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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 🙂 🙂   

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.

🙂 🙂

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.

🙂 🙂

An underworld thriving with colors popping life into the cold deep turquoise waters rich of aquatic flora and fauna have breathed more life into the coastal shores of Kenya than the fast food arm’s length restaurants and luxurious white beach hotels. Aqua life is one of natures proudest existence yet endangered by over-fishing and other uncontrollable human and environmental factors. Kenya’s marine parks have outlined the importance of conservation of marine life  and established regions to protect and conserve these rare species. Sailing out beyond the coral reefs to experience this magnificence is breathtaking and refreshing

How best to get in touch with the Marine life:

• Scuba diving.
• Glass boats tours.
• Snorkeling and Under water diving.
• Underground Aquatic pool walks.
• Dhow sailing beyond the coral reefs.

See also: Water sports Fun Activities

TOP MARINE NATIONAL PARKS IN KENYA.

WATAMU Marine National Park.

Photo source: Diani sea resort

Casuarina fringed, Mida creek mangrove forest in Watamu has over the years been a tourist magnet for people with the urge to experience the other side of the beach and ocean other than the relaxation at hotels. It is rich in coral formation, varied fish species floating over calm waters coral beds, crabs and prawns shedding under mangrove roots, beautifully colored star fish and numerous reef caves that act as breeding sites for turtles.
Home to a variety of small mainland wildlife species like dik dik, antelopes and reptiles, it is also a major tourist destination for bird watchers with millions of bird species including resident birds and migrating birds that come to nest here in between June to September.  More info:Watamu marine

KIUNGA Marine National Reserve (LAMU)

The Lamu archipelago is held by approximately 50 islands and coral reefs offshore the Northern coastline. Varying in age as exposed by old eroded corals and size, these sheer walled reefs covered by extensive mangrove forests and sea grass protrude from the sea bed and beautifully dot the northern coast.
Rich in biodiversity this park greatly boasts of protecting endangered sea turtles, valuable coral reefs, reef fish, lobsters and other various forms of marine life ranging from reptiles, fish to aqua plants.
Diving and snorkeling are a great way to explore the marine life here while skiing and surfing are a major water sport activity to get in touch with the quiet islands.  More info:Kiunga marine

KISITE-MPUNGUTI (Shimoni).

Bubbling with life at the south of Wasini Island, in Shimoni near Kenyan Tanzania border this paradise is characterized by four islands surrounded by coral reefs, large coral gardens and a variety of fish. Varied landscape and vegetation ranging from the rich equatorial coastal forest to grass and thickets give this National park the serene beauty it deserves.
Stretching from Tiwi beach south it’s the best place to site Manta rays, to dive and snorkel. The snorkeling with dolphins is everything this marine park has to offer. 

More info: Kisite mpunguti

Photo source: kifaru tours(blogwasinidolphins)

MOMBASA Marine National Park.

White sandy beach shoreline lying between Mtwapa and Tudor creek, dominated by coconut palms, mangrove forests, coral reef creeks and hotels busting with tourists and local communities setting sail and nets is characteristic of the coastal beaches. Mangrove swamps and coral reefs providing a home to endangered fish species from overfishing have ensured the spectacular beauty of this marine life is not stripped off. Mombasa marine park is a haven for rich marine life both flora and fauna and coral heads that are trophies. Water sport activities are a must engage here ranging from surfing, skiing and diving.  More info: Mombasa marine park

MALINDI Marine National Park.

Unique coral gardens housing Green turtles, a diverse rich marine life, white sandy beaches and an introduction into the famous Gede Ruins forming the complexity of Malindi national park gives this park a fulfilling marine adventure. Glass boats give you the total marine sea life experience into the deep blue waters when the colorful rare fish swim underneath your boat and if you are more adventurous then a dive into the ocean is more rewarding.
More info: Malindi Marine Park

Nestled between soaring mountain ranges, opening to wide golden savannah grasslands dotted with thorny trees stretching out to lush forests, these ranches have been around for ages though maybe more as an underground livestock farming business for those old rich guys who have large chunks of land in Laikipia, Naivasha and Kajiado. But the last few years have made us all appreciate ranching in more ways than just a beef and dairy farming business. Being a major conservation tool and among the best getaway weekend places full of wild awe experiences and sporting outdoor activities we’ve seen ranches like Ol pejeta get international recognition and headlines for “Best holiday homes.”

