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Coastin Carl

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Visualize a bonfire under the stars, Pack a bag, hit the road, pitch a tent, and camp out under the moon for a short weekend or a week long expedition just to explore the earth’s best varied magnificence. Hike or take a road trip and just get lost in the moment capturing the moments, taking in the mind-blowing views and writing your own planet story.

Hellooooo people 🙂 🙂

The African continent is a great piece of art waiting to be explored and whose story is best experienced by you. Having been a solo backpacker myself and even better taken all the risks I possibly could, I can guarantee you a lot of fun and indulgence in random ideas and more discovery of yourself in backpacking while trailing through those enchanting places.

Just like waking up, backpacking is also one of those decisions you got to make without looking back. Take a leap of faith, set off and the rewards are memories that will last you a lifetime and leave you wanting more and more.

BACK PACKING TRICKS

  1. Pack so light that someone will mistake you for just someone running errands in town. (I’ll have to do packing hacks on a more detailed post later.)

  2. If you are from a different country or even a local back packer, carry necessary documents (this helps you to identify yourself and get easy access.)

  3. Water bottle, small light source, binoculars, camera, Hat, Shuka and a few re-energizing snacks go a long way.

  4. Check the weather, know before-hand what to expect and plan your trip. Leave a few flexible slots and do a bit of research earlier.(Google is your friend)

  5. Join a Group and get a local tour guide (This always works for me especially if am solo traveling.), You get cheaper rates for transport and even accommodation and you definitely have a fun crowd that makes the trip more fun and you are likely to indulge in more activities safely.

WHAT TO DO AS A BACKPACKER IN KENYA.

Road trips

Where do you want to pitch tent? This is one of the best things to do as a back packer and even better if a first timer. Kenya is a massive masterpiece of picture square landscapes that need exploration and recognition. Take a drive from Nairobi and head over to Samburu, there’s so much of the diverse rugged landscapes to see, the culture transition and lifestyle and if you feel more adventurous make all the stops you can along the way to engage in other activities like community interactions, follow forest trails chasing waterfalls and rivers and even just quench yourself with those random stopover fruits. I guarantee a variety of too many of those.

Hiking

Be a light packer, have the right pair of hiking boots and with a tropical weather to die for, Hiking is the real definition of backpacking. Kenya has a number of great hiking spots ranging from a few hours in Ngong hills, to a day’s camping in Mt. Longonot, three days in Kilimanjaro to a week’s camping in Mt. Kenya. The Views are rewarding and determination to conquer is key. I’d recommend the more fun and easy sightseeing ones like Hells gate National Park and Aberdare Ranges if you are not up to the climbing task.

Wild Safaris

An African Safari is the ultimate Safari and Kenya is the centerpiece. Imagine sleeping in a small tent or a luxurious campsite with wild animals taking night patrols around your camp, the cry of a hungry hyena somewhere in a faraway bush, late night bonfires and conversation over mouthwatering barbecue and waking up to the coolest wild sunrise and birds dancing under it (that’s the most amazing silhouette ever). Taking that dawn bush chase ,driving through muddy trenches and catching a glimpse of the Fastest cheetah  drag an antelope to a bush or the fiercest lion pound on some sleepy Zebra in the Mara plains. It’s all in A Kenyan Safari.

Lakes

The Rift valley stretches its magnificence from Fresh water lakes to salty water lakes which all have different stories to tell. Being a center piece, Naivasha is one of the greatest places for any back packer and has the highest rating in terms of back packing campsites, offshore tents and adventurous activities from Lake Naivasha’s Hippo hunting on Boat rides to Lake Nakuru’s floating pink flamingos. Lake Magadi is another trail with a great rugged story, rich cultural interaction and hot springs that will take your breath away.

Beaches

The Campsites in Diani are so dreamy that they leave your imagination wild and lost in the blue waters. Having the best weather and a great shoreline, the Kenyan Coast has great backpacking activities you can indulge in. Sands at Chale is a must see if you want to have the ultimate ocean experience, Diving in Watamu for some marine life, Dolphin Seafaris at Wasini Island or just the cultural Swahili experience in Lamu. This has to be your ultimate back packing experience to relax and there are numerous backpacking hostels and hotels all ranging from small budgets to more luxurious holiday resorts.   

HOW TO BUDGET

  1. Transportation: 50%? Of any trip budget is how to get there. Book your travel tickets early and depending on your destination this will help you get discounts. To move around get a tour company and join a safari group, it is safer and way cheaper. If you feel more at home you can even use a matatu or taxi for more convenience.

  2. Accommodation: I find this to be the easiest for me, because when traveling for adventure I don’t fancy exotic. There are lots of safe accommodations places that range prices depending on the services you want. Have you heard of Airbnb?

  3. Meals: Eat out, have local meals during the day, cook your own meals if camping as a group or get that bed and breakfast with a dinner inclusive (It saves on cost.)

  4. Gate Fees: Most places have entrance fees and varying rates on different activities within, so find information early to help you budget well.

  5. Health: Some countries require certain vaccinations like yellow fever, so get the cards early. Take Anti-malarial (seek medical advice from a pharmacist on this) and Also carry some painkillers/medication with you if you normally get any random and regular mild pains.

  6. Extra shopping money: Everyone loves souvenirs from a trip. It’s the only way to keep the memories alive.

All said and done 2018 is a great travel year. Pack that bag and hit off the road.

🙂 🙂

Just to Stray a bit 🙂

Am here thinking about my Birthday Month and trying to figure out where I want to camp for my birthday.  Feeling guilty for bailing out on two semi important plans with friends this past weekend, but more on the one I committed to. Do you know what my reason was, “I was Sleepy”. Before you crucify me, let me just explain ,: First  me and sleep are inseparable that at times I wake up just 30 minutes to work  because I keep looking at the watch and pushing for 5 minutes more. Who else can relate?

