Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Home hosted tea picking activity
Globe-trotting is never complete without a special retreat in the beauty of the true Kenyan cultural experience that writes the story of a country rich in diversity and ambiance. Inclusive Holidays Africa continues to set the best standards for that special home stay in a typical Kenyan hinterland in the heart of the tea-growing Kericho, or at the foot of Mt. Kenya on a chilly morning milking while catching a glimpse of the phenomenal snow-capped mountain, awakening in the virgin rays of a sunrise in central Kenya.
Blending and being assimilated in a people's way of life is perhaps the best adventure, because it not only leaves nostalgic memories of a kind and hospitable people, but also captures the reality that the world is one beautiful global village, with so much to see and learn.

Standing proud and tall in Western Kenya is Kogello village, the native home to Obama Siaya typical Luo village that narrates the story of a young boy, driven by determination to acquire education despite all the odds, and in the pursuit for this education bringing forth a man so powerful many years later; current President of the United States, Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama sharing a hearty moment with the granny Sarah
Kogelo Community village, Kogelo,  also known as Nyang’oma Kogelo, is a rural village in Alego - Siaya District, Nyanza Province, Kenya. It is located near the equator, 40 kilometers west-northwest of Kisumu City, and the county capital. Kisumu – Siaya road leads to Kogelo branching from Ng’iya junction. Barack Obama, Sr. is buried in the village. Some of their family members, including his paternal grandmother Mama Sarah Anyango Obama, still lives in the home. In Mama Sarah Obama’s home; you will find both the graves of Barack Obama Sr. and his father’s.
You will also find in the homestead Mama Sarah’s house, the security tents, visit the vegetable garden, the cattle Boma and sit under the big mango trees where Mama Sarah conducts interviews with visitors. You may choose to be party to Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the education and welfare of disenfranchised children in order to help them successfully achieve their goals and have a better future.

The Luhya bull fighting is another beautiful face of Kenyan cultural tourism, done originally and with more cheer and colorful, not even like the heroic metadors of Spain.

Bull Fighting Event
Set near the beautiful kakamega Forest, the bull fighting events of Kakamega are a curious aspect of Luhya culture that happens several times a year, forming a crucial aspect of Luhya culture. Deep in the kakamega rain forest, the calls of primates are heard. Snakes slither by in sauntering slyness, while butterflies make their journeys beneath the forest roof in droves, forming beautiful clouds of multiple colors. Kakamega Forest is a pristine area of lush rain forest in Kenya, a remnant forest of the great forests of old in the Congo. Rare species of primates, including the red tailed monkey, butterflies and chameleons and bird life such as the Blue Turaco, snakes and reptiles make their homes beneath the verdant canopy of the rainforests. Nearby, the sounds of an excited crowd are heard: the bull fighting event of kakamega is about to begin.

The bull fighting events of kakamega happen in Sigalagala, which the local Luhya people call home. A roar of noise is heard from the gathering crowd of locals as they jeer and blow traditional horns. Two different villages are leading their bulls to an open field, with an Efi kuti bullfighting dance – drums and singers egg the bulls on down a dusty road to the open field where they will meet in battle. The two bulls, each representing a village, are fed traditional beer before being pitted against each other to battle it out for the pride of the two opposing villages. The bulls are provoked by the crowd and lock horns in fierce battle to the cries and of the jeers of the Luhya, until one finally flees and the victorious village is brought together in a victory lap of heightened celebration. The owner of the winning bull takes the prize money. Lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, the bull fighting events in Kakamega occur several times a year and form a crucial aspect of the Luhya culture, reinforcing clan loyalty and communal pride. It is an age-old tradition. Bulls are a vital aspect of Luhya culture, and prize-fighters are highly respected in the village, pampered and showered with adoration and affection by the locals in preparation for the all-important show-down. The bullfights are followed by communal celebrations. This unusual activity is an extremely vibrant and interesting cultural spectacle that anyone will enjoy.

