- Written by Super User
Maasai Mara national reserve is one of the country’s major attractions for local and international tourists from across the world. One of its highlights is the wildebeest migration which occurs annually as several wild animals including antelopes and zebras cross to the Serengeti in Tanzania in search of food and water.
Olumara Camp is one of the hotels located in the Maasai Mara where visitors can experience the migration. While speaking to Josephine Wawira, the Global PR/Comms Assistant at Jumia Travel,David Kuria the Managing Director of the camp highlighted the performance during the migration season.
How is your bed occupancy performance during this year’s Great Migration season?
David: This time it coincided with the general elections period making it a little shaky. However, we maintained a 40 per cent rate in bed occupancy from mid-August. Between June and July our numbers stood at 70 per cent when the migration was at its peak in the Masai Mara.
How would you classify your guests particularly in percentages of domestic vs foreign tourists?
David: We appreciate that over the years we have experienced a rise in domestic guests seeking to visit the Mara as compared to earlier years when we primarily received mostly foreigners. But, it is noticeable that the numbers still vary greatly, with 20 per cent and 80 per cent resident and non-resident guests respectively. Besides, families and groups of friends frequent more during the holidays such as Easter and Christmas, while solo travelers and couples are our more frequent guests at Olumara. We tend to attribute these trends to some factors such as poor infrastructure, forcing most tourists to the Mara to opt for flights which are quite expensive.
Take for instance a family of five paying for a flight, accommodation, and meals for a minimum two nights, not to mention the exorbitantly high park fees that range about $80 USD (Sh8000) for non-residents and approximately $10 USD (Sh1000) for Kenyan citizens. These will require plenty of planning, and saving especially for locals, with most of them opting for other destinations such as the Kenyan Coast. Thankfully, travel agencies such as Jumia Travel are easing the hustle to travel to the Mara, with their exclusive resident rates, as well as discounts and affordable packages.
The Masai Mara is described as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. Are you satisfied with the maintenance of the reserve, and if not, what would you say needs to be done?
David: The Masai Mara ecosystem is a collection of parks and conservancies, the creation of which was a great idea because it helped solve the problem of the Masai Mara National Reserve being penned in by private development, giving the animals migration space. But what was once a very good idea has now become unproductive, in that many segments of the conservancies are fencing themselves off and limiting movement of wildlife within the entire Masai Mara - Serengeti ecosystem. Also, of great concern is the over-development of lodges and tents especially in Talek. Besides, the M.I.C.E industry has not fully exploited conferencing products in the wild, which in our opinion is a good corporate getaway giving ambience for productive deliberations.
Access to the Mara by road is a big challenge especially past Narok. Two airlines dominate fly-in safaris; Safarilink and Airkenya Express, with recent entries like Governors Aviation and Mombasa Air. Yet, the conservancy remains out of reach for the average East African guest in terms of cost. A lot needs to be done, with roads development being on top of the list if the ecosystem is to enjoy a more diverse and frequent guest.
- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Baby banda pregnancy and baby fair is set to hold its annual event in October celebrating its tenth anniversary at the Sarit Centre, expo hall bringing together parents and experts from all over the country.
Such events offer new parents a chance to gain information and a learning experience on how to ease into their new roles. In the case of baby banda pregnancy and baby fair, it was created as a platform to empower mothers and their growing families as such; this year’s theme is celebrating ten years of nurturing. It gives a chance to parents to engage, socialize, shop and learn from experts in the field on matters pregnancy, giving birth, child care and raising well-mannered children.
It is usually held over three days in which different experts from various fields including pediatricians, doula’s, midwives, lactation managers, first aid practitioners, counselors and therapists among others. These experts will offer information in relation to; child safety, HIV/AIDS in pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, pre natal and post natal depression, types of child birth, infant care, nutrition nanny care, how to balance work and home life.
Besides this, there will also be different family fun activities and competitions where the attendees will have a chance to win prizes, a play area for babies and toddlers with child care professionals manning it, ensuring that they do not hurt themselves as they plan.
On site, there will be a diaper changing area, that is comfortable to lay a child and lactation area.
However it is not just an event for mothers, fathers are also encouraged to attend as the sessions are structured to address the family unit as a whole.
Local and international exhibitors will also be present offering the attendees a chance to purchase baby and mother products at a discount.
It will be held on October 6th – 8th 2017. For more information call: 0733718452
- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Kenyan parents seeking to involve their children in after-school and holiday activities can enroll them at the Garden City mall kids club as way of improving their self esteem by socializing with their peers and defining their personality.
According to an Ohio State University study on the importance of kids’ clubs, it found that they strengthen kids' self image and keep them out of trouble.
"The more kids participate in these clubs, the better self concept they have and then that self concept makes children less vulnerable to engaging in problem behaviors," said Dawn Anderson-Butcher, an associate professor of social work at Ohio State University.
