I.S.A. (International Survival Association) – B.E.A. (Bush Experience Academy) – FISSS
www.isasurvival.it / www.federazionesurvival.it
PROGRAM A.F.R.I.C.A. (African Full Ride Immersion – Comfort & Adventure) – KENYA
Seven days to learn how to live the East-Africa environments with qualified professionals of Safari and Outdoor Training. A rich and intense “old-fashioned” journey, in full comfort and safety, with all the variations of the classic and exclusive Safari, off the usual tourist routes, in the heart of an ancestral world still authentic and uncontaminated.
The experience described here, offered “all inclusive” services only in groups of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 participants, can optionally include a training of theoretical and practical training on fauna and flora, survival techniques, exploration in the savannah and anthropology of the East Africa.
It requires only a minimum of climatic and behavioral adaptation and offers, on the other hand, a certain and unprecedented satisfaction, not only emotional but also cognitive and psycho-physical.
The African environment affected by the Safari has been defined by the paleo-anthropologists “the cradle of humanity”. Our genre appeared in the late Pliocene Age in savannah, here our motor and emotional intelligence, the first technology on stone and, perhaps, the symbolic thought starting from Homo habilis, more than 2.5 million years ago, have developed. The first Homo sapiens passed through the oceanic east coast, and from the shores of South Africa they gradually radiated all over the planet from 200,000 years ago. Seven centuries ago, along the coast and on the monsoon routes, the Swahili economy, culture and language began; extraordinary fusion between the Arab and African world of which ethnic, archaeological and linguistic remains still exist.
It is therefore in these places that one can easily contract the truly dangerous disease: that yearning longing that is called “Africa’s sickness”. It’s just like coming home after millions of years of absence and can not get away anymore. In some area everything is still all as in the origin and you can immerse yourself in the ecosystem of the first hominids from “re-explorers” in the Hemingwayan style; in search of strong sensations, new knowledge and different ethno-ecological sensitivities.
This journey includes everything you will need from the most reliable means of transport to the most accredited experts, from any kinds of comfort to objects for your knowledge (manuals and texts).
Even the accommodation, not only tourist but also “residential”, represent the maximum standard that can be imagined for this experience and, where it is possible, also touch the privilege of luxury, without distorting for this the intimate relationship with the dominant wild environment .
The program, without additional costs, is also adaptable to particular needs of the participants. Some optional activities may have a character not only purely experiential but also documentary, scientific and even sports on demand (diving, walking safaris, photo-video safari, trekking, Outdoor & Survival training). Those who have reasons, even professional, to interpret this trip as an educational experience (teachers, university students, tour operators, instructors, nature guides) can request a specific adaptation and a certificate of participation to the organizing body and its partners (FISSS – Italian Federation Survival- and BEA- Bush Experience Academy).
The group will be assisted, from the arrival in Mombasa to the departure for Italy, by an experienced FISSS Instructor and, in the savannah, also by a BEA safari guide authorized to carry weapons, by expert drivers and local trackers.
This team of qualified professionals is prepared and equipped to face any eventuality and problem to protect the participants and ready to provide them with every additional necessary instrument.
Recommended luggage and safari clothing: a medium-sized, robust and light travel bag, plus a backpack or shoulder bag; long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in sturdy, lightweight, breathable and non-gaudy fabric; K-way; sweatshirt or light sweater; swimsuit; comfortable shoes, robust and not heavy; water-proof sandals, fastenable and with hard rubber sole; wide-brimmed hat or with a visor; Sun glasses; multipurpose knife; small front lamp; any photo camera and personal binoculars; mobile (there is a field almost everywhere).
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM
Flight Italy-Kenya with arrival in Mombasa (about 8 hours with charter flights and 12 with scheduled flights). Transfer from the airport by car (less than 2 hours) to the first accommodation on the south coast in a private residential resort equipped with every comfort and directly overlooking the ocean (location Msambweni, near the border with Tanzania). First day setting and relaxation; short walks on the beautiful shores and naturalistic observations. Breakfast, lunch, “happy hour” with aperitifs and dinner with lobster or mangrove crabs or fine local fish, with Swahili dishes and desserts, wine and cordial.
Short briefing on the program, the tides and the local population (with indications on useful behavior), observation of the stars and the equatorial constellations also with telescope.
