Retreat Program

African Retreat

Perhaps you have thought often: “ I would very much enjoy a “get away” to visit Africa. Maybe you can even afford the trip but you really did not trust anyone to lead you on this trip. And you are a Christian and you really prefer to go with “likeminded” people.

We, at the Braman Foundation, BFC, understand your concern. This is why we have assembled a comprehensive “African Retreat” that begins with your decision to move forward thru the retreat flight and limo ride back to the Upstate NY region.

The BFC African Retreat is complete inclusive; hotels, airfare, limo and transportation, all meals and even the core of your Visa to Kenya. BFC wants to earn your trust, so you are able to be completely free to enjoy your retreat.

We take you for your careful, and prayerful retreat. Please know that we are here to serve you. Wish to exercise daily, there is a place to do that. You can relax near the pool and worship the Lord on Thursday night in the “Open Worship Center”.

We, at BFC, want to invite you to a trip of a lifetime. If you wish, you can even work with the local mission “Hope for Kenya” and spend time with the children.

African Retreat booklet cover

What is a retreat?

A time to get away from your wordly concourse, to get refreshed, to become quiet and reflect on your life. Why Africa? We feel you will enjoy this retreat as it is not at all commercialized. A completely natural environment that you can enjoy, admire and be at peace.

Of course, you can retreat in the U.S. for a lot less cost, etc. Why yes, but this is an African Retreat that you have thought of, but never have been able to “process” because it has been complicated to organize.

BFC allows you to pay for a “worry free” retreat. And we back this with a complete, 100% money refund if you are not satisfied and wouldn’t recommend this event to others.

Being refresh in the Lord through the presence of the Holy Spirit in Africa, this trip to recall for a lifetime. You spend time not only in reflection, but you enjoy Kenyian cooked meals, you are to attend a 3 day Christian seminar in the morning hours, travel to witness an African Safari and relax. The Village Resort provides a unique environment that is very authentic , protected and quiet. For those that wish to exercise day, there is a place to do that. You can relax near the pool and worship the Lord on Thursday night in the “Open Worship Center”.

We, at BFC, want to invite you to a trip of a lifetime. If you wish, you can even work with the local mission “Hope for Kenya” and spend time with the children.

  • Travel Highlights

    Archaeological Site - Thimlich Ohinga

    Built in the 14th century on a hill, Thimlich Ohinga is a complex surrounded by stone walls now partially covered under Savannah bush land. The site consists of six enclosures and is a rare example of the first settlements in the region. Its stone wall is unique; it appears not to have had mortar applied originally and ranges from 1.2-4.2 meters in height and 1-3 meters in width. The walls surround the remnants of the once bustling urban center, now marked only by a series of house pits and cattle enclosures.

    Thimlich Ohinga is a rare, early example of defensive savanna architecture that led to this type of design becoming a traditional style across East Africa. It is a specimen of the stone walling practices and a communal, centralized system of control, which became prevalent in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya. Built as a fortified village, Thimlich Ohinga served defensive, economic, religious, and social functions.

    Archaeological site of Thimlich Ohinga, a complex surrounded by stone walls

    Traditional Luo Dance

    The Luo ethnic group has a strong tradition of music, that has always been the most practiced art by this population. Music is present at every hour of the day or night, it has always had a functional role to underline important events such as religious ceremonies, political events, festivals or sporting events.

    Music is used at funerals to pay tribute to the missing person but also to console the bereaved relatives or to keep people awake at night to celebrate the ritual of waking, during which they demonstrate their anguish and suffering caused by the loss pain. It plays an important role during certain rituals that diviners and medicine men implement to drive away evil spirits, to invoke the rain, to heal the sick and during divination. Even during the festivities, such as the beer festival, or on the occasion of sporting events, music plays an important role; it is critical, as much as during the courting of a girl.

    The Luo use numerous musical instruments, from percussions with drums and rattles to strings instruments similar to the harp and the violin, to wind instruments made from the horns of cattle. The dance is usually elegant and graceful, the Luo use traditional costumes and ornaments that are designed to improve and make more evident the movements rather than to beautify the wearer.

    Native Africans performing a luo dance

    Ruma National Park

    “Dramatic Valley of the Roan Antelope and Oribi”

    Ruma National Park lies in Western Kenya, close to the shores of Lake Victoria. An island of wilderness in a sea of intense cultivation, the Park is situated in one of the most productive and populous regions in Kenya, and is one of the country’s more rewarding but less well known Parks.

    A mosaic of landscapes, ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs, Ruma National Park promises undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace. It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope.

    Antelope roaming Ruma National Park

    A Vivid and Varied Landscape
    Ruma lies on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley. Bordered by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East, and by the Volcanic plugs of the Ruri Hills, to the North, the Park is a long, narrow corridor of land contained on a fist-shaped peninsular extending into Lake Victoria. The terrain is mainly rolling grassland, with tracts of open woodland thickets. The soils are largely “black cotton” clay (Oxisols).

    The Last Refuge of the Roan Antelope
    One of Africas’ rarest antelopes and the third largest of Kenya’s antelopes, the roan (or Korongo as it is known in Swahili) is a large, grey to rufous antelope with a distinctive black and white face, not unlike a tribal mask. Roans live in herds of upto 20 members, led by a bull.

    The Oribi Antelope
    The small and graceful oribi antelope (known as Taya in Swahili) has a conspicuous bare black glandular patch below the ears, a short black-tipped tail and black knee tufts. Living in strongly bonded pairs or small groups, oribi inhabit grassland and dense undergrowth.

    Realm of Rare Birds
    Ruma’s birdlife is exceptional. The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly recorded. Blue swallows, which depend upon moist grassland for both feeding and roosting, arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September.

