The Beauty of Aberdare National Park, A walk in the wild side…

As our journey continues from the previous post we continued to explore Aberdares National park under the guidance of the Kenya Wildlife Rangers. Below are all the gorgeous views and moments we had.

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Follow the leader….. KWS ranger was our guide which is mandatory for anyone accessing the interiors of the park for safety reasons

 

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Restful moment at Salient picnic site.
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And then the owners came knocking……

 

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These high altitude forests are broken by moorlands and plains, and through the abundant tree cover there are sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya

In the next few days we got to hike to the highest peak in aberdares at 3999M is Le Satima peak.

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le satima peak at a distance

Ol Donyo Le Satima means “mountain of the bull calf. The peak lies at the northern end of the Aberdares, which themselves are along the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley, and is their highest point.

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Oh Hail the #LuxeQueen has summit-ted. Standing tall at 3999M above sea level.  I did it so can you.

Around it stand a number of sharp volcanic cones called “the Dragon’s Teeth

 

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The Dragon Teeth in Aberdares.

 

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we had a very rare chance to spot the Giant forest hogs Grazing.
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At Field Marshalls Kimathi Post office. Mau Mau freedom fighters who had taken refuge in the Aberdares among other hideouts made the tree a secret rendezvous for fighters and messengers and also made the gaping crevices on its trunks their ‘post office’. Commanders of the two main battalions in the forest would leave each other letters. Fighters based in Mt Kenya Forest also found the ‘post’ office and used it to communicate with their counterparts.

 

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#Occupied… Privacy required..

 

Welcome to our world….

While still in Aberdares we also managed to visit quite a number of accommodations  options inside the park Besides Fishing lodge and numerous camping sites there are also other options within the park.

Treetops Hotel; This lodge is famous as the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen. Originally built in 1932, Treetops Lodge lies in the path of an ancient Elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Ranges and Mt Kenya National park, and is strategically sited right in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick, making it the perfect place to view game. Treetops is as much a part of nature as it has an ancient tree growing right through the hotel, with the lodge being built around it. It is the perfect fusion of nature and comfort sporting a rustic look that fits right into the Aberdares.

 

The Ark Lodge Aberdares; Resembling and named after Noah’s Ark, The Ark comprises of three decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide a superb location for wildlife to be seen. This iconic lodge overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of awesome wildlife.

 

our Trip ended with a visit to Twin rocks in Northern Aberdares. Two large rock outcrops, known as Twin Peaks, dominate the moorlands in the northern sector of this peaks.

 

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Its light out for us in Aberdares cheers for now.

The truth is there is a lot one can write about this salient forest as it a haven of adventurous hikes, gamedrives, walks etc but sometimes images send the experience home. Aberdares is not for the chosen few its open for all and is quite accessible. for more information about the park http://www.kws.go.ke/content/aberdare-national-park

 

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I am totally Grateful to the team that put this together and made it possible, KWS Aberdare National park Led by Senior Warden MDM Wambani and quite an Insightful conversations with VD Mt.Kenya Circuit Simon Ngugi.  To My fellow Travelers, bloggers and photographers thank you for being the cherry on top….. Cheers To many more trips together.

Is Kenya ready for Halal Travel?

Sometimes last year I happened to host a Muslim family from Argentina and automatically I was their guide and during their stay we happened to take a day trip to a national park and after a meal one of them asked if I knew if the hotel had a prayer room where resident could use…. where else Serena was kind enough to offer somewhere it came to my mind if the tourism industry in Kenya is quite prepared for the muslim travelers needs besides Halal foods. So whats Halal Travel

  • Halal travel: This is a  travel by muslim who do not wish to compromise their faith-based needs while traveling for a purpose, which is permissible.

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The Muslim travel market is one of the most lucrative and one of the most rapidly growing market segments in the industry. It is also one of the world’s highest spending tourist markets. Therefore it is vital that destinations, businesses and travel-related entities take the needs of this market segment into consideration when devising business models and plans.

According to Mastercard report The Muslim market is valued to be worth an estimated $126 billion, with this figure expected to increase rapidly over the next few years. By 2020, the market value is estimated to reach $200 billion, with an estimate of 168 Million muslim travelers and will make up a significant percentage of total global expenditure.

