Discovering Kenya

A free monthly e-zine dedicated to give you the latest, most exciting news and updates to discover Kenya

February 08, 2004 ISSUE #003

Jambo and Asante Sana for becoming a ‘Discovering Kenya‘ Member. Valentines day is coming up; what better time to ask your Valentine to join you on a dream vacation. Or, better yet, take advantage of the fact that it is February and that is a fantastic time to visit Kenya. The weather is lovely, not too hot and not too cool. So, get yourself comfortable, relax your mind and enjoy!... and I promise to make it short and sweet, with exciting news and updates.

1. Intro
2. Contents
3. New additions of the Month
- New travel story page
4. Film location: Kenya
5. University goes Museum
6. Conservation efforts
7. Local News


New additions of the Month:

a. New Travel Story Page
There is a wonderful new travel story page that was sent in by Silvia Danailov and Jonathan Huston titled: Glimpse of Paradise: Our best experiences in Kenya so far...
These two just got back from an amazing trip to Meru National Park, Lamu, a little Swahili town on the Indian Ocean and Lake Magadi, which is close to the Tanzanian border. There is a great little story about a Masai hitchhiker and two incredible, out of this world, lodges. The pictures will speak for themselves. In fact, just looking at them, will make you want to visit, or, could bring back memories of a similar trip, or, will even give you fantastic ideas of places to put on your list of things to see. Enjoy and happy dreaming!!
Glimpse of Paradise

Film Location: Kenya
Lobbying for Kenya as an international film location could make significant gains this year following the nomination of the film 'Love Actually' for best comedy at the Golden Globe film awards. The film was partly shot in Kenya and director Richard Harris backs this country as a favorite film location.

International filmmakers pick Kenya largely due to its excellent scenery.

Last years, 'Nowhere in Africa', largely shot in Kenya, won an Oscar for best foreign-language film and it is an absolute must see.

University goes Museum
Egerton University in Njoro, which is situated in the Nakuru District, about 30 km southwest of Nakuru town, is set to become a major tourist attraction. Nakuru District is located in the Great Rift Valley.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ezra Maritim, said over the weekend, that the institution has teamed up with stakeholders in the North Rift region to market Lord Egerton’s Castle, which attracts foreign tourists and students from various educational institutions.
The castle will be turned into the first agricultural museum in Kenya and it will feature farm tools used by early White settlers. There are also plans to set up a reptile park at the castle, with crocodiles, tortoises, snakes and lizards.
The university has refurbished the castle to its original state. The VC was speaking during the memorial day of the founder of the university, Lord Egerton, and appealed to those who had bought artifacts from the castle to donate or sell them back to the institution.
If you would like to know more about this university, their website address is

Conservation efforts
The Best of Holiday Gifts: Two Newborn Baby Mountain Gorillas!!
The African Wildlife Foundation reported about the best gift of all, which was delivered on Christmas Day to Rwanda’s Susa group of mountain gorillas. This Christmas surprise was born to first-time mother, Nyabitondore. The infant will remain totally dependent upon its mother for many months after which it will continue to feed on mother’s milk and a supplement of solid food. Infants are typically not completely weaned until 3 to 3 ½ years of age. This new addition to the Susa family brings the group size to a total of 36 - making it one of the largest mountain gorilla groups in existence.
On the same day, in neighboring Uganda, one of the habituated mountain gorillas of the Nkuringo group in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park also gave birth. This birth brings the total group size to 22 - up from 17 when habituation started in 1997. The last recorded birth in the Nkuringo group was on September 26, 2003.
To learn more about these mountain gorillas, please visit AWF

California Vintner Pairs New Wine with Conservation Efforts
According to Chinese zodiac, 2004 is the year of the monkey. What perfect timing for the launch of Prospect Peak Cellars new collection of California wines - Papio. Papio wines, which feature frolicking monkeys on its labels, will benefit primates and their habitats through donations to the African Wildlife Foundation. Money received from Papio wines profits will help AWF to continue to implement conservation efforts in its African Heartlands - vast landscapes throughout Africa which have been created to help ensure the precious African wildlife and wild land endures.
I found this wine at a local Trader Joe’s and liked it very much. Papio

Local News
‘Matatu’ (commuter taxi) chaos:
As D-Day approached, Matatu operators across the country rushed to beat the January 31 deadline for the Government’s new traffic rules.
All Public Service Vehicles must be fitted with seatbelts and speed governors, according to the Ministry of Transport and communication. All drivers and conductors - who must have certificates of good conduct from the police - must be employees paid on a monthly basis.
As the day approached only about 5,700 matatus and buses, out of 40,000, had met the requirements and also a shortage of seatbelts and speed governors forced transport operators to keep their vehicles off the road to avoid being arrested. On Monday, February 2, thousand of commuters and students countrywide where effected and left without transportation.
The Government stayed tough on the requirements and police impounded vehicles, that didn’t meet the new safety rules and hundreds of matatu operators were taken to court for raising fares without authority as drivers, as were touts and even passengers who did not fasten their seat-belts were fined.
For matatus, who did beat the deadline and were able to operate, business was booming and it was a rare treat for passengers lucky enough to find a seat; they were ushered on board by unusually polite hosts and the conductors ensured that there were no excess passengers and that all were safely belted up before signaling the driver off.
This is a wonderful change! Even if it will take a little while to be all organized and a smooth operation, it will be well worth it, since 13,000 accidents and 2,600 fatalities that happen on Kenyan roads annually were caused by public service vehicles.

This is it for this Valentines issue, whishing everybody a wonderful month, Kwa heri (Good by) for now. Until next month.


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