Photo source: Loisaba Conservancy

Integration with conservation has made these ranches out-stand more as conservancies than ranches. Privately owned and managed, wildlife protection and natural habitat conservation is a great deal and with the varied landscapes and great picture square sceneries these ranches have become a tourist magnet for people trying to escape the city’s hustle and bustle to a more quiet, peacefully relaxing and serene weekend.

Also Read: Laikipia a rhino conservation affair and Save the Rhino story

A LOOK AT TOP DESTINATION RANCHES

1. SEGERA RANCH

Photo source: Jimmy Nelson(Segera ranch)

Abundant wildlife and exquisite accommodation In-between the beautifully melting glaciers of Mt Kenya and the great Rift valley ,Privately sitting in an exclusive 50,000 acres of pristine Africa golden savannah in the heart of Laikipia it is home to endangered wildlife species and is a land of honey.
The diverse and stunning untouched environment compliments the quietness making it one of the most dramatic sceneries yet peaceful places. The details of the villas and camps make this place a collector’s paradise due to its elegance in the bush.
Waking up to watch the sunrise and wild animals streaming in at the river for a bath from the Nay Palad Bird nest is everything you have to get off this ranch.

For more info: Segera Ranch

Photo source: Segera ranch

2. SOSIAN GAME RANCH, LAIKIPIA

A Panorama of Mt. Kenya and desert to the horizon edges this 24,000 acres 1940’s untouched wilderness which is a rolling terrain spanning across Laikipia plains offering unique wildlife safaris that involve walking through free ranging wildlife , camel safaris, swimming pools ,camping and top of the list culinary experience with fresh natural ingredients from the home garden.
While holding conservation at heart this wilderness offers the true wild experience with natural ecosystem coexistence where elephants provide firewood and rain provides water while the Boran cattle provide ranch meat. It is a mixture of simplicity and luxury to give its visitors the beauty they deserve.
For more info: Sosian Ranch

3. CHAKA RANCH

Unrivalled raw terrain nestled in between the majestic peaks of Mt Kenya and rugged Aberdare ranges is a home of all unique outdoor family wild entertainment activities from paintballing, Skating, all kinds of quad bike riding, arena, kids play stations to teambuilding activities. Sitting in Kiganjo, Nyeri about 2hrs from Nairobi it’s also a home to your family for the weekend with luxurious deluxe camps and hospitality for barbecue lovers.
For more info: Chaka Ranch

4. OLJOGI RANCH

Photo source: Oljogi ranch

Lying quietly about 4 hrs. From Nairobi on the Northern side of Nanyuki town, with array views of Mt. Kenya this 58,000 acres 60 year old masterpiece is a wildlife haven focusing on rhino conservation and is complete with the only bear in Kenya.
With its luxurious camp nestled within a protective rock crop Ol jogi gives you a unique bush life experience complete with a dreamy pool and spa for relaxation after your bush lunch.
For more info: Oljogi Ranch

5. BORANA CONSERVANCY

Galloping through open grasslands and thickets with exhilarating safaris to explore the raw rugged terrain this untainted landscape stretches south from the foothills of Mt Kenya and opens into the Northern Kenya deserts to the north.
Borana gives its visitors an immersion into the wild experience from Customized safaris, Local cultural interactions and experiences to delicious meals locally and naturally produced, entertainment and accommodation to awe them with a lifetime African experience.
From its effective anti-poaching initiatives, Holistic land management and rhino protection it is a masterpiece of an ideal ranch with a heart to conservation of natural landscapes and wildlife.
It integrates the community in its activities to develop partnerships that are ideal for coexistence.
For more info: Borana Conservancy

6. OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY

Also Read: Olpejeta Rhinos and Human Chimpanzees

A commitment to Holistic approach of integration of livestock to sustainable land and wildlife conservation is Olpejeta’s strength. A 30 minutes’ drive from Nanyuki town leads you to a unique stretch of Laikipia plains with customized memorable bush safaris on the vast 90,000 acres of land full of free ranging wild animals both endangered and nocturnal like cheetahs.
It has various luxurious campsites in different sites to suit all kinds of camping needs for every guest. It’s the only place with the last surviving Northern white rhino and its Sweet waters chimpanzee sanctuary is the best in East Africa. On a side note this has been my best ranch.
For more info: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

7. KULALU RANCH, GALANA CONSERVANCY TSAVO.

Stretching from the rugged Tsavo National Park and sitting on the banks with a breathtaking view of the Galana river and an inspiring natural environment all the way to Lali hills , Kulalu is home to wandering elephants and a variety of other wildlife species across the corridors some of which are endangered.
It offers a unique game viewing experience right from the exclusive luxury camp verandahs to the foot safaris and game safaris into Tsavo. It’s an idyllic setting for bird watchers with close proximity of the river to the campsite being a magnet for hundreds of birds.
For more info: Galana Conservancy

8. LOISABA CONSERVANCY

Photo source: Harri travels(Loisaba Conservancy)

In Northern Laikipia Kenya boasting 56,000 acres of pure wildlife diversity, a natural rugged landscape in between 2 permanent rivers, varied natural vegetation and protecting the elephant migration corridors in between Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo with its natural habitat conservation policies and community partnerships.
The over 800 free roaming elephants and other wild animals gathering around the Ewaso river’s lush vegetation is a magnet for tourists with an urge for an arid wild experience . Complete with star beds rolled on rock platforms for a unique and dramatic African night experience, the experience at Loisaba is to die for.
For more info: Loisaba Conservancy 

Photo source: Loisaba Conservancy, Ami Vitale

Ocean borne adventure full of adrenaline and thrill, skillful takes, random splashes that cool your sweating body, a Sea breeze that dries your face and leave you gasping for more air from the Old centuries Kenyan coast trade winds, raging rivers and calm lakes have all put Kenya on the map for some of the best Water sport activities.
With a full list of over and underwater, motorized and un-motorized water thrilling adventures let’s do away with swimming for today, everyone can swim apart from us with heavy legs right? What else do you expect when you head down to the beach or lakes?
Wind surfing, Surfing, Water skiing, Sailing, Kayaking, Jet skiing, Rafting, Canoeing, Rowing, Big game fishing, sport diving, snorkeling, scuba diving and trust the water sports list to be endless as long as you have an open mind and will.

1. KAYAKING

Using a kayak to move across water for sports and fun or fitness work out purposes is one of the activities that require skill and are full of adrenaline rush. Tied on to a kayak and depending on your paddling skills to sway you against raging waves or calm water is a fulfilling task and adventure.
Where:
Savage Wilderness Riverside camp totally equipped with specialized services for first timers who would prefer calm flat waters or addicted kayakers who are more to the thrill on fast moving rapids and plunging into the rapid camp falls offers a worthwhile the experience.                                                                               More info:  Sagana Rapids
Lake Victoria with more calm waters is ideal for learners to learn boat control and basic strokes and rescue techniques, coupled up with fishing it is a thrilling adventure for a perfect sunrise adventure.

