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

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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..

 

 

 

From Machame with love Courtesy of Salinero hotels.. Part One!

machame

Sometimes it feels good to just lay back and let someone else handle your travel plans, book your tickets, hotel etc all you need is just to show up. And that’s what happened to my recent trip to Tanzania courtesy of salinero Hotels. I don’t have such a good memory with Tanzania borders, last time I told the officer to just give me my documents and go back to Kenya hehehe! At Namanga border things were Drama free, efficient, quick, given that now both TZ and KE immigration departments is one-stop….

There is something about road trips. It’s like you become part and parcel of the destination you get to see, smell and experience a place more intimately, Now combine that with good company… and some good Bongo flava music…yaaahoo!  Tahmeed Bus our busline of choice on this trip, made sure we got the best of Tanzanian music and we couldn’t resist singing along Alikiba’s  chekecha cheketuas song….. and especially that our karaoke team was on this trip….

 

Jamani ninataka saule 
kama mapenzi gorofa yamejaa Kariakoo
Nina mapenzi tele kama kwetu kule
Wanaonitaka ni wengi ila mimi kwako nyang’a nyang’a nyang’a

Nini unataka mi nina miujiza nini unataka
Ama ni maji ya bluelight sema nini unataka
Nikugeuze Princess sema nini unataka
Unavyo biringa bayondo hivyo mi ndo nataka taka sana natakaa

Nini unataka mi nina miujiza nini unataka
Nikugeuze Princess sema nini unataka
Siamini yaani siamini yamenipanda kichwani
mahaba ya kuota sinitimi yamenikoleza mwilini
Siamini ooh siamini yamenipanda kichwani
mahaba ya kuota sinitimi yamenikoleza mwilini

Haya chekecha chekecha chekecha chekecha chekecha……….

There is something about Alikiba, his music is infectious, his performances are kind of sweet and cheeky, you get consumed into the words and rhythm you can,t help but sing and dance along. We had a wonderful time, breathtaking views of farmlands .. until we got to Arusha and discovered that one of us was double booked! Yes, as in, he was meant to stand all the way to Moshi so that the new client can seat….let’s just say what happened Next Tahmeed won’t be forgetting us for a longtime lol!  Kenyans na ‘Haki yetu’ is not just a saying but a lifestyle…. However the seats were comfortable, entertainment was good and the power sockets actually worked..

Upon arrival at Machame our host didn’t take long to pick us up and this is where our full blown bongoflava music commenced, a beautiful fun relation that was going to last three days I am talking about our driver guide and his vehicle lol! For all those doing group travels to Arusha and Moshi we highly recommend him. His vehicle is clean, hes friendly and very professional at his work, The music system in his van is well equalized.

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Yoyo moments!! with our guide Charles and the now famous BongoFlava Van…
Any way our first day was going to be spent at Salinero Millie lodge, we checked in at around midday. The lodge is stunning, its majestically located at 1800m above sea level and just a few meters to Machame, one of  the Entrance gate to Kilimanjaro. It located in a very peaceful place and have wonderful views of the surrounding forest and Mt.Kilimanjaro. The staff here were quite welcoming, professional and very friendly.  The rooms were quite spacious and had a balcony where one can enjoy open views. I must also commend the chef for he didn’t disappoint, every detail seemed its well thought  of and we can highly recommend this lodge to anyone without fear.

 

After lunch and freshening up we had a village tour with a local guide called Peter, He had the most interesting English accent ever, he was quite an attraction himself but also very knowledgeable. He guided us through locals way of life from local brews traditions to coffee farming, roasting and tasting experiences. Machame is on the slopes of Mt.Kilimanjaro with lots of flowing water allover in small trails and rivers, waterfalls and caves it felt like a land of milk and honey…The farmer in me came alive and saw opportunities right center and left…

After our village tour we went back to the hotel to relax and freshen up for diner. Our host Mr and Mrs Benjamin Mengi’ had organized a welcome party at their Residence. They are the proprietors of Sarinero hotels we had a wonderful time and learnt quite a lot of things about Tanzania. Our first day was quite impressive.

Thank you Salinero for being a wonderful host and Moe for being with us and making sure we had value in every tour we took. Bigups Y@ll!

 

Why we think a visit to East Africa Rock city is not complete without a stay at Waghill lodge and spa.

One of those moments your fingers ache to type… Unlike many other times, I am on a roof top restaurant in Mwanza town the R00ck city as the locals like to call it.

