Bushtops Spa 2014-125.1

Africa’s first ever starlit swimming pool opens at Mara Bushtops, Kenya

Robin Stuart, working closely with Swiss architect Andrin Schweizer has put Kenya on the world map by designing and installing a starlight display on a swimming pool at Mara Bushtops, the first ever in Africa.

Bushtops Spa 2014-120.1

The pool, which measures 22 meters long and 10 meters was designed under the project Amani African spa village that adapts its multiple award-winning formula to the magic of a Mara Bushtops setting.

What sets the starlight installation apart from the few others around the world is that it’s an exact reflection of the Orion constellation, the constellation that was visible in the night sky when Mara Bushtops first opened its doors to guests in January of 2007.

Bushtops Spa 2014-3.1

In total, it took around three weeks to complete the installation and since the spa’s opening, guests have been awestruck by its majestic display, as well as the over head display of the Milky Way which can be viewed very clearly due to the lodge’s remote location that has almost zero light pollution. This makes for a truly magical experience having stars all around when enjoying a private dinner or just relaxing by the pool.

The Amani African Spa which was opened in July 2014 takes wild luxury to new heights adding luxurious pampering, peace and tranquillity to the excitement of game watching, culinary excellence and the comforts of the camp.

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Spa facilities

Within the soothing confines of the Spa, rejuvenating massages, hydrotherapy and a range of holistic skin and body treatments are complemented by a fitness facility, complete with high-tech cardiovascular and weight training equipment.

A sauna, Rasul steam room (featuring multi-sensory Arabian mud cleansing treatments) and hot and cold Jacuzzi vie for attention with a heated infinity pool – with beds inside the pool complete with water jets! There is also a cold plunge pool to take the edge of the heat. And to wind down, there is the simple glory of a wooden relaxation deck providing uninterrupted views of the camp’s salt lick and the majestic African Bush.

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So as you contemplate the delights of your safari adventure or silver service dinner, what better way to let the cares of the world slip from your shoulders than a spell in the Spa?

For more information visit www.Bushtopscamps.com.


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Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

YouTube clip of hilarious SWA flight attendant who wants to meet Ellen & Jimmy Fallon

The travel world has its fare share of fun and games, and it’s not all business as many may assume. In this 2-minute YouTube clip, a hilarious SWA flight attendanat delivers a monologue before take off in a unique style that will leave you in stitches (this explains the clip’s over 17 million views on YouTube in just 4 months) Take a look.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

Lagos State government drafts bill to form tourism agency

Lagos State Government has drafted a bill that seeks to allow it to set up a tourism promotion agency for purposes of improving the fortunes of the lucrative sector.



The bill, which has since been sent to the Lagos Assembly for consideration and approval into law, will enable the State to form a tourism body to be known as Lagos Sate Tourism Promotion Agency aimed at consolidating the gains made in the industry and placing Lagos among the top tourism destinations not only in Nigeria but the world.

According to Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Ade Ipaye, in a letter to the House, noted that the proposal followed an approval at the Lagos State Executive Council meeting of June 23, 2014 for its presentation to the House by law adding that the new law is an improvement of the Lagos State Water Front and Tourism Development Cooperation law enacted in 2002 to develop tourism, hotels, resorts and amusement parks.

Charlie's Place & Suites, Lagos

Charlie’s Place & Suites, Lagos

The current bill is set to add to the gains from the 2002 law by making Lagos more viable and modern in an effort to keep pace with changing trends in world tourism and boost institutional framework and marketing campaigns that will lead to sustainable tourism development.

Ipaye further noted that the tourism agency will take shape of a sovereign agency not bogged down with various departments and functions or tedious approval processes which may hinder its effectiveness in particular areas of tourism.

Book your accommodation in Lagos, Nigeria on SleepOut.com.


Gomopoly – it’s fun for the whole expat family

A few months ago, some good friends and I had a brainstorm about what a Goma version of Monopoly would look like. Here is the outcome, using elements of the map of Goma that I did last year for my blog.


Go to jail Gomopoly-style


I forgot to include prices for the properties, but other than that, it’s pretty much ready to roll: we had a great inaugural game a couple of weeks ago here in Goma.

To follow my Expat Facial Hair Index, Expat Typology Flow-Chart and more of my musings from Goma, visit afwhiteblog.wordpress.com.




About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.


7 exquisite accommodations in Gigiri, Nairobi

Gigiri is a lush suburban neighbourhood in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, just 8 kilometres from the Central Business District and in close proximity to the United Nations Headquarters and a number of foreign embassies.

Its setting, close to the diplomatic fences and Village Market shopping mall, the extant greenery and exquisite environment has made Gigiri one of the most sought-after places in terms of accommodations with several houses and hotels available. SleepOut.com looks at some of the accommodations where you can stay during your next visit to Nairobi for visa application, business or just leisure.


Tribe Hotel

Tribe Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Nairobi, Kenya set in the leafy suburb within Nairobi’s diplomatic district of Gigiri next to the Village Market.