    Flourishing Wildlife
    Ruma offers visitors an opportunity to see various wildlife species including the Rothschild’s giraffe, serval cat, hyena, impala, vervet monkey, roan antelope, oribi, bohor reedbuck, leopard, buffalo, and Jackson’s hartebeest. Recently introduced and re-introduced species are Black rhino,White rhino, Burchell′s zebra whose populations have adapted quite well. The roan antelope, Oribi and Jackson’s hartebeest are easily spotted in Ruma than anywhere else in Kenya.

    Rich in Reptiles
    Ruma has an exceptional snake population. Easily spotted species include: The African spitting cobra, forest cobra, python, eastern green mamba, black-mouthed mamba and puff adder. The park also abounds in lizard, skink and gecko.

  • Accommodations

    The Queensbury Hotel

    Located in the heart of downtown Glens Falls, New York, The Queensbury Hotel is a historic hotel built in 1926 with a gorgeous architecture, multiple meeting spaces, newly revitalized lobby and guest rooms, endless amenities including an heated indoor pool, restaurant, lounge, and more.

    This is where we will begin and conclude the retreat. We will depart on day one at 3pm.

    Hotel Information
    Address: 88 Ridge St, Glens Falls, NY 12801
    Hotel Direct: 518-792-1121
    Reservations: 800-554-4526

    The Village Resort

    Located in Ndhiwa, Kenya, there mission is to provide an environment for physical, mental and spiritual restoration. There are three room options to choose from. Single and double and twin rooms. This comes with a choice of full board, half-board or breakfast only for meals. Enjoy well manicured grounds and our green scenery as you make happy memories with your friends and loved ones.

    The InterContinental Nairobi

    The hotel was designed in the colonial style and built in 1998. Laundry, dry cleaning service and concierge service as well as a designated smoking place, an ATM and a lift are on hand. The property is located in Kilimani district, in vicinity of a tower, a parliament building and a mausoleum.

  • Itinerary

    Pre-Planning Meeting
    What can we expect? Make decisions. What is BFC’s role in ordering VISA’s?

    Day 1 | Thursday
    Meeting at the Queensbury Hotel

    Day 2 | Friday
    Travel from Upstate NY down to JFK airport. Flight from JFK to Kenya (14 hours).

    Day 3 | Saturday
    InterContinental Nairobi

    Day 4| Sunday
    Travel through Rift Valley to The Village Resort (7 hours).

    Day 5 | Monday
    Retreat morning conference. Enjoy your afternoon to relax, followed by dinner. Worship in evening.

    Day 6 |Tuesday
    Retreat morning conference. Enjoy your afternoon to retreat. Dinner.

    Day 7 | Wednesday
    Travel to local mission Thimlich Ohinga. Afternoon off. Cultural Night - Luo Tribe Traditional Dance, in the evening.

    Day 8 | Thursday
    Safari in Ruma National Park (All Day).

    Day 9 | Friday
    Back to Nairobi, staying at the InterContinental Nairobi

    Day 10 | Saturday
    Morning flight departing to JFK.

    Day 11 | Sunday
    Arrival to JFK and ride back upstate to The Queensbury Hotel.

  • Expenses

    Round-Trip Travel
    Queensbury Hotel to JFK

    Round-Trip Airfare
    JFK to Nairobi

    InterContinental Nairobi Hotel
    2 Nights

    Round-Trip Travel
    Nairobi to Village Resort

    The Village Resort Hotel
    4 Nights

    Ruma National Park
    Safari

    Visa

    Yellow Fever Shot

    Worship and Food
    All meals covered

    Conference
    Topic: N/A

    Liaison Fee
    Mark Otieno

    Total Cost

    Space limited to 10 couples. Retreats available up to three times per year.

    Single | $2,850

    Couple | $4,000

  • Travel Tips

    Safety

    Safety during our trips is a top priority. Team members will always travel with another team member. Phone service is available depending on your provider, we recommend using WhatsApp for calls and texting.

    Technology

    Internet service and wifi are not readily available. You will need an Kenya Type G adaptor for all your electronics.

    Personal Items

    Be careful not to bring any valuable items. Recommended to bring: Kleenex tissues (small packets), hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, suntan lotion, sun hat, bug spray (must be travel size if packed in your carry-on bag), ear plugs, small flash light, towel, anti-bacterial cream. Snacks, power bars are good to have.

    Clothing

    The dress code in Kenyan culture is conservative. Also, many Kenyans adhere to different cultural, religious and customary dress styles. Jeans and decent tops/blouses for ladies are perfect. Swimsuits are acceptable at the beach but not in public places. Evening Wear: Kenyans dress up for special occasions, especially when going out clubbing/dancing, to church, to sporting and other events or out to dinner. In some restaurants and clubs, you will probably be fine wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but if you are considering dining at one of the more up-scale restaurants or having a social night out, you may want to show off your nicer clothing and join the party!

    Cautions and Do Not's

    Do not eat raw food or drink any water unless purchased sealed (bottled water will be provided). Do not ask for ice or drink anything with ice in it. Do not brush teeth with water from the faucet. Use bottled water. Do not enter streams, rivers, or lakes. Do not leave the group without permission. Do not pet dogs or any other animals.

    Spending Money

    You may want to buy some souvenirs when you are there. You can exchange $20, $50 and $100 bills that are in very good condition (no folds, tears or writing) and were printed from 2006 on. Any American money printed prior to 2006 will not be accepted due to excessive amounts of forgery.

  • Retreat Registration

    Please note: No registration is confirmed until we receive your registration form (with deposit where applicable).

Contact Us!

Braman Enterprises may be reached by email, phone, or mail correspondence.

We appreciate and value your donation. Thank you!



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    Braman Foundation of Charities
    65 Country Colony Rd.
    Queensbury, NY 12804
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