The Luhya culture is diverse, and very original just like it continues being told and retold every time the circumcision season of the Bukusu beckons. The Bukusu are from the Bantu speaking group and is one of the sub-tribes which constitutes the Luhyia community, the third largest tribe in Kenya after the Agikuyu and the Luo. They are mostly found in Western part of our country Kenya.
No eye blinking or shaking the boy should exhibit.
They are still holding to some of their traditions which, among them, the traditional rite of passage from childhood to adulthood-traditional circumcision ceremony called khukhwingila (which when translated means to enter).The whole process is one that is not void of cheer, from the time the young boy later to become a warrior in the Luhya community shows unwatered bravery to undergo this very important rite of passage. When a male boy feels that he is ready for the ceremony, he approaches his father who prepares the required materials that are necessary for the ceremony. These are a male bull or a he goat, traditional beer called kamalwa, the circumciser and a small house called Likombe for the boy.
Circumcision Ritual Passage
The boy then gets the jingles (chinyimba) ready. They are played by the boy as people sing and dance for him during the entire process called Khulanga (calling).The Bukusu circumcision ceremony is perhaps the greatest show of unwavering bravery and gallance, since before the actual cutting of the foreskin by the circumciser, there is not an iota of doubt that the candidate is the bravest of his age-group. He then leads his to the point where he is left to stand at hands akimbo. The circumciser cuts the boy. No eye blinking or shaking the boy should exhibit.

Maasai Women Plastering their Traditional House
There are many ceremonies in the Maasai community and the most popular ones are Enkipaata, Emuratta, Eunoto, Eokoto e-kule, Enkang oo-nkiri, Orngesherr. The first boy's initiation is Enkipaata (pre-circumcision ceremony), and is organized by fathers of the new age set. Enkipaata can only happen, when the senior warriors are settled. This ceremony is the transition into a new age set. After enkipaata ceremony, boys are ready for the most important initiation known as Emuratare (circumcision)
Eunoto marks the status of a warrior transitioning to a senior warrior. This initiation also permits senior warriors to marry, which in turn prepares them to become future fathers.
The Maasai herd cattle, goats, and donkeys . Their wealth is proportional to the size of their herd, which lets them afford multiple wives.

Another fascinating face of cultural tourism in Kenya is the spectacular Lake Baringo. Lake Baringo is the traditional home of the Njemps people.
The Njemps are linguistically related to both the Maasai and the Samburu, and possibly genetically related to one, or both of these tribes. The Njemps have many clear cultural associations to both groups, and there are several theories as to their actual origin. One possibility is that the Njemps are descended from a Samburu clan known as the Il-Doigo, while another theory sees them as descendants of a Maasai clan driven out of the Laikipia area by inter-clan warfare. The Njemps often fish on the shore using nets and lines, and have no fear whatsoever of the lakes many crocodiles. Despite this, some attacks have been recorded, so visitors should not swim in the Lake. If you are visiting Baringo, you will pass by many Njemps villages while exploring the shores or Ol Kokwe island.
EL Molo Traditional Dance Group
Further north of Kenya you come across at least twelve ethnic communities among them the El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanatch, Gabra, Burji, Borana, Konso, Sakuye, Garee,and Waata. The presentation of the customs and living conditions of the twelve tribes, their spectacular traditional costumes, arts and crafts, dances and music is a unique and fascinating experience.

