Three Great Ways To Go Away For Good In Kenya

Kenya is our favorite destination in East Africa. Maybe it’s from being huge fans of “Out Of Africa” and our constantly telling ourselves, very slowly mind you, “I had a farm..in Africa.”

Like everywhere in Africa, you want to be careful about where your travel dollars are going. As a friend of mine said, $100 can do a tremendous amount of good in Africa, and a tremendous amount of harm.” So we were just in Kenya and these are our top five ways to have a great trip and make sure your hard-earned travel dollars go for good.

1. Naboisho

Naboisho is amazing for so many reasons. Let’s start with the fact that this amazing piece of land was in serious danger of being lost forever to development just a few short years ago. Thanks to an incredible number of dedicated people not only was the land saved, but it was saved in an amazing co-operative arrangement with the local Maasai.

But this is far from just a feel good travel adventure – this is the best game viewing we have ever experienced in Africa.

And people are seeing that too. The #1 camp on TripAdvisor in the entire Mara region? It’s in Naboisho.

The #4 camp in all of the Mara. Yep.

The Maasai own the land (and many work there.) The ecotour operators do far more than anyone else in the region.

Go.

2. Kizingo

So if you want to combine your time in the Mara with an amazing place on the beach, you have a lot of choices. We have two great picks for you.

First, head to Kizingo. What’s more amazing? The incredible sunset views? Swimming with the dolphins? Watching the turtles lay their eggs in the dunes?

Or the fact the family who owns the property has built over 15 schools in the area? Helped protect the turtles? Or supported all their employees and their families in the downturn that hit the coast?

You might love the amazing fish curries, or watching folks climb the rope in in the dining room (Not for amateurs) but we love the fact that this ecologically-pure resort has done so much for community around it.

3. Peponi

Peponi Hotel you say? The amazing small hotel in Shella? How is that a place to travel on the good? One word. Turtles. Through good times and bad, Carole K the remarkable owner of the hotel has protected the turtles.

Peponi is a true win. Amazing food and service and you’re helping the turtles as well.

What are our picks?

Have you been somewhere in Kenya that is going above and beyond in terms of both the experience and the community? Lt us know – we love going away for good.

 

The Best City In The World? Yes.

Before my very first visit to Cape Town, everyone I know who really has traveled told me that Cape Town is the best city in the world. Now, the world has a lot of great cities and I always questioned everyone’s certainty.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

It is the best city in the world, bar none, and it’s not just my opinion.

This is a city that has only really been open to the world for the last two decades, and it still offers excellent value for money and a sense of new discovery. Small wonder then that Cape Town has – for the third year in a row – won our readers’ vote as the best city in the world to visit.

Rest of the story here. 

Naboisho Benefits From Teamwork And Travel

James Cannon Boyce, Founder of Travel On The Good and CommonSense.Agency, has spent the past several months leading an amazing Good2Go project benefiting the Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya.  The purpose of Good2Go is to help non-profits like Naboisho get to the next level by determining the one thing they most need help with and then finding the people who can help them overcome that barrier. Naboisho is Good2Go’s first project in Africa.

“Naboisho is a 50,000 acre conservancy integrated into the Masai Mara National Reserve and sits in a critical area for the wildlife migration. It also is a conservancy that is run by a board that is half Masai elders and half ecotour operators. It’s a special place with a special mission that fit all the requirements for a great first project.”

Read more about this amazing project and James’s thoughts on the essential elements of a successful non-profit in his Medium article, ‘The Power of Coming Together.’

You too can contribute to this project by traveling to Naboisho. Please visit our specials page or email us at james@travelonthegood.com to find out more.

Have You Ever Wanted To Walk With A Lion In Africa?

Have you ever wanted to walk with lions?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to just see one of these amazing creatures in it’s natural habitat?

If so, we have special offers to Antelope Park, a unique game reserve set in over 3000 acres of open savannah grasssland in Zimbabwe. Every trip benefits the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), a lion conservation and research group. ALERT is Africa’s first genuine program working to ethically re-introduce the offspring of captive-bred African lions back into the wild.

Set in over 3000 acres of open savannah grassland, Antelope Park is a unique game reserve and a haven of tranquillity set in the African bush, welcoming guests and volunteer eco-tourists alike to the charming and remarkable camp site. Walk with lions, ride through the wilderness on elephant or horseback, view the abundance of wildlife in the Park or canoe on the scenic lake. During the evening, Antelope Park’s exclusive Night Encounters offer a truly amazing, close up experience of lions hunting in their natural environment.

