Wandering the world, travelling, even just exploring the city.
It gets beautiful but it gets sad as well. You start to notice everything, you’re there to appreciate every little detail but you realized, who is there to appreciate you? I look around and you see happy eyes, sad eyes, blank eyes but none of them looking at me. And so I kept on walking.
Today, two kinds of people sit on the opposite end of the spectrum; those who couldn’t care less for Valentine and those who, well…have been counting down days to this very moment.
In case you happen to sit on the latter end, then this post is right in your lane. Today we celebrate love. Featuring some of the most dreamy travel couples in the blogosphere and on Instagram.
These travel couples will not only arouse the wanderer in you but also inspire you to embark on the road less travelled with your loved ones too.
“I want a man that loves travelling so that we can travel together all the world.”
Newlyweds Sana and Faisal @twosaparty_ – capture the essence of stylish travel! Read their travel blog to see more.
2. Murad Osmann and his partner Natalia Zakharova @muradosmann – the famous ‘follow me to’ couple are seen travelling the world With Natalia leading Murad by hand everywhere they go.
3. Bianca and Brett @KiwisOffCourse – This couple from New Zealand sure paint a colourful picture. Their blog is also ridiculously helpful and inspiring if you’re an active traveler:
4. Nick and Karen @globetrotwithus – have dark and DREAMY visuals with an inspiring blog to match. Just have a look:
5. @MrandMrsMonnet – This gorgeous Hong Kong couple show us how to travel like an absolute BOSS! so very chic!
6. Jen & Rudolph @themarriedwanderers “Because what is marriage if not an adventure?” Follow this couple on their adventurous union here: Blog
7. Ryan and Sam @ourtravelpassport – provide us with the perfect dreamy page travel inspirations. check their experiences here: blog
Whenever one is picking out camps and lodges for their next safari in Kenya, Nairobi as a destination barely comes to mind. Never mind the fact that Nairobi is the only city in the world to host a national park, many travelers hitherto only view the city safari experience merely as a transit option to the real bush experience.
What if we told you though that the much sought out Hemingway bush and tent experience is right here at your doorstep? That you don’t have to go the extra mile, leave Nairobi, that what stands between you and your much desired safari is a mere 20 minutes or so?
Because many safari lovers only use Nairobi as transit, not much effort has been put into establishing accommodations that offer these enthusiasts a full safari experience right within the city. One family is however trying to re-write this script. Launched early this year, Anga Afrika, a family owned and run establishment, seeks to ensure that you don’t have to leave for upcountry into the back of beyond in order to experience life under the sun and the stars, to experience the story of Africa in the wild that is much told.
Sidney Trompell, one of the owners of Anga Afrika introduces us to the whole idea behind the establishment and fills us in on why it would be such a shame if you missed out on the experience offered.
How long have you been open and what was the inspiration behind owning Anga Afrika?
We opened in the beginning of the year, although it was already years in the planning. The special thing about Anga Afrika is that every little detail was very thought through. We took our time.
My family and I always liked Karen because we are generally people who prefer peace and nature over the noisy turmoil that is often Nairobi. After we had finished building our home we wanted to share our little ‘island’ with people who share our mindset and philosophy. That is how Anga Afrika came to be. We feel that luxurious tented camps embody the Kenyan holiday experience the best and we wanted to provide our guests with the most authentic “out of Africa” experience.
Why the name Anga Afrika and what should people expect when they get here?
Our place in Karen is 1850 m above sea level; therefore relatively close to the stars, hence the name Anga Afrika. Also, since our tented suites are made up of canvas, which really gives our guests the feeling that they are truly sleeping under African skies. The view of the stars on a clear night is breathtaking.
The sort of experience you offer is rarely found in Nairobi, why set up away from major safari destinations, why Nairobi? What is unique about Anga Afrika’s location?
The special thing about our location is that it feels like you’re 100’s of miles away from Nairobi, but really you can be in the city centre within 20 minutes. It’s ideal for people who want to be immersed in nature as well as for Kenya first timers who want to experience Kenya in the most authentic way before embarking on major safaris to Masai Mara, Amboseli etc. Also, since our home is literally next door we try to connect with our customers on a personal level, build relationships and make sure that if they need anything that there’s always someone they can talk to. We also enjoy meeting new people from all around the world and exchange experiences and stories with them.
What authentic local experiences will guests have access to here and what types of guests do you expect to attract?
First off, the experience of living in a tented camp as opposed to a hotel. This is a huge deal. I remember the first time I went glamping in the Masai Mara with the family and it was an unforgettable experience. Therefore we think that this type of accommodation will be very memorable for a lot of people. We also organize tours for our guests to local attractions such as the Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Karen Blixen Museum.
To maintain a certain standard of exclusivity, we hope to attract people who have a strong appreciation of nature, peace, and the love for Kenya. Profit maximization isn’t our first priority, but maintaining a certain standard, living by our values and providing the best possible African experience is. We truly enjoy what we do here!
