A different way to explore Kenya lands SKYIN in Kenya Tourism Board’s Signature Experience Collection.
Established in 2018 and based in Denver, Colorado and Nairobi, Kenya, SKYIN is the creation of founder Skyler Mason who, for over the last decade, has traveled extensively throughout Kenya.
His passion is sharing with other travelers, the same warmth of “living like a local” that he has personally experienced. His dream is to create jobs and develop long-term opportunities for local communities.
Kenya is often seen as a “bucket list” destination and whether it’s exploring vast savannas searching for exotic wildlife, immersing into indigenous tribal villages, or soaking up the sun on white, tropical beaches, this East Africa destination lures travelers throughout the world.
Mason says “SKYIN is about a different way to explore an authentic Kenya.”
The company was recently welcomed into the Kenya Tourism Board’s Signature Experience Collection. According to Mr. Joh Chirchir, Ag. CEO at the Kenya Tourism Board, “This prestigious recognition is awarded only to those experiences in Kenya which are deemed to be truly unique and authentic for travellers. SKYIN’s Immersive Cultural Experience with the Maasai goes beyond the usual tourism activity, affording travelers to Kenya an opportunity to a memorable Kenyan experience and discover the true culture of this iconic and magnificent tribe.”
Activities & Programs Offered
The programs offered by SKYIN are “carefully curated and locally guided journeys allowing travelers a glimpse beyond the veil of tourism through luxurious safaris and beachfront stays paired with immersive cultural experiences. Offerings include the opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves into non-commercialized, indigenous tribal villages, enjoy a wildlife safari, sail the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean on a traditional dhow boat, unearth Kenya’s rich history and the ancient slave trade, and culturally connect with a vetted Nairobi family during a hosted stay,” says Mason. He points out that his clients often discover a new perspective on life as they are guided through Kenya, in ways that were previously only available to locals.
The average length of a SKYIN excursion is between 10 and 14 days with prices ranging from US$5,000 to $8,000 all-inclusive depending on time of year, group size, length of trip and accommodation classifications, which range from luxury to home stays. Mason points out that SKYIN’s custom and private excursions offer unlimited opportunities to choose when, where and how a client might prefer to travel, exploring at one’s own pace.
With regard to incorporating select wellness activities into customized programs, the company takes time to connect with each individual retreat curator or group leader to figure out their specific needs, wants and special interests. He says most of the hospitality venues the company books have spas and wellness centers, plus SKYIN also offers hiking tours, healthy-focused culinary experiences, plus volunteer work for those looking to give back to the local communities they visit.
Authentic Offerings Include a Homestay with a Local Family in Kenya
“Authentic experiences demand traveling off the beaten path,” says Mason. And one of the ways SKYIN encourages that is through their programs that allow travelers to stay with a vetted host family in a suburban Nairobi residence. “This allows our guests to experience the authentic culture, local foods and gracious people of Kenya. Our host families speak fluent English, undergo extensive training and pass annual government background checks and screenings. Whether just spending an afternoon indulging in a family home-cooked dinner or staying overnight with your host family, travelers will discover keen insights into local culture and traditions, sharing a behind-the-scenes, intimate view of life in Kenya.”
The creation of a sustainable impact is also important to Mason and, in keeping with the overall concept of wellness travel, to help protect the environment and give back to the local community one visits.
SKYIN caters to various types of travelers including couples, families, multi-generational, corporate, luxury and small groups of up to 16 people, however their excursions can be customized to suit all types of travelers including honeymooning couples, educational-focuses groups and older, retired and adventurous couples.
SKYIN excursions are also entirely suitable for solo travelers. “Our excursions offer many ways for deep connection, personal reflection/development, and gaining new life perspectives in cultures very different from our own,” says Mason.
Best Time to Travel
Kenya is well known for being a destination to visit year-round. Although there are high, middle and low seasons, the variety of experiences offered can be seen throughout the year.
For more information, visit liveskyin.com.
Recommend magazine has partnered with the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) to bring you monthly columns to help travel advisors sell wellness travel. For more information on the WTA, visit wellnesstourismassociation.org.