Crestfallen Face Of Extinction.

March 2018 has been a dark month for the Northern White Rhino specie, Kenya, conservationists all over the world and even worse for our clients who had booked safari with us and were looking forward to seeing the most eligible bachelor during their visit.

Sudan, the last surviving Northern White Rhino succumbed to old age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. Report says that his condition worsened within 24 hours, he couldn’t stand and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.

He died on the 19th of March at Ol Pejeta conservancy at the age of 45 years. He lives behind 2 female Northern White Rhinos in the entire Planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remains at Ol pejeta Conservancy.

Sudan has been with us in Kenya since 2009. He was brought from Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czech Republic together with one other male (died in 2014) and two other females.

How we got here is a story for another day. It however has a lot to do with the demand for Rhino horns in Chinese traditional medicine in Asia, and for dagger handle in Yemen (that’s just……) in the early 90s.

New White Rhino Offspring.

Northern White Rhino
Newborn White Rhino brings hope to endangered species

Well they say when one dies seven others are born; not so much for rhinos but the universe has made part of the former true. While the Northern White Specie are at the brim of extinction, another white rhino calve was received at Klein Karoo region in the Western Cape on 25th March. Exactly one week after Sudan’s demise. Our fingers are crossed hoping it is a male, as we now know the weight held by the male species. However this does not save the Northern White Rhino from extinction as previous attempts to get the White Rhino and The Northern White Rhino to mate has failed terribly. Either way, the birth of this cute one still brings hope to this globally endangered species.

Kenya Rift Valley And Its Lakes

The Great Rift Valley

The great rift valley begins in the dead sea in the north and ends at the Zambezi River in Mozambique to the south. The valley which was formed by drifting of the earth crust some 10 – 20 million of years ago extends approximately 8700kms.

The Kenya Rift Valley nearly divide Kenya down its length. All the way from Ethiopian border in the north to the Tanzania border in the south. The valley is characterized by uninhabitable deserts in the North, Fertile farmland in the middle of flat arid plains (Savannah grassland – Maasai Mara) to the south.

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes
Lake Bogoria

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes

Since 2011, all Kenya Rift Valley Lakes have experienced rising in water levels. The lakes affected include Lake Naivasha, Elementaita, Nakuru, Bogoria and finally Baringo. This increase in water level have not been experienced in the last 50 years. The government agencies and meteorological departments confirms that the rainfall pattern in the Rift Valley have been pretty normal. Scientists have attributed these rises of water to the effect of regional tectonic movements. Techtronic activities is when violent forces push up molten rocks in volcanic eruption through the fault lines.

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes
Increased water levels at Lake Nakuru

In our case, the Rift Valley is responding to the pull of the Indian Ocean forces. As a result, these effects have coursed some activities along some of the lakes to stop. The rising water level have consumed some areas meant for agriculture, buildings and hotels and recreational grounds. The hot geysers at Lake Bogoria have also been affected as they have been completely covered.

The good news though is that the lakes might not rise higher than the current levels. So, no course for worry!

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Flamingo Mating Dance!

Did you know?

That flamingos did a dance to choose their mates? I spend a lot of time thinking about this thrilling performance of nature,flamingo mating dance . On  thing I fail to understand is  how this helps them choose their mates from the crowds. But as the saying goes, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”.

Males nod their heads popping them up and down rhythmically as if dancing to a melodies tune that they only can understand. It seems like each individual male is trying to outdo the other so as to attract attention of a ready female. Females watch from a distance, delighted in the display of the dance unfolding before them and at the same time looking for a suitable father for their nestling.

During this digital era, I can bet my heart that the males’ new move and their dancing styles couple with their light pink colors and bright eyes can make any female to fall in love. Females will also be on the forefront as they partake in similar methods of applying makeup even prettier in the eyes of the males. Once the females sport their mates, they swim next to the lucky male which heightens the performance. Dancing in circles as the pair form a bond and are ready to mate..

Oh, nature, you so crazy!

Flaming-o mating dance can happen once or twice in a year depending with the availability of food and rain. Once the ceremony is finished, pairs build nests about 30cms high to protect 9them from flooding and to keep them cool. A female will then lay a single chalk colored egg which both parents will incubate for 24hours in turns. The incubation period is between 28 – 31 days.