By engaging with this dynamic market segment, destinations and travel-related businesses can benefit greatly. The untapped Muslim travel market has great potential for industry players with a wealth of business opportunities and revenue streams in the future.

Muslim travellers travel for the same reasons as any other tourist – to explore the different destinations and experience their unique culture. However they do not wish to compromise on their beliefs and have certain requirements and needs when travelling – such as the availability of Halal food and prayer facilities at their selected destination. Destinations that are able to provide these facilities and meet the requirements of Halal-conscious travellers are generally preferred amongst Muslims.

Understanding the unique needs of Muslim travellers can benefit destinations, accommodation providers, travel agents, restaurants, airlines, government associations and any travel-related entity. By evaluating their current offerings and upgrading a few facilities, it is possible to better serve Muslim travellers and become the preferred choice amongst the entire market segment.

Many destinations across the world have identified this potential and are adapting their offerings to better appeal to the Muslim travel market. One such example is Japan. In a bid to diversify its tourism industry, the Japanese Government is implementing plans to increase the availability of Halal food, prayer facilities and other Muslim-friendly facilities . As a result, Muslim visitor arrivals are forecasted to hit 1 million by 2020 with a growth rate of over 18% over the next few years. Other countries have applications around Halal Travel.

If you still haven’t considered Muslim travelers in your establishment, Here are a list of what you need to have to attract more of this travelers as categorized by crescentrating; The eBook here is a good guide on how a Hotel could cater to their Muslim guests during the month of fasting.

Need to Have; In the “Need to have” category are Halal food services and prayer facilities. Having an acceptable level of these services in places like hotels, attractions, theme parks, shopping malls etc., is integral to having a sustained growth of these travelers to the destination. Those unable to cater to these two needs are better off postponing targeting this segment until such a time as they are able to provide these services.

Halal food is by far the most important service that a Halal conscious traveler is looking for when traveling. As a result, it is one of the main beneficiaries of the growing Muslim travel sector.

Prayer rooms equipped with “foot washing” facilities easily accessible at the Destinations’ main tourism hotspots is another “Need to have” feature.

Good to have; Availability of water in wash rooms” and “the ability for a destination to cater to the Muslim travelers during the month fasting (Ramadhan)”  Use of water in the toilets is a Muslim etiquette. Not having a proper setup to do that is discomforting for travelers. Providing such facilities has become less cumbersome now with the widespread availability of hand showers, bidets or even Japanese style toilets.

Nice to have; Finally, in the “Nice to have” category are those services or facilities with “no non-halal services/activities” and “recreational services which provide privacy for males and females”. There is a growing sub-segment of Muslim travelers who are looking for destinations, resorts etc. offering these types of services. Some resorts in Turkey are already targeting these holiday makers and reaping huge benefits.

As far as Kenya religion goes, the Constitution of Kenya guarantees freedom of religion and worship to its people and that includes Islam one of the major religion in Kenya.  The largest number of Muslims in Kenya are found in Mombasa and the neighboring coastal regions, as well as the northeastern regions of Kenya. Nairobi also has numerous mosques and a notable Muslim following however there are mosques through out the country and yes kenya is open for Halal travel….

For assistance on Halal Travel reach out to us;

 

Our journey to Aberdares National Park.

 

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The Aberdare National park has been open for all since May 1950. The locals called it Nyandarua as from a distance it looks like dry hides while others called it Kiambiruiru coz of the dark patches seen from a distance. However, Joseph Thomson a famous explorer name it after the then president of the royal geographical society Lord Aberdares.aberdares123

On this visit I am honoring an invite From KWS aberdares in their quest to expose this magical place to the world and especially to encourage Kenyans to include it in their holiday destinations. Most people think that this park is in accessible given that it hosts the Aberdare ranges a region of stunning and diverse landscape where jagged peaks soar up to 4,001m and deep ravines cut through the deep forested slopes. What most don’t know is there are quite good roads within the park and proper hiking trails; for security you can organize to have a kws Rangers Because of the wild animals.

I was accompanied by my felllow travel enthusiasts and we approached  Aberdares from Kinangop side at Mutubio Gate its only one and a half hours from Nairobi  and of course we could just skip enjoying the big Mandazis and creamy tea synonymous with this sides, someone chose mahindi choma with tea lol!