It’s weirder that I don’t use an alarm and my brain is just time conscious but I keep clinging to the cold lonely duvet.

Halloo FEBRUARY 🙂 🙂   

Sipping on hot lemon, wondering how its 5:00 a.m. while the last 8 sleeping hours really feel like dozing off for just 8 minutes. Pinching myself to stay awake, gazing at my sunrise piece of art on the wall and trying to find an excuse of why I haven’t written in a while.
Wow 🙂
I know 2019 is overrated already, but hey,

Happy New Year my people.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

Have you set your goals already? I know some of us are too focused and have already drafted five or ten of some of the things we’d like to achieve this year but I fall in the category that got carried away in the first week and will be setting goals on the 4th week which will be disappointingly a month down the drain.

I remember this conversation I had with a friend sometime back, of how life works on a clock. How we run into people who end up meaning so much to us, how we get our fragile hearts broken and think the world is ending but still open up our souls to someone else and love again. How every New Year we try to refocus, write down all those things we’d like to achieve but still keep snoozing the alarm.
While my friends are still trying to come to terms with how i kissed a wild animal

and you were already making merry and perhaps babies in December, Taking stock 2017 happened on our Wild Roamers Anniversary which was in December. I shared every little and exciting bit on  Wild Roamers Just turned One, go check it out if you missed it.

2017 was a good year, I had great lessons, connected a lot and as much as the atmosphere in my homeland was tense, am glad we got over it and moved on. Politics will always be there so will the disappointments, all we got to do is dust off, tighten our laces and keep walking. I need to find more inspiration though. Hook up with more people who are passionate about travel writing and photography.I’d like this year to be friendlier, to grant better opportunities, challenges I can conquer and to be full of health, wisdom, Love, Peace of mind but above all Happiness. I want to be a better human to every person around me and to reach out more to all the people I care about. You being top of the list, I want all this for you too 🙂
Am curious to know what you all have been up to for the past 3 weeks? What kind of goals you have in place? Do resolutions work anymore? I honestly don’t do resolutions due to failure at it every time I hit the start button.
It’s definitely time to get back to work, to recharge and prioritize and Yes we are definitely back to writing and adventure with a bit of twist this year.
I have a few places I’d like to explore in 2019 and they’ve actually been on my bucket list for a while.

Amboseli, Samburu, Lamu/Zanzibar, Kisumu, Mara, this bird nest at Segera topping the list in 2019 and am promising myself to stay out of Uganda.
I will try to be excellent at this art, to run away whenever I can and to share all those stories with you.
I’d Love it most if you pack a bag, join the trips and explore with me.

This is going to be a great exploration Year.        

A free spirit wandering and lusting over spontaneity, highly opinionated about everything , having explored global ends and navigating their way around some of the most unheard of places are laces you can’t tie down to just any shoe .

WHY GOING SOLO?

 As daunting as it sounds that could be the best trip you will ever have. Apart from being independent and in control of everything you want and any decision you make Let me bring you in on one or two things about traveling solo and how to triumph over that fear and set you up to planning for your next, before you even wind up your first.

Self-indulgence, control and charge over your triumphs are the pros of wandering solo but with a lot of misgivings on solo travel over time I’d say fear of the unknown is the greatest enemy of roaming alone. Safety, loneliness, stepping out of your comfort zone and expensive single supplements are the main cons of Solo travel.

Solo travel is a skill and having travelled solo most of the time my greatest experience has been knowing how to deal with myself, my wrong decisions, finding my own way and enjoying my own company. In a nutshell Solo travel brings you closer to the universe and yourself as you get to know you, your strengths and weaknesses and how to handle yourself in all situations. Walking confidently down a strange street past some rugged suspicious goons and keeping calm when a stranger makes you so mad.

WHAT YOU NEED

a. Pick a destination

I believe you can go anywhere in the world alone, but the question is can you have maximum fun in that place. What can I do, how many places can I get to visit while there, where can I sleep, eat and how can I move around. All these questions will help you pick a suitable yet fun destination.

b. Budget and save up

Where, When, How and Which will help you decide on everything you want, how much, where , when and how to get it and will enable you to save up for that Bomb trip and trust me when you come back from it you’ll start saving for the next before you even pick a destination.

c. Pack Light

Am yet to do a packing blog post, but whatever happens carry only what I call ‘triple purpose’ and that will be only what you can comfortably put on the overhead compartment in a train, bus or plane and carry for miles without help. Essentials only.

d. Research before Booking.

Book solo friendly accommodation but avoid single supplements (You don’t want to pay extra for not having a partner), join tour groups, check out places with multiple high ratings in terms of good experiences. That way you know what to expect and how to handle it. Choose places that will allow you to meet other tourists and increase your chances of sharing interests with other people.

e. Connect

Meet other travellers and Find your local people in your travel destination. The globe has been made smaller by social media. Connect on your social media platforms; find people you share interests with. You might even get a local tour guide free of charge or a fan club ready to do an activity with you. Couch surfing and Meetup are your best friend on this.

f. Learn Local

Whether you are going to cram those local travel guides or take a few lessons online. Know a few words of the local language, Saying Hello, Saying No Kindly and Thank you are some of your necessities. Know the culture of the place and try to blend in.

The one time i had to become an Islam girl to blend in.

HOW TO TRAVEL SOLO

To open up your possibilities and inspiration to go out there see the universe here are some tips:

1. Keep a friend or two in the loop of your itinerary:

Share out where you’ll be and every other detail about your get away. Keep them in touch to enable them get hold of you in case of an emergency (A place with Wi-Fi comes in handy). Have a list of emergency contacts with you including your travel insurance, family and banker.

2.Leave your guidebook in the room and Interact: Meet & engage but stay low-key:

Take more time to Observe people, sit at comfortable counter in a bar, on a window seat in a communal restaurant and watch people walk by, interact with the waiter and just watch locals come in and out and learn how to interact and fit in culture wise. No flashy stuff or attracting much attention to yourself.

