BEAUTIFUL KENYA: Song of birds and trees that make Ufanisi Resort unique - Daily Nation

Song of birds and trees that make Ufanisi Resort unique

Tuesday February 2 2016

A section of Ufanisi Resort in Kisii County. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A section of Ufanisi Resort in Kisii County. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Stately pines and acacias tower over the entrance, as birds chirp endlessly in the trees above.

A cool breeze sweeps through the trees, a welcome relief for visitors arriving to sample this  unique natural environment.

All around are trees of every shape, size and appearance. They cover the resort’s compound so well that one can hardly see other man-made facilities.

From cypress to avocado trees, the whole area is a profusion of flora and fauna. This is the magnificent Ufanisi Resort, a tree and bird lover’s paradise in Kisii County.

BIRDWATCHERS HEAVEN

Situated a mere five minutes’ drive from the town’s centre, the leafy resort is the birdwatcher and botanist’s dream, with over 250 species of trees planted on the 3 acre plot.

It is also home to over 50 species of birds that have made the tall trees their home.

The forest has, by extension, become their sanctuary in a town whose vegetative habitat is fast disappearing in the wake of an ongoing real estate boom.

Mrs Isabella Lumumba, the hotel director says that the trees were sourced locally and from as far away as Tharaka Nithi, Athi River, Mombasa and Nairobi

She points to a giant palm tree, majestically standing at the entrance to the dining area.

Some 65 per cent of the plant life are made up of indigenous tree species, including the Omosocho, Omotembe and guava trees synonymous with traditional Kisii culture.

“Can you hear the birds sing?” she asks with a smile.

“That is what guests at our resort can expect during every day of their stay. It is the pure A music of nature in a peaceful setting,” Ms Lumumba says.

As a demonstration of its commitment to a green environment, the resort has sponsored a Millon Trees Initiative, aimed at increasing tree cover in Kisii County.

“We plan to plant a million trees in Kisii County,” she tells the Nation.

So far the initiative has seen a total more than 30, 000 seedlings distributed to schools in the region.

“Through the trees we help to increase tree cover.

“This will automatically result in fresh air, a home for birds and insect species and greater biodiversity in our county,” she explains.

She describes this as a culmination of a 20 year love affair with trees that begun many years before the idea of the resort was conceived.

“Just like the forest which was present before the local people emigrated and settled, these trees were planted on this piece of land before the hotel was built,” Ms Lumumba says.

For those used to modern hotels as imposing concrete, steel and glass structures, Ufanisi Resort is a perfect gate-away for the refreshing experience it accords visitors as they interact closely with nature.