- First, tell us about yourself and how you are involved in the tourism industry.
Benedict Walubengo (Twitter handle @walubengovich, IG @walubengovich) is my name, lover of life, nature and wildlife, travel enthusiast, part time volunteer German teacher, a fluent speaker at that. Basically anything to do with travel is my addiction. I am involved with tourism by the nature of my job; I work as an administrator and project coordinator with Karen Blixen Camp. I get to interact with a lot of tourists both local and international and also wildlife and nature researchers thus we share a lot of ideas on Kenyan tourism sector.
- Where did you get that love for tourism, nature and traveling from?
As a kid, my parents had to work in various towns around the country from Marsabit to Kisumu to Machakos to Garissa to Embu while maintaining a base in Nairobi. It was always exciting to travel from one corner of the country to another especially during school holidays and I never used to sleep while traveling. I still do not to date, so much to see on a road trip. I think that’s when the tour and travel bug bit me, besides I am a random, jumpy and hyper active kind of persona so I get to visit various places as much as possible.
- Are you contented with how much you have traveled and places you have visited so far?
Traveling is never and should never be enough for an enthusiast, sometimes you have few nights at a particular place therefore you get to explore the area partially. That’s what makes touring and traveling exciting. I am yet to reach my full traveling potential so watch this space.
- What has been your best destination so far?
I spend quite some time in the Masai Mara and I can say that’s my perfect destination, not because of the big five or wildebeest migration per se, but the African savannah and the sunset is a sight to behold. I cannot ignore coast, Amboseli, Laikipia, Meru and the shores of Lake Turkana too.
- How often do you travel?
I do travel at least once a month to any near-free or a pocket-friendly destination, if you can include *ushago. And save for one or two major travels, one in low season and another in November-December period.
- What are the most important lessons you have learnt from your trips?
I learnt that the key to happiness in life is spending on experiences because the memories will be priceless. Get outside your comfort zone; learn about places, people, their cultures and perception of the world. You will create a long lasting friendship and cheap accommodation next time you are in town.
- What is the most frustrating part about trips?
The most frustrating has to be coming up with an itinerary of activities. Going for a trip is easy but planning what to do during/on the trip is quite a challenge. For example; a six day trip to the coastal circuit and you have to come up with various daily activities without introducing BORING aspect in them.
- Do you consider yourself a traveler or a tourist? Why?
I consider myself both a traveler and a tourist, call me a ‘Travourist’. I am a default traveler by the virtue of moving from point A to B often as possible and since I revel on the pleasure of traveling, exploring and researching about different destinations I end up becoming a tourist.
- Visit all the Kenyan national parks, reserves and conservancies before I retire (2 different destinations every year)
- Do an E.African road trip… watch out UG,TZ,Rwanda,Burundi and Ethiopia.
- Beach tour; sky diving in Diani, dhow ride, marine parks, Zanzibar Spice island et al.
- Hot Air balloon in the Mara and Amboseli
- Austria, Belgium, Switzerland tour in 2020 or sooner (my dreams are valid)
- Any comments on #TembeaKenya efforts and to others about traveling through Kenya?
#TembeaKenya is a good step towards marketing Kenya as a perfect tourism destination to both domestic and international tourists. Kenya has one of the most diverse tourist options in the world and everyone should take the advantage of that and enjoy all the resources. We can do more in terms of domestic marketing but also the hotels, lodges, and camps should give domestic tourists better terms and services for them to pay them a visit.
To others, traveling through Kenya is easy, with anything from 100 shillings to infinity anyone can make the best out of their travels, it is not a preserve of the rich or Europeans.
We are grateful to @ for the interview. If you have any comments, please share on the comments’ section or via our twitter page @funtravelke . You can also suggest anyone to be considered for future interviews. Thank you.