On hatching, a chick will join a creche of a thousand birds in about 6 days. They learn how to run in one week. In about 4 weeks, the young one grows fathers and learns how to fly in about 12 weeks. Flamingoes mature at the age of about 6 years. They can fly up to 60km per hour. They have been recorded to travel about 1540kms although will normally fly as far as the next lake.

Flamingoes are filter feeders. They have tiny bristles in their bills that they use to capture their pray from under water.  The lesser flamingoes have the most and finest filaments in their bills. They move their pistons like tongue up to speed of about 20 times per second drawing water into their bills and pushing it backwards to the filaments.

A group of flamingoes is called a flamboyance or a stand or a colony.

Now you Know!

Bee Time In Kenya

One might wonder what is there to be done in Apitourism in Kenya. Traditionally, East Africa’s pastoral, hunting and gathering community collected wild honey in forests and caves. Beez were smoked out of tree trunks and caves by burning elephant dung, believed  to have ability of lighting for a very long time. During harvesting, no protective gear was worn by these traditional honey gatherers. Pay a visit now and see how immune they are to the bee stings. The practice still lives in some communities though most of them have taken a leap from it by constructing their own traditional log hives.

 Why Api – tourism in Kenya.

The fusion of traditional methods where individuals manufacture most of the equipment they require and the modern method with Kenya Top bar hives provides a unique experience. Some practices believe it not will get the visiting bee keepers’ adrenaline gushing.

Baringo County

Kenya’s ‘honey jar’ is filled with the Pokot bee keeping community practicing the traditional methods of bee keeping. The area has a huge potential of in honey production. With an estimate of 176,00 bee hives. They produce special quality honey not available in any other area in Kenya. Their methods work perfectly for them that the resents attempt to introduce the modern methods has not been widely adapted. Just like any other venture, the Baringo traditional bee keeping community have challenges like water, destruction of bees by pest, occasional theft and poor marketing infrastructure but harvesting accidents is not one of them. This is because of their deep knowledge in bee behavior, a golden knowledge passed from generations to generations.

Cave Honey (Traditional Experience).

One of the most expensive honey from the area is the cave honey. Highly medicinal and very dark in color. These are always fetched by the gatherers, they know where and how to find the wild hives in caves by the bee eater bird signal. It is an adventure on its own and visiting apitourists may take part in the wild honey harvesting if they are up for it.

Our Apitourism product.

Apitourism in Kenya
Apitourism in Kenya

We try to make our apitourism products informative for educative purposes, wild for the adventurous souls and rich for those with investment motives.

In Baringo County you will learn of the types of hives available in Kenya. You will visit and see the Log hives, Box hives Kenya Top Bar Hives, and the Long stroth hive.

By visiting both traditional keepers, the modern keepers and the wild honey gatherers, you will get the different perspectives of what the worker bees collect. Their feeding habits also is very interesting because they tend to produce different types of honey. Without forgetting the sustainable bee keeping methods. You will also be educated in the pests and diseases that attack bees and their control measures as well.

Find out deeper on how the traditional keepers manage to harvest and handle the bee without getting the bees agitated as well as taking part in the modern methods.

You will visit a processing plant and sample the different kinds of the byproducts. A visit to the Maasai Mara will enlighten you on how deep the honey byproducts are used in Kenya.

One major challenge facing the local keepers in the market. Most of them, mostly in Baringo now sell their honey to small support group at a throw away price and some sell to the tourist along the road as Baringo county is a major hub for tourism in Kenya.

Maasai women and sustainable bee keeping.

The Maasai are also a community who traditionally gathered wild honey. Traditional methods worked for them. However, it wasn’t the best. In the process many colonies get burned reducing the quality and quantity of their harvest. Apart from fires, these methods are not friendly to the environment too. To help, several non – governmental bodies have provided bee keeping classes for the Maasai community. This is to teach the women of the Maasai community more sustainable practices. The lessons has helped them improve the quality and quantity of their harvest as well as to improve their livelihood. Our Apitourism product incorporates an interaction with these women who have crossed from the traditional ways to the modern ways of bee keeping so that at the end of your noble tour you have a recap of our transitional journey.