Our founder, James Cannon Boyce, just returned from a visit to Zimbabwe and had his own memorable experience walking with the lions.

The One Armed Gambler Who’s Betting On The African Lion

In 1986, I was a young American exchange student who had a chance to study at the University of Zimbabwe — it opened my eyes to the wonder of Africa. Right now, I am sitting in the middle of the country once again, staying at Antelope Park, near Gweru where my eyes have been opened once again by one’s man passion and persistence.

Andrew Conolly is a man who has stayed in his native Zimbabwe through good times and bad, and now has dedicated his life to try and help save the African lion — despite the fact that a lion took his left arm twenty years ago.

“Some people would give an arm and a leg to save the lion. I’m halfway there.”

There are two things I love in people I am fortunate enough to meet — passion and a complete lack of patience with people who just talk the talk and never get around to walking the walk.

Read more of this story on medium.com.

 

Five Things You Need To Know About Naboisho. Happy #AfricaFactFriday

Just north of the Masai Mara National Reserve is a remarkable place – The Mara Naboisho Conservancy. This special partnership between the Maasai who own the land, six safari camps that share it and people like you that can come visit it is one of Kenya’s success stories. From top camps to being able to walk through the bush, Nabiosho is emerging as one of the top safari destinations not only in Kenya, but actually in all of Africa.

So here’s what you need to know – and especially as you plan your safari, you need to remember these things.

The Maasai Own Their Land And Always Will.

In many places, tragically, the tribe or people who owned the land historically have lost the land when either it was turned into a national park or sold to an investor – not here. In Naboisho, over 500 Maasai families have leased their land to the conservancy and will therefore, always keep it. One interesting thing to note is that through the conservancy which is funded by tourist operators – each and every Maasai landowner gets a rent check each and every month. Just through the creation of the conservancy, more than 3,000 Maasai were lifted from below the U.N. poverty line to above it through the creation of this lease program.

There Are Only Six Camps Spread Out Over More Than 55,000 Acres.

Some reserves of the same size have literally thirty or forty camps. Here there are just five which mean you rarely see anyone else. There is a strict three vehicle rule at any sighting and usually you either will be the only car watching or there might be one more. Even in the more famous private reserves, there can be five or ten vehicles. In fact….

The Number Of People Visiting At Any One Time Is Limited To 124.

That’s if every camp is totally full. With only 124 people spread over 55,000 acres, you’re not going to see or hear a lot of people. In fact, on a recent walk through the conservancy, over the course of five hours, we didn’t see any people at all (we did see lots of animals including a cheetah walking by.) Plus don’t forget —

In Nearby Talek, Over 8,000 People Drive Through The Gate To The National Reserve On Peak Days.

That’s a big difference. Remember, should you actually want to go through the gate with 8,000 of your closest friends, any of the camps at Naboisho will be happy to take you for an extended day trip. Don’t worry though, while everyone has the right to visit the Reserve, the conservancy can only be used by the six camps.

Here, You Can Walk The Walk.

Have you always wanted to walk through the plains? Climb down a hill and see giraffes wandering by? In Naboisho, you can – it’s one of the amazing things about the conservancy. So if you want to go to see the best of Africa, there’s only one place to go – Naboisho.

And there’s one more very important thing – African Impact has one amazing volunteer project right in the middle of Naboisho. Check it out here (but only if you love adventure and lions and leopards and…..)

 

This Bites. #AfricaFactFriday.

#africafactfriday (shark) banner

What does you ask? Well the simple fact that for every human killed by a shark, humans kill over 2,000,000 sharks. The demonization and often complete lack of understanding of sharks makes it easy to dismiss the way they are treated – which is a tragedy on many levels, for sharks are some of the most amazing creatures on earth.

For example, sharks were swimming in the earth’s oceans for 200 million years before the dinosaurs even came along – and in all those years, they really haven’t evolved much at all. That does mean, though, that they have some pretty incredible traits – such as, some species of sharks have seven rows of teeth and one row just falls in place when the shark loses a row of teeth. Sharks can go through 30,000 teeth in their lifetime.