During the day some optional activities will also be offered:
small hike on the coast (with low tide); observations of fish resources, and techniques of fishermen, notes on customs and the local economy; visit to an ancient Arab ruined stronghold, until two centuries ago destined to the stationing and the deportation of slaves; alternatively (if there is high tide) excursion in local canoe, dug in mango trunk, with sail and barbells (possibility of fishing with the crew); bath close to the coral reef; collection of coconuts on palm trees (climbing techniques, treatment and consumption of fresh fruits).
Breakfast and transfer to an authentic Swahili village on the island of Funzi near the coast (by boat or, for those who wish, on foot at low tide and through a mangrove jungle, with a guide).
Excursion by boat to go up the Ramisi river estuary and enter the gallery forest to spot birdlife and crocodiles. Visit to the traditional village, direct observations of daily practices, food processing, social life, furnishings and essential household tools. Bath offshore on an immaculate coral reef. Lunch based on mangrove crabs and locally caught fish. In the late afternoon return to the residential base for bathing in the sea or pool, sumptuous dinner and night in comfort.
Breakfast and transfer to the Wasini marine park, on the border with Tanzania. Excursion in Dhow (the sailboat with Arab origin typical of the whole coast) through wild deserted islands, sailing among the dolphins. Stop on an islet, which emerges only at low tide, to observe with fins and mask the clear coral reefs rich in fish, turtles and colorful corals.
Lunch at the return, in the early afternoon, in a rustic Wasini restaurant that serves huge whole crabs (it is the tradition that every diner breaks the carapace with a special club). Optional visit to the “slave pit” of Shimoni (caves once used to collect slaves).
Return to the residence of Msambweni for the evening.
Breakfast and morning free to visit the village on foot or bathing. Lunch and transfer to the Shimba hills national park (coastal and hilly equatorial forest with extraordinary ecosystem full of every species of fauna, excluding lions). Dinner and overnight in a very suggestive local resort after a short safari on foot under the park ranger escort.
Departure by car from the coast after a breakfast at dawn, through the magical landscape of the Shimba hills, to an area adjacent to the Tsavo west national park. After about four hours you reach the private game reserve of Lualenyi. Its exclusive base camp, located on the slopes of a hill, overlooks an immense and superb savannah territory in view of Kilimanjaro and the Taita hills. After a challenging off-road trail in the last kilometers and a welcome drink, participants will be accommodated in large 2 or 3-seater luxury safari tents, furnished and equipped with services, electric sockets, indoor shower and veranda for meditative sessions on the breathtaking view. Almost immediately you can spot herds of elephants and hawks in flight.
After a hearty lunch and a little relaxation, in the afternoon there will be a briefing by the BEA expert on savannah fauna and flora (notions of animal ethology, characteristics and ecosystem protection, techniques of perception and observation of the wild, behavior from to adopt). It will follow towards sunset the first “game drive” in off-road in the bush, for the first close encounters with the real owners (theoretically all those of Tzavo); from buffaloes to zebras, from giraffes to lions. Already in this recognition the professional safari guide will be joined by a tracker of the Wa-liangulu ethnic group (until recently known elephant hunters with large arches) or by Maasai experts of the territory.
You will return to the camp in the dark, and immediately an aperitif is served outdoors, only in the light of a large fire, to relax and comment on the first experiences.
Later a superb dinner will be served, around the big table of a majestic living-lodge, open on the equatorial night and surrounded by endless kilometers of “elsewhere” without human presence, crowded of creatures always engaged in a ruthless and impelling survival, free of existential doubts like us. The perception of silence, total and almost implosive, interrupted only occasionally by mysterious sounds, here excites the imagination and warns the senses in an atavistic way. Those twenty meters of distance between the curtains the first night seem spaces of nothing disturbing; and to some such isolation for privacy will be, for once, even excessive. Even if one realizes that the security and protection of the watch’s ascari inside the field fence are total, our brain, which is predominantly emotional, here is struggling to put its rational part into operation; and we return to being hominids lost in a universe that is only hosting us and that still does not belong to us at all.
Raised before dawn (optional but not to be missed). Rich breakfast and the Safari bill immediately begin, in the savannah that awakens in alien colors.