If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?
Modern. Authentic. Africa.
What makes Anga Afrika a destination in itself?
Definitely the altitude…The cool temperatures in the morning, the fresh air, jogging in the morning fog, enjoying a cosy campfire in the evening…it literally gives you the feeling that you’re living in the African mountains such as Mount Kenya or Aberdares.
A stand out meal in your restaurant, what would you recommend?
We have a lot of outstanding dishes at our restaurant, but George, our chef makes sweet potato bread that is to die for. A lot of our guests go home with the recipe because it is simply that good!
Any other experiences you can recommend in the area for a combined trip when staying at Anga Afrika?
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must. Seeing orphaned elephants taken care for and interacting with them gives you such a fulfilling experience. You can even adopt one if you are committed to support it for a long amount of time. Otherwise Karen Blixen Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Karen and how it came into existence, Giraffe Centre, where you can ‘kiss’ Giraffes on the mouth. Literally. There’s quite a lot you can do in our area and we are always more than happy to provide our guests with help and guidance to make this experience as memorable as possible.
Camping, this is one of those travel experiences with no in-betweens; you either simply love it or hate it.
If in incase you lean towards the latter because of the back-to-basics nature of camping, a new trend has emerged that might just be the reason you come around at least before ruling it out completely.
“Glamping” or rather, glamorous camping resorts are sprouting up rapidly, with the makeup of extremely spacious luxury tents that come with a personal chef and butler to boot! Nothing basic about that!
Travelers keen to get off the beaten path are best suited for this new form of travel and Kenya has not been left behind in terms of serving you with some of the finest glamping destinations.
Kenya gives you a glamping experience with no barriers; wide, scenic views of the plains and colorful sunsets from your deck with a couple of wildlife looking to make a friend or two popping up at your doorstep to say hello. Here you are immersed in nature with high-end comfort.
Your accommodation tents are a far cry from the poles in the ground you might be picturing; they feature hardwood floors, private bathrooms, and four poster beds, in room Wi-Fi in camps situated in massive acres.
Say goodbye to pitching tents, unrolling sleeping bags, and building fire. There’s nothing like the allure of a luxury experience in the wild taking you back to Ernest Hemingway days.
So, if you really didn’t like your last back-to-basics camping experience, it might just be time for an upgrade. You might consider these destinations for instance;
Ashnil Samburu Camp sits in Buffalo Springs Game Reserve which takes its name from an oasis of crystal clear water at the western end of the reserve. It is separated from Samburu National Reserve by Ewaso Nyiro River and is less hilly and dense yet equally very attractive.
This award-winning tented camp in the Masai Mara, is one of the best places in the world to see the annual wildebeest migration. This natural spectacle happens on the camp’s doorstep and you may catch glimpses of it from the private verandah of your tent!
Sasaab is a stunning blend of Moroccan and Swahili style, located in the heart of the African bush. Each individual cottage is designed to offer majestic views of the landscape and offer a cooling retreat from the African heat.
In Swahili, Mahali Mzuri means “beautiful place”, just one glance and you know it indeed is a beautiful place. It is also right in the path of the annual great migration. The stylish and luxurious tent suites are made to blend in with its surroundings and designed by borrowing elements of regions traditional architecture.
Lewa Safari Camp
This tented camp in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, overlooks Mount Kenya and the reserve. The conservancy is a terrific place to view the endangered black rhino as it is home to about 10% of Kenya’s rhino population. The game viewing in Lewa is excellent.
Jambo Mutara Camp
This elegant safari camp is located just west of Mount Kenya, North of Aberdares Forest. The camp is the only accommodation found in the Mutara Conservancy and it offers the best of safari accommodation in a luxury style.
Mara Bushtops Luxury Tented Camp
Set amid the 60,000 hectares of the Mara Siana Wildlife Conservancy, directly bordering the Masai Mara itself, Mara Bushtops boasts a sensational location. Set in its own private conservancy, the camp has been designed to blend in with the natural habitat to ensure minimal impact of the environment. No expense has been spared on the fittings provided in the 12 spacious and fabulously appointed luxury tents, open on three sides to the great outdoors and each with its own special view. Featuring beautiful interiors solely designed for ultimate comfort and convenience, the camp’s private accommodation has everything you need for a luxurious stay.
Sand River Maasai Mara
This classy tented camp perched on the banks of the Sand river in the Mara is a winner. Located in a quieter area of the Mara the camp has outstanding resident wildlife and is brilliantly located for the migration before it re-enters the Serengeti. The layout of the camp lends a sense of privacy & the decor is relaxed yet luxurious.
Our national flag carrier is on a lane of its own; seamlessly living up to its name if the World Travel Awards 2016 is anything to go by. Going by the title “Africa’s Leading airline” this year, Kenya Airways not only affirms its dominance in the African skies but also confirms that it is indeed, the Pride of Africa.