The hotel has tastefully furnished rooms and suites, bedecked with intriguing designer pieces to create a sense of elegance and class. The hotel has neat bedrooms decorated with embellishment from all over Africa, gild dining area, a pool and a generally exquisite ambience. Tribe Hotel is not only ideal for travellers but also a great venue to hold conferences with its top-notch conferencing facilities and a hushed neighbourhood passing the mark.


Tribe Hotel also has a massage parlour, sauna, spa, hot tub, bar, business centre, secure parking space, Cable or satellite TV and internet connection. Book your stay here and enjoy top-class services.


Sovereign Suites Hotel

Sovereign Suites Hotel is a 5-star boutique facility located in the outskirts of Nairobi along Limuru Road in a comely setting that ensures peace and calm.

Sovereign Suite

The hotel is set in an aristocratic colonial building in a well-manicured six acre piece of land with two acre private fish dam surrounded by lush tea and flower farms.

Sovereign Suites Hotel offers 16 suites of different sizes with 3 presidential suites located on the 1st floor and 2nd floors equipped with a private Jacuzzi, and 3 two-bedroom family rooms on the 1st and ground floors. There is also a penthouse with a fitted steam room that offers a remarkable view of the manmade lake near the hotel.


The hotel also has well-suited conference facilities that can accommodate up to 200 guests and are equipped with Wi-Fi internet. Other amenities include a spa, fitness room, pool, hot tub, bar and ample parking space. Book your stay here.


Comfort Gardens Guest House

Located in a lush garden, with the Gigiri suburbs, Comfort Garden Guest House stands as an ideal place for the traveller in you.

Comfort Guest Hse

Comfort Gardens Guest House has 73 self-contained rooms furnished with aesthetic furniture and blends well with artistic milieu forming a unique facet. All rooms are standard and ideal for single or double occupancy with twin and triple-bed arrangements also available on request.

The house also has well-equipped kitchen that allows you to prepare your meals, business centre, pool, internet connection, hot tub, ample parking and well-maintained garden ideal for events. Click here to book.


The Cottage House

The Cottage Guest House is an ultra-modern bed and breakfast facility located in the same vicinity as the United Nations Offices with close proximity to the Swedish, Brazilian and American Embassies.


The house offers high quality and superior comfort ideal for business, leisure and transient travellers. The house is a walking distance from Village Market where you can do all your shopping while here as you enjoy the “Gigirian” weather and the prevailing aura of peace and calm.

Cottage Guest House has a well-furnished kitchen, fireplace, Cable TV, bar and secure parking space. Book your accommodation here.


Daisy Home Guest House

Daisy Home Guest House is a picturesque accommodation located in Gigiri with a restful interior, exotic decor and a homely feel with an enabling environment to just relax and reminisce.

Daisy Home 2

Daisy Home Guest House has 7 self contained rooms are self contained, tastefully furnished with unique decorations, earthen TV stand and artistic wall hangings that tell the African story. The rooms have Cable TV, telephones and internet connection. The house also offers laundry services, airport shuttles and in-house catering. Click here to book.


Just At Home Guest House

If you are looking for simple but exquisite accommodation, then Just At Home Guest House is the place to stay. With 6 spacious rooms designed to meet every traveller’s needs, Just At Home Guest House offers luxury at a reasonable price.

Just At Home

Each room has a TV and Wi-Fi to ensure you carry on with your businesses at the comfort of your bed. The house also offers 24-hour room service and laundry services, and has a media room for use on request. Book your stay here.


Rurigi House

Neatly set in a serene and secure location a minute walk from the United Nations Headquarters, Rurigi House offers maximum comfort for leisure and business travellers.


The house is in a friendly environment with hospitable staff that will make sure you enjoy your stay. It’s proximity to the Village Market shopping complex enables you to take a stroll as you go for shopping. You could also visit the Muthaiga golf club which is five-minute drive away or Karura forest and enjoy the numerous flora and fauna, birds and small wildlife. Click here to book.

Book your accommodation in Gigiri, Nairobi on SleepOut.com.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

Exciting Mashujaa weekend family offer at Mara Leisure Camp, Maasai Mara

Mara Leisure Camp has announced a Mashujaa weekend family offer that runs from October 18th to 20th 2014.


The offer will see guests pay a discounted amount of Ksh9,400 per person sharing per night on full board basis and is applicable for a minimum two-night stay.

The weekend will start with guests’ arrival at Mara Leisure Camp for lunch and leisure on Saturday 18th October before engaging in optional fun activities including half day game drive in 4×4 vehicle till sunset and later enjoy a sumptuous dinner inclusive of African delicacies with bonfire at the camp. On Sunday, guests will be served breakfast before taking part in fun activities including game drive in a 4×4 vehicle till sunset. Guests will be served lunch during the game drive and later enjoy a sumptuos dinner with African deklicacies on the Menu upon arrival at the camp. Guests will check out on Monday 20th October after enjoying two-days of fun.