 3. Have a confident and ready introduction of yourself and show interest:

Put on an approachable friendly smile, know how to confidently say you are visiting town, where you are from, your interests and “yea” you could take up some coffee date, hiking or join in a random walk around town. Don’t forget your identification documents at all times.

4. Get out of your Comfort Zone: Try something new and weird;

You can’t travel miles and just settle for less and your comfort zone.  Hop into something new and this could stir up a conversation with someone else already engaging in it. Talk about your experiences and compare notes. Stir up conversations with a simple “Hallo”

5. Create a routine and self-indulge:

Be a regular, relax and Eat at a communal table and sleep in the same place during your trip. That way you are more likely to create friends from strangers you just bump into twice or more. Sit and engage your phone or read, show you are comfortable in your own world and happy and most probably you’ll be friendlier if you keep laughing at your own chats.

Conversations over meals are the best ice breakers.

6. Safety:

Keep everything safe including taking care of you. Health wise be fit, eat in clean places avoid dangerous activities; remember you want fun and not a broken rib alone in a foreign land continents away from home. Trust your instinct and take the next exit when you feel something doesn’t add up. Trust everyone and no one but yourself. Avoid late night drinking beyond your threshold and stick to well-lit streets and open and public spaces even during the day.

7. Take Photos and Revel in it.

Most importantly create as many memories as you can by taking photos and videos and you’ll be surprised at how this can be an ice breaker. Just have fun and indulge fully in everything you decide to do. Post your close circle on your daily day’s activities.

Remember you are the one in charge of what to do, how to do and when to exit. Like am taking the next exit here.

🙂 🙂

“And like any other dream, the life of travel demands sacrifice.”      

To travel you have to have two things, the money and the time and while most of us want this life we always end up having one and not the other.
I’ve met people and friends say they wish they had my life, but often I want to tell them how it’s not their shoe fit if they can’t stay a weekend in when their favorite joint is hosting their favorite artist.

It’s not even easy to say am a travel blogger with dreams so big as picking a souvenir off each of the 195 UN Countries while am still in my diapers in this process and If you are anything like me, writing all those year goals down that include doubling your income but still stuck to the same single job taking away your sanity then travel seems like a farfetched dream. There are only two ways to double income, get another job or cut down your expenses and if you are dedicated to making that dreamy location work then you have to give something up.

So you want to travel? Let’s make the Sacrifices.

Am here to give you the truth today, perhaps burst your bubble. Travel is not about being rich, having achieved all those life goals and now just sailing away to see the world. The truth is most travellers and travel bloggers are people with a deep craving to see the world and that’s all you need. We are people living from a suitcase with just a loft somewhere to call home. We are broke people, not broke in the sense that we don’t have money to live but broke by how we live. You have to make all these simple sacrifices while overlooking all the major achievements at least by a normal persons standards and it has to start by living a simple life which is the greatest deal unless you are a multimillionaire with a dependable full-time income, A Millennial will say “People whose money is working for them.”  It’s NOT LUCK its THE SACRIFICES

Downgrade your apartment.

A well-furnished big house, flaunting two floors double bedrooms in a quiet leafy neighborhood is so appealing, or getting down to even simpler living in a two bedroom house when it’s just you and your soul in all that space. Imagine what reduced space would do to your rent costs; you’d still have all the necessities, same comfort and even a bit less of feeling emptiness in all that space. It could buy you a ticket to some place and even cater for your accommodation in a new location instead.

Skipping Events and Sleeping in on Weekends.

Your favorite hangout spot is having your favorite artist over and the entry ticket is double price, the drinks will be hiked, the normal rate foods will not be available and you have to dig in deeper for an expensive plate of food, a few drinks and to just see the artist. If you can sleep in on such a weekend then you have passed the self-control test. Plan to hang out more with friends indoors, have cook outs at their or your place and avoid spending all your weekends out screaming when you’ll have your voice hoarse on Monday anyway.

Window shop with an empty wallet.

Every girl loves fashion and has some beauty routine whether it’s the shoes, clothes, jewelry, bags or even make up. There’s just something that tickles you a bit. Impulse buying is our worst habit and looking the other way when you suddenly identify this killer piece that would fit in perfectly and you’ve already figured it in your head how you’ll turn heads is the hardest choice to make. Just walk away.
99% of the time in a normal day I don’t walk with my Credit card/ATM cards and I’ve gotten used to even getting hungry but I have to go back home because I don’t have any money on me.

Indoor dinners and hang outs

“Home is where the heart is” and if there’s something that can match up to a delicious home cooked meal then it’s the comfort and convenience. Train yourself to eat home more, to try new recipes, to have friends come over just to have that coffee date and it will save your coins. Am talking about those nice urban eateries with a menu full of names you can’t pronounce, take outs and coffee. We can let the fast food joints at lunch pass on this but if you are more dedicated work that out for a minimum 220 working days a year.

Stay away from online shops and deliveries.

If there’s something that screams impulse consumption; it’s the online shops. You are clearly on your phone minding other people’s businesses online then you come across this unique piece you haven’t come across elsewhere, or suddenly this item you wanted so badly last year but couldn’t afford is on half discounted price and as much as you really don’t need it anymore the temptation is so high to click the buy button. Let whatever you look to purchase online be something you can’t live without.

Giving up Comfort at the point of departure.

I wanted to make this my last point because I don’t want to perhaps hurt your feelings. But let’s face it, if you are a soul craving travel; comfort is a zone you have to step out of. Be ready to drench in pouring rain, swell from random bites and allergies, sleep in random hostels ,eat tasteless food, give up your culture and be drawn into new culture shock , Basically Drop your routine and let in this whole new person come into existence. I will not even bore you with the safety standards of losing everything you own in a city whose language you can’t speak. It’s thrilling.

