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.

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…

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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