The offer excludes park entrance fees, travel and personal accident insurance but includes 20% discount on bush spa treatment, 20% discount in 4×4 land cruiser game drive with a qualified Maasai guide and picnic lunch for full day game drive and 20% discount on visit to Maasai village. It also includes complimentary transport in the camp’s 4×4 vehicle to the Maasai village, complimentary nature walk and complimentary cake in the restaurant as you are entertained by Karibu dance.

Book your accommodation at Mara Leisure Camp on SleepOut.com to enjoy this special offer.

Mashujaa holiday package at The Ark & Aberdare Country Club, Aberdare National Park

The Ark and Aberdare Country Club have announced a special travel package during the Mashujaa holiday which will run from October 18th to 20th 2014.

The deal will see guests pay Ksh8,900 per person sharing, per night on full board basis and get to enjoy a host of activities including treasure hunt, bird discovery in game sanctuary, guided walk, and BBQ dinner with bonfire.

The Ark

The Ark

In this travel package, guests will arrive at The Aberdare Country Club for lunch on Saturday October 18th where they will have a rest as children take part in a host of activities before proceeding to Ark by lodge vehicle just in time for dinner.

On Sunday October 19th, there will be breakfast followed by transfer back to The Aberdare Country Club for lunch where guests will engage in the various fun activities. On Monday 20th October guests will be treated to breakfast before checkout.

Aberdare Country Club

Aberdare Country Club

The deal is only applicable for a minimum two nights stay and excludes park entrance fees, travel and personal accident insurance and any other extras not specified in the package.

The Ark is a historic Kenyan property whose distinction comes from a reversal of the game drive  where animals come to the people instead of the other way around. It is a unique game lodge that overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick which attracts a host of wildlife.

Aberdare Country Club is a rustic lodge perched quietly in the alpine Great Rift Valley region, within the Aberdare National Park, 260 kilometres from Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Book your accommodation at Aberdare Country Club and The Ark Lodge on SleepOut.com.


Kenya, Angola sign aviation agreement to boost tourism and trade

Kenya has signed an aviation agreement with Angola in a move that is set to increase tourism between the two countries.

The Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau and Angola’s Minister for Transport Augusto da Silva Tomas will open the way for Angolan airline TAAG to start direct flights between Luanda, Angola and Nairobi, Kenya.


The agreement signed last week is an upgrade on an earlier one signed between the two governments in 2011 which Kenya Airways relied on to launch its flights to Angola with the airline now operating three direct flights on the Nairobi – Luanda route.

Speaking at the event, Kamau challenged Kenya Airways to increase its frequency on the route and hoped TAAG would start flying between Luanda and Nairobi.

“The commencement of direct flights between the two States represents a vital alternative for the business community, tourists and other travellers between Kenya and Angola,” he stated.

[photo/Murray Macdonald]

[photo/Murray Macdonald]

Kamau further stated that Kenya is known for its enticing tourist attractions such as famous national parks rich in flora and fauna and beautiful coastline with Mombasa, Malindi, Diani and Lamu forming a tourist paradise.

The agreement allows for single designation and three weekly flights between Luanda, Angola and Nairobi, Kenya.

Book your accommodation in Kenya and Angola on SleepOut.com.

Emirates increases flights from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Emirates is set to increase flights from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with the start of second service to the East African country this week.

The new five times weekly flight is aimed at complementing the airline’s existing daily operation and further boost inbound and outbound passenger traffic and cargo flows between Tanzania and Dubai and Emirates worldwide network.


According to senior Vice President Orhan Abbas, Dar es Salaam is an important destination for their network having carried over 180,000 travellers in the last financial year.

The new frequency is also expected to boost tourism and trade between Tanzania and other markets in the Emirates global network.

The move comes as low jet airline fastjet increased its operations in the East African region with the launch of flights from Dar es Salaam Tanzania to Entebbe, Uganda with plans at advanced stage to launch flights to Nairobi, Kenya.

Book your accommodation in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on SleepOut.com.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.


Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2014 set for October 8-10 at KICC, Nairobi

The second edition of Magical Kenya Travel Expo will be held from October 8th to 10th 2014 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.

The event, organised by Kenya Tourist Board, is set to bring together over 150 travel agents, tour operators and trade media from Kenya’s tourist source markets and provide a platform for participants to interact with the trade and consumers.

The event is also set to create an opportunity for visiting trade members to gain better understanding of Kenya’s diverse tourism products as well as provide a networking platform between the Kenyan trade and those overseas.


Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2014 will also provide participants with insight, news and trends in the tourism industry and find new tour products to try out in addition to creating a chance to learn more about the opportunities available in the industry, meet prospective clients and interact with other industry players.


Last year’s event was officially opened by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta who promised to put in place extensive measures to improve the tourism sector in the country and set appropriate steps to increase the number of tourists visiting the country from 1.6 to at least 3 million annually.

You can book your accommodation in Nairobi on SleepOut.com ahead of the two-day event.

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