Last year, I visited one of the most beautiful wildlife destinations on the planet; The Maasai Mara. At that place, I was a guest at the Olare Mara Kempinski which is in the Olare Orok Conservancy. Suffice to say that the place is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of staying; world class service, beautiful facility – that bed and bathtub were something else, decent bar and swimming pool – and all the rest.
And then there was the wildlife; I have never seen so many of God’s creatures that were not on the wild game buffet at The Carnivore.
When I was being given the tour I noticed a little library on the first floor of the main facility. This library was really nicely put out with a few canvas seats and a view to the park with a telescope to help you enjoy the game out there. With the facility there was also the part that talks gives the “library” aspect to room we were in at the time. In it was a little book shelf with titles like;
- Since silent spring – Frank Graham Jr
- Escape of the Amethyst – C.E Lucas Phillips
- London’s underworld – By Henry Mayhew and edited by Peter Quenell
- Amanecer – Stephanie Meyer
- If this is man – the truce – Primo Levi
- Is Blood thicker than water – James M. Mcpherson – James M Macpherson
No books from any writers from Kenya or the African continent. You can imagine my disappointment when you realise that whole selling point of the hotel is that they are in Africa. I would have imagined that the traveller going there would have liked to read from books that they would rarely have access to on their own continents. So I would have expected either the Old School guys like Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Chinua Achebe, Margaret Ogola or the new school like Chimamanda Adichie, Nganga Mbugua and Doreen Baingana. Perhaps the folks at the Kempinski believe that their guests are too busy seeing animals doing their cycle of life Lion King thing to care to read African writers. Or maybe Kenyan authors should see this as an opportunity to sell books to a new audience.