Dramatic Chuka Dancers
Traditional Kenyan troupe of dancers continue to entertain visitors as well as preserve the rich folklore that has been passed from generations over. Among the most dramatic are the Chuka and Mbeere dancers who play unusually big drums held between their legs, with so much zeal and zest celebrating a part of their own culture and tradition. The Mwazindika dance of the coastal Taita community and the Mwomboko of the Gikuyu community are a great rendition, one would miss the words but not the renditions.
The Bomas of Kenya, despite being a large conference centre is the collective home to the different homes to different communities, bomas corrupted from the national Kenyan language Swahili. The Bomas of Kenya put on displays of traditional dancers and spread over many acres, it also has a wonderful display of mud huts and traditional Kenyan homesteads. It is the ideal place to bring energetic children as they can freely run in and out of the traditional houses & mud huts, climb up ladders and generally have a wonderfully active time. These traditional houses are set out in clusters according to the region.
Kikuyu Traditional Attire
The homes are grouped with the first wife's hut, second wife's hut, granary etc. and you can see where the livestock are kept and the enormous variety between the nuts.
The Fort Jesus in old Mombasa is located at Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. It is one of the three outstanding early Portuguese forts built around the coast of Africa in the 16th century and now included on the world heritage list (others are at Mazagan, Morocco, and the Island of Mozambique).  It was built between 1593 and 1596, and features high plastered walls built of coral rock, and a peculiar angular shape designed so that any assailant trying to climb any of the walls could easily come under fire from one of the bastions.  It was kept under Portuguese control for around 100 years, falling to Omani Arabs in 1698, and buildings within the Fort reflect a series of such changes over the centuries. The walls and surrounding moat enclose an area of approximately 150m x 150m.
There is no single prominent culture that defines Kenya. It instead consists of various cultures practiced by the 42 different communities and dialect. Due to its very nature, cuisine, national dressing, music and various other cultural activities vary depending on the community. There is a lot of cultural activities to engage in as you travel round the country. Inclusive Holidays Africa and other reputable Destination Management Companies in Kenya  will be delighted to arrange a pre or post safari home stay with any of the communities to experience and get assimilated in their way of life.

 Stephen Mwasio is a Tourism Consultant and CEO for Inclusive Holidays Africa – Twitter @inclusiveafrica

Monday, 15 September 2014


Kenya's David Rudisha
When you mention sports and Kenya, the large number of world class distance runners immediately comes to mind. Kenyans have traditionally performed well in international track competitions, and continue to take the gauntlet flying the Kenyan flag high. This great panache has come with many years of routine in the Kenyan hinterlands. School-going children rise at the break of dawn every morning, feeling their way under the cover of darkness before their long journey starts to school. Their thirst for education is one that is only quenched in the dismal classrooms, where, with many days and months of persistence, they have learnt the alphabet, and even how to spell and write their names. Their long arduous treks to and from school, with time, become a routine, and the discipline sets in, fueled by their desire to be better stationed citizens in the future. Inspiring stories of men who started this way have challenged the world, especially along the escarpments of the Great Rift Valley, including David Rudisha and Paul Tergat. Others have risen to the zenith of their success from the very pastoralists fields, where with discipline and agility ran after herds of cattle, and with resilience and persistence came out as one of the world's finest athletes. Their talent, shaped by attitude and altitude, and once oblivion to them, has brought out Kenya as one of the best sports training grounds in the world.

Kenya's tourism marketing is revolutionizing by tapping into the key events held in the country and using them as a platform to promote domestic and international travel. Sporting events like the recent Diani Touch Rugby tournament, which saw participants from across the border in Tanzania join with others coming as far as France and the UK to play against Kenyan teams have marketed Kenya as a sporting destination. Kenya, besides athletics, has excelled in rugby and played alongside titans like New Zealand and South Africa with successes in the famous International Rugby 7's tournaments from Dubai to Australia. This has drawn fans from all over the world to attend rugby matches held in Nairobi and the trending circuit in county stadia like the Masakuu Rugby 7's tournament dubbed Macha7s.
This according to Kenya's tourism marketing agency is one of the strategies to boost tourists’ numbers that have recorded a drop as a result of insecurity.

In a press briefing during the 6th edition of Diani Touch Rugby held recently in Diani, Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said key annual events held across the country have the potential to grow tourism.
"A number of County Governments and private sector have hosted and continue to host key events that have the potential to attract international participation and as Kenya Tourism Board we shall continue to leverage on these avenues to grow the tourism sector," Mr. Ndegwa said.
Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee said the beach rugby tournament is recognized internationally and noted that the sport will go a long way in marketing Kenya's coastal beaches.
"Touch rugby is no longer a small event, it is recognition globally. I call for more focus on marketing to encourage more international participation. The union will collaborate with organizers to bring more international participants."
Kenya is known worldwide as the athlete country of the world. Major annual athletic events include the Standard Chartered Marathon and the Lewa Marathon.
Running in the wild - Safaricom Lewa Marathon
The 15th annual Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon took place on Lewa on Saturday, 28th June 2014. Organised by Tusk and supported by Safaricom, this fundraising event hosted 1,000 runners from over 20 different countries. The Safaricom Marathon is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world. However, runners of all abilities take part, from fun runners, walkers and amateurs, to professionals like Paul Tergat the Kenyan international and former world record holder. This years winner was Philemon Baaru, winning the title three years in a row.

