Guest writer # 21, Kennedy Nari – You have to visit Congo!

 

Jambo, habarigani, wazungu? I am Kennedy Nari from Hakuna Matata Tours! Let me first tell you about my beloved country Congo and why you should come here!

Very few people know about travel in this part of the world, but Congo DRC offers tourists many unique opportunities to see wildlife, indigenous cultures, and geological wonders not found easily or anywhere else in Africa. In the DRC, you can trek to see both mountain and lowland gorillas in wild, meet pygmies still practicing their traditional way of life in the forests, spot bonobos and okapi–two rare species not found anywhere else on earth, and climb to the summits of active volcanoes. The DRC has appeared frequently news the past few years because of unrest in the eastern past of the country, but thankfully the region has come to enjoy peace over the past year, and tourists from overseas have been coming in growing numbers to enjoy its attractions.

Mikael used our company when he recently visited Congo for his second time, I traveled with him from Rwanda, where we visited The Genocide Memorial and Nyungwe Forest, then we crossed the border to Congo Drc, where we visited the Low land Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega, Pygmies, Bonobo, Nyiragongo Volcano and the Congo river, we spent 2 weeks with Mikael together with Jeff “Bazooka” Willner, the boss of Kensigtotours.com, the number  1 adventure tour company in the world.

 

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is probably the least visited gorilla habitats in the world. It is, of course, due to that it is place in what is globally seen as a volatile region of Congo and the world. For this reason, there’s very few tourists, it’s unspoilt and feels very fres
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is probably the least visited gorilla habitats in the world. It is, of course, due to that it is place in what is globally seen as a volatile region of Congo and the world. For this reason, there’s very few tourists, it’s unspoilt and feels very fres

Mikael is the nicest guy I have ever met, funny he can make you laugh at any time. Mikael can help you reduce the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. He can help you  increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters for free, just by making you laugh. Yes because laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress. For all the 2 weeks I spent with Mikael I benefited from all the remedies from him, for free.

Together with Mikael visiting the pygmies in Epulu.
Together with Mikael visiting the pygmies in Epulu.

I think he would agree that Hakuna Matata Tours is a successful, and reputable safari and tour company operated by me and my wife Desange, employing a team of professional local tour guides across the region. One is the famous fly catcher and extra ordinary story teller Emmanuel Joseph Munganga.  I come from the Great Lakes Region of Africa, being born in Congo, just 500 metres from the Ugandan and 10 km from the Rwandan borders, providing me with an international perspective from a very early age.  I completed my secondary education in Goma.  Goma is the administrative and business centre of east Congo, nestled on the Rwandan border.  Here, I benefited from further cultural exchanges, forging yet more international community ties, this time with Rwanda, adding to my sense of being an international citizen while gaining the prized Diploma in Accountancy and Finance. I then moved to Kenya to spend two intensive years studying English, returning to Congo in 2003 as peace began to flourish.

A growing number of adventure tourists began arriving in Goma hoping to explore the wildlife especially within Virunga National park and the stunning landscapes around and on Nyiragongo Volcano.  I became a well-known guide and translator, one of the few with fluent English in addition to Lingala, Swahili, Kinyarwanda and French.

Our company, Hakuna Matata Tours, is the most well established tour company in eastern Congo, having offered DRC tours since 2004. We are a Congolese owned and operated company based in Goma on beautiful Lake Kivu and we know the country better than any other travel operator. Congo need tourists to be able to develop and become a stable country again. Please come! AND, please see Innocent Balunde, my friend, who won the Congolese Idol competition!

2 comments

  1. Hakuna Matata = Disaster
    I am a Canadian posted in Prague, Czech Republic. My wife and I visited Congo/Rwanda with Hakuna Matata in the middle of August 2010. We’ve travelled to many African countries and always had good experiences. Everything Hakuna Matata organized was a disaster…….hotel rooms weren’t booked, gorilla permits (which were confirmed for a specific date via e-mail) were not delivered, we were asked to “lend” additional money to cover their cash flow after we’d already paid for everything in advance, and we ended up missing out on gorilla trekking because of their incompetence. The vehicle they were supposed to arrange for our rental was their own 17-year old jeep that broke down in the middle of Akagera National Park and we were stranded for 10 hours before being rescued. We have been home for 7 weeks and we still have not received over 1000 USD refund that is owed to us for not delivering on the gorilla trekking. When I started posting negative comments such as this one I immediately received an e-mail and then a phone call with promises to refund our funds within a week, however it’s now been several more weeks and again no money or communication. Recently I have been contacted by other people who have had the same experience with Hakuna Matata. I strongly advise anyone who is considering using Hakuna Matata to reconsider and/or at least withhold payment until arriving in Congo/Rwanda and receiving confirmations of hotels/gorilla permits/etc. Until I receive my money back I can only conclude that Kennedy is a thief.

  2. Kennedy Nari and Hakuna Matata tours DISHONEST

    I have visited Rwanda a couple of times and have good friends there. On my last trip I met Kennedy Nari through a close friend of mine. He seemed like a nice person and I thought honest. My friend trusted him so I perhaps foolishly did too. Six month later I loaned him money to help keep his business operating. He had written me a letter begging for a loan which I gave him. I did this because I trusted him, my friend worked for him, I had loaned him money before and been paid back (though it was a small amount that time) and because I think its good to help people. The loan was for 4 months, which turned into six months and then Kennedy refused to answer my emails and phone calls. I would not be posting this but I see he has been so dishonest to other people and do not want to give him the opportunity to steal from other people. It also concerns me greatly that he is part of ‘hope for the children’ organisation. If he is so dishonest to his friends, customers and employees I wonder if donations are being used for their intended purposes. I am attempting to get hold of Hope for the children but do not want to go through Kennedy obviously who is one of the main contacts. It is not a matter of the loan I made being lost. I would have forgiven the debt had he been genuinely unable to pay. I just do not want to see him deceive other people.

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