TRAVEL BLACK : KENYA EDITION

Updated: Feb 25

The Ultimate Guide to Black-Owned Accommodation, Tours, and Restaurants in one of Africa's most amazing Destinations





You’ll find truly unparalleled views, rest/relaxation, rich culture, and wildlife encounters when visiting Kenya. Travel to this beautiful nation is something to be coveted and treasured as it embodies so much of what we love about the continent and it is relatively easy to navigate.


Tourism has been a major generator of revenue for the country but that begs the traveler to question, "Who profits the most from this industry?" A brief history lesson will show that Kenya was colonized by the British in the early 1900s and gained political independence through military opposition in 1963. However, true independence is yet to be had as Kenya’s economy continues, in part, to be technologically, financially, commercially, and monetarily dependent on Britain, other European countries, the United States of America, Japan, and, increasingly, China. Additionally, without intentionally decolonizing the mind, Kenyan leaders have continued the British practice of concentrating the wealth of the nation amongst a few at the expense of the majority.


Post-colonial tourism in Kenya reflects the country's past. Indigenous Kenyans are primarily the face of hospitality and tourism--the labor. But ownership of many hotels, restaurants, and large tour companies, belongs to the descendants of colonizers or other foreigners. That's a problem in my humble opinion.


Since tourism dollars can make a material difference in the lives of locals, I encourage travelers to be intentional about how they spend their money on vacation. No, supporting locals previously oppressed by colonization in their country does not rectify what has happened but it can help.




Nairobi Based Black - Owned Businesses


Kenya is a vast country with so much to see. Depending on your time constraints and bucket list items, you’ll set your itinerary accordingly. For the most convenient safari escapades and Instagramable moments, plan to spend a few days in Nairobi. From here you can experience Nairobi National Park, a safari at the heart of an urban center, and wildlife experiences such as the Sheldrick Elephant orphanage (not Black Owned) and Giraffe Center (not Black Owned). Here are a few recommendations to make your stay enjoyable: Tour Companies:


Just Rioba

Rioba is a Kenyan storytelling traveler who plans logistics and tours for those exploring Kenya. She also hosts girls trips from time to time. Rioba planned my trip so that it centered my priorities. Without her, this guide and my experience in Kenya would not gave been possible.

Edmond Okoth

Edmond is a Kenyan safari expert with over 12 years of experience. He hosted our safari to Nairobi National park. It was reasonably priced, informative, and we saw so much wildlife! Make sure you bring a set of binoculars for better viewing.





Accommodations:


The Social House Nairobi

Black Kenyan owned contemporary space that is more than just accommodations. The property boasts 83 bedrooms, 7 event and meeting spaces (some indoors and some out), 4 restaurants, outdoor pool, back garden, gym, and much more!


Restaurants:


Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant


Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant & Cafe is a fine dining restaurant located within the heart of Nairobi. This is one of the best dining experiences in the country so you have to visit!



Diani Based Black - Owned Businesses

Don't miss out on Kenya's incredible coast. This area has some of the best beaches in the world and Diane did not disappoint. Because the beach holds our hearts, we spent the majority of the time soaking in the sun and enjoying the water. Here are a few recommendations to make your stay memorable:


Accommodations :


Amani Luxury Apartments

Amani is a wonderful hotel option for those looking to support a Black Owned Business without sacrificing luxury. It is located in the southern end of Diani Beach where most of the action is. Although the property is not beachfront, the gorgeous pool is the perfect alternative. Each suite is equipped with a full kitchen, living room, outdoor patio/balcony, and bedrooms that have their own bathroom. The private bathrooms really elevated our girls trip for the convience it provided (we we’re all able to get ready for the adventures of the day on time!) Last but surely not least is the hospitality of the staff. Everyone was kind, attentive, and eager to help. The only con of the establishment is that there currently isn’t a restaurant or room service. The rooftop bar and restaurant is coming in the next few months.

Tour Companies :


Goombo Island Tours : +254 717 119538

Goombo set us up an awesome water taxi for a sandbar that appears at low tide late morning through midday. The beach on Diana’s coast can be lined with seaweed and exposed coral however the sand bar was idyllic. You can also get up close with Kenya’s coastal wildlife on a full-day tour to Wasini Island and Kisite Marine Park. Set sail in search of dolphins, snorkel in the beautiful Indian Ocean, and eat a delicious seafood lunch. Use Whatsapp to connect to him and don’t forget to negotiate the price.





Restaurants :

Mvureni Fisherman Restaurant

This unassuming beach dive bar/restaurant is some of the best food we’ve had in our lives, let alone during our time in Kenya. Get the lobster with mushroom sauce and prawns/shirmp. Trust me, you’ll thank us later. The best part is this restaurant is local fisherman owned and operated so you can see directly how your tourism supports the community.




Please add any additional Black Owned Kenyan Businesses in the comments below!

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