Now, one of the best places in the world to see sharks is in the cold clear waters off of South Africa. Diving with great whites is an an amazing, albeit, cold experience (don’t worry there are plenty of wet suits available) and the chance to see these incredible animals up close is a thrill. One of the leading experts in great white sharks will actually take you out to see them – it’s just a short drive down from Cape Town and next thing you know you’ll be on the high seas with Chris Fallows.

Chris knows a lot more about sharks than we do – so he already knows that sharks don’t have a single bone in their bodies – it’s all cartilage. He also knows that of the more than 500 species of sharks, only four are considered dangerous to humans and, again, they are far less dangerous to us than we are to them.

If you go out with Chris, you might ask him about this recently discovered fact that we find interesting – despite the fact that an equal number of men and women swim in the ocean, over 90% of shark attack victims are men.

Visiting South Africa and seeing all the amazing sights that the country has to offer is a wonderful thing. Traveling there with Travel On The Good is even better – why? Book any trip to South Africa and let us know that sharks are your thing, and we’ll donate 10% of the total cost of your trip to a shark conservation project we support in Gansbaii, South Africa.

Does that mean the trip costs you more? No not at all. We have a fully-staffed top-notch travel agency in Cape Town that will get you the best possible deals (just email us where you want to go and we”ll send you some ideas and some great prices.) It’s what happens next that makes us different – and we think better. Your typical travel agent will receive a 20-30% commission for booking your trip. And keep it. We take the same commission and donate a large portion of it to a non-profit in the part of Africa where you’re visiting.

You pay the same – or less.

The hotel, resort or safari camp where you are staying receives the same amount they usually would.

We operate a little leaner, but not meaner, and we donate 10% of the trip or 1/3rd of the commission because we think a bit more of your hard-earned travel dollars should stay on the ground in Africa and not go in travel agent’s pockets.

Now, if you’re into sharks, like really into sharks and an hour in the cage just won’t do it. Here’s some great news.

Our friends at African Impact have an amazing volunteer project that you can go on in Gansbaii – and work with the same group that we donate to.

There are more details here  African Impact is the best volunteer company in Africa and if you love sharks, this is the trip for you.

You might even get the chance to see two sharks courting. The male shark will bite the female shark to get her attention. No wonder they go through 30,000 teeth!

Lions And Lions And Lions, Oh My. Happy #AfricaFactFriday

Just to be clear, as we don’t want any disappointed readers, there aren’t any tigers in Africa. Not a single one. Well, not a single one in the wild at least. There could be one or two in zoos we suppose but frankly, who wants to travel to Africa and go to a zoo? Not us.

It’s not that the tigers are all gone, there never were any tigers here. There aren’t really bears either – there might be a sub-species of a bear around somewhere but with all due respect to “The Wizard Of Oz” if you’re headed to Africa, it’s really all about the king of the plains, the pride of Africa – lions.

Lions are the second largest cat – right after the tiger which we just mentioned. Until as recently as 10,000 years ago, lions were the second most popular mammal on earth right after humans. Now, there are, of course, a lot more humans than lions but if you want to really see lions, we highly recommend The Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya. This incredible conservancy is not only over 55,000 acres but is home to the largest pride of lions in the Mara ecosystem. Some days, the pride can be seen in its entirety with over 100 lions gathered to hunt and sleep – really just to sleep – as lions sleep for over 20 hours every single day.

Within Naboisho, there are a number of wonderful camps but we’re partial to Encounter Mara – this amazing tented camp was recently voted the “Best Tented Safari Camp In Kenya.” If you have ever been to Kenya, or even just dreamed of Kenya, well then you know that there are a lot of amazing tented safari camps so to be voted the best there, well, that’s saying something. Encounter Mara has some great specials going right now by the way – they are here. 

There’s one other thing you can do with lions – actually there are a lot of other things you can do with lions. Our good friends at African Impact have a number of amazing volunteer opportunities for you to come work, play and walk with the lions.

The highlights?

Walking with the lions in Zimbabwe and getting them ready to be re-introduced to the wild

Tracking lions, and other big predators, in South Africa.

More lions. Different country – Zambia

So if you like lions, there’s a country and a project just for you – just as lions are the kings of Africa, African Impact is king of the lion projects. While you’re there, you’ll learn more about lions than anyone will know, like they are the only cat with a tasseled tail, or that out on the plains, the roar of a lion can be heard from five miles away.

For some people, that’s close enough. For others, they want to get closer. A lot closer.