Photo source: Sand and sea watersports

2. WATER SKIING AND WAKE BOARDING

I’d say this is exhilarating adrenaline pump is closest to sky diving. Getting accelerated by a fast moving boat that pulls your gliding self over the water surface is as fun as it looks when that water is swooshing over your body until you get that rope and ski and try skimming the surface then scream your lungs out. It provides limitless thrill and adventure.
Where:
The Majili’s Resort Lamu at the Ras Kitau bay and Takwa Mangrove creek. More info: Majilis Resort
Sand and Sea Water sports Diani

3. WIND SURFING

With a spectacular flat and calm beach, both south and north coast offer a great sporting opportunity for windsurfing and kite surfing due to its favorable wind conditions all year round. Offering a touch of both sailing and surfing controlled by wind movements its spectacular to just even watch experienced surfers make beautiful stunts and moves on the waves.
Whether you just want to enjoy the warm turquoise water or watch the waves swoosh over surfers with great skill and beautiful stunts these extreme sports is worth a try for everyone.
Where: The Kenyan coast has numerous surfing sites, the top rated ones are;
H2O Extreme Diani Beach Kenya, offers Kite surfing lessons affiliated with IKO, and is a top water sport Centre due to its safety standards and thrilling water sport experiences.  More info: H2O Extreme
Tribe Watersports Watamu also offers customized surfing experiences for the whole family for an amazing active beach experience.   More info: Tribe Watersports
Che Shale Kite surfing School Malindi, a prime kite surfing area on a golden beach in between palms.

4. RAFTING AND RIVER TREKKING

Away from the ocean to the mainland, raging rivers offer a life thrilling adventure. Rafting expeditions on river Tana and Ewaso Ngiro expose you to varying rapids and white water that are a thrilling adventure to any soul looking for an off dry land activity. You can also test your kayaking skills here.
River trekking is more fun done in groups as it tests your teamwork and balance in rapidly moving water. It involves sliding, falling and swimming while trying to climb wet areas, navigation in water to the dry exit areas and your balance in rapid and calm water despite the weird objects your feet might feel in the water. The 2km walk is something you’ll remember in a lifetime.
Where:
Rapids Camp Sagana, water rafting on the rapids of river Tana offer you a relaxed afternoon calm water rafting varying all through to raging rapids (Class v) for a more adventurous side.  More info: Rapids Camp Sagana
Ewaso Ngiro River, White water rafting offers a more wild experience for interaction with herds of elephants and other wild animals on the river banks, complete with a night camp experience to end the day.

Photo source: Sagana Camp Rafting

5. DHOW SAILING AND CANOEING

Specially and simply built for a more laid back sailing experience, dhows have been around for many years for cruises, water movements and local fishing purposes. They offer a great tour to marine parks to enjoy the magnificence of marine life, to snorkel and dive in the deep waters or to just sway across the ocean to a hanging restaurant.
Where:
Mtwapa Creek: Offers tour services to enjoy the mangrove bays and coral reefs.
Kizingoni Beach, Lamu offers an overnight dhow safari to explore Kiwayu and Lamu archipelago.
Distant Relatives Kilifi

6. SNORKELING

Strap on a mask to get in touch with the astounding marine life and untouched coral reefs below the Indian Ocean. As an endearing activity that needs you to snorkel deep under the calm blue waters of the endless ocean to enjoy the magnificence protected by lagoons snorkeling is a top water sport for many water lovers.
Where:
The Majili’s resort Lamu has daily motor boats and organized excursions complete with a lunch set up for an ultimate experience.  More info: Majilis Resort
Kisite Marine, Shimoni offers one of the most breathtaking snorkeling experiences with dolphins at Wasini Island.

Photo source: Diani sea resort

7. DEEP SEA FISHING AND SAILING

Hook a large sailfish, Marlin or tuna alongside your boat and boast a huge catch after sailing through deep waters and enticing dozens of fish species amid rapid waves. Deep sea fishing is a rewarding experience for any sailing adventure unless you just want to sail for fun and enjoy the view and ocean breeze from the laser boats.
Boats are well equipped with state of the art equipment for local operators and international full day charter clients and conservation is well taken care of with the tag and release program.
Where: Tudor Creek and Mtwapa creek

8. DIVING

Jumping out of a boat that your life depends on into the deep endless sea is nerve wrecking and only for people who don’t even know what aqua phobia is or believe so much in their swimming expertise.
Diving off a hanging cliff or reef rocks close to the shore in Watamu give you one of the best exhilarating experiences, while diving into Nyulli reef in Shimoni offers you a chance to taste the strong tidal currents and drifts
Where:
Watamu Marine Park, With sheer wall reefs, fine drop offs and large corals the central turtle reef attracts colorful fish and sharks and is a breeding site for the green sea turtle which makes your dive here a world class dive.
Kisite Mpunguti, Shimoni is a rare 12 meters dive into bottle-nose dolphins, largest manta rays and spectacular coral.

