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.

 

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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…..)

 

Africa Geography 101

Hats off to the folks at The Safari Company for a great post on Ebola – which is surprisingly impacting tourist travel to Africa. Why surprisingly you say? Well, because where the Ebola breakout is happening, and it is a terrible disease that is having a major impact on that region, is far closer to say, Europe, than it is to the key tourist routes in Africa – primarily East Africa and Southern Africa.

London, Paris, Madrid and even, and this one actually did surprise us a bit as well, key cities in Brazil are all closer to the Ebola outbreak than say the Serengeti, Botswana or Cape Town.

Cape Town is just under 5,800 kilometers away from the outbreak while Madrid is a relatively cosy 3,600 kilometers. For all the Americans reading this, look at it this way. Cape Town is farther away from the Ebola outbreak than New York is from Los Angeles.

There are, of course, lots of flights in and out of the impacted areas but the issue with those flights won’t be internal Africa flights, it will be the hundreds of daily flights in and out of Africa from Western Europe and the United States.

There’s another part of Africa that is currently being impacted by the same relative lack of knowledge about distances – and that’s Kenya. The troubles in Kenya along the coast, which have quieted down substantially in the last two to three months, are hundreds and in some cases, thousands of miles away from many of the key safari destinations such as Naboisho. 

It’s a great time to head to Africa. Really. And it’s especially a great time to head to Africa with Travel On The Good – in case you want more information on why that’s true, read more here.