Tag

Rift valley

Browsing

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 🙂 🙂

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”

🙂 🙂

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

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.

           

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

A Dusty rough road leads us to Elsa gate, on the Wildside of Naivasha . It’s been on my Kenyan bucket list forever and finally the opportunity was here. With an imagination of Magical rocks, Gorges, a “Welcome to Hell” and awesome photos, I was so excited for this one.

14 Kms off the Nairobi-Naivasha highway turnover, South of Lake Naivasha sits a volcanic park. Hell’s Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the Cliffs during a volcanic activity. Hells gate has been in the news for a while, you remember those Youths who went missing, and I actually thought the name ‘Hells Gate’ came from that.

Being my first time here I’d spent the previous evening just walking around Naivasha town. Just before I went to sleep, as is custom i checked my camera. But why did it have to be today of all days Lord?  Huh!! My camera had crushed and couldn’t respond to anything, I tried charging it, no response, tried turning it on, still no response. I became so angry and couldn’t even sleep that night; I was so stressed up, not just about how my camera had died but how I was going to miss out on epic photos.

I Woke up so early went around Naivasha to look for digital camera shops to repair it and none of that hustle bore fruit.

“You have to go to Nairobi for this one!” Was the response I got.

Woah..! I know that.. (I almost answered back), but I don’t have that time now. There’s no way I was solving this, so I proceeded to the Park anyway. I had already missed out on my Plan for sunrise shots at the park, and wasn’t even sure about my mood for this visit anymore. But Pause…My photos still turned out awesome (Cue..James Bond..)

We arrived at the Park around 9 a.m. and for a moment I forgot my troubles. My phone just had to be a handy “photographer” on this. We paid our entrance fees, (I thought paying for the car was expensive though), got a tour guide (also on the higher side) and started our game drive. There are bicycles for hire so you can also Cycle to the park if you want.

Our first stop was at Fischer’s tower (a volcanic plug) where there is rock climbing. The experience is quite thrilling if you are an adrenaline junkie, Ha! But don’t think about “what if the rocks disintegrate and come down falling on you.” Hahahaha! by the way am the worst person when it comes to motivation, i crush your hope before encouraging you.

They’ve done rock climbing here for years anyway, so you don’t need to worry because it’s pretty safe. I tried it out to let out my camera anger and hmmmm it was worth it.

We walked around for a while to see some wildlife and take photos of the scenery, and then drove off to the Gorge.

We could see the Central tower (another volcanic plug but not safe for rock climbing) from the entrance.

We then took a walk down through a landscape of high cliffs and beautiful gorges. It is quite a long walk that involves some slight rock climbing and you might need a bottle of water, (I regretted I didn’t have one).

This is a perfect place for artists and creatives, the textures, colours and different rock formations are just perfect.

The walk leads you to the “DEVIL’S BEDROOM” (where the devil lives) “TRUE STORY

Ha-ha! You need to see him. The bedroom is the climax of the walk; rather it’s where the gorge starts. Our walk took like an hour considering all the photo session stops. We then head back from the gorge but divert to see the hot springs, and as usual, being a Thomas I have to do the testing and the water is really really hot.

Did I tell you the part where I slid and almost fell.

Okay! Please don’t laugh.

While on our way back, we had to go down a rock, which wasn’t high by the way. By now I am a professional rock climber I believe, (after I went up rocks without a rope in Baringo and several rock climbing with ropes here) so I grab the rope and start tracing my steps down.

I miss one step, slide and then swinging like a monkey on the rope I swing off to the other end of the rock without rock steps. My heart stopped I swear and I thought “this was it”, “Hell for sure”. The only thing I remember was I didn’t let go off the rope (Our tour guide congratulated me for this) otherwise I’d be speaking with broken ribs or legs right now. So I slide downwards off the rope while trying so hard to find step cracks on the rock. And get down safe but scared to death.

Just so you know am not trying rock-climbing soon “Unless it’s Mount Kenya”.

Huh! But I always forget these self-promises. Thats why i don’t make new year resolutions anymore.

After that scary experience I guess you can now tell, that walk was officially over.

While on our way out we come across these two blacksmiths (father and son), I can’t remember what they were making, but we interacted with them for a while and I took secret photos of them (One thing I’d love to really conquer is my fear to ask strangers if I can take a photo of them), that would actually be a plus for my career. Anyway every Persons livelihood is different and when you travel you get to see how life doesn’t really come on a silver platter.

So we head out on the western side via Olkaria gate, through the Olkaria Power station. I really wished we’d be taken for a Geography trip to Olkaria while in high school, but it never happened. And up to now I didn’t even know Olkaria was in Hells gate until we arrived here. For once, I hadn’t Goggled about Hells gate before my visit. Olkaria is made of 3 Geothermal Power stations that generate power from the area’s hot springs and geysers.

I admire the huge pipes setting and the belching white plumes of geothermal steam from the ground. I ask quite a number of questions, Ha-ha but the only one I remember is why the pipes are constructed with corners and not straight like the oil pipeline.(When you go, ask that too) Ha-ha!

We stop over at Olkaria, and there’s a geothermal hot spring sulphur spa which is perfect for pool lovers. It’s made of hot milky white water which has therapeutic benefits and rich in sulphur which is good for the skin. The cost is just 400 Ksh for citizens. We enjoy the swim for a while then head out back to Naivasha for Late Lunch.

