of the entire planet demands success in such efforts. In addition, NMK manages many Regional Museums, Sites and Monuments of national and international importance alongside priceless collections of Kenya’s living cultural and natural heritage. As an institution that must respond to the growing needs of the society, NMK is striving to contribute in a unique way to the task of national development.

About The Murumbi Trust
The Murumbi Trust was established by Alan Donovan in 2003 to protect and preserve the art collection of Kenya’s second Vice President and famous art collector, Joseph Murumbi. As the continent’s greatest private collector of art, books, postage stamps, artifacts, textiles, jewelry, and everything African, Murumbi played a key role in the preservation of African heritage in Kenya. In 1972, he opened the continent’s first Pan African Gallery, with his wife Sheila and Alan Donovan, now the present Chairman of the Murumbi Trust. The gallery became and has remained a showcase of African culture and the largest organized supplier of arts and crafts from Africa to the rest of the world for over three decades.

About Alan Donovan
Alan Donovan, co-founder of African Heritage Pan African Gallery in Nairobi and founder of African Heritage House, has been showing works by Pioneer artists of Africa for the past 5 years. Currently, Donovan hosts a Nigerian Festival that has been featured in several venues of Nairobi over the past year. The festival celebrates the 50th Anniversary of artwork from Oshogbo Nigeria and coincides with Donovan’s 50 years living in Africa, having arrived in Nigeria in 1967. He bought his first work of African contemporary art at Oshogbo in 1967 and has since worked closely with Nike Davies-Okundaye who is reviving the age-old textile arts of Nigeria. She opened Donovan’s present exhibition which features her handmade ADIRE indigo dyed textiles. Nike Davies-Okundaye now owns NIKE gallery in Lagos, the largest in Nigeria, and was recently featured by Richard Quest on CNN.