Rock city is Tanzania’s second largest town. The geographical features around this town are quite interesting and breathtaking at the same time. For a moment I almost forgot my immigration woes earlier after a journey of 650km from Nairobi to Mwanza, the border Immigration officer in Isebania Border made me feel like I was in an interrogation room and to some point I just told Him to give me back my papers and go back to Nairobi; talk of catching feelings hehe! The most annoying thing is, he had already stamped them…and it took the intervention of modern coast management for him to let me go, But now I am brighter, no matter what you are going to do in Tanzania just say you are visiting life will be easier that way….

By the time we left the border it was already morning and our journey to Mwanza was wonderful great views of rocky hilly landscapes, traditional homes, farmlands, wildlife, and by the time we were getting into Mwanza there was no warning –Town features- only traffic grew but the housing wasn’t as modern as Nairobi is.

Our host Mr.George, picked me and my friend upon arrival at 11:00hrs from the bus station and he gave us a brief history of Mwanza. Our first stop was at Wag Hill rooftop restaurant on Nyerere avenue. The restaurant Gives you a 360degree of Mwanza town. And you could Cleary see houses impressively built on rocks, -wish they would paint them colorfully- a good view of lake Victoria from a distance, the hustles and bustles of Mwanza Town……just like downtown Nairobi they got venders selling their wares

 

After our brief rest and a snack we departed for Wag hill lodge with a city center tour, I could see lots of similarity with other towns in east Africa, things beyond the Swahili language.

There are quite a number of historical sites and monuments to visit in Mwanza e.g The Bujora museum which showcases the culture of the biggest tribe in Tanzania the Sukuma People, Kageye Historical site ETC But I enjoyed the view of Bismarck Rock on the shores of Lake Victoria massive granite rock right in the city. It attracts lots of interests from those new here and a lot of myths surround this rock. For a moment you might think that this naturally arranged rocks can fall off by merely pushing them with your fingers but they are solid and they have been soo for centuries.

Bismarck rock, Mwanza
Bismarck-rocks, named after the most famous German Chancellor in the days prior to the World Wars, who served his Kaiser at a time when the notorious Berlin Conference, which divided Africa and Africans into colonial possessions, created boundaries over which modern African countries today still are in dispute.

 

When in Mwanza you may also want to explore more and head to Ukerewe Island and Rubondo home of a national park with diverse natural attractions, rich in birds and a wonderful beach, Historical museums of Halwego Handebezyo in Ukerewe.

Our Journey from the city to Waghill Lodge, which was going to be our home took approximately 30mins. A cinnamon collection lodge. The lodge lies on southern Peninsula Of lake Victoria amidst lots of kopjes. Lake Victoria is nearly 69,000sqKM, it borders Kenya, Uganda and more than half of it is in Tanzania. It looks quite massive… yet well controlled by this massive landscape of kopjes all around.

On arrival at Waghill we were warmly welcomed and escorted to our rooms to freshen up before going for a late lunch. But the beauty and uniqueness of this property re-energized us such that you just wanted to be out there, its built in a way it doesn’t interfere with the natural surroundings yet at the same time giving you the maximum and the most breath taking views of the lake and lands and islands beyond.

The sunrise and sunsets are wonderfully captured…you can’t afford to miss this and if possible take the nature trails from the lodge to the hill top for a bird’s eye view. The lodge has two natural Harbors which have become breeding grounds for some of the largest tilapia one can find anywhere in the world, The scenary in this part of the lake has breathtaking granite rock structures that appear to defy Gravity. The lodge in itself is a full package as everything is well thought of. The tented rooms and The cottages are constructed in a way you enjoy total privacy and serenity of the place without interfering with the breathtaking views of this location. All rooms are self contained and elegantly furnished. The foot paths also done in a way they mix and blend in with nature. There are quite a number of activities one can enjoy while there like Swimming, Nature walks, Paint Balling, Horse riding, boat rides, fishing, kayacking etc Even if you stay here for a week you still won’t get bored and you can still enjoy sometime at their spa or swing your troubles away while enjoying the lake-views.

The lodge also Has a four bedroomed self-catering Villa, fully equipped, luxuriously furnished and with an exclusive swimming pool. Great for private functions or family getaways

My time here felt soo short… would have loved to extend but like they say every good thing must come to an end. It was lovely to re-connect with the general manager Mr.Stanley Morley having interacted with him during hospitality forums in Kenya and with a worldclass experience, I have confidence in Him that Waghill as a brand will continue to raise. The meals at waghill were mouthwatering complements to the chef, and to all the staff at Waghill, Thank you for your hospitality and great service. This is one lodge will keep watch and continue to recommend.