Moreover, Its commitment to modern conviniences and overall customer experience, also saw it scoop the “Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class” award for the fourth consecutive year.
In light of this remarkable achievement, we reached out to Kenya Airways’ Marketing Director Chris Diaz, to get his sentiments on the awards and future progress of the carrier.
For the past 22 years consecutively, South African Airways has been the best airline to fly with as far as winning the Africa’s Leading Airline Award at the World Travel Awards is concerned. This year however, Kenya Airways broke that cycle, taking the Africa’s Leading Airline Award home. How big a deal is winning this title and what does it mean for the airline and your consumers going forth?
The award was a tremendous honour and great reward for the monumental efforts all of us at Kenya Airways have put into making the airline a leader in the region. Going forward, we are working to ensure Kenya Airways remains at the forefront of international aviation with a commitment to continue offering our guests warm African hospitality . We continue to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa.
Aside from Bagging Africa’s Leading Airline Award this year, you also scooped Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class Award. This is the fourth consecutive year you are taking this award home; you clearly must be doing something right in this department. Today, Business-Class travel experience is highly valued by flyers and a lot of factors come into play when deciding what airline offers seamless travel for this group. What sort of developments or services offered by your airline do you think sets you apart from the rest in the game, hence getting you this accolade for the fourth consecutive year?
Over the years we have invested heavily to get where we are. We have one of the newest fleet in the region. We have invested in ensuring our guests experience superior flying experiences in the Business-Class cabin. We are now operating from a fairly new hub at JKIA with a state of the art terminal, we have introduced new menus on board, and we have fully-flat bed in our aircraft. We also have world class inflight services and award winning lounges at JKIA. These are just some of our strengths but our greatest one is our people who work tirelessly despite difficult circumstances to keep our guests coming again and again.
Having won the “Africa’s Leading Airline” title, do you perhaps think that all eyes will be on you now to set the industry’s standards in terms of service and comfort?
Definitely. As a result, our focus is to remain committed to transforming air travel by continuously investing in the best people, products and technology and, in doing so, developing a highly acclaimed airline brand.
While we are still on that topic, are there any developments that Kenya airways may have achieved that perhaps are a first in the industry thereby setting yourself apart as a trend setter?
As mentioned above, our product and people speak for themselves. The fact that we also know Africa better than anyone else is a great advantage. We go to 42 destinations in the continent and if anyone knows Africa, it is Kenya Airways. In this case we continue to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.
Of course, even with a successful a company as yours, one cannot fail to encounter a few shortcomings here and there, in a few reviews that we’ve taken a look at, we’ve come across several critiques in terms of “cost-cutting measures in regards to meals, delays without notice and/or apologies and sometimes a not so customer friendly staff and so on” thus while the airline might be good, the overall experience for some is not so good. Have you encountered any such concerns, and what are you doing to curb them?
We receive complaints and we know we are not perfect but are continuously investing to ensure we offer our guests the best in service and the quality of our product. Yes, there is an opportunity to improve. We strive to bring consistency and quality by focusing on delivering consistently high levels of customer service that extend beyond in-flight service.
Last year, financial reports indicated a 25.7 billion after tax loss incurred by Kenya airways during the last fiscal year. One of the reasons given for this was the major challenge faced by the tourism Industry as a whole i.e. insecurity following terror attacks and the issuance of travel advisories by most countries. However, things are looking up now. Are there any measures or incentives that Kenya Airways has taken to try and draw more tourists to Kenya?
Yes. We currently executing a turnround strategy dubbed, Operation Pride in a bid to change the fortunes of the airline and we are already seeing some positive traction. We have stepped our efforts to ensure seamless connectivity through our hub, at competitive prices. We are working on improving our profitability by instituting several measures in the strategy. In the next 18 to 24 months, we should be breaking even. In addition, the move by the Government of Kenya to reduce the visa restriction of for children under 16 years has impacted positively on growing tourist numbers especially for Kenya.
Lastly, if you could recommend one place to tourists looking to visit Kenya, where would this place be and why?
As you know, Kenya is a world-class destination offering some of the best rated tourist activities and products including the Masai Mara and Diani Beach which were voted leading destinations at the Awards. I would recommend visiting these sites among the many others Kenya has to offer.
The Lake shores of Nakuru and Bogoria are a bird-watcher’s paradise to say the least. Millions of flamingos gather along the alkaline lakes to devour the algae that lends to their brilliant pink plumage. These pink beauties are quite the ornithological spectacle and no one could’ve captured that better than Martin Harvey. Harvey takes us on one pink magical adventure that is bound to leave birding enthusiasts in awe.