Upon arrival we were received by the warden and The assistant director Mt.Kenya Region Mr.Simon Gitau

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Stellamaris stejosTours, Rosebell EAluxury, Eliud SafiriNasi, Mr.Simon KWS AD, Duncan Xtrym Adventures, John Cheetah Safaris, Moses Warden KWS and our Pilot.

The journey from Ndunyu Njeru to Mutubio gate is steep and needs a resilient car. It takes you through locals farms, to community forests before getting into the bamboo thickets and magical views of the riftvalley.  At the gate Mr.Kariuki the customer care KWS briefed us and our first stop was to check in at Fishing lodge a kws self catering house. Then grab a bite before proceeding to the activities of the day.

Fishing Lodge is located on the misty moorland of the Aberdare Hills and are 2 units owned and operated by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Fishing Lodge Guest House is 180 kilometers from Nairobi (via Nyeri) depending on entry gate into Aberdare National Park. Distances from Nyeri: Treetops Gate 17 kilometers, Ark Gate 28 kilometers, Ruhuruini Gate 20 kilometers, Kiandogoro Gate 30 kilometers, Wanderis Gate 37 kilometers. Distance from Naivasha: Mutubio Gate 50 kilometers.)

The rest of the afternoon we visited Chania Falls, Queen caves and Falls, Karuru Falls

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Karuru waterfalls  fall in three steps, 1st step 117M, 2nd step 26M and 3rd 130M, making a total of 273M.

 

At the queens waterfalls and caves@Queen’s Cave Waterfall, located inside the Aberdares National Park, a habitat that is also a mine of historical information.

A picnic table is set at the entrance to a waterfall and a cave that was once used by Dedan Kimathi, the Mau Mau freedom fighter. The cave, which lies at the base of the 10,000ft was christened the Queen’s Cave after Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were served lunch here by Major Eric George Sherbrooke Walker in 1952. The site offers an ideal place for picnics with staircase leading into the cave.

 

Chania WaterFalls

 

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At Karimu River. Karimu means foolish. The river was given that name because it Defy’s gravity and flows upstream.
On our way back we spotted quite a number of animals, e.g bushbucks, buffaloes, elephants, birds and I must tell you it was getting quite chilly I mean really cold but when we got to the lodge the caretaker had lit the fire and we formed a semicircle at the fire place; then the news came in that the driver was going to pick something in town and the digital in some of us went biserk they just couldnt imagine 4days without electric power and internet #KidsOfNowadays lol! only the two of us were left at the lodge the rest of the team went to Twit hehehe but they came back with numb fingers…….

 

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Now! now! one of the bonfire story was when a ranger in the wilderness had the need to use a bathroom so she decided to hit the bush and in the middle of her business she had a breathing and she knew that was a rhino she charged back into the car more than a rhino could… hehehe! the hilarious part was the breathing Demo it got me on Floor laughing…..#Sensored

After a great diner this day ended up with the most unfare poker game in the world eti HAIKUHUSU lol! But it was better than the hussle of warming bed sheets….

 

 

This is just the first out of our fun four days keep it here you wouldn’t want to miss the hilarious jungle stories and experiences of our rangers while protecting wildlife.

This must be the most romantic drive ever in Nyeri county…

February is considered to be the month of love and many people will be under pressure to please their loved ones. Well there are soo many ways you can do it. I am not a relationship expert but doing something new or unplanned can be very exciting. There are many benefits of Nature walks or driving around scenic places you haven’t been before.

This really affects the attitude and perspective of the heart.  Together you will notice things you’ve never noticed before.  Take time to Enjoy the views, and point out the things to your spouse that you are appreciating including them and sometimes You don’t have to talk about anything.  Sometimes it’s just nice to be with each other with nothing but the sounds of nature and the footsteps.

 

I have been around many places and this place in Othaya called njigari touched my soul. My guide told me way back this place had the poorest backward people ever but currently the place is well up, with good roads meandering through this village, gorgeous tea farms that look like a green carpet rolling up the hills and down the valleys and at the end of it all the Aberdare ranges picks it up. I tell you this village is breath taking.

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The main road seems to be on top of the hills such that you are able to see unending valleys over and beyond.  I was in awe! hope this images will wow you! Kenya Is truly Magical. My guide exceeded my expectation and on our journey back we were all quiet for a while perhaps trying to digest the magical views. We made a stop at  zaina falls another breath taking water falls in Makanga valley in Nyeri. The journey to the falls is quite scenic with streams and rivers, brokes full of trout fish.