TRAVEL MORE BUY LESS

It’s not about the shopping spree we see on those instagram models that makes travel worthwhile but it’s the experience you take in, the feeling and memories, the connection you have with a place and the whole new meaning out of the interactions. Budget travel is not an easy road unlike the luxurious vacation travel once or twice a year. But with great determination, desire, dedication a vision and the will to step out and explore it is worth every penny.

ALSO:

Sharing costs: – Rent, utilities and even groceries especially if you are good at connecting with people, getting a housemate would really do you some coin saving.
Take the bus: – If you have a car, just roughly in your head how much fuel do you use per day and what are your parking charges per month, add that up and tell me why you say you can’t afford a return flight ticket and a two nights paid accommodation down at the ocean facing white hotels.

All said and done travel Leaves your heart in so many places, opens you up to countless possibilities , changes your perspectives but greatest of all while unearthing new locations and cultures it develops you into this new person who wasn’t in the last shadow.

🙂 🙂
Adjust your lifestyle a bit and take the first step into making travel a lifestyle 

HAPPY NEW MONTH PEOPLE.

🙂 🙂

I’d like to give you an imagination of how refreshing , views from Iten are, how that cold chill numbs my feet despite the warm socks I try fit in, how that fresh air is so golden to this weary body and how that wild silence sends you back in time to the old village traditional living. Watching sunsets from a rock or trying to figure out what exactly is that smoking in the horizon yet the only thing between you and that orange skyline is continuous rugged hills humbling down to a stretching  floor  filled with green splendor , this is not your usual  wild sweep from reality for a few minutes.

This is one of the shortest posts I’ve ever done and I hope it is the last about Iten. I had an inside voice screaming to me so hard  not to do this post but the photos from this specific time were too charming 🙂  and before I get more reasons why I shouldn’t share, I jumped on to do this, so let’s assume you’ve never read any other post on Iten from me.

I’ve talked about what to do in Kerio Valley before HERE and shared a Hike on the same Escarpment HERE that was Torok Falls.

This specific region of Elgeyo Marakwet has 3 waterfalls and 2 weeks ago Courtesy of Edmund Rice Camps –Eldoret, (A charity organization focusing on child protection and mentorship that am a part of), we did a hike on the second falls.

The Kessup Falls.

This is the first fall if you are driving from Eldoret through Iten, slightly past the Kerio View point before you get to Tambach. Unlike Torok you are not able to view it from the Tarmac road but there’s a small sign by the road.

This specific hike was lighter and easier than the Torok hike, so if you are up for a small exercise and activity I’d say this is perfect. By easier I mean it’s only approximately 2 hours maximum depending on your speed. It has a narrower trail, more slippery rocks and more bush though. It’s also easier to get to the falls and the magical views are rewarding and worthwhile.

 That was only 350 words short. Hahaha

 Thank you for stopping by.

Love & Love.

Enjoy the green Photos 🙂

Lonely quiet places sitting pretty in the middle of  endless  magical water,  breezed by cool winds blowing up wild hair and rustling palm leaves, opening up to sparkling sand on  pristine beaches  calling out your body for some sun tan, Islands are some of the most fascinating and  peaceful places to refresh your mind, holiday away or just re-establish your inner peace.

An island is a Perfect definition of getting lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere and it can never be more exotic than the peace and tranquility it brings to free your mind to wander away. It is freedom in pure bliss and magnificence.

Beautiful Island Destinations in Kenya

1. Lamu Archipelago

An old Swahili town that is far away from the mainland and bustles , resting quietly on the northern coast, sets you back to 14th century history, with great ancient architecture and cultural diversity that is a mix of Swahili, Portuguese, Turkish and  Arabic culture. It is a world of Ancient ruins and luxurious hotels outlining the sandy beaches and overlooking the sparkling turquoise ocean going  beyond the horizon. The Lamu Fort and Lamu festival are a masterpiece of all Lamu has to offer to any guest wanting a story from Lamu.

Image Source: Destination 360

Ancient Coral houses,  Little alley pathways for donkeys and no vehicles are what takes you back to the ancient and untouched beauty of this small historical town. Hop off a speed boat as you get to the island then hop onto a donkey cart to move around the quiet town as you take in the magical surrounding of white sandy beaches and endless ocean waves.

Also:

The luxurious dhow sails breathtakingly open you up to other surrounding and outrageously beautiful islands that are part of the archipelago.

Kiwayu Island which is part of Kiunga Marine National reserve presents you an opportunity aboard glass boats to see the rich marine life.

Manda Island which is the landing strip into Lamu offers great views to the ocean and magical sunset cruises

Pate Island is also a quiet beautiful island with pristine beaches.

2. Mfangano Island

The Largest fresh water lake in Africa shared by 3 countries hosts one of the most beautiful islands; Mfangano Island on the eastern section of Lake Victoria. This rocky island has magical rock art views and one of the best luxurious island resorts in the Lake. Lake Victoria offers magnificent sunset views and what surer way to take all this in than the sunset cruises around Mfangano which will take your breath away.

Image Source: Governors Camp

Also Nearby:

Rusinga Island famous for its political affiliations, one of the most fascinating fishing community and diverse rich Luo and Suba culture.It is a great place to experience the dreamy island life.  Best time to visit Rusinga is during the Rusinga Island festival in December.

Migingo Island is the infamous fishing mine that is highly on demand between the Kenyan and Ugandan government and which immerses you to local fishing communities.

Ndere Island hosts a National Park that is home to diverse birdlife and prowling monitor lizards. It offers you a great nature park tour that is refreshing from the Kisumu heat and hustle.

3. Wasini Island

Sitting on the lonely southern coast in Shimoni,  Wasini Island is magnetic due to its dolphin tours which are its main attraction at the Kisite Mpunguti national reserve. Aboard motor glass boats, cruising the coral island you get awed by the rich marine life with colorful fish hitting your boat’s glass bottom scaring your heart to skip a beat. Jumping out of the dhow sails to swim with the dolphins or just watch them splash into the air and fashionably swim in the crystal clear waters is a lifetime marine experience.

