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WatamuLonga 2011 - Sat 26.11 to Sun 4.12 (1st Edition)

[ New: Workshops with Alex y Natalia! ]

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Tsavo Safari & Tango Festival in Watamu, Kenya

8 idyllic days (7 nights) in Kenya, mixing Safari, Indian Ocean, the coastal resort town of Watamu, and Tango!

Want to get away from the cold winter? Ever dreamt of dancing tango in a tropical paradise? Look no further than WatamuLonga 2011, from Saturday 26 November to Sunday 4 December—from Nairobi across Tsavo East wildlife park, then 4 tango nights in Watamu! Dance under the big sky of Africa, along the Indian Ocean, basked in a warm see breeze, to the sound of great traditional tango music, with a different DJ each night, and meet the enthusiastic and growing tango community in Nairobi and other places in East and Central Africa.

Kicks off with a welcome openair Milonga in Nairobi, followed by a 3-night Safari (including 1 evening Milonga) through Tsavo East National Park, then 4 days on the Indian Ocean beach resort of Watamu where we will have a Milonga every evening, in Baires style, at different locations all caressed by the ocean breeze.

Optionally, you may start with an additional day trip to Nairobi National Park and/or choose to skip the Tsavo safari doing only the 4 days in Watamu. Number of participants is limited to a maximum of 37 for the Tsavo Safari.

WatamuLonga 2011 is being organized con mucho gusto by The Patamango Association, a non-profit association of passionate volunteers with the mission of developing Argentine Tango culture in Kenya, in collaboration with Beyond Words for festival organization logistics.

Please also respond to facebook event.

See more Photos of Watamu.


Sat 26 Nov - Arrive Nairobi
• Nairobi day trip to include Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Manor and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
• Welcome Openair Milonga at Tribe Hotel, Nairobi, from 18:30 onwards.
note: The Nairobi tango community will do their best to welcome all visiting tangueros, offering lodging in their own homes for while they are in Nairobi. Space is limited of course and preference will be given to those reserving earliest. Otherwise, lodging in Nairobi will need to be arranged independently, and our travel agent is available to assist you.

Sun 27 Nov - Wed 30 Nov - Safari across Tsavo East National Park / Watamu Beach
Early morning leave by vehicle to Tsavo East National Park, "Theatre of the wild", Kenya’s oldest and largest park covering circa 12,000 square km. Drive within the park (safari game drive) on to Tsavo Safari Camp, where we stay 3 nights, going on game drives and walks, having sundowners and relaxing by the pool, as well as having a Milonga on Monday evening. Wednesday morning game drive eastward, to leave camp and on towards Watamu beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya (some 600km from Nairobi). Places are limited to a maximum of 37 participants.

Wed 30 Nov - Sun 4 Dec - WatamuLonga!
Those on full Tsavo+WatamuLonga package will arrive to Watamu by vehicle on Wednesday around midday, while those on WatamuLonga-only package will fly out from Nairobi, to arrive in Watamu on Wednesday afternoon. We will spend 4 nights in Watamu beach resort on the Indian Ocean, just south of Malindi (also the closest airport) blessed with some of the best beaches on the planet. We will lodge at various houses and hotels just footsteps away from the ocean and we will have a Milonga at different locations for the four evenings in Watamu. Flight back to Nairobi on Sunday, leaving Watamu at 16:00.

Sun 4 Dec - Leave Watamu
Everyone free to continue on with own itinerary or to return to respective home destination.

Workshops with Alex y Natalia

We have the pleasure of having passionate and experienced tango teachers Alex y Natalia Lipsky join us for WatamuLonga 2011, where they will also be offering us a mixed-levels workshop for each of the 4 days in Watamu i.e. from Wed 30 Nov to Sat 3 Dec. The primary focus of the 4 workshops will be musicality of dancing tango, and the other related dances vals and milonga. There is no one, at whatever technical level, that may not benefit from working on the musicality of one's dancing—be it a tanguero who has just been initiated or one with decades of regular practice! The workshops we plan are as follows:

  • Introduction to musicality in Tango dancing
  • Essentials of dancing Milonga
  • Essentials of dancing Vals
  • Musicalidad - musicality as an individual, musicality as a couple

Cost for the these workshops is not included in any of the WatamuLonga packages, but those on any of the packages will get a preferential rate. The prices are as follows:

Prepaid for... On a package Freelancer
1 Workshop 1400 Kes 2100 Kes
2 Workshops 2500 Kes 3700 Kes
4 Workshops 4400 Kes 6600 Kes
6 Workshops 5200 Kes 8000 Kes

Alex and Natalia Lipsky (Lviv, Ukraine) are founders of the Argentine tango and folklore school LeoTango as well as the flamenco school La Peña Flamenca de Lviv. Keeping special attention on musicality, they treat dance as a dialog between partners, with other dancers, as part of the orchestra. Their addiction to tango has also made them travel worldwide–they participated as teachers and performers of Argentinean tango and folklore at festivals in Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain. Alex is also a professional guitarist.

