You have probably seen his social media accounts, or even interacted with him about tourism, but do you know who Martin Kiarie Mwangi is? On twitter his handle is @ and known as Travel Mania KE on facebook. We wanted to know him better.
- First, tell us about yourself and how you are involved in the tourism industry.
I am very enthusiastic about travel and discovering what each destination I find myself in has to offer. Currently a free-lance eco safari guide taking the world on the best wild rides. Also actively in conservation efforts as a graduate of travel and tours-wildlife management.
- Where did you get your wanderlust? Do other people in your family travel a lot, too? Or is this urge entirely yours?
I fell in love with nature on my first trip to the Aberdares national park, at 6yrs old. A close encounter with a big tusker* was equally terrifying as it was exciting and a scary looking herd of ‘wildcows’,as my teacher called buffalos, was enough to kindle the spirit of adventure that has got me this far. I am the only traveler in the family but spreading the bug, getting them interested.
- How often do you travel?
I travel a lot as a tour leader for groups that book with companies I work, how often depends on the season.
- Do you prefer traveling alone or with a group of people? Why?
Travelling in groups is the best way to travel mostly because I believe in safety in numbers. You get to enjoy more when different characters come in to offer unique qualities that make the trips all more exciting.
- What destination have you found to be overrated?
Mombasa, or just say the North coast is too overrated, especially the beach package. The region has so much more to offer like cultural villages and endemic species* in rich natural forests that are rarely explored.
I am more of a traveler as I love discovering a destination and experiencing the basics it has to offer like the people, their cultures, local cuisines and more. Tourists on the other hand love the luxury expectations that comes with touring the destination.
- What are the most important lessons you have learnt from your trips?
Most important lesson has been respect for other peoples’ way of life. The cultural diversity you encounter gives one a deeper appreciation of how dynamic life is.
- Travel plans for 2015?
Venture into unexplored and underrated destinations to reveal their full potential.
- You, unfortunately, have been condemned to die, but fortunately, you get to have any meal in the world before you go. What is your menu?
Wali wa Nazi by mama Ntilie. (Chuckles)
- Any comments on #TembeaKenya and to others about traveling?
You never really know what is beyond your home until you travel and discover how wealthy, vibrant and full of life our country is. #Tembeakenya, jivinjari.
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.
PS: tusker* – Elephant, endemic species* – one that is only found in that region and nowhere else in the world.