Mida Creek, Kenya
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Mida Ecocamp Mida Creek Reviews
A Community Project Aug 12, 2008
My husband and me decided to 'take some time out' and travel with our three girls (2,3 and 7) in tent and car for one year through Africa. We started in South Africa, stayed for two month in Mozambique, six month in Tanzania and finally 8 month in Kenya, where we had the most beautiful time in a spot called Mida Creek. By the time we arrived in Kenya, we were getting a bit bored of lazying on beaches and decided to help locals building their own place of work. The place is now in the ownership of the community and its profit will finance further projects as a dispensary and schooling.
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Imagine yourself in a creek of the Indian Ocean, locked away from the surrounding areas, which are overrun by tourists.
You are in Mida, a village of around 1000 people with 48 homesteads built of mud and strawhuts. You are in a place dominated by high coconut trees and cashew-nut trees embedded in high grasses reaching as far as the eyes allow. Mida is bordered by the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, the largest East African forest by the coast, and a beautiful mangrove coast.
The people here are the Giriama tribe. Their life is peaceful, they are relaxed, all grew up together, know each others faults and strong points and have learned how to accept each other better than anybody in a civilised place.
There is crazy woman, sometimes walking around naked, but some of the elder women are topless anyway, so it is not as awful as we might think. There is the boisterous old man walking around with spread legs and always stubbles in the face. He is drunk on coconut-wine in the early mornings already and he always makes one laugh by his outragous ways. There is the old lady living only with her daughter in a derelict hut. She spends most times in her Coma, a place to remember and pray through her ancestors to her God.
Everybody here is proud to be Giriama. Even the younger generation, who has had influences from the outside areas, are more than happy to put on their traditional kikois and drum and dance by a large fire – sometimes all night long.
People here wake up around six o’clock to a beautiful misty warm sunrise and the children prepare some porridge made from the maize harvested from their land. The elders will sit together and discuss the family businesses within the village, fishermen go to work, the women will work the land and the young ladies will plait each others hair for hours on end.
When the hot sun starts setting and lies on the horizon like a large big fireball, the men and a few of the women will meet at one of the village’s central five coconut-wine bars. Here they are sitting on logs under a straw-roof, sharing little cups of the wine through their straws and are discussing the day’s events. Some evenings they are drumming on anything they can locate and are singing and dancing their hearts out. The only other noises apart from this are the crickets and frogs.
These days showed me what pure happiness is all about.
The Camp is bordered by the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, the mangrove coast and local villages. Every employee here originates from one of the surrounding homesteads. The centerpoint is a platform bar / restaurant with scenic views, serving Giriama food cooked in 'Eurpean hygiene'. The food is cooked on two large fireplaces and the portions are generous.
Accomodation is available in three traditional coastal style huts, all with concrete floor, white sheets and mosquito-nets. Small camping sites are available and a further overland-truck site can accomodate larger groups or tents.
It is a place of pure peace and if this is getting to much, the camp can organise seven trips; for example canoeing in the mangrove channels or walks in the forest.
The Giriama Dancers and drummers, who usually only play at local weddings and funerals can be booked to perform in the camp. And one can get its own taste of the local coconut-wine. But expect a large bunch of fun-loving locals, especially children, to turn up too!
Check out the webpage: www.midaecocamp.com
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