How To Apply For The East African Tourist Visa

Touring East Africa has been made easier by the introduction of the East African Tourist Visa.

This single Visa allows access to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Once you have it you can go in and out the three countries as many times as you wish during the visa’s period of validity.

It is also cheaper to use East African Visas rather than pursuing individual visas for the above-mentioned counties.

If you are thinking of traveling to Kenya, be encouraged to to Kayak the Nile in Uganda and don’t hold back from visiting the Gorilla Mountains or seeing golden monkeys in Rwanda without any extra charges.

Visas issued for specific countries can only be used for that particular country

As a new visa, we know it can be a bit confusing for you, and that is why we have gathered a few information to ensure it is easier for you.

East African Tourist Visa
Sample of the East African Tourist Visa

Things you need to apply East African Tourist Visa

  • A travel document with at least 6 months Validity
  • $ 100 USD fee
  • 1 clear colored standard size passport photo
  • A latter of Visa application

NOTE: All persons must apply in their own right

 

How to apply.

Its advisable that when applying for the East African Visa you apply with the country you will commence your travel.

Uganda Online Visa

For those beginning their trip in Uganda visit visas.immigration.go.ug for more information.

Kenya Online Visa

For those beginning their trip in Kenya. Find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Kenya embassy’s website www.ecitizen.go.ke          

Rwanda Online Visa  

For those beginning their travel in Rwanda www.migration.gov.rw will be the website to visit. Under “Type of Visa” select “East Africa Tourist Visa.” For more information contact your local Rwanda embassy.

east African Tourist Visa
East African Tourist Visa is not available on arrival, you need to apply ahead of time.

Things you need to NOTE.

  • It is valid for 90 days only.
  • It is not renewable
  • One is not permitted to work with this Visa.
  • Residents living in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda do not need to apply for visa.
  • Residents now need only a valid resident permit to explore the diverse cultures, landscapes, wildlife, activities and experiences available in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
  • Visas issued for specific countries can only be used for that particular country.
  • If you do not get a response from the immigration department within the stated allotted time do contact us for assistance.
  • In addition, please make sure you print off your visa, once received so that it can be handed immigration

More information: More information can be found on www.visiteastafrica.org 

Most noteworthy, Citizens of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda (in that order) however, can now move easily in the  three countries using only a National ID or Student ID.

As a result, residents living within the three countries can now use a valid resident permit to explore the amazing diversity that exists in the region.

Mystical Lake With Seven Islands

Lake Baringo

This is a wonder Lake with seven Island and several Mythical tales about it. Some of which will give you goose balms and some, if you are adventurous enough, will leave you wanting to explore the dangers in it. It is the 2nd most Northern of the Rift Valley Lakes just below Lake Turkana. Also, one of the 2 fresh water Rift Valley Lake (the other one being L. Naivasha). Strange thing being, the Lake is fed by several rivers including, Molo, Perkera and Ol Arabel but has no visible outlet. Probably it sips its water to the sedimentary rocks below.

The 130Km2 Lake has a total of 7 Islands in it; namely Lokoros, Rongena, Lengai, Samatian, Ol kokwe, Parmolos and the Devil’s Island. One of the Islands is habited by one family, 1 man several wives and very many children. Ol Kokwe is the Island of Hot Natural Springs where you can boil your eggs as you enjoy the Bewitching silence. The Devil’s Island I find to be the most Interesting. The four fishing communities the Njems, Pokot, Turkana and the Turgen who all sail in L. Boaringo have a mythical tale about this Island. All off them sail far from the Island not to dare getting closer to it. They say a blue flame lights the Island every night. Occasionally, the Devil living there is heard hauling the names of anyone who dares to get close to the Island at night. Though Tourist Love the area for it’s hiking landscapes.

The Eco System

The ecosystem in Lake Bogoria is one of the richest. With 470 bird species recorded so far, including the migratory flamingos and the common Fish eagle, it is a heaven for bird watchers. With seven fresh water fish species, it has provided four communities and the resident crocodile with more than enough to live on. The water plants take care of the numerous numbers of Hippopotamus living in the lake in groups of 10-15. Research says that the Hippos in Baringo can feed up to 40kgs of grass on a daily basis. However, all these living things depend on L. Baringo as a habitat are all at risk as siltation is slowly interfering with the water levels. So far, the fish are reducing and the Nile Crocodile who once live in perfect harmony with the Locals are now hazardous to them.