“To witness a concentration of birds like this is, without a doubt, one of the greatest ornithological experiences in the world. There is constant movement of pink as birds move about the lake in search of food or disturbance by predators. It truly is an enjoyably overwhelming wildlife experience.” – Martin Harvey
“I don’t appreciate a hassle-free travel experience”, said no one ever! The modern day traveller prefers to have everything under control before embarking on their trip. Long gone are the days of having awkward conversations with strangers trying to get some words translated or having to test your geography skills, burying your face in a map to help you negotiate your way around the streets of Nairobi.
Travellers today appreciate that being digital-savvy goes along way to giving you convinience, ease and saves you plenty of time whilst on your globe-trotting adventures whether travelling for business or leisure. Google is aware of this too; They are aware that you like to prebook your hotel room, counter check your travel details, and prepare your itinerary before you even leave home. It is by this virtue that they are constantly at work to provide you with a ‘personal assistant’ designed to make your travels smoother, cheaper and plenty fun.
Having google app in your pocket guarantees that you stay organized, on time, up-do-date with events and on budget wherever you go.
Prepare for Takeoff – Google Flights
There’s a good chance you’re going to fly and if you need an assistant to do the heavy lifting for you, Google Flights is at your service. Google Flights lets you quickly find and compare flights between airports on certain days. Not sure where you want to go? worry not, google flights has you covered…with the popular destinations feature, you will definitely have an idea or two of new destinations to exlore.
Or maybe you’re interested in visiting a certain region or country, but aren’t sure what airport to fly into or cities to visit. Google Flights has an answer for that as well.
Instead of entering a specific airport as a destination, selecting a country or region shows you a map highlighting the major airports in the specific regions and how much it costs to fly there. If you zoom in, you can also see small regional airports. You could even narrow down the suggestions based on your interests like culture, safari, restaurants, etc.
You can see prices for your trip on every day of the month, with the cheapest days highlighted in green. A bar graph at the bottom lets you know how prices will likely drop or rise over time.
Come rain or shine?!
It’s definitely wise to check on how the weather looks like at your destination lest you pack and prepare for activities that are not catered for by the current climatic conditions.
Google provides you with an intuitive app offering weather reports for well over two million geographical locations, feeding in everything from cloud formations and atmospheric pressure to wind speed and humidity. It’s also accurate to the point of clairvoyance, so if it predicts rain, pack your umbrella please.
What’s so cool is that you don’t have to feed the app your location…It automatically detects your new location, providing you with the areas weather conditions.
Road Trippers, this especially comes in handy for you. Google app helps you track the weather along your road trip. You are now able to know what the weather will look like in the counties you’ll be going through and at what time, and more so where you can stop if the conditions get too bad.
Know what to wear with daily weather forecasts for your current location, work location, and travel destinations.
Translate s’il vous plait
This translator can be a useful tool to support your own, more serious language learning, but realistically, it’s most useful on a practical level quickly translating day-to-day words you come across on your travels. Particularly intriguing is the Word Lens tool, whereby you point your camera at a text– such as a sign, or a menu – and Google will translate it for you instantly. It’s an essential app for any traveller.
Have you Reserved?
Get one-touch navigation to your hotel when you arrive in a new city. Google App also provides updates to restaurant and hotel reservations received in Gmail.
Don’t bother paying up for one of the many currency conversion apps out there – this freebie is slick, easy to use, and – best of all, since it uses live currency rates – completely accurate.
Let’s take a walk…
Google App has added a pedometer to its website that tell you how much you have walked, cycled or travelled in a month. You can also swipe cards away when you no more need them.
Could you direct me to…
I can’t even imagine driving without Google Maps. Its a real time-saver detecting delays up ahead, such as traffic, accidents, or construction. The app automatically offers a quicker route. It’s a great in-car GPS navigation system, right from your phone.
Other cool features:
Set reminders: Get reminded of your scheduled meetings. Just set reminders for any meetings and events on your calendar and Google App will remind you before it’s late.
Voice instructions: How cool is it that you don’t have to type instructions anymore, Google app takes instructions from you: ask it to call someone, what time is your meeting, ask for voice directions and so on and it’s done! you get an answer in natural language. Simply say ‘Ok Google’ or tap the microphone icon to begin.
Sports: If you are a sports fan and cannot watch the match, Google App is here to help. Add the team you wish to follow under customise option of the Google App and it will constantly update you on match dates, scores and so on.
Stories to read: Are there any stories you need to catch up on?
Get to work on time: Once you enter your office address in its settings, it will automatically suggest you the shortest route to the destination. The App keeps tabs on the time when you usually leave for the office and after a while automatically starts reminding you, based on the traffic conditions, when the right time to leave for the office is. So cool right?
Stay up to date on movies, books, and TV shows: When you search for a movie, book, TV show, music artist, or video game on Google, it’ll remember—and give you information about it in Google App. You can even tell Google to remind you about upcoming episodes, so you know when your favorite shows start. how about that?
