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“A beautiful, enchanted place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest

Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest
Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
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Ranked #5 of 23 things to do in Diani Beach
Attraction details
Nairobi, Kenya
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A beautiful, enchanted place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015

Taking a walk through the sacred forest was beautiful and almost magical. It's unbelievable that many of these forests have been destroyed.

Visited August 2014
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32 reviews from our community

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English first
Mombasa, Kenya
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“words alone can not describe Kaya Kinondo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2015

The Experience of Kaya Kinondo – the sacred forest cannot be described by words alone. One has t obe ready to receive in order to experience.

I discovered that the deeper I went, the more still and serene it became. I not only found tranquillity and an unusual kind of peace but also came to realize what life was all about in the plant kingdom. I saw the awakening of plants around me. I came to the realization that flora also have a sensitive nervous system and a varied emotional life. Love, hate, joy fear, pain, excitability and countless other appropriate responses to stimuli are as universal in vegetation as they are in animals. Plants can see. They can count and communicate with one another. They are able to react to the slightest touch and to estimate time with extraordinary precision. Anyone with the slightest acquaintance with plants must surely be familiar with these statements.
Plants are, in many ways, more successful organisms than animals, I would think. They were the first to colonize the land on this planet. I bet they have more experience. Even today, they can thrive in places where no animals can live for any length of time. They grow much bigger than fauna and live much longer. And creatures are totally dependent on them.
In this preserved forest, I saw shoots of plants creeping away from the darkness into chunks of light and I realized that plants could see. Some flowers facing west at sunset during my way out turned during the night in order to face east by sunrise. A kind of sun salutation, I suppose. I experimented later with plants at home. They continued to make such movements even when I kept them under uniform lighting for days on end.
It was also amazing to see how sensitive some of the plants were. They closed when I touched their trigger, not once, but twice. Would I be wrong then to state that plants can count?
At Kaya kinondo, everything becomes so visibly clear. I realized that plants, during the course of their lives, dealt with more or less the same problems as animals, including us. They seemed to fight off their enemies. They struggled with the neighbours to claim space in which to live and gather food. They had a way of taking other organisms captive and use them for their own purposes.

The descending root of a strangler fig encircles the trunk of its host in what becomes a fatal embrace. The fig draws its sustenance from the vegetable debris accumulating around its roots entwining the branch. At first, they grow quite slowly but gradually, their roots extend along the branch and surround the main trunk. As they develop downwards, they fuse into a kind of lattice. Others hang freely and descend vertically. Once the root reaches the forest floor, the fig is able to draw nutrients from the soil and so it grows with increased vigour. It embraces the trunk of its host with more and more roots and appears to be strangling it.

Most of us are oblivious of these dramas and facts of plants. We seem to have our own time scale and they too have their own.

Visit the place if you get a chance while in diani.

Visited December 2014
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Nuremberg, Germany
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Very nice trip with Luchi Hassan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

We have been annoyed with the beachboys on the Tiwi/Diani beach as everybody was/is/ and propably will be. One of these guys (called himself Jeyjey)even scammed us for 2000 Ksh (he didn't show up!!!), but we have found a rare exception. Luchi Hassan came to us on Tiwi beach, he told us, that he can take us with his Motorcycle (aka Bodaboda) to the Sacred forest for a very reasonable price (1500Ksh for the whole trip without entrance/guide fee - 2pax). The receptionist at our Hotel/campsite (twiga lodge) knew him, so we gave him a chance. The trip to the sacred forest is nothing really special but interesting. A lot about the culture and history of the local Digo people, interesteing bitheistic approach between Islam and the Religion of the ancestors and a lot of Info about the trees and what kind of use every tree had in the past (medicine, clothing, watter search etc). But what was the best about the whole trip - The Luchi. We went with him after the trip on Lunch a spoke a lot about the living on Diani, about his live, work. He is a very nice guy and he is much different from all the others beach boys. He's not pushy at all, very humble, very friendly, very informative, He has a very good english. He even payed for himself most of his lunch! For the whole trip nothing was a problem. He drove the motorcycle very safe. He made stop stop for us at the Nakumatt and on the very end, he even show us where does he live, his beautiful wife and his beautiful newborn child. So I have promised myself. If there should be anytime better time for Diani, I have to write about this guy. If you are looking for a good local guide from Diani, give him a call. I Hope u won't regret. We definitely didn't. You can contact him over the internet http://luchisafaris.wordpress.com/ or just ask in the Twiga lodge on the Tiwi beach.

Visited October 2014
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Diani Beach, Kenya
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Hug a tree :-)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014

When last did you hug a HUGE tree? Make sure you visit Kaya Kinondo to do that and learn about the Mijikenda people who used to live here.

We had a very enthusiastic guide who was very knowledgeable about the Kaya and all the fauna and flora in it. It was very interesting to hear about (and sample!!) the medicinal use of many of the trees and shrubs that grow there.

Make sure you wear comfortable - preferably sturdy - shoes and have some mozzie repellent handy.

Visited August 2014
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Bordeaux, France
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“One of the cultural visit in Diani”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

Its one of the few historical things to do around, its nice for the stories but quite overpriced considering what you get.

Visited June 2014
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