The Highlights

Lake Baringo is a destination to die for. Spectacle sunset, a dazzling array of endless colorful birds, the authentic culture of the Pokot fishermen in their simple, traditional fishing vessels. The nights at the Island lodge is a special treat of bewitching silence only interrupted by the waves of the lake and the chipping birds. And the highlight being, seeing the sunrise behind the lake from the comfort of your bed at Island Camp.

Amboseli National Park Safari Experience

The Scenic Drive

The drive to Amboseli National Park was quiet. One hour from the buzzing city center and we were already on a scenic road. The mountainous landscape of Ukambani area makes you want turn on some country music or soft rock, my old soul craved country music. Everybody in the van drown to nature, silent but yet in communication with the surrounding beauty internally. I yarned to see Amboseli again.

The numerous fruit venders at Emali got my heart throbbing with anxiety, we were close now. I hardly notice the junction to the rough road; my mind was away; taking me back to my first trip to Amboseli. I remembered when we stopped to buy some fruits, a nice lady had told me they got the fruits from Tanzania. Emali is the Kenya Tanzania Border, and it is easier for the locals to get their fruits from the leeward side of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Amboseli National Park Community

Amboseli National Park
the Community

I was brought back to reality by the bumpy road. The deep galleys and the Maasai Manyattas just confirmed that we were in Amboseli. At the road side I spotted a young Maasai boy who I guest could be 6years – 8years looking after a large heard of goats and cattle, a lather container tied around his waists. Lunch, drinking water or milk perhaps, I thought to myself. Carefully packed by his mother before he left the Manyatta (Maasai traditional huts), I concluded thinking about the many literature I read about the Maasai community when in primary school.

The Maasai have survived on their herds of cattle, sheep and goats for hundreds of years in the savannas and thrived by tracking wildlife on their seasonal migrations. By selecting hardy animals and using husbandry practices suited to the arid lands, the Maasai have sustained Amboseli’s grasslands, coexisted with wildlife and survived the severest of droughts.

Iremito Gate

amboseli-national-park
A Maasai woman selling beaded accessories at Iremito Gate

At Iremito gate was a colorful display of Maasai ladies and gentlemen trying to adjust to the modern word of the Kenyan shilling. Schools are here now and fees has to be paid. They do so through the only art they have mastered traditionally which is selling their iconic traditional beaded accessories. They Surrounded our van and kept selling, the van came alive as everybody tried to grab a souvenir. I noticed something else, metal work, unique, precious and some curved into weapons. Its only natural for a pastoral community living alongside dreaded predators to acquire the blacksmith skills.

Amboseli National Park Safari Experience

Its November 2017 just a month after snow more than usual was experience at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The vast endless plain hold array of vegetation. From scattered woodlands, to arid bushes, to wind swept barren flat flakes, to swampy alpine meadows and glaciers too. This dramatically but quiet plains provide a majestic playing and feeding fields for so many wild animals. My first glimpse at the surrounding catches the dancing Maasai Ostrich 4 males and 1 female. A heard of Zebras just ahead and a spotted hyena walking by minding his own business. Strange I thought; considering the old narratives told by my grandmother portrayed hyenas as gluttonous animals; I could not just place why it was not hunting the Zebras. Probably they are waiting for a Lion to make a kill before they take it away like I see in the animal documentaries. I once saw such an action in the Mara but it was between the wild dogs and the hyenas.

Our overnight Lodge was an oasis, green and cool. The alley leading to the reception is a trail aligned with doum palms and bamboo trees. The other side of the reception lies magnificent Kilimanjaro site. The 5895M tall volcanic mountain separates Kenya from Tanzania and provides a majestic view that disappears into the clouds. A gift from Mother Nature. 2 hours later we depart again, on route for another surprise from Mother Nature.