Maralal International Camel Derby
In the sweltering sand of Samburu county is held the annual camel classic dubbed Samburu Maralal International Camel Derby, the recent one held last August 28th-31st and the next one slated to begin on August 24th-26th 2015.The Kenya Tourism Board has been using this event to open up the northern  tourist circuit to both domestic and international tourists. During the recent Maralal Derby preparations, Samburu County Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal said that the Maralal Camel Derby is meant to pull travel enthusiasts to the northern part of the country which has unexplored tourist attractions.

“We intend to use this event to attract both local and international tourists to the northern tourism circuit where we have several unexploited attraction sites,” he stated.

The KCB Safari Rally
The event is set to attract participants from East Africa, the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Ghana, France, Brazil, China, Poland among others. Among the activities that will take place include amateur and professional camel races, bike competitions, marathon, cultural and culinary shows.

The KCB Safari Rally, held every April is a chance to see a world-class motor sport event held in the Nairobi area. The course covers some 700 km / 435 miles. Another safari rally event that draws tourists from different parts of the globe is The Rhino Charge. This annual off-road motor race each May takes competitors deep into the African bush of Kenya, whilst also raising funds for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust.
The Rhino Charge Experience
The warm waters of Kenya’s Indian Ocean is a great attraction to water lovers and has been one of the best coastlines in the world, not only for the white sandy beaches and beautiful lagoons, but also for the many beach sports that are a great pastime for both domestic and international tourists. These include sports like kite surfing, snorkeling in the clear blue waters, sailing, deep-sea fishing, wind surfing, dhow trips, kayaking and scuba-diving. It is a whole wonderful experience of the water sports in the Kenyan Indian ocean and the Lake Victoria basin.

Kenya has a number of beautifully scenic golf courses at various altitudes from Sea Level right up to the nine-hole Molo course at 2740m (8989ft). Windsor Golf and Country club is one of the attractions and The Railway golf club in the center of Nairobi city. The most recent is the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort in Naivasha which apart from golf also offer a variety of activities for adventurous guests, including Game and Bird walks, Fishing and Boating on Lake Naivasha. The oldest is the Royal Nairobi Golf Club. The "Royal" title was bestowed on the Nairobi Golf Club in 1935 by King George V. Other golf courses include the Muthaiga and Karen Golf Clubs each with championship courses.
Sports in Kenya continues to be a prime tourist attraction, winning the attention of many tourists ,both local and international.
Golfing at The Great Rift Valley Lodge

Monday, 8 September 2014


The journey of a thousand memories starts in Kenya, which has been mapped as one of the greatest destinations in the world. Just as the colors of her national flag flaunt gaudily to blend in the diversity therein, so is the atmosphere that nurtures your primal instincts, a million steps away home. Garnishing a cocktail of gin and dry vermouth with a bed of ice cubes while overlooking the city under the sun sounds a deal too good, fortunately it is real. Imagine the euphoria that is to do business, wine, meet, do and dine or wake to a champagne buffet breakfast, altogether viewing the tides of the Indian Ocean swash back and forth. This is the feeling the Kenyan hospitality industry continues to offer so selflessly to the world, and rising even higher to win the acclaim of millions more souls.
As a country before we launch ourselves as competitive MICE destination it is essential to examine our natural strengths and determine our future as MICE destination examining the following:
  1. Is the destination easily accessible?
  2. Do we have the necessary top class facilities and attractions?
  3. Is the destination receiving  support by the government?
  4. What is our unique local appeal?
  5. Do we have an attractive image?
  6. How competitive are we with the neighbouring destinations?
The new terminal, Terminal 1 at JKIA
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport serves as the gateway connecting the rest of the world to Kenya, with scheduled flights to over 50 countries. Located just 9 miles from Nairobi Central Business, JKIA continues to serve passengers with an effortless sense of style to earn its commensurate respect and admiration as the pride of Africa. Kenya Airways, Kenya's flag bearer has rivaled its way, vast and wild from the South East Asian isthmus to the ice-cold Russian Sheremetyevo International Airport. In 2011, more than 5,803,635 passengers were served at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, making it the ninth busiest airport in Africa by total passengers. The airport which handles an average 6.5 million passengers per year expects to hit the 25 million mark by 2025 with the current growth of traffic at a rate of 12% per annum. 

