Mwea Game reserve… a Hidden Gem in Embu County..

 

 

mwea 8
crossing Thimba River

I have been to places but never been to this park so when a chance arose a decision was made quickly and I found myself and my Travel buddies depart Nairobi at 18:30 hrs for Embu so that we can spend more time in the reserve. we spent a night in Embu and decided to try local delicacies and of course some nyamchom but the guy grilling our nyama was in cloud nine and at some point we wondered did he even get our order right?? Anyway the nyama was on point..

mwea.jpg

The following day we departed for Mwea very early in the morning. The landscape, the little towns and the rivers on the way were very panaromic, we got to Mwea NP within an Hour and the road was good even the 10km strecth all weather road to the park from the main highway. The warden welcomed us to the park and he gave us a history of the park.

mwea 20.jpg

The Mwea National Reserve is located within Mbeere District, in Eastern Province, a distance of about 200km from Nairobi.  The savannah ecosystem comprises of small hills with bushy vegetation and scattered large trees. Other areas are open grasslands while along the main rivers, large trees with thick undergrowth are found. Trees mainly found within the ecosystem are the different Acacia species and baobab trees.  The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kamburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams, which harbour variety of biodiversity.

The Residents

Major wildlife attractions include the  elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Common zebras, Lesser kudu, Buffalo, Water Buck, Bush buck, Impala, Vervet Monkeys, Aardvark, Yellow baboons, Grants gazelle, Dik dik, Cape hare, Warthog,  Black backed jackal, Duiker, Sykes monkeys, Genet cat, Slender mongoose, Stripped ground squirrel, Dwarf mongoose, Crested porcupine, Rock Hyrax, Tree Hyrax and tortoise. Hippos and crocodiles are also found in the dams and rivers. Different birds and reptile species have been recorded in the reserve.

The visitors

you can engage in other activities like boat rides and camping besides Gamedrives and nature walks.

We would recommend this park to all those looking for some quiet time out in the wilderness and KWS should market this park especially to residents of Embu county and the surroundings as it is within reach. There are soo many other places in this county that Travel agencies can combine and create packages off the already known  and give travelers new experiences…..as we bade Mwea Goodbye we cant help but think how much God has Blessed us with a gorgeous Country that we have just assumed its normal… Lets  #TembeaKenya , #LiveTheMagic and #ExploreMore  so that we can be ambassadors of our own products..

The Goodbye was loong as the one giving it..

mwea 18

 

Need to go to Mwea or you have been there? Engage Us…. its always good to hear from you.. Keep it to our blog as we continue to encourage Domestic tourism through our own travels…

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.

mursik

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

kikuletwa

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.

IMG_0260[1]

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..

 

 

 

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.

IMG_0950[1]
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.
IMG_8280
chelengany hills view point
DSCN1444
chebloch gorge

DSCN1458

DSCN1459
lake Kamnarock at a distance
DSCN1460
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

images (2).jpgIMG_4515.JPG

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..

IMG_0965[1]
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…

Want to know where you were conceived? Twende Bogoria and stop at Mogotio Equitor Monument.

Day two of My #TembeKenya Diaries landed me in Mogotio equator monument on my way to lake Bogoria. It’s at this stop-over that the resident guide made known to us that how our hair lie’s, is determined by the side of the equator you were conceived from, if your hair stands still then your parents must have conceived you at zero degree…. Hehe! The Coriolis Force is also demonstrated for travelers, the effect is zero on the equator but, flows clockwise or anticlockwise depending on; if you are on the northern or southern hemisphere. This was demonstrated to us using water and a match stick though a leaf may also be used to show motion.

IMG_7958
At Baringo equator Monument with Charity of Adventure360 and the local guide as he demonstrated the 13 countries in the world which the Equator passes through.

As we share the uniqueness of having different flora and fauna from each side of the Equator Perhaps the most unique feature, of all the countries that the equator cuts across, Kenya has the highest mountains, we also have the most beautiful landscape and great weather. We have earned this brag rights….. but who is saying..