Resident Animals

The evening game drive gave us an insight to the resident wild animals. Elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and gazelle migrate with the rains in search of green flushes and draw back to permanent swamps in search of water and pasture each dry season. Where there is water and grass for grassers there are many predators as well, including lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The dry bush country harbors giraffe, eland, gerenuk, lesser kudu and a host of smaller animals. Add a rich variety of birds.

Sun-downer at the Observation Hill

The game drive came to a halt at the Noomotio Observation Hill. This is actually the only place one can walk in the park, unless its a guided nature walk with the Maasai. It’s a pyramid shaped hill brought about by volcanic action. From the hill you can view the swamps in the plain below and Mt. Kilimanjaro. At sunset you might also view numerous wildlife with the aid of a binoculars. We had a 45min open bar and were entertained by the Maasai traditional songs and dances. The view of the golden sunset from this point is special and priceless.

The Morning View

My hotel room was on the Elephant view side, from the veranda you could see Mt. Kilimanjaro and herds of elephant families every morning at 0900hrs walking to a swamp directly in front of the room. This was a very unique experience that I got to experience every single morning of my stay at Amboseli. There is a morning I was up early by 05500hrs and Mt. Kilimanjaro’s view was clearer than ever.

I left with very many memories and my soul was rejuvenated. A feeling I definitely want to have again and again every moment I get the chance to.

Sustainable Travel

Kisima Tours and Safaris is a tour operating company that upholds sustainability. We do all we can to maximize on the positive effect on the environment and the culture of places we visit, so as to minimize the great effects of travel. Tourism depend on the natural recourses of a place, environment, culture and the people around a particular region. That is why we are concerned with the global climatic impact and work hard to reduce our carbon ‘footprints’ both out there in the field and in the office.
Our efforts have been confirmed to be right and recognize and certificated by Travelife. This means that during the 2017 WTM London, we were awarded a certificate by Travelife. Travelife is a leading training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to reach sustainability. This achievement came after we set aside some initiatives and followed them closely. We still come across some ways of practicing sustainability better.
Now when it comes to tour operators and sustainability, three things are often involved; the Environment, the Society and the economy.

To the Environment;

  •  We ensure we contract vehicle that have good engine so as to reduce the amount of CO2, nitrous oxide and methane released to the environment.
Sustainable Travel
Seed ball ready to be dispatched
  • We give our clients seed ball in our welcoming kits so that they dispatch them as they tour. A smart way to plant trees through Aerial reforestation.
  • We advise our clients strictly on tips of practicing sustainable tourism, so that they enjoy their safari knowing that they have left no negative traces in their safari destinations.
  • We partner with and support properties who work to preserve their natural and cultural environment (Eco Lodges & Camps).
  • In the office, we recycle used papers for printing (if we have to) because we see each paper as a fallen tree.
  • Going Digital in the way we share internal information has helped us reduce the use of papers in the office.
  • We use natural lights other than electricity.

To the Community;

  • We also support Parks, Reserves and Camps that are communally owned so that we support the communities directly.
  • We offer voluntourism and community outreach programs for people in the rural areas, with disability and terminal ailments.
  • Our manual for sustainability travel include instructions that guides a client on how to respect culture and the community visited how ever different it may seem.

To the Economy;

  • Curio stops; souvenir shopping is not only for the client’s benefit but also a way to give back to different communities gifted in art. It is a source of income for them.
  • Attraction visitations improves the hosting county’s economy.
  • We support properties and attraction that provide employment for the locals so as to improve their living standards.

Africa’s Hidden Treasures

Shompole Wildlife Conservancy

Located only 118 km South West from Nairobi. Shompole wildlife conservancy  offers opportunity for Game Drive as you search for the Big Five. Enjoy your night under luxurious canvas at Shompole Camp. Also, a beautiful sun-downer experience that gives way to a clear skies with plenty of stars. Shompole’s uniqueness lies on its geographic location. The Conservancy stands at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. It also lies between Lake Natron and Lake Magadi which are all saline Lakes. It’s the best place for adventure due to it’s location at the edge of Nguruman Escarpment overlooking the great rift valley. This conservancy covers a total of 35,000 acres and is surrounded by 140,000 acres of Shompole group ranch. The 140,000 acres  provides a disposal area for wildlife and buffer zone.

