Travel With Tamara

Flip Flop Art

A life-size sculpture of a lion – made entirely of recycled plastic – is this week to go on show at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Nairobi. The striking green lion is to draw attention to the dramatic decrease in lion populations while also highlighting the problem of plastic in our oceans. Its display signifies the start of the 12-month Greening Simba Campaign, a collaboration between Kenya Commercial Bank, the Irish Embassy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and Ocean Sole. Such stunning pieces of lion wall art will for the next year be available for 500USD, of which 25% goes to lion conservation programmes in Kenya. Ocean Sole, the movers and shakers of the scheme, have been working towards just such a scheme for over a decade. It


Watamu means ‘sweet people’ in Swahili. While some see this as a tribute to the sweet nature of the folk here, there’s a darker possibility. It’s alleged that slave traders lured locals into their notorious slave ships with sweets. Certainly Gede, the ancient settlement at Watamu, was established during the days of the trade routes; the settlement originated in the twelfth century, when Arab dhows were ploughing up and down the east coast of Africa trading in leopard skins, tortoiseshells, rhino horns, ivory, gold and slaves. Gede was abandoned in the seventeenth century, possibly because of attacks by bands of Turks, Ethiopians and Somalis, and possibly because the drop in the water table made water scarce. The crumbling houses, mosques and palaces have

Getting Fit The Fun Way

CAPOEIRA Capoeira is a martial art that combines dance, acrobatics and music. It was developed in Brazil in the 16thCentury, predominantly by slaves who’d been brought by the Portuguese from Angola. Capoeira is grounded in the music; traditional instruments lead the tempo and rhythm of the game. Capoeira songs can be about an event in history, a famous capoeirista, daily happenings, or can even contain hidden messages. Folk stories, Afro-Brazilian history, poetry and philosophy are all a part of the music and the dance. Participants form a Roda (pronounced Hoda), a circle, singing and clapping while two capoeiristas play in the centre. While there’s a seriousness to the history of Capoeira, there’s a lot of space for theatre, drama, comedy and fun.

The Museum of Humankind

When Richard Leakey, world-renowned palaeontologist and conservationist, speaks of the ‘wow factor’ the world sits up and takes notice. And his newest project certainly has ‘wow’. Leakey is planning a memorial monument to the human story on a dramatic escarpment overlooking the Rift Valley. It’s intended to be the most complete record of humanity in Africa, telling the story of how and why life began when and where it did, and how life came to be what it is today. The series of exhibits will include a state-of-the-art planetarium, full models of various species in the human story over several million years, and models of giant reptiles, otherwise known as dinosaurs. But that’s not all. Using technology being developed called immersive reality, these

Shimba Hills

The Sable Antelope is large and stately, with white stripes down its face and imposing arched horns. It’s also highly endangered. The last remaining population in Kenya is less than 100 strong, and lives in the Shimba Hills. Sable Antelope males are almost black, while the females are smaller and a rusty brown colour; their bellies, cheeks and chins are white; and while they’re mostly grazers, they have been known to lick salt and chew bones to collect minerals. Perhaps the most unexpected thing about them is, however, that they’ve been seen to confront lions with their razor-sharp horns, and even to kill them. Yet the Sable Antelope is not the only unusual animal that has made its home on these forested slopes.

Top Ten Restaurants at the Coast

Peponi Hotel, Shela Village, Lamu Island Established in 1967 by the Korschen family, this landmark hotel is still in the hands of the family today. The hotel’s whitewashed walls, historic photos and veranda shaded with bright bougainvillea make this a place that’s both classy and inviting. Add to this a seafront restaurant with delectable dishes and unbeatable cocktails, and you have a venue that’s destined for success. Settle into your seat, gaze at the dhows cruising up the channel, then turn your eyes to the marvellous menu. Our favourites: Old Pal, Peponi’s signature cocktail; Spicy Thai Fish Soup; Prawns flambéed in Brandy; Beef Carpaccio; and Chocolate Truffles. And all the sushi (we just can’t make our minds up)! Moonrise Restaurant,

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