Human beings are their own worst enemies. The need for comfort is more often than not accompanied by an ironic sacrifice of the chief spine and sustainer of life; the environment. The best getaway destinations sadly are most guilty of this crime. The ruthless clearing of flora to create space for lifeless structures to house guests inadvertently followed by unbearable weight as the incessant traffic pounds on while gasping for air through the thick murk is what the martyr Environment endures silently.
Diani on Kenya’s South Coast is arguably one of the most popular holiday get-away the country has to offer with innumerable accommodation facilities to boot.
However, very few first time visitors from world over who flock around it for a taste of paradise notice the lurking curse even as the environment groans as she struggles with continued battering.
A glimmer of hope, as I would find out, that not all establishments have turned a blind eye to the destruction. Working with the environment rather than against it while still running business is a possibility as one establishment proved.
Forest Dream Resort on Diani Beach Road as its name suggests has successfully managed to co-exist with nature; giving back more that it takes.
A ferry sail from mainland Mombasa over to Likoni followed by a thirty minute mini-van drive led me to Ukunda Post Office from where I would be transferred to Forest Dream.
A few minutes later, one Tim van Velzen picked me up for a ten-minute drive that gave more than I had bargained for. Through Tim’s eyes, mine were opened to the danger human influence poses to the environment.
A pale shadow is what remains of Diani Beach Road, which was at one time a plush boulevard. Developers keen to capitalise on the imminent tourist gains Diani has to offer fall indigenous forest without batting an eye-lit.
As we engaged in a discussion on the threat this precedence posed, we drove past a signboard depicting a monkey which I was informed is the resort’s trademark before branching off onto a dirt road with heavy bush.
After a short stretch, a protective wall with the characteristic monkey imprint ushered us into Forest dream and as the manned gates closed behind us, a friendly yet fierce looking Rottweiler welcomed us.
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