The land of Marakwet people must be one of the most magical soul touching places Kenya has…

As I pick from my last story of #TwendeWestern perhaps this part from Bogoria to Eldoret has been a challenge because I just couldn’t get the right words to express myself in a way that the magic of Kerio Valley is not lost. This part of of kenya must be the most picturesque, breathtaking .. driving up this road gives you some kind of euphoria only nature can explain, the view of Kerio river on the east and Cherengany hills on the west, the hair raising Marakwet escarpment.. its just breathtaking. The marakwet people who live around here are livestock farmers with a few mixing it up with soghum, millet and cassava, others do plant mangoes and we had a taste of some at chebloch gorge.

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A moment with the young divers of this unconfirmed 70ft deep gorge, they dive in this river for a living and they say its crocodile infested, however with time this young men have learnt that crocs don’t like sudden movements… support them while on this road as some earn to pay for their school fees.
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chelengany hills view point
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chebloch gorge

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lake Kamnarock at a distance
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moments with friends at Rimoi national park view point

There is a lot of activities one can enjoy while in this area, beautiful places to spend a night and for more detailed information follow this link https://keriovalleyadventures.wordpress.com

More images below during our tour

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By the time we got to Eldoret the home of champions it was already dark but no one was complaininmursikg. Our overnight stay was at The Famous Sirikwa Hotel and I was glad the place has undergone serious renovations, it looked far beyond my last visit here. The food was great but as usual I must smell, taste and experience the uniqueness of every destination so you can Imagine I wasn’t going to leave without Tasting MURSIK a kalenjin traditional Milk mixed with special charcoal, they say it makes a champion out of an athlete… I haven’t tested this yet, hehehe! Soo keep rocked to our blog… just incase I win a marathon somewhere..

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Thank you Sirikwa hotel we had a wonderful stay.
Everytime we post our travels we can only hope we are enticing someone somewhere to join us coz I believe everyone is  an ambassador of their own country. How? whenever you travel, work, study abroad people are always asking to recommend places they can visit in your own country, how then can you represent it if you haven’t experienced it yourself? Always try to be better than google lol! Everyone still wants to interact with a fellow human being.

Cheers! For now we are getting fit to experience #KakamegaCounty where traditional music got some wonderful rhythm and ringo that makes your Shoulders shake like papyrus Leeds…

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In the land of a culture soo lively you would want to adopt… #KakamegaCounty

By now everyone had caught up with #TeamKBP #SettingThePace lol! Our departure from Eldoret was welcomed by a busy highway, but its expected given that this road connects Kenya to Uganda Rwanda and Congo. Our turn off from A104 to kakamega was welcomed by different kind of traffic trucks full of sugarcane one of the cash crop in the area. Kakamegas Major economic activity is agriculture and Livestock farming. For those wishing to explore agri-tourism they can consider this county. Its home to sugar millers like Mumias, they also produce maize,bananas, beans, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits. They also do poultry rearing which the luhyas are famously known for Ingoho and Obusama in their Mother tongue..

Kakamega County has a range of tourism products and

activities and our first stop-o was at Kakamega forest game reserve, the only equatorial rain forest of westafrica, a very unique ecosystem and the only one remaining in Kenya and we can only hope that KWS will continue to do a great job in protecting and conserving it.

Upon arrival the warden welcomed us and gave us a brief about the reserve, we also went through the animals found in the reserve at the resource center this included various wildlife .eg bush pigs, duikers, bushbucks, clawless otters, mongoose, water shrew etc. included also is 300 species of birds, 450 butterflies species, 27 species of snakes yees snakes, The reserve also hosts a very unique primate Debrazza Monkey amongst others.

We had a short walk in this forest guided by community guides our walk took us through this terrain of hardwood forest, swamps and rivers. The sheer size and grandeur of these immense trees some over a hundred years is impressive with open areas of grassy glades that have small trees. This region is normally dominated by Central African lowland species but due to its elevation and proximity to Nandi forests it also contains highland elements making  it a very unique forest. Kakamega reserve is dominated by indigenous trees, just about 160 tree and shrub species and a number of endemic species mostly ferns and orchids. Hikers, Botanists would really enjoy this reserve. We also had a walk to Isiukhu falls within the park. There are accommodations and camping site within the reserve.