For those who would wish to travel to Mwanza its easily accessible either by road or By air through Mwanza Airport. The lodge is perfect for family getaway, a honey moon package, solo trips and for anyone who likes luxury and exclusivity. Its perfectly located in away you can end a safari from serengeti or even a day trip before departing Tanzania.

#ThumbsUpWagHill.

Christmas Package to Mwanza.

WAGHILL lodge and Spa.

 

 

 

Madaraka Day Special Zanzibar Flying Package from Nairobi.

 

Madaraka Day Special

29th May – 08th June 2017

Incredible Flying Package to Zanzibar

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USD777 Per Person sharing, Child USD444

                             Stay 4, Pay 3 Nights on Full board basis, Based on Superior rooms at Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa.

Includes return flights NBO/ZNZ/NBO, 3 Nights on Full board basis  and return airport transfers in Zanzibar.

 

Valid for NEW BOOKINGS ONLY
Via Email; venture.omania@gmail.com
Call/Text/Whatsapp; 0722838338, 0734730699

Check this Exclusive lodge in a private island you will book it right away…

If you have ever harboured the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself,

Mnemba Island is just the place for you! Discover sheer, unpretentious paradise on this private island, where the simple pleasures become your most treasured of memories for many years to come. Relax and unwind in the exclusivity of your own stretch of beachfront, where simple yet luxurious bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest.

There is soo much to do here From snorkelling, swimming and kayaking, to massages on the beach, to doing nothing at all, Mnemba has something for everyone.

If you would wish to book your stay in this Island; write to venture.omania@gmail.com, call us or whatsapp on +254722838338, +254736365886

There is alot of conservation work in this island

GREEN TURTLE CONSERVATION; The Island is one of only two protected nesting sites for the endangered green turtle in Zanzibar. With statistics measured since 1998, an average of 34 turtles nest on the island per year, with more than a hundred hatchlings born per nest. An estimated 60 000 green turtles have been born on the island in the 17 years since the lodge team began keeping records. Mnemba is one of the top three sites for green turtle laying in Tanzania and is deemed very important to Sea Sense, a non-governmental Tanzanian organisation and the NGO that Mnemba collaborates with on data sharing and training.

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COCONUT CRAB CONSERVATION; The biggest land crab in the world, so little is known about the coconut crab that they do not even have a conservation status with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), being listed as ‘data deficient’. Mnemba Island has a small but stable population of these crabs and recently hosted two researchers from Gothenburg University in Sweden, who conducted a study of the coconut crabs at Mnemba and nearby Chumbe Island. This was the first study of its kind conducted in Africa, as any previous research has taken place in the Asia-Pacific region. The initial output of the research shows evidence of breeding behaviour among the crabs. &Beyond Mnemba Island is one of two island lodges in the company’s stable and is one of its smallest in terms of guest numbers. By contrast, the benefits of their conservation measures and successes are substantial and far reaching.

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ADER’S DUIKER CONSERVATION; The rarest antelope species in Africa, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that there are between 300 and 600 Ader’s duiker remaining in the wild. In 2005 five of these antelope were introduced to Mnemba Island and have since tripled their number, with a population of 15 now living on the island. Mnemba Island is believed to be the only place in the world where these little animals can be spotted in the wild. Working with WCS, &Beyond has collected information on the duikers’ diet and behaviour and we hope that this will allow us to improve the breeding programme, leading to a further increase in the numbers of the species.

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SUNI ANTELOPE CONSERVATION; Zanzibari suni were introduced to Mnemba Island from Jozani Forest with the aim of diversifying and increasing their population. On Mnemba, where they have no natural predators, they have been breeding twice, rather than once, every year. Over the years, more than 250 suni have been moved to 13 sites throughout Zanzibar. Suni numbers remain carefully monitored and 15 new individuals were recently introduced onto the island to dilute the gene pool.

Community

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SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AT LOCAL VILLAGES

Mnemba Island has no resident community but works closely with the villages of Matemwe and Kigini, situated on the main Zanzibar island. In addition to supporting schools and helping to develop vegetable gardens, Mnemba has erected a windmill and sponsors beach clean-ups. Financial support and housing for MIMCA staff has been provided and ways are explored to prevent over-utilisation of reef fishes.

FUN CONSERVATION LESSONS; In order to protect and preserve the rich and fragile ecosystem of the Zanzibar Archipelago surrounding &Beyond‘s beautiful Mnemba Island, the lodge has embarked on an ongoing campaign to inform and inspire the youth from the nearest community through interactive and exciting Conservation Lessons.