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.

Africa overtakes Japan and Australia as the most preferred destination by Chinese travelers, A TravelZoo Survey

Travelzoo® , a global publisher of exclusive offers and experiences for members, is forecasting the largest popularity growth of Africa in 2018 among avid Chinese travelers, according to the results of the latest Travelzoo Travel Trends Survey.

The survey shows a record high number of Chinese respondents, more than 60 per cent, who plan to travel in-depth in 2018. “In-depth travels” is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience.

For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination Chinese travelers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia.

Among the destinations in Africa, Travelzoo’s Chinese members are most interested in Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania, according to Travelzoo’s website statistics.

Travelzoo deal experts say the rapid growth in popularity in exotic destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia is largely due to relaxation of visa requirements for Chinese nationals.

Chinese passport holders have been granted visa-free access to visit Morocco since June 2016 and Tunisia since February 2017, and visa-on-arrival access to enter Tanzania and Egypt.

There was a 378% year-over-year growth in Chinese arrivals in Morocco and 240% in Tunisia during the six months after the easing of visa requirements, which pushed Morocco to first place and Tunisia third as the destinations that enjoyed the greatest growth in Chinese visitors.

Furthermore, the survey showed a 25% increase in the number of Travelzoo members in China who plan to take five or more overseas holidays in 2018. Travelzoo’s statistics show the click-through rates of Morocco deals have increased 20% since the visa-free Morocco access was announced.

“Travelzoo members like to explore the less-traveled destinations and have immersive local experiences,” comments Yoyo Huang, Associate Publisher at Travelzoo in China. “These Travelzoo members become influencers for their friends and family when they seek travel suggestions. Now that the major visa restrictions were lifted, our members are definitely keen on Africa and their friends will follow. 2018 is about time that Africa took off and continued to grow in popularity throughout the year.”

Beach holidays still top the activities Chinese travelers are interested in, followed by food and wine. Third place, however, was taken by historic attractions, rising from fifth spot last year.

Cruises climbed to seventh place from tenth and photography tours appeared in the top 10 the first time. Otherwise, shopping dropped out of the top 10 activities for the first time and sightseeing also fell from ninth spot to last.

“The days when Chinese tourists were entertained by merely sightseeing and shopping are long gone,” adds Huang, “the middle class in China are now seeking unforgettable experiences at their own pace when they travel. The destinations that offer rich culture and nature should expect many more Chinese visitors, so we’re confident in our prediction that 2018 will see Africa secure its place as the fastest-growing popular destination among avid Chinese travelers.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that the U.S.—one of the top five destinations of all time for Chinese travelers—fell from the third place to fifth this year while Japan and Australia remain number one and two. The U.K. retains the fourth spot, while no other Western European country made it into the top 10 this year.

www.travelzoo.com

Article as reflected on https://africabusinesscommunities.com/africadata/africa-overtakes-japan-and-australia-as-the-most-preferred-destination-by-chinese-travelers-travelzoo-survey/

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;

 

A stay at Rusinga Island Lodge Exposed us to the most beautiful Islands of Lake victoria..

 

IMG_9067As our journey continues from Luanda Kotieno we landed in Mbita where we proceeded to Rusinga Island The sunset was quite welcoming and so was the Rusinga island lodge team where we were going to spend a night. Rusinga Island is on the eastern part of Lake Victoria on Winam gulf.

 

In 1948 Rusinga Island came into the history books when Mary and Louis Leakey made their discovery of the last common ancestor of the great apes,  proconsul heleloni, which was purportedly an early genus primate that existed around 27 million years ago. Since the Island is at the crossroads where Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania meet, it has been influenced by the three countries’ traditional cultures. This is seen as many cross the Lake and live in other islands where traditional Ugandan or Tanzanian foods can be found in the local menu such as Matoke (rabolo-plantain) as well as all fish and vegetables dishes. Luos from the Northern and South Nyanza mainland also bring their rumba-style music, their round thatched house model of homes and their love of partying to add to the mix. We visited the litare fishing village got to learn and participate in fishing with the local community

 

Rusinga Island also hosts the mausoleum of the late Tom Mboya, who is one of the most prominent personalities in Kenyan history. He was born Thomas Joseph Mboya on 15th August 1930 and was assassinated at the tender age of 39 on 5th July 1969.

TJ mboya grave Rusinga.jpgIt is widely believed that his profile and illustrious career as a brilliant and charismatic leader, which was seen as a challenge to the then political establishment, led to his assassination.

Our two nights stay here were spent relaxing, bird watching, Island Hoping, swimming etc. This place was truely magical as the images below showcase that stay.

 

You can check more about Rusinga Island on this link >>>>>

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Birds island is a protect birds area full of birds and monitor lizards 

During our stay here we got to visit the magical Takawiri Island  This a haven for hippos and a vast array of bird-life and one of the most unspoilt islands on Lake Victoria. Takawiri Island also goes by the names, Takavire, Takawiri Island, Takivere Island, Takiwiri Island.

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Takawiri Island

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Takawiri Island
Takawiri Island

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well Good luck to all of us and as the sun sets on Rusinga Island Lodge so does our journey get to a close. we can only Thank the team here for the warm hospitality, delicious food and a very spacious extr-comfortable Room I had.

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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!

 

Kisumu County as I Experienced it and fell in love..

