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Exploring East Africa's Natural Wonders: A Journey of Mountains, Lakes, and Cultural Riches

Updated: Mar 1

I am very grateful that my summer in East Africa has been a truly holistic experience. From engaging in impactful work to nurturing my well-being and having heaps of fun, this season had it all. In this blog post, I want to take you on a journey through my travels and explorations in East Africa, where I discovered the enchanting blend of nature and adventure that this part of the world has to offer.


Conquering Majestic Heights: Mount Longonot

My journey began with an exhilarating hike up Mount Longonot, a dormant volcano. The ascent challenged my physical limits, but the views from the summit were worth every step. Gazing out over Kenya's rugged landscape, I couldn't help but feel a sense of serenity and unity with nature. Standing on the edge of a volcanic crater was a reminder of the earth's power and the ever-changing dynamics of our planet.





Camping by Lake Naivasha:

Camping by the tranquil shores of Lake Naivasha was a serene escape. Under the canvas of the African night sky, surrounded by the sounds of wildlife, I realized the importance of preserving such natural gems. The freshwater lake and its diverse birdlife left me in awe of the beauty of coexistence.





Hells Gate and a Cinematic Experience:

Hells Gate National Park was like stepping into the world of "The Lion King." The dramatic cliffs and iconic Lion King's Pride Rock were cinematic landmarks, but it was the wildlife living in harmony that truly captivated me. The presence of baboons and zebras reminded me of the delicate balance of the animal kingdom.




Coastal Charms and Cultural Complexities:

Venturing to the coast was a must, and Diani Beach offered paradise-like relaxation. But beneath the surface of this tourist haven, I discovered a tapestry of traditions and influences, all woven together with the utmost sensitivity to the region's complex history, including its unfortunate involvement in the trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave trades.





Lamu Island: Where Time Stands Still:

Lamu Island was a cultural treasure trove. Wandering its narrow streets and admiring intricately carved doors, I felt like I'd stepped back in time. The island's Swahili culture, shaped by centuries of trade with Arab and Omani merchants, was a fascinating blend of history and heritage, influenced by centuries of trade with Arab and Omani merchants, was a fascinating blend of history and heritage, with a mindful recognition of the historical complexities that have shaped it.





Zanzibar's Allure:

While Kenya was the heart of my journey, I couldn't resist the allure of Zanzibar in neighboring Tanzania. This island paradise, with its blend of history, culture, and stunning beaches, was a dream come true. Exploring Stone Town's labyrinthine alleys, savoring fresh seafood, and diving into azure waters to discover vibrant coral reefs reminded me that history and natural beauty can coexist harmoniously.





Policy Implications and Takeaways:

As I reflect on this incredible journey, I'm reminded that every corner of East Africa holds unique treasures. My experiences weren't just about seeing places; they were about connecting with the essence of this diverse and vibrant region. A region where nature and culture are intertwined, and equitable economic mobility is both a challenge and an opportunity.

As I return from this incredible journey, these takeaways will continue to inform my work in the region. I believe that with thoughtful policies and a commitment to preserving the environment and culture, East Africa can offer its people not only a rich cultural heritage but also the promise of economic prosperity and equity.




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