And for those of my readers who just never get enough news from the East African region, here is a shared newsletter from
Safari Trails … enjoy!
DIANI BEACH RANKED AMONG TRIP ADVISOR’S TOP 25 BEACHES IN THE WORLD!
After being voted as Africa’s leading beach destination by the World Travel Awards, Diani
Beach has yet again put Kenya on the world map by being voted as among the top 25 beaches
in the world in 2015 by TripAdvisor.
In the latest Travellers’ Choice Awards (Best of 2015), TripAdvisor ranked Diani Beach, the 22nd best beach in the world. Diani Beach was also voted third among the top 25 beaches in Africa while Watamu Beach in Kilifi County took 14th position on the continent.
On the TripAdvisor website, global travel reviewers termed Diani Beach as a "nice place, excellent weather, very good."
TripAdvisor, which is an American travel website providing reviews on travel related content that includes interactive travel forums, ranked the beaches and hotels from across the world based on choices made by global travellers. Diani Beach is home to some of Kenya’s best hotels and some of the remaining coastal rainforests where large colonies of black and white Colobus can be found. Not far from Diani is the Shimba Hills National Park, and marine national parks like Kisite.
An 18 hole golf course too is located right in the middle of Diani and a range of water sport options are available from every hotel, PADI diving schools included.
Skydiving is the latest thing to do for adrenaline addicts, also possible in Kenya, only on Diani beach giving tourists an opportunity to combine a relaxed beach holiday, with some game viewing as well as adventure and thrills.
YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME AT THE COAST – LANTANA GALU BEACH
Lantana Galu Beach is situated directly on Galu Beach, one of the most spectacular and unspoiled beaches of the Kenyan coast, 5 Kms south of Diani Beach.
Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, overlooking the Indian Ocean and extending on to the beach, the property comprises 47 fully furnished and serviced holiday homes made up of villas, apartments, bungalows and penthouses available for holiday lets on a self-catering basis or with meals.
The design of the homes has been inspired by Swahili architecture. The interiors are modern with clean open plan living spaces flooded with natural light and natural ventilation taking advantage of the sunny, breezy coastal climate.
The overall look and feel of the furnishings is contemporary Swahili: traditional wooden carved furniture combined with modern elements, creating a fresh perspective on coastal interiors.
Each home is fitted and equipped with everything that a modern home would require and includes all the furnishings to be expected of a luxury home.
Facilities within each home include air conditioning in all bedrooms, ceiling fans in all rooms, DSTV, DVD player, wireless internet connections and an intercom system.
Furnished and serviced staff rooms are also available on the property for rent.
Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach is a beach side restaurant & bar with stunning views across the pool and ocean beyond.
At Lantana Galu Beach, one will find all the facilities expected of a contemporary holiday home resort including a Beach side and Garden swimming pool, a coffee bar, gymnasium, a massage and beauty studio, a convenience shop, and an array of water-sports.
Tulia is the Swahili word for relax and the Tulia Spa at Sarova is designed to help you relax and rejuvenate. The Spa offers Ayurvedic, Western and Oriental treatments. The Ayurvedic treatments are based on an ancient Indian form of holistic healing where health is a result of harmony in body, mind and spirit. These include treatments such as Abhangyam, the full body massage and Shirodhara, the head massage using traditional Ayurvedic oils and ingredients. The Spa menu also includes other treatments such as foot reflexology, body scrubs with Kahawa made from finely ground Kenyan coffee and the signature Tulia Massage.
At Tulia spa, you enter a personal space of timelessness to revitalize your spirit and indulge your senses. As you take the journey, into their holistic approach to wellbeing, you experience the true meaning of tulia, to relax, in natural surroundings, at the sun-kissed shores of the Indian Ocean.
Tulia Spa promises complete rejuvenation of the body, mind and spirit in beautifully tranquil surroundings. Tulia Spa offers:- Western, Oriental and Ayurvedic therapies, manicures and pedicures, facials and ear candling.
"On my recent stay at The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, I once again visited the Tulia Spa. As always, the masseuse was excellent and very professional, the setting serene and just perfect. The Tulia Spa is a MUST VISIT for all those visiting our beautiful Kenyan Coast!" – Mona Thethy, MD, Safari Trails.
DEVARANA SPA, DUSIT D2, NAIROBI
"Devarana" (pronounced te-wa-run) comes from Thai-Sanskrit, meaning "garden in heaven."
The award-winning Devarana Spa offers an atmosphere of ultimate relaxation with an emphasis on pampering and wellness. "East meets West" Thai health and beauty practices have been sourced from age-old therapies and updated with modern knowledge to pamper and revitalise guests.