A journey that took us a few hours from Kakamega  landed us  in Kisumu city, Kenya’s third largest city and the main urban center in Western Kenya, Kisumu has a lot to offer the to business and leisure traveler. In recent years, Kisumu has transformed from a provincial town to an attractive investment destination.

 

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The green patch is the View of lake victoria from Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu

As the East-African member countries are working more and more closely together, Kisumu is ideally located to play a significant role in this collaboration. Its location on the shores of Lake Victoria and its proximity to tourist attractions such as Kakamega Forest, Ndere Island and Ruma National Park, make it an increasingly popular base from which to explore Western Kenya- The main reason we were here.

We arrived to Kisumu city by road if you were following us you must have already read our previous post  we were coming from Kakamega and I must say I was impressed by how much the city has modernized but then again Our Luo brothers are known to have a FIIINE taste.. they say Luo is not a tribe but a lifestyle, and our Hotel proved all this. The Sovereign suites was nothing but incredible the staff was friendly and the meals delicious. Our rooms were quite spacious and comfortable you would just leave here.

 

 

While in kisumu we also took the liberty to check other properties like, victoria suites, Acacia premiere and jambo Chester inside Impala animal orphanage.  . Big ups to the manager of Acacia Premier Kisunu for a wonderful hospitality. You have truely set the bar high for Bleisure in Kisumu city.

 

Well after an overnight in kisumu city we reluctantly woke up to continue with our journey of west coast. Too bad we couldn’t trace the magical sunset and sunrises with rays reflecting over Lake victoria as the Hycnth has really covered this part of the lake and it looked like one green lake. we started by visit The impala Animal Orphanage. Set on the shore of Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a peaceful, relaxing place to enjoy the natural beauty that abounds here. The sanctuary hosts impalas, the rare Sitatunga antelope as well as big cats, buffalos, giraffes, cheetahs and several primate species. The sanctuary is also home to five campsites all with spectacular views of Lake Victoria. Bird watching, nature walks and glass bottomed boat rides compliment the activities availed at the sanctuary.

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A Shot on the movie LOST lol.. anyway on the old railway line at Impala Sanctuary Kisumu.

 

There after we headed to Ndere Island and on the way we stopped at Kiti mikayi  According to the Luo folklore, Kit Mikayi, mother of the tribe, rested up near Ndere Island, The smallest game reserve in Kenya after her long journey south down the Nile valley.,She found the shore lines so pleasing that she and her people stayed.

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Forklore time with an elder at Kiti Mikayi Shrine

Folklore also exists about the cause of the rock weeping. It’s believed that Mikayi, “the first wife” went up the hill to the stones when her husband took a second wife, and has been weeping ever since. imagesAnother legend about the weeping rock exists of a man who was in love with the stone. He could wake up in the morning and walk into the cave inside the stone and stay there the whole day forcing his wife to bring him breakfast and lunch every day. The old man become passionately in love with this stone to the extent that if somebody asked his wife the of his whereabouts , the wife would answer that he has gone to visit his first wife-Mikayi hence the stone of the first wife is Kit Mikayi.

 

After Kiti Mikayi we headed to Ndere Island. The rocky features full of kopjes as we descended to board our boat was kind of interesting to the eyes and photographers alike. Located on Lake Victoria, this island is a haven for birds.

Covered mostly in grassland, Ndere Island provides beautiful scenic views of the Homa hills to the south, Mageta Island to the east and the glimpses of Kampala in Uganda beyond the south west horizon. The lake shore supports a wide variety of animals including hippos, monitor lizards, Nile crocodiles, several fish species, snakes, baboons, impalas, the rare sitatunga antelopes, water bucks, zebras and warthogs. Over 100 different species of birds can be seen here including African fish eagles, black headed gonoleks and grey headed kingfishers.

 

The community around Ndere island were very hospitable and we learnt quite of interesting things at-least I learnt how to mend fishing nets lol..

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learning how to mend fishing nets.

Our journey to Luanda Lotieno for our ferry to Mbita was filled with fertile farmlands and interesting landscapes and fewer Matatus lol…

We got at the boarding port quite early and trust Kenyan Travelers the first thing they look for in a new place… Nyamchom but in this particular area FishChom lol too bad…but they Got something else.. hehe!

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The CEO of Lake Victoria tourism Mr.Antony Ochieng acting as a translator to a local Dholuo elder during preaching.  Apparently they do this before boarding the ferry  to calm the sea.

That is a story for another Because someone started calling all travelers for a spiritual session. Apparently Before boarding the ferry all passenger must gather prayer and read the bible together to ward bad spirits away…. and the preaching were in Dholuo wee! But Antony our fellow Tourism Ambassador were there to safe the day and do the interpretations hehe…. It was kind of interesting. One thing travel has taught me is to mingle and fit in with the locals as much as possible you will learn a lot of things not on any map or book.

 

The ferry was still taking sometime and some of us decided to put on a show and dance on the shows of lake Victoria. Tip; while on a long journey; sometimes just looking through the window can be exhausting carry a book, Great company or some music with you. It will break the monotony. But I must say Kisumu county is quite Gorgeous… and the residents quite fun to be around.

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At Luanda Kotieno waiting for our ferry

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Our “Vifarus” also waiting to board the Ferry.
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All Boarded to Mbita.
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The magical sunset that welcomed us to Mbita.
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Karibu Rusinga Island..

We got to Rusinga Island quite late and my #TwendeWestern Tale continues…….

If you have attractions and interesting things to do in Kisumu and its environs kindly share with us…