It kind of reminded me of the  late Nobel Peace laureate Professor Wangari wa Maathai childhood story; “when I was a child I would visit a stream next to our home to fetch water for my mother. I would drink water straight from the stream. Playing among the arrowroot leaves I tried in vain to pick up the strands of frogs’ eggs, believing they were beads. But every time I put my little fingers under them they would break. Later, I saw thousands of tadpoles: black, energetic and wriggling through the clear water against the background of the brown earth. This is the world I inherited from my parents.

Today, over 50 years later, the stream has dried up, women walk long distances for water, which is not always clean, and children will never know what they have lost. The challenge is to restore the home of the tadpoles and give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder.”

if we may go deeper in Gikuyu customs Wangari was a a munjiru one of the Kikuyu clans The Munjiru has a strong connection to all of nature and with his flute he can keep animals away or summon them to an assembly or to infest an entire village. In this way they were the guardians of the drinking places at the rivers so that people and their livestock could use the drinking places without fear of attack from wild animals. I guess she lived up to her true status..

Getting to Zaina its not a tough terrain but its a 30 minutes walk, the bridge to cross Chania river was broken and there was no way in hell I was going to walk on the log- fear of heights-  so i decided to get rid of my shoes and get into the river as it wasn’t as a deep,, but the water was cold and soothing and nice, then cold, soothing lol!

 

when coming here you can carry picnic baskets and just enjoy the magical views. As I bade Nyeri goodbye this is one journey that has been imprinted in my mind… Forever.

Thank you Le Pristine

Always Nice to hear from you drop us a shout out.

 

 

 

Rhino-Watch Lodge a true Oasis of Serenity and Hospitality

Nyeri county happens to be one of the most green areas in Kenya with dramatic geographical landscapes and attractions. The county has alot of history dating back colonial era.. with most British colonialist settling in this region because the weather was favorable for them and the soils were fertile.. My journey today takes me to the remote and semiarid place of Muiga. My host is Miriam Kinge of Rhinowatch lodge and I am accompanied by StellaMaris of Stejos Tours. We approached Rhinowatch from Nyeri using the Nyeri-Nyahururu Road and it’s a smooth ride all the way, the lodge is easily accessible as the entrance is on the main highway.

When we arrived the team at the lodge was eagerly waiting with a cold towel and welcoming drink. Verily, verily I tell you this was the best thing ever, given that this area can get quite hot. The way that Cold scented towel felt on my skin….. Unlike the surrounding areas this lodge has a well maintained garden with trees allover it looks like an oasis in a semi-arid place. The air changes to a fresh cool, soothing atmosphere.

After checking in we had lunch and we enjoyed every bite.. #ComplementsToTheChef

we spent our afternoon swimming at their infinity pool, even my phone decided to swim lol, Thanks to Apple tips online the idea of putting it in an airtight container full of rice worked., Apparently the rice absorbs all the moister. From the pool area as its on a higher  ground The view of Mt.Kenya  is unblocked its clear and vivid from every location within this property. The lodge is on the valleys between Aberdare Ranges and Mt.Kenya and within 10minutes to solio game reserve. There are quite a number of activities one can enjoy while here e.g biking, game drives, swimming, nature walks, giraffe walks, spa therapy etc

The lodge has 7 luxury chalets 2 of them being family chalets  with 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms all fully furnished en-suite with hot water shower and they can fit up to 5 family members. All Chalets have a panoramic view from the bed, overlooking Mount Kenya with very high roof which ensures natural ventilation, private terrace which has attractive view to Mount Kenya and the Solio plains. The terrace overlooks a glorious garden. The generous front windows offer a wonderful view of Mount Kenya.

The lodge alos have 8 luxury tents 1 of them is a family tent. All accommodations have hot showers and flush toilets, 24hrs electricity with a backup generator. Luxury tents are furnished with either a queen size bed or 2 single beds. The baths are built of stone, offering a comfortable shower, a washstand and a toilet. In front of the veranda you will find a flower garden.All the Tents have been tastefully decorated in the African style..

 

They also have one honey Moon suite that’s away from the main amenities for exclusivity.