Image Source: Kifaru Tours

4. Mombasa Island

Mombasa city is the only Kenyan city on an island.  Accessible by Nyali Bridge, Makupa causeway and Likoni ferry on the south. It is a city that is rich in cultural diversity, breathtaking ocean views, magical sea waves, enticing sea food and spicy aroma, old Swahili and Portuguese architecture with a touch of classic Arabic, a busy sea port and a quiet and laidback Swahili lifestyle. It is the ideal beach city with numerous luxurious hotels, holiday resorts and fun activities to indulge in.

Also check out my experience on:  HOW TO EXPLORE MOMBASA TOWN and FORT JESUS

5. Chale Island

Pristine white sandy beaches lying out on the south coast of Kenya in Kwale county, clear turquoise water, a rich and lush green mangrove forest hanging over coral reefs is a magnet for migratory birds and sea life. Sitting quietly on this island is a luxurious hanging resort that is a perfect get away destination for honeymooners.

South coast is also predominant with mysteriously disappearing islands which pop up on low tide and lay as pretty sparkling sandy islands in the middle of ocean water and disappear on high tides.  Join a cruise for sunset dinners or some exotic lunch on these random islands.

6. Crescent Island

Lake Naivasha is thriving out of all the outrageously beautiful cottages and luxurious accommodation and campsites by this Great Rift Valley Lake.

Crescent Island hosts a game sanctuary that is home to free ranging wildlife that is accessible by a nature trail foot trip. It is accessible by both road via the sanctuary farm or by boat from Lake Naivasha. It has a great view to the lake and bird watching, a great spot to watch hippos from a distance and interact with cheeky monkeys. Also check out How to Explore NAIVASHA

Thank you for stopping by 🙂 🙂

The spacious wide city streets, well outlined architecture, continuously flowing sweaty people quietly walking down the colonial shady verandahs, cool lake breeze whistling over trees and car hooting creating all the noise in a quiet lakeside port city is what defines Kisumu. Growing from Port Florence which was a terminal for Kenya Uganda railway, to a “SUMO” barter trade Centre, it is currently a Large Urban Lake City.

Having shared two other Kisumu posts you should read on:  Sights & Sounds of Kisumu and Trails of Impala Park and so as to highlight the other great and top destinations worth your time while in Kisumu for a trip or by coincidence I hope this post will sum up Kisumu’s natural, cultural and geographical diversity.

WHAT TO DO in Kisumu.

  1. SUNRISE AT DUNGA BAY

Catch a glimpse of fishermen up with the birds to drag the earliest catch to the shore. The sun rises from the land side which is east but sends amazing rays to the water and the views are breathtakingly magical. Dunga hill camp offers a camping site for any budget traveler with great scenic views of the lake. Kayaking and boat rides are a favorite activity here and local fisherman are willing to take you on a fishing trip to try out your lucky catch.  Also read about my experience in: Sights & Sounds from Kisumu.

DAY SAFARI WALK AT IMPALA

Approximately 2 Kms from the CBD this Sanctuary provides a home to free ranging, captive wild animals and safe grazing zone for hippos from the densely populated Kisumu city. It is a quiet serene environment perfect for picnics and camping. Also read about it on: Trails of Impala Park.

SUNSET AT LWANG’NI

Rays that boast of their golden glimmer throwing magical orange to the calm water swooshing over your feet and stretching all the way to the horizon to meet the sinking sun are captivating views of Lwang’ni or “Fly Centre” as locally called. Lwang’ni is famous for its famous sumptuous Luo dish that is fresh fish. Make sure to just indulge in some African Ugali fish meal on the temporary shades while overlooking the sunset because this is the ultimatum of being in Kisumu.

KIT MIKAYI CRYING STONE

Image Source: Femme Hub

About 29 Kms west of Kisumu on your way to Bondo in Kangeso Village is the legendary or famous Approx. 80 ft.  Large Crying rock which is a Tor with 3 rocks lying on top of it passing for a heavily loaded crying woman. It is famed for Luo myths, cultural and religious significance around it. It has numerous small caves filled with religious activities as shrines and after hiking up on top of the rocks on a birds view the breathtaking views of The Lake, Rolling hills and plains and Kisumu City are rewarding.

KISUMU MUSEUM

Image Source: Smile each Moment

Exhibiting one of the largest UNESCO Luo traditional homesteads “Ber-gi-dala”, sitting on Kisumu-Kericho road, this museum showcases the traditional polygamous Luo homestead, the western Kenya culture and lifestyle. It is also home to a few reptile families and boasts of the largest Nile perch ever caught in Kenya.

HIPPO POINT & KIBOKO BAY RESORT

HIPPO POINT sits on the south west side of Dunga and is a picnic site created from a site for viewing hippos. It is a camping site that also provides a fishing port to catch your fish for dinner while overlooking perfect sunset views.

KIBOKO BAY Resort is a Quiet wetland housing cottages sitting on perfectly mowed grass by night grazing hippos overlooking the lake and providing one of the most perfect sunset views. The mangrove forest, birdlife and boat rides are something to awe you in this quiet place

CITY LIFE

Walk in the wide quiet streets and SHOP for souvenirs. Hop on a boda boda (motorcycle) or a 3 wheeled auto rickshaw “tuk tuk”, (which are a perfect means of transport here, I noticed taxis are extravagantly expensive) and  Head over to OPEN FLEA MARKET  that is Kibuye market on Jomo Kenyatta Highway which is  a busy western agricultural produce market

Also head over to RIAT HILLS, one of the prime real estate investment areas and enjoy the quiet lake views from Kisumu suburbs.

Also if you are a party person Kisumu has a VIBRANT NIGHT LIFE with live bands, musical entertainments and dance shows all the way from Kisumu Signature Club to Mamboleo.

