02-01-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
Another difficult year has passed, the second in which we have tried to travel as much as possible around our beloved Kenya and tell you about its most hidden folds and corners that are worth discovering and proposing in the right way. Between restrictions, curfews and many tourist activities closed or, despite themselves, downsized, we still managed to provide you with many articles, reports, stories and interesting services, often accompanied by Leni's pictures.
Here is a roundup, as if it were a virtual calendar of Malindikenya.net, of the most representative services of a 2021 that we leave behind, promising to do everything possible to tell you a 2022 even more interesting and hopefully better for everyone.
Flamingos at the mouth of the Sabaki River
Who would have thought that a few kilometers from Malindi, at certain times of the year, you can admire a spectacle comparable to that of the most celebrated volcanic lakes of the Rift Valley, such as Baringo, Nakuru and Bogoria? Instead it is so, the migration of pink flamingos also passes through the Indian Ocean and the discreet eye of Leni Frau has captured them. We talked about it on January 19 in this article: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/last-news/sabaki-the-ecosystem-to-save-loved-by-flamingoes.html
Commitment to safeguard Malindi
Not even the pandemic and the impossibility of coming together has weakened the commitment of the responsible citizens of Malindi, united under the aegis of the "Malindi Green And Blue" movement of which we were among the founders. Every second Saturday of the month we went ahead to clean the city, area by area, and educate residents on recycling and healthier, more respectful habits. Even when it was forbidden to gather in more than ten people, the organizers came up with a clever fragmentation of garbage collection, each person "adopting" a neighborhood, a street, a neighborhood. On February 14, Leni Frau added her significant images to this article: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/social/environment/a-successful-february-clean-up-in-kisumundogo-.html
Nature and tradition: in the sacred forest of Kaya Kinondo
The coast of Kenya has many surprises and certainly not limited to the most famous and frequented by Italians as Malindi and Watamu. In March, we went to the south of Mombasa, to Diani Beach in particular, to give visibility to the nature projects of our compatriot Luciana Parazzi, for the protection of colobuses, increasingly rare monkeys and turtles. But we also visited one of Kenya's few native rainforests that is disappearing, eaten to bits by progress. The forest of Kaya Kinondo, moreover, is considered sacred by the Digo tribe of the Mijikenda ethnic group, because it is the ancestral site of rituals and collection of healing herbs. We visited and told about it on March 28, with the support of images. Here the article: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/kaya-kinondo--nature-history-and-magic.html
In the small hidden world of Tarasaa
A couple of hours' drive north of Malindi, following the course of the Tana river to the sea, where it mixes with quicksand, mangroves and salt marshes, one discovers a small corner of Africa that seems light years away, lost in space and time. It is not enough to cross it, you have to dive in, enter the villages, talk to the elderly who have struggled for a lifetime with the lack of water and crops, and to the young people who grind away for miles to be able to attend school.
We have been there and talked about it in our own way, while Leni was taking pictures. Here is the article from April 27: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/in-the-hidden-world-of-tarasaa-2-hours-from-malindi.html
Our battle to save the baobabs
For some time Malindikenya.net, in its spare time, has been touring the coastal areas of Kenya to prepare a mapping of the thousand-year-old baobabs, the iconic plants that more than any other represent the African continent. Unfortunately, many of these "grand old men", which are not only an asset to the environment but also the focus of stories, traditions, customs and much more, are being killed by human greed and stupidity to make way for houses or other concrete structures. For some we arrived too late, others we have reported them to the authorities or we have managed to collaborate with local communities and associations to protect them. In the meantime we tell their story. Unfortunately, on May 16, one of these large baobab trees, which had always stood at the edge of one of the main roads in Malindi, collapsed. We remembered it here: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/last-news/giant-baobab-fell-down-on-malindi-road-to-tsavo.html
The incomparable majesty of the "Great Prophet"
Taking advantage of a weekend of work in a tourist facility in the area, in June we found ourselves in the presence of the highest mountain in Africa and we portrayed it, among legends, beliefs and a present that is always so difficult to bear in which every reference, even mythical, of creation is in danger due to the climate emergency and human impiety. Here is the article and the photo gallery by Leni Frau. https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/kilimanjaro-on-the-slopes-of-the-great-prophet.html
An African castle rich in memories and well-being
The story of the adventurer and agronomist Ewart Grogan, who in the early 20th century set out on foot from Cape Town to Cairo, where he arrived after two years of vicissitudes and dangers, is intertwined with that of a unique castle in East Africa, in the place that Grogan himself called "the green paradise of the continent" and where he would retire in his old age.
