Andy Hill, Editor of Swara Magazine, said: ‘What sets Tamara Britten’s splendid book apart is that it has broken away from the well-trodden path of hotel guide to give us an authentic and personally researched tour of just about every place a curious tourist or citizen might wander into.’
John Burdett, Director of Africa Exclusive, said: ‘In all my years in the business, I have never seen an accommodation publication as comprehensive as this.’
In 2010, Tamara Britten decided to combine her experience working in Kenya’s tourism industry with her MA in Creative Writing and produce a guidebook to the country. Little did she know that the project would take over two years, and would lead her to the most remote and little visited parts of this diverse country. Taking off around Kenya in her sturdy land cruiser, accompanied by her trusty laptop, Tamara visited mountains, deserts, beaches, towns and game reserves searching out accommodation facilities, from boutique resorts to exotic safari camps to budget cottages to quirky bandas. Getting directions from locals, following rickety signs and driving down tracks little used, she found places unmapped and undocumented. Interested not only in the rooms, facilities and activities of a hotel, Tamara spoke to locals about the place’s history, folk tales and legends. She discussed eco-policies, rating awards and staff training with the managers; she inspected the rooms, the grounds and even the kitchen of each place; and she checked out the activities, events and adventure sports at each.
The result of this is Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, the only comprehensive guidebook to Kenya. Endorsed by the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB), Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) and Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association (KPSGA), the guidebook is now used as promotional material by the Kenya Tourist Board: a copy of the book was given to every dignitary who attended the World Travel Awards, held in Nairobi in October 2013. Divided into clearly demarcated regions, the guidebook features a photo, a detailed description and quirky anecdotes about every place. As well as listing accommodation facilities of every budget, the guidebook covers the history, geography, climate, peoples, attractions, national parks and annual cultural festivals of Kenya, and gives information on the country’s infrastructure, banking, communications, transport and medical facilities. It highlights responsible tourism and the wildlife code, and provides links to the Kenyan associations that regulate and certify tourism facilities.
Building on the Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide as well as Tamara’s constant and meticulous research on Kenya, Karibu Kenya brings you the most comprehensive booking service for tours and travel in Kenya.
Tamara Britten has visited almost every location that appears in the guidebook and on this website. She has personally checked the rooms, dining options and facilities of each place, and has discussed or tried the activities at each. A particular passion of hers is eco-friendly tourism so she has included information about the eco-policies of each place.
You will not be challenged to decipher the marketing-speak of safari camps and chain hotels to try to figure out whether the infinity pool is a 4-meter kiddie pool. All camps and lodges are judged by the same criteria, described by the same person, and portrayed clearly with no embellishments.
Written recently, and with updates coming regularly, our content is not taken from old marketing brochures. In fact, sadly, we have removed some places that have not stood the test of time. More happily, we have added places that are new or have been renovated. We keep abreast of changes in the industry and revise content frequently.
Tamara Britten is the author of Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, and the founder of the Karibu Kenya bookings website.
Tamara has a MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK, and her written work has won a number of literary prizes. An itinerate traveller, Tamara taught English in schools around Thailand, where she also created language courses and directed summer schools; she designed programmes and wrote course material at an adult education centre in Hong Kong; and she coordinated research for a BBC radio series on livestock in Somalia. Along the way, she picked up qualifications in scuba diving and yoga instructing, to name but a few. Tamara’s work in the tourism field has included managing a restaurant in Thailand, managing desert safari camps in Namibia and managing mobile tented safaris and luxury safari camps in Kenya.
Tamara’s guidebook to Kenya, the Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, is endorsed by the Kenya Tourist Board, the Kenya Tourism Federation and the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association.
Tamara travelled around Kenya for two years locating camps, lodges, resorts and hotels, and checking out the facilities and activities at each. Interested in stories, she talked about myths and traditions with locals. Keenly eco-friendly, she discussed eco-policies at every place. All this information she incorporated into Karibu Kenya. Her team at Karibu Kenya prefer to take their clients to camps that reduce their eco-footprint and conservancies that protect the environment. They support tourism operations that work to conserve wildlife, the environment and local communities, believing strongly that all three need to work in tandem to protect the ecosystem.