One of Kenya Airways' Dreamliner - The Pride of Africa!
 The recent ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new passenger Green Field Terminal is one major step in making the Kenyan dream come true, as the single largest terminal in Africa. The terminal to be completed in 2016 at a cost of US$ 654 million, designed by London-based architects Pascal and Watson will have among other facilities 60 check in positions, 32 air bridges, 8 remote gates, an automated baggage commercial retail centre and a commuter railway station, to serve 3,133 international passengers per typical peak hour.

A new, second, Instrument Landing System(ILS)-equipped runway 5,500 metres long in length has been approved for construction at a cost of US$14.8 million and is expected to be ready by December 2017. This will enable direct long-haul flights to destinations such as New York City carrying up to 32 tones. These developments are premised on Kenya's Vision 2030 to be not only the biggest destination, but also the largest economy in Africa.

Kenya has a well serviced network of airstrips and airports for domestic flights, and an array of airlines. Located 2 kms south of Nairobi is Nairobi Wilson Airport handling domestic airlines like Airkenya Aviation and Safarilink Aviation usually for tourism. Destinations like Masai Mara, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro, Amboseli to the Lamu Archipelago,(Manda Airport) is just a short flight away.

Hotels and venues
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Room
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
MICE tourism sector in Kenya is expanding and the hospitality industry in general with new payers coming into the market. The globalization of business has increased the needs for the MICE industry and although meetings & incentives have been tried hard the last years we see a tremendous development for the "incentivized" meetings in which "know how" is exchanged and combined with unforgettable experiences. Construction of  hotel properties is on the rise in Kenya and is projected to increase the total number of available rooms from 17,500 currently to 19,400 by 2018, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Marriott plans a new hotel in Nairobi in 2015 and Hilton plans to open two hotels in Nairobi in the next few years. Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Lonrho Hotels are other international hotel brands planning to expand in Nairobi," the report says. Bed or stay night, which measures occupancy in terms of one person a night in a hotel room, will recover to the levels reached in 2011 later in 2018, the report says..
According the fourth edition of PwC's coverage of the hospitality industry titled 'Hospitality outlook: 2014-2018' the focus is on South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius and Kenya.
Nigeria will be the fastest-growing hotel market over the next five years with a projected 22.6 per cent compound annual gain, fueled by increase in available rooms and large gains in stay unit nights attributed to a booming economy. In South Africa, increased construction in the hospitality sector is expected to raise the number of hotel rooms to 20,873 in 2018 from 14,144 currently.
Lawn Barbeque at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
During his tenure as the minister for tourism, the then Mvita MP, Najib Balala urged hoteliers in Mombasa to refurbish their facilities and more so to reap in the trending conference and business tourism. Towards this end, the government has signed a lease with Bamburi Cement Company in which the company will donate a piece of land to the Tourism ministry through the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation for the construction of a conference centre in Mombasa. The planned construction of the 5,000-capacity conference centre, which was mooted some time mid last year, is part of the government’s plan to re-brand Mombasa as business tourism hub, a shift from the leisure tourist destination it currently is.