The camp.

Shompole camp

Shompole Camp has only 4 double tents placed widely spread apart. Therefor, it ensure privacy, comfort and relaxation in mind. Each Shompole room has its own cool-pool and informal sitting areas. A bathroom with a view to take you awy while having a shower. A specially designed tent that includes vast windows and a high-canopied roof. Making it perfect for our women only exclusive group.

Community.

Shompole wildlife conservancy

Just like the Mara, the surrounding community at Shompole are the Maasai community. They paint the Semi-arid area with colorful culture. They grace the environment with their numerous heard of cattle. The Maasai are nomadic pastoralist hence making the lifestyle of the locals quite predictable and interesting. Their daily routine consists of waking up and walking their cattle in search of pasture. To them to them, cattle are their sign of wealth and they live to own more and more of them. At Shompole you get to interact with the community at even participate in their cultural activities.

12 Tips Of Practicing Sustainable Tourism

Why practice Sustainable Tourism

Africa Safaris was a tradition initiated by hunters. Over a period of time things have changed and environment has as well. People started seeing the importance of taking care of fauna and flora all over the world to reduce the negative impact of tourism to the environment. Well that is not all sustainable tourism is about, it is also about supporting local community and economy.

Below are tips that will help you join the world in practicing sustainable tourism. These tips will help you give back to the community and to mother earth as well.

1. Learn About your Destination

Before you travel read and learn about your visiting destination. There are many destination guide books that will enable to learn more about a country’s culture, language, the does and don’ts. You can search from the many tones of information on the internet. The last thing you want to do is walk around with polythene bags in Kenya after the burn just because you lucked the information.

2. Read the wildlife and park rules and abide by them.

There are rules in every park, conservancy and reserves. These are always in place to protect the animals and their natural habitats, the visiting tourist safety and the environment. Practice sustainable tourism by respecting the rules to preserve the beauty of the land you are visiting. Rules like do not feed the animals, do not get out of your van during a safari and do not litter and so on should be observed keenly.

3. Respect animal space and habitat.

Safaris are called so because humans travel to the animal’s natural habitats. If this is not handled with caution, we might disrupt the spatial patterns that might have an impact to the visited eco-system. Keep silence when spotting animals and travel with earth or dull colored clothes to remain invisible whenever in the animal kingdom. Noise and too much human activities might disrupt their natural lives e.g. feeding patterns, mating patters and so on. This might lead to a frustrated animal world and no one wants that in their destination. Not the animals, not the tourist, not the tourism industry, not the residential locals and definitely not the environment.

4. Support locally made Handcrafts

Some East African communities are naturally blessed with the gift of craftsmanship. If you purchase handmade craft from them you directly support them and their families. You also leave with unique pieces that takes you back to Africa every time you look at them. Handcraft options are limitless with each of the communities being unique in their own art. They range from wooden carvings, to soap stone carvings, to colorful bead-work to woven baskets and beautifully painted portraits. Buying those helps you support local community as they carry on their cultural aspects. This is a way of practicing sustainable tourism as you are giving back to the community.

5. Stay within the boundaries of your camp or lodge

The camps and lodges are set inside parks with dense animal population. Do yourself a favor by staying within the camp or lodge compound and not leaving unless accompanied by a trained and experienced guide. Nobody wants to be a hyena’s early meal. Remember your flesh in quite different from an antelope’s flesh and once the wild animals go ‘human’ they never turn back.

6. Never purchase souvenirs with corals or endangered animal products

As much as we encourage you to purchase locally made crafts. You should know what is healthy and legal to purchase. Very many species diminishing and some habitats ruined because some people are trading on the products. Supporting these kind of business means that you will be aiding in increase of their demand hence more will be killed and more habitats ruined. Artifacts with Ivory, tortoise shells, corals, reptile skins animal hides and plants ham the environment. In sustainable tourism, we try to reduce animal population loss regardless of how valuable its product are.

7. Remove unneeded packaging

When you have shopped and you are packing for your Safari. Make sure you remove all the unwanted packaging to reduce litter in the destination you are traveling to. Polythene bags are a no no in Kenya thanks to the burn. Therefor you would like to unwrap that new camera and binoculars and leave the packaging at home. This also helps in reducing the bulk in your bag, making it easier to move.