Planet media and Starflix CINEMAS on Mega City mall provide state of the art theatres for movie junkies.

As they locals clearly state: “Kisumu is a Lifestyle and you have to fit in”

🙂 🙂

On the Shores of the largest Fresh water Lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, Sitting about 2 Kms from Kisumu CBD, this quiet and hidden treasure is a lake-shore walk with Impalas as the name suggests. Home to free ranging and captive wild animals, swampy night grazing for hippopotamus and a variety of flora and diverse bird species this sanctuary is a wild nature haven that is part of Sights & Sounds from Kisumu.

TRAILS of IMAPALA PARK, KISUMU

Main Attractions: The free ranging wildlife, Animal orphanage also home to the Big 5, Quiet picnic sites (named; Impala, Albizia, Baboon, Sunset, Fig tree and Simba), Lake Victoria Views and Hippo Views. Open to picnics, Camping, Boat rides, Bird watching, game viewing and even corporate events and weddings.

After Taking in all the Lake’s scenic views at Dunga Bay  I decided to check out Impala Park and take some alone time to reflect before I head back to my town. I turned this walk more into a photo shoot of myself and it would be funny if you saw how in 10 seconds I’d set the timer then run to the other side to be the object of capture.

Arrival inside the park is marked by some jumpy Impalas or strutting zebras who welcome you to the walk that leads from an open  stone pavement with the animal cages on the right and lake on the left to a more quiet and endless lush green nature trail leading you all the way to the Safari lodge and  sundowner tower.

The Impalas, Endangered Sitatunga antelope, Zebras and Giraffes are free ranging while Maasai Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, Hyena, serval cats, buffalo, African Grey parrots and Vervet monkeys are cage captives. I can say KWS has done a good job taking care of these wild animals as they are noticeably bigger than their free ranging wild counterparts in parks.

Some of the animals here have been rescued by KWS from the wild and I was able to see a Wild hyena that had been rescued a week ago from some nearby Bondo village, it was still trying to adjust to being in a cage and was scared by any human presence nearby after it had received a thorough beating by villagers and still had fresh wounds on its head. Also On a small fee, a friendly guide and an adventurous spirit you can be let inside the cage to hold the friendly cheetah and take a selfie perhaps (For me, maybe next time ha-ha am not yet on a death wish.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Open: Daily 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and managed by KWS.

Entry: Charges are Kes 215 for Kenyan Adults only payable on Mpesa or Card, No Cash allowed.

 It’s a safari walk by foot not necessarily guided. There’s a parking zone for vehicles.

The Sanctuary also has camping sites and several picnic sites with a great view of the Lake and a great Sundowner tower overlooking the railway trail that is a perfect place to watch the sunset sink into the lake.

The Impala Eco Safari Lodge sits right in the sanctuary, is a 24 bed capacity lodge offering state of the art accommodation and meals. Also State lodge campsite offers a public campsite ground.

Image source: CasoLodge Travels

Impala is a must visit if you are in Kisumu. It is neighbor to Dunga Bay, Kiboko Bay Resort and even Hippo point. Take a stroll, cool from the breeze and enjoy the views and quietness away from the city.

Do you remember me saying how my friends are literally inhuman i had to stay away from them to avoid the birthday “washing” as they call it. Well I came back from Kisumu and for the love of food, and to be specific chicken, i found myself in the middle of it all and was literally dipped in cold everything. Do i need to mention how am star struck by this man i fell hard for who keeps surprising me by outdoing himself.

Thank you for stopping by.

Enjoy the photo shoot I turned this visit into.

🙂 🙂

Hot and humid , 3rd largest Kenyan city  lies on the sloping shores of the largest fresh water lake in Africa, connected by regular local airline flights, road and linked by ferries from Kendu Bay, Homa bay and Mbita. Kisumu is not only a Port city but an urban diverse city full of cultural integration and scenic beauty.

Being a City that has been a core Centre for opposition politics in Kenya, Kisumu is an interestingly peaceful City that is on about business as usual. Every businessman from every part of the country goes on with their daily business routine while trying to escape the heat which is the only mean thing here.

I wanted to do a single post about what to do in Kisumu but I realized I can’t fit it all in a single post  because I have so many beautiful photos from my Kisumu birthday trip that I’d like to share with you. This year I chose Kisumu for my destination because I felt maybe it’s time to go back after 10 years and see what has changed in this old colonial, railway terminal city.

SUNSET SILHOUTTES AT LWANG’NI.

Arriving in Kisumu at 6:00 p.m. just in time to catch the sunset and satisfy my hunger for Lake Victoria sunsets and lakeside fish there was no better place than Lwang’ni Beach. I was afraid at on arrival because the clouds were really trying to challenge my mission, the sun was completely covered and there was no sign of a sunset. I still went Straight to the beach and hoped for an opening and at around 6:40 p.m. rays started to appear on the west side of the lake, the sun came out to show its last glamour for the day and my Camera has never been this amazed with sunset views.

I had forgotten about my hunger for a while, going all crazy with sunset photos n silhouettes. Arrival of our dinner brought me back to reality that the photos could never be enough. We sat down to catch Large plates of fish (my first ever biggest fish meal) while overlooking the last rays just before the sun sunk into the lake.

We then took a street walk before heading to cool the evening off and it’s noticeable how this city is quiet at night and with just countable people walking down the streets. One thing I Liked about Kisumu is the wide street space and lack of human congestion.

SUNRISE VIEWS AT DUNGA BAY.

Up at 6:00 a.m. the next day on my Birthday and like the Bird I was born to be, I head over to the Lake to catch the sunrise. This time on the other lakeside at Dunga Beach. With the current weather already changed to a rainy season, the clouds trying so hard to compete with its rays and it rising from the Land side and not the lake side, the sun is not so appealing. There is also more of hyacinth action at this side of the lake which I was told that at times it clears and other times even covers a more wider area. Still the rays and sunrise views were amazing.

