Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lamu Cultural Festival

This week Lamu, one of the islands on our Kenyan coast, will be celebrating the 11th Lamu Cultural Festival since it was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001. The festival has and continues to celebrate the unique and rich Swahili heritage of the Lamu Archipelago. The festival gives an opportunity to experience the islands sandy white beaches, the historical old town, friendly and warm people just to name but a few!

The festival runs from 24th November till the 27th November, and is organised by the Lamu Cultural Promotion Group. A number of activities take place such as a showcase of   showcase of traditional dances, displays of handicraft and competitions on water and land (Swahili poetry, donkey races, dhow races, henna painting), Swahili bridal ceremony and musical performances. 

Please see the cultural itinerary below:

11th Annual Lamu Cultural Festival Programme 23 – 27 November 2011

Wed. 23rd - Sun. 27th 
Exhibition: ‘Memory and Identity’ Tracing Asisan Muslims of Lamu, Lamu Fort
Wed. 23rd 
19:00 – 21:00
Film/discussion ‘Sauti Muhimu: Kuongeza kuhusika kwa jamii katika maendeleo’, - Mkunguni square
Thurs. 24th
09:00 – 11.00
School Parade and Students Performance - From Mkunguni Square along the Seafront
16:30 – 18:00
Finals of the Football tournament - Pamba roho Ground
20:00 – 23:00
Madrasa tul madina from Mombasa - Mkunguni square Kasida 
Fri. 25th 
09:00 – 16:00 
Traditional displays, next to DC’s office
13:00 – 16:00
Jahazi Race - Swimming preliminaries, Seafront 
16:00 – 18:00
Dances: Shabwani, Kirumbuzi, Mdurenge dances - Seafront & Mkunguni square
20:00 – 22:30
Dances: Chama cha Matondoni (Matondoni Village), Goma la Siyu (Siyu village), Uta Dance (Lamu Town), Goma la Barani, Tari la Ndia (Pate village) - Seafront & Mkunguni square 
Sat. 26th 
09:00 – 16:00 
Traditional displays - next to DC’s office
10:00 – 11:00
Donkey race - in front of Lamu Museum
10:00 – 12:00
Book Launch (RISSEA /NMK) - Mkunguni square
1. ‘Jawabu la Mwana Kupona’ by Ali A. A. El-Maawy
2. “Kiswahili Research and Development in Eastern Africa” Editors: Rocha Chimera, Mohamed Karama, Ahmed Hussein and Khalid Omar 
3. “Kioo cha Nafsi” By: Jamil S Al –Jabry
4. “Mapisi ya Waswahili na Lugha yao Ya Kiswahili By: Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Nabahany
11:00 – 12:00
Canoe Race - Seafront
14:00 – 16:00
Mashua Race final, Swimming final - Seafront
16:00 – 18:00
Prize giving - Mkunguni square
19:00 - 22:00 
Food Bazaar (traditional Swahili cuisine)  - Sunsail Hotel
20:00 – 21:00
Swahili bridal display, Vugo dance/Traditional outfits show Dances - Lamu Fort  
Giriama dance, Pokomo dance, Orma dance, Chama cha Matondoni - Mkunguni square and Sea front
21:00 - Dawn
Live performances - Mkunguni square
- Spotlight on Kenyan Music concert, Focus on music of the pastoralists
- Praful Kumar and party, Bollywood music

Sun. 27th
09:00 – 12:00
Traditional displays - next to DC’s office
16:00 – 18:00
Dances Seafront/Goma la Barani, Mdurenge, Kirumbuzi,Uta Dance, Giriama, Orma - Mkunguni square
19:00 – 20:00
Documentary screening on the Lamu Cultural Festival - Mkunguni square 
20:00 – 23h00
Open Concert. Mohamed Shalli, Sani & Party, Lamu Local artists Lelele Africa By Mbarak and party - Mkunguni square 

Image and Itinerary courtesy of

Friday, November 18, 2011

King of the Jungle Endangered

Known for its majesty and prestige, the lion, nicknamed "the king of the jungle" is an animal know of it's strength and beauty. For centuries, the lion has been one of the main attractions in any game park or reserve across the globe. Lions have fascinated people from all walks of life with documentaries and  movies such as the Lion King keenly emphasising on the lion and their families.

Lions vary in colour but commonly are those that sport a light yellow-brown coat. Mature male lions are unique among big cats due the thick brown or black manes that encircle their necks and protect them while fighting, whereas the mature female lions are the pride's primary hunters, often working together to prey upon antelopes, Zebras, wildebeest and other animals in the naked wild.