9. JET SKIING

Affixed onto a jet ski and racing over water trying to outdo an oncoming wave is one of the easiest and fun water sport activities. It is easy to learn and not so nerve wrecking. The thrill comes in the racing over a wave and spraying all that water behind you
Where: Diani Beach and Nyali Beach.

10. SURFING AND SKIM BOARDING

Photo source: Xtreme sports

Gliding across water on a surfboard is never the easy task but with great skill and learning meeting that oncoming wave and gliding across it on a surfboard or riding it back on a skim board is a rewarding experience. Malindi bay spot is ideal for body surfing and Shela Lamu. Although Kenya is not so ideal for body surfing due to the numerous reefs the adventure is worthwhile the experience in the few spots available.
Where:
H2O Extreme Diani Beach Kenya.   More info: H2O Extreme

 The Kenyan coast is a top rated tourist destination with a wide range of activities to do during your stay in Kenya. Water fun activities and sports is a must try for any adrenaline thrill.

🙂 🙂

World rhino day went round with celebrations from wildlife ambassadors, Conservationists and everyone who believes in nature for one reason or two. But let’s look at it from the other side ; Yes, we all posted a rhino photo or two on our social media posts but how often do we look at the real issues , at what’s the main reason behind extinction and endangerment. What’s the Root CAUSE?
Is it human settlements and destruction of natural habitats or is it the Insatiable demand for rhino horn in the Middle East encouraging poaching?

FACTS of a BLACK and WHITE rhino.

BLACK Rhinos are browsers, have triangular hook shaped upper lips and have wound scars on their rough skin mainly covered in mud.
WHITE Rhinos are grazers, have square upper lips and have more smooth skin with no wound scars.

The white rhinos are calmer unlike the black rhinos that are known to randomly charge and unleash their anger on your sudden introduction into their territory. A rhino once charged on us out in the wild, hit our car and made a big hole on the driver’s door, that’s the scariest i’ve come to any wild animal.

Looking back at my previous post on Rhino conservation in Laikipia, to be honest I didn’t even have it in mind that it was a few days before the World Rhino day, otherwise that post would sound differently now and maybe be more detailed.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


Have you heard of SUDAN? The last standing Northern male white rhino on earth?

Having been transferred from Czech to Kenya because of favorable conditions to survive here and to induce its breeding, its lifespan has increased and that’s a major success story for Olpejeta conservancy. Together with the other only surviving two northern white rhinos they are protected round the clock with sensors and guards and although the breeding trials with the southern whites have been unsuccessful, this conservation program has been a success story so far.

Olpejeta also has one of the largest Southern white rhino populations.We also have numerous privately owned conservancies that have stretched a hand to conservation.

Great RHINO VIEWS in KENYA.

Poaching has been a nightmare for black rhino conservation in Kenya but over the last few years we’ve seen the rhino population grow. More focus has been put to save this vulnerable animal from poaching. Some of the places with high rhino populations and perfect for a rhino game safari in Kenya include:

1. Solio Game Reserve.

Lying in central Kenya, Solio was the first rhino sanctuary in Kenya, protecting rhinos and providing a safe home to the threatened species. Black rhinos wander out in the open plains and offer amazing sightings on your game drive.

2. Lewa Conservancy.

Competing with Olpejeta on the southern side, Lewa sits on the northern side of Laikipia and has a large population of black and white rhinos whose conservation was pioneered by the legendary Craig Family. A usual game drive here is characterized by a close encounter with a black rhino. It also Borders Borana Wildlife Conservancy that also focuses on black rhino conservation.