The contemporary design entices you to transcend the everyday world and indulge in premium spa treatments and therapies for overall well-being.
THE STUNNING MARA PLAINS CAMP
Mara Plains Camp is a small, high quality, seven-roomed camp under canvas. It is located on a bend in the Ntiakitiak River in the heart of the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy which abuts Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve to its south.
The design of Mara Plains is one of understatement and quiet class. The decor pays homage to the essence of East Africa and its chief influences – Maasai and Arab culture. Ancient Swahili heritage is reflected in large wooden doors from the coastal island of Lamu, and accents of deep red and purple honour the great Maasai chiefs and warriors who have roamed this land for millennia.
Add to this cultural melting pot a nod to the colonial era, with rich leathers, copper and brass used in expedition-style campaign furniture and you have a lavish, residential atmosphere which complements, rather than overwhelms the surrounding wilderness.
One of only five camps on the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, guests at Mara Plains have unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive, low-vehicle density tourism land, home to extensive areas of important habitat for a vast number of wildlife species, while still having unfettered access to the Maasai Mara’s additional 375,000 acres.
With space for 14 guests sharing 7 tents, Mara Plains believes in keeping the experience intimate and personal, so there are no set camp schedules and set meal times. The day’s activities are tailored around the guest’s preferences and wildlife activities of the moment. As the camp is located within a private conservancy, guests are allowed to enjoy nature-based walks and exciting night game drives.
Mara Plains Camp is primarily accessed by scheduled air transfers or private charters. On arrival at the airfield, the transfer to the camp is approximately 30 minutes allowing time for game viewing en route. Safarilink and/or Air Kenya offer scheduled daily flights from Nairobi’s domestic Wilson Airport to the Ol Kiombo airstrip inside the Maasai Mara Reserve.
KENYA AIRWAYS TO FLY TO HANOI, VIETNAM FROM MARCH 2015
Kenya Airways will become the first and only airline to link Vietnam directly to Africa with flights to Hanoi from 30th March 2015.
The new service will be operated in conjunction with SkyTeam partner Vietnam Airlines. Passengers from across Africa will be able to reach Vietnam via Nairobi with convenient connections through Kenya Airways’ new home in Terminal 1A.
The three weekly flights will use one of Kenya Airways’ new Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners and passengers travelling beyond Hanoi will be able to reach their final destinations in Korea, China and Japan by onward flights with partner airline Vietnam Airlines.
Contact Safari Trails for exciting packages to Vietnam!
STRETCH OUT THE STRESS
AT THE LAMU YOGA FESTIVAL!
Listed as one of ELLE Magazine’s ‘Hottest Happenings in Africa’, from 12th – 16th March 2015 is the second Lamu Yoga Festival. The heart of the festival is based in Shela, Lamu in four beautiful, cool and peaceful yoga studios. The festival encompasses Manda and Lamu so the whole area is abuzz with the spirit of yoga.
A variety of yoga classes and meditations will be on offer throughout the four day festival for all abilities to participate in. From early birds yoga on the beach to meditating under the moon, the festival has something for everyone. Highlights include a dhow sail, workshops, fun competitions, and a grand finale beach party with Lamu drummers and acrobats.
The first Lamu Yoga Festival in 2014 was a huge success. 108 yoga enthusiasts from around the world came to Lamu for four days of yoga, connection and joy.
Lamu is a small island on the coast of Kenya. The island has a tropical climate, an excellent variety of accommodation and miles of empty beaches. Lamu is the perfect destination to leave the stresses and strains of modern life behind.
The simple and delicious cuisine of fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood, makes Lamu the health and wellbeing destination of Kenya, with the goal being to empower, strengthen and support the community by encouraging harmony in mind and body through the practice of yoga.
BACK OFF POACHERS
On the 3rd of March, World Wildlife Day, The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, presided over the burning of 15 tonnes of ivory worth over $30m sending a clear message to the world that Kenya is committed to ending the scourge of poaching.
In his address he commented, "Wildlife crime continues to pose wide-ranging economic, environmental and social threats. I am proud to observe that my Government has made significant progress in reducing wildlife
poaching. This has called for intensive investment and cooperation with many stakeholders. A lot remains to be done. Today, I call on everybody to join or sustain efforts to prevent the poaching of our wildlife….Wildlife has great socioeconomic value for the people of Kenya. It is a critical pillar of our tourism industry. Many of these tusks belonged to elephants which were wantonly slaughtered by criminals.We want future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts. Poachers and their enablers will not have the last word," Kenyatta said before setting ablaze an almost 10 feet high pile of huge elephant tusks doused with petrol.
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.