The challenge of accessible tourism in Kenya. The Viaggio Italia project arrives in Mambrui
All of us have our own history, life and experiences that make us special and unique even if, unfortunately, we do not realize it.
Imagine, with our job, every day how many stories and different experiences we listen, how many people come to Kola Beach sharing their ideas, opinions and confidences.
Most of those people leave, or take away with them, a moment, a word or a behavior that will remain within us forever.
This is why we decided to tell the story of Danilo and Luca because, yes, they really changed the way we look at things.
Around 40 years old, handsome guys, sporty, spirit of initiative and adventurous. Pioneer, that's for sure.
They travel a lot. They showed us incredible videos about the Himalayas, Brazil and India. Full of initiatives like a very special fashion show organized during the Milano Fashion Week of 2016 (we will show it to you later).
Believe me, the fact that they are on a wheelchair is absolutely marginal.
Danilo Ragona is a designer and president of Able To Enjoy, an Italian company that produces and markets innovative disability products. Just have a look to the fashion show mentioned above to understand the ambition behind his project.
Luca Paiardi, architect, bass player of the Stearica band and tennis player who occupies the 7th place in the Italian ranking.
Together they created the Viaggio Italia project of which Kola Beach Resort had the luck and the pleasure of joining it as host during their trip to Kenya.
Viaggio Italia has 3 main targets: first of all it aims at overcoming preconceptions and mental limits to those who share a different kind of mobility with them. Give tangible proof that even on a wheelchair you can practice sports (and we are talking about canoes, downhill, jet skis and hang-gliders), travel and broaden your horizons
Danilo and Luca, wherever they go, visit the Spinal Units of the various parts of the world, as they have done here in Kenya, to convey their message of autonomy and independence with pragmatical testimonies, smiles and moral depth.
The third challenge, which even Kola Beach was also part, is the accessibility of products and services offered by companies. Challenge that we faced with humility and curiosity, without the fear of asking for information to those who know this world better than anyone else.
They have faced Africa and they certainly conquered it, a bit like our hearts.
Ungrateful but loving land, charming and rebellious, indomitable.
They faced it with our friends of Afreeca Eclectic, Jean Pierre, Alberto and Silvia, who organized for them a wonderful tour, not at all touristy but "true".
This was, probably, the main aim of Luca and Danilo. This is their message. They want to show that anyone can indulge their passions regardless of the difficulties, even if they seem insurmountable.
The journey of our friends begins visiting the slum of Kibera, one of the hardest places in the Nairobi
area, if not in Africa, if not in the World.
Open sewers, poverty and criminality but, in spite of everything, someone still fights trying to change the things.
It is the case of Stuart McGreevy, with his program aimed at coaching Kenyan youths in rugby and supports early childhood education, or the Nairobi Spinal Injury Hospital. Places that Luca and Danilo visited, even if with some little difficulties as "white people", and for this reason seen as "privileged"
Their trip continues in the pristine and wild nature of a wonderful safari organized by Afreeca Eclectic that has engaged themselves, with the courage of the pioneers, in this new adventure.
Danilo and Luca faced with off-road wheelchairs (their own design) every big or small adversity. They will talk about their experience in the Tsavo as one of the most exciting ever. Colors, perfumes and sensations that only Mama Savana can give you.
Finally it was time to relax a bit (more or less).
Our friends enjoyed few days on the Golden Beach of Mambrui and Kola Beach had the pleasure of hosting them, the crew and the Afreeca Eclectic Team.
For them we organized a nice quad ride through the sandy dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean and into the wild bush with its hidden villages and unspoiled nature.
They drove two tuk tuk through the streets of Mambrui, diving the local reality by visiting the small town, its main Mosque, the Primary and the Secondary School of Mambrui, which host both Muslim and Catholic children and youths, with their smiles always full of satisfaction and joy.
At the end, as all that was not yet enough, they visited the Olympia Club Kilifi where they enjoyed a wonderful jet ski ride and lunch organized by Pasquale
We are sure of one thing: Danilo and Luca will not easily forget this Kenya.
But, dear Danilo and Luca, even us we will never forget the things you have taught us, and the way you have taught them to us!
Beyond the holiday aspect conveyed by the images, Kola Beach deliberately took an interest in the life of Luca and Danilo and thousands of Luca and Danilo in the world and felt compelled to write these few lines to convey the message that nothing is impossible.
Thanks to Luca, to Danilo, to their troop and to our friends of Afreeca Eclectic for giving us the opportunity to live this wonderful experience.
Kola Beach Resort
Enjoy the best moments spent together with them in Mambrui having a look to this gallery