In 2018, Tamara opened sister company Exclusive Ethiopia – www.exclusiveethiopia.com – providing a quality tourism service in Ethiopia. Co-founder of Exclusive Ethiopia, Mulugeta Ababu, is registered with the Ethiopian Government’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He was a founding member of the Addis Ababa Tour Guides Association, an organisation that works to ensure professionalism in the business, and served as its first chairman. With two diplomas from Lion Ethiopia – one in Tour Guiding and Tour Operation and the other in Ethiopian History – Mulugeta is highly knowledgeable about all facets of Ethiopia. He was for many years a deacon in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, making him a font of information about the monasteries and rock-hewn churches Ethiopia is so famous for. Tamara and Mulie spent many months travelling all over Ethiopia, researching sites, checking out hotels and trying out activities, before launching their holiday bookings website, Exclusive Ethiopia.
Both Karibu Kenya and Exclusive Ethiopia offer personally designed holidays to discerning clients, and are committed to providing every client with the exact holiday they’re dreaming of.
Marie-Claire is responsible for the format and design of Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide. She is a passionate designer, typographer and photographer. During her years in Kenya she worked for several international advertising firms before starting her own business.
She relocated to her homeland, Germany, in 2013, the country in which she had started her advertising career. Today, she is working in the same field. Feedback and requests are always welcome on firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Nightingale was born in Kenya and has spent his life exploring the country with his camera. He works as a location scout and fixer for film and television, which has taken him all over Kenya including to parts of the country rarely visited. Through this work, he has compiled an extensive portfolio of professional photographs of the country, its people and its wildlife.
Andrew lives on his family’s farm at Njoro, near Nakuru, on which he has a campsite and a collection of attractive holiday cottages. He offers a wide variety of activities including sports, walks around the farm, trips to local sites of interest and game drives in nearby national parks and reserves. Concerned about the environment, Andrew and his team have invested in tree planting and rainwater catchment. Andrew also guides fishing safaris to the lakes, rivers and seas of East Africa. For more information about documentary and film location scouting, fishing trips and holiday cottages, please visit the Kembu website.
Christian Strebel is the owner-director of Yellow Wings Air Services Ltd., an air charter company based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The company offers leisure, safari and corporate air charter services within Kenya and East Africa, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Yellow Wings specialises in an executive service for customers requiring high levels of reliability, comfort and safety when traveling around Kenya and East Africa. By putting you totally in control of your schedule, Yellow Wings can help you make your holiday more enjoyable or your business trip more cost-effective.
Many film productions and scenic photo shoots have been done from Yellow Wings’ aeroplanes. The company has undergone stringent audits by international bodies: it’s fully ICAO Annex 6 compliant and licensed by KCAA with AOC and ASL. It operates a modern fleet of turbine-powered aeroplanes with the latest state-of-the-art instrumentation giving the highest level of operational reliability.
Teeku Patel, a home grown Kenyan photographic talent, spent much of his early life on safari, exploring the game parks and reserves of East Africa under the expert tutelage of his father, an Honorary Game Warden. When he was given a camera at the age of ten, Teeku was on the road to the career of his choice. He regularly contributes to wildlife magazines, and his photographs can be found in libraries around the world. Many of his images have been commissioned by wildlife conservation trusts. Teeku, a certified professional safari guide, specialises in nature and landscape photography and leads photographic safaris through Eastern and Southern Africa, and Asia.
Teeku co-owns and operates Sokomoto Images, a Nairobi-based company that specialises in commercial digital stills, location scouting, fine art prints and photographic safaris. Visit www.teekupatel.com and www.sokomoto.com or email email@example.com
Mark Muinde, a professional electrical engineer, uses his knowledge to push the technical boundaries of photography creatively. His childhood, much of which was spent exploring the varied regions of Kenya, gave him an interest in capturing and documenting the land and peoples of Africa through photography. A graduate of the International Centre of Photography in New York, Mark has had several photos purchased by private collectors and exhibited in America.
Mark co-owns and operates Sokomoto Images, a Nairobi-based company that specialises in commercial digital stills, location scouting, fine art prints and photographic safaris. Visit www.sokomoto.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Exclusive Ethiopia is a collaboration pairing Tamara Britten’s detailed research about Ethiopia with the experience and capability of Mulugeta Ababu, an Ethiopia-based tour operator registered with the Ethiopian Government’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Let our combined expertise help you design your ideal Ethiopian holiday and create for you the experience of a lifetime.