8. Be conscious of what you are taking or leaving

I once walked in a forest that had a board written, ‘take only the nourishment and leave everything as you found them’. For me I will advise you to take only the photographs with you and leave only your footprints behind. Our Vans and Jeeps are fitted with dustbin to control littering in the parks. In case you find yourself in one without, kindly keep even the tiniest of your litter and throw it in the next bin you encounter.

9. Keep any used batteries and carry them back home

Regardless of where you will think it will be safe to throw them. If a country does not yet have recycling programs that will handle such hazardous materials, that material will affect the environment. North America has the proper resources of disposing off used batteries.

10. Bring Biodegradable Shampoos and conditioners.

Personal hygiene has to be observed even while on Safari. It would be better if one could observe the environmental health with the same amount of keenness they put in personal hygiene. Shampoos are often washed down the soil. When choosing your brand of choice look out for the words ‘biodegradable’ or ‘organic’

11. Leave the city for your safari with SEED BALLS.

A seed ball is simply a tree seed inside a ball of charcoal dust mixed with nutritious binders. The act of throwing it to a barren lands or grassy areas is referred to as Seed-Bombing. Also Known as Aerial reforestation. It has and is being used in areas where plants can grow or even man-made deserts. These seeds are always contained in the charcoal dust balls then germinated in ideal conditions for each climate/region. Every region has suitable tree seeds that are well adapted to the climates.

12. Avoid Taking picture of the locals unless you are at a place right to do so.

Respect your hosts and their culture. What might be strange or different to you, is their daily routine avoid taking a picture of them as you drive by. This might be considered rude or disrespectful among the locals. If interested in interacting with them and know more about their culture, there are designated villages where there are local open to questions or might even allow you to take pictures.

 

 

Agro-Tourism In Kenya

What is Agro-tourism?

Agro-tourism is simply a blended mixture of two industries Agriculture and Tourism. It is the practice of touring farms and often participating in the farming activities. Most Tourist fly in the country only to view wildlife from the windows of their Safari Jeeps. They forget that Kenya is one of the world’s main agricultural product suppliers. Among them tea, coffee, cut flowers, nuts vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat and leather products.

Categories in Agro-Tourism

 

Tourist planning to have a taste of agro-tourism may partake in the following activities;

  • Farm workshops and traditional skills such as packaging flowers.
  • Coronary tours such as farm dinners, tea and Coffee tasting.
  • The most prolific form of Kenya’s agro tourism grab a basket and pick your own tea or coffee.

The old concept called Farm stays. This is when a paying guest stays in the farm at least overnight. Unlike hands off accommodation like hotels Bed and breakfast, Farm stays give clients an opportunity to get their hand dirty, gives them and their children an opportunity to work during vacation and learn skills new to them. And above all give our clients a first-hand day to day Kenyan lifestyle experience.

Why Agro-Tourism

Kisima Safaris have travel and talked to a number of farmers who host guests on farm stays and farm visits just to get a picture of agro-tourism in Kenya. Surprisingly, little data have been gathered on this sector to date.

In our interview we asked why people visit the farms. It happens that the answers we got we almost alike. Every farmer said that tourists who visit their farms are seeking a connection in themselves that they sense have been lost, they would like to find it but they don’t know how. But they know intuitively that farms are a good place to start looking. People come to restore, to renew, to reactivate, to regenerate, to remember. They come to learn, to invest, to carry home healthier ways of living. Above all to meet and interact with their food providers.

 

Agro-tourism and specifically the farm stay can be a profitable and socially important part of Kenya’s economy but farm stays have been practiced since the colonial times in Kenya. The sector has gone through some development in most parts of Kenya but it has room for more growth potential. At the cross roads of artistic, science and physiological knowledge, farms offer a type of hands on experience that people really crave. My preposition therefore is that developing the farm stay sector will help grow a generation who want to have a feel of the day to day Kenyan culture. That participation indeed can create a new economy.

