Of all the modern places in the world, there are few that can compete with the beauty and exoticness of Africa and specifically Kenya. Here, you won’t need your cellphone, no need to watch movies on your iPad and certainly no need to worry about emails…instead, step off the plane and leave your emotional luggage behind.
We all need some time to run away from the hectic stress that is modern life. And yes, even though times are fast and maybe easier, it often pushes us away from nature and we tend to forget the beauty and gifts we receive from this planet. While in Africa, you can’t help but fall in love with the vast savannas, the exotic trees, the blues oceans and the most incredible colors in the sky we’ve ever seen. The beaches are untouched and decorated with greenery and wild animals. Kenya is rich with eco-friendly places that can give you so much more than you can imagine. It is a beautiful experience to realize how important nature is.
It is very easy to see where the local artists draw their inspiration from…the vibrant colors of their country can be seen in their artwork which is sold in the marketplaces. They use wood, shells, and pearls to create truly unique gifts.
One thing we truly love about Kenya is the people. A smile is a common expression and despite the fact that they don’t use all the modern luxuries…the people here live happily in their lives. There is an honest simplicity about life that actually allows them to live more freely. Something that perhaps we should try to incorporate more in our ever hectic modern day lives. Kenya is not a fast paced world and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The people in Kenya take pride in their culture, their traditions and their environment. Being eco-friendly is a way of life. Nothing is wasted, energy is valued and appreciated and there is a respect for the planet and animals that reside here. Kenya is a adventure not just for the eyes, but for the soul as well. Bringing us back to nature, reminding us to appreciate it and to take care of the planet.
We highly recommend that you enjoy a safari while visiting Kenya.
Let’s start our eco-friendly trip by heading to the Masai Mara. You'll need to take a flight to it, but flying over Kilimanjaro makes it definitely worth it. You'll feel like you walked into Animal Planet channel. The animals are so close that you can feel their emotions...you can see their peace, fear, love and violence. That is the animal world. To have the opportunity to see these animals run without borders and witness first hand their survival instincts is a once in a lifetime experience.
It's definitely worth the time to visit the Masai Mara tribe. You will be able to see up close and personal how their life is out in the wild. They are resourceful people and survivors of this land. For the welcome, you will see their traditional dance, Adamu. Masai music traditional consists of rhythms provided by a chorus of vocalists singing harmonies while a song leader, or olaranyani, sings the melody. Their cottages are made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dun and human urine...and hey, it works because they've built a whole village out of this. Their happiness and pastimes consists of singing and dancing...no social networks here to keep them occupied.
They are vibrant dressers using colorful fabrics for their clothing and a never shying away from their traditional accessories of necklaces, piercings or stretched lobes. Traditionally you will be offered to try their diet that consists of meat, milk and blood from the cattle but we agree that perhaps this may be only for the real adventure type. Like we said, nothing is wasted here in Kenya.
In keeping with the eco-friendliness way of life, we thought these two resorts did an outstanding job of incorporating the importance of the nature and the comfort of their guests.
The cottages are built with organic design using palm thatch and woven matting floors. The local Bajuni communities of Mkokoni , Faza , Kiwayu and Matondoni use traditional construction material: dried palm fronds and mangrove poles. One can imagine the enormous quantities of the hand dried woven palm leaves that are required to make the floors. There is no concrete used, just natural materials and the hard work of the people within the community. This is a vital income source for them. In the ensuite cottages you can find a spacious bedroom, a dressing area with two basins and a shower with warm water heated via solar power. All the cottages are located on the shore so your music will come from the sea breeze, and the songs of the birds. You are promised the wonderful feel of the ocean at your feet but you’ll have to survive without A/C, television and tiled floors to experience this wondrous natural place. One thing that might tempt you to come here is the food…fishes straight from the sea. And of course, the snorkeling, diving and the fishing will be among the highlights for your stay at Kiwayu Safari Village.
So, now that we’ve got you excited about Kenya…here is what we think you should pack when heading there.
When you're in Africa and not on a safari, we highly recommend you hit the beach...we love these inspired suits that make us feel like we belong in the most fashionable of animal kingdoms.
Keep your feet happy with these vegan, leather-free flats. We think their style and function are perfect for walks around town.
Bridget Bardot for Lancel is an eco-friendly and chic option. This creation was inspired by nature, animals and made of fully recyclable materials.
Next is Lauren Bush’s celebrity favorite Feed Bag. Former model and full-time advocate, Lauren Bush, used her star power to create this bag. For every purchase, 1 child will be fed for 1 year. Chic and with a cause.
In the most eco-friendly fashion, a bag has come around to replace the plastic bags of the world. We have designer Anya Hindmarch to thank for this fashionable solution to a major problem.
Great way to embrace the adventurer in you...just pick up a hat like these:
And for everyday travel, we are opting for simple outfits...shorts and an easy top...add your sandals, a hat and your bag and you're ready to go for the nearest adventure. This trip is not about working your look on the catwalk but actually seeing the cats do their walk for you. We love these tank and short options by Edun…this super eco-friendly company was started by Ali Hewson and U2’s frontman Bono in 2005. Since then, they have worked hard on developing trade with Africa and encouraging companies to do the same.
For keeping your toes safe from harm during your safari trip or a hike, we suggest something like Toms Shoes. Not only will they allow your foot to stay comfortable even in the hottest of days, but this company has revolutionized what it means to have a cause. For every pair purchased, one pair is donated to a child in need…we love what they stand for and we think they’re the perfect option for your eco-friendly trip to Kenya.
Our last tip has to do with Malaria...don't forget to make sure you get your pills and all your shots before going to this remote but beautiful place. If you have that covered, we can promise you that the only danger is to be surrounded with lions and leopards...while they're hunting for zebras....but that hardly ever happens....hardly.
Safest of travels, embrace the nature, appreciate the simplicity of life and enjoy this destination...we definitely did.