The Lion population in Africa has rapidly reduced since the early 1950's and today fewer than 21,000 remain in all of Africa. As a fact lions are facing an indirect threat from climate change called co-infection and periodically face outbreaks of the disease distemper though this causes few death with an exemption of the period 1994 - 2001 which caused massive die-offs with researchers saying the epidemic was due to the occurrence of a server drought. This would then factor in the issue of deforestation by humans which causes weather change and as a result drought is experienced. It is warned that droughts such as the ones that bring about co-infection in lions are predicted to become more as the climate warms which we can rightfully say,  indirectly humans are the cause of the weather change.

Lions are also facing many more human threats such as population growth and agricultural expansion, resulting in loss of natural habitat, hunting, poisoning and poaching just to name but a few.

Facts about the Lion:

  • Lions are about 4 feet (1.2m) (males) in height and approximately 5-8 feet (1.5-2.4m) (males), length. 
  • They weigh 330-500 lbs (150-227 kg) (males) in general, female lions are smaller than males. 
  • Their lifespan is placed at 10-14 years in the wild, however if in captivity can last for over 20 years!
  • Lions top speed is rated at 50 mph (81 km/hr), for short distances . 
Defenders of wildlife and conservation groups are continually advocating for the life of lions, with campaigns being put across, blogs, news papers and magazine articles being written among many other channels including Social Media. We however feel that we can do more by educating people on the topic using simple viral methods or simply, planting a tree to help sustain the environment. 

"Visit one of Kenya's parks today and see a lion and the other big five. "

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who says a holiday has to be the beach or the wild?

As our title above questions, who said that a holiday has only got to be spending time in the wild or spending time soaking up the sun by the beach?

Last week over a conversation on the social networks we came to the realisation that more and more people are no longer interested in just the same old holiday getaways where you visit a destination and just go for sight seeing! Not that there is anything wrong with that, but people have come to embrace the kind of safaris that we term as "activity" trips.

Eve D'Souza, Sagana
Over the past thirty years that we have been in the travel business we have noticed a pattern indicating that these trips are seemingly of preference to people now as compared to five years ago. It is a good  indication that people have developed interest in holidaying while per taking an activity. This trend may be because people are keen on not just having fun but building their state of well being, mentally, spiritually and physically.

Activity Safaris
  • Bungee Jumping
  • White Water Rafting 
  • Snorkeling 
  • Deep Sea Fishing 
  • Scuba Diving 
  • Mountain Climbing or Trekking 
  • Gorilla or Chimp Tracking 
  • Boating 
  • Sky diving 
  • Biking
One of our newest "activity" safari is a health retreat meant to build you emotionally and physically, a yoga treat at Laikipia's latest addition;The Suyian Soul. This safari is a 3 days yoga and botanical adventure, created to for the sole purpose of healing broken relationships..finding out about avoidance and allowing trust to return into our lives! This treat consists of Bowen therapy, Bach flower remedies - healing Gestalt therapy with Ammet and transformational yoga with Anne, where you learn the process of awakening supreme consciousness by cleansing our body of toxins and generating lasting energy!

Another latest addition is  bungee jumping at Kenya's Sagana - Tana river, where our twitter followers suggested a trip specially created for them under the #TembeaKenya ! A great initiative credited to our Kenyan Tourism Board - Magical Kenya.

Short Itinerary:

The tweeps affair - Bungee Jumping in Sagana

10th December 2011 (Nairobi - Sagana) 
12:30pm - Meet at ABC Place, Waiyaki Way Westlands where our offices are located. Depart for Sagana.
03:00pm - Arrive at Sagana, settle in and relax. Those willing to take the Bungee Jump on that day get to do it.
06.00pm - Freshen up for Dinner
08.00pm till late - Barbecue dinner by a bonfire plus fun activities.

11th December 2011( Sagana - Nairobi) 
08.30am - Breakfast  at the camping ground
10.00am - Bungee Jump (Those who did not jump the previous night)
12.00pm - Lunch at the camping ground
02.00pm - Depart for Nairobi

KES 5,000 - Transport, food and accommodation.
KES 4,800 - Cost per Bungee Jump

For details contact Samuel or Angela;
 Email: /
Tel: 0722331899 / 0733873625 / 4441030 / 4447151 
Skype: samuellgt or angelalgt1 
Twitter: @LetsGoTravelKE