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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 🙂 🙂   

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 🙂 🙂

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

🙂 🙂

While my sun sets to rise again and sunsets are the closest thing to God, whether over  the ocean , in the wild or just from your bedroom window there’s just the perfection feeling and Love that hits you with the rays. Like Rabindranath Tagore puts it  “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

 I’ve always wanted to do a road trip with just my clique but as much fun as that seems it’s the hardest thing to do. While you want to satisfy and make everyone happy, you are torn between who has a better idea and plan. The planning alone drains all your white blood cells if not enough, all your energy. Apart from having to work out a time frame that fits all your cliques’ work schedules, people back out the last minute and there is even a big chance of you being left alone but with such a crew am still hopeful of one successful road trip across country borders.

I wanted so much for my birthday yet the only thing I didn’t think about was cake. A road trip with my friends, my inspiration sunrise art piece, too much Wine, an off day from work and a lover maybe if not birthday sex. (Not my words). Have you checked the meaning of road tripping on urban dictionary yet, “the act of getting buzzed on the drive to the party so you do not have to endure being the soberest person at the party.”  OKAY I’ll leave it at that.

I got the first three plus one of the best sunsets and couldn’t be happier. With 5 of my friends off to Nakuru with a perfect plan of Lake Nakuru which didn’t happen. We ended up at Lord Egerton, me for the 2nd time here and then off to Lake Elementaita for the sunrise. I won’t talk much about these places as I have done earlier posts about them  Here

and Here.

Today I just wanted to share the photos and maybe a few To Do’s about group trips .

  1. Watch out for time and stick to the planned time.
  2. If the trip involves only your friends don’t count on them too much since better or urgent issues might arise from their side.
  3. By all means be ready to even go alone both financially and psychologically just in case they back out.
  4. Have a prior clear plan and have payments made early just to avoid last minute change of mind
  5. Do enough research of area of visit before you embark on planning just to ensure everything is catered for.
  6. Plan to have fun, create fun and be easy let everything naturally flow.

And you are good to go.

That said, there are so many times I’ve embarked on random trips alone  not because I don’t have people around me but because it’s too much work to coordinate a group of different human beings.

Anyway I just turned 25 and am still out here chasing sunsets, having the time of my life, pouring more wine and wearing rugged clothes ‘(insert:Kanye design)’  yet my major problem right now is to find a man I can coordinate my genes with in a science lab and stand bringing up a creation that looks like him even in his absence. The pressure is too much: sigh!” I haven’t been to my Grandmother’s in years now partly because everyone else has a baby and here I am acting all self-capable. Is that the 26 cliche baby fever around the corner? You tell me.

While social media has made it easier to track people, I see almost 80% of my classmates getting married and pregnant yet am still here working too hard to afford a life of my own and majorly get tickets to travel.  Maybe a baby might just be a pension plan.

I’ve just remembered my struggles:

Do those DIY YouTube videos really work quite easily as they make it seem? Since I’ve been piling wine bottles, yesterday my idle bored self, tried so hard to cut  wine bottles  into some home art pieces and after trying so many times i gave up. This was after I’d watched like 10 DIY cutting glass bottles videos and I was sure it was easy. I followed all the steps but nothing. Am still yet to be bored again and give it a second try. This is not the first time though am trying the DIY’s not specifically for bottles but I’ve done it before for other stuff. 

While I’ve tried to keep my travel plans this year I wish for more and more. I can’t wait for my next year Birthday trip and if am not accidentally pregnant, then to bigger and better all in God’s will.

What do you do for your birthdays, apart from get high on calories? Any ideas on places to visit this year? How do you get to organize a successful group trip with your friends? I’d like to hear.

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.

Mahatma Gandhi

I always find myself making random plans and having random ideas on long weekends which mostly end up being the best of my experiences and this, was one of them.

The initial Idea was to go hiking on Mt.Longonot but of course you can guess, being a random idea made in the morning while debating whether to wake up or sleep an extra 20 minutes, I was late and couldn’t make to go up 5 hours on the Hot sun. So we opted to change plans and ended up on the nearby Lake.

Well its time to head over see what Lake Elementaita has.

In  between Nakuru and Naivasha town on  the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, sits a calm quiet lake  on the floor of the Rift valley. There’s not much activity going on here and a flock of Pink birds floating and feeding from the water is your welcome site.

Lake Elementaita is a very shallow watermass, partially covered with blue-green algae and   surrounded by reed beds  that are home for pelicans and herons. Flamingoes here visit the lake to feed on insect larvae and algae.

Its surrounded by a number of beautiful quiet campsite  on the hills, Lake view hotels and lodges near the lake shores and grazelands for zebra, gazelles, elands and warthogs.

It has  very beautiful scenic sites and its worth some quiet time and bonding out of town. Apart from being a breeding and forage sites for a variety of birds and animals, I was surprised there’s no any other activity going on at the lake. It leaves you abundant time to choose visiting one or two of the many surrounding prehistoric sites and other sceneries or have a good lunch at the hotels.

Well its time to Pack up and head over to Lake Naivasha.

Have you been to Elementaita before? What was your experience? Going anytime soon?

Come share with us.

Love n Love