The slight buzz of the big Toyota at the minimum that has left the track and opens the way through the tall grass; the umbrella tortilla acacias; the candlestick euphorbias; the red termites; the shadows of the old tracker and the Maasai patrolling in the first sun.
At the beginning is the guide that always sees the animals first. While indicating the position and specifies the species in a low voice, because silence is a must, turn off the engine. Now it’s time for binoculars or photo capture. Later on, the participants will be able to walk the reconnais on foot using the tracker with caution. They will be protected behind the guide (suitably and obligatorily armed) ready to help, signaling possible dangers and showing traces or eloquent signs of those presences that are coveted and feared together.
In national parks all this would be impossible; there in fact you can only stay in the car, distracted by the buzz of too many Japanese cameras and by the tourist buzz, like the zoo; and without that mix of expectation, seriousness, respect and amazement that every kind of adventure, even minimal, requires.
In Lualenyi it is not always guaranteed to see all the great savannah savages (it is easier in the national parks) but it is clear that they are around us and they see us. If they deign to appear it is exhilarating, but in any case it seems already miraculous to be next to them, to perceive their smells and to follow their fresh traces.
At high and relentless sunshine, we return to the field for lunch, which can be followed by other information, by the FISSS Instructor, on orientation techniques, principles of autonomy and safeguard in exploratory actions, methods for setting up a field provisional in the savannah (flying camp) and for the Survival (recover and potabilize the water, light a fire, build a safe shelter with a fence of thorny branches called “boom”, face emergencies and dangers). In the afternoon there will be another “game drive” until sunset, to enjoy on the top of Lion Rock, a rocky rise that rises in the middle of the endless plain and home to lions, leopards and the old tomb of an Englishman too in love with the place . The sight of those immense silent spaces, interrupted only by Kilimanjaro on the horizon set on fire by the last sun, can alone be worth this trip.
All this to prepare the next (optional) experience of an overnight stay in the unknown, far from the base camp and in the heart of the bush, sheltered by a “boom” of thorns with a big fire in the middle, in the open or in light tents tactics but comfortable. Even dinner will be different, based on roasted meat and ugali (white corn polenta, a typical Kenyan dish). It will follow the kinds of classic comfort of African nights for those who drink and those who smoke. Sleep will certainly not come immediately; before alternating in the guards, the guides will entertain guests with stories and testimonies of many adventures (in any self-respecting Safari, this oral culture can not be missing). A thousand stars and a thousand eyes will shine in the dark; something strange will occasionally break the absurd silence and will be the subject of subtle interpretations. Until the dawn will not win the night as always.
Someone may have to hold back the irresistible impulse to sleep on the off-road vehicle next door, always ready in any case to transfer to base camp those who have second thoughts.
After having disassembled the camp and served coffee, the guides will take the group off-road to the base, lingering in other wildlife sightings. Those who wish will be able to face stronger emotions, appropriately escorted, doing part of the journey on foot.
Along the way they will find a rich lunch served at the table, but under a baobab in the middle of the savannah.
After a shower and a welcome rest at the base camp, leave the Lualenyi in the early afternoon and return to Mombasa in less than 4 hours with accommodation in a luxury hotel.
Depending on the flights, it will be possible to visit the old city, the Portuguese fort of the fifteenth century, the markets and traditional craft shops (the trips are easy on foot or by “tuc-tuc” – fast bikes). taxi cabs to three places and / or book a refined dinner on the bay, in front of the lights of a chaotic but fascinating metropolis. The transfer from the hotel to the airport takes about 20 minutes. The departure for Italy will involve a certain amount of sadness with nostalgia immediately guaranteed.
COSTS 2016 and other notes:
€ 1,700 per person for the entire program and the services described, flight and entry visa excluded (estimated at around € 600 depending on the company). 10% discount for groups of 7 participants. Special program, housing and food needs must be declared before departure. No special vaccinations are necessary in Kenya. It is possible to extend your stay in an excellent Msambweni resort on the ocean at a cost of around 80 Euros per day.
Recommended periods for weather and logistical conditions: from November to March.
The trip is feasible at any age from adolescence and does not require special physical skills.
Those who prefer to choose a more spartan “Survival” experience in the same locations can save up to 30% by agreeing the same program with cheaper logistics.
INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel./Fax 011-8196157 – Cell. 349-7729702 / +39 393 860 9020