Dunga beach is full of life at this time; everyone with their part to play is here trying to catch the early worm not mesmerized or even noticing the sunrise. The fishermen are sailing their boats to go draw their fishing nets, hoping that the night was a lucky catch. The women are here waiting on the fishermen coming back to pick the best catch. It’s a quick and organized trade, with everyone having their own entrusted customer, I guess by who gives them a better deal. They are not friendly to photos though, so we just observe and only stick to sunrise photos.

The sun is totally up by 8:00 a.m. and most fishermen have sailed back by this time and even cleared their sale. We leave Dunga beach and walk towards another side of the lake at Dunga bay with more amazingly clear lake views.

We also find some of the women who’d already bought their catch on this other side specially cleaning the fish and paying attention to finer details before taking it to the market for consumers like us.

The Lake views from here are so breathtaking and for a moment I get lost staring and mesmerized at how magical this place is. The quietness and calmness sends some kind of peace down my soul and I could not have asked for a better way to turn 26.

I also found some really cute friend on the beach, i seem to have some good vibes with these beach dogs 🙂 🙂

Enjoy the Kisumu photos

🙂 🙂

Navigating amid dense wet vegetation, through foggy rugged hills covered by exotic and indigenous forests, opening up to exquisite views of thundering water tumbling down, pounding on rocks, spraying the air with moisture, then foaming the serenity pool and gently flowing down swishing over pebbles, the waterfall views are nostalgic.

There’s something untold about waterfalls, whether it’s the thundering mass of water hitting the ground and splashing you up, the amazing feeling that chill sends down your nerves or it’s the splendor from staring and wondering how such appealing sceneries exist.

Our magical landscapes are endowed with diversity and these waterfalls embodied in rivers give more life to the surrounding forests and more meaning to beautiful sceneries. All these waterfalls are located in forests  and with a variety of wildlife to view, photogenic sceneries  and numerous outdoor activities to indulge in they make for a great  camping trip, a day trip from the city or just a random hike and lunch in the exquisite restaurants and hotels overlooking the falls.

I thought about it and came up with:

Top WATERFALL Destinations in  KENYA.

THOMSON’S FALLS – Nyahururu

Image source: Madrileo

 The majestic Ewaso Nyiro River draining from Aberdares and cascading its way to Nyahururu boasts of this Approximately 74 meter high plunge that offers life to the surrounding dense forest in Nyahururu. It is also home to one of the highest altitude hippo pool upstream and captivating surrounding views. Located in Nyahururu about 180 Kms. from Nairobi.

FOURTEEN FALLS –Thika

A series of 14 amazingly spectacular 27 meter high waterfalls on Athi River are the best there is in Kenya. Spice that up with the beautiful Oldonyo Sabuk National park landscape views and swinging variety of birds you’ll come across while fishing, bird watching and boat riding and it makes for a perfect escape. Located about 85 km from Nairobi off Thika-Garissa road.

KARURU FALLS – Aberdare Forest

Image Source: Enchanted Landscapes

Hiking the Aberdare forest trail and hours of taking in the moorland take you up to one of the must visit sites in Nyandarua county within the forest that is a unique 3-tier plunge approx.  273 meters high, making it the tallest waterfall in Kenya. Located 3 hours away about 172 Kms. from Nairobi, in Nyandarua.

Also located across the valley is GURA FALLS which is similar to Karuru falls.

CHANIA FALLS – Thika

A few kilometers from the City Centre these falls make Thika Town a camping and retreat center due to its magnificence and scenic views. With Nairobi as its catchment and Pouring down 25 meters deep to drain into the Aberdares forest, Chania falls give Thika town the wild forest sounds.

SHELDRICK FALLS – Shimba Hills

Image source: NIEDBLOG

The quiet laid back Shimba hills are brought to life by this whooshing 25 meter high fresh spring water plunge that cools down the air and thunders through the silent forest across the hills.

OTHER FALLS:

ZANIA FALLS – Aberdare Ranges

ADAMSON FALLS – Koru National Park on River Tana

LUGARD FALLS – Tsavo East National Park on Galana River

LIMURU FALLS – Limuru

MAKALI FALLS – Lake Nakuru.

TOROK FALLS – Iten, Kerio Valley (Read about my Torok Falls Hike HERE)
Also note there are other numerous small falls within Forest Rivers you could check out in case you visit any National Park or Forest.

Back in campus I used to be a waterfall chasing addict, and am not talking about the huge ones but those small ones from Rivers whose name you can’t even pronounce. Any weekend involved finding a random place with a small river and going hunting with the crew just to jump in and get wet.

That has changed a bit to more of exploring other places as well but my love for waterfalls is still personal.

Happy chasing.

🙂 🙂

“Europe is my birthplace, America is my home, Africa is where my heart is.”  Is what the really outspoken and self-driven Cedric states out clearly when you meet him.  Working and Living in New York I got to share a day with him on a project to discover Africa and share its beauty with the rest of the world.

Apart from making friends who we share interests with, we had a really good time, meaningful conversations and comparisons of the different places we’ve been to.  We are both into promoting African and passionate about travel and putting the African continent out there. By coincidence we both wore African shorts that day 🙂 too much, I know, right?

Hey 🙂 Cedric 🙂Actually I think we need a guest post on your recent African adventure 🙂 (Also this will be different).

Having come into Kenya from his vacation trip in Kigali- Rwanda, which he kept talking about. I got to do a Kenyan collaboration, “Quick Nairobi Tour” with him a few days ago after linking up with him from Instagram(DMs, you know right.) 2 months ago. 

With the opportunity of creating the day’s Itinerary and Armed with a professional videographer (which was really making me uncomfortable 🙂 cause am not used to being on the spot like that, its a Kardashian’s thing, right?) and 2 of his friends we set foot to unwrap Nairobi. Well, i’ll share the videos later but in photos here goes;

OUR NAIROBI EPISODE:

KISSING GIRAFFES.