Kenyatta International Convention Centre
The conference centre, which will be constructed through the Private Public Partnership joint project, will give an opportunity for Mombasa to host business conferences as part of business tourism attraction project. “We want to change the tourism sector in Mombasa from the leisure tourism to business and conference tourism. This will have more yields for this region,” Balala said.
Bomas Of Kenya Convention Centre
Kenyatta International Convention Centre (K.I.C.C) is the well known and most popular events venue in Africa. Centrally located in Nairobi, has been the leading host of numerous high-profile events, conferences and seminars. The KICC is facilitated with state-of-the-art facilities, making it a world-class venue in Africa, with major upcoming international events like the Ideal Hospitality Expo, 17-20 September 2014. Other conference facilities in Nairobi include the UNEP Division of Conference Services, Gigiri Nairobi, Hotel Villa Rosa Kempinski, The Bomas of Kenya, Safaricom Stadium Gymnasium, Kenya National Theater among others, giving meetings and conferences a whole new meaning of comfort and class.

Government Support
Past and present government has made enormous strides in improving the road network in Kenya, with 160,686 kilometres (99,970 mi) of roads according to the Kenya Roads Board. The government recognizes transport is one of the key drivers of economy enabling swift transit of people, goods and services from one point to the other. The government of Kenya is spearheading the development of Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project to strengthen her position as a gateway and a transport and logistics hub to the East African sub-region and the Great Lakes region to facilitate trade, promote regional economic  integration and interconnectivity between African countries.  With the new constitutional dispensation, the government is allocating more direct resources to the county governments to upgrade the local feeder roads and by extension enabling easy access to her national parks and game reserves.

The Local appeal and Image
An Incentive Group visit to a Maasai Village
Kenya Tourism Board and Kenya Tourism Development Corporation aligns its mandate to bring about the desired growth in the tourism industry, to steer Kenya towards becoming a top 10 long-haul tourist destination offering a high end ,diverse, and distinctive visitor experience. Some of the key areas focused on include projects like development of 4 resort cities, in Isiolo, Konza city,  Diani and Kilifi in order to capitalize on the rich tourism potential presented by the presence of Mt.Kenya, Meru National Park, the Aberdares as well as Samburu National game reserve. Another major project involves the Park initiatives to brand the most popular parks in order to offer high quality experience at premium rates. The bed capacity in most of the under-utilized parks has been advertised for expansion. The Kenya Wildlife Service has branded several parks including Mt. Elgon National park, Saiwa swamp national Park, Meru National Park. Kenya undoubtedly leads the way to attract more and more visitors every morning, noon and night and has put even more incentives like the development of Health Spas at Geothermal sites especially in the Rift valley, Eco-tourism, construction of Golf City in Nairobi, improvement in water tourism by raising the number of bed capacity in fresh water lakes around Lake Victoria and Ruma National Park.
The World famous Wildebeest migration is one of the major attractions in Kenya. Visitors come every year to witness this eighth wonder of the world, and there are approximately 108 camps and lodges in the Masai Mara area, with a total bed capacity of 4000. By and by, it will be a dream come true for Kenya as the leading global tourist destination.

DMC Complement
Having Fun in the African Bush
Some of the top Destination Management Companies such as Abercrombie & Kent, KUONI Private Safaris, Pollman’s Tours & Safaris, Kobo Safaris and Inclusive Holidays Africa deserve due recognition for their immense contribution towards  promoting the destination Kenya in the fierce competitive MICE market worldwide. They are committed to providing exceptional quality destination management services to complement your convention, incentive, meeting or special event.
 At Inclusive Holidays Africa we make sure that travel to Kenya is one magical and reliable experience. The staffs are highly trained and are as much excited about the locations as much as the visitors.
Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara Plains
The staffs have extensively traveled throughout the destinations offered and it is with this knowledge and unique understanding that they are able to create the most appropriate and fulfilling itineraries to meet visitor needs, bringing you first-hand knowledge of the locations you will visit and the hotels, lodges and camps that will accommodate you. From floating over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon, enjoying themed meals at the hotel, participating in team building activities, to a bush breakfast in the open savannah, you can be rest assured that with this knowledge you are in expert hands.

For your Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events, the destination is KENYA!