Key dates

  • Fri 11 November 2011: International Registration closes.
  • Fri 11 November 2011: Cancellation after this date are not refunded.
  • Thu 17 November 2011: Package Prices as below no longer guaranteed after this date.

Package Prices

  • DT: 26.11 - Nairobi day trip.
  • FP: 27.11-4.12 - Full-package Tsavo Safari / WatamuLonga: 1220 USD / 1020 USD (residents)
  • HP: 30.11-4.12 - Half-package WatamuLonga: 600 USD
  • QP: 2.12-4.12 - Quarter-package WatamuLonga: 430 USD

Included in Full Package: vehicle transport to Watamu, flight back Malindi-Nairobi, 3 days Tsavo East park fees, full board Tsavo, entry to all milongas (excluding dinner and performance night), half board Ocean Sports/ensuite or in house (main bedroom would be supplemented).

Included in Half and Quarter Packages: return flight Nairobi-Malindi-Nairobi, entry to all milongas (excluding dinner and performance night), half board Ocean Sports/ensuite or in house (main bedroom would be supplemented).

Excluded in the prices above: all expenses of a personal nature, such as drinks and gratuities; any supplements e.g. luxurious accommodation such as each house's master bedroom; Tango workshops added to the WatamuLonga programme; any extras not mentioned.

All calculations above assume 2 persons sharing—single occupancy accommodation may require a supplement. Master bedroom in house would draw an additional 45 USD per night. Cost for the dinner and performance night (if on any of the packages) is 2000 Kes.

Please note that registration is considered effective only on full payment of amount due.

For freelancers, arranging own transport and stay in Watamu, the cost to participate to WatamuLonga milongas is either 5000 Kes for all 4 evenings or 2000 Kes per evening. This is however subject to WatamuLonga space availability. Freelancer cost for the dinner and performance night is an additional 2500 Kes.

Do not hesitate to email us for any questions you may have. For any further personalization of above packages, or assistance with international travel arrangements from your home location to Kenya, we will be very happy to assist you.


To register you must provide us with all requested information as well as complete payment—a registration is only completed on receipt of full payment of total amount due. Registration may be done as individuals, as a couple, or in groups.

Important note: in the interest of having gender-balanced milongas we reserve the right to wait-list and/or limit further individual registrations from either gender!

International registration (payment by international wire) is open until end of Friday 11 November 2011, after which payment must be done in person in Nairobi, via credit card (requiring an additional 5% surcharge) or cash. To register internationally please follow the following steps:

1. Please email us your intent to participate, specifying—per individual—all the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your gender
  • Your complete home postal address
  • Your telephone number(s) (including country and area codes)
  • Do you intend to participate to the Nairobi Day Trip (Sat 26 Nov 2011)?
  • Do you intend to participate to the Full, the Half, or the Quarter Package?
  • While in Nairobi, would you wish to be lodged at a Nairobi tango community member's home? (may specify later)
  • What are your Nairobi arrival and departure dates? (may specify later)
  • Would you prefer single room lodging (supplements apply) or are you willing to share a twin room? (if individual)
  • Approximately how long, in years, have you been dancing tango? (optional, background info only)

In the case of multiple individuals registering together, please indicate clearly—if any—all couples. If applying individually, but you will actually be participating as a couple (with your partner having registered separately) please also indicate this clearly. Should you have any additional specific questions or concerns please feel free to also include them in this email.

2. Wait for our confirmation, via email reply, of availability and total amount due, as well as the details of the destination bank account to wire payment to.

3. Pay the full amount due by international bank wire. Please note that all bank changes are the responsibility of the participant.

4. We will confirm registration, along with other remaining details, once payment has been received.

Terms and Conditions

All visiting participants are required to take travel insurance that includes health insurance. There are very limited facilities in Kenya's public hospitals.

Cancellations prior to end of Friday 11 November 2011 are refunded in the following way: 60% of the amount received net of all bank charges minus all bank changes for the return wire. There will be no refunds for cancellations after this date.

The organizers cannot assume any responsibility in damage, loss or theft of any of your belongings.

Tango DJ's, musicians, instructors

If you are a Tango DJ or Musician, and you believe you may be able to help us add depth and variety to our WatamuLonga milongas, please do talk to us about the possibility to collaborate with you! Likewise for any experienced Tango Instructor coming over to Watamu—we may consider adding appropriate tango workshops to our program, for the benefit of the young but growing local tango community.

Contact details

For any further questions you may have, please email us at (Anne, Mario, Shalini) or call us on +254 715 357 507.