After our walk  definitely we were tired and we settled for a simple meal at Kakamega golf club a site visit before we departed for Kisumu.

On your way to Kisumu make sure you stop by at the legendary ‘Ikhongo Murue [ crying stone of illesi. It’s a huge rock resembling a gowned figure perpetually in tears. The locals believe its of spiritual importance, the luhya communities around here believe that when the stone cry’s it signifies a bumper harvest in the coming season.

The luhyas, I guess they are one of the most vibrant culture in Kenya, their traditional dances are a spectacle, they shake and follow an interesting rhythm, very entertaining and humorous too. They also have annual events like Bull fighting, cock fighting, bodaboda races, but perhaps the most interesting of all their rituals is the circumcision ceremonies where boys are initiated to manhood. This one is quite popular it attracts people from all over the country and beyond. I would say kakamega county offers a quite different and unique tourism product away from the usual. To experience their culture a homestay option would expose you to much much more..

Before continuing our journey to kisumu we had a meal at Golf Hotel Kakamega it’s located in a plush area of Kakamega town next to Golf Course and is just a short distance from Kakamega forest. It takes approximately half an hour drive from Kisumu Airport to the hotel and with an arrangement the Hotel can pick you up at a fee. The hotel is the only star rated in kakamega.

Did you Know the Block buster Movie Ernest Saves Christmas was shot in Kakamega??

Now you know?

My city tour with a graffiti hunter…

One of the things I haven’t been able to stop is showing off my city, given that staying be hide an office desk for long is not my cup of tea I often find my self tour guiding around the city…

We are lucky to have many unique things to do in Nairobi and more so, mix all this with some bush and adventure.. if you google for things to do in Nairobi a lot would come up and more often the following places would pop up: feeding giraffes at Giraffe center, feeding elephants at the David Shedrick orphanage, a game drive in Nairobi National park, Museums, city walking tours, market tours, Mall tours, craft village tours etc..

But recently I have done  lots of unique tours like flower,Tea and coffee tours, Cheese tours, slum tours, real crazy tours like visiting slaughter houses, selecting a mbuzi getting it slaughtered and grilling it.  but perhaps the mother of all is when I received a Canadian tourist interested in street art to be specific Graffiti. I picked him up at Maanzoni lodge and we started by visiting the Go-Down art center, there was more than enough different kind of arts and artist in their studios, our morning was spent buying arts, learning how to make forms out of different recycled materials etc and I must say Kenyans are really creative friendly people.. we also had a jig or two at their performing studios.

For more information about  Go-down art center http://www.thegodownartscentre.com/

 

After go-down art center we went to railways bus station as Matatu graffiti interested him too, we rode on the famous Catalyst Rongai bus.. I have never seen someone so contented few minutes ride and chat with matatu guys was enough for him.

 

[This tour we had also done with a group of British students, and also with a group from USA its becoming quite famous, at some point they loved the bongo music that was playing we went sourcing it in town hehe! Maisha ya tourguide ni kuwa flexible au siyo?]

well back to my graffiti tour; after the ride  I had organized an afternoon with Mohammend of Mohagrafix to see how this art comes to life. so we drove to Eastleigh section three at his garage and had an amazing afternoon. I didn’t know this was an expensive affair and how ignorant i could be thinking it was just paint?? ooh poor me, the molding, fiber, time etc  put into this…..

Mohammend used to sketch vehicles when he was young and when he grew up he used to visit different garages and carwash just to express his art and he confessed that, then it wasn’t about money it was just for fun, passion and to sharpen his skills well this skill became a thriving business when Matatu owners were looking for ways to pimp their rides in a way it will attract customers… as they say the rest is history and looks like this art that has had its own fights with traffic cops is here to stay.

So are you one of those people who choose which matatu to board? Well for some its an experience not miss whilst in Nairobi…. I could read this from guest as settled down at Kosewes for a traditional meal. He told me he has done tours in different parts of the world, but never had he ever felt like part of a city like the way he connected with Nairobi….. #DayMade

The above tours just show how diverse tourism products can be if all packagers are flexible and focus on travelers interest, they would really add value to tourism at large.

if you have a crazy tour you have ever done let hear it who knows we might just want to try.

#SupportLocal #TembeaKenya