Unforgettable Places They’ve Visited

Muthoni Maingi is an award winning Global
Muthoni Maingi is an award winning Global Digital Strategist and currently the Head of Digital Campaigns at Oxfam International. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Muthoni Maingi, Head of Digital Campaigns, Oxfam International

How many countries have you travelled to? 16

Top destination so far? Madagascar and Kenya

Least favourite destination? Ha! Ha! I have no such thing. I love everywhere I have gone to for different reasons.

One indulgence that you would never forgo in a hotel?

A bed and a shower. I am not fussy when it comes to accommodation.

Unforgettable place you’ve visited

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia was amazing. Visiting the only place on earth that is equivalent to Mars was quite something and walking on blue and bright yellow acid geysers was surreal! I also slept near a volcano that night under the open air in a small, nomadic village with a couple of camels and rats for company. For me, there has never and can never be a comparable experience.

Beach or adventure?


How do you keep yourself busy when on holiday?

Eating, hiking, cycling and kite surfing.

Can you travel solo? How would kill boredom if you were solo?

I travel alone a lot. I genuinely enjoy my own company and also throwing myself into the unknown. I make sure that I socialise with people I meet on these trips. I have travelled across Rwanda hiking and chimpanzee trekking alone, across Wales, England, Malaysia, India and Tanzania too by myself. Most of my travel in Kenya as well is through solo trips. I have been everywhere from Mandera to Kakamega to the Coast by myself. It is a healthy habit to cultivate and nurture.

What must you pack when travelling?

My contact lenses, I am totally blind without them. And lots of sunscreen because of my outdoor adventurous ways.

Most unique dish you have had so far?

I ate so much pho in Vietnam. It’s a simple dish but filled with so much flavour. Vietnamese food has been the best in all my travels.

Which restaurant is genuinely worth travelling for?

Ali Barbour’s Cave in Diani.

What are you currently reading?

Notes from the ‘Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’. It is a great refresher for me in terms of aligning myself with my priorities. The book tries to answer the 'big' questions of life such as, 'Why are we here?' and 'What really matters in life?'. It is a fantastic reminder to repeatedly evaluate success, personal joy and to shut out all noise that does not fit in that.

What book(s) have you read that changed your life?

‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, ‘So Long a Letter’ by Mariama Bâ, ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley, ‘Angela's Ashes’ by Frank McCourt and ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ by Sage Vyasa.

Rosemary Mugambi, regional sales and marketing director, Serena Hotels

Rosemary Mugambi, Regional Sales and Marketing

Rosemary Mugambi, Regional Sales and Marketing Director, Serena Hotels. PHOTO | COURTESY

How many countries have you travelled to? Over 20

Beach or adventure?

Adventure. The adventures in Africa are unrivalled and this continent is undiscovered. Nothing beats adventures such as gorilla trekking in Rwanda, white water rafting in Uganda, or watersports in Mozambique. There is so much to see and do in Africa.

What’s your secret to getting a good sleep/rest when flying?

I use the flying time as a hiatus from my daily busy schedule. I catch up on movies or read a good book. I take the time to pray. This always puts me at ease.

What’s one indulgence that you would never forgo in a hotel?

I also look for a hotel with ample space and great ambience for me to enjoy an early morning or evening walk.

Unforgettable place you’ve visited Prague Czech Republic is still so vivid in my mind. I travelled there once but I would go back for the distinct architecture, the rich history and relaxing ambience.

Can you travel solo? How would kill boredom if you were solo?

I travel alone a lot. This has become the norm that it has made me a reserved group traveller.

Aisle or middle seat when flying?

I go for the aisle so that I get an opportunity to walk while flying. I love walking!

Which place would you love to visit next?

I am spoilt for choice for African destinations. I haven’t experienced Victoria Falls yet but it is one place I would love to visit soon.

How do you keep yourself busy when on holiday?

I pray, get a spa treatment or read a book and get some time to go on excursions, immerse myself in cultural activities and visit historic sites.

Any clever packing tips for travellers?

Always anticipate the possibility of your luggage arriving late or even getting lost. So always have a hand luggage with key essentials. I always carry a hand-luggage with the most essential items just in case.