All rooms have hot water bottles and coffee/tea making facilities which is awesome as this area can get quite chilly at night. I slept in one of the luxury Chalets and my rooms Highlight was finding a chocolate bar on my bed while going to sleep and waking up in the morning and right through my big wide window was Mt,Kenya glaring at me “Good morning” Then realizing the sun is not up scooping my phone from a bag of rice, doing the sign of the cross for it to charge.. ooh it did yeeh! Charging it for 10mins praying Please sunshine don’t come out yet hahaha! Then rushing out with my PJs to capture the sunrise from the poolside area..things we do, to share that perfect moment….oooh!’

While interacting with Miriam I realized that the lodge supports local community by giving them jobs and truly I saw that local women were the ones responsible of various duties within the property. The lodge also supports local children homes, Sponsor some dis-advantaged children through schools and also supporting children who have been affected or Infected by HIV. I spoke to one of the ladies working there and she was full of praise for the opportunity the lodge brought to her and her Family. Surely a community that receive relief food once a many times from The govt they sure have a lot of needs that need support from every one and Rhinowatch is adding value into their lives and restoring their dignity.

We highly recommend this lodge the staffs are polished, the food is delicous, the rooms are exquisite and the location breath taking..

Anyone who would wish to holiday here visit their website or you can reach out to us on venture.omania@gmail.com 0722838338, 0736365886.

Feel free to Engage us, to share our blog with others it might just be the holiday they need.

Historical tour of Nyeri County with a touch of breath taking waterfalls..

I tend to think a traveler is a seeker, someone with quest that gets satisfied over and over again. It’s through my travels that history has come so alive, be it biblical or otherwise. During my recent journey on my quest to see #NyeriCounty that’s not on paper or google maps, I embarked on a journey together with my two Guides both of whom love this county very much and wonder why most places haven’t been showcased.

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If you read my last blog by now you know who Mr.Kingori is lol!  A Keen Bird watcher and also a passionate historian. I love History, don’t ask me how it came to be while my High school history teacher was nick named `Kapiriton’ coz she used to make us sleep. Feel free to think I slept through my history class hehe! But somewhere along my loooooong life I picked it up big time…

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Well, on this particular day we started by going to the Mau Mau caves on your way to Ngorano.. You branch off at Marua , the junction to Nanyuki from Karatina. Mr.kingori tells me during the colonial Era there was a war there between the Maumaus and the British soldiers it was called Mbaara ya Rui ruiru #BattleOfTheBlackRiver coz the water there looks black maybe coz of the many rocks underneath, and the battle was between the Mau Mau and the british colonial soldiers.

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The journey is quite interesting with beautiful valleys and vegetation’s and when we got to the falls it was obvious it’s a picnic site for the locals, while someone in Nairobi is dying to be dined and wined at Kempinksy etc a local here just want a quiet moment with the one they love by the falls and use the surrounding kopjes as seats and tables, others find this place good for their pilgrimages or just a quiet secure serene place to connect with Mwene Nyaga..

The journey down the falls is not as steep but has loose soil so it’s advisable to use proper hiking shoes. One thing I have noticed during my travels in Kenya, There are three types of people who knew and occupied breathtaking locations 1]The British colonialists, 2] The catholic church 3] The Mau Maus Maybe they selected them keeping their wellbeing in mind…. After visiting the caves we went to in search of other water falls all within 30minutes radius of Nyeri Town.

 

One thing to note is this places are great but not in a controlled environment and if people were to flood in this area there is no way the community would benefit from this. Challenge to you Nyeri county Tourism. we went to muruguru falls, Ihururu Falls

My day ended with a glass of wine at my now all favorite place Le Pristine Kindly note that all this tours can be arranged directly from Le Pristine Hotel Nyeri.

you have any more interesting places in Nyeri county kindly let us know you may also check this blog out 

Where It felt sooo good to leave our footprints in 2017.

As we enjoy 2018 we can only thank the heavens for the grace of new year and I cant help but remember that 2017 was one bitter sweet year.. Its one year we crisscrossed East Africa and still didn’t manage to get to Rwanda, However its still on our bucketlist this year.

Below were our 2017 Favorites there are quite a number of places we encountered but like everything else we remember most of what touches our hearts.

1] Kerio Valley Divers Kerio valley is one of the most scenic escarpment you will find in kenya, we loved it and especially the fearless divers at Chebloch gorge..

