Eco-tourism cottages will be revived in the Taita Taveta County in an effort to promote heritage, conserve natural resources, and boost tourism.

Known as ‘bandas’ in Swahili, the homestay-style cottages are currently under renovation, and when completed each will have a kitchen, sitting room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. They are situated in the Maunga area, 30km from the town of Voi.

The ‘banda’ homestay experience will be accompanied by a cultural centre that will showcase artifacts from the ‘bandas’, which have existed for over 18 years, says Taita Taveta Tourism Officer, Simon Mwachia, adding that the cottages will be advertised on a soon-to-be launched website.

The renovation of the Kiteghe eco-tourism banda is an initiative that will tap into the unexplored history in the Kiteghe and Kasighau area in Taita Taveta, says Mwachia, emphasising the need to showcase what the region has to offer to the world, capture its history, and develop tourism.

Taita Taveta Governor, Majala Mlaghui, says the roads to the eco-tourism ‘bandas’ will also be widened to enhance accessibility.

Taita Taveta County, which is home to two major parks – Tsavo East and West – has also partnered with the Tourism Finance Corporation to set up eco cottages, additionally identifying the Wesu Rock in Taita Hills, Kasighau Hills Forest, Jipe and Challa Lakes for development.