3. Nakuru national park.

Kenya’s only premium park acquired this status as a result of rhino conservation and the random sightings of calm grazing rhinos by the lakeside. Lake Nakuru is a protection zone for white and black rhinos among other wildlife species that are easily identified on the dusty rugged landscape when you shift eyes away from the millions of pink floating flamingos on the lake.

4. Tsavo East National park.

Rhino protection is a major deal for Tsavo and Ngulia Rhino sanctuary in Tsavo has provided a home for this threatened species. Famous for its lions, Tsavo is one of the largest wildlife protection zones in Africa and you are sure of a rhino charge if not a roaring blood thirsty lion.

5. Aberdares National Park.

Rhinos hate being surprised and the dense vegetation of Aberdares does not make this easy. Driving around Aberdares, its not the usual savannah sightings of wildlife experience but a rather keen predetermined search of the elusive rhinos a midst trees and tall tuft grass. Aberdares also offers great Big 5 sightings in-between the dense grasslands.

6. Nairobi national park.

Spilling out from a major International airport it’s also famous for Kifaru Ark which is an identity it holds for protecting the endangered species. Enraged black rhinos wandering out on the golden savannahs in front of the amazing skyscrapers backdrop is a sunset view anyone would yearn for  in a safari.

7. Maasai Mara National Park.

There is a reason Maasai Mara is an ultimate destination for any African game safari. While it’s outstanding for the wildebeest migration wonder, other wildlife species are also in abundant existence here and rhinos are part of the big 5 sightings.

Other places Include:

Meru National Park, Olpejeta Conservancy, Ngwesi Ranch, Ruma National Park, Amboseli and Samburu National park.

I am a conservationist at heart, an advocate for the environment and while the struggle to make a big change is overwhelming, it’s always about the small things, like how you would re-use and recycle stuff, how to not dispose that waste on the street or how to just plant one tree even when you haven’t cut any. How to protect what we already have and how to conserve it for future use.


KENYA’S PLASTIC BAN.

Then we have the Plastic ban issue that’s going on around Kenya currently. I’ve avoided the discussion because we are still trying to adjust to it but maybe if I’d take two seconds to air my opinion,I hope you wouldn’t scold me for it.
It saddens me to hear people around complain about the plastic ban, not because they can’t live without plastics, or it’s reducing their lifespan in some way, but just because humans hate change, they hate going out of their way to slightly alter some routine. But if I look at it, the only issue is maybe the few extra shillings you have to pay to pack your shopping items once you hit the shop and remember you didn’t carry your bag. On the positive side a few years from now if we implement this bill to the letter then we’ll look back and wish we did this way earlier. Am glad finally someone stood for conservation and pollution. My worry is for this implementation to work we need to go all the way or just maybe 90% all in.
It’s not really about the shopping bags being banned or the “Mama Duka” wrappers but we need to go down to the food packaging at the factory, to all the household items wrapped up in plastic. To be a bit honest most of the plastic waste is from household goods packaging because that becomes useless immediately we take the last bite. There is no two way about the plastic ban, implementing it at the consumer level while still having it at the production level is a waste of time. We need a conscience mind, the right sense of implementation and total adherence to the rules and if still 6 months down the line we see items still packaged in plastics then we need to go back to the drawing board for this to work.


Rhino conservation has been around for ages, but how come there is still a market for Ivory?
I would blame it all on poaching but I’d also look at the existing natural conditions to survive. The diminishing natural habitat that ensures the endangered species thrives. While the human population graph is shooting upwards daily and urbanization is at its core we need to protect the natural habitats, Respect the conservation process and with a conscience mind have that conversation as often as possible.
Kenya is one of the countries that pride in tourism for economic development, but what’s tourism without the wildlife safaris. It’s not about the luxurious hotels and fancy restaurants by the beach but it’s about the experience acquired during the day outside that dimly lit room and once the plates are lifted from the dining table. We pride in Conservation, our parks and conservancies have gone a great mile to protect the rare species we have and to ensure we benefit from these resources in the future.