🙂 I had to start with telling you about this. I have been to the Nairobi Giraffe Manor and Centre before but for a different project and got to feed the giraffes but never really got to get intimate with them. I tried out to kiss the ones at Haller Park Mombasa but couldn’t really get the courage to. So this time round my adrenaline was rushing and YEEEES.

Come here Lets Kiss. It’s cold after all.

Make sure you try it out if you get the opportunity though Cedric couldn’t let himself do it. Coward haha.                 

                                                                             FEEDING BABY ELEPHANTS.

I’ve talked about this Elephant trust before here but I’ve never really been personally there.  Rushing through traffic getting there at 11:00 a.m. Just in time to see the feeding of the orphan elephant babies at David Sheldrick’s wildlife trust the excitement hit me. I’ve never come so close to baby elephants and seen them in their so cute nature before. I took so many photos Cedric had to ask me why I took so many photos. I was just so lost in their cuteness Cedric 🙂 .    

                         NAIROBI SAFARI WALK.

Had to be the first stop of course, considering he had to feel the wildness that is the City’s Nairobi national park calling, this had to be a must stop over.  

🙂 I know I never or rarely mention my clients unless paid to but this was unique and though I’ve been debating to or not, today I figured out why not? It’s my Blogs Anniversary anyway so he won’t kill me.

I also got to meet the guys behind Turn-up travel (Very outspoken individuals promoting the African continent and customizing trips.)

You can also read about what to do on a Nairobi layover.  HERE

Thanks for reading.

Love & Love 🙂

Enjoy the cute KISSING

& CUTE BABY ELEPHANTS

  

Continuous Perfectly green rugged hills on hills, a majestic escarpment running for miles, gloriously looking down to Kerio valley, blessing it with a fountain of water  that is Torok falls, flowing down to bring life onto this untouched naturally varied landscape famously referred to as  “Home of Champions” is a rich scenery that is a secret well-kept to the locals.

  Some of the views

In partnership with Red Cross, Elgeyo Marakwet Branch , I got to finally do a hike I’ve been planning to do for the last so many months but wasn’t able to do alone. Also this is the first time I was able to do a hike without an aftermath of muscle pains. I’ll tell you how, but I think I need a clap first, right? 🙂 While I did a review on KERIO VALLEY DESTINATIONS and Torok was one of them, I was never really ready to do it by myself.  :-):-) Well, we all have some secret phobias.

Also, am not sure if at this point I should mention we left our snacks in the car and that’s the only negative I remember about the Torok hike. One hill up and we were super hungry and had to get some local tea from a local roadside kiosk and uji at the hilltop after the hike. Point is; always remember to pack your snack.

ALSO LOOKING BACK,

Wild Roamers is turning 1 and I can’t believe it’s almost one year now since we started this journey. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it, (Check out the posts).  I wonder what ideas you have for our anniversary, but I know definitely an awesome trip would do. Reflecting back, I’ve come to really appreciate what any trip can do to your mind, body and soul while giving you some of the best lifetime memories and opening your heart to the world.

BACK TO TOROK,

    Torok falls

On your way to Kabarnet from Iten via Tambach on your right side is a smoking and thundering massive waterfall that is part of 2 other nearby smaller waterfalls. The hike up to the fall takes approximately 3 hours depending on which of the 2 routes you take from the foot of the Kerio escarpment. You are able to navigate easily at the start and up to the falls via dense wet bushes and slippery rocks.  The hike involves getting to the falls then proceeding up the steeper escarpment to the source of the fall at the top or ignoring the source and taking the same long route as before and going back down with whichever route you prefer.

     More Views

Route 1:  Is the first route just after Tambach, has a less steep road, actually quite easy at first like a simple walk for like 2 hours before you start the hill climbing which takes like an hour and is more involving.

Route 2: Has a steeper route and is meant to be the real hike for fit people since you are continuously climbing the hills and escarpments all throughout the hike.

Route 3: This has to be the one for anyone who’s interested in seeing the fall but cannot hike. It involves starting at the top of the escarpment then descending down to the fall. You can then opt to descend down the escarpments after the waterfall, down to the road or you can take the route back up the escarpment to your starting point.

   Hiking trail

Ensure you take the right hike route so you don’t end up on the smaller waterfall that is Kessup.

WHAT YOU NEED.

Good hiking shoes with a good grip because of the slippery rocks. At some point you’ll even have to crawl on the rocks.

Glucose water, (Drinking water with a mix of glucose is my secret weapon to hiking. A few sips and it keeps you energized all through the hike)

Rain gear:  If you get to the waterfall, it’s typically splashing rain and with a wet atmosphere you get all soaked up.

Some snacks. (You know what happens when you get hungry.)

A tour guide is optional, because you can find your way. Like we found our way though we asked for direction once near the fall.

  Some of the Escarpment views

HIKING TRICK: If you do enough exercise a few days before the hike and immediately after the hike then your body adjusts and you will not feel the muscle pains after the hike.

Practice makes perfect

Plan to do the Torok hike with other Kerio valley site visits to make your trip to Iten worthy.  

Check out some of the ACTIVITIES you can engage in while in Iten.

Accommodation: There are quite a number of good hotels around Eldoret that are available for your overnight stay and camping.

Transport: There are Kabarnet Vehicles getting to the starting point of the hike or at a Centre up on the escarpment after the hike. You can also engage a safari company or car hire at an affordable cost.

And definitely you’ll need a few friends for the hike for support or you can organize a hike with some of the runners from here who practice on the route.

Don’t forget your camera to capture your views and memories but you’ll need a safe gear when you get near the fall due to the slippery rocks and the wet atmosphere.

Although what you really need is a good attitude and health to get all soaked up at the fall. 

🙂 🙂 Because if you can get wet and sweaty and still look this good then why not?

Join Turn Up Travel this December 1st to 3rd for this hike.

Love and Love 🙂