As we departed Mogotio the conversation trying to demystify our place of birth was on top gear… and let me sensor this I don’t want to be put of flying squad alert hehe!

True to the equator facts the vegetation changed as we entered Baringo county, unlike that of Nakuru it was more of semi-arid it was really hot.. Word of advice stay hydrated. Our journey to lake bogoria was awesome and at some point felt like we were on pacific route of ‘Need for speed’ only there was no lake but plains of lands… the view was breathtaking and the ride quite thrilling as we navigated through the escarpment down to the floor of the rift.

Upon arrival at lake Bogoria we proceeded to the reserve after buying eggs from the locals and getting our Ticket from Kenya Wildlife service offices.

 

I enjoy traditional stories –folklores and I had to get at least one legend of Lake Bogoria, A local was happy to narrate one quite interesting story. Their was no Hadithi Njoo [story come] he went straight to the legend. He said that long long ago the place was habited by two communities The Kapsokomos and the Kapsarakis, they were all pastoralist and they were blessed with very fertile land, however, one community was rude and very arrogant. The gods were very angry at them and they were given a warning, however they didn’t change an d the gods told them to leave, The Sokomos decided to leave, but that night it rained heavily that the ground started to tremor and jets of hot water started to shoot up from the ground, there were chaos, wails, confusions and desperations as they tried to escape, but quite a number of people were killed and homes and livestock destroyed. But the Sokomos were spared, their houses not touched despite the village being submerged in water.

The following morning they found themselves standing on an island and there was a narrow dry path leading them to the mainland. Sokomo and his household hurriedly left the island and by the time they had reached the mainland the path collapsed into the new formed lake the neighbors named it Lake Bogoria [steams] . .

I never got to pester more about the story as it was time for our game drive, as we drove around this saline, alkaline lake I couldn’t help but smile about the legend that was narrated to me before. The blue-Green algae give this lake a beautiful mix of turquoise, emerald like color, and the lesser Flamingoes love it-sometimes they flock here in thousands. The background hills, the Siracho and the Ngendelel escarpments looked like they were protecting some mystery only known to this eco-styem – its breathtaking. The variety of birds chirping and tweeting gave the surrounding a rhythm of different dis-orderly notes yet so harmonious with nature.

DSCN1399
The color of the lake due to the blue-green Algae

The geysers, looked like they were on a piano lesson perhaps just to portray the geo-thermal activity under or just to remind the locals the wrath of the gods. Lake Bogoria has the most concentration of true geysers in Africa, 18 recorded so far that can erupt up-to 5metres high, and they carry with them a strong pungent sulfur smell, their activity is affected by the fluctuation of the water levels which may expose some more geysers. It may be thrilling to watch them erupt but care should be taken as the springs are dangerously hot and beware of sinking grounds. Once Bogoria was a fresh water lake but I guess the heat contributed to a higher evaporation rate making the lake saline.

IMG_8125
On the shores of Lake bogoria at the Hot springs

Geologist says this Ramser site lake is Meromictic, meaning the water body is divided into layers that can stay for years without mixing.. interesting, right? The history of the lake is as beautiful as its physical attraction. I echo Bishop Hannington’s word when he first saw the lake: “This is the most beautiful view in Africa”

As much as the main attraction in this reserve is the lake, it also has some natural springs that one can bathe in and are believed to have healing properties. It’s also home to the uncommon greater Kudu amongst other plain games, cats and primates.

There are different types of accommodation available one is camping within the three camping sites designated by KWS and another is from a local community. Our stay was at the beautiful Lake Bogoria Resort and spa and it actually caters for accommodation across all budgets from camping, simple tented rooms to luxurious lodge rooms. The resort also has a natural spa in the sense that the pool water are supplied from the Bogoria springs. Its an awesome place to stay and the food is yummy.

 

As we departed Lake Bogoria Reserve to Eldoret, the images of this eco-system played a peaceful slide in my Mind.. Lets #FlirtWithKenya #MagicalKenya #SupportLocal

ooh just a few more final photos when @TravelWithEliud decided to walk on water and forgot to check on his eggs in the hotsprings,.. lol