 Be a part of conservation, be a part of change, be a part of the only solution to human problems. 🙂 🙂

Massive golden terrains stretching from the Snow caped Mt. Kenya and hitting the rugged foothills of the Aberdare Ranges, Equatorial tropical weather, free ranging wild animals trying to survive in between rapidly rising human developments and interference to Livestock wildlife integration. Laikipia is “the land of milk and honey” as the local communities call it. Nanyuki is the Centre piece of these wildlife corridors and as a town it thrives in eco-tourism, hosting numerous hotels and get away destinations yet still a stone throw away, acres of land boom in wheat production and beef ranching.

PLAINS thriving in WILDLIFE Conservation.

I have fond memories of Laikipia, ones I hold down so closely to my heart. Having been the place I discovered myself in more wild ways, discovered my Love for conservation, wildlife and adventure but most importantly got to be the only place I really came to appreciate my profession for the first time and it became the beginning of the Love for what I was meant to do. I could tell endless stories of how I stumbled to the ground more than three times on a bush walk chasing gravy zebras while trying to act all cool in boots, or how a black rhino unleashed its anger on our van giving it a big hole on the driver’s door, or the amazement of finding a day old Lion cubs hidden in a thicket after hours of driving in muddy trenches in search of the collared Lioness. Not to forget the hectic elephant transfers between Lewa, Olpejeta and Meru, my Laikipia memories are just endless.

I stayed down in Laikipia for almost 3 months and in that time not having to worry about makeup and what clothes to wear was not enough, but rather just being out there in the bushes running over muddy trenches, driving into thickets while chasing collared lions and monitoring rhinos was more than rewarding.

Laikipia is one of the most magnificent plains in Kenya. Full of endless rolling golden brown wheat farms, a handful of massive ranches on some rugged terrains priding in Wildlife livestock integration and conservation and a rich cultural heritage to show off.

LEWA CONSERVANCY (Breeding Black Rhinos)

Greatly known for the infamous Lewa Marathon, Lewa conservancy has managed to be a great success story of human wildlife co-existence. The Marathon was established in 2000 to outsource funds for conservation and this has yearly established a forum to discuss the underlying issues of conservation, its importance and its economic benefits. Conservation and ecotourism has seen Lewa pride in Luxurious camps, magnificent scenery, best wildlife safari activities over the years and even maintain its statute as a holiday get away for Prince William.

OLPEJETTA CONSERVANCY (Home of Chimpanzees)

It’s a rhino affair in Olpejeta and any visit here must entail the last standing Northern white rhino which is a  major deal worldwide. Having gone to great heights to ensure conservation and preservation of some of the most endangered and almost extinct species, Olpejeta has dedicated its efforts in Rhino conservation, Gravy zebra, and the hartebeest and has built a home for chimpanzees. With a thriving population of the Big Five , Chimpanzee Sanctuary and great wildlife stories this place is a must visit for tourists planning on hitting Laikipia. It also has some of the best Camp sites, ranch meat and even human wildlife interactions. Remember to visit and feed Baraka; a blind Black rhino and to adopt a chimpanzee when you visit. Read More on Olpejeta Rhinos and Human Chimpanzees

LAIKIPIA NATURE CONSERVANCY (Ol Ari Ngiro)

This is the largest conservancy in Laikipia sitting at approximately 100,000 acres. From luxurious eco-lodges sitting on hills overlooking the quiet massive Laikipia plains to diverse free roaming wildlife species, breathtaking sunset views over bushes, game drives, bush walks, bush breakfast and some wandering into the neighboring Maasai manyattas, the thrill of adventure here is quite endless.

OL JOGI Wildlife Conservancy

Located on the Northern side of Nanyuki town about 67,000 acres of tuft golden grass sits a home to black rhinos and a variety of other wildlife species. Specializing in cattle ranching, it has embraced conservation of the free ranging endangered wildlife species.

Some of the other ranches in Laikipia include: Segero, Borana, Karama and Losiaba.