 

 

2] Enjoyed drinking Mursik; This is Kalenjin sour milk, its produced by leaving fresh milk to ferment spontaneously in a smoke-treated gourd for up to two days at room temperature.

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3] Forest Bathing in Kakamega forests; This ecosystem is a Botanical, ornithologists paradise. The forest has a variety of  species of birds, plants, insects, butterflies, monkeys snakes etc The soothing sound of the resident animals and insects, the fresh air of the unspoilt forest…your soul gets healed on instant.

 

4] Restaurant; Le pristine Nyeri . Most magical place you can dine while in Nyeri town with breathtaking views of Mt.Kenya and valleys beyond.

 

5] Takawiri is this small island tucked away in Lake victoria has the most white, fiiine sand i have ever seen. The water is so clear you can count all the pebbles and tadpoles inside.. we adored it..

 

 

6] Our Best lodge was Waghill lodge in Mwanza Tanzania this was one magical experience on the shores of lake victoria’s peninsula.

 

 

7] Nairobi National Park still remains our favorite due to abundance of wildlife a game drive in this park is never disappointing.

 

 

8] Conservancy; Ol pejeta. Ol Pejeta is home to three of the world’s last remaining three northern white rhinos and also has a sanctuary for the endangered black rhinos and also rescues Chimpanzee. The conservancy has other game co-existing together.

 

9] I had a blast enjoying the luo culture during my safari to western Kenya from the legends, food, their way of life, mending nets it was super awesome.

 

 

10] Kikuletwa hot water springs  is this Oasis in the middle of a semi-arid place on your way to Moshi. its located in a place where the view of Mt.Kilimanjaro stands soo majestically you would wish to live here forever

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11] Best Host got to be Kenya Tourism Board Their effort in promoting Kenya is getting more aggressive everyday and we love it. Thumbs up KTB

 

12] Nile Sunset Cruise Uganda; Nothing beats an African sunset and particularly one over the Nile. Salute the end of another great day with good company, good food and an ice cold beer or gin & tonic.nile sunset cruise.jpg

13] Camping site; Oloiden Naivasha. I am not a fun of camping I still haven’t done it coz of my own phobias but Oloiden can make anyone just camp or sleep in open field and stargaze and still enjoy the gardens are well manicured the place is soo clean..

 

14] Our favorite Holiday Home; Kiira House Naivasha. this rustic Cottage won our heart.

 

 

15]; Best Crew: Tour Operator Society of Kenya. Young vibrant and doing the best they can to promote local and regional tourism.

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You have a list of your 2017 favorite and it’s not mentioned here, please let us know we might just check it out in 2018…

Thank you for passing by..

 

 

 

Le Pristine Hotel….The waoh factor of Nyeri town.

 

 

 

This is one journey that has been long overdue.. it has been planned over and over but time just seems to be escaping us somehow.. But perhaps let me introduce to you Mr.King’ori the one person amongst many others who are trying to awaken the Giant that Nyeri county tourism is!

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I might have written many other articles about this but on this trip He has promised to show me a Nyeri most people just pass by and don’t take much notice of. As an engineer Mr.Kingori is well travelled all over the world, Loves not just delicious meals but also mouth-watering and after a day’s work he relaxes at his Home with a glass of wine and a good book, ooh and he’s has a million dollar view of valleys over and beyond.

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During my interactions with him I came to learn Nyeri is not His rural home. He landed in Nyeri town by sheer coincidence, however the developer of the property he had identified suggested a different location  after sharing his mission with him and ended up being the perfect location.  It was a colonial farm house with good views of Mt.Kenya, beautiful valleys and gorges.. He took a leap of faith and relocated, he has never regrected this decision. His dream of having a top notch hotel commenced from here and through the support of his wife and children Le Pristine is turning out to be one great master piece.  You can tell by how much they have taken attention to details, from the staff, Menu, Décor, garden etc.

 

His mission is to create a fine dining experience that’s unforgettable for all in a family friendly environment.  Without a doubt, I  can confidently tell you that a visit to Nyeri  town without stopping at Le Pristine is like having a cake and skipping to eat the cherry on top yet its right there glaring at you…..

During his morning jogs he noticed that the neighborhood was a bird’s paradise and the surroundings had great beautiful trees, rivers, caves and shrubs, it’s like his soul was re-awakened, He started collecting different species and recreating a garden with both interesting indigenous trees and herbs.