We visited these places, spoke with those who guard this history and have transformed Taveta's Grogan Castle into a special boutique hotel. Here is the July 1 report and Leni's images that complement it: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/business/hospitality/the-legend-of-grogan-s-castle-reviving-in-a-unique-boutique-hotel.html
In Ukunda, in the "backroom" of Diani's paradise.
Behind every tourist destination, every jewel of enchantment, relaxation and pleasure, there is a commercial soul, often "ugly, dirty and nasty". In this case, however, the small town of Ukunda, which is the real beating heart of the Kenyan beach resort of Diani Beach, is something interesting, starting with the market, its people and the so very African situations that one can encounter. A trip to Ukunda, as we did and recounted in this August 26 report, is a must in order to understand that tourism can open the doors to dozens of parallel worlds to be known, loved and protected. https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/ukunda-real-raw-charm-of-diani-backdrop.html
The beneficial peace of Lake Jipe, a remote paradise
In the midst of the great parks and reserves of Kenya, in lunar places or completely distant from the civilized world, immersed in the wildest life in which the human being becomes only one of the luckiest and least noble animals, there are small lost and forgotten pearls that deserve to be visited and rediscovered. One of these, in which we happily came across, is Lake Jipe, on the border with Kenya and Tanzania, on the edge of Tsavo West. A place of enchantment and serenity, with landscapes that look like impressionist paintings. The beautiful images of Leni Frau try to do justice to such beauty, our words may not be able to do it as those who have seen these places would like. We talked about it on September 25 here: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/green-and-azure-peace-of-lake-jipe.html
The difficult lake life of Karagita's fishermen
Among the places we were lucky enough to visit in order to tell the Italians who love Kenya, there is also Lake Naivasha. In addition to recounting its corners of beauty, the green hills that plunge into the mirror of fresh water, the flowers, the nature and the animals, we wanted to investigate the more raw and real aspects of the reality on the outskirts of the town that gives its name to the lake, where the fishermen's cooperatives are experiencing dramatic moments. A few days after our reportage, one of the fishermen we met was killed by fish smugglers.
Here is our October 7 article and Leni's photo report. https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/editorial/work-death-and-hard-life-on-the-lake-in-karagita.html
Among the mysteries of the rocks of Mutomo
This is one of the least traveled and well-known places in southern Kenya, just north of Tsavo East on the road from Kibwezi to Kitui. Now that the Chinese have paved this stretch, the rocks of Mutomo stand out in the distance. Impossible, for two curious people like us, thirsty for stories and legends of Kenya, not to pay a visit. We discovered many things...here is the article and the pictures of November 11: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/mutomo-rocks-between-legends-and-harshness.html
In a forgotten "cave" of Kenya's history
The last report of 2021 is dedicated to a place so buried in Kenya's memory that we had to jump through hoops in order to visit and photograph it: it's Macmillan Castle, which throughout the last century was the scene of meetings of all kinds, with all the possible and imaginable background. Roosevelt, Churchill, Ava Gardner, Karen Blixen and even Amedeo d'Aosta passed through here, as well as Mau Mau warriors and libertines of every nationality. Here the reportage: https://www.malindikenya.net/en/articles/news/reportage/at-mcmillan-castle-a-forgotten-kenya-historical-place.html
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