Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mkwiro Makes The Lonely Planet!

We’ve just had some great news that we’re excited to share with everyone; Mwkiro and Shimoni Forest has made it into Lonely Planet! Some of the development work done here in Mkwiro village has been to encourage tourists to visit and experience this isolated and unspoiled traditional Swahili village. We have home-stays, cooking classes, workshops with local craftsmen, hair braiding and other activities organized with local village groups within the village. Meanwhile in Shimoni we have been working with Friends of Shimoni Forest to establish a forest trail as an alternative, sustainable way to generate income from their precious, globally important forest. Until recently these activities were only enjoyed by our volunteers and others from the nearby resort of Diani, where we have adverts. Imagine our delight when a couple turned up saying that they had read about the village in Lonely Planet!

Homestay with Faridi in Mkwiro village

One year ago we had a Lonely Planet writer arrive at our base asking about the local area and so we wasting no time in describing our work over the previous couple of years in trying to support community-based tourism. He happily took the nformation with him but could make no promises about what would make it in to print... remarkably it all has!

The first Lonely Planet visitors had a great time living with their new family and also fitted in a cooking class and a visit to the mangroves. Hopefully the increased revenue from tourism will help the village to complete building their new water tanks in time for the next rainy season. It’s hoped that once these two new tanks are finished the village will have enough water to last them through the dry season and avoid boating the water over the channel from the mainland which is both costly and dangerous.

It’s the culmination of many years work from GVI's staff and volunteers here and we hope that Rachel, Sara, Alex, Emma, Drew, all the other staff and interns and over 150 volunteers will take enormous pride and pleasure in their efforts to have reached this stage. I’m sure once they hear the news that they’ll be over the moon! Things here in Kenya move pole pole (slowly) but they do move and we are now bearing some fruit from all the hard work and effort put in. We are looking forward to this next chapter in sustainable development and are genuinely grateful to the Lonely Planet for their support.



Sara Mayer said...

can't say enough how excited i am about this amazing accomplishment!!! for once, words fail me :)