 

His garden can put a botanist on a roller costar of different species. As I sat at the terrace listening to slow nice music that blend well with this rustic restaurant, I couldn’t help but smile when a song by Dolly Parton Coat of many colors was played, as the garden of le pristine is quite colorful; but unlike Dolly’s Coat this was, one Natural beautiful “Coat” no money can buy and no designer could create. But, also like Dolly’s coat this gardens have be made with lots of love and care. He told me his idea is, whenever one visits this place their five senses come alive. The garden has been divided in different segments where one can just go meditate, relax etc just surrounded by trees and flowers and of course birds twitting.

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my soul was at peace I had a heavy flu but by the time I left Le-Pristine 3days and it was gone.. #NatureHeals
Le pristine  also have a big garden that’s appropriate for events like weddings, cocktails etc. At the moment Le pristine is only open for Events and fine Dining, accommodation is under construction.

In his quest to add value to Nyeri tourism products  he joined Nyeri county tourism association and as fate would have it through a mutual friend he got connected to a young guide Mr.Jackson a Nature Kenya member who share his passion.  On my four days tour together they shall be my guides[aren’t I lucky?]  as we explore this lands and retrace the Mau Mau footsteps, pludge in waterfalls, do some bird watching, scenic drives, hike and as they tell me we shall cross the bridge of the Gods…. I guess you just have to follow me and let’s see if for real the Giant is awake or…..

Christmas lighting at Le Pristine
Merry Christmas and a happy new year longest Christmas tree at Le pristine.

 

Just like the Name Le Pristine everything about this place fits in together like a puzzle. Follow their page to know more. For those who would wish to visit Le pristine its Near Mt.Kenya Academy and you can reach them to book for your table on 0731100201 or 0723409209

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Cheers to You Le-Pristine and Thank you for making my stay wonderful, Finally the Cherry of Nyeri Town has arrived! It’s official the Bar has been raised!

 

Giraffe Ark Game lodge a gem in Nyeri county.

If you are a follower of my blog by now you know how hard it is for me to turn down a trip to Mt.Kenya tourism circuit… and today was that time again. When an invite to visit Giraffe ark Came along I took it because I had missed visiting this gorgeous property far too many times.

Giraffe Ark Game lodge is 3 and a half hours from Nairobi its located in Muiga 36km from Nyeri town. Its tucked near Aberdare Ranges. Even though muiga can get quite dry and dusty on arrival I noticed the lodge has maintained its compounds very green and have planted a lot of trees.

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At the receptions we were received warmly with a cold towel and fresh juice. During my stay here Victoria the marketing Manager who was our host gave us a tour of the property. Giraffe Ark Lodge has a choice of 30 rooms: 6 Deluxe, 5 Luxury, 1 Royal Suite, and 18 Executive Suites , they have incorporated a blend of Pan African, Western, Oriental and Arabian themes.

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All rooms have verandah/balconies, Flat Screen TV’s with premium channels (DSTV), Ensuite bathrooms with hot water. Most of the rooms also have an exquisite view of the Majestic Mount Kenya. From the furnishing in the rooms is obvious the propriety has heavily invested in the décor. Its actually evident through-out the lodge. Everything is placed masterfully.

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The rooms I can guarantee you are very comfortable and quite spacious, airy and well lit. Another thing I noted is they are located away from the social places hence giving you the peace and serenity you might need while on holiday.

 

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The chef didn’t disappoint either the meals were delicious. They have a restaurant that serves European and Kenyan classics with a twist. They offer the freshest flavours of locally sourced produce, as they work with the farmers who provide them with the best the market has to offer , The property also have a beautiful and well equiped chinese restaurant where you can catch all the latest sporting events on mounted big screens . The environment blends well with nature as you enjoy a sundowner cocktail drink at our elevated terrace restaurant above a rocky dam. The outdoor sitting area offers a good atmosphere as you also take advantage of Aberdare range’s fresh air.

 

There are many activities one can engage in while there e.g Swimming, cycling, horse riding, hiking, game drives ETC you can also engage in rounds of chess from their giant chess boards and if you have small kids there is an arena for them. The property also has a conference facility and grounds great for events.

We highly recommend this property and we thank Mr.Peter Magu for hosting us.

