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What is it really like in the village? Read our blog to find out


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What is it really like in the village? Read our blog to find out


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Staying in a homestay during a university project excursion in Dar Es Salaam

Group of international students, Kigamboni, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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For the last two springs, Duara village Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam has had the privilege to host a student group from Aalto University on their project trip to Tanzania. While staying in Kigamboni, the students spent their days working on their projects and returned home every night to eat dinner and spend time with the family just like local students would.

 
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Human Bridges - Introduction to some of the Duara contact persons

Saara Nokelainen, June 6th 2018

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Duara contact persons are a diverse group of people. They have something in common though. All of them need to speak good English and have reliable access to internet. In addition they are motivated to help their local community and act as a liason for the travelers.

 
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Tea and hikes, modern swahili culture, mangos and mamas - Kenya offers all this through Duara!

SAARA NOKELAINEN, APRIL 26th 2018 

Duara co-founder Elina has arrived back from Kenya in March. Together with a Finnish sociology student Iiris they tested three villages for Duara and confirmed nine host families.  

To make everything ready for Duara Travellers, Iiris and Elina tried out many of the things that one can experience in the area as a Duara traveller: hiking, fishing, milking cows, fetching water, cooking Swahili food, watching a football game in Mombasa, picking tea leaves, walking across the hills, market visits and experiencing gospel in a local church.

 
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5 reasons to book a homestay with a local family on your next family vacation

LAURA KARA, MARCH 28th 2018

Taking your kids with you on your travels is a great way to enlarge their perception of the world we live in. However, spending the whole holiday at the hotel pool won't necessarily give your offspring a real idea about what the destination is really about and how the locals live their life. For a deeper experience we encourage families to stay with a local family in a rural village for 3 or 6 nights during their holiday. Read the reasons why we believe staying with a local family in a Duara village on your next family holiday will be an experience worth trying.

 
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This is how the magic happens

ANNIKA FROM DUARA, THAILAND, FEBRUARY 2018

Duara co-founder Annika just returned from Thailand impressed by what she discovered there. “Opening the window and breathing cool mountain air or bathing in a local hot spring were unexpected experiences to find in Thailand, but perfect for Duara”, Annika says. Three new villages in Northern Thailand, near Chiang Mai, are now on our website, ready to host visitors!

 
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8 tips for a socially responsible trip

SALIA BINAUD, FEBRUARY 19TH 2018

A socially responsible traveller explores destinations beyond touristy hotspots and spends as much of their travel budget as possible to support the local community. If you want to be aware of the social impact of your holiday, read this article. And if you decide to plan your next trip with these guidelines, you might notice a significant difference.

 
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Four guys in a Maasai village  – story of a donkey and some paper airplanes

THREE BROTHERS AND A COUSIN, LIKAMBA, TANZANIA, DECEMBER 2017

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Visa, his two brothers and one cousin set out for a two week journey in Tanzania. Afterwards he says that their homestay with Duara is what he remembers best of the 15 days: “I think it says a lot.”

 
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Stay in a local home on a volcano island in Nicaragua

URBAANI VIIDAKKOSEIKKAILIJATAR, MOYOGALPA, NICARAGUA, NOVEMBER 2017

A dust road takes to a grey concrete house. Behind the house but far away, soars an active volcano. There is a basketball rack in front of the house, two cows and one horse saunter in front of it. A smiling older man and a young man with dimples walk towards me: I’ve arrived at my accommodation for the next couple of days, in other words home. This is literally a home, home of one Nicaraguan family.

 
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Tips to consider when travelling alone as a woman

SAARA NOKELAINEN, 15TH NOVEMBER 2017

There are not many things in the world anymore that women could not do just as men. However in many places it’s not common for women to travel alone and this might take some getting used to. It’s important to keep safe and respect each local culture, but keep in mind also that as a lady you might have entrance to places where groups or men are not allowed.  Go and venture out!

 
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A vacation like a child’s play – travelling with children in Sri Lanka

TWO FRENCH FAMILIES WITH KIDS, ALAGOLLEWA, SRI LANKA, OCTOBER 2017

Six days, 4 adults and 5 kids in a village in a developing country. To some that might sound like a lot of work. Many people prefer ease and comfort on their holiday, but Elodie’s and Mélanie’s families chose to take an adventure and it was worth it. It was not difficult they say – a kid’s play in Sri Lanka!

 
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Experience Bali in a new way

ADALMINA'S ADVENTURES, SEBATU, BALI, AUGUST  2017

The narrow street ahead of us continues across endless rice fields. I feel like an actress in an adventure film sitting on a scooter driving past these surreally beautiful green hills.

Although we are driving near highly popular Ubud, I see no tourists with their selfie sticks. Instead I see kids walking home from school, whole families driving past us on a single scooter and people working on rice fields in sunset. I feel myself smiling at people, and I see them smiling back to me. Some people on the field raise their hands up to wave at us. I want to wave back but I can’t let go of the scooter bench.


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A Village called Yen Phu in Vietnam

PALAPALLOA, YEN PHU, VIETNAM, JULY 2017

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Towards the end of our trip in Vietnam, after spending weeks getting to know the wonders of its nature, the fast pace of its cities and the chill atmosphere of its beaches we were still craving for one more adventure in this country that had already given so much to us...