Benefits

To our visitor…

After knowing why partake agro-tourism visit, it is important also to know what visitors take with them when they leave, what do they talk about with their friends? What do they remember if not what they tasted, smelt, saw, heard and touched? Our senses act as gateways to individual epiphany.

To the host….

To the farmers, hospitality pays in more than one way. Generally, Agro-tourisms help farmers to diversify operations, spread financial risks and in many cases, maintain family farmland in production. Once up and running a farm stay here generates a third of the firm’s total revenue. Farmers also consider the non-financial benefits of Agro-tourism integral to the overall viability of the enterprise. Most farmers said that opening their doors kept their farms feeling vibrant and engaged with their communities’ center of giving and receiving. Although not all farmers are host, those that are find an exchange of inspiration and ideas with guest.

Farms to Visit

From the Coffee farming in kikuyu land, to the tea farming in Kericho and other Kenyan Highlands to the sugarcane farms in Nyanza; the enormous and productive Lord Delamare firms to the famous Pioneers; flower and horticultural farms in Naivasha, to the dairy cheese farm in Limuru to the wheat and baileys fields in Narok, the list is endless. Every field has a story; these stories have been harness and woven together by Kisima Safaris for you. Collectively I think that these simple experiences compose the future of our region with character and identity.

Kenya Re-branded

There for the idea is to build a synchronized visible identity that links together the food, beverage, farm, sport and tourism industries.  This could build a new brand, a new face of Kenya that offers more than the rich wildlife and the beautiful Kenyan Coast. I believe that this diversity as a strength. Agro- tourism addresses many mutual goals of land conservation, vital economic development, environmental education even food security and is there for worth a closer look, it also maintain on-farm livelihood transforming our country’s most natural  assets into regenerative, cultural and economic ones.

 

Safari Packing Checklist : Avoid Over Packing Disorder

 TWENDE SAFARI

The idea of coming to Africa for a safari is definitely very exciting and thrilling at the same time. Packing for the safari might be a bit challenging considering the changing temperatures and internal flight baggage restrictions.  And most importantly if you already have a chronic overpacking disorder like me.

The basic requirements are; Sunscreen, a good hat with a wide brim, a camera, and sporty shoes.

What Bag To Carry

As much as our safari Vans and Jeeps have more than enough space for your luggage, I would advise you to have a soft bag flexible enough to be squeezed in a tiny storage compartment. Going to the bush means you might use the small aircraft with very minimal luggage allowance.

Light weight Rain Ponchos

November is a rainy season in Kenya so a light weight poncho might come in handy. For the beach and the Savanna, a moisturizer might be very helpful because of the heat.

How to dress up.

Some safaris might be long distances so it would be advisable to dress lightly and comfortably. African weather is variable, it has chilly mornings, super-hot days in some areas and cold evenings so you might want to pack something warmer.

Some hotels expect guest to wear trousers and collared shirts during meals.

Long sleeved shirts, dresses and trouser will come in handy during the born fires. It will help with the mosquitoes and stubborn insects in the bush.

Unless you are booking into Luxurious accommodation, we would advise you to carry enough clothes for the Safari for the laundry in other accommodations are charged.

Binoculars

Will help in spotting game during game drives. Having a pair of your own will ensure you don’t miss even a second of action.

Save some space for power strips.

Camera batteries and chargers might come in handy. Phone chargers and a power bank too.

Insect repellent

There are night outdoor activities in the bush examples being night game drives, born fires, bush dinners and the tents are technically out in the open. The inside might be taken care of properly but the mosquitoes are free to bite outside.

Sunglasses

The African sun may be quite intense. Have just a pair to help you glare during the game drives and for the dusty roads

Medication

Our vans and land cruiser have the medication in the first aid kit. But you might want to carry some just in case you need them in your room at night.

Here are some very essential ones you might consider bringing along.

Anti-Malarial

You are prone to encountering mosquitoes in the bush. This might help to prevent malaria.

Antihistamines

In case of allergies or insect bites

Anti-diarrhea

This might come handy just in case you eat something g that does not liaise well with your digestive system.

Sustainable Tourism is part of us. We practice it in our offices and out in the field. As you travel with Kisima Safaris please join us by practicing sustainable tourism.

© 2018 Kisima Tours & Safaris | All Rights Reserved

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