While co-existence is Key for conservation, joined by wildlife corridors these private conservancies and community ranches have embraced eco-tourism and wildlife livestock integration to reduce human wildlife conflicts, transform these desolate arid lands into worldwide tourism destinations and pride in conservation as the foundation of their success story.

Whether its the camouflaging cat family or the enraged rhinos, Laikipia is the Real Maasai Mara 🙂 🙂 Prince William and Usain Bolt acknowledged it.

           

The skillfully done unending winding Kabarnet roads from the hill top down, rugged and hilly landscape and magnificent floor views is something you’ve definitely heard of. Any Eldoret road trip always winds up in Iten (Kerio valley) for some reason, the view down to Kerio is just so breathtaking and amazingly refreshing. I’ve taken that drive quite a number of times since I settled down in Eldoret and we can just say any lazy weekend is a perfect time for Iten. Am yet to talk about how and why I moved out of Nairobi, but the reasons that made me stay and love it more here are countless.

Why you should Visit Kerio Valley.

While here I’ve discovered some out of town places you can drive to and take the fresh air all in and if you are up for the hike challenge you can tick them all off in a day or two.

KERIO VALLEY  (Iten View Point).

Drive Approximately 35 Km from Eldoret town on a an endless winding road to the outskirts of Iten, Sit down on a loose hanging rock and watch the sunset sparkling some orange colour to the horizon skyline. In between Tugen hills and Elgeyo escarpment breathtaking Views from down here show you the massive green fields at the floor of the escarpment that make rich the Elgeyo Marakwet county. The hanging restaurant is also a nice place to grab some late lunch or evening tea before you head back home.

CHEBLOCH GORGE

Just before entering Baringo county after ending the infamous winding roads down on your left is Chebloch Gorge. This gorge was formed as a result of the Rift Valley volcanic activity and it’s now a tourist attraction here, telling by the number of locals and schools you find here. Most people are on a drive and just stop over to look at the beautiful Gorge, rocks, the river flowing in between the cliffs and divers. On one side of the Eldoret-Kabarnet road is where the divers are and on the other side is where the high cliff gorge starts. Walk down to the river, head over to the gorge and if you are up for the task try some rock climbing.

TOROK FALLS

 Wake up at dawn drive down to Iten and on your right just before Tambach take up a hike, you can organize early to do it with some Elgeyo Marakwet runners who practice along the trails and end up on some breathtaking massive waterfall right in the middle of woods on the top of a densely covered green hill. Filled with silence and zero life apart from the trees breathing in your sweaty air this place is a rewarding masterpiece.

KRUGER’S FARM

Kruger’s is the home of gently moving Rothschild’s giraffes sticking out slender beautiful necks from in between branches while trying to curl and twist their tongues to pluck out the narrow acacia leaves from thorns. It also has a large family of Oryx wandering around. While this farm is a wildlife sanctuary for theses Giraffes it is also a massive piece of rugged landscape with rolling fields of wheat and breathtaking views of Kerio hills and slopes.

KERIO FLUORSPAR Mining (Hunting for some Precious stone)

I took one weird trip to Iten and this time it was to end up at the fluorspar mining zone. The best of places are never on any map, and this is one of those undiscovered places. Did I mention how far and interior that place is? I got into a matatu that ended up in some uphill small Centre, I can’t recall the name. That was the last Centre with say vehicles or rather a means of transportation to the quarries, meaning from that point you have to find your way down. By now it was getting to 5 p.m. and asking around we were told the only means of transportation down was a lorry, one of those transporting fluorspar/sand but at this time transports women from the market on market days. So we quickly walked down hill to the market Centre and jumped into one without even thinking how we’ll get back the next day. Well, they say the Key to enjoying any trip is flexibility and taking risk, right?There are some nice simple camp huts in the middle of the forest that host guests on early booking or availability. While the views of Kerio are breathtaking and the fresh air so refreshing, the quietness in this place is perfect.

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville 🙂 🙂

What are some of the best places you’ve visited in Eldoret?