They have camping sites at the park by the way and if you wish to spend your night out in the wild its quite a perfect place. Till next time………………………………….

Have you been to Hells Gate or Olkaria? What was your experience like?

Love and Love.

From me and my small monkey friend.

I finally stayed away from coast this year, probably the only promise I remember making and I’ve kept, then I crossed borders for the first time and I can’t be happier. Taking long drives to make memories, getting blisters in the name of adventure, walking long distances to find the perfect views, waking up so early just for sunrise shots, Bracing the cold water just to take the perfect photos, organizing trips with friends who then back out and I go solo anyway, risking life just to climb rocks, getting super sick due to fatigue, to meeting a lot of new faces who’ve ended up being friends. I’ve been to interesting places this year, made great memories but most important of all I’ve learnt that the best of places are the best kept secrets and it’s you as an individual to create your own adventure and fun.

Some of the ten beautiful places I’ve been to this year are:

  1. JINJA Uganda.

2. River Nile Source.

3. Hells Gate National Park.

4. Lake Elementaita.

5. Crescent Island Naivasha.

6. Lord Egerton Castle.

7. Chebloch Gorge Baringo.

8. Kerio Valley.

9. Kariandusi prehistoric site.

10. Lake Oloiden.

2016 AT A GLANCE.

People do this, I don’t know how many lie or whether it’s true, but am doing this not because everyone else is but because for me this year needs a review. I don’t believe in Christmas anyway so by now you know am not a cliché. 2016 has given me so many opportunities, taken me places I didn’t know I’d go and opened many doors for me.

I Settled in Eldoret this year by the way and that’s one thing am so glad of doing. My friends here make life so much more interesting and lively that I’ve only been back to Nairobi once this year. I even forgot how my wardrobe and shoes look like. In 2016 I have learnt to appreciate life more, value anything small I have, love humans more, be dedicated and work hard, give more(charity makes me so happy) , let things that hurt go easily but above all I’ve learnt to hold onto my happiness, love myself more, be selfish on giving out my heart easily and laugh more. The people who’ve made this possible in every little way are appreciated, they say you never really forget that person who saved you from drowning and well that’s just it. Hey.! my humans, am so glad you all are my ‘squad’. Actually I believe friends are at times the only family you have because I’ve seen this work when I didn’t have anyone else.

Its routine I should have done Christmas posts but well am not everyone else, and why should I anyway when all I did for Christmas was isolate myself, sleep and watch? Anyway back to the point. I do believe in a new year. I know this is having double standards since it’s just a change in calendar but look, my Birthday is a few days(if you take away the year of January) and it sounds fresh to me and gives me more reason to psyche up for 2017. I’ll be turning 25 in two months and the pressure for what I need to achieve by then is building up.

This year I didn’t have any resolutions made, perhaps I was just repeating all the 2015 ones. But it’s been a good year and full of Blessings to me. Am not sure if am making any for 2017, but am sure I’ll pray God opens more doors for my dreams.

Someone asked how many are crossing single to 2017? And I thought, “But I’ve crossed single to every New Year all my life.” Who even thinks of, or asks that? But maybe my only resolution should be to have a baby; almost all my peers do… Huh. Okay maybe 2018 resolutions, 26 won’t be so late after all.

While am eating cake and Milk for supper and writing this article. I am super glad I finally started my own blog. It’s been over, one year debating whether to or not, written articles and edited photos that finally have ended up lost, Civilization is just messed up at times. My friend Mike (who also did my blog and is an IT Guru) has been with me on this all through the almost two year’s idea, (Hi M…J). He also does apps (some of the famous ones in Kenya) and designs websites, so you can halla. (mimickeyim@gmail.com)

I also fell so sick this year and for a moment I even gave up on myself and thought I was really crossing to the other side (something my friends keep telling me, I should never come to that state again). Guys who have headaches all their life, God bless your souls, I don’t know how you do it but it shall be well.

I also followed so many amateur photographers, awesome bloggers especially travel bloggers this year and I realized the world has so much to offer (I’ll share their handles on a blog post later). For once I stopped following Djs Hahaha! Life. But then I’ve had little time to listen to music and I’ve kept playing 2 playlists on my desktop the whole year. I even don’t have a clue about musician’s gossip anymore like I used to.

I am an avid reader of blogs and any creative content on social media and I hope to read more in 2017. I don’t read books by the way; reading for exams in school crushed my interest for books. I have a shelf of books that I have read the first 5 pages at most and stopped when I realized am reading a page over and over. I am a super fan of creatives, good art pieces, and amazing designs I hope to discover more in 2017.

Okay. I’ve run out of ideas on what to write and since I don’t want to lie. Let me say THANK YOU and THANK YOU to all my readers. You guys make me wake up at 2 a.m. to write my travel experiences. Read more and follow me more in 2017. Good things up the sleeves in 2017.

Blog posts will be up on Mondays and Fridays, Oh. And guest writers are welcome on the blog. If you have an awesome travel experience hit me up on mail (clalffina@gmail.com). If you read this to the end or if you schemed through to the end well Thanks for stopping by and always come back and on your way out you can always leave a note for me on the comment box. As I cross over I look forward to more,greater and better adventures on my diary next year.

I WISH YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GODS BLESSINGS IN 2017.

Can people stop being dogs on Snap chat in 2017 ? OKay, Bye.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Love and Love,

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