 

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Best reasons to travel Sri Lanka by train

JOHANNA FROM DUARA, SEPTEMBER 21ST 2017

When travelling across Sri Lanka, we recommend you to travel by train as much as you can. Here are the main reasons why.


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Can I go to a Duara village if I haven’t travelled a lot before?

JONI, YEN PHU, HANOI, JUNE 2017

Some people might think that staying in a local village requires an extended travel history in Africa, Asia or Latin America. That is not true at all. You do not need to be an experienced traveller to enjoy staying in a rural village, but quite the opposite.

Our traveller Joni had never travelled outside of Europe before embarking on a six month journey this January to first study in Taiwan and then to explore Southeast Asia, including a stay in a local village, Yen Phu, in Vietnam, near Hanoi.


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Taste Vietnamese kitchen and learn to cook local dishes in a Duara village

SAARA NOKELAINEN, AUGUST 20TH 2017

Whenever you stay in a local home during your travels, one of the highlights is tasting local specialities. In a Duara village the biggest perk is not just eating like locals, but learning how to cook like locals. All of our destinations have a characteristic kitchen, but Vietnam above all has a very distinct food culture influenced by its neighbouring countries.


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Why Nirmala and Silvester chose to share their life with travellers and offer homestays in Sri Lanka

SALIA FROM DUARA, AUGUST 8TH 2017

To bring you closer to our villages and host families, we want to tell you the story of Nirmala and Silvester from Alagollewa village, who decided to open their home to travellers.

 

5 reasons why Duara Travels is different from Airbnb

Salia from duara, June 27th 2017

When we introduce Duara to people who hear about it for the first time, we often hear things like “So you are like Airbnb!”, “But we already get private rooms from Airbnb!” and “Why should we book a homestay from Duara when we have Airbnb?”

Here are the main reasons why Duara Travels is so different from Airbnb...


Why I decided to seek a local adventure in a Duara village while in Bali

ISABEL, MUNTI GUNUNG, BALI, APRIL 2017

Isabel spent her first weeks in Bali surfing in Canggu and doing yoga in Ubud with other travellers. As she had no plans for the next weeks, she started asking around what to do and ended up in Munti Gunung.

“It was not an option for me to go to Kuta or Seminyak or other super touristy areas. I wanted to get to know the local culture and get involved.”


Why I gave Duara a chance after spending my entire life in four star hotels

SUSAN, HUONG NON, VIETNAM, FEBRUARY 2017

“When I travel I don’t need luxury, but I need clean sheets in a nice, usually a four star hotel. I am a 'champagne-in-a-hotel-room' type of traveller. Or actually, maybe a sparkling wine type.”

It sounds like the experience in Huong Non was far from clean sheets and champagne. 


How to Google Translate "snake wine" in Vietnamese?

JUUSO, HUONG NON, VIETNAM, JANUARY 2017

I stayed in Huong Non, Vietnam for 5 days in January 2017. I had been backpacking South East-Asia before, but unfortunately my experiences have been somewhat "touristy" because I have not really experienced these countries from the local perspective. When I heard of Duara, I decided I would give it a try when backpacking for the next time. 

 

We were guests in a Zanzibarian wedding party

IKILOMALLA, KIZIMKAZI, ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, SEPTEMBER 2016

We moved in with a local Muslim family for a week in a fishing village in Kizimkazi because we wanted to experience authentic African lifestyle. We camouflaged ourselves with culturally appropriate clothing and we hopped on a speedy dalladalla minivan to Kizimkazi. 

 

Our week in a homestay on tea plantations: A breakthrough!

Ma famille voyage, neluwa, sri lanka, september 2016

We just spent one week in a small village near Neluwa town in Sri Lanka. We stayed in a “homestay”, in other words in a local home with a charming and caring family which pampered us for a week. 

 

Safety is not absence of threats, but feeling at home somewhere

Saara, KALKUDAH, SRI LANKA, AUGUST 2016

I am picked up exactly on time by Prathap, the local Duara contact person. He even takes me to see the fishermen on the Kalkudah beach although I am not sure it is his job really. He seems to keep an eye on if I’ve settled well before he leaves. There is a sense of excitement in all of us, this being new to us all.

 

How we got to live like a Tanzanian family in Likamba

Laura & Emilia, Likamba, TANZANIA, June 2016

Hi! 
Last week we travelled three long days from Ruanda to Arusha, Tanzania. The journey was extremely long, roads in poor condition and we didn’t have internet so we had to find a place to sleep when arriving to each village exhausted after such long travel days. However, crossing the border to Tanzania was easier than any other border crossing before, we got the visas from the border and the staff was really friendly. 

 

Lembeni – a cute little town surrounded by beautiful mountains

Miriam, LEMBENI, TANZANIA, March 2016

I begun my Duara experience from the busy bus station of Moshi which is the town where many travellers stop by on their way to Kilimanjaro or other “most visited places in Tanzania”. I, on the other hand, was not on my way to any of those places but to a little village, called Lembeni, located in the middle of Tanzanian countryside.