Keep up with the trends: This card shows you the most trending topics on Google for the day. The topics are figured out on the basis of what interests you, which in turn is figured out on the basis of what you search more on Google.
How to get started: If you let the Google App learn about you and your habits, then it can throw up information that it thinks you might be interested in. News, sports scores, weather, and traffic information is served up in real time based on your previous movements and searches. Information is served up in the form of cards, which you can tap for more detail or swipe away to ignore. What’s even more interesting, Google App can give you what you want before you even know you want it.
With such cool features, I’d be amazed if you still complain of travel inconviniences. Planning your vacation just got plenty easier with your own google “personal assistant”… you can thank me later!
Hasn’t this year flown by fast? we certainly think so. There is still a few days to the festivies though and we have just the perfect place for you to spend your December holidays this year.
If you’ve had a rough year and just want a break from it all; just you, your friends/family and some tranquility, nothing says ‘breakaway’ like the village-like Kivuli Camp.
Situated in the heart of Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary; one of the seven ranches that make up the Tsavo Conservancy, you not only get the intimacy of wildlife viewing unparalleled elsewhere in the continent but also an amazing level of true luxury accommodations, service and cuisine.
Formerly known as Camp Tsavo and before that as the Taita Discovery Centre, the camp just underwent complete refurbishment and so not only can you anticipate a charming accommodation with a new outlook, but also anticipate an affordable experience filled with wildlife, and fun-filled bush activities.
Situated conviniently along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and just approximately 3hrs away from the coastal towns of kenya, the Kivuli camp experience is perfect for a combination of bush and beach safari (How amazing is that? double fun for you this festive season as you can easily switch up beach for bush for either chrismas or new years’). If safari is not your thing though, the camp can still serve as a transit point for a night’s stopover between Nairobi and Mombasa.
The camp is easily accessible right off Maungu town on your way to mombasa with the entrance point visibly labelled RUKINGA. Nestled amidst the Marungu Hills in a wilderness of ‘wait-a-bit’ thorns and occasional Baobab trees, you cannot go wrong with Kivuli in terms of the game viewing experience seeing as the Rukinga plains form the main migratory corridor for wildlife passing from Tsavo East National Park to the foothills of the mighty Kilimanjaro.
The camp is the epitome of tranquillity and truly embraces the glorious environment it is blessed to be within. All you hear at night is the sound of the wild: elephants, hyenas and the occasional lion; morning is announced by a swell of bird calls.
How remote? The camp has an airstrip adjacent to it. Arrangements can also be made for one to ride in by motorbike, enter with their pets, or fly in to the airstrip with private charters.
Getting around: You will need a car, preferably a four wheel drive.
NOTE: When staying at Kivuli Camp, Conservancy entry fees are only paid once, no matter how long you plan to stay! (It can’t get better than this).
First things first. Though Kivuli Camp is set up in a traditional African Village model, The nearest community village is quite a distance so do not expect that sort of enviroment within the camp. So no farm animals, or crop land and so on, however if you fancy such an experience and would love to be immersed in community life while here, village visits can be arranged.
The Camp’s setting not only affords you utmost privacy and tranquility, but you are able to experience the real African bush, sleep underneath the star-filled sky, explore the fauna and flora up close whilst on bush walks or enjoy a cold Tusker whilst watching the beautiful sunset on top of one of the conservancy’s hills!
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation at Kivuli Camp. Camp in your own tent, sleep in bunk beds or in private rooms. The establishment can accommodate individuals, families as well as large groups.
You have the option of a Family banda, which is a thatched hut containing one room with double bed, one room with twin beds and a bathroom shared between the two rooms.
If camping is more your thing though, Kivuli’s shady Kudu campsite will have you set in your own tent under a tree. The campsite offers clean communal flushing toilets and showers.
You also have a more cheaper option for the backpackers at heart in the dormitory bandas. These thatched huts contain 4 wild wood bunk beds and guests staying in these bandas have access to communal bathrooms (these are separate for ladies and gents, one drawback though: the bathrooms have sheer curtains in place of doors; not the most privacy one could hope for).
If the accommodation options above don’t suit your needs and you would rather just a private space for you, your family or friends, fret not! Kivuli Camp has just the place for you; NDOVU HOUSE
Although part of Kivuli Camp, guests staying in this house have their own private access and move independently of the other accommodation spaces.
This beautiful breezy four-bedroomed house with an upstairs lounge offers a great view over the Tsavo Conservancy and sleeps 11 people. So quiet, so private, so unique!
The design of the house puts a lot of consideration into comfort and convinience what with an open kitchen connecting to an outside bar and fire pit. The perfect place for a family or friends getaway. so much bliss!
The house is very airy and adapts an open space plan built with a lot of natural materials; flours of Galana stone, a lot of wood and an impressive makuti roof. The dining of the house is completely open to the garden as well. Being in the wild though, you don’t have to worry about the open-plan design of the house as kivuli camp has a fence surrounding the area to keep wildlife out.