"We are finding that daily attendance isn't as important as whether the kids feel attached to the organization and have a good relationship with a staff member. Those two things predict the best outcomes and the least amount of vulnerability."
By joining the club they will also enjoy discounts at Century IMAX, Art Works studios, Garden City waterpark and play park and the skating Park.
Activities at the club include play art centre where they will enjoy one hour of colouring and media mix mosaic on embossed paper for Sh300.Kids will also have the chance to skate for up to three hours at a charge of Sh2500-a onetime cost for all weekends until 3rd September, they can also watch movies at special rate of Sh700 including snacks.
The mall’s water park will also be open to them. It includes water slides, fountains, jets and sprays with a non-slipping floor to ensure children do not get hurt as they have fun. It also includes a modern play area surrounding it. Other kids’ activities in the play area include: bouncy castle, bumper cars, slide, trampoline, free face painting and balloon art. Charges are Sh100 on weekdays and Sh350 on the weekend.
The Garden City mall is located on along the Thika super highway. Registration and entry is free and ongoing at the mall management office.
For children aged 4 – 12 years
Entry is free.
For more information call: 0725 866008
- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Kenyan parents can engage their children as the school holiday winds down in family fun activities such these:
In an event exclusively for children, the Storymoja Africa will host a workshop for children between 6-13 years and their parents.
It will give them a chance to express themselves through stories including colouring books. They will also have a chance to interact with authors and storytellers Muthoni Garland who will offer them advice and tips on how to go about story telling. They will also engage with Dafrose Ambani as she infuses dance into storytelling.
It will take place on Saturday, August 26th at Storymoja Africa grounds from 10am to 4pm. Charges are Sh500 per child.
Kids' Fun Day at Best Western Plus Meridian Hotel
The hotel will on Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m host a kids’ fun day with activities including coloring, painting, movie watching, muffin decoration, bouncing castles and lots of games.
They will also be a special lunch buffet for kids and parents.
Charges are Sh700 per child, adults Sh1400.
It is located in the Nairobi CBD along Murang’a road.
Simba Rugby Camp at St Christopher's Secondary School
The Simba Rugby Academy is offering Kenyan children a chance to train and enhance their rugby skills with some of Kenya's best rugby athletes and coaches including Robert Aringo , Anthony Nyandigisi, Oneal Juma, David Ambunya and Lyle Asiligwa.
The sessions are suitable for boys and girls age eight to under19 years. During School Days it still offers trainings on Saturday from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
Charges are; daily Sh2, 000 or month Sh7, 000 or per semester Sh18,000
For more information call +254 738 458 164/ +254 789 799 444.
Back to School Party at Westgate Shopping Mall
The retail centre will on September 9th host a party for Kenyan children as they gear up for a another term of school from 10am to 4pm.
Activities will include watching the Emoji Movie released this month, lunch, cotton candy, magic show, kids' games, foosball table, pinata, remote cars, Pony rides, lego building, gift hamper and cake cutting
Charges are Sh1000 in advance and at the gate: Sh1100,
- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Kenyans seeking a getaway and a venue that offers a moment of serenity can visit Karura Forest.
The venue, which was voted the 4th best attraction out of 122 things to do in Nairobi this year on travel review website, TripAdvisor, offers people an escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s commercial business district.
Nature and all its beauty greet you as you enter Karura; the beautiful scenery is created by the towering trees which whisper across your face as the calm wind blows.
For those seeking to get some exercise can choose to take nature walk inside the forest or hire bikes at bikes for hire for Sh500 for a two-hour hire, at the Gate C entrance otherwise known as Sharks Gate.
The waterfalls and caves are located some kilometers away the how far the distance depends on the entrance one uses. The waterfalls are 15-metre high flow into the Karura River, they provide a calmness as one watches the water cascade down the rocks.
A few kilometers ahead, are the caves, which were once hideouts for Kenya’s freedom fighters.
Besides the waterfalls and caves, the nature trail is also ideal for dog walking. The dog walkers trail is located on the northern part of the main forest and their owners are required to have them on leash except in designated sign-posted areas to prevent any incidents.
Other activities include; tree planting, bird watching, tennis at the KFEET Centre grounds, horse riding, mountain biking and educational tours among others the ground also allows for concerts, weddings, team building, exhibitions, dog training, sports and fitness activities.
Besides the ‘normal’ bikes, the forest’s administration has also added multi-speed trail bikes for hire which also include motorless motion and can only be ridden on designated forest trails. They can be hired at Sh500 per two-hour daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
‘Normal’ bikes can be hired from 8:00-18:00 however no hires are permitted after 16:00.
Charges to enter the forest are Kenya citizen child ages 3 to 12 inclusive Sh50 and adults Sh100, use of the picnic grounds: Sh150 adults, Sh100 children..
Karura Maps go for Sh200.
Entry is not permitted after 17:45pm and all visitors are required to have left by 19:00 when the forest gates will be closed.