Should you ever want to to stay at giraffe Ark Game lodge, write to us venture.omania@gmail.com or call, text, Whatsapp +254722838338

Is there more to family travel in Kenya Beyond All inclusive resorts? Must read for every Family planning a vacation this Holiday.

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Memories made together last and bide a family a lifetime

When I was young, Family vacations were spent at my grandparents house. It was un-written rule that all grand-kids were to spend their long school holidays there. It was fun making pots out of clay, picking wild berries, sliding through the mud, cooking in Tins…. Everyday we were busy doing something, and by the time we got home to grand ma’s and great grandmas fairy tales, we were worn out and all we needed was to eat, shower and drag our selves to bed.

Fast forward in our world today, Many parents just want all inclusive resorts because the young ones will be kept entertained and busy through out the day. Kenya happens to have such resorts that have mastered the art of Family travel and to our rating , Voyager beach Resort, Baobab Beach resort & Spa and Turtle bay Beach club all on the Kenyan coast would rank highly on this.

There are quite few things we need to consider before taking that Family vacation

  • Family vacations aren’t about the destination, the sights etc its about Family. Focus on spending time together not hoping from one destination to the next.
  • Remember that each family members fun might be different from the rest, sit down and narrow down to activities that you all can enjoy considering the interest of each of you. Trust me you don’t want to go around with groomy members… hehehe!
  • When all is in order consult an expert, let them give you a few options according to your shortlisted interests. Consult friends and ask for recommendations. The advantage of this is, the travel consultant has a wealth of knowledge and he/she will save you time and energy.
  • Its always good to ask another family to join you wherever possible. That puts more people in charge of planning and takes some of the pressure off of you. It’s also a great way to save money. For example, you can split on a number of things e.g Transport, accommodation etc. When kids have playmates along, kids are more easily managed, and more people on hand means more eyes to help you watch your brood!
  • When all the planning has been done and you have settled on a package always remember to let your agent know in-case there are special diets requirements. Some hotels and lodges also don’t take children below a certain age..reconfirm all this things.
  • Don’t forget that travel expands our minds including children’s it also a good way of reconnecting and bonding. Remember you are away from your schedules so there will be a lot of focus on each other. Embrace this moment and learn one another.

when all is in place remember to pack and carry a lot of patience as children can get cranky when you list expect. Bear in mind there are quite a number of destinations and activities around Kenya that kids can enjoy besides the beach. E.G cycling, camping, bird watching, game drives… It always good to expose this young ones to different forms of travel it opens up their mind to different possibilities. Places that can give kids different form of experience are Farm houses or hotels. They get to learn more on where most of the products they love come from, how they are grown or manufactured. Some of this properties come highly recommended.

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This is A small property tucked in the highlands of murang’a County, it boasts all the trimmings of a city boutique hotel, in the country side. It has 24 spacious rooms, each with a balcony. your views every day is tea plantation surrounding the hotel and the beautiful landscape of hilly neighborhood. There are quite a number of activities one can engage in as they also keep domestic animals e.g tea picking, feeding and herding cattle, cycling, football day tours to chinga dam etc for more infor check this link out

 

Olepangi farm house in Nanyuki

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This luxurious farm house sits in a big farm ranch on the foothills of Mt.kenya. its located in one of the most scenic places in Timau. your stay here feels short no mater how long as there are quite a number of activities one can engange in. From farm activities, to horse riding, to Nature walks to Hiking…. check them out here

 

 

Ocean sports Malindi

Ocean Sports has always been a family friendly hotel. Located on 14 acres, the majority of which is still indigenous bush, our prime, beach front location and large gardens make it the perfect place for any child to explore.

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You won’t find a ‘kids club’ here showing endless cartoons, instead, each child is given a challenge on arrival, a check list of 50 things to do at Ocean Sports where we take full advantage of the nature and wildlife which surrounds us.

The hotel has chickens, ducks and quail; guinea fowl roam the gardens. Plated lizards can be seen sunbathing on the rocks and bush babies and night jars heard in the evenings. Your children will leave Ocean Sports having learnt and seen a great deal, and usually with a host of new friends.

There are quite a number of holiday options one can explore the only thing your travel agent need to identify is your interest, age and energy levels.

Know of a place with unique experiences? kindly comment and recommend it we would like to hear from you.