Guest Access: While staying at Ndovu, you will have access to the house in its entirety. That is the dining area, kitchen, upstairs lounge, four en-suite bedrooms and a large garden equipped with a bar and fire pit.
Room Service: Um, no, the accommodation is set up to be of self-service however there is a staff who make beds and clean every day. If you would rather not make your own meals during the stay, a cook can be provided at a small fee.
Amenities: I would like to think that setting out on a bush safari, this would be the least of your concerns. Kivuli Camp is about experiencing the African wilderness — its game, its birds, its flowers, its dazzlingly night sky — in its remotest, wildest and most beautiful sense.
The Best Spots:
The hills around the conservancy are definitely something to look forward to for great sundowners and breathtaking views of the African wild.
Being more of a private conservancy, with very little traffic, the animals here are not very accustomed to cars and thus tend to run when you get closer (hint: try to be as quiet as possible). With various watering points in the area, your best bet is to catch the animals playing with mud or cooling off on a hot day.
Kivuli Camp unlike other camps is guaranteed to up your game-viewing experience with a one-of a kind ultimate discovery game drive vehicle (eerm truck!) famously known as Beba Kuu. Nothing will skip your eye with this ‘little’ thing.
With the 1962 French ‘Berliet’ Truck, seated at height under a canvas cover, you can spot wildlife even from the longest distance.
While at the camp you can also visit the Tsavo East and West National parks for more wildlife viewing experience.
Tsavo Discovery Centre: This is a specialty education centre that hosts schools, universities and youth groups for overnight educational programmes at Kivuli Camp. The Tsavo Discovery Centre is equipped to teach an abundance of subjects related to conservation, biodiversity, community and much, much more. Here you will find a laboratory with field exhibits, museum collections, and an education centre for meetings and classes.
Moreover, if you fancy a community living experience, Wildlife works has many community projects that you can be part of or visit e.g the Basket weaving women at Kasighau and so on.
Bottom Line: There are many interesting things to explore around the camp itself, that I guarantee you’ll end up having very little time to experience it all.
Main area with reception, loung/library, dining and fire-pit
Communal showers and flushing toilets, a kitchen and a laundry area
Generator power from 6pm to 10pm, phone charging possible from a solar lighting system 24hrs.
Phone signal available in certain areas of the camp. Internet available in the evenings
November 1, 2015, Photographers Without Borders will launch the 4th edition of their self-titled magazine. Featured in the magazine is a photo documentary story by Jenna Ammerman, a photographer who travelled to Kenya to document the impacts of an NGO called Action for Children in Conflict. This organization visualizes a world having equal and sustainable opportunities for every child through appropriate interventions to give communities, in Kenya, the capacity to protect the rights of children and youth. Ammerman collects, shares memories, and photographs the lives of bright souls and strange friendships where ever she goes.
Photographers Without Borders (PWB) will launch its fourth issue of magazine on November 1, 2015. The magazine features significant and positive changes done by grassroots charities and NGOs to communities across the globe.
Founded by photographer/director Danielle Da Silva in 2009, Photographers Without Borders is a non-profit organization in Toronto that aims to make a difference through photography.
Photographers Without Borders® (PWB) visually communicates ways that grassroots initiatives are addressing global issues. They cover the stories of grassroots initiatives all over the world who contribute to sustainable development and conservation. The original images that PWB photographers produce are donated to the initiative being documented so that they may better visually communicate their stories.
Communities living alongside national parks face numerous problems trying to co-exist with wildlife. Farmers have to take turns all day guarding their plantations from baboons who steal their food. Elephants stampede through their crops. The animals are also under stress, as humans encroach on their habitat.
This type of human-wildlife conflict is what led to the establishment of Wildlife Works to help mitigate the competition for land and food between locals and their park neighbors in Taita Taveta County. The Founder, Mike Korchinsky a Canadian citizen, learned about the conflict that existed between wildlife and rural communities during his visit to the country in 1996. His experience caused him to think about effective ways to solve this problem which ultimately led him to developing a plan that would ensure the utmost protection of wildlife.
Wildlife Works, based on the principle that the needs of wildlife must be balanced with the need for work for the local communities who share the same environment, established that the ultimate solution to this problem would be to create jobs; to provide forest and wildlife friendly economic alternatives to the forest community.
Mike looked for an area with a high threat to the wildlife to best test his new model. He settled on Rukinga Sanctuary, located south-east of Kenya in a wildlife corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, known as the Kasigau Corridor. The project was to be carried out on 13 group-owned ranches and conservancy land owned by Indigenous Community Ownership Groups.
According to Wildlife works, Job creation would not only be providing the people in this wildlife rich area with sustainable economic alternatives to poaching and slash and burn agriculture; it would also in turn be protecting wildlife in a direct and unique way.
“The only way to protect a forest that’s under economic threat is to remove the economic threat. And the only way to do that is to give the community another way of achieving their goals because they’re not going to not develop.” -Mike Korchinsky; Wildlife Works Founder.
Why Wildlife Works:
Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests – a significant tool to providing real value to those rural communities who have made the commitment to protect their environment for future generations. The additional plus sign in the Wildlife Works’ business model (REDD+) signifies that community development is one of their key goals.
There are six key elements to the Wildlife Works brand of REDD+ that make it a successful model, the foundation of it all being job creation.
Organic Clothing Factory
The starting point of the wildlife works’ viable economic alternative project was setting up an eco-factory that produces organic casual apparel under the Wildlife Works label, sold worldwide by big brands among them Puma. All garments are carbon-neutral and made from organic and fair-trade cotton. The eco-factory originally hired seven local women but has hugely grown now and is responsible for over 80 employees; all members of the surrounding community. The factory has gone a long way in providing a sustainable alternative to destructive harvesting.
In order to assist the local communities in their move away from subsistence agriculture and deforestation, Wildlife Works has established an organic greenhouse, in addition to multiple nurseries with more in development. The nursery grows citrus trees and agro-forestry species such as Neem and Moringa oliefera to meet farmers’ medicinal, nutritional and fuel wood needs.
Each nursery, which employs approximately five people, is responsible for working with their immediate community to plan and implement the crops, while Wildlife Works provides training. In addition, the nurseries are building a business around Jojoba planting. The oil from Jojoba seeds is quite valuable and is used in the cosmetics industry and as biodiesel fuel. Community members are raising the plants in the nurseries to later plant and harvest. Wildlife Works on the other hand will assist in providing market links for the farmers to sell the seeds.
The local population’s need for farm land has also been addressed by the establishment of a land cooperative on 5,000 acres. The land set aside for the cooperative is land that had been cleared before Wildlife Works began its work.
Forest and Biodiversity Monitoring
Physical protection of the land in which the REDD+ project is set up is vital. The Kasigau Corridor REDD project is protecting 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of dryland forest which is under intense threat from slash and burn agriculture, as the local population expands. The Kasigau Corridor project is also home to five mammal species that are considered endangered, vulnerable or threatened: African elephant, cheetah, lion, African hunting dog and Grevy’s zebra.
To prevent illegal access into the project area and to ensure that the land is protected from deforestation, Wildlife Works has established several ranger stations around the project areas; each station with 8-12 rangers, recruited and trained from the local communities.
Working with a no-gun policy – but with the power of arrest granted by the local community, the Wildlife Rangers have received a lot of skepticism on whether or not they are fit to protect wildlife in their sanctuary especially considering the current Ivory poaching crisis in the country’s National Parks; an alarming number of elephants are losing their lives to poachers and Rukinga Sanctuary has not been spared either. Despite the fact, even with larger elephant populations, Mike believes his rangers fare well as any because they have such a strong relationship with the local communities who inform them of the comings and goings of possible poachers. They have the best intel based on the work they do with local communities.
Wildlife Works has also forged a good relationship and works side by side with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers who are armed with a shoot to kill policy, trained in combat, and who are permanently stationed within the sanctuary. Whenever there is an armed poaching incident, Wildlife Works’ rangers are trained to avoid any confrontation until they have KWS armed support, and even then they are not supposed to be in harm’s way if shots are fired. Over the course of 18 years, there has been only one incident where these rangers were fired upon.
There are nearly over 80 rangers in total employed by the project currently.
An additional activity of the project is a three year reforestation project on the slopes of Mt. Kasigau to plant 20,000 indigenous hardwood trees. These trees are not included in the emission reduction calculations, but it is a valuable initiative to help replace trees cut down for charcoal production and construction over the past years. The community members involved in the monitoring and implementation of the project are rewarded financially for helping to ensure its permanence.
Deforestation continues significantly in the area adjacent to the project today, illustrating that, in the absence of the project, this activity would still continue within the sanctuary.
Eco Charcoal and Fuel Wood
Charcoal burning is one of the activities carried out for economic sustenance in Taita Taveta County. In order to avoid wood being taken from the project area in an unsustainable and ecologically damaging way, Wildlife Works has initiated an extensive project to explore the large scale production of carbon neutral charcoal derived from bush trimmings, allowing the local community to be self-sufficient in fuel wood without having to degrade any of the land.
Social benefits: School Construction and Bursary Scheme
Prior to Wildlife Works arrival, the area in which the project is carried out had no schooling facilities or necessary amenities to ensure children gain a good education. Thanks to the project, they have already built 18 classrooms throughout the district and a partner has established a bursary programme which has sent dozens of children to high school. A plan is in place to send at least five new students a year through four-year secondary school programmes and on to college or university. A school construction and maintenance fund will provide funding every year to seed school construction and maintenance projects in the area.
Wildlife Works is also working on extending access to fresh water to the locals who previously had to send their children up to 15 miles to retrieve water several times a day. They have implemented a clean water supply for the schools using an innovative rainwater catchment system and manual rower pump to allow the children to retrieve the water for themselves from underground storage tanks.
Prior to Wildlife Works, the migration corridor had been lost to poaching and encroachment before the area residents were engaged in consumer powered conservation. Wildlife Works sees empowering local people with sustainable livelihoods as the key to protecting the forest in the long-term, and with these projects, the link between better livelihoods, conservation and wildlife works is clear.
The foundation was about finding solutions that lead to mutually beneficial co-existence. The work here has led to people being more enthusiastic and supportive of conservation, and has demonstrated that people can live alongside wildlife while developing sustainable livelihoods. The local communities want to protect the environment because it works for them, hence the name Wildlife Works.
In total, Wildlife Works today provides over 400 jobs to the local community and brings the benefits of direct carbon financing to nearly 150,000 people in the surrounding communities.
Saving the northern white rhinos isn’t just about species conservation, it’s about safeguarding wild species for future generations. We, therefore, remain committed to saving this species no matter how long it takes.
We want to raise £0.5m ($0.8m) to develop the IVF techniques needed for a new generation of northern white rhino to be born.
On Monday, July 27th Nabiré, a female northern white rhino at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic passed away. With the sad and recent deaths of Suni and Angalifu since the end of 2014, there are now just four northern white rhino left in the world. It could be the end of a species. Credit: Khalil Baalbaki/ZOO Dvur Kralove Sudan (named after his birth-place but living in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya) is the last northern white male in existence, and at 42 is in advanced old age for a rhino. The chances of him successfully mating are close to zero. Credit: Ian Aitken
The only hope now is to develop assisted methods of reproduction to allow new northern white rhino calves to be born. Given the age and reproductive health issues that affect the remaining females, we are exploring in vitro fertilization and an embryo transfer. We aim to combine eggs from the remaining females with stored northern white sperm to create embryos that can be carried by surrogate southern white females.
This has never been successfully carried out with rhinos before. It will be costly – we are working towards £0.5m (approx. $0.8m). It could take 12-36 months of research to develop the new techniques required. There are no guarantees of success. But if we are successful, we will save a species.
You might well ask: “Why bother?” or “Most species have gone extinct over time, what’s the problem?” or “Couldn’t this money be better spent on other threatened species, including black rhino?”
We wish we could give you the ultimate answer but beyond sheer, inspirational beauty, the maintenance of global biodiversity and the chance to see wild rhinos roaming free in central Africa at some stage in the future, we can’t.
Credit: Erico Hiller
However, when you consider the value of this magnificent species please consider:
£0.5m (approx. $0.8m) to save a species for now, for your children and for your children’s children…
Versus the same amount to buy…
16 m2 of real estate in Monaco (172 square foot), or
62,500 space hoppers, or
One Lamborghini, or
43 Methuselah bottles of 1990 Cristal Brut Millennium cuvée , or
5 and a bit, Supercharged Range Rover SVR Sports, or
Half of an Xten, Pininfarina designed office chair
Please see foot of this page for links to sources.
Feel free to share in your comments any more crazy comparisons as to how £0.5m ($0.8m) could be spent compared to saving a species.
Please contribute and help us make a new baby northern white rhino. Any and all funds raised here will go directly to the northern white rhino programme.
For more information please contact Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, or Jan Stejskal, Director of International Projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo, by simply posting a message to this Go Fund Me page.
There is no guarantee of success. We could spend this money and fail. But we hope that you will agree that it is worth trying.
Even if we do succeed it could take us much, much longer than the time frames we are hoping for as outlined above.
We estimate that we need to raise £0.5m (approx. $0.8m) before fees to make this work but we could be wrong – we could need more and would continue fundraising.
Should any funds remain after success or failure, then the committee set up to safeguard the northern white future will reinvest those monies into protecting the world’s remaining rhino species.
The northern white rhino programme is administered by a committee comprised of the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Dvur Kralove Zoo and the Ministry of Environment in the Czech Republic, and Back to Africa with support from Fauna and Flora International and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
The northern white rhino is technically recognised as a subspecies by IUCN AfRSG. For simplicity we have chosen to communicate this campaign under the banner of ‘Save a Species’ in recognition that northern white rhino genetics are uniquely adapted to their habitats and are subsequently irreplaceable and we believe invaluable.
This campaign has been set up by Robert Breare and Jan Stejskal. Robert is Chief Operating Officer of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to three of the last four northern white rhino. Jan is Director of International Projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo, owner of all four remaining northern white rhinos. Their identity can be confirmed by checking out LinkedIn here and here or staff pages on OPC or DK Zoo website . GoFundMe also runs extensive verification checks.